Monday, June 29, 2009

happy 100th blog o' the year

i realized today that as of the last entry i wrote, i have written 100 blogs entries this year alone. 115 all together (this year and last). for no reason other than to celebrate...myself, i have decided to list my ten favorite blogs of all time. it will also give newer readers (of which there may be 2-3) a chance to not have to sift through a whole lotta stuff to find the best entries.

it was hard but here goes....
(in no particular order)

1. a handbag for genocide
you can't see the pic anymore, as it has been removed from the internet, but this is still one of my favs. fuck you louis vuitton. now and forever. or at least until you admit your guilt AND atone for helping bankroll the holocaust.

2. the get-out-of-guilt free pamphlet
just because. it's a funny story. see also...the follow up entry: the pros and cons of self-revelation (or, pamphlet II)

3. goodbye john and marlena...or, the final act in the odyssey of the golden snatch...
i like the phrase golden snatch. it still makes me laugh. and i have a special place in my heart for my stories.

4. communication breakdown
because it is virtually impossible to underestimate the importance of grammatical structure.

5. hand sanitizer stigmatization and the comfort of repetitive action (or the trouble with OCD)
this one really started it all. and taught me an important lesson about expensive hand sanitizer. it's germ-x all the way now.

6. dear data, we need to talk...
probably the nerdiest thing i've ever written. but also the truest. statistics are bullshit. i fucking hate you, data...

7.) a town without pity
sums up living in memphis. as a postscript to that story, the kid with the jag was also the kid that was always eye-fucking me in the elevator. oh how i wish it could have been him that got jacked...

8.) i'd be waiting for you in the middle...
as real as it gets.

9.) i wish i was a catfish...
i don't know. i just like this one.

10.) but dottie had a heart condition...
fun with the swine flu.

as a bonus, i would invite you all to read the entire month of march 2008. good times with thesis.

i miss you...

starbucks.

i know at some point i've mentioned my severe addiction to starbucks. i even endured the snobbery of soccer moms and the leering suggestions of crackheads (in memphis this is where they hang out because they can sit in the a/c for hours and not get thrown out) just for your coffee drinks.

but there's no starbucks here. i just had to make my own coffee. which took like 20min. my mom's coffee maker is super complicated. and i had to grind it myself. why can't she just buy maxwell house? that's what my roommate and i drank during college. hey...it's delicious. we used to buy that extra large tin and we kept it in the freezer. it was all we could afford.

i dislike making my own coffee. it just tastes better when someone else does it for you. like smoking a joint or cooking your own etoufee. the joint i never mastered, i mean i can do it in a pinch, but there was always someone else (usually a guy) there to do it for me so i never really got it down. and etoufee literally takes hours to do it properly. and if you fuck up the first step, it's all over. so much patience...which i do not possess.

i hope that fucking coffee is ready now. and i also hope that there's a starbucks near my apartment in cali.

afterthought: this was my 100th blog of the year! yay!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

tales from deliverance: a banking story

so...
as you faithful readers should know i am spending the summer with my parents in a tiny town in southern appalachia. i suppose technically i am from here, but i don't really identify with this area that much. i have all my teeth. i talk proper. and i don't have a raging meth habit.

but i do have the passive aggression that goes with being from the south, bless my little heart. actually, i just have aggression. i speak very directly, which has always been a problem for me here, given that this isn't really considered an appropriate mode of self-expression south of the mason-dixon. so trying inter-personal exchanges comes out as pushing the upper limits of the socially sanctioned passive-aggressive dialog patterns.

i went to the bank yesterday with the express purpose of making two deposits. i don't have my account numbers committed to memory. after the merger, which i realize was like five years ago, they added all these numbers (three, actually) to the accounts and ever since i just can't recall them. so i filled out the deposit slips, leaving the account number spaces blank.

i get up to the teller, who looks at my slips and says "do you know you account number?" i take a deep breath, and almost blurt "if i knew my account number, don't you think i would have written it in?" but years in the public service industry, coupled with the fact that this is deliverance, not new jersey, i put on a large smile and say "nooo..."

while i'm trying to maintain my super exhausting smile and am on the verge of being rude, he sees my name and exclaims "do you know jimmy myers?" as a matter of fact i do.

"he's my father." i say, sobered by the realization that my parents know EVERYONE in this town and if i am rude, it will surely get back to them and then i have to explain why i can't manage simple transactions without outward annoyance.

"oh! i know your father!" the teller exclaims, realizing that he has me in etiquette checkmate. "he's just the nicest man. i can see the apple don't fall far from the tree."

is this motherfucker mocking me?

this is what i wonder as he introduces me to his uncle who is at the next teller over and tells me to say hello to my father for him. i'll never, ever know for sure. this is how we relate to each other in deliverance.

Friday, June 26, 2009

the way you made me feel

ok. so i know i posted yesterday about farrah and how i thought it was unfair that the sudden death of the king of pop was completely overshadowing her tragic passing. i still feel that way.

but...

my icy cold heart is slowly melting, well not so much melting as dethawing a bit, and i'm quite certain that we HAVE lost someone musically significant. i realized this when i was driving to work this morning and the radio stations were playing his songs and i had a different memory attached to each one. and they were all good. almost good enough to distract me from having a real job again (at least until the fellowship kicks in). and on that note, let me tell you...work is for suckers. seriously.

but..ah...the memories....

driving around downtown asheville and smoking cigarettes with susie myers on our sister lauren's wedding day looking for a parking place and rocking out to smooth criminal.

dancing with my friend sean my old job, when my boss had late night with a dj. that dj ALWAYS opened with rock with you.

living with bradley. we liked to bring the eighties back in a big way. and i recall staying up all night with him on more than one occasion dancing to the thriller LP.

i'll leave you with arguably the best philosophy ever...

When the world is on your shoulder
Gotta straighten up your act and boogie down
If you cant hang with the feeling
Then there aint no room for you this part of town
cause we're the party people night and day
Livin crazy thats the only way

So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf
And just enjoy yourself
Groove, let the madness in the music get to you
Life aint so bad at all
If you live it off the wall
Life aint so bad at all (live life off the wall)
Live your life off the wall (live it off the wall)

thanks for the memories, michael. although i am still WAY more sad about farrah.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

farrah...you were robbed.




i'm so sorry. today should have been the day when we all looked back an basked in the beautiful sunshine glow you brought to us in the mid-seventies via your fabulous hair and perfect smile. instead, michael jackson had to go and die, stealing all the attention. or at least a good 90% of it.
well fear not, farrah lovers everywhere. michael jackson was cool. his music makes a party happen. he was part of the fabric of our cultural lives. and blah blah blah... my condolences.

but here at n=1, it is virtually impossible to underestimate the influence of farrah fawcett on my personal style. if i had to pick one style genre that best represented my inner self and also works really with my body type, it would be the seventies (and into the early eighties). what can i say? i love to disco.

anyway...when i was really little, my older cousin had farrah hair. blond and everything. i though she was the most beautiful person in all the world. i wanted to look just like her.

i'll never be a blond. but...

farrah...you are the reason i own hot rollers. i spent a whole lotta time trying to replicate your voluminous, heavenly hair. let me tell you...i've got it down cold. give me a set of hot rollers and a can of aqua-net and i'll be ready to get down in no time flat.

bye, farrah. your fabulousness will be sorely missed and never replicated.

mirror, mirror, on the wall....

is it better to photograph well or look good in real life?

t button and i were contemplating this problem the other morning over coffee. it seems that neither of us photograph well. at all. but we look pretty good in real time. then there are those people that take amazing photographs, but are actually quite unfortunate when you see them in person.

clearly the preferable scenario is to be both photogenic AND good looking in person. this is rare, however, and in my case, completely unobtainable goal.

i prefer to be good looking in person, because a positive surprise is better than disappointment. then t button raised the totally valid point that while being good looking in person is certainly important, in the end, pictures are what you are left with. so it doesn't matter how good looking you actually were. all that matters is what you see in the photo.

i have this one painting and on the back the artist wrote that it was "an outer portrait of the inner self." i've thought about that a lot. if i could artistically represent my inner self, it would be like the most interesting painting (or work of art) ever. something like a cross between matisse, mapplethorpe and larry clark, possibly with a twist of warhol. yes. i realize that mapplethorpe and clark are photographers, just try to grasp the vibe they represent.

i've got personality for days. and that's hard to capture in a snapshot.

