Friday, December 30, 2005

Stupid Ass Mother Fucking Spammers

I had to turn off my comments thanks to all the bastards who don't know me and leave comments on here just to plug websites that none of you are interested in anyway. I could handle it if they were plugging their own blogs, but it's random bullshit like online degrees. What the fuck ever.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

la voce mancante

I talk too much. I always have. One of my dear friends asks me to define “too much” when I mourn this fact and insists it differs for everyone. So I reconstruct my argument. I talk too much for my family. And how do I know? Well, there are varying circumstances that tell me. I have outright been told that I talk too much, too fast, too excitedly. I have been told that I never let anyone else talk. I have been told that I think only of my self. I have been ignored. I have been interrupted rudely. I have been interrupted and then treated as if the other person thought I was done and when I continued, ignored. I have been told that they all love me for who I am. Do you see why it doesn’t make sense? Do you see why I no longer believe them? I have been encouraged and supported in many words, but the words are blown to pieces by the actions and the accusations that come later in fits of anger or annoyance.

My friends see me when I come home from family events and they feel sorry for me. My eyes are usually swollen and my face streaked by the time I arrive at their homes. I cheer myself up to be with them and I have a good time, but that’s largely thanks to all the crying I did on the way. I dry myself out. I started excusing myself from upsetting family situations by saying I wasn’t feeling well. It always works. They may suspect something, they may even talk amongst themselves, but they never ask me why. They never assume that they could have done anything wrong. Because it’s easier to blame the person they’ve been calling a “drama queen” their whole lives. And sometimes I even find it funny that they don’t stop to think that if you say something enough, you believe it’s true. Thus I have introduced the only thing they say that I truly believe anymore.

A few weeks ago I found myself so hurt by something that had happened that I sat down and I wrote a children’s story about a little girl who talked too much (a story that was ten pages long). The little girl finally realized how unhappy it was making her family and she decided that she must find a way to get rid of her voice. To get rid of the very thing that had always been a source of happiness for her. She was only truly happy when she was telling stories or singing songs. In fact, she only did those two things around the people who made her happiest. But her family was more important than herself. I wrote a happy ending that night, but I haven’t gone back to the story since. I haven’t been able to because I don’t believe my own ending. I haven’t yet decided whose happiness is more important. When I think there’s a chance that it might actually be mine, I have to consider moving away from all of them. Not just physically. It is either the loss of who I am or the loss of people I love. What kind of a decision is that for a person to have to make?

After my Uncle Mickey died, I lost interest in a lot of things. I never went back to voice lessons after his funeral. I was in a few more plays, but after high school I wasn’t into it anymore. I used to do these great drawings, but no one really thought they were a big deal. Mickey was really supportive of the things I did. He could see that they made me happy. He sent me books on the plays I was in and he always asked how they were going. He was involved from another coast far more than my own parents were on this one. After I finally gave up on singing, I found writing again. I realized how much it helped. And even though no one supported me and no one encouraged me, I did it. And I loved it. I’ve never given up. I never will, even if I’m the worst writer on the face of the planet, it is something that I truly love. But there are times when I wish I could show someone something I’ve done and have them be really excited about it. At those times, I miss Mickey the most. He would’ve noticed my voice disappear and he would’ve fought for me to keep it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

untold tales

I heard a story the other night, underground, with a drink in my hand. A woman's voice, disembodied because of the crowd between us. "This is a story I have been waiting my whole life to tell." The rest was lost on me, this great melancholy without direction. But it brought reason to me that I had never written the most painful moments down for anyone else. All the stories I simply would not tell. You think you can gather all the pieces for the perfect picture. You rarely notice the missing. You think my life is abstract and accept it like any other good piece of fiction. The people you love become convinced of a truth created by conjurations of a well-armored mind.

Sometimes you sit and wonder at night, while looking at the theatre sign's lights stretching up to the Oakland sky, if anyone can truly know any one.

I do not come unhinged in despair. I feel grief for the living and cannot recall having felt it before. Perhaps because I did not think I would have enough left, once I was through with the dead. But the dead have gone and I need offer them nothing now. The shame lies in what the living have wasted. That the shadows loom so long that we grow unaccustomed to light.

There are no happy endings for untold tales.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

blossom end rot

I often regret that I gave up so easily on all the things I wanted to do when I was younger. The acting, the singing, the poetry, the spoken word, the stories of my family. With the death of my Uncle Mickey (the one person who showed absolute support at all times), I gave up on these, slowly, one by one they fell. Now I wonder if I did his memory a great disservice by giving up on the things he was proud of me for doing. It should not have mattered that I did not have that support elsewhere. I should not have doubted my ability. I should not have relied so much on other people to make things possible. The universe would have found a way to guide me, but I never gave it that chance. I hid from so many opportunities. I turned away from so many chances. I feared risk and exposure and failure and never though twice that mediocrity might be worse.

At the same time, I hated the pretentiousness of artists. The never ending pissing and moaning of some. The unbelievably condescension of others. Either I was not poetic enough or I simply would never make it. They exuded so much fear. Fear that someone would be better. Fear that someone could beat them to some prize. Fear that someone could be more depressed, promiscuous, ambitious, creative. Name the emotion or action and there was a competition for it. Unspoken, completely denied, but nevertheless present in their circles.

I do not know what I would have wanted, had I stayed active with any of these artforms back then. It was over a decade ago that I left everything but writing to my past. Now I simply want to work quietly and alone. I fantasize about having days to myself to sit down and not get up until I've finished the thought rambling through my head. My heart seems to produce as much pain as it does blood lately and I have to siphon it off somewhere before it becomes too much for me. I often feel lately that I need to get away. Perhaps my reward for finishing this semester will be to go away somewhere. By myself. For a couple of weeks at least. Some place that I can wander comfortably in my favorite jeans, men's undershirts and faded hoodie. My hair pulled back from my eyes so that I miss nothing, the bulk of my ponytail brushing against my spine and the tips of my shoulder blades. Some place where I can walk until my trainers have worn away with whatever has been holding me down.

I want to make art again, this much I know. What will come out and in which medium, I have no idea. I cannot afford supplies, so I will work with what I have. That will be good enough, I believe.

This is simply the end of one life and the beginning of another.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

tough call

School starts for me again on January 15th. I feel like that is too soon and every time I think about going back, I close my eyes and breathe in a little too deeply, almost a shuddering breath. I try not to do this while walking or driving.

People that work with me can't make sense of this fear I have. I've had so many jobs in this company and have convinced people that I knew what I was doing in every single one (convinced being the key word). School is different. The fact that my future could be based on what one person thinks of my work, instead of a collective. With writing, there's always another publisher you can go to. With work, I can't remember ever having had only one supervisor, so there were always options. With academia, it is really up to that one damn person in each class that you take. Unfortunately, I tend to disagree with that one person more often than not. It would help if I were a little more quiet about it, but then I wouldn't be me, now would I?

My father has tried to convince me to discipline myself, to follow in my brother's footsteps a little (Jason is now a linguist in the Army, by the way, he's learning Arabic). As much as I love my big brother, we both know I'm nothing like him. It's probably one of the reasons we get along so well. I admire him, of course, but have no intention of turning into him. What's funny about this is that I learned my stubborn idealism from my father. He is the one who always used to say, "I don't care how it is, this is how it SHOULD be." He would rage on until he either changed the system or wore himself out. It's that sense of unfairness in the world that he ingrained in my heart, my brain, my spirit. Dangerous only to me, it seems.

Still, I go back on the 15th for a Psychology class and then the following Monday for Art History. Whether I like/get along with the teachers or not (include the students in that), I have to do well. It's the only way I'm going to move on and I am sick of being stagnant. I love the company I work for, but not for the company itself, but the people I've met by working here. I cannot stay here forever and education is my chosen path out.

So you'd think I've calmed down a bit, a little less stressed about it. But no, instead I've broken out into rash because of it. Luckily, it's not visible. And through this experience I've come to realize something: Benadryl when taken on an empty stomach is very much like too much vicadin. I become spaghetti and giggly and can't sleep. It's hilarious and torturous at the same time.

Someone buy this girl a drink.

Monday, December 27, 2004

no longer hasty, just rash

I am terrified of school. I love to learn, I love to read, I love to write, but I hate, absolutely cannot stand school. I am stuck up when it comes to other students and ill-prepared teachers. I once almost had a bit of an affair with the one teacher I found fascinating (I think it was the realization that his 19 year old son listened to the same music that I did that killed the idea for me, after we had been engaged in verbal and written flirtation for a few months and had coffee together). I hate school so much that I think it might actually be the reason that I have broken out into a rash. I cannot think of anything else that could have caused it. This, however, will not deter me from attending my first class on January 15th. I have already ordered the book online and read excerpts from it on Amazon. Psychology in Modern Life...from what I read I think I will actually like it. I just have to focus on the subject instead of the people around me. At least my Art History class is online, so I do not have to worry about human interaction there, except for three or four sessions, which I believe are reserved for test-taking.

