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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

take on me

i wonder about a lot of things. i have one of those goofy-curious minds, i guess.

when bad things happen to us, often we want, crave, need information. and i wonder about that-- as if this fresh understanding will actually help us overcome something that is barely understood by most scientists with like 12 PhDs. yeah, it becomes less abstract and, therefore, logically less frightening. but that's almost just as foolish as knowing nothing. i think maybe i'd rather be powerless and dumb to the overtaking of my wellness. that way, if/when i lose, i can't be held responsible. i don't want to be a noble soldier fighting the gallant battle. i want to be the person hiding in the ditch, humming, eyes closed, ears plugged with trembling fingers, pretending i'm elsewhere.

on the surface this seems blatently and irrefutably cowardly but at least it's not perpetuating a fallacy. knowledge is not greater than nature. science is not the ruler of chaos. cells are subject to invasion and our bodies are not forever ours to govern.

if there is a god, i don't think he's vast and great. i think he's very small, working and fumbling and playing around amongst the little things.

Friday, October 22, 2004

if you add a single letter to the URL of my blog page, you'll access an adult porn site.

Adult Movie Station

those clever fuckers. (pun intended.)

i just figured out their trick. silly, sleepy, bloggers mistyping in the wee hours of the night will think their works have been overtaken by the sex industry. so someone out there in the advertising industry is onto this fad...

you know, i read a comment from someone else's blog that dismissed the writer as being just like the rest of the "NYC blogging scene."

hahahaha! is there such a thing? good lord. which is worse? being a member or being familiar enough with the crew to categorize them as such!

but then again, i'm sitting here on a friday night blogging.

my excuse is my cervix. and no, i shall not elaborate.

that terrifying possibility of being utterly alone.

I gave me away
I could have knocked off the evening
But a lonelily landed my wants in her hands
In a way I felt you were leaving me
I was sure I wouldn't find you at home
And you let me down
Could have knocked off the evening
But you lonelily let him push under your bone
You let me down
It's no use deceiving
Neither of us wanna be alone

"Lonelily" Damien Rice

the elderly have come up in conversation frequently over the past few days. in one conversation, i discussed with a friend how they are annoying. always driving slow when you prefer to be going fast, and otherwise being cumbersome to your plans or desires. we were really half joking though. i mean, we talk a lot of smack about old people but only when they're little bumps that are barely visible above the headrest of the car in front of you. then they park or you pull alongside. and you see that they're grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, brothers. usually giving that pleading look, thin hands gripping the plastic steering wheel: i'm in a world that no longer wants me.

in college, i joined a volunteer club. they set up sites around town that college students would visit to do whatever it was that made them feel better about being a drunk on their parents' dime. i went to volunteer only once. i woke up that morning very hungover but still energetic enough with youthful enthusiasm. my roommate wasn't so eager and decided she'd rather remain in bed. i hated the idea of going alone, but i went anyway. it was about a two mile walk, and it was weird, a freshman in college--new to independence--to walk such a distance by myself.

my site was the local hospital in the geriatric ward. the terminally ill. or maybe it was just those that couldn't afford to be in a real nursing home. they didn't seem like they were on the verge of death, but what did i know. i just remember the intense discomfort of the whole thing. and i was miserable at hiding it. yet they were still happy to have me. to have me awkwardly pass out the lyrics to Yankee Doodle and other old wartime dixie tunes so that they could sing along with the karaoke machine. i don't even remember if they sang. i just know that there were so many of them, wheelchaired and planted in lines to fill the room. i left early without saying goodbye to almost anyone.

i shared this story with my co-worker (yes, the married one) and he sympathized with a chat about his recently widowed grandfather. it was great to see him smile in exchange for a visit, yet just as completely heartbreaking to see a smile that big for something so small. it's almost more painful to see that joy than to deal with complacency. why do you think we get that way around them? he asked me, sincerely. i wasn't sure, but maybe it was death...and as soon as that answer fell from my lips, i knew it was more. we looked at each other, seeing if the other's eyes held a clue.

