7.31.2000

I've been in Ohio for barely more than a day and I'm seriously ready to leave. Somehow, I've grown really sick of this place and the connection I used to feel so deeply is gone. It's not nostalgia I feel as I walk the streets of my childhood, but shame at how left out I always was, at the hundreds of moments when I had no idea what to say or do, how I was always the last one picked for a team, and especially at how mean I became quickly when I finally had a friend or two and the small kernel of self-confidence that went with it.

It just hit me, I don't want to be here. I've finally outgrown this place and the memories it holds for me. My life is in California and it's pretty damn good. Free from the prejudices that seem to form people's identities here and most of all away from the goddamn humidity that turns my hair into a mess every time I walk out the door. My hair is telling me that I'm meant to be in CA. That's all there is to it.

7.30.2000

Arrived in Ohio very tired and hungry. I'm not sure why they would think that pretzels are suitable breakfast fare, but that's what I got at 7 am. Lovely. Amy and I are all set to depart on the big trip in a mere two days, I can't believe it!

7.28.2000

I'm so ready for the upcoming Road Trip™ with Amy. We leave from lovely Columbus Ohio on Tuesday night, with planned stops in Kansas, Denver and Reno. We have every Waffle House on the way mapped out, for pure eating satisfaction. It's shaping up to be dyn-o-mite!!

Late last night Alice threw up and promptly started having trouble breathing. We got her calmed down and brought her upstairs to bed so we could keep an eye on her. At 5:30 am she woke me up with her hacking, hacking that wouldn't go away so we took her to the emergency vet. After an hour on oxygen she was breathing easier and we moved her to our regular vet, who thinks that it was an isolated incident and she's doing fine now.

But I'm exhausted and glad that she's okay.

7.27.2000

Someone said to me yesterday that he thought "dot coms have no substance," meaning that every business that's run through a website is somehow magically run by robots or somehow it all happens without people. When this guy asked me if I didn't think so, too (the robots is my addition, he did not say that), I couldn't agree. How could I, when I've spent most of my working life devoted to keeping someone's website running and making money.

Do people really perceive that websites largely run themselves? Is my perception of what the world thinks so jaded by working in this wacky web world that I don't know what people in other parts of the world think? I know that every feature, every little box on a website is more than just someone's idea, it's been through any number of designers, coders, producers, project managers, and QA (of course!) before making it to the site. That every little thing represents that collaborative effort and it's certainly not without substance.

This choice about Ellie's surgery or not weighs heavily, but just now, she wiped out once again coming up the stairs. If we can give her some time where she's comfortable and can get around better than she is now, well, I don't see how we could deny her that. I am hot on the trail of some less expensive doctors, though.

To thwart the cost of Ellie's possible upcoming surgery, I've jumped on the t-shirt and coffee mug bandwagon, with a little help from my mom's photogenic dog, Buddy.

Hol-eee shit! Our vet wants to de-bulk Ellie's tumor, which I'm starting to think is a good idea, but the price tag? $775. Fuck, what to do.

7.26.2000

I decided that there were entirely too many photos of me on this page, so I've removed a couple. I'll put something interesting up there soon, not to worry!

Amy asked for some photos of my hair, so I made this little ditty.

I am seriously disturbed and intrigued by Maynard, a Disneyland entertainer.

I've been watching the progress on Disneyland's second park with great interest. So have MouseInfo.com and DCA central. They even have video taken from the monorail. The new park is going to be crowded as hell when it opens in February but I still want to be there.

I've started accumulating fine items for the upcoming Road Trip™, books on tape (anyone have any that they want to loan me?? Those fuckers are expensive!), excellent CDs and lovely trinkets. One week from now, we should be getting close to lovely Kansas. It doesn't get much better than that. We're going to drive through the night, arriving in western Kansas in time to eat and watch Survivor, then head to Denver, where we'll hang with Mr. Hot Shit™ for the night. After that, it's a long ass day to Reno, then a whopping 4 hours to my lovely abode. I can't wait!

It's true, I've been silent this week so far. I've been knee deep in a redesign at work, it finally went live last night after a great many struggles and long hours of deep concentration. I'm used to being part of a much larger webteam (at my current gig, I am the webteam) so it was weird, being the only one coding like mad. There's a camraderie in shared frustrations that was seriously lacking in this redesign. That is what happens when you go from a medium sized company to a pretty small one, but it was still weird. It just wasn't the same without Thoma dancing to Jimmy Smith on his desk while I kept shedding more and more clothing as the weekend went on.

