Friday, October 29, 2004
OSAMA, YOU CAME AND YOU GAVE WITHOUT TAKING!
Don't you feel like we're stuck in a global episode of Scooby Do all of a sudden? Friday before the election, and the bad guy reappears and tells us that we're screwed. Let Velma sniff around the local courthouse. Let Shag and Scoob search through some dank cave for clues. No matter. Bad guy gonna get us, real quick-like, and our little dog, too!
Thursday, October 21, 2004
IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY
The rain is gone now and the sky is clear and blue and it's cold outside. My little dog has some kind of a sprained toe, so she can't walk very well, but she still refuses to shun the solemn responsibility of her role as a deep-voiced, growly early-warning system, without which the UPS man would surely bust down the door, knock my lights out, then raid the cupboard where we keep the dog treats, later moving on to the cookies and the sweet potato chips and those ice cream things in the freezer that taste like the frozen livers of mango-eating white rabbits that populate the chilly Alaskan tundra, at least in theory.
When the dog heard the heater go on for the first time yesterday, she was pretty sure that it was a rat, trying to get into the house. Even in her three-legged state, she was pretty determined to fuck that little motherfucker's shit up, big time. She was pumped to kick fatty's ass but good, not knowing that fatty died a few weeks back, thanks to some salami and a big scary rat trap I somehow set without breaking my fingers clean in two, fingers I depend on for typing out chumpy-ass words for this chumpy-ass blog, frequented mostly by honky-ass bitches and their lily-white, honky-lovin', cracker-ass friends.
You honkies are crazy-ass crackers, by the way. Last week, someone wrote to me and said, "Why do I picture you as big and a little dumpy and overweight, in that angry-woman sort of way that's actually admirable?" Far be it from me to lessen your admiration of me by suggesting I'm anything less than frumpy and really fucking pissed off, but I'm actually leanish, thanks mostly to Billy Blanks, who tells me, on a very old and worn VHS tape, over and over again, that, if I keep it up, my ass will soon come to resemble a basketball. Ah, the sweet, undying dream of the basketball ass!
Oh, but don't worry, my little toasted crumpets, I've still got plenty to be angry about, most of it stemming from my anger at myself for feeling anger. Or anger at myself for feeling sad about not being able to supress my sadness when some insignificant stimulus triggers some old relic of an emotion that used to kick my ass when I was little and I could only deal with it by crying in my room, since that's what we did back when. OK, when I got a little older, I'd listen to Reggatta de Blanc, by the Police. Message in a Bottle. The Police were the very best preteen angst music a kid could get her shaky little hands on.
Don't you feel sorry for me, honkwinders? I don't, which is part of my problem. But this is what I believe in: dragging it all out and owning it. How can I urge everyone else to drag their sad little things out for the world, when I don't really do it myself? That's patently No Fair! in the most esteemed 5th-grade sense of the term.
So, here's what I've figured out: I don't really have that many practical problems left to hammer out. I don't drink to excess and vomit all over my shoes like I did when I was in my early '20s. I don't kick people in the shins when they say mean things to me. I don't pick dumb fights with my friends, and I don't have emotionally unstable or combative or envious friends anymore, nor do I have friends that bring out the combative, envious side of me. I don't go out with mean guys - I never really did, actually, so that doesn't count. I don't get depressed and lay in bed in the morning trying to think of some reason to get up. I don't have trouble getting my work done. I procrastinate, sure, but that's part of the process. Hell, I'm procrastinating right now. It's creative foreplay.
And most of the time, when I feel sad or angry or frustrated, I notice it, I express it, I talk about it, and I try to remain true to the soft part of the picture, which is always more true and accurate than some secondary streak of anger that springs out of the hurt.
BUT. Then there are those days, rare as they may be, when I feel something, and I don't fucking want to feel it, and it makes me mad and depressed to feel it, and I try to shut it down, and eventually, when I convince myself that I should try to express it and let it out, I struggle with it mightily nonetheless, convinced that the expression of such a pathetic, repugnant emotion will render me uniformly unlovable and rejectable and thoroughly, unspeakably, irretrievably LAME.
