overhaul / undertow

Monday, September 30, 2002

we go side by side, laugh
until it's right
take the darkest hour, break it open
water to repair what we have broken
there's something that you don't show
waiting where the light goes
and any way the wind blows,
its all worth waiting for...
pull on the borders to lighten the load,
tell all the passengers we're going home.
I spend too much time seeking shelter...
World without end couldn't hold her.
-toad the wet sprocket.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

"just in case something goes wrong..."

That is the title of a page, apparently now inaccessible, at gangcandy.

Ryan's gangcandy was my first experience reading a weblog. He was a friend of a friend. I didn't know him, and I still barely do. But I'd never seen anything like a blog before, and I was immediately smitten--mistaking the posts as a real, tangible and profoundly brave kind of intimacy.

I've since learned that blogs are not that at all. They are a carefully constructed exposition, a sort of paper-doll of yourself, that you dress the way you want, and make it look the way that is most flattering, and you pose for maximum effect. Maybe you reveal things that break that wall--I've tried to be as honest as possible in overhaul--, but it's never a surrogate for genuinely knowing a real live human being.

That said.

I hate flying. Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it,
completely and utterly hate it. I am nauseous at the thought of it. It keeps me from sleeping when it approaches.

and I have to get on a plane Monday.
Needless to say, it is 3:36 am and I'm wide awake and hoping I don't puke.

Ryan at gangcandy isn't fond of flying either, because whenever he flew he posted a page that was basically a good-bye note to all his loved ones.

It seems to have vanished, or I would have linked to it here; perhaps he's changed servers; but I would like to make one of my own.

I'm sure if I do make it to the end of the flight, and get my feet on solid ground again, I'll feel lame for having done this, but I think it's a good idea.


I love you all. You are my life, my being, my breath, my words. There is no light without you. You are everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And I am so sorry for ever having been a cause of pain for another.

To all my friends, there is no string of eloquent alliterations I could tie together to clarify or elucidate how you've enriched my life, and the degree to which I ache with hope that I have managed to enrich yours as well.

To my parents, absolute and unpronounceable love and gratitude, and regret that I have as of yet been unable to do all the wonderful things for you that i dreamt of doing when I was a very little girl.

To my students, thank you for all you have taught me, and I send you off with the wish that your days are filled with learning and bittersweet beauty until the day you die. You gave me the magical gift of knowing what it was to be a parent and the heart-raging feeling that came with caring for you.

For more practical matters, anything I own is of no consequence and if no one wants it it all can be chucked, except my computer, and the disks in my right desk drawer, which contain the burnt-in proof of my soul, my self. The writing therein, and the time we have shared together, is all that really matters.

Once again, I love you all, and rivers, oceans, seas to you, ten thousand pounding rains to wash you to your own shores, your own lovely ends.

...and as it was in the beginning, it now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.

be there or be square, in a non-pomo, non-hip way

Dinah's Fried fucking Chicken.

Between Chevy Chase and Los Feliz Boulevards on San Fernando Avenue, in Glendale. Not the grodey, soulless, business-tax-exempt downtown Glendale I always bitch about, but old Glendale, where you can see the building facades are actually constructed of brick, and they're near the railroad tracks--which is where Glendale the city grew up, by the railroad station, which has since been turned into a printing house I think, its baroque, art-deco curls of architecture easy to overlook. The sign on Dinah's is to die for: super old-school.

And the Big Fish Bar. Also on San Fernando, a few blocks east of Doran Street and the 5 fwy. overpass, right across from the traintracks and the railyard.


Go and tell me whatcha think.

I bet they have chicken fried steak at Dinah's. ;)

Saturday, September 28, 2002

leaving to come home

I've always had a bit of the "gypsy in me," as Kate would put it. I love LA, as there are few cities as sublimely wonderful and terrifying all at once. But I often get the urge to point my car's nose north, or east, and hit the gas.

I've followed through a few times too. It's been wonderful. Perhaps ill-advised--a woman leaving home without so much as a word to loved ones, family members, friends, coworkers et al., but hella wonderful, and I wouldn't trade these solo adventures for the world.

Leaving places can also be notoriously hard for me. I waited 'til I was 20 to move out of my folks' house, and even then it was a horrendous trial. I was miserable and brokenhearted. My childhood was over and I missed it like hell, and I was, for some reason, completely certain I would die--absolutely die--without my parents' constant presence.

Of course within a week I was loving living on my own, although I wouldn't admit it to the 'rents. I think I had been terrified to leave because I was so sure I'd never, ever go back. I still have not. They still live in the same house in the Valley, and I see them maybe two, three times a month, which seems not too bad.

My current adventure, though, is not self-originated at all. In fact, the folks announced they were going, and asked if I'd like to come along.

Who could turn down a free ticket to Maui, and accomodations?

We went several times when I was eight to maybe 13 years old, and once we found a place to stay that we liked, we kept going back. It's this place that has rows of rental condos--teeny things, but nice, and who cares if it's small when it's right on a delicate little inlet filled with the bluest water imaginable, ranging from ultramarine deep to ruddy browns--that's the sea grass--to turquoise that's shot with sunlight, where you can see sandy bottom twenty feet down. Every time we went we saw the same damn turtles happily paddling around out there, flying under the water (or maybe the babies of the same damn turtles) and when my parents went again three years ago with friends of theirs (I stayed home that time), the turtles were still there. Behind the place the land slopes up into fields that look like they're filled with insanely green grass, but up close it's miles upon miles of sugarcane, taller than my father, melting into untended forest at the top, forest dripping with collected condensation and vines with leaves the size of my outstretched arms. The forest moves further up into almost vertical, craggy mountains blanketed with green, and every few crevasses you can spy the tightrope-thin lines of waterfalls, strung down like spiderwebs between the peaks and the jungle below.

It is beautiful, and I'm immensely grateful to them. I could not have afforded this at all. And I really need the rest. I'm a strung-out stressball, and it's making me sick. The headaches are coming daily these last few weeks, and I have to take more and more medicine to dull them. Last night I resorted to icepacks all up my back to my neck. It finally helped me sleep. I think leaving town, and dropping the ball on my daily life even for a brief amount of time, will help immensely.

So we're off, like a herd'a'birds. We leave Monday. It should be interesting. I don't mind vacationing with my parents, as there are no siblings to deal with--never had 'em, never will--and, for the most part, my parents often appear sane, at least for all practical intents and purposes.

Of course they can be difficult too, with my mom throwing tantrums about being late for things that don't matter, and my dad getting obsessive-compusive right as we leave--"Wait, I have to go back in and make sure I shut off the stove....hmmm...did I lock that gate? Wait...." but all in all it should be, in a way, that trip back home I never made: living with my family again.

In a well-appointed bayside rental condo, of course, rather than the Valley.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

more lyrics:

Garage Sale, Saturday: I need to pay my heart's outstanding bills.
A cracked-up compass and a pocket watch, some plastic daffodils,
the cutlery and coffee cups I stole from all-night restaurants,
a sense of wonder (only slightly used), a year or two to haunt you in the dark,
---for a phone call from far away, with a "Hi, how are you today",
and a sign recovery comes to the broken ones...
A wage-slave forty-hour work week (weighs a thousand kilograms, so bend you knees)
comes with a free fake smile for all your dumb demands,
the cordless razor that my father bought when I turned 17,
a puke-green sofa, and the outline to a complicated dream of dignity,
---For a laugh (too loud and too long),
for a place where awkward belongs,
and a sign that recovery comes to broken ones.

Or best offer.


I count to three and grin. You smile and let me in. We sit and watch the wall you painted purple. Speech will spill on space. Our little cups of grace. But pauses rattle on,
about the way that you cut the snow-fence, braved the blood, the metal of those hearts that you always end up pressing your tongue to. How your body still remembers things you told it to forget. How those furious affections followed you.
I've got this store-bought way
of saying I'm okay,
and you learned how to cry
in total silence.
We're talented and bright. We're lonely and uptight.
We've found some lovely ways to disappoint,
but the airport's almost empty this time of the year, so let's go play on a baggage carousel.
Set our watches forward like we're just arriving here,
from a past we left in a place we knew too well.
(Hold on to the corners of today, and we'll fold it up to save until it's needed. Stand still. Let me scrub that brackish line that you got when something rose and then receded.)

all lyrics by the weakerthans

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

of course, you know, this means war

I am making it my personal mission to destroy the psychological health and well-being of all Cadillac Escalade owners, doing whatever is necessary to reduce them to quaking piles of nervous jittery humanity, bunny-like, cringing at noises and begging to not be touched.

These are some of the hugest suv's ever created, and they are Cadillacs to boot, imparting to the owners a sense of entitlement not seen since the Spanish and British first landed in the southeastern seaboard of what would become the US. In every shiny chrome detail, every impeccable accessory, every cup holder designed to hold super-sized drinks (what else would you expect?) every inch of hulking space they gluttonously hog on city streets (I'm sorry, but the two times a season you drive the kids' team to soccer practice DOES NOT excuse this disgusting waste of gasoline and space; and let's get real, you never go camping anyways! who are you kidding?!?), the Cadillac Escalade is a revolting display of a blatant disregard for the existence of others and the responsibility we share to streamline the daily existence of others and consume earth's resources (of which space is just one) responsibly.

In the last three (three!) days, I have had two cut me off in traffic, two pull out in front of me making right-hand turns onto busy streets, one almost merge its gargantuan, 2-miles-to-the-gallon ass into the side of my teeny car, and one make it impossible for me to park in a particular lot due to its owners' arrogant misconception that It Is Okay For Me To Park Diagonally Across These Two Parking Spots.

Their latest print ad, seen in Vanity Fair, states "In a world of tofu, we're a big juicy steak."

True in so many, many ways.

I'm not a vegetarian, but forgive me if I do not find equating the Cadillac Escalade with a steak exactly...compelling.

Fuck 'em. Living in LA has pushed mild-mannered me over the edge.

