18 July 2004
and goodnight to all--thanks for being so nice to me.
13 July 2004
'Any moving from the Mover.
Any love from the Beloved.' (Rumi, Mathnawi, III)
'That which is not comprehended by the mind, but by which the mind comprehends - know that to be Brahman.' (Kena Upanishad)
wonderful yesterday and today! with Lindsay & Sean & others again last eve, sitting around the fire talking about origins of slang terms & the peculiar quality of people who insist on watching the director's commentary version of films. i hadn't seen Lindsay's mum since her wedding--she calls me 'Jen-Jen'--quite a pleasure. Sean: 'The most dangerous thing you could do is wave around a hot marshmallow!' then drove to the old church at 1 am and wrote in the parkinglot for an hour (it was quite closed, and there now seems to be floodlights everywhere). today, saw Josh for the first time since home, brought alyssum to Gram and Pap's spot at the mausoleum and stood round crying together for a bit. was quite difficult to see her name removed from wherever it had previously been and in gold letters up there (though the dates are still missing...?)--she would've been there rasping 'What the hell are you standing round in front of a box for, go and see a movie or something!' Wonderful Gram. Josh kissed the angel statue as he left, which was quite peculiar for him. then went to the North Side and peeked into St Peter's (lovely) and then to the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the Children's Museum (on Josh's idea! i can't figure that out)...incredible, there was the entire first draft of Wild Things dated my birthday 1962, in his handwriting, on a piece of looseleaf, and towards the end an entire three lines or so was bracketed off and the word 'BAD' was written in bold in the margin...and there were wonderful drawings of Rosie/Alinda...and it was quite a shame i do not fit into any of the wild beast costumes provided. then Record Exchange (finally) where i spent retarded amounts of money, and then this evening dinner with my dad's grand family, in some dim restaurant in Mars, drinking sangria and talking, talking. Joe (dad's cousin's partner, professor, brilliant person) said 'you are glowing'--i told him it is all because of one stupendous person--he said 'i can tell immediately' and then that life cannot be sustained by anything other than that--which is EXACTLY what that stupendous person said to me yesterday as we were exiting the freeway! this eases my heart and at least partially makes up for other attitudes which necessitate the use of enormous amounts of stealth for such devious activities as PICKING ME UP, and DROPPING ME OFF...anyhow, now am listening to James Brown and am supremely contented...and going to see mum's parents tomorrow...
09 July 2004
06 July 2004
01 July 2004
- i am the girl people want to see their parrots (so i walked with Patty today to her office to meet her baby parrot whose gender she doesn't even know yet)
- long evening with G and her 7-year-old son; she spent the whole night on the telephone with her boyfriend so i talked to her son lots. i pretended not to know what a television was and he completely believed me and explained for thirty minutes how the remote control works, and how if the box is black it's probably turned off
28 June 2004
27 June 2004
24 June 2004
23 June 2004
21 June 2004
18 June 2004
also he told me he cries himself to sleep a lot of nights, but i think that's mostly because of Gram, who it turns out he just REALLY misses
17 June 2004
also HE has gotten himself spiky hair but sadly about ten days too late, for i am OVER IT (it is to be hoped)
and last friday i did the unimaginable thing and managed to hurt C. big confrontation about the car thing of how many weeks before that (one, i think)--she said it'd been bugging her that long. she said the way i'd spoken to her made her want to cry (no matter when I cry in the toilet). interrupted me at the table eating squash to tell me this. long protracted thing in which i said she made me uncomfortable--she said 'how can you think that?'--not 'why do you think that?'--but more like 'how dare you think that?'--so that's that, then
T's back from vacation in SD though so it's been better, i missed him
thinking of disbanding here, not sure
16 June 2004
13 June 2004
and ohh maybe i wasn't vindicated by being able to scream obscenities at mother's eldest sister Theresa at the funeral that never was, but i did get a gut laugh out of the latest news concerning her twisted little family, that being that her eldest son David (my cousin) was recently fired from his job at Shop 'n Save (another bloody SWPA grocery - he was produce mgr) which he's held since high school for STEALING MEAT. the harpy can no longer act as insufferable snob when son is a petty criminal!! how delighted i am
also lemon makes orange taste salty, citrus fruits bitter sisters (or cousins, as it were)
the last temptation of christ (kazantzakis)
lolita/pnin/pale fire (nabokov)
death of methuselah (stories - singer)
the year of the death of ricardo reis (saramago - what i wanted was baltasar & blimunda but neither bookstore nor bibliotheque had it)
lied to norman, told him i checked my oil while the car was warm when really i did no such thing, and he was so worried about me too, we talked for an hour about it, i am a fraud,
he was in on friday, then another norman was in, two completely different ones, and they were talking together and laughing. then the one norman (car-oil norman, straight-laced godloving caterer norman) was leaving and the other (tattooed funky truckdriver norman) said 'norman do you drink beer?' (i guess to invite him out some time) but straightlaced norman said 'naw, man, i got to keep it levelheaded today and everyday'. so that was that. personally i would rather hang out with the straightlaced norman. truckdriver norman's little girl was not named normanita or anything, but caterer norman has a son named norman and his father and grandfather were both norman. this reminds me of GEORGE, who married victoria and has five children: george jr, georgie, georgette, georgia, and georgetoria
oh. i guess her name is ATIKA. she didn't even know where she was from, someone asked her and she said 'sort of Jordan'
11 June 2004
incidentally, in the same journal entry in which the phrase 'jugular dance' originated, i styled myself as 'vagabondish and slovenly' - qui ne change jamais.
