Thursday, February 28, 2013
So Girls Gone Wild filed for bankruptcy on the same day that the Pope stepped down? On the day before the Sequestration is supposed to kick in? Hmmm … I’m going to go read Revelation real quick, hold on … … … no, it looks like we’re good as long as there aren’t any new plagues in the pipeline … oh …
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I have been tinkering with some writing lately. Lots of false starts. This is part of a longer scene I was working on yesterday. Two men are exchanging business cards on a plane. One of them has been telling people he works for the Encyclopedia Britannica. (I don’t know about you, but that is on the very short list of day jobs I would enjoy.) The other guy is named Mississippi Clarke.
Mississippi Clarke, esquire thoughtfully studies the card I have given him. “You work for the Encyclopedia Britannica?”
“I do,” I lie.
“What do you do?”
“I have no idea what that means.”
“Not everything in the known world is yet known. Sometimes somebody needs to go look at it.”
“Recently discovered, previously unknown phylums of lobster, that sort of thing?”
“The term ‘lobster’ describes its species. All lobsters are of the phylum arthropoda, which also includes insects and spiders.” This is true.
“So when I pay sixty bucks a plate for Maine lobster?”
“You’re basically eating a giant underwater spider, yeah.”
One of my goals this year was to write the equivalent of one blog post a day. There have been 59 days so far this year and this will be blog post number 55, which means that I’m only four behind! Although in my brain I keep track of it on a per month basis rather than a cumulative year-to-date basis, which would mean that I am still SEVEN posts behind for this month and … Jesus Christ you have got to be bored as all fucking hell if you are still reading this post right now. I’m writing the god damn thing and I’m getting bored and I have a degree in writing things and I know that is a bad sign. Here, you get a reward for your perseverance. Below is a picture of Scarlett Johansson (who loves me).
I’m reading a poetry collection by a man named Patrick Ryan Frank. His initials are PRF and to me that sounds like it should be some sort of degree. Like an MFA or a DDS.
The collection is called “HOW THE LOSERS LOVE WHAT’S LOST” and below is one of my favorite poems so far. (This, BTW, is how one is supposed to write poetry, in case I have fooled you into thinking that mine is any good.)
IT ISN’T PARANOIA IF IT’S TRUE
An empty wheelchair in an empty park,
parked car packed full of children’s toys – I can’t
quite shake the feeling things are happening
to other people, either miracles
or something awful, but not to me, as if
my name is off the list for some event
the universe is having: massive party,
prison riot, something half the town
has found an invitation to, like money
in a brand new jacket pocket, like bits of glass
in a cereal box, but I still have some hope
I’ll open a door and find a room of people
all strangers, shouting, Surprise, shouting, Look out!
About a year ago I got a decent salary bump because I took on a whole lot of extra responsibility during something of a crisis time at my work. The jury is still out on whether or not I made the right choice. Anyone who is familiar with this blog or my FB or my ever-thinning hair has heard me complain about the stress of my job, however it was a Faustian bargain and one that I entered into freely. Well – believe it or not – I did one smart thing when all of that happened: I opened a savings account.
Yes, yes, I should have done that years ago. I know. Let’s get past it.
Also, around that same time, I had developed a pretty aggressive budget for myself. Not just a “budget” in the theoretical sense. I actually built my own Excel spreadsheet where I have been tracking EVERY SINGLE purchase I have made for almost the last two years. It is an exquisite spreadsheet, BTW. I am very proud of it and if any of you out there are Excel-o-philes you should let me know and I will send you a copy!
Basically I started making a little extra money at the exact moment when I was able to take real grown-up control of it. For me this was a pretty big deal. I have been chronically bad with money over the years and it feels better now to have it under control.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not rolling in dough or anything, far from it. But once I started saving and budgeting I started to get more and more wrapped up in how much MORE I could save and budget! Put it down to the addictive traits of my personality.
Lately this has all manifest itself in my nightly reading of blogs and articles about how to cut spending and manage money (ironic since I push around other people’s money all day, but I contend that personal and business finance are completely different worlds). The problem is that I already do, like, 90% of the stuff that they say to do! I don’t have any credit cards. I buy almost all my clothes at thrift stores. I am cutting down on “empty expenses” (a term I keep seeing, derived from “empty calories” and meaning money you spend that doesn’t really get you anything; think Starbucks, cigarettes, crack cocaine [regular cocaine is a whole different story, obviously, because it is so good for you!]), I plan what I am going to buy before I go to the grocery store (mostly), I research big purchases before I make them (no one alive can obsess and anguish over the buying of a backpack more thoroughly than I can), and I have cut down my purchasing of lottery tickets to only 600 a week!