I have to do something.

money does indeed talk...and it sounds oddly like...AC/DC?

This nifty little flash film illustrates exactly who benefits from a war with Iraq: American defense contractors. And who owns those defense contractors? Why, Dick Cheney and George Bush Jr., among others.



Tuesday, September 24, 2002

visit this site

This is a straight-up bite from my friend Jake's website.

If you're interested in witty and insightful daily updates of current events and news regarding consumer rights, civil liberties, our "perpetual war," consumerism/capitalism/media consolidation/spin/ad culture, the existential quandary of postmodernism from a socio-political slant (sorry, lapsed into my university writing days there a sec), et al, and all boiled down into concise, easy-to-understand, lucid and drily funny terse bites, well, this is the site to visit every fucking day. Seriously.

If my site is one little facet of the effects of postmodernism and contemporary culture on one unique indivudual's ups and down, the sine wave of personal life, well, his is the big picture, the context within which it is all occuring.

I post this 'cos I don't have a tv. Well, I do, but par for the course for me, it's tinier than a small computer monitor and gets no reception. You can watch videos on it--I have an antiquated vcr the size of a small aircraft carrier with about as much metal content--but only if you sit, like, a foot away.

I'm happy this way. I'm a young woman who lives alone (well, I have a wonderful roomie, but in essense we live parallel, coexisting lives, and are rarely around at the same time--even tho its hella fun when we are; I linked to her on the sidebar) in a big city. A big often scary city. When I first moved in, I was alone, with no roommate, and I was petrified. Every shadow was an intruder. Every time i came home I had to check the closets, the shower stalls, the corners and under beds, to ensure no one was hiding.

Why? TV news. In LA especially--but in all local tv news I guess--the emphasis is on the titillating sensationalism of issues like rape and abductions, attacks and stalkings. I won't even go off on why i think the public laps this up--ref. slasher films with their overemphasis on linking sexuality with violence--but I think it sucks.

In Hollywood if you don't have cable you can't get any reception, especially here in the Hollywood Hills. I cut off my cable.

My night terrors stopped. Now I can't be bothered with the damn box.

Still, I am sickened by the following information. So often Jake brings me very important information, but I'll be damned if the lot of it doesn't just piss me off wholeheartedly.

I (Don't) Want My DTV!

It's always fun to watch political folks flip-flop, lie, or otherwise try to reconcile two policies they support which exactly contradict each other. While FCC chair Michael Powell talks a good game about letting the market rule the airwaves, the FCC has recently mandated that all new televisions come equipped with digital tuners by 2007. Digital tuners will be for DTV signals, that allegedly will have better picture and all that. It'll also add around $250 to the cost of each television set.

But wait, there's more!

House Representative Billy Tauzin (who is firmly in the entertainment industry's pocket) has proposed a DTV bill to Congress that would eliminate all analog TV broadcasts by 2007. Meaning that if you want to watch television in 2007, you will have to go out and buy a brand new DTV. And if you want to videotape anything off the television, you will need to go out and buy a new DTV-compatible VCR.

Is the quality of DTV that much higher? No. Prof. Russ Neuman of the Annenberg School for Communication did a study several years ago where he set two televisions at one end of a room, one DTV one regular TV. He had people come in at what would be regular viewing distance, and see if they could tell which was which. For the most part, they couldn't.

(I wish I had documentation for the above, but I don't. Neuman was a professor of mine when I attended ASC, and he described the experiment to us during a class lecture. I have been unable to find the report on the internet, but if I do, I'll will post the link here.)

But back to the legislation. Why is this happening? Is it just a big government giveaway to television and VCR manufacturers, to give them a big sales boost come 2007? Perhaps, but there's more to it than that.

It's called a "broadcast flag". It's a small code that can be embedded into a DTV signal that prevents your home VCR from recording a program, and/or sending it to your friends over the internet. Tauzin's vision of DTV makes wide use of broadcast flags.

So that's it. The TV and movie industry, afraid they won't get your dollars because you might conceivably record their programming off the television, have bought legislators to tell you that you have to spend extra money on a new television and new VCR that will actually limit your viewing options. Fuckers.

For more detail, you can read this report from the Consumer Federation of America.


Thanks, Jake!

Friday, September 20, 2002

Thanks, Misha, fer sending this to me. Definitely necessary.

Reasons to Allow Drinking at Work

It's an incentive to show up.
It reduces stress.
It leads to more honest communications.
It reduces complaints about low pay.
It cuts down on time off because you can work with a hangover.
Employees tell management what they think, not what management wants to hear.
It helps save on heating costs in the winter.
It encourages carpooling.
Increases job satisfaction because if you have a bad job, you don't realize it.
It eliminates vacations because people would rather come to work.
It makes fellow employees look better.
It makes conversations easier.
It makes the cafeteria food taste better.
Sloppiness suddenly is ok.
Bosses are more likely to hand out raises when they are wasted.
Salary negotiations are a lot more profitable.
Suddenly, farting during a meeting isn't so embarrassing.

