Saturday, December 20, 2008

Origami

I want to get some origami paper, I guess because I don't have enough frustration in my life already. I think the worst part of origami for me is not the fact that I suck at it, but the fact that I suck at it despite the fact all it entails is folding paper. What a slap in the face that is! Anyhow, I have the feeling that I will be saying the following two sentences a lot in the near future: "Look, it's a sort of abstract bird" and "Look, it's sort of an abstract flower". That's the one good thing about origami I think, as long as you just call something a flower, people act like it's really good and patronize you. And I am not above being patronized.

Life Lessons

For about the past year, every now and then I have this idea that I should keep a little notebook and fill it with advice for any kids I have, should that ever happen. I think that in my life so far I've picked up a few pretty helpful nuggets of wisdom that really aren't covered anywhere else, and I'd like to record them before I forget them. Mostly though, I have forgotten them before I ever writing them down, so it's not worth really starting a notebook, but I do remember a couple and I'm going to store them here, and maybe add any others I remember in the future, until I remember to buy a notebook. So here are the most important things I have learned in my life so far:

1. If you are outside and you're really cold because you're not wearing a warm enough jacket, the best thing to do is just to relax your muscles. You'll be amazed at how much warmer you feel. Tonight, I was out in the cold without a jacket and I remembered this and it made my day. I kept tensing and then relaxing my muscles to feel the difference, and it was fantastic.

2. When you order any meal that comes with fries on the side, eat a lot of the fries first, because they taste pretty crappy after a few minutes, but a sandwich or a hamburger still tastes pretty good after cooling off a little.

More to come when I learn more life lessons.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Orcs and Firemen... and Richard Carnes

So I've been awake for quite some time and (even though I was interrupted during the half-time mark to run an errand IN THE RAIN!) finished watching The Lord of the Rings. I'm not an addict or anything but I've been seriously thinking about taking a page from the many wok-related-pun-bearing-aprons of Stephan Yan from the 80's hit cooking show, Wok With Yan. What do you think about several t-shirts, each one bearing a pun about Orcs on it? This is because, frankly, I hate Orcs and I have no bones with saying it. I'm just that kind of let-it-all-hang-out, pull-no-punches, speak-my-mind-about-Orcs kind of girl and I won't sit back and pretend I don't hate Orcs, because I do (hate Orcs). Here are some of the slogans I have already conjured up during my movie-watching, coffee-drinking, rain-listening-to morning:

- Orcs are dorks.

- I'd rather eat a fork than pork an Orc.

- If you're an Orc, you're a jork (read this one in a New Jersey accent and it makes more sense. Or maybe a Boston accent? Some dumb accent anyway).

- If Mork from Ork was an Orc, he'd suck.

- Hork on Orcs (with a big cartoon spit loogie on the shirt).

- Bork, Bork, I hate Orcs (with a picture of the Swedish Chef from the Muppets on the shirt)

I probably need to shorten some of those to a t-shirt sized phrase, but you get the idea.



Unrelatedly, but on the mind:

Yesterday afternoon I was watching Family Fued and I am not positive because I could have been crunching on a chip or slurping some pop or something at the second she said it, but I am pretty sure some lady got huge applause from the audience during that part where people introduce themselves and what they do, by saying she was the wife of a New York City firefighter. She was totally egging the crowd on with her hands too, in the universal "gimme applause!" thing where you put your palms upwards and sort of jiggle your fingers, you know that thing? I noticed while passing through the front room once (when some front room dweller was watching it - not me!) on an episode of Survivor there was some New York City fireman and there was this sort of painful requisite applause from everyone when he said that was his job. It makes me wonder, there must be some super frustrated firefighters in like, Iowa or whatever. You know they've all tried it out once or twice, they're at a party and someone asks what they do and they say, "I'm a Sioux City fireman!" and get ready for some serious applause and "woo!"-ing, but the people they're talking to just sort of look at them and say, "just say fireman, you ass". Maybe some of them figure it's a tough crowd and try again somewhere else and then give up.

Anyway, I've been watching Family Feud like some old fart broken down person and a year ago, the host was just "Al, from Home Improvement" to me and now, in all complete honesty, he is Richard Carnes, the guy who made a joke that I laughed outloud at. That's right, I laughed out loud at a joke by Richard Carnes, host of the Family Feud, how awesome/terrible is that?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Animals, Mostly

First off, I did not Wang Chung tonight. I had a little bit of a nice dinner, though.

