September 2nd, 2003


Monday. No...wait.

From a interview with Garrison Keillor about his new book:
Larry also comes down with a horrible case of writer's block, partially due to separation from his muse and partly due to indulging in a few too many cocktails. Have you ever been blocked as a writer and, if so, what do you attribute the blockage to? If not, how have you managed to prevent it?

Writer's block is what you get if you're too full of yourself and trying to be García Márquez. You sit and stare at the wall and nothing happens for you. It's like imagining you're a tree and trying to sprout leaves. Once you come to your senses and accept who you are, then there's no problem. I'm not García Márquez. I'm a late-middle-aged midlist fair-to-middling writer with a comfortable midriff, and it gives me quite a bit of pleasure.
Of course, he's being his usual glib self. The reasons can vary from person to person and be more complex. But I think he's on to something, which is the pressure of obligations--to be as great as the greats, to live up to a reputation, etc. And in the case of writing a WIP or a series, the longer you wait, the more you feel like: "It had better be fucking Nobel-prize worthy if they had to wait seven months!" And then you panic and feel slightly ill and go lie down and watch "Spiders 2" on Sci-Fi.

I have watched "Spiders 2." I actually made a huge list last night of all the horror movies I've ever watched. I was going to do capsule reviews. When the list reached 110 titles, I stopped and went to bed. I've watched more than that; those were just the ones I remembered off the top of my head.

Some business dink I work with is ticking me off today. I was prepared to do this helpful thing, and then this guy cut down my points, all terse and snotty, and I felt what so many people must feel every day: unnnnnnhelpful. This guy is all over my inbox this morning, and no matter what issue he's touching, I feel a sticky miasma spread through me, where I don't want ot be helpful, even if the point is in fact to help our *customers*, not *him*. It's an unpleasant feeling, like you might get just before you massively stop caring about your job and burn out into a heap of flaming wreckage that will ultimately land you in front of a fry bin at Burger King.

I need to ask myself, WWBKD? Brian Kinney would be a total prick, but he'd do his job well. Of course, Brian could also tell this guy to fuck the hell off. Then again maybe not. Brian wouldn't have gotten as far as he did, if he hadn't sucked it up when he had to. (Such a difference between "sucked it up" and "sucked up," by the way. And of course, "sucked off." Though maybe he's done all that too. Cynical bastard. How funny is it that I admire Brian for his *work ethic*? That and the ass. And the attitude. The assitude. Not admirable so much as enviable, actually, but...I'm rambling.)

Maybe if I eat lunch this feeling will go away.

the lottery

What would you do if you won the lottery? I'm curious. Say, at least ten million after taxes.

In short order I'd get a better apartment--or maybe a condo--and a real car, and quit my job. Pay off my debts. I'd buy a brilliant computer system, all decked out. Then I'd pack up a laptop and check myself into a tony weight-loss spa for as long as it took to get slim. When I came home, I'd buy a ton of clothes and redecorate my apartment into the perfect den of comfort. I'd go down to Pioneer Square and buy art for my walls. Then I'd travel, visit my online friends, the ones I haven't met and the ones I have. First I'd drive around the States until I got sick of driving, staying in nice hotels and dropping in to visit with people. Then I'd head to Sweden to see Torch, and to England to see anyone who wanted to hang. I'd wander through Europe, vaguely regretting my monolingual...ism, then come home, where I'd probably end up trying to write. Fan-fiction, or novels, or poetry. Because once I had a lot of money, I'd have to resist new types of distractions in order to accomplish anything--travel and shiny things, trivial, transient pleasures. But maybe I'd take cruises and bring my laptop along. And if being rich and slim and cute as a button wasn't enough to get me laid, I'd hire silky male hustlers to service me.

And I'd get a cat. And I'd invite friends over at the holidays to sit around my roaring fire, near the tree, and I'd serve them roast turkey. And whenever the whim struck, or when I saw a friend who needed or wanted something really badly, I'd spread crazy largesse around, saying things like, "Do you mind if I give you a huge wad of cash? It's sitting in my hip pocket like a freakish goiter and I need to get rid of it."

I'd startle the homeless beggars--the ones who made me sad and didn't piss me off--by giving them rolls of ten-dollar bills. I'd whip off checks every time some worthwhile liberal request hit my mailbox, and I wouldn't feel at all bad about tossing money at a problem instead of volunteering in a soup kitchen. Because I'd be getting a pedicure.

All in all, I'd be the same person, incapable of having a real life, but I'd be filthy rich and I think I'd giggle a lot.

Stupidest Story Ever, Part 1

Well it's the heirarchy of fandom - or humanity when you get right down to it. Everybody likes having someone to point to who is lesser than themselves. So most people point at fanficcers, fanficcers point at slash, slash points at RPS, RPS points at mpreg, mpreg points at chan and so on and so forth until you find somebody who wrote a Justin Timberlake/Spike crossover where Justin's pregnant, Spike's 8 and they both turn into catpeople. This latter person then has to shrug and go "Hey, at least I'm not wasting my time watching football."

Justin Timberlake died at just the right time. He was thirty-eight years old when he contracted a weird new sexually transmitted disease that ripped apart people's immune systems almost overnight and left them regretting that one last shag, wherever and however it was, such as standing upright in Club Head's last stall with a vid promoter named Tynna while the DJ played history's forty-third remix of "I Love the Nightlife." When he took his last breath, they popped him into the cryogenic chamber at once. "Like a pop-tart into a toaster," JC said as he stood by the hospital bed, feeling sad despite the innate Michael Jacksonian freakiness of Justin's disposition. He thought it was a good turn of phrase and repeated it several times, wishing he could share it but knowing he'd get more horrified looks.

When Justin woke up he was still thirty-eight. A hundred years had passed, and it was just like waking up into one of those bad Japanese movies made in the distant past about the distant future. They'd gotten everything right. The furniture was white and egg-shaped and the walls were freckled with little round lights. Bland nurses with crew-cuts and blue, spray-on gloves attended him and made him eat Jello. Two days later he found out he was still a very rich man and that there only a billion people in the world.

He held a press conference attended by one earnest reporter and five bored ones who'd apparently had nothing better to do, and who left immediately afterward. The only person to interview him was the earnest reporter, Skip Pei, who'd monopolized the event while the others half-listened and drank complimentary mimosas and grew progressively louder and more giggly. Justin suspected that if Skip hadn't questioned him, no one would have.

After a night of drinking, Skip was a fast friend who helped Justin find an apartment and nodded in all the right places for the next several weeks after that.

"So this whole green-skinned, devil-horned fashion look," Justin said vaguely one day, gesturing at Skip. "What's that about?" After a startled look, Skip explained. "Damn," Justin said. "Damn, that'"

Skip of course felt obliged to take Justin to a few demon bars to shake his shock loose, which was where Justin met the crabby vampire. He'd nudged his way up against the bar and was waiting for a drink, and when he turned sideways he saw the guy, looked like an ordinary guy. A bit like Billy Idol, actually. He was slumped over his drink sulking at it and possibly contemplating murder. It was a dark, dire glower that might set his high-test vodka on fire at any moment.

"Fuck off," the guy said without looking at him. Justin turned away, but that merely allowed the guy to stare at him for a minute. And then he snorted.

Justin challenged him aggressively. "What? What the fuck is your problem?"

"Going to sing us a song, nancy boy?" When Justin didn't reply, the guy seemed to assume he was confused. "It's amateur talent night, y'know."

"You know who I am," Justin said. This creep was the first person who knew who he was, and he wasn't even a fan.

And now someone else has to continue this in their LJ. Please? Remember, you're trying to get (1) Justin pregnant, (2) regress Spike to the age of eight, and (3) make them both into cat-people. Come on. It's a noble cause, people.

ETA: See this post for more parts. Call dibs there if you want a part.

The Stupidest Story Ever, Continued

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

I'll update this post with later parts until I die randomly stop. Call dibs in comments here if you want to be involved.

On the way home just now, riding on the bus, I planned the beautification of Seattle on my laptop:
Low-lying rooftops would be filled with trees and gardens, overhanging luxuriously. Metro buses would be glossy red, like British double-deckers, and free of advertising. The dull interior walls of corner convenience stores and parking garages would be covered with illustrious murals that people would go out of their way to view, even though they were pocketed away on side streets. Gardeners would be assigned a single block of trees each, or maybe just a single tree, to tend so that they flourished. McDonalds would be required to change its font. Cheap advertising would be stirpped away everywhere it was found, and Art Deco would be legislated. Neon could only be used in moderation, brick would make a comeback along with scrolled gates, paving stones, and marble.
Sigh. If only.

When I got home I found that I'd received my Angel season 2 DVDs, a copy of "Why Girls Are Weird," my "Equilibrium" DVD, and a copy of the out-of-print CD "Hannah and Her Sisters" that I surprisingly won on eBay for only $23. I've been wanting that thing for years! Years! I'm listening to it now while eating noodles and letting a muted MST3K tape play on the TV for background noise. Happy happy happy.

freaky computer

I am about ready to tap the imaginary funds I do not fucking have and just give in and buy a whole new computer. Tonight, when I log on, my home PC is giving me weird DOS debugging windows, throwing AOL error messages (I haven't used their bastard service for four years, but apparently I'm not allowed to remove their shortcut from my desktop, the fucking satanic fucks), and dialing up my ISP *automatically* in some weird poltergeisty display of autonomy--*AND* something has fucked with Netscape so that I can't use that instead of IE to avoid pop-ups. It has always worked fine but now locks up and chokes on itself.

I fear change.

P.S., if I ever appear to have a weird psychotic break and start e-mailing death threats (which I first typed as "death pets" and then "death threads") to people and posting here about my passionate, carnal love of gophers, it will be because some hacker has shadowed my password entry and gone wild with my e-mail and journal.

Yes, thanks, I *am* at the height of my paranoia. Plus, I'm too freaked out to think of any creative expression for my rage. Variations of "fuck" are all I can utter. I think I should have worked "uncle-fuckers" in there somewhere.
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