Thursday, January 27, 2005
Anyhoo, he's been putting this plan into action with a little help from me since he arrived back in Utah on Sunday. I don't want to pressure him, though, you know. So when he expresses dismay or doubt, I suddenly get aloof and say things like, "Well, do what you want. You don't have to move down here." Which is not true, because now that he has said he's going to move down here he absolutely has to. And by down here, I mean both in terms of latitude and elevation. He lives north of here, in Logan.
So I'm the worst when it comes to disappointment. Let's be honest, who is good about disappointment? No one, not really, but I'm more terrible than the average person. If Stoker tells me that his flight arrives at 5:45 (to pull a random example out of the air), then it damn well better arrive at 5:45. Because I'll plan everything around that schedule and when he tells me the night before his flight that it actually leaves at 5:45, it will take me about 24 hours to recover from the disappointment. That anyone anywhere is willing to deal with me and my overwhelming complexity (compliment disguised as self-deprecation) never ceases to shock the hell out of me.
I don't know what's going on tonight with all the colorful language.
So tonight Stoker is approximately 2 hours away from me (his parents live a half hour away from Logan), telling his parents that he's going to move to Salt Lake and quite possibly marry me. I don't know how they're going to take this news. They could be happy about it, they could be disappointed about it. I'm not sure. But I haven't heard from him for approximately 2 1/2 hours. This could be a good sign or a bad sign. It could mean that he's enjoying a long, deep, comfortable conversation with his parents about the choices he's making and everything is great and wonderful. Or it could mean that he's enduring a painful, vulnerable and arduous conversation with them and they're telling him he's making awful, deplorable choices. They could be telling him that they don't like me, they were just faking it and hoping he was just going through a phase with me.
I hope they're not telling him they hoped I was just a phase.
I've never had much good luck when it's come to any of my boyfriend's parents.
I really love Stoker and I hope his parents can see that and appreciate it, because you know, it's really something when a person loves you and you, amazingly enough, love them back. How that ever happens is completely magical. Especially when you get two great people together who are not abusive or murderous or incredibly dysfunctional (Stoker and I are both very functional in a healthy way). Stoker's great and I'm not bad myself. It would be an amazing match. Our children would be beautiful geniuses. I'm not even exaggerating. Fine. So maybe just a little.
Let me tell you some of the things I love about Stoker.
1) he likes to read. But it's not just reading literature. He likes to learn about things and he'll read some random book just to learn something new. His parents gave him a subscription to National Geographic for Christmas and he loves it. Anyway, to me a genuine thirst for knowledge is incredibly sexy.
2) and by the way, these are not in order. He loves his family and those are the relationships that matter the most to him. I've never met a guy with so much sincere love for his family, and plus, they're usually very supportive of him. As far as I can tell, he has this amazing sense of self and security that I think comes from loving and kind parents. I hope that if we do get married his feelings about the importance of family transfer to the family we start together.
3) he has a really beautiful smile and great laugh. I talk to him on the phone a lot, obviously since he lives a million miles away, and so I've listened to his voice more than experiencing any other sensation of him. I like the dimensions of it and the way it curls around words and then his laughter--how it develops in his throat and then lifts out into the world. Getting to know someone's laughter is a beautiful thing.
4) He likes to talk to me about how we met, the things we said and what we each were thinking, and then how everything developed. I like remembering those things by myself, but that he wants to talk about them and reminisce with me. That's really great.
Anyway, this list could go on for forever. I'm going to call Stoker.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Sunday, January 23, 2005
I was expecting him at 7 or so, but it turns out he won't be getting here until later, like 9 or something. It was incredibly disheartening to hear that I'll have to wait so long, but I've recuperated.
I read about the giant squid washing onto the shores of beaches in Orange County, so I sent him to Newport Beach. He went Friday evening, but they were already cleaned up. I just wanted him to get a picture of one. I've been interested in deep sea life for a few years now. It's kind of a fear/fascination thing, because honestly some of that stuff is completely freakish. In an alien/extra-terrestrial way. I'll never understand why some people are more interested in UFO type crap when we have completely alien lifeforms living right here on earth. I don't know, I guess it makes some kind of sense. After all, I am interested in both.
