Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Part 1

Went to a Halloween party last Saturday.
Well, first, I went with my friends to a Capitol Steps concert.
As I was running through the red carpet veranda of the Allen Theater to get to the bathroom before the show started, in my Halloweeny garb of course, an usher stopped me and he said,"hey, what is this show anyway?"
I replied, "well it's musical political satire."
And he nodded his head sagely.
"It explains the audience, doesn't it?" I asked.
"Yes" he replied.

So let's explain this audience. There were a few requisite gay couples, like my friends. Doug was the one who took us, cause Doug is the sort of person to text you after the Obama infomercial with how awesome he thought it was. And I'm the type to text him back excitedly, so it works.
Then there were a lot of old people. I love my parents, but I think they can admit that they fall squarely in old people camp now. And there were a lot of guys that my dad probably thought were too dorky for words, and a lot of wives who laughed INSANELY LOUD like my mother does when she watches sex comedies. There were maybe three people under thirty in the whole crowd and Buddy and I were two of them.
The Capitol Steps are old people political humor. They're kinda funny, but not if you're the type who obsessively reads every left wing blog you can get your hands on, every morning while you drink your cranberry juice (did I mention my recent addiction to cranberry juice?) The sad fact is that they are just not current enough or extreme enough to be that funny to me. I think my favorite song was Putin singing "Midnight Raid to Georgia". Other than that, it's like "really, you just made a joke about Cheney shooting a guy? And yes, we know Palin shoots moose too." But it was entertaining enough to make you glad enough your friend bought you a ticket.

So then we went back to get my car, and we drove seperately to this party. The girl who invited me told me it was on West Blvd, but it wasn't her house, so she didn't know exactly where. And it turned out to be on the one spot of West Blvd where none of us wanted to park our cars. We drove past it three times thinking it couldn't be there. Finally Girl and I coordinated enough on the celly to find it. I didn't know anyone there except Girl&Husband. So the Boys and I walked bravely in, straight into Devo Man in the kitchen who I totally didn't recognize but then ended up talking to for most of the night. We wandered self-consciously downstairs, and I inadvertantly made my entrance on the raised basement dance floor with pole. Yes this guy had a pole and a bar and DJs and kegs in the basement, and the floor was filled with every possible rendition of school girl, girl scout, cheerleader, naughty witch you could think of. Found Girl, who was talking to Girlscout, who I instantly fell in love with. Girl introduced me to Butcher, owner of said den of inequity and also some blue Tequila I proceeded to drink without heed for the rest of the night.

On the attic floor, Butcher had made a haunted house. Kitchen filled with body parts, dead bodies on the floor, dayglo and bloody handprints on the walls, strobe light. That room stank of weed the whole night. Next door to Kitchen was Dead Body Bag Room, which was AWESOME. Just a dark room, smoke machine, incredibly realistic filled body bags hanging from butcher racks. As several people pointed out to me that night, they wanted to have sex in that room. I wanted to have sex in that room.

Highlights of the night include Girlscout making out with my boobs, me spilling a full glass of punch all over Buddy, me trading my Obama pin to a Republican referee for an entire new glass of tequila, me spilling more of that on my shirt than in my mouth. Me falling over the woodpile in the backyard. Me demanding Obama pin back from referee when I found out he was a Republican. And lots of girls on the stripper pole. Then Buddy and Doug left, so Devo and I talked the rest of the night, mostly to keep ourselves occupied until I was sober (enough) to drive home. And like most of my nights these days, the talk was about guns and anime.

Halloween Part Two tomorrow at Lo and Jessica's house. I've been literally promised to star in fights with at least two republicans. So if you wanna go, gimme a call.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How many links to adequately express how pissed off I am that you ruined this again and I am alone cause you couldn't get it together?

Be Specific

Self Like

Rest In Peace

Got Your #

Still Got It


Minus One

Yeah seriously, screw you.

Oh well. In less than a week I'll be sitting in a hotel room in Austin, watching the election results, and Obama will win and then I'll go to bed and when I wake up it will be a brand new world where no one can be angry at each other anymore. And all the New York hipster elitists will be friends with the steelworker Ohioans, and the crazies will go back to being just weird crazies, and Joe the Plumber will....okay we will still all hate Joe the Plumber, but thats because he reminds us of the guy our friend used to date who was just SUCH a douchebag. And Rachel Maddow will be elected Queen of the Lesbians, and she'll hold high court on a farm somewhere in Connecticut. And no one will watch Frank TV. Ever.

Seriously, how much more heartbroken can one heart be before it is turned into a walnut and then buried by a mean squirrel in the backyard of my soul?

So my systems are down right now at work. It’s a revelatory situation. Most of the time people sit around wishing they had no work to do. But the entire cubicle forest is freaking out because we have all these calls to make and things to do, and it’s just throwing our SCHEDULES off, man. I’m gonna be so BEHIND tomorrow. Oh how I miss the days where I didn’t plan out my hours in a maze of multitasking.

Of course, I would love the distraction right now, to get my mind off the fact that I’ve been taken in again AGAIN by Sean Ayers. I swear, at this point, my non-relationship with him resembles my non-relationship with the Republicans. Every time I think “there is no way I can be hurt anymore by this, there is no way I can be any angrier”, something wallops me on the back of the neck and proves me wrong. And it’s my fault, cause they’re both so predictably going to hurt me. Seriously though, what was I thinking? What corner of my primeval junior high brain thought I could spend a week of nights with him, and he wasn’t going to blow it all up like a Molotov bomb? Because, you know, he “doesn’t owe me anything”. Like picking up the phone, or just being straightforward and honest about the fact that the one night in 10 he’s not spending with me in bed, he’s immediately out with another girl? And I think what makes me even angrier about the whole thing is that he knew he was doing something bad to me, which is why he tried to pick a fight with me the day before, and why he turned his ringer off the day of, and why he just can’t own up to it but instead tries to backtrack and defend. Like a kid who’s been caught in a lie. Just be a man and say “hey yeah, I was out with Kate last night, so what? I’m not your boyfriend and I don’t care how you feel about this, so if you don’t want to talk to me now, fine.” THAT I could at least respect. Take your consequences. Don’t act like you don’t know I’m going to be furious and brokenhearted. You knew I would be, and you did it anyway. Don’t play stupid. “I don’t have to tell you, I don’t have to, I’m sick of your ultimatums, blah blah blah”. It’s not an ultimatum. It’s called a “tell me you made out with some other girl last night so I can at least know exactly where we fucking stand”. I’m just so furious because of this shady attitude of his, and also because I just know if he could have managed to be happy just once in the times he had a chance with me, it could have been so great. But hey, start talking to me? You’ll immediately become mired in misery and your life will become a “nightmare”. Seriously, it'll go straight from "man I'm having so much fun with other girls" to "I hate my life and I want to kill myself". Within a week. I’m impressive like that. I guess the idea of going out with me again is like instant yummy poison, like dogs and chocolate. They think they want it all the time when they don't have it, but then they get hideously sick. He might not have even gone out with girl! He might have just gone to bar! But he needs an excuse to stop talking to me!

Oh god, on to other things. That concludes the vindictive, heartbroken, “god I hope your little fashionista googles you and finds this so she knows you were fucking me all last week” portion of this post. Also, I swear to god if any of you say anything at all to me about poor Sean who misses me so much, who's so heartbroken, I will rip out your eyeballs and feed them to my cat. Lies, they're all lies. Guy may love me in some weird indiscernible way, but he certainly doesn't like me.

Thoughts today include general amazement at the amount of celebrity rubbish I subject myself to daily. Also love for the functioning part of my brain that insists on functioning, despite my every effort to squash its hope with Gossip Girl, cigarettes, Kraft mac and cheese, pictures of Sarah Palin as a child. It just keeps going people, it refuses to die. It huddles in the darkest little corner, yearning to stick its head out, but scared of the CW crocodiles paroling my emotional plains. It’s anemic and gray, with tiny little limbs I can break with a forefinger or an opinion about which is the better Olsen twin. They are not separate entities, in fact they are a two headed mutant, a monster whose actual body extends far below the sewers of New York, like an iceberg we only see the tip of the problem.

Oh, also I’m trying to temper my political hatred, in anticipation of needing to eventually come down off this high Obama horse. I’m trying to remind myself that I’m an extremist, and I need to be more tolerant. Only, I don’t feel like one. I feel like my anger at the not even trying to be subtle lying and rumor-mongering is completely justified. And I’ll tell you what REALLY burns me up, the price of gas! It’s so low! Because it’s always this low before the election, predictably and measurably. For the last 12 years, like possessed clockwork! For the first Bush election, and the second Bush election, and now McCain. They want you to have less to bitch at the Republicans for. It’s mind bogglingly obvious who the gas companies are pulling for, and its brain bustingly insulting how see-through it is, and yet NO GETS MAD. Not at the Republicans mind you, AT THE GAS COMPANIES. Doesn’t it tell you how willy nilly they fleece you, that they can reduce gas to 2.25 a gallon for weeks before the election? It’s not the global market collapse, or hurricanes. They do this EVERY FOUR YEARS. Why are we content to sit here quiet as a mute child while they laugh at us, and then set our wallets on fire, while they hand out scraps to us like starving dogs? Why do we just keep flying into the glass window again and again and again? When is the American public going to get mad at the real evil bastards?!

So, you know, this confuses me, the utter immovability of the prairie mind. It falls into this tin bucket I carry around in my torso, the things that make me sick, that leave rusty tastes in my mouth and stinging needles in my eyes. I take deep breaths often, trying to contain the desire to shout at everyone around me. When people talk about the courage of activists, what they are really talking about it the courage to wake up every morning and do the same thing and say the same thing to an implacable wall, a dead black hole that surrounds them. Remember the scene from C.S.Lewis’s voyage of the Dawn Treader, where the ship sailed into the black fog, and the lights couldn’t even stay on in the face of the utter blacknesss? That’s what I think of when I see people who “do stuff”. I think of those sad little warm lights flickering and weakening and turning cold, unable to stand the lack of acknowledgement from the world around them.

I’m not even an activist. I am a do-nothingist. I am a have-a-jobist. I am a don’t-have-to-kill-the-animal-myself-so-its-okayist. I have no hope. I have too active a curiousity. I am a self-concerned shameful person. And all of you are too. Which is why I don’t understand why we can’t even get angry about something that affects US directly? What hope do the less selfish causes have then?

Of course, maybe the price of gas doesn’t matter so much to you, because you’re not living off yogurt and cheerios just to make sure you have enough gas money to get to work for the next two weeks. Maybe you don’t know the sense of horror when you realize that after the bills are paid, that’s it, there is no spare dollar that shouldn’t go into your gas tank. You’ve probably never called off work just because you didn’t have enough to get there. You think rush hour is just a nuisance, but to me that time spent waiting burning running is tomorrow’s morning’s allowance.

Yes, I am very angry today. At you, at me, at gas, at capitalism, at hormones, at all girls more than three years younger than me, at boys, at the ice collecting on my car, at my squeamy looking hair, at absolutely everything in the whole world except the pot roast in the crockpot at home which will be my sustenance thru next Tuesday. Also, I’m not angry at the Red Fox Dream Baby.
I found the little creature sitting in a basket in front of the washing machine the other morning. It was wrapped up in a blanket with care. It had soft short red fur and two triangle ears, like a fox. But the shape of its muzzle was very bearlike. It was very cute,sleeping there in the basket, like stuffed animal.

But I was scared to touch it. The scene from Wicked where she bites off the nurse's knuckle kept going through my head. So I left it there, and went to work. It wasn't the bravest thing I've ever done. When I got back, it was gone, so someone must have wanted it.

Now these balloons keep appearing. The yellow, orange, and green ones make you disappear when you touch them. Like, blink, where are you? And no one has come back yet. But recently these purple ones make you really industrious and motivated and ambitious.

I'm fairly certain the two things are connected, now I just need to figure out how.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I realize that some of you don't watch Mad Men on AMC. What you don't realize is that you're missing every Sunday night the very best show on television, possibly ever. Remember how you felt about Lost in the first season? Or the Sopranos? Or the Simpsons? Remember Ken Burn's Civil War?

Also this happened.

I swear, every time I think about leaving the house today, it starts raining. Then it stops, when I've already watched 45 minutes of the O.C. and I really want to see what happens at the Winter Dance and with Ryan making out with Caleb's love child. When I finally tear myself away and put my shoes on? It starts raining again. I think I will just throw all my laundry out and dress in nothing but jeans and black shirts from now on.

My grocery list:
cat food, the kind she likes
onion bagels
some fucking juice, god do I want juice right now
maybe tuna?

My halloween costume ideas: theme for the party is Monsters
-Ashley Todd
-Myself,circa 1996*
-really wasted Obama Girl.**

*I need a white slip and pentagram for this one
**Oh wait, I already did that one. Saturday night. It was a smash hit. Until I fell down on the woodpile and spilled my punch on people. Twice.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fucking awesome

Also awesome? The Atheist Bus Campaign.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I could easily spend 150k on clothes if someone told me to.

I think the important thing to note is that, despite spending so much money, Sarah Palin still looks like she buys her clothes at Sears*. Which in fact tells me that she IS a hockey mom. So it kinda works for her, and against my own image of her as a babysucking Inuit witch from the wilds of ANWR who has taken the form of a pretty lady to wreak revenge on the tribes who trapped her beneath a glacier for the past 1000 years where she survived on the stringy flesh of water rats**. I absolutely believe that lots of other sports oriented mothers out there would also squander tons of money on clothes that look exactly like all the other clothes they have, in an Evansville*** heartbeat. I could probably sit here and pick out 150k worth of clothes for my own mom that would also be eerily similiar to her current Lands End collection. Of course, my mother has better taste.

We also haven't considered the fact that maybe the rest of her clothes were ruined by moose blood or christ blood. That shit stains.

Last night I had a dream where Obama and I were at the same hair salon in some strip mall. And while we were waiting around for our appointments, he took me driving around in some SUV, through an area that was like a creepy amalgamation of Downtown Detroit and Overgrown West Virginia. We smoke a bunch of cigarettes together and talked about why he isn't pushing harder for Broadband.

I have officially drank the Koolaid.