Therapists will tell you that there are people to blame for such deep conflict about one's emotions. And tracing the roots is certainly worth the effort. No doubt about it. But once you do? That's about it. You get angry, you forgive, you move on.
STILL. The little heirlooms of your emotional catastrophes stick around, and you can either kick them to the curb repeatedly, and in so doing kick yourself to the curb, or you can pick them up and dust them off and put them on a high shelf and treat your little injuries with the respect that they deserve for making you who you are, for making you someone who's capable of understanding pain and struggles and the darker side of the human experience. You don't have to glorify the motherfuckers, or use them as an excuse for every stupid thing you do, like shutting people out or saying mean things or smoking crack. But you can celebrate them privately, and cry over them sometimes, and keep them close to everything you do, because they're there whether you like it or not. They're beating down the door, and you can either invite them in and make them some tea, or you can feel harassed and haunted and pissed off.
Yes, yes. Victimization, blah blah blah. That's not what I'm talking about, here. I'm talking about gaining strength from your weaknesses. A very different picture indeed. And also, allowing your little El Guapos and sadnesses and bad memories and the things that snag your sweater repeatedly to mix in with the rest of your life and inform your passions, your sympathies, and your drive to create nice things and help other people.
I love my sweet little honkies, I really do. Let your nasty little emotional heirlooms in the door, treasure them and keep them safe. No one else has the same ones. You're only as unique as your finest epiphanies and your lowest moments combined. Bring it on! Force the world to accept the big picture, the whole you, not just the well-groomed, chirpy slices of bullshit that they prefer to see. People can accept a universe more than you imagine they can, as long as you figure out how to accept that stuff on your own, beforehand. But then, sometimes you just have to take a leap, expose way too much of yourself, and then live with it. Self-expression always feels a little bit like jumping off a cliff. Look, even if the whole process is private, that's fine, just focus on letting the wobbly little sweet naive self in every now and then. Concentrate on being a big, wide-eyed question mark of a person for once. Let go of your rigidity and your dogmas and your control.
Sweet Jesus, can't you just feel yourself breathe a little deeper, when you let go of your resistance to weakness, when you drop the fear of seeming pathetic for two fucking seconds? Pathetic is pretty, honkies. If your cracker friends don't know that, they can kiss your lily-white ass goodbye. Sally forth against the naysayers, honkified freakwielders! Your courage will bring you love and happiness and you'll give it back, tenfold.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
The good folks at aBetterEarth.org are sponsoring a contest to choose the best "enviro-ad," and you can vote for your favorite. Or you can just speculate about the mental health of the author of this one.
Here's really great article about Elliott Smith. I used to think he was the greatest, but something about his shruggy, ironic, whatever, goodbye thing sort of pissed me off. It's not like I have a big problem with Nick Drake or Kurt Cobain, and of course, just thinking about Jeff Buckley makes me want to cry my eyes out. There's just something about the way Smith romanticized his own demise that rubs me the wrong way. I think I prefer the process in reverse: take shortcuts, feel sorry for yourself, go through shit, then write about it. Once you've created beautiful things, though, to then look back and shrug and say, "Who fucking cares?" To create things that people love, and then slide into a junkie's existence? What a way to kick your own gifts in the teeth.
Of course it absolutely goes without saying that I don't fucking know Smith and I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about. I don't know what it feels like to be him, and I can't judge anything he does or pretend to know what was in his head, and I have no right to even ponder. He owes me nothing. In truth, I loved loved loved his first album, really liked his second, and then I sort of lost interest. I saw him play at a record store in '96 and he was very quiet and shy, in a way that made you want to hug him. Everyone says that about him, really. But when I read about him now, it just gives me this sick feeling in my stomach. It just makes me want to kick his ass. Stop making yourself so fucking small, stop flinching, stop undermining everything you do, stop hiding, stop shrugging it all off, stop it with the whatever and the so fucking what. All that shit just flies in the face of this obvious romanticism that he couldn't own, or wouldn't. If you're an artist, if you're romantic about yourself and your life, own that shit. Instead, it's "Aw, who cares? I'm not what you think I am. Forget about it." And then you put a knife to your heart? What could possibly be more dramatic than that? You creep along and shrug and diminish yourself, and then choose the most dramatic exit possible? My feeling is that if you could live in a more outward, dramatic, bigger way, in the way that some force inside you clearly needs to live, it wouldn't be necessary to exit prematurely.
