November 12, 2009 at 7:41 pm (references, visuals) ()

Most of the problems I have are very modern and specific to the “bleeding-hearts with money” set. 

Okay, I don’t really have much money.  But the heart is a gusher.

My love of paper and frequent, pressing urges to buy it and use it in various forms are part of an unsustainable practice.  I love magazines, I love print photos, and I love new, juicy pens (blue-black, from the japanese stationery store, oh yes).  I love handwriting, drawing, and holding actual books in my hands.  I like to cut out pictures from magazines and make covers of cd’s or collages with them.  I give thank-you cards, thinking-of-you cards,  and have engaged in multiple snail-mail style exchanges.  I have stacks of books with journal entries from almost my entire life up in one of my lofts.

I am anti-Kindle for an unknown reason that resides in my old-fashioned heart.  Oh yeah, IT IS UGLY and I VOLUNTEER AT A LIBRARY BOOKSTORE FOR CHRISSAKE.

I schedule everything in a paper planner (provided by my employer).  This year, they messed up the order and everyone got their planner of choice except for me.  For a brief, exciting moment, I contemplated going digital with my calendar.  I could track due dates for bills, schedule activities, remind myself of things to do ALL ONLINE.  But then the doubt crawled in.  What if my iphone dies while I’m out and I need a time or something?  Or I am not close to a computer?  Then I neglect to do something that I am supposed to?  Or I double book?  I am an anxious person.  This is the way my mind works.  I’m not ready to organize my life electronically.  Which is lame.  I love technology!

So, my justification for my nostalgic, irrational behavior is that I am on a computer all day and, on occasion, in the evening and  my eyes often feel like they won’t work anymore after a day of reading text on a screen.  I use my iphone as an email/internet/text machine more than a phone and often stare at it while waiting for a bus, order, or a person.  I get headaches after looking at a computer too long and often have to wear my glasses in an attempt to avoid my head-crushing fate.

So my solution for the very important (life is hard, waaah!) Planner Problem?  Ecosystem is a line of blank books made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  Way cuter than my institutional At-A-Glance planner.  And you can customize it to fit your needs.  I purchased the ecosystem advisor medium-sized weekly calendar, with a flexi-cover.  It features a whole page of note paper to go with your week, which is cool to me because I take notes on stupid little things throughout the day.    Check out the web site, too, because some of the features of the company and its products are pretty bad ass. 

I got the watermelon color and it is pretty, pretty cute.


But, erm, yeah, you should totally do the right thing and organize your life electronically (or in your brain).


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Girly Crush Alert

October 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm (references, visuals) ()

Former Black Panther, Kathleen Neal Cleaver.

Get out your big jewelry, turtlenecks, and shades (and your fist) and make things happen.






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Well, hello there!

October 9, 2009 at 8:32 am (what was she thinking) ()

Thank you for not giving up on me.  I have been meaning to write, but life keeps getting in the way.  However, I woke up early today (incredible feat) to get some stuff done and here I am – acting in response to a number of threats regarding my writing hiatus.

Sooo . . . to get things rolling again, I will report some good things:

More cool people (and less hurtful people) in my life.

Big October = music, people, books, sunshine, brains, and fun.

Which leads to > more nerdy things to exercise my brain.  God, I needed that.

New record player (fancy turntable!) + new speakers + some thing with knobs + new records (hey joanna newsom EP and bat for lashes!) = a happy, happy girl.

I might get to see my ENTIRE family at once in December (another amazing feat).

Jeannie, the Creature from the Sheets, officially has the cutest dog walker in the whole wide world.

My old friends Honesty and Loyalty are hanging out again.

A new cool GIRL friend (shocking).

New glasses after like 7 years of wearing the same old mf’ing lisa loeb frames.

Big book sale + vegetarian festival + bluegrass + Treasure Island Music Festival next weekend.

My plants are growing at a beastly rate, which means I DO NOT KILL PLANTS (I have always thought I had a murderous thumb).

Half-day today to pick up a car and drive to Nevada City for the weekend (with pup included) to seek out commune property and whatever else we might find there (wood sprites?  good vintage?  veggie food?  warlocks?).

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, things are going quite well and I am officially no longer a Victim of the Storm.

