Tuesday, April 30, 2002
PERSONALITY DISORDER OF THE WEEK
In an unforeseen twist of something or other, this week's personality disorder was drawn not from its typical source, the much-loved Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), but from recent research by Carol Carbone, who outlines this very real threat to the country's mental health in Hermenaut.
The urgent need to bring this affliction to the forefront of the nation's consciousness goes without saying. True, acquaintances and bystanders might summarize this disorder with such casual labels as "pseudointellectual pain in the ass" or "pedantic, pointy-nosed pillow-biter." Indeed, I have noted many of the diagnostic criteria listed below in various colleagues and associates of mine over the years, but it was so much easier to let their outrageously inappropriate and dickwadish behavior go, to write it off as merely the product of very little sexual activity, or an unnecessarily long internment - er, internship - at In These Times, or the attainment of some type of graduate degree from the University of Chicago, or like injury to the subject's ability to reason, draw original conclusions, listen without talking, etc. Yes, my casual observations might have remained just that, if Carbone hadn't had the courage to thoroughly research and delineate this very grave condition.
In closing, if you or anyone you know has come into contact with someone who might have previously been described as an "unbearably pretentious asshole" or a "disingenuous, snippy little one-upping cocksucker" who is typically and quite unavoidably "more aware of the gender-specific, watered-down, Westernized, dichotomizing, over-simplified, hopelessly un-nuanced nature of the pomo beast than thou", please pass this information on to the relevant parties so that their loved ones can get much needed treatment.
Identiopathic Personality Disorder
A lemming-like pattern of behavior and ideas beginning in early adulthood (and quickly stagnating thereafter) whose so-called alternative vision of dominant culture is unoriginal, predictable, and un-open to discussion on any other terms, and which is present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by six (or more) of the following:
1) inability to interpret any information or experience without first filtering for deviations from, or inconsistencies with, chosen vision
2) extremely concrete and literal understanding of the world that disables capacity for thinking critically, or considering ambiguities
3) is quick to bond with mirror-image-like peers for a solidarity that is ultimately superficial and trepidatious
4) gnawing desire to be seen and perceived as not-like-everybody-else
5) perception of being more intelligent, sensitive, and privy to a "Truth" which others could see if they would only just listen
6) infertile imagination and cowardice, manifested as a fanatical need for control over speech acts
7) uses (often inappropriate) repetition to convince self and others of ideas; regularly hisses in movie theatres
8) is so literal as to be humorless, hypocritical, and helpless
Thanks to Carol Carbone and Hermenaut for this highly useful information. I strongly recommend reading the whole damn thing.
You live in Los Angeles. You've got problems - plenty of 'em! An endless list, in fact, of troubles, worries, nagging doubts. Your career, your love life, your commute, the fact that you haven't been to Roscoe's Chicken 'n' Waffles in over a year... So the only question now is:
WHY THE FUCK HAVEN'T YOU WRITTEN TO THE RABBIT YET?
Do you really think I'm going to print your name, let alone glance at it? Are you so ashamed of the sad little puzzles that plague your feeble mind? Don't you know that describing the obstacles in your path is the first step to overcoming them? Don't you want to expose the ugly underbelly, the twisted psyche of LA hiding behind that dewy Kiehl's-moisturized face?
Come on. I love waxing endlessly about LA-specific challenges. Of course I have ulterior motives. Of course you should doubt my intentions - that goes without saying. Don't ever stop doing that!
Just write me some stupid letters already. Come on. It'll be fun, I promise.
No more excuses. Do it right now.
Sunday, April 28, 2002
SILENCE OF THE HAMS
It's a clear, pretty, blue Sunday and I have a BBQ to attend. Writing "BBQ" makes me wish that there would actually be NC pulled pork BBQ there, but instead there'll be tofu dogs, which will surely be insulted by the slab of meat I plan to place uncomfortably close, so that it's certain to invade their personal space.
I like the idea of standing around outside drinking cold beer in the sun, but I'm a little troubled by the thought of making small talk today. The day feels weightier than that, somehow, and idle chatter is sure to sidetrack my hazy inspiration. I can't blame anyone else for this - I'm the worst offender of all, when it comes to small talk. I'll fill in every usable conversational space like an overzealous spackler. Too much cocktail party wit in my past, far too much socializing, much more talking than reading. When I lived in San Francisco, I talked constantly, and rarely listened. I talked more than I wrote, talked more than I thought my own thoughts. Ideas would emerge from my head uncensored, barely formed, like premature babies. I trusted my charm to an annoying extent. I was grandiose and self-involved, and I had unsavory thick bangs that blanketed my big-ass forehead.
Now I like to ask questions and listen, but today I don't really want conversation. Today I want cold beer and blue sky. It's too bad you can't have a silent party, where people sit around in the sun, sipping beer and making random noises to express their moods, maybe occasionally wrestling or making out. The Silent Animal Party: Eat cheese, drink beer, feel the sun, grunt, and maybe stick your tongue down someone's throat.
Do I have some kind of a fucking problem with civilization? Maybe. Maybe I'm just tired of my neurotic, mediocre brain.
Sunshine and beer are part of the problem ~and~ part of the solution.
Anyway, I'm currently soliciting Dear Rabbit letters from LA residents with LA-related problems. Got problems? Live in LA? Write to me. I can guarantee a speedy response. I can't guarantee good advice, but have I ever done that? No. Bad advice is far more entertaining.
Friday, April 26, 2002
THE PRYING GAME
You seem to have a pretty firm grasp on modern psychology, but I wonder about your approach to spirituality. Are you religious at all? What are your beliefs?
Sorry to pry. I was just wondering, then I thought it would be rude to ask, then I thought: Aw, what the hell? I mean, Jesus Christ, why not?
Dear J. Wondering,
Prying will get you far in life, my son, so don't apologize for it. Prying open doors, prying open books, prying locks, prying looks... All very important actions on the road to paradise. Which doesn't exist, by the way.
I was raised Catholic, but now I worship at the Church of the Former Day Saints. "Day Saints" are people who are good and honorable, but it's just a day job. "Former Day Saints" are people who once had jobs being good and honorable, but now they do bad things for money, or they don't make money at all, they just sit and watch Oprah and eat the individually-wrapped Little Debbie snacks that were supposed to go into the kids' lunches.
The Church of the Former Day Saints is sort of a secular type of church that puts an emphasis on personal responsibility (unless it's seriously inconvenient), frequent naps, and distraction through televised sports. The readings are from Vanity Fair and InStyle, and the music is Emo-Prog. But we still sing hymns! Oh, do we sing hymns!
SECULAR HYMNS FROM THE CHURCH OF THE FORMER DAY SAINTS
Tell It to The Hand
Are you wea-ry, are you heav-y-heart-ed?
Tell it to the hand, Talk to the hand,
Are you griev-ing o-ver joys de-part-ed?
Tell it to the hand, Talk to the hand,
Talk to the hand alone.
