Showing posts with label conversations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conversations. Show all posts

pop!

If it's important to me, and I'm important to them, shouldn't it be important to them, too? + Should? What's should? What has should ever gotten anyone? + I'm so disappointed. I'm angry. I want to lock the door. I want to take my ball and go home. + Well, you could do that. Would that make you happy? + No. I don't know. Maybe a little. Ultimately no. + You let expectation get the best of you again. + Yes. + Expectation is a balloon waiting to be popped by reality. You can have a hundred of them, tie them together and float away on the levity of what they promise. But eventually they'll give out. They'll burst, or fizzle and deflate, and you'll hit the ground with a thud. + So what do I do? What do I do with these feelings? + Tell them. Ask them to ask themselves how they'd feel. Then let it go. It's just a balloon.

winning strategy

You brought wrath to me today, a cloud of fire that rained acid hatred on my skin. I'm still smoking. (The dog is confused, thinks someone barbecued, can't find the meat.)

And the thing I gave you in return was even more enraging than had I shot back flaming arrows of my own. The thing I gave you in return--calm--infuriated you further. I don't know what to say about that. I'm sorry? I'm not.

You said, .....
You said, .....
You said, .....

And I am tired, so tired, of helping you protect the picture that you hold of yourself.

But enough about you. Today in spite of your spite, I felt unafraid to be alive for the first time in a long time. For the first time in a long time, if someone had offered to shut off the lights, I would have said--

Maybe wait? Maybe leave them on for now? I'm okay with them on. Thank you.

That is the spark I need to nurture. A tiny flame I will shelter with my whole being. I will curl myself around it and give it all the breath in my lungs. Which is why I have none to spare for spitting acid.

interesting

"You seem interesting."

"What sort interesting do you think I am?"

"There's more than one kind?"

"There's interesting due to experience, and interesting due to struggle. Some people are intriguing because they've had wealth to lubricate their way through life. Money makes it easy to become an interesting person. Travel, education, culture, adventure. But while those people have collected lots of experiences, they've gotten very few scratches along the way. And scratches are interesting. Everyone wants to know the story behind a really ugly scar."

"And you? Do you have scars?"

"None that came cheap."

your next mission

This morning I posted my ski boots on Craigslist. They hadn't seen the light of a snowy day in a very, very long time. They say that if you don't use something for six months, you should get rid of it. I hadn't used these in six years. Plus they were a gift from my former in-laws, a pair of individuals with whom I have zero pleasant associations.

Terence hates getting rid of things. Just a few days ago I went on a clean/purge spree and he rescued a weird, small, mysterious halogen bulb from the trash where I'd tossed it. "What are you doing?" I said. "We don't even know what that goes to. It doesn't have a regular screw-in base."

"It must be from one of your lights," he said. "I'll return it to Samy's Camera. They can use it."

I gaped at him, trying to comprehend. "What are you talking about? You don't even know what it's for! You're going to drive forty five minutes and spend gas money returning what's probably a five dollar bulb? They're going to look at you like you're crazy." I didn't add what I wanted to, which was that if he's got forty-five minutes to spare, I know some baseboards that could use wiping. Physician heal thyself, or some shit.

But that's just another inverted mirror we see each other in. Hoarder vs. purger. Every time I start a new pile for Goodwill, Terence worries over my discards. "But what if you need that?" he'll say, watching me stuff a tutu into the bag. "What if you go to, I don't know, a tutu party?"

This exasperates me. He'd probably say it's optimism at the heart of that thought, but I see fear. Fear of letting go, of moving ahead into the unknown. Of saying goodbye to tangible, touchable remnants of good times. And anyway, a tutu party? Yeah, maybe. But packing for every random contingency in life sounds like a really cumbersome way to move through it.

He asked whether I'd made the Craigslist ad funny, as I usually try to do. (In college I posted a flyer in my apartment building's laundry room trying to unload a fish tank. "From non-smoking home, housed non-smoking fish." I got a call a day later from a guy in the complex who didn't want the fish tank, but wanted to meet the girl who wrote "non-smoking fish". I had a boyfriend, but the lesson stuck. Funny gets love.)

