Saturday, July 24, 2004

Keeping in touch sucks. I suppose it's a necessary evil, but I do not enjoy it very much at all. Today I called up Evie Nelson, talked to her on the phone. Evie will be reading this, and I don't want her to get confused: she is one of my favorite people. Many of the people reading this are some of my favorite people. People I want to keep in touch with, in a certain way. I want to know what they're up to, where their head is at.

But, more than that, I wish I was with them. Right now, I am living my life in limbo. In a perfect world, that is not the case. I am with these people who I sincerely enjoy, and we are doing things and having adventures, having shared stimuli to talk about. Without the constant stream of shared stimuli, conversations become dull and vague, trading in Jungian universal experiences and pronouns. (or movies and tv and news and music and shit... fun but feels shallow) Right now, I wish I was traipsing around California, living some kind of greatest hits reel of someone else's life, talking with her old friends and ex-friends, arbitrarily deciding that some of them suck and telling them so, because these aren't people I'll see again. I'll get yelled at later for it, but what the fuck, fun times, these are the memories that we share.

Or instead of California, it's Portland, or Alaska, or... Not Chichester, obviously, but I suppose I could hang out on other people's college campuses for short bursts of time when the school year starts. In theory. This is not actually going to happen.

Of course, if some one visited me in Olympia I might feel awkward about the convergence of lives new and old. I'm aware that this is true for other people's lives as well, so maybe adventures in someone else's life that is seperate from my own is not what I want. Maybe the different circles of friends should stay home and only the geography would remain. I'd show kids from Olympia around Philadelphia, showing them places to eat and how cheap CDs are if you know the right places. If kids from high school went to Olympia, I would obviously have nothing to show them. But still...

I lamented yesterday that it's fucked up that work is pretty much all I have in the way of a social life. But, in a way, going to work/school, or living near people just might be the ideal in terms of interaction. Something constant. Trading off reading material, knowing the same people and having inside jokes, because you sure as hell can't make new inside jokes over phone lines. Friendship over phone lines, or via the postal service, feels like homework. It's rewarding homework, but still, homework.

Also: thinking about the people I know, and am friends with... The more shared experiences I have with them, the bigger the space they occupy in my brain. The easier my thoughts run in their directions. Complex neuropathway maps of associations. There are people who I think about when I think of high school, when I think of college, when I listen to music, when I think about movies. Keeping in touch segments them off into little compartments, file cabinets full of information about people, "where are they now?" pieces of trivia.

And even if I met up with these people, shared a lunch or something and a conversation, even that isn't optimal because the conversation is about "keeping in touch," the telling of old stories (not of shared nostalgia, although sometimes that occurs as well) rather than the creation of new events.

Basically, I crave adventure, and it's easiest to get excited about people I'll be spending time with in the future. (Alex and Loren: I've got an idea for a movie! Maybe you don't want to be involved, which is cool. But you'll be around when I try to get other people involved! It'll be sweet! Also, maybe adventures in rockbanding? Loren on bass, Alex on laptop, fun times playing shows in downtown Olympia? Goddamn, that'd be rad! Let's fucking rock that action!) Which sucks, as there are many people who I won't be spending time with in the future who I would love to be excited about because they're fucking cool, and I care about them.

Friday, July 23, 2004

So I've been thinking about my recent past in the vague terms of "growing up," looking at myself from not-that-long-ago (high school years) and just wondering about the general what-the-fuckness of it all. I'm not even particularly immature, but just looking at the people that surrounded me and the contradictions makes me wonder. It's hard to articulate.

Basically, I look at myself from not that long ago... let's say when I was in ninth grade... Four to five years ago. In many ways, I'm a different person. In many ways, I'm innately the same person. Which is an interesting contradiction, but not what I'm getting at. What I'm getting at is how, when viewed as a narrative, I don't quite know how I got from point A to point B.

The thing is that I viewed myself as having my shit together at that time. But I've viewed myself in such a fashion for a while... Probably since I was eight. This is pretty much how everyone operates, I figure. But, in high school, also thrown into the equation is this feeling of "it's all downhill from here." Not in terms of "these-are-the-greatest-years-of-my-life"... From that perspective, nowhere to go but up. But in terms of having a fear of the loss of ideals, that people associate with maturity.

