Monday, December 31, 2007

VLOG-Year in Review: Don't You Worry There's Still Time

Hey weirdos! Happy New Year! I thought I'd finish six months of the YIR pre-2008, but now it's the 31st, and I'd rather end the year with a post containing less apocalyptic undertones. So, I made a little Year in Review video. You're probs out on the town, causing ruckus and mayhem, and therefore unable to view this fine feature immediately on your sidekicks -- actually I feel like everyone I know is throwing a party. Like, who's gonna be left over to go to the parties if everyone is throwing their own party? Also, what about the band 'The Party'? They were really good. Hey, speaking of parties, you're gonna have a party in your pants when you see the new Autostraddle post about Episode One of Season Five, "LGB Tease," Lamest Godforsaken Bunk Title ever. I may or may not have seen this particular episode (not on ourchart, because I was at Carly's Big Effin Holiday Dinner last night with a bunch of homosexuals on their iphones playing Manhunt), and by that I mean "I may."

So, 2007: yeah, that happened. On a scale of one to ten, though it kept kicking our formidable asses, 2007 did not entirely blow. Bad shit happened, but I think everything's gonna be okay you guys, totally, no worries. So-- thank you. All of you. And those of you I found here, of course: Cait, Tara, Kim, Lozo, Carly, Alex/Semicolon, Stef, Crystal, Rachel, Caitlin, and many many many more. Thanks everyone for reading, and everyone who's emailed or talked to me or Hav or any of us, you know, whomevs. Whomevs you found here and whatevs you found here and also. also. also. I know it sounds cheesy as fuck, but it touches the hell out of me when I learn that something you experienced here helped you feel less alone in the world in some way, somehow. Knowing you were listening has helped me immensely, too. Rock on. I live in Planet Harlem, where people yell at each other really loudly at all hours and most of the time there are 6-8 crazy people standing on the block yelling into megaphones about the klan and Power -- I don't live in Brooklyn where everyone hides their feelings behind bangs and sunglasses that they purchased precisely for the purpose of showing their real feelings, so I'm allowed to say ridiculous gross sentimental things sometimes. 'Cause it could be worse, I could have a flier about it. Bla bla bla. Me. Me. Me. blablatypetypememmeblabalmemeememem. ... and then we emerged, to see the stars again. (thanks)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Year in Review: Swift-Footed Winged Mess

Firstly, I forgot to say that Mom and Lewis guilt-tripped me into breaking my important "2007: Year of No Movies" resolution. Yes, that's right, on Jesus's B-day, I was forced against my will to attend an afternoon show of Juno, Hipster Movie of the Year. Wizard, that ain't no etch a sketch, I'm down with the lingo, yeah, it was pretty cute & precious, a good flick to ease me back into the movie-going experience, and always good for family time as there's not a lot of intra-family communication during a film. Afterwards, I offered: "Anyone who believes in love now, raise your hand!" and Lew and my Mom both raised their hands, as did I. How about that? I'll watch anything with C.J Cregg in it, but also, speaking of cute ... Ellen Page: I'd like to lie down w/her in a field of brightly painted flowers and play with her hair, if she's got the time, whatevs. Michael Sera reminds me so much of my brother Lewis, thus I imagine Lewis's girlfriend looking like Juno McGuff, which's a nice mental image of my brother and his girlfriend, in lieu of any actual images provided by my brother. Speaking of girlfriends w/o photographs, let's get on to the Year in Review. [Oh! Also! If you're wondering what's on that CD you got w/your clothes ... check it out here]

... in April & May I was more alive than I've ever been before or since ... which is just to say that I had a lot of feelings. Every moment was rich and full: terrifying & beautiful, perfect & ugly, heartbreaking & heartbursting, devastating & hopeful, thunder perfect shameless strength & fear. We lived lifetimes in a day. My brain was called upon to perform daily & hourly emotional, logistical and intellectual leaps rapidly & unexpectedly and the crazy thing is that it actually did -- and coming down took months. I was and often still am a Post Traumatic Stressed Out Mess. [Also, April & May: a picnic compared to June.] It's been a long path towards my "recovery" and she, too, after a few false starts, is truly recovering now, and by doing so is making this particular story one that actually ends well, instead of one that ends with me damaged & reeling and her still manic-as-ever. I lost all my faith in everything at one point: and sometimes you have to lose everything in order to get it all back, but more grateful & humble this time around.

It's tough to figure out how to write about serious madness and mental illness respectfully but truthfully, and here. I'm scared of TMI and unfinished thoughts ... I dunno ... so ... I don't know how to write about this. I may've been better equipped to when I took a stab at it in August. I was still pissed and suffering in the aftermath, she was still mad, and I hadn't even acknowledged on my blog the wide-scale internet attack launched at the height of her madness that most readers witnessed (the elephant in the cyber-room) ... and I had to say something, and so I did, and now, I'm at peace with it. Number "One" on that Top Ten covers what we've determined was defo The Weirdest Day of My Life and kinda gives you an idea of what April and May was often like -- moreso than I can communicate now. 'Cause I'm not angry anymore.

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved."
(The Holy Bible. St. John: 3.)
"To err is human, to forgive divine."
(Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism")

Because to be honest: what I've gained in the aftermath -- which I think (I'm not sure) are things I wouldn't have gained, or not quite in the manner that I did, had things w/Tara worked out better -- are beautiful things. It'd be rotten not to admit & recognise that many friendships and creative collaborations were enabled by my damaged aftermath and most of all, that my increased and loyal readership was enabled by my unavoidable vulnerability and the devotion I developed to this space because of/following that.

I've been blessed by so many heroes, and angels, since. This almost killed me, but it didn't.

"Between angels, on this earth/absurdly between angels, I/try to navigate
in the bluesy middle ground/of desire and withdrawal,/in the industrial air,
among the bittersweet/efforts of people to connect,/make sense, endure.
The angels out there,/what are they?"
(from "Between Angels," by Stephen Dunn)
It'll all be in the book. It takes chapters. There's no way I could do any of it justice here, but I'll try sorta, whatevs. Bla blablatypetypetypememememe.

There's this Dave Chapelle skit that was super popular, everyone quoted it all the time, the "It's Rick James, bitch!" skit? Remember that? This might seem like the most randomized association of all time, but there's a part in that skit where Rick James, following a story of him acting crazy, goes "Cocaine is a hell of a drug." I'd often think, in that same voice: "Bipolar is a hell of an illness."
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
-T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"
Anyhow, these months were like the mega-important transitional period of this blog. Number "5" on Live Through This holds the most important point.



WTF 2007 EVENT #4: Girlfriend begins her worst & most damaging manic episode ever, a.k.a. becomes TB.
WTF 2007 EVENT #5: While girlfriend is in hospital, my article gets killed.
WTF 2007 EVENT #6: While girlfriend is in hospital, the doctors do nothing productive.
WTF 2007 EVENT #7: "6" a few more times, and all of that. That happened.

The first weekend of April, my Mom visited -- totes charmed by Tara & Haviland and vice versa. We had dinner with Peter & Natalie. Tara took her out so I could finish my article. The next weekend, TB got arrested, a photographer from [redacted] magazine came. Then it was Easter, then ... and then. I published a Second OurChart post, about how I met Haviland. And so on.

So: holy shit, I totally funneled boatloads of energy into April and May posts ... hyperlinking, Tara's copyediting, needing somewhere to focus all this ridiculous energy ... each blog post was like a full scale project, like a mini-zine every week. Like, reading these, is just like ... surreal, and it makes me happy that I learned how to spell. Mostly I knew people were actually reading so I felt legit about putting more effort into it. This is where some of the stuff I like best is, like the Top 15 Clubs thing: Part One, Part Two.

