Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sausage Fest!

My excitement level for tomorrow's birthday party has reached junior high social dance proportions. It's great! My biggest concern is that I won't be able to sleep tonight. This also goes hand-in-hand with springtime MANIA SEASON! Woohoo!

And, at the eleventh hour, I am suspiciously close to meeting my quota of having 5 crushes attend the festivities. I hadn't realized I'd given my number to the boy I met while I was raving drunkenly at Soiree in Chicago, and supposedly he's going to show up. Then tonight I created a mini-spectacle of myself by purchasing an obscene amount of Rice Krispies for the centerpiece, thus attracting the attention of a man with a beautiful smile, to whom I also extended an invitation. I wonder if he'll come. Love Affair RSVPd today as well, for himself and two of his high school buddies (no woman with him, good job Love Affair). And, happily, My Friend will be in attendance as well.

The big question for the evening will be PhD crush, the most intense target of my affections. Discouragingly, when I ran into PhD crush today (first time in two weeks) he handed me the 'no' of the new millenium: I'll try to stop by later. So I'm not planning on seeing him, although, dear friends, that would really make my fucken night! So cross your fingers twelve-year-old girl style and hope hope hope with me! Don't y'all want to meet him?

I love parties! I hope that it won't be too much of a sausage fest, as Karim points out some of my parties tend to be. Man, if only Girlfriend and Sleepwalker could be here, I know they would totally clean up with me. I'm so appreciative of my New York family and I can't wait for us all to party together tomorrow night, but oh San Francisco, I'm going to miss you hard. I just know it.

Countdown to party time! Luis, Papagayo, Muffin, (keetens wish you could come!!), Wandering, get ready to raaaage! In a mere 20 hours from now I will be giddy and golden and glamorously 28 years old. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.


Monday, March 24, 2008

the queen of this here space

I'm feeling especially crazed lately, and it is all due to the fact that I'm in grad school and I have not a clue what I am doing, but I have many crazy thoughts and not enough time/direction to pursue them all. This story has something to do with it.

The other night I was back in The Chi and I decided to start drinking Crown Royale at 9:30 in the evening. This is what happened:

(first drink): This is nice. I like Chicago. This bartender is nice. I like this song. I wish I could get out of my head though. I can't believe this drink was $12. If Eric weren't DJing here, I would never have come in here. That go-go dancer screen thing is pretty fucken cool though.

(second drink): I wonder how long we have to stay here. I can't drink too much. I have to drive home.

(third drink): Dude, let me tell you about New York. Shit is fucked up. I kind of like it though. Oh you live there too, huh? Well, let me tell you about it. Hey, you need a drink?

(fourth drink): Man Eric, that was a great set. Meet my new friend. What's your name, dude? He's visiting from New York. Hey, you want to fight? I'm just kidding. Hey, you want a cigarette?

(fifth drink): Man this is great. I love Chicago. Hey, you need a drink?

(sixth drink): What are you talking about? I'm a great dancer. Fuck off. Who needs a drink?

(passed out in some bathroom): No, Eric, you can't come in. I'm fine. But I will need to leave soon. Get ready.

(wandering aimlessly down Lincoln Avenue): No, my car's not on Lincoln. It's...parked in front of another car. On the side of the road. (apparently I said the next thing 3 times) Man Eric, you know what's great? As soon as we find my car, I'm gonna get in the back seat, and I'm gonna go to sleep. It is gonna be great.

(7 a.m.): Am I dead? Oh my god, I'm frozen to death. Weird, I'm under a blanket though...but I'm not in bed...I'm car. Parked...on the side of the road...on Diversey. Frozen to death.

When I got the lowdown on my behavior the next day, I was glad to hear that I'm not a bad drunk, and that I contained all of my grossness to the bathroom of some diner we were at. Also, I started to talk about how crazy I was feeling, but it made me sad, and so I stopped talking about, and started trying to beat people up. The things a person will do to get away from their craziness!

It is a very lonely feeling, and I am desperate for some real guidance. But I don't know who to get it from. I don't even really know what I'm thinking about, just that it's driving me crazy and I can't escape it. Some of it is circular thought. Some of it is just bottomless philosophizing. A lot of it leads back to Marx.

