Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Night Starts Here

I just took the best shower of my life 'cause I've been waiting for it all afternoon ("Take a sponge bath," advised the helpless handyman, staring at our dumb dry shower, "Like in the old days," and then he laughed, a laugh that reminded me he'd been alive approximately 80 years more than I have and was still doing things like this, playing with faucets, he'd probs lost his hair and/or parents in the 60's, it's possible I have almost nothing to complain about, he probs lived through a few World Wars, and on my igoogle home page, underneath my email and its various feelings, the NY Times headlines remind me that 22,500 are dead now in Myanmar. A sponge bath -- a "cat bath" my Mom used to call it, probs the only context in which she spoke favorably of cats, which we're both allergic to, or did she, I can't remember, I think I invent a lot of memories) and I'm eating ramen from the pot. These are the engaging details of my smokin' hot life.

Another memory, possibly also invented, of Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live asking Paul McCartney; So, remember when you said, and in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make? Is that true?

And what was he hiding, anyway? Something that killed him. Self-loathing. Cocaine. Prostitutes. Alcohol, whatever, fat, the real secret, and in my final moment, may I hear you whisper, "when you made my people smile, you made me smile."

America loves an overdose, loves the bloody mess and everything you're allowed to say only after -- I read a good one today about Brad Renfro.

My friend confessed (at the time), "The first thing I thought when Chris Farley died was, good, now they won't make any more of those stupid movies." The first thing I thought was, "Good, now he can hang out with my Dad in wherevs," 'cause my Dad really liked Chris Farley. I liked Chris Farley too 'cause he wasn't self-conscious, 'cause he threw himself into it: sweaty & reckless. I hated Tommy Boy, though. And by that I mean, I watched about ten minutes of it, got bored, turned it off, thought it was dumb.

It's got something to do with entitlement, I think. What we're given, what we expect, what we think we deserve. How hard we feel we've worked, what we see when we look in the mirror and subsequently who oughtta mirror us, what we have to offer. The meritocracy of karma ... but I'm an easy target. It's not like "You say jump, I say how high," it's like "you tell me how high I probs oughtta be jumping, I'll run after you all night waiting to fly over buildings," because that's possible, right?

The thing is; we all feel we've gotten away with something. We're spies, ghosts, savage detectives, secret agents, between angels, followers, prostitutes, boxcar children, storytellers, lunatics, teachers, orphans, suicides, cutters, dirty, sharp, clean. If you get too close, you'll see that we're all still thirteen, or whenever it was that we felt the worst we'd ever felt. Yesterday? Tomorrow? Never?

"Prepare / yourself though to keep something back; / there's a center in you / you are simply a comedian / without."
(Stephen Dunn, "How to Be Happy: Another Memo to Myself)

It's got something to do with shame, I think.

My brother and I used to do Abs of Steel together on beach-towels in the living room. I tried doing Eric Nies's MTV Workout video, alone, later, but I couldn't dance, so that was that, I sold it on ebay for five bucks about a decade ago, along with The Real World: Behind the Scenes (book and VHS).

Our masks are flimsy and transparent and mostly made of excuses & saran wrap, which, p.s., never works, like ever.

We owe you something, we just don't know what it is yet.

What's the catch, he'd always ask me. You seem like the perfect girl. What's the catch.

I'd shrug, smile. Do my best Clark Kent: I'm just a little crazy, that's all.

It's the same tone I'd use to reassure the people I served that it's not that spicy, that they won't taste the anchovies. Flippant & easy 'cause before long they'd leave the chair, and then the room, and they didn't mean it when they said they'd call me at 2 A.M. if the coffee turned out to be caffinated after all (It was, you bitch, it was! I hope you wake your husband up and offer strange favors in exchange for a backrub, I hope you watch Richard Simmons hawk renewal 'til your eyes bleed, I hope Pop-Up Video is on all fucking night!) and they were still awake 'cause by then I'd be gone, gone, gone, anyhow. They didn't even know my number and if they did, the phone could just ring and ring and ring ...

So when I took his love it felt like theft, like cheating. I didn't deserve his love, or hers, 'cause I can't take care of myself let alone you. Maybe it's safer if we're both holding something back, maybe that's sexier than being naked for real. Who wouldn't rather do it in the dark?

I didn't ask about his catch. I didn't have to. He said he didn't have one, that's code for "I am all catch," and I also speak code.

I had another boyfriend who liked to talk about what a catch he was. "I'm in law school," he'd brag. "I'm pretty good looking."

I'd sit there dumbly, thinking, "But that's not even your real nose."