*This is not my original thought. It has been uttered by lots of people. I just happen to agree with them.
**An unintended consequence of global warming/glacial melting
***I don't know what I have against Evansville either.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Alright, lets start at the cat. She's obviously my lifeline, so why not the beginning too? Long time readers and also anybody who knew me last winter, will remember the drama of "why won't my cat clean her ass and why does she insist on scraping it on every fabric covered surface in my apartment?". Well, that's died down a little now, thought not completely. Only when I forget to clean her litter box. However, Eddy never used to do that.

I got Eddy when I moved into an apartment in Duck Island, a silly tiny efficiency with painted shut windows and no room for a proper fridge. Peter died that winter, on Christmas, so I was going to bar by myself quite a bit. One night I went to Edison's, and that chubby blonde girl was working there. Anyone remember her? She had really curly blonde hair and enormous breasts and was quite short and not very cool at all. She collected stray cats from Tremont. So when this little kitten ran in from the snow and hid under the stairs, she wouldn't just throw the poor thing out. She said "I'll buy free drinks for whoever will take it" and so I did. I walked down to the cornerstore and bought a foil pan for a litter box and some cat food, then ripped the cat from under the stairs and took her home. She definitely did not want to go. Just think, if I hadn't taken her, Eddy might be a Edison's bar cat right now. She might be hiding under the steps mewling during Open Mike. She might have been killed by an errant dart.

So I drove her home and yes, she pooped all over the back of the car, and all over me as I walked her up. Which is why I know now that you should never feed stray kittens milk. She hid under the bathtub for a long time. I decided that I would make a practice of taking her to bed with me every night, so she'd be used to it. She has never gotten used to it. I bought her toys and tried to play with her. She stared at me, but then started a lifelong love affair with the chain from the bathtub drain. I used to sit in the bathtub with my knees up and she would sit on them.

Eddy has lived in multiple places. With other cats. With dogs. With people she doesn't like. She was okay at David's, but not happy, being stuck in the attic the whole time. Oh my god, have I always lived in attics? She was happy at my parent's house, she got to roam outside and sleep with my mom. But she ran away for a week then, and when she came back her tail was a bloody mess, she was pregnant, and she had no more interest in going outside. She had one kitten from that litter, the rest were stillborn. And it was a happy little kitten, and we gave it away. Then she got pregnant again, before we fixed her. We didn't know at the time, but when my mother took her to get fixed, she had a whole litter almost born. Mom insisted on aborting them, and we lived with Mom, so we didn't really have a choice. She took her to this dingy yellow house on 65th with dirty siding where The Man did cheap surgery on feral cats for cheap. Leaving her there overnight was the hardest thing. So Eddy has lost babies to the cruel structure of society. Her stomach has never recovered, its still saggy and waddly. I'm not completely convinced that there isn't cotton wadding or calcified kitten corpses still in her gut. When she sees kittens, she tried to kill them. Literally. She's a psychopath.

We moved in with other cats, in other apartments, and she seemed okay. There was living with Rob for a brief second and his cat. Then I went to my job interview and the bar downstairs caught fire. I came back to find Eddy in a carrier case, and we had to go track down Rob's poor kitty in the next door apartment. So she's been in a fire too.

Back she went to Mom's house, while I crashed at Buddy's, and I didn't have her for almost a whole year. Then we moved in with Sean. And Eddy really loved Sean, he rubbed her belly in the way only he could, because he has much bigger hands than I do. But then the butt scooting started, and other things happened, and we moved out again.

So now Eddy and I are all alone. I keep thinking about getting another cat, to keep her company. Because I'm not home half the time, and she's all alone. But I think she prefers to have me to herself, and also, she might kill it. When Sean comes over, she won't go to him now usually, as if she's afraid he's going to move back in and take my attention away. Every morning she wakes me up by shifting her 13 pounds onto my hipbone violently, and when that doesn't work, she paws me in the lip. Recently she decided that she only eats fancy feast, and when the litter box is not cleaned, she tips it over. I got a laser pointer recently, and she watches it very intently, with no intention of moving.

Things she has killed:

The mice in the stove
A bat she left by my bed
Multiple birds
2 large spiders
A purple feather

She still gets a little upset if I don't pick her up when I come home. And she freaks out when there's no food. And she freaks out about going on the porch, because if I shut the door, you know I might not let her back in. My cat and I are extremely similar.

What does it mean that I now rely on my cat for survival? Does it mean I really ought to have a child instead? :) Or does it signify my full fledged entry in Cat Lady-dom? I've been planning on getting a dog when she finally kicks it for years, but knowing her, she'll live forever. Is my cat fucked up because I'm fucked up, or because I suck at cleaning litterboxes? Does she come over to be with me when I'm crying because she cares, or because she likes licking the salt? How long could Eddy survive by gnawing on my corpse?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You know, I was faithful and madly in love with him for years. And I defended him to everyone. And I thought, just give him time, he just needs time, he's just in a really bad place. But when he started telling me that his "bad place" was all because of me, and his constant misery and inability to enjoy anything was because of me...well I still stuck it out for months. He spent the night at another girls house the first night we moved in together, and I stuck it out. He told me he wasn't attracted to me, and I still stuck it out. But finally I couldn't do it anymore and I left.

Then he said "what can I do?" and I said "date other people, be happy". And he did. For months he told me that he still wasn't happy, but he still kept going on so many many dates, every girl he fucking ran across. And I sat at home, trying to be empowered, trying to get over him, trying to look like I didn't care. I was miserable inside, I was so fucking unhappy, I cried every night I was alone. But I kept telling him no, I kept hoping it would get better, that something would happen that would make me feel better.

Finally, this guy starts writing me, talking to me every night. He wanted me to come visit him, he wanted to fly me down! ME, who couldn't get her own boyfriend to take her anywhere. And so I went. But see, it was his best friend. So yes, that's really really bad. I didn't care. He was fingerbanging every 21 yr old waitress on Craigslist, he was going out of town every weekend. I couldn't even pay my car bills and no one else had told me I was pretty or special for years. I thought, he doesn't love me. He even told me I wasn't pretty enough for this fucking guy to like me. So fuck him. Why should he have all the fun? Oh, it was my worst moment. It was the coldest. It was the thing to not do.

And its not even like I slept with the kid. I didn't even get that. But can you believe I did that? It tells the kind of person I am.

Course I get back and I missed him even more. And I couldn't stop thinking about him. And I felt myself starting to go crazy, that point where you feel the voices starting to divide in your head, and you can't even talk like a normal person. And the fucking tears just wouldn't stop, none of it would fucking stop. I couldn't wake up in the morning without laying there, thinking it was useless and meaningless and just a waste of my fucking life. And I tried to write a novel. I tried to pick up new hobbies. I lived for his friend's phone calls because it was the only real interest anyone had in my life, until those grew stale and stupid and cold. My friends tried, but they all hated us together, they thought I was fine. I didn't want to look stupid in front of them, look like the stupid co-dependent fat girl I felt like. I knew I was all alone. I knew he wasn't. His friend said "he's met someone else, let him go, stop talking to him so he won't feel guilty" so I did.

Then I couldn't. I called him. I said "I hate you and I miss you and please take me out and get me drunk." So he did. We sat at the bar exchanging bitterness for a few hours, while I drank as fast as I could and cried and didn't even care when people looked at me. He told me how much fun he'd been having, how he's gone to Chicago and New York for shows with this girl, how he'd seen Nick Cave twice.

