Top 10 Signs You're Here
Thursday, January 26, 2006, 8:29 PM
Um hmm, the Top 10 Signs You're Here at Unhinged.
10. The colors that dominate your screen are black and purple.
9. Words are often left out because hey, roofpreading is clearly overrated.
8. Bathroom etiquette.
7. Whining. Bitching. Moaning. But amusingly so.
6. There's much confusion over what day it is or what time it really is.
5. Oogie. Not Mom. Oogie.
4. Wine-sucker-downer, chocolate slurper-upper.
3. Arms-length sarcasm.
2. General brainburn.
1. Feet are somehow always involved.
Moviegirl, Meaty Edition
Best movies I've seen lately. Two thumbs-up, all of them. Had I been wearing socks at the time, each movie would've ripped 'em clean off my feet. Uh ... unless you're a glutton for punishment, I wouldn't recommend watching more than one of these on the same night. These are all intense dramas with a capital D.
Iron Jawed Angels with Hilary Swank
Based on a true story of what women suffragists in 1918 went through for women everywhere, just so women could vote. Heartbreaking and awe-inspiring. Kick-ass music, really beautiful (they're not offering the soundtrack yet, but you can hear snippets of the songs at the website). An absolutely riveting movie, one of the most compelling I've ever seen. I don't think I blinked the entire time. There's no doubt in my mind that this movie should be a required watch for everyone.
Yes, that means you.
Crash with Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, just to name a few
Prejudice of all kinds abounds following 9/11. This'll break your heart, make you angry, make you think. So powerfully well done--actually, I think it was filmed with the same meticulous attention given to Iron Jawed Angels--it was almost like I was being hypnotized with imagery. Some of life's "crashes" may have seemed a bit coincidental to me, but that's how the movie so eloquently makes its point. Also contains beautiful, heart-throbbing music (the song Vision by Richard Souther was also played during Iron Jawed Angels).
Shattered Glass with Hayden Christensen
My honey! Based on the true story of a Washington, D.C., journalist, Stephen Glass, who fabricated people, places, sources and quotes for the amazingly entertaining stories he wrote for the topnotch magazine, The New Republic. The chutzpah of this young man knew no bounds. The movie chronicles his rise and painful, embarrassing fall. I had to watch through my fingers in some places. One of the extras on my DVD included the 60 Minutes interview with Glass. Shocking and amazing. A must-see.
The Laramie Project with Christina Ricci
A "fictional" documentary based on the true story of high school murder victim, Matthew Shephard. Seems weird, doesn't it? But it's another gut-wrenching, well-done movie worth the watch.
Boys Don't Cry with Hilary Swank (won an Oscar for her performance)
This one was difficult for me to watch. Very brutal in some places. The movie is based on the true story of Teena Brandon, a cross-dresser who preferred life as Brandon Teena. Going into the movie, I didn't know if I could forget that "Brandon" was really "Teena" but by the end of the movie, I had no problem. It was an important movie to see, but I'll never watch it again. Way too just RIP the duct tape off those boobs for me.
8 Mile with Eminem
I'm not into rappers and I really didn't want to watch this one, but the roomie talked me into it and I'm glad she did. I remember hearing good things about Eminem when the movie first came out and after watching the movie, I see why. A wonderfully graphic (fictional) look into the life of an angry, struggling music writer. I was amazed at how on your toes the rappers have to be in a head-to-head rapping contest. That's when the movie really shines. As a bonus, there's Eminem's sexay, intense stare. Really, a must-see.
Don't forget the popcorn. Or Kleenex.
One of my bestest devoted reader friends wanted to know why I seem to be writing so little lately.
Am I in a slump? No, actually. Lately I've been feeling a sense of varoom, varoom.
Busy? Yes. A twelve-hour day is good at sucking the creativity out of my brain cells. They start out nicely plump on Tuesday and by Friday, they look like raisins. Which means I have little chance in hell at splitting an atom on Tuesday or Wednesday, and absolutely NONE by Friday.
Missing AOL-J? No. That part of my life is ova. The fat lady? She done sang months ago.
