Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Found

     It would never have happened if I had an American Express card. Because Neiman’s only takes checks, cash, their own card, and Amex. It never would’ve happened if I hadn’t decided to go to the top floor in search of some form of house slippers for my hard to buy for grandma. But I did go to the top floor, riding the elevator among bouncing squares of reflected light from strings of plastic butterflies and mirrors, suspended emblems of spring hung in winter because snowflakes were oh so gauche. (I figured out their “use something springy in winter” trick because last year, they suspended strands of white feathers, causing me to glance about for Foghorn Leghorn, checking to see if they were numbered for just such an occasion. I suppose I’ve never noticed, but in high summer perhaps they have strands of icicles or Christmas ornaments in encomium of the cattywompus way high fashion operates.)

     Gliding along the white marble floors (hustling quickly to get something in the way of exercise today) and sweating, I spotted something my friend’s daughter would adore (a kind of paint by number, only with sparkly stickers you had to attach by number to pictures of fancy toy dogs), took it to the register and tried to pay. I was largely disregarded for some minutes, then my purchase was rung up and I was told of the inferiority of my dead common debit card (“We could try to get you a Neiman’s card,” she offered, arousing my ire – why do you doubt my ability to qualify for a department store credit card that doubtless charges 33% interest?). I was informed that there was an ATM at the bottom of the (3 flights of) escalators, and would I like to come back? “Let me think about it,” was my response as I leaned toward not returning just due to the inconvenience of it. I descended amongst the sparkly squares that mocked me, if I’d only had an Amex like any truly successful individual, I’d be walking away with a boxful of sparkly squares and Christmas joy, and perhaps I never should’ve walked in there below a certain cutoff of income level (and, might I add, above a certain weight limit – I’ve had occasion to walk among the rich, and rich women tend to be thin, their parsimony extending from pennies to their plates alike). I walked to the exit.

     Happening to look down as I was leaving, my eyes lit on the middle section of a bill on the ground, folded in at both ends. Was it? I stooped over, picking it up, and looked around, seeing only a hazed-over oblivion and not any panicked seeking in the faces that scurried past. Sorting of my moral dilemma went quickly – I had no way of knowing whose this was, and my only option was to turn it in to mall security, who would probably pocket it as I walked away. I looked around again and unfolded the bill – sure enough, $20.00, not a lottery win, but enough to add to the change I had in my purse to buy the toy for my friend’s kid, who, I justified, deserved it, having lost her dad at age 3 and whose mom was just getting back on her feet from a layoff… yes, oh, yes this was merely a donation to a needy kid. I turned on my heel and walked back into the store, up the escalators again (ha, ha, sparkly squares, who’s sparkling now?) and to the counter, where, I noted, the item hadn’t even had time to be put back on the shelf.

     “Change your mind?” the marginally helpful saleslady asked. I’d considered on the way, whether to say, “I found a $20,” “I located a $20,” or just say that I’d gone to the ATM. In the end, I merely nodded as she went through the carnal motions of commerce. As I turned away, that’s when it happened, the thing that wouldn’t have happened, if not for all these things leading up.

     I turned from the counter, happily swinging the silver, crocodile-printed shopping bag, when I saw him. Was it? Yes. It was him. He glanced one way, glanced another, saw out of the corner of my eye who I was in tandem with my recognition of who he was, and we both acquiesced to an unspoken rule of proximity and politeness that we’d have to speak, societal propriety billowing bigger and bigger between us until we were engulfed. He looked up and into my eyes. I don’t know why, or who began it, but my arms went up to hug him as we drew nearer, and I found something in myself looking forward to it, even though I’d deleted him from various electronic carrier pigeon platforms because he was too busy with work and not able to connect, and in my way, I moved on, rather than tarrying and hoping. (I don’t waste time with such na├»ve and youthful pursuits anymore: show interest consistently and soon, or I’ll flit my attentions elsewhere like a plastic butterfly or a sparkly square, always twirling to reflect different rays of sun that fall on it, and ignoring the shadowy absences of light.)

     He smiled, like he always did, his beautiful green eyes and silver hair still the same as they’d been when we’d dallied last summer in the back of a wine bistro, since my house wasn’t tidy enough to go there after an hour of drinking wine and having my foot stroked even though my shoe was on, while he looked burningly at me and I enjoyed frustrating him (despite not having the curriculum vitae of beauty to be able to do this… perhaps my cleverness sufficed). Something about a man getting impatient with me while touching me only with two fingers on the instep of my foot and looking at me like he wants to throw me on the floor and do me, right there in front of the sommelier, is wicked fun.

     He was in shorts and red plaid Ralph Lauren button down, apropos for the 75 degree Christmas weather we were having. I smiled big the whole time we talked. How’ve you been? What’ve you been up to? Just trying to get my Xmas shopping done, I’m behind, I pushed my sweaty hair back with one hand, today, today – observant as always, looks like you’ve been to 2 places already (he named them) hefting his big caramel and nut encrusted Christmas apple – apple, apple - a family tradition for 10 yrs or so, he said, aloft.

     The apple: what was done, what was given and taken and how I hugged, but then began to move away, bit by bit, quicker and quicker, as if he’d grab me or slap me, even though I knew he wouldn’t. And on to the escalator and bye and maybe that’s it, I’ll never see him again and then I began to think of things, like why he didn’t like me enough or maybe he did, and we did have a good time together even though it was incredibly stupid and then I had to go and text someone immediately and she said it was Fate but I think Fate has my phone number and email address and I haven’t heard from Fate. And even though he’s so successful and makes 3 times the money I do he’s unsatisfied in some respects and this isn’t a time for mistresses it’s a time for family but I was the one running, running away, even fearing maybe he followed me after I left but there was nothing to suggest that except maybe I wanted him to in some way, wanted him to express a desire, even though that was his particular struggle, his heart was on fire but other parts of him weren’t. But maybe it was me. Or him. Or it. I dunno. And wondering, will he think about me tonight? Will there be any dilemma, or will the eating of the apple erase all thoughts of before and after?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Modern Proverbs

If you would destroy the evidence, Twittercide, posthaste.
Hell hath no fury like the deluded Tumblr posts of a woman being willingly lied to.
That awkward moment when you post 1,000 Tumblr pics of airbrushed models doing all the sex acts you and I have done in real life, to impress someone who is too far away to touch you on a regular basis.
Love? You're just an actor. He's writing the script. The paycheck? Hoping you'll provide the confidence and worth he hasn't provided for himself. For you? Pro bono, baby. Wisdom is a long time in coming (at least six months, hundreds of texts, hours on the phone and together in person).
Note to self: Fun is not love. Fun is just fun, even if it is pretty intense, and repeated, and other people seem to think it is love, and you do. It is just fun, even if the other participant in the fun says, "I love you" while looking you right in the eyes, in your own bed, after hours of touching, kissing, and laughing together, and you say it back, and mean it.
Creating is always better than copying, quoting, repeating some internet meme, or reblogging.
Often, when someone pointedly states that they don't care about something, they secretly, silently, do.
Half of love is chemistry, laughter, connection. The other half, as in life, is showing up.
When someone tells you they're an asshole, believe them.
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"If he didn't care about you, you couldn't upset him." -- Liza Hempstock, The Graveyard Book (by Neil Gaiman)

Friday, December 09, 2011

I Am At Walmart


Appropos of the ubiquitous holiday of the prevailing belief system at the current temporal moment, here is a not-awaited, hardly polished, non-genius parody of The Beatles' "I Am the Walrus" -- I AM AT WALMART.

Lyrics:

I Am At Walmart

Begun July 24, 2011, finished Decemberish 2011.

Daddy, mama, cousins, auntie, me and you and grandma shop together.
See how they whine for everything that shines, see how they whine.
Kids crying.


Sitting by the cornflakes, waiting for the man to come.
Exploded jar of pickles, don’t go in ‘til Tuesday.
Otherwise you want to kill and lines are much too long.
I just want eggs, man, but I’ll spend a hundred.
I am at Walmart. Stuffed kangaroos.

Rent A Cop Policeman sitting
Driving his golf cart past the cars in rows.
See carts fly, dinging cars, then guy in orange vest runs.
Kids crying, kids cryyyyyying. Kids crying. Kids cryyyy.