I guess it is grating on me more than I know. I hate the feeling of not being able to explain myself or what is on my mind. That, I suppose, is why I write. I want to know that what I'm thinking can be explained. If I get bogged down in heady thoughts that are inexplicable, they are pretty much worthless thoughts. What is the use of thought if it isolates you rather than connects you? But I am floating lately, and I try to get into things, and then I try to avoid them, and then I get frustrated because I don't even know where to begin. I don't even know how this all began.

Waking up in the icebox of my mom's SUV at 7 in the morning made me feel like the desperation is coming to a hilt, that all the thoughts that I've been having, all the explanations I've been seeking may not actually be getting me anywhere except towards psychosis, cirrhosis, and complete alienation from society. It is a weird sensation to wake up alone, freezing, and thinking, "I don't even know the last thing I remember. It all blends together into this confusing feeling that is so overwhelming it brinks on numbness."

And then the nausea kicks in.

As I drove home, I thought of the last time I'd woken up cold and alone, and probably saved from freezing to death by my high BAC. It was in San Francisco when I leaved by Ocean Beach, and I got locked out of my apartment, and I slept on the stairs for a few hours because my roommates would not wake up. Oh, these cold and drunken nights when we are so close to home...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Boobs, booze, and basic understanding

There are some "news" topics that are pretty rote every year and, despite seeming more fit to Cosmo, always get some hefty coverage in our finest newspapers, including: how to avoid those holiday pounds, the perfect Valentine's Day gifts, how the dye the Chicago River green, and, how much college students drink over spring break, particularly south of the border.

With the onset of the Spring Break "coverage," of course, there's also a lot of lamenting by middle-aged women about the slut factor, and how deplorable it is that despite all of the strides made by the feminism movement, so many young women "seem so happy to let men lick tequila shots off their body parts." (Meghan Daum, LA Times, 031508)

This never ceases to amaze me. It's like these women were never young once and never experienced the rites of passage that girls today have to go through in order to join the sisterhood, things ranging from: wardrobe tricks like boosting your "confidence" with a push-up bra or breaking an ankle in hooker heels to mental games discovering that the more you drink, the more fun you have AND the less guilty you feel in the morning. And yes, every woman has sat done and made the calculations of what adult beverage will get her the drunkest the fastest with the fewest calories. Don't lie, Meghan Daum. Everyone has made this calculation, or at least read the breakdown in Mademoiselle. You think all women just coincidentally share the same taste for white wine and vodka-seltzers? I think not.

Part of being a young woman is doing all these things. No, graduate school and career ambitions don't factor into these conversations because they're not particularly unique to being a woman. Being a woman is biological and cultural; it involves trying to understand how you want to express your cup size and who you will invite to your poochie party. These are things that take some figuring out. Of course you have to slut it a little to figure out these things for yourself. A lot of us women probably run the full gamut to 'ho and back and settle somewhere comfortably in our own definitions of what it means to be a woman. But until then, we've got hoochie culture, and so that's what we try on first. Go figure.

But I fucken detest any older woman who's going to look down on girls today for the way they think and the way they act on spring break. When Daum decries that women are "deciding that the way to measure their readiness for the adult world is not in terms of education or emotional maturity but sexual desirability," she's totally missing the point that the way you get to be emotionally mature is by figuring this shit out. Why don't you tail these party girls and see where they are in 10 years? I'll bet most of them will have caved into conservative family values by then, only after submitting to 10 years of intense therapy to disentangle their alienating feelings of guilt that seem to have been forced on them by a mass media so deeply embedded in their consciousness that they think it's their own conscience they need to battle, and not the affirmative culture that promises a healthy pinch of moral backlash for every pound of empty glitz produced.

The most telling line of this op-ed is Daum's observation that "When they talked about what they wanted to do with their lives, they spoke not of jobs or grad school but of looking good, of having the right equipment and experience to ensure a place in the raunch-obsessed pop culture they'd come to see as the real world."

I got news for you, M.D. If pop culture is manifesting itself in people's minds and actions, that's no longer pop culture--that is the real world. Is it that you're bemoaning pop culture's effects on women today? It's not that culture that we should be worried about, or whatever loss values you may be mourning, but the conflict between the two that this kind of anti-anything editorial highlights. The reason why young women have to drink so much to do what the pop culture dictates is that there are so many old-world values holding them back. But women say they drink for "confidence" rather than "numbing the confusion" because booze advertising is traditionally targeted at men.

Articles like this just make women drink even more.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

self-indulgent thought

Today Papagayo and I got to talking about how nobody seems to have time for anyone anymore, which got us to talking about the spatial and social conditions that are feeding into this phenomenon, particularly here in The NY.

