Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Hot Off the Bulls' Testicles

The last entry could've easily been titled: Five Beers and Counting. But that's not important right now. What is important is that I enjoyed my Saturday night.

We spoke of human destination in a perfect world
Derived the nature of the universe (found it unfulfilled)
- The Devil in the Wishing Well, Five For Fighting

I've become addicted to Red Bull. It's the perfect gateway drug. Late last night I found myself wandering the cheery, non-habit-forming aisles of a major supermarket chain, examining assorted energy drinks and weeping into my basket. I'll have to become a Red Bull pusher for the kickbacks, drive around in the Red Bull car, and wear Red Bull polo shirts. That's me on the corner, under the streetlight, hawking the marvels of Taurine, Pantothenic Acid, and the super awesome restorative power of Vitamin B6.

Okay seriously now. I just dropped by the Red Bull website for "research" and found the following on their FAQ page:

Is taurine made from bulls' testicles? Is taurine a derivative of bulls' testicles or semen?

Taurine is a purely synthetic substance produced by pharmaceutical companies and is not derived from animals or animal materials.
-from Red Bull FAQ

How'd this rumor get started? What's the basis for comparison? Not taste I hope. Did a mistaken somebody read Taurus + Urine = Taurine? But still, even then, semen and urine? Not related. Totally different bodily fluids. I remember that much from biology.

Pure comedy gold.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Mortal Like Me

First week over. Gone. Now we get real.

I installed Oracle on Unix. I'm half done installing it on a second box. I'm doing basic LDAP searches. I feel totally fucking out of my element and it's fantastic. I've consumed entirely too much caffeine this week. I've worked ten-hour days, but not because it was crunch time, no, not crunch time. This is the honeymoon period, when everything is new and exciting and even when it's stressful it's okay. I'm learning new acronyms and meeting people and playing with my laptop. I'm going to meetings. I'm taking notes. I'm nodding and smiling all the time. I'm pretending I understand because eventually I'm bound to understand. I just have to wait for the disparity between what I know and what I've learned to balance.

I received another rejection letter. I saw the familiar envelope -- it felt too thick -- I tore it open, and saw the fateful words, "Dear Playwright:" You know "Dear Playwright" translates to "you're a loser." Try it on BabelFish. You'll see what I mean.

Speaking of fish, I watched "Big Fish" last night for a second time. I'm blown away by it. The dialogue is incredibly satisfying. The movie had me at the circus scene. At first I was weirded out by Ewan McGregor having a Southern accent, but it grew on me. Like mold. Like the Hunchback's hump. Like toe jam.

I have big dreams about all the things I can do now that I'm making more money. Mostly it involves moving to Washington and buying a big house with an office, a connected library, a second office, a gym, a pool, a guest room, and underground tunnels. It involves sitting at a computer all day on my own terms. It involves that ember you keep for later -- the official carrier of spirit without the fancy receptacle -- it involves travel, it involves seeing the world, it involves being naïve about the big things and savvy about the small things, it involves donating all my old clothes to charity, buying nice things that require dry-cleaning and paying off my debt.

When I was girl I thought, I'll marry rich. Then as I became older I thought, screw marrying rich, I'll be rich. It can't be that hard if all those other assholes can do it. What do they have that I don't -- besides money? They've got focus. They've got persistence, discipline, stocks, an inheritance, and a trust fund. I could go on...

I've got my little patch of sky. No one else has this same patch of sky. I've got this view of the ivy on the fence out my window. I've got this perspective, sitting in my chair, drinking beer -- which no one else shares -- like fingerprints, like breath.

