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no surprises

Posted on 2008.10.09 at 15:40
There are almost no surprises anymore. Nothing happens that couldn't have been foreseen; few things happen that I didn't foresee.

But if there is one thing I know, it's that seeing the missile coming doesn't stop it from landing. And when it lands, it hurts.

How trite. How pointless. How utterly useless to sit here, typing it out, accomplishing nothing. Words plop down like teardrops, inconsequential. Who cares, anyway?

Fool. Fool.

Am I wrong? Am I wrong to live as I do? I never wanted to drown in contentment. Is that why I've never been happy?

It's all so fragile. Where does one find happiness, anyway? How does one recognize it? Is it simply the absence of pain?

I like looking at the ocean. I like long, solitary walks. The sky, always, any time. Good music. Good poetry. . . . . and what was that Woody Allen had named in "Manhattan"? Ah, yes. Yes. Always that. Always that.

I'm making no sense, and I don't want to make sense. For the first time in months, I just want to buckle and cry. Just go limp. I've had enough. I've had enough sharpness. I'm exhausted from feeling too much.

Enough. I give up.

I hate this day

Posted on 2008.09.11 at 12:01
I hate it. I hate everything about it. I hate the mazes of barricades on the sidewalks, the bored-looking cops everywhere. I hate the crowds of grinning, gawking tourists. I hate the cameras all over the place. I hate it.

Why do they have to turn grief into a convention? Why do they have to make a fucking street fair out of this?

Why does NO ONE ELSE seem bothered by this?

Why am I so bothered by it? I was 5 miles away. I lost no one.

Every day, every single day, I read about 9/11 for work. I read the transcripts of phone calls from the plane companies to the families, descriptions of what they wore or carried on that day. I read articles, the Commission Report. I look at photos of the hijackers. ALL THE TIME. I work right next to Ground Zero. The Brooks Brothers store in my building was used as a morgue for a while. I'm always OK.

When I interviewed, they asked me, "Will this bother you?" And I said no. And it doesn't usually bother me. I don't think about it very much. It's a job. We all whore somewhere.

And I've stopped thinking about the big construction site next to my building as anything more than a construction site, even though, every time some wide-eyed, camera-wielding tourist asks me to point them to Ground Zero, I want to shout - it's THERE, it's that big fucking hole in the ground, you feel fucking MOVED yet? You feel like you can go back to your friends in Indiana and shake your head meaningfully and talk about how fucking TRAGIC it feels to be there, just before you segue into a discussion of the latest episode of "The Amazing Race"? So THERE, it's over there, and there's not much poetry about it anymore. Sorry, they had to get rid of the bodies. I know, it would have made a better picture that way.

I've never said that. I've just pointed and walked on. A few times, I've had to bat away a conspiracy theorist. It's not that big a deal.

It's NOT that big a deal. Not to me. I was lucky. I did the vigils and the blood drives and the marches right afterward - for about a week. And then I moved on. I didn't have very much to move on FROM, anyway.

But today, today - I just can't stand it. I can't stand how normal everyone is behaving. Am I really the only one who can't think straight? I can't be. There are so many families, so many people who are ripped apart all over today. I have no right to feel like this.

I just hate it. I hate the streets. I hate these narrow little streets, oozing with slow-moving flesh-colored lava. Reminds me of Pompeii, of all things. Petrifying everything with its idle curiosity. What the hell are they hoping to find here? What are they here to celebrate? Don't tell me they are here to "remember." No one is listening to the list of names - you can hardly hear it over the chatter of the onlookers and the noise of traffic.

It's dirt, it's all dirt. And I'm part of it.

stop

Posted on 2008.06.17 at 05:08
I've got to stop thinking of madness, instability, etc., etc., as something seductive. That crap only works in the movies, when the actress is thin and hot.

old, new, good

Posted on 2008.03.28 at 10:23
I sometimes wonder if all that astrology bullshit is really entirely bullshit. For the past few weeks, maybe more, the stars have been oddly aligned in my favor. Being neurotic, this means I am now waiting for the stars to slyly rearrange themselves in such a manner as to make the sky collapse upon my unwitting head, but, for the sake of record-keeping . . .

A running theme has been reconnecting with old friends.

- January 13, GBS concert. Ran into best friend from high school; also, first boyfriend. Hadn't spoken with him in about 8 years.
- March 17. Got an e-mail from a woman I'd once worked for, whom I'd liked very, very much and always regretted losing touch with. Will hopefully find way to reconnect.
- Also, March 17. Visit to office from guy who used to work here; it had only been a few months since we spoke, but longer since I'd seen him. Quite exciting, actually. We're making plans to hang out soon.
- Yesterday, in Union Square train station. Bumped into yet another old friend - this was one I'd known in college - whom I had not spoken to in, oh, a bit over 5 years. Will most likely see him again, intentionally this time.
- Call from my cousin this morning, another person I hadn't spoken too in months, referencing LJ and making me come back here to, once again, take a mental tinkle in this corner of cyberspace, and mark it as my own.

Made a new friend as well, a girl who works at my firm; fun, crazy, chock-full of neuroses oddly aligned with my own. We even share a somewhat unusual similarity - a scar on our foreheads. (Doesn't read Harry Potter, or the significance of that would strike her as much as it did me.) She is, however, quite possibly the only person I've ever spoken to who truly "got" the magnitude (and pettiness) of the "fiddler fiasco."

Two other trips to Newfoundland, of course. Detailed in my third Moleskine - all the joy and pain and madness and peace, all the broken pieces and the glue between. And so many wonderful new friends. Sometimes, I think how unimaginable all this was a few years ago, and then, everything becomes imaginable, everything.

The AC/DC weekend, just under 2 weeks ago. God. Will not go into detail here; partly because it would take too long, partly because it's already been written, partly because what has NOT been written is due to the abject lack of words on the subject. No words, just music. (Er, NOT AC/DC music; the weekend took place in Atlantic City and Washington, D.C., hence the shorthand.) And yet another example of the uselessness of "unimaginable."

The funny thing about updating a blog so sporadically is that it's hit with the same syndrome that comes upon you when you meet an old friend you hadn't talked to in ages. There is always SO much to talk about with people you speak to every day - all the minutiae seem like real, urgent, breaking news that must be spoken of, analyzed, rehashed. And then, you meet someone you haven't seen in five years, and when they ask "What's new?" the only response that comes is a sheepish "Nothing much," and a feeling of failure for having done so little. And then, a dutifully compiled itemized list of events/developments that sound so much less meaningful than they really were. And it seems so foolish and so false to go into detail on anything in particular - it's all been said already, albeit elsewhere, and will it even interest anyone at this point?

So perhaps I should give up on this journal, or else make it a point to return to it more often, but I doubt I will. If nothing else, it's time-lapse photography.

huh

Posted on 2007.10.09 at 00:48
I wonder sometimes.

It has been years since I've managed to convince myself that all the idealistic notions of the world that I'd clung to as a teenager were bullshit. That the truth is, what matters is mostly looks, money and how impressive your résumé sounds.

And now, I am starting to wonder again. I'm wondering whether it's bullshit after all.

I don't know when, where or how, but I think somewhere along the line, I developed an idea that people have to earn their right to exist. Maybe it's a New York thing. I know sometimes I walk down a street, or talk to people, and feel that I have less right to be a New Yorker than they do - because I'm NOT really successful, or financially well-off, or beautiful. And I know it's psycho, and I don't really indulge in this feeling beyond the initial moment, but the initial moment is there.

And now I am starting to wonder. Because, it's starting to look like some people DON'T feel this way about life. And some people manage to be passionately loved despite being objectively mediocre.

It's weird and it's stupid, and I don't know why I am suddenly thinking this tonight, and why I want to write it, but sometimes, you just want to be told that you're fabulous. More than that, you want to be able to BELIEVE it. To believe that you aren't just another lump of pulsating flesh taking up oxygen.

And to think, I thought I had come to terms with being nothing more than that lump.

Can't decide whether this thought it making me serene or depressed tonight. Maybe I just oughta go to bed.


NFLD

Posted on 2007.09.06 at 01:15

Cabot Tower
Originally uploaded by CarminaGitana.
Last week, I came back from St. John's, Newfoundland. Funny, isn't it, after all the prolonged Montreal-centred madness, my first trip in YEARS to Canada was to a place I'd barely heard of before last spring?

