Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Craziest Shit Ever*

There is nothing more irritating than someone telling you about one of their dreams. I think I heard this for the first time in a George Carlin stand-up, but I'm pretty sure I've heard it from several different sources at least fifteen times since then.

I agree. Very much so.

Lucky for me, of my five or so closest friends, three of them just love to regale me with longwinded, detail-ridden accounts of some mundane dream that they had the night/week/month before that was just "so funny!" or "really fuckin' weird!" or "what do you think this means?"

I don't fucking know. I don't fucking care.

Not one to be especially tactful, I have reminded them on numerous occasions as soon as the words, "Oh my God, I just remebered this dream I had..." have escaped their lips that there is, in fact, nothing more irritating than someone telling you about one of their dreams.

For some reason, this just makes them laugh and continue to recount the boring fucking thing to me without sparing me a single detail.

Oh yeah? And then the green raccoon ate your toe?

Anyway, I'm a little superstitious, and someone once told me that if you tell someone a good dream, it won't come true. Most of my good dreams are too perverse to share with anyone anyway, so this hasn't been a problem. In the same vein, telling someone a bad dream would ensure that it wouldn't come true, right?

So I am blessing all three of you who read this site with a God-awful dream I had the other night (Lord knows I've earned it):

Instead of going to Australia, the Eldest Bro had actually died, and my family, in order to cope with this tragedy, had somehow warped themselves into thinking that he wasn't dead, but had gone to Australia. I somehow figured out that he was actually dead. I was very sad.

The End.


*I originally titled this post "Dreams," but I realized that that's an immediate deterrent to it (as the content of the post establishes), so I decided to change it to something random that would market it better.

Led Satan

B called me on Sunday afternoon.

“I was looking through the music you uploaded onto my computer to put together a playlist, and you know what I found?”


“'Stairway to Heaven.'”

“Yeah, so?”

“Why are you listening to that? You know it’s Satanic, right?”


“Yeah, if you play it backwards, it has all these Satanic messages.”

“Uh, did you know that it was voted best rock song of all time?”

“But it’s Satanic.”


“You’re still gonna listen to them, knowing they’re Satanic?”

“Uh, yeah. I love Led Zeppelin, and I’m not Satanic.”

“I’ll send you the link to the site. Once you listen to it, you won’t want to listen to them anymore.”

Despite telling him I wouldn’t listen to it because I don’t want anything to ruin Led Zeppelin for me, my curiosity got the best of me. And you know happened? I heard a bunch of “snufuglemen…wooswawshooner….snetooomubeeeee.”

I don’t know on which planet that translates into “Satan is cool!,” but definitely not the one I live on.

Oh, I get it. They’re speaking Satanic tongues. Burn your Led Zep albums! Run! Run, you bastards before God unleashes his wrath and Satan drags us down into the fiery pits!

Or, don’t. In which case, no one can save your soul now, you rock 'n' roll-loving fool.

B and I were both raised Catholic, but eventually we grew up, started to question things, and the religion we accepted as absolute truth as children started to segue further into fairy tale, folklore. We still believe in God, but while B sees Him as something to fear, I see mankind as something to fear.

People are stupid. People also happen to “rule” this planet. And look how well that’s going. God's sitting up there shaking His head and saying, "Jesus Christ, look at them! Killing each other in my name and Led Zeppelin's the evil ones."

Every now and then, B comes at me with one of his stories. “Nine Inch Nails! They’re Satanic! Marilyn Manson is the High Priest of the Church of the Devaaaaal!” (Unfortunately B likes Nine Inch Nails, so see yis in hell, yeh bastid)

We’ve argued about it numerous times, but have never reached an acceptable middle ground. My middle ground is that there is no middle ground. One of the beautiful things about democracy is that we’re allowed not to have a middle ground. We can worship whomever and whatever we want. Would you stop listening to an artist if you found out he was a Jew and said that he believed his religion, and only his religion, was right?

Worshipping Satan isn’t exactly on the same plane, but the principle itself is still there. Who fucking cares?

If I listen to the music of a so-called Satan worshipper because I like the music for what it is, does that mean I’m suddenly going to be overcome with the urge to kill rodents and drink the blood of virgins while the moon is in its third quarter? Am I slowly being brainwashed into dressing in long black robes, bowing before the Prince of Darkness, and slaughtering thirty-six newborn puppies because when you play “Stairway to Heaven” backwards, they say “snurfy setan?”