Yellow squishy filling, glistening in apple pie.
Cheap crab legs, hey fish man, gimme 13 ounces
Before man behind me says, Girl, you just skipped in line.
I just want eggs, man, but I’ll spend a hundred.
I am at Walmart. two three skidoo.

Strolling past the aisles of cookies, trying not to buy
Damn fig newtons, or the chocolate chip ones
Winking elves catch my eye.
I just want eggs, man, but I’ll spend a hundred.
I am at Walmart. Mylar balloons, my mylar balloons.

Outdoor breakroom, choking smokers
Don’t you think the cashier laughs at you?
‘Cross the laser window beeps your Astroglide
See how it slides.
Kids crying.

Semolina noodles, nine pound bag of flour
Cheap box wine, tortillas and of course Velveeta
Rush around but when ya go to pay, time, it slows.
I just want eggs, man, but I’ll spend a hundred.
I am at Walmart.
Checkoutcheckoutcheckout checkout

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Fair Weather Fan


I'll turn the TV on, but I'll walk away.
I might seem to be doing other things, but from afar, nonchalant, refresh the page.
With a pessimistic twinge, I'll listen to the cheering and the roars of the crowd.
A drink of water summons me if they get too loud.

If they ask me who I like, I might say, "I dunno, really."
I won't wear the colors, nor at parties drink beer from pails
But in my heart, my hope for you never fails
You turn bad vibes to good, to fuel the cheer of a whole city.


Real fans sit close and watch the carnage when you stumble, trip, and fall.
They'd disparage me, say I don't care at all.
But if I watch, powerless, as you falter
Your missteps turn to mine, face hot with shame, my whole perception altered
To watch you fail dumps poison in my veins.
I keep in sun; I can't abide the rain.

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"I'm not unfaithful, but I'll stray." - Tegan and Sara

Saturday, September 17, 2011

At First


In the first stages,
One thousand iterations:
This is who I am.
This is who I am.
This is who I really am.

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Who, who? Who, who? - Townshend, et. al.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Reminisce Like This



Well, kids, there used to be a thing called AOR, and Album Oriented Rock radio stations would play entire albums from beginning to end, particularly in the late evening, and I used to stay at my grandparents' house as a teenager when my mother and I weren't getting along. This combination of factors led to my hiding between the window and the bed to muffle the sound and taping the entirety of Candy-O from the radio, after discovering that my grandparents' ancient, half-broken boom box would miraculously do so.

The year was probably 1983 or 4. There I huddled, on the floor, right against the knotty pine window ledge, trying to turn the music up as loud as I thought I could manage without waking my early to bed, early to rise grandfather, or alerting my night owl grandmother. The doing involved some sacrifice, too, as I had to tape over something else I'd captured on the used-and-reused thirty-three cent cassette. How did I know about The Cars? My brother (nine years older than me) had a 45 of "Let's Go." I'd seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High and witnessed "Moving In Stereo's" precisely prudent placement in that. Maybe I'd seen them on the Midnight Special or something. My sense of "this is something I don't understand but I sense that it rules" had kicked in. So I lay there, listening, being astonished, lying on the floor and just absorbing the record into my consciousness, though there wasn't even a cover to stare at, just the capstans moving the tiny white teeth round and round and round. It was new wave, but it was rock. It was spare but melodic. It was futuristic, even, as Double Life segued into Shoo Be Doo, crashed into Candy-O. It enchanted my young, stupid heart, and it hasn't ever stopped.

Fast forward to the present day: I still have Candy-O on my iTunes. I buy Ric Ocasek-inspired sunglasses. I tear up when I watch the video for "Drive" and see Benjamin Orr singing. I am still awed by the quiet style and substance of this collective from Boston. I even know a guy who claims to have mowed their drummer's lawn as a youth. So I knew they'd put out a new album, and I feared to listen. I feared any descent from the glossy black pedestal upon which they sat. But I ran across an article in Rolling Stone, and I read it, and I got curious, so I fired it up. With trepidation, I searched for Move Like This on Grooveshark. With trembling I pressed "Play All." By the second track, "Too Late," I developed a curious lump in my throat, made of collected realization that even though Benjamin Orr was gone, they'd done it. They'd made another Cars record, and by the last track, I knew that again they'd distilled again, in new iteration, the optimistic longing.

