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Cleaned out the old work computer today, I always try to wipe it clean once a month. Some months I am extra antsy and I'll spend a few minutes every day systematically deleting any cookies or shadows of documents from projects unrelated to work. I'm particular about not having anyone know about my life. I'll share enough to explain a bad attitude or the need for an extra day off but otherwise they don't need to know. This gives me a certain power — it also puts me at a disadvantage. Gregarious people get raises and promotions, me, I get nothing.
Republish the blog. Wait for it. Wait for it. There, now you can write another post. It has to be pithy, witty, make it relevant or no one will read it. Of course, you're not writing it for anyone but you, still, just in case someone happens to stray upon it you'll want it to be captivating, enough that they will want to look through the archives and maybe quote you or send the link on to someone else, maybe even cross-reference you on their own blog. How awesome would that be? Shameless, but worthwhile, creative and marketed just so.
How does a person start a religion? It seems through out history people have decided to co-opt existing religions, putting a spin on Christianity (for example) and slapping some made up name (or their own) on the spin and declaring it their own (new) religion. Why someone doesn't come up with something completely new, something that has nothing to do with a preexisting religion, I don't understand. That would be more interesting. But the alterations and battles that come from people like Babai the Great or, of course, Joseph Smith, Jr. are annoying at best. Time for a new religion.
I went out to Sweethome, Oregon because I had been roped in to volunteering for Oregon Jamboree. The merchandise table volunteer coordinator is a friend of the family and she'd tried before to get me to volunteer. Out of all the years she's been doing it this year was probably the best I ever could have hoped for — I was too poor to do anything with my free time and another friend wanted to go with me. So we lodged at this friend's house in a town with 7000 inhabitants and became part of a weekend festival totaling 10,000 attendees.
I was amazed by how nice everyone was. And no one had a back-woods accent. Television has normalized America. As many country boys had tattoos as city boys the only difference being the quality of art and the meaning behind the tattoo. Humor is normalized as well — people who I expected to be 'simply' were wielding irony and dry wit like any sophisticated city person, subtly turning a normal interaction into a comedic event that I adored and sought out in others I interacted with — never was I disappointed. Overall, it was amazing to see everyone so happy.
There were quite a few women who could barely walk they were so overweight. It was wonderful to see them pursuing an outdoor concert event. One young woman was following another woman, presumably her grandmother, in wheelchairs. They scooted along and I found myself staring at the younger one. How did she, younger than me, get so overweight as to be wheelchair bound? She saw me staring, raised her eyebrows and smiled a friendly offering to reconcile. I blinked myself awake and smiled back, grateful she wasn't angry at my reckless disregard. Suddenly I felt one with her, at peace.
The dog stretches, forepaws extended and rear high in the air. The deeper he stretches the more likely he is to let out an audible fart. He is the only dog I've seen do this. But I haven't been around many dogs. When he does his little squeeze-release trick I always am compelled to scold him. But then I realize he is a dog. What the hell does he care? And really his farting is only a concern when he scampers down the staircase and lets out little poofs when you're walking behind him. It's then I think about Napoleon.
God damn I'm tired today. This mostly is a problem when I don't do the things I set out to do in the evening. Work doesn't have space for my projects and I don't have space for work at home. Nothing makes sense right now. My eyes are sore, my hair a mess. I want my pillow! I feel like whining, pulling the I don't feel so good trick. I never used that trick as a kid, parents legitimately otherwise engaged, no one home to tend to me if I were actually sick, so I push myself out and onward.
Dreary, bleary, fully cognizant that winter is coming. Fall, when everything drops its clothes and runs naked in defiance, ready to pull the snow over their limbs like blanket. I'm running out of time. The day blasted by odd jobs and terrible tasks. Days clicking by like seconds and I scramble to do those summer things that need doing before the rain kicks in. Seasonal depression is a fact. Is it any wonder people grow sad in winter? Half the world is buttoned up and shivering under the snow and wind as the axis spins away and nestles into darkness.
How does the morning get away from me so quickly? It seems like the days I get up early are the days I can't keep a handle on time. The morning pisses away. One minute it's 6 am and I'm taking breakfast at my usual pace, the next it's 7 and I'm sitting in the MAX wondering what the hell happened. I'm starting to get seriously distressed by this. It's not like I'm not on task! It's as though waking up a half hour early forces my brain to slowly crank to life, I could spend that time recuperating, sleeping.
She used to have two websites and a successful modeling schedule. She was sassy, dreadlocks, false eyelashes, star on her forehead and boots like Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. Unlike the Modern Prometheus, she had nothing but disregard. She was in the business to make money on her look. He father, a photographer, assisted. It was two years ago that I found her impressive. Today I went back to her sites — the last updates were in May 2005. I saw she'd moved on to selling her dirty underwear and used condoms. I wondered why she stopped updating, she is she now?