I told the bestest devoted reader friend that the truth was unfit for world wide eyes. My momma told me that if I have nothing nice to say, I probably shouldn't say it. And unfortunately, that goes for blog writing too. I don't want to read over old entries and get angry again because that's what reliving memories does for me. If it's a good memory, I'll sit at my computer and grin and giggle like a fool, but if it's a bad one, I'll do a nose dive. And it's not worth it sometimes.
Not that a good bitching session isn't fun. Or worthwhile.
This is a fuzzy shot of my tantric-inspired bedroom. Or would that be Asian? I dunno. But I think it's cool and a girl who does interior design for a living agreed. It's too bad you can't see my rug or the black fur on my bed because much of the cool effect is lost without those items. But maybe one day I'll get a good camera and turn into a photo-snapping crackpot yet.
I wanted to be picturey and uplifting this time because it's good to alternate a downer entry with an uplifting one. I am more than just a bewildered pessimist. I am a confused non-conformist, which really makes life interesting because hell, who knows if I'm just lost again or trying to be unique.
I don't think I'm going to admit to such things anymore. Nope. Better to leave people guessing.
My new thing lately is burning candles. Right now I have a blue berry candle burning and a maple spice candle. (Think blueberry pancake.) I love the ambiance of candles.
I am running out of candles.
A few weeks ago, one of my glass-enclosed candles melted on top of my bookshelf and then exploded. Now I have a ring of glass on the top of my bookshelf and melted glass on my rug. Farken weird. Why does my life have to be so interesting? It's always something lately and I wish it would just settle into something comfortingly dull.
Which is probably not possible in Los Angeles, but I can hope.
I heard something personally poignant in a movie today, something that won't leave my mind. You can't find peace by running away from life. And, well, my big thing about experiencing peace is to escape life--the everyday pressures and annoyances of life. But I get the message.
I can't run anyway.
When push comes to shove
One of the things about me is that I can take a lot of shit. I'm good at enduring. I might cry a lot, I might bitch, I might withdraw from friends and family for a time, but I'm good at blocking out painful stuff and trying to make the best of things until I eventually I hit bottom. I deal with things when I'm ready to deal with them and nothing anyone says or does can make me face what I need to before I'm ready. I think that's true of everyone.
I've been enduring life in LA for over seven months now. Nothing is as I imagined it would be. I knew I would have a difficult time of it, but I didn't know it would be this difficult. I am a smaller city girl in a huge city bursting with ... everything. I still feel like I'm in a dream I'm going to awaken from. The massive number of people here terrifies me because it's chaos in LA on a good day. On a bad day, I'm afraid to even imagine what kind of hell being here will be. Sometimes I wake up at night and wonder how I'll cope if there is bad earthquake. LA is a scary place to be for a single girl. I don't want to grow old here.
I've read back through my posts over the past eight months or so and I see my downward spiral. I see a sad, almost bitter girl between the words. I never thought I would feel this way, and I have for too long. I'm doing something about it, though. I'm seeing a psychiatrist and I'm taking medication. I'm feeling better, but it's still not enough.
It's not enough because I'm not good at ignoring inconsiderate people. I'm really not good at being at being railroaded and I'm definitely not good when I'm deliberately antagonized. So I'm in a push and shove kind of situation right now on top of everything else. But when it's over, I know I'm going to feel a kind of relief that I haven't felt in a long time. Fighting for what I believe in and need has been difficult, but also rewarding because I've not been in that position for a long time. When I was married to Ken, he made that kind of thing easy. It wasn't fair for me to rely on him that way, but I did.
Now if I could just decide on whether or not I want to give LA another chance. I'm torn and have been for months. It will be cheaper and easier to stay in LA, but I can't help longing for the familiar sights and roads of Fort Wayne. Is the grass greener? I know it isn't right now because it's winter, but I made a list of Pros and Cons about staying and going, and it's about equal in all four boxes.
If I had more money, though, I'd go back to Fort Wayne in a heartbeat. Then again, maybe that's just an excuse. I don't know.
1. Stale Chocolate
If I'm going to invest the time, money and calorie intake by eating it, it better be fresh. Bad things happened that day I got the stale Hershey's bar from the Marathon gas station--I think a small third world exploded. A word of caution to anyone who picks up a Hershey's candy bar: check the expiration date.