One of my more benign, yet spookier, addictions:


I go through two cans of this stuff a week. We're talking forkfuls at a time, folks. Several forkfuls at a time. What is my problem?

The first step towards recovery is admitting you're an addict, they say...

Then again, it delights and amazes at parties.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

"( )"

How do you quote an instrumental interlude?

I often quote song lyrics I love on this page, but how do you refer people to a bit of music that can't be expressed as text?

Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville is a striking and quality piece of work all around, but it's her quieter songs on this album--the less rockin' ones--that have caught my heart. and the last song....that last one.....

The whole album seems to traverse the negotiation between where she ends and others begin, making peace or settling affairs with those who've dicked her around (in ways every woman, and I'm sure most men can relate to), expressing genuine sexuality--with all its emotional and lustful elements--in a really honest manner, and exhuming the buried ways in which she negates herself and discounts her hurts. All those slings and arrows of fate, and of the pain that can blossom between people.

And the last song ends in this spiraling instrumental, panning out from the whole scene of what's been said in the album, to a broader view that takes in the entirety of her life. You see her assess the moods and whims and crazy passions of the moment, captured like a snapshot in each song on the album, and then it's as if she realizes that they will fade to a sepia shade at time goes on; and as the instrumental kicks in, you see her get in her car and hit the road (as she does, in her second album--"Go West" is an amazing song), leaving behind the bittersweet bits that she's swept up into this disc.

As the guitar rocks calmly along, it becomes immersed in discordance, noodling and crashing, all threatening to overwhelm the steel guitar's pretty song, which seems to be happily singing to itself like a child, even though it becomes briefly tangled and enturbulated in the noisy wake. But it persists, and keeps on keeping on, until the noise crashes and fades and dies, exhausting itself, and there she still is, just the guitar, calmly and honestly still playing the same melody, unadulterated. And she ends it off with a little flourish, on her own terms, when she feels like it; a period at the end of a musical sentence that intimates more trials, noise and confusion may come in the future, or they may not; but for now, this is the chapters' end--and it's all her own. In this story of a piece of a life, she is the theme. She is the line that binds it all together. She's lost her way from time to time but has come through.

I can relate.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Granted, this thing offers a limited array of answers, but it's still fun: find the religion you fit best with.

I apparently turned out a Zen Discordian. Upon Googling it up I found it amusing, but (perhaps true to the Discordian spirit) not...quite...right for me.


Ah well.

a long and very expository and revealing story about growing up. iffen' you're innarested.

One of my very best friends had her birthday last night. True to form for her, she had forgotten until midday yesterday when she glanced at a reciept from the market and noticed the date: I can almost see her cartoon-like double-take. She's not a space cadet; rather, she just doesn't place much value on birthdays, she isn't the kind to make massive event plans beforehand.

So she called me a few hours after this magical discovery, whooping it up and very happy, and telling me I should meet her and the guys--our old crew, so to speak, at our old hangout, the "Ye Rustic Inn" in Los Feliz. Which, translated, I think means the abysmally meaningless "The Happy." [I know very few people who live in the area who are actually happy, but y'know.]

I could have gone. I wanted to go. I think I wanted to go.

No, wait, I didn't.

Why? Well, I had a brief and aborted romance with one of the folks in this group. He had been a friend first, one for whom I'd felt nothing but camaraderie, until one night when we suddenly found ourselves drunk and kissing at one a.m. and then things suddenly took off in the weirdest and most seriously fucked-up of ways, our relationship akin to a plane that's been shunted onto a haunted runway, with nowhere to go, horrible turbulence, and nothing good that could come of it. Nowhere to land but to crash.

And crash we did: in two, three months I'd fallen in love, been pulled in and rejected and pulled back and re-rejected so many times, and in such cruel and almost sadistic ways, that I felt like a poorly written disc. "We're too much alike, we couldn't have a relationship," he'd say one minute, and the next he'd be all over me. And drunk. Drinking always figured into it.

I flipped out completely until by the end of things I was drawing on myself with razorblades. I'm a stable person, neurotic and intellectual, but I've never been self-destructive. But this had truly brought out the worst in me. It is horrendous to see the capacity we have for self-hate, for cruelty, for being vessels of complete pain and still shining it on, waving it around, "Look at me! I'm nuts! Off the deep end!" So, upon realizing I'd become a complete car wreck dragged out cathedralic for everyone to stare at, I just withdrew and didn't talk to people and stopped talking to him and took the time to....heal. You can only go so far before you realize you're making a complete ass of yourself.

I was once in a six-year relationship. Leaving that was hard. This thing here lasted five months tops, but it tore me up from stem to stern, and I'm still mad and feeling the loss of it all.

So now he's got a girlfriend, the kind you knew in high school, who if you were unpopular you STILL liked her 'cos she was just so nice to everyone--even complete losers like you (still not without that philanthropic twinge--that she'd deign to talk to you was such a point in her favor, like helping the homeless or something)--and she was on every sports team, was in student government, she wasn't saccharine sweet but was instead kind of fun and sometimes even witty, and she ended up the valedictorian. Her every duck in a row. Beloved by all.

I hate women like this. They drive me nuts. Their perfect efficient organization. Their "I'm helping the community...and making bank at the same time!" job. Their lack of any need to wear makeup, their glowing fucking perfection. Their effing attache` case, filled with that perfect balance of work deitritus as well as with efficient bills she plans to pay (on time, of course) and flyers for hip shows in Silverlake clubs. They are so admired by men and worshipped by their boyfriends: "She's so great, I can't imagine why she'd be with a guy like me. She doesn't need me at all."

I am not perfect. I am messy. I am cute, some say I'm pretty, and a smaller percentage even have said I'm beautiful, but it's never without that caveat--that, "....but you're just....not....enough!!!!" unspoken, hanging there in the air. Other women are charmingly troubled; I'm just fucked up. If their hair is a mess, it's a lovely sexy dissaray; I need a damn shower. If their home is an endearing still-life of perfectly placed uncaculated yet somehow just perfect items, I'm a slob. It never fails. As they wail, "No, no, I'm a slob, I need a shower, argh, I'm such a fucking neurotic! I mean, look at how I bite my nails!!!" You look. They are bitten to the base. You find her token flaws adorable. You smile and shake your head reassuringly and say No you aren't, silly, you're beautiful; and they shake their head back at you in sexy, lower-lip-protruding dismay that you could be so blind to their oh-so-obvious faults.

But their faults aren't obvious. They are the chosen ones.

And me? I'm the one who slips by on the side. I'm the one who's too much: too neurotic, too messy, too problematic, going over the edge of cute self-deprecation into the realms of Just Plain Annoying. And I know it.

So, to get back to the point, I simply hate this woman. She is who I would be if I had Breck hair and a perfectly white smile with straight teeth (I'll never have perfectly white teeth 'cos when i was little my mom gave me fluoride pills, which were grape flavored--yum!!!--and when she'd leave the house I'd grab a chair, climb up to the medicine cabinet, and eat them like the yummy purple candy they were. And they discolored my teeth to an off-white which will never go away as it's built into the bone, but damn if they aren't strong as hell--25 years cavity-free, and they had to put acid on 'em three times to get my braces to stick back in Junior High school).

Girls, we all know these women.

And she was gonna be there, with the Ex-Something, who is still so gorgeously beautiful that I'd bronze him if I had the cash, and so while I love my friend and want to be there for her party,.....

she understands, I know, and we can do something to celebrate some other time, and meanwhile I hope he saw my obvious absence for the big "Up Yours" that it was.

I thought we could be friends. I mean, we were friends first, right? But I forget. I forget that as friends, prior to the Hookup That Changed Everything, we'd drifted apart. Because he never talked about anything of consequence. He is a brick wall. A room with no doors. There's stuff on the inside, things I'm sure are dear and true and lovely, but still there is no way in, and I'm done with that typically feminine hammering of the head uselessly on the door of the shut male mouth.

I know many women who'd go anyway and suffer through it.

I feel good, and healthy, and take it as a relieving sign--finally our girl is growing up!--that I am maturing, and learning when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em,

and when to run.

and there is no shame in that.

Monday, September 16, 2002

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so.
How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.
--Julius Caesar

Just got a random, blast-from-the-past call late last night from an old boyfriend. We met in kung fu class. He'd been there three years; I'd been there three months. There was a lite romance that lasted about a year and a few months--and then things fell apart. Our kung fu studio closed, we drifted apart--that drift aided by another redheaded girl--and I said goodbye.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the other girl, she was nice, and I didn't resent her. But she had a lot of problems, and so did he, so being around them was kind of this icky mess after a while. They went on to have a real relationship, which was fine with me, since I didn't have much in common with him anyway.

He's now joined the army, after their brief relationship crashed and burned. They're shipping the kid out to Germany in a week or two.



Thursday, September 12, 2002

save money, buy smaller bottles of vodka

I have made it through the week without overdrafting my anemic bank account. I am thrilled beyond words.

It looks as though I'm inching (centimetering?) my way towards financial solvency--a claim I've made in error before, but one I hope is true this time around.

At this rate, I should be able to open a savings account...next year.

It's nice to have goals.


the worst thing ever

How was your September 11th?

Don't you love the fact that we have a new holiday that, a' la` Labor Day, we can come in a very short period of time to completely forget the true signficance of, and just use as an excuse to take the day off work and burn food items on a barbeque?

When i was a little girl I truly thought Labor Day was a day to celebrate all the Laborers (whoever they were) who had worked so hard that grown-ups could have a day off work once a year. Really.

I wasn't that far off, either. The assumption was made based on available evidence, and was quite accurate for all practical purposes.

This is not license to "move on." This is not a call to arms to run to your local mall to "support the economy." This is not a time to partcipate in pre-fab, carefully constructed "remembrances."

Turn off the tv and conduct your own mourning, in private, and find ways to heal that are made for you and by you, not churned out by the very same megacorporations that export the lowest common denominator of American popular culture to people worldwide, causing them to think of us, halfway across the planet, as a bunch of morons. It should never be one cute packaged little day. Too many people died for that. This kind of thing is the worst thing ever. It happens everywhere--you could be in Gaza right now, wouldn't that be charming--, but it was one of the first time it's happened here--at least that we could remember. It is not about politics anymore. It goes beyond culture. It is complete and utter catastrophe.

People fucking died. Too many people died. And they died because a bunch of morons equated the civilians of the US with the US's media / entertainment / culture exports, and the US's shitty, self-serving, and manipulative foreign policy--with which those morons took issue, and decided was Evil, and so all Americans must be evil, and so they did what they did.

And now we Americans take issue with the acts and ideas of a few politicians and warlords and leaders, and so we go kill civilians too. Here in a suburb outside New York City a little girl misses her daddy, and over in Afghanistan and in Nicaragua and sub-Saharan Africa little girls miss their daddies too.

There are no words. There are no fucking words.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

a very lynchian morning

Drove off from the apartment this morning, up the hill, to the freeway, and further over the mountain into the valley. I always get off at Barham and drive by the studios there--Universal and Warners--and then the landscape opens up to the rear side of the mountain to your right, and the Los Angeles river running in its cement gutter to your left. Despite the cement trees have found some place to put down roots in the canal, and so since your eye level does not permit you--until you get back on the elevated freeway--to see down into the gunk and cement and concrete outflows that make up the channel, all you can see from the tiny two-lane road is what appears to be a semblance of an actual river: ground stops abruptly, then a row of trees. On the other side the land is zoned for horses and so people who are really into horses--you know those people--have their stables over there, dusty and slightly decrepit.

Going over the hill this morning there was a dead deer by the side of the road. Someone had struck it in the night, but not too long ago, 'cos as I sped by down the incline you could smell its weird musk following you in the air, even with windows closed and air filters operational. And then, feeling guilty for reasons too abstract to quite articulate--should I have slowed down respectfully as I spend by the deer, lying there on the pale grey prefab sidewalk, so recently poured down in the hillside that once was complete wilderness but now hosts overlarge homes like a swarm of insect eggs, laid in perfect rows conveniently close to places of work--

and then the road turned and I turned the car with it and the hills were on fire.

A huge stratus cloud of brown and purple laid itself blanketed over the hills, and you could see little licks of red fire sparkling around the edges as the fire seemed to try to burrow itself deep into the heart of the mountain, for safety. A few helicopters with long arms that hung low--presumably to drop water--circled over it, mosquitos in the huge cloud of smoke, and then overhead at complete perpedicularity to my eastward drive flew two huge potbellied planes, yellow-orange and low, also to drop water--the "super scoopers" they talk about.

I work in Glendale. This eastern part of the San Fernando Valley moves inland and southeast, becoming drier and hillier, less like the table-flat, spooky overwhelm of valley to the west where bleach-blondes get their toenails done and search for the perfect pair of jeans; this end of the valley used to be the property of one or two ranchers, who divided the land around San Fernando Road and Broadway and Glendale Boulevards, all roads that travel far beyond their points of origin into very distant bits of the city. You can take San Fernando all the way west to Northridge, where the earthquake split the valley into shatters some years back, and Broadway and Glendale head southwest into the heart of the Los Angeles Downtown, which at the time of the Spanish ranchers was a den of sin, I hear, and dirty water, with oil barons buying the newspaper. Which was and still is today the Los Angeles Times.

Now this bit of the Valley's a weird composite of nature--impossible to ignore as the hills pound up through the concrete, the river winds along planting trees in its path, deer run stupidly across the roads at night, and fire eats up the landscape where the Gabrieleno Indians used to live--and man, tackily obvious in the concrete river walls painted with graffitti, the entire hillside dedicated to burial (Forest Lawn and Mount Sinai cemeteries flank the river on the inner slope of the hill, turning what should be and once was scrub brush and sumac bushes into perfectly manicured, macabrely nourished green lawn worthy of a golf course), the disgustingly large movie studios dedicated to the pursuit of things like perfection and immortality and immunity from nature.

As I drove past the cemetery a taxi driver had pulled his car up along a particular headstone, and he paced along its edge wearing what looked, even over the distance, like a pyramid on his head. It couldn't have been a turban because it was rigid with corners. Nearby a custom-designed machine removed earth from to-be-filled holes in exactly the right shape for a casket. Then slightly further along I was stopped in my commute by police sheperding a train of cars for a funeral. The people in the cars drove by, most Latino, some with sad faces, other joking with friends or relatives in their cars.

As I write this the fire is still burning up on the mountain. I'm sure they'll get it put out by today, but as I've seen growing up around these mountains, there is always another fire, always a way life ravens itself back up again, and no concrete walls or perfect green lawns will mitigate that or take it away.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

You guys have to watch these parodies of the mac "Switch" ad campaign:


Cool video game site, too.


I live in Hollywood.
This isn’t cos I came out here from some Midwestern town, or even from boston or something. I grew up in the valley, and then I moved here. End of story. No glittery dreams, no celluloid visions. I never wanted to be an actress. Or even a makeup artist. Or a scenic artist. Or a screenplay writer. In fact, I never really knew what I wanted to be, and I still don’t know. Just because I’m writing this doesn’t necessarily mean I want to be a writer; and just cause I taught art for ten years doesn’t mean I want to be a teacher, or even that I have some hidden dream of being an artist.

And even if I do wish I could be a successful artist, or writer, or poet, I don’t know that I’d really want to BE any of those things, you know? There is a fine and delicate difference between wishing something might open itself up to you, and actually becoming that thing.

This troubles my parents deeply.

They’ve even taking to now hinting in tightening circles around the importance of my finding a good relationship with a man who’s “stable”: their shorthand for financially viable with “prospects.” I can't believe I'm hearing this kind of talk in relation to me: you always see it accomapnied by some sort of laugh track in comedies ("Honey, when are you going to find a nice man and settle down?" cue the laughter...), but I never thought it would start this soon. I'm 25. Am I out of the loop to think I shouldn't have to hear this for six, seven years yet? This sort of talk has begun in maybe the last two years now, and I think it’s because they’ve resigned themselves, not without hope but with a grim realization of my own dim “prospects,” that I need someone to support me; some moneyed man to finance my arty, flighty, wacky career sine waves and my turbulent personality—or some such thing. Whatever they think of me. However they assess me.

While I have to admit this might be nice, I don’t honestly think I will find anyone to have a relationship with whom I can both tolerate and feel attracted to and will be “financially stable,” because men like that tend to have to work a lot to be so loaded, and thus they, to some degree, even if they don’t admit it, like to work; and I think while they might find me intriguing at first, like having a circus performer over to dinner, after a while they’d quickly tire of my impractical tendencies and my stupid yammerings at attempts to do something, anything, of consequence; because I don’t believe working in an office is a thing of real consequence; besides, most men of this stripe find me weird to begin with. I just don’t think its gonna work out. Boy, will mom be disappointed.

I, however, am not disappointed.

Even though, right now, I do work in an office.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

hooray for fraud

I was waiting to see when I'd finally get one of these thingies.
It's very sad that some people are taken in by this, but as a person who has been forewarned and who never accepts offers of any sort, even if they're good, well, this is just plain amusing.

FROM: Mr.Patrick Thomas,
Before I proceed. I must be grateful to introduced myself. My name is Patrick Thomas, a Zimbabwean. I was formerly a personal aid to one of the top minister, I absconded with Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$15.5M)that was part of
he money meant for campaign for President Robert Mugabe's re-election into office.Currently the funds are in a Security Finance Company in The Netherland where I am presently seeking a political asylum.
I am looking for a trustworthy individual/firm who can stand as the beneficiary to help me clear this fund out from the Security Company, and also advice or assist me in making the rightful investment, more so I am interested in buying properties for resident as my family will be residing there in the nearest future.
As regads your commission/remuneration, myself and my family shall offer you 25% of the total money, we have also set aside 5% for any expenses incurred (i.e telephone bills, travel exepenses and any other miscellaneous expenses) while the transaction last.
Be informed also that I shall commit half of the total sum into a mutual beneficial joint venture project with you and be rest assured that you stand no risk of any kind as the funds belongs to me alone. As soon as I have your consent, I will furnish you with the details and contact of the finance company and a face-to-face meeting will be arranged in order for us to know ourselves better.
I strongly beleive that associating with you to embark on this and other business ventures will derive huge success hereafter. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to include them in your reply.
I await your immediate response.
NOTE: YOUR RESPONSE SHOULD BE SENT TO drpatrickthomas@netscape.net

Best regards,
Mr.Patrick Thomas


Hmmm. Maybe I should spam Dr. Patrick.

stupid word usage

Quoted from the New York Times: "In a recent interview reflecting on events since Sept. 11, the defense secretary said he wants to change the U.S. military so it can better fight a 'virtual enemy.'"

Ladies and gentlemen, let me make something crystal clear.

The definition of "virtual" is, according to Websters', "almost entirely : NEARLY."

That means, kids, that a "virtual enemy" is almost an enemy, but not really. More like a made-up enemy. The way you had a pet dragon when you were little, but, well, not really, you know?

I also would caution you to think twice about using "actually" and basically" too, 'cos they're usually code for "Well, I don't know all the facts here, but I'm going to phrase this simply while using a word like "actually" or "basically' which will make it sound as though I'm much smarter than you and am breaking down very abstract concepts into simple statements so that your tiny little brain can comprehend it. But the truth is I don't know what I'm talking about much either and am just trying to make myself look better than you."

Sorry, old pet peeve resurfacing. Think carefully about it, though: how many obnoxious people do you know who stand there and talk at you throwing words like "virtually," "basically," and "actually" around, meking you feel smaller in the process?

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

forensic confirmation...

I found the bump on my head.

It's not so much a bump per se as the absence of other bumps. For reasons I cannot fathom I have always had a lumpy bumpy head, like my cranium couldn't make up it's mind about which direction to expand in. My mom always said I should go to one of those psychics who reads the bumps on your head to tell you things about your past and to forecast your future.

