Tuesday, June 27, 2006

walk my little doggy

I'm feeling better now. The terror seems to come in waves. Enormous, overpowering waves. And there's some kind of undertow, too, Christ. But I'm pretty happy today, in spite of the following botherations:
  • I did something to my hair today that makes me look like an angora rabbit.
  • I have Soft Cell's "Sex Dwarf" in my head. I hope to god there's no reason for that.
  • I have to take a math test tomorrow. The kind with numbers.
  • I had to do group work in class yesterday. Group work about Raymond Carver. Then I got called on and had to talk about Raymond Carver. I dislike Raymond Carver. I mean, just look at this picture. He's all, "I am an intense and sexy and dangerous man. At any moment I could leap across this table and punch you in the jaw. There is no telling what I might do, because I am ever so smolderingly volatile."
  • "Also, I have a pencil neck and am trying to hide it from you."
Want to know why I'm still in a good mood today, despite the hair and the math and the sex dwarves and the stories about fishing and whacking off?
  • Somebody told me today that I looked skinny and tall.
Yes, I'm a little pathetic.

Monday, June 26, 2006

i did that thing

I wrote my paper. I'm bitterly ashamed of it (especially of the title, which is stab-yourself-in-the-face awful), and I don't really feel like it's done — that feeling of satisfaction at finishing a difficult task hasn't arrived yet — but it's printed, and it's getting turned in tonight. Unfortunately, my second paper for this class is a revision of this one, so I'm guessing that means I'll have to re-read it, and there's no telling what I'll do when forced to confront the evidence of my inanity.

Anyway, thanks, boyfriend, for using up your entire weekend on herding my thoughts into some kind of coherent structure, and not letting me give up in the middle, and letting me make you read the entire thing over my shoulder as I wrote it, and finding the typo, and telling me a whole bunch of times that I'm not a stupid person who can't write. I really, really hope it's not this hard again.

Oh, and last night I watched Gilmore Girls instead of Deadwood. I thought I should confess.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Fun fact: This is my 100th blog post.

Okay, y'all, here it comes. I'm starting to remember what school was like. Is like. And I'm beginning to react to it the same way I did last time I tried it, and the time before — that is, with an intense desire to give up and go to sleep. It's not the workload, which is incredibly heavy at the moment, but manageable. It's not the work itself, which is very, very dull, but minimally difficult. To be honest, I can't really pin down the problem. I suspect it has a lot to do with fear of failure, and possibly even more to do with being overwhelmed and confounded by the prospect of dealing with a lot of other people in an unprogrammed setting. Which are not really separate issues, I suppose.

My one on-campus class is 7 1/2 hours a week of pleading with whatever higher power is out there not to make me do group work, and avoiding eye contact with the instructor because I dread being called on — which has actually never happened; I seem to be invisible to him, possibly because I'm really good at making myself invisible. But, here's the thing: I have things to say in this class. The discussion is never particularly engaging, but I'd happily be talking if I weren't mortally terrified. It's not fear of what the other students will think of me that keeps me from speaking up; I'm confident I wouldn't say anything they'd find stupid, and if I did, well, I'm pretty sure the only other people in the class who are even 20 years old yet are the crazy woman who goes off on tangents several times a day about surfing or her trip to to Sutter's Mill, and the balding guy with appalling back-of-the-neck hair. (Who actually seems like a smart guy. But you can't possibly overestimate the horror of this stuff. Hush, you already knew I was going to hell.) So I really have nothing to lose that I'm afraid of losing. I just can't make myself begin.

And, well, there is the work, too. I was just plain lying earlier when I said it wasn't the work. By writing this right now, I'm avoiding writing my first paper for Freshman Composition, which is due on Monday. It's supposed to be a "pop culture confession." It doesn't matter what that means, because I can't write it. I have an idea, I have a thesis more or less, but I keep questioning my thesis and thinking maybe I should write about something different, and then questioning that, and then doing a little more waffling, and of course not actually writing a damned thing. It's just a three page paper for Freshman Composition, so if I can string 750 words together in a somewhat coherent manner, I will do perfectly fine. But that's just it — I'm not afraid of not writing it well enough, I'm afraid of writing it. It's a strange way to be blocked, unless it's not.