There's a lot of first comments, like Razia, Crystal, Carly, LK, Caitlinmae, Brooklyn Boy and so many it makes my head explode to even begin to list them. This kinda got me a job: The Unpaid Internship You've Waited All Your Life For (later, we'd joke that I'd actually hired Carly for this unpaid internship -- she did apply) and prompted genius responses from everyone. Aw, the short-lived obvs segment Carousel of Progress Parts One and Two, my first run-down of my Automatic Skills. Yeah. Urm. A lot of over-compensating for things I couldn't say.
Great Moments in Commenting

I Heart HPSDiva The Most Award (@Top 10 Opposites Attract 4.03):
Haviland: "i have tried to comment about 14 times and the blog rejects my words. waah. obvs so happy for you two. let's go get on a big gay boat!"
Anonymous: "Haviland I am in love with you. I will track you down and find you."
Haviland: "oooh, really? This is exciting, can't wait to see how THAT unfolds!"
The Drunk Comment Award -- Before Semicolon, There Was This Brilliant Gem From Moonkiller ("seconde" is the new "ettempy"):
Moonkiller: "To start if this makes no sense it's cause i'm semi/VERY drunk. I love this entry I can relate to it an awful lot. It's fabulous if you will. Like I nearly alwys say U never fail to make me giggle and donnt half cheeeer me up. I thino tojnihght I might be the drunkenust I've ever been inmy hole lige ever. So sorry if I'v said anythinnng offenive lol. I wil most prbhely cokmmt angain in teh morning sorrecting mistakes in thikis scomment
ps. Taken me 4 ettempys to do the word veri."
Subtext Award: Presented Only to Myself as only I Know My Subtext

Nalia: "Tara is so stupendous/arresting looking, like and I hate to be intrusive, but what genetic mix has produced this?"
Riese: "Arresting indeed ... the literal irony here is INCREDIBLE."
The Lozo Award for Bold & Inappropriate Sexual Come-Ons: Presented Only to Lozo
Lozo's First Time: "i'm not sure who you are, and i'm not sure where exactly you linked to me, but i just wanted to say you really remind me of elliot from scrubs, so i'm going to fall in love with you in about 7 minutes."
Lozo's Second Time:"i just wanted to say that you are my new, what people would call, "blog crush." i think i've only had two ever. but i prefer to call it what it really is, a blog horniness-toward-a-girl-i-really-don't-know-who-may-or-may-not-be-a-lesbian-because-i-haven't-read-everything-yet-but-i've-seen-"L-Word"-a-lot-so-i'm-not-sure-but-i-totally-want-to-have-sex-with-her-anyway-because she-looks-like-elliot-from-scrubs.
i hope you appreciate all that hyphening."
Best Comment Posted in October, Six Months After the Post Went Up In April, (while I was reposting my whole blog after deleting it all):
Tara: "Um. I nearly spit out my coffee when I saw this. I forgot this was here. Sigh ... I'm such a weirdo. And, I just look frightening I think. Anyhow, good morning Autowin."
Best Response to Commenters Wanting to Call Her Out [for Repeating the Dead-Dog Story]
m: "My OTHER friend, unknowingly ate a bag of pop rocks while she was drinking a coke, and exploded. I swear."
Best Suggestion for Saying Goodbye to All That
merc: "Peace corps sounds fun? Like you'd have a lot to make jokes about in blog posts? It would totally, like. EXPAND YOUR WORLD. And um, have this wole new element to your writing? Like, DIMENSION or DEPTH or SHINE -- oh, sorry, I was thinking about hair."
The Earnest Award -- featuring excerpts from -
[stef's first time]: "totally no reason for writing this comment but whatever, i fucking love this blog. i originally wrote a long comment about how i found it and what i love about it and it was so cheesy and i am too new york cool for that, so let me just say i love this blog."
[stef's second time]: "ps, this blog is still awesome, but i live in brooklyn and it's illegal for me to be enthusiastic about anything. i am bound to a life of wearing sunglasses on the subway and sneering at tourists."
Putting Graduate School to Good Use Award
Ingrid: "Ri, From my reading today, I would guess that being an African woman forced to strip down naked for photographs to be published in 19th century Anthro-porno-gynecological medical books, books that would be perused (and probably jerked of to) by Picasso as source material for paintings that have come to symbolize modernity, would have been worse than software breakdowns. But this isn't meant to take away from your pain; it's all relative! Love you!"
I'd Like to Quote Awesomeness from the Intern-Applicant Thread ... but I already basically did that in this post about the comment awesomeness from the intern applicant thread (in the "teleportation" section), so, you know. On with it.
"If they say in the car that I am insane, I will take over the wheel." (Thomas McGuane, 92 in the Shade)
-My senior quote in my high school yearbook
For my 25th birthday, I wrote a parody of the Esquire "What I've Learned" feature -- one of my favorite magazine features, and when I was reading this month's Esquire, entirely devoted to "What I've Learned"s, I decided that this is how I'd write about April and May. This format assumes a certain authority: its subjects, e.g., Evil Kenivel, Tim Burton, Mia Farrow, Otis Redding, Muhammad Ali, Homer Simpson, Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Mel Brooks, Yogi Berra, etc., generally have authority. I don't. I'm totally irrelevant and highly unwise. If you're not familiar with this format, you might think I'm a pretentious fuck. I assure you, it's a guise, I'm totally insecure, otherwise I wouldn't have to talk so much about myself or need all this attention.