Then he took me back to his place, and he loved me, and told me how all these girls knew I could steal him away at a moment's notice, and he was in love with me, and missed me, and over and over again how beautiful I was, how impossibly pretty I was, how soft my lips were and no one kissed like me. And I lied to him. I told him we weren't getting back together. I told him I hadn't kissed anyone else. I told him I wasn't even thinking about getting back together.

Then he didn't want to tell me what he was doing this weekend, for sweetest day. He refused. I got mad. I made him take me home. On the way, in the car, he told me he was going to New York with three girls. I cried. I begged him not to go. He said he couldn't cancel. I begged him to take me with him. He refused. I got out of the car and walked home. He came to my house and called and called and said "are you my girlfriend?" and I couldn't say yes. Because the last thing he said before I got out was "how can I not go to New York with three girls who want to fuck me?", and I knew nothing I said was going to stop him. I went to bed weeping again, but I'm used to it now I thought.

The next day I was desperate, I knew he was gone. I sent him emails accusing him, I sent him text messages begging him again and again to take me, to not throw me away. As if I somehow believed he wanted to keep me. I called and I called and I wept and drank and wept more into his voicemail. And he still never called. His friend was talking to both of us all day, his friend who told me not to talk to him. He was also telling him all day not to talk to me. I texted him again, I said "please don't listen to Nick. I listened to him and it was a mistake". I meant about not talking to him, but who knows what he said to Nick the next morning.

I woke up Saturday in tears already, dreaming that he was already gone. I called and called and called, but his voicemail was full at this point. He showed up at my house at 11am, in a suit already, set to go. He barged in without knocking, stood over my bed, and I knew he was going to kill me. I saw it in his face. I went hysterical, I screamed into my pillow "why why are you doing this to me?" Why would he make me fall in love with him again, make me admit my fucking weakness, only to reject me? Revenge? Or just not good enough anymore? Wasn't good enough the first time, why would I think I was good enough this time. Did he plan it out, to get back at me? Did he and Nick do it together?

Then he went into the second bedroom, through the boxes he had packed for me, and stole the only love letter he had ever written for me. It's in a manila folder. He's taken it from me twice, only to have me take it back. He said "how could you go down there and suck my friend's dick?" and he looked at me but he didn't really want an answer. I said "you hurt me for years" it was the only thing I could get out, he was just standing there so self righteous and hateful, and I slapped him. Then he spit on me. In my face. Twice. It's the second time a guy has spit in my face. I went crazy, tried to rip the letter from his hands. He shoved me on the floor and told me I was dead to him. That I had ruined his weekend.

That was the worst part. That I had "ruined his weekend". Nothing of the past two days ruined his weekend. The fact I wanted him back and he was leaving me didn't ruin his weekend. But this, the idea that I had sucked someone else's dick, that ruined it. It was only his pride he cared about. He left me sitting on the carpet, things strewn around me. That's not fair to him I'm sure some will say. Maybe some will tell me I broke his heart again, even worse. But he was going to leave me anyway. He didn't want me. He probably never really wanted me back, and it only took meeting another decent girl to convince him of it. It only took having some fun, like I'd been telling him all along.

And I was dead. I knew it. He had struck me down. He had ripped out anything left inside me. Years and years of this same scene, but he had finally killed me. He won.

At first I took it literally. I thought to myself, this is it. I am going to kill myself. I called off work. I wrote him a letter. I sat in the bathtub for hours, letting the water go cold while I contemplated how I was going to do it. I couldn't afford a gun. I was afraid of razors, that I wouldn't do it right. I wanted pills, but where to get them?
And because I had nothing handy, I didn't do it. I took to much time. I tried to think out the details, where I would put the cat, how to not hurt the family below me, how my own family would feel and what would they do for the funeral, how would they afford it. I'm ashamed my family wasn't first in my thoughts, but really, it was the cat. It's always the damn cat. The details, they made it too difficult. I wanted simple. I wanted to just fall asleep and not wake up.
I sat in the dark all night. Finally I fell asleep, but then I woke up and it was today. I was so disappointed. I lay there till 4pm, hoping I would just fall asleep some more. Then I started drinking.

And I'm still drinking, but I'm not pretending anymore that I can off myself. I can't. It's not that I don't want to. But I can't. And I won't. So I'll just continue waking up every morning. And its the most frightening awful thing. But I guess if I can construct sentences still...and I've been listening to Johnny Cash...and I've decided to get surgery...and stupid craigslist keeps taking down my ad because someone keeps flagging it which is either because I said no republicans or because he's doing it...I know that he was the one. And he's irrevocably gone. And there's nothing I can do about that. But at least maybe if you already found and lost the one, then there's nothing more to keep searching for. And that's gotta be worth something. Cause maybe I don't have the courage to physically kill myself but maybe being dead inside will be better for me. Maybe eventually everything will go numb. At the very least I can pretend I have something to say about all this. I can create this fantasy where he comes back and says "be mine again" and I say "I never stopped being yours, I'm branded, diseased, broken, with your name scratched across my insides like a kid writing on a school desk, and yes okay, yes always, yes yours."

Oh and the worst part is the cars. When he left me the first time, I heard saw his car everywhere. It was always out of the corner of my eye, for months and months, almost a year. Now it's started again, car doors, and brakes, and footsteps. All day, I turned the tv up loud so it buzzed, just to not hear the fucking cars.

But the really important thing here, the thing that I think will make me wake up just a little bit harder every morning, with just a little more shell on me, is that at least it's a story. It's a really good story. And I think I will start writing every part of it down as I remember it, until its finished. Because I really do love him, and I will always love him, even when he isn't here anymore.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So I think I've refrained pretty well recently from ranting about the crazies who are coming out of the dark American closet, stuffed monkey, noose ad and all.
Which is why I thought I'd share this video with you. It's from evilshell. She prefaced it by saying she was ashamed to come from Ohio. But I'm sharing this with you because of the one guy by the side of the road, who makes me proud to come from Ohio.

I'd like to point out that most of those people in that segment were really old. Which means they will die soon.
Stolen from John Hodgman's page
God only knows how he found it, but I guess that's why he gets paid the big bucks.
There are a select few of you who read this who should not live another day without watching this.
Vin Diesel. D&D.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I found this on Hattie Hattie's blog (see sidebar).

Dear Old Love

It's definitely a gold mine. This one is ONE of my favorites.


Random Wiki Today: The Lion of Belfort

Every once in a while, I get an offer from someone I don’t like very much that I find very hard to refuse. So I don’t. Every time, this has turned out to be the right decision. That being said, if someone would offer to take me on a tour of really really big things in the world, it wouldn’t matter what they looked like, or talked about. I would even excuse the inevitable double entendre. I like to think that if I keep my standards low enough, some day this will happen. You’re thinking “but Bridget, what about all the really hot 20 yr olds out there with even lower standards?” I like to think that I would be less intimidating, with more lasting entertainment value. Sarcasm never gets old, right?

The Lion of Belfort is one of those amazing things that you have no idea exists unless you live in Eastern France, or you happened to major in something weird in college, like Historical Architectural Design. It’s iffy even then. If I were randomly in Belfort one day, and I saw this by accident, I would seriously then consider moving there so I could stand under its shadow every day.

