Saturday, March 30, 2002Hmm...Could Be.
Doesn't sound like a lucky number, does it?
take free enneagram test
"Fives are basically on some level estranged from the rest of the world, consequently, their mind is usually their best friend. They like to analyze things and make sense of them (that is their anchor), this makes them great inventors and philosophers. The immense inner world of fives can cause them to lose touch or interest in reality."
For the record; I don't necessarily have to "make sense of things". Often making them even more senseless can be more entertaining within my "immense inner world".
posted by taiwan_on 'round 6:40 PM#
Friday, March 29, 2002"Don't Be Scared...I Won't Hurt You."
America takes drugs in psychic self-defense.
I am a lousy judge of character. It's a bitch to admit that, because I've always prided myself on being perceptive, as most delusional people do. I'm not always wrong. There are plenty of people I've met after the sly introduction; "You'll hate him! He's a real asshole." Turns out that the aforementioned asshole is, albeit rarely, not an asshole at all. Or, if they are, they either have a damn good reaon, or are simply the victim of the slanderer's asshole judgement, which is often based on them being the asshole.
Following me so far?
No matter what happens prior to meeting someone, I'm going to form my own opinion of them. I usually do this whilst maintaining that delicate balance between really listening to and seeing the person for who they are, and more importantly, keeping my own weird-ass baggage out of it. Let's face it; we've all been guilty of hating someone for no reason other than the fact that they reflect something in ourselves that we hate.
Well, quite recently, I failed miserably at this.
Before I go any further, I'd like to state that I did not, under any circumstances, hate the person who was a victim of my bad judgement. Quite the contrary. I did, however, treat them with a wildly off-the-mark mistrust. I'm going to stop pussy-footing around now and state everything as directly as possible so that this doesn't turn into an unnecessarily lengthy mess.
A woman started working at Drugco a couple of months ago, who, from the word "go", blew my doors off as the epitome of goddesshood. She's from Austrailia, gorgeous, fit, capable, funny as hell, quick-witted and strikingly brilliant. Even more amazingly she's tough, doesn't take any shit, doesn't give any, either, and is totally self-assured in that impossible way where there is absolutely no arrogance or conciet at all. She is married to an American who, while I know almost nothing about him, came off as one of the most genuine and unassuming characters I've ever known. (He briefly advised me on a few key points when I had mentioned to his wife that I was considering putting together my own computer, rather than buying a pre-made system.) From what I hear, he's one of those guys that's so freakishly thoughtful and considerate that I often wondered if he was a unicorn or other mythical creature until I met him.
Now, like me, you're probably thinking that this person is so irritatingly perfect that she has to be...well...irritating. Not true. She's right up there with my cool manager as one of my favorite folks at Drugco. Some of the shit she says and does is so irreverent and bawdy that there's just enough evil in there to be devilishly cool. Plus, she's led the kind of life that most of us only wish we had the balls to live. She could tell you some stories, my friend, beleive me. A rich, dark tapestry of action and adventure and absolutely no regrets. She's a fucking superhero. I'm negotiating action-figure rights right now.
Now, you're probably asking yourself; "Then what's not to love?". I'll tell you what; nothing. I loved working with her, looked forward to seeing her and shooting the shit with her, and was pissed that on the occasions where we could invite each other out; one or the other couldn't make it for some reason. She had to work the night "Screenwriter" came back to Studio Cinema, and I had prior plans on one of the nights "the girls" from work all went out to the pub. I figured we'd get to hang out eventually.
Well, now I'm fucked because I just found out today she's hopping a plane back to Austrailia at the end of next week.
I'm not going to get into the details, except to say that this is an unplanned return trip home for her. One that came out of the blue and fucked her up pretty good. No, it's not an immigration hassle, so just get that out of your cynical heads. The reasons were personal, and even though she doesn't now, nor probably will she ever know this site exists, I'm not going to post them. I have few enough virtues, but keeping a confidence is one of them.
Because of this recent blow, I have been forced to re-examine something I don't even like to admit exists...
My own blind stupidity.
Because even though I met one of the most likeable, interesting, remarkable human beings on the planet, I conducted myself around her with the same suspicion one would afford a dangerous criminal.
That's kinda' fucked up.