2. Loud Music Players
It's the age of Ipods, so why must I be party to your native's jungle beat that's loud enough to vibrate my liver? Even worse, why do you have to play the same song over and over? That's just wrong. And it makes me hate your guts.
3. Prima Donnas
She doesn't walk, she strides. If she's not wearing sunglasses, you can see the nasty look in her eyes. She's not worried about being polite or considerate because it's all about her, baby. And her hair. And her cell phone. Don't cross her path; she'll run you over in her shiny black Lexus and flick her cigarette butt at your startled face.
4. Getting up early
If I had my choice, I would toddle in to work when I was good and ready and not a minute before. Man, it sucks having to get out of bed when it's cold and dark outside!
5. Depression and unhappiness
Mine, actually. I'm ready to start feeling better again. I was ready the other day. Months ago. No one deserves to be unhappy. Especially not moi. So I'm trying to make up my mind that I feel better. Without gagging.
If you're reading this, I taggith you.
8 Ball: Looks promising
What's wrong with me?
8 Ball: Ask me again
I couldn't get online all weekend because I'm obviously a dunce. And I tried to write; I wrote one paragraph. It took me 15 minutes. It wasn't very good, either, but I sat there and wrote it, which is more than I've done in months.
I feel a sense of promise for the year 2006. I feel like a car that's trying to start. I feel oomphs of optimism and heaps of scary negatism. Meanwhile, I'm still behind the 8 ball on life. I'm waiting for something.
I wish I knew what it was.
My alarm goes off. It’s Madonna’s Santa Baby. I groan because it’s still dark outside and I’m sleepy, but I get up anyway because I have to shower, dress and go to the airport. I’m going home for Christmas!
It’s still dark outside. A bit chilly, too, but I’m warm with embarrassment and exertion from lugging my bag down a flight of cement stairs during the dead of morning. Kuh-crack! Kuh-crack! Kuh-crack! went my bag down every step. The only other person I see is a cross dresser next door who looks like he’s going to fall off his shoes any second.
And I’m surprised because there’s no taxi waiting for me. It was supposed to be here at 4:45 a.m. I call the taxi service and do the jiggy through the 90-second recording until a girl’s voice comes on the line.
“Uh, hi. I’m wondering where my taxi is. I reserved one for 4:45 a.m. this morning.”
“Let me check,” she says. A moment later, “It should be another five to ten minutes.”
“But I scheduled one for 4:45,” I say. “Has the driver gotten lost?”
“I … do not … know,” the girl says. To me, it sounds like I … do not … care. “We’re really busy,” she adds.
My mouth is dry. I can’t believe the taxi isn’t here and I can’t believe they’re busy. It’s Christmas Eve Day. Fricken early. Who needs a taxi at this time of day?
I call the taxi service again, the stupid taxi service that makes me listen to the same 90-second recording until I get to talk to someone. And oh goody, it’s the same girl.
“My taxi still isn’t here,” I must’ve gasped insanely because she immediately puts me on hold. Meanwhile, I walk another twenty feet down the sidewalk, then back again. I’ve done this at least twenty times already. The world seems deserted. Where are all of the taxis? I just want one.
Suddenly a heavily accented Latino voices barks into the phone, “Ma’am, your taxi should be there in another five to ten minutes.”
“That’s what I was told fifteen minutes ago. I called last night to—“
“I understand you had a reservation, but we don’t receive the information until fifteen minutes before a taxi is scheduled. And blah, blah, blah, we’re just the dispatch service, we don’t control the drivers, blah, blah, blah, you’re annoying me.” And she hangs up.
Surely I’m dreaming.
A taxi from another service shows up. I dart out into the road, waving my arm like a wild woman and dragging my bag after me. By this point I figure I probably won’t make my flight, but miracles happen all the time.
“Please hurry,” I tell the driver. And he does. His son is coming today from India for Christmas, the son he hasn’t seen in over five years, and he has the Christmas Spirit in spades, mostly in his foot. He brakes at the last moment for red lights and takes the corners so fast that the tires squeal. Yes!
Maybe I won’t have to call my mom after all.