Monday, June 22, 2009

i understand the futility of the arrangement of life

Eulogy To A Hell Of A Dame

some dogs who sleep At night
must dream of bones
and I remember your bones
in flesh
and best
in that dark green dress
and those high-heeled bright
black shoes,
you always cursed when you drank,
your hair coming down you
wanted to explode out of
what was holding you:
rotten memories of a
rotten
past, and
you finally got
out
by dying,
leaving me with the
rotten
present;
you've been dead
28 years
yet I remember you
better than any of
the rest;
you were the only one
who understood
the futility of the
arrangement of
life;
all the others were only
displeased with
trivial segments,
carped
nonsensically about
nonsense;
Jane, you were
killed by
knowing too much.
here's a drink
to your bones
that
this dog
still
dreams about.

Charles Bukowski

now THAT'S love.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

guess who needs to shut the fuck up...

the republican party. all of it.

i usually don't get all political up in here, but they're really annoying me right now. they are clearly out of their element on the iran situation. and as such, they really just need to, you guessed it, shut the fuck up.

i'll keep this short. going back the golden era of british petrol, no, wait...the crusades, the west has earned itself a very nasty reputation in a highly unstable area of the world. the unstable nature of which the west itself has actively promoted, incited, and exploited. this reputation is built upon and sustained by the west's inability to refrain from dicking around in the region's political goings on. america is violator number one when it comes to unsolicited involvement in the affairs of others, with the noticeable exception of genocide which we seem to have no problem letting continue unimpeded.

the point is, now that we have the chance to stay out of things and let people sort things out for themselves (which is actually one of the goals of democracy), we should take it.

i'm not an isolationist. i believe in protecting human rights and human dignity (whatever that is. i still don't know.). but it is time for america to suck it up and recognize that the freedom of political choice (ie democracy) doesn't translate automatically to choosing america's choice. which is what democracy has become to republicans. the freedom for you to choose the choice that THEY want for you. the choice that typically benefits THEM and not you.

because let's face it, the only reason they care AT ALL about what is going on in iran is because they see this as a situation in which america can potentially swoop in an force things to go its way through a quick, yet forceful, manipulation of the situation. and that is EXACTLY the sort of thing that got america this mess (the mess of the unstable middle east) and that america would do well to avoid in the future.

the tide is high

the tide of fucking STRESS. i'm awash in it.

i continue waking up at like approximately 3:09 wondering why in the hell i thought moving all the way across the country was the sensible thing to do. why couldn't i just pick a nice east coast school? WHY? Y?!? i mean on the list of hardest places to make it that i read from msn (or somewhere), the town i'm moving to was like #2 on this list. so...yeah.

oh the economy is fucked in california. i mean proper fucked. the ONLY upside to this is that the economic crisis is so bad there that they might tell the federal government to suck it and push through the legalization of marijuana. however, i'm kind of skeptical that this will actually happen and anticipate that the only thing i will be enjoying is unemployment and destitution.

but then i think about how well i vibe with california. and people from the west coast, in general. and i can't wait to move. as i have said before, i have always known that i should be in california. it's the transition and interruption to my life patterns that is really fucking with me right now.

this aversion to change is manifesting in all sorts of super fun ways and self-destructive behaviors. mostly obsessing about my weight. i've been weighing myself like twenty times a day. and have become very, very controlling about what i eat. to the point where if i eat something that i'm not supposed to (sugar or carbs), i feel awful for a long time.

and i've also been drinking and smoking WAY TOO MUCH. which i feel really guilty about as well. it's just i seek out things that will take my mind off the impossibility of controlling every detail and outcome of my life. but i think once i start school again this will work itself out, as i won't have any time to indulge.

i have also returned to my habit of overindulging in celebrity gossips and reading the comment wall on mickey avalon's myspace page. at the moment, i just can't handle contemplating the iranian situation or the implications of the funeral cycle on social mobilization (although if you want to read something really good about that see cb's latest blog entry at bfk). just thinking of funeral anything is incredibly stressful to me right now.