Another thing that boggles me is why authorities and experts don't have explanations for why giant squid have washed ashore in California. Can they be called experts or authorities if they won't even propose a hypothesis? Anyway, I initially thought it had something to do with oceanic distuburances as a result of the earthquake that caused the tsunami. But then I read that the squid are usually found off the coast of South America. I also figured that the 30+ beached pilot whales in North Carolina were somehow related. I'm not a marine biologist by any means, but I like to think about these things. Interestingly, scientists have been measuring smaller vibrations in the earth, something like echoes from that major earthquake (the article appeared on cnn.com on the 10th). So is it entirely impossible to think that ocean life is sensitive to the earth's groans, even if they are on the other side of the world? People have always allowed for the fact that animals are more sensitive to the invisible currents of the earth's activity. But maybe I'm just up in the night.
Well anyway, Stoker is going to be back tomorrow. I'll be able to talk these things over with him. If I have any breakthroughs, I'll be sure to record them here.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
I've discovered that I need to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night to have a good outlook on life. I think I got 5 hours last night. I don't know if I'll go running after work now. I'm feeling weak and lightheaded. Originally I had planned to go see my friend Beaux, but I'm scratching that idea. I wouldn't be good company. I'd be horrible company. If I don't go running, I'm just going to go home to hide in my dark room. That's a very good idea for someone who's depressed--surround yourself in darkness.
I'm sure I'll think of something else that's fun. Maybe I'll go to that French movie, A Very Long Engagement. Or House of Flying Daggers. I've got to do something fun. There's also a lecture I could go to on the bald eagles wintering in the Farmington Bay.
Anyway, I'm sorry I'm such a piece of work today. Tomorrow will be better.
I feel like a nutcase. I can’t take this. All I can think about is that he’s forgotten me. He’s in sunshiney Los Angeles, city of angels, surrounded by beautiful surfer girls in a very Beach Boys-esque way, and I’m the frumpy mountain girl from boring, cold Utah. He probably met some hot girl in the airport. He probably got off the plane and it was like in the movies when you go to Hawaii, with the gorgeous natives draping a lei around your neck saying, “Aloha,” with a dazzling, straight-toothed smile and dark, exotic skin. California airports have probably started welcoming tourists like that now, and the girl with the lei probably fell in love with his adorable, boyish face and asked for his phone number and how long he’ll be staying. She’ll probably take him to the beach in his spare time and teach him how to surf. Then they’ll sit on a blanket in the dusk with a little fire going (do they allow fires on beaches? I don’t know) and she’ll kiss him. What a bitch.
Okay. Stoker just called me. He didn’t say anything about a girl with flowers at the gate.
But I’m still a nutcase. Last night I told him that this trip will be the final test to determine whether or not I’ll marry him. If we pass this, great. I have my doubts. I’m already crazy and he’s only been gone four hours. I kind of thought I’d be fine. Kind of thought I’d be so busy I’d hardly notice. He lives an hour and half away from me anyway. We only see each other once during the week and on the weekends. I guess it’s not the distance that’s killing me. It’s the idea of where he is and who he’s with.
I have these ideals about love—that it’s not putting chains on someone, but finding freedom in the ability to trust someone and have their support. I have a friend, an older woman whose children are raised and she’s remarried. I really like how her relationship looks from the outside. It’s redundant to say that I don’t know what it’s like from the inside. But anyway, they get along very well. She’s a poet and her husband is always there to support her. He’s a carpenter and owns a dry-wall company—they’re from completely opposite worlds, in a way. Yet they love and support each other. They’re not trying to shape the other, make them into what they think they should be. I like that. I want that for myself. I want to trust Stoker and have him trust me. I want to grow because he supports my desires and dreams and I want to do that for him. It’s just difficult to feel like maybe he’ll forget me. Maybe he’ll be having so much fun and he won’t miss me and calling me will be a burden for him.
So I think that and then I push him away.
I have this other friend who’s been married for less than a year. She’s a year or two younger than me (I’m 26) and she just found out her husband has been living this whole lie, this other life. They’re getting divorced, and not because that’s what she wants. I think she’d work it out with him. It’s pretty nasty, what’s happening to her and I worry about my own life. I’m a worrier, I guess. I think in some ways I’m better off staying single. I’m not such a nutcase when I’m single. I don’t have to feel lonely and achy about being left behind, like I feel right now. I don’t have to worry about naked women on the covers of magazines at the 7-Eleven, or the fake-breasted (or not fake, you decide) woman with the thong hanging out walking past me on the street. I don’t have to worry about the gap I sometimes feel between me (a woman), and men. Sometimes I think it’d be easier to be a lesbian, except I’d be forcing that.
