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« February 2002 | Main | April 2002 »

March 27, 2002
More than myth

It's midnight, almost. Past bedtime. But I haven't been able to write lately, and it's like an itch. I don't know. Things get bad, and then they get good again. The rollercoaster is approaching a valley, but it's not a very deep valley, or at least it doesn't look too deep from where I am. It's sort of been in a valley for a couple of months, but there's another valley approaching. It's a slow-motion roller coaster, by the way, but when I look back I'll forget and think it was fast. I love stupid metaphors.

I'm becoming obsessed with movies from the 1980s about New York. About people in New York. Over the weekend, we watched Garbo Talks, a so-so 1984 Sidney Lumet work with Anne Bancroft. Anne shined, of course. Then we watched what I'm guessing was the pilot episode of the TV show "Mike Hammer" (digital cable info guide called it a movie). Its official name is "Mike Hammer: More Than Murder." This one, according to IMDB, was from 1983.

In "More Than Murder," all the ladies' breasts were spilling out of their outfits, and they all wanted to sleep with Mike. This has nothing to do with my obsession, but it was very entertaining. (Also, Chris, Jan from Watcher in the Woods was in it. She was found dead in Mike Hammer's shower, but she'd had a fairly sizeable role until that point. Interestingly, she didn't wear a bra in this one, either. Maybe because her boobs weren't big enough to be spilling out, so they had to highlight them somehow. Are you sexy, Jan? "I—try to beh.")

Tonight I watched Working Girl (1988). Melanie Griffith is a smart girl from a working class background who has to break the rules to get to the top. In New York, of course. With the tall buildings and the Statue.

Also, Broadway Danny Rose (1984) was on the other night, but I turned it down in favor of a promo for the Biography network on A&E: a documentary on movies about New York.

Whether the fascination is with New York itself or just the way it's presented in films is questionable (and the 1980s thing is just a coincidence, I think. My TV is the one obsessed with the 1980s New York films. I didn't rent any of these). It's probably a little of both. I never thought much about New York; it was always mythical and removed from my reality. Belatedly, I'm realizing it's an actual place—not just a setting from the movies and shows I watched as a child.

I hate the impossibility of consuming all there is to consume.

Anyway, soon I will delve into an exploration of Desperately Seeking Susan (1987) for class. I will find something original to say about it. I want to discover why I can see it again and again and never get bored. That one and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. And North By Northwest. And Heavenly Creatures (although that is rather dark and I probably wouldn't take it with me to an island). And others.

Yes. Sorry for the tedious entry.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

March 12, 2002
You thought you heard a sound

Somehow, five people hit my site yesterday from a site called Big Porn Zone. I visited said zone, and there is no mention of or link to dorkist. How baffling. However, I also got some visits from this adorable place [site no longer active]. So it balances out.

It's a shame business web site layouts can't be as creative as those of weblogs. If business sites looked like weblogs, though, the mark of the designer would overwhelm the content. At this point, there is no web auteur theory, or if there is, I have not heard about it.

Actually, I did read something insightful in Print regarding professional graphic designers as auteurs. It is kind of a complicated issue. Through no fault of my own, other than that I tend to like the same things from day to day, all of my designs look sort of similar. However, I do not try to impart my own ideologies onto work for clients. Even if I were to try, there's only so much that can be relayed through a web layout. Film (from which auteur theory arose) is much more layered [she points out unnecessarily].

Of course, even given the general motionlessness of web design*, the layouts I design might be considered primitive by some. But I think that the primary purpose of most web design is to present information in an attractive, readable, navigatable, professional format. Given a large white rectangle and some data, there are limited ways of pursuing that goal. Despite these limitations, or perhaps because of them, I sometimes feel I should think outside of the rectangle more often.

Tangentially: Cary Tennis wrote in a recent Salon column, "Rule No. 1 of Life: Others are not impressed." I wish I had known this rule when I was seventeen. Back then, though, I wouldn't have believed it, because I was impressed. Anyway, it's a wonderful thing to repeat to myself on hot days when I roll the windows down and turn the music up so everyone can hear it and I think I sense them thinking, "Damn, that girl is cool. She is cooler than all of us." (Actually, it is more like a siren call to some unknown, unseen soul sitting in traffic who is just like me. Ironically, if he or she were just like me, that person too would have their stereo up to the point where they could hear nothing but their own gross attempt at reaching out to strangers. Still, I characterize the loud stereo thing incorrectly. It is a celebration of youth and rock above all else.) Others are not impressed. But I'll still do it and I'll still feel like queen of the southeastern Pennsylvania universe.