So, I don't know if I can do this, people. It would be so easy just to quit again. Nothing but me is making me do this, and I can live a life without it that a lot of people would find enviable. I don't really want that life, but there it is, waiting. And in the other direction is something I'm not positive that I want either, and in order to find out whether I do want it or not, I'll have to put in a lot of really hard work — including work that shouldn't be hard but that I find nearly impossible for reasons I can't begin to understand. If I get through this, it will have to be through sheer force of will. And I'm a pretty goddamn stubborn person, but I don't know if I'm that stubborn.

* * *

Neko Case last night was incredible, gorgeous and powerfully moving. Her voice sounds unbelievably good live, her band was flawless, her banter was sassy and engaging, and I was completely caught up the whole time — plus she was wearing a shirt from Otsu when she came out to sing backup for her opening act, and I got to feel cool for recognizing it. But after listening to Blacklisted on the drive home last night, I had a realization: the songs actually sounded almost exactly the same in concert as they do on the albums. She has this huge, haunting, compelling voice, and she's got complete control over it — but she didn't take a single risk with it the whole night. So yes, the show was amazing, but it could have been so much more interesting, couldn't it?

I suspect I'm talking about this right now for a reason.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I hereby vow some of the nastiest sort on 24 Hour Fitness. Let me tell you why. Thus far, my interactions with them have involved:
  • Receiving daily phone calls from one "Lonny" for several days straight, even after I informed him I was not going to be able to even consider joining his gym for at least two weeks.
  • Spending an hour trying to get away from a pushy prick who asked me a lot of personal questions and wrote down my answers, and then seemed personally offended when at the end of the hour I was still telling him the same thing I had been telling him at the beginning of the hour — i.e. that, yes, I really did want to try out his gym to see whether I liked it or not before I gave him any of my money.
  • Receiving a phone call asking me if I wanted to join the gym the instant I clicked on anything on the 24 Hour Fitness website, even when I was already a member of the gym.
  • Having to contact them three times (the third time because I was hung up on the second time) after cancelling my membership in order to actually get my money refunded.
  • Being forced to listen to an entire Boyz II Men song while on hold the second time I called them for my refund, and an entire Michael Bolton song while on hold the third time I called them for my refund.
Ha! You thought this was just a list of petty complaints until you got to that last one, didn't you? Now you understand why I cannot rest until everyone involved with this venture has been sent to the hell where they belong.

Jesus. I hadn't actually realized those songs were still in existence. I mean, I guess I knew, but I didn't know, you know? I have to go puncture my eardrums now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


It's only my second day of school, and already I've learned a lot. To wit:
  • History should be studied because it is essential to individuals and to society, and because it harbors beauty.
  • Pursuing particular stories or types of problems, simply because they tickle the fancy, contributes to a rounded intellectual life.
  • I will need a video camera to tape myself fighting off an attacker for my online Self-Defense class. I'm not really sure what to do about this yet, since I don't have a video camera or know anyone who has one I can borrow.
  • Statistics is not a spectator sport. [Emphasis not mine.]
I've also written what I hope will be the first in a series of informative marginal notes for future users of my Freshman Composition textbook, Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. My first note reads: "Roland Barthes was killed by a laundry truck while walking home after a lunch party held by Francois Mitterand. LOL."

Lastly, this has nothing to do with school, but here's a meat robot.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

