Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My First Eulogy

It's now or never. I polished up the speech I will be delivering to everyone at J.Lass's memorial service. I tend to improvise, but not this time. I don't want to demean her memory with digressions and truisms. Refreshments in 2 hours and counting:

Jessica never cared much for politics. Right-wing, left-wing, she once stuck two straws up her nose as I babbled on about their intrinsic differences using condiments and cutlery as tableside puppets. Full disclosure: Bush was a pastry.

She first appeared in my diary - and in effect, my life - in a September 11th 2004 entry that began: "Jessica is an old fart at the over-ripened age of 20," a dig at her youthfulness. It was French class. We were instructed to introduce ourselves. And there she was, sitting by the door, an alien face wreathed in red. She was a live-action animation, a real-life Betty Boop. We instantly bonded over a shared aversion for that weird Asian kid with the sleazy grin, a sun baked Yeti in the "ugly white jumpah".

So here we were at the cafe, sitting by a pane of glass, seemingly overstretching our budgets at the mere mention of water. And there was Jessica, eyes so round you could drown in them, looking at me as if I was the crazy one. Politics just weren't her thing. Nor was it her thing to pretend to care. And that was what was refreshing about her: her ability to at once reconcile her limitations as well as exploiting them. Jessica was fearless of her own shortcomings because in her presentation, she had none. She could just as easily get in your face and coo truths only the tough could survive. Jessica was my very first friend in Montreal: we shared food, we shared clothes, essentially two giggly hobos new to the city. She was my confidante. She made me watch Charmed (and I really hated that show). And she witnessed every milestone I encountered in my first year of university. She didn't make it so lonely.

Her life was not without tragedy, though friends, she did not lack. And when she sauntered into a room ablaze with the curious and strange, she was a poster-child of self-possession, knowing full well no one could stay away. It was that laugh: a combination of spontaneous combustion and forceful cheer, addictive as it was contagious. And when she put her arms around you, it was behind those pursed lips that you understood that she genuinely cared. She had a sixth sense about human behaviour and, however full her plate, she'd always offer to soothe your pain and help overcome those bastards in your life - in my life.

And I was her "baby", always was. She taught me how to navigate around unfamiliar faces in unattractive places (and vice versa). I'd smell brownies in the oven upon entering the flat, and she'd make rich macaroni 'n cheese bound solely by butter. Yet, I felt smothered by her maternal-likeness. I wasn't used to her brand of love. She began her sentences with Do, Don't, and Never. So here she was, eating chocolate bars on the bed, and there I was, snickering at her instead. "Too melodramatic," I insisted. "Too exhausting to keep up." I tried to purge her from my system, relegate her from a bookmark to a footnote - blissfully unaware of her foresight. Because when it came to matters of the heart, she was no fool.

So I'd be lying if I said I was surprised when she called me out of the blue a week prior to the accident. "How are you, baby?" she sing-songed in that Irish tilt. "Join me for a quick coffee." (You know she loved her coffee.) I hesitantly declined her offer, schoolwork this and that. But here she was, a voice in my life again, assuring me she hadn't forgotten who I was - she remembered everyone. So I promised to catch up with her after the break. I missed her chutzpah, not to mention her charm. Then I got the distressing news on the train home. My heart sank into an unknown state. We were supposed to meet, like old times, like old times. I was arrogant then and I was arrogant now, I thought she'd be here forever. Jessica was everything to everyone, but most of all, a friend. She was unforgiving in her generosity, she was unapologetic for her appeal. She gave and gave and gave, and in one mighty stroke, He took. It's not fair, her visions were still unfolding. But I remember her accomplishments, the ones she was so proud of. In the words of George Santayana, "a man who has done his natural duty, death is as natural as sleep." She did everything that could be done, no opportunity escaped. So I refuse to mourn for the "what ifs" and "whens", I refuse to remember her for her potential. I, instead, choose to remember her for the wonderful person she was and the wonderful way she made us feel.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Muffin Top

A member of the university's faculty asked J.Lass's mother to recommend someone to give the eulogy at her daughter's memorial this upcoming Tuesday. She dropped my name. I agreed instinctively. Now I don't know whether that was the right decision. I've never attended any sort of funereal function. I don't want to sermonize in cliches. I hadn't had a serious conversation with the deceased since maybe April or May of last year. So why am I doing this again? It's simply too much pressure to believe I can adequately preserve her memory in a mere five minute speech. I can't do this, I'm still teething! Who am I to tell those closest to her to move on with my symbolic gesture? I want to be honest about our friendship without vilifying neither of our characters. What I have so far:

[REMOVED. FINAL DRAFT IN NEW ENTRY.]