I'm blogging quite haphazardly about this - mostly, I just don't want this to be lost to the ether (although there's paper record as well; and more explicit at that). So I'm not sure what details to relate here. Also, it's the same feeling that accompanies any attempt to describe falling in love while you are falling in love - nothing seems adequate, even the fanciest turn of phrase rings hollow, muted and artificial.

Trite as it sounds, it felt like a magical place. For years, I'd been joking that I no longer have a soul, that I'd lost it in law school. I think I got a little of it back in Newfoundland. Something about the air on Signal Hill, I guess, it's sunny clarity; or the way the ocean curls and slams into the scarred cliffs and sends fountains of foam up 10 feet high; or trying to keep up with the speed of a flying fiddle on the dance floor of a crowded pub. Or laughing with strangers, or looking into a person's eyes, expecting to find some sort of barrier, some sort of frontage or bullshit, and finding only openness.

I have never seen so much uncultivated beauty, so much unassuming power, so much dormant, unexploited history. I have never been so moved, or drawn so much joy from a place. Never, not even in France.

And it was a little frightening, how perfectly, how seamlessly my fantasies came to life. The music . . . my God, the music . . . it was everywhere, it was as though the tracks of my CDs had suddenly sprouted human bodies. A little confusing, actually, when you are trying to reconcile the normal-seeming man you are talking to with the demi-god whose lyrics you'd come to worship.

So I suppose that's why I am blogging about this after all, lack of details and all. I've fallen in love. Like a schoolgirl, moony and distracted and given to sudden swings between euphoria and despair. And falling in love is a big thing in a girl's life. Something very bloggable, I think.

Last night, I finished HP7. I read most of the second half last night, actually - Amazon delivered it the morning it came out (bravo, Amazon, and I didn't even pay for delivery), but that weekend was a busy one and I didn't manage more than the first chapter. Last Saturday, though, I laid out on my back porch for a few hours and managed to read juuuuust to the point where no one should be expected to stop reading . . . and then, innumerable Muggles began interfering. Actually, they were numerable enough, and were mostly my boyfriend, and the rest of the weekend was lost in endeavors of the carnal and culinary persuasions.

So last night, I rushed home after work and devoured what was left. Seeing as how I am not exactly a bonafide Potterhead (I read each book only once; during a marathon week-long stretch last summer, while procrastinating studying for the bar), I didn't trouble to avoid the spoilers, and wasn't too troubled when I was spoiled. In fact, the first thing I did upon receiving the book was peek at the last page to see if those scans that came out a couple weeks back were genuine. They were, but aside from making sure the trio survived, I didn't peek at anything else. (I, unlike most normal people, want to know when a beloved character is slated to die. It makes it easier for me. Life is plenty full of negative emotions - I don't need to add shock and illogical, slightly embarrassing grief to the mix. I like to know what's coming, and I like the opportunity to slowly say goodbye as I am reading.)

Let the record show that I actually was surprised by Rowling's choices of victims. I have been expecting Hagrid to bite it since a few books back. He is the perfect set-up for a Sad Death - a huge, super-strong softie, a perennial victim despite being built to victimize; his death would wring tears out of anyone, esp. since he has been there since the very beginning. I admire Rowling for not going for that particular cliche.

Incidentally, the death that came nearest to making ME cry was Dobby. I suppose this is because it's still a children's book, but most of the deaths were more or less skated over lightly enough. The ones that seemed most REAL were Dobby and Fred. And, unlike much of the female fandom, I've never developed any great attachment to the twins. Dobby . . . aw, I always did like Dobby.

I vastly enjoyed the entire sequence of the Great Battle in the end, and all the other battle sequences as well. Clearly, Rowling has a gift for play-by-play narrative - witness the Quidditch matches - and it all felt very much like watching a movie. In a good way.

Similarly grand was the chapter in the Otherworld. The crying baby was amazingly creepy, considering that I don't normally get creeped out by the HP-verse. All the talk of how perfect and wonderful and great Harry was did feel a little Mary-Sue-ish, but, eh, that's the nature of the game.

