I finally got my lease signed today – this has been a ditzy week. I found a major accounting error in my business ledger – maybe if I reconciled my online shopping cart monthly instead of whenever I felt like it I’d be doing better off. Then when I went to go sign my lease yesterday the taxi dropped me off two blocks from where I was supposed to be and I swore up and down that the address didn’t exist – all the while suggesting I was probably just an idiot. And it’s true – sometimes I do things that are so damned stupid I wonder how the hell I make it through the day – especially in the calamity zone that is Chicago.
Saw Fahrenheit again last night – it was better the second time to watch it with a more academic eye and not have as much of an emotional reaction as I did the first time. Though the part where the mother of the soldier says Your flesh aches! A parent isn’t supposed to bury their child. Useful (though comment-less?) fact checking going on over at Fahrenheit Facts.
That is extremely moving and definitely something that I can hopefully use as grist for Antigone… I’ve been thinking more about how direct a comment I want to make on the current situation in the adaptation – the war in the story of Antigone really doesn’t fit with Iraq – it’s not a proper analogy. The war in Antigone is two brothers fighting for the throne – the whole big business of war isn’t a factor – though the effects of war remain universal. You can’t watch a production of the Trojan Women and not feel that the play resonates across cultures and centuries to still be relevant today – the monologue where the man considers killing the baby prince that may one day come for him is especially moving. Also been thinking some about maybe trying my had at an Oedipus adapation. I’d love to do it as a chamber play – entirely in one room and in real time – something sharp and focused and claustrophobic. The idea of epic suffering eclipsed by personal grief is very appealing to me, dramatically. Sort of like Nancy Reagan having to keep going on for over a week – the fatigue I can’t imagine. Just being around the extended family and contacts must’ve been hell. As well as Lila’s understanding that those of us that protested the war were not protesting the actions of her son – but the concept of the conflict.
I was talking with my coach this week about how important I’ve learned it is for Ron to be around ‘his people.’ And I’m sure I’ve written about this before. That even seeing a familiar asian face in a mainstream movie is important – and I’m sure it’s the same for black people, latinos and any other group not well-represented in media. My coach is first generation Bosnian and says that she spent very little time in her immigrant community but when she returns back into that and speaks the native tongue that something inside her just glows. It’s the same thing with Ron. He just seems to brighten up around his peeps. And now that I’m moving even closer to The Seven Stars convenience store – run by a Fil family – I’m sure we’ll be even more enmeshed. I still have never been to the Rizal center up on Irving Park – I should call and see if they have Tagalog classes.
Pretty darned excited about the apartment – it’s going to require a little more discipline in my budget but if I can reign in my restaurant spending everything will be just fine. I am on a boxquest this weekend to start packing. I am thinking of this round of packing as electing what I’m really going to carry with me for another couple years. Purging the wardrobe, the file cabinet and the bookshelves. I stll have to get home and go through the mountains of books I have in mom and dad’s basement.
Aside from a Tex-Mex fest last night my eating has been surprising even and regulated. My ankle still doesn’t seem healed enough to do regular cardio. Mainly eating more vegetables than I ever have in my entire life. It’s a nice eating plan because I really don’t mind eating the same thing every day for a week. It’s more the preparation that’s my hurdle. If I can just take the 15 minutes to cut up the salmon filets and everything in advance – I’m home free. I am glad I’m not always frying up eggs – that gets so old so fast. I’ve kicked my caffeine dependence and haven’t taken any caffeine or ephedra in quiet a while – and surprisingly my panic attacks have been few and far between. I do have 2 to 3 day stretches where I feel particularly panic-able and haven’t been able to nail that down to a certain meal or behavior or circumstance. I’ve been laying off the gym somewhat – I need to stay strict with the PT on the ankle and shoulder though.
I’ve never really understood fireworks. I just always remember the stench of gunpowder the next morning when I was a kid. Especially after ‘Thunder Over Lousiville’ before the Derby also known as ‘that sky gon’ be blowed up real good.’ I always found fireworks on that scale to be so incredibly wasteful and polluting. ‘Yay America! Pollute the air some more!’ At least it’s not uranium.
I realized watching the movie again why I can’t stand watching George Bush. He reminds me of one of my relatives. A very selfish arrogant asshole of a man who has this nervous little laugh whenever he’s in an uncomfortable situation – it’s like this restrained choke coupled with a smug ‘aren’t I clever?’ grin. This is the guy that spent all his time playing golf as his wife disintegrated into painkiller addiction, compulsive smoking and agoraphobia. He is one of the most supremely selfish people that I know and his manner reminds me exactly of our Chief Executive. I’ve met other people with that forced laugh and it always means that they are a complete phony. There’s a guy sitting next to me right now with that nervous forced laugh – it’s like he has to laugh to qualify what he is saying as entertaining. Too bad, he was cute until he started talking.