one-liners: new shoes edition

  • New shoes! OMG!!! New shoes FTW!! They're blue, and they have a sort of quasi big band/dominatrix feel to 'em. Or at least that's what I say. And I will wear them every single day until the morning I find my toes in a soggy mess at the bottom of the bed.
  • Speaking of shoes, today I caught myself seriously thinking about buying a pair of yellow shoes. That's right. Yellow. Shoes. I've apparently turned into a kindergartener. More evidence: today I bought a bottle of baby lotion. Baby lotion, you know, to rub on my skin. You guys would tell me if I was shitting my pants in public, right?
  • David Lynch is on the market again. He sounds happier.
  • You know how I was going to go to Ikea and get a new futon mattress last week and then everything in life was going to be perfect? Yep, not so much. I got the mattress, but I have to take it back to Ikea this Saturday. I'm making Boyfriend go with me this time. I think he's really looking forward to it. Anybody need anything? (Other than your blinds, of course, Shosh.)
  • Here are some cats that look like Hitler.
  • Yes, Nick Cave probably is the coolest man alive. Don't you just love his little pink shirt?
  • I'm taking my (last) insurance test tomorrow. Everyone wish me luck. Actually, never mind, I'm over it.
  • I have a foot cramp. And I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

and thank you for that rasher of shit

A message for my employer:

I can't stop fantasizing about quitting my job. Nothing in my life has ever been as satisfying as I imagine it would be to explain to these people that there's a causal relationship between treating people like shit and those people no longer wanting to work for you. So who wants to pay me to sit on my ass? Starting tomorrow? I guess I should call the financial aid office or something.

Oh, but I forgot, I don't want to quit now because two weeks from today is Pizza Party/Hawaiian Shirt day. Thanks, MiniFun.

Anyways. You guys, Deadwood is back and it is so cocksucking good. I had forgotten how excellent it is to watch an bunch of foul-mouthed frontiersmen, whores, prospectors, and pimps — oh, and a drunken Calamity Jane, too — debate in Shakespearean tones about the future of their town, and then shoot a Cornish person in dingy long underwear and feed the body to some pigs. Or do surgery without anesthesia to remove a man's kidney stones. Or worship a stuffed moose head. I had a favorite line from last season, and earlier tonight I was trying to remember it, and I couldn't, and I felt like something incredibly valuable had been lost to me forever, but it's okay, I just remembered it just now: "Anyways, are you at risk for the plague?" This was an awkward attempt by the town sheriff (a man who walks as if his arms were made of jellied meat and would just fall off and lie on the ground jiggling if he ever moved them) at making small talk over the hotel breakfast table with the rich widow he was trying to make it with at the time. With whom he was trying to make it at the time. David Milch, teach me English.

Monday, June 12, 2006

spider army

Idler. They're somewhere in our apartment, and they're waiting for you.

Friday, June 09, 2006

red shoes do unmentionable things to my unmentionables, too

First things first before I start rambling on: Happy birthday yesterday, boyfriend! You are now older than me. This is an attractive quality in you and I compliment you on it. I'm so sorry I forgot to say happy birthday to you yesterday morning before I went to work. In my defense, you will have to admit that it was before noon. I'm gonna try again today to be a better girlfriend. For instance, I fully intend to bake you a cake and then put two inches of chocolate frosting on top of it, which is the other thing I forgot to do for you yesterday, fuck.

Hang on, I've had an idea. How about this: I will bake you a cake, if you will allow me to change the settings on our cable box so that the channel that automatically comes on when I turn on the TV isn't the one that shows commercials for pay per view porn about 40% of the time. Yes, it is Channel 1, and I agree that Channel 1 is, technically speaking, the first channel in the series, but pretty, pretty please, can't I exchange a little traditional girl behavior for the removal of all the skanky, exploitative pornography from my living room? I mean, seriously, Erotica Boxing? It makes me want to cry.

Yes, okay, I will bake the cake for you anyway, because I like you and you like cake and it's your birthday. But I'd really, really prefer not to be assaulted by underwater thong-shots every time I turn on the TV, and I thought it might make you feel better about it if you could tell yourself it was for cake.

* * *

So, I've recently been trying to remember the exact words of the mantra that this guy named Bill — who was sporting the most impressive gin blossoms I have ever seen — offered me at the insurance company Christmas party I attended during my first week at my current job. He informed me, apropos of nothing, speaking over his shrimp cocktail, from his perch on the edge of a putty colored file cabinet, that every time his boss treated him like dirt he found it soothing to repeat the following sentence to himself: "Scream all you want, catshit, they're gonna put you in the ground someday." It was the moment I really began to believe in that visceral poetry which belongs exclusively to the intellectual proletariat.