-Tara described me as "sunshiney/bright" and herself as "moonshiney/dark" in her guest Sunday Top Ten. I'll take that.
-Zoho Writer crashes and the help-line is not helpful, they are outsourced and speak fuzz. Don't use it.
-Actually ... use Zoho Writer. Because that crash was serendipitious, proving even the most frustrating things happen for a reason: I asked silent readers to comment on their own electronic tragedies, and they did, and then I shared their stories, and then they kept talking, and that's everything.
-The mental health system in this country doesn't focus on "curing"/helping the mentally ill, but rather directly on ensuring the mentally ill won't become violent criminals. Sanity for sanity's sake? Ha! Every single employee of every NY psychiatric institution she checked into let us down. Nobody did a good job. Nobody did a mediocre job. Everyone did a notably terrible job. [I know: they're overworked & overburdened, tired, beaten by the system too] Instead they cared only if she'd possibly kill herself or others and once that liability seemed muted, they'd let her go. Everyone just held their breath til it wasn't their problem anymore, and thus it became mine. It turned out, not surprisingly, I wasn't qualified.
-The Auto-Win Equation of Coolness: x+2x=y (x=quality and rockstar factor of my actual life, y=quality and rockstar factor of autowin's life), unless my whole life is falling apart, in which case, x=y.
-"We're in love with our sadness sometimes" (Chris Pureka)
-Yeah, it's true, you're better off than the third world children who live in shacks. Do you feel better now? Urm, me neither.
-The psych ward is actually nothing like Girl, Interrupted. But they do have karaoke on Friday nights, there is yelling, and the nurses subscribe to the general philosophy that it's always easiest just to shoot 'er up with Ativan.
-It's really crazy how fast you can get used to really crazy shit.
-We had fun, too. Like, a lot of kick-ass fun.
-I think the world could do a better job of proving its lunatics wrong. Could've provided better material for me to argue against impending mass apocalyptic extinction and the human race's desperate unknowing need of redemption. Seriously: the snow in April, the Virginia Tech shooting (one of my favorite posts, I think), the Bush Administration, national disregard of moral responsibility in favor of celebrity, mirror, artifice, false idol worship and consumerism. You know, your average, run-of-the-mill firstworldian douchebaggery. (Auto-Lexicon)
-There comes a point when you've gotta cut your losses -- usually it's the sixth or seventh time you've thought to yourself "I oughta cut my losses."
-Miss Girl Nation, Haviland, is pretty much the hottest thing ever. Howevs, Miss Hot n' Fit turned out to be like amateur night at Deja Vu but with more expensive drinks.
-In high school, I watched a lot of "Slacker" films. These movies, best watched when it all seems so far away, characterised the unemployed/underachieving twentysomething as a beer-guzzling, television-watching, psychic-hotline-calling, mall-crawling, pot-smoking, shampoo-foregoing, ironic-vintage-t-shirt-wearing quasi-hipster who spends 95% of their time tucking their hair behind their ears and pontificating. But I'd never been so busy as I was whilst 100% unemployed: reading like crazy, playing Sancho to crazy adventures, looking for employment, writing, trying to figure out how to save someone when I still thought people were things you could always save without killing yourself, or leaving.
-I'm not entirely convinced that a liberal arts education prepares its graduates for anything aside from a career as a liberal arts educator.
-I love Rosie O'Donnell because she's moved so much by national/global problems that it affects her, deeply, and makes her depressed. We should all feel that way but if we did, we'd all fall to pieces. She does what I hope to do: create a relationship w/the mainstream through non-controversial entertainment to eventually earn the "power" to speak out and be listened to by people on all sides.
-I'm still an advocate of "running away" as a top ten coping mechanism, but I'm glad that I didn't.
-There's a book out there to validate everyone, whether it be The Bible or Kathy Acker, Elizabeth Wurtzel or the Marquis de Sade, or my old friend Matty's choice "The DaVinci Code," there's a book for you. Reading a lot of books about crazy people can make you a little crazy. Look what happened to Don Quijote. Don't even get me started on the internet and what that's done for maniacs all over the world.
-There's a fascinating cultural history related to madness. It's enough to distract you from its logical application to your actual life for a long time.
-Scattergories is the best game ever and fun for people of all ages.
-I deleted my MySpace because it made me feel safer -- one less public & vulnerable space, also cutting off my friends' ability to keep close tabs -- that day was, we agree, one of the worst, TB-wise. I was drunk when I wrote that post, because I was fully resorting to such things, anything for oblivion. Officially surrendering control of the situation. I was sad to lose all my friends' comments, but I think it's good, sometimes, to delete all of something. I still find the click-to-impact ratio stunning.
-Cream: the color. My blog became much better the day I switched from black to cream.
-Poland Spring Water Bottles Will Explode in your bag every time. Unlike people, they will never change. They will not stop exploding.
-If you are sad, try highlights and a manicure.
-It is impossible to argue with someone who is totally both wrong and 100% convinced of their own absolute rightness. I mean; where do you begin?
-She'd ask "What do you need, autowin? Are you okay?" but by that point, I was done accepting her offers cause I knew they'd be used against me later. My answer, which she affirmed proudly, was always: "I don't need anything." It was untrue, unfair, and I've always believed strongly in the validity of relative needs/wants, but for me to lose, temporarily, the privilege of my small tears, the forum to freak out over nothing, the ability to even buy stupid things for myself w/o inciting a fight ... it was very humbling. It wasn't the healthiest way to earn humility, but nevertheless, I did.
-Really, you save yourself by checking in -- therapy, emailing Haviland, ichatting w/Lainy and Chase, phone convos w/Natalie. That's how I maintained perspective, and was able to participate, strategise, without losing my mind myself ... errr ... mostly.
-When you've been on the Metro North with a woman yelling at the entire train about messages from her father in heaven and their first world Angelina Jolie-worshiping-problems, you develop an extremely high tolerance for being embarrassed in public. Seriously, just try to embarrass me in public, I dare ya. Impossible. Also I'm not ticklish.
-I am a decent writer. I'd never taken myself seriously enough to even proofread before, and hiding behind sloppy syntax was part of my subconscious announcement to the world that I didn't think I was good enough for it to matter. But yeah, I believe in myself now, holla.
-I now know: that [TB] wasn't her [Tara].
-The difference between crazy people that run corporations and have huge record deals and crazy people on the street yelling at strangers is money.
-One of the most fascinating aspect of mania is how it challenges commonly accepted limits of the human body. Maybe R-Kelly really could fly, you know, 'cause he believed? It's incredible what some bodies can tolerate, it is amazing how much the mind's conception of its own capabilities translates into what is commonly conceived as hyper-human power. Consequently, being able to break barriers we all could break if we desired to (but why? why would we want to walk barefoot on glass? get mugged and walk 105 blocks?) proves, to the manic mind, superpowers.
-The Book of Revelation is a manic's wet dream. It has become, over time, fodder for thousands of manic-bipolar-schizo episodes the world over. It validates the following: hearing voices, delusions of grandeur, the validity of yelling at people as a way to change things ...
-Also; Revelation probably was a manic's wet dream, like that literally might be what it is. There's a lot of theories. I know all of them. Also, it's beautifully written, stunning, a fantastic grand story. It's kinda awesome, as long as you don't think it's actually true.
-Being forced to accept the possibility of certain circumstances -- a solider, resolutely alive but always prepared for the fatal shot -- and the lasting impact of paying heightened attention to the immediate possibility of highly unpleasant circumstances -- can change the way you think a whole lot, can make you care a lot less about things you used to care about.
-It is possible to survive on Ramen noodles, eggs, peanut butter crackers, vodka and coffee.
-Madness is highly contagious.
-Taking too many amphetamines is a lot like madness.
-From an article about the double suicide of Jeremy Duncan and Theresa Blake: "You could, in a sense, rationalize their occasional erratic behavior. They were artists, after all, and artists are allowed a degree of lunacy." (The article's title: "Conspiracy of Two: A Chronicle of Their Descent Into Madness.")
-If you give money to every homeless person you pass, you can go broke in approximately two blocks. Also, as the only one doing so, many will ask for more. Another five, cigarettes, baby formula (seriously), another ten. A sandwich. Crack. JK about the crack. Crack is expensive, probs, otherwise there wouldn't be crack whores.
-You should probs still give money to homeless people, sometimes. Or food. Whatevs. I understand why you would or wouldn't, and why I do or don't.
-People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but if you're totally chilling naked in your glass house like, what's up, here I am in my glass house, and someone starts throwing stones at you, you should probs reconsider your battle plan.
-[From the Club Blog, Part Two]: "No one ever guessed anything about me just from looking: no one'd guess that I'm queer, or a writer or a or even smart. "I would never guess that _______" I can be anybody, I can be anything, tell me what to do, you say jump I say I'm already jumping, look-- For every apparent revelation: a million secrets, stories denied and squelched by each reincarnation. A love/hate relationship with everything I've stood behind. Gay/straight, Jewish/Quaker, Genius/Airhead, Sane/Insane, Artist/Robot, Social/Recluse ... It's like I've been everything and it's opposite, and've gathered enough narratives to hold my own amongst any of them, now. Though I refrain from anything of import following "I am." Maybe here's a place where I can be all of those things at once and be validated instantly simply by the very fact that I'm writing it and I have a sitemeter. In fact, this particular truth feels indulgent, why should anyone care, that even acting as though I think you should care is breaking into another character, which's the only one I've yet to actually play: confidence."
-"You have to laugh at yourself, because you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't." (Emily Saliers) That's what I did more often than not, was try to turn it into a joke. I mean, it was really fucking funny sometimes. We laughed a lot. You take what you can get, you know? You wait for the next joke.
-Madness + Genius = Toxic
-Anything that can be said in three syllables can be said better in one syllable.
-There Were Good Times. More Good than Bad, srsly.

Like Emily Dickinson: Seriously, I've really never read any of her stuff, I just think it's awesome that she spent so much time in her attic.

-I do not regret visiting every day, or trying to understand/rationalise or sticking it out. I wanted her back, I needed Tara back, she needed me there. There were moments when she'd return, and those kept me going through the truly gruesome terrible things. The ups and downs in one day -- mind-boggling.
-I don't regret losing what I lost, because I eventually got it back and then some.
-I only regret ... no. Nothing.
I weathered the accusations: masochist, depressive. Trying to distract myself from my own problems. Enjoying the drama. Voyeuristic satisfaction. Doing it all for the good writing material. I guess if I'd felt like any of those accusations were remotely true, I would've been more self conscious about my choices, but they weren't -- and I know this because before Tara/TB, I'd made a lot of choices for those reasons, those up there, and I know what that had felt like. I was bored and tired of all that. But no ... I went into the relationship seeking stability. I didn't want or expect what I got. And I wasn't going to turn my back on someone I loved because they were sick, I just couldn't -- I've compared this inability to the basic web template you can't change, no matter how much HTML you learn. That seemed awfully selfish to me? Eventually, I had to lose everything in order to walk away -- eventually, she had to lose everything1 in order to choose, willingly, medicated health "forevs and evs" over the endless highs of provided by oh-so-seductive immortal mania. I tried to make the best of it -- "I never would've read The Book of John, it's a good thing to read!" -- which really isn't the same thing as being manipulated into believing it's okay. Trust me. I knew. Things.were.not.okay.
Why'd I stick it out? Because of love, obvs. Because she would have done it for me. Beneath this white-on-black retina-burning agoraphobic cynical depressive emo exterior is a heart made of cream and purple, fo'serious.

1 TB's Sunday Top Ten: "And meanwhile, back @ Marie's shower, she's blasting showtunes. I'm cringing. Cause music is nearly everything to me. Therefore, Marie and I agree to disagree, re: tastes, and that's cool. Cause now she's nearly everything."2
2Speaking of music, I like these: "A Better Son/Daughter" (Rilo Kiley) ["And sometimes when you're on, you're really fucking on, and your friends they sing along and they love you, but the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap and it teases you for weeks in its absence, but you'll fight and you'll make it through, you'll fake it if you have to."], "Manic Depression" (Jimi Hendrix) ["Music sweet music, wish I could caress caress caress"],"This is Everything" (Tegan & Sara).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Year in Review: Hands Down Totes Rockin' Through The Ides

There's a Calvin and Hobbes book called "The Days Are Just Packed." That's how I feel about most of 2007, but especially March/April/May, which I'm presently trying to Year in Review. I'm having trouble constructing sentences right now; I just spent four days dancing/dodging crazily/clumsily around myself and now the only way I'm able to actually communicate is in emails to Haviland in all-caps. I expected the holidays to be tough, but I was unprepared for what a petulant bratty psychotic weirdo I'd become out here in the heartland. My brother asked me if I found it strange that I was acting like such a secretive agoraphobe when I've got this blog where I'm like "Hiya! Memememememe!" But seriously, I dunno, I really don't think they read this or even know about it. Maybe they do, maybe they're reading it right now. Hi dudes! Love you!

Here's the thing:
Me to Someone: How have you been?
Someone: Well I'm still at [job] and I'm dating [person] and [other person] [got married, had a baby.] You?
Me: Welllll ... in April my then-girlfriend went manic and decided to re-create Don Quixote in real life, I got to be Sancho .... etc etc ... in July I wrote this gay sitcom with a girl I met on the internet and then I went on this gay cruise 'cause my BFF was singing "Mama Who Bore Me" and we did a staged reading of our sitcom on the boat and the girl from Annie read the lead but now we've got this web version and a broadcast thing and we're developing ... etc etc ... in October I got fired for doing drugs and vodka bottles with people from the teevee ... etc etc ... then I didn't leave my room for about six weeks, I built a cave out of bookshelves ... wanna see my boyshorts? They're hot. I'm never doing laundry again, I'm just gonna wear my own merch forevs and evs.

You know? Like, I just don't know what to say. I really don't know what to say. Unlike words, there are no stories I'm able to abbreviate just yet, so I end up just sounding like an asshole.

My aunt and uncle have lived in the same house in rural Ohio for as long as I can remember. At 4 A.M on the 24th I was out there on the backporch with my cousin (the view: endless cornfields, cold, windy, acres) smoking cigarettes and he said, essentially out of nowhere, "You know, I won't judge you, Marie. You can say anything to me, whatever, there's nothing you could say that would change my mind about you being tops, Marie." (Imagine that said in a post-20-beers voice, though.) We'd just spent a few hours watching old videos and discussing our family's attribution of the "genius" label to various cousins at different times (my father was a genius, truly was, we remain awed, want someone to carry it on). It was perfect, him saying that. That was everything to me, even if I didn't say what he was probably getting at to begin with.

I can say people won't accept me for who I am, but that's bullshit, they totes will, I go into everything assuming from the get-go that everyone secretly hates me and seeks to affirm that, but actually maybe they really love me and all my weirdo-dom! Really! Even though we're all! So! Different! I just don't know who I am, and "quirky crazy writer artist girl" seems to be the easiest category to sit inside and speak from.

I took this while driving:

So anyhow! I'm in Somewhere, Ohio in a hotel. The woman at the desk had a lot of flair. I'm kinda emo right now, just a warning. I know that comes as a total surprise after reading the first two paragraphs.

The Year in Review: March



... in which my entire life changed.

WTF 2007 EVENT #2:
Being told I'd have to move out of my apartment, which I loved.

WTF 2007 EVENT #3:
Not selling the book. This is 50% the fault of this book
which came out at the exact wrong time.

K-Lily visited, from Reno, the first weekend in March (which burdened her with the responsibility of playing the "What should my Top Ten be?" game with me all weekend. Our final choice: Top Ten Things You Should Know About Your Friends). I think it was because of her and Tara I even became open to the idea of making real friends on the internet. K-Lily and Tara, both legitimate people with plenty of real-life friends and no deep affiliations to the Star Trek franchise, had plenty of cyber-friends who they'd never met but nevertheless felt super-close to and spoke of with an assumption of legitimacy. Thus, I realised these friendships could matter deeply and that that was okay -- it was possible, or just simply valid. This would end up helping me when later in the summer I couldn't share as much with my 3-D friends as I needed to in order to go on.

On March 8th, OurChart asked for guestbian nominations. Because I always leap at the opportunity to write free stuff for the lesbos, I asked everyone to nominate me, and they totally did, it was awesome, I felt like the super-cool winner of the lesbian Olympics. Wait, that actually exists, doesn't it?

I didn't know what to write about so I suggested writing about bisexual stereotypes/issues and Tara countered that'd be like "making a giant bullseye and putting it on your forehead." We joked I could write about the gayest shit ever instead, which became the Gayest Shit Ever Top Ten, which I must've completely forgotten about when Carly and I put together the Top Ten about all the gay shit that'd be missing from our brill GLBT sitcom, because there's a lot of repeated topics: cats, processing feelings, etc.

I was on fire then! I was falling for this girl, you know? And that became, obvs, my OurChart column: "How I Met the Girl"... I wrote about cyber-sparks and I'm actually totally proud of that essay. I must have written it really fast too. I don't know, like when your world gets totally shook up like mine was then, your mind has to go fast to keep up.

... and just like that. Public. It was the first time since I'd started writing that I'd been open about who I was dating and it felt dangerous and possibly unwise but the material was so beautiful and consequently easy to write about and quickly ... quickly ...

At my first "In the Flesh" reading, I'd met an editor at [redacted] magazine and he called on March 13th about the possibility of replacing their long-time sex&dating columnist. I said we could talk about it, 'cause I knew it'd be a fantastic opportunity, but I'd essentially have to lie about everything since I'd just sort of stopped dating like, that week. Not like I'd been dating. But you know what I mean, whatevs. A few days later he called and gave me my first major unsolicited magazine article assignment of all time. 3,000 words. $1/word. Seven days of my "crazy bisexual life," like Chapter 11 of my book which he'd really liked. [Chapter 11, not to be confused with bankruptcy, was about the one week of 2005 that I actually went out a lot]

But I don't have a crazy bisexual life anymore, I wanted to say. Instead of saying that, I figured I'd just lie, but my bad habit of lying and "lying about a fact to get at an emotional truth" was already tricky ground w/r/t my book -- my agent had already expressed concern that I was gonna have to come clean about a lot of serious skeletons if I did a straight memoir, which is what all the editors wanted me to do, we were finding out as they rejected the half non-fiction angle one by one. James Frey, that asshole, fucking it up for us all. So there was that too: if I lied for the magazine, then would I have to tell the same lies in my book? There were already so many I was trying to navigate then ... "'I can't imagine anyone caring enough about my little book to go on CNN and say I [fill in unimaginable acts here], like it's not like I'm going to be on teevee or something." My agent said, No, you are. This is going to be big, if we do it right.

[Now: I believe that is true. Then: unreal.]

And so I thought this would be good practice: with honesty.

The ides of March. I figured I had a book deal more-or-less, I had this big magazine article -- it'd be okay then to quit my job though I had about $500 to my name. [redacted] magazine was covering my expenses. As soon as I finished the article, I'd get a 9-to-5 that fit me better than my old gig. So I quit.

I think March 15th was the official "first night" of the article, the "Seven Days of Dates" (with the same person??) thingie. There was a Shortbus DVD release party, that weekend Tara and her friend had a joint b-day party. I recall a randomized snowstorm and hopping through it, giddy about love and everything.

March 17th, my real journal: "It is amazing how many hours truly occupy a single day. It is remarkable that we bear it at all."

Sunday, March the 18th I wrote on Reasons to Drink During the Daytime -- it was St. Patrick's Day and my girlfriend's birthday. She drank a lot then, eventually she'd drink even more than that, and then even more, and so eventually I'd start flirting with purposeless daytime drinking from time to time, too.

But also I was learning -- through The L Word recaps (obvs I was trashed for 95% of L Word viewings, it is almost completely unbearable to watch sober) and then through this sort of occasional mid-afternoon buzz -- that intoxication does not inhibit my ability to write. I totally did not need to know that about myself. Like when I learned I could take six Vicodin and still drive a car.

So, March the 18th: we had a house meeting, I was told I'd be moving out because my roommate's BFF was moving in from California. I cried like I'd been voted off Tila Tequilla ... fo'reals, I loved that apartment and its location. I loved Maggie and we'd totally been through it together. I didn't want to go. Everything just felt uneasy: in flux. And I'd quit my job on the assumption that I'd be fine as long as no major unexpected expenses occurred out of nowhere ... like moving.

I was totally like "I am not gonna tell Tara, it's her birthday, no bad news today," but I think I told her about twenty minutes into lunch. My eyes were kinda puffy. It was a really beautiful birthday, holla. Later that day, Tara'd meet Haviland and see The L Word for the first time ever ... [the episode in which Henry clipped his toenails henceforth ruining my life forever] ... and this was all (gonna be we thought) immortalized in a magazine article that was making both of us process my feelings and analyze too quickly, and it wasn't until it was over and got killed that we realised how much that had affected everything. But then we still thought all kinds of good things that had started would continue like they'd been, so who cares, you know? Back then, everything just felt on fire, but not like fire that burns things or minds, just the kind of fire that lights the sky.

In the first post that Haviland admitted she didn't read (it was about food, her least favorite topic):

French Fries
NY Mag said: The Farm on Adderley (1108 Cortelyou Rd. Ditmars Park, Brooklyn)

I say: Arby's. (National Chain)
Hands down totes Arby's. I can never even decide: homestyle or curly? They are both delicious, but in totally different ways. You know, like men and women. That being said, I usually chose curly fries. I think they are just more emotionally complex.
AND ...