We're entirely too concerned with immortality. But we don't ask the big questions. Not like children. When's the last time I looked at the stars? When's the last time I laid on my back and watched the clouds? I have a memory of Santa Cruz Island, hiking for hours with two friends. We walked to the edge of a cliff. We laid down in the tall yellow grass -- ants crawling across our feet -- we put our hands behind our heads, and we stared at the clouds. It was quiet, except for the sound the wind made, bending the grass against one another, scratching our legs and displacing the ants. I have this memory ... I saw shapes in the clouds. I felt the planet shift beneath me. I felt it swirl. And I was conscious of our spinning, our axis, and our travels around the big picture. The sun burning our arms and legs, the clouds, the sea below, the waves crashing into the cliffs, the hot, dry wind, the water bottle resting against my hips, the heat of my socks against my feet tucked deep inside my sneakers, the light, blue sky above, and the dirt under my fingernails. I was hyper aware of all of it. But these moments make me sad, because they happen and then they're over. Can't I just appreciate it for the moment? Why does it cut? It was just a day on my back with the clouds. Just another day.

I say to BF sometimes, I say, what did you do today that counted towards your goal? Of course first you must define a goal. Mine is to be a writer. And everyday you must answer that question to yourself: what did I do today that counts? Of all the pomp and circumstance, what's the marrow? Show me the marrow. It's a bad day when I have no answer but excuses.

Bad day. No treat for you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Fingers to the Bone

I have completed two days at the new job. It's a milestone.

I've got my own office, which includes two dry erase boards, a table with two chairs, and a desk. It's my first office of my very own ever and I'm walking around smiling all the time.

To celebrate I bought a pair of dressers so I can finally toss the wire kitchen rack I've been using to hold my unmentionables. And then I bought a plant that will live in my office and it will be my buddy and we will tell secrets and gossip and it will tell me I'm pretty or I won't water it.

I transplanted the plant I had at my last job into a nice big pot with quality potting soil and I hope it will be happy to be retired. It is looking peaked where it sits. I must find it light.

I am learning lots of interesting things about subjects which I am not at liberty to disclose but it involves reading and thinking and being confused most of the time. Is that vague enough? Next time I'll just write every third word of the sentence I'd like to write and you can fill in the blanks. Like MadLibs.

Because I'm practicing to be a good yuppie, I must now cut and insert the Laura Ashley shelf paper I've purchased to line the drawers of my fantastic new dresser.

My life is so very hard.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Signifying Nothing

I wrote five page pages for the one-act. I studied a book on FrameMaker. BF and I drove down to Ventura to recycle a couple computers at Office Depot. And then we had dinner with his sister and her fiancée.

DDR has not been played today on account of the heat and my total wussiness. I assure you though, it's been occupying some quality time. My trips and falls are ever more coordinated.

The problem with DDR, as with most video games, is that when I close my eyes I still see the arrows jumping across my eyelids. When I play Diablo or NeverWinter, I see the funky little avatars kicking the crap out of each other. Firebolts are usually involved.

I dreamed I was watching a movie being filmed. The director skated by on roller blades. On the right side of his body he looked perfectly normal. But when he turned to the left, he was done up like William Shakespeare. He had the receding hairline, the puffy shirt, and everything. I remember thinking, what a pompous prick.

And then I woke up.

Friday, July 16, 2004

TMBG, Strong Sad, and the Vacuum of Philosophical Tendencies

Finally, the perfect blending of They Might Be Giants and homestarrunner.com: Experimental Film. For more information, read this article.

Yesterday while I was walking along the beach I thought of pressure. I thought of high school physics and equal forces pushing against one another. There is the sea and there is the land and they are locked in a constant battle for equilibrium. I thought, what about internal pressures? Are they quantifiable and subject to the rules of work and force? In other words, are equal and external forces shaping my thoughts, dictating my responses? As I move about in space and time, what exact forces affect my person, keeping me in equilibrium? Tidal forces? Pheromones? Caffeine? Is the opposite of equilibrium spontaneous combustion?

My mood is sentimental. I'm listening to Five For Fighting, especially the song, "100 years." It's toe-tapping fun.

I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment

We're having dinner with BF's sister and her fiancée. They're both allergic to Vash, so I must vacuum merrily. Or they will expire.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

"Some Kind of Creative Drought"

I owe e-mails. If I owe you an e-mail -- and chances are I do -- I haven't forgotten and it'll get done. Eventually.

My last day of work was yesterday. I said to BF (which continues to be my abbreviation for boyfriend), I said, "I am without an identity. I'm between jobs. I'm neither unemployed nor employed." Caught up in the existential angst of the universe, I took a sip from my can of Diet Dr. Pepper and quietly belched.