For Steve's account of our weekend together, which says just slightly more than my own account does, visit .

* Web pages, of course, do not need to be motionless. Most of the ones I make are, though, because 1) I'm not terribly skilled at making Flash sites, and 2) I feel that Flash is often used superfluously, which only dissuages users from returning. Others are not impressed, etc. That isn't to say that great Flash sites do not exist and that I am not jealous of the ability of those who made them. I just have mixed feelings about the technology.

File under DAILY. Posted at
12:00 AM

March 11, 2002
Just Enough For the City

The weekend was long and necessary.

On Friday, Dad and I played hookie. We went to breakfast at a nearby diner. It wasn't the The Court Diner, that of so many high school nights and so many forgettable conversations. Instead, we ate at The Trolley Stop. Dad thinks the waitresses at The Trolley Stop are more affable than the bitter elderly ladies at The Court. I think the bitter ladies only add to the proper diner atmosphere. At the Trolley Stop, they charge you for refills, and the décor suffers from not looking quite like it's 1964.

Now that I'm leaving this town, I want to soak it up, wrap my arms around it and take it with me. It's not that it's that great a place. It just has a lot of nice bonuses, and, well, I've been here for two years. There's a good local pizza place, many not-bad restaurants within walking distance, two malls, two grocery stores, one Supercuts, a Wawa, my bank, my parents' house — all within three miles. But these are conveniences that can be relinquished.

Friday afternoon, Dad and I saw Amélie downtown (mostly delightful, but somehow incomplete-seeming to me), then toured the USS Olympia and a submarine. I'd never been on a submarine before. It was cramped (duh) and I felt like I was walking through scenery for a mid-century war movie.

Afterward, at home, I watched Pi on IFC and waited for Steve to arrive.

Steve and I spent Saturday in the city, walking and talking and drinking. It was a lovely warm day. We discussed what we always discuss: ourselves, our angst, where we are in life and where we think we should be. He wants to move to New York.

I am looking forward to my own move, of course. I'd sort of like to skip to the end of that story, to the last page, the day I move out of the future apartment, to see how things have turned out, to reassure myself that what preceeds that day has been interesting and valuable but without trauma. Then I can go through the chapter knowing that things, indeed, will be good, that I am gaining intelligence, beauty, kindness and wealth in the process of the experience, and that I face a promising present.

Am I being too serious? I feel like I'm writing a Canadian teenaged girl's novel all of a sudden.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

March 05, 2002
Movin' On Up, Part Zwei

In the days since the last entry, I have:

  • Visited New York and had a very nice time. I didn't do anything touristy, unless visiting the National Design Museum counts (I learned about Avant-Garde glass and about Russel Wright). I ate a very satisfying yet inexpensive meal in a Dominican neighborhood, and I discovered the joy of those touch screen games in bars that I usually see sort of trashy girls playing. I have become the sort of trashy girls. Also, I somehow managed to take the subway to the right place and get on the train home all by myself.
  • Experienced the Nintendo Game Cube. It is all it's cracked up to be. And it's best that I don't get one. Video game playing depresses me. Watching others play somehow seems less pathetic, when it is actually less active and thus more pathetic. I could form a decent argument for it not being more pathetic, but thinking about it might be pathetic.
  • Found an apartment-mate and apartment. The apartment-mate is nice and seems smart and responsible. When I toured the apartment, I felt heady — the place had character and energy, and it wouldn't let me deny its call. "Live in me," it said quietly, breathily. "Come home to me. Spend the hot city summer in my huge living room, sipping gatorade and vodka from a martini glass, and relish it." I am being new agey and freaky now. The apt has hardwood floors and is in the city, but not in the city-city. This will be a big change. I hope it's a good one.
  • Bought a new coat to replace trusty and loved (yet grody and torn) velcro closure coat. Greg says the new one looks like Mary Tyler Moore's coat. Actually, it doesn't really. But it is brown, swingy, and '70s-inspired. In any case, I'm gonna make it after all.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM