21 August 2007


I am not sure why I blog so much about nothing at all, I don't even know who is reading this darn thing, but they assure me people do so I keep tap-tapping away.

I am finally finishing this book I started months ago. I am not really that slow a reader but I hadn't really gotten hooked by it yet. I guess as fish go I am one of those massive, graceful, legendary types that swim deep where it stays cool, steady and dark all year round. When I do chase tail I take a good hard look before I bite in the first place and make sure I'm not being suckered into something else entirely!

Well, as far as books go at least!

So I am reading Prozac Nation. I know you probably know all about it, saw the movie and read the tee shirt but I didn't know anything about it until recently. I was reading another book I borrowed from the bartender at my former watering trough and he is mentioning this bright young author who everyone thinks is the greatest thing of our generation, but who he realizes rather quickly is just a terrible person. I must know more I say to myself but do not do anything about it right away.

Then one day I just see her famed book laying around belonging to no one and start reading. Since no one bothers saying, hey, that's my book, give it back" I decide to adopt the orphan and vow to bring it back and leave it where I found it as soon as I'm done. I end up finding it again months later and I still haven't finished the prologue.

Guilty as charged.

So I am bored and in need of something to pass the time at work. Apparently my coworkers do not like it when I talk their ears off about nothing in particular. It has been "mentioned." No worries, I am not hurt. I am Jack's F**king Ambivalence. I don't require my colleagues to adore me. Not at all.

Anyway, I am somewhere nearing the end of the second third and it occurs to me that I really hate this girl. She purports to represent all the screwed up youth of our generation whose parents divorced and abandoned us all the while carrying on like she is the only one this has happened to and she carries the enormity of an entire western culture's wasted life and yet somehow it isn't so bad that she can actually take matters into her own hands and end it all like any pen or poet worth their salt would have done long before.

I totally understand why this other author despised her because I can see it clearly in her overindulged premature memoir. Come on she isn't even 10 years older than me. Is it time for me to find a publisher for mine?

Of course the sick part is I identify with nearly all of it. Not the drugs part. Not even the alcohol part. Not the being pregnant and not knowing it part. Not the psychologists and psychiatrists. Not the institutions. Just about everything else though.

I mean, I feel exactly the same kinds of things she is describing, yet somehow I don't completely fall apart. Somehow I don't self-destruct in any sort of way that might be noticeable to others. Maybe that is why I don't come out of it. She describes her depression as spells that come and go and seem to me at least to be circumstantial even though she doesn't identify them as such. Early it is her father leaving (which is drug out gradually over years in her case, in mine the bandage was ripped away before I realized there was anything to cry about in the first place). Then it is her mother not mothering her enough or mothering her too much, depending on how she looked at it at any given moment. Then it is a variety of men she thinks exist to rescue her (and somehow she thinks of herself as a feminist in spite of her buy-in on the Disney semi-annual bull sale). The drugs and alcohol feed into it later on but I agree with her that they are just excuses, side effects.

I feel as though she is gradually building a case for why I should feel sorry for her as though somehow she holds the world record for suffering unfairly or something. What I really think it comes down to is a simple lack of fortitude. I don't necessarily blame her for this of course, it is circumstantial and a product of her nurturing but the simple fact that she is as intelligent as she is forces you to believe that at least she has the faculty to come to grips with what is happening and therefore holds the power to change how she sees herself. Instead she perpetuates it. To that end how can I continue to empathize with her if I believe that she already knows that she is now the source of her own depression and she ought to know how to come out of it. Without pills. Without codependent entanglements with random men. Without dragging those around her down in the process.

Of course all of this might as well be an indictment on myself. I may not explode into the self-destructiveness or even show the signs enough for anyone to see. Honestly until I read this book I wasn't even sure I dealt with depression at all. Of course I had my suspicions but easily rationalized everything away. All the signs were explained. I work nights so I have to sleep during the day. That makes it hard to sleep well so I sleep more.

My schedule and other life circumstances have conspired to leave me with a rather unfulfillng social life. I figure that more than explains why I am bored all the time and why I get down. Loneliness is a perfectly normal response to being alone all the time, right?

What I couldn't explain is why I haven't done anything about it. I am perfectly aware of myself and yet apparently not willing to change anything dramatically enough to have much of a shot at living a more meaningful life.

Well don't ruin the end of the book. I'm rooting for a classic suicide. The kind my tall, redheaded acting teacher always romanticized about. I get the feeling she'll eventually figure it out though. Bummer.

Oh FYI. This is also going to be my experiment at reading a book and then watching the movie. I think those people who are always talking about the book during or after a movie are pretentious assholes but that's just my opinion. So you can read, good for you. I can too I just chose to let others do the hard work for me.For now it looks like I have enough momentum to finish this one at least.



06 August 2007

amnesia for the event...

If this one seems pointless, do excuse me as boredom is my only excuse.

I seem struck with a rare urge to clean up. I think it is easy to avoid picking up after myself when coming home from a rough day of work but gradually the place starts to look less appealing when you come home to it. So on the way up the elevator I ran into one of my neighbors who lives just down the hall. We haven't met or anything but I recognize her dogs so I am sure I've seen her before. Anyway, it just makes me think, what if a neighbor were to knock on my door. The thing about small apartments is that there is nowhere to hide messes when someone comes to your door, it's all right there behind you!

So out of fear of self-loathing that I decided to clean up. I haven't started of course, but I did change out of work clothes into something more suitable for the task and obviously I am writing about it so I am definitely doing this! Now that Judge Mathis is on I might need to regroup my efforts. These chicks are kind of cute in spite of their stupidity for going on television to fight in public over some unpaid utilities. Chick fights are generally entertaining regardless of the reasons, but it might be better over some cocktails. Wow, this is just over 2 mo's utilities for the total sum of $247. If I went on television every time a friend or former roommate owed me that much (or little) I'd be a daytime television regular!

I might even get really motivated and rearrange the living room. The Feng Sui in here seems off slightly. Maybe I just need to get some frames for my photographs and put some artwork on the walls.

I'm thinking about trying to get into newspaper and/or magazine writing. I am not sure it pays very well but I am sure I would enjoy the opportunity to vent publicly. Of course they probably only let the veteran journalists do editorial types of things. Oh well, I suppose I could still be happy writing articles on interesting topics that would allow me to do research and all that fun stuff.

Sidebar: verdict, $247 to the plaintiff and $240 to the defendant. Plaintiff wins with a net $7.00. What a waste of time. I'm sure she bought that outfit just because she knew she was going to be on television.

Where is the remote? This couple is hurting my ears. I just don't care about their grievances. What is this? CBN? Do your eyes deceive you? Yes I am watching Pat Robertson at the moment because they did an interesting looking story about a recovering family in the New Orleans area somehow in the context of examining insurance coverage. I doubt I'd otherwise find anything on this program worth paying any attention to. Time to divert the eyes, they're getting deeper and it's starting to look like one of those doomsday kinds of stories... planning for the worst. How depressing.

On a completely different subject. Check out your political candidates early. I know it seems ridiculously early to pay any attention to the dozen or so candidates on each side of the isle but now really is the best time to make an impact on who our choices will be when the election finally rolls around. These early months are where they see which horse has enough momentum to finish strong. Neither party wants to send up a candidate that doesn't have the potential to beat the other parties best. Obviously the tendency over the past couple election cycles has been to send candidates that are fairly moderate. Really when you compare Bush and Kerry and Bush and Gore the differences in terms of responses to media-dictated issues questions were often only nuances, not true contrasts. This election cycle we might end up with the same problem or we can pick candidates that represent something of substance that can be measured against their opponents policies.

My impressions of the candidates so far? Glad you asked. Let's start with the Blue in order of notoriety:

Clinton (madam) used to be thought of as very liberal, probably more so than her husband. However she has drifted so close to center over her time in the senate one can only conclude that she wants to be our next president very badly and believes the pulse of America is less interested in substantial innovative leadership than they are in poll-based politicking. The question you have you ask yourself is whether or not you believe she is a moderate now or just trying to blend in so she can say she represents everyman/everywoman USA. Maybe she doesn't feel the need to drive the issues debate because her being the only female candidate will give her enough of a leg-up on the competition (in her own party at least). I'm not sure that is enough to convince a majority of American's that she is the best one for the job. I might be old fashioned, but I think our next president should stand out in the crowd for the right reasons, not just highlights, botox and bigger boobs.

Obama was initially my pick to win but lately I am not sure. He came out strong against the Iraq war and seems to be the only one promising he will begin getting us out as soon as he takes office. However, this isn't true. There are others, but more on that when I get to them. Lately I give him points for standing up and speaking out on nuclear weapons. Nobody ever says anything about this but who are we kidding, we haven't believed that nuclear weapons make for good foreign policy in a long time. Maybe GWB does but who are we kidding! Clinton was quick to bash him for saying so as it was "unpresidential" but I disagree. We cannot take a hard line against North Korea and Iraq while carrying more nuclear weapons than all other nations combined in our own arsenal. Simply saying we won't use them isn't enough, Obama should come out and state that he would organize other nations to ban nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and certain types of landmines that cannot be remotely detonated (when conflicts have ended). The USA is the major source of most of these weapons and we have learned that their strategic benefit does not outweigh the harm they cause. Having a strong military does not necessitate the use of any of these weapons. I only complain that he doesn't go far enough. Obama didn't vote for the war in Iraq because he conveniently didn't have to. He wasn't there! It is easy to campaign on being against the war from the beginning when you didn't have to go on the record. I think its a cheap shot against the others and it ignores the fact that there are candidates in the race who actually voted against the war! I'll point them out later on.

Edwards looks interesting. I know he got a lot of crap in the last election for being young and way too pretty. I think we like our heads of state to look overstressed and about as healthy as our median population (slightly overweight with high cholesterol). Aside from his looks I didn't get much on him last-go-round but so far this time around he seems to be leading the charge in some important issues like universal healthcare. Nobody else is talking about it right now. He seems to have a sense of humor and has done work in the area of poverty and raising the minimum wage back home (though he works in the Senate and that would have been a state legislation thing). His book proceeds went to charity rather than his campaign. Habitat for Humanity and a relief organization that did work in Africa.

Kucinich is hard to get to know because the media largely ignores him. I think this is why I like him so much. I've read that in the last election cycle he was the one candidate breaking the mold and offering real ideas he came up with all on his own. While most of America is flirting with the idea of electing our first female or our first black I am pulling for our first geek! Unfortunately there isn't a lot I can tell you about what Kucinich is all about this time around but I can speculate that it isn't entirely inconsistent with what he was about the last time around. He is very concerned about the environment and has the intelligence to guide us through necessary technological changes to get us off fossil fuels for example while Bush in contrast cannot even pronounce "nuclear" properly. He's smart enough to know how important education is in keeping us competitive in the global economy and has great ideas for keeping American's employed and ensure that we still "make" things here to contribute to our gross domestic product. Certainly we cannot become a society of consumers and produce nothing of substance without heading toward an economic crisis. For Pete's sake we're getting incredibly stupid and I fear someday we'll be begging for the scraps left over in China, India and parts of Europe.

Richardson is hard to get a read on but he worked for Clinton 1 and has been governing in New Mexico during the Bush years. I suppose he has the credentials to handle foreign policy because of his role under Clinton. He seems to think he can get the entrenched partisans of Washington to finally work together. He is kind of dodgy about exactly what his plans are to do what he hopes to do (ie get us energy independent, stop global warming, help the middle class just to name a few). I just don't know enough to see how he plans to get it all done.

Vilsack wants us to pull out of Iraq and leave the outcome of their civil war up to them. He is against the recent troop surge that both parties reluctantly came together to approve/fund (and was so before it happened). Don't know anything else about him except he is the Governor of Iowa and might not even be running anymore. Hard to say anything but it is a damn shame the media doesn't pay much attention to these guys.

Biden has an interesting idea for getting out of Iraq without destabilizing the country (namely by establishing local governments that have some measure of power, not sure if they would be states or separate countries though). I am not sure if this idea is brilliant or incredibly stupid. It could create stability or further isolate neighbors and families in an already fragmented part of the globe. Instead of civil war we might be looking at regional wars instead. What's the difference? Not to mention how do you arbitrarily draw lines based on ethnic concentrations without creating envy? One of them will end up with more resources and an economic advantage. Combine this with the perception that your neighboring state is full of "them" rather than "us" and it seems to be a recipe for strife. It might work in the short term though and that would get us off the hook so we can bring our peeps home!

