Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is there...

...anything more intriguing than a person who intimidates you with their intellect?

I had accepted the fact that certain people just didn't do it for me. But sometimes, someone is just so passionate and frighteningly intelligent, even if it's about something that completely escapes you, that you can't help but feel like that needs to be a part of your life.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On writing

Writing is exhausting sometimes.

There are rare moments when you’re feeling it, and all of the right words spill out of you in a steady, comfortable stream. You type feverishly for what feels like five minutes only to realize that an hour is gone and you’ve satiated pages with thousands of tiny letters.

Most of the time, you have something you want to convey, but no matter how hard you try, the right words and phrases just won’t come. You fiddle with internet thesauri, retype the same sentence over and over hoping something clicks so you can feel that familiar release. You distract yourself with trips to the kitchen for snacks and glasses of water but this thing keeps burning inside your chest without a name. It radiates inside of you like a glowing coal.

By far the most frustrating is when the words come too fast. There’s too much you want to say and your thoughts are performing an assault on you, like machine gun fire. No matter how fast you try to catch them with your hands and your lips, they’re coming out in a rapid fire jumble of broken sentences and incomplete thoughts and everything you want to say feels misunderstood. That’s when you need to walk away and hope that one day those ideas will sort themselves out into something you can hold.



I was all set to spend the night with a book tonight, but Pulp Fiction is on Stars.

Game over.

Trying to forget anything as intriguing as this would be an exercise in futility.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas a la L

The cable repairman came to install our new HD box the other day and felt the need to engage me in small talk. “Excited for Christmas?”

“Uh, yeah. Sure.”

He laughed. “Yeah it’s not like when you were a kid, right? Getting all those gifts under the tree. Not fun like that anymore, right?”

“Yeah...not like that anymore!” I overcompensate.

“Well, have a good one anyway!”

“You too!”

To this day, B and Eldest Bro tell me about the “Best Christmas Ever.” The year they woke up to find stacks of gifts under our sad little plastic Christmas tree. Big boxes wrapped tightly in paper stenciled with drawings of stockings and candy canes. They tore in to discover a brand new Nintendo, games, toys, stuffed animals, and left piles of crumpled paper, bows and boxes in their wake as satisfying skeletal reminders. I was one year old then, so I don’t remember that year, but from their "oh man"-riddled descriptions, it seems like it would have been fun.

My parents never did it again, so I never got a “Best Christmas Ever.” I still believed in Santa at that point so I assumed he was too busy. Even as a naïve child who believed a fat man in a red suit flew into chimneys and delivered gifts, I was reasonable enough to know that it was impossible for one person to go to every house in the world in one night (it was things like this that had teachers often labeling me "precocious"). I assumed he just never made it to our apartment. We didn’t even have a chimney. When we moved into the new house, there was no fireplace there either, and despite the huge upgrade from our roach-infested, tiny one-bedroom in Elmhurst, it pinched at the back of my mind that Santa had no way of getting in.

None of that mattered, though, when that same year, three weeks before Christmas, B was teasing me with stories about Santa, where the legend came from, why he never came to our house and, after pausing to chuckle to himself, he rather nonchalantly dropped the bombshell—“Whatever, you know there’s no Santa anyway.”

“Oh, yeah…duh.”

My little six year-old world was upside down. No Santa? I lay awake late into the night all wide, teary eyes wondering what else I had been lied to about. God? Was there a God? Did Jesus really change all that water into wine? Loaves of bread, fishes, Noah’s Ark.

B had no idea about any of this, of course. Even at six years old, I was prideful and sensitive to the ridicule of my older brothers, so there was no way I was going to let on that I had believed something so silly. Obviously there was no Santa.

One year, when my brothers were in junior high, we tried to recreate that Christmas ourselves. We walked to the shopping center by our house armed with whatever tiny sums of change and lunch money we could scrounge up and bought ourselves trinkets, board games, books. We wrapped them carefully and put them under the tree. Christmas morning, we tore into them, feigning surprise, but as we sat around in the clumps of packaging, B broke the illusion and said what we were all thinking: "It's just not the same."

Other than some hideous costume jewelry bracelet my mother gave me one year—one I showed off to all my friends at school until it began to rust—the gifts never came again. That didn’t stop me from hoping that one day they would. I still jumped up Christmas morning convinced this was the year they’d do “Best Christmas Ever: Part II,” but they didn’t and eventually I stopped hoping. Christmas became a source of dread, waking up early to snore through a two-hour mass, going home and watching It's a Wonderful Life.