i think it's the lonliness...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

friends and air fresheners

i bought an air freshener yesterday. on it is written: i don't have many friends. all i have is this air freshener. i thought it was fucking hilarious. so did my friend T.

i have lots of acquaintances. but friends? i have two. eh, maybe three, but two that i see and speak with on a regular basis. today i'm going to tell you about one.

i'll call her T, because she's shy and whatnot. T was just accepted into Johns Hopkins Medical School. fucking A. she's brilliant and has not yet dismissed my suggestion that i shadow her during her first year of classes in an effort to find myself a husband. that makes her even doubly fantastic.

she's currently living in Long-guy-land with her grandmother. the gramma is beginning to get mildly dillusional and T is there to help when the aides go home for the evening. it's got to be one of the most depressing situations to be in. she's in the Hamptons, which are desolate now that the summer is gone. and to see a city out of its skin is unsettling in a very calm and quiet way. like people are running from something that you should've been informed of. the trees and the road and the empty sand are your only reassurance that perhaps you aren't insane for lingering. she has no one out there except for this relative, whom she has to witness deteriorate. but she's doing it to help. she's doing it because she cares. she loves. she is incredibly strong.

so we (the three of us friends) all hung out last night and got drunk. T was in town from the island. we all met up at L's apartment in Rockland and then today, T and I went on a nice hike. it was great spending time with her again. we just act so completely dumb and giddy. the kind of behavior that usually makes me scoff when i see it enacted by others. but with us, it's just completely acceptable. primarily because i'm a bitch.

as we began our ascent of Break Neck, we were singing one line--actually, one word--from this early 90s pop song in such an exaggerated manner of emulation that we could not stop laughing. it was the kind of laughter that leaves you light headed and yearning for breath. and we were doing this while rock scrambling. which, for us, was enough to leave us dizzy and breathless. but it was fantastic because our laughter was contagious. at a stop light before the trail head, we got a young woman in a silver two-door mercedes to smile brilliantly. and fellow climbers on the descent did the same. we were loving life and they were loving that we were.

i live in such a beautiful area. and it pains me to look at it from afar, knowing i can no longer afford to buy a house within its limits. and knowing that there are people out there who have never looked at the valley from above. who have no desire to even consider looking.

today it was mine. ours. the sun and the dirt and the turning foliage and the boats skimming the hudson below all moved, blinked, fluttered, sailed for us.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

silly games

i had a stopwatch race today.

my co-worker and i played with the stopwatch for about half an hour. it's a long time for pushing buttons and looking at a small LCD screen. we raced to see who could stop the watch on exactly one second. we lauged to the point of tears. and i'm not sure if i've had a better time at work.

though, after a while it became this nagging compulsion. i wanted to keep playing. he went back to work. so i sat there by myself and pushed the buttons. beep-beep.....beep.....beep. i told him the beeping was annoying me, but that i couldn't bring myself to stop. i also couldn't bring myself to leave the room.

sometimes when i floss my teeth or get a hangnail, i encourage the pain with self-inflicted pressure. i just keep pushing, touching, reminding myself it's still there. maybe i don't want it to go away.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

ohhh, domino

this is my tenure year. remarkably, i've picked up speed in many categories of my life, including work. timing worked well for me on this occasion. of course i certainly didn't plan to be productive. it just happened.

i organized a voter registration drive which wrapped up about a week or so ago. it was a last minute effort, but i still managed to get over 50 students and faculty registered. i impressed myself. my students impressed me. i told them they were going to volunteer the opening day of the drive and i expected moaning and foul language sighed just loudly enough to hear but not loudly enough to make a scene about. instead i got open eyes and curious mouths. it was miraculous. i fucking love teaching.

so today, as a non-tenured teacher, i was observed by my principal (-pAl because she's my PAL). there are rumors that she's a lesbian, but that affects me very little. though, co-workers tell me that she loves me. i think it's because of my natural genius, not my vagina.

the lesson went well, the PAL in the back of the room, fingering through my lesson plans, which were haphazzardly tossed into a three-ring binder and sectioned arbitrarily with halved manila folders. i could see through it. i don't think she did.

we did this thing called "The Domino Project" which really was out of place chronologically (it really should've happened either a bit later or much sooner to fit in with the rest of the curriculum, but it was a flashy fun type of lesson that made kids "think" and "smile" simultaneously). the real story (isn't here, really) was when the PAL started getting caught up in the lesson. not really like "woo-hoo! learning is fantastic with Ms. H!!" but more like taking an active role as a teacher may. i wasn't sure how to interpret this. she did do it with happiness and the occasional smile, but i somehow got the feeling that she just wanted to take over. and not because i was failing, but because she wanted to play. she wanted to play with my dominoes.

i'm not sure what to make of this. though, there is no real mystery. she'll have a written report for me in a few days.

regardless of PAL, i did suceed with the kiddos. one even asked me to help HIM latch his bracelet after class, all foolishness aside. and you don't ask just *anyone* to help latch your bracelet. you ask a cool muthergrabbin teacher with dominoes.


adultery and a movie

there's not much to say...

i saw a foreign film over the long weekend. it was nice because i saw it in this quaint town and in one of those old theaters that's perpetually plagued with yuppies. but the film itself was mediocre. granted, if i'd known a bit more about this Che Gue---somethingorother, maybe i'd have appreciated things more. i mean, this guy was some kind of huge revolutionary, and this movie simply worked as a photographic j0urnal of like 2 months of his life. what the hell!? i wanted to know more about the lepers than his dumbass. and what about that friend? i mean, i'm sure the guys, in real-time actual life, were quite amazing. my anger is not some misplaced hormonal angst. i am aware that it's likely the producers and such who suck.


oh, and i'm considering modeling in underwear for complete strangers. just to pass the time...

and for those of you who might be under the impression that i have had sex with the married man that appears in some of my previous blogs, you are mistaken. not even so much as a little lip action. that doesn't make much for an interesting blog, but it's true.

though today, i did tell him that i don't enjoy looking at him. we'll see where that gets things.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

philosophers and pricks

timing is really everything.

whoever discovered this massive life-truth is a complete genius. and the best kind of genius. the kind that says clever things when other people are listening so that his/her ideas become massive life-truths.

i mean, to think about it--to actually contemplate the issue--is to realize that everything has been done before. and if that isn't one of the most depressing realizations ever, i'm not sure what is. of course, you can do things differently and such, but even those ways of reinventing the status quo have tons of spin-offs. of people that have basically done things either a bit better or slightly worse than you. so what's the difference?

i'm sure that classic Cave story would work wonderfully in here. Plato was the man. but really, just a man with good timing.

fucking prick.

Friday, October 08, 2004

son of a...(and a question)

well, i typed this really long blog that was kind of dumb. but G-Love would've found it amusing. sorry darlin'. it's lost and gone forever, clementine.

so instead i'll pose a question...

how does one know if one is pathetic?

of course, to answer that, we need some preliminary information. but for the safety and well-being of those involved, i'll keep it anonymous.

let's just say i have this friend that has recently taken up running and her only three close friends live between 45 and 3 hours worth of driving away. so this individual doesn't really socialize outside of her work, which may or may not be an educational setting where most of his/her colleagues are either married or just plain old. actually, there are one or two reasonably attractive single individuals of similar age, but they may or may not be intimidating to the point of hatred.

so if this individual is contemplating his or her "place in the world" (read that with finger quotes, please. thanks.) how does he or she know if he or she is just a complete tool? of course exercise is refreshing, but soon the snow will come in his or her town which may or may not be in the northeast region of the United States. and then what will happen? (he or she refuses to pay for the right to move rapidly about the earth in a manner that will cause perspiration.) will it be possible to absorb him or herself even further in work? is that the ultimate signifier of having no life? he or she may or may not have been asking co-workers about their plans for this holiday weekend, and most of them may have replied that they have spectacular plans. exciting plans. i'm-leaving-town-and you're-not kind of plans. even the pregnant ones.