08 June 2004
the step instructor is in Pennsylvania for 2 weeks (Wilkes-Barre) visiting family, and so instead of step there was belly dancing which exhibited my lack of NATURAL GRACE and for which the music was always just slightly off. Annika doesn't count very well. But she's sweet and she means well and her dancing is quite lovely.
weird bad conversation with Karen (dad's fiancee) today. she's REALLY upset about dad losing his job. her ex-husband is a CPA as well. She told me she swore she'd never deal with the tax-season layoffs again. She said 'As long as he lives in this house he needs to work'. She was almost in tears talking about my brother. She said he was 'a jerk and an asshole'. She said he's never welcome in her house again (that stung). She told me she'd spent a whole day on the telephone at work looking up counsellors and shelters for him and he hasn't once picked up the phone and called my dad or her. She said she feels like he doesn't want anything to do with her. She said she tried hard to make him feel welcome and loved (and she did - she's a marvellous woman - she loves us a lot). She said all he's good at is lying. She was SO DISTRAUGHT about feeling like she'd been duped by him. She said she and my dad have been fighting a lot lately and it hasn't been good. She said 'we're going to pull through though' like at one time she'd believed anything but that. She told me she'd almost asked him to leave a few times. She said he's become a different person since the stuff with Chris. She BEGGED me not to repeat any of this to my dad. She told me she loved me and she said I've been the saving grace in all this, I've been so grounded and sane (!). No no, that's supposed to be my dad in that role. There's the measure of the insanity. He kept telling me he refused to let his part of the family be ripped apart by this (as my mum's has been) but obviously he's not succeeding by any real measure. Plus she'd been in a mild car accident this morning (because she & dad had had a blowup meltdown last evening) and she's fine but her car is wrecked. She was almost crying when she was telling me all this and then he came in from driving Lauren to work and Ryan to baseball, and her voice changed like she'd just picked up the phone and she said goodbye cheerily and handed me off to him. He sounded really tired and not too happy.
I am still angry with Josh for being a jerk and suggesting I really have nothing to offer; and I keep thinking about what he said as I write each sentence here and am contemplating just deleting all however many months of this stupid thing and moving back to Pgh into Lindsay's spare apt about which she wrote me AGAIN today. She said I could live there after I graduate if I wanted to. We were meant to be roommates but she got married too early. I'd love to talk this out with Josh but he's a hostile dick who only speaks in exclamation points
07 June 2004
06 June 2004
just spoke to the parents, mum&husband being very excited at my imminent homecoming, so excited in fact that they've taken off the whole work week from 5th-9th July, which is completely out of character. We had a long conversation about all the food I'm going to eat when I come home, which I think bears listing--
- grilled cheese with onion rings & pickles from Eat'n Park
- steak onion & ranch pizza from Montecello's
- asiago roast beef from Panera
- mum's fried chicken & mashed potatoes
- latkes & kielbasa (with applesauce!)
- a variety of grilled food with lots of corn on the cob
- PIEROGI! (boiled then fried, no lekvar please)
- pizza from Mineo's (doesn't matter which kind...best pizza in Pittsburgh)
- killer Kung Pao chicken from Tai Pei where Tina & Sheng are my buddies!
- cheese fries with vinegar and gravy (these are all served separately but I don't think I'll be able to decide) from Potato Patch at Kennywood
Then I spoke to Dad...poor dadoo, he lost his job on Thursday. Too many accountants, not enough work, apparently. It's a very delicate situation, because not two weeks before that Karen's ex-husband lost HIS job, and her child support for the three kids dropped drastically. He told me he's sort-of-considering working at Kaufmann's as a commission furniture salesman. He's actually worked there on and off over the years in addition to his full-time work, but commission-only work is retarded and not his type at ALL. He's a trained CPA with flippin' 30 years of experience - he should be out auditing and making some CEO's life a miserable hell, not hawking poorly made tables. Actually what he SHOULD be doing - which both Karen and I and many other members of his side of the family, who are all 'intellectuals', have told him - is teaching, but he's unsure about that. My dad is not the kind of person you press, so he'll have to be left to make his own decision. But he would be devastating in a classroom, and he's so brilliant that he could teach anything if given the text two weeks in advance, math, literature, tax law, whatever. If I were the praying sort, I would be down on my knees right now trying to bend the flow of the universe to my selfish will and ensure that he got himself in the classroom. Alas, I am more of an environmental activist for the state of the psychic universe than anything else, and so will just sit quietly and let the Unshakeable Faith Mechanism do its duty. He was really cheered up - REALLY - when I told him Josh'd spoken to Chris on Friday, and that Chris had a job interview yesterday, so at least I was able to temper a bit of his melancholy with good news. Actually, he's got very little melancholy - he's got too much self-confidence to allow much melancholy in a situation like this. During the time I lived with him I think he went through this situation twice (he tends to get hired during tax season and then dropped when business inevitably slows down after 15th April), and he was suicidal/depressed/even remotely down exactly NONE of those. He knows he can do anything. Apparently after meiosis the genes containing that quality went off to play golf, and I was stuck with the ones containing the quality which keeps one as a secretary for thirty years. Sometimes I even think 'secretary' is better than 'bank clerk' - secretaries are given great license to be rude and short, where when have you ever been helped by a rude bank teller who kept her job very long? Yeah. I had to choose a droid job that doesn't even allow for the possibility of being uncommonly rude! But back on track - dad was heartened by news of Chris, and commented that I sounded really good, and that that warmed his depraved heart further. I told him it's the best I've felt in a good while, and that's the truth - not the truth I would tell my mum, but the truth I would tell him, sure. He can handle the possibility that I'm depressed out here sometimes. He didn't lecture me at all, didn't ask me if I'd made any friends, didn't say anything on those lines - but it's obvious that I need to, because look at what a few hours spent with some nice, genuine people does for my whole demeanor, such a change that my 3,000-miles-away father can hear it clearly.
and I'm having some PB&J for dinner, with pickles - should be grand!
