10/24/2002

When you neglect the coolest girl in the world, she's going to tell you it's okay, and she's not mad, and that you should calm down, and the thing is, she probably isn't lying. Duh. That's why they made her coolest girl in the world in the first place.

But the simple fact that everything's okay won't make you feel much better. And that's good, in a way.

Because this is a girl who was the only one who said "I missed you!" after you slept in for the first four periods of school yesterday, which is the only time of the day you see her on the regular.

Because this is a girl who you get into staring contests with that are more interesting than most conversations you have with people.

Because this is a girl who just got her tongue pierced, and she's not allowed to use the car, so it's even more dick of you to fuck her over like that.

Because this is a girl who's promised to teach you guitar if you ever scrape together the cash to buy an acousitic like you've been saying you're going to.

Because this is a girl that's the first really close female friend you've ever had that you aren't secretly in love with.

Because this is a girl who deserves rhapsodizing blog entries and pictures of her favorite geeky lead singer even when you haven't done something wrong and you aren't trying to do pennance.


And the thing is, this girl, if you'd called her at 10:30 tonight and she hadn't been waiting around for your neglectful ass all evening probably sick with worry, and what you were tearing your hair out at the roots about wasn't part of her Economics grade, she still would've listened to you. She would've detected the panic and the remorse in your voice and in that unique and uniquely wonderful voice of hers, said the exact same things. It's okay. I promise. Calm down. It would be all your fault, this big whatever it was. You would've forgotten something else, like your grandmother's heart pills, or the twelve-digit combination that would keep the Eastern Seaboard from being reduced to nuclear dust, because time and time again you do things like that, but she'd still find away to make it seem not so bad. Of course she would.

That's why they made her the coolest girl in the world.
Tell me a word that's cooler than "tertiary" and win a prize.

It's going to be hard. I promise.

10/23/2002

You never asked me what I wanted
you only asked me why
I never thought that so much trouble
was restin' on my reply

I could tell by the nights that I was lonely
and you were the only one who'd talk
I could tell you that I like your sensitivity
but you know it's the way that you walk


- Elvis Costello, "Miracle Man"



I walked over to the middle school near my house to run on the track. I didn't drive, not 'cause I'm a Save-The-Earth type guy, but when the Earth gives you a night like this one despite all your concious neglect, the idea is to bask in it as much as possible.

I hadn't run in a week and change, and this is the first time I've ever run over at the track. Figured I could use it to keep track of how far I'd run, and to get back into the swing of things, why not run a mile?

There were three dark shapes on the bleachers on the other side of the track. Goth kids. If I've learned anything, it's that the group you have the least to fear from on a dark night is Goth kids. I was right. On the third lap, they said, "Can we run with you?" And two of them did. The guy was, of course, faster than me. But so's Grandpa. After a while it stops bothering you.

I ran three quarters of a mile by myself and the last quarter with some Goths. "Oh look," I said, "You won."

Then I stumbled to the edge of the track and threw up. All in all, it was the healthiest evening I think I've ever had.


Now that my digital camera is shattered in a little black bag upstairs, everything in the world just screams to be photographed.

I want a picture of the white cross painted on the cracked asphalt sewer plug down the street.

I want a picture of the neigbor kids' chalk drawings, little pink stick figures holding hands underneath a rainbow with a caption that says "FRIENDS STAY FRIENDS 'TILL THEY REACH HEAVEN!"

I want a picture of the orange tables outside of Vaquero's, the graffiti scrawled with the keys to people's low-riders, which lets you know, mid-burrito, that you should FUCK ALL VATO HATERS.

I want a picture of the red TV antennas on the mountains I've grown up under.

I want a picture of every green stoplight all the way down Chandler Blvd. late on a Saturday night.

I want a picture of every person I've ever met.

Inspiration never hits until they've outlawed pens. You will never meet someone worth a portrait until you're all out of paint. And if the fates should align and it all comes together, your editor will tell you no one's reading three-thousand page novels about street-sweeping ninja penguins and their journeys through rehab this year. Try again.

Other instances of this phenomena: Now that I have no one's day to make, I desperately want to make someone's day.


Oh, bitch, bitch, bitch. In other news, this week is the beginning of off-book rehearsals. Meaning, no script. Meaning, I spend most of my time running my hand down a page mouthing all the words highlighted in green. And again. Again. Slept in 'till eleven today because my alarm didn't go off. RESULT: Trevor had to walk to school, I stayed home for another hour finishing a script for drama that I was planning to do in 4th hour, and all the memorization I'd figured I'd do in class was shot.

Word Most Frequently Used Today: "Line."

That's all the news for today.

DC's Listening To:

"24 Minus 18," Before Braille
"I'm Real" cover, The Starting Line
"Nothin'" Noriega feat. NERD
"The Frowning of a Lifetime," Hey Mercedes
"The Whole Thing," Bouncing Souls
"Paragraph President," Blackalicious
"Closest Thing," The Juliana Theory
"Chinatown," Jets To Brazil

I said I'm so happy I could die

She said "Drop dead!" and left with another guy

That's what you get if you go chasin' after vengeance

But since you got me punctured this has been my sentence


- Elvis Costello, "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes"



They're taking it out on us, I'm convinced of it. Lately my boys are feeling the vindictive sting of the female community, probably the natural karmic result of our legacy of Life-taking and Heart-Breaking. Yup, I'm certain. There's simply not enough of us to go around, and if they can't all have us, then none of them will. Real mature, ladies. Real mature.

But it's alright. The Good Lord invented Xbox for times like these. We will blow each other to shit in a bloody video-game fantasy land and talk about cool parts from movies and swear like sailors. We can wait just as long as you can. In fact, longer. We don't have to leave to tend to our ovaries, or whatever it is you have to go the bathroom in giggling flocks for. We've got the stamina. We've got creative outlets for our sexual frusturations, like blogs and guitars. Not to mention we have at least two more games of the World Series. Who needs your needy Moulin-Rouge-lovin' asses when there's Rally Monkeys and thundersticks and the Halos are putting the Giants' pitching staff to shame? Seriously, who? Riddle me that, Miss Wants-Me-To-Talk-To-Her-Or-At-Least-Make-Eye-Contact-Before-I-Put-My-Thing-In!

And all this love that could be yours, we're giving it to bands and movies and pet dogs. We'll focus all this tenderness elsewhere. 'Cause the dog comes when we call it. And our favorite band is always where it says it's going to be, and it delivers one hundred percent of the time. And the Playstation never screams anyone else's name.

There will be other guys, sure. But none of them will be able to make you laugh like that, or shock you with the openess of their heart, or fill out a thrift-store T-shirt with an intensity quite so striking. You will realize, one day, what you missed out on, when what you've missed out on is already on a one way train to Lovetown, and not the Lovetown in your particular state of misery, either. And until that day comes and tears streaming you dash down to the telegraph office with a message that says YOU WERE RIGHT STOP ALL OTHER MEN ARE A SHAMEFUL PARODY OF YOU STOP LOVE ME OH BABY OH BABY STOP, well, ladies, until that day...

...we can wait just as long as you can.

10/22/2002

The pimpass motherfucker at right is a hundred and nine years old today. On my birthday, or just about any other day of the year, I like to hear nice things said about me. So for the birthday of the blogfather and king of all things untrue, here are some completely true nice things about Tony P.

He told me "Hey, go get a blog" when I was still kibittzing about whether I really wanted to drop the Free Open Diary training wheels and start playing with the big boys, blogatarily speaking. Lord knows how many blogs have been inspired by his simple combonation of AP pictures, fake interviews, and pure heart.

Say what you will about his writing, the best thing about it is it goes. It's conversational, jangly. Rare, like a guitar solo that's not gratuitous. Even when I disagree with him completely he gets by just by sticking with his convictions.

But since it seems his strongest convictions are Girls Are Great, It's Fun To Write, and You Should Pursue What You Want With Force, I don't disagree with him very often.

And occasionally, he writes something, paints a picture of his little corner of LA that drops your jaw and humbles you, like a fucked-up fro sportin' F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Except he doesn't seem to have just one crazy woman in his life, but about twenty.

And he spotlights valuable, interesting, relevant pages. And this one.

When I take a picture or write a word and it ends up here, I'm stealing from Tony. But he's a hundred and nine, so it's hard for him to get up and give chase.

Happy Birthday, amigo.
Sitting in the computer lab in second hour reading Kool Keith when allathasudden I pick up the mouse and the ball falls out.

Chelsea says that makes me the Chosen One.

Me, I'm not so sure.
There is nothing that can't be solved with peals of loud and bitter swearing, a quick cigar, Rage Against The Machine and Vanilla Coke, as Trevor proved tonight after we got into a really stupid car accident coming home from an ASU comedy show. He backed into a pole as we were leaving the parking lot, so his back fender is barely hanging on and the taillights look like they're winking at you. But we could've cared less. This all fits into the new plan.

What's the new plan, you ask?

The plan is No Rules. You read it correctly. How many rules are there, you ask? Read it again, asshole. None.

We might come in to a room, knock over a lamp, crank up the radio, and leave again. We might flick off your grandma if we feel like it. She has Parkinson's disease? Who cares. We'll come back later and flick her off again 'cause she won't remember the first time. We might even have a whole division just devoted to flicking off people's grandmas, if we want to. But having a division of something would imply rules. And we will have no part in those.

The extremeness of our anarchy is rivaled only by our chaotic rebellious awesomeness. We actually a chart tracking the two, when we realized that bar graphs involve rules. If you're going to make a bar graph you might as well just go deep-throat The Man for a living. We're too real for that. Our throats are filled with cuss words and platitudes about fucking Authority, so there's no room for The Man's big hairy dick of oppression.

When we back into a pole, we just drive the fuck away. Maybe we'll kick your rabbi in the nuts, or tear a hole in your favorite shirt. What are you gonna do, cry about it? All the tears in the world won't get you living this life. Unless you can light your tears on fire and shoot them across the room. That's pretty awesome. We might let you into the club. If there was a club. But right now, there's nothing. No membership cards. No meetings. No pussy acoustic music for queer pussies. No Rules.

10/21/2002

Sure, I'm beat.

But after a science project and line memorization and five little essays about the Iliad and one of those talks with your ex-girlfriend, you'd be beat too.

I never recover, I said, from anything.

You're being melodramatic, she said.

But nobody likes me and everybody hates me and I'm completely worthless and the sky is falling and the world as I know it is coming to a fiery end, I said, with all that going on, how the fuck do I have time to be melodramatic?

It was good, and long, and honest, and completely necessary. But when she tells you, in a roundabout way, that you weren't worth a short drive down US-60 while someone else is worth long distance and plane tickets to New York, you will leave feeling a little beat down, guaranteed.

I'm sorry, she says, I didn't plan it this way. Promise. Yea, I know. Nobody meant to hurt anybody, but somebody got hurt. And believe me, I'm way past anger. I thought I was way past all of this.

And again, I'm being melodramatic. But you read the top of the page. ham fisted theatrics. There's no room for subtlety. Everything must be overwrought and complicated. Every fleeting little emotion will be accompanied with fireworks and a twenty-one gun salute. Every corner is a turning point, every end needs a blackout or a drop of the velvet curtain. This is how you can stretch a little Sunday evening loneliness and a chance online meeting into a two-hour marathon of saying what needs to be said and what should've been said. Of course, what needs to be said is never what I want to hear.

She says she misses me. She says she feels bad. I believe her.

Shouldn't that be enough?

10/20/2002

All the neighbors are naturally going to wonder, "What was that strange boy doing in his backyard barbequing a sock at ten o'clock at night?"

I can't blame them for wondering, either.

But neighbors, if you can think of a better way to represent Ben Franklin after his kite got struck by lightning in sock-puppet form for an Honors Chemistry presentation, well shit, I'm all ears.

Now I have to do five Humanities RN's. For future reference: Always save the part of your homework that involves lighting things on fire for last. After that, all else is anticlimax. Oh, and don't draw on the sock with permanent marker before you light it up. 'Cause if you do, suddenly, everything gets REAL funny. I would've done it earlier, but the only thing hotter than that sock was the Angels. Jesus, those guys are fun to watch.

Kool Keith perma-linked me. Maybe it's just the marker fumes, but I'm gettin' teary.

Guitar God and Pimpmaster General Ty The Guy went blog-crazy while I was gone. S'all good. Go lookie.

See you later, after the RNs, but before I lay my burden down.
Back in the saddle of broadband and as far as humanly fucking possible from AOL: This is where I belong.

Just in time for me to bring you this little beauty, from the Arizona Republic, which is the gruel of newspapers. Sure, it's flat gray flavorless pap, but it goes down smooth.

The gist of the article is this: Arizona universities are cheap to attend. So why won't they give us all lots of free money?

Compared with other states, Arizona provides virtually no financial aid to potential students from needy families. And in a relatively low-income state like this one, needy families are abundant.

Listen: A college education is, by its nature, expensive. No matter how much state governments vacuum out of our pockets each year to put into these schools, it's still going to be expensive. And it's made even more expensive if everybody with demonstratable need gets a freebie. The more they hand out, the more costly it is for everyone else. How does ASU keep its tuition (relatively) low? By not fully funding the four years of everybody who can't quite come up with the cash. If they gave out, hmm, let's say, no financial aid, then the cost would be even lower. Many families could conceivably pay for the whole thing themselves. But since we've decided that people who can afford it should also be made to foot the bill for everyone who can't, the cost goes up for everyone involved.

Somewhere along the line, a college education went from something it's good to have to something you must have, and when we decide somebody must have something, we'll stomp over such trifles as logic and financial sensibility to give it to them. But hey...

...Beth Clark still isn't convinced.

"It's funny to me how they always say it's so cheap here," said Clark, 21, an Arizona State University senior who works four jobs and says she's just making it.

"When you get here and start paying for books, lab fees, living expenses and everything else, it's not so cheap," she said. "You start thinking, 'How well can I eat this week?' "

In other news, this week ASU's Nanotechnology Laboratory announced they have scraped together their meager fiscal resources to construct the world's smallest violin. The next step, they say, is getting it to play just for Beth.

When you throw big sacks of cash to random people who happen to walk by, you're going to have to ask for more money from everyone else. It's harder for poorer people to pay for more expensive things.

The Arizona Republic: Stories that make you say "No fuckin' duh."