Friday, September 30, 2005

a note from my desk

this is basically where my day starts and ends, aside from my amazing bed and those wonderfully comfortable hours spent there. everything i need is at hand here, and reminders of so many moments and experiences and people and places to make me feel at ease and happy. and organized. i'm a little overboard with the sorting and labeling. but it works. keeps me out of trouble. gives the illusion of my being with it and together. and goddamn, aren't those flowers stunning? everything about them and how i got them is so utterly unexpected. remind me to tell you about it sometime.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

petty, live

okay, among all the other far more important things to be concerned with and upset about lately, how sad am i that i can't be on the set of will & grace tonight for their live season premiere, as originally planned?

oops. i said i wasn't going to tell. oh well. that ship sank last week.

thankfully the nice man at nbc (who didn't grant me access out of what seems to be a misunderstanding in our communications) says i can visit the set later in the season. tonight i'll be in my theories of composition and rhetoric class, hoping foxy remembers to tape the episode for me. curses! devil! and, really, i know, totally petty of me.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

curses! devil! and other exclamations

yesterday was my first day as a college english teacher. i was surprisingly calm and organized, although i'm cursing myself for not bringing anything to do while my students took 45 minutes to write a little diagnostic essay. i've already assigned homework, added and dropped students, presented my syllabus, and hopefully started things off on the right foot. many of my fellow first timers were experiencing varying shades of nerves, from needing hugs to feeling woozy. but, as far as i can ascertain, everyone's day went off without a hitch, and things are well underway for the fall.

of course, for this leap forward there's the sort of minor snag or step-back in my big plans. i found out last week that i won't be able to go to that exciting event this week, and after exclaiming "curses!" and "devil!" and warding off tears of disappointment by forcing myself to make a list of reasons why it's for the best that i don't go (i came up with ten; i'm impressed with myself), i began the workings for a plan b of sorts that will allow me to go to the same place, and even talk to the same people, but at a later, more mellow time. definitely something to look forward to. (ah, but "curses!" and "devil!" anyhow).

there's other stuff going on...lots of it, a big, scary, sad thing in my family, and the general chaos and mayhem of the new quarter, my hair's a dark shade of red-brown (a first after almost 15 years of being a redhead), and i'm seriously considering shelling out a small fortune to fix my car (this bus and subway riding thing in los angeles is f-ing ridiculous, and drives me to let out exclamations far, far more severe than "curses!" or "devil!" like compound words built on "mother" and "fucker" and "hell" and "shit" get the idea.). there's dancing to be done, a concert this weekend, and, oh, joy and delight, i get to wake up at the ass crack of dawn on my saturday to go get my green card photo and fingerprints done. i'll keep my exclamations there to a minimum, mostly muttered in sotto voce--there are men with guns and the psuedo menace of a smug bush portrait there to contend with. you know i'll be fidgeting in my plastic waiting room seat.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

this is the first day of the rest of the year

well, school year that is. yes, friends and lovers, today marks the opening night of my year-long stint as "girl in creative writing master's program at a los angeles institute of higher learning." incidentally, it's my final season in the role. after a brief summer hiatus in '06 i will return to the boards of advanced education as "girl in literature phd program at an institute of higher learning to be named later."

so it's a bittersweet symphony, this life. trying to make ends meet... ohmygod. that's not mine. that's one-hit-wonder brit export the verve's hit single "bittersweet symphony." must have crept into my subconscious via the ipod earbuds yesterday while i was watching a filthy, skeezy, revolting man urinate outside a subway station. what i mean is, this is going to be a pretty big year for me. after all, it's the year i'm going to fall in love, meet my celebrity crush(es), perpetuate my fame, and graduate. well, at least that's the overall plan. quite a character arc, yes?

all kidding aside, i have two classes, a thesis proposal, a thesis, a thesis defense, running and producing a literary journal, an article in contemporary literature for a major publication, an art exhibit piece, a dozen applications and statements of purpose, two killer exams, three quarters of teaching composition, an assload of boring meetings, three quarters of writing exam consulting, an academic conference, writing several pieces a week for LAist, and entertaining the nine of you who still read my site to get through until i can really exhale. then of course (god willing) i will be freed up to move into a place of my own (ms. woolf, i've tried the "room" of my own bit, but i'm ready to upgrade to a whole place) in some scintillating urban environment and start a whole new phase of my life. that will leave me plenty of time to enjoy the fact that i will have also recently fallen in love, met my celebrity crush(es), perpetuated my fame, and graduated. again, killer plan.