The point is I am running out of new ways to cut down on spending! There are two or three things left that I still need to do; I still have cable TV (which I split with roommates) and need to get rid of that. I need to learn to make a proper salad rather than buying these pre-made bag-o-salad bags. I need to cancel my membership to that website based in the Philippines that allows me to bet on box turtle races.
I need to find ways to enjoy my life a little more without spending any extra money. This is why I go to the library so much; did you know that you can check a bunch of books out of a library FOR FREE and then just never return them! It is amazing and completely true! You should try it.
Thus far I have not taken up trolling Freecycle for fun new junk, but that is mainly because I am lazy, but I’m sure that I will get there. I have also stopped myself from constantly buying notebooks. I used to buy every notebook that I saw. I have found that one or two good Moleskins will last a good long time.
Currently I am trying to do this thing where I eat all the random food I own. Remember those cans of creamed corn in the back of the kitchen cabinet? I am trying to eat the stuff like that. I want to get to the point where I don’t have any of that stuff around. I want to be able to open the cabinet one day and be all like, “Huh, I don’t currently own any food.” (HASTAG: firstworldproblems) That way I can start over from scratch and will – from then on – only buy the stuff that I actually need.
I’m discovering that there is something freeing about needing less and using less. This isn’t to say that I’m going crazy about it. If we go out to dinner I’m not going to be all like, “Just some water and saltines for me, thanks” because I have come to realize that when I do go out to dinner or spring for some French fries or a good cup of hot chocolate (damn you Starbucks!) that those things seem to taste better. In my brain I think that they LITERALLY taste better, but perhaps I mean that those things are more satisfying. Because they are. Because they’re rarer and they’re more special. Specialer!
The moral in all this is that I’m not happier because I have some money in a savings account, I’m happier because I have taken better control of my life in this small way. I am happier because it is something I have done. It is feeling a of accomplishment. And I don’t know about you, but those are few and far between in the grown-up world.
Now having said all of that, I am going to Google this $130 backpack I’m planning on buying. One day.
Here is an interesting article about three people who live on less than $20k a year.
Things I am doing right now:
- Eating a salad.
- Half watching “The Expendables” because it is on TV and nothing else is, and also because I’m morbidly curious about how much suck can be packed into one movie.
- Trying to figure out when that mini-series “The Bible” starts. I think it is this weekend!
- Reading about a family that lives on $14,000 a year.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I am reading a book called “The Lover’s Dictionary” by David Levithan. It is a small novel about love the narrative is structured into the form of a dictionary. It is interesting. I’m not quite sure if it pulls it off, but it is interesting.
This is one of the entries that I just read:
These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.
I have also been watching a lot of “Psych” on Hulu (because, as lives go, I would enjoy living that one) and one guy just said to another guy, “Don’t be a rabid porcupine about it.”
Also there was this: “I am a detective, not a svengali. I think I would know if I were a svengali.”
SHAWN: I’m not Rainman.
GUS: You sing like Rainman.
I am going to start talking like that to people. Just try and stop me.
I’m sorry for posting this. There are enough pictures of cats out there already. Some people might ask, “Can there really ever be enough pictures of cats?” and the world might respond, “Yes.”
But this one is funnier than most of them, I think.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Last night while watching the Oscars I started to get bored somewhere around the fourteenth appearance of the cast of “Chicago” and so I set up a Twitter account from my phone. Should you care, it is called @standardkink (though I’m no exactly sure if that means anything because I have not yet figured out how Twitter works.
Here are my initial Twitter-related discoveries in what I like to call “The Land of Stuff Which was Cool Two or Three Years Ago!”
- Everybody I have talked to about having a brand new shiny Twitter account has said to me, “Yeah. I have one. I don’t really use it anymore.”
- It is very difficult to figure out which person on Twitter is actually Will Ferrell.
- The speed and frequency with which The Huffington Post updates its Twitter feed is not just shocking but actually kind of horrifying. It is as if they have an entire staff of people over there who used to be Republicans and they are all trampling over each other to prove their liberal bona fides.
- Steve Martin is a very funny man who has been told far too many times that he is a very funny man. I adore him but something about the fact that he’s hilarious even when he’s phoning it in is kind of annoying.
- As soon as you sign up for a Twitter account seven people whose photos are of trashy looking women in bikinis will start following your single post and then immediately unfollow you.
I have been trying to articulate this idea for about a year, but when I have tried to explain it I have come across as some sort of ascetic, Communist anorexic*.
* Which I am.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I have not had the opportunity lately to update you on how exciting my life is!
