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Saturday, October 25, 2003


Sad news

I was walking to school on Wednesday when Emily called to tell me that Elliott Smith had died. Stabbed himself in the heart. A psychology exam required that I put this news out of my mind for the time being, but on the way home, it dawned on me how sad I felt.

When Jaco Pastorius died, I was still playing bass and trying to copy his licks, listening to his records over and over. The nasty circumstances — drunk out of his mind, beaten to death by a bouncer — made me angry more than anything else. I was sad that Jaco wouldn’t play again or make any more records, but it wasn’t as if I had lost a friend.

I don’t claim to have known Elliott Smith, and I don’t try to imagine what went on in his head. But he revealed through his music a soul so tender that it was prone to injury and pain. He plumbed depths of the spirit that most of us would rather not explore. He faced and documented the darkest moments of life for the rest of us. By fighting the demons and emerging victorious, he became something of a hero. It’s painful to see him lose the last fight.

If you’ve never heard the man, take a listen to the song on the right.

A quote from Elliott turned up in an old article I read, and I’m going to have to pin it up by my desk:

I don’t really think of time off as writing blocks. I think that’s a Western notion of demonizing inactivity. When your imagination decides it needs to take a nap, then maybe that’s what it needs to do.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Earth needs editors

Look away

California news is just too ugly to face, so let’s turn our attention to Newport News, Virginia, where there might be a job opening for a proofreader.


Read the full story.

Thursday, October 2, 2003


Election madness, Part 3

My God, have you looked at this thing? It’s a formidable talent pool we have vying for the governorship.

From the “statements not checked for accuracy” department

Badi Badiozamani boldly states, “I will rescind Governor’s harmful policies such as the 300% car tax, streamline taxes…” (his italics). It’s about time someone stood up to that tax! I owe nearly $60,000 on my Honda this year!

Lucky for him, there’s no writing test

Vik S. Bajwa’s statement tugs at the heartstrings in a way that transcends all boundaries and grammar rules.

Since the days of the Gold Rush of mid 1880’s, its diversity of over 2 centuries, where over 148 different languages, being spoken every day, we have but one thing in common — Dream and Success.

*sniff*…I’m going to get a tissue now. You keep reading.

Finally! A voice for California’s boys

Warren Farrell, author and sensitive man, has a website that looks like something Nickelodeon rejected, but that’s beside the point. The point, according to Farrell, is that you should stop picking on boys and buy his books. Oh, and his research on “why men now earn less money than women for the same work,” included in his book Why Men Are the Way They Are, will help him solve California’s budget crisis. He plans “more male teachers; boy-friendly schools; a men’s birth control pill; communication skills…” I’m just glad that men will finally have a say in government.

Lonely hearts, we didn’t forget you

Beat these credentials, Arnold:

As Chairman of American Singles, the world’s largest non-profit singles organization, I am the only person who sponsors parties and events for singles worldwide on six continents.

That’s Rich Gosse talking. He’ll tell you that “single adults are the Rodney Dangerfields of our society. They ‘don’t get no respect.’” Rich is going to change all that: “I am the first candidate in California history to campaign on a Fairness for Singles Platform.” (Have you gotten the idea that italics are popular in these candidate statements?)

I’m all for Fairness for Singles. Stick it to the Man! And his wife!

“My family never moved. Am I elected yet?”

“I am a Native Californian.” — John “Jack” Mortenson, contractor

“Born and raised in the best State in the union…” — Ed Beyer, businessman

“I am a second generation California businessman.” — John W. Beard, second generation California businessman

“I am a third generation Californian.” — Mike P. McCarthy, used car dealer

“I am a 3rd generation Californian.” — Dorene Musilli, business owner

I say this to you natives who can’t shut up about it: Lah dee freaking dah. Good for you. Would you all like medals, or would you prefer a holiday?

The crueler part of me says, you don’t have to tell me you’re a native. I saw the bumper sticker on your shopping cart.