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« December 2000 | Main | February 2001 »

January 31, 2001
[got CDs from columbia house...]

Got CDs from Columbia House today, woohoo!

Forgot to mail back wedding invite due today, boo.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 29, 2001
crushingly dull

This weekend was, as most, frought with unaccomplished tasks. I have to grow a life during the week. I have to start writing a novel (or a short story, maybe). Let's see what else there is to do:

- clean my apartment (As always. I am so much worse at keeping up with this than I was in college.)

- save money (I have made so much dough since June, and every month it goes away, and I don't have hardly anything to show for it. Okay, I have an $850 couch, a full-sized mattress and a 25" TV, but not much else. Not even memories. Life is so dull!)

- okay, I'm bored, I will finish this later. Oh, the ennui, breaking through my blood brain barrier and seeping into my system, permeating my body and making me act dramatic in the process.

File under DIARYLAND. Posted at 03:14 AM

January 28, 2001
it's unimportant

Wah. Saturday night, nothing to do. No friends. No one walking in and out of the room you're in, chatting, getting ready for a night out. No anticipation. This is Media. I miss college. Life in college was bland, except for one crazy year in there, but there were people all over the place all the time. That was comforting and homey.

I am genuinely considering trying to find a roommate. But that could be a mistake. Also, I think I prefer to live with guys, and I don't think that A) Greg would like that and B) I would be able to live with guys around here without knowing them fairly well first. I don't know any guys out here at all, aside from relatives and coworkers. So that pretty much rules out that. Plus, last time I lived with guys, I fell for one of them. I guess that's related to concern (A).

I think I'll go read a real book now. I've been reading various web things for the past couple of hours. I also finally unsubscribed to AT&T Worldnet Services because they're lame. They were charging me $14.95/month. I had thought I'd been being charged only $4.95. What lame-os. It's my fault for not noticing earlier, but they still swindled me.

Anyway, I'm reading a biography of Diane Arbus, a photographer who did most of her important work in the 1960s. "Important" is a weird term to throw around. I've decided I don't like it, because it makes the user into some kind of god who gets to deem what is and what isn't important. Different things are important to different people.

Boris, a programmer I work with, is from Russia. He has asked me to make a list of important American films for him. I've started the list, but it's really hard to make. Movies that are important to me (movies like Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Heathers, for instance) aren't necessarily all that important in overall cinematic history, but they could be argued to be, I think. Additionally, I don't think a Russian person would get a movie like Heathers, because it plays on stereotypes of American teen life in the 1980s. How could a Russian (let alone an American who was an adult during the '80s) comprehend and enjoy something like that?

Boris also wants a description for each film in the list about why it's important. That's why the list isn't finished yet, even though it's been over a month since he asked for it. Oops. I am bad.

File under DIARYLAND. Posted at 02:11 AM

January 25, 2001
[la la la la...]

La la la la, empty life. La la la la, messy apartment, la la la la, dying Volvo, la la la la la. Okay, life isn't exactly empty, but there's a big hole in it! But it's an invisible hole! Or, more accurately, a hole that can be seen only when viewed from a certain angle. Truly, I have to patch it up at some point, because though it's not getting bigger yet, it might be like nylon and stay small and quiet until it tears suddenly, leaving vast unsightly trails in its wake. Then the nylon wearer looks unkempt and foolish. Everyone notices the disintegration of her stockings, and it's usually before she does. I'm not worried about looking unkempt and foolish, only about using too many metaphors, because that one fell apart back there.

Seriously, there is such a strange feeling inside of me, and it never leaves. I don't think it will until I change things. Designing my life could be like designing a web page - I try this color and it doesn't look quite right with that one, so I try a different one; I make a curve, but it's too wide, so I have to erase it and try again. But that isn't necessarily the best way to go about things. Obviously, life is not a web site, and I am sounding really dumb. And now I'm thinking of writing-related similes, but this really has to stop.

Next week: Interview mit der Greg and a new Ask Beth (if you're good).

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 22, 2001
on air

I just remembered, for the first time ever, that my brother's radio show is right now. So I tuned in, and of course he's playing Bjork. That made me smile.

I got a new entertainment center this weekend (my first entertainment center ever, aw, I'm such a woman), and now I'm not sure if it was the right entertainment center. It's thin, and my 25" TV is perched in a way that appears precarious, but that is probably just fine. I don't know, I can't decide whether it looks lame.

Greg gave me his old stereo, since he just got a new one. That is supercool. And he is supercool for putting everything together.

I was supposed to call my DVD company (has anyone ever heard of Oritron? They make shoddy DVD players!) and bitch, but I forgot. It's past the 90 day warranty time, and I'm sure they're getting a lot of calls from some people who received their crappy merchandise for Christmas.

My brother sounds funny on the radio. He sounds so college. At this time of the week, he plays a song straight from Iceland, he says. Hee hee, now he's giving Iceland stats. Iceland is really small, did you know that? Now he's trying to pronounce stuff, oh my god, this is hilarious.

I'm on the phone with Chris now, he didn't know it was me. I requested Mayo Thompson's 'Worried, Worried,' and it's playing now. We chatted on air. That was fun.

File under DIARYLAND. Posted at 01:04 AM

January 21, 2001
[i was watching VH1's...]

I was watching VH1's Top 100 Rock Albums Ever thing, thinking about how lately, VH1 sure has been making a lot of Best Of lists. I had also just come out of the experience of watching MTV's odd look at its own history in its "20 Most Outrageous Moments." Odd because it was cheesily written ("Old Dirty Bastard has been involved in so many outrageous acts, you might think the O in ODB stands for 'outrageous'"), because John Norris (who hosted) looks like he's trying to be much younger and hipper than he is, because they picked some really uninteresting moments, and I don't know really know where I'm going with this, I'm being really vague, but the production just seemed kind of half-assed, as though they know no one intelligent is watching anymore.

What's always so striking to me about MTV is that when they show clips of the station from 15 years + ago, there is almost a tangible vibrance about everything, even their little MTV logo ads (which made it into my bulky History of Graphic Design book). The VJs weren't trying to keep up the facade of being "professional," they were just being normal and having fun. Sigh. I guess it could be argued that Carson Daly is being normal on TRL, but that show is so repulsive. I guess MTV was just more rock and roll back then, even if it had lame shows like Remote Control. That was the only time I was allowed to watch MTV, because supposedly, all other times there were people like Tawny Kitaen showing off their panties.

When he was six, my brother told my mom that Def Leppard was saying, "Devil is the one, can I be your man" in "Pour Some Sugar on Me." It's "devilish woman," for those not familiar. Then she wouldn't let him get the album. Duh.

I totally got away from what I was going to say about all this list-making. It was going to be about how we can't yet get over the 20th century, how we (and we are... humans? Americans? VH1 producers?) feel like we have to catalog everything cool we've done. And then it was going to talk about how nothing is shocking in this post-postmodern age, and how everything seems like it was so much cooler in the 1960s and 1970s, like Velvet Underground shows and David Bowie shows and whatnot, and how now we've exhausted our subversive and creative ideas, and yet how, if I were to go to a circa 1973 David Bowie show today, it would probably enrapture me anyway, because I've only seen these cool things on TV.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 09, 2001
[for this year...]

For this year:

- shake my booty more, must lose the tummy
- start writing fiction; at least think about what a novel would be about if I wrote one
- contribute to more girly web sites
- buy 16mm camera from ebay, buy motion picture film from Kodak, waste some money on learning not to be scared of filmmaking
- read more
- start taking more pictures of people I love

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 07, 2001
too much introspection

Someone hit my site yesterday from searching for the Study Hard poster. That's funny.

My weekend has been family filled. Family party yesterday, baby shower today for my cousin A., who is pregnant out of wedlock. A. and her older sister M (who is one week younger than I am) grew up at the Jersey shore. A. decided not to go to college, and M dropped out of college. Now M is waitressing and A. is having a baby. I'm not sure if the baby's father is in the picture anymore. There's nothing wrong with either of these things. But I wonder if either of them are happy. I wonder if they expected more of themselves or of their lives, or if they are where they are because they didn't expect enough.

I went through a really lazy, unmotivated period that stretched from the dawn of high school to the middle of college. Well, some of my time in high school was creative time, but I didn't push myself nearly as hard as the overachievers did. And I kind of wish I had been more of an overachiever in high school. I was surprised when people asked me for help with academic things, because I didn't think I was regarded as one of the smart kids in high school. I don't know if I was trying to break the stigma from elementary school, though. During elementary school, I had never tried at anything and had always excelled. In high school, that method didn't work as well, but I wasn't willing to do anything about it.

The end of my relationship with Stephen helped snap me out of something. I'm not sure what the something was, though; perhaps it was depression, but it was probably at least partly a continuation of extreme lack of self-confidence. I still lack self-confidence. I was more self-confident when I wasn't in a relationship (I haven't not been in a relationship since I was 17), because I was more defiant. I didn't expect anyone to like me, so I didn't try to please them.

But I didn't think I was attractive physically, either, and part of my defiance was manifested through trying not to be attractive. If anyone was going to find me attractive, it was going to be because they thought I was interesting. I dressed in awful thrift store clothes. Even now I don't try much with my looks. I don't wear makeup and I don't do anything with my hair. So it's most often pulled back and my skin is usually blaringly faulty. I like to dress up, though. Clothes are fun, but hair and makeup are not, so I guess I just want to do the fun part.

Greg would say that I'm not doing hair and makeup because I'm not naturally talented at it, and I don't like to do anything I have to try at, which goes back to the whole not trying in high school thing. But I could be good at hair and makeup, I guess. I just don't think it's worth the time.

I have been feeling very insecure, looks-wise, lately. No one ever hits on me. I weigh more than I ever have. Sometimes I think I'm pretty, but then sometimes I wonder if I've just been kidding myself on those days.

File under DIARYLAND. Posted at 10:38 PM

January 05, 2001
web ramblings

Lately I have been enjoying reading web journals again. I hadn't done it in so long, but somehow I've re-fallen in love with the web. Aaaahh. Dear Mr. Internet, I heart you!

I have been designing personal stuff again, too... and it is fun. Yay. But I have other commitments to people. Must put Daddy's new site up. Must design site for Peter, the guy who asked me out for coffee a year ago after reading my Epinions. We were both living in Pgh at the time. I can't decide whether I've been had by him. He flatters me about my writing abilities and then asks me to redesign his web site. But, eh, he seems genuine. I just wish I had more time to help people out.

Really, I just want to make the web look pretty and be easy to use, because it is painful for me to visit ugly, poorly constructed web sites. Additionally, I think every business should have a web site, and I wish that the prices for such work weren't so inflated so that more of them could have one. Because I, as a consumer/interested individual, would like to have such easy access to every business I might ever think of contacting.

Sigh. Also, some people who work in graphic design just aren't very good. I mean, everyone has different tastes, but I'm mystified at how some vastly unqualified people get hired to do design work, and how some companies thrive doing mediocre design. I will not name names, because that isn't fair.

I will go to bed, however, because I should have done that a couple of hours ago.

File under DIARYLAND. Posted at 04:42 AM

January 03, 2001
still a material girl

Well, I gave into Columbia House. I know this decision is going to haunt me later, but right now, I await my 15 mostly free CDs happily.

Work was good today. My FrontPage booboo from last week is the subject of jokes now. That's good. I was scared that we'd lose the client, even though that seems a little irrational. My mistake wasn't That bad.

Anyway, when I visited Mommy today, her package from Amazon had arrived, filled with books I was supposed to get on Christmas. It was extremely cool. I got a few graphic design books, and the Fast Times DVD, and Into the Great Wide Open by Kevin Canty, and the Virginia Dare CD I've been wanting. Wish lists are cool. Today was nice, all in all.

Now I'm thinking I sound a little materialistic and greedy. Indeed, I think that getting all that stuff really did make me happy. We learn (or are told, at least) throughout our youth that material possessions are meaningless, that when your life is over, you can't take your car with you, and you won't wish that you had bought that megacomputer. You'll instead wish that you spent more time with the people you care about. I'm sure most people feel this way regardless of how into things they are.

But we all need things. Okay, we don't, but we do, in order to keep up with other people, to live a "normal" life. In part, things help us connect with other people. Only on a superficial level, though, I suppose.

But things are tied deeply into our inner lives as well. I think I like things so much because they feed my imagination. A book is a thing, and when I read it, I'll be entering another world or learning ideas that will help me in work or in life. I don't need the book, but my life is less enriched without it. I don't need crazy flowered curtains, but the walk through my kitchen to the bathroom in the morning would be so less sunny without them. Things are good!

I have still not reconciled my ideas about things with what I think should be right, though. I still feel like I should think materialism is bad and that I shouldn't want new things. Perhaps I'm just defining materialism incorrectly.

File under DIARYLAND. Posted at 03:58 AM

January 02, 2001
sucked in to CD gluttony

Well, the weekend is over. Tomorrow I'll be at work. I refuse to check my email, because my work account is there, and I don't want to think about work until I have to.

Columbia House is sucking me in. They sent me a mail piece with my name on a little holographic card. I received this at just the right time, as all weekend, having ridden around in Greg's new Focus with its factory standard CD player, I have been desiring CDs of my own. Records are cool, and when I have my mega cool stereo system, they will be even more fun to listen to. I will sprawl on my couch and just listen to the lovely music on my records. But! I also want CDs. I am going to get in the habit of taking CDs to work and working to some CD sounds.

I am on the Columbia House web site right now, selecting CDs. I have only one more to choose to complete my 12. I don't know if I'm going to go for the "Buy one at $6.95 and get 2 more free" offer. I probably will go for this offer. I hate Columbia House.

I joined them back in high school and ended up with an Allman Brothers CD I really didn't want. Eventually, I sold it to a local used record place, the owner of which was later murdered with a crowbar in New Jersey. I still can't get over that; I remember so clearly thumbing through records with Becca, dodging the resident cat, talking about how Bob (the murdered one) seemed to stare at us somewhat creepily.

It was such a nice little store, though, and if it were still around, I could walk to it from where I live now. After Bob died, customers and friends hung little tributes to him, poems and drawings and memories, outside on its door. I can't remember the name of the store anymore, but I'm almost sure that "Heaven" was part of it.

File under DIARYLAND. Posted at 01:55 AM

January 01, 2001
[new years was quiet...]

New Years was quiet and filled with travel. Greg has a cool new ride, a Ford Focus ZX3, so the travel part wasn't so bad. But I still haven't been able to relax in the way I need to. Maybe it's not that I need a weekend of relaxation, though; maybe I'm going to feel restless until I make some sweeping change in my life. Maybe I need a roommate, or maybe I need to move out of this town.

This time last year was lazy, lazy. I was happy to be out of school, and I had no job and minimal responsibilities. It was nice for a little while. And right now, I miss it.

Life is not so bad, but why do I feel so discontent? Ack. Why can't I save money, but why don't I even have any of the cool stuff I had planned to buy with it? Where is this money flying off to?

Last Year's Resolutions Success Factor
1. go to '80s nite at the Pollinator more often
0%. Didn't go once.
2. sing 'Love Shack' with Robb at karaoke at least once 0%.
3. learn about the stock market 45%. Learned some from making a web site for a stock market guy. Didn't make any investments, not sure I buy what that guy was saying.
4. buy new tires for the volvo 100%.
5. write a lot 65%. Should've written more.
6. dress more like a grown-up, yet retain hipness 40%. Don't yet have desired wardrobe.
7. show Greg how much I love him 50%. He still doesn't know how much.
8. eat more vegetables 25%. Eat them when I eat at Mum & Dad's.
9. eat less fattening foods ?? Yeah right.
10. eat less in general 0%.
11. make my site look how and contain what I want it to 75% or so.
12. begin secret val-u-pak project, which is secret but potentially brilliant Whatever, I have no idea what this was supposed to be.
13. find some good charities 0%, unfortunately. Due to my laziness, not the nonexistence of good charities.
14. take ballet lessons 100%. I took two lessons. Learned that looking at myself in a mirror in a leotard while failing at simple leg placements is bad for my self esteem.
15. paint again 10%. Painted once. It ended up as an ugly brown smear with "BETH SUCKS 2000" scrawled in the corner.
16. deposit into my mutual fund monthly (ha ha) 0%.
17. cook more for Greg 0%. I suck.
18. do dishes at apt more often 30%. Once I moved to Phila, I had to do them. No one else is here.

Later this week: the 2001 to do list.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 PM