he or she has even contemplated the generic idea of "getting a hobby" (again, finger quotes). but isn't this perposterous, really? (he or she may ask.) all these "things" (i'll stop reminding you) we do are all "hobbies" aren't they? i mean, sure some will enlighten or what-have-you, but what kind of enlightenment can be done in suburbia? things get old and tiresome to this said individual, and it may or may not make him or her sad and anxious.

if you could just help this friend of mine out, he or she would really appreciate your opinion.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

faux convo

exercise is such a fucking stress reliever!

goddamn, i said; goddamn!

(is that punctuated correctly?)

so, i'm about to embark on an imaginary conversation that will replace the real conversation i should be having with my friend G-Love. and since i'm certain she's the only one that reads this blog, i figure it'd be fun.

Me: So, did you hear about Franky? (yes, Franklin)

G: oh god, no...what's the story?

Me: well, evidently he was being a drunken baffoon, shocking i know, in front of Irish Eyes (which, i'm not sure if you've been to. it's new and on 9W near Pier 9)

G: yeah, i think you told me about it before. so what happened with poor Franklin?

Me: i guess he was in the parking lot being an ass with a friend and went to either kick him or maybe he jumped or something--i forget the exact details--and landed on his leg wrong and fractured his femur ( that the name of the shin bone?)

G: no, that's the *enter name of actual bone here*, silly.

Me: ok, whatever.

G: haha

Me: well, whatever the hell that bone is, he broke it in two places.

G: are you serious?

Me: yes. and of course he has no insurance because he's a dumbass and likes not having a job and such.

G: oh lordy. i should give him a call...

Me: yes, you should.

after we BS about other dramas such as my fucked love life and her approaching graduation, we'll tell each other how cool i am (ha!) and that the other should come visit.

(there is an atrocious odor wafting in from my's like a mixture of cigarette butts and soil and rotting animal. dear god. i could use a wiff of windex right about now)

Me: oh, and how the hell to you continue to beat me at friendster? i'm much cooler than you.

G: because i rock the proverbial casbah.

Me: damnit.

G: mwah-ha-ha. [now in a British accent] oh darling, don't fret. i'm sure there are lots of strange or married men that would love to be added to your list.

Me: [also in a British accent] i will have to destroy you, darling. i'm off to prepare my battle.

G: ta-ta.


(phones don't really *click* anymore when you hang up. if anything it's a beep. i wonder how long it will take the English language to reflect that one. i wish i'd been an etymologist. which, for my own ego-boost, my married co-worker didn't believe even existed. i didn't even know there was a word for people that studied words. i think you're making this shit up. the truth is he thinks i'm brilliant and it probably turns him on immensely. sucka'!)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

fat children

fat children make me sad.

the married man's wife and daughter were in today. i was in the same room as them, with other co-workers, and didn't say a word to her. she'd also been in the day before, but i was cordial then. she was with their oldest son that time. he's adorable. two or three, i guess. the married man brought him over to my room to say hi and that's all i said: "hiiiii!" and then we both looked down at him, my smile began to shake, we suffered an awkward silence that i'm convinced even the child felt, and i finally walked away.

but the daughter. she's just so big. my observation is not out of malice or any ill-will i may already harbor out of my adulterous jealousy; it's factual. he told me that they'd recently taken her to the doctor to make sure things were ok. of course he didn't update me. i found out through another co-worker that things are "ok" according to the Doc. the married man generally doesn't discuss his wife or children with me. especially his wife.