Did he know that -- stepping from the shower into steamy bathroom air, I knew just how to stand when I seize the bath-towel ... like shoplifting. I've practiced, like an insecurity performance artist, how to escape the room w/o glancing at my actual body. I slip past mirrored walls and wash my hands with my head focused squarely on the faucet. I don't want to know, all that really matters is what I think I know.

What's the catch?

At midnight, I turn into a pumpkin.
At midnight, I leave you. At midnight, I stop listening while maintaining eye contact.
At midnight, I turn into your mother and I'll remind you, all morning long, of your mother.
I can see through walls, I can fly, I can see your heart through your skin.
I'm killing myself, it doesn't hurt.
I don't even like you, I just want to like you.
Yes, I got into a fight with a porcupine.

I'm not actually all that interesting, I just sweat a lot.

I'm melodramatic, it's hopeless.

I'm actually Angela Chase, after she got canceled 'cause no one gave a shit except me and my friends.

I want to believe in a world so beautiful as the one you've described to me, and so I do. Is the secret that I'm using you? That I've tried, in my own way, to give something back, too, or to be sure I didn't ask for too much. My humility ensured your participation. You've become characters as soon as you walked out the door, but who am I kidding, I beat you to it.

I relapse all the time, into everything, sometimes two or three vices a night.

In many ways, I'm still just trying to figure out what my Dad wanted me to do, and when I go to sleep (finally) I hope he'll speak to me in dreams and tell me, and when he doesn't, I try to find someone else to tell me what to do and who to be, and when they confuse or hurt or judge me harshly, or turn out to be someone else, I hate them with the firey passion of a thousand suns.

Because when they leave, they make it look so easy. This isn't complicated: I can't see what anyone does when I'm not around.

"Your father worshiped you," my mother said.

And when that rare person comes along to make me realize all they want is for me to be happy and true to myself, I realize I don't know what to do with that ... besides find someone else to tell me what to do, how to be happy, what my truth is.

When you're told all your life that you're too independent, too resistant to feeling/needing things from other people, you tend to see co-dependence as an achievement rather than a problem: "Look, I've let myself rely! Look at me, opening up! Like a flower! Look at all the people I need, and who need me!"

But "need" is such a dumb word. There is want and there is death and there is love.

There are 50 ways to leave your lover, 50 more ways to say "fuck you," 50 trees falling in your silent forest-mind (sorry, tree). 50 rings in a wet empty room. You're still up, I'm still up, we're all up.

Oh, honesty. That tricky & fickle concept, the bullseye of my mindseye. Who cares?

--

In 11th grade, for Christmas, my BFF Ryan gave me a white tank top from Victoria's Secret and on the inside, where the tag would be, it read: "Soft, sexy, necessary."

He added: "Like you! Soft, sexy, necessary!"

I gave him a white Calvin Klein wifebeater. I'd replaced the burly man-meat on the label with my own note, reading: "If you're going to beat me, you might as well do it in style."

--

I've created a character, and a cast. Personal branding -- an idea fostered by media "personalities," thrived upon by actors & musicians & performers. Is that me? I'm not sure. Where do we draw the line? Between who we are and the stories we tell about ourselves? Part of wanting to stop blogging for a bit was that I wanted to figure out not only the difference between Marie and Riese and Autowin, but between the friends I've made via autowin and the characters they've become on here.

It's nice to feel necessary, even just as something to read while you're bored at work. This blog isn't that popular, isn't that big of a deal, but having so many friends I'd met through here possibly made it feel like a bigger deal then it is.

Chuck Klosterman's column in Esquire Magazine remarks that Hannah Montana (a show I've never seen), which explores the divide between the famous Hannah and the real-life Miley, is popular 'cause kids these days can relate: "They all struggle to reconcile who they are with the quasi-real persona they constructively construct. Hannah Montana is the internet."

My ex-bf emailed a few weeks ago; he'd been watching a documentary about high schoolers, thought of us at that age -- the pressure we put on ourselves, consequently how possibly we'd wanted to be like the characters on TV (oddly enough, the only show John & I watched, ever, was Dawson's Creek) w/their neat labels: the sexpot, the virgin, the intellectual, the bad seed. He said: "You look at a character whose entire moral or personal dilemma can be solved by staring at a pond and listening to Paula Cole, and it seems so much more efficient than actually having to confront one's self."

Of course, I said, we did, which's why I prefer literature with its complex characters, its demand of our extended & in-depth attention. He agreed. Literature matters to me so much more than anything else ever has, or ever could, to me. Print. Which lately has seemed irrelevant, compared to this instant gratification.

