Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ultimately, I Burned the Popcorn.

Best excerpt so far from the book containing all my Diaryland entries from 2000 (I was looking for a detail I needed for my occasionally truth-based novel):

"My brother said that I don't like automatic anything. Like I don't like the auto air conditioning setting on the Bravada that allegedly adjusts the SUV temperature to what is considered ideal. I don't use cruise control either 'cause it scares me. I try to pretend that the little knob that turns the car from neutral to drive is my stick shift, even though I don't have the patience to learn stick. I used the automatic popcorn function on the microwave last night and it made me very nervous. Microsoft Office is automatically correcting my spelling, grammar and other typos, and it's really, really annoying. Not comforting at all, like some other recent technological advances.

It's raining super hard. I drove halfway home with no windsheild wipers, which I thought would be cool, but it was really just stupid.

I am ruled by fear and apprehension."

(August 27th, 2000)


Meghan said...

"Automatic anything" is an excellent new tag. Obvs this can all be explained by the competing multiple identities in one consciousness like in that Atlantic article. Do you use the auto popcorn setting now?

riese said...

I do, but I monitor it. Like I say "do it, whatever you think is best," and then I stand there watching it, preparing to interfere when the shit hits the fan, which it will, i just know it, 'cause it always does, and then i am there, to fix it. ultimately. do it my way.

Atherton Bartelby said...

I love these moments of returning to words written long ago, for whatever reason. We search for a single detail we know we recorded, and end up finding it but so much else, too, like pulling that loose strand from a knitted sweater but it just keeps coming, giving us more of our old words and memories and contexts. Not just for ourselves, but for those we share them with, too.

It almost makes the burnt popcorn worth it.

supr said...

"'I am ruled by fear and apprehension;" is pretty much a (November, 2008) moment for me, if it didnt apply for all of the months leading up to now as well. which it does. i dont trust the microwave, but i do trust the car. mainly because i like things under cooked, but MAINLY because i dont trust shannon. i hope you can finish something for november novel fajiger, if only so we the people can read it. it is november 16th at this point, no pressure but.. THE SIXTEENTH!! i cant believe it and im not even trying to get anything specific accomplished! i wish i had already purchased a boat load of your stuff so i could be like, yeah, i was a fan of hers from way back, just look at my autowin undies, bitch. i finish most of my sentences with "bitch". except at work, cuz i work with kids.

Mercury said...

bitch is the best sentence-ender.

I love reviewing old journals. you know this! I was trying to find today last year and had the wrong journal, from like 15 months ago, it was interesting to read: me in hair school. it was that long ago!? but it feels like a lifetime ago...

that was def. an excellent excerpt though. especially since now you are automatic win. and automatic has become a favorite adjective of mine.

my word ver is "merce." like a nickname for a girl named Mercy. Her parents were obvs hippies or devout christians or something. I feel like she spends a lot of time strung out. and like me she has a thing for wine drank from the bottle. her hair is long and blonde and splintery, frail and broken at the ends, but whispery, and beautiful anyways. and her clouded gaze is as penetrating as anyone's.

I had a good day, mainly because I expected nothing from it and it produced balls of lint from its pockets and a shiny dime too. a dime that has recently been through the washer. I was like, thank you, Day, and I took the dime and the lint and felt like maybe there is hope. maybe hope is lint.

Anonymous said...

I love finding moments in your past, when you had no idea what you were recording would mean, that turns out to be a significant part of the you reading the past.

riese said...

atherton: when diaryland erased everyone's old journals, I was so happy I'd already decided to print mine out and paste it in a book. It seems weird, actually, that I did that, but it was a journal gift from a friend, and it's hard sometimes for me to write in journals given to me by people i have complicated relationships with, so I just printed stuff out and put it in there. like this.

supr: The next day I said "I am ruled by fear and apprehension and insecurity." I like things overcooked because I'm afraid of food poisioning. I use cruise control now, the leg cramps from multi-hour trips got to be too much to bear.

Don't worry there will be plenty of time between now and fame to stock up.

merc: Yeah apparently there was a time when I didn't like automatic anything, probs did not even like myself. I think I'm more comfortable with automatic things now but also I use that adjective all the time too.

I also like wine drank out of the bottle. I think I like to not have to wash dishes really is the main thing.

I like coins that have been through the washer I think it really does make them cleaner.

I think your comment is more poetic than me.

burningsteady: I think I always thought my recordings would be important. Or maybe I didn't. by "important" i mean, important to me. mememe.

laura said...

i like the title of this one a lot a lot.
my old journals are my favorite/least favorite things to look through. i love when a person or a place pops up, though, that i knew nothing about at the time, but now i know so well. it's like, "hello friend, you don't know this yet, but they're going to be fantastic/break your heart/play with you/be crazy/love you/disappear."
i accidentally left a lot of mine at my parents' house but i like to think they hidden away in a nice little cave in my closet. that's what i like to think.

Anonymous said...

Hence the entirety of Didion's "On Keeping a Notebook." I love anything that encourages my narcissism.

riese said...

laura: That's my strongest feeling about my old journals -- the first line I write about a person who will ultimately do something terrific or terrible to me, or who I now know will remain/make an impact. I think studying the associations between what I said at first and what ended up happening is the closest I can get to attempting to predict the future. I generally auto-fail but worth a shot. caves are always nice.

burningsteady: I love the way that Didion writes about herself, too, and writes about her notebooks in her writing. Maybe it's mutual narcissism.

stef said...

this post inspired me to find my old scribble. i wish i wrote things like this, mostly i was just like 'i hate geometry.' my word veri is 'rednes,' which you should REALLY get checked out by a doctor.