June 20, 2005


Posted in weekend at 11:22 am by Marise Phillips

On Saturday night, J & I drove up to Marin to attend a costumed murder Mystery party. The theme was "Tragical Mystery Tour" — we all had to dress up like hippies.

My character was "Jamaica Bomblast" and J's was called "Timothy Bleary." We totally got into the preparation; spent all day in the upper Haight shopping for bits & pieces of costume. I spent $60 on a dreadlocked wig (eek).

But it was fun, the company was entertaining, the food was fantastic, and it was a great way to get everyone together.

June 16, 2005

iTunes = Evil

Posted in music, shopping, technology at 8:22 pm by Marise Phillips

It all started with PayPal. They offered me 5 free songs from the iTunes Music Store if I verified my bank account. (Sounds like those famous last words: "The first one's free…" have been hit by inflation!)

I took the bait, verified my account and, a few days later, received my iTunes coupon via e-mail. It sat there for a couple days, beckoning me.

Last Saturday morning from bed, I attempted to cash out.

I went to the iTunes Music Store, created an account, and balked — they asked for my credit card information up front. It's not that I'm at *all* squeamish about that sort of thing, don't get me wrong… but I wanted my free songs NOW, man! Didn't wanna be slowed down by having to hunt down my purse and pull out my card. So I canceled out, a bit miffed by the whole experience.

Yesterday, at work, I decided to try it again. Gave up the card details, picked out my 5 tunes — all the while never realizing I could actually preview songs before buying them. So I ended up with a song I already had (on a different computer, so no way of cross-referencing, boo…)

But, worst of all, I'd caught THE FEVER.

I spent the next hour or so browsing the Music Store, alt-tabbing back and forth between Amazon (for recommendations) and iTunes (for potential downloads), until I settled on an album to buy. Yes, that's right: BUY. Never mind that I'd only signed up in the first place to get my 5 free songs.

But the album only costs $9.99, I reasoned with myself. That's much cheaper than buying the CD online (even with my employee discount), plus tax, plus shipping, and then (worst of all!) waiting for it to arrive.

On top of that, iTunes is sooo easy! And that's *precisely* how they hook you in. One click of the button, and the songs "magically appear" onto your hard drive in a matter of 10 seconds. Instant gratification junkies UNITE!

But I'm proud to say, I stopped after the one CD.

Today (woops) I bought another.

I started to wonder, how much money would I spend in a year if I bought one $9.99 CD every day?

But then I realized, I was never very good at math πŸ™‚

June 15, 2005

Do you like what you do?

Posted in quizzes, work at 10:45 am by Marise Phillips

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about career aspirations… which is funny, because I'm actually very happy in my job. But anyway, next week I'll be taking a work-sponsored training course called the Birkman Method, advance preparations for which required me to take an online personality test.

One of the questions was "Do you lie to get your way?" — I mean: come on. Do you actually expect people to answer that question honestly if they're taking the test for work?? It's like that question people sometimes ask you in an interview: "What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?" Uh-huh, yeah.

Anyway, there's a pretty cool "MeMe" questionnaire going around that I saw on Stacy O's blog. And then yesterday, I stumbled on this page (but whatever you do, please don't click here! OK! I warned you…) It got me to thinking about whether the careers favored by my personality "type" actually fit me.

I'm assuming most people know about the Myers-Briggs personality test. I found a link to a very brief version (the full version takes at least an hour.)

So anyway, I'm an INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving). This type makes up .2% of the population (which makes sense, given that most people are the diametrically opposite type: ESTJs (extroverted, sensory, thinking, judging). The INFP is sometimes also known as "The Healer" — awww… ain't that sweet?

