Saturday, November 17, 2001"Warning! This will erase all media on non-removable drive c: Are you sure you want to proceed? (y/n)?"
Why is there no option for "HELL, YEAH!"?
I have a filthy, dirty, little habit I'd like to share with you all...
I LOVE to format my hard drive on a regular basis. In fact, I just did it yesterday.
No, that's not a euphemism for masturbation or anything, I mean the act of actually erasing everything on my hard drive. Every single file, every useless registry entry, every little turd that every installed, rejected and subsequently uninstalled program has ever left behind. Nothing makes me feel sexier than a fresh, clean install.
I don't know what it is, but I simply can't resist doing it. And I've got to say, I've got it down to a fucking science these days. When I first got my c.d. burner last summer, formatting my hard drive was the very second thing I did. (the first thing of course was to make the definitive "Taiwan_On Summer of 2000" album. Track listing included at the end of this post.) Of course that first time around, mistakes were made. Most notably, forgetting to back up my bookmark & address book file. Noooooooooooo! Naturally, it was an utter bitch waiting for certain friends to drop me a friggin' line before I could e-mail them again, but fortunately most of my bookmarks were already uploaded to the Asylum, so save for a few I had to hunt down all over again, all was not lost. When all was said and done, I felt liberated, renewed. My 'puter ran faster and leaner than before, and getting orphan entries out of the registry was easier. (provided of course I did it every time I decided a program sucked, which I did for about a month or so after the formatting before the honeymoon was over & I got lazy again.)
But the worst bungle of all time came with that maiden voyage when I gleefully wiped the whole fucker out, reached for my driver disk, (y'know; the one that makes the display, sound card and *integrated* modem actually WORK.) and found the CD cracked in half!! AAAAARRRRRRRGH! Mind you, I was supposed to update a very time-sensitive website for work that night! I'll paraphrase the finest comedic highlight from that frantic call I made to my computer's manufacturer for a replacement disk:
after explaining the situation...
Tech Support: I can just go ahead and mail you out a new disk, you should be getting it in 5 to 7 days.
Me: 5 to 7 days?!...Oh my GOD! So, uh...[nervous-breakdown style giggle] do you think you can overnight-air it, or maybe put it in a teleport device so that I have it in like, an hour or so?
Tech Support: [confused silence] Uh, no. We ground-ship only by U.S. Mail. It takes about 5 to 7 days. Maybe 2 weeks, tops.
Me: [in reverent, hushed tones] Two weeks? [thinking: I'm fucked, fucked, fucked, FUCKED!]
Tech Support: If you need it now, you can go online and download the drivers from our website.
Me: Yeah? [full-on psychotic laughter] That's funny.
...because of course, I had no modem. Well, I mean, I physically had a modem, but for the moment it was just an abstract concept. It was just a thing that was clogging up one of my PCI slots. Utterly useless without a driver. It only worked to the point that my phone was plugged into it, and if the phone rang I could pick it up and say; "Hello? I'm FUCKED!" but that was the extent of its capabilities. (Which, by the way, is very useful if you are plagued by telemarketers. Unfortunately for me though, it was mostly my friends answering; "So what else is new?")
Anyway, after much deliberation, I came up with a painful solution. I went into the attic and sought out my old 486. The one with the 14.4 modem, the 100mhz CPU and 8 megs of RAM. Yeah, you know the one. Funny thing was, because my ISP at the time used to be so stable and reliable, I still had my dialer software with my username & password in it, so *boom* after much struggle I was able to download the damn drivers and get them into my less obsolete though no more beloved computer. You gotta' understand that poor old bastard used to be my baby, and as sad as it was to watch it huff and puff and make such a hurculean effort for me, it made me very nostalgic to see it again. It was still wearing my Aeon Flux wallpaper and everything. I still loved it, even though the whole time I was shrieking "C'mon you drag-ass bitch!" at it. You always hurt the ones you love. At least, I do.
But I digress, the moral of this story is "look before you leap". That was a meaningless adage to me before that day, and now I have no less than 30 copies of that driver disk stored (in respectable jewel cases, of course) in various locations. You think I'm kidding?
Anyway, now whenever I get that "not so fresh" feeling from my computer, I just reformat it. I'm sure there's got to be an easier way, but if there is, I don't wanna know about it. Sure it's a hassle re-installing every program I use regularly again, and getting all and sundry settings back to "normal" in them, but once I got smart and put the majority of them on a single disk, it just got faster and easier to do every time. I'm like an Indy 500 pit crew now. Also, I've noticed that each reformatting brings me closer and closer to a minimalist install, which is also nice. Very zen. And strangely enough, when I'm done and I've got the sonofabitch all lean and mean and freshly configured, it inspires me to go on a reality based cleaning binge. Y'know; scrubbing the tile in my bathroom, cleaning all the dust and shit out of my bedroom, re-organizing and databasing the new entries in my video/DVD collection, laundering all my linens at once so that at the end of the day, I feel like I have a new life. It's a nice feeling.
Yep, here comes the realization... I am one sad, sad bitch. No doubt about it. But tidy. Very tidy.
In any case, I just thought I'd share that little compulsion with y'all. And now, on to the audio portion of our program.
"Taiwan_On's Summer of 2000 Compilation"
1.) P.F. Project (featuring Ewan McGregor) "Choose Life" (uncut version)
2.) Iggy Pop "Lust for Life"
3.) Cibo Matto "Sci-Fi Wasabi"
4.) Duran Duran "The Chauffeur" (cool song, but it throws off the whole flow!)
5.) Curve "Chinese Burn"
6.) Air "Sexy Boy"
7.) Leonard Cohen "Everybody Knows"
8.) The Dandy Warhols "Every Day Should be a Holiday"
9.) Gary Glitter "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" (Joan Jett's version is much cooler, I know)
10.) Madness "House of Fun"
11.) The Sugar Cubes "Hit"
12.) Tricky "Christian Sands"
13.) Massive Attack "Angel"
14.) The Sneaker Pimps "Spin Spin Sugar" (Moby remix)
15.) Tom Tom Club "Genius of Love" (extended remix)
posted by taiwan_on 'round 4:04 AM#
Wednesday, November 14, 2001"Porn, Pony-Play, And All The Things That Plague Me At This Ungodly Hour"
why I just can't sport my metaphorical wood tonight
I love humans. I'm so glad someone had the foresight to put them in my world exclusively for my entertainment.
