Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Organic Satan Company

This morning, my alarm went off and then I dozed off again for about 15 minutes, during which time I had a very strange dream. In the dream, I was at a party that I'd helped set up for, one that evidently had my dad and stepmom involved since lots of my Pakistani step-relatives were there. I was wearing a shalwaar kameez that I hadn't worn in years and I was convinced was really out of fashion (something that could very easily happen in real life), and glittery red shoes that strongly resembled Dorothy's ruby slippers. As the guests arrived, I greeted Yasmeen Auntie, my step-cousins, and my step-grandmother Amijan, and various others, all dressed up much more nicely than I was, of course.

While wandering through the sprawling beige-carpeted house where the party was being held, I passed through a room with a TV blaring. The channel was MTV, and they were showing a video by a band called The Organic Satan Co. As I'm sure you can guess, this was an aggro rock band, and the lead singer, a guy with short spiky hair, was chained to the floor of the stage--a very minimal dark gray stage set with no adornment--and screaming the words of the song while glaring up at the camera.

Shortly thereafter, I woke up. But I can't get The Organic Satan Company out of my mind. It would be a GREAT name for a band. Or maybe a literary magazine, or a comic book, or a new novel. P.S. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT. IT'S MINE! SEE THAT COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE? Sorry. Mine.

But I still have to figure out what to do with it. And what does an Organic Satan Company do, anyway? Do they sell organic Satans? Or is it a company selling organic items and run by Satan? I don't know, but I'm going to figure it out. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Self-Conscious Blogging

Sometimes I'm too self-conscious to blog.

It's true. Lame, but true. I'll question every word, every sentence, every thought. If I write about what I've been doing lately, I'll fret that it's dry and boring, a mere laundry list of daily minutiae. If I write about my innermost thoughts, I usually end up deleting them or being as embarrassed as a teenager getting called on while daydreaming during class. (Yes, of course that happened to me. My AP/IB Biology teacher had some kind of radar.) I have a weird arbitrary boundary when it comes to divulging my true and deep feelings--up to a point, I'm really not worried about what people think about any of it, but beyond that line, I'm very guarded. And I'm very good at keeping those things under guard, such that even some people who know me well might not know as much as they think. But basically, every time I sit down to write a post, I worry about crossing that line, and I get a little uncomfortable. So there you have it.

In other news, of the laundry list variety, I can hardly believe it's less than a month until we leave for Italy and Spain. I haven't been out of the country for more than 2.5 weeks or so since 1996, when I was in college and spent a summer in London. We'll be away for a month this time, two weeks in each country. Neither Rob nor I has ever been to Spain, so we're excited about that, but perhaps most of all I'm excited about seeing Rome and environs. I love visiting world-famous cities (I love traveling, period, really--nature's good, too) and I've never been to Rome. The Clipboard of Fun is rapidly taking shape, though it's really more of a Spreadsheet of Fun right now. I made my shopping list of assorted crap I gotta buy before we leave, like fun-sized toiletries and a bottle of vitamin C to protect us from swine flu (since the vaccine doesn't come out until after we leave).

A couple of things put a small damper on my excitement. One was that the transmission went out on our Honda, which we ended up having to replace (the transmission, not the car) at a cost I'm embarrassed to repeat. The other is that I'm having a hell of a time getting our overnight train tickets from Barcelona to Sevilla. Rail Europe wants me to wait until only 2 weeks prior to our trip and only sells certain ticket classes, Renfe website keeps saying esta bloqueado every time I try to choose any kind of ticket class, which seems bizarre, and the Renfe U.S. agent wants to charge a somewhat ridiculous booking fee but I'm willing to pay that in order to put my mind at ease, except they're encountering some weird booking problem, too. Perhaps they, too, are bloqueado. If they solve the problem, though, I'll happily pay the extra 40 bucks, since I don't want to try to call Spain and argue with someone in my doofus Spanish.

Still, though, I'm excited. I'm also working my ass off on freelance work so I can try to chip away at this transmission payment.