29 May 2007

disc golf

Let me tell you something about disc golf--I suck ass at disc golf. There was definitely a time when I could throw a frisbee, and that time is not now, because I am terrible at the disc golfing. I did get to spend a lot of time in a sunny, sunny park while figuring out the extent of my terribleness, so at least there's that. (According to Firefox spell check, 'terribleness' is a real word, which doesn't seem right somehow.)

I'm flying back to New York tonight, which is lame times a million. Well, the bars open until 4am, the 24 hour delis, the museums, the beautiful old buildings, the history, the mad amounts of diverse people, the stores, etc, are obviously not lame. But I have to go back to work and back to all the responsibilities that I've been avoiding for the past week, and I'm not really "about" that.

Books purchased and/or borrowed this week:
The Plague - Camus
Ficciones - Jorge Luis Borges
Double or Nothing - Raymond Federman
Commies, Crooks, Gypsies, and Poets - Jan Novak

28 May 2007

NOT self-centered

I reread that last thing I wrote, and wow, do I talk about myself a lot or what? Yeah, this is a blog, blah blah blah, shut up! I am not completely self-absorbed, and this blog is not (just) about my endlessly fascinating life.

Anyway! Here's a list of things that are cool.

1. Partisan. Lovely people, lovely music.

2. Milwaukee!!

3. El Topo. So weird, so good.

4. Riverwest!!

5. Sonic Typewriter. Noise band! You know you want it.

6. Dear Astronaut. But you knew that already, right?

6. Riding bikes!

(This is starting to seem a little sad. "I love riding bikes, woo!!!")

Anyway. I rode my bike to the library with Frank and Scott, and I am way more out of shape than I realized, but I made it all the way there AND all the way back. Then I drank a lot of beer, which will definitely help the out of shape thing. That was the night of the Propagandhi show, the awesomeness of which I doubt I could even begin to explain. I twisted my ankle at the show, and I'll just let you believe that it happened while I was slam-dancing or whatever, and not when I tripped five minutes after arriving. The point here is that Propagandhi is awesome, and you should listen to them right now.

(Why do I feel like everyone already knows this? Possibly because I'm generally at least five years behind the times.)

Milwaukee time has not all been fun time, but the non-fun time isn't nearly as interesting or fit for public consumption. Everything happens that's meant to happen, and other boring clichés. I think mostly this visit solidified my love for Milwaukee. I give up. Wooooo!! Milwaukee!!! Everyone care about Milwaukee!!!1!

27 May 2007

mmmore milwaukee!!

Sooo yeah, "Milwaukee." Heard of it?

I went to another show last night, after going to an awesome cookout. Boca Burger makes a pretty good vegetarian bratwurst. There was so much good food, and I drank other people's good beer for half the night while I waited for my Hamm's to get cold. Related: Hamm's doesn't exactly taste like piss, but it is so much better when it's cold.

The show was fun; it was at The Pub, which is a weird little bar. The owner told me I could have a job there anytime I wanted after I drank whiskey straight from the bottle (he didn't have a shot glass for me, was the reason for that, I guess). It was Jameson, but he poured it in my mouth, and it felt a little too "Girls Gone Wild" to actually enjoy it. Also, Jeb told me that the owner has a terrible memory, so he probably won't remember that he promised me a job. Moral of the story? Do not let weird bartenders pour liquor in your mouth, even if it is free Jameson.

Seriously though, I drank liquor for the first time in awhile and the second time this year, and it's still a terrible idea. Remind me of that next time we go drinking.

24 May 2007

coffee coffee milwaukee!!!

Holy shit, you guys!

Okay, I don't know where to go from there. I'm in Milwaukee, at a non-Starbucks cafe with free wireless, which is not nearly as exciting as where Kira and Max are, but I'm totally okay with that. For reals!

Going to see Propagandhi tonight. I bought tickets before I'd actually heard any of their songs, but I figured Jeb and his friends are going, and I'm all about tagging along with my cousin and his friends, as they are far cooler than me. Plus I figure Jeb has reliably awesome taste in music, so this Propagandhi thing would be awesome. Guess what? It is! They have a song called "And we thought nation-states were a bad idea," so really, how could I not like them? Plus I don't listen to nearly enough loud fast music lately.

Oh! I went to a Dear Astronaut practice last night, and let me tell you, they are fixing to take over the world. You'd best go buy some of their musics RIGHT NOW before it sells out and you'll miss your chance to buy their early work, and then how are you gonna be like "oh, I liked them before they got megafamous"? I recommend The Dark Forest and that's only 60% because I'm thanked in the liner notes (famous by association!!!).

So I'm on my second coffee of the day, and now that I think about it I haven't really eaten anything today, woops!

22 May 2007

Ways In Which I Will Stay Cool This Summer and Also Not Think About How Kira isn't Here to Hate the Hot Weather with Me.

* museums. There are so many, most of which I've never been to!
* movies. Discount movie tickets + AC = Good Time for Marina
* iced coffee. I will have a pitcher of it in the fridge at all times, all summer.
* and also, coffee ice cubes! I will be over-caffeinated ALL SUMMER.
* City Island
* bookstores. Bookstores have AC.
* the library! They have AC and also books and stuff.
* more museums. Seriously, I am ashamed to tell you how few museums I've visited.
* visiting Wisconsin. I'm using all of my vacation days and then some to visit Wisconsin twice this summer. No, seriously. Home for my birthday and Milwaukee next week.
* Milwaukee!!! There will be a nice breeze off Lake Michigan, right?
* crashing on other people's couches. That will totally get me through the "so hot I think I'm going to die" nights. Some of my friends must have AC.
* working! I'll just work all the time.
* taking pictures. Hot air be damned, I'll take millions of pictures of New York!
* reading all of Kira's books. whee!
* watching all of Kira's movies! At the library, with my laptop and the headphones and the A/C.


20 May 2007


on targeted marketing:
"i'm sucking down patriotism"

"because eagles smoke them!"

on indie music:
"well, you don't dance a lot to radiohead. you just sulk."

on interior design:
"i can't get white carpet. what if i have to cut a bitch?"

on friendship:
"you filled my empty spot."

on pop culture:
"and jenna fischer is brutally hot! just in one scene, but if i was a man, i would hit that."

on interior decoration:
"i'm sorry, but sheet on the window and condom wrappers just smacks of crack den."

on not burning bridges:
"this is argentimes, not new york nightmares."

19 May 2007

my dad is also pretty cool

So! Random Story time.

A few weeks ago, when I was doing this GRE test thing (maybe I mentioned that?), I called my dad. I got to the test center ridiculously early, and after doing at least an hour of last-minute cramming, I called my parents, because what else are parents for if not to listen to you freak out about standardized tests on Saturday mornings?

So. I called my house, my dad answered, we talked. He started telling me stories to distract me from the impending doom, and one of the stories he told me, it was just so great that I needed to share.

But! Before I do, you should understand something. My dad and my sister, they're... outgoing would be the nice way to put it. Embarrassingly forward might be the way that my mom and I would normally put it. My mom and I believe strongly in the "don't make a scene" school of social interaction, and my dad and my sister believe in the "say whatever is on your mind" school. Maybe it's not as bad as that, but it's sort of a running joke that my dad regularly exasperates my mom and I.

That being said, sometimes my dad's willingness to speak his mind, no matter the potential awkwardness, makes me so very proud. Getting back to the original story, we were talking before the GRE, and he was telling me random stories about Wisconsin in an effort to distract me. Somehow we started talking about the village where I grew up. We weren't really popular in said village, partially because we hadn't lived there for three generations and primarily because we didn't go to church. I always sort of assumed that was the main reason at least, but apparently there was more to it. Oh, and yes, it really was legally classified as a village.

I was only five when we moved to the village, so I obviously don't remember the early years very well. My dad was friends with the neighbor family's dad until they moved, but I have vague memories of them being closer when I was younger. The story that I'm getting to in a very roundabout way is the reason he was never really closer with that family or closer with all the many, many villagers that said family was friends with. Basically, the reason we didn't have much social contact with the villagers.

My dad was over at the neighbor's one day, and by that I mean he was hanging out in the neighbor's garage, drinking beer with all the other manly men, with their beer and their cars and their whatever. And to paraphrase my dad, "[this very, very respected member of our community] was telling a story, and it was just n-word this and n-word that, and I looked at him, and I go 'have you ever even met a black person?' and, well, I wasn't very popular after that."

...yeah. My dad, he's a pretty cool guy.

My village, it's... well, according to Wikipedia, "the racial makeup of the village was 97.94% White, 0.10% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population" of 969. Which seems believable except for the part where it's not 100% white. Well, I guess I'm like 4% Native American, so maybe there were others? Oh, did I ever tell you about the time I had olive-toned skin and the kids would ask "if I was Indian or something" when I was in grade school? I didn't get why that was an insult at the time, so I'd just be like "yeah, my great-grandmother or someone was."

Maybe it's not fair to badmouth my village? The point here is that my dad didn't sit back and let racism go; he pointed out the ridiculous ignorance at play, because that guy really might not have met a black person, or at least spoken with one for longer than thirty seconds. He also totally did an awesome job at distracting me from my GRE panic. My dad is pretty cool.

[sidenote: Okay, no one from home reads this but Meghan and Beth, and I'm not even sure they do, so ladies, if you're out there, ask me about this next time you see me, because you will seriously not believe who the racist douchebag is.]

17 May 2007

at least the weather's nice

Seriously, I just, wow. This week is just dumb, and I really can't explain why without being unprofessional. Not that anyone at either job, unpaid or otherwise, reads this, but I don't want to take a chance. Just... god, maybe I've already said too much? Ask me about it if you see me.

