Tuesday, August 31, 2010


So, my best guy friend has this girlfriend who's kind of an infant. And she's nice, and he likes her, but sometimes he complains about their relationship. And this puts me in an awkward position. I want to be supportive and agree with him, but I can't cross the line and be like, "You are so right. That manufactured drama was a bunch of toddler bullshit. Tell her to put on her big girl panties and quit whining."

Because, well, yeah: he can talk shit about her being a giant baby, but if *I* say it, he'll have to defend her and be like, "don't talk shit about my girlfriend." And if he takes my advice and tells her to grow a pair, it probably won't go well, and then he'll be mad at me for giving him bad advice.

So I'm in this awkward position of trying to figure out what tone to take when he complains. I know my advice is probably terrible, because my love life has been a 25-year-long train wreck, but I'm much better at giving advice than doling out sympathy. I'm trying to get better at the sympathy bit, but I have a short attention span when it comes to whinging adults. I can say "there,there" to a child all day long, but an adult? Either quit whining or get a room and have a good cry, but leave me out of it.

This probably makes me kind of an asshole. Or, I dunno: a dude? Yeah, it makes me a *dude*, doesn't it? I'm just not wired for sympathetic maternal behavior towards grown people, and I have no idea how he can spend fifteen minutes having the same conversation over and over:

"My cat's been missing for ten minutes. What if he's dead?"
"He's just hiding somewhere in the house. He's fine."
"But what if he's dead?"
"He's not. He's hiding. He'll be fine."

Lather, rinse, repeat for two separate fifteen minute phone calls.

My head would totally explode if I was on the receiving end of that phone call.

I don't have a point, really, I'm just trying to figure out what tone to take because it's happening more and more.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Five years

I think I've written about this before, but five years ago today, I spent 8 hours huddled in my hallway on a futon, listening to pine trees crashing all around me. I thought it was transformers blowing, so I didn't realize I was in danger. The cats were completely unfazed: they lounged on the bed and looked at me, there on the floor in the middle of the house, like I had lost my mind. I woke to the storm around 8 am, the power went out around 9, and it raged until 4:30 or 5:00. I walked out, wondering if it was the eye passing and we had another 8 hours, or if it was over. The storm was over, but it was only the beginning. I didn't see the devastation in New Orleans on TV until four days later. Power was out for almost three weeks, water was out for 4 or 5 days, and it was at least three days before the roads were cleared so I could drive off my block. Luckily the Poet, who I was dating at the time, was in the National Guard and came to stay with me two days after the storm. He'd go down to Camp Shelby to work overnight, then come back in the morning with a vegetarian MRE for me. I don't know what I would've eaten otherwise, except for crackers and peanut butter, because the free meals at churches and community centers were all full of meat.

I grew up in New Orleans, and among other storm preparations, we always filled the tubs with water, and put an axe in the attic, just at the top of the ladder. I don't have an axe, and I'm not below sea level here, but I did fill the tub with water. For the first time in my entire life, that turned out to be a good idea: I didn't have to drink it (luckily) but being able to flush one's toilet can not be too overrated. It was also the first storm in my life where an axe in someone's attic in the suburbs of NOLA saved their lives.

A few months after the storm, when the NY Times was doing features on people who died in the storm, my dad's long-time (former) secretary Gloria was featured. She drowned in her attic in Central City. She was one of way too many. I don't even think my dad could go to her funeral; he couldn't return home for several months and there was no way for him to get in touch with her people.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Still disgruntled and angsty. Still want to run away from home. Maybe I'll dye my hair purple this weekend, or get a new tattoo, or just drink whiskey and watch Torchwood. Wev.

Monday, August 23, 2010


It's a hot and muggy Monday morning here in the Buttcrack of Mississippi, and I just want to run away. I want to run away to about 1987, where I can drop some acid and go see the Butthole Surfers play, and then have the free time to spend a couple of days looking at the world sideways, and then maybe do my English major homework, which consists of lying on the couch reading some novels. It's not so much that I want to be 19 again, because, fuckity fuck, 19 was a brutal age to be, and I wouldn't be back in my 1987 relationship for all the money in the world, but I don't have any escape outlets now like I did then. I think the time for psychedelics is probably over, and the trippy intense live music available to me occurs 30 miles away and after midnight, and I have a stupid JOB, where I have to be on time and dressed like a grown up and can't dye my hair random colors. I have to be NICE to people I'd much rather kick in the eye. I have to listen to people's stupid fucking DIET TALK all the goddamn time. Some days I am just sick and tired of being a grownup. Today is one of them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I want something I can't have, which I could've had before, but I didn't want it when I could have it. But now that he's seeing someone else: want.

I feel absurd, like a cliche. My timing is always terrible. I keep proving over and over that I can't trust my own judgment. I trust the wrong people, over and over. It's frustrating as hell.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

at a crossroads

It's come to my attention that my peers, mostly in our forties, are all going one of two ways:

1. getting fit
2. getting decrepit or actually fucking *dying*, like dropping dead of a stroke at age 48, mang.

This aging business, it is for the birds, yo. Mortality? Likewise. My parents, having completely retired finally, are starting to act like old people. I do not dig this development.

My own self, my blood pressure has jumped forty points since the last time I had it checked. I have been 120/80 since like FOREVER. Went to the doc Friday, it was fucking 160/90. Not good. No, not good at all. I attribute this primarily to my depression-induced excessive smoking, which I am treating with an anti-depressant and nicotine gum. It's too hot to exercise safely outdoors - we're talking heat indices over 100 from 9 am to 9 pm. This does explain my rampant headaches over the last few months, at least.

So, yeah, it's decision time: get fit, or get decrepit. Shit. I hate exercise. It's boring as fuck, walking around in a goddamn circle for hours on end, going to the same gym over and over with the same people and the same smell and the same machines. I don't like games where people propel balls at me. I can't get a good yoga class anywhere in the county. Wii Active fucking busted my ass the last time I tried it, and my thigh muscles turned into boards so I walked around like the Tin Man for a week. Seriously, I loathe all forms of exercise. I would totally try martial arts if I could find a woman-friendly beginner class within, oh, 20 miles. But there ain't one. I would go to yoga if it didn't involve driving 45 minutes each way.

It is expensive and time-consuming to have a body. Could somebody just download me into a low-maintenance machine? Kthx!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

the war, coming home

I was in Jackson yesterday at a beer-tasting event for most of the afternoon. There were maybe, I don't know 800-1000 people there over the course of the afternoon. And during those 3 hours, I saw four young people with their arms missing below the elbow. Four. In their twenties. Three men, one woman. What are the odds of that? Well, I guess they're higher what with these never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those were just the kids with visible damage. Heart-breaking and then infuriating.