Friday, October 31, 2003

praise be!
i sent in a complaint to blogspot this evening around six -- some of you may have noticed that you couldn't link directly to individual blog posts here at self deconstructing text.

no more! here's the email my friend Graham with blogspot sent:

Hi there,

I checked your template and there was a slight problem with your
code. You had the anchor tags inside the title tags. But since you
using the title feature on your posts, they weren't showing up. So I
fixed that for you, republished your blog, and it's all working now.
can even test it by clicking that link you sent me.

I hope that helps.

Sincerely, Graham
Blogger Support

Girls pummel man who exposed himself

A man described by authorities as a known sexual predator was chased through the streets of South Philadelphia by an angry crowd of Catholic high school girls, who kicked and punched him after he was tackled by neighbors, police said Friday.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

quick quiz: do you know what this is?

is it just a texas thing? our intern from n. carolina had no fricking idea
James Nichols sues Michael Moore over 'Bowling'

The CNN article doesn't really provide much detail. I remember watching this guy in the documentary, thinking "this is my family."

my sweet muyo:

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

i saw footage of prexy bush at an oak cliff church last night.

oh god, bush at the pulpit... he was really enjoying himself up there.
soul food evening tonight.... vegetarian red beans and rice, collard and turnip greens (i went a little heavy with the cayenne), and a tall glass of iced tea (though i skipped the usual tons of sugar)
The "red pill" metaphor is being used an a variety of ways -- here's an article i found on while skimming the latest clippings on our Matrix book

Abstinence stressed to students

There is no such thing as safe sex, despite what has been ingrained in students' brains, Garth told the students. The only safe sex is abstinence, she said.

"We have been brainwashed, kind of like Pavlov's dogs," she said.

Students have two choices, she said. They can take the blue pill or the red pill, she said, referring to the movie "The Matrix."

Taking the blue pill means beginning to have sex or to continue being sexually active, she said. Taking the red pill means to stop having sex or delay sex until after marriage.

"You have a decision you've gotta make," she said.

This is the usual abstinence-based argument I'm accustomed to hearing. But I was surprised as I read further:

When asked, students said they would choose the red pill, but Garth said she didn't believe them.

"Liars," she said.

"If you really wanted the red, why are we in an a national state of emergency? Why is it abortion is the most common surgical procedure in America today?" she said. "You don't want the red. You like the blue."

I think that abstinence-only sex education is potentially dangerous.
(I don't have any statistics to loosely back my claim up, like this former Miss Black USA second Runner-Up does:

Since she began speaking to teens in the early 1990s, the percentage of students having sex outside of marriage has dropped, she said.

"I think that says something," Garth said.

I mean, how do they know? Do they really think teens are that honest when polled?)

These education programs are not equipping our youth with basic, necessary knowledge that corresponds to the choices that they are making.

Of course it is also necessary to emphasize abstinence -- it is the safest option. But to completely ignore the reality (yes, i said reality) that young people are out there doing it is irresponsible and foolhardy.

Several things about this article trouble me.

First: Garth's approach didn't account for the diversity of identity positions the student body is certain to have. How can a conversation about "sex after marriage" be relevant to a gay student when gay marriage is illegal?*

I looked into the organization that sponsored these talks, the Care Net Pregnancy Center. After digging around on their site I discovered that it's an anti-abortion organization that sees itself as competing with Planned Parenthood.

I also found this:
"Care Net, formerly known as the Christian Action Council, is a faith-based organization."

So what are they doing in our schools?

This organization's expertise is in counseling pregnant women. It seems that their objective is to prevent teenage pregnancy by educating our youth about abstinence.

Only, their approach seems a bit counter-intuitive. That leads us to

Second: If kids don't know how to prevent pregnancy, how to protect themselves from STDs, and if these same kids are going to go out and have sex -- well, what are the odds that they will educate themselves? Talk to their parents about contraception? Brave the drug store for a box of Trojans?

I mean, if you are teaching them that there's "no such thing as safe sex" do you expect them to use anything when they do?

Do I need to repeat that they do, that they are?

Teaching these kids about abstinence and assuming that they are all going to wait until marriage is naive.

Third: the use of the word "premarital"
This is outdated terminology. As pointed out before, marriage isn't an option for American homosexuals. Also take into account that Gen-Xers are known for their wariness of marriage (given the divorce rate, experiences w/ our boomer parents' split-ups, etc.)

This language ignores the changing nature of relationships and family in our current situation in time and space.

Fourth: What I want is a conversation about sex and relationships that goes beyond the cliched approach. Screw the "no-nonsense" confrontational approach Ms. Garth seems to have taken. Ditch the awkward overly-medical approach I've encountered in some sex-ed programs sponsored by GLBT organizations.