I was watching "Real Sex" the other night, because, frankly, it's the only thing on cable with nudity and sexual content worth watching. (more on that later.) Anyway, one of the features was about "Pony Play". It was about a faction of people, no shit, who like to dress up in saddles, bridles and harnesses, and crawl around on all fours making horsey noises while their partners ride around on their backs. I guess it's some goofy offshoot of bondage, and although all of the goons in the segment explained it ad nauseum, I still don't get it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's bad and wrong and people shouldn't do it. As far as I'm concerned, whatever blows your skirt up; go nuts, have fun, enjoy. But I just don't get the attraction. I'm more or less of the opinion that when sex becomes silly and laughable, it ceases to be sexy. Now, I'm not talking about a little good-natured punchyness, like when you're both pounding away, covered in sweat, all intense and serious, making that searing eye contact, and then you both suddenly press yourselves together you get that little fart noise from the compression of your sweaty cleavage. That's a scream. Hell, I've gotten completely sidetracked trying to recreate it after it's happened once by squishing my perspiring b-cups repeatedly against a guy's chest and giggling like a giddy schoolgirl. Because that, as well as a host of other sexually related mishaps, can really go a long way toward lightening the mood and creating a fun sort of intimacy. But when someone's decked out in their "My Little Pony" black bondage playset, bucking and whinnying while someone tries to brush their tits with a boar bristle brush, well, you're not sexy, you're a goofball. And I don't even care how good you look doing it.
I suppose I like the aesthetics of bondage. Things like leather cuffs and collars, big black boots and black gloves, just look damn good on anybody. Depending on who's wearing them, they can make a person look malleable and submissive, or powerful and imposing. These accessories suggest sex universally. Ever seen a long, thin, white throat decorated in a choice, black leather d-ring collar? It's a rather fetching sight, not so much for its implications, but simply for its visual appeal; the contrast of fragility and delicacy against something that's tough and indestructable looking. But when you get into all of that slap-ass, tie me up, tie me down, "call me master" bantering and Tom Foolery, the whole thing sort of loses its appeal. At least for me. So, multiply that by about 500 and then have these kooks crawling around on all fours nuzzling each other and making Trigger sounds and then maybe you have some idea while I was rolling around on my bed last night, not in ecstacy, but in hysterics.
One very earnest and not altogether terrible looking guy (read: not a dumpy fat-ass and not hairy, like most B & D guys seem to be.) endorsed the festivities with the following quote; "Even when I don't have my gear on, I can still be in pony space." ROTFLMAO "Pony Space"! BWAHAHAHAHA! I think laughed so hard I harfed Pete's Wicked out my nose when he said that one. It was like the payoff for all my bafflement. Anyway, enough bagging on these poor saps, it's not like they're sickies like the golden/brown shower types and the "beastie" creeps. After all it's a pretty harmless (if seemingly wacky) fetish, so I guess I should just lay off and just be raucously amused.
And in other adult news, why does softcore porno annoy me so? Is it the implant surgery scars? Is it the cast seemingly picked at random by blind people with really low standards? Is it the dialogue apparently written by crack addicted spider monkeys with severe head trauma on roofies? Is it the cheap, shot-on-video, poorly-lit look of it? Is it that all of the simulated sex looks so... well... badly simulated? Is it the "dudes" with mullets? Is it the fact that despite all of the faux moaning and feigned ecstacy, that on the off-chance you do get to see a flash of "ween", that said "dudes" can't even muster up a "semi"? What the hell is the world of cheesy skin flicks coming to, goddamnit? C'mon people, how 'bout a little friggin' effort here!? For art's sake, at least.
If you're not going to show me actual penetration, then for chrissake, spend a few bucks on diffused lighting that takes the "oomph" out of scars, bruises, trackmarks and god-knows-what-else. Write a script with some witty verbal foreplay and have at least decent-looking, reasonably intelligent, interesting people act it. Try to pull together a wardrobe that doesn't look like you stole it out of some $5 Cuban ho's locker at the bus station. And for fuck's sake you speedo-wearing apes, stop going to Supercuts for the $8 special, pick up a copy of Details magazine or something, and try to imitate one of those hairstyles! ARGH! (BTW: the bleach-blonde hair and black mustache thing is also not working for you. This goes for the "ladies" as well.) Oh yeah, and two words for you fat, greasy, pimp-ass-wannabe softcore producers: Fucking Film Stock! (yes, I realize that's 3 words.) Actual film stock goes a long way toward making a piece of shit look almost good. Fool me, damn you! That's what film making & porno is all about, isn't it? Artfully faking a sex act with the intention of arousing the viewer? Well, I'm not aroused, here. I'm staring at my TV with my eyebrows furrowed and my mouth twisted into a vaguely disgusted sneer for all of 3 minutes before I get aggravated and turn the channel, most likely getting sucked into something with a *GASP* plot on Sundance. (I know, I say that like it's a bad thing.)
Speaking of which, I gotta' go. "Dog Day Afternoon" is on and, for my money, it's one of Pachino's best flicks. C'mon, everybody, say it with me; "ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!" So, until the days of total softcore reform roll around, everybody enjoy a ballsy, five-star flick with a bunch of real actors in it, and leave the wanking to your imagination. It's always much better that way.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 5:37 AM#
Monday, November 12, 2001"Am I The Only One I Want?"
can you feel the ambivalence?
So, I'm watching the movie "Captives" tonight (one of my favorite films), and it's doing a pretty good job of ramming the point home. Relationships are a bitch, but, ultimately, you can't be a complete, fully functioning human being without them.
If you've never seen this movie, it goes a little something like this; a sane, rational woman named Rachel (played by Julia Ormond), a dentist no less, who shares a practice with her husband, finds out said husband is screwing around on her. Husband, once caught, decides to move out of their idyllic home and they put it up for sale. In the interim, while waiting for the finalization of the divorce and the sale of the house, Rachel gets a job working as a prison dentist while also working as a teacher at a hospital. Naturally, her current circumstances and her new job have her a bit unbalanced to say the least, but she retains a dignified, professional poise nonetheless. Enter Philip Chaney (Tim Roth. Hubba-friggin-hubba.), a prisoner with Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (chronic teeth-grinding and a jaw misalignment), and, well, that fabulous goddamn Mr. Orange swagger. He needs a lot of work before he grinds his molars down to bloody stumps, and who can blame him? After all, TMJ is intensified by stress and few things are more stressful than worrying about getting a beat-down or anally raped in the shower.
Anyway, as it turns out, Philip is not your typical drooling, maniacal con. He's amassed so many points for good behavior that he's allowed to roam freely on certain nights when the prison bus drives the other low-risk prisoners into London. There he picks up the occasional can of lager at the supermarket and takes night classes in computers. (yet all the while retaining this cool, badass image.) Throughout his extensive dental work, he and Rachel strike up an uneasy sort of friendship, and, despite her better judgement, she finds him rather charming. What follows is easily one of the most exciting, erotically charged, and passionate courtships I've ever seen committed to film.