Tara's comment:
i. Providing gmail sponsored link context for my epigraph:

"Free Trade Purses
Gorgeous Purses made by girls in Cambodia.
You win. They win. $19.99

We all automatically win. Yay child labor!"

"Hands down totes Arby's" is my new battle-cry. Love that sentence construction; it made my night. Totes.

Hands Down Totes: An enthusiastic endorsement of something that seems very obvs to you.
I Win. You Win. We All Auto-Win: A [hopefully] adorable way of saying this is good for me and also good for you!

"I don't want to be in flux anymore. I am very tired. I want rest and respite." (my real journal, 3-18)

See, I'm still on March 18th. That's how the days had started to go, by April I felt we'd been together for years.

And March 25th ... finally (finally!) The L Word's season finale. [redacted] magazine sponsored the party. Ironically, when I did get reiumbursed for my article-induced expenses, I didn't apply it to cover the credit card bills I'd racked up for the magazine ... I had to use it to pay rent.

We go through draft after draft. (I talked about this more in August, when I decided just to publish the article on my blog.) Heather, Craig, Sherri and I go to see The View and Havi in her little adrogynous get-up, it was awesome.

I had to start looking for a place. In that post, in which I detail what I want in an apartment based entirely on fictional apartments I'd liked in movies, I say that I did find a place but actually that fell through. Anyhow, I thought my head might explode and sometimes I'd feel like I was running so fast I couldn't breathe, like I was so alive I might just explode. Not exploding was so hard I could barely do anything besides that.

Tara and I fantasized about the end of it all -- the end of the article madness, the apartment thing, my employment flux. We're also both kinda hermits and loners and so all that socialising was like, weird. We wanted to just lie around, gaze into each other's eyes and have feelings like real lesbos.

So hm. By the end of March, I was like, 95% certain that the article'd get published. They were sending a photographer and everything. The book was totes rejected and I was supposed to re-work it as a straight memoir, that's what everyone wanted, lots of interest, and I thought I'd do that super-quick and we'd be onwards into book deal land: still haven't done it. The L Word thing happened, the OurChart thing happened, like everything was marching happily forward!

You know what: seriously, March kinda rocked. I mean, knowing now that the article wouldn't be published, it rocks less, but I was totally like, walking on air then: I was in love and my writing was getting better and consequently, becoming something I could do for a living.

Go March! Best Month Ever! Because that is the month! In which this happened!

That's the greatest thing to happen to the human ass since the invention of Auto-Straddle boyshorts, which actually came later. But whatevs, I love time travel.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Top Ten: Live-Blogging Every Thought That Comes Into My Head

10. Did You Know I'm Half-Quaker? Even Though I Had a Bat Mitzvah?
I'm in Pennsylvania, The Quaker State. Great state. Very large. Lots of driving to do here: some turnpikes, highways, significant fog. You guys, driving is dangerous! Seriously, it's been a while since I've driven outside of NYC -- which is different, 'cause driving in NYC is certifiably dangerous so everyone's on alert. Out here in The Rest of the World, people are not on anything remotely like "alert." They're just doing whatever they need to do while they happen to be driving a car, like how I read magazines and watch teevee and write email and just happen to be on an elliptical trainer sometimes. Luckily, elliptical trainers can't run into trees.

9. You're Too Sexy For Your Shirt, Get One of Our Shirts
As I may've mentioned or possibly even dedicated an entire post to, we've been pole-vaulting the Auto-Apparel Store into business! Vega and Stef have been working super-hard, they're better (and cuter!) than elves. We're starting small, and then building/marketing, like right now it's very mom-and-pop, like the corner store, so this is the part where you'll still get cute personal touches, like an index card stating that "I.O.U a sticker when they come in!" (first week of January) and a lock of Haviland's hair (I'll save them when she sleeps over) (just realised I could probs actually do that if I wanted to) (which I don't, 'cause I'm sure she'd give me lots of locks if I just asked, no need to be all creepy about it). But next year we'll start rolling out more merch, like hoodies for critters and black t-shirts because that's Crystal's colour.

I'm so excited about all of this just 'cause Vega's designs are so hot (which just goes to show you that if you win an Auto-Win Comment Contest, you're clearly on a fast-track to success), and I don't mean that in a Tila Tequila monotone kind of way but in a really genuine, critter jumping-up-and-down kind of way.

Because of Jesus, the first shipment won't arrive on your little doorsteps til after Christmas, but it'll totes be pre-New Years for you U.S. residents. Like, actually, many of you will be sporting your Auto-Wear NEXT WEEK!!! You must order before Christmas however if you wanna get the free Auto-Win Soundtrack CD. It's really hot. I might run out of CDs though and have to come up with a new bonus gift. I guess I could just buy more CD-Rs. Good call, self.

So ... do You Wanna Look Very Automatic Today? How About Next Week? Okay Perfect:

8. On the Road
Man, when I lived in Michigan and had a car I used to drive around not paying attention all the time, I can't believe it. I mean human beings must've really had to get used to being so blase about barreling these suckers down the highway at 1,000 M.P.H. Especially truck drivers. My grandpa was a truck driver. Before that he was a farmer. If this was 20 years ago on December 23rd, I'd be at that farm right now, inhaling the sweet scent of fertilizer, a.k.a. manure. Instead I'm here, and then tomorrow I'll go to the house they bought after they sold the farm. There'll be no pigs, cows or horses at the house I'm going to tomorrow unfortunately, because I love farm animals.

7. Year! In! Review!
I'm actually making a lot of progress with the Year in Review, but there's just been so many things to talk about this week! And I have to keep posting these things! But I will be posting! The Year in Review! Before the End of the Year! I! love! Exclamation! Points!

6. Dasher and Dancer
What are you guys doing for the holidays? Do you think you spend MORE time reading blogs during X-mas break, or LESS? I just don't wanna put out an effort for no reason. I love Twix bars. I live in New York, so when it's time to eat a lot of food, I have to drive to the Midwest. I could fly, but I have mixed feelings about Al Queda and R-Kelly. This is one of many reasons I wish I was a superhero, then I could fly for reals, and it's not like a terrorist could hijack my plane, because there'd be no plane, just my smokin' hot body, flying through outer space and the clouds, like Gonzo:

5. Like Steel in my Palm
So today I thought I'd probs leave NYC around noon. Five hours later, I'm hauling stuff to the rental car, like boxes of merch to mail out on Monday or Wednesday (kinda depends on what happens to me on Monday, I may've mentioned my grandparents live in Reeseville - REESEVILLE! - population 63) and my brother calls to see where I'm at, and is clearly impressed that I'm making such good time (as in, I've made it all the way from my apartment to the street directly below it, almost in Ohio) and I'm like "OMG, my hand is gushing blood," and then I have to call him back later 'cause my hand was covered in blood.

My brother drove to Ohio from New Orleans. Clearly I'm not that tough, I gave up in Pennsylvania. On Monday we'll both drive to Michigan where my Moms live. Or Tuesday. I don't know what's going on, I'm just here for the cookies.

Anyhow, yeah at about three or so, I was moving a box and somehow managed to get my hand caught on this pesky nail and it sliced clean through the skin on the front of my hand between my middle finger and my other finger and it was really intense. I've actually sliced my palm open many-a-time in the food service industry, resulting in fainting and stitches, soooo compared to that, this was nothing. Still though I freaked out for a little bit, and thought "I wish I knew someone who'd accidentally cut herself with a crack pipe before who could provide emotional support during this trying time," and luckily, I do, and she did. Then later I actually tried moving my hand normally and it started bleeding all over again, I almost fainted at CVS and wanted to kill everyone there who doesn't understand how lines work, I needed band-aids goddamit.

4. Peaceful Easy Feeling
I love classic rock radio. You know how when you're flipping radio stations, you're not really looking for a song you like so much as a song that indicates you've hit a station that could possibly continue to play music not entirely offensive to your earholes? That's how I feel when I flip upon some Pink Floyd, Beatles, The Who, Rolling Stones, Journey, The Eagles or Van Morrisson, I'm like, solid. I'm here, keep on rockin'. Sometimes they'll break out some new wave, sometimes it'll be Brit-heavy, you never know what delights lie in store! Even if it journeys too much into Billy Joel territory, really, whatever they do, even American Pie, I'm into it. I'm rockin'.

3. BTW
I think this is the fastest blog post I've ever written. Seriously, even faster than when I just talked crazy for like, 20 paragraphs.

2. And also. also. also.
Probs part of the reason it's been so quick is because I've just written down every thought that's come into my head.