How much time do you spend talking to yourself? I mean really – not just lip syncing or rehearsing your Pulitzer acceptance speech – but just talking out what’s in your head. I think that’s one way I process data – I have to talk it out alone. I always found talking out writer’s block was a huge help for me. I just had to say everything I knew about the story I was writing and then find the next logical step for the characters given their objectives.
What would it take to change your point of view? I mean this right now in the political realm. What would I have to hear from the current administration – what would it take – for me to vote for George W. Bush… it’s an entertaining question. Is there anything that they could possible do or say or legislate that would make me say – y’know they got the right idea? I consider the dream speeches I’d like to hear – the ideal bills I’d like him to sign – the integrity I’d love to see on display – but is any of this even possible in the political realm? As pundits hash out each new factoid entering the news cycle – who do you believe? What would it take to change your mind?
I forgot to tell the story of almost getting picked up last weekend. I was at Cold Stone Creamery getting ice cream for Ron, Gilbert and I – Scott and I were in line. And they’d gone back to Ron’s place to drop some stuff off and come back. So I’m waiting for my handcrafted ice cream to arrive and this guy comes up to me and says, ‘So you and your partner aren’t together anymore?’ I laughed and said, ‘Oh – he’s actually on his way here – I’m just getting us some ice cream.’ He seemed a little embarrassed and said ‘Oh sorry, wow. I didn’t mean to get all up in your grill.’ And let that be a testament that this is the first time I’ve heard the phrase ‘all up in your grill’ in the wild. It was a nice compliment and I made sure that Ron knows that I am still a wanted man.
I was reflecting today about how much I used to love the smell of women’s hair. Maybe I was still figuring everything out. Like the Indian girl in high school that sat in front of me in Physics and her hair smelled like a wild garden. Or Karen’s hair always smelled good and when we lived together and shared a bathroom I’d smell her shampoo in the air as we all got ready for work. I don’t like long hair on men at all. Except for Sam in high school – but I didn’t like his hair because I liked him – I liked his hair because it was the best kept hair any man has ever had. He meticulously managed his split ends in French class – he was a drummer for a heavy metal band. And don’t you love a scalp massage and someone gently pulls on handfuls of your hair and you feel your skull relax?
Do you ever analyze why you find someone attractive? What segments or intersections or cues make someone an ideal candidate for whatever…? Like with Ron it was simple: dark skin, big arms, bigger smile. I even adore him when he’s asleep – isn’t that so sappy? Though I always loved Margaret Cho on adoring your sleeping lover (paraphrasing):
You know how you watch someone you love sleep and they look so quiet and peaceful and the sunligh just hits their face in that perfect way and you sigh and think to yourself… I COULD FUCKING KILL YOU RIGHT NOW!
And then just as she is getting ready to smother her boyfriend with a pillow he wakes up and says: “What are you looking at?” And she replies, “Oh nothing, I was just thinking about… y’know… us.” Or the crushes I have on my fellow morning gym brethren – I try to analyze why I find some of them so darned hot. I used to do this with women too: long hair, smart, sleek, slightly cruel looking. And there is something about women in long tight skirts with boots that is so damned sexy – couple that with long fragrant hair and Ron better get nervous. And as I always say – something in being attracted to men is also a cue that I want to be them – I want to look like them or have their abilities… so then I start to detail and inventory that – what is it about a certain complexion, body type, gait, tattoo, haricut, style or manner that I wish I could emulate – and what is the underlying characteristic I feel like I need to have? Something that I’m not – can’t be – could have – can’t have – why am I not just satisfied being myself?
Then there’s the matter of my toilet. When I didn’t have a dissolving bleach-cake in the tank I got this horrendous growth of water deposits on the inside of the bowl. I have scrubbed, I have left cleanser in there overnight. I have even used a dish scrubber and the crud still don’t come off. I don’t know what else to try. I got a bottle of CLR and might pour some of that in and let it sit overnight. I have to do this before they start showing the apartmnent. I will be so embarrassed for someone to see my skank-ass bathroom. I really have not had anybody come visit me in this apartment since I lived here. I’ve been sort of embarrassed about this apartment. What did suck is paying the deposit for the new place last week, the first month’s rent today and then paying the rent for my current place this afternoon. Good God that’s a wad to drop.
I’m considering moving myself this time – I know, I know – last time I swore that I’d hire movers but I feel like I have half the stuff this time and maybe even less if I can get to where I want to be. I think I could fit everything in a big van instead of the large truck I got last time.
The coffeeshop has started it’s near-closing upswing – everybody is meeting here before they go barhopping. Me, I’m gonna go home – upload the work that I did and hit the hay. I almost have two design clients wrapped up – then one more to get done and then I feel like I’m really starting to clean off ‘my plate.’ I’ve always hated that metaphor – and the constant referral to ‘my piece’ – ‘your piece’ – or ‘what piece of this are we considering today?’ And I still giggle on mute in a teleconference whenever someone says ‘fudge factor’.