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Every 10 seconds, someone dies from tobacco use

My 10-year-old brother asked me to come up with an introduction for his oral presentation on hamsters. He sat cross-legged on the floor as I came up with a half-assed example:

"Uh ... A lot of people buy hamsters as their first pet, but here are some things you should know before, ya know, buying 'em."

"That's awesome!" he enthused.

About a half-hour later, my mom came rushing into my room with her buoyantly rotund son trailing behind her, literally trying to drag her down by the shoulders.

"Don't tell Lily!" he begged, grabbing her neck and wrestling her to the ground. "I don't want her to know! Don't do it, I said!"

"[Your brother] say!" she said, gasping for breath as he ran away with his hands cupped over his ears, "your introduction. Is. So. BORING."

Apparently, he was looking for something "cool" to impress his friends with and what I suggested just didn't cut it. So my mom offered to spice up his assignment at no extra charge:

"What about, WOW! Hamsters! *jazz hands* So good! 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... 8 ... 9 ... 10! Oh! And they all die! Yah! Gi' me five!"

OR

"Hi, my name is XXXXX. Everybody! I look like something to you?" I burst out laughing before she could finish. "Yes! Hamster! So cool, yeah!"

Only my mom could create so much enthusiasm for an animal she only recently discovered wasn't a mythological creature from a syndicated cartoon series.

***

So this obscure Beijing TV station I talked about working for this upcoming summer ends up being CCTV: the China Central Television Station ("Television network for the People's Republic of China"). I was originally accepted into their culture sector because of my interest in artistic production work (*cough* filmmaking), but the man in charge passed me off to the news department after my mom mentioned to the liaison what I'm currently in university for. (Fingers crossed I'll be sent to CCTV-9, the English International channel. They need all the propagandist help they can get.) When she informed me that the Big Guy personally okayed my placement, my first reaction was, Holy fucking mackerel, this can't be happening. It's not enough that I got by on my language skills alone, but that they somehow got the impression that I could easily integrate myself in a highly professional environment without ever having met me. Sounds fishy? You betcha!

I'm still in shock. This is crazy good news. My first career break has happened so soon and so miraculously, it appears almost flippantly flukish. I'm ecstatic. This is marvelous, absolutely marvelous. And I blame it all on (in addition to everyone else involved, bien sur) Mr. O, my high school English teacher. Who would've thought a chance encounter, and subsequent friendship, with this amazing man would inspire me to diverge from the carved path hardened by generations of academic tradition?

I know, I know, I'm starting to resemble an acceptance speech dedicated to all the black women who came before me, but this is such an exciting opportunity. It's comparable to finding true love, giving birth to twins, and getting your first hot meal since your wife kicked you out of the house for shagging the nanny in an attempt to make her jealous but backfired because she made more of a fuss over the Egyptian cotton sheets you soiled in the process. 'Nuff said. Need I say more?

***

I spent a good 40-minutes with a few of Sexy Spinster's friends this evening. Without elaborating on how I felt about them (hint: "bland" is a euphemism), I will say moving to Montreal was the best thing I did for myself. Anyway, as we stood outside in the parking lot, Sexy Spinster observed how well I gelled with her brother after he dropped us off to meet them. "I can't believe you and A. were actually bonding," she said, genuinely surprised. "You two used to always fight."

"That's because this is the first time I've seen him sober."

She's partly right. I admit that we've bickered every time we've encountered each other, but I don't think we've ever "fought". I mean, what she interprets as a heated exchange, I view as humouring intoxicated saps. I think it's kind of funny that my ability to throw verbal grenades ends up being advantageous to forging potential friendships. What sort of person would also find comfort in coming up with creative insults and offensive epithets?

Friday, February 17, 2006

My guilty pleasure beyond Kylie Minogue

Why do you think the Americans seem to sweep the medals in snowboarding, David Letterman asked Hannah Teter last night. The 19-year-old shredder answered that it must be because of the strong support system.

Hmm ... or maybe it's because the Winter Olympigs are almost exclusively made up of rich northern nations. The Republic of Congo don't got no snow. Ditto Sri Lanka. And Colombia only makes the kind you trade newborns for.

It's a real damn shame I can't bother to walk the distance from my bed to the TV to change the channel.

"You know what would be really cute?" one commentator asked. "His and Her gold medals."

Hold my hair back while I contribute to the porcelein fund.

Though try as I might, I can't keep my eyes off pretty white people compete in gravity-driven machinations. I look forward to seeing athletes blend into their surroundings once every four years. It's the only thing that keeps me occupied during ... Okay, I'm addicted. The trashy ice dancing outfits that make the Americans look like Scarlett O'Hara with small pox and the ex-Soviets like trannies-in-a-can, I love it. Love it, love it, love it. The slutty Ukrainians especially. These kids make the Russians look tasteful with their winged gloves and sequinned collars. Ooh, can't forget the Bulgarians. The lady had a bigger Adam's apple than her partner, while her partner had the same stringy bleach job. Mmmm, that's some Eastern European class. Only they will try to pull off lip liner a full five shades darker than their lips.

And the Lindsey Jacobellis race. I was shocked -- SHOCKED! -- enough to tear my eyes away from the computer to watch her fall tweaking a method. NBC shamed her like a 'chocolate city' remark. They accused her of showboating, hubris, blah blah blah. Get over it, there are drug-addled celebrities to cover. It's not like she lost the war on terrorism or pelleted a friend hunting quail. She's a 20-year-old who got caught up in the moment and missed the gold. Boo-fucking-hoo. Silver ain't too shabby. Go back to calling Bode Miller a drunk.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Snaps and Stripes

My mommy got me an intern position at a Beijing TV station for this summer. Whoopee! It seems sort of prefunctory to say parents are constantly worried for their children, but in my case, my mom has been - how should I put this? - on edge ever since I was accepted into my program. Oh sure, she likes to say, only 20 people make it in annually, but where's it going to lead me? She says I have notoriously expensive taste, so forgive her if she thinks she won't be retiring because I enrolled myself in something impractical like journalism and communications (and thinking of minoring in something even less useful like film studies -- but it's my choice and she's been surprisingly receptive). She has a point though. My mom's already strapped for cash supporting my broke ass through university, and knowing I've become a leech is like having her limbs gnawed off by a pack of wild-eyed lemmings with engineering degrees: salt in the wound after a kick in the face.

I'm an academic, damnit! I don't have to follow the rules, man. I can get by on my cerebral prowess alone. Tub o' lard and pancake batter, who am I trying to fool? I'm tripping the light fantastic that she's helping me bulk up my CV because God knows I'm too lazy to compete with the really driven Type A kids who strive and strive and strive and end up at the Globe and Mail with a Governor General's Award (and deservedly so).

Full disclosure: My life has been an easy ride. I've never experienced academic failure. It's always been Poof! here are your straight As topped with caviar garnish. Or Poof! you've been hand-picked to join another select group of self-important bores. Or Poof! ... you get the point. It's not that I get things without working for them. It's that, I don't feel like I deserve any of it because I know I exert only minimal effort. I think a lifetime of silver platter preening has given me an inflated ego, one that believes in getting by on confidence and awe alone. But it's difficult to leave this mindset because a) it's merely troublesome for my conscience and b) it's consistently revalidated. During my Hitchcock and the Thriller class this week, our scatterbrained post-retirement professor was talking nonsense again:

"That ... that .. that ... that," he stuttered like a sputtering tailpipe. "Mother. Psycho. Mother. Psycho." he continued. We were dumbfounded; what was he even asking? The kindly professor snapped his fingers, over and over again, bobbing his head in frustration. With one hand behind his back, he pointed at me with the other. "What's his name?" he demanded.

"Anthony Perkins?" I answered, meekly.

He straightened his back and deadpanned: "It must be hard to be so intelligent and sitting around these people."

I blushed. I had to. He had successfully brought down the noose over my head these past weeks with his flattery, and I'm afraid he unknowingly tightened it that day. My peers would undoubtedly be happy. I wouldn't have mind had he said what he said over a particulary challenging question, but the point of this anecdote is that it illustrates the major peculiarity of my life: Accolades for disproportionate labour. I realize it's a minor complaint and at least I'm grateful. But I have a nagging suspicion that I might simply be addicted to exceeding low expectations and the adrenaline rush that comes with getting away with the facade.