1. L'Title
As you may've noticed when they busted out "Livin' La Vida Loca," The L Word is totally running out of L Words, which is actually semi-ridic, there's plenty they haven't used. I mean, I'm sure they want to use Labia Majora again, or Land Ahoy! or Long Time Coming.

These are Carly's predictions for Episodes 506 on (summaries of the first five eps are already sitting in a document on my desktop thanks to my good friends at Showtime, but I refuse to give myself Spoilers) : "Lady or the Tiger," "Laundry Day," "Leif Erikson" "Lenin, Vladimir," "Lanky Loungewear," "Left turn at the third light, second house on the Left" and the finale "Let this show end with dignity, please?"

I totally LOL'ed at Leif Erikson. That would be an incredible episode. I have such funny friends, especially Carly. Lesbians. LOL. Lolita. Lozo. LK. Lick. Lawnchair. Loop. Loser. Lazy. Lexapro. Haha. "Lexapro: In Which Jenny Gets Her Shit Together."

Saturday, December 22, 2007


"Everyone looks good in a pair of Auto-Straddle boy briefs!"
-Haviland Stillwell, prettiest lesbian in NYC

Gimme Gimme.
Gimme Gimme (more).

I hate the word "launch" used in reference to webbernet activities, but I can't figure out what word to use besides "launch" to announce the opening of the greatest webstore of all time, Automatic Apparel. Currently we've got Really Papi t-shirts, Automatic Win tanks and Automatic Straddle boyshorts.

That's right. It's open. Right now the product selection is limited and the sizes are too, so GET IT WHILE IT'S HOT.

If you ORDER BEFORE CHRISTMAS, you'll get a free Auto-Win/Straddle-Soundtrack! That's right, a CD filled with the musical delights I've annoyed you with all year long! It might make you want to kill yourself, but if I'm still here, you can still be here too.

So back to me: the word "launch" reminds me of lunch, my least favorite meal, and it implies flight (e.g., spaceships, time machines), which's a bit pathetic/ambitious 'cause, despite the implications of the word "cyberspace," computers can't fly. Only R Kelly can fly. Oh, you know what else can fly? That's right: eagles. When's "Save the Eagles Day," Riese? January 10th, only four days after my other favorite holiday, "L Word Day." Gee, now's a perfect time to start shopping for Save the Eagles Day! Where should we shop? I dunno ... um ....

In lieu of claiming to launch anything, let me put it like this: if you were to click this link to the AUTOMATIC APPAREL store, you might be surprised to find a plethora of delightful objects available for purchase, including Lozo's virginity, Haviland's hair gel, Carly's favorite pairs of sunglasses and Vicky's breasts (which you may recall were personally autographed by Tegan & Sara). JK! Just t-shirts, tanks and BOYSHORTS. All of this has been made possible by the stellar team of Stef and Semicolon. I'm just you know, writing about it. And um, not well, one could argue.

Though I can't say that these products will ship in time for the holidays -- or that it matters, 'cause really, is anyone actually at their computer right now (apparently this is a big day for shopping and traveling? I don't know, you kids with your friends & your families!) -- but, in case you're wondering -- and I think that you are -- the merch will be ready to ship in time for you to CLAIM that you intended to purchase these items for the holidays. It's just pretty unlikely they'll arrive in time. I mean, if JCrew can't do it, we probs can't either.

Also, critter alert: I didn't know how crittertastic Mariah looked in this video, but now I do 'cause I saw it at the gym today. I can't imagine anything better, besides of course Auto-Straddle boyshorts.

Also, I don't really know much about how all this works. I'm just being used for my starpower, obvs. Funds will go to the Auto-Empire Team and probs to some of the homeless people on 125th. Remember that the stronger the Auto-Empire, the less paid work we have to do, and the more time I have to dedicate to L Word recaps.

But seriously order now. Now now now. Stef is waiting to handle all the logistics for me, obvs.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Like Four-Girl VLOGS and I Cannot Lie

First of all ... BTW: WTF?! Moving on: so today I was at the hospital 'cause my friend's sick. She'd just had a flexisomethingsomethingscopy and she'd been moved back to the ER and then, 'cause of some apparently subtle emergency, all us visitors got kicked out of our loved ones' bedsides and back into the depressing waiting room. Probs there was no real emergency, I bet it was someone's birthday and it was cake time and they didn't want me to have any cake. Guess what? I don't want any cake, so whatevs.

Soooo ... I'm in the waiting room on Sparky McMacBook and this twentysomething Orthodox girl sitting across from me says suddenly: "You're a really great typer. Did you take a class?" I tell her no, I've just been typing for a long time. She and her Mom continue staring while I type. THEN the girl fully gets up, crosses rows, sits next to me, leans over and asks: "Can I watch? I want to learn." Can you watch? Can you watch me write email and look at storefront templates? I don't know, can you? Because that would really creep me out. She keeps looking. She's leaning, her breath is on my shoulder, she asks: "Is that e-mail?" and I was like, um, yes, and she asks, "How do you do it? Email? Is it free?" and where do I begin with that? She continues staring, I continue squirming, she asks, is it weird to look, and I say yes, yes, it is and she asks: "Why, this is private?"

Um, look here: you're a complete stranger. Every single thing I've ever done, am doing, or will do, is private as far as you are concerned. Also, I've already got a serious pet peeve about people looking at my computer screen -- people I know. She fully sat there and watched me write an email to Haviland. Then she told me my teeth were really white ("Do you use whitener?"), which isn't true, and eventually my rising boiling wrath must've permeated her consciousness because she wrapped things up, concluding: "Ok, there are your compliments for the day." Then she and her Mom started chatting about me in Hebrew, but the thing is, that's my secret language too, so I get it. Hello, I used to be fluent in Hebrew.

See, this is the kind of stuff you guys are missing out on if by some chance, unlike me, all your friends and loved ones haven't been struck again and again over the past year and especially the past two months by ridiculous-like hard random blows, e.g., deaths of loved ones and illness/injury.

So the other night we made a vlog, mostly for Cait. Lozo was supposed to come but he didn't. (I'm handing that to whomever wants it.)

It was a little weird, 'cause I kinda didn't feel like being a vloggy person. But these crazy bitches just kept talking, I've got approximately 500 hours of footage to mold into genius, this be only the beginning. Here's the first taste, expanded on the "not vlog" from the Top 10. We discuss thrilling things like thongs, boyshorts, bikinis, flying lesbians, drag queens, Lozo, fashions ... and we do our Cait imitation because we miss her.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday Top Ten: Most Weirdest Weirdos of 2007

As I mentioned last week (in great hyperlinked detail), December is National List-Writing Month, which is for me how African-American History Month is for people from history who were African-American (and still are, I guess, except that, due to the nature of death itself, they're just crumbled up colorless skeletons now, because we're all human beings who should be defined by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin or something. For example, I'm really pale right now and wish I was tanner, don't judge, my character's got more content than OurChart, holla). But this randomized December weekend has left me stumped for the absolute best list to construct. There's a good one in the newest preview for The L Word, which actually convinced me for two minutes that it might be good next season, but like seriously. I'm also at peace with the death of Dana Fairbanks and I'll tell you why in the first Season Five recap, but that could have something to do with my open mind, ready to accept Ilene Chaiken into my life. In fact, I've decided to write her a series of haikus over the course of the month. Here's the first:
Ilene. Are you mean?
It will remain to be seen.
Hey, nice new haircut.
HEY GUYS: This isn't finished. Just a heads-up. Just thought I'd put something here overnight to simmer and ideally delight, like a pie on the windowsill.

Also speaking of OurChart I'm not gonna be your friends plus unless we really did make out, and even then, probs not, 'cause really Papi? That's between me and myself and I, and sometimes Lozo.

Anyhow, back to Autowin. For those of you that don't watch TLW, I'd suggest that you just imagine I'm talking about real people, real friends, and find it amusing that way. Mr. Redacted's ass-kissing assistant did, so you may as well too. Anyhoooooo .... I considered the following: Best quotes, moments, "things I've learned," worst moments, biggest surprises, the little things that got me through it all, best people, best whatevs. I dunno. I'm drawing a blank. So when in doubt, someone once said somewhere: write what you know. And this here be what I know.


