T3, scurvy, and you.

i just finished writing a 12 page paper on Antarctic maladies.

my favorite passages:

ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was named such because it prevented scorbutus, a condition more commonly known as scurvy.


a quote stolen from a 2008 winterover:

"(T3 is) a mental state reached as a result of living in the dark for six months on a cold, remote island full of depressed bipolar psychos with constant ADD and PMS."

i miss antarctica.


salvation mountain and the salton sea

a week ago saturday we rolled through the wind farms and swap meets of yucca valley and palm desert, and made the salton sea in the late afternoon. we stopped at the northern most beach, at the state park recreation center. the scene was gorgeous, a serene sea, silhouettes of families fishing on the jetty, the alignment of jupiter and venus, and a colorful sunset (thanks, wildfires!) splashing pinks and purples onto the sky above the mountains and reflecting on a stretch of white sand.

wait. that's not white sand, it's crunchy. like, barnacles. and fish bones. millions of fishbones. and dead fish. good lord. it's fish bone beach. are those people fishing? is that ok? what's that putrid smell?

and that's the salton sea. it's fascinating. i love it. i love it up and down, and i wish i had more time to love it more.

the whole place is a tragedy which arose out of a disaster. before it was the salton sea, it was the salton sink, well below sea level and nearly as low as death valley. a massive flood occurred in 1905, drowning the sink and didn't stop filling it for 2 years.
by the 50s and 60s, communities popped up, boat leisurers and water skiiers came in droves, money was poured into this inland desert riviera, and the place was hip for about 15 minutes. now there are a few nearly ghost towns, tracts of land divvied up with no sellers in sight, and a polluted sea of a dead fish and pelicans with botchulism. water rights being diverted to LA and funding for the wildlife and environmental restoration are constant battles. their favorite politician skiied into a tree.  life is hard at the salton sea.

the people who hold out are the strong survivors of the salton sea. many are there because they can't sell their house and move away. we visited the ski inn at bombay beach, and the locals were incredibly friendly. we had seen plagues and pleasures of the salton sea (narrated by john waters) and made this our thanksgiving weekend destination. sadly, hunky daddy met his maker a couple years ago in an unfortunate dune buggy accident.

the next morning we headed south to niland. i have been looking looking forward to meeting leonard knight, the visionary behind salvation mountain, for at least 5 years. after a couple wrong turns, the mountainous rainbow palette of latex paint and haybales rose out of the barren scrub desert next to california's favorite hobo depot, slab city. hearts and rainbows and waterfalls and a general meaning and feeling of love. and god. much to my dismay, mr knight was in town for his weekly errand. avulsionist , devin, and i frolicked among the folk art and leonard's collection of disabled automobiles, coated with adobe texture, primary colors, biblical passages, a shoutout to jesus, and love. to the right, there was what seemed to be a newer project underway. i saw a young boy drilling holes into the ground. i'm not sure how to recreate his character here, but let's just say he would do really well in a david lynch film.    

We figured leaving the site at 3pm would get us back home by midnight. We were grossly incorrect. Tip: when going away from home on a holiday weekend, leave 6 hours earlier than you think you need to. devin popped in wil wheaton's "just a geek" on audiobook. all conversation and negative focus on traffic ceased. i had no idea what time it was or how long we had been listening until his commentary at the end when he made a passing comment about it being compressed do to something like 9 hours.  "NINE HOURS?! WE"VE BEEN LISTENING TO THIS FOR NINE HOURS!?" awesome. it was good. and that's exactly how you want 9 hours of holiday traffic to pass. wil wheaton's life story in one sitting. thank you sir.

legoland, salvation mountain, and a drive thru donut

i'm a big fan of american kitsch and roadside attractions. perhaps it's just my optimistic view of being an american today. i am a hawaiian shirt wearing gay man in my 50s who lives in an airstream with 2 obligatory plastic pink flamingos in the yard, caught in a 30 year old female body. i have all the necessary tchochky collections to get me into the club - pez dispensers, snowglobes (~250), and beloved lunchboxes, not to mention my polyester eyesore dresses. someday, when i grow up, my house is going to be so cool.
when i get in a car, i reference

this thanksgiving holiday season, avulsionist , devilcrayon, and i took a little road trip to the wonderful and weird southern california. i know nothing about this place, except that it's between here and mexico and they have a lot of plastic surgery clinics. thanksgiving was spent learning to make pies, competing for oven space, and eating with bryan's friend's family. i met a woman who worked in mcmurdo 35 years ago, so we were instantly BFF and spoke to no one else for the entire night.

friday morning, we swerved over turnbull canyon, admired the smog, appreciated san francisco, and landed in la puente. you haven't lived until you've driven through a donut.

also, the donuts are good. that's saying something for a girl who hardly eats donuts.
we sat in the parking lot across the street, taking photos, (sfslim  recognizes class when he sees it. thanks for squidding us.) and admiring the awesomeness of the donut. if you are a fan of giant donuts, and find yourself in southern cal, this is your guide to awesome.

