overhaul / undertow

Monday, January 27, 2003

starting off on the right f***ing foot

What are your first coherent thoughts of the day?

For some those come shortly after a shower and coffee, but for me they don't occur until they're absolutely necessary: when I've left the house, and am driving in morning rush-hour traffic through the heart of Hollywood, on my way to work.

LA is a driver's city as well as a driver's worst nightmare: no other American city of such scale has been designed (if LA can even be said to have been designed--I doubt you could really attribute much self-awareness to its spontaneous generation) and built after the popularization of the motor vehicle, and no other city better typifies American social consciousness. You'll find the few rare examples of drivers who let you in or give the "thank you wave," but on the whole it's a town that pays facile lip service to brave-new-world, lattès-for-all tolerance for fellow man while deep down in its Cadillac-Escalade-gut gunning to ream you right off the road.

Most people's first thought and first words of the morning are some sort of meditation on their dislike for work--one which is predicated on their hopes and dreams for something better, a vivid and lovely alternative to their cubicle-driven existence, a dream close to their heart, that they nurture and hold dear. Others think about getting their loved ones taken care of, off to school / work with sandwiches and themselves off to their own job where they look forward to chatting it up with coworkers. Their first words of the day are something like "Morning, Bob," or "Hi honey, how'd you sleep?" or "I better get some gas," or "Can I get nonfat milk in that?"

My first conscious thought of the day is Getthefuckoffthemotherfuckingroadyoumotherfuckingsonofabitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

or [muttered] youstupideffingmoron;

or ohforcryingoutloud jesuseffingchrist.

I can't help but think this is having a negative impact on my worldview and damping my elàn a bit.

Friday, January 24, 2003

this is your brain on Crunch Berries

I want a drink. It's been a really intense day at work, probably the most intense day since I began this position.


Yay for the weekend.

I'd also like to state that I plan to watch the super bowl.

I hate watching sports. I also don't have a tv, so this means I will have to go to a bar or a friend's house or something. So why am I watching the super bowl?

The commercials.

This is weird, 'cos I am always ranting about how much I despise consumer culture and it's cheap, trite, lame-ass and overly glib attempts to manipulate me and morph my brain into a consumption machine. But honestly, now, it's been effing forever since I saw television, and I'm hankering for some good old-fashioned brain candy, much in the manner that one might crave, say, Captain Crunch.

Mmmm. Maybe they'll have a commercial for that, too.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

stir crazy, lead feet

Ever feel like the millions of great ideas you have, all the potentiality in the world, isn't enough?

I drove north today on the 101 to Las Virgenes and out to the ocean to go to the market. I know there are three dozen other supermarkets between me and the one at Malibu, but I needed to get away. I've been wanting more and more to get away now for a while; and it's in response, I think, to feeling my own body grow silent, and quiet; I have weekends off like the rest of the people in this city, and I spend them sitting inside my little box, qietly panicking that I do not know what to do with my time; that those ten million wonderful ideas are going to die, stillborn, because I cannot move to act on any of them.

I spend so many hours of my life searching for that brilliant passion, that madness, that intensity of living; or at least, I spend so many hours wondering why it isn't there. A friend calls it her dragon-slaying moods.

The problem, we've both agreed, is that there are no dragons.

I am craving the desert, the mountains, a forest, anything. A different city, a break into a place where every movement is conscious, every second is lived with vividity.

I remember camping in Death Valley last year as summer waned and the high desert air grew freezing at night; and me and two friends got drunk by a campfire and huddled in our tent, in the thunder and the rain, alone in the middle of nowhere, a sweeping vista of mountains sloping down, extending miles and miles, a lavender-grey haze of distant brush and stones, the black-and-white shatter of the sky as lightning, green with electricity, crackled through the air.

Now tomorrow I have to drive to work again.

Friday, January 10, 2003

the light here in glendale is astonishing--here, in this little narrow isthmus of land between the san fernando valley and the san gabriel valley--the light hangs in the air, is tangible, alive, touchable--your hands feel it on your fingertips--you could part it like a warm curtain--and every hill is become a luminist painting, every tree a skeletal silver-print hand slid between you and the honey, the apricot sky distant and dredged with clouds, set against the black mountains, the light absent from them as it bends backwards away from us, receding along the round of the earth to the western ocean...

...inspired to new lows of broke-ness by Tana's money woes?

There may be truth to the "roommates' lives move in similar patterns" stuff--or maybe not, since I prolly couldn't get a loan now if my life depended on it.

I had enough money to cover the rent check in the bank, plus a $700 overdraft limit. So why the bouncy boing-boing-boing?

Ah-ha--listen, grasshoppah--money you put in at the ATM is held for a 24-hour period. Thus the boing.

I had heard of the ATM-hold phenomenon, but it just didn't occur to me that this would trip me up; that the stars and the timing of the whole universe would get up on its side and tilt to the left to allow the little pinballs of serendipity to click, rattle, and finally slow their pendulum-metronomic movement into the parts of the cosmic machine that would fuck me up so effectively.

I can't believe it--if I could go back in time, to that lunch break I took to go to the bank, and just take the effing time to stand it that damn long-ass line, instead of being little miss clever-multitasker and trotting out to the ATM, I wouldn't have a bounced rent check on my record and would still have the cumulative 31 bucks in fees I've been charged for this bullshit!

Fuck washington mutual.

Does anyone know if this kinda stuff goes on a report when a potential new landlord runs your credit?

Thursday, January 09, 2003

the human mute button

I have discovered that I have a unique talent for immediately stopping all light conversation every time I walk into the kitchen at work.

No matter what sort of banter I can hear from the next room (my office is very close to the kitchen), no matter how ebullient or happy the mood, no matter if there are two people or eight, they all instantly shut up when I walk in.

Am I spooky? Are people afraid of me?

Maybe it's cos I'm afraid of them? I've always been socially inept.

My friend at work, Trish, says that it's because I "really own the space around" me. Is that some sort of veiled way of saying I should lose weight? Heh.

Friday, January 03, 2003

okay, so I lied. Instead of doing my show I went home and took a nap.

I feel like crap.

I hab a code.

Blargh. I have a cold. And I am at work. I am at work and I have a cold.

Day-Quil, take me away.

Oh, I will be doing the show today though. Tune into killradio.org at 2 pm.

I'll try not to breathe too much on the mic.

Thursday, January 02, 2003


From the LA Times:

CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush said today he will unveil an economic-stimulus package next week, promising a plan that will benefit all Americans and rejecting criticism that his policies are tailored to help the wealthy.

Mr. Bush, so far all your actions seem to follow the classic principles of "trickle-down economics," practices that reached their height during the Reagan administration and continued largely unfettered thereafter, prompting national economic policy that loosened regulations and constraints on large companies, precipitating today's horrendous financial scandals and abuses of corporate power. Are you sure trickle-down economics still works? One day of one of these exec's salaries would pay off all my student loans, all my credit debt, and all my medical bills. Instead I'm struggling day-to-day. Aren't you concerned about my needs, Mr. Bush?

"I'm concerned about all people," Bush told reporters after a lengthy tour of his Texas ranch. "I understand the politics of economic stimulus-- some people want to turn it into class warfare."

Golly, sir, it kinda IS class warfare--waged against the poor, when all your policies are designed to deliver the very same breaks and relaxing of restrictions that could do so much good for the poor--to the rich instead. I'd say you've turned it into class warfare. How am I supposed to feel? I NEVER have any hope of being as well-off as the people you're catering to, EVER. The American Dream of rising up thru the muck of society, the myth of the poor immigrant who becomes a capitalist billionaire, is dead. It doesn't work. We are living in a hegemony. Thanks for making it even harder.

Aides have said in recent days that the president has not yet approved any new economic stimulus plan, and Bush gave few clues about what the package will contain. He made plain, though, that its primary focus will be to create jobs.

"What I'm worried about is job creation, and I'm worried about those who are unemployed," he said.

Riiiight. Hmm. Isn't there an...election coming up? Now's a good time to begin paying lip service to the little people, I guess.

Aides say the package probably will include acceleration of some tax cuts and breaks he won from Congress in 2001 as well as new benefits for shareholders' dividends. There also may be new tax breaks for investors and additional depreciation breaks for businesses.

To avoid a political backlash, advisers say they are likely to recommend that Bush no longer consider speeding up tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Hmm. Good idea.

"Next week when I talk about an economic stimulus package I will talk about how to create jobs, how best to create jobs as well as how to take care of those who don't have a job," Bush said. "I'm concerned about all people."

Keep harping on that populist point, there, Bush. You're on thin ice with the economy as it is right now.

Bush said investors should take heart in the new year, given that the economy is still growing-- albeit slowly-- despite a recession, terrorist attack and rash of corporate scandals.
"And yet the economy still grows," he said. "That's very positive. I recognize there are some uncertainties."

Yeah, like all those reports about how our anemic economy will dip further if we start a war. Maybe you should quit the sabre-rattling, there, dude.

The Labor Department reported that the number of newly laid-off Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose by 13,000 last week after declining for two consecutive weeks.

That's 'cos people don't file claims during the holidays, folks. Claims rise right before and dip at holidays; then they go back up afterwards. It's good they've got the Office of Homeland Security monitoring me constantly--even if I am broke, I feel less...alone.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003


.Jake. For (most incidentally) inspiring this post. For (vastly more importantly) being what the definition of a friend is, even though he didn't know me all that well to begin with. For looking me in the eye and saying that You're trying so hard to understand everyone else's point of view and take everyone's side, but someone's gotta take your side, 'cause you're not doing it. And for being right about that. For opening my eyes not only to social / political injustices in the world outside, but also to injustices and errors I commit on the inside--and for being an advocate through it all. I can only hope that someday it will become a fair exchange.

.Joe. For showing me, for the first time in my life and in all my relationships, that I might actually possibly be deserving of something good, deserving of something whole and of someone kind, despite how neurotic I am, despite how impossible I am, despite how nutty I am. for showing me that things still might be okay and I might actually still get a chance at something good and lovely anyway. You have made me believe I have a chance, when before the future looked like one miserable bout after another.

.Kelsey. For being my absolute unequivocal and always irreplaceable Best Buddy Friend Forever since junior high school. My heart is yours. I have so much to learn from you about bowing down before life's lessons, and about facing everything with less fear and judgement. i cannot wait to be eight-six with you.

.Chris. For teaching me what those buttons do and unintentionally opening a whole new world to me, and for teaching me the needs of the heart and soul as they are writ large across worlds, cultures, lifetimes and peoples. You are my teacher of social integrity. I will always buy you a beer as long as I live.

.Vanessa. I didn't know what would happen to me when I gave you my phone number so you could come over and practice playing pool on my shitty rec-room table, but you're made my life vaster and richer, and made me feel less alone in the world of women. In a sandy desert of featureless normalcy, you are my oasis of wonderful miraculous wildness.

.Tana. For being the most amazing and wonderful roommate ever, and I want to tell you that I am SO, so so so sorry for being a slob all those times and for the evil upstairs neighbor. If I could, I'd set fire to him.

.Ryan Freitas. I don't know you, and you barely know me as a friend of an old friend. But watching your blog every day showed me a new way to let my soul spill out on a page, in a safe place where I could begin to take risks and write without fear. Gangcandy has gone silent of late, and I miss it, but thank you for it; and if I ever write a book culled from my blog bits, or extrapolated therefrom, I will have you to thank for it. Your writing gave me inklings of what an incredible vehicle for self-expression and self-creation a blog could be.

.all the blog pals I've made since. You guys are great. I promise some day I'll update my site with a picture. I swear. No, really.
Honestly, though, thanks for showing me the beginnings of community on the most-impersonal of communcation modalities, the computer. i didn't think it was possible and you proved me wrong.

.Mom and Dad. There are no words. I love you.

.All my pals and friends, near and far. Even to New York and France. yes, you. :) You are my sunshine.

A-fucking-men. Now THIS is how you start a New Year. Wooooooohooooo!

Hope this one kicks ass for you too, dear reader.