Thursday, January 29, 2004
SOME DAYS ARE JUST BORING
I don't like the email I'm getting today. I don't like the mailing lists I'm on. I don't like the articles I'm reading online. I don't like the music I'm listening to. I don't like the things I'm supposed to read or research or understand because there's been some controversy surrounding them. I don't want to know what news or novelties other bored people are busying themselves with this week.
I liked what I ate for lunch, but I didn't like the fact that there was no meat on the menu. Where does a vegetarian joint get off, naming itself "Fatty's"? People don't get fat eating "meatless cobb salads" aka chick peas and lettuce. I didn't like the fact that there was a surprise ingredient - olive tapenade - on my sandwich, even though it tasted just fine. I didn't like the little sign that says "Please don't study or use your laptop." If laptops aren't welcome among bony vegetarians devouring chick peas, where, I ask you, are they welcome? I didn't enjoy the upscale atmosphere, which, to me, doesn't belong in a coffee place where you take a number to your table.
Some restaurants are all about the people who run them. You know this when, upon walking in the door, you feel like you're busting, uninvited, into someone's living room. Should I have a nagging sense that I'm disrupting someone or breaking some rule when I'm laying out $9 for a grilled cheese sandwich? These are environments designed for self-hating yuppies who simultaneously feel entitled to shiny cherrywood tables, aren't cowed by absurdly inflated prices, and secretly suspect that they deserve to feel unwelcome wherever they go.
I know I sound awfully crabby lately, but I assure you, it's just a phase on the page that has little to do with my everyday life, which has ranged from good to great since mid-December. Someone told me last night that he noticed that he never heard things were going wrong for me until about three months after they were going wrong. Then he mentioned a time when I didn't have a job and my life seemed to be unraveling. Oddly, though, I pretty fucking happy during that time. When he met me, I wasn't happy at all, but he didn't mention that. I'm not trying to throw anyone off my track, I just want people to trust my reports instead of looking at the facts of my life and coming to their own conclusions. The facts are always beside the point.
On the other hand, when things truly suck, I do a better job of lying about it than I do when things are just a little bit difficult.
I'm in an odd state. I feel good about myself but I have an undeniable urge to be a jerk. Maybe age is making me less outspoken, and it's starting to bug me. Can I speak plainly? I fear I've strayed too far into the Land of the Nice. I want to relocate my snippy nature here, on this neglected blog. I don't feel I have a right to crappy moods, when it boils down to it, or even the occasional crappy attitude. Screw that, though. I need to feel free to be a whinging zero. All of my favorite people express their bitchiness and self-pity and disgust with others openly, so why oh why can't I?
I know, all of this is just too fascinating. Maybe it's time to shut off your computers and curl up with a good book and a nice mug of Celestial Seasonings "Mouthbreather's Delight" tea.
Monday, January 26, 2004
IN THE DARK
I don’t mean to pry, but are you doing OK? You’re freaking me out.
I appreciate your being Concerned. However, part of being a writer means hanging out in the darkest corners of your mood, past, psyche, mind, closet, whatever, looking for sad little artifacts, scribbling down fearful thoughts and weaknesses and wrongheaded urges. On the one hand, I feel thankful when people express concern for me based on something I wrote. They’re sticking their necks out and expressing their support. How can that be bad? On the other hand, I wonder if we all don’t have an incredibly low tolerance for gloom. Just because I’m pouring out bleak words doesn’t mean I’m falling the fuck apart. If I were really doing terribly, I definitely wouldn’t write about it in a public place. That’s sad, but it’s true.
It’s tough not to have shame for your darkest emotions when the second you say anything remotely negative or blah, people assume you're doing badly or worse, they back away, wringing their hands. But how can you feel alive and full if you’re constantly censoring parts of yourself that aren’t cheery and enthusiastic and can-do? The only way to feel truly alive is by honoring the truth, whether it’s beautiful or awful.
Everything is going exceptionally well for me, but I’m still moody and melodramatic, and if I can’t write about those things, then nothing here will be worthwhile. After a month or more off, breaking back into posting might require me to push the envelope in terms of honesty, otherwise I'll censor the good with the bad and end up taking some boring but safe middle path. There are no sponsors and no paychecks here, so why be safe? Do I care if some mean girl I knew in college is reading this and chuckling right now?