of course, aside from showering and obsessively checking my email, today i also have to tell my brand new professor that i'm already going to have to miss a class meeting--next thursday to be exact. egads. i woke up this morning in the middle of dream-rehearsing my speech to him (and also a raging need to pee, but that is a completely separate issue), and my sleeping persona opted for the truth route: tell him i have a committment to do something really exciting that involves writing and my career as a writer. i'm going to leave out the celebrity (girl) crush and prime time television hit of which he falls into the target audience. unless he asks. anything goes on the first day of the rest of the year. (p.s. isn't it so annoying that i'm being so vague about the celeb and the event? of the nine of you that read this, at least five of you i know personally, and you know who and what i'm talking about. insert devilish cackle here. and, sorry. loose lips sink ships and all that shit.)


Monday, September 19, 2005

spa'd, spied, and serious silliness

today my birthday was celebrated months early with a day at the spa. i bubbled in mineral and salt baths, i caked myself with gritty mud and baked myself to a state of dry followed by exfoliation, i lathered myself in lavender body wash, i floated and chatted on a big blue floaty thing in a lounge pool, i ate sprouts, and i had a one hour massage that actually made me drool a little into that towel they put on that face-ring-hole thing. i wish it were my let's pretend birthday every week.

this week i spied with my little eye all sorts of curious things. i saw CSI being filmed on my street (or, heard, more accurately--their generator hummed for hours into the night), i saw (and avoided) that same dude who tried to come on to me on the red line a few days ago, an irate bus driver, lightning, the entire emmys broadcast, a big ol' rainbow, girls who shouldn't wear bikinis wearing bikinis, seasons 3 and 4 of will & grace, me dancing next to esther on ellen, a new and funky-shaped sunburn on my thighs, mail from financial aid bringing unexpected good news my way, further indecision on my part regarding where i want to be for my phd program, myself named as "instructor" for a course in the english department this fall, the grade of "a" next to "medieval drama" on my grade listing on the school's website, the opportunity to stay in my apartment and have improvements made to it, and, surprisingly, and completely unlike last week, not a single ex-boyfriend i hadn't seen in almost ten years. oh, and lots of other things, too, but i'm kind of tired and blissed out from the spa so i'm not really being all that clever. you understand.

and try this on for silly: my being two degrees apart from my current celebrity girl-crush (one degree closer if you count a christmas party and a photo posed a la dawson's creek and a bummed cigarette or two), and also being in the middle of (independent from degrees 1 and 2) wrangling a way for me and my laptop to be in attendance at a really cool once-in-a-lifetime event that involves said celebrity girl-crush. i swear i might break my fingers for crossing them so hard, or wear out the refresh button on my email inbox in hopes of getting a thumbs up message. i'm about one step away from bartering with the almighty. funny how i have a way of making silly so very serious, if only to myself. lord knows i'll probably turn into a blithering pile of wobbly jello if i actually met her. which would probably totally ruin my chances of making out with her. and i so would. in a non-gay way, of course.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

two chicks on the verge of celebrity

if anyone happens to catch ellen today, keep your eye on the riff-raff room, where a lot of the action takes place. you just might catch a glimpse of me and one of my favorite bloggers, fresh from the east coast and on her national tour, dancing and clapping and looking generally gorgeous. well, at least that was the plan. i'm not sure the cameraman understood my signals about which is my best side and from what angle to shoot me.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

lying while walking

Originally uploaded by sassylittlepunkin.
i was exiting the red line at hollywood and vine late yesterday afternoon, enjoying the tunes from one of my enormous transit-minded playlists on my ipod, when i noticed i was behind a very slow young man who was intently pressing keys on some sort of communication device (it looked like an electronic dictionary, but i'm guessing it was some kind of pda/pager thing that are all the rage these days). he was slowing the works--lingering too long at the top of the escalator, meandering through doorways, head down deep in his gadget. finally, when we hit the daylight of hollywood boulevard i broke free from behind him and veered to my left.

but there he was, next to me, motioning.

"what?" i asked, pulling out my earbuds.

"what time is it?" he said.

i pulled my cellphone from my bag. "four o'clock," i told him, still walking.

"are you sure? really?" he asked.

what was this? i wondered. "yes," i said. "it's 3:58."