--------------------------------

"Lift me from the wondermaze, alienation is the craze." -- R. Ocasek

1982 Ocasek interview

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Barf in Church



Once there was a Maenad, clever and dull at the same time, walking barefoot along the road, singing her little songs to herself, dancing tiny jigs, chasing fireflies when it got dark.

By and by along the long road, she passed a beautiful temple being built, to Aphrodite, perhaps, with strong pillars being erected and rose gardens planted. Sometimes, a knight came by, a Templar perhaps, in black armor battered. He sat with her on the temple steps and watched her, her dirty feet cavorting, her jiggly form and face saucy, her green eyes flashing. He told her stories and secrets, fascinating her, making her listen and wriggle and lust.

All around, the temple, slowly, continued to be built. And the stories and the eyes of the Templar were fine, beyond any she had yet heard or seen.

But one night, being oftentimes a foolish, greedy, impatient, and oblivious girl, she became hungry, and went out back of the temple and began digging in the dirt, for milk, or honey, or pecans, or whatever the earth, however uninterested in her rantings, would give.


Disregarding the temple and the Templar, she dug and dug with her thyrsus stick, on and on, and by and by she found a slightly glittering lump in the sand, something her eyes, her wanting belly and wanton heart, deemed nutritious.

Though this lump she’d found was not hers, she took it, turned it over in the hazy light of the moon and her own silly mind, put it in her mouth and bit down. It hurt the maenad’s teeth, being a pebble, and not food, and not something she should consume. Trying to cough it out, she, instead, swallowed it.

Anything that shouldn’t be eaten must soon be passed from the body, and she did, ralphing it upon the temple floor at the unfortunate Templar’s feet.

Being a kind and compassionate Templar, he expressed his sorrow at what she had done, ignoring the stink of sick that wafted and curled nauseatingly between them. Being who he was, he stroked her hair and comforted her, and though thoughts of ravishing her exposed neck with his teeth might have arisen, he did not act upon them.

Still, the emesis’ ugly stink spread throughout the temple. The dust of building settled. The songs of worship fell silent.

In the quiet, she stopped and considered. It became clear to the clever yet dull maenad that stories and secrets can better nourish one’s soul than pebbles. She had been digging when instead, she should’ve been singing to the universe, or bantering with the Templar, and remembered that there are places made specially to disgorge the contents of one’s innards, and the middle of a temple isn’t one of them.

So the maenad, with bucket and mop, returns to the temple. The mess has been washed away, but she continues to polish the floor, trying to lull her delirious soul into patience. In the meantime, she thinks on stories, and secrets, and smiles.

-------------------------------

Strut on a line, it's discord and rhyme. -- LeBon, Rhodes, Taylors

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tweet to Armageddon



On the occasion of 10,000 tweets, August 8, 2011:
--------------

As Vladimir said to Estragon, “Is Godot gonna show, or are we waitin’ for the bomb?”
Estragon replied, “Vlad, I don’t know, didn’t the wall fall down many years ago?”
“And what can we do, in this globe-warmed typhoon,
To pass the time while we wait for our doom?”
Vlad, thumbs a-flying on touchscreen sweet
Fired up his wit and answered in tweets:
“Swap hats, eat carrots, affirm through the day
Anything to hold the terrible silence at bay.”
“Not this evening, but surely tomorrow
Prayer meetings and teabags will trouble borrow.”
“From your bank accounts downturns continue to suck,
Clutch your Cold War Certificate and cover and duck.”
“I know as a toddler you learned to berate
‘Cause on your mama’s lap you watched Watergate.”
“Against all manner of toil, death, and woe,
We still keep waiting for our personal Godot!”
“But Est: No matter what is comin’ to destroy ya,
Let the gypsies sing out HOYA PARANOIA.
Until the cure arrives for whatever befalls
Come on, Gogo, and return the ball.”

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Special thanks to Samuel Beckett, the Cold War, @BradJHudson, @wigwam and @mitdasein of Twitter fame for their inspiration and brain fermentation.

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"No ti dura." - Hutz, et. al.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby in the Gun Store


Last night*, I went to the gun store. It's newish, having appeared in the local shopping center next to the Target about six months ago. I'd been curious about it, but didn't have a reason to go, really. I own an inherited firearm, a cheap, crappy, tiny .22 with a pink plastic-inlaid handle that my mama passed on to me when she passed onto the next plane.