Oh, and just to complicate matters further, not only is this extremely professional woman committing one of the most insane, unethical sins of her career, but some of the other prisoners have gotten a whiff of the chemistry between them and are using Philip's feelings as a bargaining chip to get Rachel to smuggle a gun into the prison. Philip knows that if he doesn't convince her to do it, they have sleazy friends on the outside who will hunt her down and basically fuck her up every which way. She knows that if she doesn't do it, they will most likely murder Philip. But what happens if she does smuggle the gun in? Who is it intended for, anyway? It's a lose-lose situation. On top of that, Rachel has gone to the local library despite Philip's wishes, perused the archives, and found out exactly what Philip has done to be put in jail. (and no, I'm not going to tell you anything more about the plot.)
What I love about the movie is that it's the closest thing I've ever seen depicted to what it really feels like to fall in love with what, by all appearances, is just the WRONG guy. Or, maybe it's the right guy, but it's under all the wrong circumstances. I mean, she's already wounded and vulnerable, how can she possibly trust her judgement? Especially when she finds herself attracted to a man in prison. Add that to the dilemma of trying to understand, let alone deal with what he's done while facing the urgings of her best friend to get the hell away from him. But she can't. She's in love with him, and what's worse is now they have to somehow protect each other from the prospect of serious physical peril.
I have a hard time with romantic films in general. Be it romantic drama or romantic comedy, they're always either so painfully contrived or just so patently ridiculous that I can't relate to them. Bullshit-on-a-stick, y'know? I've never watched one, leaned over to my significant other and said; "Oh honey look! It's just like us!" (and if I do, I hope my significant other has enough respect for me to drive that bullshit-on-a-stick right through my heart and put me out of my insipid misery.) However, I do find myself watching "Captives", or more specifically, Julia Ormond in "Captives" and thinking; "Yeah, that's just like me."
She's freshly fucked-over, smart enough to be aware of the fact that she's probably not at the top of her game emotionally, and faced with a compelling new love interest under a set circumstances no one would want to be in. Of course, I'm speaking in a metaphorical sense to some extent here. But let me put it this way; if I had a quarter for every time I've found myself in a similar situation, even if only on an emotional level, my troubles would be over and I'd have a fawning yet independent, gorgeous, lean, naked love slave with a ready 8 inches and a razor sharp wit typing this for me right now. But, as it stands, I'm single, have been since April, and I have no immediate desire to alter my circumstances at the moment.
I like to flatter myself into thinking that this is because I am so self-actualized that I finally have gained enough independence to not always have to be on the lookout for Mr. Goodbar. I spent several years not only putting up with, but downright poeticizing a lot of shitty behavior. You know; he may act like an asshole when he's drinking with his friends, but when we're alone he's 100% the "real thing". Or, all of that condescending talk is a defense mechanism because his mom was never there for him so he doesn't trust women. Or, he had a drug problem that would have killed most people, but he came out the other side. 3 years clean now. How can I fault him if he slipped off the wagon just this once and scared me shitless by vanishing for 72 hours on a bender? Nobody's perfect. Or, sure he treats me like I'm insignificant in the face of his "muse", but he's a fucking genius, how can I be so selfish as to stand in the way of artistic destiny? Did Picasso let chick hassles deter him form his blue period? Or, he's busy, he works all the time, he can't be there to hold my hand just because I had a bad day. He doesn't have to stop for 5 minutes on his way to work just to hug me and tell me it's alright, I'm not a baby after all. I can handle it.
I can handle it. Those were my famous last words. When my friends looked at me with sympathetic embarrassment and pity while my drunken boyfriend proceeded to loudly extoll my sexual virtues, in OVERWHELMING detail, at a party one night, I shrugged indulgently (blushing head to toe in humilliation, I'm sure) and said "I can handle it." When I called one of my best friends after a truly horrible day and slipped and said "I just really wanted him to at least act like he gave a fuck", I quickly caught myself and said; "but I can handle it". When I related something cruel and awful someone who supposedly loved me said, and the person I was telling actually gasped, I said "It's okay. I can handle it." No matter how many times they told me to get out, or that I was being a fool, or to just not call him, I always smiled and said "I can handle it." I really thought that because I was fully aware, every time, that this was not the right person and not the right situation, because I went into these doomed relationships with my eyes wide open, but stupidly quick to forgive every little (and sometimes HUGE) indescretion, that I could handle it. I suppose on some level I did. Handle it, that is, because I'm still here to talk about it objectively enough and I'm not so quick to launch into those self-destructive dalliances. Nope, I like to eeeaaaase into them slowly, now. (heh)
But seriously, I once believed in love, or at least experience, at all costs. I suppose that was just a little disclaimer letting you know that these guys were not always the only ones to blame. Like I said; I may have done a lot of idiotic things, but I wasn't a complete idiot. Doing something stupid when you know you're doing something stupid is one thing, but doing something stupid having no idea what you're doing is stupid is unforgiveable. Especially when you do it time and time again. I knew full well what I was doing and clearly had my own designs. I wanted passion and chaos and excitement and a bad, heartbreaking ending. And I knew just the guys who could furnish that with a skill that consistently amazed me. But I suppose I also have to admit that every once in awhile I wished they'd surprise me. Pleasantly, I mean. (I think it's time I started specifying that one.)
*SIGH* Okay, get this. When I started writing all of the above last night it seemed very important. Then it started getting really late, my eyeballs were beginning to feel like they were covered in a shag rug, and my head was beginning to swim. Hard as it was for me to shut the hell up and go to bed, I hit save, closed out, and dropped as soon as my head hit the pillow. Now here I am, staring at all of this and wondering where I was going with it and how do I make it stop?
The bottom line to all of this was that I was going to wrap it all up by saying; now here I am, older, wiser and less inclined to take shit in order to get my daily dose of drama. I've noticed that my desire for a more reasonable life has ruled out a lot of people I might have otherwise have been attracted to. Also, I've noticed that my desire for a relationship cannot even begin to compete with my ability to keep myself entertained, and I've been wondering lately if that isn't a bad thing.
Once upon a time there was no greater diversion, in my opinion, than a hot date. Barring that, if I was single, there was no greater sport than getting decked out, assembling my excessively hot posse of gal friends (and man, are they all ever a bunch of lookers!), and going out on the town with the intention of promptly getting "un-single". And believe me, we were infallable. (No, you assholes, I'm not talking one-nighters here. We aren't pigs, fer chrissake!) I'm talking retiring back to girl headquarters with a healthy, but not obscene, amount of phone numbers to choose from, with one lucky winner being the next "legitimate" boyfriend.