Unrelated, I was talking to someone recently who told me that apparently Stephen Hawking says that at the rate we're going, humans will be extinct in 1000 years or something (I'm sure he was a lot more clear about it, and included some convincing facts, and possibly ended the whole discussion with some electro-beat-boxing with his awesome robot voice). I know that should worry me, but really, isn't that sort of exciting? It's fantastic for all the animals too, unless we manage to kill them all before ourselves, which I'm sure we will, but just imagine the sigh of relief if humans suddenly disappeared. Dogs could walk wherever they wanted, fish wouldn't have to worry about fishermen or japanese people, and buffalo could once again run free across the plains, stretching their majestic legs and thinking all sorts of racist thoughts (buffalo are huge bigots! I actually stole that japanese people joke from a buffalo).

I'm sure the smarter animals would be pretty happy too, because we'd probably leave a whole bunch of neat gadgets and sugary food behind for them to play with. I am guessing mostly chimpanzees and dolphins would come out most ahead, they'd be driving cars and microwaving frozen food, that sort of thing, it'd be excellent. Want a ride down to the 7-11 for a microwaved burrito? Just ask a dolphin, that's how it'd work.

Hey speaking of smart animals, I actually was going to use this for another entry, but why isn't there a talking dog yet? I know that dogs aren't generally smart enough to talk, but you'd think there'd have to have been like ONE at some point that was just crazy smart and figured out how to say a few words right? Even if you just think about humans, there's such an incredible span of intelligence, where on one hand you have 13 year olds who have graduated university and are working on their PhD's, and on the other you have whoever programs The Comedy Network, so why not with dogs? There are lots of average dogs who are smart enough to catch frisbees, bark when a fire breaks out, or lick peanut butter off my friend's neighbour's dad's nuts (seriously, it happened during a surprise party for him!), so why hasn't one figured out just like "Hello there" even? It just goes to show, the animal kingdom is a vast and wonderful place, full of lazy, unmotivated dogs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blank-Do-It-Blank

Hey! You know how people sometimes (theoretically, you see them pretty rarely these days) have bumper stickers or shirts that say "_____ do it _____", where the first blank is some group of people and then the second blank is some way in which they do it? Well the other day I, for some reason, had the phrase, "farmers do it with hoes" pop into my head and it made me crack up, just thinking of the great combo of farmers and prostitutes. Who doesn't smile at those two groups hanging out? It's just nice.

But then I was even more excited, because within seconds of thinking up that blank-do-it-blank farmers/prostitutes line, I came up with a really great one, check it out: Hamburgers do it with relish. Haha, seriously, just thinking about it cracks me up, hambugers do it with relish. The hamburgers really like doing it, so they do it with relish. Hamburgers do it with relish haha, man that's good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Writers And Tears In The Typing Pool



That is a photo of me and my younger (but certainly taller) brother, photo 1 of 9 in a silly photo session from some time last year. Alejandro, 15.

I know that I talk about my family too much, and I'm sorry. Other things actually happen with people that I'm actually not related to, but for some reason my family is always resting directly on my frontal lobe. I yearn so much for all of them to be happy and intelligent and, especially Alejandro, to be an independent thinker, and financially secure, etc etc etc, yet when you put the five of us together, all with a tumultuous past, surely we can't all be successful. So I write about it. My brothers both live with me and I basically view Alejandro as a walking, babbling energy meter that I have to deplete. His energy is so indefatigable that I become exhausted just watching him eat cereal.

I feel a mixture of anxiety and uncertainty when I think about him when he is grown up, and what will happen to him. My friend, Holly, has three older sisters, daughters of a southern baptist preacher, and while individually they retain elements of insanity and fanaticism, for the most part they manage to be fairly conventional and boring. When they're together, however, her family fascinates me: four tall, blonde, skinny sisters that all look remarkably alike and have remarkably similar mannerisms, arguing and bickering constantly. I think and worry about the future. Already my 25 year old brother is still so amazingly, eccentrically, teen in mental age that I lament a future of joining him at various shows of the various bands he will sift through, conversations involving face tattoos and "fuck" "shit" "cunt" "curse curse curse." My younger brother once told me that after college he is going to live in a house in the woods, all alone, and won't tell anyone where he lives, much like the Unabomber. Maybe these days are precious: the days when everyone is young and malleable, the days before I wonder what went wrong. Hello, I worry.