After dropping off BF at work (HA!) and telling parking services where to stuff it -- and by it, I mean permit, and by stuffing I mean thanking profusely -- I parked at the beach and went for a walk. Because I could. I walked out to the pier and back, stopping to converse with a gentleman visiting from San Francisco. Somewhere he still thinks my name is Cindy.

Half-way out on the pier, there's a chain link gate leading to a set of stairs going down. Illegally, people jump off those stairs into the ocean and I've never attempted to use them. But today I was in a saucy mood, one with the fishermen, one with the seaweed, and I tell you, I swung back that door with gusto -- after making sure no one was watching. I descended the stairs, touched a railing, recoiled in horror as I'd stuck my hand in a mound of bird shit ... The stairs led to a flat walkway suspended under the pier. I walked to the edge of the plank. I imagined jumping. I sneaked a quick look down to see barnacles and kelp, the whole dirty pier underbelly. And then I dashed back to topside. Because rebelling has never been my strong point. Trouble with authority yes, rebelling no.

And I saw seals or sea lions depending on the ear flaps and geography. Two, weaving and bobbing, briefly surfacing to tease me with their shiny black heads. And then they were gone and I was saying to someone, "There are seals out there," and that person nodded sagely, walking on.

All this by nine o'clock.

I had a dream all my teeth fell out because of a home invasion. I opened my mouth and they fell like pearls into my hand.

Then I went to the bank and juggled monies into various Swiss accounts. I'm a financial genius.

Vash is taking a nap and it looks like an excellent idea.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Pie and Perky Music

I'm listening to my writing mp3 mix in an attempt to find aural inspiration. It's perky and peppy like my hair.

BF and I are going to a dinner party in a couple hours. I made a chocolate peanut butter pie for the occasion. It's light years easier to cook when the alternative is sitting down to write. I even washed the dishes.

Pages are due and I'm zoning out. Surprise!

UPS assures me that my DDR dance pad is on time. To be delivered Monday.

The words aren't fitting together correctly. My thoughts are two leaps ahead of what I'm trying to say. I have to step back, take a look, dive back in, make corrections, and then step back again. It's tedious. And I'm also trying to be funny which wipes out everything else. Is this line funnier than this other line? How sleazy can I make the villain? Will anybody get the semiotics line? No? Is it just me being pretentious or would the character say that? It's a day of second, triple, quadruple guessing. The end result is two pages. An over thought out seduction scene that may or may not be funny to anyone but me. And here's a tip Christy darling, whenever you use the word semiotic in a sentence, it will sound pretentious.

The pages are due in an hour. I guess I have to focus.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Curiosity took the Cat for a Walk

I feel ennui. I am spent.

Since I got home from work I've been adding books to my new toy called Book Collection. I cannot express my devotion to this software in mere words. In the farthest reaches of cyberspace, picture me humming an impromptu tune of joy, spontaneously composing an aria of deep significance, and/or feverishly typing in ISBN's, molding category fields to fit my whim.

Soon the promised barcode scanner will alleviate the fever, but not the frenzy. The frenzy can only be defeated by a Paladin named Aribeth, a Spymaster named Aerin Gend, and two days of heavy drinking... so sayeth the prophecy.

We bought a harness and leash for the cat. We've been taking him for walks at night, or rather, we lure him outside with treats and then watch him sniff grass for twenty minutes. Unfortunately for you, Vash has decided he's camera shy, or I'd be inflicting a gallery of "Cat Walking' digital photos onto the broad back of the internet post-haste. (No, I don't want to capitalize it, Microsoft Word. I think capitalizing the internet is stupid and ... I am above the law!)

One week from today is my last day at work.

DDR ETA: 5 days.

Do you see why I'm employing blog avoidance techniques? There's a big flashing neon sign on my chest that says, "NERD." Hell, who needs a sign. I'm a human sandwich board and geek is what I'm selling.

In other news: I am choking on my own saliva -- as opposed to other people's saliva, which is clearly unhygienic. My homework for tonight: remember how to swallow.