***

There's this 60-something-year-old man in Mass Communications. He makes me angry. He makes me really angry. The guy will cut in no matter who's speaking (90 percent of that time being the teacher) no less than 20, 30 times a class to explain concepts she's either getting to anyway or had relevance back in high school econ. "So, it is like ... quantity over quality," he'd say. Or, "It is like ... supply and demand." The cliches! The freakin' cliches! He'll try to summarize everything with a tray of cliches! Raise your damn hand when you want to speak, Mister. People don't talk during lectures because we're not supposed to. With the amount of crap we need to cover, he has no shame jumping in whenever he wants with thought-provoking gems like, "What about Katrina?" and "Prejudice: it's not good."

So during break yesterday, I complained to a classmate of mine. "Hold it in until next week," she laughed. "It'll be over soon."

"There's no way I can do that. It's like a growing tumour, that man is giving me a tumour," I said as I made a pumping motion with my hand. "If he interrupts her one more time, you watch! You watch."

Lo and behold, the dehydrated monkey (who wouldn't look out of place on the cover of Accidental Ancient Oddities) did it again. (Did I mention he can't hold up in an active debate? Just a fucking a master of l'art de parler pour ne rien dire.) I calmly put my pen down:

"Sir? Sir! I would really appreciate it if you stopped interrupting."

Dead silence. I returned to copying the overhead notes. Across the room, a girl shot coffee from her nose.

"Props to you," she later said. Everyone was close to strangling him.

And you know what? The bastard actually complied. Poor guy never had a chance: He's seeing his wife everywhere.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Microwave Oven

What's this? Is that ...? Why yes, Lily did make shepherd's pie. And from scratch, ya'll. I feel like a real woman; not like them fake ones who, you know, carry external sex organs and proudly show off their collection of just-add-water gravys. To whom, you ask? Why, to terrorists, you silly goose! Stoffers: A sleeper cell's best friend. Vote for me.

Crocker, Jemima, Uncle Ben, I have everyone beat. Float like a poached egg, sting like a really hot drop of grease from the meat drippings I was deglazing with the portobellos I dropped into the pan way too fast and now regret because I did the exact same thing with curry just a year ago but it was worse then because that frying oil came from nowhere so it was hardly my fault no matter what anyone said each time I felt an urge to pick at the offending scab-turned-scar which has since disappeared.

That settles it. Master of the kitchen.

***

Isn't this fantastic? I vowed that I wouldn't wear pants this winter season and as luck would have it, global warming has made this possible. Opaque leggings under skirts, I just have to maintain these wardrobe staples for the remaining weeks of February before March arrives to signal the end of this depressing weather. Montreal same time last year was an Eskimo wonderland. I was bundled up more tightly than a Mexican stowaway in the glove compartment. Forget about drowning polar bears, being a fashionista is a full-time job and no one will convince me to sport Uggs.

Cleaning the apartment, listening to Mylo's "Destroy Rock & Roll" (fantastic nuanced electronica) and The Cardigans' new album "Super Extra Gravity" (flawed, but fully digestible), I'm pretending not to have received any of my neighbours' calls. These guys have been trying to track me down for days. They have parties every other day and never use their own vacuum because apparently mine works better (well, what do you expect? It cost my dad a small fortune). So would I mind lending it out for awhile? It's not a huge favour to ask and they'll return it, they promise. Let me think if over: No. It's the principle of it all. Rather than fix their broken hoover, they rely solely on my appliance and I'm expected to haul it out for them everytime they feel like using it. And they never return it after they're done with it. I'm always prompting them days afterwards only to be told they haven't even begun using it. I'm tired of dealing with moochers who've never seen an opportunity they didn't like. Just the other day, the neighbour's girlfriend tried guilt-tripping me as I was heading out. So she doesn't like the filth over at his place? Deal with it. Who do they think I work for? Big Bob's Pick-n'-Trade Palace? Not only do I have to keep quiet about their 3 a.m. dry heaving contests, but now I have to be available to pick up their food scraps and broken beer bottles? Please, please, please, to anyone thinking of having children: Instill some old world values in them. Teach them to be a little considerate. A little civility goes a long way. I often want to sit these people down and make them attend a crash course on the basics of common courtesy. But that's obviously an absurd idea considering the amount of time they're used to being on their knees.

***

Bag lady: This guy killed my boyfriend!

