Monthly Archives: March 2004

I Want My Mommy

I’m sick and nobody loves me. There’s no time like major illness to remind someone that they are a) single and b) 1,500 miles away from their family. Someone bring me chicken soup, dammitt!

I’ve been in bed for 6 days now, minus a stint Friday to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (brilliant! brilliant!). I don’t recommend braving the Kendall Sq. Cinema on a Friday night with three opening movies if you’ve got a fever and have just taken several handfuls of Dayquil. I was ushered dazed through the sea of squealing moviegoers and into the hot darkness. Turns out it was the perfect mind state to see that movie in.

God, it was beautiful.

So now after all this time in my apartment with seven channels of TV and sans the mobility for the video store journey, I have taken to performing mundane tasks such as removing all the keys from my laptop and cleaning them with a q-tip. I discovered an M&M lodged underneath the space bar which explained a few things.

Headache, fever, sinus infection, sore throat, barking cough, and I’m going to choke these fucking parakeets if they don’t shut up. They are searing my brain. They’ve been fighting and quarbling for the past few weeks — maybe they broke up. Wouldn’t it suck to break up and be stuck in the same cage for the rest of your life?

My favorite thing about Robitussin: on the bottle it says, “For a more productive cough.”

Two weeks, one day, 12 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds. 232 cigarettes not smoked. As if I could, even if I wanted to.

Closet Secrets

Saturday night I went to see the lovable, sunnysweet Leo Blais at the Paradise. His shows are like a bellyfull of something warm and good for you. All breathy vocals and comfort-food melodies. Love me some Leo. Also playing was Will Dailey. It was a listening party for Will’s newly-released CD, Goodbye Red Bullet.
Will was slick with the fingers like some classically trained Berklee mo-fo, and I totally dug his sound. His whole aura was slippery with ease. Sittin comfy, playin loose-limbed, smiling and singing with this thick, full voice. I was gnawing on my straw and frowning in attempt to pinpoint who he reminded me of, and then it dawned: John Mayer.
Which brings us to today’s topic of discussion.
I’ve come to terms with several things about myself recently. Some of them were simply minor confessions. Others required a publicly announced, though flinching, coming-out-of-the-closet. They were tough to own up to. But I’m okay with it now.
See, the thing is… I really like bad pop music.
1. I like John Mayer. Room for Squares was the featured selection in my car’s tape deck until I dumped a Dunkin Donuts iced hazelnut onto the dashboard and it dripped down into the stereo, thereby coating the frail TDK with a thick syrup and adhering it to the inside of the tape deck. This was the first of many times I had to pull out the screwdriver to remove a tape from Verna’s deck; now I need to implement one during insertion as well.
I went to see John Mayer twice with my dear Nathan Bright-Autumn Sky, who originally made me listen to Room for Squares (and also sent me to my first of four-dozen Howie Day shows — see #2).
For my first show, John Mayer was playing at a bar in Worcester — 100 seats max. I was sick and Robitussin-drunk and zoned on our departure time; we left an hour later than planned.

Nate was driving my car because I’d just had eye surgery and was legally blind. Courtesy of MapQuest, we ended up on the wrong side of the tracks, stuck in a perpetual traffic circle that spiraled into hell among salt marshes and abandoned cars until we came upon a gas station and was pointed in the right direction by a toothless dyke with plumber butt. It took us an hour to find parking.
When we finally got to the bar, not only was it full to capacity, but John Mayer had already been playing for an hour. Nate did some sweet-talking, and I’m not sure what was said but money was exchanged and we gained admission. I was thoroughly tripping on cold medicine at this point, and we saw John Mayer perform his a two-song encore from across the room. I was sitting at the bar next to David Mead, who I met at a Jump show at the Middle East when he was opening for them. At the Jump show I had tried to buy him a beer and he told me that the musicians drank free — I said that wasn’t the point… But here he was at the John Mayer show, markedly drunk of his own accord, and for some freakish reason remembered me.
So we got two songs of John Mayer — enough for me to fall in love in that tiny bar before he started selling out stadium shows and I had to be content with seeing him play at Avalon during a giant ponytail-yanking session a year later. Whether you like him or not, he puts on a great live show.
Nathan Bright-Autumn Sky is an amazing boy who did not get mad at me for screwing up twice in one night and ruining a rare opportunity to see our poprock gem. Instead, on the way home, he pulled my car over on I95 and we layed on the side of the highway in the frozen grass staring up at the orange and purple shooting stars during the century’s biggest meteor shower.
2. I like Howie Day.
3. I like Semisonic. I recently made a killer mix for Mon Frere, and as a hidden track I put “Singing in My Sleep”, which is a Semisonic song off of Feeling Strangely Fine. The song came out in the fall of 1998 and was seriously my favorite song. I used to put it on my walkman and drive my scooter really fast down Winter Hill. I requested it on WFNX and Nic Carter, the DJ who I was obsessed with at the time, said I had to fax my panties to him and he’d play it. I was working at Fleet Bank and somehow managed to do so without getting caught.
So I put the song on the mix, because Mon Frere and I both loved it, and it’s bouncy and fun and it’s about making good mix tapes: “In the city the lion sleeps / pray to Sony my soul to keep / now I’m falling in love too fast / with you or the songs you chose…”
I asserted, “They’re a good band,” in an overly defensive tone, because they’re really not, and Mon Frere says, “And they’re hot, too.”
“I wouldn’t know — I’ve never seen them,” I said.
“Yeah you have. We went to their show at the Paradise,” he says. “You, me and Shannon.”
“We did? I don’t remember that. Did I have fun?”
“Yeah. It was a good show. You liked it.”
“Great. I’m glad.”
4. I like Dave Matthews. I was sitting at Daniel’s kitchen table and he was playing the new Dave Matthews CD. I said I didn’t know he liked Dave Matthews. He said he didn’t know I liked Dave Matthews. So we shared a mutually hushed confessional, and he said, “You probably keep the CD hidden in your Modest Mouse case.”
Not anymore.

Lighten Up, Francis

Every morning I wake up and thank god that I’m not a teenager.

When I was at the height of my angst, when I was embroiled in some horrifying displays of self-pity, and when my juvenile poetry was mired in bitterness and despair, the web didn’t exist. I am so grateful for that. You should be, too.

Somewhere along the line the drama died down a little. The biting edge of everything pulsing and full of ache faded in color and intensity. It’s scary that this is me subdued.

What raised the topic of gratitude for not being a seething wildebeest drowning in hormones was me digging through (and deleting) the majority of my web rings. I have realized that everyone on diaryland, or blogs in general, is either a pissed-off self-sorry thirteen-year-old with an inflated sense of self, or an overeducated/underemployed mid-to-late-20’s office dweller abusing company resources or waiting for the government check to roll in.

I am, for obvious reasons, partial to the late 20’s office dweller. My favorite reads are thusly written, and I have been known to dabble in that lifestyle. I wouldn’t consider myself overeducated, but I do know that I didn’t require a B.S. in Journalism to play with an Excel spreadsheet all day.

I belonged to quite a few web rings at one point. They were good. But then good people unjoin, and bad people join, and suddenly I’m stuck between two horrible diaries using Marilyn Manson and Britney Spears templates respectively. Granted I shouldn’t be one to talk design; I am clearly lacking in the layout department. But as I learned during my three years in internet marketing, Content is King. And Britney’s content is so obscured by her usage of bizR c@ps f0r n0 rzn — LOL! & LR sez UR BFF bt n0 n0tz during cl@ss??? UR @ l0ser!!! wtf???

These kids who are growing up with the internet from infancy are developing their own little language that I totally can’t even understand. I get the whole LOL thing, but some people use it so frequently during IM that I picture them sitting at their computer, bouncing merrily and chortling away all night.

Anyway these poor teenagers run the risk of having their neuroses and emotions transmitted via broadband to all corners of the earth. It was tragic enough when I was sitting on the floor in the hallway during lunch scribbling in my Mead 5-subject spiral bound. I can only imagine the torture one would endure reading that.