But somewhere along the line I discovered how enjoyable a quiet night at home could be with a good book, or a movie, or an activity of some kind, and soon amusing myself just became, well, so damn amusing. I was having fun and my mind was engaged and I was getting a lot of things accomplished, things I could be proud of. And it's also so much more comfortable to be wrapped in cozy sweats, not worrying about whether my hair/makeup/clothing was holding up while staggering around in impossible shoes and jockeying to get into some goddamn nightclub before the cover went up absurdly high. There once was a time when a quiet night at home meant a nagging feeling like I was "missing something", but I get that feeling so rarely nowadays that I wonder where it went. There once was a time when I felt incomplete without a man, but here I am now, single, and so fucking fulfilled I'm starting to worry a bit.
It's the strangest thing, but I'm never, ever bored. Every day is Carnival in Rio on an 85 degree night in my head. I can just sit here, shut off the computer, the radio, or the TV, or put down the book, and just think and smile to myself for hours. I have so many ongoing projects and ideas in the works that sometimes when I get home from work (work being the only time I consider "wasted" in my day) I don't know where to start.
I have so much going on, that I really don't want a boyfriend. A sound shagging, to be sure, a sturdy pair of arms in those rare moments of fear or sorrow, but not a boyfriend. The last time I did have a boyfriend, I spent so much time missing my free time that I wasn't really there sometimes. He ended up leaving and I ended up feeling like a bitch. But I must admit, getting back to all the little half-finished projects that had amassed dust during our 8 month courtship was downright thrilling for me. Have I finally become almost completely self-sufficient, or have I just "gone internal"?
No doubt about it, I miss that miserable ache of falling in love. That sick feeling like every moment without that special someone is time lost and wasted. That fear and dread you feel when four A.M. rolls around and you suddenly worry that you're alone in it; that maybe you love him more than he loves you. That stupid relief when he says or does something that lets you know that he was feeling the same pointless terror. I miss the joy of sharing something you love with someone, and seeing your own pleasure mirrored back from their eyes. Sure, I miss it. But I don't want to give up my peaceful and fascinating inner landscape for anything less than the "Real Thing".
I used to have a pin that said; "I'm looking for the right man, but I'm having a great time with the wrong ones!". Well, the wrong ones simply aren't enough fun anymore. So with that said, maybe I'm doing the right thing after all. Every so often, when I see a movie like "Captives", it makes me sorry that I'm not reckless enough to go looking for trouble again. But fortunately I trust that someday soon, maybe even before I'm ready (because life is like that), trouble will find me. When it does, this time I'll have rested up my strength to meet it head-on. And who knows, maybe for once it will have a surprise ending. A good one, I mean. I think it's time I specified that.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 4:48 AM#
Monday, November 05, 2001"Is Inactivity An Activity?"
and other conundrums that have plagued me this year on my birthday
Here I am, wallowing in the birthday afterglow. Well, technicaly my b-day's the 5th, but 'cuz I had the weekend off I got my gifts two days early so I can enjoy 'em! Woo Hoo! Fabulous prizes included:
A 2nd room satellite hook up so I can now watch satellite in bed! RAAAHR! My multimedia escape pod is finally complete! Now nothing can stop my sinister campaign of TOTAL SOCIAL WITHDRAWL! Mwhahahaha!
A funky, cool-ass "chakra necklace" to keep that Chi flowing free.
Dark blue lined tab curtains to finally cover my ugly ass Levelors. (the really evil kind studded with tiny, sinister little pinholes that let in too much cruel daylight. *HISSSSS*) Phone the neighbors and tell 'em those free late-night strip shows are over baby! Over! Not to mention the fact that ANYTIME now looks like 1 A.M. Ahhhh, refreshing!
Groovy spa slippers with varying rubber nubs on the insoles that feel almost pornographically good rubbing on wet feet after a nice, hot shower. Mmmmm.
From my aunt a fly new purse (I think 'cuz my old one was so beat-up she felt sorry for me)
A new set of tee shirt sheets, also from my aunt, covered in red, white and blue stars. (She bought them in July, but rather uncanny, no? Now I can show my support for America by doing the thing I do best; sleeping.) Oh, and if you don't own a pair of "tee shirt sheets", there's something wrong with you. They're so comfy it makes everything else feel like sleeping on a hair shirt. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter, the ultimate sheets to sleep naked in, I promise you.
The world's most comfortable pair of all cotton pajamas EVER; long sleeved navy tee, navy & baby blue plaid draw-string pants and navy socks. All so soft and yummy I wanted to roll around in bed all day today. (But the motivation to install my 2nd room hook up eventually made me too giddy to sleep!)
A set of green tea bath stuff that was so sweet smellin' and relaxing that they conspired with the abovementioned pajamas to put me in a near coma.
And...hey...wait a minute... a midnight blue ceramic tea set with a celestial motif complete with a tin of my favorite brand of sleep tea. Does anyone else see a pattern developing here?
OH MY GOD!
My family is trying to relax me into a stupor! Either that or they've finally given up and begun encouraging my sloth-like laziness. Seriously though, I'm eligible for some kind of lifetime achievement award when it comes to maxin' and realxin'. The World Cup of lassitude. The Nobel Prize of languor. An Olympic Gold Medal in the "sleep late, sit around and do jack shit" triathalon. Really, I've raised idleness to an artform, and it just fills me with pride. I'd like to thank everyone who made my dream a reality. Or, more specifically, made my reality a dream. Well, most of it, anyway. Still haven't figured out how to get a nice, six-figure paycheck out my obvious gift for indolence.
So, all in all it was a pretty spifty birthday haul and I'm looking forward to yet another year of relaxing in a style befitting my desire to be the mellowest chick in existence. In addition to all these goodies, there were several other things that made my weekend complete. First off "Robot Wars" was amazing today with their Championship Finals, although "Hypnodisk" made a relatively poor showing. That's a bitch because "Hypnodisk" was one of my favorite bots, seemingly capable of shredding the body off of any opponent and reducing it to a pummeled, non-functioning wreck. However, pitting it against a bunch of bots that rode no more than 2 inches off the arena floor and had shells made out of Kryptonite or something meant a bunch of long, boring shoving matches. On the flip side (pun most definitely intended) "Chaos 2" rocked my world, flipping even the heftiest opponents like puny omellettes. Really fun to watch and downright hysterical at times.