I feel this way about a surprisingly large number of monuments.

The Lion of Belfort was designed by the same guy who did the Statue of Liberty, Frederic Bartholdi. Did you know the actual name of the statue is “Liberty Enlightening the World”? Also that Bartholdi was originally going to do a statue for the Suez canal called “Egypt Bringing Light to Asia”, which was a woman holding a torch, modeled after the goddess Libertas? Yeah. I get it. He was an artist, and he needed an excuse to get some government to fund his giant bronze woman. I don’t fault him for repackaging the concept.

The Lion was probably a little nearer to his heart though. Bartholdi was an officer during the Franco-Prussian war, and this cat is dedicated to the siege of Belfort during the last gasping heaving campaigns against the Prussians. Bartholdi was an officer under Garibaldi, an Italian who originally fought with the Prussians, then switched his support to the French. Now there’s an interesting guy, Garibaldi. Anyway, so Bartholdi originally is fighting for the Prussians, then the French. He makes this giant lion as a testament to the small contingent of brave French who hold off the Prussians at Belfort for 103 days, only to have to surrender in the end because the Armistice is signed. Can you imagine having to surrender because your government tells you to, after 103 nightmarish days of beating unbelieveable odds? It's unthinkable, walking out to lay down your arms to the enemy after something like that. He then faces the lion east, as a warning to any stray Prussians who might be thinking conquistador thoughts. Only at some point, there were enough German protests about it, they MOVED it to face the east.

This thing is big. 22 meters long and 11 meters tall. That’s 72 feet long, 36 feet tall. I remember reading a ZooBook when I was a little girl, and it said that Bengal tigers were 8-9ft long. And someone told me that was roughly the same size as our couch. Since then, whenever I’m trying to imagine a tiger, I think of a couch. I googled “72ft” to see what I could compare this to, and what I came up with was some giant inflatable billboard at the 08 PGA Open, that beat all previous giant inflatable billboard records. Maddeningly, I can’t find a picture of it.

Don’t you wish you were the kind of person who saw giant lions on the side of mountains, and colossal women standing in the water at the edge of ports? And then convinced international governments to give you money to build them, with hundreds, thousands of workers and years of time, all so that this huge lion can guard this town for the rest of known time? That's immortality.

Middle of the day rambling

The question of what to hang on my walls is daunting to me. Not because I don’t have stuff. I have stuff. I have several posters I’ve carried around for years that desperately need framing. I have a few of Jay’s pieces, some of Marty’s, one of Tony’s. I have some digital cartoons I bought from some guy at the Phantasy. A cartoon of my name from Colleen and Matt. A box full of mirrors I haven’t put up cause quite frankly I’m a little sick of mirrors. A large promo canvas of Belle and Sebastian Tara snagged for me from the record store.

I’ve got more wall space then I know what to do with. And I am not a fan of empty walls. When I first moved in, I was full of plans to paint all sorts of crazy stuff in the hallway, and I found tree wallpaper I wanted to cover the library in. But both of those things require time and money, so I’ve been repeating this mantra to myself of “I’ll be here for a while, it doesn’t need to be done right away, wait till I’ve been here a year at least before I start pouring money into things I can’t take with me.” Patience patience patience. It’s hard. Especially when all my friends have such lovely tricked out places. But you know, they’ve lived there for YEARS. And the concept of living in one place for more than one year is a strange new thing for me. I still live under this perpetual fear that something really awful is going to happen, like I’ll lose my job and have to move back home, or there will be a fire, or my landlord will decide he’s selling the house*.

You know what I really want to do? Hire a maid to clean the damn place once every two months.

I don’t know why I just don’t clean stuff. When I look around at the mess, and I’m like, I should clean this room, it’s like my head literally goes blank and I’m completely incapable of any action. Cleaning is literally hardwired into me as not something I do. I know this isn’t from my parents, because they certainly tried to get me to chores all the time. Even when I was little, I was incapable of doing the simplest cleaning tasks. I just can’t do it. I’m blind when it comes to dirt. I try to get it clean, but my version of clean is like a 2 yr old’s idea of the alphabet.

I’m envious of people who just do it without thinking. Is there some hypnotism I can undergo to think like this? To do all my dishes before I go to bed. To vacuum every week. To scoop the kitty litter every day, and put things back in their place when I’m done with them.

I don’t think of myself as super lazy, but the truth is, I can’t get myself to do anything unless someone else is grading me or judging me. Can’t exercise every day. Can’t clean. Can’t quit smoking. The only thing that passes for willpower in my world is shame, and even that’s not very effective ‘cause I’m really good at not caring about your opinion unless I choose too, especially when you’re telling me something bad about myself.**

I’ve been trying to snap myself out of it.
But it’s like I hit a concrete wall. Seriously. I just freeze up. My muscles become waterlogged. My nerves get all shaky. I have a petulant preschooler inside me who just sits down in the middle of the store and refuses to move. It takes a monumental force, like 5 shots of espresso and the imminent threat of people coming over, to get any movement going.
And the sad part is, I really like having a clean house. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. If I had to compare the reaction to something I’m familiar with, I’d say I’m scared stiff. But who get’s scared of cleaning? I just tried googling that, and the answer is no one. There is a neurosis for everything except that. So I’m just lazy.

*All of these things have happened to me, so this is not me being paranoid.
** Just kidding, there’s nothing really wrong with me. No matter what my flaws, I’m still

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Voting Day!

Alright! So I finally got my ballot in the mail. Voting is like a holiday for me, and since I'm gonna miss it this year, I figured I'd make a real go of it tonight. So I've got my three dollar bottle of red wine, my coloring book of patriotic posters, and Ice T's myspace page playing in the background. Happy Voting Day!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I have dirty rings around my ankles. Its hot.

So today I borrowed my dad's camera, just to see if I liked it enough to buy one myself. I set out with my laptop and some coffee, and drove around for a few hours. It was easily the best day I've had by myself in a while. People got pissed off at me cause I kept pulling over to the side with my hazards. And I was all like, look at me, sittin in my car, playing with my laptop, listening to Grandaddy, I'm awesome and you're not.

These guys were my favorite. Also, I ended up at the Temple of Lost Love, which I totally thought I didn't know how to get to anymore, but then randomly found. Remember that place? Everyone used to glue pictures of ex's up on the wall and paint shit around it? Then the stupid city built the amphitheater next to it, and we couldn't go anymore cause of the security? Then the bastards keep painting over it? Like anyone fucking cares about what's underneath an abandoned railroad bridge across from a concrete factory.

Its not really the same anymore though. The hipsters have been chased out, it looks like. There are no more skeletons.

I was talking to Buddy about it, and he thinks we should start going there again. I think we should find a new place. One not next to Tower City.

There's more at my new Flickr page. Like, 100 more. I'm not allowed to post anything new to that site for a month cause I've used up my designated bandwith.

I know, right?

While I was taking this one, some really nice cars started circling around me, giving me nasty dirty looks. They pulled off down the road, and started taking out all this fancy equipment, with a model who had orange paint all over her. They acted like I was pissing all over their scene. I mean, there's probably like 2 million photos of that guy above on Tremont hipsters' cameras. It's not like you made it, asshole. Also, they were driving a blue really blue convertible. Fuck off.