There lies the reason that, unlike most of my friends who plan secret santas and holiday dinners, I don’t look forward to Christmas. I cringe at the compulsory let's-have-a-girls'-night-for-Christmas email that pops into my inbox the second week of December. I hate the holidays. I’m a typical Scrooge once Thanksgiving leftovers are packed into Tupperware containers and radio stations start crooning, “I’m dreaming...of a white….Christmas” and all the houses on my block are adorned with sparkly little white lights. From my childhood hoping for gifts through to my adulthood hoping for anything, the holidays have been associated with nothing but disappointment and resentment and the hope that something will be different come Christmas morning, but waking up to see nothing has changed.

So poo on you and your cheesy holidays.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am all I need

Or at least I’m trying to convince myself that.

I get into a discussion with Mike about how I am prepared to be alone. It’s not meant to sound like some sort of “boo-hoo, woe is I” emotive lonely woman blabber talk. But he sees it that way and he’s looking at me with this disgusting pity-drenched, disappointed gaze.

“I’m not saying I’ve given up and I’m just going to write everyone off from here on. I’m just saying that it’s entirely possible that I’ll never meet someone I want to be with, and I’m ready for that possibility.”

“That’s just sad.” He’s shaking his head. “You have a lot to offer.”

“I never said I didn’t!” I’m getting irritated now. He has turned something I saw as a show of solidarity within myself, an acceptance that I am okay alone, into some sort of weepy cry for help.

“I don’t think you know that you have a lot to offer and you’re just accepting that you’re never going to find someone to give it to.”

“That doesn’t even make sense. Just forget it.”

Fine, I get it. Humans are supposed to latch onto one another and have babies. I’m ready for that outcome also, but just because I’m prepared for the very real possibility that I won’t find someone, it doesn’t mean I’ve rolled over and decided to be fat and join PETA.

Maybe my problem is the opposite from what Mike was talking about. I think I have too much to offer and I adamantly refuse to settle. I got into a heated discussion with S once about how I can’t give guys a chance. If I don’t feel that surge as soon as I meet them or soon after, I just can’t ever see them in a romantic light. And believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve gone on dates I didn’t really want to be on, I’ve dated guys I knew I’d never really fall for in the hopes that I might, and all it did was make me resent them for not being who I wanted. It made me cruel. S said I was close-minded, too picky, I was denying myself the opportunity to get to know a lot of guys that I could potentially have some sort of life-altering whirlwind romance with. I told him he didn’t know me well enough to assume this and he should shove his judgment up his ass.

Maybe he was right. Maybe I’m not giving certain people their due. But maybe I just want too much and I know I want too much and I know that I’m not one of those people who settle or grow with one another. I can’t be my parents who hate each other but grew to tolerate and maybe even love each other. Out of necessity, not desire. Maybe I just know myself and what I want.

I’m ready to accept being alone because I’ve seen too many people force themselves to care about someone they don’t really care about just to fit the societal norm, just to fulfill their duty as animals—survive, mate, reproduce, repeat.

I’m not all that concerned with whether or not I deviate from the norm. If I’m alone, I’m alone. I’ll live. If I don’t have kids, so be it. I’d rather travel. The majority might look at me from their pastel stucco houses and label me “spinster” or say, “how sad, she had so much potential and now she’s all alone.” But the only difference between them and me is that given an option between a life of mediocrity with a tepid marriage and children versus a life alone, most would opt for the marriage and kids where I’d rather create my happiness alone.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


When you're a creative type, it's good to know people in the following professional categories:


Medicine, so that you have someone to call and ask if it's possible to overdose on vitamin C after you took 2000 mg in an attempt to ward off a burgeoning throat infection because you are without medical insurance and cannot afford to get sick, and your pee has begun to smell funny.

Finance, so you can properly gauge whether or not your mutual fund is providing a satisfactory return, or you'd be better served putting your paltry savings in an alternate investment that will make it increase exponentially so you can finally pay for that elective tonsillectomy.

Law, so you know your options after you get caught robbing your first bank.

Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in any of these fields. Well, at least anyone that I'm well-acquainted enough with to call and ask such asinine questions. I have friends I can call to ask what instrument appears in the opening bars of Lover, You Should've Come Over by Jeff Buckley (harpsichord) and who painted the Old Guitarist (Picasso), but no doctors, no investment bankery-type persons, no lawyers.



Things keep popping into my head that I mean to write about. I think about them and formulate long narratives in my head, but once I sit down in front of my laptop, my brain works too fast for my hands and I become frustrated with them. Ideas sound so much better in your mind than they do once they're staring you in the face. I am my harshest critic.

Some of these ideas (maybe people can vote on which ones they want to hear more about):
-My newfound obsession with cooking/baking and how it relates to everything I can't seem to do for myself in my life.
-The amazing creative writing program I found at the University of Melbourne.
-People I've met.
-My sudden shift from wanting to have a lot of children to not wanting any at all.
-My morbid fascination with reading about high-profile crimes and serial killers on CrimeLibrary.
-Just how loaded is the question, "What do you do?"

Deep stuff, I know.