That is basically because it isn’t.
Not right now anyway.
But thanks for stopping by!
I had gotten myself into a nice little routine, working and exercising and doing a lot of reading and generally being healthier, but then I fell ill, it was tragic and all that. I missed two days of work - and I don’t miss a lot of work – and although I’m feeling somewhat better now, it has been difficult to get back into the swing of things.
This year has been weird like that so far. Almost exactly a month ago I woke up one Saturday morning and simply felt TERRIBLE. I had gone to bed fine and woke up like a wreck. My head hurt, my stomach hurt, my back hurt, it was all hurt and blah. I spent a whole weekend like that and even missed work the following Monday by sitting in Urgent Care. It was the day of President Obama’s second inauguration actually, I remember because I watched it sitting in the Urgent Care waiting room. The various tests and such came back and declared that there was absolutely nothing at all wrong with me. The doctors were nice enough to say that I possibly had a “viral infection of some kind”, but it was totally a consolation prize.
So I sat myself down and had a little heart-to-heart with myself and decided that I would try to just healthy-it-up for awhile. Not that I was doing anything terrible or entertainingly immoral or illegal, but there was a lot I could do better, so I started. I won’t bore you with the details. It is mostly just about eating better and sleeping more and trying to be more happier and more fit. As you might imagine, the ‘happier’ part has been the most challenging, but I’m working on it.
Since I am basically a girl, I have also started keeping a cute little diary! It is just a notebook with notes about the day. Interestingly, I have read on running blogs and backpacking blogs and writing blogs that one should keep a daily journal of some sort. One of the running websites called it a “lifestyle journal” and so that is what I have been calling it to myself. The runner-up was “my unicorn dream diary”. I have created a far more complex than needed system for keeping track of how to best keep track of how many days I have been tracking things in my dream diary … I mean Lifestyle Journal. I have also been doing that 30 Day Shred thing (that angry, yelling, lesbian fitness robot woman Jillian Michaels hates me BTW and is trying to kill me) and so I keep track of my weight and which day of that I’m on and how it all went. I also keep track of what I eat. Sometimes I draw little pictures.
So all of this should confirm for you how FRICKEN’ BORED I am lately.
You know, I know other bloggers who get hate mail. Yeah, HATE MAIL. That’s interesting, right? Would it kill you people to send me so hate mail occasionally? Here, I will get you started:
Thank you for finding yourself so fascinating that you pay sixty bucks a year to host a blog about how bored you are.
In case it was unclear, the above ‘thank you’ was ironic.
Also, we hate you and we’re going to murder you.
Your Future Murderers
Here is a page from my dream diary … I mean, Lifestyle Journal.
Sometimes I write little scenes just for fun, as a kind of mental stretching. I generally don’t even bother to save them (Isaac Asimov said that the most valuable thing a writer can ever own is a wastepaper basket) and the other day I was tinkering with a scene wherein the narrative explains how to draw a picture of The Prophet Muhammad.
That would be okay, right? And wouldn’t get me murdered, right? I think it would be a fun passage in a piece of narrative, because it seems like it breaks the rules, but doesn’t actually break the rules!
BTW, there’s no actual religious rule against creating pictures of Muhammad or any other living person either, technically. That is very much a rule some dudes came up with and ain’t gotten nothen’ to do with the Good Book. It is the difference between the Old Testament and the Talmude. It is the difference between the New Testament and the Republican Party platform.
But tell that to the Ayatollah
Posts like this will likely get me Salman Rushdie-ed by somebody, the real question is: who?
Recently I have come across some pictures on the internets which I would like now to share with you. I’m not one who enjoys just reblogging crap, but with the rise of Tapiture and The Chive and the like, men have more and more opportunities now to waste their time online doing something other than watching porn.
Anyway, please enjoy these pictures, I did.
Did you guys hear about the very smooth and cinematic diamond heist today?
I just want to go ahead and publicly state now that I was at work all day. Working. And plenty of people saw me there and stuff. And I wasn’t even in Germany. Just wanted to make sure everybody knows that. Everybody got that?
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I just read the small book “Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure”
Here are a few that I liked and which are very much reflective of the mood I’m in, or maybe the mood I want to be in:
I wrote a poem. Nobody cared.
– Joe Heaps Nelson
Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention
– Arianna Huffington
It’s like forever, only much shorter.
- Pete DeVito
Hope my obituary spells ‘debonair’ correctly.
- Gregg Easterbrook
I imagined more than office jobs.
- Gretchen Vitamvas
Tombstone won’t say “had health insurance.”
- Dean Haspiel
. . .