Instead, let's talk about why people do "do it". What the action, the occurrence is capable of signifying.

Let's discuss the trust that's necessary for unprotected sex in a monogamous relationship. And the consequences that take place when that trust is broken. (No kidding here; a recent betrayal that took place in one of my peer groups triggered a small outbreak of genital warts.)

Stop speaking of sex as some shameful occurrence. Stop thinking of it simply in medical terms. Let's discuss the human interaction that should take place between mature adults, but so often does between hot-headed teenagers. Let's talk about why people actually engage in this behavior, how the action that causes procreation has taken on so much other significance -- how love, dating, cheating, sexual identity, trust, etc can all be written onto it.

You get the idea.

* some Christians, namely those in my family, would answer this question with a callous "Who cares?" Their belief that homosexuality is sinful and depraved causes them to consider this question at best irrelevant. At worst it opens up a whole other discourse that certainly does not belong in the context of a classroom discussion of safe sex (or its apparent lack of existence).

Such an attitude, especially when administered by someone in a position of authority, serves to further marginalize and deeply hurt students with that identity.

This is just one factor in why I find school programming by faith-based organizations problematic.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

i just checked my email.
was reminded not to privilege presence.

good. now if i can just somehow temporarily not privilege sanity -- maybe i can get everything done that needs to get done.
except brandon's not here
the past couple of days have had that "finals week" feeling
Leonard Cohen

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.

Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

Monday, October 27, 2003

today is a good day. for some reason the bookkeeping gods did smile my way. the amex statements all reconciled out with no problem. i have mastered you, quickenbooks!!
some pictures from the party on my rooftop deck on tx/ou weekend:

i just found out that brother griffin passed away this past may. he was the preacher at the first church i remember attending. it was just down the street from beefers in mansfield.

mom wants to give me his daughter heather's phone number. it took me a full fifteen minutes to even remember her, and now there's a flood of long-neglected memories. very country worship to the steel guitar and organ in the dark faux-wood-paneled sanctuary, the tiny gravel parking lot, xmas pagents with me and my siblings all decked out in robes and bath towels draped over our heads... fall festivals with us dressed like pumpkins and clowns... granny shouting glory during revival time... the hard cushion-less pews, red hymnals and offering envelopes...

there was something very organic, real, tactile about my experiences there. that they were replaced by the muted pastel blues, watered-down worship and and the fake flower arrangement decor of the a of g church we switched to just seems... odd.
now you see why booking one of our authors on oprah generated so much work? you have to be careful with these bigtime media folks.

The book's publisher, Doubleday, constructed a media campaign that granted Couric the first news interview with Elizabeth and her parents, which aired Friday on "Dateline NBC."

But six days before Couric's interview was shown, the publisher was surprised to see CBS broadcast a one-hour prime-time special, "Elizabeth Smart: America's Girl," featuring an interview with Ed & Lois Smart from the set of the movie.


On Tuesday and Wednesday, ABC's "Good Morning America" also ran clips from an Elizabeth Smart interview. The source? Oprah Winfrey, who had already completed what was to be -- per Doubleday's plans -- the second interview with the family. Winfrey is devoting her syndicated talk show to the discussion on Monday.

NBC News President Neal Shapiro was so angry about the "GMA" segments that he phoned his ABC News counterpart, David Westin, to complain, according to the New York Post. Representatives for both men would not confirm they talked.

Winfrey was miffed that she was awarded the second, not the first, interview with the Smarts, according to a news executive close to the story who spoke on condition of anonymity.

don't ask any questions -- just go to visit strong bad and click on "sb emails" down in the lower right hand corner.

make sure your speakers are on.

watch "dragon" and "japanese cartoon" and "sisters"


thx to jef, jus and karl for introducing me to this!

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Saturday, October 25, 2003

yoga in the morning:

beringer took his first walk today
we made it at least halfway down the hallway until we had to turn back
(berkley was throwing a fit, scratching at the door and meowing like we were killing her with our absence)

i'm willing to bet that he liked it.
he's camped out next to the door right now, emitting an occasional meow.