I wasn't raised with guns, really, unless you count the fact that about the time I was 10 or 11 years old, my mother must've visited one of the pawn shops that weren't too far from my childhood home, and purchased a gun. Then another. And a third.

I'm not sure why she felt she needed this diminutive arsenal, except that she was rather paranoid. (That's what comes of reading forests' worth of true crime pulp.) She drove around, for probably the last 25 years of her life, with a very likely loaded gun under the seat of her taupe Toyota Camry. Any attempt by me to convince her that this was dangerous folly resulted in a rant, with an irrefutable point at its center: "I can't fight anybody off!" 'Cause it was true. She couldn't. I don't know if she could shoot them accurately, either, but packing heat under the seat soothed her mind, and anything that could do that was probably worth the risk.

I've never shot this gun that I own, or any other, and my experience with shooting amounts to the time I went out to the backyard of our downtrodden suburban crackerbox house and watched my 5'2, right-wing conservative hairdresser mama fire it once into the sod, "to test it." I was both incredulous at her disregard for proper gun safety, or hell, even just not killing herself or me, and kind of amazed and amused at the same time, but the experiment worked, no one came to harm, and satisfied, she hung the gun up on the back of her closet door, in a purse she never carried.

So the idea of guns is not, to me, a completely foreign one, yet I was apprehensive about going into the gun store. To my recollection, it was my first time setting foot in one. It was Friday, so I inopportunely had my elementary school teacher shirt on, with the name of where I teach emblazoned boldly on the front, so I opted to put on a jacket from the car and zip it way up even though the spring air didn't really require it. (My diligently mischievous imagination had already supplied me with a newsroom, where the familiar voice of the local anchor was articulating "AREA TEACHER ENTERS GUN STORE IN SCHOOL ATTIRE.")

With me were my best friend and her husband, whose birthday provided us with the reason to visit the shop - he coveted a .22 rifle for fun shootin' purposes, and maybe home defense. (Any fool who enters his home was already a goner, probably; the man's a lifetime gamer and weapons collector with huge sword collection displayed a few steps from the front door.) The place looks locked up tight from the outside. It has glass doors but no other windows, so I didn't quite know what to expect on the inside. The place was well-lit, though, and still had the smell of new construction as we walked in. Up to the ceilings, the walls were paneled with corrugated steel on which neat rows of weapons were mounted: rifles, bolt action, semi-automatic, carbine, Winchester, Beretta, Bushmaster, Colt, black, gunmetal, woodgrain. Some looked familiar, something Marshal Matt Dillon might've toted, and some were chunky, unwieldy looking, rendering me unable to fathom how they would be held or used.

In my confusion, I wandered up and down the aisles, looking at other stuff they had for sale - boxes of ammo, flak jackets, 1965 military issue survival manuals - when I noted a lady coming down the other side of the aisle with a shopping cart (yep, they had those, too). Sitting at the top, secure, quiet, rosy-cheeked and happy was a smiling baby boy. Dad was browsing alongside, but keeping an eye on the baby and chatting to Mom as well.

My friend and I of course stopped, cooed, talked with the baby's mom, as we would if it were Walmart or the grocery store or the park or anyplace, but after we did, I kind of mentally stepped back. A baby in a gun store? What would the rest of the world think? But in my Texan, suburban on the edge of rural neighborhood, it's just normal. Moms and dads can have babies, then shop for guns. It's not incongruous. We wonder why the rest of the world feels safe walking around unarmed when Anders Breiviks are roaming freely.

-------------

"Love and a .45 are all you need to get through the night. One'll kill ya, one'll keep you alive, love and a .45." -- Chris Knight

(* - some night around March 11, I just got around to finishing this thing...)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

OkCupid and Twitter Users: Sabotaaaaage?

Alright, I know primarily entertainment-oriented, free internet dating sites don't stand alongside Harvard and Yale as strongholds of hard-hitting, accurate, valid research, but a few weeks back OkCupid, that fun repository of all sorts of personal information that I hope they aren't selling to The Man for parts, had an ad running: "Don't Date a Tweeter!"