but i can handle reading the delusional ramblings of adolescent girls posted on the internet for all to read. i can empathize. not with the delusion of it all, but i have like a thousand and one questions for mickey avalon, myself. however, none of these qustions really have to do with sleeping with him (or the infinite variations on THAT theme) so i guess myspace isn't really the place for that...actually i'm not sure where the appropriate place is for any of that. my blog, perhaps? because clearly i am much less delusional than these girls.

ah well...back to work.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

desperately seeking nina

update on the missed connection obsession. tb, being the most awesome friend of all time wrote one especially for me.

it is the best ad on there. and i'm not just saying that because it is about me. it is the best. and i didn't even have to ask him to do it.

i love you tb.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

california dreamin' is becoming a reality

oh. fuck . me.
i'm moving to LA.

this is how i've woken up at apx 3:09 am for the last three nights. actually, last night i stayed at tb's and was sleeping really well and then was awoken by other people's drunken shenanigans. you can imagine how THAT made me feel. and it wasn't good. there is nothing i hate more than being woke up when i'm sleeping. actually, any time when i am transitioning from sleep to wake is a bad time for me. and it is even worse when i don't wake up on purpose.

back to the move. ok, so i'll be moving just outside of LA, but still...i'm going to have to pack up all the stuff that will fit into my car, assuming that my car will make it, and drive across the country with my mother, my sister, and inga (my perpetually good-spirited german shepherd mix). once we get to cali, my family will head back to the east coast, leaving inga and i 3,000 miles away from everyone we know. alone.

yes. i am exaggerating slightly. i do know a handful of people in southern california but i feel as though i will be alone.

also plaguing me is the economy. particularly how the overall bottoming out of the economy is tricking down to devastate my personal economy. i have been working every shift i can get at my old job, which helps slightly, but is overall inconsistent.

what is consistent is job itself. i haven't worked there for like 3 years, but apparently after 8 years, you never really forget. it is EXACTLY the same. including the customers. THE SAME PEOPLE. eating the same things. saying the same things. it's comforting in a way.

what is not comforting is the tragic state of the social scene here. some things need to change. it's totally depressing. drinking. smoking cigarettes. the possibilities are endless for engaging in unhealthy bad habits to set back in. the more i indulge, the worse i feel about myself. weight issues start coming up...and so on. the more weight i lose, the fatter i feel. something isn't right in that equation.

and i'm stressing school starting. i'm not sure if i can do it. what if i'm just not smart enough? what if i just don't have th energy? what if it doesn't work out end up tricking for rent in west hollywood?

put this all together and add in the heightened threat of nuclear holocaust....FUCK.

to summarize:
1. i can't sleep
2. i have no money
3. i am facing an intimidating cross country odyssey
4. nuclear holocaust is increasingly imminent

if you can help with any of these things, feel free to do so.

and one final thought for today...desi arnaz was a stone fox. i don't know if it was the accent or the cigarettes, but sitting here watching i love lucy i'm thinking definitely would. or i would have, had i been alive back then.

Monday, June 15, 2009

heavens to bugsy

i've mentioned before that i am death to computers. i think some kind of weird energy emanates from me that has the power to cause computers to malfunction. not always in the same way, mind you, but always in a way that requires professional intervention.

my laptop has been broken for like...ever. some time last fall it lost its ability to suck power from the outlet. at first, i though the power cord was broken. so i forked over WAY too much money for a universal adaptor (note to readers: DON'T EVER DO THIS...order a replacement online for a third of the price). this worked for a couple of weeks, then malfunctioned as well. so i got preoccupied with...things...thesis mostly...and finally had a friend look at it. turns out it wasn't the power source, but the motherboard. which can be fixed. it needed to be re-sautered.

it was at this point in time that i discovered the computer is still under warranty. so, i did the logical thing and took it to the geek squad so that they could fix it for free. i took the laptop in, spent twenty minutes while the geek helping me confirmed that it wasn't working, and was happy to learn that they would send it out and have it fixed.