I'd also like to thank the Frito Lay company, for two reasons. One: Honey BBQ Fritos Flavor Twists. I've brushed my teeth three times already since eating them today, but my breath is still hawkin'. Nonetheless they are a tangy, sweet, spicy treat. Two: Six words...Cracker... Barrel... Sharp... Cheddar... Potato... Chips. I mean, need I say more? Finally, sharp cheddar and potato chips, together at last. It's like all of my birthday wish come true. I came across them while making a beer run. Unfortunately the package store down the road no longer carries my new favorite beer "Steel Reserve". Why they stopped carrying this brewery miracle will forever remain a mystery to me. It's a high gravity lager with an 8.5% alcohol ratio and it's so damn smooth it makes you feel like you're sipping it from an angel's lips. Should be a mandatory staple in any respectable packie, dammit. Anyway, I opted for the "Pete's Wicked Sampler 12 pack" instead, which has gone a long way toward easing the pain of Steel Reserve separation. In fact, I'm enjoying the fine "Helles Lager" right now as I write this. Unalloyed bliss. Crisp and smooth with no aftertaste at all. Ahhh.
Okay, this is starting to sound like a product endorsement, when my original intention was to convey my delight in the simple pleasures. Let's talk about movies instead. I watched "Charlie's Angels" tonight and before I do the predictable thing and start crapping all over it, I'd much rather talk about how much I inexplicably enjoyed it. I mean, can Crispin Glover get any hotter in that flick?! McFly, for chrissake! I can't believe I'm saying this! I mean, his big intro when the Angels chase him down and kick his ass in his slick, pinstriped suit while he's smoking a cigarette was cool enough, but when they find him again at the formula one racetrack wearing the tight driving suit, OH MY GOD! What the hell is wrong with me? When he sniffed Drew Barrymore's lock of ripped-out hair and groaned I almost licked my television! I mean, I have heard some downright wacky personal anecdotes about this guy from people who know him, so I should just know better. But still...there's something going on there....oh forget it, I'd better not analyse it too much. Anyway, also Cameron Diaz is just so adorable that I find myself sitting through all sorts of awful movies just to watch her, and "Charlie's Angels" was no exception.
Well, I better wrap it up. I'm down to the bottom of that Helles Lager and I'm just getting buzzed enough to want to ramble about all kinds of stupid shit. (I'm such a lightweight!) Time to crack open a "Strawberry Blonde" ale next and contemplate the finer viewing options available on satellite at this ungodly hour, like poorly acted softcore porn and the remaining ten and a half hours of Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet". Pretentious bastard. I think I'll go with "Sins of the Mind". It says "A woman survives head trauma only to be left with a new identity and a raging libido". Sounds like Oscar material to me. Catch you all later, and this Monday, November 5th, why not call in sick and sleep ridiculously late in honor of my birthday. After all, that's what I'd do. Oh, no wait, I do that all the time.
Oh, silly me, I almost forgot! This website occupied way too much of my attention today. Check out "Tick-Tock Toys" for lots of cool, retro pictures of candy, cereal, toy and bubble bath packaging from the 1950's on up. Guaranteed to induce "Funny Face Drink Mix" & "Otter Pop" flashbacks.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 4:59 AM#
Saturday, November 03, 2001Picking Scabs
A retrospective of how the events of Sept. 11th have fucked up my life
I miss my job desperately. I mean, I have a new one now, and I suppose it provides enough distraction for the moment, but I really, really miss my job. See, about 4 years ago, I was between jobs and I had just grudgingly informed my temp agency that I was interested in an assignment if they had one. The truth was, the *last* thing I wanted was another temp assignment, because to me, temping is the most soul-sucking, depressing, creativity-stifling, meaningless job anyone can subject themselves to, outside of waiting tables. (I did that too, quite badly, thank you very much.)
In a fit of desperation, I grabbed the help wanted section of the newspaper and began to tear through it while I was waiting for the call back. Now, I have never, ever found a job I was interested in in the help wanted section, and I'll never be sure which gods to thank for compelling me to look that time, but something rather miraculous happened. As I ran my ink-smeared finger down the columns in "general help", an ad no bigger than any of the others, in fact it was quite small, stood out as if highlighted. It read:
Small, independent cinema seeks manager/projectionist. No experience necessary. Will train.
My heart started racing and then, suddenly, the phone rang. I sat there and stared at it, knowing it was my "placement specialist" with some new menial task all lined up for me. When they call you back that fast, you know it's bad. Filing, data entry, answering phones, or whatever the hell other humilliating position they couldn't palm off on the college kids. I was, after all, a high school grad who had lapsed after taking that all-important year off that had turned into two, then three, until it gradually became clear that if I had ever had any college plans, they had faded when the need of a somewhat steady income became increasingly more important to me. My priorities have always been pretty fucked-up. At least, that's what I've been told. In any case, that kind of educational background basically assures that you will always get stuck with the worst assignments in any given temp agency, especially one in a city renowned for its universities.
One ring, then two, then three and I decided to let my machine get it. Sure enough there was my representative, sounding distinctly nonplussed, leaving a halting, slightly irritated message on my answering machine. You can mark "poor phone skills" down on her resume, as far as I'm concerned. On offer was receptionist at an office described as "super corporate", which only served to piss me off more, because I didn't own a single suit. Strictly skirts, blouses, sweaters and one blazer for my broke ass, often washed and worn 2 or 3 times in the same work week. It's not like they don't know what I'm getting paid or anything. Jesus. I mean, sure I could have scrimped and saved instead of buying computer stuff, electronics, books, CDs, DVDs and nights on the town, but when you find yourself essentially "working to work", your life is effectively worthless, in my opinion. But then, that could be my fucked-up priorities talking again. When she finally hung up in a huff after reminding me that an assignment this good wouldn't last (yeah, right), I reached for the phone and dialed the number for the cinema.
I spoke to a guy who turned out to be the owner for about 5 minutes. He sounded relaxed and happy and notably non-corporate. My kind of boss. We had just decided on an interview day when he mentioned the town the cinema was located in. I had never heard of it. "Oh." I said, a sinking feeling in my gut. "I'm wondering if the commute will be a problem." I explained that I didn't have a car, but I was a 10 minute walk from 2 stations on Boston's *extensive* subway system. He sounded dissappointed too, which pleasantly surprised me. I said I'd call the transit info line and get back to him. Turns out that it was only a bus ride from a subway station on the very same line that I lived near. The mysterious town I had never heard of was right outside Cambridge. About a 40 minute commute at most. I called the cinema back with a renewed enthusiasm and pinned down an interview for the next day.
