Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Another Friday giant-list update

It’s Friday, and I have no concrete ideas for a larger update, yet have all of these smaller bits and pieces, so here goes:

  • I try to take notes of all of my ideas, but 90% of the time, they make no sense later.  I did this at some point in the middle of the night, and woke up to a note on my keyboard, in red pen and underlined several times, that simply said “ALIENS”.
  • I am going to see Close Encounters on the big screen tonight at the Paramount, which might be part of it.
  • It is now dark enough when I wake that I need to use the full-spectrum light.  This means soon we will reach the nighttime temperatures that involve felines fighting over who gets to sleep on which human’s head or feet to keep warm.
  • I bought this stuff called “miracle noodles”, on my latest diet rampage.  It’s this Asian noodle, like an angel-hair pasta, which has zero calories and carbs and is pretty much just strands of fiber.  They come packed in little six-ounce bags filled with water.  Most reviews said they have a peculiar smell when you first open them, until you rinse them off.  That “peculiar” smell is the smell of stale semen.  Once you rinse them off and boil them for a minute, they’re essentially flavorless, and will pick up the flavor of whatever you mix them with.
  • Another thing I got, while guilt-shopping on Amazon for anything to help me maintain weight, is this stuff called PB2, which is a powdered peanut butter which has had all of the fats and oils pressed out of it.  A tablespoon of the real deal has either 3 or 4 weight watcher points, but two tablespoons of PB2 has one point.  It tastes pretty much like the real deal, albeit the slight inconvenience of mixing it together for reconstitution.
  • I made a salad-type thing with the miracle noodles, the fake peanut butter, some rice wine vinegar and sesame oil, soy sauce, baked tofu, bean sprouts, white cabbage, and scallions.  It was surprisingly good.
  • I was never a big peanut butter person, especially since weight loss, since an appreciable amount of chunky peanut butter is about a half-day of points.  I also never liked putting peanut butter on white bread, and then the knife tears through the bottom of the bread.  And you can’t make a peanut butter sandwich on pumpernickel.  (Well, maybe you can.)
  • My strongest memory of peanut butter is getting a jar of Jif and a box of saltine crackers in a care package in college, sitting in bed between classes on the day of the first snow in 1989, looking out over a white-covered campus, listening to an Art of Noise album and making little peanut butter and cracker sandwiches.
  • I got jury duty.  Day after labor day, but it’s one of those things where you call in the night before and most of the time they tell you not to come in.  I guess this is because Oakland is so crime-free.
  • Every time I go to Rite-Aid there is a commercial playing on the PA saying that you should buy a book of the Forever stamps.  I seldom mail anything anymore, but I also never know when there will be another rate increase, which seems to happen constantly, so I almost always buy a book of the stamps.  (They aren’t really a book though; more like a sheet of stickers.)
  • I remember when first-class letter stamps were only 20 cents, from a brief and fleeting childhood interest in philately. It seemed like forever between 20 cents and when they raised it to 22 cents.  It now seems like they raise it another penny every other time I have to mail something.  I don’t know if that’s a function of inflation or my perception of time.
  • I changed themes here on WordPress, to the latest Twenty-Eleven theme, which isn’t that different.  I did change the font, though, using google web fonts.  I think it’s more readable, but I might hate it in a month.  The biggest problem with changing themes is I always fall down this k-hole of trying different themes and not knowing which one to choose, trying and trying until I eventually go back and use the first one I tried.
  • Someone on facebook started a memorial group for all of the people from my high school that have died.  I didn’t join, but I paged through it, and it’s majorly depressing.  Other than my neighbor Peter that died in a car crash when he was 18, I wasn’t particularly close to anyone who has died yet, but I definitely remember many of them.
  • As far as I know, none of my ex-girlfriends have died.  I think when that happens, I will be freaked the fuck out.
  • Two of my exes are now in Texas.
  • Sarah was in Milwaukee for a week, and while in bachelor mode, I got almost no writing done.  I would sit down to write and fall into these endless wikipedia k-holes that would keep me up half the night, googling about prison food and serial killers and space shuttle computers and obsolete video game systems.  If you ever get to the point where it’s after midnight and you’re furiously searching for a primer on set theory, just go to bed.
  • I bought one of those Apple magic trackpads, which is really nice, but it’s only bluetooth, so I can’t use it through my KVM on both machines.  I have it sitting next to my trackball and use it on the mac only, which is a waste.  I wish the entire right side of my desk was a giant trackpad, and I could use it for gestures and stuff, but I’d probably end up putting my arm or elbow on it too much.

Okay, time to get some real work done.