Sunday, February 27, 2011

Boys are Dumb

DREW (flopping into the bed and onto my arm): Ooof. Sorry!

ME (sleepy): What happened, I thought you were determined to come home at 4.

DREW: I did. 

ME: It's 6 am.

DREW: Is it? How did that happen?

ME: You went to the Phoenix at 4. You sent me a text.

DREW: Oh yeah! I went to the Phoenix. It was a crazy night, I needed to ground myself with those guys. I smoked pot with J---. Did you get my texts?

ME: Yes, I got the one.

DREW: Yeah...*COUGH COUGH COUGH*

ME: Andrew, why did you smoke pot when you've been sick for three weeks and you're just getting over it?

DREW: *COUGH COUGH COUGH*...I didn't smoke pot.

ME: Yes, you did.

DREW: No, I didn't.

ME: You just TOLD me you did.

DREW: Ohhhh....I did? *COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH*

ME: Please go drink a glass of water and take some cough syrup.

DREW (not moving out of the bed) : Oh...Okay. *COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH*

*COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH*

ME: I'm going to kill you when you're sleeping, you know that right? I'm going to take a pillow and smother you when you pass out and then I'm going to blog the circumstances and no one that knows us will blame me.

DREW: You are such a...*COUGH COUGH COUGH*...buzzkill. Hey, what time is it? Look, the sun's up already, that's weird.




Monday, February 21, 2011

Readings and Rapture

So I had a little minor surgery on Friday and I've been recuperating all weekend, spending most of it watching movies and playing the most elegant video game on the planet, Bioshock 2, which is set in a underwater city called Rapture:


I took the day off of work today just to be safe, which is a rarity as Monday is payday at my job and no one gets paid unless I'm there to facilitate it. So I can't not write something or I'll really feel like a slob. I am only marginally driven at best, and this winter has been exceptionally un-driven for me, I haven't felt the desire to write and no real urge to blog. I am not depressed, and am actually feeling very even and cheerful for a February, with a pretty hopping winter social life. I'm just sort of in a holding pattern when I'm at home alone with the time to write.

I have managed to do a couple of readings with my talented and far more prolific bff Ms. Zoe Hansen. She hosts a monthly reading with David Henry Sterry and along with letting me read whenever I want, she had me to fill in as co-host when he was out of town, so that was most educating and productive-feeling. Plus if I know I have a reading coming up it lights a fire under my ass to produce something new. 

David is a very generous person and posted this video of me on his site:


The lighting makes me look fat, goddamn it. I am not that big.

Reading your shit out loud in front of people is very interesting and probably necessary for writers. You get an immediate reaction; words ring differently when they are voiced, and people feel what you have written in different ways than you expect. It's also nice to connect with writers, people who are interested in writing, and loving friends who indulge by showing up on a cold winter night to listen.

I have some mixed feelings about what I'm writing about, which may be what is stalling me out temporarily. At the moment I am an amateur diarist. I write my own shit down and through the process of blogging discovered that others find it interesting, which led me to the conclusion that I should/could write about my adventures in New York as a rock star/party girl during an incredibly fun and fascinating era which disappeared before most of us were prepared to say goodbye.

Everyone's life story is interesting if written down properly. You can work in a factory every day of your life and still tell the most poignant life story imaginable. We all have inner lives, internal struggles, deep lessons, moments of inner and outer drama. It's all in the telling. I love Bukowski and can read him for days on end because he takes the most mundane, shitty moments and turns them into poetry, comedy, tragedy, with the simplest of phrases. It's about the writing.

Right now old tales are selling, and everyone's got one, and everyone is telling them. And every time I extend myself publicly, another person comes up to me and says, "I have a bunch of great stories too. I'm going to get onstage with you next time and tell mine." Which leads me to mixed feelings. In one way, the more the merrier! I want to hear other people's experiences and stories. I love the idea of storytelling as art, keeping people and moments alive with our telling and retelling. It's as old as the caveman and it's a beautiful thing. I wouldn't have been inspired to the life I lead in New York if others hadn't done it before me.

On the other hand, I also don't want to become part of our current "I want to be famous" cultural zeitgeist, in which there is an undercurrent of desperation for attention, any kind of attention, regardless of whether it has depth or merit. My "scene" is of the age where we are all somewhat forgotten, our moments in the hot sun behind us. Yet many are hoping to feel that warmth for a little longer, sometimes in any way possible. I wonder if I am feeding into something that I don't necessarily desire to create, something that feels self-aggrandizing and a little desperate to me. 

I want to write. I enjoy it, I enjoy moving people, I enjoy creating images with a few words. I enjoy being moved by other people's words. I like hearing and reading other people's stories when they have taken the time to arrange them on a page creatively. But this energy of personal need that seeps into my consciousness through the words and actions of others confuses me and then shuts me down a bit at times. Where do you draw the line between creative expression and ego masturbation? It's fuzzy; it's a slippery slope.