Have I mentioned lately that my job really sucks? I'm currently locked in a battle of wills with the most manipulative, kleptomaniacal, devilish little Wilford Brimley lookalike you've ever met. Plus, as an added bonus, they're dicking me around in re my salary. Sigh. Time to apply the Catshit Anodyne.

Aside from work stuff, I've been feeling really overwhelmed lately. It's fine, but if I freak out a little bit every time you speak to me, this is why. Summer classes start in ten days, and once they start I'll be in class three nights a week from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. And that is only the actual in-class time for one (1) of my four (4) classes. I'm having trouble imagining how I can possibly manage 14 units in 8 weeks on top of working full-time, especially if I'm already feeling this frazzled now, when all I have to do other than working those emotionally debilitating 37.25 hours per week is to study for one stupid insurance test. However, I suspect that much of my problem is anticipative stress and it will get better once classes actually start.

* * *

Tragically, we all missed National Emo Kid Beatdown Day. But speaking of beatdowns, did anyone else get that letter from Dwight the hair guy about how he broke his back diving into a pool on Memorial Day and was paralyzed for a while and then had to have lots of surgery to put his spine back together and so he's really sorry he hasn't been able to cut our hair but he'll totally be back at work really soon, right after he finishes undergoing rigorous physical therapy or whatever and can stand up again? Man. Having a kidney out was one thing, but now the dude fucking broke his back. It's because I don't have him cut my hair anymore, isn't it? Isn't it?

* * *

Yo, so, I totally have 4 MySpace friends now. How do you like them little green apples? Don't be jealous of my popularity, it's just because I'm such a positive person. In other news, this week I saw a woman in a red windbreaker pushing a squat, yellowed dog in a stroller at the beach. I also saw a man with a teardrop tattooed on his cheekbone. It's like a fucking carnival out there, man.

* * *

Also, I have this friend who had a dream that she was, like, dating Mick Jagger. What do you think that means? In the dream, she had a phone conversation with someone who was all, "Ew, gross," and then my friend was like, "But he's not really like an old person."

* * *

My mother now knows that my sister is pregnant, because she drove the hour and a half to my sister's house and showed up at her door unannounced. My father has not yet been informed. Oh, sis. The good thing is, once you get through telling the parents, the actual giving birth part will seem super easy.

* * *

Here's some good news. Anyone out there who has been made to sit on our couch at any point during the past three years will appreciate this. I am so buying a new futon mattress on Sunday. Once we manage to wrestle it onto the frame, I am never, ever getting off my ass again.

* * *

Oh! Hey! I had totally forgotten about the ipod fortune-telling game after that attempt at writing my own questions went over like a lead balloon. But Shosh (Hi, Shosh! Hi, Shosh's future red shoes!) reposted the original questions and now I'm all excited again! In fact, this time I even listened to the songs instead of just skipping through to write them down. It turns out I actually really like this listening to music gig. Who knew? I press the ipod's clickwheel tenderly. Its little heart flutters in my palm.

How does the world see you?
Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Bad Moon Rising"
[That's right, you better run through the jungle.]

Will I have a happy life?
The Lonelyhearts, "The Museum of Tolerance"
[Dakota winds cannot erase / the mistakes we make in haste / enough to keep the country lit / if we could only harness it.]

What do my friends really think of me?
Imperial Teen, "Yoo Hoo"
[Oh my god, do I love this song. I actually danced around the apartment last night lip-synching to it. Hey, remember when the Idler shared that special moment with Roddy Bottum?]

Do people secretly lust after me?
Nick Drake, "Things Behind The Sun"
[This is some of the sexier folk music out there, so it could be worse I guess.]

How can I make myself happy?
Iggy Pop, "Main Street Eyes"
[My head keeps tryin' to sell me ambition. But in my heart, I want self-respect. There's a conflict.]

What should I do with my life?
R.E.M., "Ignoreland"
[Uh, ipod, that was future subjunctive, not pluperfect. (Well, grammar-hounds? Am I close?)]

Will I ever have children?
Lets Go Naked, "Three Limbs"
[It has no place being there / as far as I can see.]