you can imagine my excitement when i received an automated message letting me know that the laptop was ready. since i live in deliverance country (truly), i had to drive like an hour to collect the laptop and decided to combine the trip with some hanging out with my sister lauren. i mention this because it's a good thing i had dual motive for the drive.

my conversation with the (unexpectedly hot) geek working that night went a little something like this:

him: has anyone spoken to you about the laptop?
me: (not liking the sound of this) um...no...
him: ok...what's going on it they opened the laptop up to fix it and found that it was infected. bugs aren't covered under warranty so they sent the laptop back.
me: so...when it stopped working and i brought it here it DIDN'T have a virus and now you're telling me it has a virus? how does that even happen?
him: (with a little bit of a laugh) no ma'am...not a virus...insects...
me: (with a shriek) WHAT?!?

that's right. my laptop is infested, not infected. there are actual bugs inside it. no, i assure you, i am not making this up. i questioned the (hot) guy working at geek squad extensively. apparently this happens sometimes. more than you might think, actually. it seems that bugs like the warmth of the computer and, at times, just crawl on in. i have to get them cleaned out before they can fix it.

i mean...seriously.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

obsessive behavior #294: open book of cosmic projection

today my horoscope read:

A good thing is right in front of you, you're not paying attention. Open your eyes.

what is it? what is it? WHAT IS IT?
is it a love good thing? or a family good thing? or a friendship good thing? i have to know...

and then my romantic horoscope chimed in with:

Time for a cosmic balancing act, with your natural kindness and intuition playing the starring roles. You can make this day (and night) great if you cultivate awareness and make yourself clear.

why can't i see it?

my new friend self-confidence

i got an email this morning from self-confidence. seriously. that was the name of the sender. the e-mail (complete with grammatical errors) reads as follows:

Hello Dear New Friend!
My name is miss Confidence ,never married.Once again i
am happy to contact you
as my friend. So i want you to write back to me through
my email address so that l will give you my photo
and for you to know who l am.
l hope to see your mail ok.Remeber the distance or
colour does not matter but love matters alot in life.
lt is from me, miss Confidence.

all i can say is...at least self-confidence doesn't require money or my savings account number to be my friend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

obsessive behavior #293: when a trembling distant voice, unclear startles your sleeping ears to hear that somebody thinks they really found you.

those of you who read faithfully will recall the panic that ensued (within my own mind) over my inability to locate my cell phone the other day. sadly, the panic actually hindered my ability to find the phone because in that state, i could not remember where i last used the phone, which apparently was in my car. and the most absurd part of that whole story was that i don't even like to talk on the phone. in fact, i despise it. the upsetting part was just the idea that IF someone was trying to reach out and touch me via technology...they couldn't. and then i might never know that they were even trying.

i've recently become absolutely addicted to reading the missed connections section of craig's list. i keep reading it and reading it. granted, there are some really lame posts. and a whole lotta crazies. like people that you wouldn't even want to find even if you did spend the best night of your life with them.

but...

i think i'm totally hung up on the idea of someone trying to find me. that they simply cannot get me out of their head to the point that they have breached the tenuous divide between idea and action and are engaging in the act of looking. and not just looking, but looking for me.

thus i have gotten it into my head that for someone to post something about me on the missed connections board would be completely romantic. so i keep waiting and reading...because the hope of a missed connection is inherently more appealing than the idea of no connection at all.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

so it turns out there IS a cure for the summertime blues....



and BINGO...you've won...

getting down with the awkward moments

there's a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time, before sunrise, where a gypsy palm reader tells the character celine (portrayed by the flawless julie delpy) that she needs to resign herself to the awkwardness of life. don't we all?

it might be that a good deal of the tension in life arises from resistance to life's awkward moments. having never, at any point in my life, willingly opted to go down the path of least resistance, there have been many such moments for me. especially romantically. note that here i use the term "romantic," as it references a specific sentiment, but, truth be told most of these moments were far from romantic in the classical sense.

i'm thinking now that tension derives from awkwardness. awkwardness from differences in expectation between the self and the other. or if you were to express this in formulaic fashion:

+/-discrepancy in expectation--> +/-awkwardness--> +/-tension

which ultimately yields unhappiness. the past five years of my life have forced me to radically reevaluate the idea of love, given that what love looks like in actuality varies wildly from the idea that was socialized into me from a young age.