That weekend was the first (but not the last) time I coded HTML in my sleep. Our boss had to go out of town so we put out all the fires in his absence. When he returned, he didn't think to ask us if we'd fixed anything and started responding to bug reports that were long fixed and closed. That's just the kind of stellar communication we had with him.

Anyway, my latest labor of web love is up and appears to be bug-free. That's really all I can ask for.

Agony makes for great writing.

7.25.2000

While scrambling and trying to save a 10 year old beagle today, I came across this: Ten Good Reasons to Adopt an "Older" Dog.

Office politics, and politics in general have never worked for me. I'm no good at playing a game to make sure that the right people stay happy. I'd much rather say my peace instead of worrying that it might piss off this person or that person. Life would be so nice if people could just relax and realize that they have more power than they think they do—over the delete key, over answering the phone, over walking away from an uncomfortable situation.

The best quote (so far) from my mom about my upcoming Road Trip™ with Amy:
"I worry about the two of you in that little car"
My mom's a fantastic worrier, so I'm sure there are more little gems to come before we commence next Tuesday night.

In case I'm not the only one who feels passionately about saving older dogs, the Senior Dog Rescue is on the verge of shutting their doors because they're out of money.

7.24.2000

I'm totally tired of being stressed but there's nothing about me that can make it okay to stop trying, to stop caring and wanting to do the best job possible. So I stress and eat lots of mints.

In a little over a week, Amy and I will head out on the open road, destination sunny California. Of course, since I already live here, it's more like taking the long way home, but it will certainly be a fab-u-lous time! We've plotted our trip based solely on Waffle Houses.

I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law but really, why is it that when I'm totally swamped, everyone wants to visit with me? I'm thrilled that you had a nice weekend, but can't we talk later?

7.21.2000

Haven't been able to connect to the IM service all day. Damn, email seems so slow.

FUCKERS! has become my mantra today. Everyone who's pissing me off is a FUCKER!. I'm sure I'll snap out of it but for now I can't stop eating mints (thanks Mr. Hot Shit!) and muttering FUCKERS!.

I sometimes forget that little kids don't curse a lot because they're not allowed to. Last night we were having dinner with my brother, his fiance and a friend from work. I was talking about some people who have been driving me crazy, instead of calling them by name, I'm reduced to calling them FUCKERS. Every time I said that, this kid turned around and stared like, wow, you can cuss?

Yup. Fuckers!

Investigator absolves U.S. government in Waco siege is like the Pope apologizing for all the atrocities over the centuries or even Clinton apologizing for slavery. Kids, it's over. The people are still dead, nothing can change that. Why open up old wounds just to make yourselves feel better?

Fuck Regis. His moment is over, it's all about Rudy now. And thank god, I was sick of Regis and those ties after about 2 episodes.

In my working life, I've had to write contact us pages for a few places. They're usually stuffy blatherings about addresses, why we're cool, etc. But one time, I'd love to throw something like the SurvivorSucks.com Disclaimer up, just to see how long it would take to get fired.

But then, of course, I would have had my moment and I'd be jobless. Which, in Rudy's excellent verbage, would be a "pain in the ass."

7.20.2000

My apologies for the lack of content today. Work has gotten crazy and I have to play my final concert of the year tonight so I'm scrambling to get everything done before I leave at the godawful early hour of 5 pm.

Please don't mind me, I'm just talking to myself as I work.

A little job-hunting advice from my pal, Thoma. Not that I'm looking for a job, but for those of you who are.

Forget the iMac, I want the Power Mac G4 Cube. Even though we hardly use our Mac anymore (the free PC is just faster) I still remain a Mac person at heart.

It's true, I admit, I love TV. I love the way it's changed from canned dramas and cheesy sitcoms into a more interesting blend of reality and big budgets. I love that people, just doing the things that they do are more interesting than anything us writers can create. Of course if the trend continues, I'll never acheive my Big Dream of writing for a TV show but at least there's better stuff on TV.

7.19.2000

Going back to the CBS site has indeed, revealed that the site has been taken down. Looks like I really do know what happens tonight. Bummer.

Andrea found a real gem here: The Contortion Home Page. Yikes!

Like Ed Grimley, I must say that Big Brother has gotten a whole lot better. I actually watched with interest last night.

My grumpiness is compounding by the minute. It's taking everything in me to be nice but I'm afraid that it's not enough. I apologize in advance for anyone who may catch my wrath.

Did CBS screw up and post this story too early? The damn show hasn't been aired yet but it reveals who's voted off tonight. Jesus, people, leave some mystery, why don'tcha?

Thanks to Mr. Hot Shit™ for the two additional cases of Chocolate Velamints that arrived on my desk today. You rule!

I have been so grumpy lately, it's not funny. Trying to avoid answering the phone, lest I bite someone's head off.

7.18.2000

Lately I've been thinking about the people who I've loved (either in the friendship sense or otherwise) but lost contact with. I wonder, does having loved someone mean that you'll always have that connection or does it go away? When I think of them, I still feel affection but I can't imagine what I'd say if they were here with me, beyond, uh, hi.

I've been all about minor tweaks today, Bel Sha Zaar grooves a little easier, more unintentional artwork has appeared. Console your cries of "there's no new written content!!" by noting that there are a few new visual treats to feast your eyes upon.

My super suave, ultra spiffy IBM 3-Button ScrollPoint Pro Slate Blue Mouse just arrived and I'm smitten. No, not just smitten, but in love.

I'll buy anything if it helps keep my carpal tunnel nonsense to a dull roar. So far, this mouse is a winner!

The Secret Language of White People
Eddie Murphy once did a skit in Saturday Night Live where he dressed as a white man. Everywhere he goes, people treat him like a king. He gets on the bus, and when the last black person gets off the bus and the passengers are all white, everyone breaks out into a spontaneous, whites-only party.

That's funny stuff, but it's not too far from the truth, at least not that I've seen in my life as a pale pasty white girl. There is a hidden language of white people that they don't use when other minorities are around. Usually, it's not overt racism, but little things like assuming that of the 2 men who towed Andrea's car, it was the black ("colored," the woman actually said to me) man who screwed it up. Using her own secret language of white people I said no, it was the "skeevy lookin' white guy."

But what is it about being white and around other white people that makes people think it's okay to single out the minority person as the wrongdoer, or to talk about "chinks" in MY HOME (which I share with an Asian person), or tell me an unfunny joke about some non-white ethnic group?

It's not the kind of bond that I'm looking for with people. Can't we start somewhere less obvious (and more interesting) than the color of our skin?

7.17.2000

After a furious afternoon of barking in the hallway and begging for food that she didn't want, Ellie is snoring like an old man at my feet. If anyone asks what the point is of bringing your dog to work, it's moments like these when I know she's worn out but content because all is well in her little world.

Saw The Kid yesterday. Talk about your fine feature film! I laughed most of the way through, thanks to the ever-fabulous Lily Tomlin. Ask her about her magic bra and panties because I want some too!

I'm totally grooving on disney.com's monorail navigation. The entire time I'm in Disneyland, I point out the monorail, saying 'ooh, look! Monorail!' regardless of how many times I've seen it that day.

Occasionally, I think I'm smarter than I actually am, then reality comes along and I remember, I'm not as smart as I think I am.

Ellie is at work with me today, now sporting a lovely green bandage instead of the old tan one. Always a slave to fashion, this girl is! She's decided that it's quite okay to sit in the hallway and bark. Not a good thing.

Bush Thief Thwarted by Old Beagles
Saturday night, I was walking Alice and Ellie, minding my own business, when we saw this woman standing on the lawn outside these new condos, holding a garden spade. I didn't think too much of it at first, but then I thought, hey it's 10 pm, I don't think she's gardening. We watched as she went up to these little trees and shook them to see if they'd come loose. As soon as she saw me and my posse of toothless attack beagles, she retreated to the shadows of the Wienerschnitzel. No, I'm not making this up.

We watched for a while but she gave up, only to return later and swipe not one but two mini-trees. Ever mindful of my Civic Duty (not doodie) I called the cops (this conversation was every bit as ackward as you're imagining-- "I'm not sure if you should report these things, but there's a woman with a spade out here and well, some trees are missing) but they said they couldn't do anything.

I just want to know why she's stealing trees.

Have an old cell phone that you aren' t sure what to do with? I've got the answer! Cabwatch arms NYC cabbies with cell phones and helps fight crime. Sounds good to me.