Tell it to the hand, talk to the hand,
The hand knows your woes are overblown.
No one else wants to hear you drone,
Talk it to the hand, fool.
Talk to the hand!
Tell Me the Story of Michael Jordan
Tell me the sto-ry of Mich-ael,
Way before the Ga-tor-ade deal;
Tell me the sto-ry, most pre-cious,
of ball players keep-in it real!
Tell how he floa-ted, above them,
Slammed as they flailed in his wake,
"Glory to God, he's got moves, boy!
That's the shit you just cain't fake!"
What a Friend We Have In (Insert Your Therapist's Name Here)
What a Friend we have in I-ra,
All our griefs and gripes to bear!
What a priv-i-lege to burd-en,
him with every little care.
O what suff'-ring we imagine,
O what need-less pain we bear,
O what vit-ri-ol we spew forth,
all to I-ra in his chair!
Have we ang-ers and dys-func-tion?
Is there stuff that's just "no-fair"?
We should never be de-fen-sive,
Tell it to I-ra in his chair!
Can we find a shrink so faith-ful,
Who with all our sor-rows share?
I-ra knows our ev-'ry weak-ness,
Yes, we pay him well to care!
Thursday, April 25, 2002
WELCOME TO THE RABBIT BLOG!
In order to determine whether or not you're smart enough to read the groundbreaking news and cultural commentary on this site, please take the following very important intelligence test.
The Rabbit Blog Intelligence Test
1. If you had to swim through a tank of some type of food to get to a big bag of money, which of the following foods would you prefer to swim through?
a) Hollandaise sauce
b) Boston baked beans
c) Cream of Wheat
d) split pea soup
e) butterscotch pudding
2. Which of the following names would you least like your girlfriend to have?
f) Meatloaf McLung
3. What is the unintended moral of "The Beach"?
a) French tourists are too irritating to be sexy.
b) Leo DiCaprio is never a sure bet.
c) The one who looks like Queen Elizabeth is probably a tyrant in the making.
d) It's not paradise if there are hippies there.
4. Which of the following best sums up your personality?
5. If you had to sleep with one of the following people to get a big bag of money, which would you sleep with?
a) Buddy Hackett
b) Howard Stern
c) Orrin Hatch
d) Janet Reno
e) Rush Limbaugh
f) Margaret Thatcher
6. If you had to eat one flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, which flavor would it be?
c) Breyer's peach
d) Chubby Hubby
e) What was that weird Baskin Robbins flavor that was mint-colored and kinda tasted like motor oil?
7. How can others determine that you're feeling strong emotions?
a) I'm undercutting with jokes, or making self-deprecating asides.
b) I'm smiling and twitching slightly like Dennis Rodman.
c) I'm shoving Salsa Verde Doritos into my mouth at a disconcertingly rapid pace.
d) I'm fondling the trigger of my AK-47.
8. If you had to be a roadie for one of the following bands, a roadie who regularly gets fall-down drunk and offers his or her sexual services to any member of the band who's ready and willing, which band would you choose?
b) Crosby Stills Nash & Young
c) Steely Dan
e) The Three Tenors
9. Which of the following people would you most like to marry? Someone who's...
a) ...unbelievably talented but impossibly lazy
b) ...intensely attractive but horribly dull
c) ... incredibly funny but very stinky and quite hairy
d) ...sooo smart but terribly mean
e) ... really, really fun and lovable but covered in oozing sores
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
LOST CLAIM SLIP
I've got a problem. A couple of years ago I met this great guy who had been widowed a few months before, and we started dating. We lived in different towns, so we were some distance apart and a lot of our conversations were by telephone. It quickly got into very hot phone sex, and while we didn't ever have intercourse when together I did do him a few times. I had realized all along that his grieving wasn't done and I was likely his "transition" woman, although he said not and was talking marriage. So, of course, the relationship got on the edge of white-hot and then collapsed on his end. Long story, mucho pain, but I've moved on. That's been almost two years now, and we are still very close friends although no more of the hanky panky stuff since the "breakup."
Now comes the difficulty. He's got a new woman and he's talking marriage with her; fine, she seems like a great match from what I know, not having met her. He's told her what an important person I am to him, how I helped him through a really rough time, blah blah. What he hasn't told her is that he and I dated, and he doesn't want to tell her. He wants me and her to be friends since he and I are still, and again I'm cool with that, I don't live close enough to be in her pocket and I would like to stay friends with him. But at the same time, I'm not real comfortable being friends with her knowing that I've tasted her man and she doesn't know it. She thinks I'm some altruistic nurturing buddy, not yesterday's marriage prospect. It's important 'cause they're both pretty religious, and I'm the only woman other than his first wife (and now maybe this woman) that he's had any kind of sex with, and likely she's only been with her first husband before my friend. So now I'm in a quiet little stew, not bubbling over but wondering if I should push him to tell her so it's all out in the open and we can be friends with no nasty little secrets waiting to get out (and it could get out, others knew we were dating) or maybe we wouldn't be friends because she wouldn't want it once she knows my history with him. I guess I think it's *her* decision to make about whether she wants to be friends with me, not his by deceiving her. I'm not suggesting that he give her a blow by blow account (ha ha), just the basics that we dated, we considered marriage but it didn't work out. It matters because he and I talk on the phone at least weekly, so it's not like it's a "we only talk once a year" thing - she'll be hearing about me fairly often. Help me, Rabbit! What do you think?
p.s. I have to tell you that really I am not wanting him back at all, breaking up was inevitable and a good thing, although I do love him as a friend. And I'm not dating anyone right now, if that makes a difference.
Confused in Colorado
This is a tough one. I think he may very well be choosing not to tell his girlfriend that you had a sexual relationship because he knows she'll refuse to hang out with you if she knows. It's frustrating that it should be so difficult for women and men to maintain their friendships once one or the other finds someone else.
It's a pretty confusing can of worms, because different people see the issue in completely different ways, and they feel it in different ways, too. You can be pretty enlightened but still pretty intensely possessive at some gut level, depending on how much abandonment or jealousy you experienced in your early childhood life. Some people's families have currents running through them that foster possessiveness. For example, if you mother is a jealous person who pretends to be utterly free from jealousy, her feelings may manifest themselves in you. Also, for some people, thoughts are more dangerous than actions. Your thinking about fucking someone else can bother your significant other more than it would if you actually fucked them. I think people who come from families of overthinkers tend to feel at some gut level that repressed, ever-circling thoughts have more power than actions or emotions ever could. Actions and expressed emotions are safe - in fact, anything that's out in the open and honestly expressed is safe. It's the unspoken shit that's dangerous.
Therefore, if I were the new girlfriend, I would hate to be friends with my boyfriend's friend without knowing their past connection. Imagine discovering that after the fact - you'd assume it was an ongoing thing, just because you weren't told. On the other hand, once I didn't tell a boyfriend that I was once involved with a close friend of mine, because I knew that he wouldn't be friends with the guy if he knew. Plus, my friend was totally asexual to me. So instead, they became good friends. So, I don't know. I think that it's probably your ex's decision either way, but I would definitely encourage him to tell her.