16 May 2007

the world's gone crazy

Wow, it seems like the universe is against me this week. I'm not all sad and self-loathing about it as per usual, because it seriously is so obviously undeserved.

Example #432 that this is not my week: I'm sitting outside and suddenly in the middle of one of those leaf-and-dirt whirlwinds (you know the one I mean, right?). That can't be good for my laptop.

15 May 2007

i will fuck you up

I think if I was going to learn self-defense, I would learn krav maga. I don't need any of that inner-peace, "learn to fight so you don't have to fight" nonsense. I want a self-defense technique whose goal is to fuck someone up as quickly and efficiently as possible. But I would only use my lethal skills if someone attacked me first.

14 May 2007

care bear

A day after Kira's mom and I decide to go to Tashkent, I find a book about a woman who was a Fulbright scholar in Kyrgyzstan in 2001 and then traveled around Central Asia. It's good so far, though on the back of the book there's a blurb about one of her earlier books from Ann Coulter, so... I don't know. I'm trying not to judge.

I worked today; I think there were about 30 people in the lab. Not at once; thirty people spread over 8 hours. I'm unclear on why the lab was even open today.

12 May 2007

central asian surprise

So I launched a website on Friday. I made the whole thing myself. For serious. I still have a lot of things to fix, and I have interns now, so I have to think of things for them to do, but I made a whole website. And it works!

On a related note, I am exhausted. I went to dinner with Kira and her parents and her boyfriend and his dad, which was surprisingly low on awkwardness. I think Kira's mom invited me to go on a Central Asian vacation with her (Tashkent, Samarkand, Turkmenistan, Ulan Bator). I hope she's serious; Turkmenbashi is fascinating even though he apparently died in December, and apparently the largest outdoor market in Central Asia is in northern Uzbekistan. Okay, yes, it's not exactly a stable region, but we'll figure something out.

Either way, we ate at a southern Indian restaurant called Amma, and it was amazing. I had dum aloo for the first time, and it was awesome. [Okay, so maybe it's not entirely southern Indian, because dum aloo is Kashmiri, and Kashmir is not in southern India... maybe there's a southern Indian version? Confusing.]

One final note: should I buy a Blackberry? Okay, obviously the answer is no, but I really, really want one. Like, über tons. Well, really I want a Treo or a Motorola Q, but I have T-Mobile, so Blackberry it is if I want to stay organized in this crazy world we live in. So... please convince me that this Blackberry thing is a terrible idea, because part of me really wants to look important and have the ability to check my email all the time, constantly.

07 May 2007

as one ends, another begins

Dudes, um, so... okay. I may have mentioned that I was taking the GRE this weekend? Once or twice? I've been studying for it constantly, almost as much as I've been complaining about studying for it?

Yeah. So it turns out that they give you your scores on the reading and math sections right after the test is finished (you have to wait two weeks to get your score for the writing section). And I'm not going to tell you my score, because honestly, who brags about their scores on standardized tests, right?

Besides, if you consider that the SAT and the GRE have the same scoring scales, I've gotten 20 points dumber since high school. Gross, right? Fuck standardized tests, right?

Look, in the interest of me finishing the boring drawn out mess that was my GRE experience, let's just say that I now have (more!!) proof that I am really fucking smart. Ha! Probably smarter than you!! I'm smarter than everyone!!! Hahahaha!

Oh, I kid. You might be as smart as me.

All right, good night.

04 May 2007



The GRE is tomorrow, I'm petrified that I'll suck and not get into grad school, blah blah no one cares. Rage Against the Machine are playing shows again!

Who wants to go see them July 28th and/or 29th on Randall's Island? Only $83+$14 convenience charge! Seriously, who's coming?

02 May 2007


phone call w/ mom yesterday re: mayday

mom: so how are you celebrating?
marina: um... i pay union dues? i'm not really doing anything else to help the proletariat.
mom: we had a meeting today, and they were talking about our outsourcing center in india, and i said "you know, they probably have the day off. it's international workers' day." they all looked really confused.
marina: ha!
mom: so i go "you know, commie workers' day" and one guy goes "really?"
marina: that's awesome!
mom: i told him i was joking. then i told them that on may day, you throw candy at people's doors and run away.
marina: ...what?
mom: yeah, when we were kids, that's what we did on may day.
marina: that's... confusing. of course, you also used to dance around a may pole at that hippie school of yours.
mom: in a white dress!
marina: wow... when i was in prague, may day was also eu day, when the czech republic joined the eu. our dorm was near peace square, and the people from our program told us that the communists and anarchists always had competing rallies at peace square on may day. they were like "there's gonna be a riot!" so, of course, i was all excited for a fight, but then nothing happened. i was so disappointed; how awesome would that have been, a communist-anarchist fight?
mom: yeah, no rules!

also: my mom's favorite poem