listening to: 'Post', Bjork (this is in my top 5 records ever. someday I shall have to make such a list, to rival Josh, who makes top 100 lists about everything from Frank Zappa records to Clutch live appearances to amplifiers to flippin' horror film death scenes)
(on that note I would submit that the #1 horror film death scene is to be found in Fulci's 'City of the Living Dead', where the girl/guy are on a date in the truck, and the priest appears, and she begins to bleed from her eyes and subsequently vomits up her entire catalogue of internal organs. It's really quite brilliant)
--it was set upand so it made me feel as though I were doing something singular. I felt out of the ordinary enough to be able to continue; otherwise the form would've been just the same as everything else I've written and I may have given up by now. But I'm realising as I get more and more written (41 pages of solid writing, not including notes, note cards, voice notes recorded to myself on my cell phone, and emails I've sent myself concerning it) that the tick marks make any form of organisation impossible. I'm not sure yet if I even want that organisation permanently (it's not a CHAPTER BOOK) but right now the need for dividers is becoming prominent. Hence all tick marks are removed. I have identified at least three concepts that keep coming up. Someday soon - within the next three months, it is to be hoped - I should know what I'm actually writing this book about. Somehow this week-end was a breakthrough, I'm not sure yet how. I sat outside for a few hours yesterday and did some more writing of notes, but I disliked them (nothing new under the sun). Then came in and perused a century's worth of Nobel prize winners (Sartre declined the literature prize the same year Martin Luther King Jr. won the peace prize) and felt glum. Mr Saramago uses a good deal of commas and his work is much more beautiful. Perhaps if I could properly write about sailing - which, it seems, is the metaphor for all things - this would come easier. But today I got up early and went to see the movie with J & her husband B & her daughter S, and S was happy to see me and had made a little paint-by-numbers stained glass suncatcher thing for me, and B and I discussed all the scenes we wished they'd included in the film but hadn't (Malfoy, Crabbe & Goyle showing up at Quidditch wearing Dementor robes and Harry sending them toppling with a Patronus!), and J was sweet and kind to me. It felt so natural and good, and by twelve when we got out of the movie theatre the haze had burned off and it was pretty outside. They asked me to go to lunch with them - I declined politely, not eager to overstay my welcome - and I drove home with the windows down screaming along to 'Outlandos d'Amour'. The smallest trip outside revitalises me - it's so depressing, how little I get out, how much time I spend letting my voice rust alone with this computer. So for now I'm feeling good, like things and words might work out after all. Not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, though. I think I've finally reached the point where I am consciously dreading interacting with C. Eh bien, onward.
--like this, dialogue and
--'all that description' mashed
05 June 2004
Listening to: Sade, 'Love Deluxe'
04 June 2004
And another new girl - L, we've never had an L on this blog before! - has moved in across the hall from me. She seems OK. Very tough, no-nonsense, not too friendly but that's just fine with me. I was all worried yesterday morning about emerging into the hallway in my disheveled sleepwear for fear of exposing too much arm and leg to her and freaking her out, so I put on the heavy pink bathrobe that Josh's mum bought me for one Christmas. Took a shower, went back into room. Came out again to get my lunch and she's standing there, bathroom door wide open, in tangerine-coloured lacy bra & panties, grooming herself, only half-covered with a towel! So I don't feel so bad. She leaves a faintly male musky scent wherever she goes, as opposed to Milkstealer, who always smells very sweet, and me, who generally smells like strawberries (conditioner) or the excellent lime-and-coconut butter. Patrice doesn't really smell like anything at all, though she's quite brilliant and tonight expressed her remorse that I don't have a college degree yet because there are 3 entry-level positions opening up at Boeing and I know how to use Excel, which is the only requirement other than the degree for the positions. She's really bent on this, it's very funny. We have these very serious conversations about Jupiter. I like her very much - and she leaves me alone, which increases my like for her by exponents. I'm expecting to earn two degrees, one of course in writing, but undecided on the other (I have too many interests to be able to pare a college major down to just writing, even though writing's the most important thing ever). Thinking perhaps programming, or foreign languages. Or astrophysics.
'If only you were a bit older...I want a lot of kids'Mr M, customer from earlier in the week, early 60s, fresh from divorce and eyeing me with clearly romantic intentions. This guy, who made (and still makes) me uncomfortable with the eyes he makes at me. Would have had a raging affair with old manager from otherbank in PA, who is 9 years my senior, if not for a keen sense of danger in that particular working relationship and my involvement with Josh at the time. G, old customer from otherbank with 5 children, 40 or so when I left, who used to flirt with me mercilessly (he had a mind of STEEL, so smart) and joke about the 'nervous energy' between us (he was very spiritual, though, which was the thing that prevented him from actually propositioning me). And somehow in all this I am perceived as a woman who would WELCOME these attentions (and sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm certainly NOT). These men talk to me as though I'm fifteen years older than I am. What do I exude that they smell and feel comfortable with? Beyond the romantic aspect, even, the two people I'm trading the best emails with right now are Jim and CD List Guy, both late 30s/early 40s (but neither even remotely 'sexually creepy', haha). Both of these men can think and spell and have the gentle souls I would look for and would never find in a man my own age.
'Ahh, A, I'm not sure I'm the childbearing type anyhow'
'Sure you are. You just need to find the right man for yourself.'--and this sentiment was so simultaneously fatherly and romantic, and made me feel kind of a sweet feeling for him, in spite of some who may think him lecherous. He's different that way. He also told me that both of his ex-wives (!) are from Pennsylvania, and his daughter lives in New Kensington right now. When I told him where I was from he positively EYED me, as though it couldn't be real.
Which brings us to the fabulous conversation I had with HIM today, which partially centres on this very topic. I called him because I hadn't been able to access my email for the last three days. He answered on the second ring and said hello to me directly (he can do that now that the telephone spells out my name for him). I divulged the problem. He absolutely GLEEFULLY applied himself to it.
'My email isn't working. Can you fix me?'--which comment I didn't hear due to a passing Mack truck or some such thing. Dead silence. Moments pass.
'Are you sure you want to be fixed? You're crimble blozle ROAAAAAAAR!'
'You didn't get it' he says with a little snicker.Here we have a short conversation about how C didn't even know how old she was turning this year, and one morning had a short panic attack thinking she was about to be 35. He sounded appalled when I told him this, as though he monitors her aging very closely and knows this could never be the case. Then he abruptly changed the subject by squealing
'What? I didn't hear you'--me. 'Did you say something rude?'