But let me just address one last aspect of your letter that sticks in my craw: You say "I'm not dating anyone right now, if that makes a difference." I don't think it makes a difference, but I wonder why you would bring it up if you don't think so. Something about your tone makes me worry that you might want him to tell her that the two of you were involved so that she knows your exalted status in his life - that you're not just another friend, that he was actually involved with you sexually. Is that possible? If it is, you should be very clear with yourself about that urge. Why would you need for her to know that you're special to him in that way? Maybe it bothers you that he found someone else, someone who you worry might be "better" than you. It's completely natural for you to feel that way - I've felt that way before - but you need to be very careful not to play it out in person by staking a claim to him openly so that she can see. Women can pick up this kind of vibe easily, and whether or not he tells her, she will eventually be unnerved by you if you feel any trace of a need to exert your ego onto the situation.
So, tell him what you think but let him make his own decision. If you're uncomfortable hanging out with them, then don't. But try to sort through your own emotions on this subject on your own, and make sure that you can cheer on their relationship, relate to both of them purely as friends, and allow him to treat her like a more important person than you before you spend time with them. His breaking up with you and choosing her has nothing to do with your quality as a person. You can't account for taste. Let go of him and let them be happy. The more you wish them happiness, the more happiness you'll find. I know that's easier said than done, but it all starts from you taking an honest look at your own motivations in the situation, and the amount of energy you've put into thinking about it. Put it in its place, so you can focus on your own life. The right plane can't land if the wrong plane is blocking the runway. Maybe you're obsessed with the wrong plane, and until you let it fly away, you're not going to be open to new, uh... planes.
On a plane,
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
PROOF OF WIFE
Welcome to the Year of Weddings. Weddings, weddings, weddings. Nothing but weddings as far as the eye can see. Making plans for later in the year? Navigating that calendar is going to be tricky indeed, what with weddings scattered throughout like craggy rocks that litter the shores of Ocracoke Island, smashing to little bits the ships of the saltiest of sea dogs.
I have a friend who refers to ugly women as heinous sea donkeys. This makes me laugh, which means I'm an asshole and a traitor to my sea donkey race. I've pretty much resigned myself to the life of the offensive, the perverse, the unlikable. And I did it all without the courage of conviction provided by pink hair and body piercings. I often think that with green hair and a tattoo on my face, I might rule the universe. But then I remember that with green hair and a tattoo on my face, I would be a heinous sea donkey. Maybe if I had great big tits and blemish-free skin I could pull it off, but as it stands I would look like a strangely wizened rebellious preteen.
Onward. This weekend's wedding was in Yosemite, and featured tear-jerking levels of obvious true love, a mid-ceremony comedy skit, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on the boom box at the moment the newlyweds kissed, prosciutto and oysters Rockefeller, really good chardonnay, filet mignon and shrimp, almond champagne, an intensely good cake, more almond champagne... Mmm. Wait, what are we celebrating again? Oh, yeah... Small wedding, fun wedding, tasty wedding, funny wedding. The rabbit gives Yosemite Wedding an A. (A+ ratings are limited to those weddings that include hot tubs, free deep tissue massage, dancing bears, and a 3-page spread in Martha Stewart Wedding or InStyle magazine with photos of me, holding a delicate flute of champagne and tossing my head back in hearty laughter.)
Best Exchange From Yosemite Wedding
tour guide: Here's another ponderously large ponderosa.
wedding guest 1: Mmm.
tour guide: If you put your hand around it, you can feel its ropey, jointed texture.
wedding guest 2: Oh, yeah.
tour guide: They blasted a gaping hole in the moraine.
wedding guest 3: Ouch!
tour guide: "Inch by inch, it's a cinch."
wedding guest 1: Ungh.
tour guide: Some of the members of this wedding party are really slowing us down. [recovering composure] But I hear the bride is going to look absolutely beautiful later today.
wedding guest 2: I hear the bride has a great rack.
Everyone, even the old folks, laughed at this one - including the bride, who does indeed have a great rack.
It was good. But all that planning, yoinks. I think I'd rather have Jennifer Lopez do all the work for me - as long as she kept her big booty away from my man. But I could keep a handle on that, since I'm not a neurotic career girl who deserves to have a fat-bottomed wedding planner steal her man.
Come to think of it, it's about time for another round of "Unintended Movie Morals", wouldn't you say?
UNINTENDED MOVIE MORALS
The Wedding Planner: Busy career girls are neurotic and unsavory, and therefore deserve to have their fine-ass men stolen away by fat-bottomed wedding planners who do, after all, make the rockin' world go 'round.
Y Tu Mama Tambien: There isn't an existential crisis in the world that can't be solved by roadtripping with some hot teenagers with perpetual boners.
Amelie: Eccentric French people are living much happier, cooler, more vibrant lives than you could even imagine in your sad little fried-cheese-clogged American head.
Moulin Rouge: Even strange, enchanted boys want to nail Nicole Kidman.
Kissing Jessica Stein: The age of Marauding Straight Girls Who Want To Be Gay But Aren't is upon us. Lesbians beware!
Lantana: Working class people have better relationships because they can't afford couples' therapy.
Maelstrom: When a half-dead fish announces that he has to tell you a very pretty story, now you'll know it involves abortion, a string of suicide attempts, and pulling a lovely piece of someone's skull out of the grill of your car.
Crossroads: Britney Spears has an ass like a basketball.
Human Nature: Sasquatch would sell out in a heartbeat, if it meant getting his hands on Britney Spears' mind-bending ass.
Thursday, April 18, 2002
ARE YOU OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE?
Or are you just really annoying? Take this stupid quiz and find out!
1. When you're feeling idle or needy or you're procrastinating, how many times do you check your email in an hour?
2. How many times a day do you procrastinate, or feel idle or needy?
3. Multiply answer #1 by answer #2. Does that number make you feel bad, or does it remind you that you could be checking your email right now?
4. When you get a bottle of disinfecting solution for your contact lenses, and it says "NO RUB!" on the bottle, followed by the words, "No rubbing necessary!", do you still rub?
5. Can you talk on the phone without accomplishing something else, like doing the dishes, or checking your email?
6. Do you compulsively delay gratification? Does it feel a little bit like foreplay?
7. Are the things that you enjoy doing the most the least likely to be done, because you consider them rewards, and you never feel like you've accomplished enough of the pesky stuff, like organizing your files or painting your bookshelves or waxing your ass, to justify indulging in the good stuff?
8. Are you putting off a) getting a tolerable car, b) traveling in Europe, or c) having a massive growth removed from your neck until some imaginary point in the distant future when you'll have loads of money, and, strangely enough, will also look far younger and more attractive?
9. Does it ever occur to you that the reason you're always tense, get colds a lot, can't live in the moment, can't relax, etc., might be due not only to your unbearably neurotic mind, but also to the fact that you have Self-Imposed Delayment of Gratification Blue Balls?
10. Is "delayment" even a word?
11. Does wondering whether it's a word or not lead you to get up off your squishy butt to look it up in a dictionary, or does it lead to you to waste several minutes idly wondering, until you're angry at yourself for not being the kind of person who'll get the fuck up and read the goddamn definition, angry and annoyed and fed up, that is until you remember to check your email again?
12. Do you ever think that maybe by checking your email every few seconds, you're just like a little mouse who spends its entire day pushing a little pedal, over and over, in the hopes that a cocaine pellet will slide down some invisible chute?
13. What would be the cocaine pellet for you? An email from a crush? News that there'll be red vines in the office kitchen for anyone who wants them? That petition about Nina Totenberg, who seems to discuss NPR's impending death at least four or five times a month? Or do you actually imagine that cocaine might come out of your computer?
14. Do you ever think that checking your email every few seconds is like having a sharp, piercing sound that blasts right next to your ear occasionally, scrambling whatever thoughts you may have been forming, and making it difficult to form new ones? Remember that story where the guy's watching ballerinas with balls and chains on their feet on TV, and he's got this thing that makes a piercing sound attached to his head, and the government put it there because he was so smart it wasn't fair to everyone else? What was that story called?
15. Do you ever think think you're so smart it's not fair to everyone else? Is that why you don't read, because it'll just make things even more unfair?
16. Do you ever think that I'm so smart it's not fair to everyone else?
17. Do you ever think that I'm so talented and pretty it's unfair to everyone else? Do you ever think that I'm so alluring and special it's unfair? Hmm? Do you like my new boots? You like them, don't you?
3. 135; Hmm. Good question. Let me think about that one while I check my email.
4. Well, do you believe everything you read? I should hope not.
5. Why would I want to try?
6. Define "compulsively." And what is foreplay, exactly?
7. Well, OK. Maybe.
8. I can't afford a decent car right now. Is that so wrong? Are you suggesting I go into more debt? I mean, I could go into more debt, since I'll definitely be loaded some day, but still.
9. You're so Oprah these days, it's really starting to chafe.
10. No. Maybe. Yes. I think not, actually.
11. My butt is not that squishy.
12. What was the question again? Sorry, I was just checking my email.
13. Can you prove that cocaine won't come out of my computer?
14. I don't remember. But I'm sure one of your geeky readers will look it up so I don't have to.
15. Maybe. But then I think I'm just looking for another reason to feel guilty. And anyway, I do read. I read A Prayer For Owen Meany just three or four months ago.
17. Yes. Oh, yes! Yeah. Yes! Mmm, yes.
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
Feeling mean? Wanna hear a mean song? Email me right now and I'll send it to you. You have to have a high speed connection - it's big. But only if you ask for it within the next half hour. This offer expires when I'm done with this glass of wine.
PERSONALITY DISORDER OF THE WEEK
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
A pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
(1) is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost
(2) shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)
(3) is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)
(4) is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)
(5) is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value
(6) is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things
(7) adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded over for future catastrophes
(8) shows rigidity and stubbornness
I've been saving this one for some time, mostly because I wanted to wait a little while before I revealed to each and every reader of this blog that they have a personality disorder. The same one, in fact.
Get down with OCD? Yeah, you know me.
I'd like to break it down a little differently though:
OCD With A Twist
A pervasive pattern of worrying, indulging needless negative thoughts, and just generally picking apart every stupid thing under the sun, paired with feelings that life is meaningless (well, it is, after all), and that nothing is worth doing (this is patently false - that's the greasy fries you ate for lunch talking), punctuated by occasional attempts to grab the wheel and steer the whole sorry mess onto higher ground, often mistaken for "being a total control freak" or "a complete asshole" depending on the situation, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
(1) makes little lists and loses them; writes important information down on receipts and business cards of people he/she will never call, carries them around, crumpled and stinky, for years, then loses them
(2) paces in circles around apartment, wondering whether to a) make inspiring but melancholy mix CD, b) walk to 7-11 for nachos and cola squishy, c) write 10 more pages of novel without consulting now-oppressive and illegible outline thingy, or d) sit in place on couch, daydreaming about Britney Spears's torso until weak with hunger, necessitating crawling on hands and knees to fridge, where sliced jarlsberg and sweet pickles wait in joyful hope for the coming of their savior
(3) emails everyone he/she knows in one fell swoop, then ignores their replies the next day when he/she is feeling far less affiliative, far more sullen and scratchy
(4) has extreme productivity fetish that results more in constant guilt than in actual work accomplished, punctuated by periods of dropping everything, smoking crack, eating Zero bars, and watching The Iron Chef for days on end
(5) is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value, no monetary value, clutter up his/her closet, and bring shame to his/her good name when friends and family wander into his/her closet looking for source of easy laughs
(6) is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others because they're fucking stupid, talentless dickwads who don't know what the fuck they're talking about
(7) spends money like it's going out of style, despite all indications that he/she hasn't actually made any cash money in many, many moons
(8) snorts derisively while watching The Bachelor, but secretly wants to be a contestant so he/she could a) spew dirty non sequitors, b) tell Alex to stop being such a retiring pussy and get some ass already, and c) explain the concept of projection to Shannon, who appears to have no dearth of issues to hash out with a paid mental health professional
(9) shows rigidity and stubbornness when it comes to: a) hanging out with passive-aggressive, tedious, or false-seeming people, b) answering the question, "Why don't you get off your fat ass and get some type of a job, you sad little piece of shit?", c) sharing his/her hot fudge sundae with Friendy, even though Friendy has demonstrated that his apple pie, when dipped into said hot fudge sundae, is even better than either apple pie or hot fudge sundae alone, d) actually, that last example is a lie - once he/she figured out that apple pie and hot fudge sundae are two great tastes that taste great together, he/she immediately got with the program, but definitely kept the speed of spooning and dipping a bit faster than Friendy's, to insure that he/she got his/her fair share.
(10) has no real morals to speak of until someone crosses him/her, but overactive neurotic thoughts keep him/her from making others feel bad, particularly if they're old or small and helpless and/or belong to some downtrodden minority group that deserves to kick ass and take names as needed; is not, however, particularly nice to chafing, self-conscious, ultra-ambitious hipsters who talk about themselves nonstop and don't listen
On that note, what's new with you guys these days?
MY NEW FAVORITE BLOG
I try not to get into the habit of starting up pen-pal type relationships via email, because they so often end in hurt feelings and tears and lots of cringing and wringing of hands. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to meet someone face to face before I consider them a friend. Or a friendy. But Rebecca changed all that.
I always like to get mail from women, since I really mostly hear from men, but Rebecca wrote me a bunch of emails that made me laugh outloud, very hard. This is a difficult feat, when you consider how jaded and world-weary I am, or that I've only been drinking coffee once or twice a week lately, which means I have all the joie de vivre of your common garden slug. But Rebecca, she's fucking funny. She's not just manipulative and crafty like me, pulling out clumsy tricks and hoping the crowd responds. No, she's just pure, natural funny. Now I ignore emails from my mother and write multiple pages to Rebecca. I'm not well.