I realize that's pretty obvious. I guess what bugs me is the coolness at the edges of the frame, the perpetual importance of not caring about anything too much, lest someone think you're a sap or a pussy or someone who doesn't get it. Why did indifference ever become cool? I mean, what's less interesting than indifference? I'm not even talking about Smith. None of this is about him, it's just about my perception of a certain equation - the idea of this hurt little soul that triumphs by creating pretty things and then can't even represent those things, or care for them, or get real satisfaction out of them, or feel proud of them, or happily stand behind them, without fear and poses and hiding.
Today is Wednesday, a good day to stand up for all of the pretty little things you make, no matter how weak and vulnerable they make you feel. Take your pretty little things to town and show them off, goddamn it! Own your vulnerability and sadness and fear and don't hide them and scoff at people who ask after them. Or, if you're not really that sad or fearful, try to be a little bit more accepting of someone who is. Why does everyone think it's so fucking queer and insane to feel sad, or to be preoccupied, at times, by dark or melancholy moods? It's on our TV screens, it's in our movies, but most of us walk around like our lives are chirpy perfection. Or we're just so fucking over it. You know, whatever, no big deal. Or we're insanely happy, but no one actually wants to hear about it. Maybe we're all just afraid of emotion, in any form. Bleh!
Shake it up, honkies! Wear your tiny little hearts on your sleeves, goddamn it!
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Did you hear? Cheney says that terrorists might just bomb major US cities, and then what will Kerry do? Does Kerry have a plan to stop terrorists from killing millions? Doesn't sound like it to me.
And what about a plague of locusts? Has Kerry considered what will happen if a plague of locusts moves in and blots out the sun and eats every inch of green vegetation in sight? I seriously doubt that he has a practical plan for such an outcome.
Hell, the terrorists probably have the wherewithall to insert little robots into our brains to control us. Is Kerry at all prepared to deal with tiny implanted robots? Something tells me that he is not prepared for this, not remotely! If the terrorists bring battle axes to the grocery stores and bank branches of America, will Kerry be equipped to deal with the bloodshed? If the sky opens up and God almighty brings his wrath down upon the land, will Kerry be able to handle it? I don't think so.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
FARTYG NOSA FABULERA!
Mammut kura sultan sova! Someone named RG recently sent me "a healing poem" crafted with phrases pulled from the Ikea Catalogue. There's something so bittersweet about it. It makes me feel positively funka.
Luckily you can fool the eye
Relax, and take a deep breath
Choosing is also an art
Color and fabric create harmony
Imagination has no borders
Luckily you can fool the eye
Order, out of chaos
Give yourself a perfect excuse
Choosing is also an art
Furniture built for make-believe
You'll wish you had more walls
Luckily you can fool the eye
Change the accent, and you change the room
Seems a shame to just fill it with books
Choosing is also an art
Redecorating from the ground up
At some point you'll have to eat
Luckily you can fool the eye
Choosing is also an art.
Nothing quite like a poem jam-packed with the melancholy mantras of high capitalism.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
CHOOSE OR BRUISE!
Wow. I thought about doing something like this, but with rabbit blog T-shirts. But that would be a little expensive. Look, just email me a personal narrative of your voting experience on November 2nd and I'll choose one voter at random and send them a T-shirt.
It makes me queasy to think of November 2nd. I might have to stay in some kind of a beery haze all day. I'm definitely not working. The city should put a team of crisis counselors on call that night.