7.16.2000

Bought my ticket to Ohio for the upcoming Road Trip™. It's only one way, so I'm placing all my faith in everything working out well for Amy.

When I moved to CA in 1996, Mr. Hot Shit™ (known to me at that time as Dan) flew out from Denver to drive with me, only I wasn't supposed to go to CA, I was headed back home, to lovely Ohio. The more time I spent in CA, the more I knew that I couldn't go to Ohio, that I was finally falling for Andrea and the possiblities here were just too fabulous to pass up.

So I called the mover and had them turn that truck around, depositing all of my stuff here with no real place to put it. I had to buy Mr. Hot Shit a ticket back to Ohio. I do feel bad that I robbed us of a good road trip (Mr. Hot Shit is the Master of Road Trips, I am merely the Bater) but my life has completely turned around since moving here. Andrea and I are coming up on 4 years of togetherness, I've abandoned my retail roots and work happily on the Web, and of course my salary has increased accordingly.

Bottom line: it's all good.

7.15.2000

One advantage to being literally the only person in the office is being able to sing Abba at the top of my lungs.

It's true, Amy is gearing up to move to my neck of the woods. While I know it's not for everyone (yes, yes, it's crowded and expensive) I can't imagine living anywhere else. People don't give a crap what you do, and there's practically no weather. Lately I've come to see that I despise weather, living where it's 70 and sunny almost every day is my idea of heaven, even if my neighbors are only 10 feet away at the farthest.

I can't wait for our big road trip. If all goes well, I leave for lovely Columbus Ohio in 2 weeks, where Amy will pick me up, then it's me, her, the open road, her lovely New Beetle and all the Waffle Houses we can find. That is, if Mr. Hot Shit™ will put us up for a night on the way.

Bon voyage, self!

In case you don't know what day it is, it's Saturday and I'm trying to make a redesign come together but it seems that I've stared at the screen for too long and all code comes together in one big jumble. Stubbornly, I keep thinking that if I stare at it long enough it will magically make sense, and/or work.

In other news, I finally got a haircut today. Pictures forthcoming, but Ellie managed to break my webcam so it could take some time.

I had no idea that my favorite t-shirt creator, Paul Frank had a spiffy website, but yes, in fact he does! Link courtesy of megnut

7.14.2000

I've entered a state of perma-stress, which brings with it the fabulous experience of a constant headache and being so tired that I almost fell asleep in the bathroom. Things should be more relaxed after the weekend, I hope.

Saw a dog running loose this morning, and reminded of a woman I know who passed a dog running loose, then came back later to find it had been killed by a passing car, I stopped to help. I keep a leash in my car for just these occasions (the last time, I had Alice and Ellie with me, so I took Al off the leash and put her leash on the loose dog, then spent the entire time I was on the phone with animal control going 'Alice! Get back here!). As I was trying to get this very sweet but untrained dog to come to me, the door of a nearby house opened and a flock of dirty-ass children peeked out. Turned out it was their dog but the kids had no concept that a dog shouldn't be in the road, shut the door in my face.

Chances are, I scared the crap out of these kids, and in the end, it's all about the dog, who made it inside. But I wish people knew how to say thanks.

We watched 48 Hours last night, a rarity since I love those kind of shows and Andrea's not a big fan. Watching the really really huge people on the show inspired us to get up and work out. I wonder if I should have taped it so we can watch it to get inspired in the future. Today I'm a bit sore but glad that we started going to the gym again.

Went to my favorite Korean BBQ last night for dinner. It was crowded so we had to share a 6 seater table with a guy who worked there. I have never heard someone chew as loudly as this guy did. It was unreal, we kept trying not to laugh or stare but since he was a mere 2 seats away, the challenge was great. After he left, 2 other guys who did not work there sat down and didn't say one word the entire time except to order. A surreal meal.

7.13.2000

The overused, oft-quotedWuName generator is still fabulous. Ellie's name is Sabre-Toothed Portillo, International Cow or Slumbering Pierrot, depending on what we decide her last name is, mine, Andrea's or a bastardization of the two.

Which leads me to the real question... When we have a child, what will the child's last name be? Even in the exciting world of straight people it's not as obvious as it used to be but for us, it's even less obvious. I like my last name, but people always get it wrong. Andrea's last name is short, hard to mess up. Most likely we'd combine them but use Andrea's fabulously short name as a matter of daily life.