Hobo: No, I didn't! Not directly!

Bag lady: He gave him vodka so he fell into a bus!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Random Tangent #93

Being 19-years-old and a spinster isn't so bad after all. New research has confirmed the old stereotype that men find funny women a turn-off:
Scientists say women who tell jokes are seen as a threat, undermining men's idea that they should hold the dominant role.

Hundreds of men and women in their twenties were questioned by academics. Most said they found a sense of humour to be attractive in women - but when asked if they would want to be with a woman who cracked jokes herself, more than half said no.

Dr Rod Martin, whose research will be published in the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behaviour this week, said his findings suggested men feel threatened by witty women.

'When forced to choose between humour production and humour appreciation in potential partners, women valued humour production, whereas men valued receptivity to their own humour,' he said.

Dr Martin, a psychologist with the University of Western Ontario who has written several academic papers on humour, added: 'One of the reasons why men don't like female comedians may be that humour is seen as a masculine thing.'

But his research did find that men did show a preference for funny women when it came to one-night stands.

Newsflash ladies: If you're looking for more than a fling, better keep your mouth shut and bring enough giggly enthusiasm to last eight karmic lifetimes. I find this study (however shoddily researched) liberating for obvious personal reasons. It would be a waste of time to be attractive to horseshit bores anyway. To think how much of myself I'd need to give up for the chance to join the echelons of zealous couples, those professional purveyors of philistinism. If my ability to generate humour is unacceptable, then why bother squeezing that last smidgeon of hope to chase down something that, in all likelihood, could turn out to be dull and tedious? It seems illogical to appear more attractive when it is so detrimental to one's self-expression. I mean, God forbid that I make men laugh. To think I thought I spent all those evenings entertaining them when in actuality, I might as well have been making out with Osama with a goat hanging off my teet. Crudeness. Ha! I admit I test my boundaries on occasion, but is it really necessary to expect me to fit these double standards? Left-of-the-middle bedroom shenanigans are fun while you're going at it (against a wall/on an ice rink/inside a potato chip factory), but it would be very unlady-like indeed should she happen to speak frankly about them.

Yet similarly, it's distressing to think that my ability to be myself hinges on social integration. I WON'T STAND FOR IT. Making a quip isn't grounds for castration. For a little companionship, I'm required to a) feign ignorance about relevant subjects, b) inhibit intellectual pursuance, and c) relinquish any sort of impulse to appear dominating. It's a game of strategy that's based on unreasonable sacrifices. I've always wondered what I was missing as a romantic pariah. It seems the real question is what will I be giving up for the opportunity to know? The opening of Pandora's box as a panacea, it's this sort of paradoxical mentality that makes us hunger for the unobtainable, the abstract. And a justification for my pickiness.

Boys, boys, boys: What aren't they scared of these days?

***

I think the biggest hurdle in getting over the demise of a relationship is remembering how much of yourself you compromised. Giving so much only to see it go to shit is ... difficult. It's not the sexual proclivities that I linger over either (because I don't regret them), but the domestic, the scholastic, the placing one over the other to satisfy him and his ever-changing objectives. It seems pretty stupid talking about this now; I just need to get it out of my system. I feel it necessary to mourn: not for the loss of the relationship, but for the part of me that perished with it. All I can say is, at least I'm functioning, which is more than I hoped for a few short months ago. (Crap, I'm getting all melodramatic. Stupid over-dramatic adolescent angst. Damn you to shlock hell!)

Grey's Anatomy, think Grey's Anatomy. Have I mentioned how fucking great this show is? Lavender! Her hair smelled of lavender! ... I'll have what she's having.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Yellow Fever

I got this from Banana Chic in an email:



"You know the real reason why all the white guys are getting all of our girls? It's because it's Friday night ... and we're playing DDR."

Dance Dance Revolution: The plague of the Asian community.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Beautiful Bergman

My art history background was put to good use. And by "good use", I mean, "impress the teacher" because I'm a brownie points whore, that's who I am. (Journalist schmournalist, I entered high school with dreams of being professionally out of work.) In film class today, we watched Seven Beauties by Lina Wertmuller. Opinions were a bit divided which made for an interesting discussion. The film is really rich in complexities, full of contradictory themes, so it was hard to resist showing off a little to the teacher when class was dismissed:

"It's funny that you mention the German commander as a mother figure because the painting [by Bronzino] in that scene is of Cupid fondling Aphrodite, who is his mother."

