Wednesday, October 20, 2004

sickly little update

It has been a good week, though busy at work, and now I've come down with something. My head throbs whenever I stand up, then pulsates unpleasantly as I move around. My throat is really constricted, so I have to keep sipping tea, water, juice, whatever I have around. I think I'm actually running out of tea. I want to make a huge bowlful of hot chocolate and sit by my window, watching the Grand Lake Theatre sign sparkle up and down. Unfortunately, I don't have any cups that big and sitting up is a bit painful right now.

Duncan and I had practice last night and have named our little project "Odile," after a character in a book (pronounced "odeel," unless you're my mom, but I'm not going to get into that version of it). We now have eight songs, but we've been slacking on completing any of them. Not yet being able to afford a 4-track has a bit to do with that. It's hard to completely work something out when you only have a couple of hours a week to do it and no way of getting a good recording. I did pick up a small tape recorder for him, since I have a dictophone to record my snippets of song. We were pretty unproductive last night, compared to usual, what with my getting sick and his having a broken heart (that story belongs to him, so I won't go into it here). Still, we did manage to come up with another song. It's just really easy for us together. We won't always agree, but I think we understand each other on some strange level. It is so wonderful working with him, even when we're both out of it.

The best news I have right now, however, is that I found a plasticky old record player for free in the laundry room downstairs. We have a big table in there that people can leave stuff on if they don't want it (and the sign says not to leave anything broken). Part of the latch on the cover is missing, but the equipment that I need is all there. I haven't had a record player in almost a decade. Jen was over for dinner when I found it and we went through all my old records, seeing what was warped, what music I hadn't been able to hear in a long time and what sounded best on the player. The records I hadn't heard in a long time were by Honey Tongue, Tattle Tale, Jale and Pulp (the Common People collection, all colored marble vinyl). The records we decided sounded best on this particular orange and white plastic record players were by Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, Elvis and the soundtrack to My Fair Lady (the last three were also free from the laundry room). The Elvis and Bing albums are Christmas music, so I expected to hate them, but then I'm not tortured with Christmas music anymore (since I don't work on the retail salesfloor any longer), so it was kind of nice.

I love free shit and the holidays and hanging out listening to Bing Crosby with Jen.

Monday, October 18, 2004

My Family

You've heard of an Army of One (stupidest slogan I've ever heard considering who it is supposed to apply to, by the way), but you've never seen a Family of One. Okay, two, because one of Jen's pictures accidentally got thrown in there (my friend Ollie thought that it was me).

Check out Ollie's wonderful creation:

http://sevenels.net/tomato/#top

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

hippopotamuses and pins

I am incredibly short on time this week, but I feel horribly guilty that I haven't posted here, so here it goes:

I have been hanging out with Pete (of Dark Window fame) a bit and I've come to very much enjoy pestering him with random phone calls and emails in which I accuse him of (a) being too busy engaging in sexual intercourse with anonymous persons to answer/respond, and/or (b) calling him a dirty bitch. Which he is, really. He has also acquired (and it's really his own fault here) the nickname "Kitten," which I really think suits him.

Duncan and I collaborated again last night and came out with two new songs. That makes the grand total of songs FIVE. The same number as there are letters in the name we are considering calling our little project. But that is, as of yet, a secret. Duncan played a song for me last night that he had written for his other band (Bloodsicle) and they had rejected. He played it thinking I'd never go for it, because it really is their sound and not really in the vein we've been playing. I loved it. We worked with it and wrote words together and now we love it. It made us giddy with excitement. It is such a change to be conspiring with a musician who is really open, we both feel this way. Our expectations haven't been high, but if they had been, neither of us would have been disappointed so far. It will still be a while before we feel comfortable with anyone hearing our compositions, we certainly need to get a four-track first, so we can record and fiddle with the songs we have, but we're feeling more sure of sticking with the project now. And it is nice to be resolved to that.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

we love mr. baker

My friend Sarah's dad (oh, also Chris' dad, of course) is so awesome. We love him. Sarah just showed me this poem which he published on poetry.com. It's about her mum. Please take into consideration, while reading this, that Sarah is the only person I know who can get me to do anything she wants, no matter how ridiculous, and also get me to forgive her for anything she does just by saying, "But I'm Sarah Baker!" with an extroardinarily innocent look on her face. Damn her. Also note that Chris Baker once gave himself "The Comb Over" because he wanted to try out various hairstyles...and he has a full head of hair. We love the Bakers.