How I feel:



Awkwardness happening. I make mistakes in tune with the sharp ticks of time. Fire in my heart. Mountains of memories and erratic paths behind me, what could have happened, what I could have been. One messy mind made of words and breath. The days fall all over each other until I am 23 and all, summer and fall. Ah, what have I done? I introduced myself to someone two days ago, "My name is Err." It feels that way, sometimes.

But I'm happy. I could be. I'm well on my way, at least. Haughty and hardy. I almost agreed to adopting a puppy yesterday, ribs sticking out that I could have played the xylophone on. I told the current owners to name her Pepper. She is missing a toe. I am missing some time. Did you know I was straight-up in a coma once? Yes, it's true. Fatigue. Irrelevant. Sometimes I am tired and spill out on the keyboard what I should keep in my head.

I play these chords.
I say these words.
But I do nothing useful to the world.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seasonal Affection Disorder

Here is my metaphor for how Winter affects me:

Suppose you spend your life constantly placed in awful situations, being told terrible things and eventually you build a wall. It gives you solace and your soul gets so calloused from the abuse, that you cease to notice it. Perhaps, on some sleepless night, you imagine what it might be like not to live the way you do...Then one day someone comes along and says one little kind thing to you, something so insignificant but just the same, you erupt into tears.

This is how I feel each year when Summer's harshness and darkness ends. It's like Winter is this benevolent woman, tapping me on the shoulder, whispering comforting words into my ear. And I cry. I somehow feel undeserving and awed and afraid to get used to the cool gentle beauty because it might end at any moment and Summer will return harsher than before, nosebleeds included.

Geeze, this is dysfunctional... yet whenever I'd moved to a different climate, I'd missed the 'cycle of abuse' (to carry the metaphor on further) that is San Diego's heavy Summer sun and subtle Winters.

Chin up. Stiff lip.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Capitolism’s Success Hinges On The Quest For Enormous Genitals*

Like most people, I receive a pretty hefty amount of spam each day in my various email accounts, and like most people, I don't ordinarily read it. (Ah, it feels satisfying to identify myself as being 'like most people' for once.)

However, there are times when I, much like some lonely elderly woman who only receives junk snail mail, sort through it looking for something personal, something perhaps in the way of salvation. It is as futile as the aforementioned archetypal bored elderly woman mired in a mundane life of mediocrity being seduced by the "you're a winner! you're special!" siren song of Ed McMahon's publisher's clearing his house mail.

It is a good thing I don't have a penis-envy complex, because the bulk of the spam I receive is about making my nonexistent penis larger. Today I received a spam from this sender: "DICK-EnLarGe". He had this little gem for me: "ARE YOU BIG ENOUGH? SHE WANT BIGGER..." Once I tire of feeling self-righteously indignant about the poor grammar used in such lackluster spam, my mind turns to Freud, and I can't help but think that he's missing out on one hell of an interesting era for psychosexual analysis.

*I realize this will likely generate some hits from perverted google users... to whom (if they have read this far) I must pass on the tired but true nugget of wisdom: "It is not, after all, the size of the boat that matters; it's the motion of the ocean."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

n.o.c.t.u.r.n.a.l. is not a 4-letter word

My default mode has always seemed be nocturnal. Even as a child I was loathe to go to sleep before midnight, much to the annoyance of terrible childhood happenings. In middle school I would stay up all night (on weekends and holidays) watching Nick-At-Night TV programs like 'Mr. Ed', 'The Patty Duke Show', 'Donna Reed' and 'Dobie Gillis'. The unadulterated escapism of these shows was unparalleled and fueled a nostalgia in me for 'simpler times' that never really existed outside of a sound stage (refer to the movie 'Pleasantville' for a very accurate portrayal of this syndrome). I would also watch whatever infomercial happened to be on (it was usually one for a 'Pocket Sandwich Maker') when Nick-At-Night went off the air at about 3am. It was quite a feeling of exhilaration being awake while my parents slept. The night was expansive and full of potential for dreams and schemes. I reveled in the solitude and wrote lame but heart-felt angsty poetry and read sassy magazine during the boring TV shows, like 'My Three Sons'.

