Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The lady who lives next door is bitter because she had to take out her own garbage. Three days a week that damned cleaning lady has off. Why does she need an extra day just because her grandchild has the chickenpox? My neighbor tosses her head in anger and tells me that her home (at least this week) is like living in a slum. The projects of Mariemont, she says. I want to bitch slap that stupid fucking scrooged up, purse-lipped, dry grey curl framed face. Bite me, Old Lady Next Door. You've never seen a housing project in your life. I have. I'll bet your cleaning lady has, too.

She's what I've always feared becoming. This is why event-inflamed anger is more of a tool for me than a way of life. If it isn't gone within a month of the actual anger-provoking event, I realize that something is terribly wrong. Not that I don't have oceans of anger. I'm pretty sure everyone does. But bitter...is an oil slick. It prevents the oceans from evaporating into clouds like they should. There is no homeostasis when your life is a patchwork quilt of haphazard oil slicks. Anger should be a catalyst. It makes storms. Bitterness keeps our poles shifty and our periods of calm more unusual than our hurricanes. Where's the fucking fun in that?!

My friend Jason and I used to joke that you slum it in Mariemont until you inherit your parent's house in Indian Hill. Now, here I am, listening to Coltrane's "Village Blues" on my fucking iPod, leaving crumbs of sketch paper on the too-shiny tabletops of the Starbucks across the street from my apartment. Howling in Mariemont. I can hardly stand that the only Afro-American faces I see are sprouting from the necklines of service-job uniforms. It is difficult to swallow how happy I am, despite that. Life sucked balls there for a while. Now, it's a day-long happygasm from the moment I wake up. Sometimes, I can't stop grinning long enough to sleep.

People like that fool next door always remind me that other people are the fucking least of my worries and the reason it's good to NOT be them. Perspective, in this case, is as glorious as the autumn sunset that shines in my face as I write this. It's the math degree I'm getting after a lifetime of my drunken mother spitting her own failure into my face. It's the abusive ex-boyfriend who'll be having sub-standard sex for the rest of his life after me. It is the irony of knowing that winning anything is an illusion but that those people will die thinking that they lost. That irony, my friends, is as bitter as a rancid birthday cake but exactly the kind of sweet exsanguination that keeps me smiling.

There is no such thing as failure. There's only dust that you either brush off or leave to turn into mud when it rains.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Old Lady-Crazy

I just devoured "Notes on a Scandal" in less than 24 hours. This is the most deliciously obsessive catalog of beautifully rendered rationalization and predation I've ever read. If you haven't read the book and you're into observing weirdos, I highly suggest you pick this one up. Compared to the book (a stew that is thick and warm enough to waft from the page and into your nostrils), the film is like hard plastic.

On the outside, this book is about a couple of teachers, one of whom begins an affair with a student. The other acts as a narrator for the story. After a few pages, it is obviously about the slimy eel-dance between predator and prey and the points at which we allow ourselves to become either one of them.

I loved reading about this old woman combing her existence for traces of other people's lint. I'm on the other side of that coin in that I obsessively try to comb other people's lint out of my experience. For the most part, I enjoy what I've learned from people more than I've ever enjoyed their company. Yep, that is an asshole way of looking at things and I might spend some quality time trying to fix that if this book (bless its little heart) didn't make it perfectly clear that the only thing that keeps us from lingering in guilt is self-mockery. The only thing that makes self-mockery possible is knowing that, without a doubt, there is always someone out there who is way worse than we are.

It must also be noted that mirrors like this come in handy when I allow myself to be comforted by the Sesame Street "my experience is terribly unique" ethos. The truth is, we're all just apes looking to bump uglies and pick off a few bugs until something turns our eye. Therefore, our "selves" are reflections of the things we covet and that, my dear friends, negates any stupid ideas we have of "individuality".

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It Only Takes a Camera to Change Her Mind

I saw Kraftwerk on Sunday! While seeing one of my favorite bands live is a grand experience, when that band is as old as the hills and rarely plays the U.S., it's pretty fucking spectacularly surreal. I'm still hugging my pillow and smiling.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Zombie Abortions

I have the rare, unfortunate virus that is so baneful, I had to call in reinforcements. Therefore, I am in the thrall of the Big Fuckin’ Q and feel as sedated as a suburban housewife.

Everyone knows that after a good Nyquil coma, there is a waiting period before you regain the use of your arms and legs. The coma last night was exceptional. I woke and lay there waiting for a sign that my head was still attached to the rest of my body. It was then that my spirit animal, a Circus Midget named Johnson Puppethammer, came to me in a vision and led me on a journey that finally unraveled one of the greatest mysteries of the ages: Where Nyquil Really Comes From.

Somewhere, there is a heavily guarded compound where zombies have been genetically altered so that they can breed. The zombie women are impregnated and after 8 months, they are herded into rooms and distracted with the arms and legs of undocumented Guantanamo Bay inmates who failed their Water Board exams. Then the doctors, who are genetically engineered hybrids of my psychotic third-grade teacher and Dick Cheney, extract the zombie fetuses.

The fetuses are hastily whisked away to an enormous room that is maintained at a constant temperature of at 37ยบ C. After being deposited in either green-death or cherry flavored media, the fetuses are left to decompose. After a few days (we didn’t have time to get into a discussion about decomposition variables), all that remains is a thick sludge that is siphoned into large vats, mixed with Holy Water, bottled, packaged and shipped to thousands of convenient locations near you.

Lewis Carroll had the Green Fairy. I have Zombie Abortions. I think I win.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Want to Throw Up on Kimya Dawson's Shoes

Having just seen Juno and having loved it, I am pissed off at having to accept I can never watch it again because the music is just so fucking annoying. Kimya Dawson, whose music (both solo and with the Moldy Peaches) is featured vomitously often, is one of those chicks you just know owns "Play-Doh" t-shirts and thrift-store underoos. Beneath the 'fro and multi-piercings, I sense she's just another half-assed indie chick who likes to dress her voice as a little girl to earn the neo-pedophile dollar. Nice market to corner in such a subversive way, isn't it, Kimya? Twice the credit for getting your music in a film about a pregnant teenager. You just can't ask for a better synthesis of product/target-audience marketing, can you?

I miss Junkie Courtney Love. She was chugging Oxy's and Jack before Kimya Dawson used her first organic cotton tampon. She would beat Kimya up with her own acoustic, steal Kimya's ginseng cigarettes, and sell them back to her at twice the price Kimya paid for them in the first place.

When did indie chicks stop being bad asses and all turn hybrids of Patsy Ramsey and Suzanne Vega? When are the barbed-wire, watch-me-bleed types coming back?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Post Haste

The Washington Post has a lovely little database that allows us folkses to see for our selves who voted when, on what, and how.

This is as handy as a midget with a broom. And I ain't lyin'.

Click for The U.S. Congress Votes Database. Also, if you find yourselves wondering who is paying to get their gal/guy in the Big Chair, you may want to check out the kick ass little site known as OpenSecrets.org.