I Love Her So

She sits across the room
and does not see that I am watching.
I love her so.
She is still that young bride
I brought home so many years ago.
My heart is filled with pride,
yet I have not words to tell her
or even ways to show her
how she completes me.
She makes me better than I am.
She multiplies my dreams.
I love her so.
The years have bought a pleasant look
to that face I love to touch and see.
She looks up into my eyes.
She knows.
She is everything to me.
I love her so.

Larry Curtis Baker

Copyright ©2004 Larry Curtis Baker
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*[a.] Lompoc, CA [title] "I Love Her So" [pers.] This poem honors my wife, the mother of my children. I am not always able to express in words the profound love and appreciation I have for her. Perhaps this poem will remind her once more that I love her so! I love you, Mary Baker. Happy Anniversary!

Monday, October 04, 2004

the scoreboard

I would just like to take this moment to thank Ollie and Johnny the Geek for actually taking all the idiotic tests that I cut and pasted into The Official Tomato Scoreboard. I am, unfortunately, quite disappointed that no one has bothered to make any jokes about the fact that I have a "scoreboard" yet.

So very sad.

In other news, I need some cocoa, dammit!

affected (or: a post put up elsewhere in response to something you don't get to read that i wanted to keep)

Years and years ago I took a class in which I learned something very interesting about myself. I learned that I had been using "accusatory statements" without intending to. I did not know that I was phrasing things in such a way that it sounded like I was always blaming the other person. I learned to switch some things around so I could say what I needed to say, without putting the other person on the defensive. I cannot tell you how much this has improved my life. I went from sounding like someone who felt sorry for herself all the time to sounding like someone who helped other people because it made her capable of understanding her own problems better. But did I really turn into someone else? No, I had always been that person, I just did not know how to convey it before. Don't get me wrong, there is still some selfishness to me and I can be utterly oblivious sometimes, but at least I am avoiding pissing people off when I don't mean to. What I learned was to express how I was feeling with "I statements" instead of "you statements." It sounded so incredibly lame when I first heard it, but when I was forced to use this statements in class, I realized how effective it really was. It was my first lesson in diplomacy. How to get my point across without being interrupted. How to deal with difficult people, especially when I was feeling particularly difficult, myself.

Another lesson I learned (and which my stepmom likes to remind me of when I am angry about something), no one can make me feel bad about myself without my express permission. No one can put me in a bad mood without my allowing them to do so. I cannot blame other people for what happens to me emotionally, no matter what they do, even if it really is horrible. In the end, I am solely responsible for myself (though i must thank Eleanor Roosevelt, whom I have paraphrased somewhere in there).

Ah, and I was told once that I needed to "seek therapy" by, believe it or not, one of my high school teachers (he didn't like my abstract writing very much, it seems...tee hee). It doesn't matter how it is phrased or how positively it is meant, it will never sound nice to the other person. Each person has to decide for themselves what is right for them. Some people don't believe in seeing a therapist. Some people might already have a therapist, but aren't getting the help they need. It is not for any of us to say. If the person were to ask "Hey, do you think I should seek professional help?" then it is fine to state your opinion, but only because they asked.

It is often very hard, but sometimes we just have to suck it up and be nice because, like my friend Jinxie said, we don't know the extent of the next person's problems. We also need to take into consideration that we cannot compare the pain of one person to the pain of another.

I seem to deal with death a lot better than virtually anyone I know. I have seen so much more of it than my friends. Actually, most of my friends have never lost someone close to them. Whereas I have lost both friends and family members, even going through a period of seven years where I attended at least one funeral a year (and these were close friends and family, I could not bear to sit down and count all the other people I knew from school or randomly who also passed during that time).

And yet, when a friend's cat died last year, I was completely sympathetic, because she was having such a hard time with it. A lot of people looked down on her, said "it's just an animal," acted as if she should just get over it. I actually cried with her when we found out, because I could not stand to see my friend so sad.

I have learned, through the years, that helping someone else who is feeling bad makes me forget about my problems and sometimes even learn how to resolve them. I know people say misery loves company, but I do not think it has to have such negative connotations. We do not have to drag each other down. Sometimes people don't need to be cheered up, they just need a hug, or a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend. And I do not think that is asking too much.