I'm all scratched up now, and the bugs by the railroad tracks were nasty. So much fun though. I have a whole list of places I want to go now.
Does anyone remember what bloodthirsty feels like anymore?

Answer: I do. But my concept of it is derivative nonetheless.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I liked "Aim High" better

Random Wiki of the Day: The 64th Air Division (United States)

I know next to nothing about the Air Force.
Here is what I know about the Air Force.

1.Planes are cool, always. Shows about planes are cool. Being in a plane is cool. People who fly planes are cool.

2.Obviously I am not alone in thinking that all the coolest dogfight stories come from WW2, since there is an entire cable channel devoted to this.

3.Pilots are deceptively hot, which you don’t expect, ‘cause they’re short.

4.Pilots become astronauts, which is even cooler. Sorry, but all this crap of which military arm is the best is just that, crap. Because none of you GO INTO SPACE. NASA wins, hands down.

Yes, I know that’s not fair. And don’t get me wrong, I love planes. It’s almost like being outside the earth’s atmosphere. Almost. I understand the arguments that can be made for pilots having the more dangerous job. I mean, no one is shooting at astronauts. Yet.

When I think of the Air Force in WW2, I’m actually thinking of the Royal Air Force of Great Britain. I’m prejudiced to them. They have a better logo, number one. It looks like a commuter train ad.

The first image that comes to mind when I think of World War 2 planes are a bunch of little Tiger Moths being blown to pieces against the hot white sky and hot blue water of the Greek Mediterranean. It is Roald Dahl’s fault. He wrote an autobiography about his time in Africa with the Shell Company and then being a RAF pilot against the Italians, and its one of those autobiographies that defines an entire era for you. I’m in love with Roald Dahl. I used to be in literary love with Tom Robbins, which is so gross, it’s like admitting you used to be in love with Joey from New Kids On The Block. I remember my dad used to give me nasty looks when I talked about him as my "favorite writer". But then I grew up and realized that Roald Dahl is an epitome of a human being. Just AN epitome you know, since there’s lots of different ways to be a human being, but he’s my favorite epitome. So Dahl and fighter planes are inextricably linked in my head, along with queer little stories about snakes and olives.

I think one of the reasons we’re so obsessed with fighter planes during that War is that they looked like toys, they were just so damn cute*, whereas now they look like much less fun much less cute toys that are way more expensive and easy to break. It’s the same thing with cars. They stopped being fun for all but the most savvy of you when they had computers installed in them. Computers make everything just a little bit scarier, more breakable. We don’t feel any sense of control over computers, which is silly, cause they are still just plastic, but we don’t feel capable of fixing them ourselves and therefore if we were stuck on a desert island with a broken plane or a boat to get us off, we’d rather it be old. We might be able to fuddle through it then.
That’s how I feel about it anyways.

This particular division did most of their time in WW2, so my thoughts here aren’t completely random. And like I said, I know nothing about the Air Force. But it still makes me feel sad when I read the words “deactivated”. It’s like reading about a good old farm horse that was put down, even though you understand it was its time to go, and it’s not like you knew the horse personally. There's probably this huge hidden reserve of sentimental patriotism buried deep in my commie soul that I haven't even begun to tap. Scary thought.

Also, I think the dish in their crest is supposed to represent the short period when they were defending bases in Greenland and Labrador as part of the Northeast Air Command.
It's odd to think of Labrador as an actual place, isn't it?

*Maybe for her next stunt, Palin can dress as Rosie the Riveter and assemble a fighter jet!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A lone king stands on his once great port and watches the harbor fill up with silt, just before they stab him in the back and call it history

Random wikiness of the day: Timarchus of Miletus
I love history on a very immediate, visceral level. Luckily, I have the worst memory ever, I’m completely unable to remember dates and names. So I get a lot of enjoyment from visiting historical sites, watching documentaries, reading books about things I’ve already read a lot about, because it’s all refresher to me. I can watch the Ken Burns Civil War over and over and over, even the Gettysburg episode. WW2 exists as a piecemeal of pictures to me, I marvel at the connection of campaigns. I’m always amazed at the Hapsburgs. History never gets old. Some might consider it a form of retardation, I look at it as a gift. A weird childlike gift. It’s not that bad really. I always did really well on history tests. I just don’t “retain”.

Timarchus of Miletus seems to be one of those D-List monarchs who somehow end up being remembered though their reign was brief, violent, and pretty inconsequential to modern man. He’s not to be confused with Timarchus of Media, another nasty fellow who had his coins inscribed with “Great King”, with a picture of Nike on the flip side (I’m still kinda sore at the whole victory/shoes connection). The ancient Iranians were not known for humility, guess. Anyway, our Timarchus is described by one word, “tyrant”. The author doesn’t tell us why he’s a tyrant, but there it is. The townspeople were so happy when he was deposed, i.e. murdered violently, they “awarded” the name GOD to the usurper. It also says he led a revolt against Ptolemy II of Egypt, but I think it was really more of an ongoing war, since Egypt was the major naval power at the time. And all this is right after years of rule by the weird Cyrus Persian guy, you know, the one in that bad cartoon movie. Miletus does not seem like it was a cool place to live at the time. Everyone was constantly trying to conquer it and tax it, and the kings, small fry as they were, were always being murdered. It was bounced around between the Egyptians and Greeks and Persians and Turks. And you know, it’s nothing special. It’s just like, a place. A place in Turkey with some ruins. People live there, well not THERE but close to there, and local would be kings still get murdered there, probably.

Most places in the world are like that. But we forget, because we’ve got such glorified terms as Paris and Rome and Medina. I think what’s missing in most people’s idea of history are the normal people, the sheer volume of normal people and normal small cities and normal villages and normal goats. Even the normal small time gangstas, like Timarchus here. The fact that we live in such luxury in the States makes us unable to relate to the idea of peasants, or mud huts, or slaves. I mean, we imagine it, sort of, like a Where’s Waldo picture. But we don’t smell it. We can’t see it. We don’t know what its like to be that dirty. We can’t even begin to relate to the mindset. Those people might as well be aliens, with empty dirty superstitious heads and sad little wives. Dirty short aliens who inhabited the Earth before us, and had no range of emotions, or care about their social state, or dignity. We’re all like, “oh, they used slaves to fight the Carpathians? Well that makes sense, they’re expendable”. History has been defined by the Master mindset. What makes us think for one moment we are Masters? Cause we know how to read?

I know that this is a problem we should correct for the sake of charity, not just to be more interested in history. But I feel like they're both screwed anyway, which is funny cause history is over and yet still screwed.

Someday someone will think of us the same exact way. And the mayor of Detroit will be a curt footnote in the super successor of Wiki, while kids in Introduction to the Western Union class watch the Cremaster Cycles and learn how to make Bubble Tea from scratch just like the pioneers did.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Let the Wikifest continue...

Alright, so this story is going to make my dad cringe, but whatever.

When I was 16, I was friends with this girl in high school who lived on the West Side of town like me. She was nice enough, but naive. Her boyfriends were all older hipster boys. Of course, this was hipster in 1995, which is not nearly as cool, it was a lot of Army Jackets and too much of the Cure. Her parents lived in a cookie cutter subdivision house, and made bread every morning. They made things like French Onion soup for dinner, which was the first time I’d ever had it because I hate onions but when you’re over other people’s houses, you eat what they serve you. The dad was a professor at the local college, the mom was a soloist in her church, blah blah blah it should not surprise you that this girl eventually moved to Beloit Wisconsin. However, she was very nice, they were very nice, moving on.