When the film Waking Life came out, a lot of people seemingly dismissed it and the ideas put forth as being sophomoric. A lot of things are dismissed as sophomoric... i.e. dick jokes. Waking Life was being trashed for having an idealism about it's ideas and being in love with philosophical discussion in a way that people felt like they had outgrown when they left their dorms. Which kind of proves my point as mentioned above. I mention Waking Life also because these are ideas that are kind of touched upon in one scene. But yeah, sophomoricism, I guess, encompasses both philosophical discussion and being a fan of dick jokes. (What's sad is the low level of discussion I've encountered even at my hippie college... It rarely goes on as is, if this is the high point, no one on Earth has any reason to exist.) Usually it's because being a sophomore (I was always unclear as to whether or not this referred to college or high school) is often synonymous with getting high. (Which I guess could account for the low quality of the discussion, but the implication seems to be that if people didn't get high, they wouldn't think about anything larger than themselves ever.) Anyway, as anyone reading this knows, I am a fan of both the philosophical discussion and the dick jokes. These things seem pretty goddamn innate. (Seriously, if it's not my sense of humor and the thinking of deep thoughts, what the fuck are the defining elements of my personaity? Bad social skills? Fuck, I thought that was something I was getting over...) I don't think I'll outgrow them, and at this point in my life, I don't want to. But the idea of personal growth looms on the horizon like grim death.

There is of course the possibility that my life isn't going to make sense as a narrative until I am very old, which I don't want to consider because it goes against my belief that I am on top of my shit right now, at age nineteen, and as self-aware as I ever will be. (It is the self-aware writer part of me that laments the use of parentheses in this and the previous paragraph.)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Oh, more movies I had rented, but had forgotten to discuss.

El Topo: I had an even more lukewarm to this than I did to Santa Sangre, as this is more rambling and not as tight in terms of narrative. So it produced moments of "what the fuck" in that way, not the good way.

Dead Man: This was cool.

Last Temptation of Christ: I guess I'm just not feeling the Schrader/Scorsese team. Which is disappointing.

Um, I also watched my brother's copy of Fistful Of Dollars. I was often confused by what was going on. I'm thinking that the western, even the cool kind of western, not the John Wayne killing people who are darker-skinned than he, is not my genre, no matter how much I would want it to be.
It would seem that my coworkers are the closest thing I have to friends right now, in that going to work is all I have in the way of social interaction. And it's not like I even like all of my coworkers. And I doubt any of them consider me anything more than a weird dude.

So, that's a sad state of affairs.

In the absence of real events we talk about movies, and in absence of criticism, we just throw some shit out there: I saw 2LDK, Lady Snowblood, and Human Nature. 2LDK was good, I wish I had fast-forwarded through Lady Snowblood. (there was a bit in Coupland's Microserfs about everyone being so busy at work that they couldn't watch tv, so instead they would record it with subtitles on, then play it the next day, fast-forwarded while they ate lunch, and the idea of doing that with foreign films has stuck with me. Not the artsy kind, but martial arts movies with long periods of tedium, like Lady Snowblood kind of was) Human Nature was underrated, and I enjoyed it a good deal.

I would like to apologize to anyone reading this for having wasted their time so thoroughly. I wish that instead of these journal entries you could just see footage of me working at work, edited in such a way so all you get is my non-stop cleverness.

I could write a whole letter to Alex just about music and pitchfork and shit. In brief: David Bowie's Low is not that good, neither are the Fiery Furnaces. Funkadelic's Maggot Brain is pretty damn great though, not funky/danceable at all really... I've heard some of their other stuff that is more in that vein and I'm not feeling it as much, but Maggot Brain is pretty solid. Also: Some crackhead came into the store yesterday selling stolen CDs. She had good shit, but sometimes the good shit was just the packaging and different things were contained therein, like a copy of the first Godspeed record in the case for Spiderland. What sucked is I thought she had a copy of a Destroyer record, but when I looked at the CD, which had very little information on it, just a map of constellations, what I took to be the label and the CD number corresponded to something completely different, what it was I don't know. Also: A copy of Fennesz's Venice, which I kind of wanted to see if I could buy on the cheap then send your way. Oh dude, and the good record store in Philly actually sells a copy of Girl Talk's Unstoppable. And there's this band that played in Philly called Growing that are from Olympia, but are apparently signed to Kranky, they're like harsh drone stuff, ex-hardcore kids or something like that.

This computer... the keys don't give as quickly as I would like them to.