Not really, I texted back. Though I did include a crack about obviously not skiing much lately, so I sent him the link so he could read my post.

I like the intrigue of why you used them just once in 2009. :)

LOL. I should imply a torrid affair with a ski instructor. Brief but torrid.

Super spy on an Arctic mission. You held onto them awaiting your next mission.

I posted some other stuff, too. Pieces of another me that don't fit anymore. I'll get pennies on the dollar relative to what I paid for them, but their value lies in the memories they made me, anyway.

Sometimes it's hard to be honest with yourself about what you no longer need. Hard, but necessary.

lovin' it

her: Are you going to watch a movie?

him: I think so. What are you gonna do?

her: Lay on the bed and think suicidal thoughts.

him: What if we watch a movie about suicide? Then you wouldn't have to do that.

her: Okay but what if it's like how watching Super Size Me just made me want to eat McDonald's?

him: Eating McDonald's is a form of suicide.

her: You got me there.

just the tip

He's cornfed. Clean-cut. Built like a bro with the tank top to match, but a gentleness that doesn't. Matt Damon lite. Head tilted down to hear what his more diminutive friend is saying. The hobbit-like one, with the wavy, straw-colored hair, flower headband, long nose, and skinny frame. Hobbit friend is holding my phone and explaining what I've just done. She got this awesome video of me gloving. She showed me so I can send it to myself. It's exactly what I wanted, man. Check this out.

After a few moments of looking at the phone screen, seeing how well the clip came out, Cornfed grins broadly at me, and the smile says Nice job, lady! He holds up two fingers in a peace sign, and this time I know exactly what to do. Well, almost. I press my own peace sign against his and immediately his fingers bend to form one side of a heart. When I'm slower to make the shift he notices and pauses, smiling at me curiously. He moves through the rest of the exchange carefully, waiting for me to make each symbol correctly before moving on. Then he pulls a simple blue and green beaded kandi from the middle of his wrist and tugs it over my own, up to my elbow. When he lets go, we both see the bracelet's elastic is stretched out and nearly broken. He shakes his head. Aw, let me give you a different one.

Nah, I can fix it. I'll restring it at home. It's great.

Are you sure?

Yeah, no worries. Thank you.

I don't even think about which kandi of mine to give in return. It's one of the few I made that a guy would appreciate - I think. As I slide it over to him I keep the letters turned away, hoping he won't read the phrase until later. He brings his head closer so I'll hear him over the music. You're kinda new to raving, aren't you?

Well, this part of it, yeah. Pulls back his head to glance at my face again.

I know it isn't cool to ask someone this but, but I'm thirty and... Trails off.

I nod, understanding. I'm forty. Pulls his head back sharply this time. I laugh at the look on his face.

I'm Jon. Shakes my hand.

John?

Yeah, Jon. J-O-N.

Hi Jon, I'm Ellie.

He says it slowly, enunciating: You're so beautiful. Terence is inches behind me, witnessing this entire scene. I doubt he can hear what we're saying but the read I get from this kid isn't aggressive or disrespectful anyway. Just genuinely surprised and kind.

Thank you. I put as much warmth in the words as I can. That's really sweet.

He leans back over to his friend, and I catch on that my age is being shared. Friend takes it in but doesn't seem overly impressed or know what he's supposed to say about it. Cornfed turns back to me.

What's your rave name? The question has the weight of expectation, and I'm disappointed I can't justify it.

I don't have one. I don't tell him the one I gave myself, because I know it doesn't count. A look comes over his face, and I realize that he intends to fix this right now. Indeed, he confers with the friend once again, announcing the news as if they've been entrusted with some great responsibility: Ellie doesn't have a rave name. This time, the friend's face shows interest.

To me: What do you do?

Out of the corner of my eye I see Terence smiling. This is cracking him up. Knowing my answer will influence their choice, I decide to keep it simple and lie. I'm a writer.