This girl set me up with one of her friends, a family friend. He was older, but so was every other guy I was hanging out with. I don’t remember exactly how much older, but I think he was over 25. It was a blind date, and it was a double date with Girl and Current Hipster. We went to her favorite suburban Chinese food restaurant. We went to a movie (I have no idea which one). Girl had picked me up, so at this point Date Boy offered to drive me home. Fine. I wish I could tell you what he looked like. All I have is this hazy impression of dull blond hair, doughy cheeks, slacks. He wore a yellow polo shirt. He drove some sort of sedan. There was nothing about him to leave a sharper distinction. He was one of those men who are defined by what TV shows they watch, and where they went to school. I was thoroughly bored.

Which is probably why I made out with him. I was not, and really am still not, picky about whom I’ll make out with. It’s something to fill up time. It’s something to tell a story about. If I hadn’t made out with him then, you wouldn’t be reading this now, after all.

So instead of driving me home, we make out in the car for a little bit, and then he drives me back to his apartment. I really don’t have any interest in going upstairs, but I’m kinda stuck now, since he’s my ride and all. The apartment is in one of those modern complexes with hallways of terra cotta and cramped beige rooms. There is a plant in the hallway which is obviously plastic. There is a possibility that I am mixing up a memory of this hallway with something from 90210.

I do remember the inside though. It’s as innocuous as you could want. There is a brown couch facing a TV. There are some sterile bookshelves. The corner with the computer is full of books and glasses. I remember that he didn’t know what to say once I was there, he just kind of puttered around unsure of himself. I sit on the couch with my arms on my knees, I make a comment about how I should go home soon. I think about calling the Girl. She is probably not home yet with Hipster, and I don’t want to get her in trouble with her mom.

I’m sipping on something, probably alcoholic. It’s been like 20 minutes of nothing. Then really casually, anxiously, he asks me if I’m into handcuffs? Whips? Basically this guy ten years older than me wants to tie up 16 yr old me. But he’s asking me nicely? He shows me his leather stuff. I politely tell him I don’t know anything about this, and I would like him to drive me home.

Miraculously, he does without a problem. The next day I just about massacre the Girl, who also never talks to him again. She was a virgin until out of high school, and this guy used to baby sit her, so imagine how she felt. Of course, she did set me up with the guy who used to baby sit her.

I realized two things that day:
1. I really needed to be more careful with where I went, since I was only 16. I, at least, needed to make sure I had better transportation.
2. I really don’t like guys who aren’t aggressive.

Yeah, that’s right. If he hadn’t been such a dickless wonder about the whole thing, I probably would have gone for it. And I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it the next day. So, that was my first experience with the BDSM world, and it left a dry stale taste in my mouth (which makes me think I was probably sipping red wine that night).

I’m telling you this story because the random Wiki click of the day was Jon Jacobs, the author of some culturally defining (according to wiki) book about this kind of stuff.

It’s a very short entry on him, but it’s full of reasons to hate him. First, they describe him as an “influential freelance writer”. Now what is that about? If you’re actually influential, they don’t keep the freelance in front of your name. Also his slave’s name was Polly Peachum. Polly Peachum. I understand that if you’re somebody’s slave, they can change your name and all. But my loyalty and trust in someone would be sorely tested if they named me after one of Strawberry Shortcake’s sidekicks.Especially when his name makes me want to sing Jon Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. Also, Good Ol’ Jon didn’t like the “softer” side of BDSM, like you know, safe words and limitations. No, he liked what they call the Total Power Exchange.

I think if I had gone on a date with this guy, things wouldn’t have turned out so nice for me. I would have ended up with neck chafing and a tattoo of “Penny Periwinkle” on my ass.

Now I happen to agree with Mr. Jacobs contention that safe words and all that is just "playing", its not a real power exchange. You're not helpless, you still have a modicum of control. I also happen to think the idea of giving up all control to another human being is just the stupidest most moronic thing I can think of. But you know, that's me.
Usually I can find something in a fetish to relate to. But not here.

But the "safe" stuff I understand. I've attempted many times to get in on that scene. The problem is that I think too highly of myself. I'm not going to let some schmuck with a crappy job and hidden Catholic guilt tie me up. And I'm not going to let you pretend to be strong, you have to actually be strong. Stronger than me. That's the point after all.

Every guy I've met who's been really into this stuff has been someone who in normal life I would look down on. I should amend that statement. I know two very nice guys who are into it, and they are very nice smart successful people who are married, or soon to be, (and they still wouldn't be stronger than me, because they are so darn nice to me). But the guys that I meet when I'm specifically looking for that sort of thing are lamers. There is a dire lack of cool people in this scene. I'm like the nasty princess who's dad keeps sending suitors and she sends them off on impossible tasks because they are so not good enough. I'm waiting for the guy who can figure out how to drain the pond with a slotted spoon, or sort 12 tons of feathers in a single night.

I'm not going to even try and go into the psychology of other people here, but it makes you think about how others might relate to roles you take for granted in your life.
Like, Employee. Citizen. Girlfriend.
I don't consider myself a slave to any of those things. But some people out there do, especially the first one. People with higher positions than mine. Maybe I'll read Mr. Jacob's book, and it will give me some insight on how to get a raise...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The best TV show in the whole world

Alright, so now that I’m on a low-politics plan, I need to find other things to think about. This is hard. I have a long list of topics I no longer want to think about.

Sarah Palin
John McCain
Barack Obama
George Bush
Capitalism and God
Project Runway
my terrible soul rending will never stop being stressful breakup
Gas prices
myself and everything simultaneously awesome/horrific about me

Scanning the list, you can see that those are pretty much the topics we’ve been covering for the last, oh I don’t know, 9 months? You know what happens at the end of nine months? Something new gets born. Of course, in this metaphor, that something would be a conflagration of 2008’s worst most boring overworked crap. So see, not so good with the metaphors these days either. Also, spell check just told me to make that “good” a “well”. Today is really starting to pluck on every insecurity I’ve got locked away in my cold shriveled heart. I can’t spell, I can’t write, I can’t stop wanting approval from people who need to go…well, you know. Think monkeys.

So what we’re going to do here is start hitting random on Wiki and seeing what pops.
Today’s random Wiki article is:


(note: this is the real article)

This is a BBC Scotland kids show, and it’s just another reason why eventually the British Empire will rise again. Every week the show chooses six kids to compete as WARRIORS, and they get tunics, emblems, standards, and nine lives. Then they have to go through a bunch of challenges, and the losers get kicked off every day for a week until there are only 2 left standing. Those two then go on to a showdown. If you lose a life, you can regain it by collecting nine rings throughout a challenge, and there’s a bunch of other stuff I’m not mentioning. But already this show is like fifty times more complicated than any other reality show I’ve ever watched. Scottish kids have the best attention spans in the world. Probably ‘cause they can’t afford any video games. And they don’t have any electricity except for what Grandpa’s generating on a bike in the tool shed.