What if the Smurfs was all one big joke, that the word Smurfy was actually a stand-in for the word shit. All of a sudden, it's 'have a shitty day' and 'oohh, that's shitty' and the writers are laughing their asses off. Because shit is more than just feces, it's everything.

I admit it, I'm totally addicted to Survivor. I rush home each Wednesday to see what I've missed. My only question is, what the hell kind of name is Rattana? Why not bamboo-ee or tapioca-aah?

7.12.2000

Started watching Big Brother last night (thanks to the miracle of replaytv, we watched it later). I don't think I like it. The house kinda sucks and since they can't really leave or have contact with the outside world, it gets old pretty quickly. Cool concept, but MTV has the formula down with the Real World, which made me laugh my ass off last night when Melissa got all kinds of drunk and danced around in her undies all by her little self, to her own music inside her head. Not that I've ever done that. At least not in my undies.

To all my dear friends and loved ones currently struggling with life-altering choices, I can only say follow your bliss.

I totally understand that shit happens, that traffic around here sucks in the morning. But that doesn't stop me from being frustrated that I got up early to get here early for a meeting and the people I was meeting with couldn't make it.

7.11.2000

The craziest place that I interviewed with, Buyersedge, is now officially out of business. Their assets were bought, but not the company. Looks like I made the right choice in not working there.

I just got the best spam email header yet: STOP CHEATING, GET MATE THAT LOVES ONLY YOU.

Gayle had some really interesting things to say about Wenchlogs take on self-mutilation. This is a sticky (no pun intended) issue for me, having lightly flirted with this as a teenager (nothing serious, it was all about getting attention) and more importantly, having deeply loved someone who couldn't stop doing this to herself. Like any addiction, my ex would feel it calling to her, she couldn't stop it until she'd cut herself, then she'd feel better, somehow whole again. There was a whole ritual attached to it, it could take hours and she was a pro at not leaving scars.

All of us have little secret things that make us happy and unique. I listen to Hanson and pick my nose, and while I respect everyone's right to have these hidden pleasures, I don't think I can wrap my head around cutting and the motivations behind it. Whether it's classified as an illness, an addiction, whatever, all I know is that for my ex, it was a hidden pleasure, that in it's own way, made her happy when nothing else could. And that pleasure scared me.

I just took a good look at part of my HTML code and asked myself, 'self, what the fuck were you thinking?' I don't know, but I stopped thinking it and removed the offending tags.

"Oh you can tell by the way I roll a joint, I'm a ladies man"
--Wyclef Jean

Amy found this really interesting discussion/rant about gay marriage. It's true, being gay isn't the same as being straight, otherwise, why would it have a name? Andrea and I have talked about getting "married" or having some kind of ceremony to make us more official but I've always balked at this. Not because I don't love her through and through, because I most certainly do, but because there's no point.

We're not afforded any of the luxuries that straight married couples get automatically and I think the bottom line is, I don't really want to know who in either of our families would decide not to attend. It's easier to pretend that they either don't exist or just don't have the time to respond to my letters, even though they used to, faithfully, before they found out I was gay.

For me, there's no point in opening the discussion. To those people, I'm already a memory, why push the issue? I'd rather they remain in their ignorant bliss and I don't open up a world of hurt.

People will say I should push the envelope, that I should go out on a limb and open those discussions, but to those people I say 'pish! posh!' I push the envelope every day by being open about who I am and who I love with people who's opinions matter a lot more than my asshole relatives. You just can't change everyone's mind, no matter how much you want to or how hard you're willing to try.

This article me so sad. Watching whatever's happening to beyond is like watching an old friend die, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Of course I hope they turn it around, but at this point it seems like a miracle is necessary for that.

But hey, miracles happen every day.

7.10.2000

I'm proud to report that the group I occasionally drive dogs for is getting a little press: GROUPS ORGANIZE TO GET DOGS OUT OF POUNDS, OUT OF L.A..

Fun and fistfights in Reno
Our trip to Reno was pretty eventful. The Spirit of the Dance pretty much sucked. I couldn't stop laughing when they'd try to have some sort of plot. Please, just dance, don't talk and for pete's sake, don't sing! All the men were paired off with women doing these couple-esque moves, but the guys were so gay that it wasn't believeable at all. I nearly lost it when the cast came out in bright yellow cowboy hats and proceeded to square dance. I was so stunned that I couldn't laugh I just made that face.

