Friday, July 28, 2006

seriously dude, it's a wrong number

10pm, Thursday, my cell phone rings. I jump out of bed, having just settled in, and tear my purse apart searching for it.

Me: Hello?
Woman: Hello.
Woman: Who is this?
Me: What?
Woman: Who is this.
Me: You called me. Who is *this*?
Woman: My phone rang and I couldn't get to it in time so I called back.
Me: I didn't call you.
Woman: Someone from this number did.
Me: Seeing as how I was ASLEEP, I find that hard to believe.
Woman: Well I don't see how that's possible.
Me: I don't know what to say.
Woman: I wonder who called me.
Me: (sarcastically) Good luck figuring it out.
(I hang up)

End scene.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I like how the highlights turned out. They're a warm gold.

I have an urge to get back to writing the southern play, which is a good sign. I'm listening to the Eels again. And thinking about persistence. And Sisyphus. I like photography because you can freeze a moment and absorb it entirely, unlike life which never stops never gives you a chance to breathe. I remember lying in the grass and watching the clouds pass by, convincing myself I could feel the world tremble and turn beneath me. My grandfather told me I was silly. It's just the wind that makes the clouds go and swirl and reform, not the planet spinning. You can't feel that, he said. So I'd press my back firm into the earth and maybe I felt the worms grinding their bodies into the soil and it wasn't the planet spinning at all. But I swear it moved.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Today I moved into a window office. I can see a parking lot, a hotel, and the convention center, which as you may suspect, is pretty sweet. I also listened to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers sing "American Girl" about thirty times in a row.

This sums up my Monday.

Here are pictures of the band my friend and I saw Saturday.

Did you notice? The year is half over. It's almost August. It's almost time to blow out candles and eat a bunch of cake. Yes. Time to grow another ring 'round the trunk. My head is too full of words that aren't my own. Like bees bouncing wings vibrating keeping the nonsense buoyed. I felt one crawl out my ear but I stuck my finger in and pushed it back. You can't afford to lose a bee. Not a single one. Or the other bees get ideas and formulate complex escape methodologies involving yellow rafts and ropes made out of pillow cases Rapunzel's braid Samson told me that my hair was...

Wednesday I'm paying to have my hair colored or highlighted or changed, something. I'll let the stylist figure it out.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

the aftermath

I overdid it. To excess. And I feel rotten. Like literally I feel as though I'm rotting in the heat, half a carcass and decomposing.

It doesn't help that I spent a significant portion of the evening on the dance floor whipping my head back and forth. Heads aren't supposed to move like that. Apparently.

On our "girls' night out" we went to see a band play. I spent the first hour with my ass stuck in a chair bouncing until the alcohol kicked in and then I was throwing myself around with a bunch of other drunk and sweaty people.

I'm not very good at it, but dancing sure is fun. And it's an excellent cardio workout to boot -- especially the way I do it, with all the jumping and the arm waving.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm about to set out on the road for a "girls' night out" which is only barely plural since there are two of us. It's hot. It's muggy. It's not ideal road trip conditions in a car without AC, but we'll manage. I secured a hotel room, I've got rum in the trunk and we're going to have fun or die trying.

I haven't given my friend that ultimatum yet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Whenever I sit down to write, the first words out of my fingers are: I have nothing left for you. I don't know what to say.

But there are always things to say. I think: if I were in jail, never to have another new experience, can I draw on what I've seen, felt, touched, smelled? Haven't I lived enough for an entire world of blog entries? After all, it's just a fucking blog. The word isn't even pretty. The word is a joke.

Nobody reads anymore anyway. Nobody cares.

Don't argue.

Words are everything to me. I absorb them and I digest them. I swirl them around my mouth. I spit them in the sink. I cock my head and I chew on each syllable. But I can't explain it. I wish it weren't that way. I wish my addiction was easier to explain.

I know I sound like an ass. They're words after all. The only meanings they have are the ones I assign to them.

So I won't assign meaning to them.

From now on words are noise.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the great outdoors

Now I drag my oozing bulk from the swamp of apathy -- where the flies suck juice directly from your sclera -- to perch on the edge of my desk. Now I jab at the keyboard with my sausage fingers slamming multi-keys giving life to golem words like gorf and padlkldffff. Now I scratch my ear with an index finger covered in cookies-n-cream fitness bar that leaves a trail of dirt frosting along the inner ridges. I am a recovering mess.