She is completely without guile or pretense, and for some reason, right off the bat, decided I could be trusted. She spoke to me with the kind of ease that usually makes me go a big rubbery one and spill my guts. She has told me, and only me, remarkably intimate, compelling details about herself, and on many occasions, I could have piped up and shared some of her trials and tribulations. But I didn't. Instead of saying; "Holy shit! That happened to me too!", and perhaps learning from each other, I kept silent, I threw up a wall. I listened contemplatively, offered a sort of general "simpatico", but shared no experiences of my own. Why?
Well, I've thought about this all day and of course, the first thought that came into my head was jealousy. I must have been jealous of her.
Jealousy. There's a word that makes me cringe. I consider that one, along with worry and regret, one of the great wastes of energy. I don't bother with any of them. I like to think I'm above jealousy, and on most occasions I'm comfortable enough that I can be, but I've fallen prey to it at the weirdest times. Current boyfriend's old girlfriend ends up back on the scene, someone comes into a lot of dough, someone reaches an achievement I'd like to reach. But then I think about it for awhile and say to myself; "Okay, I'm being ridiculous! I can go shoot a few games of pool with an ex without it turning into a major complication. So-and-so's a good person, they deserve the cash. So-and-so worked really hard to finish that project and I can do it too if I stop being such a lazy bag and get that serious." Or whatever. I get things in prespective before I get consumed with it. Besides, I've got a pretty sweet life, all things considered, so there's really not much that can bug me.
I contemplated that jealousy thing for awhile, but then I realized that jealousy wasn't it at all. This girl is so cool and so real that it's impossible to be jealous of her. Sure, I'd love to be that confident, but that's my own shit and totally fixable. Besides, jealousy would imply that I hold that self-assuredness against her, which I don't. I admire the hell out of her, and a few others for it. And she's too inherently good to inspire jealousy anyway.
Okay, so it's not jealousy, so what is it? And then it dawned on me...
Bingoid. As soon as the word popped into my head, I felt a weird sort of relief. I was afraid of her because, quite frankly, she is a damn powerful woman. If I start "sharing myself" with such a powerful human being, then that would only leave me in a position of vulnerability. Eeeek! Scary!
And that, of course, led me to the pure folly of realizing that half of why I considered her so powerful, was because she was utterly fearless in sharing herself with me.
Oh, the fucking irony.
Funny thing is, as much as I already knew about her, which I don't even kid myself into believing was anything more than the tip of the iceberg, I learned so much more about her just today, since she told me she was leaving. Half of that is because amidst all of that unexpected emotion, I forgot myself and started telling her some shit about me. Several times her eyes widened and she laughed saying; "Were we separated at birth or something?!"
So, there you go. I stunted a perfectly good opportunity to develop an incredible friendship out of simple fear. Isn't that absurd? Maybe it's only amazing to me because I'm usually so aware of my motivations, and this time I was just taken by surprise. I feel like I was asleep at the wheel.
Or maybe, given time, I'd have grown to trust her, not because she needed to earn it, but because I did. In any case, I don't have the luxury of that time anymore, and for that I'm sorry.
So, take care, y'all. Enjoy your impending weekend and be sure to expose your tender little underbelly to someone, if you can. Don't be scared; no one can do anything to do that you don't let them do. I think I finally get that now.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 12:53 AM#
Thursday, March 21, 2002"Donnie Darko"
Something happens and I'm head over heels...
I wanted to write about this yesterday, but my week has been plagued with visits to the vet (my dog is having major "ass problems", I know that's a decidedly vague term, but trust me, the less descriptive, the better in this case.), the tax dude and my barber. Yes, I am aware that I am a woman and I'm supposed to refer to her as my "hair stylist" or my "hair dresser", but that just sounds so froo-froo and... well, "ghey". Besides, my hair is so damn short I've earned the right to call her my barber. But I digress.
Somewhere between my visit to the tax dude after work on Tuesday and dragging my sleepy ass home, I stopped off to pick up "Donnie Darko" on DVD. I've been spreading myself too thin this week, and was really in no condition to watch this on Tuesday. I should have just showered and gone to bed. However, as I sat on my bed, fondling my freshly-released purchase, the chapter titles listed in the DVD insert beckoned;
1.) Carpathian Ridge
3.) The Tangent Universe
4.) Head Over Heals (saw this scene deconstructed on Sundance Channel's "Anatomy of a Scene" and it made me foam at the mouth. One long, flawless steady-cam shot that maintains through the entire length of the Tears for Fears song "Head Over Heels".)
12.) Liquid Spear Waltz
23.) Under the Milky Way (a great song by The Church...could this be where the scene derives its title?!)
24.) Waltz in the Fourth Dimension.
How could I resist seductive little teases like that?? I debated the pros and cons of staying up to watch it. It was already late, it would get over really, really late, I'd feel like shit in the morning, therefore, all day, I might fall asleep in the middle and miss it anyway, I still had to deal with a very harrowing vet visit the next day after work. But... I could be in for a really good movie, and frankly, that's more nourishing than sleep anyway. Okay, I talked myself into it! I'm such a pushover.
I jabbed "play", crawled into bed and fought the immediate instinct to fall into unconsciousness. That instinct proceeded to promptly vanish in the first five minutes of the film.
Well, all I can say about this movie is; Holy. Fucking. Shit. I'm almost angry at this movie for being so good, as it has now set up unreasonable expectations in me that no upcoming release will be able to live up to for a long, long time. It's the same problem I had when "Fight Club" was first released on DVD. I bought that one even before I bought my first DVD player, because I wanted it to be the first thing I watched. For months after I Iamented the fact that *every* DVD I purchased after didn't rock so hard, but then "Titus" was released and I started to feel better.
"Donnie Darko" has everything you could ever want in a film; thorough, rich, believable character development, sharp, witty dialogue, pervasive eerie moods, a few bone-jarring scares, several laugh-out-loud moments (a few at the expense of Patrick Swayzee, which alone is worth it.), incredible scenery, angles, effects and lighting, a real poignancy that doesn't come off like weepy, manipulative, Hollywood heartstring-tugging. I mean; I gave a fuck what happened to these people instead of just wishing them a painful death like I usually do with any film that has Hollywood's idea of "heart".
Plus, just the intelligent angle the writing takes in terms of introducing huge concepts like time/time-travel, fate and the effect each of us individually has on, not only other people's lives, but the entire fucking universe, is something I have never seen done so deftly. Add to that the incredible 80's soundtrack, and well, you have a movie that I don't even pretend to have the imagination to do better than this. Plus Jake Gyllenhaal shows an impossible range that was only hinted at in "October Sky", a fine example of a film I expected to hate, but loved. In "Donnie Darko", he exceeds the talent of actors two or three times his age. He's right up there with Ed Norton on my list of actors I have actual faith in. Hell, I even forgive him now for doing "Bubble Boy". You just have to see it.
If I have to endorse this film using a single phrase, then I'll have to wallow in the gutter of vulgarity, as I am often wont to do when I am passionate about something:
Seeing "Donnie Darko" is like having both hemispheres of your brain sucked-off at the same time. No, really, it is.
I don't think "Donnie Darko" is up for a goddamn thing at the Oscars, which basically sums up everything that is wrong with that dog and pony show. But then, maybe it is, what do I know? I stopped following awards shows when the Sundance awards sold out, and even the "Slamdance" awards is a big pose-fest, so, really, what's an award worth these days in terms of "real art"?
I bounded into work the next day, head pounding, stomach churning from lack of sleep, and not a shred of regret. I hopped all over my co-workers telling them how great it was, basically knowing I was wasting my breath. Most of them have that "If I've never heard of it, I don't need to see it" mentality, but there were a few people I wanted to go so far as to loan my copy to. But then, that would involve me parting with it, which is, no matter how temporarily, out of the question. I must watch it again as soon as sleep is not a concern. Like, this Friday night.
Fortunately, I did e-mail a friend who, while he hasn't yet seen this gem, is very clued-in when it comes to flicks that don't suck. He sent it on to a friend of his who has been wild about it for quite some time. The friend then replied:
"Tell her I know exactly how she feels, and also tell her that a week later my fiancee dragged
me to see A Beautiful Mind (another schizophrenia movie) - I'm sure she'll be able to imagine
how painful that was in comparison."
Boy, do I. I think that falls under the category of "cruel and unusual punishment". I don't need to see another movie about heroin addiction because "Requiem for a Dream" nailed it (although I do love "Trainspotting"), and I do not need to see another film about schitzophrenia because "Donnie Darko" has officially slammed it shut. Case closed.
For those of you looking for the big "BUT..." in this review, I have only one; They should have included that aforementioned Sundance Channel "Anatomy of a Scene" in the bonus materials. It was incredible, and went a long way toward showing how much work goes into such a simple-looking, delightful scene. But then, I'd have probably had a stroke from a surplus of delight, so, maybe I should be thanking someone for considering my health and well being.
So, I'm off for now, as I still have to get through Friday and all. I've been wanting to post about smoking for awhile and my recent brush with wildlife the other day, but this understandably took priority. If I don't get back before then, have a great weekend, y'all, and beware of giant, demonic rabbits and worm-holes in the time space continuum.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 11:40 PM#
Sunday, March 17, 2002"Taking the Training Wheels Off"
Hope you like purple.
Hear that? That's the sound of me patting myself on the back. (I have to do that because nobody else will.)
I've wasted a huge chunk of my Sunday setting myself free from canned blog templates. As you can see, the page layout is new and very, very purple. I got sick of having to force all of the links and shit into those columns, only to have them end up looking all screwy, so I decided to do something about it. Plus nothing was aligned the way I wanted it, and, oh, a whole host of other boring complaints and grievances. In any case, save for a few minor tweaks, the blog page is now pretty much done. I'm much happier with it.
Well, it's too damn late to really post anything, so I'm going to leave you with an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to someone a few days ago about one of my latest dreams. How's that for lazy? Don't worry, though, you'll forgive me for it because it's about sex. In the meantime, I'll catch you when I can collect my thoughts and try not to let Monday get the better of you.
I'm going to tell you about the absurd sex dream I had last night. I dreamed I ordered take-out food from "Cafe Pompei" (which is or was in Cambridge, right?) to be delivered to my house. I think I still lived in Brockton, but for some reason I was in a brick apartment building, even though my bedroom looked the same. When the food showed up, I went downstairs to get it and was immediately dumbstruck by the Scottish delivery guy. I can't say I remember what he looked like, blonde, I think, I only know he said; "Hullo..." and next thing you know we were getting it on.
What I love about this dream is that even though there was no awkwardness, no "is this even appropriate?!" feeling, no fumbling with clothing, no worries about who would see us, no discomfort or concern about the fact that we were actually doing it on the front concrete staris of my building in the rain. In fact, even though there was no logical precursor to this sex at all, but there was, nevertheless, a condom. Not the implementation of a condom, mind you, no unwrapping/unrolling ritual, it was just there. Tell me that kind of deeply ingrained commitment to safety isn't a direct result of coming of age in the nineties!
Anyway, although the sex was... *ahem* "effective", next thing you know I'm suddenly in my room eating my take-out and THE FOOD ISN'T EVEN COLD! How cool is that?? Also, a few of my friends were suddenly there, Helen being the only one I recall, until my friend Colan shows up. Now, my friend Colan has been pretty much MIA for about 2 years now. We sort of lost touch, but I know it's a matter of just tracking him down and we can pick up where we left off, which is one of the reasons I consider him one of my best absentee friends. Anyway, Colan shows up, and he's known as the "eternal waiter", due to the fact that he is one of the best waiters known to mankind. Real people skills, and he always has the insane cash tips to prove it. So, in the dream, I ask him; "Are you just getting off work?" and I can see by the look on his face that he knows something. (Colan always does) He nods. I say; "Where you working these days? Cafe Pompei?" he nods again and grins, deliberately screwing with me. (Colan always does) And after a pause, I finally ask; "So... what's his name?" Colan suddenly gets all giddy and says "James Fair. He wants to talk to you." And he dials and hands me my cordless phone. I'm relieved because it pained me to just abruptly leave the guy, y'know, right after, and I had no idea if he was interested in me "as a human being" after an introduction like that. But, I'm also horrified because the anonymity of the whole thing seemed like the most pragmatic way to deal with the situation. And now I was "ruining" it. Ruining what, to my mind, was perfection.