newsflash...there is no "one".

looking for that person will drive you insane. the truth is, well there is no truth. but another truth, derivative of this truth, is that there are lots of "ones." it is only divergences in expectation that lead to increases in tension and eventually unhappiness. and then when you factor in the cognitive dissonance that occurs concerning what actions are appropriate to take and the situations one encounters in reality concerning love, it often times leads to a huge mess emotionally. it leads to a lot of pretense about what's actually going on. there's just no need to complicate things that way. sometimes, if you can't say something honest, don't say anything at all.

however, every now and then you get to experience the sublime pleasure of an equivalency of expectation. best case scenario, it seems, is that there are NO expectations, at all. and you are free to just enjoy the present.

But between the past which no longer is and the future which is not yet, this moment when he [man] exists is nothing.

nothing in the sense that it is only what we make it to be. this probably explains why i love before sunrise and consider it one of the better cinematic expositions on romantic love. two people meet and are free to just be. they don't necessarily end up together, but they kind of have a bob dylan tangled up in blue sort of moment. because that's the nature of the thing. you just have to let go of expectations and pretense and enjoy other people without the strings that eventually tie you to unhappiness.




Wednesday, June 3, 2009

so i have my new body....

but who's going to live in it?

i started dieting south beach style back in october because i wanted to lose 20lbs. i hadn't weighed myself in all that time, because for me having a scale in the house takes me to a really bad place. i start to freak over minute fluctuations. i mean like down to the ounce. i finally weighed myself the other day to find that i've lost 36lbs.

up until then i just kind of gauged weight loss by how my clothes fit. this was really the only way, because the thing is...mirrors lie to me.

i just came home after being away for like five months, during which time i lost the majority of the weight. now everywhere i go i get at least one, but usually a combination of the following comments:

you look so hot
you look so good
wow...you've lost so much weight
wow...i can't believe how much weight you're lost
you're eating, right?
you're not sick, are you?

let me make it clear. i am not complaining about the compliments. it doesn't make me feel uncomfortable, like people were saying i was ugly before or something. i didn't like the way i looked either. i do look better now. my outer self is on the way to matching my inner self. and i like hearing that.

the trouble is that a goodly portion of the time i just can't see it. the mirror is simply not to be trusted. i see the way i used to look, not the way i actually look. it's hard, because then i get sucked into the whole vicious cycle of validation and need the constant attention of others. and believe it or not, as narcissistic as i am on this blog, i realize how unattractive it is in the real world and i really hate it when i can feel my personality drifting into that pattern.

on the upside, i think tb is super envious that everywhere we go it is all about me and not him.

so who's going to live in this body? is it bad to say i'm not sure yet?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

separation anxiety

now a classic neurotic episode, courtesy of my life.

i woke up this morning and bummed around watching golden girls in hi-def (sweet television...how i have missed thee). eating an omelet. and drinking hot tea. so far, so good. then i was supposed to go with my sister and my mother to eat lunch.

i have to backtrack a bit and say that there are certain things which i DO NOT EVER leave the house without. my debit card/id. sunglasses (even though at this point my eyes are so bad that i really can't see anything without them on...i wear them anyway...they are fabulous). lavender-vanilla lip balm. at least three pens.

and...my cell phone. which i most definitely could not locate. to be perfectly honest with you, i wanted to skip lunch all together and just not leave the house until i found the phone. i felt this extreme sense of disconnect. not that anyone calls me. i mean like EVER. but i just couldn't feel right with out it. the bad thing was that i had left the phone on vibrate because last night i was eating out and i HATE, HATE, HATE it when people's cell phones go off in restaurants.

but then i had a few drinks and forgot that i had set the phone to vibrate.

i mean...what if suddenly someone WANTED to call me for some super important reason and i missed the call because i couldn't find my phone? or my car broke down and i got stuck on the side of the road somewhere in deliverance country (where, yes, i am from)? what if i missed out on some super fun time?

what if i never found it?

my mother and sister pretty much made fun of me all through lunch. when i got home i realized that my phone was on the seat of the car next to me the whole time. and all is well again.
 
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