Friday, October 24, 2003

one of the kid's posts from the left behind website:

I'm only thirteen years old and I just finished the last book in the Left Behind series. The books have brought me closer to God and I've been reading my Bible--something I've never really done. I hesitate to share too many details because even though I'm closer to God than I have ever been in my life, I still have the occasional What if all this is wrong? pop into my head. And even though I love God and believe in him 100 percent, I feel this tiny bit of ignorance may lead to me being left behind.

i approach the "left behind" topic as one who once believed the doctrine that inspires these books, and the discourse they're generating.

more on this soon.

i just got my social security thingy in the mail today, listing all the taxable income i've generated, by year, thus far.

i was surprised to see the $80 listing from 1989 (i was paid for my little stint in Problem Child)

i then endeavored to remember all the places i've worked. i'm sure i'll forget some:

wild coming of age summer
i worked at six flags
as a dresser in the southern palace for the "hot rocking country" show
i would later refer to this as "that summer i backslid"

110 in the shade
i was a carhop at a sonic that had a drive-thru
i was one of few employees competent enough to run the drive-thru (where you took orders, made drinks, packaged food, took money, etc.)
there are no tips in the drive-thru
so the incompetent chits who dropped the shakes i painstakingly made them were making more $$ than me
-- someone was stealing from the tender frequently. we all split the damages.
-- the evil boss Marvin treated us like shit. he gave me an inaccurate bad reference for a job the following summer

turkey jerky
Hi, this is (insert whatever pseudonym appealed that day) with Decision Analyst
..... I'm with De-cis-ion AN-aly-st

marketing research firm. i took surveys over the phone. i was good.
i frequently found problems in the surveys (the sequence of questions was off, etc.)
they kept giving me quarter raises.

the computers did the dialing and displayed the questions for you. there was no internet, no books allowed. just a pad of paper and a pencil to jot down the answers to the final question.

i made many to-do lists. i wrote stories. doodled (and i'm a sucky artist)

this is the job that marvin at sonic gave me a bad reference for. they took a chance on me anyway.

my favorite survey to adminster was the "turkey jerky" one. you said "turkey jerky" something like fifty times in the course of the call.

death by file by number boredom
a company that i assume is much like "iron mountain" -- they kept files for people.
they filed by number.

i filed by number for 8 hours a day.

filing in an un-air-conditioned space in the texas summer
this place manufactured drills that dig for oil
they were getting ready for an audit
an obese man took me to lunch at the black-eyed-pea where he made shy attempts at hitting on me
i felt horrible because i was oddly fixated on his feet. i couldn't image how he'd managed to squish his enormous fat feet into the strained leather loafers.

god i'm a horrible person.

water and power
i temped part-time for a water treatment plant
the guys who worked out back in the warehouse area and drove trucks bantered with me, saving me from utter boredom

i trained my replacement, a relative of the company's owner who was bucktoothed and incompetent.

the job info that kelly svcs. sent me only listed part of the description name
"something tv something"
i somehow thought i was going to be around cameras and television in north arlington.
instead i drove into the parking lot of a rent-a-center across the street from the half-price books i frequented.
i saw weed for the first time -- someone's couch had been returned and there was a bag of green stuffed between the cushions. the manager called the cops and it was very exciting.
!! I was sent home to change the morning that an area manager showed up -- i was "wearing slacks instead of a skirt."
the store ordered furniture that they assumed would appeal to african americans -- black shit with gold trim and cats painted in odd corners. all the delivery guys who worked there were highly offended by this ("who would buy that shit?")
while filing one day i found marvin's info (my evil boss from sonic) -- he was waaaay past due on several pieces of furniture and a big television set.

ethan allen
i spent my days surrounded by comfortable furniture as i sat pinched in the office chair greeting customers as they came in. it was really a strange setup, because i was like an office receptionist in a retail setting. people didn't know what to do with me, really. i had to call up one of the sales ladies from the back each time someone wandered in.

i had to watch some old saleslady "poni" treat the poor folks who wandered in curious like shit. i heard her make fun of the people who obviously couldn't afford the furniture. i seethed quietly, trying to focus on gone with the wind (one of my summer reading choices at the time)

this is the trucking company that brings you taco bell, kfc and pizza hut
they deliver the frozen frankenfood to your local fast food hangout
two interesting things:
they liked me so much here that they spent waaay too much time trying to convince me to stay on permanently (you could do this part time!) -- never mind that this was in arlington, at least 45 minutes away from where i lived during the semester
(And i hated this job! it was so boring and they wouldn't let me bring a book!)

-- one dull monday this trucker guy pulled me aside and tried to hire me for his 'home' office -- he wanted me to teach him computers and stuff. he offered to pay me "under the table" ten bucks an hour.

i had an odd feeling about this guy, so i just threw him the "i need to pray about this first" line
he was incredulous. "you pray about decisions like this?"
"sure!" i said false-cheerily.

what's really creepy is that he wasn't really a trucker for them -- after he left my supervisor came up and asked "do you know that guy?" uh.... no. much confusion ensued.

i still don't know what that guy was doing in that section of industrial backroad arlington. i'm pretty damn sure he wanted to give me more than money "under the table" though.