'Er...yeah!'--him. 'I said you're at such a young age!' HA. ha.
'Well, I'll leave it up to you then!...how young do you think I am??' [fully expecting to hear 'sixteen' come out of his stupid mouth]
'Well you're at least 21, right? You had a 21st birthday not too long ago I heard...' So she told him about the birthday celebration? Huh.
'I had a 21st birthday two years ago!'--me.
'Still, that's young!'
'Yeah, compared to you!' [he laughed DELICIOUSLY here]
'Hey, I'm not that old!'
[playfully?] 'Well, I don't know just how old you are...' [fully expecting to hear 'forty-five' come out of his stupid mouth]
'I'm not decrepit!' [but never actually told me his age...hm]
'I can tell that just by looking at you!'
'Yeah...but C is reaching those decrepit years' [which means he's younger than she, and she's 33 this August]
'Alright, spider, I gave you a chance but you wouldn't quit bugging me--''A few more words about Mrs. Humbert while the going is good (a bad accident is to happen quite soon).'--Mr N (by way of Mr H), whose lepidopterist heart would surely have found this insect torture just as unacceptable
'This baby spider--'
'You KILLED a BABY SPIDER?'
'I kept trying to shoo it away, and it wouldn't leave, it kept crawling back!'
'Are you the type to pull the legs off of daddy longlegs too, you brute?' [haa - 'you pimply brute'!]
'No, but I kill ants!' [LAUGHING]
'What, with your magnifying glass?'
'No, with a can of WD-40 and a lit match!' [what kind of sicko are we dealing with here?! damned computer geeks]
'Ehh...as long as you don't pull the legs off daddy longlegs. The girl scout in my heart finds that totally unacceptable'
'Why, does it remind you of Charlotte's Web?'thus confirming the dear JAMES from one Fugue State Press in something he wrote to me on SATURDAY MARCH 6 2004 which i have been mulling ever since
'Sure, I love Charlotte's Web' [eh, it's ok...]
'Ah, you've been indoctrinated, huh'
'Oh, you don't like children's literature, eh?' [in hindsight i CANNOT BELIEVE i said this. would've been better just to leave me to my phantasies]
'See, I was just talking to S about this today'--him
[WHY must we talk first about C then about S? WHY?]
[and here's the kicker]
'I don't really like the literature that doesn't get right to the point. All that description they put in there--' and he sighed, and you can bet that EVERY SINGLE SHORT STORY I'VE EVER WRITTEN flashed through my head in that one millisecond as the huge inkstained paperbody of a NIGHTMARE.
sometimes you might sit down with the beloved and manage to have a relaxed full conversation, and be yourself somewhat (tho still trying to impress) and the beloved says 'i haven't read a book since i left school' and suddenly some of the burden is liftedthe nail and the head and FUCK jim why must you be so omniscient?! i can't believe it! Well, I can. He's an IT nerd, what was I expecting? It's not as though he injured my soul by saying that -- sure there's lots of people who dislike deep literature -- do I really expect to find someone with my own soul? -- aaaahhh WHO am I kidding? It sucks that he thinks that! It would be a completely unbalanced relationship! Me willing to pore over his fascinating code for hours but him unable to do anything but drool at my highly complex sentence structure! Bah!
'You're killing me! You're an ant-killer, you hate writing--!' --me.to which he laughed. The subject changed then, I don't remember how, and he began really getting down to helping me with the email problem. He mumbled about my machine's ID and my IP address (the technomumble is SO hot, i swear). He had trouble locating me on his chart because for whatever reason my IP address was listed under C's name (go fucking figure). He terminalled in. The computer stalled and took belabored breaths. I noted that it did this every night upon logoff. He asked why, jokingly. I said I hadn't a clue, as I always spoke nicely to it. He said he believed that machines respond much better to violence and emotion than they do to politeness. He suggested that I threaten to dump it on the freeway next time it misbehaves. He said I wasn't bugging him, and we LAUGHED and laughed. The computer was taking forever to reboot, and he said he'd call me back in five minutes (maybe he had to pee, or check in with C real quick). When he called back he was very nice to me, and patient, but no more crazy laughter and no ten-minute goodbye session like with C sometimes. This conversation was wonderful, even with him in essence telling me that he dislikes the core of what I am, which viewpoint is pathetic, I know. But it proves I can be a person too (as my mum once said to me, 'Quit whining and be a person', she's so great), that C's is not the only personality, that I can be witty and bring forth his laughter and make him feel comfortable. But within thirty seconds of hanging up with him I felt the despair creep over again. When was the last time I had a mirthful, relaxed, easy conversation with him like that? DECEMBER. (ya, I keep track) Once every six months I manage to somehow be humanoid. This won't repeat again anytime soon. He won't flirt with me next time he's in the office, he won't call me to talk, he won't feel more comfortable next time he has to help me out. And judging by that fateful utterance of his I shouldn't be wanting any of these things from him anyhow. But I do. And I can't seem to shrug that wanting off even though it's almost definite that he is merely a specific target for a much broader more general desire for companionship and camaraderie. I went over and told G that I'd called him and we had laughed and laughed together. She gave me a gleeful high-five - she's always rooting for me. She still thinks we're perfect for each other -
And with regard to the age issue, I am unsure how to understand him. He realises I'm young. He knows how old he is and now knows how old I am and can make a comparison. He declined to tell me his age even though I all but asked for it (I still have no idea exactly how old he is, and no-one else seems to know either; perhaps this birthday I'll find out as I'm sure C will be offering to give him that number of slaps on the behind, or something equally subtle and psychosexual). The old options are back: he doesn't want to ruin a chance by revealing our true age gap (ah, Wishful Thinking Jenny, como estas?!), or I am, even in our biannual Relaxed Conversation, so far from being someone he feels comfortable enough to discuss himself with that the thought of telling me personal information was just out of the question. It introduces a THIRD category into my age-related woes - men not old enough to be my father, not young enough to think of me as too old, and utterly disinterested in me.