For the moment I am just considering it down time and not worrying too much. If I ever write a book, I write it, if not, the world will be none the lesser for it and I can write my blogs when I feel like it and do readings here and there until there's enough to put together in one volume. And lately I am thinking about possibilities for fiction, which is where I always imagined things would lead anyway.

So that's my little state of the union. If anyone needs me today, I'll be in Rapture, using plasmids to save the little sisters.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yay, February!

Gaaaaaaahhhh! I can't take it! I want to bang my head on the wall or lay on the ground and kick my feet. I want to run through the streets screaming but it's too cold and I'll just slip on the ice and hurt my ass. I feel like those toddlers who sob and refuse to walk, their legs all rubbery as they hang and drag from the hand that holds them. I know exactly how you feel, kid. 

Winter, how I hate you! You ruiner of shoes, you murderer of skin and hair, you dampener of all that is light and happy in the world!

I start out every season with the best of intentions: stock up on Vitamin D, stop wearing sunglasses so as much light as possible filters in. The holiday season finds me decorating the tree and happily wrapping presents. Rat Pack Christmas CD! It's a Wonderful Life...Merry Christmas, Mister Potter! Honey, have a glass of red wine while I make dinner! Snowstorms are delightful and tramping over snowbanks is excellent exercise. Healthy and happy, ho, ho, ho!

And then without fail, around January 15, a gloom sets over the landscape. Things grow dark and grey. My world looks like the Lorax forest after they over-mined it. The mood is black. I hate every book and television show that crosses my path. I can't watch this! And I can't fit into my jeans, they slide over my thighs with difficulty and the button at the top threatens to spring. On top, I have worn the same baggy sweaters in rotation until the sight of them makes me feel queasy and resentful. Snow boots, snow boots, snow boots. Lipstick is for people who give a shit. Fuck you. Jewelry, who needs it? Hair, why wash it when it will look like crap again by the time you get to work? Just wear a hat...again.

Drew is on tour with Walter Shreifels in Europe so it's just me and the pets. I lay in bed in the morning well past the alarm's ring. My cats form a circle and stare down at me, confused. I open one eye. Roquefort, who is always worried, looks worried. Chocula, who is more focused, emits a basso "MAOW", which clearly means "I AM HUNGRY". Albert gingerly places a fluffy white paw on the closed eye. Please don't die, mother, it's time for breakfast. Bastards. If I died in bed they would have no qualms about eating me before sundown.

I climb out of bed, put on my robe haphazardly, the belt trailing on the floor behind me, and I stumble into another day of dragging ass. The idea of going to work is painful, excruciating, and yet somehow must be done. Every molecule in my body rails against putting on the too tight jeans, that same fucking sweater, those godawful snowboots and an ugly hooded jacket one more time to sit in a packed office and do the same tedious, mind-numbing tasks I've done nine million times before. But I do it, knowing that this is only one day in another month and a half of days until the darkness lifts, stretching out before me like a jail sentence, neverending and only bearable if you do not try to count the hours.

Dramatic, I know. It's only winter, fer Chrissake. I don't have a drug habit, my rent is paid, and I've got a pretty nice life. And the bonus of having lived a few years is the luxury of knowing what affects your mood cycles. I know I cycle into a crappy mood every January. The second half of winter fills me with fury. I do not feel inspired to blog, write, or wear anything cute. I want to punch February in the face.

So if you see me out and I appear bleary or confused, irrationally angry or merely somewhat testy, or maybe just less attractive than you remember, please pass by with a gentle nod. Come Springtime I'll have all kinds of happy bullshit to write about, I'll be totally interested in what you have to tell me, and my hair will be clean. Until then, all bets are off.

Ingrid:  HIZZEL
 Sent at 5:31 PM on Wednesday 

me:  omg
an hour and a half more
I can't take it
 Sent at 5:37 PM on Wednesday 

 Ingrid:  ITS AWESOME
I LOVE THE RUSH
 Sent at 5:43 PM on Wednesday 

me:  the rush of what?
of hating every ticking second?
of feeling every molecule in your body railing against what you are forcing yourself to do, which is sit in a flourescent lit office adding bullshit numbers all day long
as your soul dies a slow and painful death?
Sent at 5:50 PM on Wednesday 

Ingrid:  wow
bummer
 Sent at 6:00 PM on Wednesday 

me:  all the light has drained out of me
I'm going to have to go back to being really goth
teen style
 Sent at 6:02 PM on Wednesday 

me:  sorrow and darkness
 Sent at 6:04 PM on Wednesday 

me:  You don't feel sad for me?
Ingrid:  I am swamped
Your martyrdom does not move me at this time
 me:  that makes me even more of a martyr
 Sent at 6:06 PM on Wednesday

me:  I just ate 10 mini cupcakes

 Sent at 6:22 PM on Wednesday 

Ingrid:  This is me ignoring you now
Sent at 6:24 PM Wednesday  

me: I hate you
Ingrid: I know
Sent at 6:27 PM Wednesday