I can't help thinking about that feeling now as I sit here at 2am, my full-spectrum lamp burning bright, listening to Cat Power with 'A Few Good Men' muted on the screen. I've recently ended up on a completely reversed day/night sleep cycle which entails my going to bed around 6am and waking up around 11am or noon. Right now I have about 5 straight hours of writing and reading ahead of me and I feel like I own the night -- as if these hours are somehow more innately mine than any daytime hours could ever hope to be.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Roach Fertility Woes

It's funny when you get to see figurative language come to life.. For instance: I might have once written in some corny poem, years ago, how a pregnant roach was a harbinger of chaos... and then the other night I witnessed a very egg-laden roach traverse its way around the pull knob of the dresser in my living room, only to evade my attempt at squashing it by ducking into the crevice beneath the drawer. I knew then, I just knew on this gut level, that this stupid little bug was going to unburden itself of its progeny in my effing underwear drawer. Oh yes, I seem to have an intuition for the maternal habits of Le Roach.

Well, days have passed and I searched in vain for the egg sac, for the mama roach, for any means of stopping the inevitable. I even placed a toxic little bait station beneath the right foot of the short-legged dresser, hoping perhaps the roach dame would be jonesing for that succulent poison and indulge prior to birthing. Clearly, no such luck as there has been a baby roach exodus from some impossible-to-pinpoint place in/under/behind the bureau. If only I knew where the epicenter of life was... I could destroy them all(wow, that sounds very evil). Alas, no matter how much I play around through my clothing, unearthing mismatched socks, threadbare undies, long-abandoned garments, I cannot find the source of the hatchlings. Even after having removed every article completely into another drawer(separate dresser).

As I sit here now, after midnight, my laptop computer perched atop the futon that flanks the dresser, the micro roaches become bold, their circadian rhythms dictating nocturnal adventure. The computer is like some kind of homing beacon to them, and they (with seeming reverence and aw) one-by-one make a pilgrimage to its orange humming monolithic base. It is the mecca for wee roaches and I am the wrathful god, sitting here with one hand on a borishly-squared post-it note pad, ready to smite them. So far the death count for the evening stands at 9 (as evidenced by 9 little brown blemishes on the bright yellow post-it pad/tool of death).

My mind reels trying to do a virtual census on the roach populatin currently in this apartment. How many roaches emerge from one egg sack? I realize I could google this to know for sure, but I am terrified of the possible answer. I like to imagine there is a superbly finite number in this particular dresser eco-system (like, say, 25 babies) so that I can be sure to kill all of them lest any grow to be pregnant teens in the ghetto that is/was(and likely never to be used by me again) my pants drawer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Wind Coins New Words Which I Promptly Forget

Pervasive feelings of grief wash over me (missing my strength and friends and life)and I feel raw. The 'normal' has been rendered strange to me now (though at least the heartache has finally abated). I struggle to find words to write here to do any of it justice, my fingers sit uselessly on the keyboard as I stare with unfocused eyes at the rhythmic pulse of the cursor (it is the perfect silent metronome for my mute mental dance). There are no words for this volume of feeling, so many layers at once--there's a roaring cacophony in my subconscious that I can barely stand yet am unable to suppress.

Limited free-time, I've fallen into some void between 'there' and 'here' and 'past' and 'present'... I move out of sync and time with the world around me... I'm processing, having weird nightmares, crying easily, laughing nervously (though atleast laughing constantly), feeling lost in the midst of the familiar and alienated on a deep level which does not correspond to the physical reality of my life here.

(There is so much more to say and yet I don't know how to. such irony that in the country of my own language, words fail me utterly.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Love You, Let's Go To Sleep

I saw a documentary on cable access this last week about slaughterhouses. Someone snuck a camera into one and filmed how they would shock the cows, and then hold a huge silver bucket, almost like an urn, under their necks while they hung upside down unconscious and then rip their aorta open and the blood would spurt into this huge flow right straight into the bucket. And how they would grab up the baby piglets on the farm and rip out their genitals with a knife and their fingers, so they couldn't reproduce (the ones they didn't want to), and then throw them onto the ground, and then move onto the next squealing piglet. All without any pain medicine or any anesthesia at all. Why effing waste the money? Or how if the piglets weren't growing fast enough, or limped somehow, they would pick them up by the back of their legs and swing them like a rag doll a couple of times in the air in a huge arc, picking up speed, and then bash their skulls into the sleet grating on the floor of the stalls in the barn. And then do it again to make sure. All just like it was everyday business, which it was.

I finished watching it, and wondered why I had finished watching it.