xmas 1998-new year 1999
prudential sutherland real estate
i had to answer the phone with this mouthful. "prudential sutherland real estate"
it was a weekend stint. families driving around looking at homes would call, asking the price of particular property. i had to lie to them. i could pull it up right there in the unix-y display, but i said i didn't have access and took their info down to give to some pushy real estate agent on call.

general contracters
this company was going under. i fielded calls from very angry vendors and clients who all thought i should know where their money and services had gone. everyone's voice mail was full, so i had to take down their complaints by hand on little pink "while you were out" stickies. the twelve-line phone was usually all lit up like christmas. it was probably the most stressful, exhausting job i had -- and it didn't help that i was working at prudential sutherland real estate on the weekends.

this is how i spent my xmas vacation, folks. but i was able to pay for my books. and get my brakes fixed.

summer 1999
thursday night depression

this time is so vivid for me. i've never been more down.

i worked for this asshole attorney who did bankruptcies and divorces. he was especially thrilled when he got a client in a custody battle, because it meant more $$ for him.

i discovered what evil is that summer. we stole the last cents from desperate people -- people fucked by our system of credit, people desperate to see their kids, the heartbroken and confused. they didn't understand the system -- they'd come in and shell out their somehow-scraped-together five hundred dollars for the retainer and then when they couldn't afford anything more
the fucking attorney jim wouldn't take their calls! he sure as fuck held onto their money though. the secretary alison wouldn't even talk to them.

and i got in trouble for not being rude to these people. i'd sit on the phone while they cried and asked me why was i doing this to them? why? the details of their lives spilling into my ear
my husband took the car
i just wanna see my kids
i ain't got any money, i wants my money back
i know you lying to me, why can't i talk to my attorney

and i would cry
trying to hide that i was crying because jim and alison, those fucks would laugh when clients made me cry
"you're young and idealistic." and they'd laugh.

all the time putting up with alison trying to befriend me. telling me about her husband alex who she was thinking about leaving but she really liked his money and he'd just bought her a boat and maybe she should have a kid with him, maybe that would make them happy.

all the while she and jim went to lunch together. they were totally fucking each other.

more to come:

winn dixie milk

fired from high rise for taking a sick day

smu research

smu bookstore

squires kids


i want a breakdown of how my taxes are spent.
they should provide a yearly statement.

i miss living with justin. co-hosting parties at hudson place.
my cousin justin is making quite a name for himself in the music industry. (that he's credited sans "caughey" in the production notes is a point of contention in our extended family.) i'll resist the urge to name-drop the artists he's worked with (and those to which he's turned down the opportunity!)

he's heard of the backstreet book. he verbally cringed when i told him it's one of our titles.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Best Gas Mileage Cars
(note who's at the top!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

beth's blog
(blogroll coming soon)

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Left Behind: Pretrib Porno

The Left Behind series is "basically... Bible fanfic"
Where the Moors Held Sway, Allah Is Praised Again

While immigration is gradually spreading Islam across Europe, a homegrown movement is giving it added momentum in Spain, where a generation of post-Franco intellectuals are reassessing the country's Moorish past and recasting Spanish identity to include Islamic influences rejected as heretical centuries ago.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Sunday, October 19, 2003

on this last day of the fair
my neighborhood found itself littered, crowded and warm for october 19

...old paper and styrofoam containers that once contained over-priced fair food
(most licked clean by the packs of somewhat friendly dogs who live nearby)

remnants of the over-consumption that raged outside my house for about a month...

i walked over to the meridian room to pick up a veggie burger.
it was like the fair grew so engulfed with people that it spit out a couple vendors
and for the first time they were on the street corners here, hawking glow-in-the-dark plastic jewelry and $6 turkey legs

and tired families pushing strollers buying this shit!

i heard several times over the course of the short walk
"do you take tickets?!?"

(now i wish i'd given this more attention -- did they take tickets?)

i ran into raquel's sister at the bar while i waited for my food. i looked in the bar mirror, my face framed with glass bottles while some cook prepared my business.

on the walk back the energetic turkey leg guy tried to sell me a dead bird limb, smoked right there on the corner.
i pointed at the plastic bag: "veggie burger"

he paused....

"vegetarian" i said. (this time pointing at myself)

"well we got cokes!" he said. "two dollars!"

"i live here. i have cokes up in my apartment"

without a beat he said (last attempt at a sale): "well, take my card, then."

i took it and smiled my best "it's the last day of the fair and i love living here and thank you for coming" smile

seconds later, laughter as i looked at the white card in my hand:

Saturday, October 18, 2003

i got in tonight, did my blog rounds and was checking email and salon before crashing

i totally forgot about responding to the "keep dissent invisible" article!

my reverse-classism did inch its way into my letter to the editor on salon

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Senior Federal Prosecutors and F.B.I. Officials Fault Ashcroft Over Leak Inquiry

The criticism reflects the first sign of dissension in the department and the F.B.I. as the inquiry nears a critical phase. The attorney general must decide whether to convene a grand jury, which could compel White House officials to testify.