Here are the careers supposedly favored by INFPs (along with my reaction to each):
poet: done it, not too bad. but no money in it πŸ˜‰
painter: would like to try
freelance artist: done it, liked it
musician: Hey! I'm learning bass! Does that count?
writer: Do it every day.
art therapist: Hmm… sounds a bit funky. I'd like to *do* art for therapy, sure… not sure if I want to oversee others doing art for therapy. They might throw paint at me.
teacher (art, music, drama): thought about it.
songwriter: eh. so-so.
art historian: sure, why not?
library assistant: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
composer: sure, if I can use GarageBand πŸ˜‰
work in the perfoming arts: did it (in college) – this seems *wide* open to interpretation. Kinda like: does being an usher at the local movie theatre count??
art curator: yeah!
playwright: tried it in college. it's hard.
bookseller: sounds good!
cartoonist: I'm not a good enough "draw-er," but I like *reading* cartoons!
video editor: done it, very fun.
photographer: do it as often as possible.
philosopher: um, I guess I'm pretty philosophical. But last time I checked, this is not a paid position.
record store owner: I'd love to have a shop like the one in High Fidelity… complete with Jack Black and that mumbly guy, Dick I think his name was.
digital artist: done it.
cinematographer: would love it!
costume designer: would have to be a better "sew-er"
film producer: this one seems out of place. i think you'd have to be all strong-willed, pushy and good with budgets.
philosophy professor: my friend/colleague is one of these. seems like something I'd rather do at the graduate level in France, rather than at the undergrad level in the US. But then I'd reall need to learn philosophy, and to speak French *much* better.
librarian: Nahhhh. Blech. Plus, I got LASIK, so no more sexy librarian look for me!
music therapist: Again with the creative therapy. What about good old regular therapy?!
enviromentalist: Requires cold-calling or going door to door, which I did one summer in college. I cried and quit after one day.
movie director: sure! but again, seems to require a lot of pushiness and yelling.
activist: I'm just not that *active* πŸ˜‰
bookstore owner: How is this different than "bookseller" — would being a store owner make me "The Man?"
filmmaker: Yeah!!!!

June 12, 2005

My Honey is soooo cute

Posted in blogging, lovey, toys at 7:15 pm by Marise Phillips

Me: (Laughing out loud for no apparent reason on a Sunday evening)

J: "What are you doing?

Me: "Reading blogs. I like reading everyone's blogs…" (he knows this, of course, as I am bogarting his Powerbook *once again* to do so.)

J: "I don't have a blog…" (looking sad, eyes downcast, lower lip thrust out.)

Me: "You should get one! You'd be great!" (He's been keeping a journal in his Clie for years already. Plus he's an amazing writer.)

J: "But I'm foreign…" (He's, um, BRITISH.)

Me: "Silly boy!! Blogs aren't for Americans only!"

J: "Are you sure??" (He smiles wryly, then goes back to cleaning out his junk drawer. He pulls out a Chewbacca-headed mini M&M dispenser and, for the millionth time since purchasing it, pretends the wookiee is barfing up mini M&Ms.)

June 11, 2005

Howl’s Moving Castle

Posted in movie review, reading at 8:35 am by Marise Phillips

Last night at the Kabuki Theatre in SF's Japantown, J and I saw Howl's Moving Castle with our friends Mike and Trish (fellow huge fans of Hayao Miyazaki). For those unfamiliar with Miyazaki, he co-founded Japanese anime Studio Ghibli and directed Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Graveyard of the Fireflies, Kiki's Delivery Service, etc.

Apparently it was a preview showing as the film hasn't been officially released yet; if that is indeed true, then I am a bigger geek than I originally thought! (Though this is usually the case, I don't know why it surprises me any more…)

As expected, the film was spectacular visually; the hand-painted backgrounds just keep getting more and more impressive. It was full of strange and wonderful characters, plenty of humor, silly and surreal. However, it is not the near-masterpiece that Spirited Away was.

J read a review last night that blamed the movie's shortcomings on the fact that the story was adapted from a 2001 children's fantasy novel, rather than from Miyazaki's own imagination. Mike said he thought it felt a bit too "Hollywood" — a point I agree with more and more as I think about it.

But J and I both agreed to see it at least one more time in the theatre, and of course we'll buy it as soon as it comes out on DVD. For eye-candy junkies, it's certainly worth seeing multiple times. We're also going to buy the book, which fits right in with my reading habits lately (having just finished all the Lemony Snicket books.)

June 10, 2005

Many Scarfys!

Posted in knitting at 10:19 am by Marise Phillips

I've been meaning to post piccies of my finished scarfy. Three weeks have passed and my next two projects are almost done. Well, one is almost done — the other one may end up needing three more skeins to be long enough. Knitting is freaking expensive, kiddies!

