overhaul / undertow

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

I'm so financially fucked. Hey, maybe I should open a paypal account. Who wants to donate? I'll give you a tax reciept!

I love this. It's so pretty, so primal (many of the designs are rooted in ancient art motifs and patterns that recur throughout history), and an incredible form of....well, graff art. In a way.


Stolen from The Onion:

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Jon Rosenblatt, 27, a Harvard University English graduate student specializing in modern and postmodern critical theory, deconstructed the take-out menu of a local Mexican restaurant "out of sheer force of habit" Monday.

"What's wrong with me?" Rosenblatt asked fellow graduate student Amanda Kiefer following the incident. "Am I completely losing my mind? I just wanted to order some food from Burrito Bandito. Next thing I know, I'm analyzing the menu's content as a text, or 'text,' subjecting it to a rigorous critical reevaluation informed by Derrida, De Man, etc., as a construct, or 'construct,' made up of multi-varied and, in fact, often self-contradictory messages, or 'meanings,' derived from the cultural signifiers evoked by the menu, or 'menu,' and the resultant assumptions within not only the mind of the menu's 'authors' and 'readers,' but also within the larger context of our current postmodern media environment. Man, I've got to finish my dissertation before I end up in a rubber room."

At approximately 2 a.m., Rosenblatt was finishing a particularly difficult course-pack reading on the impact of feminism, post-feminism, and current 'queer' theory on received notions of gender and sexual preference/identity. Realizing he hadn't eaten since lunch, the Ph.D candidate picked up the Burrito Bandito menu. Before he could decide on an order, he instinctively reduced the flyer to a set of shifting, mutable interpretations informed by the set of ideological biases—cultural, racial, economic, and political—that infect all ethnographic and commercial "histories."

I yelled, 'What the hell am I doing?'"

Rosenblatt's inadvertent outburst nearly led to an altercation.

"I totally woke up my neighbor in the room across the hall," Rosenblatt said. "He looked like he might hit me, so I tried reasoning with him, but it came out all wrong. Instead, I found myself saying that the multiplicities and contingencies of human experience necessarily pose a threat to the tendency of any arbitrary power or 'authority' to dictate oppressive hierarchical social structures or centralize power. Ergo, any attempt to establish hierarchies and centralized power according to arbitrary dichotomies of 'right' and 'wrong' behaviors was therefore not only morally and philosophically, but also politically problematic, and, in fact, oppressive. Man, did that ever not work."

According to friends, Rosenblatt has been under a great deal of stress in recent months due to the financial strain of student-loan debts, his part-time tutoring job, and a heavy academic courseload.

"Lacking proper sleep and struggling to keep up in the intensely competitive crucible that is Harvard grad school, Jon is starting to lose it," said roommate Rob Carroll, 26. "He has become so steeped in the complex jargon of critical theory that he's unable to resist the urge to deconstruct even the most mundane things."

This is not his first time Rosenblatt has deconstructed a random item out of habit.

"The other day, we passed a bus stop with a poster for Disney's The Country Bears," said friend Karen Pilson, 26. "I heard him mumble something about the incorporation of previously received notions concerning wildlife and our ecological environment into a reassuring, behavior-validating consumer commodity in the form of aggressively infantilized computer-animated pseudohumans that talk and play country music. Before I even had a chance to react, he went off the deep end and started throwing out terms like 'prenotional,' 'prolegomena,' 'gynocritical,' and 'logocentrism.' I was just stunned."

In spite of his friends' concern, Rosenblatt seems unable to restrain his reflexive impulse to deconstruct.

"I can't help it," Rosenblatt said. "Even when I close my eyes at night, I feel myself deconstructing things in my dreams—random stuff like that two-hour Dukes Of Hazzard reunion special or the Andy Warhol postage stamp or commercials for that new squeezable gel deodorant. I'd say I'm going crazy, but that presupposes an artificial barrier between societally preexisting concepts of 'sanity' and 'insanity' which themselves represent another false dichotomy maintained for the preservation of certain entrenched elements of the status quo and... Oh, God. I'm doing it again."

Rosenblatt is considering taking a leave of absence from his graduate studies to spend several months living in his mother's basement in Elmira, NY.

Asked for comment, Professor Derek Nystrom of Skidmore College, an expert on deconstructivist thought, said that the Burrito Bandito take-out menu is open to many interpretations.

"The menu can be viewed an infinite number of ways, depending on viewer perspective," Nystrom said. "None of these differing views would be any more or less 'correct.' However, the menu's Pancho Villa-style burrito caricature, complete with bandoliers, six-guns, gaucho moustache, and sombrero, would be considered problematic by most scholars."

Added Nystrom: "To paraphrase: 'What is a take-out menu not, anyway? Everything, of course. What is a take-out menu? Nothing, of course.'"


I feel ya, Jon.

Monday, July 29, 2002


work baaaad.


Sunday, July 28, 2002

Been hearing about you. All about your disapproval. Still I remember the way I used to move you. I wrote you a letter. I heard it just upset you. Why don't you tell me? How can I do this better? Are you out there? Do you hear me? Can I call you? Do you still hate me? Are we talking? Are we fighting? Is it over? Are we writing? We're getting older. But we're acting younger. I should be smarter. It seems I'm getting dumber. I have a picture of you and me in Brooklyn. On a porch, it was raining. Hey, I remember that day. And I miss you. -jawbreaker

I'm off to I Am The World Trade Center at Spaceland. I thought earlier tonight I might stay home but...I want to go.

life is crazy. at least me and life agree and are congruent in that sense.

fuck blogger. all I wanted to say was "At least there's Spaceland tonight," and the stupid thing spazzed out on me.

That does it. I have to get my own domain name and site so I can do this shite myself...no more depending on Pyra to hopefully not be fucking up.

I feel sullen
I feel sullen
I feel seventeen
-pernice brothers.

Well, at least there's

Saturday, July 27, 2002

saturday and I'm sitting on my ass here when there's so much stuff I want to do.

then again, doing absolutely nothing has its benefits.

am currently listening to Candice and Jeremy do their killradio show, which rocks hard. From goth-y to dark punk to Latin and lounge. Rad.

Friday, July 26, 2002

left work on time today, by the way.

maybe I'm not too stupid to figure out that atomic clock software after all.

thanks. : )

I love how some musics, you buy 'em 'cos someone told you they were amaaaaaazing, and you listen and just don't get it; you can't relate, you don't feel it;

and then you listen three months later and you suddenly realize, you comprehend the magic in it.

this has happened for me with wilco, yo la tengo, the olivia tremor control (which I almost--almost--sold), modest mouse (can you belive I didn't like them at first? wow), and so many others...

I'm making a practice of setting aside everything I'm not keen on and waiting six months to a year, listening periodically to see if I can "get it."

I've begun weeding all the unnecessary detritus out of my life, in the interest of returning to those things that are most important; I've even edited down my book collection, but my cd collection is one thing I can't pare down without careful, very careful, premeditation.

snarky and surly:

hey, Mo.

Yeah, you, Mo Figuls.

Next time you bitch that no one gave you keys, how about telling the person you're guilt-tripping into taking her lunch break to bring them to you--how about telling her you're NOT at work today??!?

There's nothing I hate more...well, few things I hate more....than going to a record store while I'm broke, 'cos it's just such torture for me. And I went to give you those damn keys, and you...were....not...there!!!!

I am now the official Killradio Key Nazi. No keys for you.



Wow wow wow.

The Fire Show was amazing.

If you weren't there, which there's a 99.9% chance is the case, too damn bad, 'cos you missed the most cathartic and intense show to be played in LA in years. And they're breaking up now (grad school, life'n'stuff--it happens), so you will never ever see them again.

They shot the whole thing tho, so there should be a live dvd soon.

I'll try to explain later, when I get a bit of time, why it was so good.

I Am The World Trade Center plays this Sunday.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

They’re all downtown now, and I am still here having been reading and drinking and getting tipsy alone on sake.

There are ways to move rightly in life,
And I believe I have not learned them correct.

I should go but I’m always late anyway so no one will think a thing of it.
And I’m always tired, too, and half falling asleep, except when I’m at work selling my mind and my old schoolgirl skills for money—the skills are still here even though they cease to have any real relevance, I will not return to school I do not think, it would be a cowardly act—so when I’m at work I pretend to be alive, and lively, so I won’t be questioned closely and then asked to leave, leaving me bereft without any money to navigate the world and to float my little pilgrim’s boat.

Where that stupid boat is going I don’t know; and what god I’m seeking after I can’t name, nor do I know if he’s there, and I must confess quite often I tack eastward or west and don’t give a shit if he’s there or not and I often wish him non existence, or swear at least a fight to the death.

I am so many things to so many others and am right nothing to myself; and I have found that while I numbly go through motions of making stabs at self-betterment or self-care, I really don’t care all that much for said self, and despite endless inner conversations that engage all those hating bits of me, I cannot divine why it is that I move stiffly to look after myself: I guess I just don’t like the girl, and that’s that, I have no good reasons, and so some day may kill her somehow through hook or crook; and I’m doing a halfway good job so far what with the sake and Stoli and the illnesses.

And yet on the other hand, you know, you can truly see, she’s trying so hard, and maybe other lives have ended not so right and so she’s trying to make good on this one; and you see she deserves the chance, and you see the struggle, and the fight is a good one, and she’s a strong and otherworldly character to her motions at times.

The way when the neighbor girl was screaming and it was all going wrong there, at three a.m. in the morning, and she could hear the girl’s body being thrown against the wall, and still she went to the door and pounded, and the fighting stopped and silence was crushing;
I guess our eternally arrogant heroine of the story is redeemed only insofar as she likes a good read as well as any other word junkie;
And she’d hate so much to be a letdown, a character you’d dislike.

A life estranged from itself by the distance of the narrative.

Mothers, don’t let your daughters read too much as children,
For ever after,
They will read their lives like stories in need of work,
Plots in need of thickening,
Essays in need of a point,
With characters in need of conflict, or development,
As something to run away to and bury myself in to save me from the world where things are hard and harsh and should not be as such;
And so now the books that saved my life at age ten, now they bury it, and leach away its meanings like waters so long and persistent vanish the resiliency from stone.

And still the indefatigable heroine barrels on.

With full fucking knowledge that she’s completely full of it.

Nonetheless, she thinks, life is mighty interesting, and if she loses you, dear reader, then she’ll probably keep on churning out the lines until they cease to serve her; and for that lack of consideration, she apologizes.

Oh my god, the clock on my pc fucked up and it's actually 6:30, not 4:48.

No wonder the day seemed endless!!!

Color me retarded. Just finish it all and jack my veins into the side of the monitor, and it'll all be done. I live and die by this stupid thing anyway, these days. Isn't it bizarre that I believed the computer over my own internal sense of time pasing?

Maybe not so bizarre. But sad.

Jesus, I'm bored as hell.

Will this day ever end?

I'm going to see the Fire Show play at Spaceland tonight...prolly will get there later in the evening...stop by and say howdy!

jawbreaker / blake schwartzenbach:

sea foam green
A '63, 10,000 miles. What was I thinking? I drove myself insane. No small getaway. Asleep with both hands on the wheel. White knuckle weekend. Chewing ephedrine. Going to an unnamed end. Unending... We met in rain, you asked me in. Seemed like a good sign. Now I need a guillotine To get you off my mind. I brush my teeth until they break. Until I start bleeding. So when I smile I'll know I'm almost good enough for you. And would you... Follow me to the end of the dare. Raise your eyes, return the stare. Become your words. Your words so becoming. On any Sunday I'll be there. I tried to drink you off my mind. I just got wasted. It only made the pain that much more acute. But cute isn't strong enough a word. Unintentionally gorgeous. An accidental charm. A graceful drinking arm. Disarming...

I love his writing. Check out all the lyrics from Jawbreaker's "Dear You" and Jets To Brazil's "Orange Rhyming Dictionary." Wow.

Bad news: Fire play is cancelled for an undetermined amount of time, as we were kicked out of our former location at Seventh and Alameda. Anyone know of a large parking lot, available at nights, with owners amenable to having anywhere from ten to 30 people there possibly until maybe midnight, lighting things--sometimes big things--on fire?

Riiiiiight. Still, though, let me know.

Good news: Since there was no fire spinning last night I went out with Vanessa for drinks. Yay! The Short Stop is kinda starting to suck, though. And I think I've discovered that my limit on week nights is two drinks.

Not the three that I had.


Bad news: Being tired and a little hung over at work blows.

ah well, such is life in the big city, no?

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Sometimes I see people online or out in the real world (what a weird dichotomy, to really think about that...) and I think,

"I have no fucking right to bother this person at all."

But still, I owe someone a favor. I said I'd do something. So I guess I should fucking deliver.

I'll do my best job ever.

Riddle me this: Is the only solution to depression or existential doubt (which often generates depression--if there's anyone out there who knows how to coexist with existential crises and not become depressed, let me know) distraction?

Is there any other solution? Is there a "meaning" to it all?

When I'm in a down-node on my little sine wave of life, I see through my weekly and daily and yearly distractions, the transparency of life or whatever, and realize it's all for nothing, and those times are truly awful.

The rest of the time, when I'm on the upswing, I think to myself, "Well, it may all be so much sound and fury, signifying nothing, but these things are good: love, connection, creativity, beauty, laughter, wonder, bravery, risks taken and surmounted, joy in the moment, etc etc etc."

Admittedly though, those things all seem like distractions from the real problem.

So. Is there any other way out of the "nothing means anything" conundrum? Don't get me wrong, I love distraction, especially the "life" kind that is about all that list I rattled off above. But sometimes those things on the list are variable, they come and go, they aren't reliable. And I can sit there and hope they'll come back to help me out, but even hope is not reliable. Not a sure thing.

So what is?

It's a full moon tonight. Lately--maybe I'm doing it psychosomatically, I donno--I've been really affected by them. I am too intense as it is, and this makes it....well, not worse, but it multiplies my spastic brain waves or some such crap like that.

Blogger is being bitchy. If I go down briefly, I'll buy my own damn domain and site and get shite goin' on my own terms. Pain in the ass, yes, but worth it I think. If you don't see me for a day or two, maybe run a google on overhaul / undertow. I'll try to make sure I'm there.

For all, say, three of you.

Hi mom.


and as a side note, I'd like to warn visitors to the LA area and locals alike to stay the fuck out of Glendale, Burbank, and its environs. It's not a city or a region at all. Cleverly hidden from all city, county, and national maps, and invisible even from orbit, the entire east San Fernando Valley is actually a warp in space, and upon entering you are swallowed up into a sprawling intergalactic morass of "streets" (that's what they call them, but we all know they're really just spatial fluxes) that appear to be measured in "miles" but actually take light-years to traverse, requiring anyone brave enough or dumb enough to enter this zone to enter cryogenic sleep and possibly engineer a biosphere in their car (lucky for me, not a problem) to assure self-perpetuation of the species, should they not survive the journey.

Long story short, this place is fucking Nowhere.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Wow. I miss you.

Yeah. You.


I miss deejaying...
I hope killradio finds a new home soon, 'cos I'm tired of only telling people about music, and not being able to play it...

if you're local, they're cool:

the fire show, spaceland on the 25th
friday july 26, dntel and athalia at the fold at the derby
i am the world trade center, spaceland on july 28
silversun pickups, spaceland monday the 29th
har mar superstar, clone revlot and qui, spaceland on thurs aug 1
m. ward, the court and spark spaceland thurs aug 8
thursday aug 15, univac at silverlake lounge
aug 22, dengue fever at the silverlake lounge

is anyone reading this at all? sometimes i think this is nothing but a barbaric yawp falling in the...um...forest....wait, my allusions are getting all mixed up here...


write and let me know if you give a flying fuck, and if you don't, let me know that too.


Monday, July 22, 2002

you can turn the city upside down if you want to
like an umbrella
but it wont keep you dry

Current reasons to live: The lovely blue orchids on my diningroom table. They are the color of peacocks, from pale yellow-green at center to richest imperial purple-blue at their tips. I got them for myself, as I've refused to let my broke-ass status--or that fact that no one ever gives me flowers (with one notable exception)--condemn me to a flower-free life. The book I'd like to write. Paru's restaurant. My friends.

the thought that someday maybe I'll figure some more things out.

still, with all these reasons, I worry, and I am afraid.

I read a quote by Mother Teresa, saying "We can do no great things. Only small things, with great love."

I think I've been living my whole life wrong, because all my life I've felt inadequate for not yet doing "great things." And when I sit myself down and try to think of what could possibly satisfy me in the "great things" department--like, what I could do that would be enough--I can't think of a damn thing short of saving the galaxy. And even that wouldn't be enough because, well, it would probably be forgotten in a few hundred years or so. Historical / mythologized figures like Siddartha, Jesus, Bodhidharma et al., they have a measure of immortality in that they are still remembered--in a way--but even these great religions of our age will pass. And I'm sitting there thinking this and I realize that I'm asking myself to outstrip the most important people and deeds of recorded human history in order to be "enough." I even sat there thinking about Mother Teresa's words and how in the light of what I really ought to be accomplishing, she's a bit of a slacker.

What on earth am I doing to myself, comparing myself to Mother Teresa, to the epic heroes in the stupid fantasy books I read when I was eleven years old, to Joan of Arc, to Mata Hari? Always demanding that my life be epic, an engaging narrative full of drama, whoops, don't let it get dull, or this will be a boring book to read!

What a way to set oneself up for miserable failure.

And then I stopped myself and realized how awful this is--to go through every day of my life telling myself that unless I do the impossible, I'm worthless. Useless. A blip in the cosmos. Less than a blip.

I guess I'm not searching so much for something relevant to do as I am looking for a reason to live.

new prosety. i guess. if youre interested. you know how it is. most people don't like that shit.

"I'm not a poetry person," say almost all my friends...


Saturday, July 20, 2002

I am sooo tired.

today I:

argued with my mom
reconciled with my mom
went to the doctor
got my busted tire replaced
gave my dad my old pc
drove around downtown with dad
dad wanted to go the The Pantry ("Ummm, dad, are you sure?")....
dad was sure, so we went...

I haven't eaten this much red meat in months.

it's nice to hang with the dadster. He's a real good egg. I sent him home to mom with a book for her and an extra beef sandwich for them to split.

Friday, July 19, 2002

the city bends backwards this morning, and the gray sky arches low as though it were throwing itself over us, as though we were all on fire and in need of putting out....

and the rain that won't come,
an extinguishing to even the scales between heaven and earth

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Three innarestin' points:

1. The degree to which you, in your disgustingly gargantuan, champagne-white Lexus SUV attempt to prevent me from getting into my desired lane is in direct proportion to the degree to which I will humiliate your sorry insecure gas-guzzling conspicuous-consuming ass when I zip in front of you in my teeny little Saturn and speed off, bitch.

2. What is three feet, three inches tall and 27 inches wide? A street-marketing promotional wheat-paste poster paid for by Nike, Showtime, and USA (with very small corporate logos--it took me three long looks to discover the teeny little hidden Nike swoosh in one of them). Why am I asking you this? Mwahahahaha.

3. My time and intellectual labor are now apparently worth sixteen dollars an hour, rather than thirteen. This means I got the raise. This means I did not get the raise I asked for (foo). This means I will now be able to (barely) pay my bills, save a little, and drink the rest (about ten bucks). Hooray. Well, at least I'm covering the important things. : )


Tuesday, July 16, 2002

so I went to the hospital, got x-rayed, got told I won't have any answers until tomorrow, came home to relax and rest up, then fielded a call from work telling me they need something fixed (way for me to relax--fuck), and finally unwound with a phone call to lovely Jake, who called when he discovered that this blog had turned into "Michele's Weblog of Pain."

On that topic, I am debating taking off the blow-by-blow account, as it just makes people unhappy, especially when there's nothing they can really do to help.
Jake has a point though, in that it did happen, and it is the truth, so maybe I'll leave it up. I donno.

I feel better, altho not completely; it looks like I drank enough water and took enough medicine that the stones will dissolve rather than come out of me, which is a good thing, 'cos that shit ain't fun by a long shot.

I'm worried about having missed work on a day they found fault with something I'd produced, but not much can be done about it now.

All in all, I'm stressed. I want to get back to my projects, both work-related and personal, as soon as I can.

I;m going to get the ultrasound. I'm worried what they'll find.

well, I'm off. I prolly shouldn't drive but I don't really have much of an option. I feel relatively non-dizzy.

I'm pissed that I'm packing stuff just in case I do land at the hospital. But just in case. I'd be miserable stuck there without a book or something...and I might need clothes...

any of my friends reading this who want to reach me, go ahead and leave a message at my home; I'll call in and check them later.

i keep trying to sleep but it keeps waking me up almost every hour on the dot.

im worried im sustaining damage to my kidneys. things hurt a lot but i don't want to call my mom. i just cant go back to the hospital.

the stones dont seemt o be moving much at all. theyre just sitting there. they call them staghorns--when a bunch of stones calcify together to form this armature that is kinda like a deer antler

i'm really worried. im going to try to go back to sleep.

Monday, July 15, 2002

when you feel this shitty you can actually do some incredible stuff.

i guess it's the endorphins, but i gunned it up the hill i live on at a damn fast pace (for me, on foot--I never walk anywhere) to get a newspaper from the machine there...

exercise is helpful. if you ever get a kidney stone, try not to just lie around...

i did the calculations and figgered i've consumed about 1 1/3 gallons of water since around 10 am this morning.

i should be drinking more, actually, i think, but i just can't.

the stone are in an undetermined location as of now, but it feels like they're sentient and trying to cut themselves out of me with little knives.

I think the stones are moving...

I slept for about an hour.

You can tell they're moving 'cos it changes from a dull thud in your back to a much more acute, precise and pointed feeling further down in your abdomen. The more you can pinpoint their location the bigger they are and the further down they've come.

Right now they're just somehwere to the left and that's all I can tell.

What scares me is that you're supposed to take the vicodin every 4 hours. I'm taking one every two hours and I still feel this pretty bad. It hasn't been this serious in...well, in a while.

My lower back still aches on my left which I have to keep track of too, 'cos if the kidney gets so backed up with stones--they're more like coarse sand really--that it starts to swell, the tissues could be damaged and the kidney could fail.

That would be bad.

More water...

I feel dizzy. I didn't throw up 'cos I had a mint (for those who didn't know, mint settles your stomach). It feels really hot in here but I've got all the windows open...and I opened the front door too, and the patio door, to get some air moving...LA is too hot. I should move. Remind me...

It's hurting quite a bit now. I think if someone was trying in earnest to scrape out the flesh from my bones along my lower back, using a spoon or the edge of a hardcover book--it might feel like this. It comes and goes in waves.

I'm drinking Corona Lite (ugh) also, in an effort to maybe speed up this process. Usually beer helps.

Mom said I could call her and she'd come and get me in the middle of the night if she had to, and take me to the emergency room for morphine...but the last time we did that they kept me waiting from 10 am to 7 pm before they gave me anything at all for the pain. I don't want to go back in, and I don't want to confront all that going back to the hospital would entail...

I'm writing this in an effort to (a) pull myself out of it a little bit and (b) to share the experience, because there are other people out there with this (altho the disease is rare--so rare that my doctor clapped her hands and exclaimed, "Wow! This is so interesting!" when she gave me the diagnosis).

I've started to sweat some now. I don't know what that means.

This should be interesting.

I have sponge medullary kidney syndrome, a congenital condition where your kidneys don't flush out acids as well as normal ones do, and you develop kidney stones as a result. Lots of them.

I've found various black-humoresque ways to explain it to myself, why this is a part of me, including but not limited to my lineage as the daughter of stonecutters (my last name means stonecutter in the old country); some yuk-yuks about how I'm an intense person and therefore end up so heavy on the inside I make rocks; but all in all it is a really unlucky affair and puts me through a lot of physical pain.

Most people who have never experienced serious physical pain don't have an appreciation for the way it can change the way you experience life. And I'm not talking about the "oh, I appreciate the good times so much more," stuff--although that shouldn't be neglected.

I'm talking about the simple fact that hurting a lot, really bad, has the capacity to kill off little bits of your humanity. Every time this happens I feel more iron introduced into my blood. I feel older and more damaged.

And at age 25, I resent that I should have to deal with this so young.

I also fully acknowledge that others have it far worse than I, that there are little kids out there with awful things, that people are dying as I bitch and moan here.

Regardless. This hurts.

I wrote the blog about the "kriya" notion last night, not knowing that this current condition would grind me to a halt in my tracks today. I guess maybe that means it has some merit.

As long as I am able, I may blog about this thing tonight until it stops. I may have to go to the hospital. I don't know how long I should wait to go in. I've taken three vicodin in about five hours. The pain is getting worse. I don't want to go to the hospital. I can't tell you how awful that would be. I really don't want to go back.

I'm going to keep hoping things improve.

Right now I have to throw up.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

"A kriya is a Sanskrit word meaning a spiritual emergency or surrender, a spiritual seizure. They are cries of the soul as it is wrung thorugh changes.

We all know what it looks like: it is the bad case of the flu right after you're broken up with your lover. It's the rotten head cold and deep cough that announces you're abused your health to meet unreasonable demands at work. That asthma attack out of nowhere when you've just done a round of caretaking your alcoholic sibling...always significant, frequently psychosomatic, they ask you to "get it." Get it: "You can't stay with an abusive lover. You can't work eighty hours a week. You can't rescue a brother who needs to save himself..." In short, they point the way to reality: this is how you're feeling; what do you make of that?

And what we make of that is often art.

As we gain--or regain--our creative identity, we lose the false self we were sustaining. The loss of this false self can feel traumatic: "I don't know who I am anymore. I don't recognize me."

Shifts in taste and perception often accompany shifts in identity. One of the clearest signals something healthy is afoot is the impulse to weed out, sort through, and discard old clothes, papers, and belongings...a house overflowing wih odds and ends and tidbits you've held onto for someday has no space for the things that might truly enhance today.

Think of yourself as an accident victim walking away from the crash: your old life has crashed and burned; your new life isn't apparent yet. You may feel yourself to be temporarily without a vehicle.

Just keep walking."

-the artist's way, by julia cameron

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

from letters sent to adbusters mag, july / aug 2002, addressing the idea of postmodernism:

"'Born in 1985, my youth fell into the crack between revolution and aftermath. I can neither participate in the former nor revel in the latter. To paraphrase the great postmodernist author Chuck Palahniuk: I have no war to fight, no Great Depression. My war is a spiritual one, my great depression is my life.'"
leigh beadon, alton, ontario

"'Even subversive art or messages, such as Adbusters itself, are still just dumping more on the collective consciousness. A truly postmodern artwork would go back to before we could even write or speak, before we were even human and observed the beautiful silent art of the universe.'"
joshua dallman, portland, oregon

"'One of the characteristics of postmodernism is a search for ways of living heroically in an inherently meaningless world. The more I contemplate upon death and my mortality, the more it inspires me to live my life like a work of art.'"
brian clifton, baton rouge, louisiana

I like that last one a lot. -m.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

catherine wheel, "mad dog"

You're a weird child
Like your dad was
Like a bee sting
You're a mad dog,
You're a fierce soul
In your bad clothes
Need some good luck
In your mad love

Keep it cheap
The promise of peaks you've never seen
You turned around
Fountains of change
You made your name
What a name

Can you be still
You're a mad dog
You're a fierce soul
In your bad clothes
Need some good luck
In your mad love

It's just your magic is more than electric
It spins inside

Take me home,
I'm staying up the road
I'll let you know,
It isn't you...
I need a clear space
To think it through

I'm a weird child
Like your dad was
I'm a bad star
You're a mad dog
You're a queen Jane
It's a hard slog,
and I'm a pale saint
In your mad love...

new prosety....again...


An interesting article:


I've excerpted some bits of it here.

The Trouble With Sex

Are women today really more sexually liberated than their mothers and grandmothers?
Far from it, says Libby Brooks, in the final part of our feminism series

Friday June 7, 2002
The Guardian

I can remember very clearly the first time a man whistled at me in the street. I was 12. It was a warm summer afternoon and I was wearing my favourite baggy white shirt. A truck turned the corner and drove towards me; there were some khaki-coloured soldiers in the back. And one of them whistled. There was nobody else on the road. I felt shy and thrilled, and delicious. I thought, this is what it's like to be a woman.
It was the first time I understood that my body had a life of its own, that it would be received and interpreted by the world in ways that might have nothing to do with the me inside. In the modern classic, Ways of Seeing, John Berger wrote of a woman being continually accompanied by her own image of herself, "because how she appears to others, and ultimately how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life".

[what an interesting way of framing this interrelationship between a woman and her physical identity, both as it is conceptualized by others as well as how it is created by her own set of ideas about herself....the notion that I am not one woman, but many within one, like images refracted in a room of mirrors, each woman a slight variation, sometimes a virgin, sometimes a whore, often somewhere inbetween... -m.]

The western world is saturated with public representations of sex. Yet vast ignorance persists around the mechanics of sexual pleasure - astoundingly, we are still unable to agree exactly why and how a woman has an orgasm.

Has sexual liberation failed to deliver for women? Chastity and passivity may no longer be feted but both men and women continue to view women who appear at ease with their sexual selves with suspicion. The traditional codes of pursuit and denial are defunct - nobody knows whether playing the tease is bad behaviour or a role we can relish. Is it any wonder that anxiety about sexual etiquette is rife?

Theory and politics surrounding lesbian relationships is now highly developed. The lesbian community has used its increasing visibility to explore some truly radical ideas about sexual identity. But what is the feminist response to straight sex? How do we talk about the equivocal space that women now occupy, somewhere between escaping their traditional role as sexual objects and becoming active sexual subjects? If we fully take control of our desire, does it mean embracing a model of sexuality where sex is only ever casual? And does it mean rejecting entirely attitudes of submission, femininity and flirtation, which are not without their particular pleasures?

Meanwhile, we continue to teach girls a romantic story of their futures, of which sex forms one element, while teaching boys that sex is a discrete act that underpins masculinity.

Female sexuality remains a dark continent, not least because women themselves are still uneasy about how to be, sexually. Throughout the ages female sexuality, like the female body, has been construed as passive. But do women and men really experience desire differently? "Women are said to have lower sex drives than men," writes Natalie Angier, the Pulitzer prize-winning science correspondent, "yet they are universally punished if they display evidence to the contrary - if they disobey their 'natural' inclination towards a stifled libido. Women supposedly have a lower sex drive than men do, yet it is not low enough. No, there is still enough of a lingering female infidelity impulse to justify infibulation and purdah... How can we know what is 'natural' for us when we are treated as unnatural for wanting our lust, our freedom?"....

...Ironically, however, this saturation doesn't tally with a lack of inhibition around sex. Despite hopes that the Aids crisis might change this, there are still huge areas of sexual practice that women may or may not enjoy - anal sex, for instance, or rape fantasies - that we can't really discuss. Of course, mystery makes for great sex - and earnest, clinical examination around the water cooler does not. But we have to fathom a better way of filleting what deserves to remain mysterious from what does not.

Is it possible for feminism to talk about intimate relationships? Our private lives are not, after all, driven by political movements or public ideas of how two people should relate. But feminism's basic tenet was that the personal can be political. This will always be contradictory territory: sexual attraction demands a level of playful deception, it is fed by fantasy and projection - but feminism is about honesty. Sexual satisfaction can be about physical abandonment or submission - but feminism teaches us to be in control of our bodies.

And feminism has another, far more more nuanced role, in helping us unpick these confused times: a generation of women who have been raised to be independent of men but still want to be in partnership with them; where the rightwing agenda terrorises women who put careers before domesticity, where older women must fight to be taken seriously as sexual beings. But fundamentally, feminism cannot legislate for desire, nothing can. Too many moralists have tried to codify it, frightened of the human freedom it suggests, but desire takes us to the heart of our greatest fear: that we might be anybody or anything.

afghan whigs, night by candlelight
[black love]:

Repeat these words
After me
In all honesty
Repeat these words
After me
If you dare to believe this yourself

Am I vain? Have I shame?
Are my thoughts of a man
Who can call himself sane?
Do I blame all my pain
On the wickedness
I have arranged?
If I do, bring it down

Is my fate all the same
As the man who has
Walked the line straight?
If it is, bring it down

And I,
I must rely, my dear
And I
cannot deny, my dear
There will be a reckoning
Which was,
And is to come.

Monday, July 08, 2002

re. yesterday's post:

then again, maybe the dead should stay buried. I donno.

sometimes I feel like such a damn mess compared to other civilians.

then again, maybe I just have a nasty talent for description.

Maybe it's called Complaining.

argh, someone tell me to shut the fuck up.

Friday, July 05, 2002

I wrote two days ago that I missed an old friend, with whom I had a brief (in the overall landscape of one's life, I guess you could call it brief) bizarre tizzy of overwhelming and unexpected emotion, various and sundry intense feelings experienced on mute, and one wild rollercoaster ride of things experienced but never said, gravities experienced but held apart, euphoric highs and lows of the transcendental, shamanic sort, the kind of mad euphoria that separates you from pain, maddens you with immortality, etcetera etcetera. The kind of induced high you get from some drugs that makes you think you can bleed and not die, that makes you stare at the expanding circle and giggle. The kind of rollercoaster that makes you worry you may puke or go off the tracks, a final glorious blaze of wild life.

These days I realize that friendship might not have escaped us and wish I could induce it back into life, like a little plant gone brown--almost, still green at the center--in the corner of my room.

And yesterday I saw him again. Like magic.

I am wondering if my writing these words is not an inductive way of creating reality...

or am I just being superstitious?


I mean, I wrote about car accidents, and I got into one two days later.

--still alive......


Q: "How many nihilists does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

A: "Who the fuck cares?"

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Here I am listening to this music for the first brave time in months...

God. I miss you like hell, you know that?

Life's river drifts us on from friends, from lovers, from all those things inbetween, and I gotta say, I hate lapping those drawn out miles further and further from you...

When you're walking downtown,
do you wish I was there?
Do you wish it was me?
with the windows clear
in the mannequin's eyes,
do they all look like mine?
Come pick me up
Take me out
Fuck me up
Steal my records
Screw all my friends
Behind my back
With a smile on your face...
I wish you would
-ryan adams.

just got back from driving around downtown glendale to find the effin market, which someone gave me completely incorrect directions to, but that's another story...

about 50% of the people I saw were on cell phones; if they were in the car they were using those wireless, "I'm talking to the CIA" kind of headphoney thingies...

no one made eye contact, everybody hurried about in their office casual, with boxed lunches heading back to the office after the daily grill or the olive garden...

i let some folks go in front of me, stopped for vaious pedestrians, and no one waved thank you, and again no one made eye contact...I suppose they're all feeling crushed, accosted by the whirling world they have to dodge in and out of, and feel as if i owe it to them to stop and let them pass, which in a way I do, but it's a mutual exchange, they are not in a cgi world, they forget I'm a human too, to them I'm just another polygonal figure behind a mirage of glass windshield, to shield me from what wind I don't know could possibly blow down through these steel and alabaster corridors of carefully partitioned office buildings with their corner offices and inspirational posters...

and still no one looks at me. I drive around listeing to loud music with the windows all down, singing along, a toolbox and a wooden sword in the back seat, my super lucky cat on my dash and a card with the virgin of guadalupe hanging from the mirror, keeping an eye on me. I'm not religious. She looks out for me anyways.

Is no one unique anymore?

I feel very very alone.

I am discovering once again,
as I did when I was six and when I was ten and again when I was in eleventh grade,
like it's some sort of revelation all over,
[stupid of me to forget, eh?]
that the times when I feel most desperate to be around people
are the times when I need to lock all my doors,
turn off the phones,
shutter the windows,
tie myself to the mast,
and be completely

Few things hurt worse than forgetting that simple little fact,
and finding myself crying on the shower floor is just an annoying frustration,
that I should be so stupid,
that I should find myself here in this space with my head spinning and not knowing what to do,
where to go,
what to say.

I hope we are not fated in our lives to live the same mistakes, the same patterns, over and over forever,
with little or no knowledge of what the pattern means
and why we repeat it,
like a ghost captured forever walking the same hall, opening the same doors,
time moving forward and leaving us a negative captured on the page,
nonsensical, incomplete, and removed from anything that once held us meaningfully to the ground.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

I recently saved a photo off the net from bitchmagazine.com. It’s an image of gwyneth paltrow’s head stuck onto the body of a beautiful size-14 model (“beautiful” and “size 14” are not mutually exclusive, something I had always assumed must be the case but didn’t really see in such obvious detail until this pic).

Here’s the thing.

She isn’t just “voluptuous” or “zaftig” in that patronizing sort of way. Bitchmagazine.com also offers, for easy comparison, a nude photo of gwyneth posing coyly for some fasion mag or another. And when compared, the “skinny gwynny” looks positively ill. Emaciated. As in “someone feed me, stage a benefit concert, save the children…woops, I mean the wildly successful screen idol” sort of way. And the other pic? She looks luscious, lovely, all perfect skin and creamy thighs and a dream of sex right there on a Cabaret-style chair. She’s super-hot. She’s filling, satisfying to look at, while the other gwyneth just makes you feel...hungry.

Many women in the world are naturally thin and should never have to feel stigmatized for this. Many women are in locations where food is scarce, and their bodies are affected by this in one way or another. Many women are naturally large and curvy and should never have to feel wrong for this either.

I heard a while back that the average American woman was a size 14 (the size of the nameless--why didn't she get a credit, by the way?--model with whose body gwyneth was Photoshoppedly augmented). Is this “natural?” [a term I place in italics because of the difficulty of, from a philosophical sense, actually defining what is and is not “natural.”] Is it a manifestation of American gluttony—or, from another point of view, from the abundance that our culture and political-economic system [regardless of the global ethics, or lack thereof, of said system] has left to us? Is it simply the physique most women will tend to settle at when placed in a situation of abundance as opposed to poverty?

I don’t know about this aspect of it. All I know is that the picture is positively lovely. She is lush as a summer field in Brittany. She is truly madly beautiful.

Every day I look in the mirror and I judge myself. Often I judge cruelly.

Before a month or two ago, when I began yoga and my new job in earnest (and now I have just begun kung fu practice again) I was a size 12 on the bottom and about a six on the top. I felt disgusting. Now I’ve gone down to maybe an eight to a 12 on the bottom, depending on how high-end the retailer (that’s right folks, in case you didn’t know, the more elite the clothing chain the smaller the woman they cater to…) and a 4 to a 6 on top. And I still feel grossed out. Not merely dissatisfied. Not a "work in progress." Not even too terribly happy with progress so far. Just “I have such a long way to go.”

And here is this woman, her ass an additional size larger than mine ever was, looking like the most lovely thing to grace god’s green earth.

And here myself and my roommate are, and my roommate has the body of this woman, she’s an absolutely glorious amazon, and so often we can’t walk into the places where we are told by society we must shop in order to be beautiful and special. Because we can’t fit into the fucking clothes.

And think of this: I’m a relatively small women as American women go, and even I can’t get into their largest sizes. Apparently I am not allowed to have the beautiful things allowed to those women blessed (or cursed?) with tiny bodies (whether by their own nature or by their own will….or by their index finger down their throat).

All these facts are not news, or new, or revelations of any sort. I am left nonplussed by the situation, and feeling entirely silly.

I am also left wanting to write little things on slips of paper, like “When was the last time you ate chocolate without feeling bad?” (yes, people really live like that…), or to take gift certs from Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, or to take blister packs of dexatrim (which I tried for a while! Yes! sick, sick!) and place them randomly into the pockets of various women’s clothing at these particular "If you ain't anorexic, don't bother coming in, you fat sow" places.

I think it would be much better for their souls that trying to squeeze their poor tormented bodies into a bit of clothing that will denote their social status.

And I still look at myself in the mirror, with full knowledge of all this, with decades of feminism behind me, with various women's studies classes under my belt, and I look and see what I am, and I wish it were different.

I feel sad about this.