Long lines of taxis are crowding the roads that lead to the airport. There must’ve been at least fifteen in front of me. Los Angeles Airport is bedlam. My heart, which had been lodged hopefully in my throat, sinks to my stomach. But I leap out of the taxi anyway.
“Good luck,” the driver tells me.
I refuse to look at the time. My job is to get to the check in counter and that’s it. I want to scream bloody murder and shove my way through the sea of bodies in front of me, especially people who are pushing carts with four or more bags to check in. I’ve only got one, damn it, and my flight is leaving at 6:30. To hell with the Christmas Spirit and why aren’t all of these people at home in bed?
I finally reach the counter. They are no longer accepting check-ins for my flight and my ticket only allows me to stand by. There’s no guarantee I’ll get on a flight today, nor is there any guarantee that if I do make it on a flight to Chicago that I’ll be able to make one going to Fort Wayne.
I turn around and go back home. I’m out of cash because I gave it all to the first taxi driver, something that makes this taxi driver mumble incoherently because he’s fresh out of credit card slips. I want to slap him upside the head.
“Will you take a personal check?”
He scares the bejesus out of me by doing a 180 in his seat and gives me a stern look, the kind Oogie used to give me when I was a kid and tried to lie.
“Yeah, I’ll take a check from you. You look like somebody I can trust.”
After I reschedule a flight for Christmas Day, I call Oogie and break the news. We’re both busy being brave and hopeful so we don’t cry.
6:40 a.m., Dec. 25, 2005
I called the taxi service to make triple-dog sure they were still coming for me. I’d called the day before to make sure they were running on Christmas Day and scheduled a taxi for 7:00 a.m. It was a good thing I called, too, because for some reason they had me down for 7:30 a.m.
My taxi driver is out of credit card slips and tells me he won’t accept personal checks, but he’ll drive me to an ATM machine so I can withdraw some cash.
“As long as I’m physically at the airport at 7:30,” I tell him. “My flight leaves at 9:00.”
He assures me this should be no problem.
I arrive at the airport to see that the lines are worse than they were yesterday and I am beyond shocked. I want to throw myself down and kick and scream and cry, actually. This is definitely one of the bad points of big city living. Or of living on the other side of the country from your family.
I discover the line I’ve been standing in is for people with no bags to check. And like so many other people, I have trouble finding the end of the correct line to stand in because there are so many people. Everyone's walking around with lost, panicky looks on their faces. It’s awful.
The line I’ve been standing in suddenly … disappears. Me and six other people have to go all the way back to the end of the line. I call Oogie, angry and near tears because I’m afraid I’m not going to make it again. She tells me to have faith but I'm fresh out. I can’t believe this is happening.
I make it to the check-in counter. They are still accepting check-ins for my 9:00 flight. The security line isn’t too bad. I think I can make it! Now if only someone would come over and put that sticker on my bag so I could go through security.
I'mthisclose! But then I have to remove my bag because the tape that printed out has two other people listed before me. They tell the man behind the counter that I was there first and he says everybody has to wait, as if I hadn’t already been waiting for him for over ten minutes. Ho, ho, freaking ho. So they heave their three bags into the stainless steel niche while I twitch through every second. Twenty-five minutes left. I hate this. Finally, the grumpy man behind the counter slaps the tape on my bag and I’m free to go. I don’t breathe easily until I’m through security and I’ve found my gate.
I call Oogie and we share howls of glee that I’m going to make my flight. Once I find my seat on the airplane, I’m weak all over from relief. I’m sitting next to the window. A thin, older lady who’s reading one of Janet Evanovich’s books is sitting in the aisle seat. No one comes to sit in the middle seat, so we use that for our purses.
It’s a perfect flight. Once we make it up past the clouds over L.A., I see blue sky and feel the warmth of the sun.
5:48 p.m. (2:48 California time)
We pull into Fort Wayne airport. It’s snowing. I’m freezing, but I’m home.
Well, my bag is still in Chicago. It won’t be here until 11:30 tonight if the flight’s on time. Should they deliver it tonight or tomorrow morning? “Tonight,” I tell them with a smile. It doesn't really bother me that my bag hasn't followed me yet. I can't believe I made it this far.
On the way to Oogie’s house, I’m laughing and chatty and ridiculous. Making it back home never felt so good.