To friend: Ellie, and she's a writer. Crosses his arms and looks at me, considering. I laugh and wait dutifully, ready to accept whatever is decided. A sideways glance at Terence tells me he's only partly following what's happening, but he's laughing, too. I know I will forever think of this moment whenever I hear the phrase "good vibes."

And then something changes. Our party grows by two x chromosomes. A girlfriend joins us. Introductions, explanations, bringing her up to speed on the naming ceremony but perhaps unsurprisingly, girlfriend is less than keen to participate. The scene unravels and we start to politely disengage. Cornfed wants to know if I have an Instagram account, and I lie again: I don't. Terence, ever my biggest fan and cheerleader, nudges me. Tell him about your blog! he whispers. I shake my head. No way.

That's my girlfriend. We're gonna go check out the main stage...

Madeon, right?

Yeah.

Awesome. He was voted best electronic act of Coachella. We'll probably catch some of him, too.

Great job on that video, he loves it.

Of course! Waving goodbye. And then seamlessly, without discussion, Terence and I drift back into the thick of it - the sound and scene and loveliness of it all.

of lions and ladybits


Notes:

apologies for "swabs", fucking ew

my doctor's office (read: KP complex) is on the same street as a Scientology center and the intersections are always swarming with pamphleteering kids

the underwear were purchased in one of those 5 for $25 Victoria's Secret deals and all they had left in my size was dumb phrases like that and "UP ALL NIGHT"

this whole thing was basically just an excuse to start the category "colorfy chronicles"

safety in numbers

Hi Tina! It's Ellie, from LA. We met yesterday in Highlands?

If you'd still like to do the zip line with me, check out highlandscanopytour.com and let me know when is good for you. (They have a reservations page showing availability). I'm free tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday anytime after noon. We could book individually and meet there I guess? Hope you're still game - safety in numbers and all... ;)


open letter to my would-be identity thief

To Whom I Should Be Concerned About,

Thank you for your recent interest in assuming my identity. As by now you're probably aware, my financial institution has unfortunately decided to reject your offer of anonymous proxy. I say "unfortunately" since, not having met you, I can't comment on whether this was a wise choice. Fact is, most days I rather suck at being me. You might very well have been better at it. Hurt fewer people, be more productive, cook more interesting meals - that sort of thing. Now we'll never know.

That is of course unless you decide to reapply, say, after a respectable interim? I can assure you that my bank is quite inept as a rule, and I expect any additional attempts at grift to slide by unnoticed. Indeed I remain shocked this one even caught their eye.

However, should you wish to take another stab at defrauding me, might I make one small suggestion? Sign me up for better websites. I understand you must be terribly busy, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting to know your intended victim. And I, dear sir or madam, am no Christian. In fact there are few places online that hold less interest for me than ChristianMingle.com. For future reference, I've taken the liberty of compiling a short list of sites I'm more likely to be found browsing:

FistAndMingle.com, the web's premier destination for brachiovaginal-curious singles

ChristianMangle.com, containing a comprehensive photo archive of ancient Colosseum bloodsporting events

CrispinMingle.com, where Crispin Glover fans can connect over their love of this multi-talented actor, director, recording artist, publisher, and author!

ChristieDingle.com, fundraising home of presidential hopeful Chris Christie's fecal conservative supporters

Thanks again for taking the time to briefly, if unsuccessfully, impersonate me online. As a blogger, I sustain myself emotionally on the supposition that everyone wants to be me. I appreciate you confirming my suspicion!

Until next time,
Ellie

---

cream

Her: (from the bathroom doorway, towel-drying hair) So there's a pint of cream in the fridge that expires next month...on my birthday. 

Him: (in kitchen, playing guitar)

Her: I just find it really funny that the freakin' cream goes bad on the EXACT day I turn forty.

Him: (plays guitar)

Her: (coming into kitchen) I guess what I'm saying is, will you still love me even when the cream has turned?

Him: (look of horror) I never thought of it that way.

Her: (combing hair) Don't tease, I'm being serious.

Him: (still playing guitar) 

Her: (looking in mirror) Can we do a thing where, like, you skip a grade in school, only with your age? So instead of turning thirty-eight this year you'll turn thirty-nine?