"so where are you going?" he asked.

oh no. he wanted to chat with me. my suspicious nature went into overdrive. he knows i have an ipod and a phone, i'm thinking. i wants to see where i'm going, he might follow me, he's already walking next to me, and...oh dear god, i hate this! i hedged and hemmed a little.

"you goin' to work?" he asked.

that one was easy. "no, not going to work," i said.

"you live around here?"

another easy one. "no."

"you hang out in hollywood often?"

"um, not really."

at this point i really began to wonder what was up. people don't often approach me, and this out of the blue kind of grilling makes me nervous. i tried to think of my gal-pals--what would they do? some would be as evasive as me. some would instantly know smart replies, or fire off questions of their own. some would have never let the conversation drag on this long. some would have given them their phone numbers in a heartbeat, not out of attraction, but just out of a sort of kindness. and me? me... i didn't know if he was hitting on me or about to hit me. a sad state of affairs.

"what kind of work do you do?"

i took the approach of intellectual superiority at this point: "i'm a college professor," i said, stretching the truth of my job as grad student/t.a. into something a little more illustrious.

"wow, cool. where at? college, university?"

i named the system, but not the campus.

"what do you do in your free time?"

"i don't have a lot of free time."

"where are you going right now?"

"i'm going to meet a friend," i lied. i wasn't. i was going to see the aristocrats all by my lonesome at the arclight.

"by the way, my name is j______" he said.

i gave him my first name, too. i always mean to lie about that one, like at jamba juice when they ask for my name i yearn to say "jennifer aniston" but "lindsay" always comes sputtering out. i'm a good actress, but a bad liar.

"we should go to the movies sometime," he offered.

well, there went the giant cartoon lightbulb over my head. he was, indeed, trying to pick me up, having employed the annoying and unnerving twenty questions method. it was almost a relief to finally know what it was all about. he was a sweet guy, he told me where he worked (which is for a noble cause, i felt, and even something after my own heart, which i did not tell him). but he was a kid, and i wasn't attracted to him in the least, and i was so thrown by his conversation from the get-go that i was beyond flirtation from the moment i said "four o'clock."

"oh, i don't know about that..." i replied.

"you're married," he said.

"no, but i have a boyfriend," i lied. it felt so funny saying it. with the guys i see i never get to say it then, and it just felt so ironic and odd to be able to say it when it wasn't even the slightest bit true. suddenly i invented an entire life for myself, should the questioner have continued to ask: the boyfriend's name, how long we'd been together, that we lived together... that was the easiest part for me; imagining the utterly untrue. it was getting those words out that felt like i was spitting rocks.

we'd reached vine street, and i needed to hang a left to head down to sunset and he needed to keep going. we said goodbye, and he buried his face back in his keypad gadget while i put back in my earbuds. i thought again about what had happened, why my response was so distrustful, and what my other friends would have done. and how sad it was that this happens so infrequently that i'm flummoxed every single time.

the aristocrats, incidentally, was a great movie. and no one came on to me on the way back home. it's kind of nice to have things back to normal. i don't like to lie while i walk.

*oh and i posted this via flickr because blogger wasn't letting me in. this pic is one of the portraits i took of myself recently, mainly to see how my new eyeshadow looked. not bad, huh?


Friday, September 09, 2005

bearded jupiter

today has been, without a doubt, one of the strangest, most unusual, bizarre, unexpected, tense but oddly comforting day i've experienced in my twenty-eight years. for someone who cherishes routine and planning, the universe somehow rewarded me with answers and resolution to one very current, pressing, anxious problem, and also, in a thoroughly surreal and i-can't-believe-it way, brought me a kind of calming closure to something that tore up my little heart almost ten years ago. life is so strange sometimes. and today, albeit odd and unpredictable, was a lovely day.

we should definitely do this again sometime soon.


