Saturday, May 31, 2008

Overheard at the Getty

Man One: You used to see so much new age stuff. People wearing pyramids on their heads and such.
Man Two: But not so much any more?
Man One: Not any more. You know what's really popular in LA right now? What's really popular is Kabbalah.
Man Two: Well people need something to believe in.
Man One: How about reality?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happy birthday to my blog

I just realized that last week was this blog's fourth birthday. [I'm sorry, I just can't make myself type something beginning "blog" and ending "versary." Eradicate ugly neologisms!] That means it's also the fourth anniversary of my PhD-hood. I started this blog immediately upon finishing the PhD because the thought of life without feeling guilty because "I should be writing ______" was too much to bear. (For those of you still in the grad school life, I offer one of my favorite posts, Top ten reasons blogging beats writing a dissertation. Screenwriting bloggers might appreciate it as well.)

I blogged pretty randomly and occasionally until November 2004 at which point political outrage took over and I started blogging all the fucking time. I guess Bush was good for something after all.

Now I'm at a point where I'm tired of ceaseless political blogging. I get my dander or despair up from time to time, but in general I'm just tired of posting the same things over and over. I feel like I need autotext entries that say: "Oh and by the way, the government is making a mockery of the Constitution," or "Did anyone else notice how stupid the President is?" or "Gosh, that guy/woman really is a facist."

I have mildly resisted blogging about myself a lot for a variety of reasons--first, who the hell cares, and second, who the hell cares? But I seem to be doing more of that lately and when A's mom died a handful of people got in touch with me after reading that entry so I am now aware that at least four people care at least some of the time.

I guess that's a long way of saying the focus here is evolving a little and after six years in LA perhaps the transition from Washingtonian to Angeleno is complete and I will now write more about Me! Me! Me! and lament less about Them, Them, Them. We shall see.

In the meantime, yeah, happy birthday to my blog.

(The birthday cake eating child has nothing to do with me whatsoever. It's kk+'s image used through a Creative Commons license.)

Morning video pleasure

I love cheese rolling. I really do.

Monday, May 26, 2008

bad timing

XKCD has been pretty brilliant lately. First the Stove Ownership comic, now this one, which totally spoke to me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"The years teach us much which the days never know"

A's mom died last night. I am on a plane to DC tomorrow. The funeral will be Tuesday. I have cried more today than I care to in a month. I am so sad for A and her sister--the whole family of course, but especially A and J. For me the death of my mother was The Primal Loss--like the Platonic Ideal of loss, where everything else, every other particular loss was a facsimile or a shadow of that one. It's an entirely different thing to be motherless in the world.

And of course, I'm emotionally reminded of my own late teens when I thought grief would just swallow me. It felt unsurvivable. I truly don't know how A managed to stay friends with me through my parents' illnesses and my rage and sorrow and self-centered death-wish years. I know she wasn't the picture of mental health herself, but surely there were easier friends to have than me. After my mom died I could barely feed myself. If it weren't for A I don't know what would have become of me.

I remember the night that horrible summer that my high school boyfriend broke up with me. My despair was crushing. And here's the thing: It's not like I was so damn in love with him. But he was a way to be somewhere other than in that house. He would come pick me up and we'd go downtown and drink ourselves into sweet oblivion, a paradise compared to the present reality. I came home and called A's house even though it was around midnight. Her dad answered and I couldn't even speak. I just cried into the phone and he put A on. She just said, "Are you home? I'll be right there." I went outside to wait for her but I had already woken my mother. I was on the front step just weeping, disconsolate. And my mother comes to the door and sees me so upset and starts crying. "I wish there was a way I could make this less hard on you," she says. (And here let me say that while my mother was not exactly mother of the year most of the time, this memory still astonishes me for what it says about her capacity to love and her particular love for me--to be so selfless that you wish your terminal bone cancer was not so hard on your daughter. No greater love.) Anyway, so A came and she had a bottle of tequila in her trunk and I sat in her car and cried and drank every drop. Thank god we do not have to do any of these things twice--be teenagers, bury our parents, bottom out on drugs...

I'm really grateful I could find a flight and that I have the best job in the world that will not just let me miss a three-day meeting off-site but encourage me to go support my friend and say goodbye to her mom.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"You begin with the possibilities of the material"

I will miss you, Robert Rauschenberg.

Video of the day

Despite the fact that I am super-grumpy today, this clip (thank you eecue) made me laugh out loud.

There's much other news to report really, but I haven't had much will to write.

I was supposed to be away this week, but the fates seem to want me in LA. First I'd planned a trip to Spain with the bf, but then that fell through ("that" being a deliberately unclear referent in this sentence). Then I decided to make the best of it and go to ABQ for a week, but A's mother got really ill and A had to go east suddenly. So I am having a total busman's holiday.

A's mother is still in the hospital but is, as of today, what they would call stable except they don't call you stable if you're on a ventilator.

A says, "When god gives you lemons, it's time to get a new god," and I'm pretty on board with that.

More good health news: L's chest CT shows no sign of cancer (yay!).

It's going to be an autumn of great shows. Got tix to Nick Cave in September and My Bloody Valentine in October.

Am contemplating another tattoo, though given that I just spent the equivalent of two car payments on new glasses I think it will have to wait.

There's a spray of bullets for you. Randomness.