Things Consumed

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Last and first meals

  My final 2009 meal was a late evening, post-nap snack of: a big glass of Italian red wine (Barbera d'Asti), an apple, and a plate of ume soba (bright pink and sweet-smelling, but plain-tasting) with shiitake men tsuyu dipping sauce.

My first breakfast was an apple, a pot of miso soup, and a few squares of coconut white chocolate.

I hadn't been expecting the Japanese theme, but there it is.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)11:32 AM

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this HTML 4.01 Transitional code"

  Someone has printed up stickers with a photo of Obama and the text, "I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this __________."

So this sticker is applied to a dumpster at MacArthur BART, and the word "dumpster" has been written in.

It's cute. There are so many potential applications.


posted by Arlene (Beth)9:05 PM

Friday, October 10, 2008

Since when are paint cans collectible?

  I perceive this to be a sign of the desperation of retailers. This comes from a message from my favorite purveyor of cosmetics. I will omit the brand name, since it really isn't relevant to the absurdity of the shiny, round lure being employed:
Get a full makeover with [brand]'s 5 bestsellers, all in a collectible paint can!
A paint can?? Okay, I buy cosmetics, and this is intended to appeal to me. (I even paint!) But... a paint can?


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Creative project ideas I am unlikely to bring to fruition.

  "Unnecessary Uterine Awareness" - the name of my next book of poetry.

"Aqueducts and Slavery" - my next album of experimental electronica, which is not actually about the Roman Empire.

"Lukewarm Stock Tips" - an anti-capitalist financial advice tome.

"Not Thinking of England" - a graphic novel loosely based on on avoiding unpleasantness in bed, but hitting many tangents.


posted by Arlene (Beth)9:44 PM

People who make me feel normal

  People who build ships in bottles.

Artists who draw really elaborate worlds very small with technical pencils and razor blades on tin foil, candy wrappers, and tracing paper.

Hobbyists who build replicas of famous buildings in matchsticks.

People who raise rabbits as pets.



posted by Arlene (Beth)7:10 AM

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Corny theory.

Upon reading the ingredients for yet another box of candy that exists to adhere to dental work, he said:
If there were animals, like deer, made of corn syrup, they would poop Dots.


posted by Arlene (Beth)2:17 AM

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Random encounters.

The tough-looking Pacific Islander boy, with his hoodie and his "hard" facial expression, sat playing a ukulele. I couldn't stop smiling over it. He looked away quickly, so as not to loose his tough expression.

A bookish woman in the suit did a completely uncontrolled, joyous, leg-flapping happy-dance upon meeting a friend in the train station.


posted by Arlene (Beth)12:00 AM

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Skin and destruction.

So, two different women at the same place gave me facials. The second one disputed the advice the first one gave me. They also sold me rival products.

One of the products makes my skin clear of blemishes, smooth... and red, and wrinkled.

The other removes the wrinkles and redness, but doesn't make my skin smooth or clear.

I considered mixing both of these alarmingly powerful, expensive products, but I've been led to believe that, if I do that, I will not only upset my skin, but will also create anti-matter and destroy the universe, all over my own vanity.

There's got to be an easier way to appease my vanity, which does not put the universe at risk. I just haven't found it yet.


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Wednesday, July 23, 2008



M: [observing fast food packaging on J's desk] Fried food?

J: I was hungry. Actually, I wasn't hungry, but I need to eat to survive.


posted by Arlene (Beth)9:30 PM

Saturday, June 28, 2008



[growling sound]

Him: Was that my stomach?

Me: Yes.

[growling sound]

Me: That was my stomach.

[sound of a circular saw outside]

Me: That was a saw.

Him: Whose stomach is that in?


Him: The sounds the saw is making are no scarier than the sounds our stomachs are making.


posted by Arlene (Beth)11:49 AM

Sunday, May 18, 2008


My mind wanders.

I had gushed back in February about Sophie Calle's book Prenez soin de vois ("Take Care of Yourself") , which is the documentation of her massive project at the Venice Biennale.

I failed to mention that the DVDs that accompany the book are also delightful. There are several different authors, but the films I enjoy most are Calle's. Calle has a still photographer's sense of composition for most of the films: the camera does not move from one lovely, letterbox-proportioned location, but interesting things occur in the frame. The films are really quite engaging: several made me laugh out loud.

There was something about seeing and hearing the interpretations of the break-up letter that inspired a brief fit of silliness on my part, and so I started to write parody break-up letters from difficult relationship situations. Thankfully, I stopped, but I thought I'd share a couple here. Just because.
Dear X,

Our relationship has been completely unique, and I will remember it always, but you know as well as I do that it must end now. I am unwilling to follow your circus to the next town, and I cannot get over the feeling that, when you ask me to put on clown makeup and hang on the trapeze that way, you are really pretending that I am your ex wife. I am so sorry it has to end, though my chiropractor assures me that it is for the best.