While writing Living it Out, Carly and I got a lot of feedback about "defining our characters." Narrow their complexity. What's the type? Make them specific, identifiable. How will we recognize them, sans label? How will we know, even, who's talking? Can you add, for example, an accent, or a figure of speech. A unique/overwhelming hobby/habit.

What if that character is a person, what if this character does not know who she is? Can she make the story true by telling it?

--

While reading Tipping the Velvet, the following concepts struck me;
-Nan's analysis of her relationship w/Kitty as existing on two levels, informing and defining one another; the relationship itself, and their performance of it. The song and dance.
-While living with Diana, Nan spends four hours a day in the bathtub.

--

The only thing I'm sure of that I want is to write the best book I can write. It's that silent way your gut talks to you when you know something/someone is right.

The first time I heard the Beatles song "Yesterday," I used my two-deck cassette player/recorder to make a tape of it playing over and over again. I knew I wanted to hear it again and again. Sometimes, a body in your arms feels certain, correct, sometimes, a poet makes life feel possible. I'm certain I want this book, even if no-one else reads it.

I'm not certain that I'm actually going to write it though, it might just be another story I tell.

It's easy for me to feel one way, and the opposite. It's not desire that defines us so much as it is fear.

I am well aware that this is melodramatic and trite. But isn't that why we're all here, anyhow? Yes. Many of you came here via Gawker (which is hopelessly self-centered, too) or via The L Word (which is hopelessly melodramatic, passionately trite, but oh, so sexy! so necessary!) or via my friendship (which is melodramatic, self-centered, trite, and gawky).

--

Also, in addition to the wifebeater, I wrote Ryan a poem. It was 1998, he was my best friend, and at that time; an actor.

Some of it: "So tonight, I hated seeing you on stage because you were so far away and I had to share you with the audience and you weren't only mine for that minute. And so I can't let you perform 'cause I adore your reality, the way you cried in church this morning while everyone else sat still and you held my hand afterward and your ring hurt my finger but I didn't move ... and so I can't write your peer evaluation for Dartmouth 'cause I can't write you down and I don't want you to go to Dartmouth, anyways ... and so I hate your dishonesty, but I love the way you are honest with me, even if it's only me your honest with, and I hate your double standards for people but I love being your standard ... and so you would never write about me. And so if you knew I wrote about you, and I read this to you, you might laugh at me ..."

I read it, he cried. The last time I heard from him, he said he felt far away. From me, and most of all, from G-d.

These true sentences.

--

"And so we turn him into an anecdote, with no teeth, and a punchline you'll tell for years to come:
"Oh, that reminds me of the time the impostor came into our house." "Oh! Tell the one about that boy."
And we become these human jukeboxes spitting out these anecdotes to dine out on like we're doing right now.
Well I will not turn him into an anecdote.
It was an experience.
How do we hold on to the experience?"
(John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation)
*

Tinkerbell got her wings on the way back from California, 'cause we set her up on a pillow with a little napkin-blanket in between our seats. The flight attendants probs thought we were totally insane, which is actually super-duper-true, let's not be crazy, but at the end this woman came and gave Tinkerbell her wings, see them?
A number of days ago (3-4? 4-5?), my fortune said: "Everyone around you is rooting for you. Don't give up."

Last week, I said: "Alex, this cookie contains my fate, I promise, this is a big deal, this is everything, this fortune we're about to open and I really hope it says READY LET'S GO LOW FAT WHOLE WHEAT GREEN TEA but instead it told me, "Now is the time to start something new."

I know I've said this before and not followed through, but in Malibu; top down, mountains on one side, ocean on the other, I felt like it was possible to fly/flee in either direction -- circle one: climb. swim.

1. The sky or 2. That feeling we describe as feeling underwater but when we're actually underwater, it doesn't actually feel anything like all those other feelings we'd compared it to. It's just like, swimming.

Everyone keeps telling me to be selfish and do what's best for me, but I can't seem to let go of the idea that what's best for me is to do what's best for other people.

This week marks my fourth consecutive year of New York City residence; my fourth year of throwing myself into one all-consuming world and then another, some honest, some delusions, some honest delusions, some good, some bad, and then the consistent faces on the horizon. And then this blog, this thing here.

I feel like moving to California would be admitting to myself that somewhere, deep down inside, I actually might want to be happy. I've wanted many things in my life; happiness has never been one of them.

It is admitting I have love to give, it is admitting that I do, after all, know where to put it.