So, without further ado, I present to you: Very First Scarfy Ever! Garter stitched from 1.75 skeins of Rowanspun Chunky "Green Waters", knitted on size 10.5, 16" long bamboo needles.

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Next, we have the softest Mr. Scarfy ever, made from 3 skeins (and counting! at $14 a skein, ouch) of Plassard Point Virgule yarn, 2 strands held, on size 17, 23" circular needles:

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Finally, we have everso soft ribbed scarfy made out of Frog Hill Farms 100% alpaca, k3, p3 on size 10.5, 16" long bamboo needles.

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The Castle – So Fun!

Posted in blogging, only in SF at 8:30 am by Marise Phillips

K, N and I met at the Castle last night promptly at 6 (N was there even earlier!) to make sure K was all safe from any bad mean internet stalkers πŸ˜‰ Which of course was never an issue.

All the folks who showed up were lovely! Friendly, pleasant, good conversationalists… I was impressed!!

Most impressive of all was the gentleman who showed up with a premium box of white wine wrapped up in a bow.

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To top that off, he shared his fish & chips with me! This was supremely appreciated given the service situation.

Our waitress was an utter nightmare, it's like she'd lost her short-term memory like Drew Barrymore's character in 50 First Dates. But instead of a cute, luscious Hawaiian flower, imagine a skanky, run-down stringbean who broke pint glasses on us and got everyone's drink wrong and took over an hour to figure out our food order. Sigh.

At least there was time for knitting, fun banter, and three super-cool old Vespas parked out front when I got there!

June 7, 2005

A Nasty Shock

Posted in body image, dieting, self-flagellation at 10:47 am by Marise Phillips

So I went to Voldemort yesterday. Turns out the doctor I was scheduled to see couldn't make it; they'd tried to call me but had my old work number and a totally random emergency contact number. But I insisted on staying as I really needed to get looked at. Fortunately, there was no need to rush back to work, and I wasn't feeling super-impatient; so while I had to wait for two extra hours, I'm glad I stayed (becuase I must be a true masochist).

1. The exam itself was very brief and not a pain at all.
2. As I predicted, I did have a Bartholin's cyst. So they gave me a shot of local anethesia (ouch) and took care of it.
3. Unfortunately, they inserted a catheter which I have to keep in for a week to prevent the cyst from recurring. (No, thank God it's not one of *those* catheters!)
4. They weighed me and I am 20 POUNDS heavier than I thought I was!!!! Fucking scary!!
5. My blood pressure (for the second time now) is borderline high: 130/90.

SIGH. I joined eDiets though, and have been eating sensibly today. If my damn "bits" didn't ache, I might be persuaded to go on a walk πŸ˜‰ But I am too sore to ride on my scooter, even 😦

June 1, 2005

Music Quiz

Posted in music, quizzes, shopping at 12:10 pm by Marise Phillips

Total Volume?
On my work machine: 4.35 GB
On my home machine: 11.2 GB
On my Creative Zen jukebox: 2.8 GB

Last CDs Purchased?
I went to Amoeba, the world's best music store, a couple weeks ago and picked up these babies:
Moon Safari – Air
Walkie Talkie – Air
The Virgin Suicides Soundtrack – Air
Some Cities – Doves
Not Going Anywhere – Keren Ann
Nolita – Keren Ann

Playing Right Now?
"In Heaven" – Fatboy Slim – You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Five Favorites?
But this would only make the other songs jealous… Actually, it's just too hard to narrow down. I guess I could instead choose five songs that are in heavy rotation on iTunes right now:
"Surfing on a Rocket" – Air
"Don't Stop" – Brazilian Girls
"Que Onda Guero" – Beck
"Get Your Snack On" – Amon Tobin
"Basmati" – Daniela MοΏ½ller/dZihan & Kamien

Oh, and as a special bonus – I made my very own "song" last night using GarageBand! I am very proud, yes indeed… no matter what J says (that it sounds like the soundtrack to a copsploitation TV show…) πŸ˜‰

And so now, without further ado, for your delight and delectation, I present: