My review for the Amon Tobin show was published in SFist. Hi, y'all coming here from over there.
and it's pronounced EssEffist to those of you who don't know. Though it sure looks like something else.
So I’ve never been surfing before. (Dad, stop reading this now.) It’s always been something I wanted to do – I read a lot of skate magazines as a kid, and they’d always have photos of surfing spots. I had a big crush on Taylor Knox. I taped up photos of waves to the walls and wished for the day when I would live in California.
Well, is Pacifica is California, even if it’s 50 degrees and raining, and there we were, with rented surfboards that were as unwieldy as elephants. The only lessons I got were from EHow, and the sage words: “hold your breath.”
Yen already wrote about the whole day, so I will just tell you about how I bit it instead. I remember trying to get through the breakers, and thinking I was through, then following the rest of the crowd and sitting on my board. (Mom, you should stop reading now.) Five foot waves don’t sound that high, but when you’re looking at them from below, they sure seem big. That’s right when a wave came crashing over me, while I was
a. facing the wrong way and
b. not paddling at all, but fortunately
c. holding my breath.
Note to self: paddle! Face away from the wave! Hold your breath!
I crashed into the sea floor, watching sand swirl all around me, being dragged by my (still topside) surfboard. I spat out a mouthful of grit and then found my way up towards the light, taking the biggest breath I have ever taken.
Maile’s husband Gary was there when I finally surfaced and said “that’s not how you do it!”
No. I guess not. What with the lack of hanging ten and everything.
It was really inexplicably fun. Ridiculously so. Once that spectacular biting of sand was done, nothing else could really spook me. I’ve never been so scared that I made it all the way past fear and right into blanking it out, and going on anyway. It’s lunacy. It’s fun. It’s nothing like snowboarding, unless you happen to snowboard where the mountain grows right in front of you, then slaps you in the face. This weekend’s trip to Tahoe is going to be a cakewalk in comparison.
I bought two tickets to Amon Tobin this Friday as part of the NoisePop festival. He's playing at Bimbo's 365. My boyfriend doesn't particularly care for this variety of music, and Jason said if anyone else would like his ticket more, then they should go.
Do you want to go? If you give me a good reason I'll take you. And if no one wants to go, hell, I've got two tickets for sale.
Every time I hear skateboard wheels on concrete, I still look to see if the boy is cute or not. And most of the time, he's like, in grade school.
Does anyone else do this? I feel like it's a very "My So Called Life" era thing.
Just about everyone I know my age has credit card debt.
After lots of time working in restaurants and freelancing, I ended up with a wallet full of cash rather than a bank account full of Real Numbers. I could try to find people to blame, but it is my Own Dumb Fault I ended up with so many things that aren't nearly worth the APR I've paid on them. So I did what any good American would do – I ignored the fact that I was in debt up to my eyeballs.
I made a choice when I started working in a Real Office again that I had to rein myself in. In the past year and a half, I've managed to wrangle my debt down from nearly $12,000 (not including student loans, thank you, those will get paid, like...whenever) to a projected...$1000 in May.
No, really. I swear.
Here's a few tips that I've picked up along the way to get yourself dug out from that hole, cos it starts to feel just as good to pay off debt as it does to buy things in the first place. (I am obviously a sick woman for thinking this, but stay with me here.)
Anything is negotiable. Anything. Wrestle these people to the ground if you must, but don't pay what they ask you the first time. These companies are like used-car salesmen on acid. If your debt is past due, It never hurts to ask if you can pay less if you pay it now, cos it's likely they've already written it off as a loss. For them, getting something is better than getting nothing.
Do what Jenny calls “setting yourself up for success”. I started with the smaller, more manageable debts and called each of them in turn as I saved up enough money. I would explain my situation over the phone, and ask if they would settle for half the amount owed. This would have been better done via certified letter, but I am not what is known as patience, so I cut straight through and called them.
The only people I liked were the ones who played "Songs in the Key of Life" on their hold music. I didn't even want to talk to them. "Put my back on hold! I love Stevie!"
Then there were the cards I owed on Big Time. I set up payment plans with them that were reasonable but steep – I had to pay them, though, and fast, to get my head above water. This last one I’m working on is an obscene amount for three months, but then I’ll have it over with.
There’s things you can do to save money, but sometimes you do have to splurge to remind yourself that you are young and fun and can travel places and see things. Even if it is in the off-season.
Keep an eye on your credit with reports from Equifax or Experian. Make sure these people are keeping up to date with accurate information on your creditors. It’s also a good feeling when you’ve knocked out a debt to look there to see it reflected on your credit report.
These are probably big-city-only tips: Take the bus instead of driving or taking cabs, or walk. If you need a shopping pick-me-up, go to a vintage shop or have a clothes swap with your friends. (We dump all our clothes in a pile, open a bottle of wine, and make everyone try on each other’s clothes.) Get NetFlix. Museums almost always have a half-price or free night. Support local movie theatres – they’re cheaper anyway. Make presents for your friends. Bring lunch. Bring a flask. (Not necessarily to the same place.) Go to the library for books, DVDs, and weird CD's.
The only way I’ve gotten through this is to NOT take it too seriously. When I pay off my last cards, I’m throwing myself a big old party, and all yall come on out.
If you're ever trying to resurrect your iPod from beyond the grave in the exact fashion I did - don't. Just - don't. Go, young man or woman, to the Apple store.
So iTunes was prompting me to update to 4.7.1. I figure, while I'm at it, I'll update the iPod software too. Ha. Ha ha ha. I should have known better to do this than on a day when I
a.)crushed my pretty sunglasses and
b.)lost a $10 BART ticket in the shadowy ick known as "between the seat and the wall of the BART car", all
c.) before I was even really awake.
Here's my iPod flickering at me "do not disconnect" for the better part of a day. What? Why? I turned to our friend, the internet, to try to fix it. (Rather that turning to my friend, Anil, who said "Why didn't you just go into iTunes and click 'eject iPod?' Noooo, too easy.)
I got a "1607" error when trying to update my iPod software. WTF does that mean? I have no clue. Fortunately this guy did, as well as how to get into my regedit files to give MYSELF PERMISSION TO INSTALL THINGS on MY OWN COMPUTER, then how to update Install Shield's drivers. Uninstall the old driver, uninstall iTunes, uninstalled iPod, reinstall everything, try again.
then I got an 'iPod service error". This is at about 11pm, three hours after I had promised my poor boyfriend I would only be five minutes. I gave up for the night, vowing to either fix the damn thing or throw it down the hallway.
Ok. So I connected the whole shebang to my work machine, reinstalled the iPod software, and erased it the iPod. then I erased it AGAIN at home. I imagine little rubber shavings scattered inside it.
Plugged it in, and STILL nothing. "Your Windows PC doesn't recognize the device." I then reformatted the disk in Windows Disk Management.
Abracadabra! It worked! But not really. So I took it to our good friends at the Apple store, who gave me a nUsed one to replace the old one, saying the hard drive had failed. Whoo, warranty!
What shelf paper should I put on the new one? I'm leaned to black and white checkerboard, but maybe a really obnoxious old-lady pattern would be good too.