*
I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written .....
[
Ernest Hemmingway]
*

Joey: People change, Dawson.
Dawson: They don't have to.
Joey: Yes, they do. People die, and they move away...and they grow up, Dawson. Everything changes eventually.
(Dawson's Creek)
*

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

i have a lot of feelings about this, but my number one feeling is that i was awake when it got posted. i don't know what that means, but it's the truth

i hear there's a new free city in LA..reason enough to move there for sure

stef said...

i haven't finished reading this yet, but i imagine its length means you're going a little crazy, which is good cos tonight i'm going a little crazy and i have a feeling this will help.

JD said...

Loved this post, my favorite part:
-"When you're told all your life that you're too independent, too resistant to feeling/needing things from other people, you tend to see co-dependence as an achievement rather than a problem." This is how I've felt for so long, but I've never heard it described this way- "achievement" = perfect description. Not sure if this is true for you, but for me the dependency actually feels good for a while, until I (not even knowing why) revert back to my old ways.

-"California I'm coming home
Oh will you take me as I am
Strung out on another man"
- Yeah, um, I def just quoted Joni Mitchell. (I don't care how cliche/melodramatic that is...I'll always think she's brill). Not sure if this even makes sense/is relevant, but maybe.

stef said...

also, your final quote is a pale imitation of:

DIANNE: The world is changing, music is changing, even drugs are changing. You can't stay in here all day dreaming about heroin and Ziggy Pop.

RENTON: It's Iggy Pop.

DIANNE: Whatever. I mean, the guy's dead anyway.

RENTON: Iggy Pop is not dead. He toured last year. Tommy went to see him.

A. said...

So to be honest I started reading it, got a few paragraphs in and had a bit of a "oh Riese, you so crazy" feeling. But then I kept reading and it got good and I hate how you do that, because I know when you do write that book I'll buy it and it'll be all dog-eared and underlined and ridiculous.

Just be happy, you know your dreams, the ball is in your arms so run with the fucking thing.

I don't even remember where I stole this quote from, but I've been following it for awhile now...

"My life is not driven by a concern whether or not I will let you down. It is driven solely by my concern that I will never let myself down. And when I don’t, you won’t be."

And with that, off I go watching Back To The Future at 2am.

Razia said...

Just live.

e. said...

I like how at the beginning there is that little bit about your handyman and Myanmar, almost a disclaimer of sorts. Perspective, right? (I am always grasping for perspective, but I think the lenses are cracked, the light refracted, everything's a jumble and resultantly arbitrary.) One of my friends moved to Myanmar last year. I am hope hope hoping he is okay, him especially, because I am selfish like that, because his life is more precious to me than all the others at risk. (I know if he were to die, the tragedy would come storming off my tv screen and into my living room. Too close for comfort, too close for perspective.)

I also like what you wrote about your dad, and about how you are. I had way too many feelings reading that part, and I don't have the wherewithal so I can't think of anything to say, but I wanted to mention it because, you know, significance and feelings and effectiveness and misty eyes and whatnot. And also because I'm melodramatic and it's hopeless.

Maybe no one ever knows who they are, for real--they just make up a character the best they can manage and step into it, surrender, agree to run around in it until the perspiration glues it to their skin. The eventual illusion of certainty is worth the initial discomfort. Maybe it's good that you consciously don't know who you are, maybe it's like flexing a muscle, working out. It's good, it prevents atrophy. You'll be so toned.

I don't know. It's late, I am writing on my bedroom wall in Sharpie marker.

I have more and more to say, making commenting more and more difficult. I think this blog has become increasingly important to me, I don't know how, at first I was just reading it cause it was funny and clever, and made me funny and clever by association. (I feel like I should take a shot at Lozo, here.) Then it sneakily acquired weight, it sometimes justifies me now, it's the only blog I bother to comment on. I don't know if that means anything, my comments are so weird.

some emily said...

Your blog always makes me have deep and confusing philosophical discussions with myself. There's so much I could comment on, but I’ll try to limit myself. Idk if comments from random strangers mean anything to you, but I want you to know that I like you and your blog a lot, even if you say it “isn't that popular, isn't that big of a deal…” I hope/wish you would get as much out of doing it as I get out of reading it. But in my meaningless opinion, nothing is that big of a deal, anyway, so do whatevs makes you happy. Though, that is easier said than done. Anyway, I read this about self-branding a while ago, and I’m not sure it’s very interesting or relevant or if you’ll read it, but: http://www.brandchannel.com/papers_review.asp?sp_id=1361
Also, I thought of this quote, which is similar to the one you used Monday. You’ve probably heard it. I guess I just thought the similarity was interesting.
“You are who you pretend to be.” (Kurt Vonnegut)
People and life are complicated. Blows my mind daily.

burningsteady said...