I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say I fell in love with the place from the first second I walked in. I was instantly comfortable, like I had rolled into my living room or something. And as far as cinemas go, well, I didn't think a place like this even existed in America anymore. A little art-deco exterior with a big, honking auditorium inside that I later found out could seat 367. Only one screen. Fucking beautiful. I mean, don't get me wrong, you had to be a real romantic to see nothing but heaven everywhere you turned. The place was built in 1919 and hadn't seen much renovation since then, but it was positively holy with potential. Sure the seats were actually filled with straw, some of them belching their contents from jagged rips in the vinyl. Sure the faded tapestries on the theater walls coughed clouds of thousand year old dust motes when you patted them, but they were the original tapestries; all burgundy with gold swirls like a persian rug. Sure the threadbare & stained red carpeting had a funky, musty smell like ancient dust and grease and decades upon decades of popcorn, but it was the most alluring, poignant, mystical perfume I had ever smelled and I fell in love with that, too. I didn't even care if they paid me or not, I had to have this job because I had to hang around in this place. I had to. I was meant for this place.
I really don't remember much from the interview, and to be honest, I'm not sure I was really listening. I was too busy craning my neck, staring slack-jawed as the owner pointed out various quirks throughout the tour; the echo in the floorboards in front of the screen where the orchestra pit was covered over, the ancient little sign hanging on the office wall that warned "outside food and tonic not permitted in the theater" "Tonic", for chrissake! From back when Coca-Cola actually had coca extract in it to give you "pep" and soft drinks served a function! (no matter how unwittingly destructive that function once was) But the point when I really blacked-out and launched headlong into ecstacy was when we climbed a hair-raising wooden ladder into the projection booth. Two "Super-Simplex" projectors from the 1930's with actual arc lamps staring sentinel out into that huge auditorium, modified only in their sound system to deliver 6 channel Dolby stereo surround sound. No platter system, this wasn't some modern digital cinema, this was the real thing; reel-to-reel projection with changeovers, bench rewinds and everything. I didn't think anyone did that anymore, not in my wildest dreams. I'm pretty sure I actually giggled with delight. I knew I had to have this job or die and what was even more amazing was that I knew I was going to get it. Not because I was qualified or anything, because I wasn't. I knew absolutely nothing about managing a business and hadn't even been the AV geek in high school, so I had certainly never touched a projector, let alone a big, monster 35mm projector. But I knew in my heart that the job was mine, even though I stressed that I hoped he'd keep me in mind as he conducted his other interviews. I shook his hand and left, fighting the urge to run to the bus stop with my arms outstretched going "RRRAAAAAHHHHHHRRRR!" all the way.
Sure enough about 2 days later I got the call to start work. I couldn't even sleep that night because the owner and I had talked some more and he had planted some fantastical seeds in my imagination by mentioning that they were open to creative suggestions of all kinds. Dreams of hobknobbing with young, indie directors as they screened their first features there plaged me. I began finding recurring themes in some of my favorite films with ideas of putting together revival weeks; Peter Greenaway, Milos Forman and Stanley Kubrick festivals, the three greatest vampire films of all times, trying to think up something tasty to go with Blade Runner, getting ahold of some great cult, foreign and independent flicks to wow people with, visions of screen dreams dancing in my head! Anything was possible, and who knew who I might meet? Maybe it would be *my* first feature I'd be screening there someday. I woke the next day with a serious sleep deficit, but somehow impossibly refreshed.
I spent the next three days there training. Taking notes on everything, scrawling projector diagrams for myself and learning all I could about how stuff worked. Most of it terrified me; the obvious fragility of certain parts. How precision all the machinery was and how utterly you could destroy a print if you fucked it up even a little bit. The idiotic stage fright you get when you do a changeover; how your hand trembles on the motor switch and your leg jitters when you rest your toe on the on the zipper switch waiting for that first black cue in the upper right-hand corner of the film. (start the motor and open the douser on the lamp) Then the second cue. (step on the zipper and flip on the sound switch.) I felt the embarrassment of starting it all too soon and having the film on the 1st projector run out on you. Or changing over to the whole thing out of frame. But soon I felt the goofy pride of getting it all perfect; perfectly timed and perfectly in frame and so seamless that even though you're doing it even you don't see the break. Silly, I know, but soon that became one of my favorite things about all of it.
Well, the owner, being a trusting guy with way more faith in me than I had in myself, lobbed me the keys to the place after that 3 days and then took off out of state for a week. And so began the most harrowing week of my life. Everything that could go wrong did; running out of oil on one of the coldest days of the year so that the drafty cavern of a theater was even colder than outdoors, and going nuts trying to find an emergency delivery. Running out of popcorn kernels so that we went one night without any popcorn at all, which, by the way, is a certified disaster in any movie theater. Having one of the auditorium doors blow open in the middle of one windy night and finding a flock of concerned mothers with their kids milling around in the lobby when I got in for the matinee that day. What was worse was that they had called the cops thinking I was dead somewhere in the theater, so when I rolled up in a cab and saw all those cruisers and gawkers outside, it took a great act of self control not to flee the scene. Having an audience member go nuts and frighten the hell out of everyone and had to be led out by a chaperone. Turns out the guy was a patient at one of the nearby psychiatric hospitals and had passed on his meds that day. And the coup de gras, forgetting to close a pin on the feed reel of one of the projectors and then having the whole thing go crashing to the floor in the middle of a movie. I'm sure there were a bunch of other things that went wrong, but I can't recall them at the moment.
Over time things began to run much smoother for me and soon I had even more work to keep me busy. So much so in fact that I didn't have a spare second on any of my shifts. But I was happy. I had always thought that I was adverse to work in general, but I found that wasn't the case. My shitty employment record soon became a thing of the past. I was no longer clock-watching, work-dodging or calling in "sick" on a near constant basis. And I had no desire to quit, either, which was an entirely new experience for me. I tend to last about a year tops at any given job, but more than likely 6 months or so. I cared about what I did, I was good at it, and I was trusted to get it done without someone breathing down my neck and reminding me. I could even smoke in the projection booth, which was a godsend, especially in winter. The cinema began to feel like "my" cinema and after a few shaky, short-lived employees I had the pleasure of putting together a staff anyone would be proud of. Even on my nights off I worked for the cinema, designing and launching our first website, which was the backbone of our advertising, especially when it came to the events.
Ah, yes, the events. One of my greatest dreams came true in that theater. See, I have always loved the 1922 silent vampire movie "Nosferatu". I saw it in high school and my whole class unanimously agreed that the piano sountrack the new distributers added in sucked ass. It was absurd; I mean, here was Max Schreck, possibly the creepiest vampire that had ever graced the silver screen, prowling around to upright piano music that sounded better suited to a spaghetti western. We watched the whole thing with the sound turned down and decided it was much better for it. But, it always bothered me that a film that great didn't have the soundtrack it deserved. I got it into my head that it would be great to run it at the theater with a band to score it live. I pitched the idea to the owner, who went totally nuts, and before I knew it I was spending most of my free time getting it set up. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect band to score it, and despite the fact that we had absolutely no money to advertise it, and little time to get the word out, we somehow managed to get an impressive crowd in there for the first year. By the time the second year rolled around, people were demanding it and we had tripled the box office sales. We did it again this year, but by then I was no longer working there.