I dreamt this morning that I saw David Byrne; it was very mixed. He was performing at a mall-type venue and I was walking in to purchase a particular book at the ticket counter. As I walked in he was walking out, heading for the stage. At first in the dream I went and bought my book, headed home. The dream started over so I could stop when I saw him. Walking backwards, I told him I was published and sad that I would never talk with him, so influential. Turns out, he knew my work and invited me backstage.
He's hammering on the house, putting up shingles. I've been inside nursing a bad attitude and crunching the guts of a potato chip bag. I feel guilty for not being out there hammering beside him. Every time I ask, though, he says he's got it and doesn't need help. I must be phrasing the question wrong. Can I do some work, too? I don't really want to work. I have an essay plaguing me, that I can't seem to write, and piles of books to read. So many things to do and the weekend is essentially over. Crawl into bed.
Sunflowers are in full bloom, thick stalks listing side to side in the wind, heavy heads bumping each other. The seeds aren't fully developed. I've been reading about the best way to dry the seeds. My instinct is to leave the seeds on the existing plant and let nature do its work. Apparently this is wrong. The coming rains will rot the seeds before they have a chance to dry. I always think plants with seeds propagate themselves. I guess I'm wrong. Farmer's almanac indicates September is the month to cut the seedy heads and dry them in paper bags.
Waking before the alarm clock is one of the greatest pleasures since alarm clocks were first invented. For years I looked forward to that half minute before the belching beeping extravagance of the alarm. I would roll over and look at the time, eyes focusing to note the click of numbers rotating into place and the whir of mechanics executing the resolution — my arm would snake out from the blankets, fingers elongating to feel the button and tap it as the first baby sounds emanated. Snuffed, snuffed the clock would blink at me silently. Cold morning embraces the early riser.
Panic is going to set in soon and I can hardly wait. Last night I felt like pulling an all nighter — staying up to work on it until it was time to attend employment. Right now I can feel the beginning of a deep worry muscling its way into my vision — I have to get this thing done, and it has to get done soon. For whatever reason every evening I put it off. Soon I won't be able to. Soon enough this 'project,' this 'task' will overwhelm me with urgency. Between then and now it's a game I play.
There is a website dedicated to animals set up similar to MySpace and Friendster. I am baffled by this. I wasted my whole morning searching through the site. I registered, putting my cat into it, having her virtual being join groups and chat with other 'cats' — this is odd. What was I doing? Who are these people? What do they hope to achieve? I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone or landed on another planet where people live vicariously through emotionless robots, emoting without facial movement. Since when can cats feel? Have you ever seen a cat sigh?
Yesterday, half starved, mid-day, I sat with one of those mini bags of chips bought from a vending machine and contemplated my options. The hall was cool and dim and no one was around so I slid down the wall and sat on the floor, legs out, considering the contents of the 'real food' vending machine. Apples, halved sandwiches, oranges, juice, hoagie sandwiches — it all looked unappealing but I had to eat. I chose an orange. It rolled around the case, the plexi-glass door shunting open long enough for my hand to grab it. The sticker read: South Africa Oranges.
Silverado: the working man's paradise. Paved parking for two miles and ten pools to lounge around. Air conditioned and designer white dÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â©cor, the dinners are sparse, the breakfast a twenty dollar buffet. You'd love it. Golf course featured in the PGA, staff smiling for tips, no sidewalks on the street. Golf carts tote luggage and the occasional drunk bachelorette. Wine tours through Napa and the Pinot Noir is ignored by all; my companion and I buy the cheapest bottle of wine, thirty dollars, and go to our room to laugh at the absurdity. Plastic lounge chairs stretched on the deck.
I thinkI may have to become a fan of horrible pop music. I just heard Fergie singing that London Bridge song and it was too catchy to pretend not to like. I'm ashamed and amused. It reminds me of when my dad was excited about that Milkshake song, playing it over and over and giggling at the connotations. It's a charming use of metaphor in the post-irony post-post-modern world. Today I wonder if I've missed something. Like I'd never heard Christina Aguilera until this month — she does have a hell of a voice. Why does the music have to suck?
Yeah, there's no shitin' this — It's like when I fell for the Spice Girls. I honestly couldn't help myself. It was fascinating. Pussycat Dolls were are basically the same thing just with the bubble gum spat out. All they need is a movie. I don't understand why now, at this particular moment, I should care about Timberlake's new single except that he said he'd redefine dance music and I don't hear it — it's a bold statement. Origami folds and carefully positioned ratio between dimpled eyes and mushroom nose. We know exactly what you want and you can not resist it.