Dear X,

We have had a lovely eight month theatrical run together, and so it is with great regret that I tell you that we cannot go on this way. As the actors playing the romantic leads in the play, I was tickled that you wanted to remain in character in our private romance. But over time, your insistence that you refer to me only by my character's name and remain in character, even with my family or otherwise out in the world, has become too much. I don't think it really helps our art to only buy the groceries that our characters would choose, or eat foods that were common in Greece at the time the work was written.

In my own words: it is over. I know my character says the same thing... But since she is illiterate in the play, and I am writing this out to you and sending it by e-mail, I am confident you will see the difference.
Yes, I am frivolous. You knew that. Everything is a writing exercise some days.


posted by Arlene (Beth)9:23 PM

Monday, April 21, 2008

  Signs of life. I'm here: I am alive, and will try to provide some evidence of this in the near future. Life is always complicated and full of compromises, but there are times when it takes much more of my energy to manage my expectations than I expect. This is one of those times.

Recent highlights:
-learning that my mother has finally worked through the red tape with her doctors and insurers, and will actually be seen by a doctor about her tumor and plans to remove it within the next month
-successfully managing my anxiety about using incorrect metadata templates for my recent portolio updates (I'll get to them eventually: it's really NOT the end of the world)
-iPhone photo fanatacism
-getting some images for review out to a gallery owner, rather than endlessly fretting over what to show
-a lovely weekend outdoors with Steven, which included shooting images specifically for my next cyanotype printing session (last weekend)
-a lovely dinner with a best friend from first grade(!), who has grown up to be a gorgeous, awesome person
-a full weekend trip up to Hidden Valley Lake in Lake County, where Steven was sincerely surprised that his brother secretly visited to celebrate his 40th birthday (meaning that my role in the conspiracy was successful)(this weekend)
-persuading some of my brothers-in-law that my plan to have socialized medicine in the US in ten years really rocks in the best possible way
-napping on a couch with Steven, with a soft, long-haired, purring cat with her back against me, pressing her little face under my chin and exhaling contagious contentment onto both of us
-resting in my own bed again
-being frivolous in Facebook (even though my real mission is to use it to share useful content, despite itself)
-feeling my allergies getting under control again upon my return to my beloved City.

I am writing all sorts of notes to post here, but haven't had the time to edit them. I'm trying to just hold onto them and post them as they are ready instead of saving them as drafts and then 'backposting' them later (with the usual, 10:00 p.m. time stamp, which signifies catch-up posting, to those of you in the know). We'll see how far I get...

I should go get some sleep, now that it is morning. You should, too. Good night!


posted by Arlene (Beth)12:24 AM

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

  If you're having trouble RSVPing for my art show, it's because I gave you the wrong address. it's really RSVP WSF Events and then at and then WHotels dot com. I had dropped the SF part. I don't know how. I suspect lack of sleep.


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:32 PM

Friday, March 07, 2008



A: You suck!
B: That's not very nice.
A: I meant that in a very nice way.


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Thursday, February 14, 2008

  Aside: notes from February 14th.

The Bart station agent at MacArthur used the public address system to wish us all a happy Valentine's Day, and to say she loves us all. I laughed out loud. It is the same voice that scolds cyclists with zeal for riding the escalator with bikes, so the happy tone was a pleasant (and someone exotic) surprise. (I almost picked up the white courtesy phone to let her know that we love her too, but then I remember being told all of those phones go to central, rather than the local booth, so I would merely be redirecting love to where it was not expected. I restrained myself.)


I'm missing the big pillow fight at Justin Herman Plaza today. This is another peril of working in Emeryville, where there aren't enough people to have a worthwhile flash mob event. (Except, perhaps, at the Public Market, but hungry people don't take frivolous direction well.)


Last night I passed the new student health center on Ocean Avenue at City College, a posh new looking, modern building. There was a class visible in every window last night. It resembled a modern doll house, especially with the students in martial arts outfits in one room... Like several miniature costume dramas playing out. If I were a video artist, one continuous film of the building with its rooms lit would make a pleasant art piece. I'm not sure what I'd use as a musical score, however.


Plum blossoms barely have a head start over the plum leaves this week in the Ingleside. With the leaves win, or will blossoms continue to dominate? Stay tuned!


posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Archive fix.

The Things Consumed Archive, which Blogger no longer posts new links to, has now been manually updated. You may now easily review any month of my 2007 rambling you wish with very little effort.

I hope you do: so long as my NaNoWriMo ranting in November is still up, you'll get a very unbalanced image of what I'm usually like. I'm NOT a novelist 11 months out of the year! And I write about things other than my word count! I swear!


posted by Arlene (Beth)5:52 AM

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