Him: (singing) I'll get two years older overniiiight...just like on that episode of Louie where he thought he was youngerrrr...

Her: (to self) I'm just gonna go ahead and throw it out now. It's almost empty anyway.

lion and bear

Her: It's like if they put a lion and a bear together in the zoo. They'd probably get along and even enjoy one another, but sooner or later the lion would wish the bear was a lion, and the bear would wish the lion was a bear.

We're a lion and a bear.

Him: Well I guess that makes me a bear who loves lions.

he-who-must-not-be-'tooned

Really not much I can say about the attack in Paris that hasn't been said already. And anyway once I start talking about religion I don't shut up until I've pissed off at least a few dozen people, so. 

Instead, enjoy this amazing visual:

(edited out is the bit where I said I'd doodle something myself if I wasn't such an awful artist)

For reference:

from the mind of the inimitable Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half

lolspeak, conquistator edition

Hello and happy How Is This Still a Thing? Day!




I hope everyone is well. I am around, just bizzay with other stuffs, though I will probably do that thing where I write eighteen posts over two days, because I am annoying like that. 

I love John Oliver, the end.

not sure if horny or just hungry

What passes for sexting around here:




---

Pretty hot.

Hope everyone has a sunny weekend filled with gluten, bad foreign language puns, and other delights. :)

Janice

Side by side in salon chairs a few days ago, our hair cooking with color, I fell into conversation with a sixty-something woman whose interests and personality matched my own to a degree that was almost eerie. It was like talking to a future version of myself. I take it as an auspicious sign that we liked one another.

It started like this: my stylist (who's also a friend) and I were catching up, chatting about restaurants and shows we've been to lately. He and his wife are foodies, so we were discussing the pros and cons of spending money on concerts vs. dining out. I explained that if I have cash to burn, live music will almost always be my first choice. That while I absolutely understand the joys of gastronomical exploration, it's just not my jam. I get much more emotional fulfillment and sensory excitement from the experience of music than from even the most gourmet of meals.

An older woman seated at the next station leaned over. "Sorry to intrude," she said, "but I have to agree. Music feeds the soul, and that's a satisfaction that lasts much longer than dinner."

And it went from there. We spent our twenty minutes of processing time gabbing about opera, festivals, fashion, drugs, and dreams (the long-term kind vs. the sleeping kind). She was blonde, pretty, and open-faced in a way that made me think of Kirsten Dunst. She was clearly monied, but there was nothing entitled or presumptive about her. When I inquired as to whether she lived downtown (knowing, of course, that she didn't; seniors are the only demographic more rare than children in DTLA, and those are about as common as dodos), I found out she's been faithfully following her stylist (another friend) from salon to salon around LA for years.

That's so gonna be me.

When Janice (we finally exchanged names at the shampoo sinks) asked me how I'd gotten so into music, I heard myself giving an answer I didn't even know was the case until it came out. "Well," I started slowly, "I think it was a response to what I went through personally, over the last five years. A lot of loss. A pretty painful divorce and the deaths of both parents. I think music became something safe for me to latch on to. Music isn't going anywhere, you know? It was the thing I found that made life joyful again."

Incidentally, my voice didn't break once during this disclosure; that surprised me as much as the words themselves.

Janice was all empathy and knowing nods. She got it, she assured me, and I believed her. Her eyes were bright and her skin had escaped the harshest of lines, but you don't hit your sixth decade without saying goodbye to at least a few loved ones.

I asked her about opera, which she characterized as "her festivals." She sees as much as she can, usually five or six performances a year. But she demurred when I called her an aficionado. She's just a devoted fan, she insisted. When I asked if she'd been raised on opera, admitting how utterly lost I'd been coming to it for the first time myself so late in life, she told me a story that made me instantly love her. Paraphrasing, but...

