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« March 2002 | Main | May 2002 »

April 25, 2002

So you want to know how I'm doing, right? No you don't. You don't care. You would've written and asked if you cared. (It sounds like I'm bitter, but I'm not; I don't really care if you care. That was just a lead-in to this next part:)

Legs McNeil cares. He wrote to me today, via the form on the contact page:

Name: Legs McNeil
Email: [omitted]
radiobutton: Yes
Message: You spelled Patti smith's name wrong in you're reveiw. But you said it leaves you wanting more? How much more? Are you trying to kill me? Legs

He was referring to my review of Please Kill Me from It's a crappy, half-assed, gushy review. I wrote it while on duty at a particularly bad temp assignment just after graduation. I can't believe I spelled Patti Smith's name wrong, but if it gave Legs McNeil a reason to write to me, I'm glad I did. I debated a little bit whether it was really Legs McNeil or a Legs McNeil imposter, but why would someone pretend to be Legs McNeil? I guess someone might, because people are crazy. Nonetheless, I'm choosing to believe it was him, because it makes my week.

You also can read this review of the Iron Chef's restaurant. There's a mistake up in the first paragraph that hasn't been fixed yet, but you will overlook that because you are nice, and you understand that the editor is tired and overworked and hasn't found time to fix it yet. Or maybe you won't read the piece at all, because you don't care. That's fine, too.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

April 03, 2002
Que sera sera

Moving in two days. I knew when I first arrived here that I wouldn't stay very long. I'm not sure what I expected to get from Media—comfort, I imagine. Ease. I know the roads around here. I know my parents. I know the restaurants and malls and the type of people I'd find in them. And during that shaky time just after college ended and just when a new job had begun, those certainties made adjusting to reality slightly less catastrophic.

But I still had a rather rough time of it.

When I was sixteen, I thought I knew everything about myself, and I liked who I was. The only thing missing, I thought, was romantic appeal, which I figured would happen once I went to college and met more like-minded people. Aside from that, I was free and smart and crazy and unstoppable.

Sophomore year of college, during which I was rather depressed all the time, stiflingly insecure and anti-social, I used to spend hours taking personality analysis quizzes on the internet. I hoped they'd help me figure out what had happened to me, where I was beneath the confused mass I was becoming.

I learned little from the quizzes. They ask you how you feel about things and then label you, using the way you feel about things as explanations, no extra insight provided. You must be this because you are this way, just like you told us.

That year, I worked as a file clerk at a medical supply company for $5.25 per hour. I ate meals with Steve (whose friendship was a highlight), consuming a lot of chicken sandwiches and tacos. Despite my dietary habits, I lost most of the weight I'd gained during freshman year. I was hit on by strangers. (I think some people get hit on a lot, but I wasn't much before or after that year, so it stands out as my Most Physically Attractive year.) In a surreal episode, a woman stopped me in front of a K-Mart to tell me I was tall and gorgeous. She was short and old. Thank you, woman, though your approach was very Man Who Knew Too Much 1956 version, where the guy staggers slowly toward Jimmy Stewart after being stabbed in the back with a knife.

I spent most of my time in my tiny dorm room with a 13-inch TV and a computer. I turned down an invite to hang out with Tony, a sexy and talented guy in my film class, when my computer crashed. "I'm sorry," I said, "my computer crashed and I have to make sure it comes back up okay." What a stupid thing to say, and stupider still to mean it. I just sat and watched ScanDisk continue a lengthy and unsuccessful attempt at recovering the system.

It was the last time I lived alone, before now. This most recent bout of solitary living has worked itself out. Confusion has faded some, and I'm just shy of becoming almost content, though the more I think about that the more I think it's a lie, that I'm completely not content at all and just occasionally push the discontentment out. I still don't know what I'm becoming, but I don't think it's a monster or an absolute failure.

Starting Saturday, all the alone-ness will end. I will have to do dishes in a timely fashion. I will have to turn the music down. I will have to wear clothes. I may even have to share clothes, though I don't think my new apartment-mate and I are the same size.

There is so much to do.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM