Sunday December 21st 2003, 1:24 am
Filed under: TPT the First Tags:

Well, life’s keeping me on my toes. The flat is clean, ready for those who pay the rent here to return. They only get back a day or two before I do, of course, and it’s not as if I’m going to be gone particularly long. But between the cleaning, the unexpected dinner visitor – with whom I had a lovely time, and yet it brought out all that’s been lacking in my contentedly discontent state. Then there’s the phone call from my father, informing me that an old friend has 4 MLA interviews. Not that I planned on getting a job this year, but I don’t think I would have complained had it happened.

Having settled in, gone through the lonelies and out through the other side, suddenly I get to restart. I come back, my temp job of just a few weeks was, of course, a temp job, so it’s come to an end. Back to HelLA, a week with family for the holidays, a little work done, a new pair of shoes. And then back here, no longer living alone, but again living as the house guest. With friends, true. But the happy illusion of a 9 to 5 job and a roof over my head all to myself comes to an end tonight. I get to restart all the roads again. Pick a job, any job, a life, a flat. I’m almost 30; you think I’d have the basics down a little bit better than this by now. Ah, fuck it. I’m just bitching – not particularly pensive nor particularly distraught about what comes next. Just felt that great ‘ought to’. Devoirs, as it were. We interrupt this broadcast to inform you that future broadcasts are liable to being interrupted. Fuck it, just filling space now.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah and have a great New Year. I’m not holding my breath. Of course, I’m not quitting smoking either….

geek: military spam
Wednesday December 17th 2003, 10:27 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Links Tags:

semisemitic microsoft
Tuesday December 16th 2003, 7:57 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Links Tags:,1282,61587,00.html?tw=rss.TOP

Thanks but no thanks
Tuesday December 16th 2003, 3:00 pm
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A paltry three no’s so far. ‘Course, it took till June or so last year (this year!) to receive as many. So, Dartmouth, Ohio State, and UCLA say no love. The first two not a surprise, the last slightly more disappointing. I stand by plan A, though, and know that I’ve got a year yet to fill/kill. I’ll finish this fucking thing eventually. I wonder if the ‘invisible adjunct’ remembers what it was like to be the ‘invisible applicant’. Or maybe her path was smoother than mine…

life’s little ironies
Sunday December 14th 2003, 2:39 am
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They’re teaching a class on me at Stanford. Well, no, not really. But some of you may recall a job I put in for at Stanford in September. And now, in one of life’s peculiar ironies, one of the people who interviewd me is now (co)teaching a course, Bodies in Place: Investigating Selfhood and Location. And, quite oddly, he (or someone) has included me on their reading list, alongside (well, not literally, but close) such heavy hitters as Plato and (!)excerpts from Shakespeare’s Richard II.

I must admit I’m not totally clear on what exactly I wrote during the month of September the class is supposed to be reading – the job stuff or the quitting smoking stuff, or whether this guy took perverse pleasure in having access to my ‘inner’ self, having just not given me a job. Maybe he has a soft spot for Home Depot? Or Joy Division? Or maybe it wasn’t him at all, but someone else teaching the course?

Ah, vanity. If any of you Stanford types are still passing through – unlikely, of course, but hey – want to fill me in? Plus, where did he get ‘Matthew’ from as an attribution? I’m guessing I must have offered an online version of my CV, and he checked in at the top level to find…this.

Alright, I’ll go to bed and stop googling myself. I don’t do it often, honest.

antisemitic microsoft
Saturday December 13th 2003, 1:09 pm
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Monday December 08th 2003, 11:14 pm
Filed under: TPT the First Work Tags:

It’s amazing how being a geek can help one answer those difficult questions in life. My preoccupation with audience, for example, and more particularly, my preoccupation with a particular audience, was answered this evening, as I discovered an IP address from the Exeter University network browsing the site. Bless Nmap for answering subsequent questions, as well.

edit: Well, a phone call that immediately followed that post proved that particular theory to be incorrect. Hello, to whomever else at Exeter is reading.

Monday December 08th 2003, 1:17 am
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I wonder if I’ve lost the plot. Chintz television shows are making me cry. I’ve only had one ‘cathartic’ weeping session. The scare quotes are unfair: I cried and cried without any self-consciousness, and a friend talking softly to me. And now I tear up as I tear myself up. I have to work tomorrow, like, well, most people. My friend last night was having ‘what next’ angst, saying everyone seemed to be in that impossible state of transition between the unwanted and the unknown. I’m not even there, I think. Transition, which remember, folks, is a noun and not a verb, corporate speak be damned, implies a change. But I feel like I’m falling into some impossible rut. Maybe because this situation of mine, borrowed flat borrowed cash borrowed time, is somehow not a change. So why the tears, fading now? So why the whiskey?

I re-read the first entry on this blog of mine. Re-reading, my existence as a child and adolescent, and even an adult, in some ways. Re-reading to keep the fear of the unfamiliar away, to keep the known close, and known. I need a security blanket right now, or a stuffed animal. I need something to make this ‘transition’ less painfully present. For all the celebration of possibility, of future, of having my life back, I’m scared.

And she’s maybe 2 hours away right now, no longer across any oceans. And though I kept chanting, at the end, ‘I can’t be both cause and comfort’, the desire to have the roles reversed for just a while, to find comfort where it has been for so long now. To find precisely what I’ve lost, to recover what I’ve released. I know I can’t, but it hurts so.

Sunday December 07th 2003, 1:59 pm
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I went to Oxford last night, for the first time since I’v been back. Getting on the coach in London, there was only one seat available, facing backwards. And thus, even while coming into Oxford, into the all too familiar sights, they were going away from me at the same time. A place somehow always already lost to me.

The friend I met for pints last night thought I loved Oxford, said I’d always conveyed that I loved it there. I do. I also loathe it there. Years of telephone-life and misery, of frustration and loneliness and isolation. Though that seems to the point of Oxford, its common gift to those who walk across the Parks and down its alleys. A place with no inside to reach, a nostalgia born, still-born, in the moments when I’m most there.

I dressed up, too, bright red hoodie, trainers that sparkled. Someone else’s clothes, someone else’s life. Not exactly the wardrobe I’ve never been able to imagine for myself, never been able to find myself wearing, but a touch better than the Banana Republican default I’ve adopted adapted been given as an adult with too many children and too many responsibilities.

all the lonely people
Saturday December 06th 2003, 12:13 am
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There have been days in my life when I haven’t spoken to anyone. Days when the only human exchanges have been “large black coffee, please” and “a pack of Marlboro Reds”. Today, I suppose, technically wasn’t one of those days, given the idle chit chat at ‘work’ and the phone exchanges whilst I took down their details. And even a phone exchange wishing someone a happy 40th birthday. But the remainder? That silence, the silence that fills your head. It’s too late, now, in this country, to find someone to talk to. And it feels too late, now, in my life, to find someone to talk to.

Not that I’m feeling overly sorry for myself, just minorly. But to recognise this space, this talking to myself and to the invisible crowd. Fags and red wine, both in copious quantities. Words on pages flitting by, music playing but not heard. Except in the terrible times that I do hear it. It all reminds me of the melancholy that used to permeate the fray. Stories of lonely people, on buses, on road trips, in hotels, on drugs. And lonely people ‘commenting’ on lonely peoples’ prose. This apalling sense of so many people alone. And the appalling sense that that in no way changes my loneliness. Alone in a crowd, alone in an empty flat. I do not have the strength to fill it, tonight.