Nothing deep -- just that people are listening.

Take care of yourself, okay? That's the most important.

xL: said...

Hey,
I'm sort of having a shitty time at the moment, and every time there is a new post from you I feel a little better for a while. Not in an 'I'm relying on you, increase the pressure' type of way. Just in a 'thanks' way.
So, thanks.

p.s Myanmar is the preferred name of the military Junta. The people of the country prefer Burma.

dewey said...

We never know if something we're going to do is going to make us happy, we just have to hope it does. Do what you think will make you happy, what you hope will make you happy, just don’t let a chance go by. It’s easier to correct mistakes than live a moment again.

A customer that regularly comes into the place I work has offered to help get me sponsorship for going to uni. He’s going to put in contact with this big company and some professor there. I only know this man because he comes in every week, I don’t know his name, we call him helmet man. I should mean nothing to him but yet he takes an interest in my future..... Its strange how every so often, something happens, an opportunity comes along and things start to fall into place and make some sense.

Allie said...

My number one feeling while I was reading this was that I should stop picking at my cuticles and get a manicure. I've been stressed lately with a combination of work and family and my weight and my health and my social life and balancing them all and maintaining perspective, and so I haven't done much blog reading. My reader has gotten pretty full. But, I have to admit my heart went a flutter when I saw a post from you. I skipped everything else, and settled in to read.

Then I thought about how crazy you are, and how it makes me feel more crazy/less insane simultaneously. Like everyone else, I'm on the "do what's best for you" bandwagon, because, well, I think we all want whatever is best for you, because we pretend we know you, or that we are you, or at least that we understand you. I guess that's the crazy part; we all, selfishly, want you to write write write your emo little heart out, but not when it's too much, not just for us, not when it isn't worth it. But, don't belittle yourself or us and say it's not important, because, clearly, it is. Because we all keep coming back for more, and in the vast wide world of the interweb, we don't have to. We could go somewhere else, we can read whatever the hell we want. And we probs do. But we also stop by here and linger, the way we do at our local, indy coffee shop with our favorite, tattered books. And, someday, it'll be your book that some other smokin' hot 20-something has tucked in her messenger bag or whatever the hipsters use in the future, as she settles in the dustiest corner with her over-sized cup.

Cause, really, we'd all pay money for this shit, cause it's us, cause it's true.

Also, I think I'm the only person in the world who thinks saran wrap works just fine. Maybe it's because I buy one of those big, giant food-services rolls with the cutter? It seriously takes, like, three years to use up.

Jaime said...

Holy shit that's beautiful, and so exactly what I needed exactly right now.

Is it bad to love someone because they love you?

I'm getting on the subway now and probs won't be able to read (okay, lying, book addict here, but for the first few stops) because you're making me think about the shit I need to think about. Or making me face it, because all the thinking is maybe the problem.

Is codependency needing someone who needs you, or needing to be needed? I've never understood that.

Sigh. Shit. Exactly what I needed.

But you. Go be happy. Seriously. Your city doesn't have to hurt you every day.

Adam said...

Hi.

Yeah...what Jaime said.

I didn't know I was thinking it until she said it, and you said it, and yeah.

The past couple of weeks have been very. What's with this-week this week? Doesn't it know it's only Weds?

Juno said...

So I'm stealing this quote from Shantaram (this book fucking rocks; best I've read in years):

There's a truth that's deeper than experience. It's beyond what we see, or even what we feel. It's an order of truth that separates the profound from the merely clever, and the reality from the perception. We're helpless, usually, in the face of it; and the cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love, is sometimes greater than any heart would willingly pay. It doesn't always help us to love the world, but it does prevent us from hating the world. And the only way to know that truth is to share it, from heart to heart...

It felt relevant to this entry. Um, and besides a few too many instances of probs, I think this is one of your best posts of 2008. Why? Well,'cause it's an affront to your self — thoroughly humiliating and hauntingly visceral.

Dave Lozo said...

when you write like this, it makes the cockles of my heart spin in unison as if a ballet of love was taking place in my soul.

there are also 50 states.

and we're watching Tommy Boy. i think me quoting as it's on will make it funnier for you.

Leah said...