Anyway, I’m sure I can overcome the desire to push Stoker away, just because he’s in California and I’m not. Tonight I’ll run a million miles at the gym and I’ll exhaust myself. I’ll get enough sleep and eat healthily, take care of myself. I’ll get my hair trimmed. I’ll tie up all the loose ends that are flapping in my face all the time and distracting me. It’ll be like in the movies. Stupid movies, they’re always ruining my life.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Is it better to have loved and lost, than to have not loved at all? I’m sure that the poet who coined that brilliant phrase wasn’t feeling heartache when they wrote it down. It’s so easy to think positive thoughts when you’re already feeling good.
Well. I’m trying to be supportive of Stoker’s travels. I really am. But if you asked him, he’d probably tell you I’m not very good at it. And I’m not. I admit it. I’m horrible. We went on a walk yesterday in the beautiful foggy, smoggy, Sunday chill, and he was talking about the cool things he’s going to do while he’s there and I got sulky and silent. It’s really beyond me to seem happy about something when I’m not. I’m terrible and I have no poker face. The one time in my life when I got a royal flush, everyone folded before I could even raise the bet. It may not have been a royal flush. It might have been just a straight flush. But still, what are the odds of that? I was only 9 or something and it was my first time playing poker. (We were camping in the mountains and I was playing with my infamous cousins, Justin and Greg, and their dad, Larry.) So, I can’t hide a royal flush—we’ll just keep calling it that—and I can’t hide jealousy, fear of loss, or any serious emotion. Even the silly ones, like glee.
Stoker is going to L.A. with a bunch of friends from work. Maybe not friends, exactly, as in the best friends, buddies-you-grew-up-with kind of friends. But not me, and that can be a rather terrible feeling. Ok, there are worse feelings, like if he was going to L.A. and he’d just broken up with me. That would be worse. Or if he was going to L.A. and he wasn’t going to miss me and he actually said, “I won’t really miss you.” Anyway, he’s going to a music retailer’s convention and I’m jealous that I won’t be there to see all the cool things with him. I hate jealousy. It’s awful. I also hate NAMM, the music convention. How can I hate a music convention? you ask. For several reasons, the first and foremost being that I won’t be there. I’m really like that, able to hate a large, faceless entity. Secondly, there will undoubtedly be music retailers selling their wares with scantily clad, big-breasted women. Classless. I’m sure of it. I heard all about the retailers who did it last year. Stupid women who let themselves be objectified like that. Anyway, I know I can’t shield Stoker from the world. I know I can’t stop him from looking at other women and appreciating them. I don’t like it that he does and will, and I never will like it. I will grow old and stop being sexy with tight skin, healthy breasts and a skinny, fit body, and there will always be younger, more beautiful women. And he will notice. And that will hurt. I know our relationship is based on more than looks and sexiness. But I still want to be attractive and desirable.
Anyway. Stoker isn’t a guy who gapes. He doesn’t stare at other girls when I’m around him. Really, as far as I can tell, he’s perfect. He doesn’t objectify women and he’s a very forward thinker. I believe in him and in his heart. He has three sisters who he’s very protective of, and a good mother who taught him that girls have feelings too. My point is, is that these things are all MY fears, not based on anything Stoker has done or said (also, I don't trust other women--they're conniving and evil....sometimes). I really love that boy. He’s the best. I just hate it that he’s going to be gone for a week. I will miss him. It sucks, not being in the same time zone as the person you really really love.
Friday, January 14, 2005
I generally read the headlines, and today I read an article posted on CNN.com, but it came from the Associated Press. There was no writer attached to the article and so there's no one to hear my complaint. The article was about a round table discussion President Bush recently had and here's the link. Anyway, what bothers me is the way the writer tastelessly handles the subject. Is there no objectivism left in modern journalism? Does every columnist, reporter, commentator, talk show host, etc. have to present the news through their biased lens? Is it so hard to say something without obvious undertones of disgust?
Personally, I'm in support of different political views, of a people who can healthily disagree. Not everyone has to agree with everything our current president does or says. What I see as wrong is the blanketed lack of support for him in the press. Clearly I'm not the first to say it, but a nation divided cannot stand. I don't care if CNN or The New York Times or any corporation hates the president's guts. That's their right. But I hate feeling like those corporations are thrusting their views down my throat. Whoever compiled the data for the Associate Press article does not belong "reporting" anything, especially writing supposed unbiased news articles. Anyway, the point is that I'm entirely disgusted with the news media. Leave your biases when you leave your house so I don't have to hear your crap opinion when I try to stay updated on current events.
Don't make me stop reading the news.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
The day George died I visited one of my good friends in her office on my university’s campus. She had all her George Harrison cd’s on her desk and was listening to the “All Things Must Pass” album. She told me she thought the Beatles were dying in order of greatness. First John, years ago, and now George. She said Ringo would outlive all of them. Poor Ringo. He gets such a bad rap.
Later that day I was listening to a radio program from the BBC, broadcast over the internet. The DJ spoke of George’s death, and then played “Something,” to honor George. I’d liked The Beatles for a long time, but I’d always been a bigger fan of their early stuff. I’m embarrassed to admit it now, but I didn’t own a single Beatles cd. In the spirit of the moment, I went out and bought 1. (Okay, so once I owned a copy of Rubber Soul, which I bought when I was 19 for the song “Nowhere Man.” I traded it in a long time ago because I wasn’t musically evolved enough to understand the greatness of the entire album.) Anyway, I bought 1 and it’s still the only Beatles album I really have. When George died I found out he wrote just a few of the Beatles songs and one of them was “All Things Must Pass.” A great song, and when I listen to it I think of having a hangover and being depressed. I never have hangovers, but I get depressed once in a while and have trouble remembering that people are happy around me and that things really do pass and life goes on.
Remember the friend who made that comment about the Beatles dying in order of greatness? She adored George Harrison, and I think a lot of people did. I don’t know that much about him, but from what I understand he was very much into Eastern religions. At the time of his death I was in a poetry group composed of some of my English professors, teachers, and peers. My Shakespeare professor wrote a poem about him when he died, a poem I really liked. When I think of that now, how she wrote a poem about a celebrity who didn’t know her, it makes me think of how everything is connected to everything. There are invisible strings uniting all things in the universe, people, ideas, music and poetry. And so we affect each other without knowing why or how.
Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that I’m still evolving, musically. That while I may not have a huge collection of Beatles albums, I have some of their records (I stole them from my parents). And I plan to get a copy of Abby Road in the next few days. It’s really great that there are so many amazing albums I’ve still not heard.
Monday, January 10, 2005
I just visited the AMG Web site to see tomorrow's new releases and happened to look at the soundtrack to a new movie. The soundtrack includes songs from the incredibly mellow indie band Iron and Wine, and another indie band called Soundtrack of Our Lives. For me, this is a major point of contention: just because you include very cool music on a soundtrack, doesn't make your movie cool. In fact, you're in danger of destroying the cool reputation of cool music. I haven't seen the offending movie yet and don't even know if it's out yet. In fact, chances are that I won't see it. Why should I?
This is another problem I have lately: seeing movies. For the past six months I've grown disenchanted with the film industry and I don't know if it's a result of a year's worth of crap movies, or if I'm just getting old. Stoker, my boyfriend, has been on a small crusade to prove my pessimism wrong. I'm not sure why, since he's been with me for most of the horrible experiences I've recently had with movies. Here's a list of crap movies we've seen lately:
Like Water for Chocolate, and I don't know what happened with this one, since I saw it a few years ago and loved it. I saw it as part of a seminar on film and food culture the first time. I guess what I loved wasn't the plot because the plot was mostly stupid, based on the book by Laura Esquivel. What's good about it is the magic-realism incorporated in the cooking aspect of the movie. Anyway, I was embarrassed that I had suggested we watch it.
Pi, and I don't know why this is considered a modern classic. I remember once when working at small cd store while in college, my coworker, Ben, asked me if I'd seen Pi. I said no, and then he asked me if I'd seen Taxi Driver and I said no. His response was, "Well, I guess you're not a film buff." I scoffed. Pi sucks. The only good thing about it is the concept. The cinematography is grotesque and difficult to watch. But I'll admit there is something compelling about the balance between genius and insanity. However, Pi was awful. This is only my opinion, by the way, and what it comes down to for me is that I don't like movies about the mind of someone suffering from a real psychosis. I hated Beautiful Mind as well. Ron Howard really tried hard to glamorize schizophrenia. At least Darren Aronofsky didn't try to make someone suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder look like a god. To this point in history, the only director who has succeeded in making decent movies about the freakishness of the human mind, has been Alfred Hitchcock.
Warriors of Heaven and Earth, which I wasted $7.00 on. I'll never trust another movie trailer and I'm not sure what convinced me that I could, so don't ask. I don't know, it could be that I'm just not naturally into Kung Fu movies. Or it could be that the plot was completely ridiculous and completely unbelievable. Not unbelievable as in the film involves spaceships and wormholes. Unbelievable in that the character's actions and motivations don't mix. Also, the subtitles were white and very often unreadable. Half the time I didn't know what was being said. Maybe that's why the character's actions and motivations weren't believable. Stoker and I left the theater early.
