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Archive for December, 2008

Last night, I was reminded of this:

Watch more Strangers with Candy videos on AOL Video

and then today I had to let a certain young man — who thinks I’m too old to understand his humor — know that I remember Steve Carell from his days on the Daily Show and that The Office is new school and, therefore, less hilarious. Because that is the rule of cool.

And here’s this, because I threatened and must therefore deliver so people won’t think I’ve gone soft. You people are insane and I love you.

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My office is schizophrenic. It is never comfortable. Always too hot or too cold. Freezing today. But whatever. Such is my life lately — buying a house as an investment and the market crashes, graduating from a master’s program and seeking new employment and the recession hits. I cannot get a break. Waah right? I know. But it’s my space and I’ll write whatever whatever I want, okay? And, ultimately, I’m a believer so I know there are things going on that are unseen by me that are preparing me for whatever path I’m supposed to travel. Lately, yes, it’s true, I’ve been panicking a little. Not attractive. But I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for — God, I don’t know, for something. And I feel inadequate sometimes, okay? But one interesting thing is that I may have finally gotten to a place where, when I’m feeling vulnerable like this and the predators come — you know the ones. They smell the blood in the water and just — well they don’t attack exactly. They just, usually subtly, hit you at your weak spot. They enhance your feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy for their own agendas, whatever those may be. Sometimes just for fun. — Anyway, I’ve gotten to the place where I can just tell those people to leap. I’ve always been challenged that way. But I’m better at it now.

So leap you people with bad intentions. I have no use for you and will entertain you no longer. Also, and I’ll write more on this later, it’s not that I don’t like you. I don’t know you well enough to dislike you. But I did observe some actions that indicated a proclivity toward bias and I’m not a fan of that quality, especially when people abuse their relative power by showing favoritism. It’s just an opinion of mine — obviously not everyone has such a problem with this particular character trait. But I do. It doesn’t equal “dislike” however. It’s just something I know about you and have catalogued. C’mon — haven’t you done the same thing with me? It seems to me you have. Maybe before I did. And therein lies the problem.

Amen for small miracles and bless you Junior for the funny you sent me. Stuff like this — and I’m very serious — is sometimes the only way I make it through the day. And I love ya for it.

Favorite part: the arbitrary assignment of monetary value. Genius.

Have a little Chairman for the weekend.

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Ever wondered what a scapegoat looks like? That’s the Chicago way, ya’ll. You voted it in. No complaining.

Here’s a little more light reading on the subject.

UPDATE: because I’m frustrated and not feeling very diplomatic I just feel like defending myself today. No joy here, I assure you.

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To Lou on her brithday

Happy Birthday Lou. I’m so proud of you for taking care of business and not letting people push you around — I’ve never been as good at that as you. It’s one of the things I always admired. Also the time you chased that football player down the hall in high school and beat the crap put of him for taking your Santa hat. And the time you wrecked your car at the softball field and calmly rolled your eyes at me while I crawled out the window screaming at you. Also that you had the courage to take on responsibilities most people your age would have shirked with a shrug and never thought about again. Also that you’ve picked up the academic mantle again and are attacking it with the same curly-haired passion with which you refused to share your Nilla wafers when you were 4. The same passion that makes you an incredible cook, a loyal sister, a protective mother and a rabid survivor. I’ve known my whole life that no matter what’s going on between us — and we have had our moments, haven’t we? — that if I called you crying at 4 in the morning and needed your help you’d crawl out of bed, grab your keys, get to me and ask whose ass needed kicking. And I’d talk you out of it — I always do — but only because I know that the one time I might actually say yes, go take care of that, you would. And that’s enough.

You know me better than anyone else on this earth — 17 years sharing a room does that — and that’s unsettling and calming at the same time. It’s also the perfect laboratory for growing unconditional love. And I love you that way sis. Always have, always will.

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Busy, busy, busy. To the point of exasperation actually. But I did meet this guy yesterday, which was thrilling because I fell in love with his writing 5 or 6 years ago while working as a reporter when a fellow reporter told me about this book (you know who you are Kiwi Shana).

He said yesterday he was through writing tearjerkers and would only concentrate on writing stories that make him laugh aloud. I heard that with my bad ear. And he talks like he writes. He told a story of how the only thing he really feels like he’s never been able to do is live up to the other men in his Alabama family. For illustration, he mentioned a fight he had as a child on the school playground, where neither he nor the other boy could throw a punch because it meant getting suspended. His foe called him a name so he swung his arm from low down, around the hip, and slapped the boy as hard as he could in the face. And the boy looked at him and called him the same name that had started the fray again. So he kept slapping and the boy kept repeating the slur until he said his arm “gave out.” Thus endeth the fight.

“But I know what my grandaddy would have done then,” he said with a deep, mischievous, Alabama grin. “He woulda switched hands.”

Don’t be afraid to switch hands this weekend.

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Okay look, I can appreciate that you feel sorry for him. I’m sure seeing me all the time makes him feel like a schmuck — but you know, you tend to feel the way you act and karma is a bitch. I could drop the details of the schmukyness but that doesn’t really benefit anyone and it’s all in the past. Things worked out as they should.

But let’s get something straight: it’s not pleasant for me either. The reminder of getting treated like that — and being too big a wuss to actually stand up and crack some metaphorical skulls — is something that I could definitely live without. But I’ve worked really hard to better my situation so I can, at last, be really free. And I’m working on not being a big wuss anymore, too. I’ve spent a couple years plugging away with that goal in mind. And I’m frustrated by the waiting for the harvest, even though I can almost see it — it’s been off in the distance for a while, peeking over the horizon and I want it to get here more than you. Trust that if nothing else.

So please, please, can you stop using the situation as your own personal amusing diversion and just let me get some decent work done? Since you don’t seem to care how that will benefit me, think of how it will benefit him. No more reminder, no more guilt. And you can feel good knowing that you helped make a difficult situation easier, not harder. That pillow at night is a lot softer when you feel good about your day. I’m hopeful you’ll end up being reasonable. But, in the event you just can’t do the right thing, know this: you, like the rest of this nonsense, will be survived. It’s just how I roll.

Zimmer hooked me up with some new music. Russian punk rock lets me bitch slap my demons (see above). Here’s a video of one of their songs that went somewhat mainstream on, I think, a Target commercial.

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Theme songs

My step-nephew-in-law (I’m pretty sure that’s what you are…) played this on the baby Grand at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving Day.

I won’t see the movie — It would break me. It would. — but the music is haunting enough. It’s one of those pieces that could serve as the backdrop for anything poignant, haunting, confusing, frightening, etc. Like what’s going on in India for example. Speaking of, here’s Hitch’s take. Hitch and I don’t agree on a very long list of things — he’s atheist and tends toward socialism to name a couple — but he’s a great writer, perceptive reporter and has spent a lot of time in that region of the world so I listen when he speaks of it.

An impressive thing about India is the way in which it has almost as many Muslim citizens, who live with greater prospects of peace and prosperity, as does Pakistan. This comity and integration is one of the many targets of the suicide killers, and it is another reason why firm, warm solidarity with India is the most pressing need of the present hour.

As for Requiem for a Dream — I’d love to do a weird modern/lyrical dance to it. Hint. Hint.

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