Mr. Ashcroft's relationship with the White House is far closer than Ms. Reno's was with President Clinton. Mr. Ashcroft has closed ranks with President Bush in the war against terrorism, which has altered nearly three decades in which most attorneys general and F.B.I. directors sought to keep a distance from the White House.

Mr. Ashcroft and Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, have also been under fire for their initial handling of the case. The Justice Department allowed the White House to wait overnight on Sept. 28 before sending an electronic message ordering White House employees not to destroy records related to the leak.

Ashley Snee, a spokesman for Mr. Gonzales, said he believed the delay was acceptable because no one in the White House had any idea there was an investigation. But The New York Times and The Washington Post had reported the day before that the C.I.A. had forwarded the matter to the Justice Department for possible investigation.

from my daily "publisher's lunch" email (no link was provided)

ABFFE Endorses Bill to Restrict Patriot Act
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression announced their endorsement of the Security and Freedom Ensured (SAFE) Act, designed to restrict law enforcement searches conducted under the Patriot Act to people who are considered "foreign agents" as confirmed by "specific and articulable facts."

i know, i know
i should't even be up this late
and i didn't even bother to href this fucker
but i can't wait to respond w/ my smu "free speech area" story tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Bush takes in more funds than Democrats combined

the low tonight is 52. wish i had a chiminea.

Monday, October 13, 2003

there's a truck in my spot again. (a ford again, but a different one this time)
i could so call right now and have it towed, but i left a gentle note with absolutely no cursing in it.

this is getting old. maybe i should post a sign:


Sunday, October 12, 2003

(from earlier this week: i had to type up some "blog notes" i'd scrawled at new amsterdam)


my junior year in high school j. and i planned a spring break trip, unaware that ours was a dying friendship. her dad selected us a beachhouse to rent and we packed up her car with swimsuits, suntan oil (screw sunscreen!), shorts, tank tops, our cameras and film, snacks, etc. all nestled in makeshift suitcases and drove down through waco austin san antonio to some coastal tourist town. the house was a block from the beach.

j. and i settled into the place (which was waaaay too big for just the two of us -- three bedrooms all done up in seashells and muted pastel business), threw our swimsuits on and drove down to the beach. we cruised, watching the college kids with their bud lights and pop music blaring from speakers in jeeps.

clouds thundered in from the north, followed by gusts of wind.

the clouds blew past us. the wind tarried for the duration of our stay, rendering the beach un-inhabitable.

we could barely make it from the car up to the house door and vice versa -- sand coated our ears, it made us blink out our contacts and wear our unbearably ugly glasses the whole time.

we found no beer, no hot guys. we had no sun, couldn't even sit out on the deck. so we sat encased in the horrifically decorated space, recycling our old coversations about our fathers and our love lives and etc etc. i remember staring at some framed ocean-mural thing, the once-living carcasses of sea creatures mounted in a swirl of dyed sand, feeling guilty for smoking the camel lights in my backpack.

listless, searching for some night life, we ventured into town at night. all we found was a sad pizza parlor w/ a fat italian guy who gave us free tokens for the video games.

and we bickered. and i smoked. and we slept, and j. took pictures in the clausterphobic space that was too large for just us two and the television had no off button -- and no reception. it was just a continous grey fuzz that scared the shit out of us. we finally unplugged it.

i remember sleeping in the same bed in the "master" bedroom, both of us terrified b/c we hadn't really checked the closet. we'd gone through the whole place initially except this closet -- what if there was something bad in there? dead body, bad guy, etc.

we never opened that door.
it took us a full two days to even turn off the poltergeist tv, we were so frightened and suspicious and ashamed of feeling so.....

and the drive back, getting lost in san antonio while droves of hispanic extras on the selina set made navigating the town a difficulty, eating at hard rock cafe on the river walk, trying to convince ourselves that we were enjoying our vacation, and miserably drifting back to mansfield.

sighing at the strange relief to be home.
happy to see my boyfriend jacob, who invited me to visit his aunt in oklahoma.

barely convinced mom to let me go. "you've already had one vacation!"

and somehow with the teenage whine and chore-craziness i convinced her. i stuffed shirts and jeans into my backpack, hopped into the suzuki samuria w/ jacob and his sister and we headed north to ardmore.


i had a blast. i didn't really do spring break much, in the eight years of school where that was a possibility. three distinct trips come to mind -- the high trip to big bend, boquillas and such (gotta tell you that one sometime) -- beach trip to galveston, complete with ocean baptisms and walt whitman -- and this oklahoma thing.

