a shooting that wasn’t, a reunion that wasn’t
Thursday October 23rd 2008, 12:02 am
Filed under: can't make that shit up,change,friends,reminiscence Tags:

So, apologies to those of you at regional universities that aren’t the regional universities I thought they were, whilst in a hurry, on my way to give a mediocre lecture. I’m glad to hear you weren’t shot, however. That’s always good. Drinks with a colleague/someone I went to elementary and junior high school with. Do you have any idea how complicated that is? If I was annoyed that YCT stole my narrative, the quasi-reunion of Head of the Class (If you recognized the reference, I mean it literally. Bitch stole her concept from the school I/she/we attended), and there are _two_ of us in one department at West Coast U. So, showing up 30 minutes late (or, too early to be properly fashionable, but in drinks for 5 geeks, the rules are complicated), I lost that narrative. A reminder that the bubble I spent so many years in wasn’t quite as opaque to the outside world as I/we thought. A reminder, too, that many of the most remarkable people I know I probably met at 12, which is at once comforting and depressing. Not all of them, mind you – there have been plenty more, just many. Even if tonight was an odd sampling, a still fairly notable one. Which doesn’t touch on my profound dyke-crush on Rachel Maddow. Who knew being the choir, preached to, could be so satisfying? Preceded me by several years at the ford of Oxen, but didn’t know until just now she was the first openly gay Rhodesie. That makes me even happier.



when i say email me, email me, via email
Wednesday October 22nd 2008, 7:41 am
Filed under: teaching,tired Tags:

That means you, student who asked me to do some sort of interview for some sort of class for some sort of credit in some room in a building at 9 o’clock this morning. What is this, exactly? Where am I going? What is expected of me? Said student is heavily disabled, and this is for some sort of Office of Students with Disabilities function. Yes, I know your computer has been acting up, but you said you’d email me last week. You email your TA, so why not me? Plus I’m terrified of saying something accidentally inappropriate. And of not finishing the reading for lecture today. And of being under-caffeinated. Speaking of which….



as always
Sunday October 12th 2008, 12:45 am
Filed under: Boozy,change,nostalgia Tags:

a longer post, and probably one I’ll never write right. re-re-re-re-re-re-watched Pump Up the Volume, the 90s Christian Slater pirate radio flick (featuring (the briefly topless) Samantha Mathis, who apparently was dating, and literally with River Phoenix on the fateful night at the Viper Room when he popped his clogs….). Anyway, perhaps the isolation of that 1980/90 movie, of Heathers, of Reality Bites, of the Brat Pack films, is lost in this interwebs generation. How alone can you really feel, at 15, knowing someone out there on the worldwidewebs shares your fetish for boys in silk stockings, smoking seductively, sexily speaking alliteratively? I’m sure that high school continues to be an island of isolation, but how the fuck did High School Musical capture the mood, rather than Nirvana and Pearl Jam’s Jeremy? You won’t find (a la this evening’s filmic entertainment) cars on the football field tuned to a pirate radio station, when they’re all at home, IMing each other, or random strangers, through preselected lenses of shared interest and shared virtual locale. Maybe we all stopped feeling quite so alone at the point when TV, radio, and books weren’t enough to create a community, but the web provided a way back. Maybe the whole sick twist of the dot-com bubble wasn’t that my generation gave up on values for money, but that we made the decision irrelevant for those who followed. The axiomatic binary, the fundamental chasm between consuming and creating, between buying a TV and watching it or buying a super-8 (or video camera) and making it, between buying another album or buying a guitar, has been not merely eroded, not merely erased, but turned topsy fucking turvy, in ways fabulous and obscene. Sitting alone at home with the internet isn’t as alone as sitting home alone with only radio, tv, and books. Same, college. Wandering campus has a certain isolating possibility – do i will i can i know him/her. Add a cell phone, and it’s fucking Liverpool time – you never walk alone. Shit, even the crazy woman up in Berkeley, paranoid schizophrenic, probably, speaking to herself and pushing her shopping cart. Crazy, a wide berth given by the fine and upstanding charitable citizens of the East Bay. And then she bought a 5 dollar toy plastic cell phone, and yelled her insanities into the phone. And she was less threatening, and the yuppies were less afraid. Thus endeth the lesson, assholes. I think we fucked something _big_ up. If “why can’t we all get along” was the question at the moment of urban/civic disfunction, we’ve managed to take “we” off the physical map 9 encounters out of 10. That’s scary.



Nostalgia
Monday October 06th 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,change,friends,inner-polish-teenage-girl,memory,Music,nostalgia,reminiscence,self-indulgent Tags:

Versus, perhaps, authenticity? Inauthenticity? Went to see Liz Phair, tonight, playing Exile in Guyville in its entirety. 15 fucking years later. A coming of age experience, or the soundtrack to it, at the very least, or some complex combination of the two. A friend, inextricably linked with the album, upon hearing my plans, “How strange — can’t quite imagine seeing Liz Phair.” And it was strange, to some extent, seeing this woman in her early 40s (who looks fucking fabulous for it), but whom I’ve never seen before, the face behind an album known, perfectly, every track, every lyric (right or wrong, still known), every transition. An album that captures anger, and youth, and the inherent inarticulateness of desire – or does these things for me, yet also, in its re-performance this evening (also attended, amusingly, by our neighbor, who in turn reminds me of a man who only drew surfers, windmills, and old men, from about this same period. *waves*). Don’t look back / you can never go back, yes, but there are those who age well (just-add-water adults), those who age badly (40 going on 18, an embarrassment to their parents and their children), and surely something in between. What would it mean to choose the anger and incoherence of youth – occasionally? What would it mean to allow yourself to be lost, even with a place to go home? What would it mean to be filled with unutterable rage, when things are actually going pretty fucking well? Is this crisis of authenticity, in fact, only allowed when you’re sweating the details, but having the broad outline lined up means it no longer applies? I meant to write the greatest falling-in-love and breakup album, ever, when I was 20, but I never quite got around to it. I still have plans to write the ultimate short story collection of the delectable aesthetic of the game and of being Hamlet and Raskolnikov rolled into one, but it gets a little dustier, a little more contrived, every year. If it’s too late to be an angry young man, and too soon to be an angry old man, what’s a girl to do if not fuck and run, mesmerize, and lose the map…