So (this is where my tiny little penis tries to take some credit) I told her she had to have a blog, because she had so much funny to share with the world. Like a good, obedient doggie, she went out and got herself a bloggie, and now all her glory is out there for the public to consume. So go check it out, then come back and read the personality disorder of the week, which will be up shortly.
sweat flavored gummi
Looks like you can't see it very well in Netscape, so you'll have to use Explorer. Anyway, I try to keep my link list very very short, but I'm adding this one, because it's so very worthy of attention.
See how I give? I give and give and give.
Me, generous me!
Hot sausage and me me!
Monday, April 15, 2002
HOW HIGH THE MOON? HOW SOON THE HOT, JUICY ACTION?
Well, I am footloose and Flinchy free. Did not quite happen as I had hoped or planned, but I did move out about a month ago. The hemorrhaging has slowed to a manageable trickle, I no longer bore my friends with extended sobs. Heck we are even "Friends." Funny how it seems a lot like the whole "dating" thing without living together, perhaps in a soon to arrive moment of clarity I will abandon this as well, just seems a smidge counterproductive. I miss Flinchy, Flinchy misses me.
Break ups suck, and move-outs are really super. On the bright side, I spent a lot of time in NYC. I ate lots of greasy cheesy pizza, I ate roast beef and liverwurst on the same sandwich, I had lots of chili cheese fries as per your recommendation (mmm chili cheese fries). I consumed mediocre beer and did hits from something called "spongebong squarepants." I even saw Billy Joel at an East Hampton lunch spot (he is quite an angry little squirrel if there was ever a male version). And to top all of this off, thanks to the miracle hormone that floods your body post-break-up, I LOST weight! Not that I needed to, but what a nice parting gift.
So, Flinchy has yet to figure himself out. Flinchy still insists he loves me but needs think about "stuff." A month later, I still love him, but damn it I am having fun. I try not to turn down any invitation to hang, often at the expense of not sleeping. I have been to more concerts/ballgames/dinners in the past month than I have the entire year previous. I am hanging out at a place not unlike the "coffee bunghole" of Filler fame and waxing indie with the hipster counter crowd.
I have not lost hope, have not started picking out names for my imaginary future cats and have not purchased anything resembling a moo-moo or a housecoat. My question is this, oh wise wabbit. So, sure my life is pretty fun and stuff but I know I am going to yearn for some hot juicy action at regular intervals soon... How do I get to the point when men are no longer unsettling to be close to? It concerns me, I have been asked out by a guy that is pretty hot by conventional standards, and pretty interesting and all, but the idea of having even coffee with him makes me ill. Is this some sort of post-breakup stress disorder that I will snap out of soon or have I lost a few cans when the six pack fell off the shelf?
No Flinchy, Just ME ME!
Dear Flinchy Free,
Thanks for filling us in on the continuing saga. I'm glad to hear about the roast beef and the chili cheese fries. These are important elements of the healing process. But the real reason you're here, in the offices of Dr. Rabbit, flipping desperately through Highlights so you can read as many episodes of Goofus and Gallant as possible before they call your name: you want to know how you'll get to the point when men are no longer unsettling to be close to.
My answer: Never. Men are always unsettling, and they're more unsettling the closer you are. First, it's the strange black sneakers and the bad hairstyling choices that set you off. Next, it's the unnervingly slow gait, the big, clumsy hands, the weirdly transparent facial expressions and the juvenile verbal tics. Then come the bizarre mix CDs that combine Cat Stevens and Meatloaf without the slightest hint of shame. Zoom in closer to discover sprouty nose hair, weedy back hair, and unsightly bits of white goo in the corners of the mouth.
This is how you manage it all: You don't sleep with them immediately. If you take it all in at once, you'll drown in the chaotic, child-like weirdness of it all, also know as Nonsensory Overload. Most men are at once completely smooth and in control and utterly lost in space. They're confident and aggressive and jumpier than a shrew on crystal meth. They want to take charge, but they also want to crawl into bed and whine softly until someone brings them some hot tea or sucks on their calloused toes or both. Embrace them without reserve and you'll wake up sore, confused, stinky, and resentful that you're forced to listen to Don Henley on the ride home. You'll look over at your prince and he'll seem hopelessly tacky and dense, steering his '80s era sportscar with faux-macho aggression. He'll drop you off and instead of enjoying the kiss you'll be anxious to be far away from scratchy stubble and bad breath and eye boogers. You'll feel like you performed the greatest act of charity known to man, and then you'll wait all week for him to call, and he never will.
Instead, you just hang out and befriend them. Make lots of little Friendys, and then eventually, when you ~naturally~ feel a stirring for one particular Friendy, wait another three weeks. When you're positively psychotic from extended hormonal influx, then you can make one small move. You'll note that in this intoxicated state, eye boogers and "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" seem far, far beside the point. In fact, all the little incongruencies and inconveniences will fade from view, and you'll be attracted to The Actual Person hidden behind all the dopey accoutrements of manhood.
Unfortunately, though, my sense is that you're not over Flinchy. Flinchy says he misses you. This is the thing about Flinchy: he reports that he misses you the way he reports that Portland beat the Lakers in double overtime. He is observing from a great distance an event that doesn't involve him. He mentions it merely because you might be more interested in it than he is: you're a Lakers fan, after all. Flinchy "insists" that he loves you - "insisting" implies that you've been asking him whether he loves you or not, in which case his answer can hardly be taken as a stand-alone profession of desire and adoration. He claims that he merely has to think about "stuff." Do you know what "stuff" is? "Stuff" is "Why I would want to be inconvenienced by this other human being with her own ideas and needs?" and "Maybe I might not like to fuck that girl I keep seeing at the coffee joint down the street..."
You want to be adored and desired. You would also like to adore and desire without the constant fear of overdoing it, thereby scaring off the little shrew. In order to move on and meet good, delicious new menfolk, you need to forever swear off any possibility of a future with Flinchy, because there is no future, short of Flinchy laying himself down at your feet, day after day for a month, with a new, original treatise on why You're The Only Woman For Him each day, and with a big, fat ring or symbolic expensive or very heartfelt homemade gift of some sort in his hand. You know and I know that that's never going to happen. Settle for half-assed attempts at winning your heart, and your whole life starts to look half-assed. You're better than that. You want liverwurst AND roast beef, goddamn it!
Stop talking to Flinchy. Go meet some Friendys, hang out with them, don't drink too much, don't fuck any of them, and when the hormones start kicking, get back to me and we'll plot your next course. A condition like yours requires careful monitoring, but with the right treatment, we'll have you back in the saddle in no time.