we took the samurai out to jacob's aunt's back fields, offroading and bouncing stiffly across their acreage, smiling at cattle, getting stuck and hopping out of the car to tip it over some hill or stretch of ground it got stuck on. we laughed over pizza at local joint in town every day, inhaling coca-cola in red frosted plastic glasses and discussing vanity and ecclesiastes.

arianne and i shared her cousin's old bed, this antique job that was literally perched on a series of tightly-wound springs. it was amazing. she and i would pray every night together, and we shared some intimate secrets as we discussed our lives and our past and god and relationships and marriage and sex and love. i believe that she revealed some things to me that she had never told another soul.

one night, after watching a movie w/ everyone (all snuggled up w/ jacob supine on the couch) folks went to bed. arianne and i decided to play myst

well it didn't make much sense, but her aunt had the cheat book. so she and i stayed up until 6am, solving puzzles and cheating our way through the game, until we won it.

after hours and hours and hours, we'd enjoyed our cheater victory, and settled our tired eyes into the bouncy bed and took turns praying.

"jesus forgive me for ______ _____ ______, she said. and for saying "fuck" earlier."

something something. you know how it goes.

i said some similar things, though somehow at that point i was beyond asking forgiveness for cursing. it was more "i'm sorry i smoked earlier this week"

we descended into slumber, assured of our salvation, eager for a morning of cows and doughnuts and singing in the wanna-be-jeep while bouncing stiffly in the fields, a joyous turquoise machine with its orange stripe and seat covers delivering us safely and happily across the oklahoma landscape....

it was good.

i returned to find a bill from j. and her dad: $200 for roaming charges on her dad's cell phone.


so i'm trying to remember how exactly i prayed
for all my passion and faith it always felt like some odd one-way conversation filled with my selfish pleadings

i often fell asleep in mid-thought -- mid-prayer (?) and felt deluged with guilt the next morning
-- or you'd only half fall asleep and sleeppraydream something like you're walking to your locker to get your books for class and you find yourself saying things like "lord, help me open my locker"....


memories of praying as a child mostly consist of lists of family members. and please bless uncle mike and justin and aunt bill and cousin courtney...

and on and on and on. there's a lot of family.

and then we'd list the friends, and acquaintences, and our preacher and blah blah blah!

i think part of us delighted in this listing. hah, look at all these people i know and love and god loves and they love me back and i can name people for minutes and minutes and minutes!

the listing tended to go so swiftly, and yet there was a brief moment for each, their faces flashing in my young mind, warmth flooding me at the thought of certain particular amazing folks i shared something great with, even at that young age

that flash of warmth, of thought in someone's general direction, a burst of love in a quick moment before switching to (ewwwww) old aunt sis or something....

i can replicate that. i can draw it out, stretching the thought-love-moments' edges like holding triange pose for what should be two excruciating more breaths but leaning into them

even if i can't replicate the faith in the sky king. i'm no longer praying for some huge gendered frightening force to help the ones i love. i'm trying to help them with some odd mixture of care-bear-stare thought love hope

it's possible that this just helps me.

especially when i'm "praying" "meditating" at hiyam or something. shit. type more notes now.
(i "blogged" this on paper at new amsterdam earlier)


in the midst of my strongest faith i never knew how to pray.

my efforts seemed so pale, so ineffective, so blah compared to my grandparents' prayers

when we'd spend the night there

(nights on the fold out couch bed, back crinching despite the egg-crate cover over crap-thin-mattress springs and Gran banging pots and pans early before dawn cracked the sky, fixing tomato gravy and scratch biscuits)
(while humming hymns (i assume) off key and i mean off key. she'd sing the same note over and over, but giving it pause and meaning.)

how the fuck can you recognixe "nothing but the blood of jesus" in monotone hum? bzz bzz bzz mm mm mmm
clank pot pan stir clink mmm mm

we all would kneel down to pray in the living room. Papa and Gran at their Lazy Boy recliners, the McCaugheys lined up along the couch, everyone else at the daybed or various other spaces... god, they shook the walls of the doublewide with their prayer. i remember rich being healed of a headache. sometimes the holy ghost would descend upon us and mom would quietly cry and murmur and dad would get excited and stand up, praying out loud (loud), sometimes bumping his head on the glass that encased the lightbulb danging from the half-hung ceiling fan, his right leg shaking
and i, quiet, trying to concentrate
all this interrupting me mid-thought -- feeling god in the room
and feeling blessed and crying and joy and self-disgust, or failure, or something because it was like a tertiary experience.
i was feeding off their anointing

i just had quiet thoughts, quiet pleas aimed what i considered to be heavenward
and he never fucking talked back,
never infused our "discourse" with anything.

they always said 'god answers prayer'
i wasn't sure if he was just saying "no" or if i was on some sort of waiting list

and yet the emotional experience verified his existence, his involvement with us, me
on some level


later, post xian quasi-agnostic shnn ended up in a her civic with heather. we parked outside the dorm (we'd tromped outside to listen to music in our pjs)
queen's bohemian rhapsody came on and we sang, gesticulated, we celebrated and oh holy shit, the same cloak of emotion and feeling descended upon us

i remember saying

"this is god"
she said "i feel god"
and we cried.
and cried and sang and i swear there was some attached alternate ending to the song that night on the radio
ask her. seriously.
i've never tracked it down. maybe we mass-hallucinated it.

but the feeling, whatever it was that inhabited those moments -- it was identical to my holy ghost a of g moments. my tent revival, kneeling at altar call in itchy panty hose under too-bright-lights experience....


and so. now. at 24, in october.
i approach a space where some semblance of prayer/meditation is desired.

someone i respect recently told me "pray -- you don't have to believe"

i just want to emit happy positive vibes, to sit and concentrate on hiyam, on dad, on beate and trev, on this goddamn country

to forgive, to help, put something out there
i'm not a chanter. i don't believe in the "i am" sky king.
but i want my malas. i want to count 108 rosewood beads and concentrate on one person, thing, entity, cause...................focus.
went to kitties and puppies today with bethy and jessie. this big brown dog with heartworms claimed me immediately. i had to leave before he cracked me up into little tired pieces.

so i went and played with kittens, and was not tempted to take any home with me. in fact, seeing them just made me want to come home and love on my feline roommates. the depth with which i love them surprises me sometimes (beringer just usurped berk's place in my lap.)

but i'm a little odd and vulnerable right now in this sleep-deprived state. all i want to do is fold up with you in the red bed, the nick cave i just stole off kazaa playing while the cats snuggle into us.

my cell phone is working again. i underestimated the cost of beverages at nuevo leon and blew my last ten bucks on a margarita today. there must be some ad-ware (?) on my machine. pop ups from nowhere keep... popping up trying to sell me some vicodin and larger penis pills and promising me love. (find hip singles now!)

i've got enough love, thanks. how did i come to have all these friends? somehow i'm privileged to be a living part of this unbelievable network of people.

highlights from this weekend:

lunch on friday
the daniel miller acoustic show
talking with daniel about rss (?) and seeing his pictures of sarajevo (i can spell)
sunshine mornings with justin and jill and ben
the pallet we made ben on the floor
errands with jus and jill
hanging out with damon
and lexi
kelli and dan
feeding the rudds' turtle
brown dog
the 'upside-down-playstation-playing' video we made at 4am
quick conversation w/ bran
a little one-on-one time with mel-x
new strings on joan
karen and john visiting the loft and playing w/ my cats
an email from uncle chuck
reading beate's bio. i wish all of my friends would write something like that (links to come)

you usually piece someone's history together over time through details and conversations.... it's so cool to see how someone tells their own story, the compact narrative flow

thanks to kauser and em for the chips
thanks to dan for the juice(s)
thanks to damon for the coke and boggle
thanks to justin for the cheese (a new favorite) and bread
and to jill for hummus and bread and melba and chipotle rasberry business
and to daniel for his cat allergy that propelled the party to the rooftop deck

why am i still writing? i need sleep.
but this is what i really needed. an hour of shnn, to think and write...

i'm no longer grouching.
time for some rest.

sigh. brown dog. i hugged his calm doggie-body and felt so at peace. we just settled into each other so naturally....


berkley's camped out on my lap.

glad to be still for a moment.

the sleep i have had has been plagued with unsettling dreams -- i'm going to go try and catch a few good ones and nap some.

have had has.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

alone in the quiet moments of the clean pre-party apartment
i love this part----

Thursday, October 09, 2003

my crazy friend steve (he's the guy on the left with the glasses):

i met steve a couple of years ago at the hidden noise collective, the lower regions of their loft awash in emo kids at the time. i'd just spilled my cigarettes all over the sticky concrete floor (i'm so damn uncool) and was retrieving them when i saw this saladkicker sitting on one of the couches in a white tshirt and ragged-as-hell jean shorts. i swear to god, i've never seen steve wear anything else.

i sat down my "i'm about to graduate" self, and discussed my upcoming job at AOHELL. steve's an aol survivor, so we had much to discuss that night.

he's a little crazy.

i mean, he's a lot crazy. he has this whole different language that he speaks. he also likes to take pictures (it takes forever to load, but it's worth it.)

read his boston tea party account

Sunday, October 05, 2003

the depressed in atlanta pictures:

Saturday, October 04, 2003

i think this inspired our president, the poet

"Roses are redder/Bluer am I/Seeing you kissed by that charming French guy."

quote of the day: "I don't want to put chapstick on my hiney for the rest of my life!"

okay, i lied about not having much to say. it's more that i've got a limitless thoughts to share. i could just sit here and think and think and think all night. lucky you, i'm doing that while typing it all out.

i read rorty tonight, a good thirty pages.

brandon and i are going to make "post-kantian pragmatist" shirts.

talked to my aunt this morning. she's not going through with the stapling stomach-stealing surgery. whew.