I went camping over the weekend. With co-workers. I didn't shower for two full days and when I got back I took a long hot shower and scrubbed my hair twice. Then I fell asleep for many hours. Monday was a blur of dehydration and sleepiness, with some photo editing thrown in for good measure. Oh and work.

It was a good trip that involved a lot of drinking and sitting around staring at fire and watching the silhouettes of bats flitting against the sky, slapping mosquitoes off my knees, and refilling my red plastic cup with Jack or Knob Creek or Crown Royal and swiftly melting ice.

Part of me must still think I live in southern California because I kept looking around thinking I was camping in bizarro land. At first it seemed the same but then all the trees were different and the wild life was different and if I thought too much it made my head fuzzy. There were alders and great blue herons and bears just down the way that wouldn't come after your potluck leftovers or break into your cars, and there were big fat frogs dragging themselves across the grass.

Good news: there are still stars in the sky even if you haven't looked in awhile.

I relied on string cheese, blueberry muffins, and hummus for sustenance, but the heat made me not so hungry. It was nice in the shade. Mostly I put my feet up and listened to other people talk, and snapped photographs of other people smiling and when it got dark I listened to other people play guitar and sing as shadows flickered from the firelight.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The gym plus residual effects of insomnia kicked my ass last night. I could barely muster enthusiasm for my shiny new laptop -- which is neither shiny or new but very functional. I did manage to unpack it and install the wireless internet card and Final Draft. I don't plan to wipe the OS; it's clean the way it is.

When I close my eyes I see Spider Solitaire. My brain moves cards from one stack to another in dark perpetuity, red nine on black ten back to red ten, over and over until I drift away. Sometimes, like Monday morning, I don't drift. Sometimes I just lie on the couch and watch the sun come up hoping that the next leap will be the leap home. Or that my brain will let me win this one last game.

This is what happens when I don't drink before bed. My brain is like a sharp stick poking me awake.

Luckily I have Tully's coffee to lift me from the zombie muck and mire. $1.75 for a grande cup, no room for cream, better than Starbucks or Seattle's Best. Snatches of AWAKE in a paper cup, cardboard sleeve, white plastic lid, staining each tooth caramel and I don't care.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

if this entry were a dog it'd be a mutt

My laptop inches ever closer. Tomorrow is the day I lose my tether.

After a month long break I started going back to the gym. Three months on, 1 month off. I didn't lose everything I'd built up, but I am sore today. Okay yes, maybe there's been whimpering and some fetal curling and a little bit of booze to dull the ache. Other than that I'm handling it very well.

This week I'm addicted to Spider Solitaire. Best score so far, easy level, 99 moves. I'm not too shabby at the medium level either, but I can't remember my score. I've yet to crack difficult. It's a tough nut.

I finished Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber." Now I'm reading Kathe Koja's "Skin."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

the one where i get sentimental about going crazy

I just unpacked a box and found my old college writing in a fat, white binder. Made the mistake of reading it.

So, uh, did everybody else know how crazy I was? How sleep deprived, nutritionally imbalanced, and perpetually stressed? Or was I exceptionally good at hiding it? I can't believe anyone spoke to me ever.

Reread my first "blog" entries from October 1996. Back then I called it a journal. The front page featured the very best in animated *.gif technology -- a spinning skull and a horizontal rule made out of dripping blood -- white text against a black background and a fancy banner. Also a user poll asking readers to submit their 10 favorite books and music. Lots of people submitted. Truly though, my page was only popular because of the word "domination" in its title. You can still find references to it on some search engines.

Once a dominatrix wrote to see if I'd be good enough to connect with one of her charges. I remember I asked her some questions of my own, it was all very informative. I wonder if I still have those e-mails...

Hey, does anyone remember the Sunny Delight hidden bottle challenge? Around '96, SunnyD posted clues to websites and you had to find SunnyD bottles embedded in different web pages. There were far fewer pages then, but I was addicted. I was lucky to be one of the few in our dorm/res hall with an ethernet card, borrowed as part of an experiment to see if there was any future in this wacky internet phenomenon, and I'd stay awake into the wee hours, monitor aglow with 16 colors, scouring the internet. I didn't find very many bottles. But it established an enduring and unhealthy pattern/passion of surfing for random tidbits of nothing at the expense of eating, sleeping, or going outside.