Okay.  I’ve broken the seal.  Expect more.  I need a soy chai to think/write nonsense properly.  Then, it’s on.


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Up Up Up

September 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm (what was she thinking) (, , )

I have spent a lot of my life so far accepting and rationializing mediocrity.  The past year of my life consisted mostly of mourning and acting out against tragedy.  At this moment in my life, I am basking in the benefits of actually seeking out and embracing what I deserve.  It feels nice and oddly takes way less effort than the constant pressure involved with always trying to make things better.

I checked out my old personal website through Michigan State yesterday.  We used those websites to post papers and things for some of my classes, but after I graduated, I used mine as a web design practice site while I taught myself programs.  Some of the site’s incarnations are pretty funny to look at, but what shocked me the most is that my “online journal” entries are not very different from the words I post today.  Except I think I was smarter and had more time on my hands to read and do art.  But not much has changed in my head, apparently.

Exhibit A:

Date: Thursday, June 12, 2003 7:58:05
Topic: obsessions for now
nag champa
nivea lotion
the rapture
big jewelry
nylon magazine
my dog
leaving work on time
a song by neko case
vanilla musk
big salads
leaving the lights off
people watching
mix cds
frilly tops
taking bad photographs
sarcastic writers
looking at old photographs
deconstructed fashion
$8 concerts
there are a million more shallow obsessions to list, but i must go to work.
enjoy the silence.

Exhibit B:

Date: Monday, June 16, 2003 7:47:34
Topic: patience will find you pretty things
while waiting for the bus yesterday, an old, toothless man sat near me and shouted “happy father’s day! happy everybody day! everyday is everybody day!.” then he began to pump his nubby hand into the air and sang that song “joy and pain . . . sunshine and rain.” then, a cop pulled up and arrested him because he received a complaint from trader joe’s and the man wasn’t cooperating. i wonder what he did at trader joe’s. hopefully it was fun . . . maybe he had some sunshine to go with his rain.
i have another obsession to add . . . french films. except for the very violent, head-chopping sort. L’auberge Espagnole (which wasn’t entirely in french) is a fun film, i think. i also rented Frida (not french, of course) . . . the art direction is amazing in that movie. i’m painfully jealous of the people who get to design films like that.
i hibernated all weekend . . . sad it’s over.
work work work work work work work work work work.
monday fun day

Exhibit C:

Date: Sunday, May 4, 2003 1:06:28
Topic: sunday lusty sunday
do you ever wonder what people are like when they are with their closest friends? those lucky enough to have an invitation to such a forum are often somewhat surprised that the person they’ve befriended isn’t quite so innocent after all. innocence is relative, though, right? i am certainly virtuous, by my standards. 😉
everyone has needs (i keep pounding away at that theme, don’t i? . . . ew, terrible pun – so sorry). perhaps the tight-lipped folks just spend more time tactfully slipping their needs under their bed (where their pornography is hidden) to reveal them at a more appropriate time. for some reason, the quiescent people intrigue me. i love how it seems like they are holding on to a secret and they won’t share it with just anyone. maybe i’m fond because they don’t let on that they aren’t listening to a damn word you are saying. i wish i would embrace silence more often.
so what are the chronic-sex-talkers looking for? attention? probably sex. most tenth graders will agree that those who discuss it frequently aren’t engaging in the activity so much. maybe that is why the CSTs demand that the general public view them in a sexual way. and does all of the hyberbolic, forced, sexual imagery indefinitely drop the chronic-sex-talker’s partner onto a lubricated slope that leads to an anti-climactic vat of unfeeling disappointment? hmmm…
my brother thinks that sex is the lowest common denominator . . . i’m not sure i agree – i think it can feel strictly primal, cheap, or awkward, for those that devalue it in such a way and therefore, approach it with a small amount of respect. but some people attach plenty of powerful abstractions to “sexual acts” (for shame! that was so very sex-ed teacher of me). i think connecting sexually can, for the most part, contain a series of profound moments, if one so desires.
maybe it is difficult to listen to someone chatter on about sex on their terms, according to their values (shit, is that what i’m doing ri-ght now?). when you spend most of your life trying to escape sexual attention (although everyone appreciates it, in a way) in hope that others will deal with you on an intellectual level, you tend to distrust those that discuss fornication in excess. alas, in time, you let people see you. and, because you’re bored with trying, it doesn’t matter what kind of attention comes along.
whether someone hides who they are or tries to focus on one aspect of who they are to skew the perception of others, “the others” always tend to finally see through the methods. you can run, but you can’t hide. uhm, and as evidence indicates . . . i’m not skillful at either.
in case this has become too ponder-ific, i would like to add that stephen malkmus is my new make-believe boyfriend. i want to wrap my ballerina tights around his head. hah!
i’ve become quite the chronic-crush-talker . . .

So you see, I had many of the same obsessions, same desires, and the same proclivity toward posting random, rambling thoughts as now.  I am starting to understand why I received the mock election awards of  “least changed” and “most memorable” (among others) in high school.  It didn’t make sense to me at the time. 

I guess I think the biggest difference in me then v. me now is that I am tougher.  Tougher and wiser.  Maybe even more liberal.  And I am proud to say that I am feeling hopeful, excited, grateful, and full of love for the things and people in my life right now.  I don’t care if I am a piece of cheese.  Hopefully I am at least a delicious hunk of triple cream.










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Food Porn Monday

August 24, 2009 at 2:22 pm (what was she thinking) (, , )

There you are, Little Star Pizza.  I’ve been looking for you.  I want to introduce you to my parents.



Dear burrito mojado from Taqueria Cancun

Some people think you are “ugly hot” but, whatevs  – all I can think about is how you are there for me when I need you and you leave me feeling so satisfied. 

With love,




Well, hello, Fat Bottom Bakery!  Very nice to meet you and your vegan pride cupcakes.  We should spend some quality time together.




I need to unbutton my pants now.

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I promise

August 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm (what was she thinking) ()

I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.  I promise to write more.

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NKOTB Unplugged

August 17, 2009 at 10:53 am (visuals) ()

You’re welcome.

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Hunk of the Day

August 13, 2009 at 11:25 am (visuals) ()

Heeeeere’s Jack White!!

I might be the only one who finds him Smokin’ Creepy Hot, but I am okay with that.


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Pack animals are the best cuddlers

August 4, 2009 at 12:49 pm (visuals) (, )


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Department of Mandi Vindication

July 31, 2009 at 8:01 pm (what was she thinking) (, , )

I know that people sometimes develop mantras to help calm themselves down when needed.  I can’t stop thinking, “Let’s do this!”  Therefore, I decided that is my non-traditional mantra.  A little Susan Powter/aggressive, sure.  But I like it.  It helps me remember that being a totally freaked out wuss/basket case is healthy and quite natural a reaction to things sometimes, but after a while, you need to spring into action and clean up messes and just push forward and build a force field around you, particle by particle.  Every time I falter lately, I learn something (the painful way), then come back even stronger and wiser.  This is the only good thing about falling from grace, that I have noticed so far.  I also become 20% cuter with every pull-up.  Kidding.  

So, I spent my entire afternoon at the DMV.  I read through the informational test booklet.  I almost died waiting in line with the craziest fucking people in the entire city.  My weak arm shook trying to push my thumb down hard enough for a machine to register my thumb-print.  I should probably bulk up (by the way, dr.’s order of five small meals a day is like impossible for me.  I can’t fit it all in my belly, I swear).  I was told to have separate pictures taken for my license and ID, which seemed very luxurious and California proper.  I’m pretty sure I look like a leather-tanned, hippy, dipshit in both pics, with just a subtle difference in dweeb-face as a distinction.  

While waiting in an endless, chaotic line, I watched person after person, of all ages and identities, get their tests corrected, only to be met with news of failure.  I got nervous.  I took my test.  Waited in a longer line next to the first one (both attended by the same person).  I thought about what a pain in the ass it would be to fail this test since the DMV is such. an. ordeal. that it took me like 4 million years to succumb to making an appointment and taking that annoying test.  

I am almost a little overexcited to announce that I passed!  I skipped out of that stinky, crowded place.  And was promptly asked out by a teenage boy.  He wanted me to go to a concert with him tonight.  I said “no thank you” and told him that I already have plans.  

And yes, eating tacos by yourself at greenchile kitchen and finally watching Breathless with your adorable dog on a Friday night counts as plans!!  Props to gutsy teenage boys, though.

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