By the way, I kind of prefer the words when they’re sung forwards. But maybe that’s just me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning Satanism. However, I am condemning judgment. It’s bullshit that I should be judged for not judging. It’s bullshit that some bible-thumper with too much spare time decided to point his goat-sodomizing finger at some warped syllables that could kinda, maybe, sorta sound Satanic in an attempt to ruin respected musicians that make music that doesn’t quite suit their taste.

And you know what the lead singer of Led Zeppelin had to say about it?

"'Stairway To Heaven' was written with every best intention, and as far as reversing tapes and putting messages on the end, that's not my idea of making music. It's really sad. The first time I heard it was early in the morning when I was living at home, and I heard it on a news program. I was absolutely drained all day. I walked around, and I couldn't actually believe. I couldn't take people seriously who could come up with sketches like that. There are a lot of people who are making money there, and if that's the way they need to do it, then do it without my lyrics. I cherish them far too much."

-Robert Plant (Courtesy of SongFacts.com)
But even before knowing that, I’d still sooner make nice with a Satanist who has ritualistic orgies and keeps bats as pets than, oh let's say, an extremist who straps on a couple kilos of C4 and gets onto a packed train.

So when I’m 66 years-old and I’ve just heard “Stairway to Heaven” for the 666th time and I am gripped with the uncontrollable longing to murder my firstborn child with a lead-tipped dagger, please tell the judge Led Zeppelin made me do it.


Friday, February 17, 2006

The Gap

We were watching ski jumpers on the Olympics.

My parents have always liked the Olympics. They liked anything where they could root for Korea without having any prior knowledge of what they were watching. The World Cup is another such event. My father woke up at 5AM to cheer for Korea in the 2002 World Cup.

But I digress. In this story, we were watching the ski jumpers. My mother said, “It’s like they’re flying.” I told her, “You know, there’s no women’s ski jumping in the Olympics.” I told her that some assholes sat around and decided that ski jumping is too dangerous for women despite the fact that there are several women ski jumpers and many of them are better at it than men.

She watched the ski jumpers flying, and she said, “Well, that makes sense. That looks too dangerous for women.”

The feminist in me couldn’t stay quiet.

That kind of thinking is the reason you’re a seamstress.

I regretted the words as soon as they came out of my mouth. I regretted them even more when she didn’t say anything back. We continued watching the ski jumpers in silence.

There’s a gap that we all know is there. Rarely do we acknowledge its presence, but it’s there, a silent pink elephant in the room, begging for recognition. Everyone has to deal with it. Some people’s parents grew up hippies, flower children who waved peace signs in the air, smoked pot, rode Volkswagon buses to D.C. and protested the war. Their mothers burned bras, hired nannies, and decided that being a secretary wasn’t enough to constitute a career.

Other parents grew up in a different world. A world where it was acceptable for a man to beat his wife when she “got out of line.” Where women were not allowed to smoke cigarettes in public, speak too loudly, wear provocative clothes. Where women were put on this planet to serve men—a dishwasher, a housecleaner, a cook, a vagina to fuck.

That world still exists. Just not in New York City, the world I exist in.

I regretted what I said not because my mother grew up in that latter world, but because she became a seamstress for me and my brothers. For my father, who took her away from a home where she was a teacher and an artist, a success story, to a world where a woman who can’t speak English without a “Gook” accent can’t do much else but become a seamstress. The only problem: I know she chose her path out of necessity, but she accepted it out of bullshit womanly duty.

So I said it, because I could. I didn't acknowledge the fragility of the gap, how easy it is to slip into it. New York women can be bitches and get away with it. And maybe she didn't say anything back because a part of her knew I was right. Just like she didn't protest when I explained to her that I didn't want to be a nurse or a teacher or any of the other "woman" jobs she kept suggesting I pursue in lieu of writing. Maybe she didn't say anything back because it's hard to speak when someone's just slapped you in the face.

But now a part of me wonders if she didn't say anything back because she was proud.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

No, it's not a postcard

Email from the Eldest Bro today. This is a 15 minute walk from his flat. Why didn't I pick Australia?