What is some good advice for me?
The Mendoza Line, "Baby, I Know What You're Thinking"
[And if it's face that you're saving / to yourself you're more unkind. (That's awkward.)]

How will I be remembered?
R.E.M., "At My Most Beautiful"
[Aww. You guys.]

What is my signature dancing song?
Blind Willie McTell, "Talkin' To You Mama"
[I sure am rocking to it. Now, you all know I love Jack White like I love soy milk, but Blind Willie sure turns my damper down.]

What do I think my current theme song is?
Kinky, "Field-Goal"
[There's been a mistake here, I think.]

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
The Gothic Archies, "The Abandoned Castle of My Soul"
[Oh come now, I don't think I've been quite that bad.]

What song will play at my funeral?
Tori Amos, "Happy Phantom"
[Presented without comment.]

What type of men do I like?
Uncle Tupelo, "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
[My puppy. You wanna be my puppy.]

What is my day going to be like?
Wolf Parade, "I'll Believe In Anything"
[Hell, sounds like fun to me.]

Friday, June 02, 2006


I've decided that if I end up with the grades I need in my classes this summer, I will reward myself with a new tattoo. And if I don't get the grades I need, I will punish myself by paying someone to repeatedly poke me with a needle.

I've been thinking about a new tattoo for years, and several times I've thought I'd decided what I wanted and where to put it; but as it turns out, well, not so much. So, can I take a poll? Is that kosher? Not that I plan on doing whatever you guys tell me to, but it would be nice to have opinions from people with a little more critical distance. So answer questions 1 and 2, please, like nice little friendicles.

Question 1. THE IMAGE. So, FYI. I don't take lightly the idea of getting ink permanently inserted under my skin, and therefore all of these images are things I've been considering for some time, and each one has a particular significance to me, which I won't go into here. But these aren't just pretty pictures.

Option A: Wedjat. Udjat? Eye of Horus. This picture is a little large, I'm thinking about an inch to an inch and a half square.

Option B: This dude. And yes, if you think you know where I scanned this from, you're right. No, I'm not ashamed. Okay, I'm a little ashamed. Still, it's awesome, right? This one would be maybe three, three and a half inches square. Just this crazy guy, who I like to imagine is high-fiving a dinosaur off-stage. In color, like it is here. In almost every case, I'm opposed to the idea of putting a colored tattoo on myself, but I really like these colors and I don't think the image would work in black and white.

Option C. Uh huh, you know it. Also an inch to an inch and a half long.

Question 2: THE LOCATION.

Option A: Lower back. Yes, I'm aware this is the place all the sorority girls put theirs. I still think it's a good place for a tattoo, and I won't eliminate a prospective scarifying location just because it's not indie enough. I'm also aware it would hurt like fuck-all, but that's what the analgesic Alcohol is for.

The other thing about this option is — and please imagine large amounts of embarassed laughter here — uh, I don't know from Aleister Crowley, but apparently he was in the habit of referring to the anus as "the Eye of Horus." Therefore, even though it's fucking Aleister Crowley, so I mean, come the fuck on, I still am not sure I would want to put image A here, just because I would always be thinking about it and who needs to ever think about Aleister Crowley, much less Aleister Crowley in relation to the proximity of a tattoo to one's asshole? Am I right?

Option B: The inside of my right ankle, above and slightly to the rear of the ankle bone. Of course image B would be too big to go there. And once again with the hurting like fuck-all.

Option C: The inside of my right forearm, just below the elbow. A relatively painless spot. It's pretty noticeable, but what do I care if I get fired? In fact, yay! Let's get me fired! However, it's also too small an area for image B. And I would have to decide whether to orient the image towards my elbow, towards my wrist, or sideways, or what. More difficulty.

That's it, those are my options. Any other suggestions are welcome too (let's try to keep the "In your buttcrack!" suggestions to a minimum though, huh boys). And if you think all my options are lacking in excellence, please tell me so now before I make a horrible mistake. If you don't, I will make you bear the burden of my regrets, and trust me, it will be a heavy one.