Shameless! Absolutely shameless! But boy, was he excited when he heard that -- the symbolic parallels were there all along! His suspicions were validated!

My professor is, without a doubt, the single most jolly Frenchman I have ever met. (HaiPhia: "And that's saying a lot.") He has these soft bags around his eyes, a gray mass of cotton candy hair, and a perpetual smile that deepens the wrinkles on his face. Jeans, sneakers, and a turtleneck. He pronounces English words as if they were French: deve-LOPE-ment, car-I-ca-ture, GRO-tesque, BUR-lesque, always em-PHA-sing the wrong sy-LLA-bles. And then there are the times when he sings to the soundtrack when we watch the clips for analysis, like that day we screened Ozu's An Autumn Afternoon and he tried to imitate the barmaid.

I'd like to be that someday. Just a cheerful middle-aged woman who watches movies for a living. And not like Scorsese back in the day when he was all drugged up and closed off all the light to his living room to do what I do either. (Yes, it did happen. No, you may not google it.) But a spendthrift spinster who gets her kicks seeing celluloid unwind. Sure, that may sound like the dream of a loser to you (like that guy on the Price Is Right who has infinite faith in saying "one dollar"), but it's a dream only a loser can conceive.

And I am, undoubtedly, the biggest one ... on the block ... this month. I don't even have change to do my laundry! Or enough to donate in exchange for some free "pass the salt" vegan food. And calling someone's romantic opinion of Cary Grant in Notorious "bullshit" isn't going to endear me to anyone from that cliquey communications program. (Although, the professor did say I was headed for an A+ for saying it and the class did thoroughly enjoy my flagrant Tourettesism, I think I left that room giving everyone the impression that I have man issues. Which I do! But they're supposed to find that out after they get to know me and run to the nearest support group.)

Monday, February 06, 2006

EDS: Cat Herding

Does this extend to eating them too?

Grey's Anatomy: Hands-down, best drama on TV

I guess I was partly right with what I said yesterday about the embassy torchings. The BBC announced that it had been a peaceful march until Sunni fundamentalists and militants hijacked it for their own purposes. On Slate this weekend, Christopher Hitchens made a really good case for free speech (vs. religious intolerance vs. blatant racism) in the context of this Danish cartoon incident. As a journalist, I am fascinated by people who casually toss away their rights in order to refuse others the privilege. What sort of world do we live in when the warring nations of today are made unstable by their substantial faith in a Robespierrian utopia that brings, in practice, only fear and menace? The start of the 21st-century is the denouement of the 20th.

***

Grey's Anatomy was sooooooo good this weekend. I absolutely love, love, love, love, love this show. Izzie has emergency sex with Alex, Dr. Bailey's husband gets into a car accident on his way to see her give birth, Meredith has her hand on a homemade bazooka shot inside a WWII hobbyist, and the hospital announces code black, rushing everyone out of the south operating wing of the hospital. Christina Ricci's guest spot was wasted on a ditsy persona, but I guess she was only contracted to do one episode which would explain her character's sudden cowardice. The staff obviously isn't going to die because of some undetonated ammo and the teasers have insinuated a McDreamy/Meredith situation after Yang tells him who the person keeping the bomb stable is. He originally dismissed the bomb squad from his O.R. when they ordered him to evacuate, but since he loves Meredith, what the hell is he going to do? And I'm not assuming he loves her, I know it! He must! It's a Bennet/Darcy thing: everyone's rooting for this plotline to pan out with or without wife Addison's approval (she cheated on him first!).

Arg! Why couldn't they have done a straight two-hour special? Damn you, network executives! You can't deal us crack then hold it back! It's not right. It's just not right.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Flickr: Lego Suicides

Enjoy the antics of the morbid (for Shotgun Toter):



Click on pic for slideshow

Coat hanger

Why do these recent embassy torchings (over some drole Danish cartoons, natch) smell as fishy as the Kermit Roosevelt led protests that brought down Prime Minister Mosaddeq in the '50s? It seems too reactionary even for religious zealots. I don't think any right-minded person would move heaven and earth just to see Danish products boycotted from their cities' shelves for a few days or weeks (freedom fries fiasco, anyone?) unless there are political agendas at hand. I doubt these riots are as spontaneous as they appear. Again, not to come off as a conspiracist, but it seems as though the CIA is seeing their own medicine at work.