Last week rocked! A rat the size of a guinea pig squeezed under my bedroom door and woke me up at midnight one night, I got strep throat that lasted for 6 days, and I tripped on my power cord and yanked my laptop to the floor, causing a big dent by the power jack that appeared to necessitate an expensive, non-Warranty repair by the geniuses at the Apple store. As you know, honky handbags, I don't often discuss my life in this level of detail, outside of pathologizing abstracts, but when you have a week like mine? Well, it's like Tobey Maguire says in "Pleasantville": You just can't keep it inside you!
God, I hated Tobey Maguire in "Pleasantville." Does that make me a bloodless troll?
Anyway, heartless whore that I am, I killed the rat dead with a big old rat trap and some help from my friend B. who taught me to set the traps without snapping my fingers clean off. Then I stomped out my strep throat with antibiotics and tons of sleep. (Although I have to say, I still felt like I was in traction for most of the week. Strep throat is the suckiest, honkwinders. Watch your step, steer clear of strep! Don't go tongue-kissing Mr. Hanky, wankies!) Finally, the geniuses called and the repair will be cheaper than I thought. Thanks, geniuses!
What else? I think I have another rat. My fridge is full of old, crappy leftovers I couldn't eat all week because my throat killed. I interviewed Trey Parker and Matt Stone and they were really nice and extremely fucking funny and fun to talk to. It's sort of cloudy and gray here on and off lately, which we in the Southland often prefer, since it's rare and pretty. To be honest, everything has been pretty fucking fantastic for me lately, butt-white cracker-ass crackers. Despite the rats and shit. I could barely sleep that night the rat squeezed its fat ass under the door, and the whole stupid thing still made me laugh right then, particularly the part where my puppy leapt across the room and tried to fuck fatty's shit up, big time. It turns out it's really not so bad to have a rat in your house, as long as your dog gives you that look that says, "I'm gonna get that little dickweed, don't you worry!"
No, I wouldn't let my precious doggie bite a dirty rat! You crackers must think I'm out of my mediocre mind.
I'm tired now. Go read this cartoon I wrote a long time ago and let me get some sleep.
Friday, October 01, 2004
THERE'S A RAT IN THE KITCHEN
What are you gonna do? Cringe and hope the corn chips don't have rat turds in them? Call Orkin, then wait two weeks for them to respond, even though you have a contract with them thanks to the fact that the same pack o' rats were here a year ago, and were evicted by Orkin, and yet apparently they weren't evicted at all, they were merely visiting their summer home in Maine?
Oh, those stylish, devil-may-care rats with their love of the rugged Maine coast! They also love dog food, which is why they came back to their far-more-modest winter home in sunny Los Angeles, home of the Meaty Meatburger, form of a dystopian paradise, shape of a purple-ish birthmark. My little yellow dog would love to get her slappy paws on one of those fuckers, but she doesn't know what I mean when I say, "Do you hear that rat?" or "Maybe you should go into the kitchen and see if there are any rats in there." or "Could you grab me a soda out of the fridge while you're in there?"
She only understands things in terms of cats and dogs, as in (upon spotting a cow): "Look, it's a really big, really slow dog!" or (upon spotting a rat): "Look, a very small, very round cat with a very manic, one-note personality!" (She does understand the personality assessments, thanks to the fact that her childless, whoring owner talks nonstop about people's emotional issues and whatnot.)
Yes, I'm going to write about my dog, and I'm going to do it as much as I fucking feel like it, honky bitch-ass whities, and if you don't like it, you can... turn blue!
Ah, Blair. Blair is like Nellie Olsen is like Paris Hilton. What, really, can you say about the Enemy Blonde that hasn't been said already? Nothing, as it turns out.
The rats in the kitchen aren't blond. They're mousy motherfuckers, like me! But they do love to nibble on crackers in the wee hours, perhaps while discussing the finer points of the presidential debate.
rat #1: Kerry didn't seem nervous at all. He was so goddamn presidential, I was beside myself!
rat #2: Do you think all that puppy food is giving me a fat ass?