Wednesday, April 10, 2002
THE TONY ROBBINS OF THE ALIENATED, DYSFUNCTIONAL SET
Speaking outloud at people is fun! I blathered on about all of my latest Dr-Phil-esque ideas today in front of a bunch of young people, and it was great! They thought I was creepy, but I had a blast!
Maybe I should be some kind of a teacher, one who teaches whatever happens to be floating through her head that day. I'm very good at talking at people. And I just love making handouts! I have a feeling I'd love to make worksheets even more. Creating exciting fill-in-the-blank worksheets is definitely a hidden talent of mine, just waiting to take wing. Plus, I'd be great in the teacher's lounge, drinking coffee and bitching about all the other teachers, and the students I can't stand.
Plus, I love saying supportive teachery things, like:
"Come on, people. It's obvious."
"Someone besides Randall, raise your hand."
"Ha. That's what you think now. Just you wait."
"Your brother is the smartest of the three of you."
It's my calling!
Talking into a microphone, though, that takes the cake. And guess what? Two long-time fans of Filler showed up, and they were hotties! A girl and a guy! Bizarre, no? That attractive people, who could be out looking good and getting laid, would stay in and read such alienated, bitter drivel? Go figure. Maybe they were both injured or on house arrest for a while.
Anyway, if anyone's here because they heard me speak and they're wondering what the hell the weirdo actually does, since she seemed more intent on blabbering Oprah-style than on actually offering up concrete facts from her own experience, well...Welcome! Instead of slogging through the uneven archive, I suggest you start with some of these...
GREAT FILLERS, LESS TASTE!
Is Polly Actually a Man?
Indier Than Thou!
Beware The Angry Little Squirrel!
Bad Reasons to Have Kids!
Ok, whatever, I just bumped into five that I liked. That "Is Polly Actually a Man?" one is funnier than I remember it being.
I would rule as a gay man, though. I would be the master of time and space. Then again, there are so many cool gay men already, I guess I fill the rarefied niche of gleefully neurotic, emotionally unhinged, deeply unsavory straight woman more effectively.
Er, I mean, unsavory straight rabbit.
That sounds like a particularly bad dish at a hip but bland LA restaurant.
Anyway, thanks to everyone at the talk. It was fun.
Best Exchange of the Day
(rabbit instructs each student to say what their dream job is, no matter how unrealistic)
student: I'd like to be a pirate.
rabbit: What about being a pirate appeals to you?
student: Well, it would be just like taking a cruise, but with more violence and action.
NO ONE IS TOO LAME
I have been unspeakably lame, blog-wise, there's no way around it. And I can't snap out of it just yet, because I'm talking to a bunch of students at the College of Creative Studies at UCSB today, and I need to think about things to say, so I can forget them all and ramble in inarticulate circles like I did last year.
Why do writers ever speak? As I express myself more and more effectively on the page, I seem to lose more and more of my interpersonal charms - like in the olden days, when I would remember my name, and then ask for other person's name? Shit, I used to be downright charismatic live and in person, back when beer-fueled improv was my raison d'etre. No longer. I have the personality of a throw pillow.
And, I have to be inspiring about the artist's life! I have to talk about how gratifying it is to make a living through your art, at a time when I would blow spider monkeys for $10 an hour if someone offered me the job.
So anyway, here's part of what I'm telling the little creative geniuses, since I don't have time to write anything else. Remember, they're still in college. I'm trying to give them all the bad advice I needed to hear back then, so they can ignore it all, and then look back and think: "That weirdo loser chick told me this was a mistake way back when I was a sophomore in college, but I didn't listen, and now look at me! I'm a shell of a man, a shadow of my former self! I can't even think of an original metaphor to describe myself, that's how worthless I am! If only I had listened to that loser chick whose name I can't remember!"
Say my name, say my name!
Generic Faceless Rabbit
WHAT HAPPENS TO A CALIFORNIA DREAM DEFERRED?
Does It Shrivel Up Like a California Raisin in the Sun?
4 Tips On How To Keep Your Dream Alive Well Past Graduation
1. Don't listen to the advice of naysayers with straight jobs and/or without dreams (that they'll admit to).
Discussing your creative pursuits/dreams with gainfully employed humans is like asking your mom which motorcycle she thinks best suits your personality. Contributing members of society will have mixed feelings about your becoming an overnight success as an author or getting a record deal and touring the world, because they're just as dreamy and delusional as you are, underneath their logical exteriors. They put their pleather pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else does: they dream of becoming the next Jack Kerouac, they have neglected guitars that need restringing. Every man has a Bono inside him, waiting to emerge. Every woman is 1% Britney, like it or not. Don't expect encouragement and love from your white collar friends. Give them your sympathy. Or, if they really, truly don't have such creative urges, envy them.
2. Consider picking up a marketable skill that pays well per hour.
Taking a few classes in, say, computer programming, or troubleshooting computer problems, or film editing, to name a few, is never a bad idea. This is a fact that will be driven home when you're 30 and trying to write your first novel, and you're working at Starbucks while your friend has a cushy systems administrator job that basically consists of running Norton Utilities on a bunch of Macs every day. Remember when your mom insisted that you take typing in high school, and you didn't listen, and took Shop instead? How often do you build benches these days, huh, wise guy?
3. Expect to feel really discouraged for your first year out of college.
Some will tell you that the real world sucks, and they're not talking about the one in Seattle where the only cool chick on the show went off her medication and starting raving about conspiracy theories and Lyme's disease. The real world does not suck, but it might appear to suck for the first few years you get out of school, depending on:
a). how much you drink (stop drinking)
b) whether or not you continue dating someone you were dating in college out of fear of being alone in the big, bad, scary real world (bad idea)
c) whether or not you resort to temping (um...)
d) how clear you are on what you want to do for the rest of your life
Which leads us to #4.
4. Don't expect to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. Ever.
All these jackasses you see walking around, looking like they could map out the next 30 years of their lives on a napkin if asked? They couldn't. In fact, they're really in a quandary over what to order for lunch. So the next time you're losing your mind, trying to decide what you should spend the rest of your life doing, go eat a banana split instead, because you'll always be just another clueless jackass like the rest of us.
Friday, April 05, 2002
MY BRAIN IS THE BURGER AND MY HEART'S THE COKE
Hot shit! I got 2000 hits on Wednesday! Had I know that, I would've been, I don't know, hanging out around here, soaking up the glory, like some horny boy band member hanging around backstage so the sluts with passes can swoon, instead of shuffling around in dirty socks, looking for ways to procrastinate because I'm trying to write a novel and it's hard. No fair! I have to work hard!
So anyway, I'm writing a fucking novel. How pretentious and unrealistic is that? And it's not even one of these scribble-heedlessly-for-a-month dealies, it's a careful, well thought-out exercise in discipline. Or, at least it's well thought-out relative to the endless journal entry I passed off as a novel during NaNoWriMo - that is, before my logic board died (naturally I had failed to join in celebrating "Back Up Your Bad Novel Day") and I didn't have access to my computer the week my endless journal entry was due.
But how do I justify writing a novel, you wonder, when perhaps it's not entirely clear that I'm qualified to do so?
Well, my delusions of grandeur come in handy. In fact, my heady mix of personality disorders fuels a delightful buzz of effusive faux-literary thoughts about myself and the world. Add caffeine and that jittery early morning high, and you've got yourself a mediocre novelist! Did I mention that jumping off the low board was a part of the plan? The thing I didn't realize is, I can't really jump off the lowest board, or I lose my motivation. I mean, I don't know shit about imagery or story, but I'm learning real quick-like because I can't sit with a book that sucks ass.
Now granted, when you read the book, you may ask yourself: Wait, is this the book that doesn't suck ass? Let's not kid ourselves, weinies, I'm no Chekhov.
But let's also try not to put the Very Good Novelist on some pedestal like he/she bestrides the narrow world like a colossus. Many of these Very Good Novelists are just pathologically overconfident, insatiably self-involved, unbearably neurotic, and incredibly self-disciplined. See? All I'm missing is the self-discipline. But does it make sense to write "self-disciplined", or isn't "disciplined" enough, and "self-disciplined" is one of those faux words that David Foster Wallace would roll his eyes at and then never come back to my humble blog. (David! Please! Come back! Don't be so prejudiced against those who are less detail-oriented than you because they spent their high school years prancing around in a cheerleader uniform and therefore had much less trouble getting laid than you did and therefore they had better shit to do than to parse semantics! They probably even put that the wrong way, but it's only because their brains are clouded by last night's Survivor episode, which they watched because they know how to relax, unlike you, you fucking prolific freak! Just because they drank too much and chased man-titty in college instead of reading their Sartre doesn't mean they don't have something to offer the world, if only to the world of like-minded morons! Maybe you'd like them, if you knew them! Maybe you'd like them, if you got off your soft ass and called them up, they know you're teaching over there in Pomona where their brother went to school, they know you're a big fucking deal but you still sit at home bored and lonely, hoping to spend time with former cheerleaders who think you're fabulous because they're slightly shallow and like soft, hairy men who wrap their massive brains in dew rags to keep the cold and damp out.)
Hot damn. I wrote the headline for this post before I even got to this part. I'm in a zone, man.
OK, not really. But I do think my novel is going well, and I'm somewhat delusional about it, which is enjoyable until the next wave of self-doubt washes over me and turns everything gray and dead and the herds of dustbunnies roll in. So anyway, where do you think we should summer, The Hamptons, or Jackson Hole? Maybe a house in Whistler. I don't know. It's all so borrrrring. MARSHA! FETCH MY PERCOSET!
Wednesday, April 03, 2002
EAT, DRINK, MAN TITTIES!
May I ask rabbit to substitute man-boobs for man-titties in her columns? I find man-titties offensive.
I took your advice and started growing my boobage, but I noticed something peculiar. At a club, a woman walks up, places her hands on my chest, and then thanks me for doing such a good job as a bouncer [I am not one]. At work, a latina cafeteria worker kept poking my "man-regions" as we were talking about my broken Spanish. The other night a loud group of bachelorettes asked me if I wore boxers or briefs, and then asked if they could have them for a treasure hunt.
When are equal rights going to shift to the left enough so I can rest my hands on boobs during casual conversation?
My my. Your man-boobies must be shaping up quite nicely to be garnering such attention. Tell me more about those meat chiclets of yours. Are they hard, like wee little chicken pot pies? Or are they softish, all the better to sink your teeth into, my dear? Are they hairy, or smooth? I used to be a real smooth steak kinda boob lover, but lately I order mine softish, rare, and covered in hair. There's some cool diner lingo for that order, I just can't remember it. Can anyone help me out with that? Smothered and covered and squishy like the Smothers Brothers?
Anyway, those chicks are right. You're fun to objectify.
As regards your question, maybe times have changed already. Have you tried resting your hand on a boob during casual conversation lately? How will you know until you've tried?
Randier than Randy Johnson,
You are the Maid of Honor?
Then you get to shag the Best Man!
This is a traditional expectation of the two key pillars of support for the bride and groom. You may never have had so many people thinking idly "these two are supposed to get drunk and get it off ... hmmmm".
My, my! That is good news, indeed, because the best man is the groom's father, and I've always sort of liked him, but from afar. No longer!
He caught my eye from the moment I saw him. First of all, he's tall. Secondly, he really seems to dote on his wife, and she's, like, a lot older than me! I'm sure he'll dote on me even more. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, he's really good at Scrabble! I love Scrabble, and I'm really good, too! As a couple, we are going to be unstoppable!
But then again, these things can get a little sticky. Remember that movie Damage, where Jeremy Irons plays Juliette Binoche's future father-in-law, and they want each other so bad the second they see each other? They're both pretty good at acting sick with ill-considered lust. (But then, what lust is carefully considered?) The sex scenes are pretty well choreographed (Paula Abdul's handiwork?), so much so that you don't even mind that Irons is sort of sinewy in a creepy way. When a filmmaker can get you wrapped up in a morally unconscionable affair... Well, this is why we go to the movies in the first place, isn't it?
I want to spoil the end, because it's so bizarre and over the top, but what if someone out there wants to rent it? OK, those who want to rent it, skip down to the part that says YOU CAN READ NOW, below.
Alright, the rest of you sluts listen to this. Basically, Binoche's character and Irons' character start meeting at this apartment where they can screw more conveniently - in fact, I think it's the apartment that the son secured for the newlyweds to move into, but I can't remember. Oh, it's sick. So then, one day, just when it seems like the sex is getting a little less alive with "our love is doomed"-type possibilities, and more rote and mechanical - perhaps even disappointingly similar to the sex had by two people who actually love each other and are involved in a serious, practical relationship in which one of them isn't actively planning a wedding with the other one's offspring - speak of the devil, the son walks in! He's been looking for Binoche's character all day, possibly to get her approval on the color of the bouquets or the style of Wedding Chicken to be served, and there she is, getting laid by his father, the best man, in all his creepily sinewy, grunting shame! The son backs out the door in shock, as if hit upside the head by a bat...Yes, we noticed before that there was one of those staircases with the hole in the middle that looks down 8 or 9 flights, but we hoped it was just a perky visual element, merely meant to suggest danger, not to pose it, but... Over the side of the staircase he goes, falling backwards (I'd like to see this scene again and see how they made it plausible that he might manage to flip backwards over the railing - sounds sort of Laurel and Hardy, in retrospect). Irons' character rushes to the railing, and looks over! Son, on floor! Blood! Irons' character rushes down the stairs, naked! We hope against hope! Son is nice, good! Far softer and more naive and less sinewy than creepy dad! Dad rushes to son! Son is killed. Dead. Irons' character, still naked, cradles son in arms, crying, in manner similar to Mary cradling Jesus, also dead, but risen eventually, at least. Pieta-style scene leaves us hoping against hope for Breaking The Waves-type miracle ending. No such luck. It's called Damage, remember? So then, the mind reels: What's it all about? Reverse Oedipal thingy? Jealousy of youth? The screen goes dark. A young person in the audience mutters, "Damn." Who let that teenager into this debased motherfucker of a movie?