Im not gonna tell you to 'be happy' or 'make your own path in life' or 'do what you feel is right'. You are familiar with cliches. Im sure you have mantras you live by, as I do. I found mine on the ground the other day, actually. As a young and mentally unstable girl in college I heard the ever-popular yet simple "This Too Shall Pass". Not that profound or deep, but it meant something to me. And now, 10 years after entering college, I am walking down a dirty city street and see a tiny flag someone has made with paper, a popsicle stick and some glue. Its a pic of Bush's smiling face, and it says "This Too Shall Pass", encircling his head like both a promise and a curse. I picked it up, even though it most likely held the diseases of birds and people and city life.
I hope you enjoy when people wirte to you. I have an insignificant blog. I know how you feel. Its nothing but its everyhting to me, and some. I write stupid shit, sometimes deep shit, but I omit the real shit I wanna write about because it may hurt some people who view it. Thats not a real blog. I guess I need a super-secret one, but then, who would I write it for? Me?
I guess I am a fan through the L Word. I dont know what Gawker is, and unfortunatley Im not an actual friend, real or internet.
I can be your Seattle link if you ever need to know how this city is doing, how the weather is, or just what goes on outside of your apartment...

Diana said...

I'm glad you posted but also glad that you're taking a break.

Where do we draw the line? Between who we are and the stories we tell about ourselves?

Such an important question.

I have a lot of thoughts about this but can never successfully articulate them here in comment form. There was a lot of truth and beauty in this. I think I'll just leave it at that.

Bokolis said...

That gave me a headache, then I got loopy. But, fcuk, this is brilliant.
--
California does that to people.

The game always changes. If you can't learn to anticipate the changes, just keep punching. Reacting is never the preferred option.

Resolving the best for me/best for other people conundrum will involve a fundamental change to who you are. Pay attention when it happens, so you can change the sentence next to your picture.

Mercury said...

Three cheers for overrated happiness.

Rah, rah, rah.

Anonymous said...

I should have said this before, but I got scared. I think you should move to California. You're happy for reals there, and I think everyone should live somewhere that makes them happy. Yes, I'll miss you, but that's what American Airlines is for.. Plus Tinkerbell really needs to be a star.

Crystal said...

That Dawson's quote is really the icing on the cake. Also, I'm glad I was forewarned.

The last talk I had with my father was about how he wanted me to become a Land Economist. I wish he'd speak to me in my dreams and tell me he was kidding. I'm not being being flippant here, the guilt is a lot. Sometimes being told what to do and who to be is nice, but at other times it just isn't possible to be anything other than who you are.

Also, you clearly need to read Shantaram.

Haviland Stillwell said...

ooh all the anonymous people!

loved it, riese, obvs. also, we're aparently in an early spell of what lala-landers call "june gloom." because of global heat, etc, it came early?

in any event, its grey and cloudy. but everyone is still cruising around in their gym clothes, drinking their non-fat, no-foam lattes. And talking about how ridiculous they/we/everything are.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is going to be LONG!
I feel the urge to share with you just a few words/long story from two books I recently became slightly obsessed with, Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan both by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. These might not really be your style, but I just figured that since I relate to a lot of what you write about and I have read and liked some of the books you have recommended, that maybe, possibly you might be interested in some of what these books are about. If this is a waste of you time, I am truly sorry. Because, I mean, I don’t even know you and really have no business recommending anything. Oh, well. What’s the worst? You know? If only I could figure out how to take this advice myself. But reading your wise words always helps. Anyway…
“…we have psychological and intellectual difficulties with trial and error, and with accepting that series of small failures are necessary in life.”
“…I do not worry a lot— I try to worry about matters I can do something about.”
“I once received a piece of life-changing advice, which, I find applicable, wise, and empirically valid. My classmate in Paris pronounced, as he prevented me from running to catch a subway, ‘I don’t run for trains.’
Snub your destiny. I have taught myself to resist running to keep on schedule. This may seem a very small piece of advice, but it registered. In refusing to run to catch trains, I have felt the true value of elegance and aesthetics in behavior, a sense of being in control of my time, my schedule, and my life. Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.
You stand above the rat race and the pecking order, not outside of it, if you do so by choice.
Quitting a high-paying position, if it is your decision, will seem a better payoff than the utility of the money involved (this may seem crazy, but I’ve tried it and it works). This is the first step toward the stoic’s throwing a four-letter word at fate. You have far more control over your life if you decide on your criterion by yourself.
But all these ideas, all this philosophy of induction, all these problems with knowledge, all these wild opportunities and scary possible losses, everything palls in front of the following metaphysical consideration.
I am sometimes taken aback by how people can have a miserable day or get angry because they feel cheated by a bad meal, cold coffee, a social rebuff, or a rude reception. Recall the difficulty in seeing the true odds of the events that run your own life. We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance occurrence of monstrous proportions.
Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of the earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favor of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it. So stop sweating the small stuff.”

oo lynnie oo said...

