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Monday, August 16, 2004


Come on and wind me up!

I hate the overuse of the term "control freak." Glowering interpersonal micromanagers are one thing, but what about those of us who simply prefer to be in control? Isn't this a completely natural urge? What's the alternative, learned helplessness? Are we supposed to just passively accept our fates? Go down with the ship, screaming "It's all good!" until we're breathing in sea water?

Everyone I know could be labeled a control freak, and those who couldn't are totally out of control of their lives.

If you travel in groups, control issues come up constantly. Personally, I try not to throw my voice into the mix most of the time when I'm in a group, since too many cooks not only spoil the broth, but they ensure that no one has an appetite for the broth once it's finally ready.

However, when it comes to issues of my own personal safety, I'm outspoken. Example: When I was younger, I went out to the desert with some friends. Some of those friends were edible, and made you see the stars more clearly. There was a designated driver present. After several hours, we decided to drive back to the hotel. The owner of the car, who had claimed, hours earlier, that there were monkey faces in the sky, announced, "You know, I think I'd feel more comfortable if I could drive my own car, actually."

I said, "That's weird, because I would feel more comfortable if you didn't drive your own car."

His friend said, "You know, I think he really can drive just fine. I think we should let him drive."

So I had to put my foot down. There was no way I was letting the addled friend get behind the wheel while a completely sober human rode in the back seat. It was his car, he could decide, but I wasn't getting in if he drove. I was calm about it but I'm sure my tone was condescending, since I thought he was a fucking idiot.

Later, this was cited as an example of me being a control freak, as opposed to, say, me being a rational human. See how it works? Drugs might not kill you, but your dumbass druggie friends will, and if they don't succeed, they'll just think you're way uptight. Lose-lose.

So listen up, whippersnappers: There are times in life when you have to speak up and say, "You can climb to the top of that wobbly platform and dive in and see if you clear the 15-foot cliffs on your way down to the water, but I'm telling you right now that I won't be racing back through the woods in the dark and then driving to the hospital with your brains in my hands, nor will I even be along for the ride, because that would harsh my mellow."

"And, you're a fucking dipshit." you might add if you were me. Luckily, you're not.

Today's moral: Control freaks and controlled substances don't mix.

9:33 AM

Friday, August 06, 2004


This week I've run into three people who wake up at 4 am every morning, just so they know they'll have 4 or 5 hours before anyone wakes up and bugs them. I'm extremely jealous of these people, because I know that if I woke up at 4 am, my entire life would become so much more efficient and my productivity fetish would finally be fulfilled instead of eternally frustrated. I could do my job until the early afternoon, then fuck off for the rest of the day. Oh, the sweet joy of fucking off! How I long for it so.

Or how about just getting my column in early? How about that, huh? Why not just set the alarm for 4 and turn that puppy in before dawn breaks?

I'll tell you why not: Because I feel like an abused child if I don't get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. This morning, the abused child shut the alarm off at 4:30 am, 5:30 am, and 6:30 am, and is now indulging herself with a little blogging instead of doing her GODDAMN JOB, GODDAMN IT. The abused child also insists that she write from the comfort of bed, which is like a compromise: OK, I'll wake up, but only if I can stay in bed while writing. Sounds more like a spoiled child, doesn't she? I guess that's my problem. I'm either sparing the rod and spoiling the inner child, or beating the living shit out of the inner child until the rod is mangled and bent and no longer swats and smacks like it's meant to.

How awful is the name "Rod", by the way? Can you imagine if you met someone and they said, "If it's a boy, we're going to name him Rod"?

I can't imagine that either. In other news, I interviewed Mark Ruffalo for Salon (Yes, he's hot. I agree. He is HOT. Every time I bring this up, I'm led into a ten minute conversation about how hot he is. It appears there's some consensus on this subject. He's also really nice and self-deprecating and very likeable.) Anyway, when I turned the interview in, as a joke I put as the subject line "Mark RUFF! RUFF! RUFF! alo". So later, I asked my editor what the title of the piece was going to be, because my title was something shitty like "THINKING WOMAN'S MAN" or "BEYOND THE SWAGGER" or "SALAMI ON RYE, EASY ON THE MUSTARD."

My editor said, "The title is 'Ruff! Ruff!'"

I said, "That's hilarious. You're an idiot. So what's the real title?"

He said, "I'm serious. Ruff! Ruff! That's the title. Don't you think it works?"

I said, "You're funny. But honestly, tell me the real title."

This went on for a few minutes, then I called his boss and had him fired.

Nah. Eventually I agreed that it was kind of funny, but that I shouldn't be trusted in that department because I have no shame. Then, last night, went to the premiere of "We Don't Live Here Anymore," drank two margaritas in rapid succession, and decided that I should go tell Mark Ruffalo that his face would be appearing next to the words "Ruff! Ruff!" the next morning, and not in a porn magazine. I thought he would think it was sort of funny, you know, in a stupid, absurd way, or he wouldn't remember me and would think I was some kind of creepy Aqualung-type fan, which would also be sorta fun.

Anyway, he left before I thought of it. It's weird to be a so-called professional, yet to lack any trace of dignity. I also don't have the shoes to be a professional. Or the casual separates. Or the ability to function on very little sleep. I'm an insolent waste of space, is what it boils down to. I deserve a beating, don't I? Where's my goddamn rod?

6:55 AM

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columnist for new york magazine & bookforum, author of disaster preparedness, co-creator of filler for the late, great suck.com

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