Some days I do, some days I don’t. Right now I just want a big slice of pizza and a long nap. I worked my ass off last week and this weekend, I’ve had very little sleep since I left for Sundance, and what else? Let's see. It’s a new year, so I’m filled with all kinds of big ideas on how to improve everything, from writing more songs to cleaning out my file cabinets. I need to get back in shape. I’d like to get a dog soon. The baseboards in my dining room need painting. I wish I had a piss boy to fetch me some groceries, because I'm not in the mood right now but I'd like a eggy wegg sandwich. When will this confounded strike be over, so I can go to the grocery store that's just a few blocks away without feeling like a scab? I want cranberry juice and frozen waffles.
Friday, January 23, 2004
HOPE ON A ROPE
When you're not committed to something, then at least you have the freedom to hope for better. I prefer to commit, but as long as circumstances are working against me on that front, I might as well dream big. I generally don't afford myself the luxury of picturing the best case scenario. I would rather engage in concrete transactions. Maybe there's some part of me that has a big fucking problem with this compulsion to make contracts and finalize deals, and therefore feels compelled to wreck everything. Even as everything gets wrecked, a part of me is celebrating: Now we can start from scratch. Now the possibilities are limitless. We don't have to be realistic, at least not until reality sets in. There's hope of becoming bigger and brighter, instead of hiding in a cave. Why bother hiding? Even when you're hiding, you're exposed. People see the things you don't want them to see, no matter what you do. You read this and think, "Why would someone expose herself like that?" Meanwhile, the girl across the hall is wondering when you'll ever get over the failure of your first marriage. She's considered talking to you about it, but you don't seem that open to discussing it. Hope on a rope might be useful, after all, but it makes a tacky gift.
You can have all the love in the world and it’s not enough. I’ve been called a hearty mess, thanks to my messy heart. This is where the story ends and the song begins. Like a good American girl, when I have a bad day I want hold the hand of a burger and fries. While I eat my burger, I remind myself that all is not lost, as long as there are small dogs and big glasses of iced tea and long afternoon naps and good stereos. I wanted to be an actor before I met a few. I wanted to be a songwriter before I wised up and threw a piece of something important away. I threw it away for the sake of appearances. I threw it away because it was inconveniencing me. I threw it away in order to lighten my load, but my load got heavier without it. I threw it away so that I could settle down and really focus, and I’ve been unfocused ever since.
Forget Me Not. We cried over Bloody Marys at the airport, but that didn’t mean she and I were Friends Forever. He said I was the most important person in his life, but that doesn’t mean I’ll See Him Next Summer. I’ll always be there for you, but I can’t promise you I’ll Stay Sweet.
Complicated things aren’t palatable to the uncomplicated. Don’t tell me to change my tone for the sake of appearances or lightness or ease of use. My moods can’t be frozen fresh, shrink-wrapped, and clearly marked for your convenience. I’ll accept your unbearable lightness if you accept my blackest hours. Accept my conditions unconditionally, and I’ll guarantee you a limitless lifetime of limits. Flaunt your flawless flaws, because your imperfections are always perfect to me, from time to time. Now and forever. OK, not right now, but definitely forever – as long as forever excludes yesterday and tomorrow.
It’s only reasonable to expect unreasonable behavior, as I’m certain that you will remain uncertain. There’s not much fun in the cards right now, after a day of listening to the cars outside, hoping you’d pull it out in the fourth quarter. Ideas are more to me than actions, but there’s nothing better than a little action spawned by a big idea. But not you. You’re practical to the point of impracticality; being swept away means you might get mud in your shoes.
Friday, January 09, 2004
YEAR OF THE MONKEY
It’s the year of the monkey, monkeys! The rabbit pledges to write more in the year of the monkey than she did in the year of the ram. The year of the ram rammed a whole lot of work down the rabbit’s throat, causing the rabbit to lose its feeble mind. In fact, there’s a lot of big news to tell from the last year, but naturally the rabbit is on deadline right now, so the Year of the Ram Summary will have to wait until later today. Check back soon, monkeys!