In the same vein, I felt somewhat conflicted by the epilogue. OK, I'm a girl, and I read children's books, and I cry when babies are born in movies, so, yeah, I enjoyed the whole "happily ever after" aspect, but Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, the epilogue reminded me of all those women's self-help books. "My friend Sue was once shy, overweight, and constantly forced to duel a soul-less monster on her school campus. After reading my 10 Tips on Disarming Your Inner Monster, she became vivacious and outgoing, learned snippets of broken Latin, married a wonderful man and now has three beautiful children." Really, too, too saccharine. Couldn't even ONE of them have ended up an alcoholic or a nymphomaniac or a bitter, ranting divorcee? Percy, for example. Couldn't Rowling have thrown in a bit about how Percy's bank account has just been emptied AGAIN by his latest 17-year-old part-veela Hogwarts drop-out, and how he's been drowning his sorrows in firewhiskey until his wand drooped and stopped working? No? OK, that's my next fan fic.

All in all, it's kinda funny. It's over, and I am glad I got the chance to get into it just in time. Now, perhaps I will re-read all the books again. Or perhaps not.

Sk8er bois

Posted on 2007.07.21 at 11:58

Next Gen
Originally uploaded by CarminaGitana.
Thought I'd blog this, just 'cause. Last week, Brooklyn celebrated Bastille Day. I realized it kinda late and headed out not knowing what it would really entail, and carrying only my little camera.

Aside from giant crowds speaking French and playing pétanque, there was a little skating . . . er . . . course? field? court? . . . set up nearby, with a little ramp and some cinderblocks (or whatever they are called). Not familiar with the terminology, but it was sure fun watching these guys. Especially the little baby skaters, like this one here.

crossing guards

Posted on 2007.07.19 at 14:29
It occurred to me this morning, as I was trying to cross a street, that the next time someone whines to me about how man is being replaced by machines, I will refer them to the phenomenon of the crossing guard.

With two perfectly functioning streetlights, do we REALLY need some municipal dork standing in the middle of the intersection, waving his arms like he's doing the dance moves from Madonna's "In Vogue" video, and generally IMPEDING vehicular/pedestrian efficiency? Do we really need someone who carries on a very loud conversation with his counterpart on the other side of the intersection and doesn't do ANYTHING until you try to walk, and then he whips around and begins waving his arms wildly in your general direction, an angry expression on his face, like how DARE you try to cross the street on the green light????

I am sure that, in theory, crossing guards can be quite useful. But in practice, they annoy the bejesus out of me. Their flailing arm movements are meaningless, they have that distinct Soviet-bureaucracy air of it's-not-the-measure-of-my-power-it's-how-nastily-I-use-it, and I have to say, I prefer the quiet, automated dignity of the common streetlight. It's perilous enough crossing a street in the financial district without adding pointless confusion to the mix.

In other traffic observations, today I saw an interesting little ad on a taxi cab. The ad was for the Jimmy Kimmel show and its text read "I Jimmy while eating babka." Which is cute, and is even cuter (in a repulsive way) if you know that "babka" is Russian for "old peasant woman" (approximately). A small part of me wonders whether this was intentional, and when I recall who Jimmy's girlfriend is, that small part gets bigger.

happiness

Posted on 2007.05.04 at 13:49
Last night, I returned from an awesome 2-week cruise through Europe. (Yes, more details and pictures - though no really good ones - are to come.)

This morning, upon opening my mail, I found my tax return checks. Excellent, as I was getting worried about when they'd get here.

I also found a surprise check from my school - like most schools, they were getting kickbacks from Citibank for pushing their student loans. Now that they are being investigated, they realize how wrong it was, and are sending people pro rata shares of the kickbacks. Mine is, ahem, not insubstantial and may just pay for my plane tickets to Paris in the near future. (Did I mention my cruise hit Paris and La Rochelle, and I am, more than ever, planning a vacation in France?)

And . . . I passed the New York Bar Exam. On my second try. Just found out today. Boyfriend called this morning - he passed on his third try - and made me check my results online, although I didn't want to (I was SURE I failed again). When I saw I passed, I began laughing maniacally and then crying hysterically, and it was about 2-3 minutes before I could actually speak.

So now, I feel like my life can finally begin.

You know something? I don't even want to get drunk to celebrate. THAT's happiness.


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