It got me thinking about the way we connect with people, and how, with the shortage of time, space, and money, we tend to whittle down our social lives. I know that for me, I assume that my close friends read my blog, and it's kind of like a grand, sweeping, update that people can read at their own convenience, so I have to call people less to tell them where my head's at. It's kind of a modern-day version of the much abhorred family newsletter that goes out with the holiday cards.

Three cheers for blogs: letting you keep up with people without having to make time for them. I don't even know if I'm kidding or not. But that's kind of where it's at for me these days, particularly since me and my computer are pretty much joined at the wrists.


Today I ditched class and spent all day at the Herbert Gans conference. It was great. I'm getting really into grad school, and being around all these big heads. It makes me want to swear a lot for some reason, but it also makes me want to read and learn more just to able to ask good questions. I often find myself totally lost, but so lost that I can't even ask a question, just make a statement: I don't get it. That doesn't really help anyone.

I was surprised to see that there were only three other people from my department: the chair, who was a panelist; a PhD student who left at lunch, and my PhD crush! I was so "happy" to see him that I was unable to concentrate for a long time.

I've been thinking about my love obsession a lot lately, because I think it's unhealthy. Anything that fucks with my head so much has to be unhealthy, right? Also I had such a strong physical reaction to his mere presence in the room that I kind of felt sick. That isn't "happiness." It's more like a physical addiction, and the closest approximation I can think of is the way you feel right after you take several wide rails up the nose, except you replace the accompanying feeling of sudden intelligence and wit with an anxious, dull, stupidity.

When I left the conference this evening, I felt ridiculously happy. I put on some music, and "Livin' on a Prayer" came on, which is such a jam--what a tribute to love!--that I really couldn't have cared less that when the train stopped, we all had to cram in around someone's puke, conveniently located just inside the door that I had chosen to use. You gotta love New Yorkers though, nobody said a damn thing beyond, "Whoa, don't wanna step in that!"

This feeling of crazy being in love--which is not love at all, I know, but intense hope pinned randomly onto a male body--is enough to make me fear its loss. I fear the discovery that he has a girlfriend, which shatters hope. And I fear its eventual crescendo and waning period, which is depressing and filled with self-reproach.

We hung out for a little while during the conference break, and we made some tiny connections that will give my hungry little heart enough to hold onto for the next 10 days, since I won't be running into him probably for that long...this makes me sad.

I'm happy that I get such a kick out of love, but I wish that I could find something a little more...well, controllable.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I swear they all coordinate.

I wasn't feeling good so I came home today and cheered myself up by making a flyer for my birthday party. This always cheers me up. This year is my "golden" birthday, meaning I'm turning 28 on the 28th. Although the party starts at nine, my nearest and dearest are invited to start early with me with a fried chicken dinner at 7:30 p.m. If you're reading this, you're invited to join me for a long night by coating our livers with a protective cushion of grease!

When I was done with the party flyer, I went to the bathroom to smoke a cigarette and call Love Affair back. I like to make hasty decisions after a long period of indecision. As soon as it doesn't seem like a big deal anymore, I can follow through on these stupid things that really aren't big deals. I was also feeling sad because I left school without my orchestrated run-in with PhD crush, so I needed to inject some kind of imaginary romance into the day.

It was a good conversation, one where I managed not to feel sad, bad, or even lusty. My only trigger was wanting to ask him how things were with his Ex, but refraining.

Then I told him that I'd sent him an invite to my Golden Birthday. To my surprise, he said he could probably come, because he'd planned on coming to New York that week anyhow. In the following three seconds it took me to say "Wow...that'll be so great!" I thought to myself: Yaay! No Shit? Love Affair? Here? Yaay! Wait--my head will explode in the presence of My Friend, Love Affair, and PhD crush (whom I haven't even invited). But I'm sure he'll be visiting his Ex. I wonder if he'll bring her. That'll probably be better. Then we can transition into the Friend Zone. But I still want to sleep with him. God I hate being in the same room with a guy I've slept with and still want to sleep with, and his new girlfriend. Grr. This cycle actually repeated itself in my head three full times in during my response to him.

To be fair, I did drag out the "Wow..." part.

I thought of this one night that I was at the Uptown in San Francisco (a fancy name for a really divey bar), when Karim helpfully pointed out that three of the last boys I loved (both physically and emotionally) were all kind of playing pool together. Love Affair was one of them. It made me happy more than confused. I knew I was leaving San Francisco shortly, and I felt like I would be leaving behind a legacy of love, although that night I slept alone.

Is Love Affair really going to be here for my birthday? I have to get to the place where I don't care again, to make everything okay. I don't know how I'm going to do that, but I wish it would magically happen that I would fall into a serious New Affair with PhD crush. That's the only way I know how to get over someone, is to fall in love with someone else.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

What it comes down to is that I just need to get laid.

Dinner with Papagayo and Muffin was great tonight. I almost feel human again...though it had to be a nonalcoholic night. Papagayo made "mocktails," i.e., grape juice and seltzer. All this hurting is for good cause, though. I finished my stretch of 14+ hour-long days at school with a riveting studio presentation Friday, and commenced the assault on my liver immediately thereafter.

I went to meet my youngest cousin and his new boyfriend for drinks. Per his usual M.O., we ran up an almost-$300 bar tab in completely over-the-top surroundings, this time at the Hudson Hotel bar. His new boyfriend, aside from being 12 years older than my cousin, is French, and pointed out a "very famous French talk show host" sitting just next to us in the lounge. In his sexy English and my ten-year-old French, we managed a wonderful three hours talking about all the important things in life, including growing old, saving the world, conquering fears, finding love, and digital textile design in the fashion industry.

Although I didn't consider myself hungover yesterday, I did eat a leftovers for breakfast in bed, with a generous side of ibuprofen, and reflected upon the two current crushes in my life, both of whom share the same first name and equally unattainable status in the underdeveloped area of my brain reserved for junior high fantasies-cum-obsessions. But I'm sensing something weird with My Friend, and I think it might be sexual tension.

I don't think I fully grasp the meaning of sexual tension. Usually for me, sexual tension only exists in the four seconds it takes to open a condom. I guess that's more like sexual anticipation. When people talk about sexual tension, they're usually talking about the "will we or won't we" hanging in the air between two waffling individuals. I tend to make my mind up early on that we won't, so the uncomfortable tension isn't an issue. And just because my mind precludes it, doesn't mean it's not going to happen. However, I think that this foregone conclusion actually inspires the thought of sex. It's like they can sense that you don't want them, and of course this makes them want you.

I like him as My Friend. I hope the sexual tension is in my head. But if it's not, I'm sure it's probably pretty obvious to everyone else. Someone told me that I had this shit-eating grin on my face when PhD crush was commenting on our group presentation. I giggled and admitted that I had an eensy-weensy crush on the guy. He laughed: "Oh, you think? It's pretty obvious!"
(He also said, "Well, who doesn't [have a crush on him]?" But that's a different story.)

I don't know what it is that I do that makes me so transparent. In my writing it's different, because I say what I mean. But really, what is it that I do that just gives me away? I want to know. And, more importantly, if an outsider can tell, can PhD crush tell? Maybe I should just decide not to have sex with him, which will make him instantly want me. I think that's how it works, at least.

On another boy tangent, Love Affair called me tonight. I have paralyzed myself into inaction about whether or not to call him back. Call him back. Don't call him back. Don't write to him. Don't open his letters. He lives in San Francisco, for fuck's sake. I don't know why you want to keep dragging this out. Seriously, you gotta let this one go. Think of the last time you talked to him in San Francisco. Think of how he couldn't manage to make time for you. Think of how hurt you were then, and how much scotch you drank that night before you had dinner with him because you were afraid you would show him how you really felt. Think of how you were supposed to have coffee with him the day before he left and how he left you hanging, so you didn't even get to say good-bye. Even better, stop calling him Love Affair and start calling him Love Lost. I don't remember exactly what I wrote to him last month, but I must have said something along the lines of sometimes feeling like our affair didn't actually happen, that it was all a dream. If he had never written back, I would have relegated him to a world away.

I do this to myself. I'm a love junkie, and it's a sick disease. Part of me sincerely believes that love cannot exist without pain, and I hold onto those things that are the most painful, because those are the times when I felt the most love. I'd rather hold onto love and pain simultaneously, then let them both go. Of course, I'd rather figure out how to hold onto love and only love, and I'm working on this. This is why I want to call Love Affair back--not to recapture pain, but to replace lost love with friendship.

Hm. Does friendship involve less pain than love? Who can weigh in on this?

