Month: September 2004 Page 2 of 3

Spielberg.

The coffee shop was frikken deserted on Sunday night. Deserted. Lots of other places for these to bobos to sit than six feet away from me.

Girl: About twenty two, works at a pet store, long brown hair.

Boy: Just turned thirty, still going to school, looks and sounds like a younger, taller version of Wallace Shawn.

Girl: I watched the Spielberg biography last night.

Boy: Me too! You know, I haven’t been able to watch ET since I saw it the first time.

Girl: When was that?

Boy: I was about seven or eight.

Girl: I know what you mean. That movie was so scary! You just felt trapped.

Boy: I had nightmares for years.

Girl: I’ve never been able to watch some of his movies. I’ve seen scenes from some of them, and I just can’t do it.

Boy: Like Schindler’s List.

Girl: What’s that other one called? Amistad?

Boy: Me either.

Girl: That Spielberg, he makes some powerful films.

Cookies.

Ray’s sitting on my lap. One cookie says to the other cookie (both of which have a big, semi-circular bite of them):

Cookie 1: What happened to your head?

Cookie 2: That one eat me.

Cookie 1: Spiders!

Cookie 2: Aaugh!

Just let yourself fit in.

This is one of those more introspective posts.

I’ve been reading The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The setting is Victorian England. Anyway, there’s a scene where Sarah, the epononymous character, reveals that she slept with the French Lieutenant and why:

She was a governess for two children whose mother was her own age. She liked the woman, liked the children, but every day she was reminded that she would never be able to have what that woman had–a home, a husband, children, respectability. She was too poor to marry someone with money, and too educated to marry someone who was poor.

The French Lieutenant flirted with her while he was recuperating from a wound, and invited her to meet him in another town. He hinted that he’d marry her. When she found him, she realized in a flash that 1) he’d never marry her, and 2) good thing, too. She slept with him anyway.

Why? She knew she’d always be an outcast no matter what she did, but she’d have to live by the rules if she didn’t want other people to think she was an outcast. She slept with the French Lieutenant in order to take away the illusion. It didn’t really work, but that’s another part of the story.

When I read it, it was like a piece of the puzzle clicked. In school I was the ugly duckling. In Chamberlain, my parents were farmers and we were poor. I was shy and smart and lonely most of the time. In Flandreau, my parents were newcomers in a small town that respected tradition over pretty much everything else. I was still shy and smart and lonely most of the time.

Then I got contacts and had my senior pictures taken. All of a sudden, I had a boyfriend; people I’d had crushes on followed me around. People literally opened doors for me. Aha! There’s something beautiful to be had and seen. But I was still shy and smart and lonely most of the time, only it was worse, becuase I had to pretend that I wasn’t any of those things.

I went to college. I quit wearing contacts most of the time. I stomped around whenever people offered to hold doors for me. I wore whatever I wanted — I had a bright striped gauze skirt that would spin up to my waist. I hung up on a guy who just wanted a date. I was still shy and smart and lonely most of the time, but it didn’t hurt. And the people I knew were people I wanted to know, people who wanted to know me not just because I was another outcast.

Ay, one day a ‘friend’ of mine asked me why I didn’t let myself be beautiful. I couldn’t explain it, but I hated her for asking. It makes more sense now. I didn’t want to lie anymore. It didn’t end up being a final solution, but that’s another part of the story.

Oh Raaaaaaaaaandyyyyyyyyyy…

Arch-swindler Moist Van Lipwig never believed his confidence crimes were hanging offenses — until he found himself with a noose tightly around his neck, dropping through a trapdoor, and falling into . . . a government job?

By all rights, Moist should have met his maker. Instead, it’s Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork, who promptly offers him a job as Postmaster.

— Going Postal: A Novel of Discworld, by Terry Pratchett.

Out October 5th.

Dang it.

As Lee left for work, I told him I was going to do some calling around about places to live.

“Don’t sign anything without letting me see it first,” he said.

Damn it. The first one I looked at is just what I want.

The difference between poetry and prose.

I’ve been trying to figure this one out for years. One of my playwriting profs asked me this one, since I was trying to write both.

The tentative answer of the day:

Prose is clear, communicative writing.

Poetry is clear, communicative writing under extreme conditions.

–I never really liked rhymed poetry, but the conditions I put on my free verse were just as harsh, even though most of the time I wasn’t lucky enough to figure out exactly what those conventions were afterwards.

Our 8-year anniversary of dating was July 15th. Our six-year wedding anniversary is Sept. 26. Here’s the best love poem I’ve ever written, just after I started dating Lee:

#when you jump you fall#

when you jump you fall. that all i

know. you fall as far you you’re high

off the ground, and then it’s over. i

kept my eyes open the whole time.

every time. i tense up when i see

the bottom. everything shatters. i

know how to pick up the pieces. right

from the first i’ve always known.

when you jump you fall. you always

grow from the things that hurt you.

nothing else works. nothing else gets

through the skin. that’s why you

jump. nothing else makes you look

and see what you’ve become. nothing

else makes going on important at all.

when you’re falling you’re in heaven.

i’m not afraid. i climbed so high i could

see sunrise and sunset overlap under me.

you look startled. the distance. it’s too

far to clear it both ways. i’m ready, i

say, only i’ve already let go.

when you jump you fall. that’s all i

know. why doesn’t it hurt yet, you

say. i don’t know. these mysteries.

the wind is so thick when i’m with

you. so hard to keep from catching sky

between my fingers. i just don’t know.

so hard to keep flinching from the blows

that never come. i just don’t know.

Email update.

I took a Gmail invite from Doyce recently, and have changed my email address. Worry not! Thanks to Doyce’s savoir faire, the old address is forwarding to the new address. If you’d like the new address, email me at the old address or leave a comment here, and I’ll send you the new address.

Re: Gmail:

1 spam. 1 week. Any questions?

In other birthday news,

Ray and I went to a birthday party for a little girl that Ray plays with. Now here I have to figure out what I want to say. Every time Ray runs around with this kid, I pity her and feel proud of the way we’re raising Ray.

After all the presents were unwrapped and the balloons were popped, the ice cream cake had been eaten and the relatives had wandered off, the little girl stopped screaming “mine!” every time Ray touched something and sat down with her to play. They colored and tried to blow bubbles. I took them out to the park. We had time to go down the slide a couple of times, and then we had to walk back.

On the way back, the little girl said, “We went down the slide five times.”

I said, “We have to remember that we need to go down all the slides next time. And push each other on the swings.”

She said, “Okay.”

On the slide, Ray tried to push her way past this girl on the stairs. I told her to say she was sorry, and she did. The other girl said, “That’s okay,” and they went up the stairs together.

Horoscopes.

People shouldn’t read the horoscope for the month they were born, but the month they were conceived. This would make Lee, birthday Sept 1, a Capricorn:

Between North and South Korea is a long, narrow strip of land called the DMZ. Designed to be a buffer zone where all human activity is prohibited, it has accidentally become a nature preserve beloved by white-naped cranes. The area is a paradise for the birds because it has an abundance of undisturbed marshland and is free of predators. Luckily, the cranes are so lightweight that they’re in no danger of detonating the many land mines buried throughout the 370-square-mile area. Everything I just described is an apt metaphor for a situation or state of mind that’s now available for your use, Capricorn.

–He’s also quitting smoking. Via Free Will Astrology.

Experienced Orangutan Wanted.

Terry Pratchett at the Hugos.

via BoingBoing.

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