Dogville. What a rip-off. I felt very cheated. My fury has no words. Plays are for the stage. Movies are for cinematography, soundtracks with great music (for great movies), and locations. The trailer for this film and most of the publicity surrounding it (at least everything I saw, heard and read) didn't mention anything about the damn movie being on a stage with a skeletal, unchanging set. I started to fall asleep and finally turned it off. Stoker might have been a little annoyed with me.
I'm sure there's more to the crap list than I'm telling you. But let me point out a few of the decent ones. Here's a list of good movies we've watched lately:
Breakfast at Tiffany's. Always a good bet. Audrey Hepburn is beautiful, elegant, and anyway, I watch this film just to hear the fabulous things she says. Like that bit about Sing Sing and the children. And George Peppard's speech about running into yourself at the very end is phenomenal. Stoker also liked this one. Finally, you know. Finally we both liked a movie.
Garden State. Good. But not amazing. Real. Refreshing. But also annoying in a few small ways. However, I'm willing to overlook that, considering the fare available in 2004. Let me say that I was disappointed in the way Zach Braff chose to use one of my favorite songs ever, Fair (by Remy Zero), but at least it didn't show up in some crap movie like She's all That or something. So good job to the Tate brothers, et al, by not letting your songs show up in crap movies.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Cool. I liked the classic/vintage feel to it. I liked the fantastical elements.
Napolean Dynamite. Very funny. Initially it seems like just a bunch of funny skits, and then a plot starts to form. And then you just can't help but quote it.
Anyway. I've wanted to see several other movies that have been released recently. But the good to bad ratio (not visible from my few examples) is disappointing and it makes me a little gun shy. So back to that movie (In Good Company)with the indie songs. I probably won't see it. Just because the soundtrack has cool indie bands on it doesn't mean the movie is cool. That was the point of all this. If anything, a director should be able to match his crap production with crap bands and songs. Don't disgrace cool, sweet music with a stinky movie. And if the director doesn't have the ability to see how horrible his production is, the cool, sweet bands should have the guts to say no to possible recognition and to a possible "big break." Don't associate your name with crap.
By the way, I've never aspired to the title of Movie Buff.
And in all fairness to In Good Company, I haven't seen it. Maybe it's great. But maybe not.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
To say I’ve just discovered Bob Dylan doesn’t mean I suddenly stumbled across his name and decided to listen to his music. I’ve had several run-ins with him throughout my quarter of a century on this earth. About four years ago I bought Highway 61 Revisited on the recommendation that it was his best album. I listened, but wasn’t impressed. Highway 61 Revisited settled on my shelf, unmoved because I wasn’t moved.
Later, I fell in love with the movie High Fidelity and subsequently the song “Most of the Time” from the Oh Mercy album. And then, working at an independent cd store, I ordered a copy, but never finished the purchase because the one that came was the too-expensive hybrid SACD cd (too expensive for a minimum wage job).
A year later, I was watching The Big Lebowski with my housemate, Anna, an enormous Bob Dylan fan (metaphorically enormous. Her adoration is enormous. She’s not enormous), who informed me that the great song playing during Dude’s psychedelic trip over LA is a Bob Dylan tune. Now you find me here, a month later, working as a copywriter, listening to Blood on the Tracks from the itunes network, in love with “Buckets of Rain.” This is the beginning of something great. It’s the only light through the gloom of winter, the city’s heavy inversion, and the feeling of losing control of my life’s direction.
What’s so great about Bob Dylan? I don’t know. I want to figure it out. Anna got Chronicles for Christmas so she can unravel the mystery of his greatness. There’s something in his voice. Something about the simple tunes. Something very Fields of Dream-ish, as in, “If you build it, they will come.”
I’ve had similar affairs with musicians—Van Morrison, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead—where I discover how sweet and great their music is years after the hey-day of their careers. I can remember the first time I heard one of their songs and it moved me, recall where I was and how I felt.
It’s very much like love affairs, as in real-life, intimate relationships (to distinguish them from chat-room relationships, or love affairs with movie stars that exist in someone’s head). Like the one I’m in right now with my boyfriend. Similar in how I can retrace my steps—point A to point B—reciting the moments I heard his name the first time, to the night I was on a walk with someone else and we stumbled across him sitting on a front-lawn with two of his friends at one in the morning. How I didn’t know how great he was then, but discovered it later and the surprise I feel at having missed it once upon a time. Similar in how I come close to naming the feeling that continues to draw me to him, and the feeling that draws me to the music of artists like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, but how it still eludes me. Perhaps it is that mystery and the desire to solve it that keeps me returning to great musicians, and this love I have now.