Last night I had a dream about that guy. That one, the one I’m not supposed to be thinking about. It was so vivid and all I remembered feeling was this helpless rage. The kind where you’re not sure if you’re supposed to be mad, or if you’re even allowed to be. But you are, so you have no choice but to bottle it up, let the pressure build inside your temples until you can feel your head swell. But it’s still all you can think, feel, taste. The rage is screaming in your ears. And despite this misery, a sad, quiet part of me was just drowning in relief to finally see him again.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear London,

London, London, what can I say? It’s been almost two months since I left you, and your sour taste still lingers on my tongue. A drunken memory emits a chuckle, another garners a cringe. Memories with new friends make me miss you, memories of asshole coworkers make me wish I was further away.

The Thames, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the London Aquarium, the Tate Modern, the British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, that beautiful phallus stabbing through the clouds emitting its emerald glow through your perpetually foggy skies. Fish and chips, Kate Moss, Lebanese kebabs at 4AM, Marks & Spencer, Harrod’s, Tatler, Oxford Circus, Top Shop, Charles and Camilla, Hoxton Square, Arsenal…some aspects of your personality were intriguing, fun, even beautiful.

It took me a while to learn your ways. I tried to make nice, strike up conversation with people in bars, before I realized that you don’t like to talk. You like to brood. You like to complain. I tried not to hate you. I bit my tongue, paid your outrageous taxes, ate your overpriced, horrible food. I drank pints of full, heavy beer, and despite the hunger that constantly gnawed at me, the waistline miraculously grew, the wallet continued to shrink. I turned a blind eye to the crooked, yellowed teeth, hit on your unattractive men, felt the sting when they stuck up their noses, shot me down. I tried and I tried and you laughed, you kicked me while I was down. I did something I’d never let myself do. I let you win. I watched my cornucopia of self-esteem dwindle, smolder, fade. I burrowed myself in self-loathing for the first time since I was in high school.

A month and a half back home in New York, was all it took to undo you. A month and a half of more new friends than I found from you in six months, a month and a half of men tripping over themselves to procure my number, a month and a half of New York City’s warm, welcoming embrace, and I forgave myself. My confidence refueled. You became a distant memory, a passed thought. But your telltale residue still clings to me like dandruff on a black sweater.

And now I point the blame at you.

I tried. I really tried to love you. I convinced myself that you were good for me, that you were stubborn, but loveable. Demanding but equally giving. But I gave it all to you and you took and you took and you beat the shit out of me to boot.

So fuck you London. You gold-diggin’, ego swallowing, up-your-own-ass, high maintenance bitch...until our paths cross again, this is my final love letter to you.


Sunday, February 12, 2006


"So what happened?"

"She turned out to be crazy."

"How so?"

"She was just fucking crazy."

"What did she do?"

"She just kept calling me and shit. Borderline stalker shit."

I've had this conversation with people more times than I can count. I usually nod in agreement, "Oh, one of those. Those crazy bitches." We've all heard the stories about them. They run rampant through the dating pool, only to reveal their true colors somewhere along the seventh-inning stretch. The remainder of the game is spent ridding yourself of the residual bad taste they leave on your lips. The 15 missed calls at 5AM, voicemails of them sobbing, the emails, the begging, the normal, run-of-the-mill "crazy shit."

Don't get me wrong. It's not always the girls. I've heard the story as frequently from the lips of females as males. "He started parking outside my fucking house, just sitting there. He left me ten text messages a day." Same old shit. I've told the stories as much as I've heard them. It's easy to brush them off. It's easy to label their behavior "abnormal," "freaky," "weird." Crazy.

It's especially easy to forget.

It's easy to forget when you were there. When you were the crazy one. When loneliness paired with that last shot you knew you shouldn't have had got the best of you and you made the phone call you shouldn't have made, sent the email you shouldn't have sent, left the voicemail you shouldn't have left. Pride and reason, numbed by depression and alcohol, lost the fight and impulse took over and you said that thing you knew you shouldn't have said, you asked that question you never ask, you broke the fucking "rules." And the next morning, in the light of day, in the light of sobriety, you know he's out there, "Listen to this shit, look at this shit. I told you, she's fucking crazy."

How many times have I been the crazy one?

Who is crazy? I've heard the extreme stories. The real borderline stalker shit. I've shaken my head, rolled my eyes, thrown my hands up in exasperation, "That's just crazy! Change your number! Run!"

But I've never heard the real stories. No one ever tells the other side. No one ever talks about the moments, the gifts, the plans, the promises, the lies. No one confesses.

"She's just crazy!"


"What do you mean 'why'? Because she's fucked in the head."

"But what did you do?"

"Me? Are you listening to me? She's crazy."

No one speaks for the crazy ones until they are them. And even then, they quickly forget.