Being a member of this much-maligned collective, I found my short-lived attention piqued. Why, pray tell?  Well, as it happens, according to this article:


"Just as with their 140-character musings, Twitter users seem to end up in relationships that are bite-size. 'Twitter users have shorter relationships,' says Christian Rudder, the site's cofounder and editorial director. 'How much shorter? Maybe not a lot... but the difference is measurable and consistent.' "


Graph


So, let's take a quick look at this with a sampling of nice, round ages. Approximating as close to exactly as possible with this line graph, if you're 20, your relationship lasts 10 months if you tweet, 10.5 if you don't. If you're 30, it lasts 13.5 months if you tweet, 14 if you don't. If you're 40, it lasts 15.8 months if you tweet, 15.9 if you don't. At 50, it's 15.5 Tweeters, to about 16.3 non-Tweeter months. "People who used Twitter frequently, as you'll see, consistently had relationships that were 5-10 percent shorter than those who didn't use the social-networking site," the article continues.


Not to get all hardcore, but if you know anything about statistics, p-values of .05 are typically not considered significant (not that any were given, besides the "percent shorter" info above). Even ignoring that, is two to four weeks a common-sensically significant amount of time over a relationship that lasts 10 to 16 months? Would you call a year-long relationship "bite size?" Do Tweeters have short attention spans, or do they just not like to drag unsuccessful endeavors out? I think the latter is arguable.


Oh, and if you're on Twitter, you can lodge a 140-character complaint to @OkCupid. On Twitter.


 



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"Scheming on a thing that's a mirage..." -- Mike D, MCA, Ad-Rock

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Was it just me?



It's rare I run across dweebuses of this magnitude, even online, as I avoid forums, bridges, and billy goats, in order to avoid annoyance at meeting trolls.

Caspar: Hello there, Violet. I saw you on the "brains and curves" group. Nice to see someone literate.
[19:44] Caspar: although I can't abide music, to be honest.
[19:44] Violet: hoo me?
[19:44] Violet: You can't abide it?
[19:45] Caspar: Nor can I abide people who repeat what I very clearly just said, or part thereof, and add a question mark to the end, expecting some sort of response.
[19:45] Caspar: Thanks for your time, and I wish you all the best, truly.
[19:46] Violet: Well, telling me you hate something I clearly love isn't a good way to make introductions...
[19:47] Violet: I am literate, but I have my biases as anyone else.
[19:47] Violet: Also, a rather overdeveloped sense of humor.
[19:47] Caspar: No, honesty is a terrible policy, clearly.
[19:47] Caspar: You'd rather I bullshitted about how much I adore music. Fair enough.
[19:47] Violet: You are a ray of sunshine, clearly.
[19:47] Violet: I didn't say I adore bullshit.
[19:48] Caspar: I happen to know a great deal about music, and many other things, but I can't stand the sort of pointless arguments where everyone turns purple and nobody changes their mind, which is the way you people tend to go with your endless "which is the best album ever made?" nonsense
[19:48] Caspar: and I tend to avoid conflict, if I can.
[19:48] Caspar: Which is odd, since I actually like ladies who can kick ass.
[19:48] Violet: You people? I am not a people. I am a person.
[19:49] Violet: There's no way to tell which is the best album, book, painting, or otherwise, as it's completely subjective.
[19:49] Caspar: NO?? ?
[19:49] Caspar makes note
[19:49] Violet: Did you start this conversation because you were feeling crotchety?
[19:49] Caspar: I'm never "crotchety" if I am online. If I get "crotchety", I log off. I don't understand people
[19:49] Caspar: ..who don't
[19:50] Violet: Why are you putting a perfectly good word into quotation marks?
[19:50] Violet thinks to herself how this is getting more amusing all the time.
[19:50] Caspar: I'm glad you're "amused".
[19:51] Violet sighs.
[19:51] Caspar also emotes, equally vapidly
[19:52] Violet makes a list of her new classifications: you people, bullshit lover, vapid
[19:53] Caspar: ..if the cap fits...
[19:54] Violet: I think I understand. It must be your aim to be offensive and arrogant. If so, objective attained. A few books have been written about hubris. Perhaps you should delve into those, o literate one.
[19:55] Caspar: Not at all. I am not offensive. You are the one who whined at me for being honest.
[19:55] Caspar: As for "arrogant", only arrogant people call other people "arrogant"
[19:55] Violet: I didn't whine. I too was honest.
[19:55] Caspar: that's an actual fact.
[19:55] Caspar: Hubris means "pride". I don't see how that applies to me.
[19:56] Violet: Well, you wouldn't, would you?
[19:56] Caspar: wouldn't, would you?
[19:56] Caspar: See how pointless and retarded that is?
[19:57] Violet: If you are prideful, by nature you wouldn't understand how prideful you are. If you think that's retarded, you lack the ability to see your own faults, further proving my point.
[19:57] Caspar: It's like you've known me all my life! It's uncanny!
[19:58] Caspar: can you give me this week's winning lottery numbers?
[19:58] Violet: If you truly believe that announcing to someone that you "can't abide" something they adore within 30 seconds of sending a random IM is the way to make friends, well... you need to attend charm school or something.
[20:00] Caspar: No, I am not interested in making "friends" on second life. I am just here to chat and have fun.
[20:02] Violet: Amended: If you truly believe that announcing to someone that you "can't abide" something they adore within 30 seconds of sending a random IM is the way to chat successfully, well... you need to attend charm school or something.
[20:02] Caspar: Okay, I fucking love music. It's the greatest ever. You heard that great song "Friday"? It's wonderful. You love it, because you "love music", and I love it too, cos it's great!
[20:03] Caspar: Now let's be best buddies, you utterly broadminded sweetheart, you.
[20:03] Violet: Wow.
[20:03] Violet: You're a teeny tiny little soul, huh?
[20:03] Caspar : Why? Because I love music?
[20:04] Violet : No, because you think someone who loves music is broadminded, and assume that their greatest love would be some foolish internet ditty written by a mere girl.
[20:04] Caspar : No, you think everyone should "love music", just because you do.
[20:05] Violet : Did I say that?
[20:05] Violet : What's something you love?
[20:05] Caspar : I like strong ladies.
[20:05] Caspar : How old are you?
[20:06] Violet : Very old. Ancient, even.
[20:06] Caspar : Oh, older women are pretty cool. I'm 35. Well, according to my mother.
[20:06] Violet : Seriously?
[20:06] Violet : I would've guessed like 19. You tilt at windmills pretty good.
[20:07] Caspar : "like 19"
[20:07] Caspar : and you mean "pretty well".
[20:07] Caspar : How old are you?
[20:07] Violet : Old. Way old.
[20:08] Violet : And I'm from Texas. I choose to speak culturally.
[20:08] Caspar : How old is "way old" ?
[20:09] Violet : Carbon dating would be required.
[20:09] Caspar : Ah, but ashamed to say the number
[20:09] Caspar : understood.
[20:09] Caspar : No need to be. it's just an age.
[20:11] Violet : Why do you want to know?
[20:12] Caspar : I'm just curious
[20:12] Violet : That's a good thing, except when it isn't.
[20:12] Caspar : You're always witty, except when you're not.
[20:14] Caspar : So, very old, can't kick ass, loves music...hmmmm
[20:15] Violet : Ray of sunshine gets brighter and more sparkly!
[20:15] Violet : How do you know I can't kick ass?
[20:16] Caspar : If you could, you would have proudly said how old you are. Odd, how those two things go together. I've been around a while, and i can tell these things.
[20:16] Caspar : Some things are utterly consistent, always.
[20:16] Violet : Your negativity within the confines of this conversation, for instance.
[20:17] Caspar : One of the reasons I ask for age is because I find the confident, unrestrained, fun people have no problem at all saying how old they are. I don't actually care WHAT age someone is, as long as they are 18+, but the fact that someone is too embarrassed or ashamed to say so tells me...a lot about them
[20:17] Caspar : and one thing it tells me is that they are naturally very shy.
[20:17] Caspar : and self-conscious
[20:17] Caspar : and undisciplined
[20:19] Violet : Let's see: wrong, sometimes, and yes.
[20:19] Caspar : Indeed. And no arse-kicker, eh? :P
[20:21] Violet : Again: how do you know?
[20:21] Violet : By what criteria do you judge my ability to ass kick?
[20:21] Caspar : I already explained.
[20:21] Caspar : and I've invited you to contradict me. And you have not done so.
[20:22] Violet : By willingness to admit one's age?
[20:22] Caspar : circumstantial evidence.
[20:22] Violet : I'll just say this. It's a good thing you're out of arm's reach, because Violet and violent are but one letter apart.
[20:23] Caspar : well, Dash and dash are no letters apart
[20:23] Caspar smirks
[20:23] Caspar : Ya gotta admit, that's a good one ;-)
[20:23] Violet : I admit nothing.
[20:24] Caspar : violent, eh? A fighter, or just a bitchslapper?
[20:26] Violet : No slapping here.
[20:26] Caspar : Listen, do you want a conversation, or not?
[20:26] Caspar : if so, please try and have one
[20:26] Caspar : if not, I shall move on.
[20:27] Caspar: it's entirely up to you and I am not particularly bothered either way.
[20:28] Violet: What do you define as a conversation? Not saying anything of which you disapprove?
[20:28] Caspar: It means cutting out the passive aggression, the meaningless responses, the bad attitude.
[20:28] Caspar: Again, it's up to you, but I feel I am wasting my time here.
[20:28] Caspar: I'll try one more time: what do you mean when you claim to be a fighter?
[20:29] Violet: I don't give in easily.
[20:30] Caspar : it's not about "giving in", it's about having a conversation like two adult human beings.
[20:30] Caspar : Clearly that is something you are incapable of doing.
[20:30] Caspar : No wonder you "love music" so much. You sure don't think much of people.
[20:30] Violet : That's probably true.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sitting in the Past


In the new place
Decorated like the old place
Another world, another distinction, distillation
A birthday party
Formal gowns swirling, pixelated tuxes, faces

You and I
We knew the secret.
"Those days will never return," I said.
"I would say we didn't know how awesome it was. But I think we did. We stood outside the bullshit and we looked in and we knew. Sorry, don't know why I got in a sentimental mood all of a sudden. It's like we're sitting in the past."
"It'll pass," you said, "if you hold real still.

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This is, for me, the essence of true romance. - Becker, Fagen

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Circles and Providence


On a field trip with the youth of America today, a couple of weird things happened that are common themes in my life: circles and providence.

For many years, I've experienced an odd phenomenon: I see people from past jobs, loves, classes, schools when I'm out and about and anywhere, despite not having any recent contact or connection with them for months or even years. This happened today, as I saw two people I used to teach with at my old school. Last year we were on another field trip, totally different setting. I saw yet another teacher, that I'd taught with at the same school, though she'd gone on to teach in a totally different district. A man from Peru that I'd taught in an English as a Second Language writing class also ended up being hired there as a teacher assistant. A couple of years later, he and I won teacher assistant and teacher of the year simultaneously in a single year.

I go on a date or to a restaurant, and the waiter is someone I worked at my first job with back in the 90's (that's happened twice). And that's without mentioning the times I see people that I know I know around town, and when we don't have occasion to speak, but I know. I haven't lived in the same town all my life, although I have stayed in the general area. But still, it happens, even half a country away from Texas. Once I went to a wedding in California, on a whim, with a friend who had no connection to anyone I went to high school with. At the wedding, which was held in the bride's mother's back yard, I realized that I saw a familiar face: the bride's brother went to high school with me. Circles open, they close, they shimmer beyond one another, they start anew.


Today whilst I was downtown in charge of a score of precious lives, there was a suspicious package scare in one of the buildings. While we were busy learning about the heritage of our city, even about the man for whom our school is named, news vans and police helicopters were broadcasting and investigating about 4 blocks away. It turned out to be files, not bombs, in the box, but still odd to have been so close to potential disaster. Such things have repeated in my life as well: I had a plane ticket out of the Washington, D.C. airport on September 11, 2001, I survived a van rolling over and over off an Arkansas backroad.

After a while, you wonder: what's the universe trying to tell me with this? That I'm always being watched? That I'm never alone? That nothing will be hidden? That no one is ever gone forever? That, for some reason, I'm being watched over, protected?

Make of it what you will. I do.

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"Life, so they say, is but a game and we let it slip away." -- Seals, Crofts
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