And now, this:

Online Videos by

I really identify with all three of the people in this clip.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

If you're going to cook, wear clothes

I have taken the morning off after spending the last four days living at school. For once, the work isn't bothering me, it's just something that I'm doing.

Something has changed in my head, and I'm not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with (a) the promise of spring, (b) the slippery slope back into the land of smokeable nicotine, (c) another boy to fall in love with, (d) being on a mission and (e) the decision to not buy any more clothes.

(a) makes sense, right? I've forgotten what seasons are like. Once it got cold, I think I just thought to myself, "Well, Fuck." And subconsciously thought it was going to be like this forever. Every day I wore a big black puffy coat, and I forgot about all the other jackets that I used to wear and love. I put all my summer shoes in the closet, and was living in perpetual winter. But now it's leaving! I'm not too sorry to see it go. I didn't realize how depressed I was for most of last month.

(b) I'm sick of talking about this. We have a dysfunctional relationship, but he's just so comforting to me. Keetens told me I should pretend that smoking was like a boyfriend...who died. So, you just can't go back there. But I am not good at pretending like that. Or maybe I am, but I just dont wanna.

(c) I introduced myself to a nice PhD student at a party a few weekends ago, and I've been running into him a lot at school. It makes my day. I also had a dream about him the other night, and it was awesome. It made my whole next day so light and lovely. Who says dreams aren't real, if they affect your waking life?

This new guy is very quiet, and I always say something stupid--just to say something. Then he quickly exits the scene. It's strange when you realize that someone is trying to get away from you. You're like, "But I love you! Don't be afraid! Well, maybe a little. Be kind of afraid. All right, you're smarter than I realized. Run. Run now while you can." I secretly think that the smartest boys are the ones who run away from me. Any guy that is into me right off the bat I think is an idiot. This latest crush is a big part of the reason why it's not really killing me to spend so much time in the computer lab, because that is where I run into him.

(d) My mission to save the world is shaping up quite nicely. I attended the NYC Grassroots Media Conference all day Sunday and it was really like I was returning to my people. I like conferences where all of the people there--both attendees and presenters--look like refugees. I am jealous of people who *truly* don't care what they look like, because they are on a bigger mission in life than looking good. I'm getting better at containing my vanity, mostly because I can't afford haircuts anymore. This kind of leads me into

(e) my decision to not buy any clothes anymore. Okay, not EVER again, but not until I am done with school and earning a paycheck. Ever since I moved to The NY, I find myself in a constant state of coveting whatever I see, and feeling bad that I can't have it. Or, debating how I can make sacrifices in order to buy that completely unnecessary article of clothing when I already own so many articles that I love. It has greatly simplified my headspace. To digress, when I quit smoking, it did the same thing. I stopped fighting myself over whether/when I should smoke a cigarette, and just stopped doing it.

It is fun to poke at your psyche sometimes, and try to fuck with yourself. It's funny the way we impose these rules on ourselves and see how we respond. "No new clothes for a year and a half? I'll show you! I'm going to save the world then! What do you think about that?"


It may sound delightful to be a naked chef, but if you ever get some splash back, your exposed stomach is probably one of the most sensitive areas on your body.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Boy 3 Says Hello

So, yesterday's interview with my hero, Mark Gorton, went terribly. It was one of those things where I over-prepared and then I failed to cover the basic rules of good interviewing skills. It was pretty fucken embarrassing. That said, he did grant me a full hour of his time, and I did get to check out the sweet Tribeca split-level that his hedge fund occupies, filled with plants, fuschia pillows, and statues of Buddha. But when I left, I felt like an asshole, and wandered around Tribeca for a while, smoking cigarettes and feeling like a failure.

Oh well.

Then today, I get this email from Boy 3, the guy I saw for one hot minute in October. The email was two lines long..."Saw you my office...with my boss..."

How fucken weird! Of course Boy works for Mark Gorton. I'd like to say "Suddenly, it all made sense to me," but everything made even less sense. It really tripped me out to get that communique. It was the second time I'd heard about Boy in the past two weeks, because he'd run into a friend from school, and she actually recognized him from a party we went to at her place. It made me want to re-think life and fate, which I don't particularly believe in. But I'm willing to rethink these things.

I asked him why he didn't say hello. He wrote back:

i wish i had said hello, too.  instead i left the
office at four fifteen to avoid a potentially awkward encounter.
that's how much of an adult i am.

Oh Boy...