***

"Who's judging?" asked Readerdroid. "Who gets to say what constitutes winning and losing? Why does it always have to be one or the other?"

She's right. I knew she was right. The reason I can't drop things is because I need to save face. She understood it was a frame of mind though. That I couldn't stop thinking like that quite so easily. It's difficult to break self-defeating habits when what feels most natural causes one harm. I see relationships only as power games where after every travail, someone must come out the victor or risk being the turkey. Like all normal people, I escape the ashes with lessons learned and share responsibility for misdoings. But I go one step farther by hermetically sealing myself from further social contact, flip-flopping from one extreme to another.

"There's no moderation in your life," Readerdroid observed. "There's no balance."

She's right again. There isn't a sense of stability when it comes to my personality. I'm easily frightened and just as easily frightening. They're not temperamental mood swings so much as entire identity shifts. And though I am introspective, it's never enough to prevent me from erring knowingly.

But what else is there to do besides rummaging for symptoms? It's the only way to find viable solutions.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Friday, February 03, 2006

Trigon BlueCross BlueShield



Goddamn, that kid is too cute even if it took me eight times to comprehend the rest of his jibba jabba:

"Wait, he and his mama what?"

Lime

New round-toe bootie from DKNY! Sexy smooth suede: all sophistication, no sass. Broke the bank, but they were on sale and in my size and were the last pair EVER and ... *drool*

I'm awake, I'm awake!

Talk about personal unfulfillment and not caring.

***

HaiPhia and I were eating gelato and gossiping about our journalism professors, one being ChromeDome and the other, PurplePlaid, who leans towards the penis:

"Lily, you really have to get your gaydar fixed. Straight men just aren't comfortable with their bodies, but the way he moves confirms it."

"You're right. I mean, look at [ChromeDome]. That man cannot groove, ya know what I mean?"

"What do you expect from the guy? He just got his hip replaced."

***

I don't know what to do with myself. I lied about not mentioning him again. Staring out the window of the bus, my chronic weaknesses became even more apparent to me. Readerdroid recently asked me if I had a conscience because I'm able to drop people from my life without consideration. What friends? How many do I need? Isn't there a law that says misanthropes are better off alone anyway? She was in a bad mood when she said it, but the gist of it was: Lily has no soul.

"What? So you talk to people then never speak to them again? How can you do that?"

"I meet people on the bus!"

What I deem as giving people breathing room, she deems as neglect. She says I betray those who let their guard down around me. I don't necessarily agree. Again, bad mood, yadda yadda. It's just really difficult for me to trust people. Not with personal information, mind you (hence the blogbitionism), but with the burden of having to ride out my frequently random periods of fatalistic nihilism. I'm notorious for my cruelty during these times of depression, knowingly planting doubt and insecurity in people to compensate. Admittedly, out of my tight circle of companeros, only Banana Chic has been at the receiving end of my extremities and that's only because after nearly a decade of friendship, increased likelihood of slips is expected and her thin-skin allows me to see the instant effects of my actions (which satisfies me sooner and prompts me to stop).

Three weeks ago, I snubbed M. Biologique in line with his girlfriend the day after he invited me to meet him (where I was characteristically cocksure and cold, aloof and curt -- signs of disgruntlement for three months of disregard). Two days ago, I picked up the phone and was overcome with a sudden urge to hear his voice, risking disappointment:

"Hello?"

"It's me."

He wasn't exactly overcome with joy. But I ignored it and talked like the last eight months never happened. I was cheerful and quick to laugh, kind and curious. We developed an instant rapport. The great chill seemed to be over. I put forth an open invitation: "Call me if you want to hang out, okay?" I wanted to prove Readerdroid wrong. See! I do try to prevent relationships from dissolving completely. I do make an effort sometimes. But I knew I'd never hear from him again -- calling him was an inherently selfish act to pardon my own mistakes and bury the guilt of hypocrisy.

HaiPhia and I sat at the cafe the following day after class. ("What's this shit? Afro Dating? So they give the black girl [the flyer]. That's all I am to them!") Minutes later, M. Biologique swoops in, sees me, hugs me, kisses me, pulls up a chair next to me, and we were finishing each other's sentences again.

He's the only asshole who puts up with my shit.

And I'm a fucking idiot to give him credit for it.