The kids’ show names are made up from letters in their real names. For example, one girl was named Emma Grace, so they renamed her Gredda. Here are my Raven names: Dallan, Tigaa, Gellab, Diran. You can tell I’m American, ‘cause those all strike me as suspiciously hooker sounding.

The host is the namesake of the program, an ancient immortal Scottish warlord named Raven. Which means the host of this program is the Highlander, who has changed his name for unknown reasons, and also now has the power to become a bird whenever he wants, specifically to frighten children. Curiously enough, there is also a Canadian spin-off of the Highlander series called The Raven, which featured a female immortal, who was of course a thief instead of a be-header guy, cause girls don’t behead people? What they don’t tell you is that if you get kicked off Raven, they figuratively “behead” you by cutting all your hair and selling it to wigmakers in London. Also, while we’re on this Highlander kick, did you know Duncan McLeod beheaded Lord Byron? I mean, WTF?

The villain on this show is even better than the host. HIS name is Nevar. Get it? He has red eyes and wears an Iron Mask because his skin resembles a character from the Hills Have Eyes (or just The Hills). Also, he’s got a magic staff of power but every time he uses it for EVEEL, half of his life force is sucked away by the power of the enchanted oak. I don’t understand this villain. Is this a subtle moral lesson about how doing evil causes more harm to you than anyone else? Or did they want a villain that kids wouldn’t really be scared of, knowing that any time they beat his evil task, they are one step closer to defeating the nemesis himself? Are they teaching a science lesson about half-life? It would seem that on this path, by the last season this guy would be susceptible to the smallest kick and down he tumbles, leaving the Portal unguarded for all warriors, ultimate or not.

Did I mention this show is in its 8th season?

The challenges on this show are constantly changing, but pretty much they involve dodging things – falling boulders, swinging swords, metal jaws, lava flows – without touching anything. Like the game you used to play in the school yard, where one person had to balance on the concrete parking barriers, while the other children played sharks, crocodiles, zombies, and lurked around waiting for you to become unbalanced and fall, so they could bite off your limbs. No one has won the series since Season 4. No one ever really wins that game. I wonder how many world leaders and athletes were good at that game?

Essentially this is Ninja Warrior for small pale British children. And considering that the British Isles are going to be the first casualties when the zombies come, and the dragons, and the plagues, and the proletariat, and the fall of the Western markets, I think these are incredibly valuable life skills for these tykes to be learning. Glide through life, without getting bitten. Be agile. Don’t pay attention to the bad man in the hood and mask, he’s powerless. Recognize that other people may be better physically than you, but if you gather enough rings, you can still outlive them.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My weekend was awesome. Awesome, fucked up, and kind of bittersweet. So you know, a whole range of things that I won't go into detail on here, but will surely resurface in the future as thinly veiled innuendos which give you the suggestion that my life is inherently more interesting than yours. It is, by the way, and that's mostly cause I don't have kids, in case you were wondering.

Also, go me, didn't watch the debate. DIDN'T EVEN WATCH THE ANALYSIS. Only mentioned politics like three times all weekend! I'm knocking this monkey off my back and then beating it to a bloody pulp while its terrified relatives watch from the trees.

Now I will simply watch Tina Fey. And wait.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I have held a lot of jobs that required me to persuade people of stuff. I’ve been an insurance agent, a phone banker for environmental campaigns, a door to door canvasser for everything from politics to siding companies. I’m not a very aggressive person. I’m not one of those guys who remind you of a bombastic shark on meth, who just starts talking as soon as you make eye contact and doesn’t stop when you look away (or walk away), whom you have to beat over the head with no. I give up incredibly easy. I’m like “what, you blinked? I’ll leave you alone. This isn’t important at all.” I’m excruciatingly polite. In fact, I have very little clue as to why I have made any money doing these things at all. Point is, my entire “career” has been spent dealing with the public about things they don’t like in a very direct way.

Now I have a job where I tell people bad news. Sometimes I get to tell them good news, but most of the time I’m not telling them what they want to hear, which is “your policy is magic and you don’t have to pay for anything ever”. I have to tell people when I know they’re lying. I have to tell people they have to pay 500 dollars for the repairs. I have to tell people that they’re at fault for this accident and therefore their insurance will be going up for the next three years. And I have to make them like me while I’m doing this, and make them trust me. I have to convince them there is nothing they can do about this.

So when I think of all these Obama Kids out there canvassing door to door, and sucking their cell phone batteries dry while they huddle in the corner of some fashionista’s living room in Ohio City…I feel bad for them. It sucks. Carrie’s in Cleveland doing it this month, and man, Carrie? That sucks. It sucks because all of those people you are interacting with are terrified of you. They are scared stiff of anybody with the courage to talk to them, because obviously you are going to try and make them do something and worst of all THEY KNOW YOU CAN. This is how ugly boys get pretty girls to go out with them. Its how MADD continues to sell magazines, and why people still take those filthy JW pamphlets at bus stations. Being the person that's constantly cowing them is stressful and humiliating and addicting and sucks.

See, that’s the secret to the world. YOU CAN MAKE THEM DO STUFF, as long as you are willing to capitalize on their fear. You don’t even have to try very hard, you just tell them they have to. And it won’t work with everyone, cause there are lots of people telling them to do the opposite of what you’re proposing. But your share of the pie is out there. You just gotta grab as many percentage points as you can. You don’t even have to try very hard, as my job history will attest to. You just have to try at all, and the numbers will come your way. You are a boogie monster to them. Just yell boo and see what happens.

I don’t understand this malleability of Americans (and possibly everyone else, I don’t know). It feels like it should be more complicated than pure mental laziness, like it should be linked to systematic lead poisoning or stuff in the milk(seriously, I barely remember the Jungle except for the milk thing). But whatever the reason, it strikes me that the entire population of the Unites States spends their lives cowering behind their front doors, and it’s not just the terrorists’ fault, and it’s even creepier than unmanned aerials searching for immigrants on the border, or Palin having a lipstick tattoo. It goes way deeper than politics or religion. Why, and what are we all so scared of? Is it really the lack of control in our world? Have we become neurotic pets of the military industrial complex, cowering and needy at the same time, refusing to eat the same kind of food two days in a row, and pissing whenever the litter box isn't clean?

The worst part of it is that fear begets mindless hate and meaningless violence, and nasty grammatically incorrect emails. Did you ever see Me or the Dog? Its a dog training show, and I remember one episode where this couple had this big standard bull, who was really aggressive. Well, the trainer said "hey, he's just super insecure and stressed out, so we'll put him on some thyroid medication, and let him relax in a situation" and the dog was FINE. They didn't have to cut off its legs or muzzle it or anything cruel like that. They just needed to get the dog to fucking relax. That's us! We're the dog! We need to fucking relax.

We need to become the country that still believes we have nothing to fear but fear itself. I need to live in a country where convincing someone successfully of something feels less like me taking advantage of their genetic stupidheadness and more like an actual victory.

Also, for the record, I am numbingly miserable tonight. But that doesn't mean much. It would help if today weren't the first day of winter though. There's nothing to make you feel worse about yourself than bad feelings, cold dark rain, and cigarettes that taste bad.
From today's NYTimes...

"Japanese cooks, however, consider toasted rice overcooked and highly undesirable. The unwanted crust left stuck to the bottom of the rice cooker is called okoge — the same word used as slang for a single woman who spends a lot of time with gay men."