I was surprised to find out that Bougainvillea doesn't smell. It's a tall busy tree with bundles of blooms and thick, matte petals with no smell. Imagine my disappointment. I was walking along the road, Napa Valley, no curb and SUV after SUV swerving by as though they didn't see me on the horizon, and these flowers were fascinating. I broke off a stem in excitement, expecting some fabulous jasmine-daphne smell like the flavor of wine grapes: sweet and reminiscent of pastoral orgies and herds of pungent animals. Instead, the stem leaked clear fluid and I dropped it in disgust.
We were at an eclectic bar talking with the bartender — his first night after a year working catering. He was sweating, two birthday parties demanding shot after shot and the four of us parked in front of him with nothing better to do that watch. I asked for a Sidecar but after two failed attempts, the first being a waitress mistaking it for a particular hamburger and the second a waiter who asked if I wasn't sure if I wanted their special instead, I opted to go for one of the house drinks. He divulged his part-time tattoo artist dreams.
We were in Chelsea looking for galleries — strolling in a mist of rain, even the graffiti was washed out — more sopping concrete distastefully shluffing debris at our feet. Cars slooshed by, hosing us with puddle muck and woefully we discovered the farther we walked that it was the wrong season for gallery hopping. Every window was papered over tastefully, bank after bank of former gallery proved shut down for Winter ramp-up. Note to travelers: see the galleries in September because none of them are open in August. A tea room was open; we warmed our palms on delicate porcelain cups.
We walked from Brooklyn Heights to the park between Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. I missed the beauty of Portland's waterfront, the majesty of the Narrows Bridge and the sublimity of Seattle's bridges like Fremont and the 520 floating bridge. Going to Fulton Park was the perfect waterfront reprieve from city noise and the daily piles of leaking garbage bags on every corner. The park hosts outdoor movies through the summer. That night: The Warriors. Brooklyn Bridge framing the sparkling cityscape behind the large movie screen, warm blankets and good friends (Bionic Diane!), and a classic movie made my NYC night.
There was no way I was turning back — I'd had two glasses of wine, two stiff Screwdrivers and nothing to eat all day. I decided to go for it, get that one glass of wine that'd put me over the edge. I embraced the dumbing down, yacking with some poor guy from Idaho who'd lived in NY for eight years. He was nice and the more he talked about his career as a marine researcher the more I regretted the wine. His girlfriend circled by, happy to see her date made a friend. I'm sorry, I've gotta dance. Come on.
I'm running out of time. I've been here for days and yet it feels like I haven't seen anything. No Broadway shows, no Guggenheim museum, no 53rd and 3rd & it's an outrage, horrible. I blame the people I'm staying with. It takes two hours every morning for the party to get out of bed, shower, dress, eat and hit the street. Yesterday it seemed to take forever — everyone hung-over and wiped out. I debate leaving without them. My subway pass has unlimited rides, I could truck from Brooklyn to Harlem in a half hour. But would I have fun?
Why do all my pictures look so stupid? I took hundreds of photos and they all look like just another fat tourist took them. Out of four hundred photos only about fifty came out. I suppose that's the myth of the photographer — professionals take thousands of photos and quickly, discretely junk the evidence. When one finds that prize shot it's a good thing to make sure everyone sees it — distribute, blow it up, frame it quick. Don't be modest at this juncture. Modesty gets you nowhere anymore. It's all about sales pitch, the sixty second elevator ride, a catchy synopsis.
Downtown Brooklyn equals dollar stores, dollar pizza slices, donuts galore, and me sticking out as the only blonde for miles. I was as conspicuous as a — well — as a pale white blonde trying to not stick out in a community much more mixed that piddlely old Portland. Now I know what Morris was talking about when he said he was moving to Brooklyn. Morris was working a pizzeria with me back in nineteen ninety-something. He had been to Brooklyn to visit relatives and loved it. Me, I found the shopping fascinating. Dollar tank tops, food on every corner, music bumping.
The day returning is the hardest. Part one: after a week of being fully present and moving through the world just as you choose you forget that there are places where you have to play a role. Part two: the mind relaxes and it becomes easy to visualize your movement into different spheres — the unconscious releases images of you happy and fluid in other occupations and socializing with different sorts of people. Then you return home. The person who picks you up looks smaller, worn out. Your home is dirty, cluttered. All the messages waiting for you are pathetic, inane.
All I want is to go back to that change — that pivotal place where I am fully realized and always honoring myself. Here it seems all I can do to keep my mouth shut while others blab indiscreetly, maneuvering and stabbing through life. All I want is some peace, some quiet, some freedom to move in directions I choose. What I've found on my return is a coffin — the wood is moldy, pungent, that musty smell of damp neglect like the inside of an old seaside hotel. I want out of this. I want Spring again. Why now Winter rain?
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