It's been a pretty crappy week, though so subtly so that the dull ache of my depression and the faint prickling of my uncomfortable skin are barely noticeable. C has been a horrible bitch all week. T's on vacation, which apparently gives her license to be rude to everyone. As per usual, she oscillates between ignoring my presence to make me feel useless and mocking me outright. Yesterday:
'You know, in California we have these crazy things. They're called CAR WASHES' (because my car is quite filthy)And numerous other incidents besides. I ask her questions and she either ignores me or makes a big deal about not being able to hear me. I go to help out and she ignores me standing there and gets someone else to help her, or does it herself while I stand by uselessly. Even when I do a good job - or even an excellent job - she still treats me like I'm her useless inferior. I like this job, you know, as far as the people and the money and even HER - but I'm growing mighty tired to being treated like I'm an imbecile. Even when I demonstrate that I'm smart - case in point, the crustacean/fish conversation with him - she belittles me and says things to make me feel dumb. The only thing to do with her is keep silent, take the abuse, and keep your distance. But I like her, and I want to be her friend! It's quite sickening. And I'm - already - so FUCKING sick of hearing about S's impending wedding. S calls here 20 times a day, and she's nearly as rude as C herself, what with being short and cold on the telephone and an insufferable SNOB in person. Plus this seems to be the week for men in the 40 - 65 age bracket to be hitting on me mercilessly. Quite flattering. Must go now.
'Why do you have to be rude to me?'--me.
'I was just trying to be funny. You don't have to be so sensitive. Can't you take a joke?'
'Of course! I always respond so well to your witty sense of humour!'
'I'll remember that'
03 June 2004
Opened FOUR MORE accounts for one of the fine-looking sons of the batty millionairess. He came in by himself (his mother's in flippin' KAZAKHSTAN, remember?), thankfully. He is SO good-looking. Sadly, he's about half a foot shorter than I, and so it can never be, but his eyes are killer. Without his insane mother and quiet, brooding, also-lovely-eyed brother in tow, he's actually quite nice and interesting (albeit exceptionally eccentric himself). He travels to Taiwan and China often (for business - keep in mind that he is 25 YEARS OLD). He owns two companies and helps run the other forty-seven (from the garage, of course, ALL manoeuvres for this family originate in their godforsaken Riverside GARAGE). Their balances run in the MILLIONS. If I married him I could have all my clothes tailor-sewn to fit my hips perfectly and undergarments made specially for me by that little old lady in NYC who sews bras by hand! But I'd have to stoop down (SERIOUSLY stoop down) to kiss him, the little nutbag. So no go, sorry all.
Today I also realised how much I'd underestimated the sex appeal of a guy wearing a shirt and tie under a lab coat! For the Rite Aid pharmacist who pronounced my last name correctly and kindly processed my insurance to help me avoid paying like $60 to get two prescriptions refilled was, indeed, wearing that ensemble, and looked, indeed, completely FINE in it. Happily, I must go back and inform them each time I wish to refill, for they must order the suspensions (the ones to be applied with the SPOON of doom) for me! Remind me to ditch the punk eyeglasses next time the Rx gets low.
And YESTERDAY, I stood in dual custody with C as the armored guy came to pick up our shipment, and lo and behold it was NOT the freaky bulge-eyed little dude who is quite limber with the dolly but a brand-new and EXCEEDINGLY fine carrier (who, sadly, being an apparent trainee, had not a lick of a clue what he was doing, and had to be coached by C on how to remove the adhesive sticker and apply it to the shipment bag). For some reason he thought I knew what I was doing; he looked up to me pleadingly (ah so cute) and said 'Let me ask you something - how does this work?' Of course C jumped in and instructed him fully, but I remain perfectly willing to show him how it works anyhow! And his parting words were 'See you next week'...perhaps he's replacing the little bulge-eyed guy, an improvement for the good of the whole team!
Apparently today's the day for being a hussy...
- DO NOT watch the news
- READ other countries' newspapers
- DELETE all my emails before reading them (sorry Ma)
- VOTE independent (er...or I will)
- WILL NEVER give birth! (with any luck)
and THIS is why I try to keep the politics off the blog! egad...
02 June 2004
- Stepfather, slightly drunk (they all are), telling me on the phone that they've decided to go to a convention the exact two weeks I'm due in PA and so I cannot therefore stay there and make shameless use of their car. Was overlooking some kind of pastel-coloured arbor at that point. Much pacing. Some greenness. Colour seems to figure majorly in my dreams.
- Downtown in a major city with an impossibly busy loop. Entered a 'hostel' looking for a place to stay; ostensibly homeless. Did not remotely resemble the only hostel I've ever actually stayed in, the Harper's Ferry one in MD. Was a giant parking-structure-like...er, structure, thousands of stories (so deep down below the ground I couldn't see, but strangely well-lit even in the depths), lined with hospital gurneylike beds, only some of which were occupied by fitfully sleeping people, most others of which were occupied by piles of human excrement. No smell, no taste. Others wandering round looking desperately for a bed. I wasn't tired compared to them. I could see all the other floors at once but there was no way to get to them. Outside again the traffic was horrible (might have been Chicago?) and everyone wore a feather boa (purplish). Vague reference to museum (muvseevum). Please note it's mostly the excrement that's puzzling here.
- Jim (an old customer from the otherbank, not FSP Jim) showed up randomly at my desk in new accounts. I WEPT with that lungfull homesick feeling. He was brilliant, a little hilarious guy who owned five Mercedes, an ex-stripper wife, two excellent children, drank vodka and cranberry juice from a thermos on the road, had serious embroilments with cancer and (surprise) liver problems. Hospitalised dozens of times in the 3 years I knew him. Showed up in California wearing the hippie sweater I used to always tease him about. Was curiously driving a green van (as opposed to a luxury vehicle). Embraced me tightly and crazily in the parking lot which looked nothing like any parking lot I've been in. Could this mean he's dead? Huh, everyone else is anyhow.