YOU CAN READ NOW. So anyway, I can't wait to shag my sister's fiancé's father!
Randier than Randy Gardner,
Monday, April 01, 2002
IN SEARCH OF... THE RABBIT BLOG
I faithfully read Filler for years, and I just yesterday discovered the blog. I think it was a link from Plastic or Salon, I forget which. Anyway, I find that your writing is still some of my favorite stuff out there. Part of it is, I think, that you're just a bit older than I am, (I started reading you in high school), and have had JUST enough time to process what you're going through and write about it where I need it. And later, when you're ready to write new stuff, I'm ready to read it.
I'm glad you're doing bits for NPR. I like NPR. "I'm Terry Gross, and this... is Fresh Air (bum bum BUM)". Your bit of advice to Loveless was a treasure, something I needed a little reminding of, and something I'll show others.
I want to write. I kind of thought writing wasn't something I could really do until I was thirty-five, and I should just read and live until then. I don't really feel like I have any apt observations on humanity or anything, but you're making me realize I might. You constantly reassure me that there is a whole range of neglected virtues. Vices, I think they're called. Ignorance, impatience, and laziness, while making completing a work tricky, give you something to say.
f you decide to answer this one publicly, on your log, please withhold my name, as I would be self-conscious about being so gushy with praise.
Thanks again for all the great work, and here's hoping you have the opportunity and inclination to make plenty more.
Name Withheld By Request
Ah, yes. You've pinpointed my true gifts: ignorance, impatience, and laziness. I can understand why you'd want to keep such a low profile when administering such high praises.
I'm proud to hear that I've successfully lowered the bar for those without anything to say who might still want to write. Maybe I should teach a special course at the Learning Annex. I can see the ad now: So you want to be a writer but you're lacking apt observations on humanity? No worries! All you need to jumpstart a fabulous career is a complete ignorance of current events, a total lack of focus or sustained concentration on any given subject, and an unbending laziness in the face of hard work! That's right, with just a little less information, focus, and motivation, you, too, can be a high-profile, paid writer!
I don't think the Learning Annex will mind that I'm neither high-profile nor paid, as long as plenty of people sign up for my class.
Anyway, thank you for your kind words. I'd go on even more, but I'm impatient to move on to the next letter, and I'm too lazy to think of anything else to say.
AND A PARTRIDGE AND A .33
I believe the Miller's son story continues as follows:
miller's son: I'm not sure I should fall into the habit of catering to such a demanding rabbit.
rabbit: And a shotgun and some cartridges, so I can go hunt some partridges.
This is, of course, from the little-known verse version of the story.
Your obedient, etc.,
Very nice work. You've suggested a clear path for the narrative...
RABBIT AND BOOTS
miller's son: Rabbits don't wear boots!
rabbit: This rabbit will, and you're gonna get 'em for me, so my feet won't hurt!
miller's son: I am?
rabbit: You am, and you're gonna get me a bag to take along, so we can win fame and fortune!
miller's son: I'm not sure I should fall into the habit of catering to such a demanding rabbit.
rabbit: And a shotgun and some cartridges, so I can go hunt some partridges.
miller's son: Such manipulative words! Just to kill poor little birds!
rabbit: And a field guide and a flask, and a sneaky hunting mask!
miller's son: No rodent, meek or frisky, is going to get me drinking whiskey.
rabbit: And a burger with some fries - don't forget to supersize!
miller's son: I'd have to be unstable to complete this twisted fable!
rabbit: Also: Kleenex, batteries, aluminum foil, twinkies, wet ones, motor oil...
miller's son: If I stooped to buy you tissues, then I'd have some major issues.
rabbit: Go now, so you'll get back soon - Peter wants to leave by noon!
miller's son: You must think I'm codepedent, to fulfill your needs transcendent!
rabbit: I don't give a crap what you are! Now shut up and start the car!
miller's son: Suddenly it's plain to see that you don't love me for me!
rabbit: Go ahead then, keep complaining - but the love I have is waning.
miller's son: I have one last thing to say: C batteries or triple A?
I think this narrative has more drama, more forward movement, and will sell better in Hollywood than the last one. It's almost like Your Friends And Neighbors meets the South Park movie, with the Rabbit's role roughly like Sadam Hussein's, and the Miller's son as Satan. "Aw, come on, guy. Pinch my nipples while I torture this little partridge..."
Bird in hand,
I'm in Durham, land of drippy rain and tall trees. Azalea land of skim milk and tupelo honey from gourmet grocery store. Land where rabbit visits Gourmet Wedding Farm with sister, tries to describe optimum color mix for bridal bouquet to nice gay man with zit patch on face, then gazes at pictures of other people's weddings for hours until dizzy with confusion over whether weddings are Important Landmark In Straight Life and Opportunity for Highly Satisfying Mutual Appreciation or at least One Big Chance For Public Displays of Adoration Replete with Pretty Dress and Good Make-up and Hair, Perhaps Fixed by Nice Gay Man, or whether weddings are in fact One Big, Expensive Mistake After Another or even Massive Pointless Expenditure, Less Worthwhile Than Valentine's Day Yet Exponentially More Costly, Stressful, Emotionally Taxing, and Ultimately Hollow, Plus Surprisingly Difficult to Undo.
I'm the maid of honor, too, which makes me nervous, since I'm not well-versed in having a formal role in some highly emotional venture, as most of my highly emotional ventures are neither formal nor honorable. There are unspoken expectations of me, floating around in the air. I'm thinking about hiring stealth photographers to work undercover, getting even better candid shots than whatever overpriced stodgy goon my sister hired. I'm thinking about finding masseuses and hair stylists and make-up artists who will deliver their services onsite at the Gourmet Wedding Farm, on time and without complaint, and they'll take into account the fact that the bride doesn't own a single styling product and doesn't wear make up, ever, period, never, and will therefore feel like a whore with anything on her face. I'm thinking about making sure everything runs smoothly, even though I can barely throw a small beer-and-beer-nuts gathering without spilling beer all over and grinding beer nuts into the carpet. My motto is: screw the details, if you have fun, so will your guests. I'm not sure that applies to weddings, or else I'd just be carefully scheduling my alcohol intake for optimum fully functional buzz: "7:45 pm: Margarita, 8:30: cold beer, preferably light, 9:30: shot of tequila with cold beer chaser..."
Plus, I keep trying to tell the engaged couple that everything will go horribly wrong but that it will all be fine, because I've heard this over and over and I have a feeling that they haven't or are in denial about it, given the fact that they look at me like, "Nothing better fucking go wrong" every time we talk about it.
I'd better hire a Boss of Me before the wedding, so that someone's there to reprimand me when I start screwing everything up.