Allow me to explain.
This may sound nuts to most people, but the events of September 11th fucked me up pretty badly. I walked around in a depressed, freaked-out daze for weeks. I was totally off my game at work, blowing changeovers, forgetting to turn shit off at the end of the night, snapping at my coworkers and feeling a distinct lack of motivation. It doesn't make any sense because, really, work was the only relief I felt during those times, losing myself in the routine of it and far away from the television's constant coverage. I felt safe at home, I felt safe at the cinema, but something else scared the hell out of me. Taking the subway. See, for as long as I can remember I've had four recurring themes in my nightmares; One was seeing planes crash into either the bay or the gastanks that were directly across from my old house. (Logan Airport was on the other bank, and you could see perfectly all of the planes taking off and landing from my kitchen window. Oh, Logan, what hast thou wrought?) The other was having to drive a speeding car under emergency circumstances. (i.e. driver has a heart attack, driver vanishes, or it's my only means of escaping a bad situation) Being unable to dial 911 in an emergency. (either my shaky hands kept dialing wrong or the phones didn't work, or, if I did get through, I'd be unable to talk.) And, worst of all being trapped in either the subway or the subway stations while something horrible happened. One of those dreams in particular I had about 4 years ago. Now, oddly enough, I tend to enjoy my nightmares because I find them exhillerating, and one way or another I always escape. But this dream, this was totally different. I can still remember it with the same pinpoint clarity I had when I woke with it, and frankly, it still scares the shit out of me.
I was wandering around South Station, one of the bigger stations on the Red Line because it's right in the Financial District and it houses the Amtrack line as well as the commuter rail. Something horrible, something catastrophic had happened, but I had no idea what. I only knew that there was blood everywhere, in puddles on the station floor, in streaky handprints on the walls, even smeared across the glass of the ticket booths. Everywhere. Every now and then I'd come across a body, completely intact and sometimes even thoughtfully covered by some passer-by's jacket, although I didn't come across a single passer-by yet. I walked shaking, sometimes slipping in gore and groaning to myself in fear, feeling that creeping dread like someone was right behind me all the time, even though there wasn't a soul to be seen. I made my way to the main platform because I knew there were phones up there and I wanted to call and see if my family was okay and if they knew what the hell was going on. I got to the payphones, but they were all off the hook and when I picked one up and listened, there was only some kind of emergency broadcast recording on it telling me to remain in my home, stick close to a radio, and prepare for an emergency. I hung it up and tried to get a dial tone, but it was just the same message looped over and over again, mindlessly. I gave up and started walking again. Somehow I was walking from one station to another, which is strange because as far as I know, there are only two stations on the Red Line that are connected by pedestrian tunnels. But I walked and walked and walked and everywhere it was the same thing; blood all over, scattered body parts, the occasional corpse. None of the trains were running and I had no idea how I was going to get home.
I decided to stop into a friend's house nearby and see if I could use his phone. There seemed to be no one on the street, either, which was weird because I was in one of the busiest parts of the city, but at least there was no blood. Just desolate, silent streets and a dreadful, sunny look of normalcy. I walked up the stairs to my friend's apartment and found his door slightly opened. I called him and heard him answer; "in here". I walked in and all the shades were pulled and it was drearily dark inside. I followed his voice and found him in his bedroom with a bunch of people I didn't recognize. They were all laying around, shooting heroin and smoking hash. (for the record, this friend wasn't the type to do either.) I asked him if I could use his phone and he told me that it didn't work, that none of the phones did. I asked him if he knew what was going on and he looked up, gave me a sleepy, sad smile and said; "It's all over. Everything. It's the end of all things." when I asked him how, he just shrugged lazily and dozed off. I felt frantic, and I think I started yelling at him about all the Eurotrash people in his place and how he was too fucked up to do anything or even care about what was going on. As I stormed out, I heard him mumble; "You can't do anything either. It's all over. It's the end, okay? It just is."
Somehow I ended up in the stations again, in that jump-cutty dream logic, and one particular, rather stupid detail still makes me cringe. See, they have television monitors placed overhead all over the stations, all synchronized and offering things like rider discounts, weather reports and news headlines. For some reason in the dream they monitors were all knocked out and they were all just static. Every once in awhile, there would be a flash of some image; a crazily shifting eye up close, a knife coming down, that scene from "the Shining" when the doors in the hotel open up and the halls are filled with tidal waves of blood, animals in slaughterhouse pens all piled together climbing over each other trying to escape their unavoidable deaths. In real life the monitors have no sound, but I could hear that constant roar of static turned up so loud that the noise careened off the tiled walls sharply and made me want to just cover my ears and scream.
All of a sudden there he was; an enormous monster of a man with a long, gray beard, a red and black lumberjack shirt with the sleeves rolled up, arms up to the elbows gloved with fresh blood, and the craziest, wildest, most insane look in his eyes. I mean, completely beyond any reason or humanity. I took a few steps back and he just smiled at me so I turned and bolted up the stairs as fast as I could. I heard him right behind me, running and panting, but not because he was winded, because he was excited. I kept almost losing my footing on the bloody floor and feeling like I couldn't gain enough distance between him and me. I kept screaming for help even though I knew there was nobody left to hear me. I came up to another flight of stairs, this one going down, and I knew the only chance I had was if I jumped the length of it rather than try to run down it. I also knew I didn't have enough time to gauge the distance of the jump, but I launched myself anyway and as I was in midair I remember thinking; "nope, too long, I'm going to hit the stairs", and actually "seeing" how my heels were going to strike the edge of the stair about 3/4 of the way down, and how I'd end up on my back, or hopefully, on my head so at least I'd be knocked unconscious. Well, in typical dream fashion, just before my bad landing I woke up with a start and found myself all the way under the covers. I stayed there for about 20 minutes all schitzed out and crying until my face was sweaty, too scared to move. I had to piss so bad that I thought I was going to explode, but I just stayed there because I couldn't even bear the thought of pulling my head out of the covers, let alone getting up. All I kept thinking was; "This means something bad. Something bad's about to happen. Really, really bad." I reached out from under the covers and picked my phone up from the floor and called a good friend of mine; the only one I knew who wouldn't kill me for waking him up at 3 in the morning to talk about a nightmare.