- and one RODGER CONNOLLY wearing paperclips for earrings and shredding philosophy books through the jaws of alligators - oop, no, just kidding. Haven't dreamt of HIM since he snubbed me the second time.
Well this is our last goodbyeYes, yes, love of my life, put me against the wall, hike my skirt up, kiss my neck and croon 'It's over' to me PLEASE! Preferably at the airport, in plain sight of at least three surly security women! God I'm dumb...and it doesn't matter HOW beautifully he could do the end-lilting-thingy...
I hate to feel the love between us die...
01 June 2004
- A photographer customer, in today, noted that he will be in Dana Point for a wedding on Saturday, and then in Santa Barbara for somethingorother on Sunday. These are the two exact cities which the thingy is concerned with.
- Ms B called today; she is still in the hospital, and one of her nephews took advantage of that situation to forge $1400 worth of checks out of her checking account. She was quite concerned at not having any cigarette money.
- Mr Nabokov clearly mentions the CORN PALACE in 'Lolita':
A chateau built by a French marquess in N.D. The Corn Palace in S.D., and the huge heads of presidents carved in towering granite.How Hum & Lo managed to successfully locate and gain entrance to the fucking CORN PALACE in that godforsaken corner of nowhere when my dad and I searched for an HOUR and became convinced that the thing doesn't even EXIST is beyond me. I was so disappointed and my dad was ANGRY - he was using some serious twelve-letter words in conjunction with the poor Palace that day. A quote, a quote from my journal, 9th August 2003!
We just pulled off in Mitchell, SD to find the 'World's Only Corn Palace', which apparently does not exist.Further, the next line from 'Lolita' is astonishing
The Bearded Woman read our jingle and now she is no longer singleCould this, be still my heart, actually be a reference to Wall Drug, located in one Wall, SD, whose only-very-occasionally-rhymed yet thoroughly BIZARRE advertisements span the entirety of both Minnesota AND South Dakota (and are apparently also found in such places as France and Moscow)?:
See our Cowboy Orchestra!By the time we reached this place I was so excited I kept dropping my stuff everywhere. Unfortunately it was not, as I had expected, a giant fourteen-story curiosity shop with strange men sporting handlebar moustaches and acrobats riding Victorian unicycles. It was actually rather commercialised - but that's beside the point! Could the 'only convincing love story of our century' actually have passed through Wall, MY Wall?
This sign found in Kenya, go to Wall Drug!
Wall Drug spells FUN!
Wall Drug, Sheriff on Duty
Wall Drug, Visit Our New T-Rex!
Wall Drug, Sizzling Steaks
See the Bearded Lady, Wall Drug
Free Ice Water, Wall Drug!
Bronze Figures at Wall Drug!
Fine Western Art at Wall Drug
beach. midnight vespers.It's great being Catholic. And J invited me to go to the Harry Potter movie with her and her husband and her daughter with whom I share a birthday, what a NICE THING for J to do. Have not discovered any ulterior motive as yet; it may be that she actually likes me.
hairy current replacing
skin with sand of skin
31 May 2004
chain saw for pine cone sweeps the floor, and related to light bulb dies; however, cigar related to a change of heart about..debutantes remain hairy. Neil, the friend of Neil and returns home with hydrogen atom near apartment building. When turn signal around mirror reads a magazine, for guardian angel procrastinates. If chess board behind burglar a big fan of pit viper living with mortician, then haunch over beams with joy. arabia america anthropomorphism sulfurous dispense teakwood nd
the pattern of the thing precedes the thingso I'm trying to view it from a very small level, not to call it by its name too much (it does have a name, a long one in fact), not to call it what it is too much, not to really address it directly. It's rather lizardlike, honestly, kind of squirmy and uncooperative. I wrote
I feel like I am down in the ocean beneath this thing, looking up but unable to discern anything. I can't put ideas together, I have no idea what the governing principle(s) is/are, and I feel like the whole thing is being revealed to me piecemealEach time I sit down with notebook in hand I get the image of a story about Muhammad - that once he was riding a camel when the angel Gabriel came upon him with part of the revelation of the Qur'an, and by the time the angel had completed his task the camel was belly-to-the-ground, its legs splayed out in the four directions under the weight of revelation (and Muhammad of course, who was still sitting on TOP of him). Sensitive readers will note that I am [hopefully] obviously NOT comparing quality of content, source of revelation, or world relevance here, but merely imagery. At any given time Muhammad knew of the Qur'an only what God had revealed to him so far, and he did not receive the entire thing at once. It's how I feel here and it's bloody frustrating. I have lots of notes and ideas (but haven't yet resorted to using index cards), but each piece is separate from the rest and nothing seems natural. I've not yet even discovered the pattern of the thing. It's all JUST ideas, written out of order, disconnected and suspended in goo, feelings felt by my terribly lost and anguished folk. One of the folk is being exceptionally disagreeable - refuses to be pegged, to sit down and shut up for a moment so I can figure out who she is, hasn't even popped into the text very much except for a few semi-scathing moments which are not nearly as long or scathing as I would like. The problem with this one is that I am generally just not a nasty person, and she demands that to be written I inflame every latent nasty cell in me. What a jerk. Eh, please disregard this post, as it's hideous.
and another sad thing is that I have BITTEN OFF all my fingernails. this happened awhile ago, actually I think round about the time I began writing this thingy. The brother situation and the pain of continuously striving to write the truth have done nothing to encourage regrowth. Josh and my mother will both be very disappointed in me. And it doesn't help that C, formerly of nasty stubby fingernails on her chubby little fingers, has taken to growing hers nice and long and polishing them to a shine, thus providing me one more point of comparison between us in which I come up the inferior.
My conversations with Josh have ground to a halt, as he's not really able to speak much lately. Saturday was the funeral for Gram; he told me they did a really nice job, and she looked wonderful, and he grabbed some memorial cards for me to keep. We've spoken for two minutes each day since last Wednesday. He's quite depressed and I am of no use to him, and I don't think this state of things will turn quickly.
As for the brother, I've not heard from him since Friday 21st May. Nearly scared my father to death yesterday - I'd spoken to him on Saturday when he returned from abroad, and then Saturday night sat down to begin my student loan paperwork and realised I needed some information from him. Called Sunday, left a message with one of Karen's daughters. He called back; I was in the shower. When we finally got in contact with each other and I asked him for his 2003 adjusted gross income he nearly fell down weeping, and had to put me on hold for a moment to tell Karen all I was calling for was income info for FAFSA. Apparently they'd both got it in their head that me calling anytime other than the prescribed time ('later in the week' to be precise) indicated that I must have fresh news about Chris, and that that must obviously be fresh bad news. Why would I be the one to get the first call if something happened? Most likely it'd be my mum, as her information is on Chris's ID card. But my cool, calm, logical dad going wonky like that is not normal at ALL - it serves as a barometer for just how desperate this situation is. And again my mother asked me 1) whether I'd heard from Chris, 2) if he was ever planning on calling her again (how the fuck am I to know, as I just said, I don't know where he is), 3) am I still writing (how's that going? good? Good!), and 4) is the nice man still writing me letters (that's Jim). My dad having seizures of emotion and my mum remaining as thickheaded and dull as ever; I guess that's about par for the course for family crisis!
30 May 2004
I will be eligible, as of Winter 2006 (only one quarter after I originally intended), for something like $10,000 per year worth of grant money from UCR!
I now fit, with room to spare, into a dress I bought for Josh's aunt Cooki's wedding in April 2002 which, at the time, I had the greatest of difficulties zippering and in which, as recently as last May at Lindsay's rehearsal dinner, I looked positively monstrous!
I am no longer, and will never again be, a high school student (however much I still have nightmares about getting thumped on the head with a football in 9th grade gym class)! I went through some notes, poems, and general schlock from the 9th-10th grade era last eve, always a good activity when a reminder is needed about how much more hellish life could really be. It's really quite excellent that I was so naive about myself throughout high school - if I'd known the true extent of how truly backward and pitiful I was, I probably wouldn't have made it to graduation.
- Last night he tried to burst into the bathroom - my bathroom, the one that no-one else uses - without knocking, while it was occupied, BY ME
- Upon being thwarted there he waited outside the bathroom with all the lights turned on for me to emerge, and then scooted inside my bedroom and refused to leave
- Woke me at 8:45 a.m. today by screaming out a song in the backyard - 'You got a raindrop, you got a puddle', Michael Jackson style
29 May 2004
Lonely Planet has some really good, cynical-bastard travel writing. For instance, this.
Stupid Frank (SHUDDER!) suggested to me that Mary was responsible for the decline of the Cure. Nah, Frank, wouldn't have had anything to do with RS being an old fat cokehead, now would it? Ah, poor Robert, he's so pasty. And huh, the acoustic 'Let's Go to Bed' asserts, 'You think you're tired now but wait until SIX'. Apparently three was too soon to tell.
- Imagine my delight when, perusing the shelves of the 99¢ store, I found a few boxes of generic graham crackers that were in fact Giant Eagle store brand - Giant Eagle being a grocery store from back home (referred to by lazy Pennsylvanians as 'the Big Bird' or just 'the Bird') that doesn't exist in California!
- Nobody, I say NOBODY, returns their shopping carts to the shopping cart aisle in California. They put them in the parking spot next to theirs so no-one can park there; they roll them to a stop resting against a random other car's bumper; they physically lift them onto grass or concrete dividers; they push them up hills; but they are COMPLETELY UNWILLING to just walk a few feet and roll them into a neat line in the space meant for them. Today I walked mine back to the shopping cart space, and people all about were staring at me as though I were humping something I shouldn't be.
- I just ate a low-fat Albertson's orange creamsicle and it was extraordinary. Almost as good as illicit humping. About which I know nothing.
- At the checkout line, the Albertson's girl viewed my squash, green peppers, stupid lite popcorn, heaps of fruit, and 14,327 boxes of Lean Cuisine meals and said, 'You're such a good girl, eating so healthy! You should splurge and get regular popcorn!' Hehe...what she doesn't know is that I ate nearly a whole pizza yesterday (and regret none of it)! So the popcorn becomes, then, rather a moot point.
- California freeways run above the surface streets, where in Pennsylvania (at least Western PA) they run below. This means that in PA you have to descend onto the freeway, where in California you mostly ascend. It took me (...counting...) TEN MONTHS to pinpoint that subtle difference that strikes me somewhere vague each time I get onto the freeway. But I'm gonna be an astrophysicist!
- Dad and Karen back from Italy today; they called me. Saw all the normal Italian sights in Rome, Venice, and Florence (Sistine Chapel, thousands of museums and churches, the Vatican, the newly-polished David [my favourite]), ate lots of pasta and minestrone, drank lots of wine and Italian beer, had a dinner in the hills of Tuscany after which my father, by his fiancee's giggling description, 'was a dancing machine', took a crowded midday gondola ride with six other people (which is stiflingly romantic), and apparently located the place where, some number of years into the future, they desire to be married. Good for them!
- Night before last I dreamt, for the second time since moving out here, of a cup of coffee that cost $17. I was in a Buffalo, NY-like truck stop with nameless others. Problems with this:
- I don't DRINK coffee! Well, I did two weeks ago with Lalo and Frank (shudder), but that was more of a I'm-trying-desperately-to-improve-my-vision cup of coffee, rather than an I-drink-coffee-for-pleasure cup of coffee. This is proven by the fact that later that morning, when Lalo and I went to Denny's, I ordered another cup of coffee, and it tasted like shit.
- These dreams were not similar but IDENTICAL - coffee in both, same location in both, same orangey quality of dream in both, exact same PRICE of overpriced coffee in both! Which prompts many questions, such as, Why am I dreaming about expensive coffee? What economic/psychic significance do these dreams hold? What significance lies in the number 17? Why am I dreaming about bloody expensive COFFEE? I could be dreaming about old RC, you know (no emails on that one, please), but no, it's COFFEE!