Although the reading of my scribblings is sometimes on my mind. It’s an issue of trust when I start dating someone because I have 73 notebooks in my room, each page filled with incriminating details. Often about them. Ain’t much about me I won’t tell ya — just ask. But I leave for work in the morning and that person is alone in my bedroom with every thought I’ve had in the past 20 years. There’s just no practical place to house that amount of literature under lock and key. So I basically cross my fingers and hope that if they decided to take that volume back up off the shelf and crack its weary spine and read, they’d get bored quickly before getting to the rare juicy stuff. I no longer have delusions of grandeur about my idle prattling.

When I was seventeen, my boyfriend thought I was cheating on him so he grabbed my journal from my desk and bolted into the bathroom, locking the door behind him. I screamed and banged on the door in a total panic. I could hear him turning the pages so I grabbed the fire axe from under my parents’ bed and tore the bathroom door off.

And I hadn’t even cheated on him.

But really, everything was such a big fucking deal when I was a teenager. My favorite thing in the world to do was fall in love with someone and not tell them. Then I could ache from afar and play the abandoned one and drive myself insane. I would write about how I would never be She Who is Adored because of x y or z… but in reality is was because, oh yeah — I forgot to tell Jeff I had a crush on him. Good lord.

Now I just fall for unavailable people and not tell them. Because then I can ache from afar and at least have a good reason for it.

Oh drama! Angst! I realized recently that I cultivated a sense of humor somewhere around 22. It took me that long. It was when the Interstate Archive was first born, which is this compilation of crap I write in various forms while running around. It started right after I graduated when Ruby lent me a laptop for the summer and I started chronicling my ironic life as a recent graduate in the big city.

I wouldn’t have survived without a sense of humor. Some of that shit is really funny — I was reading it the other day while I was packing away my 73 notebooks. I started keeping the document on the laptop, and then saved it on floppy and brought it to whatever temp job I had that day and wrote there. Whether I was in a state of relaxation or a state of work, I was writing. So it became the Inter-state Archive. But that Archive is the first evidence I see of me having a sense of humor. I was so fucking miserable for so many years that eventually I had to start laughing at myself. At going to the BU Job Resource Center and having them ask me why I didn’t go to my individual school’s resource center, and me saying, “COM has a resource center?” About breaking my glasses on the way to a job interview and wandering dazed through the entire thing. About my colorfully-chronicled boy-angst as I plowed through guys at a rate of one per week. (Shanono and I were doing research for our screenplay, “Exit Fantasy; Enter Irony”. )

I think that’s the problem with being a teenager. Or at least it was for me. I hadn’t found self-deprecation, sarcasm, or fuckit-you-just-gotta-laugh-ism yet. I was truly and honestly convinced that I would die of things like boredom or heartbreak. That I would just drop dead right there. My eyes would glaze over and cradling my frozen heart, I’d waste away ignored and misunderstood. The world would never know my genius, my beauty, my love.

I’m just glad I kept it to myself.

God Bars

Today I got off the subway and was presented with a plain-wrapper generic granola bar from a cherubic blond boy who looked more wholesome than a glass of organic milk. He smiled and handed me a granola bar and a flyer.
The flyer said: “Yes?it really is free! We hope this small gift brings some Light into your day. It’s a simple way of saying that God loves you — no strings attached.”
Don’t get me wrong — God’s great and all, but when did she start handing out snacks?


I just got word this morning that my beloved Damnwells were booked at the last minute to play TONIGHT with Fooled by April at the Paradise. The Damnwells, whose new album is called Bastards of the Beat, clearly have an attitude problem.

I keep forgetting to post my roommate’s photos of Andrew Bird. It’s the Mid E show I missed because I was dying of the Norwalk Virus and therefore making love to the porcelain god in various positions. The photos are amazing. Andrew Bird is doubly beautiful in a form-follows-function way, so please appreciate him on both levels. He is currently my favorite musician in the world. Act now — this status expires soon.

I saw Girl with a Pearl Earring Sunday. It was boring. The music was repetitive and creepy. By the end of the movie, I wanted to choke Scarlett Johanssen with her terrified rabbit face. And you thought Felicity did a convincing wet bunny look.

Let your hair down, girl — for christ’s sake.

14 hours, 53 minutes and 44 seconds. 9 cigarettes not smoked.

That explains it.