After about 20 minutes on the phone with him, I started to feel a little better. Well, good enough to ask him to hold on for a second while I went to the bathroom. He bore it all with the patience of a saint and didn't make me feel like a fool. He didn't treat it like a nightmare, but like something nasty I had gone through. It meant a lot to me, and I'll never forget it. I finally hung up with him and tried to get back to sleep. Naturally that didn't work. I went to work the next day with an incredible headache and nauseous with lack of sleep. About a week after, I went on vacation, and just for kicks I wandered into a tarot card reader to get my cards read. I wasn't doing it for any major insight or to have my future told to me, because the place was too random and I didn't expect anything. My reader sat down across from me at the table and stared at me for a second, and as she shuffled her deck, she said rather matter-of-factly; "You're troubled by a dream". I could almost hear the smile drop off my face and she had my undivided attention.
Now, before you go thinking I'm a sap or something I didn't lose my head in there. She told me to relax about it and that some things are unavoidable. I asked her if she thought it was a presentiment and she said; "Yes, but not the way you think." She explained that something bad was, in fact, going to happen, because sometimes destruction necessary to bring about a change. She told me that the change would be the only way to avoid a more personal destruction. I asked her if she knew what that was, exactly, but she said she didn't know, but that I would when the time came, and that much she was sure of. I left there, surprisingly, not with a feeling of dread, but deeply thoughful about what kind of destructive patterns were prevalent in my life. Well, there were a few, and thanks to a couple of big enough personal tragedies in my life since then, I think I have modified my behavior accordingly and avoided some worse ones. I figured it was over. Lesson learned.
Well, I haven't thought about that reading until literally today. Maybe I'm trying to justify this foolish feeling I get when I realize that I essentially left a job I adore because I feared something bad was going to happen one day on the subway on my way to work. Maybe you think I'm a fool, but there were more than a few days where the train stopped abruptly between stations and while waiting for an announcement over the PA that would tell us that there was merely a disabled train in front of us, I wondered if the city I loved was collapsing overhead. I wondered exactly *who* was driving the train, and if he had just set the timer on a load of plastique and was making his way safely out of the tunnels. I wondered if that really sick looking guy oozing snot and coughing without covering his mouth was spreading smallpox all over the other commuters. I wondered if sarin gas was something you smelled, felt and tasted before it killed you, or if you just never saw it coming. I looked around and saw one or two people looking as worried as I felt, and wondered if they were thinking the same thing. Soon the news was warning about the likelyhood of another attack, and I realized that Boston was a city famous for its universities, its medical facilities, its think tanks, its military planning, and if we thought we were immune to an attack, well, that's just stupid. I thought about the recurring themes in my dreams and wondered if somehow my whole life wasn't leading up to this. I also decided that if "they" didn't get me, then my florid imagination most likely would. I'm pretty convinced that if I really "let go" I could give myself a heart attack. It wasn't worth the anxiety attacks anymore, so I decided to get a job closer to home that would keep me off the subway. Of course I don't like it even a fraction as much as the job at the cinema. But ultimately, taking out the worry of riding in those overcrowded subway cars, through those dark, ancient tunnels, in and out of those underground stations that have been the setting of my nightmares for years, in a city that's just as susceptible to disaster as any other, has gone a long way toward helping me relax a little bit.
Don't get me wrong, everything has changed and I suspect will always be a shade or two darker than before, but at least now I don't think about dying in the dark, surrounded by frightened strangers, far away from everyone I love. I feel nearly normal again, as opposed to the dread that I faced every day with before. Maybe it's only that I've had time to heal a little bit, but I don't think so. I think that by changing a few things, I improved my odds a little bit. If all I get out of this is a stupid feeling like I over-reacted when ultimately nothing more tragic happens, then great. I'll consider that a huge gift and I'll be grateful, because really, I want nothing more than to be wrong.
Hmm. I think that's the first time I ever wanted to be wrong. I'll have to mark this one down in my personal history book.
In any case, I hope I've clarified things for all my friends who think I'm an idiot. (Although, really, I can't imagine anybody reading this far.) Maybe I only needed to clarify it to myself. Up until now, I really don't think even I knew why I made that descision. I only know that I made a choice because I was confused and sad and scared and it seemed like the only thing to do about it. But I still miss my old job. I really, really miss my old job. I hope to get back there some day, but in the meantime I'll keep slugging away at my new job because I feel safe for now, which is something I really didn't feel before.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 11:51 PM#
Friday, November 02, 2001Enter Penitent
(or "But All the Cool Kids Are Doing It!")
*sigh* Perhaps it's the fact that my birthday is looming on the horizon (4 more shopping days left, fuckers!), and I'm going to be //holding up middle finger// "this many". Maybe it's the fact that I'm a week into my latest dead-end job with no sign of dignity in sight. It could be because I already spend way too much time talking to myself anyway. But for whatever reason, I've hopped on the blogging bandwagon and now you're all going to be sorry. (well, not actually all of you, but some of you.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not demanding anyone read it, in fact, I'd be a hell of a lot more comfortable if no one did. But I am going to be honest about the whole (sometimes rancid, sometimes bursting with cheesy goodness) enchelada here, and that might feel like punishment to all involved. Especially me.
The fact of the matter is this: I'm embarrassed that I am so self-absorbed and pretentious that I think I have a right (or more specifically a reason) to keep a weblog. It was something I really wanted to do, but sort of snickered at other people for doing. In any case I've decided that a fitting penance for my sorry ass would be to only do it if I was going to be really honest and truthful. This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but for someone who has been scrawling their innermost thoughts in notebooks for years and then hoarding them like a dirty secret, it is. When I write for "public consumption" (including letters & e-mails to friends), which is rare, I tend to censor myself profusely. Why? Because I can be a boring, whiny, lazy, cruel, petty, selfish, misinformed, maladjusted, rude, neurotic, hyper-sensitive, perverted, self-conscious, self-obsessed, asshole punk bitch just like anybody else. But I wonder; "can I do it well?"
Frankly, whether or not you think so is irrelevant. (read paragraph two) I gave up on the whole "search for approval" thing when I was about 25 and realized that I couldn't get any kind of approval no matter what I did. I'd much rather feel smug and self satisfied, even if I'm doing it alone. I need to do this for myself, and frankly, doing it on my own turf will make it a lot easier for me. I got tired of watching my vitriolic but carefully-considered, heartfelt posts disappear from the boards of various forums in the name of political correctness. I got tired of deleting posts before I ever sent them for fear that their length was getting out of hand. (even though the whole time I was writing them I felt a tremendous weight being lifted off of my shoulders) Most of all I got tired of feeling like I was forcing someone to listen, even if I wasn't necessarily talking to them, and then feeling vaguely wronged if the people I was talking to, probably weren't. It's not easy to try and embrace people with one arm while you're shoving them away with the other, but nonetheless this seems to be what I do. And if you find my struggle for humanity entertaining, well then that's just gravy. I hope I can oblige.
So, there's my big, stumbling entrance, I guess. Here goes nothin'.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 2:32 AM#