There are a few more Dems but I'll admit that I don't know much about them so on to the Reds:

Gulliani is reported to be the clear frontrunner among conservatives. I wonder if he isn't about as moderate as Clinton though. All he really has going for him is his popularity following 9/11/01. He pretty much retired a couple years later and hasn't done much since. His social politics are pretty liberal for the faith-based conservatives. He favors choice and short-term monogamy. I really don't see these people pulling for the guy. On the other hand he deserves most of the credit for bringing NYC around over the past decade or so. Time Square might still have prostitutes (I can't be sure, it was pretty crowded last time I was there and how can you really get a sense of a place when you are dancing asscheek-to-asscheek with strangers) but they would no doubt be a classier kind of working girl and working transvestite. I mean we're talking Queer Eye quality now and that has to be progress the whole of America is ready to embrace!

McCain of course has thrown another of his many hats in the ring... again. I lost count as to how many times he has run for president but it's up there. He is probably the most moderate of the republicans and the most likely to get us out of Iraq among them. I think overall McCain is growing on me. I don't think he has the strong charisma we expect from our heads of state but after Bush I think most American's will be looking for candidates with substance and intelligence who are not quick to bark soundbytes. I could be wrong, certainly the writers of Family Guy think so! Overall I worry that McCain is being too careful these days. He is slow and careful to criticize the current administration. He apparently does not feel at liberty to speak out against them the way the other party does. He does speak up for issues and policy changes he believes we should make and remains a very influential senator that works with members of both parties. Perhaps that is his greatest strength but I wonder if he is afraid to be true to himself and hold faith to his principles in order to be well liked. Maybe that is a side-effect from losing so many bids for the white house. I hope not.

Huckabee is a sharp relatively obscure republican candidate interestingly also a former governor of Arkansas. He seems optimistic about being able to get partisans to work together in spite of being a conservative evangelical. He promotes many issues on the liberal agenda pointing out that conservatives don't need to alienate themselves from friendlier social politics. He is pro-life but I don't gather that he is looking to use that as a platform for setting himself apart from other candidates. It looks like he wants to focus on policies that improve the quality of life for all Americans instead. This is the kind of conservative we need to hear more from in this horse race. Certainly the kind that can reach across the isle and find common ground. So he is running as the beltway outsider looking to build bridges and all we can hope is that he is telling the truth.

I would blog on about more reds but I can't think of anymore. Feel free to comment if you want to mention someone you think I neglected. I apologize in advance.

Oh by the way. None of the opinions and conjecture above is sourced or seasoned so do take it upon yourself to GET THE FACTS and stop letting the media dictate your choices. The bottom line is they pay attention to the candidates that can rally support in different parts of the country. Those are the candidates they will pay more attention to. If you find someone you like, tell a friend. Donate to their campaign. Volunteer. Get the word out in your neck of the woods. Your vote doesn't count. Not really. It only counts as much as the moron's who cannot read and spend their free time watching tractor pulls or American Idol and even then, it doesn't really count at all. It is called the Electoral College.

So find out who you think our next president should be and post your comment here. Be sure to say why. I promise not to ridicule you unless of course you are wrong. Oh and start thinking about a back-up since like all things in life, we rarely get our first choice!



04 August 2007

par y noya...

Does anyone else get these neurotic inklings that you have said something you shouldn't have and the next time you go to work or hang out with your circle of friends (or whatever), you'll have to face the music so-to-speak?

I get this feeling all the time, generally just after finishing a shift of course. Email makes it worse. While I wouldn't say all of my work email is bad news, generally it is used to "document" your misdeeds. I think that is some crap myself, but not much I can do about it.

So I come home and instead of enjoying my freedom, I suffer my own insanity. I wouldn't say this is a new feeling, but it is more intense after having been fired from a job. I mean I think I used to get this way at my last job but I would shrug it off easier. Then when I lost my job I had to look back and think, man I saw this coming a mile away!

So I am either loony or perhaps I should be more aggressive in planning a career move.