Saturday, we were about to head home when we went for another quick money-losing extravaganza in the casino. I was down quite a bit at this point and worrying how I'd get to payday with my remaining cash but bet $20 anyway. There I am, playing away, when I bet 3 quarters instead of my usual 1 and wa-la! I won 600 quarters!!

While I was waiting for my booty to register, this woman sat down next to me, put some money in the machine, and left. I assumed that she'd worked through her money but then Andrea sat there and said 'ooh, look, there's money in this machine!' I told her that it was bad karma to play it, but hey free money is free money. So she started playing and was losing nicely until the woman came back about 10 minutes later. This woman had fully expected all of her money to be there when she came back. Hello lady, it's a casino. Loose money is loose money and stops being yours when you leave it unattended. Of course, had she said to me 'I'm going to pee, can you keep an eye on my money?' I would have gladly done so. But I assumed that she wasn't coming back.

So....the woman, Andrea, and I have words about this. I'm trying to explain it to her, that she left her money and shouldn't expect it back. Andrea cashed out the remaining $3.50 that was in the machine and gave that to her but that wasn't enough. The woman kept yelling and finally called Andrea an asshole (as if that would get her $$ back).

Meanwhile, my big victory is dampened, but the change lady finally arrived to pay me off. We walk away and the woman's short ass husband follows us and does this kung-fu kind of move where it looks like he's trying to hit Andrea. But he was so short that it was just funny, I was trying not to laugh when he stepped it up and kung-fu'ed again, his big square glasses still making him a sad caricature of Bruce Lee. We walked away with Mr. KungFuManChu still fuming.

Guilt overcame Andrea and she wanted to give the money back, so we head back to the scene of the crime to make amends (even though the woman was a moron to leave her money there). Mr. KungFuManChu sees us coming and assumes that we want to hit Mrs. KungFuManChu, so he starts shoving Andrea and swinging wildly again, only this time it's not funny.

We eventually gave the woman her money back and I told her several times that Mr. KungFuManChu was out of line and could easily go to jail for his escapades. Then the woman tried to bond with Andrea since her son in law is Chinese too. Andrea was not in the mood for national pride and we got the hell out of there.

Lesson learned: if there's money in a machine when you arrive, cash it out and either leave with it or put it aside for at least 15 minutes. No 77 quarters are worth what we went through.

7.05.2000

I can't believe that I forgot to mention our trip to IKEA. We'd been waiting, hoping that the crowds would die down but it was still crowded as hell. The highlight was riding in on the flatbed shopping cart as Andrea pushed. It was like a skateboard but less scary.

I really really wanted to get the PO�NG chair, so I could sit there and say "PO�NG! PO�NG!" but Andrea talked me out of it, since we already have a chair I don't use. Instead we got some duvet covers and duvets to be covered as well as a buttload of energy-saving lightbulbs. Don't know if they'll work but hey they look cool.

A really good question -- Who'll Play Elian? TIME.com Casts the Movie. Amy and I love to do this, take a situation from our lives (a serious tornado warning that drove the entire school into the basement) and cast accordingly. Now that George C. Scott is dead, it's much harder to do.

I just noticed that one of the suggested cast listings includes none other than George C. Scott as Janet Reno!!

Alice is working with me today, she's driven to the brink of insanity by the smell from the popcorn machine. I tried acting out Bohemian Rhapsody ala Wayne's World for her but she just seemed confused.

Update on my Chocolate Velamints quest
I was able to order chocolate Velamints from candycenter.com, but they don't carry my beloved Intense Chocolate Velamints so I'm the proud owner of 18 tins of the regular kind, thanks to their $25 minimum purchase. Thanks to Mr. Hot Shit™ for the tip.

I just got email that the most helpful canine cancer website has been updated, so there ya go. Most of what I found out was from this site, it's helped Buddy and Ellie fight the good fight when traditional medicine has failed them.

Hello, all. I returned safely from 3 days of fine Oregonian festivities, where you can still see a matinee for $3.50 and the scenery still makes me catch my breath.

Yesterday I drove Andrea around in my fine 72 VW Squareback, which is still covered in beyond.com decorations (looks much better than the rust underneath). She kept getting irratated because people were staring at us, then I reminded her that the car is sort of noteworthy.

I've grown used to the stares because they're usually followed by big smiles but I can see how frustrating the feeling is when you're not used to it.