Friday, November 19, 2004

Doris Deja-vu

I just bought 82 vintage Christmas tree ornaments off of eBay for 30 bucks.

$21,000 = Buy It Now!!!

So, I have been temping at a fund company in Midtown as their receptionist. It is one of the nicest jobs I have ever had. It's a satellite office, so sometimes it's dreamy and quiet. The two other women I work with are charming and kind and down to earth and funny. The analysts come and go and are not condescending. I have plenty of time on the Internets. I have a stunning view of Central park and can take lunch whenever I like. And they now want to hire me.

And I am terrified. For two reasons.

One: I'm afraid I won't pass the background check because my credit is shit. I had an appendectomy in 2001 when I had no health insurance. I had horrible peritonitis and almost died. The total bill came to $21,000. It's kind of interesting to have a price tag on your life. It cost $21,000 to save mine. Despite the fact that I had made less than $19,000 that calendar year, I was considered ineligible for emergency Medicaid, because I made too much money. Then 9/11 happened, my wages were reduced, and then I got laid off (after having to move to a new apartment because my roommate threatened to come into my bedroom at night -- but that's a whole other thing.) So I'm worried that they will think I'm liable to insider trade or something, when really, I just want to answer the phone and greet people.

Two: I haven't had a normal job in so long. I have had jobs where I made twice the salary they are offering me, but they were working for crazy startups or insane bosses. The HR lady called me yesterday to tell me she would be sending over my w4 and direct deposit paperwork and my heart froze beacuse I don't have a bank account and wondered if that would make me seem like a leper. I mean, I just don't have a bank account. I had a Chase account when I moved to New York, and then was really poor and closed it because of the fees, and decided to say "fuck you" to the whole idea of banks for a while. It is amazing how weird people think you are when you tell them you don't have a bank account. I am getting a bank account soon, just to make things easier, but I don't intend on keeping all my money in there for a big corporation to charge me for the privilege of making money off my paltry income.

But I kind of feel like I'll be found out and forbidden a "normal" job. I really need health insurance. I have headaches all the time because I need to go to the dentist, and I want to have children in five years and I need a GYN because I think there's something wrong with my ovaries. All I want is to be able to have me and my husband be healthy and live together and get out of debt and have a nice family. It's too band you hate us, America, since we actually have a great deal in common.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

America -- it's ON!

So, I wasn't paranoid after all. America definitely hates us!

"Jessica's" process of "reasoning" is of particular interest. She says that she "doesn't need to read" my link to because she already knows what my beliefs are, before launching into a series of ad hominem (ad feminem, actually) attacks.

Here is an example of content from the "America-hating Islam extremist's" website, I have highlighted some examples of Raed's extremist views.

Why do we start this war? What do Americans gain when Sharon and his extremist government kill more Palestinians?
Increasing the Arabic hate against America?!
Why?! Why don’t we stop this now???
Murder can not become a policy!! never!!

Fight and kill… more blood and more explosions
More hate between the East and the West

How can anyone distinguish between the bush administration and the American people now?
How can anyone hear my ideas of (anti-bush) not (anti-American)??How can we stop this bloody cycle of violence if the American people didn’t understand what is happening here and try to stop it?
Would it take another 11/9 to know how people in the Middle East are full of pain? Would it take so many other years and other thousands of Americans and Arabs to die before Americans and Arabs know what is happening?
Isn’t this the time for the American people to take their role in the democratic country they built and let their voice be heard?
Isn’t this the right time to stop the neo-cons who hijacked the American government??

It is the time!!
It is the time to understand that it is the duty of us… of the people.. to stop our governments.

It is the time to realize that there is no absolute “evil” and absolute “good”
That we must ALL live in peace… that OUR lives are important…
That no lives are cheaper than other lives!!!!

The damage that already happened is hard to fix… but still we must try .. destroying the political structures and killing leaders would make it worse.. I mean .. where is my government that I would stop? I don’t have anyone to negotiate with neither in Iraq or in Palestine … everyone was killed by Bush and Sharon… and every political structure was crushed too… the only voice is the noise of the extremists
It is different for Americans… you have a government that is built on democratic basis, you can do something .. you can make a difference… your job is easier than my job…

It is the responsibility of the American people to stop their administration from killing more people and giving the green light for Saron ... "the man of peace" as Bush called him!!
stop assassinating more leaders … didn't we see what happened after the assasination of Yasin??????
stop Bush!! … don’t make him make Arab and American people hate each other more.