the rest of the day we went to legoland and i screamed and ran around chasing rollercoasters. 10 years ago, while tooling around europe, i spent a lot of money to take a detour into denmark, just to go to legloand in billund. it was necessary. i didn't even go to copenhagen. as i passed through the rite-of-passage turnstile, and felt a pang of childish immature excitement strike me in the chest, a pang of shear "oh shit" slap me in the face. no less than 20 feet from the entrance, was a large sign proclaiming "COMING IN 1999 - LEGOLAND CALIFORNIA!" fuck you, denmark. if there was a talking moose, i would have punched it in the snout.

so, i've always wanted to go. hooray! there's egyptland, pirateland, and miniland, in addition to the many other lands we didn't have time to play in. miniland is pretty much the best, as there's a boat tour that takes you around to the re-creations of international monuments, and another area with entire US cities, built entirely from lego. i don't care how much of a hater you are, it's pretty inpressive. wheeee!

i'll expand upon the beauty of salvation mountain at another time. thank you.

take that, midterms

i have not been writing LJ because i have been writing papers. yet, because i love you, i figure i should update you on my midterm status:

biological anthropology: 96
geog: 103
lab: 98
statistics: 94

i kill you! 

now i am allowed to have fun this weekend. who likes fun?

2 things that made me sad about today.

i was talking to a young girl today about the election.
she recently moved from sf to oakland and has not re-registered. she said she wouldn't bother because obama will win the bay area.
that freaked me out a little.
she's the kind of uber-self-proclaimed-liberal who would probably go to rallies, yet had no idea what prop 8 is.
local politics, people!

it hit me. it's real. this shit makes me nervous.

another thing.
i was downtown this morning, and stopped into teeny-tiny cafe dolci. when i worked in the financial district, i went there nearly everyday. this wonderful chinese-vietnamese husband (danny) and wife (linda) team own and operate it, and they know EVERYONE'S name. i hadn't seen them in 2 yrs, and they still call me "south pole sandwich." their daughter would help out sometimes in the summer.
i was there when they heard that peet's is moving in next door. they were crushed. i could tell they love what they do. same old story, nothing new. starbucks, peet's, coffee chains, chains in general make asshole real estate choices. i put my meager amounts of money where i think is right, but i can't trust the financial district to do the same. and really, how many coffee chains do we need in a 10 block radius? if you work downtown, go say hi to linda and danny and buy a coffee.

on the up side, i just made a great soup.


on the anthropology of religion

swamped. swamped. SWAMPED by schoolwork. in the future, i don't recommend missing the first two weeks of the semester. even though i actually went to study hall out on the playa, i still spend about 13 hours a day with my face in a notebook. i eat sometimes, but more importantly, i have a full load in my pants of 5 interesting courses, and, as it turns out, i like to learn. so that's good.

this semester, i have a fascinating a class on the anthropology of religion. even though i completely felt like a hippie, toting my textbook called 'sacred realms' through center camp cafe a couple weeks ago, it's totally worth it. i am down with malinowski.

september is interesting for me, as i'm usually suiting up to go south for the summer. annually i sit on suitcases to get them zipped shut, and mail boxes of decadent snacks, dumb costumes, and other useless items to the bottom of the world. this year, for the first time since 2002, i am not. so, heeding the call of my religious studies combined with my escapist nature, i'm planning a mini road trip over thanksgiving break to a heap of concrete and lead paint i've always wanted to visit: salvation mountain.

and, while we're in the vicinity, i'd like to go to the creation and earth history museum.

and desert christ park.

and the unarius academy of science.

and queen califia's magic circle.

but really, i've always just wanted to go to legoland.

who knew that san diego area was rife with so many treasures? southern california, i love you for being so weird! i'm totally going to get an A+++++!!!!!1!!!1WILL BUY FROM AGAIN!

suggestions welcome.

(psst - avulsionist  - guess where we're going in november?)


butoh and roller derby

this afternoon, i went to see sha sha higby at sf fringe fest.  the performance was called "iron muffin, glass jungle II". not sure what to expect from a title like that, but travlin insisted i would love it. it is rather out there, but it was fascinating. sha sha shows up on stage wearing what looks like a cross between wicker furniture, bee hive, bird's nest, baubles, bangles, bric a brac, hair, yarn, many masks, and organic ephemera, all held together with wire and bits of string. the movements smacked of butoh, and i was fully amused by her crackling vocal sound effects. i wouldn't call it plot oriented, but visually pleasing. i was down with it, but i am down with some weird shit.

i wasted the rest of the afternoon playing sid meier's pirates.

in the evening, i went to work the merch booth for my friend's band,  the loyd family players, who were playing the halftime show for the bay area derby girls show at ft mason (oakland outlaws vs richmond wrecking belles). roller girls and a marching samba band are just two great tastes that taste great together, even though i had never been to a roller derby match. sara silverman was there, and ott rocked the cowbell in her face. i just thought i should mention that.
now, i'm a girl that's worked a merch booth or two in my day (ahem) and i couldn't resist tossing on a red loyd tshirt and black loyd panties. i pranced about the table all night, with a bullhorn, shouting "buy my panties".

i didn't sell any panties. and i still haven't seen a roller derby match.