My doppelganger from college came into my store not that long ago, which was kind of weird. A group of people from high school stumbled in as well, that same night. That was a crazy night, in a way, but disappointing... these were not people I was friends with. this was an altogether different clique. I've seen other people, on South Street, who I didn't hang out with either.

So yeah, I might've said this before, but I'll say it again, because it seems appropriate for me not to know whether or not I've actually said it before: I am living in limbo.

Monday, July 05, 2004

At some point, I stopped looking like a clean-cut nerdy kid. This is if experiences with people where I work are anything to go by. Like when drunk girls ask me if I'm tripping, and it amuses me to say yes. They then ask what I'm on, and if I can get some. They later compliment my shoes.

Or today, when I left work at 2:15 and ran into a customer and his wife on the street. The customer in question frequents the store, asking for help to locate several CDs, then buying maybe one. In the past he's tried to pay in cigarettes, but today he apparently tried to pay using a piece of paper with a girl's phone number. Anyway, I run into this dude who asks me if I have any rolling papers on me to roll a joint. I say no, I don't smoke out. The wife inquires as to the phrase "smoke out" and why I say it. I admit that just heard it somewhere and thought it sounded cool. Anyway, yeah, they proceed to ask me if I smoke weed. I say no. They ask if I do shrooms, then they ask if I do hash. I say no to all these things. Then the wife asks if i'm working tommorrow, and if she can borrow a dollar until then. I tell her no, because I swear to God, I don't have anything but pennies in my pocket. She shakes my hand, which the husband had already done. I think she told me I was hardcore, but that might just be something I really wanted to imagine I heard.

I also lended my stool to the very young daughter of a woman with a giant yellow mohawk in the store, despite my sleepiness. This has nothing to do with people thinking I'm a drug dealer, but everything to do with me thinking I'm a bad-ass.

I was quite tired tonight.

Latest coworker is a thirty-two-year-old, which is odd because she's someone who I feel I could list a few personality traits and come up with a stereotype, based on people at Evergreen. The stereotype: Vegetarian lesbian ex-goth who smokes American Spirits. Do you know what that means, or do I just create stereotypes because I am filled with hate? Anyway, doesn't respond to my deadpan humor... Although I'm not sure any of my coworkers do with any regularity... she wore a Liars t-shirt her first day and a Sonic Youth t-shirt today, so I guess that's someone I can be cool with. Today people were listening to Big L and I was wondering if she was offended, because hot damn, Big L is some hateful shit. She was in fact offended. I agreed that it was offesive, but then she said some rant about people just saying offensive things to be considered "cutting edge" and asking what illiterates could listen to something like this, and I explained that I was dead inside, no longer offended. She said something about "when did it become cool not to be offended" or something along those lines, and I just told her I disagreed and refused to have such thoughts because they seem very "old dude way of thinking." Weirdly enough, when I said this I wasn't thinking of the age difference. I wasn't viewing her as being 32, I was just viewing her like those kind of people at Evergreen who are offended by things.

I am rambling, but that is because I desperately need sleep.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Been meaning to write something in this, open letters to a few people. Blogging really isn't that easy when you don't have a computer with a cable connection. I might just try to contact people individually.

Anyway, the latest. My dad had a heart attack, but didn't die. He'll have to eat healthier now, although I don't know if he will. I wonder if he's done coke. Which is a weird thing to wonder about your dad. Most people know if their parents have done coke, or have no reason to suspect. My dad hangs out with strippers, so I'm thinking he's been around coke. Can't really ask him about it, though. My mom got fired from the inner-city Christian school she worked at, essentially because she doesn't understand black people. She might put it differently, but I mean, holy shit, she really doesn't understand even the barest bones of the culture, I think. I want to ask her if she knows how important Malcolm X is to most black families... He's known for being militant and muslim, so I'm sure my mom dismisses him. She says dumb shit. Moving on.

Saw two movies in theaters, both sequels to films I haven't seen. Spider-Man 2 and Before Sunset. Both are good if you like that kind of thing. I like the Before Sunset kind of thing more... Richard Linklater's great. I've wanted to see Before Sunrise for ages. It seems like it would be Lost In Translation done right. Before Sunset is a very talky movie, but in a way closer to everyday speech than most talky movies, in that much of the conversation comes across as fairly banal. None of the high-minded discussion of Waking Life finds it's way into the movie. And yet, it's still good. A few scenes are great, like the fact that the movie ends the way it does. It seems kind of defiant.