10. Everyone In Planet Harlem
My neighborhood is essentially an open air insane asylum, and, if you've been paying attention, you're aware that I know from insane asylums. (Sidenote: If you haven't, let me clarify -- I've never personally been committed, though this dude I worked with at the OG used to tell me I reminded him of Heather Graham in the movie "Committed," and then I saw it, and she's obvs a total lunatic in that movie, and it's called "committed," get it?). In fact, we call it Planet Harlem 'cause of heckler's legendary comment to me one fine Summer afternoon: "Welcome to Planet Harlem, white girl." Actually, though people tend to think I'm just talking crazy when I say this: the reason that I cut my hair off was 'cause I was sick of people yelling at me all the time on the street, 'cause 125th is super-congested: apocalyptic literature vendors, super-aggro homeless people, incense salesman, DVD selling dudes and HECKLERS. The worst is the construction people slaving away on Harlem's constant gentrification building projects. I just wanted all these dudes to stop fucking yelling at me so I cut off my hair, wore baggier pants, and guess what, it totally worked. Also helpful: staying indoors 24/7.

9. Natasha on America's Next Top Model
Natasha may not've turned out to literally be a mail-order bride (just a randomized 18-year old Russian girl who married a fortysomething American dude and popped out a baby faster than McDonald's pops out a special-ordered cheeseburger sans-toppings), but she is hands-down-totes the most amazing person to ever appear on ANTM. She refuses to accept negative feedback, pretendin as if it's all positive. "When you name something, you can spell it as wrong or as right as you want." See, if you believe that you can spell words however you want to and then delcare your misspelling actually CORRECT by creating your own NEW RULE about ENGLISH, you auto-win. She was a magical Russian Sponge of Tyra-Insanity Delight. Some of her best moments were in this episode. Tyra, p.s., is too much of a cunt to be a weirdo.

There's just so much to learn about turning a negative into a positive from Natasha, like next time girls talk shit behind your back, just think: "This girls, they are very, very into my behavior. Every move I do, they watch me."

8. Haviland
You guys, Haviland is a total weirdo. She may seem normal, and I go to great lengths to enhance this illusion, but she's a total weirdo. E.g., she emailed us last week to announce the arrival of her new white bikini. What's funny is probs 500 people reading this right now are like "I wish I'd gotten that email." No but really, she is, just trust me. Obvs in the best way ever, etc. Like what makes Haviland's weirdohood work so well is that though I am a much bigger weirdo, it's in a totally different way. Like, I've got a lot of weirdo things in common with many of my closest friends, but Haviland's weirdo things always surprise and amuse and compel me. And for that, and many other things, I love hpsdiva.

FourFour, who reaps America's Next Top Model and is linked above (re: Natasha) does "pretty parties" at the end of each recap, it's a screencap fiesta. So I did a Weirdo Party for Haviland.

7. Amy Sedaris
Amy is my favorite weirdo. She is the funniest weirdo living right now, I just cannot get over how effin fantastic she is especially with cheeseballs. Just read this brill interview of her in The Believer, she even gets all profound at the end. She's what I aspire to be -- gutsy, totally un self-conscious, genuine, and truly dedicated to laughter above all else. Also, her brother David is pretty fucking awesome, even if his last two books seemed underwhelming, nothing's ever made me LOL so much as Naked. He tells funny weirdo stories about her.

6. These Randomized Girls on OurChart:
my ourchart

Once upon a time, Carly and I both had girlfriends and then around the same time we both didn't, and we weren't feeling so hot. And ... as we all know, the best place to find new love is on OurChart, so we went looking. And by that I mean we weren't looking for love on OurChart, we just thought it'd be funny to stay up all night on i-chat making fun of local OurChart ladies. If you're one of the few we chose to pay attention to and you're randomly reading this blog -- first of all, congrats on your newfound mastery of the English language -- I'd apologize but srsly I'm helping you out here, you need to fix your profile or you are never going to have sex with Jennifer Beals, sorz. Neither am I, like I'm a totes lost cause, but I want you to be happpyyyy like unicorns. As much as I'd like to, I'm not linking to the actual profiles we discussed 'cause I'm fundamentally, I think, a good person, most of the time. Except like, not right now for a minute. I mean, my profile's also retarded. OK, it's not as retarded as the girls we're talking about.

OH FYI 'People from history you'd like to have at a dinner party" is on the list of things you need to say about yourself. I said Strunk & White and Dana Fairbanks, obvs, and Tara looked up Dana Fairbanks thinking she must be some feminist author or something, and then found out the truth.

Anyhow, here we are talking about these weirdos. We probs went through about 20 profiles. Each convo is generally about a different person.

Me: I KNOW! And her dinner party is gonna be CAH-RAZY
Me: Also there's that photo of her ass. That could also not be her ass
Carly: I want to venture out on a limb here and say that it's not
Me: What are the 'southern continents' she wants to travel to exactly? Southern continents are like, Australia? I'm so confused by her.
Carly: Southern continents? like, the South Pole region?
Me: Everything about her is confusing. How did she get this far in life without learning how to spell?
Carly: Which one is south? antarctica or the arctic?
Me: Um, I know not what she speaks of.
Carly: I don't know. but i would like to visit it.
Me: I mean, that ass a damn southern continent if I ever saw one.
Carly: Ok, now this one... I'm sure she's nice, and there's a possibility she could be marginally attractive? (maybe, I'm being nice) but is that really the best photo you had? Really?
Me: I like that for music she just lists Rock and R & b "Rock." right. ROCK! ... DUDE: "Story of real murders life instreats me ..."I would love to go to scoutland. It looks really butiful and i would love to see it."
Carly: hahahaha. Scoutland huh? That sounds fun!
Me: It actually does! A bunch of scouts?!
Carly: "Hi, my tagline isn't grammatically correct."
Me: AASHADHHHFHASFH is all I have to say about "your."
Carly: That specific grammatical issue is listed on my myspace as a serious dislike.
Me: I like how she writes "lets see..." before her list of movies ... like she's thinking as she writes "hmm ... EVERYLESBIANMOVIEEVER"
Carly: Aw this poor girl's tagline is "where are all the smart girls?" ... um ... NOT ON OURCHART.
Me: haha
Carly: Which, hm, we're on ourchart ... BUT that's cause you're a guestbian and im a masochist.
Me: ... Haviland's on it. And Tara and Lainy. And Ilene Chaiken is on it!
Carly: Fuck Ilene Chaiken. fuck her right in the ear.
Me: guestbian=masochist
[sidenote: We know everyone's on OurChart, or like, most lesbians are. Wanna know why? Well ... why not? Totes we are all on OurChart, I heart OurChart, the Chart That is Ours. I should write another Guestbian column, any ideas?]
Carly: Nice photo, brooooo
Me: Dude, I bet she fucks girls with that hair
Carly: .. and grammar errors
Me: I mean literally
Me: Yikes American History X is her first fave movie. TROUBLED TEEN ... "Snowboarding!!!" Why does that get so many extra exclamation points?
Me: It means: "I am retarded." ... "and probs a cunt."
Carly: hey whut up yo broz" ... "hay shawty"
Me: Actually: "What is going on, young ladies? It is --" ... ... I give up.
Carly: I'm crying
Me: Dude -- "Not afraid to argue wit me. have a screaming match"
Carly: Read: "i will punch you out, sucka"
Me: she's like "I will throw my Mom's best vase that she won at Atlantic City right at your head, bitch"
Carly: This girl just added me.
Me: "Gypsy, tramp, theif"
Me: DUDE, you found shane! ... She likes The Tudors.
Carly: ew.
Me: Dude, I think dominiqueoxoxousousad is a porn star. I mean seriously? her favorite movies? ... She doesn't speak english.
Carly: I know right.
Carly: Magazines: "maxium"
Me: MAXIUM? You're spelling a retarded magazine WRONG?
Carly: This girl kinda looks like my friend Stef except my friend Stef is way hotter
Me: Whwatt/??!?
Carly: Also she likes Slipknot and is a republican?
Carly: No I've got your porn star right here: [link]
Me: dominiquexo might be fun to sleep with if you were like, 18 and had just come out.
Carly: Yeah
Me: But she'd probably keep calling ...
Me: omg i feel dirty already looking at this new one
Carly: I think not, re: tagline.
Me: Is that the demonstration? on her pic?
Carly: hahahahahaha
Me: ... of how she'll have me cumming?
Carly: in her bathroom, it would seem
Me: seriously her name is NOT Aska Lala ... because that is MY NAME ...starting now.
Carly: her name is Asdf Jkl; ... (home row, what what!)
Me: holla
Me: Wait did you link me to the horse stable girl?
Carly: I think so
Me: Awww she likes Jewish girls. And poetry! ..occupation "horse stable worker" ...sketchy ... I changed mine to "crack dealer." ... which isn't sketchy at all.
Carly: This one is my favorite:
Me: Oh gross i'm gonna barf. Seriously Wayne. ..."Strength in body and mind someone like my father.... stand up or me fight for me but gentle enough to cry with at night when I am araid" ... I'm araid too of your spelling of the word "afraid." eirdo. ... this is GENIUS: "I am very eclectic from movies to walks in the park to hanging in the city with friends,having coffe in abook store reading for hours to Bdsm" ... how she just busts out with BDSM at the end?! ... and then aAGAIN as a guilty pleasure?
Carly: I seriously cant breathe I'm laughing so hard ...
Me: like she's trying to slip it in like no one will notice ... like they'll read it and then afterwards be like "wait...did she say... that she likes it rough?"
Carly: Marilyn is self employed. I think you'll see why.
Me: Wow also though like "isolated lesbian looking for a new life online" um ... therapy? ...Jesus.
Carly: Seriously.
Me: Tanya, get your shit together!
Carly: No ourchart is therapy.
Me: Good point ... at least she uses complete sentences ..."my favorite movie is..."
Me: Everyone on ourchart is retarded!
Carly: This girl is ready to fuck shit up ... she thought that picture would help her get pussy ...also, she's a nurse? ...really?
Me: I know she's totally talking in the Gwen voice "Come over and I'll stick these UP YOUR VAGINA"
Carly: TFLLL ... "hi my name is gwen"
Carly: Also except does not = accept.
Me: Um ... occupation ... please look right now ...and tell me what you think about her struggles ... and where they could be coming from.
Carly: Maybe she's a "struggeling writer" too
Me: Probs
Carly: She's INVOLVED? lord.
Me: She's so mysterious about her personality, and so revealing about her pores
Carly: Ok we've exhausted NJ ... damn, that was incredible.
Me: Whew.
Carly: [link] omg, i am in love ... guilty pleasures: SEX. ...HOTTT.
Me: do you think that after having sex, she'll leave her shirt? ...she lives EVERYWHERE?
Carly: she is OMNIPRESENT ... I should change my profile to include only responses that would be made by Trudy Weigel on Reno 911. interests: cats. collecting thimbles. spooning.
Me: Totally ... you might attract a lot of weirdos
Carly: True.
Me: Just warning you.
Carly: Which is why I'm not. Going to do that.
Me: I'm gonna attract a lot of people who like crack. The drug.
Carly: I'm only a masochist to a certain degree.
Me: Yes. I think we all are. "We all" = me.