I have stuff to say but there's already so many comments - which is good! obvs. everyone la-la-loves you. Well...I enjoyed reading this. Happiness! what a crazy idea

L said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now, and have never had the nerve to comment before, but I just wanted to say that I really admire your honesty. You're complex and real and that's wonderful. And for what it's worth, I think you underestimate the effect your words have really had on your audience.

eric mathew said...

tink is such a cutie.

and your blog is a big deal on SO many levels for me, so I won't get sentimental and sappy...but its the best and has become a daily ritual for me to check it.

p.s. if your in LA and Hav is and Ronnie and I move there I feel like a TV deal may need to get made....i'm just saying.

Jo said...

I got half way through this post and assumed it would be ending soon, because really, how much wisdom/deepness can one blog post contain? But then it just kept going.

Just keep going.

riese said...

i wrote all these in random stages, um, it's random. random random. randomosity. if i missed someone, it was a total accident, promise promise.

jersey: the truth is, of course ... something. i hope at the very least, i've messed up your sleep schedule forevs and evs. just wait 'til i'm on pacific time.

stef: you go crazy, i go crazy, let's all go crazy together.

jd: joni mitchell is brill. she just like ... is.

stef: on a not entirely unrelated note, i feel when it comes to skin tone, dianne and renton were slightly paler, in comparison, to dawson & joey

A.: to be honest i started writing it, got a few paragraphs in, and had a bit of an "oh riese, you so crazy" feeling too.

razia: ok.

e. : i have come to the conclusion that that is in fact what i need, a bedroom wall i can write on with sharpie marker. i have this idea that the difference between me people and other people is that no one ever knows who they are for real but other people are okay with that. Ryan who I spoke of in this blog was in Lebanon in '06 when that was happening there, and I had that feeling "omg, terrible things elsewhere, omg, this is me."

some emily: i like comments from random strangers actually, a lot, i mean all the comments mean a lot to me, except that sometimes i run out of things to say in return.

burningsteady: thank you and for that i keep talking because of all this listening.

xL: So, you're welcome. (Also I had no idea that Burma and Myanmar were the same country. Clearly my number one feeling is ignorance)

dewey: That's happened to me before too -- someone swoops in and changes everything. No matter what happens I still have this basic idea that we get what we give, sooner or later.

allie: funny you should mention nails/manicures, I think this is the longest period I've gone w/o my evil black nailpolish manicure in over a year.

i think that's what i need for my banner "automatic win: will make you feel less crazy in comparison." I may have said that before, in which case clearly I need an ammendment ... 'autowin: will make you feel less crazy, repeat herself."

everything else you said was super-nice so thank you. also, in my experience, saran wrap always peels up off the edges, you know? like, I used to have to wrap everything in this deli i worked in, and it'd always come undone. I like instead to just use tin foil, plus, it's shiny.

jaime: (yay!) my mom got me this book that i used to hide called 'codependent no more' and apparently codependence means needing to be needed, it was like, all about dating alcoholics and stuff, or enjoying the bait and switch. i read about five pages of it before my eyes started bleeding. i think if someone loves you, that's one of many reasons to think they are worth your love.

adam: (yay!) I don't know what day it is.

juno: i haven't started it yet, which i believe makes you the hands down totes autowinnner of the bookreading race contest. crystal quotes it to me sometimes too, which's reason 500 why i should get on that, among other things. homes.

"probs" is what i use, i think probs, to make sure no one thinks i actually am claiming a real opinion, like the kind people stand behind.

i wonder if "best posts of 2008" is like "best article in this month's issue of Cosmo"? probs.

dave lozo: hey remember that time you got drunk and passed out on the bed i was supposed to be sleeping in and i tried to wake you up by giving you a wedgie but you didn't wake up until I yanked on your arm and then you told me I broke your finger and finally got up? that was funny.

leah: sometimes i have paralysis resulting from everyone i know reading it, and remember how i used to have livejournal and that felt kinda private and i think doesn't show up on searches or something. i like seattle, that's a place i might want to live someday. i went there once, and it was kinda grey, but i like grey. i find "time will heal your pain" to be a winner, usually.

diana: more and more and more i think the answer to that question is that we are 50 percent story, 50 percent actual life, 'cause really the only thing anyone can attest to is the present. is my deep thought of the moment.