Overall I'm not very well right now. As a sign, today I actually consider a slightly more productive day than usual because I was able to summon the courage to call the phone company and pay my phone bill for the month by talking to one of those automated lines that senses what words or numbers you're saying by computer only. 'I think? You said? April? Two thousand? Eight. Is that? Correct?'

I went to my favorite book store today after work and sat there where not many people were, as the sun was about to hide behind the shield of clouds. I quickly started two of the books I had purchased and figured out they were worth it. I didn't touch the New Yorker this time. In fact, I put it back and spent most of my time looking out the window. As I walked from Wahrenbrock's Books to the trolley station, the sky shouted purple things at me. I figured I would have looked silly to people had I stopped on the sidewalk and just looked up at it, and the color of the windows in the tall buildings around Wahrenbrock's that were purple too, or were unique in their own colors being blended with purple. But I did notice it.

And then the sun went away.

Three things that I love right now:

Seeing the BFFs next weekend for a raging TWISTER packed weekend in Canada and Seattle.

A weekend in Portland with BFF and Big Frijole for my birthday and a Beirut show.

Jorge Regula. Every moment spent thinking about this person, writing to this person, whisps me away. I'm flying inside.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wanting To Unweave It

I am waiting for my body to catch up to my head (in one sense) and (in another) for my heart to catch up to my body. A sense of fragmenting, you know? All these aspects etherbound and a leaden will, stuck dumbly on the ground. It won't always be like this, I know that, but these days I am tired, scattered and vaporous, all stringy-apart and disintegrated. I am tired now and the days will be longer, and longer yet.

I have taken to too many wandering walks each day. Too many walks end in commerce. This is what happens when I can't deicide. (Where. Which. When.) When all the small decisions are too much and I need something to ameliorate the corrosive hours of work (both jobs). I come home with expensive tea cookies for my mother and green tea for my brother, maybe even a new book for myself. I hunt for perfect scents in the air around me.

Give me solution. Solace. Stimulation. Something. But stop leaving me in the shadows. I know I like to pretend, but you ought to know that it really hurts.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Trouble Sleeping

Just finished Story of My Life and I’m restless and heartbroken. In sort of a mind-frenzy, anything to tap out my emotions and lead me…nowhere. No where is now here. Nowhere is the only safe spot in the universe we imagine real.
I am exhausted beyond belief. I am whimsical and desperate. I seek a smooth flow of jagged words and not a vein out of place. Cacophonous symmetry. The outline of lightning in electric words halted in mid-hit. That’s what writing is to me: stopping time and attempting to describe the universe of one moment. Piecing them together sometimes to attempt to convey an experience. In the physical world. Though in writing-mode, the physical world is an abstraction, albeit sometimes a tactile one. But then, can’t the same be said for memory?

And none of this is new and I’m starting to hate where this is going and thinking, “Maybe I just need some excitement in my life”, and detesting the thought because it makes me feel so banal. And I know this is useless but so am I and art mirrors life and I should probably just turn this off and try to row out to dreamland again but the thought of that is just so depressing- like defeat at this moment and I don’t even know why but I know I feel stupid.

And I just want someone to knock me out. Just a clean punch to the brain, the skin needn’t be bruised--and I know that’s impossible since I don’t do drugs or painkillers.

Ah, the masochism of being a writer and forcing yourself to go through life sober…

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Surely This Is Self-Inflicted

I think I used to be enamored with cities as they provided different backdrops to constantly mark events as poignant memories. I was here when that happened...

Music provides the same memory marker. Many of the albums I own have been tainted with the going-ons of relationship or personal troubles, or with the constant grind of life during certain periods.

I wish my mind could remember using nature and time as markers instead, or maybe just the uniqueness of the moment. Different ways to classify events in memory in the context of what's always available and not always the material--restaurants, buildings, clothing, music, etc.

I need to go buy a bulletin board for uplifting quotes to get me through the more difficult of days.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Parentheses

After suppressing it to a small flicker, the urge to write is returning to me slowly. With time, after immersing myself back in literature, the old prose engine should be at least sputtering.

Back from Seattle accompanied by digital photographs and new friends (Sam, Chrissy...) and potential long-term friends (Jon); unfortunately we will only be communicating via Internet/Snail mail/tele until one of us decides to visit the other.

I miss my best friends. I miss being so close to cultural openings, good food, good music, great people and beautiful surroundings, above and around me.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be more rough than the last, but I have more strife and courage and energy.