With my whole new set of long-term goals...actually, I believe this is the first time I have actually had a set of long-term goals...I plan on doing well and doing whatever it takes. I am, of course, terrified that I will fail anyway. I have let myself down so many times before in this realm. It does not make sense, though. I have excelled at every new job in the company I work for. Even with little to no training, I have always found a way to get by until I can figure everything out. For some reason, it was always different in school. I felt I did not need to be as responsible, really I had complete apathy for it. I even found myself saying that there was no point in me going, even though deep down I knew I valued education so much. Sure, it pisses me off that a piece of paper is more important than merit. That someone else's opinion of my work matters more than the work itself. At the same time, I know no way around it and I realize that I actually do want that piece of paper and am unwilling to settle for anything less.

I have always been a latebloomer. I am a bit slow on the take, I guess you could say. But here I go again, to try and map the course to my chosen destiny. No one else can show me the way, but I have to pretend they can and learn their way, while secretly doing things my own style when no one is looking. I think that pretty much sums up the way I live my life. No wonder I confound so many people.

bury me with it

For me, Christmas was over after my brother left for Orange County with his wife, on the Sunday before the 25th. For many years, I have celebrated Chanukah with my dad and Christmas with my mom. My brother was always there for both, no matter which state we happened to be celebrating them in. This year he has other obligations, a whole new family to consider. A much more religious one, as well. I knew, when he got married, that everything would be different. I realized that it is simply part of growing up, but like Peter Pan and those kids in the damned Toys R Us commercials that Jason and I grew up with, I don't want to grow up. It isn't that I mind growing old, it is simply that I am far too sentimental. That the death of traditions we created in childhood is painful to me. I have also realized that this sentimentality, to the extent that I take it, cannot be healthy.

People go away. Sometimes they move or join the army, sometimes they go forever and involuntarily. I think that when you lose a lot of people in your life, to death, you begin to live your life in one of two ways. You either become spontaneous and take no opportunity for granted, or you hold on so tightly to the things you have grown to love that you practically suffocate them and it tears you apart to let them go. A particular Modest Mouse song hit me square between the eyes the other day. A song in which the singer asks his friends to bury him with various things he's attached to, from a tired old threadbare suit to the good times that have come and gone. I suppose hearing that made me realize that I do not particularly want to be buried with those dead and gone traditions that my brother and I had formed like silly habits. So I say goodbye to the tradition of going to the theater with my brother every Christmas Day, to see the worst film in the theaters. I cannot say that I am sad to never again see the likes of Not Another Teen Movie or Dungeons and Dragons, but it was nice to have something that was ours. Maybe some day I will introduce the tradition to someone else and it can start over again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

a brief history of negativity

No. You can't do that. You shouldn't do that. You're just going to get yourself in trouble. That person isn't going to like that gift, no matter how thoughtful it was, just don't give it to them. They'll think you're weird. You definitely need to do something about that weight problem/lack of education/financial irresponsibility.

Tell me that doesn't sound like failure. Tell me that the person these things are being said to isn't going to walk away with a remarkably small amount of self-esteem and a significantly larger amount of self-doubt.

I have felt like a failure many times in my life and I'm sure I could spend even more time beating myself senselessly about it, but that is hardly the plan now. Do you care to know the plan?

The plan is this:

I am going back to school. I just bought my Psychology book online for a better price than the college bookstore could offer me. The Art History text requirement isn't posted yet, so I'll have to wait on that. I intend to pick up the first book from the library, so I can review it a bit before school starts (and in case Amazon.com takes too long to get it to me). I have all the school supplies I need and I'll only be at the college once a week, so thankfully I don't have to buy a term permit (they're damn expensive).

I am moving out of my apartment. It's too expensive and the owners are a bit shifty. They have an illegal clause in their rental agreement (reading CA Tenant Law really works wonders) and they illegally entered a friend's apartment before he moved (no notice, just came in one day, luckily a friend was visiting from Germany and happened to be asleep on his couch at the time). I should be able to find an apartment for at least a hundred dollars less than the current one. Since I'll be going to school in Pleasant Hill, I will feel free to move to any number of cities between there and Emeryville (where I work).

Within the next two years I plan on finishing my AA degree and most of my undergrad work, then moving to Salt Lake City. My dad has agreed to help me find a house to buy up there, since he lives thirty minutes away. Everyone thinks I'm crazy and no one has failed to mention the percentage of Mormons living there, but I like it and, frankly,I like them. So really there's no problem.

Who knows if I'll succeed this time? Frankly, I don't give a damn. I have to move forward and all the negativity does is hold me back. So here I go.