(anecdote here)

she went to the consultation for the surgery, a $40k operation in which, among other things, they remove twenty-nine inches of your intestines.

so she and m. watched the introductory video, detailing the intricacies of the process, recovery and lifestyle changes that come with having diarrhea every single day of your life, throwing up constantly and never being able again to eat more than a shot-glass-full of food, to drink more than a shot-glass-full of liquid in one sitting.

i think the breaking point was when the video recommended different products to soothe the angry ass that can't stop shitting. talk about chapping one's hide!

so they're corralled w/ these other folks into a room and the nurse is calling their names, one by one to meet with the doctor, schedule the operation, etc. and my aunt is really desperate to get out of there, to at least save the $20 copay they'd spend just to talk to the doctor

she's whispering behind a magazine to m. "i'm 'going to the restroom' -- you follow me in a couple of seconds" and he's all like "heh?" and she's like "i want to leave" and he says "what?" and they finally get out to the waiting room thing by the elevators, and they're about to call her name next and they keep pushing the elevator button and it's not coming....

they ended fleeing, running down six flights of stairs to escape.


i was really concerned about her considering this. i'm so relieved that the medical establishment sees fit approach it as they do.

her b-day is coming up (same day as my mom's). she's getting the "west beach" (?) (is it south beach? hmmm...) diet book and a shnn-tested pilates tape.

someone parked in my spot in the garage, a big ford truck. i surprised myself, the anger i felt. i guess sitting on the offramp from 30 for about thirty minutes primed me, though i rather enjoyed sitting there and watching the streams of people laugh and stumble to their cars, smiling at the girl in the insight reading rorty w/ folk escaping from the speakers into the evening.

fair time is crazy time. there's something big going on here this evening.

and i didn't even write a mean note. i breathed and let go. i found a parking space in front of the building. i left a note that says

this spot belongs to someone. (someone who had difficulty parking b/c of the fair) please move!!

i wanted to say
move your fucking car you asshole!

i talked to my father this morning, and then mom.

my father, a huge rush limbaugh fan, and i discussed politics and the welfare state and my brother.

mom and i talked about xmas. i feel a knockdown dragout brewing. not mediating this one, folks. (her husband has plans that don't involve sitting around and grinning at our immediate family like we always do)

the kitty outside is calling to beringer and berkley, to no avail. your hook-penis is not welcome here, o.c.
Does anyone know how to make an mp3 or some such business with Cakewalk? I'm supposed to record this song Chase and Annika and I wrote tonight:

I like Lizzie McGuire
She is so nice
Her brother always bugs her
I hate it when they fight

Annika likes the Lizzie song
She loves Hilary Duff

Chase would rather be writing a song about Alex Gonzales
He had to tell Shnn that's a baseball player

Chase suggested that we make a refrain
for the record that's R-E-F-R-A-I-N

I like Lizzie McGuire
She is so nice
Her brother always bugs her
I hate it when they fight
no tengo mucho hablar anoche. cosas estan bueno. justin y jill estan llegando este fin de semana.

escribo mucho este semana pasada. no expono. mis pensamientos estan disperso y inacabado.

uso el lexico un poquito, yo cabe.
you ever just get thrown into the writing zone?
why now?

i've got an hour before i have to leave to visit my children. i gotta go write.

i'm bringing my guitar to the squires tonight, and my copy of the little prince . maybe we'll write a song tonight. right now anything's fucking possible.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Discovery may spur cheap solar power

The new solar cells would even be able to compete with electricity generated by burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas....

saw the season premiere of angel this morning.
the gaping hole that buffy's departure deposited in my tv-experience (i don't watch much you know) has been abundantly filled. one hour a week -- that's not so bad.

my favorite part? fred the sexy scientist taping up a dixie chicks poster on the lab wall. you couldn't miss it.


my family laughs at the opposite-ness of my sister's and my political views. case in point: after the dixie chicks incident in the UK, she trashed all her chicks cd's. i went right out and bought a new copy of home to support the band (it's a great album.)

no student loans? sweet.
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