- 'If only tonight we could sleep/in a bed made of flowers' ... And exactly what good would that be, Robert? A bed of flowers doesn't change what the morning brings. You ask the question as though the beautifying of something painful heals it. Nah. We had so many sweet nights and everything still ended up grey. The flowers are nice but they don't change the trajectory of anything. You must've been young and idealistic when you wrote that.
- Every now and again (early yesterday evening, for instance), I zone out while in the bathroom and find myself fantasizing about being proposed to. It's really quite pitiful. As I'll never have that, I should probably stop rehearsing for it.
- Relatedly, newly-engaged snob S and her fiance R stopped by to see C after work yesterday (which, I believe, is what prompted the pot-perching reverie). J and G performed the obligatory moaning and shrieking over her ring, which is HUGE. I, being across the bank on the platform side, managed to escape having to fawn all over her, until C began screaming for me to ask me some wedding-planning question or another. I went to her desk where they were all sitting. C said 'Show her your ring, S'. I replied, 'I can see it! It's lovely, blargle blag, congratulations blarg.' S didn't even look at me. R kind of smirked and said thank you, I think. And C, great friend that she is, turned to S and whispered, 'She's just jealous'. She then compelled me to stay behind the teller line to help her verify cash, and began calling me Jenny-fer, which only increased when I became genuinely irritated and demanded that she stop. 'Help me count this cash, Jenny-fer. Jenny-fer, please stamp these straps, Jenny-fer. Thank you so much for your hard work, Jenny-fer.' That's her sense of humour, the one everyone responds to as though she's the wit of the ages. It KILLS me.
- And related to that (I may as well just get all the bellyaching out of the way at once): A few weeks ago, the very same day that he was there all day working at the desk next to mine, one of our regular customers came in. She'd recently been mugged by a guy on a bicycle, and she was telling us the latest chapter in her horribly unlucky story, that being that over the weekend someone had broken into her house. She'd found the pillows and sheets on her bed all in disarray. C, with wit sharpened, quips (loudly, of course, so everyone in the office can hear her), 'Somebody's been sleeping in my bed!' He, sitting right next to me, chuckles. I looked over at him, surprised. He looked back at me, as though I'd caught him doing something weird.
- The lilting end of 'Last Goodbye' by Jeff Buckley is, it has been determined, even more pleasing and beautiful than the little lilting singing part that ends 'Icing Sugar' by the Cure. It should be noted that the version of 'Last Goodbye' containing the most pleasing lilting end is the one during the live show in Chicago (in which he actually pronounces the word 'over'), followed by the one on 'Mystery White Boy' (in which he does not pronounce the word 'over' but sings it most beautifully), followed then by the acoustic bonus version on the Live in Chicago DVD (in which he dispenses with the lilting singing and just rasps 'It's over over over over over over over...'). Very scientific, that determination was, involving much listening and many pretzels.
- I was driving on Eighth Street and was stopped at the stop sign at Victoria, and somebody had a sprinkler going in their yard. I could feel a light spray from it, and it reminded me of walking round the Point in the summertime with my shoes off and putting my feet into the fountain and eating funnel cakes at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Apparently my joy from the sprinkler and its madeleine-like effect was such that I started speaking out loud - 'That feels so good!' A man on a bicycle passed by and whistled at me. Childlike joy is sexy, don't you know?
27 May 2004
26 May 2004
Opened two accounts for an eccentric businesswoman and her two fine-looking sons this morning, wearing the punk eyeglasses and looking wholly unruly. This woman owns fifteen businesses, runs them all out of her house, and is, though her sons are 25 and 33 (and both insane entrepreneurs as well), travelling for a month to Amsterdam and Kazakhstan to adopt two five-year-old girls which she will then raise as (mostly) her own. I find her fascinating and quite alarming, and also an insufferable SNOB. I explained the account I'd be opening for her today; she, in reply, turned away from me, to T (whose customer she is, from the other bank, remember your history), and said, 'I realise this girl doesn't know who I am, but I'll be keeping at least $60,000 in one account at any given time, and I don't want to even have to THINK about minimum balance requirements.' T grinned like he was eating shit and acquiesced happily, partly because she's rather pretty and partly because she's right. It's not like I've never heard someone say, 'I don't want to have to worry about a minimum balance requirement' before. It was mostly that first clause that stuck on me - 'I realise this girl doesn't know who I am'. I can only hope to someday be worthy enough that that be revealed to me.
and yeah, I haven't heard from Chris since last Friday, and neither has anybody else. Trying not to mope too much to that end, but I've no idea what is happening to/with him and that, also, is alarming. The Unshakeable Faith Mechanism is doing double duty, which at least allows me to sleep most of the night, and write about things other than the feeling of impending doom I get whenever I think about him.
25 May 2004
*sputter* WHAT???? As though she's a busty little tart herself. I've been exercising! The bust is the first to go! eesh...and of course I've got to respond, there's no possible way to actually ACT OFFENDED with her, she just digs the ridicule in deeper. Thus I was forced to engage, red-faced, in an actual conversation about the size of my own--!! aaaah! I'd thought I'd redeemed myself slightly by helping her and T figure out a HUGE general ledger problem this morning/afternoon, but towards the end of the day I became responsible for a problem that, though originating in the idiot farm that is Riverside's New Accounts, ultimately cost the Corona office $180, and apparently at that point it was decided I was open for all shots.
24 May 2004
Also, Maritza is moving to Nebraska for medical school, which means I will have to brave this summer's PT show(s) all alone, and somehow singlehandedly devise a plan to make SW mine, without dear M who can just walk right up to him, tell him how great she thinks he is, and end up speaking to him for an hour and obtaining his personal email address (sadly there are photos to prove it). BLEH
Also worth noting is that I did find myself a rather large and shapely SPOON for administering my shampoos, and it is quite pleasingly NON-STICK