"Well, one night back when I was still single, I drew myself a bath. The television was on in the background - there was a show playing, that series Live From the Met, do you know it? Anyway, when I shut the water off, I heard the most unbelievably beautiful music coming from the other room. I jumped out of the tub, grabbed a towel, and sat riveted in front of the TV. I was dripping wet but I couldn't move. I'd never heard anything like it. It was Pavarotti. The very next day I bought myself a ticket - they were showing Madame Butterfly. I didn't know anyone else who wanted to spend money on an opera ticket, so I just got one. I splurged on a Givenchy dress {here she gestured with her hands, running them lightly down the sides of an invisible gown; for some reason I imagined something form-fitting, red, and woven through with gold sparkle}, and I went to the show alone. And I had the time of my life."

Her anecdote concluded with a facial expression that was less triumphant than matter-of-fact. It just was who she was; it was what she would do. Trying to be tactful but curious as to her age during this experience, I asked her how long ago that was. But she knew what I meant. "Oh, I must have been about thirty-five I guess?"

I almost leapt out of my chair to hug her. Instead I told her how much I enjoyed going to festivals by myself, how intimidating it was at first (despite being in my mid-thirties) but how empowering, ultimately; she'd concluded the same thing about opera. We agreed that the company of another fan is best, but going solo is a close second. We agreed on a lot of things, in fact:

We are both mystified by the appeal of jazz.
We both love Radiohead and Muse. Yep, sixty-something Janice used to be a rocker, and she's come back to it later in life.
We are both vain about our hair, despite the challenges that aging presents to it.
We both have enormous respect for our friends (the stylists, a married couple who own the salon), who are fantastic, hardworking, and generous employers.

The subject of drugs came up, as it invariably does when talking about festivals. She wanted to know whether pot was still commonly used. I stifled a LOL and started to explain the newer, more popular choices du jour - but my authoritative feeling evaporated when Janice filled me in on her own former experimentation. Duh, I thought to myself, she lived through the sixties. Three words: ell, ess, dee. Acid isn't something I've tried (*cough*yet*cough*), but let's just say I left the salon with more interesting and helpful tips than what to moisturize my ends with.

We didn't talk about jobs. We didn't talk about our partners. We didn't talk about children. I don't even know if she has any, and she didn't ask me, either. Few and far between are the conversations I have that exclude these Key Adult Talking Points. Few and far between and kind of nice.

the early bird gets the anticipation

Friday morning conversation with a fellow fester:

me: Coachella presale.

friend: You're a junkie.

me: I got a Weekend 2 pass. Plan accordingly.

friend: Why 2?

me: 1 is sold out lol

friend: It's in eleven months.

me: I KNOW SO EXCITING!!!!!!


Panda guy says, "Hell yeah! See you in 2015!"

the bestie defense is a good offense


Hear that, Maybe-Trevor? You are ON NOTICE. If you dodge me again, I've been advised to channel my inner teenage badass and teach you a lesson.

(Lucky for you I never knew my inner teenage badass, so I would have no idea how to reach her.)

duolingo

Terence, bless his coeur, swears he likes to speak French with me in spite of how badly I consistently butcher it. He tends to speak so quickly that I freeze, too flustered to keep up. (College was a loooong time ago.) But I know it means a lot to him that I try. I imagine that since it's his first language (and the one he still speaks with his dad), it activates a part of his identity that he doesn't get to dial into much otherwise. And I want to be able to give him that, if only in my very limited way.

So I've been brushing up, using iPad apps I already had, plus one I've recently downloaded: Duolingo. I'm barely into the lower levels, but I love it. It's much more interactive and fun than the other apps, and structured with goals and prizes (you can cash in points for things like new outfits for your "coach", a whistle-wearing, pep-talking owl). I do wish there were more vocal exercises, but you can get around that by just reading aloud all of the written ones. The best part is how weird and random some of the sentences are. Le requin est rouge. Ses jupes ont des poches grandes. Also, the section on alcohol is a hoot. Nous boivent beaucoup de vin rouge. Yes. Yes we do.

If you're learning a language or want to bone up on one, I def suggest checking it out - as does Slate! It's the number one recommended app for annoying your loved ones with random foreign language ejaculations.