As the call rang through, I clutched the phone, heart racing, thinking; "What the hell am I going to say, now?!?!" And I heard someone pick up on the other end, the unmistakeable sounds of a restaraunt in full swing, and the unmistakable sound of a Scotish voice saying "Hullo?..." I feel that vertigo of the whole world falling out from under me as I answer; "Hi..."
...And then I wake up.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 11:34 PM#
Sunday, March 10, 2002"This is the Sound of Silence..."
Everybody wants to be naked and famous.
Before I do anything else, I want to let you in on a little net event. Visit Radio Boston and click on the link to Kendall Cafe at around 9 & 10 PM EST. There you will catch streaming audio/video of both "Moon Pie" & "Choo Choo La Rouge" tonight. A friend of mine is in both bands (Moon Pie temporarily) and I can personally vouch for Choo Choo La Rouge, as they are the only one of the two I've heard. I love them more than Dove Truffle Easter Eggs, and that's about as an enthusiastic endorsement as you'll ever get from me about anything. Check 'em out!
And if you're worried about missing "X-Files" or something, fuck it. Fuck "X-Files" right in the ear. That show hasn't been watchable in a long time. I'm sorry, but you know I'm right.
Well, my head is still reeling. Saw Garth Donovan's re-edit of the film "Screenwriter" Friday night and I am still astounded. He was right; it's almost an entirely new film now, and it is gooooooood. The new scenes he put in, not to mention the entirely new ending, have kicked it up to a new level. If you missed it, visit his site early and often because this one may, and damn right should, be coming to a film festival in your area at some point soon.
And, damn, the venue; Studio Cinema, is looking good these days too. They finally have cup-holders in the seats and the little art deco flourishes are a nice touch. Also, I didn't think I'd ever see that ticket booth completed in my lifetime. I have to admit it was tough being back there. I climbed into the projection booth to try and get some good crowd pictures from above and ended up getting a major twinge of nostalgia. Everything was exactly as it was, and even that dusty smell filled me with longing. It was also great to see my old co-workers, who are some of the coolest people I've ever had the great fortune to know. I miss you guys something awful.
Okay, enough about that. I want to thank Chimpuat for the link and the helpful hints. In case you don't already know, Chimptopia is at the very top of my "Things to Do" list whenever I log on, as it is easily one of the best blogs on the 'net. So, it is with immense gratitude and enormous respect that I say that while I appreciate his input, the best and most helpful advice is seldom, if ever, taken.
Try as I may, I cannot often wrap up a post short of several daunting paragraphs. I realize that this puts a tremendous strain on the eyes and attention span of my readers, which probably number three, if I'm lucky. But the point of this excercise was never to entertain others, and in that respect I'm sure I've succeeded admirably. I've probably bored more people than I've had hot dinners and that's a comforting thought to me. The more people I chase away with the length and non-sequitorial nature of my posts, the safer I feel to be honest with myself, which, in fact, was the original intention of starting this blog in the first place. And anyone that can forgive me for these creative faults can probably forgive me for admitting that I find Beef & Cheese Slim Jims delicious, thought "Gattacca" was a pretty good movie, would bang Steve Buscemi at the drop of a hat, and consider Adam Ant one cool motherfucker. Nobody's perfect.
In a nutshell, I cannot shut the fuck up and get to the point. I never could. Just ask any my old high school English teachers, if you can find one of them out on a day-pass or something. While I personally like blogs that go deep and long, [insert cheap sexual allusion here] I realize this is not everyone's cup o' noodles soup. To those people I apologize. Okay, no I don't, but you get the point.
I'm remembering another really chessy movie I love called "Music From Another Room". In my defense, I'm sure that a great deal of this love is attributed to the fact that Jude Law is the main character. (an attraction I'm sure no one can fault me for harboring.) In it, he utters a great line to the effect of; "God, I wish I could be like that. You're like a conversational sharp-shooter. Just, *bang*, right on target. Me, I'm a bit more like a machine gun. Just firing a bunch of scatter-shot wildly hoping I hit something".
So, thank you again, Chimpuat. You, like everyone else that has advised me thusly, are 100% right. Perhaps in my quest I will learn to be more concise, a word I hate so much that I'm not sure I'm even spelling it correctly. In the meantime, to all 3 of my readers, be sure to pack a lunch before you visit me. Cheers!
posted by taiwan_on 'round 5:15 PM#