Thursday, September 08, 2005


last night a charming set of notices delivered to our apartment door informed us that our building was filing an intent to convert units to condos in the coming months. featuring the management's usual butchery of english language (particularly in the simple spelling of my first name--who is this "lidsey" they're addressing?), the notices combined legalese with pure illiteracy, indicating we return the forms, signed, but not providing any place or instructions on signing.

technicalities aside, this is just plain frustrating. as of october 1, our rent is going up, but our quality of living remains below the line, seeing as they've never refreshed our carpet or tile in the 6 years i've lived there, and the new owners and management are a bunch of figureheaded asswipes. my theory is that they will continue to raise the rent until we're forced out, so that they won't have to initiate a single improvement to our unit until we're out and they're ready to sell. well, i'm not buying it. not the condo, not their shady, crap-ass plan.

the timing couldn't be worse--with their 180 day timeframe that means a move-out would most likely happen next spring, just exactly when i'd be writing my master's thesis and preparing to move to wherever i decide to go to pursue my phd. so if i'm being forced to move twice, i'll be damned if i'll do it within four months, i'd sooner do it within ten months, ideally not at all. already i'm in a tizzy about the logistics--where to move to? (absolutely must be near main streets and not up crazy hills, since i'm a public transit girl) will my roomies join me? do i sell my non-operational car? how much of my non-existant funds will have to go towards two sets of moving expenses in one year? and the packing, the schlepping, the high-stress index of this all, taking place while i'm trying to study for the GRE exams, take on my first college teaching assignment, keep my 4.0, apply to phd programs, edit and run the school's lit mag, write for LAist, and generally have a life... i get knots in my gut just thinking about it.

over and over again when i was a kid i would whine: "but it's just not fair!" and be told in return: "life's not fair!" well, it sure as hell isn't. because this just isn't fair.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

unfinished and unsent

this week i made an attempt to sort through some of my mountains of posessions in order to reduce my clutter and to unburden myself a little of some of my junk. i unearthed a few slips of paper that basically amount to emotional baggage, a sort of pen and ink expression of a story i told in a highlight reel to someone last week. it was the story of a rocky love affair that fizzled and ended in a heap on those first tenuous postings of my blog. it's a story that still tugs at me, that feels essentially as unfinished as this letter i never sent. it was hard for me to read it, and it will be hard for me to type it, but i feel like it's important to get it out. to remember what it's like to feel something so deeply. to remember i have the potential to feel this again. and to maybe reinforce the fact that i deserve to have the kind of love i want. the names have been left out to protect...well, people.

Nov. 7, 2002

Dear J.

This is one of those letters that I might write just to caputre my feelings in the comfort of ink, but never give it to you. But I don't know. I get kind of wordy sometimes, and I don't mean to be tedious. I know we've talked for hours over the past few days, months about our "relationship." What is it with us? Now we're in this sticky, murky place where we oscillate from friendship to intimacy.

I adore spending time with you, like I always have. It's the simple things that are so delightful with you. There is no one in the world who makes me laugh the way you do. I adore your sense of humor, and cherish all the quirks that make you unique. And I believe in you, and your potential. And we have a bond that is so different than in my other friendships. For me, maybe, there are still romantic sparkings that I'll have to contend with, and I'm sure it will dissipate over time. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have feelings for you still. They are confused feelings, granted, but feelings beyond the neutrality of friendship. And I know you're aware of this. It just makes me sad and a little scared to have to essentially admit I was "wrong" about a future with you romantically. Looking back, there've been 'red flags' all along the way, which I chose to ignore. Fundamentally, I see how you are not right for me. But then we hang out, and I feel this 'hum' between us, and I believe in "us" a little still. it's not that it is difficult to hang out with you; I'm not overwhelmed by romantic notions at all. And then it comes time to leave, and I can't. Because all I want is for you to hold me in the night. There is no feeling like that in the me at that time we just fit so well. And you're so sweet, so affectionate, holding my hand, kissing my ear and neck--it's hard to "prove" tha we don't have an attraction.

You said something last night about the eventuality that we will begin to see other people; I know I will 'get out there' and date, and be intimate with, and fall in love with other men. And I am sadly aware that you have the same wants for yourself with other women (which kills, be cause there's that rejected little girl in me who cries out "why not ME???"). Honestly, for now I can't handle thinking about that--that someone else gets to touch you, be held by you. That part of me is still jealous, hurt, raw. It's just a function of rejections, i guess, and only time will 'cure' it.

Admittedly, I tried curing it with replacement. What a sad misguided attempt! For weeks now I've had this intense flirtation with my friend S.--I went to his house on Sunday night. He has a girlfriend in chicago, and they have an agreement that they can do anything but have intercourse with other people. So I let him play with me. And, despite techinical skill that rendered the expected physiological response--there was nothing really there. No affection. Some people can truly touch me, and quite plainly, S. isn't you. It left me feeling so empty and sad.