but watching the child walk about the classroom like the Stay-Puff marshmallow man was almost unbearable. he looked awkward, embarrassed, sitting casually and dejectedly on a student's desk. the wife followed the little giant around to coddle and catch and guide. i don't think she's a good mother. i don't think he feels she is either. god, it's an interesting situation to have my perspective. to know the darkness of a marriage and then see the facade come to life. but then again, i hear that's what all marriages are like. why even bother? i'm failing to see the point here. maybe i should look at someone else's notes.

i will never marry young.

hell, after working at my job, i should never marry. period.

after she'd left with the cute son the other day, a female co-worker of ours began to compliment the married man on his attractive spouse. i heard the word "skinny" and "pretty." he said nothing. i can only assume he nodded an acknowledgement, but his silence was for me. i couldn't actually look to see his response. that would've been obnoxious.

Monday, October 04, 2004

i don't feel like translating

i'm so tired and i should be grading, and i'm forcing myself to even write this nonsense now...

yesterday i ran the bridge. on the way back, i stopped and started stretching against the concrete barrier that separates athletes and old strolling people from vehicles that ignore the posted speed limit. i had my headphones on, and i thought that this was a signal, in American culture anyway, that you wish to speak to no one. especially foreigners that want to speak to you for an obnoxiously long period of time. and this was my mistake. because obviously it means that this is exactly what you wish to do.

enter foreigner.

the first thing i noticed was that he smelled like chinese food. strike one.

he redeemed himself slightly when he started talking. he wanted to let me know that i was stretching for too long. oh, he's a kind stranger...just looking to better his fellow jogger. i can handle this!

but he just kept talking. and not well. our conversation wandered from stretching to careers to european holidays. and bare in mind that throughout this conversation, i am attempting to understand his mix of German and English. though it was quite clear that he was Asian. go figure.

and now his chinese food odor is switching to intense B.O. strike two.

i want this conversation to end, but it's becoming impossible. how do you interrupt a bumbling foreigner that cannot decide which language to speak in? more people are passing by on their way off or onto the bridge. i try to make eye contact hoping that one will read my mind and sense that i am in trouble. they'd come over and urge me that it's getting late and that we need to get home to the children or dog or cat or whatever. but no one did.

my sweat was starting to chill me and i stood there with crossed arms, glancing at my watch hoping to anything that he'd get the hint. but then i quickly realize that he will not get the hint. he didn't get the initial hint that i don't enjoy conversing with people while exercising; hence the headphones, genius!

i'm not sure how i broke up the conversation, but i'm sure it was rude. or maybe not. social customs were well out the window. but when he sensed my longing to leave, he tried to sustain whatever it was that was actually happening. i was already detatched. in some broken form of an interrogative sentence he attempted to plan a future meeting time: come...with is a problem...we run...ehhh....excuse me...(giggle, head shake)...ehhh...we run together?

oh christ. he isn't...

[strike three, asshole]

the conversation, if you could call it that, continued as he tried to ask me for my phone number and i told him that i didn't have one.

then, the ultimate point of this entire glorious experience was the cheek kiss. i offered my hand and he went in for the mothergrabbing kill. BO and chinese food and overall disgust and frustration for having to decipher meaningless dribble for the past thirty minutes was coming at my face.

when it was over i almost ran into the chain link fence.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

fat geniuses & slender fools

so, i haven't written in a while (sorry to my only fan, G-Love) but it's because i'm in the process of proving an amazing theory, that when completed, will change the course of human nature.

ok, so not really. but i am exercising a lot, and i did momentarily ponder the relationship between the academic world and the athletic world since i noticed i hadn't been writing. of course the logical connection would have been to notice that the time i'd previously allotted for writing was now being used for running a span of bridge and i simply hadn't reorganized my time properly. but that's boring. i think it's much cooler to imagine the possibility that as your body strengthens physically, the brain does the opposite. i mean, it just seems so damn illogical to exercise in the first place that maybe your brain no longer wants to be associated with you. tearing your muscles apart on purpose? what kind of moron does that? a moron with deteriorating grey matter is my hypothesis. and i'm copyrighting that mother too.