Monday, July 05, 2004

A Good, Little Consumer

Yesterday we ventured from the comfort of the Ratchet & Clank Cave to fetch certain items. We replaced a preternaturally bright alarm clock radio, traded in 6 games for DDR Max 2, refilled water jugs, window-shopped at the AT&T store, and ate at Arby's.

Not much for celebrating 4th of July, I ordered a RedOctane Ignition Dance Pad from an Amazon seller. I expect guaranteed amusement in 3-7 short days.

It's a rant to itself that stores don't close to allow their families to celebrate [our national independence]. And I fell for it. I consumed. I exhibited love for my country by going shopping -- because the alternative would've been to stay home and watch "Independence Day" on the television, which newsflash, has nothing to do with anything.

When the fireworks were detonating, I did manage to slip on a pair of shoes and walk down to the corner. In the streetlight, over the trees and (on average) $700,000 homes, where I knew the beach to be, I caught a corner of the light show for about 20 seconds. A neighbor child yelled, "It's so big!" And a neighbor laughed with his buddies, drunk, "Man, it's like a fuckin' war zone." He was referring to the sky from our angle, flashing and periodically booming with orange haze.

Why am I nonchalant about fireworks? The short answer: my first job was at Sea World. Every night all summer they set off a load of fireworks. I feel like I've seen more than my share. And I also don't trust them. Cheeky sky fire casing our burnables. That's how spontaneous combustion got started.

There was an article in the local paper last week. Homes here are selling on average for $1,000,000.

Guess we'll keep renting.

Friday, July 02, 2004

A Case of the Fridays

It's been four months since I got my hair cut. It's shoulder-length and shaggy -- I'm hiding behind it. Even though I bought assorted hair products in an attempt to tame the mane -- hairbands, barrettes, etc -- thinking Product would be cheaper than the solution, it wasn't. Cut the damn hair. So I made an appointment for tomorrow morning bright and early, a severe but forgivable transgression, an interruption to Writing Day.

I sure do get a kick out of capitalizing random words.

I'm going with the Louise Brooks look.

Almost an entire entry about my hair? Egads. I've gone soft. Or maybe I was never hard to begin with.

Our office closes at noon for the 4th of July weekend extravaganza. I plan to do nothing ... except cower in my apartment wishing the sounds of fireworks away. I'm cultivating the "Crazy Neighbor Lady with Cats" persona. Mental note: one cat does not cats make.

All right. I'll share. I also have to stop by the new place of employment this afternoon and pick up Homework. Study materials. I'll probably be holed up with a trial version of something new-job-related and an instructional manual across my knees drinking copious amounts of caffeine and eating caviar. And when I say caviar, I mean Beefaroni. And when I say caffeine I mean smoking crack, because damn, everyone should have a hobby.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Militant Ice-Water

Is it possible that at the same time my mind is cracked open and connected by threads to everything, that it's also fractured and disjointed, skipping the customary grooves?

My brains are spilling out my face.

Two weeks until my last day of work. People congratulate me. They hug me and tell me they're happy. I work on data entry. I'm happy myself to bursting but afraid if I let it take me away I'll screw it up somehow. The day before I start the new job a Voice will say, "We got the wrong girl. You're not what we wanted at all." In my heart, deep down below the ice pit, I know it'll be fine. I can do this. I can do everything. I'm a wunderkind.

I tell you, I stared at a counter top for several seconds, watching it flex up and down with my breath, I looked past the person to whom I was speaking and saw the monitor bounce into the desk and I wondered why he didn't notice. It was like the time the earthquake made the floor roll and the wooden blinds clack together, only that time it was real. It's either that I'm crazy or that four sodas and twelve chocolate covered espresso beans are a cheap substitute for LSD.

And I'm pretty sure I saw somebody's aura. It was green and fuzzy. I always wanted to see people's auras. Seems useful. Under "Relevant Skills" on my résumé I could throw in "Accurate Purveyor of Nimbi, Incandescent Radiation, and all Aura Related Luminescence."

Too bad the job search is over.