5. The Entire Cast of A Shot at Love With Tila Tequilla, except Dani, and Tila, who's too boring to be weird

The clips show really spelled it all out for me. V. helpful, especially considering I've been speaking about this show w/o actually watching it for a majority of the season. That country boy didn't know anyone's name, Vanessa was drunk drunk drunk the whole time, everyone wrestled in vats of chocolate pudding AND it turns out that Amanda's a victim of the EXACT plague that's always prevented me from pursuing a career in reality television (yes, the only thing, the one and only thing, otherwise I'd be amazingly racing the bachelorette all over temptation fucking island to become the top chef for a real housewife of orange county once we stop being polite and start getting real). Amanda was just being sarcastic, y'all! When you listen to her talk for a while, you realise she's just making fun of the dumb blonde thing, but they cut out all the stuff that may've made you realise what a genuine person she was. No lie. Totes love Amanda. She's no Dani, but she's a funny lady.

4. These Guys
(Alex/Semicolon, Riese, Haviland, Stef, the spirit of Cait)

3. Jenny Schecter

Oh, Jenny. In Season One, when the writing was good, you were a resolutely unlikeable person. You played the bi card all wrong and broke hearts like they were cheap mugs filled with cheap merlot you'd accidentally knocked over on your way to the Chunky Monkey. You were every writer's worst nightmare: you thoroughly mined your past and its accordant pains and tragedies -- your rape, your simple sadness and isolation, your state of being: a lonely little lez in the Midwest (On "The L Word," the proverbial lonely Midwestern Lez is often exploited for Her Full Lonely Potential)-- for moments of carnival clarity ... and ended up wringing real emotion dry in favor cheap sentimental angry gut-pouring memoir sold as fiction which by Season Four was pissing everyone off. You'd written about your friends, lacking even the ability to mask their named adaquetly. And you could've fought back normally, as your prior character suggested, by being all whacky and neurotic and shit (while the equally insane lesbians go tsk tsk Jenny), but instead! Instead! In Season Four, you just got abso-fucking-lutely awesome. You killed a dog to get to the girlfriend of the girl who gave you a bad book review in Curve magazine. I mean that is pretty effin awesome. Also, I met her! Stacey Merkin. She's totally rad. Jenny's lines of brilliance were so beautiful, they became Moments.

This is Jenny sitting happily with her choice to turn More Girls into a musical. With the Ditty Bops! I hope they get Amy Ray and Emily Saliers in on this gig.

"The thing is that the vagina's girlfriend was molested and now she's like this perfect saint, which is just like, awesome, and I was abused and I'm like this fucked up nitwit, but that was my experience, and that's mine and I don't know why she's slamming my own experience though!" (Jenny)

2. TB

When Tara was TB (a.k.a. manic), she'd concoct the strangest dinners of all time. When I cooked for us I'd make a bunch of food, scoop my portion onto my plate and then return to the pan, dump a bunch of hot sauce on the rest of it, mix it up, and dump that on her plate. Similar to the process I used when cooking for my ex-boyfriend who needed to melt American cheese on everything. (What's crazier? You decide.)

She just needed everything spicy, everything illuminated in the chili-pepper/star/red blaring type they use on Chinese take-out menus to warn you what you're getting into: what your mouth's just signed up for. You know, the footnote1 they put on the menus: VERY HOT. Like ... life was on overdrive & pumped up, hypo-manic thought patterns setting brain on fire, and thus, also the tongue, too, needed to be on fire. It needed half a jar of crushed red pepper flakes, needed salt&pepper&basil&oregano&garlic salt and several generous dollups of Tabasco & hot sauce. It needed scrambled eggs with spinach and onions and asparagus and tomatoes and mushrooms and garlic cloves and chives and terriyaki sauce and soy sauce and sesame oil and olive oil. 3 A.M., Macbethish over the stove, and I'd be laughing (you have to sometimes, you have to), "Oh my GOD I can't believe you're actually going to eat that, that looks like an accident ... your stomach can seriously handle anything," and she'd laugh (you have to) "My stomach hates me." I'd say: "No, your liver, your liver hates you more." The best part was how she didn't want to waste any food so she'd fully wrap it up and totally have it for breakfast the next day, but this time, with even MORE tabasco sauce. This time with actual chili peppers.

I've always lived in apartments with gas stoves -- that click-click-click and then blue then whoosh then fire -- but my Mom's old house had an electric stove, and I never learned, really, a better way to test the presence of lingering heat besides sticking my hand right on the burner, like my brain continually forgot to give the big N-O to that thought before I'd already turned it into action. Mom started putting pot lids over the burners while they cooled 'cause I had such issues burning off my fingerprints, walking into the living room with held-up hand and requisite perfect round white blisters instead of fingerprints. but I did it so much that it eventually stopped hurting. (This came in handy at the Mac-Grill when I expo'ed 5,000 degree plates of lasanga w/o getting burned). I don't like electric stoves. I like things that cool down faster.

That last paragraph is unrelated. Sorta. Whatevs. Anyhow that tangent -- or rather, the existence of that tangent -- segues nicely into my next point ... (oh also, that painting there is from this girl erika somogyi)

1. Me
Hands down totes the biggest weirdest weirdo of the year: ME. Most readers who've met me in real life say I'm not as crazy as I make myself sound on here. I think that's 'cause I usually write alone -- or if there's someone here, it's generally someone I know pretty well -- so I let myself go WILD on the page, like a TIGER. Also because I try to seem normal around normal people. It's funny, and I guess this relates to a way a lot of people relate to me (like you, all y'all) -- how easy it is to enable one another's neurosis or insanity, emotion, intelligence, creativity, caring, compassion, emotion ... how contagious behavior of all kinds can be sometimes ... how much we start to talk or think or write or eat or drink or act like whomever's around us or whomever's set up residence in our hearts or psyches, which sometimes look like the same organs. I say I'm ME, I say I'm like, my own totes randomized weirdo, but the truth is, I'm just randomized. Which is fine. Seriously. It totally is.

1: Stars, "Your Ex-Lover is Dead," from the album "Set Yourself on Fire." The lyrics of this song include the opening: "When there's nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire," as well as the following lines: "the scar is a fleck on my porcelain skin," and "live through this and you won't look back." The album's title song, "Set Yourself on Fire," includes the lyrics: "In the darkest part of you that you have ever seen, in the smile of the child staring at the TV screen, in the diary of a priest, in the sheets that lie upon his bed, out there amongst the waves and inside your lover's head, there is only one thing. There is only one thing. There is only one thing. There is only one thing. There is only one thing." According to last-fm, I listened "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" 116 times in August.