Message in a bottle

I’m alive, and though it would be a stretch to say I’m feeling great, things are getting better. I know that the last entry was cryptic and worrisome to some folks, and as with many things, it looked worse on the internet.

It’s true, though, that a couple weeks ago, I was a complete wreck — hit a large number of low-karma points at the same time, and for awhile was dancing at the edge of scary places. It’s gotten better since then, but it’s been difficult getting back into the swing of things, this blog included.

One thing at a time, as they say.

It hasn’t been all bad, mind you. There’s been plenty to smile about in the meantime: family visiting, adventures on the ski slopes, good food, good friends. It’s all been part of the road from there to here. I’d meant to post about all that, but part of me felt guilty about having some fun when there was this cloud of bad things still hovering in the background, so it’s been slow in coming out. I’ll get around to that over the next few days. Promise.

So I’m okay. No April Fool’s. Smile!


Menthol unit

Discovery of the week: Wrigley’s Excel “Cherry Chill” sugar-free gum. With a taste exactly like cherry cough drops, they’re like manna from heaven for someone who consumes Hall’s like candy (e.g. me). I may be alone in that crowd, though, because I haven’t managed anyone else who can stand them.

Like all things wonderful and strange, they only seem to be available in Canada, and I’m already out. Next time I go up I’ll buy a truckoad. Hopefully this won’t be a repeat of the Ginger Altoids situation.

Actor Leslie Cheung took his own life yesterday, leaping off a hotel balcony in Hong Kong. He was 46 years old. The star of Rouge, A Chinese Ghost Story, Temptress Moon and Happy Together, I’ll always remember him for his powerful work in Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine, the first Chinese-language film I ever saw and easily one of my all-time top ten.

I was depressed for awhile after hearing the news, but the idea of a tribute movie night has been slowly bringing me out of the funk. Anyone else interested? I guarantee that it’ll be nowhere near as slow as the Kieslowski death marathon of a few years back.

Stale links! Stale links! Stale links!

Finally, Mo Rocca really needs a haircut. Seriously.


The night visitor

Was awakened at 4 a.m. by the sounds of scratching and clawing from (apparently) inside the walls of the house. This wasn’t the first time this week, and I made a mental note to call pest control in the morning. However, the noise was too loud to ignore and I couldn’t fall asleep again, so, armed with a broomstick and wrapped up against the elements, I went out into the night to track down the location (if not the cause) of the racket.

It was raining and windy outside, and the glare of the streetlamps filtered through the waving plum branches made it difficult to pick out details. I searched for suspicious openings in the woodwork and started poking the end of the broom handle against them, hoping to rattle the perpetrator into the open, but with no luck. The noise did stop, though, and just to be sure, I went around the house, looking for more clues. By the time I reached the front door again, the scratching had resumed, but this time the source was clear: a medium-sized raccoon had nestled between the split-angle joint between sections of roof and was happily trying to burrow herself into my attic.

The broom handle was too short to reach, so I lightly tapped the gutter with it. At this point the raccoon turned apprehensively towards me, freezing against the wall. I don’t have a ladder (and I’m not exactly the type to go chasing after wild animals in the first place!), so there was little to do but exchange intimidating looks.

We stood like that, locked in detente, for a about a half hour. The night visitor and the waterlogged insomniac. I’d have given up like any normal person, except for the absurd fact that it seemed to be working: every minute the raccoon would step backwards, not shifting her gaze away, until finally she reached the ridge of the roof and bounded away into the blackness. Victorious, I returned to the warmth of the house and slept, deeply and undisturbed.

And just now, it hailed. Should be an unusual day.


Theban flight

Theban flight | November 2000


Fat Kreme Combo

Jet came up with the idea of the Fat Kreme Combo back when Fatburger opened its doors in the strip mall down the hill, across from Krispy Kreme. It was a lot more gentle then, and only involved hitting donuts directly after burgers. We should have just done it, because that might have squelched the whole concept before it was allowed to morph into what it did.

e: “Wait, what?
j: “Take the buns off of a Fatburger and replace them with Krispy Kreme glazed originals.”
e: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

That was a year ago. I was convinced it was a joke (seriously, yuck!), but others apparently thought the concept was “great,” and came up with variations on the theme. Freesia invented Krispy Shots, which were surprisingly okay. Jen reported an outing involving Krispy Kremes and In-n-Out burgers. Okay, gross!

Through all this, the Fat Kreme remained blissfully unexplored. Jet, the instigator, kept finding excuses not to do it, still insisting that it would be “awesome” when it did happen. I, of course, knew that it never would.

…until tonight, that is. Behold the creation in all its terrible glory:


You couldn’t have paid me enough to go near the thing, but I have to hand it to him: it wasn’t a joke. He ate the whole thing and, apparently, loved it.

Yes! I want to see ALL the photos!


Spring has sprung… a leak

A word to the wise: even a normal, working-order skylight is prone to springing a leak during pressure washing! Learned this fact earlier today when I woke up to the sound of washers tromping on the roof and discovered, to my horror, brackish fluid and pine needles streaming into the house from the ceiling.

White. Walls. White. Carpeted. Staircase.

Do you think anyone will notice if I paint/dye the entire interior of the house charcoal grey to match?


Image problems

Hi, all you lovelies!

I’m flattered and all by the recent linkage, and normally wouldn’t even mind a little bandwidth leeching, but the poor little server has been swamped with requests and was making little whimpering noises over the past day. So, I’ve temporarily (?) blocked certain images from being included in offsite pages. I hope this doesn’t cause problems for anyone, but please let me know if it does.

Meanwhile, if you still want to share with people, you can always link to the entries themselves. It’s the kind thing to do, and it won’t make the internet cry!



As if everything else wasn’t enough, hackers brought down the server that ne(one)piphany normally sits on. Timeframe for the outage is “indefinite,” although hopefully it won’t be more than a couple days.

In the meantime, thank goodness for browser caches! This is just a copy of the old front page, but I’ll try to keep updating as usual, adding things here by hand.

Wow! Thanks, hackers!


Bend That Jazz

Slowly trying to catch up on the cinema scene in the wake of the Oscars.

Bend It Like Beckham is an adorable film from England about a young Indian girl whose desire to play football (soccer, for those across the pond) clashes with her family’s more traditional wishes. The best thing about the movie is that it succeeds in showing both the humor and the stress of living in an immigrant family without descending into cookie cutter stereotypes or unbelievable farce. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still light comedy, but it’s a ton of fun.

Also, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers! Who would have thought he could be so charming when he’s not playing psychotic? Must be the accent.

Also, on Tuesday, the last three Seattleites who hadn’t seen Chicago finally banded together and did the deed. I wasn’t too familiar with the show before seeing the film, other than having a general distaste for Kander and Ebb (mostly due to Kiss of the Spider Woman, which I thought was terrible), but I really thought the film was excellent. The leads were all terrific — I could even enjoy Richard Gere’s much-maligned vocals, once I got over the bizarro affected accent he uses when he sings — and it was good to see folks like Colm Feore and John C. Reilly in there as well. The real success, though, was the way they integrated the musical numbers into the movie, which I thought was brilliant. I understand that things weren’t done this way in the stage musical, which makes sense, as it’s a very cinematic device. Oh, and those musical numbers! The lighting, the choreography, the staging… Can you tell I’m a closet Broadway buff?

Seriously, though, someone needs to stop me before I break out singing in public again. It’s not doing wonders for my reputation.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance | April 2003


Om mani padme hum

Spent some time staring at Bhikku’s virtual prayerwheels today and found a kind of post-tax peace in doing so. However, since my attempts to set them up on my own desktop according to the instructions were frustrated by the fact that the Active Desktop “feature” doesn’t seem to exist any more (at least in Windows XP), I decided to write my own desktop toy to do the same thing.

With apologies to Bhikku, I present Virtual Prayerwheels for Windows (80 KB download). Just extract the zip file and run, and right-click on the wheels to see more options. A little more flexible than the HTML version, they can float above or below your other windows, looking pretty and spinning their mantra into the ether while you happily type away at other pursuits.

prayerwheels in action

Phew! It does feel good to do something random once in awhile. Anyways, it was a lot of fun for me, and hopefully for others too. Please let me know what you think!

And did I mention that I finished my taxes? A full three days early. I’m so proud of myself!


Distemper’d, dispirit’d

Hyperactive sense of smell today at work, or maybe just sensory schizophrenia — I can’t imagine, for example, that anyone actually brought a huge pile of cabbage into their office this morning; nor butterscotch, lavender, dill weed… Every single part of the building seemed to be married to its own peculiarly strong aroma. I would have hoped for rose hips and citrus, but alas, my office apparently sits in cheese popcorn territory.

Attempted to escape the saturated air, but found little comfort outside. The adorable ducklings that cavort in the wetlands near our building are now motherless — mama duck was struck and killed by an automobile earlier today, her inert body deposited amid a shower of feathers, along the curb. The six toddlers were arrayed randomly around the water, oblivious to their father and he to them, all looking very lost. It was the saddest thing ever.



There’s a water bottle sitting outside the admin’s office, just outside the door. It’s been there for days now, filled with the expected clear liquid, but also a peach-ish, cloudy mass suspended within. Earlier today I made the mistake of asking someone what it was, and was informed that the mystery contents are the slowly disintegrating remains of a Krispy Kreme donut.

I did myself a favor and dropped the topic.

Server news: Thank goodness! All the data is still safe. I’m told that the machine is being rebuilt from the ground up, so full online ETA still a few days away. But will is such a better word than might.

Thanks for the offers of hosting and web space, lovelies. I’m glad I won’t have to, but you’re all wonderful and deserve many, many chocolates.


Ruby sunset

Ruby sunset | July 2000

Patti’s beach pictures reminded me! As far as I’m concerned, it really is the most beautiful place on earth.


Swimmingly. You?

In my dream, I was standing in the center of a vast, glassen surface, extending in all four directions as far as the eye could see. I looked down and realized that I was standing, naked, above billions of bodies, encased in the icy infinity below me. As I looked at them, slowly their faces became familiar, and I knew that they were all people known to me, dead beneath my gaze. Movement caught my eye and I looked up: it was Janice, face expressionless, her eyes dull and hollow. I tried to call out to her, to get her attention, but it was no use; then, suddenly, cracks began to run down the surface of her body, and as I watched the shards of her broken form were scattered to the winds.

I had another, later that night, involving a large demon made of string cheese attempting to chase me around a room and kill me. It took quite awhile, but I finally peeled and ate him to death. It was one of the less-terrifying nightmares in my life.


Back from the ashes

I’m back! I can’t even see the site yet, because DNS hasn’t propagated back from the temporary server, but just knowing it’s there, purring softly underneath the covers is a nice feeling. I can even add entries, an odd feeling, kind of like fumbling around in the dark for a flashlight.

Anyways, hi hi! Thanks for sticking around.

Site miscellanea:

There should be a new “toys” link on the sidebar, where I’ll be putting neat things. Right now it’s just the Prayerwheels — new version, by the way — with hopefully more to come.

Things might be up and down again over the next few days as I play with possibly moving to MySQL and/or mod_perl (assuming I can wrap my little head around them). Oh, and secret projects too… can’t tell, sworn to secrecy!


The Fat Kreme photo essay

Flashback: for no reason other than to fan the flames of infamy, the Fat Kreme photo essay, starring Jet:








Bon appétit!


dear diary #4

dear diary,
there’s a monster in the closet and i can’t sleep again. i made a tent out of my hair to hide in but his toes keep rubbing against the door. my friend tracy always says the only way to scare a monster is to sing a song but mommy said the next time i do that the windows will go away again. it’s dark outside my hair and i can hear him breathing there.
if i tell you about something else maybe he’ll go away.
mr. dipple’s special party was nice but i wasn’t allowed to play with the other girls and everybody else was old like mr. dipple so i didn’t talk to them. i wanted to go home but then we got to drink green juice which made me feel funny and warm inside but it tasted good. later he said the reason we couldn’t play was because it would make us sick. mommy is always sick so maybe i should tell her too but mr. dipple doesn’t like it when i talk about him. maybe if i write a note in scary letters she’ll think it’s from the monster.
uh oh, i think he heard that because he’s moving again. good night for now!
xoxo, -L.

Powered by
Movable Type 5.2
neonepiphany dot com