bokolis: i think that will be my secret confession of endgame -- changing my profile tagline to "i know exactly who i am."

mercury:
Larry: "She doesn't want to be happy."
Dan: "Everybody wants to be happy."
Larry: "Depressives don't. they want to be unhappy to confirm they're depressed. if they were happy they couldn't be depressed anymore. they'd have to go out into the world and live. which can be depressing." (Closer)

anonymous: i also think everyone should live somewhere that makes them happy ... yes, is what i think. stars are singing right now on my laptop: "today today is gonna be a better one." speaking of, i think tinkerbell already is ... if we ever see that video. if i go, you must promise me one thing, which is that you must let me book your travel for you.

crystal: i think what your dad meant was "i want you to write ads for other people, trying to make them become land economists instead." i don't know what a land economist is, but i hope it involves land defense vehicles. Which, metaphorically, (land = self) doesn't sound half bad.

haviland stillwell: the sincerely anonymous people, you mean. you saying that l.a. is sometimes grey is encouraging to me, you know how i feel about all that sunshine. i didn't know lattes had foam, and i drink one every day, i guess that's 'cause I never take the cover off.

anonymous: see that, what you did there? I'd do that too, so it's okay. I mean, sometimes that's all I want to do, is make a blog that's just quotes because i think someone else just already said what i wanted to say. so no, not a waste of time at all. what's funny is i don't run for trains. but i think that's because i prefer to be the only one not running when everyone else is freaking out, 'cause i don't want to be like everyone else. and because wherever i'm going, chances are, i'd rather not go.

ooo lynnie oo: happiness! the craziest idea of all.

L: i think my audience underestimates the worth their words have on me. so, thank you.

eric mathew: if we're all in la this fall, there will be a vlogging fiesta that will blow all other vlogs right outta the water.

jo: and so, i will. i think i will.

pat1mi said...

I hope that you know that every time you write with this kind of raw emotion, you are setting the bar higher and higher for yourself. Also, when I’m reading the comments posted by your readers here, it appears to me that your blog it’s no longer a planet but a constellation, a place where wonderful creative forces converge.

It will certainly suck not to be on the same time zone as you anymore. As long as you promise that you’ll fix Season 6 or be the writer for the next big prime time TV show I will let it slide.

jenn said...

after writeing this do you get it??
confusion and clarity show up alot!! was there an end result?

Dave Lozo said...

i'm pretty sure only 14 percent of that is true.

Anonymous said...

You seriously didn't enjoy Tommy Boy? Who are you?

Chloe said...

i have no idea if i'm related to pochahantas, but for the sake of conversation we can go with that if you'd like.

that whole "inventing memories" thing is like what my grandma does. except she tells these memories to other old fokes who still think i'm seven. so you may or may not be distantly related to the crazy alcoholic known as my grandmother.

Juno said...

i wonder if "best posts of 2008" is like "best article in this month's issue of Cosmo"? probs.

No. No no. And no. (Do you see what I'm doing here? Standing in front and behind my opinion of your writing.)

Are you shitting me? Never again mention my words in the context of a Cosmo reference —— even in jest.

I'm only on page 186 ... so catch up dude.

The Spaz said...

I know, so behind the curve on this one, I should start checking my feedreader again.

Lovely and profound and heart-rending, as always.

I'm with you in the memory category, apparently I make up memories all the time, sometimes nobody remembers things like I do. Its like how did that happen? Were we even at the same event?!? I have a feeling I'm really going to be be in trouble when I get older.

This didn't really have anything to do with your post but I felt compelled to share it. For some reason or other you made me think of A Streetcar Named Desire. I don't know if you've ever read or seen it? There's a scene where Blanche is taking a bath while her brother-in-law Stanley is in the other room calling her down to her sister Stella. He brings up horrible things from her past, what always got me was the symbolism. On one hand a character is washing while somebody keeps flinging (metaphorical) dirt back on them.

I know, it doesn't really have anything to do with you, but as usual you've jump-started my mind with your writing.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is old, but I've somehow come across it and felt the desire to relate to what you said:

"And when that rare person comes along to make me realize all they want is for me to be happy and true to myself, I realize I don't know what to do with that ... besides find someone else to tell me what to do, how to be happy, what my truth is.

When you're told all your life that you're too independent, too resistant to feeling/needing things from other people, you tend to see co-dependence as an achievement rather than a problem: "Look, I've let myself rely! Look at me, opening up! Like a flower! Look at all the people I need, and who need me!""




this.