Don’t let Bush build a new generation of extremists

I am losing faith that words can solve anything when Bush and Sharon are ruling the world, and I can feel that explosion that will destroy everything is coming; it will destroy us and destroy you.


Alas. It seems a "new generation of extremists" was just waiting for Bush to come along. Congratulations to you, Miss Jessica!

Also, I love how people seem to really get off on posting nasty ad hominem/feminem comments on people's blogs. It's so vicious.

Trey's and my new favorite thing is TV5. THE FRENCH TV CHANNEL. Are people going to come up and burn a cross made of baguettes on our non-existent lawn? Anyway, they have this amazing show called "Bibliotheque Ideale" where some French intellectual goes to some other French person's house and looks at all their books and talks about them. It's awesome. American "reality-snooping" shows seem to be all about humiliation.

However, the mindset of a lot of people who post nasty comments would be more -- they knock on the door of your house, you invite them in, they look at your bookshelves, get mad that there's a copy of _Les Rosiers_, tear it to pieces and use it to ignite your curtains.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Biting the hand that feeds you? How 'bout we give you the finger!

Oh. Ewe. Eye.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Jung and the Restless

Okay. So.

Last night I was sleeping and was vaguely aware of my husband coming home around I guess 4 a.m. (he tends bar and gets home late.) I was dreaming, mostly dreaming of how soothing and infinite the duvet felt, when I heard screaming in from what seemed like the actual horizon screeching car brakes and then a full-out crash! I never knew how high and full and metallic a big-ass car crash sounds, like they added reverb.

So I wiggled out of bed and went over to "Trey" who was looking out the window and asked him what was going on. In a completely deadpan voice, he told me,"

"Well, there's a car on fire in front of our house..."

You have to understand, we live in Williamsburg right by an off-ramp of the BQE. It's both urban and old-school families-sitting-on-lawnchairs-on-the-square-of-sidewalk-in-front-of-their-house-all-day neighborhoody -- not a street where you would expect to see a car BURST INTO FLAMES. Nor a man in a business suit looking very like a mouse with a CPA opening the trunk of the burning car to retrieve his briefcase and suitcases. T. described him as the "Associate Director of the Super Secret Agency." We heard the fire truck coming and saw people milling around in the dark.

And then I looked through the blinds to my right at what once was the little stone wall in front of our apartment building, except -- there was a car there. A car had plowed over the little wall in front of our building. If that little 4' high flagstone wall weren't there the car would have driven through our front door or into our HOUSE. The bumper was touching our door. A car fucking DROVE INTO OUR HOUSE!

The fire department was there, and the cops, and neighborhood people coming out side to offer their incontrovertivble expertise (esp. Josie, the 50 year old Puerto Rican lady with the astonishing beehive yelling "EY HERD A SKREAYCHIIIING...." and was wearing her sunglasses in the dark.)

I feel asleep finally, after laughing hysterically a great deal and could not stop saying "A car drove into our house?!?!?!?!" and also thinking "so loop this every 15 minutes and maybe it's what being in Baghdad would feel like - except the car would have exploded." He held me until I fell asleep.

This morning I opened our door and looked at a pile of rubble.

But the thing is, I realize that I'm actually relieved this happened. Because the car driving into our front door, the door my husband had wearily passed through moments before, represents such an incontrovertible occasion for sympathy. The pervasive bad feeling, the sense of evil about this election is just too much to articulate --I have been feeling tooo disenfranchised to speak of my heartbreak over the election and/or my sense of foreboding about what will happen next.

It's kind of like how people who cut themselves do so so they have evidence of the anguish they feel. They can look at a mark and feel like things have been contextualized, ritually inscribed. So when I tell people that one car at 5 am drove into my front door and the other burst into a fireball, they say ,

:"ohmigod are you OKAY???? That is SO. FUCKED. UP!!!
i'm totally here for you, okay?
....whoa! that is crazy!"

