Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, October 31, 2005

Failure of the Day: Me + Other People

A busier than usual weekend. We seem to have had a party on Friday, which is not something we really do (we mostly default to misanthropy), but it turns out that Chris’s co-workers are both fun and not prone to spilling things, and we find those to be very pleasing traits, so we took the opportunity to tweak Chris’s fear of carpet stains and not having enough potato chips.

I was in the mood to celebrate my newly acquired taste for vodka tonics, the richly deserved plate of steaming shit on which the powers that be had just begun chowing down, and oh that’s right, my kick ass new job. It was a swell party, although I’m still not particularly at ease with the whole “The Boss’s Wife” thing. Of course as usual, it’s the phrase and not the reality that is troublesome; I just picture someone in a pearl choker with a tray of hors d'oeuvres talking to…I don’t know, Larry Tate or something. In fact, the role entailed little more than parking myself by the M&Ms and arguing that moral hesitance or not, Superman would kick Batman’s ass.

On Saturday we had dinner with Jeff and Edi, in town for Jeff’s birthday weekend. A completely wonderful evening there too, except we stymied our plan of ensuring more visits by addicting them to gourmet marshmallows. We dawdled too long over the dinner table and the cute-as-a-button organic local market was closed by the time we dragged them there. You know, best laid plains and all.

Apropos of nothing except, I guess, Halloween: My favorite is One Death, Two Death, Red Death, Blue Death.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Failure of the Day: Lucky

Well, here’s a turn of events. Last week I was looking through the job postings on Craigslist just because I like to keep an eye on the market for my skill set, as they say, and I saw a cool ad that had cleverly hidden a couple dozen nitpicky proofreading and copyediting errors in it. It looked like fun to fix the errors in the ad (Wooo! So don’t ever let it be said that I don’t know how to have a good time!), and so I replied with a resume and a corrected version of their ad.

Long story short, I’m the new Lead Proofreader here. At more than (*cough*) double my current pay. Holy shit. Just…holy shit.

It’s still a contractor position, but it’s full-time, long-term, and on-site at the Redwood Shores HQ, although not in the cool Emerald City buildings…they only let engineers in there, I think.

In the 8th grade, I went on a Junior High graduation field trip to Marine World. In the last 5 minutes of our day there, with my last two quarters burning a hole in my pocket, I spent 50 cents on a single softball that I threw effortlessly into a milk jug and won an enormous stuffed dolphin that I creatively named Lucky.

I don’t know if I believe in luck. I’m on the fence about it; Penn Jillette makes an awfully good case against it. I know I’m very, very good at finding parallels between seemingly unrelated events, though.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Failure of the Day: Happy Birthday to


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Failure of the Day: 13 x 3

It’s my birthday on Tuesday. The Discovery Health Network celebrated this weekend by debuting the excellent documentary “Born with Two Heads.” They sure know the way to my heart...and they show it through the laparoscope! Thank you! I’ll be here all week!

I’m anticipating a low-key birthday; 39 seems like little more than the year before 40 and not much to get excited about. Next year is the to-do; this year I’m content just to go out for a nice dinner. Which is not to say there is no celebrating—we went to a pirate-themed party this weekend for someone else’s birthday. (I am not much of a costume person so I just wore all green and told everyone I was a parrot. “Dude, it’s the funniest thing but I really really want a cracker…”)

Also this weekend, Chris’s and my fantasy football teams battled each other to the sorry end. My team (the San Jose Synecdoche; I had to retire the San Francisco Snatch) has been doing very well so far this year knock wood. I’m either in first or second place overall in the league, depending on how you read the stats. As of right now, in our match-up Chris leads 91/77, but 91 is his final score and I've still got a player left in Monday night's game. Try to imagine the position that puts him in on the night before my birthday. Hello Rock? Meet the Hard Place...

All in all though, I expect that being 39 will consist largely of sleepiness interrupted by brief periods of crabbiness and cravings for the gourmet marshmallows I've recently discovered. Which will make it largely indistinguishable from being 38. And happy 2 year non-smoking anniversary to one and all.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Failure of the Day: Where’s the Camp? Where’s the Bell?

We are continuing to explore this strange and sprawling hill-less valley one wee town at a time. This weekend’s adventure: Campbell!

For some reason, both of the area’s two “independent” record stores (Rasputin and Streetlight) are located in Campbell, some nine blocks apart on the same street. Neither had the new Harvey Danger CD (I only just this moment learned that the only record store in northern California carrying it is in Cotati, for reasons that I cannot begin to comprehend) and yes, we know we can download it for free. But being as firmly entrenched in the middle class as we find ourselves these days I think entails a certain type of retail responsibility. Plus there’s more stuff on the version they released in the stores.

Harvey Danger’s first album was a big deal to me, but I was sorely, sorely disappointed with their live show, and their second album was mediocre at best, but it’s been 5 years and they DO write quite a lot about curly haired girls so OK, I gave them another shot. Or I will, if the damn thing is ever for sale within 50 miles of me.

I did get a couple more CDs from the Mountain Goats. I have no idea how many CDs there actually are—Mr. The Goats seems to have recorded and released every song he ever whistled in the shower, and I haven’t found a stinky one yet, the fucker.

Campbell was OK. Nicer than the edge of San Jose it rubs up against and anyplace with a Target is a friend to me, but strange. We had been warned that the record store clerks were snooty and there was plenty of inexplicable attitude being hurled—dude, you work in a chain store in the suburbs; seriously, how hardcore could you be?—but the waitresses in the place where we had dinner were straight out of 1965 Central Casting: enormous bouffant hair, glittering eye shadow globs and all. And there are no prunes in the Pruneyard either, but I knew that already because what am I, stupid?