Ultimately I know what I want. I want to be loved, respected, made to feel as beautiful as I am. (No matter that S. said all the textbook niceties: "You're so cute" "You smell so good" "You are so fun to play with" etc.--it was meaningless.) It saddens me that that person can't be you, because of how I feel about you. I deserve all that you aren't able to give. (This, I think, is something you are limited in, having nothing to with me exclusively. This would be something that I fear if you don't work on within yourself that it will cause you to fail repeatedly at nurturing a relationship and to hurt many more. I can see why A. would be a 'safe' choice, becuase you can't realistically start anything from 3000 miles away.) Basically we're both scared, only we deal with it drastically differently. You run, I hold on more tightly.

I understand what you were saying last night about how we were solving things in a bad or opposite sense by doing what we're doing. If we keep up with our old habits it will make up your mind for you--you will feel forced to cut me out completely because being together in that way is hard or wrong. I don't want that to happen. I don't want that to be the price I have to pay so that I can lie in your arms some nights. And, yes, I do worry that you will never speak to me again. I don't want to make my fears a reality, which is something I am awfully good at. What I want is to celebrate our special friendship! I want us to continue to give each other companionship, laughter, emotional support. maybe we will always stand a little too close, maybe we'll always call each other 'dear.' this oculd jsut be the friendship we have. I do respect your wishes. And at the same time, i know you kinda want me in your bed. I'm still getting used to you not being my boyfriend--which is ironic in that it was very emotional and difficult to get used to you being my boyfriend.

and that's where it ends. things dragged on between us for months after that, and things didn't end well, although in some respects it was merciful to just have things end, period. but sometimes this feels so unfinished within me. so utterly unreconciled. there are so many ironies in this letter--so many things that played out, came true, turned around to haunt me. and, despite all the hurt i experienced, and knowing that he was not the one for me... i miss him. all the time.


Friday, September 02, 2005


it is difficult to believe that right now, in america, people are living like animals, refugees made homeless with help not coming fast enough, or in enough supply. i am fortunate, in that i have no friend or family ties to new orleans or other areas along the gulf coast, but i cannot stop thinking about them and feeling shocked, horrified, and devastated at the current state of affairs. the trouble is, there isn't necessarily any one or anything to blame but one force of nature named katrina. should the levees have been tended to ages ago? yes. can we go back in time and do so? no. the people trapped inside new orleans are suffering, and some are acting out and behaving in what is normally considered a criminal manner. looting is surely a crime, but at a certain point, who the hell cares of some fool tries to help himself to a television set. where is he or she going to go with it? where will they plug it in? it's just ridiculous to focus on that. get them out, my head and heart wail, get them away from the mania and trauma so as to stop the rapes, the violence, the hunger, the pain, the sickness, the death. and those left in there don't know what's going on--they're so angry because help can't get to them, and perhaps they have no idea how hard it is to help thousands and thousands of people in a city that is virtually unapproachable, with an impaired airport, vastly damaged roads, and no ports to speak of. it is frustrating to watch on television, so i cannot imagine what it must be like in person. it is beyond imaginable. it is a third-world scenario right in our own backyard. now we wonder if the government is acting fast enough. i don't know if they can even begin to do what's expected of them, what the outsiders, the insiders, or the media hope they can do. yes, we need to shelter, clean, feed, and care for every single person--but the manpower, the structural demands are of an unprecedented scope. at night i sleep uneasily, dreaming of having to escape in a tiny boat, of having to decided how to save myself, of where to go and what to bring. and it's all conjecture, because i wake up in my dry, sanitary, comfortable apartment, surrounded by my "things" and with a fridge full of food and a sink that runs clean water. i can't even begin to understand. this is all so horrific, and there's little that can be done well or right--everyone is dealing with the utterly unprecedented. i find it interesting that the rest of the world has (according to the media) done little or nothing to step in and help. the united states is sort of the world bad-guy, and karma is a bitch. chances are, our pig-headed government might not let them help anyhow, just to prove our might and superiority. we're not superior, we're shameful. we're bleeding. aside from giving some of my money--what little i have--i don't know if there's anything i can do. i wish i could drive a bus to new orleans, or let some family in my home. but that's all just a band-aid on an enormous wound. what's going to happen next? i don't know. but i can't stop thinking about it, and it's just so unfathomable.


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