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September 30, 1999
wecka wecka wow
All day today, not that today has gone very far yet, but since I was in the shower, I've had that song in my head from kindergarten/grade school that goes "I just thank you Father for makin' me me, uh uh huh, oh!" It makes me think of that Coke commercial from the mid-70s about teaching the world to sing that I've only seen on shows remembering favorite old commercials, not that I've seen those shows very often. The guy's voice in my song is all Bob Denver-like, very "I live in a place with shag rugs and fake wood-paneled walls and I wear aviator sunglasses like the bad guys on old episodes of Columbo, but I am good with children." I don't know if Bob Denver was like that, though, he just had a mid-seventies voice. But the song is my head goes, "If I were, a butterfly, I'd thank you Lord for makin' me fly," or something like that. And then there's a 'fuzzy wuzzy' part. Like, "If I were, a fuzzy wuzzy something, I'd thank you Lord for my fuzzy wuzzy tail," but I can only think of "snail" to rhyme with tail, and that doesn't seem right.
I just see this book with a yellowed cassette tape of the song in a plastic thing on the inside back cover, and the book would be like a coloring book with people of different races holding hands on some pages and different kinds of animals grazing in the forest together, and on the front cover of the book, which in my head is kind of ragged because it's about twenty-five years old, there's a rainbow and a big sunshine creature and an expansive green field.
And I just thank you diaryland for letting me say stuff that would be pointless to say out loud.
[art midterm went predictably...]
Art midterm went predictably: first half rocked, second half did not quite roll. For the last part, she picked the one pair of pieces that I knew the least about. I wrote probably the most unorganized essay I've written since the early days of high school, and the early days of high school were about seven years ago.
So. My birthday is Sunday. Feel free to send me stuff if you're someone who has my address and loves me, or even mildly likes me, or just if you have my address. Actually, don't send me stuff, I think Greg has bought me enough stuff to cover presents from everyone who would even consider getting me something, including relatives who think I'm too old for presents. So they probably don't consider getting me something, but a card, wouldn't a card be nice? With five dollars in it, maybe? (Greg, you know that was a joke, right?)
No one has ever gone all out on my birthday like Greg's doing this year. And as much as I want to be non-greedy and not think about getting a bunch of STUFF, I can't wait to open my presents. I can't wait to have the presents in my possession and play with them or wear them or do whatever should be done with them. The thought of presents makes me feel bouncy, similar to the old feelings in my tummy I felt on every Christmas Eve/morning up until last year.
The first music video I remember seeing was the one for Madonna's "Material Girl." The video always made me nervous because I was afraid that her dress was going to fall down and expose her boobs. But that never happened. "Material Girl" is about men buying women in a sense, and I know that's not what Greg is doing. He already has my love. He's just the most generous person around. Everyone should try to be more like Greg in matters of generosity and selflessness. Otherwise, you can all retain your individuality, you have my permission. But, to return to issue, I am not a girl incapable of love, wanting only life's material offerings.
It's just lately, I have been craving stuff. It's not like I just want stuff to have stuff, I want stuff so I can do things. All my old stuff is old, and some of it is broken, and much of it doesn't fit me right, and it's just time to do some revamping. Whatever Greg has bought me is stuff whose usefulness is not yet known to me, but it might be stuff of the "I'm not being THAT materialistic by having this" variety. But then, who knows. They're presents, so it's okay.
September 29, 1999
art midterm and freaky dream
I'm playing hooky from work today so I can study for my art midterm. It's a real drag, and I'm sleepy because I didn't get the best night's sleep last night. In my dream, a fat kid threw me on the ground and was about to rape me. I kept screaming, "Steve, call 911! Steve, call 911!" (Steve is my roommate.) The fat kid didn't try to cover my mouth when I was screaming. He just looked at me inquisitively. Then Steve came into the room with us and said the police were coming, and the kid left.
It reminds me of the time last year when Steve went to the neighbors' (which, interestingly, is the apartment we're living in now). He left the door to our apartment unlocked, and some random person was running in our hallway. Then he opened my bedroom door and stood there for awhile. Then he closed it. Then he came back and stood there again, staring at me. Then he left.
I really don't wanna study for this test. During the summer I decided I wanted to get a 4.0 this semester, since I've never done it ever, and I know I'm capable of it. But I'm sure I'll succumb to laziness soon and decide to abandon that goal.
[one person has visited...]
One person has visited my site today. They hit my page, they saw nothing new, they thought, "Man, I was hoping there'd be something new here, even though everything Beth writes is becoming more and more boring," and then they left.
I'm taking a break from studying. My art midterm occurs in about two hours. I've spent about twelve hours, yes twelve (12), on the material that comprises the first 50% of the test, and I am going to spend less than two on the stuff for the other fifty percent. No, it doesn't sound right to me, either.
I don't think I've ever spent so much time studying for one thing. I am drained and lifeless. But at least I know what the ka Statue of Khafre is. Or do I? Uh oh.
September 28, 1999
names and fires
Someone already picked 'beth' so I chose 'bethy' as my user name. How cute. I wonder if 'beth' will be mad at me. Maybe I should have chosen something much different from bethy, maybe I should have gone with 'elizabeth,' but I don't think of myself as Elizabeth. People who are my bosses at various jobs seem to like to think of me as Elizabeth, though.
I used to write diaries when I was younger and talk about how there would be a fire that would burn down my house and kill my family (actually I didn't mention the killing my family part, it was just assumed), but I expected my diary to survive (though really, wouldn't it be among the first things to go?). Archeologists, who would discover the diary years later, would learn all about what an interesting 8 year-old girl I was and wish they had known me.
[i signed up to...]
I signed up to make a diary on diaryland this morning. So now I have two places to serve as outlets for my ruminations. I already made an entry there, you can read it if you want to. It's kind of lame, but so what. It might actually get more hits than this page does, but if it doesn't, I don't care. I am a quiet web presence, but I am still out there. This page, however, is still stagnating, I must totally restructure it and move it to a more friendly place.
A large delivery man just walked in the door with his shirt mostly unbuttoned. How uncouth.
I'm really not in the mood to do anything today, I need to study for various tests, but I just want to curl up in bed and be cozy. Mmm.
I remember now that there was something I was going to write about from yesterday. It involved a conversation I had with Greg on the drive home (we went to his parents' house over the weekend, primarily to go to the Bloomsburg fair). Oh, but man, I don't remember now. I had a nice time with him, though. I love Greg.
September 27, 1999
[i'm ditching the internship...]
I'm ditching the internship today so I can study for my Intro to Art midterm. We have two midterms in that class. It's a very freshman-y course and it annoys me, but I suspect that even if we were a graduate class, the instructor would be the same way (e.g. taking role each session, writing down numerous 'key terms' and key works on the board during the first fifteen minutes of class, etc.). Well, whatever. You don't want to hear me whine about my courses, I'm sure you have your own problems.
Anyway, I ditched out on the internship Friday, too. But I don't think I'm actually ditching. I think the office is closed. And because I'm not there very often to begin with, and because I forgot to call the day before I go in like I'm supposed to, I'm out of the loop and not hip to the sitch. But I went on Friday and no one was in the office, and I was really hoping no one would be in the office, because I wanted to shop. Which is what I did. But I only bought a pair of shoes, and I opened a charge account at Kaufmann's, and the nice man gave me an extra 20 percent off along with the 10 percent 'new charge card' discount. He pretended I had a coupon even though I didn't. And we chatted about the parking lot across the street from Pitt Filmmakers where I park illegally on a weekly basis, because he used to park there.
Then I went home and had a fashion show starring my new shoes (black mary janes). It was a very satisfying afternoon. But now, alas, I must make like a student and study.
September 21, 1999
[walking home from work...]
Walking home from work today, I saw something odd: a Geo decorated with postcards. The postcards were stuck in every crevice available to the stick-er (hyphenated hopefully to prevent confusion like 'Why is she talking about stickers all the sudden?'), like the hubcaps and the trunk door, for example. Then I walked a few more yards, and a Saab had been vandalized similarly. I guess someone was just bored.
Speaking of vandalization, the mailboxes in my apt. building were vandalized recently. Under Steve's and my name, someone wrote, 'She's pregnant!' (They didn't know that I'm not really living in sin.) Under the guy who lives alone's name, the vandal wrote, 'TOTAL LOSER!' Steve found this comment very amusing. Then there were other little drawings featuring people shaking hands with a penis and the like.
But I was going to make a list of other odd things about my day. So here it is.
The shower didn't work this morning. Water came out of the tub's faucets just fine, but when I tried to convert to shower mode, only little dribbles dripped out. Consequently, I took a bath. It wasn't a nice relaxing bubble bath sort of bath, it was a 'I must cleanse so I can go to work' bath. And I didn't wash my hair.
I actually did work at work. It was mostly photocopying and punching holes in stuff.
A large plastic bag flew past my ninth floor window.
I think that's it.
But one more thing. On the walk to work this morning, I had the pleasure of witnessing every man in my view check out girl in a very short skirt who was walking a ways in front of me. It was annoying, but you'll have that. The thing is, the girl's legs didn't touch when she walked. I've noticed that other people's legs don't touch when they walk, too. But I know that mine do. When I'm skinny, just a little bit of my knee grazes the same area of my other knee. When I'm fat, a small portion of inner thigh will brush the corresponding thigh. Attractive, yes? Only a few pounds come between fat walking and skinny walking. But this is probably more than you want to know. Anyway, I think I need to write Ask Beth a letter about this. 'Am I normal?'
Okay, I'm going to take a shower now.
September 16, 1999
[this weekend greg is...]
This weekend Greg is going golfing for his company. What a grown-up thing to do, going to a company outing. I think it's actually a competition among a bunch of companies, I'm not sure. I wouldn't be so adult to attend something like that, though. Actually, I would probably never be invited to something like that, since coworkers never tend to like me much.
I'm trying to think of something to write on, because I didn't get a chance to write anything yesterday and I'm trying to make up for it by giving you, dear Reader (to use an Ann Landers term), two things today.
So let's talk about Ann Landers. What's going to happen when she dies? Will someone take over writing the column and hide the fact of her death from the country? Will there be a large 5-page bio, complete with her most life-changing letters, in the first section of the paper? How important is Ann Landers to Americans' daily existence? I think she's someone we take for granted now, but she really plays a role in the lives of many Americans, to varying degrees, of course.
Ann Landers really doesn't affect me at all, except when I go home and read the paper with my parents. One of them (usually Mom) will have the Magazine section of the Phila. Inquirer, and I'll be sitting on the couch patiently watching Regis and Kathie Lee, waiting until she's done with "her" section. But then she'll get caught up in how Kathie Lee looks so terrible lately and we'll chat for awhile, and then she'll go back to reading her section, and she'll laugh, and I'll say, "What," and she'll say, "The first letter," and I'll say, "Don't tell me, wait till I read it."
When I graduate, I won't get to enjoy Ann Landers experiences like this, as well as any other comfortable everyday family interactions I get to have when I'm in Media. My home at home won't really be mine anymore. I don't know why graduating will affect it, but it will. My home home is not really mine now, but it still is, sort of. I guess I could move back there for awhile after college, but that just seems like a loser-ish thing to do. However, I really like my parents and enjoy being with them. Man, now I'm getting teary-eyed thinking about the end of my youth.
September 14, 1999
some girls like to party.
I meant to call this entry some stuff but, as you have already observed, I instead wrote 'some girls like to party.'
···People have been asking me if my ex-guy is dating people. I tell them I don't know; I don't. But last night I dreamt I saw him at a bar and he told me he'd been involved in a threesome the night before. I just thought, "You?" I guess you never know about people.
···I need a new fall wardrobe. I say this every fall, but only because every fall I need a new fall wardrobe. I am such a clotheshorse. I'm not sure if clotheshorse is one word or two, but it makes me think of Eeyore (is he even a horse?) with shirts and other items tossed carelessly on his back.
···I think I might have named my site 'starving piggy' in part to see if it would lead to my involvement in a band called 'The Pig Girls' in Los Angeles when I am 22, as the Ouigi Board once predicted. When the Ouigi made its prediction (I was probably 15 or 16), I thought that The Pig Girls was the worst band name I'd ever heard. It was so not punk rock. Not that I think it's a good name now. But I could see myself in a band called The Pig Girls - it would be one of those jokes that only I seem to understand or find funny.
···Some people [i.e. Aab and Steve] have implied, if not outright stated, that my site is self-indulgent. I don't really mind. My site IS self-indulgent. But all personal sites are self-indulgent by nature. Go anywhere that sports a collection of personal sites and read their descriptions. The majority of them say things like:
Kate's Site: This is a site about me, it has pictures of me, my interests and also pictures of my favorite band N'Sync!Me me me. Personal site descriptions by adults are the same, except obviously more adult-y.
I think that if anything bothers me about being labeled self-indulgent, it's the implication that there's something wrong with that, as well as the implication that the accusers themselves are not guilty of it. If there's any domain for some good, harmless self-indulgence (www.selfindulgence.com), it is the internet. Because if people don't care, they won't look at your site. If they do care, however, your human worth and value will be validated. And you will become famous and start an ill-named band in California when you're 22.
September 13, 1999
[i have this really...]
I have this really bad habit of peeling my fingernails off when I'm uptight about something. I also twist my hair. I used to twist my hair and simultaneously suck on the middle and ring fingers of one hand. I quit with the sucking thing when I was three or four, however. Anyway, I just peeled my thumb nail off a little too much. Ow. It isn't bleeding, at least.
I am not fond of my internship. What made me think I would like something with lots of public contact? My receptionist skills get an 'I' for Improvement Needed. Here's a basic transcript of one of the calls I made today:
ANSWERING MACHINE: Hi, you've reached Debbie, please leave your name, time you called, and message, and I'll get back to you when I can.
BETH (thinking about whether I can remember to leave all the information Debbie requested): Hi Debbie, this is Beth from Nancy Mosser Casting, and I was calling because we're doing a commercial here, uh, I mean, I'm calling you to audition [lengthy pause]... I'm sorry, I'm really out of it today. There are auditions tomorrow for a commercial, and we're interested in you if you're interested. So please call back some time today if you're interested. Thanks very much!
The only receptionist characteristic I really have down is the hair-twisting.
September 11, 1999
[it's 3:51 a.m....]
It's 3:51 a.m. I am wrapped in a pink sheet and I am awake. I thought that playing on the internet would make me feel sleepy, but it has maken me, I mean made me, more awake. But apparently not awake enough to realize that maken isn't a word. I don't think I would have caught that if the lame Word spellchecker red underlines hadn't been turned on.
I keep having dreams about casting, they're not completely about casting but somehow casting is always involved, it might not even be the event of casting but just the topic. Maybe the word CASTING is just floating in the air following me around. It is just a presence. I end up feeling restless and making sighing sounds and exasperated raspberry sounds in my half-sleep. As in, "Pblpt, why am I having this annoying dream, please make it stop, brain."
Casting isn't bad. I haven't yet done anything particularly unusual/exciting, however. Today I was a receptionist-type girl who manned the phones and babysat people waiting to audition. One of the ac-tors commented to a fellow ac-tor, after I successfully completed a phone call, "There's a mindless job. It must be nice - takes the pressure off." Oh, unlike your high-pressure acting career. I told Greggy about this incident and he said I should make a sign that says: "I'M NOT GETTING PAID FOR THIS."
Really, it just felt demeaning for someone to speak about me as though I could not hear him when he was six feet away from me. Especially to imply that I support myself doing something mindless. I mean, maybe auditions can be stressful. But aside from the lengthy waiting periods, I'd think they'd be kind of fun. Or maybe not the audition part, but the acting part. And maybe answering phones isn't very high-pressure, but that's not all I'm there to do. Hopefully.
Yeah, I'm babbling. It's late. Lights out, girls.
September 08, 1999
[yesterday was the first...]
Yesterday was the first day of my internship at NMC. I helped with an audition for a lame commercial for a Pittsburgh-area college. When people came in, I took a polaroid of them and made them fill out numerous (three) forms. Then they waited. Then they went into another room and waited a little longer. It got to be a little difficult when many people came in at the same time, but it all worked out.
Anyway, that's not what I was going to write about.
On my walk to the busstop prior to my first day of interning, I was about to pass a man standing on the corner. He was about 30, skinny, bland. As I approached his vicinity, he said, "Hey, how ya doin'?" I smiled slightly and nodded, my standard reply to strangers on the streets who inquire about my well-being.
Then he said, "What's your name?" And I thought, "Uh oh, he's hitting on me." And then I told him my name. Usually when strangers ask my name, I make something up. It doesn't matter, however, what I tell them, because I never give my last name, so I'm still fairly anonymous. However, I was arming him with a name, which lessens the anonymity.
The attempt: "How'd you like if you and me hooked up some time?" I just shook my head and kept walking, pissed off and slightly fearful that he might decide to follow me. He decided not to.
I thought about Annie (of Out of Order)'s stories of getting hit on and how such experiences seem to anger her. When I read about them, I thought she was taking it too seriously. Men are silly and they will hit on you. "You should be flattered," I thought. I didn't think that for all of her stories, namely the one about the guy in the wheelchair who stalked her at work, but I did for the tamer ones.
I'm revising my opinion, though. Getting hit on makes you feel yucky and can also make you feel afraid for yourself, especially if you're walking home alone in the dark and a jogger starts singing to you and asks you why you're walking so fast. But getting honked at, getting yelled at through a car window or from a construction site, that's silly. That's men being their insecure and juvenile selves, and really, the only thing a girl can do about it is laugh.
[04/01: I just revised the name of my internship company, because it was showing up in searches for the company, and I don't think that someone who's looking for the place should be reading a dumb story about how I got hit on. I hate the last sentence of this entry - 'the only thing a girl can do about it is laugh'; it sounds hollow.]
September 01, 1999
[i'm not doing anything...]
I'm not doing anything at work. Nothing unusual. But the web is boring me today. Yesterday I entertained myself reading everything on Disgruntled Housewife. It's quite a fun site, but it's not a site to visit daily, as it is not often updated.
Other things I did at work yesterday:
- Signed my mom up to receive catalogs from Ikea and Restoration Hardware
- Signed myself up to receive the same catalogs
- Entered a contest to win $5000
- Visited superbad.com, an original site, but not necessarily a good site. Not necessarily bad, though, either.
This list is boring so I'll stop.
It's the first of September. I will be looking at a silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe for the duration of the month. She's not as pleasant as the Coke bottles from August, but I will get used to her.
I was thinking, as I lay in bed post-shower, listening to Madonna sing "Borderline" on 92.9 FM ("the station you can listen to while you drive your kids to school and not have to worry about hearing anything embarassing"), that it would be interesting to take a course on Marilyn Monroe. But then I thought, a whole course on her would be too much Marilyn and would become tedious. So it should also focus on some other star. But who? Elvis? He's just as much of an icon.
So, Marilyn and Elvis. The class would, I think, concentrate equally on their lives and the effect their images and presences had on all other aspects of American culture. Even worldwide culture. I don't know, maybe the whole thing could be done on Marilyn. Maybe the course could just use her as a jumping point to talk about image and commercialism and stardom.
When I think about what I want in life and how I should go about getting it, my thought process usually goes something like:
Why do we want to be stars? Is it just for the big houses and cool cars? Do we think it will give us more freedom (as in, more money = more freedom)? I think it's obvious that fame prohibits freedom rather than promotes it.
- write a lot, and write well
- get published in lots of places
- become respected in my field
- become famous and get to dress up for lots of publicized parties, where many people will watch me on television
- wait, what's the point of being famous
I think that, on a superficial level, being famous is a supreme validation of our human existence. If you're a star, you affect the lives of many many people in a visible way. You walk out on stage and people throw underwear at you. They see your movie. They buy your book. They manipulate your action figure into dirty poses with other action figures. (Do kids still buy action figures?)
But being a star doesn't actually validate your existence. You are just as important as the next star. Actually, that's not true. I suppose there are different levels of stardom. I wonder how many stars obsess about making it to the next level.
There are so many things I want to say - I've been thinking about the star thing for awhile now. But this entry is too long. I should write something more cohesive and put it in another format. However, I do want to say that one good thing about stars is that they have the opportunity to help people on a larger scale than most of us do. Of course, right now, I don't do anything to help anyone, aside from offering advice to people who don't exist (as well as to the occasional friend). But someday, I'll get to it.