Of course prior to the SunnyD challenge, I had lynx to keep me warm at night. But that's another story for another sentimental day.

7/4/06, Seacrest Park, West Seattle.

7/4/06, Seacrest Park, Elliott Bay Water Taxi, West Seattle. This is how I commute to work.

7/4/06, Shot from Seacrest Park, West Seattle.

7/4/06, Seacrest Park, West Seattle.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Holy crap! I lied when I said I didn't give a rat's tooth about fireworks, they are my new favorite thing to shoot! I took loads of awesome shots, two are below. Somehow I even managed to capture lightning! No retouching (except unsharp mask) was done on that photo. And let me just say, lightning storm during fireworks? So so awesome.

Okay, it's two hours past my bedtime. Time to collapse.

7/4/06 Space Needle, fireworks, and lightning.

7/4/06 Space needle

July 4, 2006. All the people waiting for fireworks. Some of them have been there at least 10 hours already.

July 4, 2006, Vash sits in his cat condo, unimpressed by all the people outside waiting for fireworks.

October 2005, a foggy evening off the balcony.

As opposed to the bees knees

After weeks of consecutive sun, I woke up to rain. Good thing I don't give a rat's tooth about fireworks.

Monday, July 03, 2006

In honor of USA Independence, I bought a laptop on ebay. What better way to say I love my country than indulging in the electronic shopping cart shuffle? Boosting the economy is the absolute least I can do.

It's an IBM Thinkpad T23: 1.13ghz Intel Pentium III, 512mb ram, 20gb, dvd-cdrw, includes wireless network card and AC Adapter. It isn't the newest or the shiniest model, but it's got everything I need for a satellite writing station. And the best part? It was 1/5 the cost of my first laptop that I bought new in 1996 with 16mb ram, a 1.4gb hard drive, 333mhz... Practically the dark ages.

It'll be here next Monday. Until then I'll just have to make do with my trusty pen and paper. Just like *they* want me to do.

The greeting card submissions didn't pan out. I came home to a handwritten rejection Post-It on Friday, so I think I'll take a break from pithy punchlines and start something new. I'm thinking speed reading.

We don't have any plans for the 4th. I might go outside with my tripod and try to take pictures of fireworks. Or maybe I'll do some speed reading drills. You never know with me; I'm the ultimate loose cannon.

July 3, 2006, Chiana in front of the balcony.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sometimes I wonder about people I used to know. I think about how I've frozen their appearance in time, like mental cryogenics, and snippets of conversation or things we did together will float up out of nowhere and still affect me. It can be a small thing, like shopping for shoes at Nordstrom, or sharing a cheese appetizer, such small things.

Life is full of moments I throw away or take for granted.

I let these people come in and out of my life and I don't make an effort to stay in touch. We have our implicit agreement that it was a circumstantial friendship and once we've moved away or no longer work together or aren't in the same classes, it's too much trouble to continue. And all I'm left with are these fragmented memories that still have power and reverberate in the decisions I make daily.

None of this is new or surprising. I'm terrible at maintaining contact. But what's left me to muse on this beautiful Sunday morning, with the air full of bird songs and the sky a brilliant blue is this: am I the star of someone else's fragment?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

covering my tracks

I finally decided to be efficient about this whole blog thing; I set up a Bloglines account. Now I can subscribe to RSS feeds and read all new posts from one centrally located location, whereas before I was some crazy stalker person who relied on reload refresh for all her voyeur needs.

I'm probably the last person who hadn't done this yet and you all already know about it and you're thinking why were you so stubborn, Christy? What the hell is wrong with you, anyway?

I just didn't feel like it, okay? I fear change.

This blog has had a feed set up since its inception, so I've always supported the none other people who wanted to view my updates efficiently. It just wasn't for me. Until yesterday. And now it's a whole new world; my faith is restored in the internets. I no longer have to show up a dozen times in a stranger's referrer logs because I couldn't remember if I'd already visited a site six times that day. Obsessive and forgetful are two traits that don't go great together. And Bloglines is just the tool to cover my tracks.