Now our house is the perfect correlative for our psychic state, induced by psychotic states!

I wonder how many more expressions of disorder will manifest themselves in the coming weeks.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

America, why do you hate us?

The day after the election, I came home to my fiance, wanting nothing more than to cook us a nice dinner and be together, after watching in horror at the incontrovertible proof that over 59 million people in this country are completely insane.

"Trey" poured me a glass of wine and sat with me in our kitchen nook, and I started sobbing uncontrollably. He asked me what was wrong.

And what was wrong was this feeling of everybody hating us, hating me. It was exactly the same feeling I would have, 21 years ago, coming home from 7th grade, where the other girls were mean to me all day long, just because they could be. I would pray for the day to end so I could be alone at home and cry on my bed, wondering what I had done to be treated so meanly, other than be 4' 10" and weigh 76 pounds and have long mousy parted-in-the-middle hair and be shy, when all I wanted was to be friends, or at least be left alone to read under a tree during lunch. (Was it because I liked to read?) This feeling of utter hopelessness, the feeling of that sharp despair like a knife in your chest that hurts and hurts and hurts but somehow has to stay in there because it keeps the blood from running all away and at least provides you with some kind of ontological reference point -- je souffre, donc, je suis. (is it because I took French in high school? and liked it?)

The two girls who were meanest to me were Wendy H. and Monica E. They were the ones who ripped up my school picture in front of my face, and smashed the Air Supply album Monica said she wanted for Christmas (I swear!) into little shards that fit nicely through the gill-slats of my forlorn locker. My attempts to wear the same pastel tube socks, the same violet eyeshadow, the same pink-and-white Velcro sneakers as them could not divert the juggernaut of girl meanness. Monica moved away, and Wendy and I ended up being friends in 8th grade, until the boy she liked liked me more. But I can still see the exact contours of one jagged sliver of vinyl on the middle school floor.

And then I realized, those girls probably voted for W. I know Wendy still lives in Virginia. I saw her at my 10-year high school reunion in 1999. She had the same winged hair from 1989, was wearing a black velvet dress with a doily-like collar, and had a surly buzz-cutted husband in tow. She smiled at me, but when I said "Hi Wendy!" I saw the shock of recognition and her face fall, and then squinch into forced politeness. She was angry that I was un-spectacled, pretty, secondhand Theory, borrowed Prada, obviously no longer From Around There. I wasn't angry at her at all. I hadn't done anything to her by having a different life than hers. And she probably owned a house, and had health insurance. I was a half-struggling actress living in an apartment with a 50 year old conspiracy theorist for a roommate because it was only $400 a month. But I could see the meanness and envy in her face.

And it's the same meanness and hatefulness that I felt Wednesday. This free floating, pre-adolescent MEANNESS. That to some people, anything other is a threat to one's very ability to breathe, and so you'd better gang up on the freaky girl, you'd better aim the dodgeball straight at her head and then revile her for ducking.

The bluest blue states, New York and California, are where so many of us geeks dreamed of escaping to to reinvent ourselves. All we want is to be left alone, while we make all the money to support mean old Mississippi, who reminds me of Bridget H., who mocked me for wearing a training bra when I had no breasts, smoked in the bathroom, and yet insisted on copying my homework.

I had bought salmon and green beans. One of the only things I can cook is this fucking amazing salmon: you pave the salmon fillets with a layer of mayonnaise (I know, but it works out in the end) and then a layer of tobiko (that orange flying fish roe that looks like little orange beads) on top of that. You put it under the broiler until the salmon is done, like 5 minutes. It looks totally pretty because the top layer of roe is black, and then it's orange and white underneath. It looks like a happy koi. "Why does America hate us, honey?"

"Well, look at what we're fucking EATING, honey!"

"But, it has MAYONNAISE. MAYONNAISE. I love mayonnaise! I love mayonnaise, and all I want is to get married to you. Why is everybody so mean?" And I started sobbing again.

Why are you so fucking mean and stupid, America? What did we ever do to you?

Maybe, America, you should remember that it's usually the cheerleaders who burn quick and bright in their little adolescent universes and end up pumping gas at 19. Which, seeing how things are going, they certainly will only be able to afford with a hefty employee discount.