While I think that is a load of crap, this is not: the swollen spot on the back left side of my head eclpised all other bumps, making it kinda hard to notice. And it hurts when I press it, and I didn't notice that before--I just thought it was all the headaches I was having.

Of course it was the other way around, and the headaches were 'cos I fell and hit my head. And didn't remember it.

and then I also apparently ate it down a hill, which I'm sure didn't help the situation at all and prolly only exacerbated my hysteria.

Being a feminist kinda gal I usually dislike the word "hysteria" as it often denotes a kind of maddened wild upset particular to women--a upset that bears the stigma and connotation of being useless, lacking any objective sense, animalistic in its slavish response to emotion, and competely unreasonable. It's been misused, applied to situations where women's upset has been completely reasonable and entirely sensical. I hate this misuse, and I bristle at any mention of the word, sicne I usually view it as code for "stupid overemotional woman, I'd like to discredit her opinion."

I employ it in this case, however, as a totally appropriate use of the term, since I was operating in a vacuum of reason and had completely abandoned any objectivity or reasonability. I am going to assume this state was one part inebriation and one part concussion.

Time to lay off the sauce.
And, um, visit the chiropractor.

Holy effing shit, the day I've waited for all these years has finally arrived:


You always suspected politicians were slutty, self-aggrandizing, and useless for most anything.
Therefore, this should be the most honest campaign ever.

Checking to see if my commenting thingie is up now:



oh, yay. I figgered it out...

woo wee.

Now, riddle me this: how is it that I paid several hundred dollars for a web course when it took me an hour to figure out where to insert the code for the comments?
Answer: Barnum's Law: a sucker is born every minute. I don't remember a damn thing about that effing course.

oh well.

the mathematics of redemption:


one very large beer
two drinks mixed from southern comfort and coke
one goofball party
two people dear to me whom i did not want to let down
three-inch heels
a slippery bathroom floor
a wall i had been encouraged to write on for art's sake


a relatively high tolerance built up thru practice and application
the desire to not look like an idiot


a mysterious dent in a wall
a fallen plant
my inability to recall anything
headaches that have lasted over a week
what was reported to me after the fact as extreme disorientation, insensitivity and completely flailing and upset behavior on my part

and it all means?

it all means that Trish found a dent in the wall. Where I slipped on three-inch heels and hit my head and knocked over a plant. Where I got up quickly not wanting to look stupid (even tho i was alone when it happened) even though I couldn't remember, all the sudden, what was going on.

I got really drunk and lame, yes, but maybe, maybe, not as bad as I thought.
Still drunk enough to fall and hit my head though.

It could have been so so much worse. What if I hadn't gotten up at all?

Monday, September 02, 2002

"what is....salvation?"....."Salvation is when you are saved."
-the twilight singers

nothing in life is so full of grace--
not even mary's tears falling on your shoulder could make you feel more blessed than this, could bring you such overwhelming gratitude--
nothing in life is so full of grace,
knowing i am an impefect creature still, knowing i have hurt others, knowing i have been unkind and made grave mistakes in this lifetime,
and still, still, to recieve the kindess of others,
in the face of all that, with full knowledge of all that,
and still the kindness and the love persists...

recent events have made me think that in the final analysis humans are animalistic and brutal on the inside.

recenter events--more precisely, the kindness of others--have shown me that we are, perhaps, not.

you didn't just save my life. i think you saved my faith.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

My friends are divided over the merit of U2.

what can I say? Music-store asshole that I am, lyrical purist that I am, indie-rock snob that I am,
I can't help but love 'em.

Some of their bits'n'bobs that I feel the most acutely, these days:
(any other rabid fans out there who can I.D. the songs they're from? hee hee)

When I was all messed up
And I had opera in my head
Your love was a light bulb
Hanging over my bed

No, nothing makes sense
Nothing seems to fit
and I know you'd hit out
If you only knew who to hit;
And I'd join the movement
If there was one I could believe in;
Yeah I'd break bread and wine
If there was a church I could receive in--
'cause I need it now--

To take a cup,
To fill it up,
To drink it slow,
I can't let you go;
and I must be an acrobat
To talk like this,
And act like that;
but you can dream
So dream out loud
And don't let the bastards grind you down...

I was walking
I was walking into walls
I'm back again
I just keep walking...
I walk into a window
To see myself
And my reflection
When I thought about it
My direction,
Going nowhere
Going nowhere.

No one...no one is blinder
Than he who will not see
No one...no one is blinder
Than me

I was broken, bent out of shape
I was naked in the clothes you made.
Lips were dry, throat like rust
You gave me shelter from the heat and the dust
No more water in the well
No more water...

Angel or devil (it doesn't matter)--
I was thirsty,
And you wet my lips

The glass is cut
The bottle run dry
Our love runs cold
In the caverns of the night
We're wounded by fear
Injured in doubt.
I can lose myself.
You I can't live without.

Yeah you keep me holding on...