Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Field guide to the loner," Hardly a field guide, but at least a sympathetic overview.

There's not much I'd disagree with in there. Luckily, I can't speak for the "enforced loner," but I have found that solitary time absolutely affects my levels of happiness and placidity. Constantly having to socialize and interact is so draining. I almost feel that I have to live alone just to balance out the unseemly amount of time that I spend at work, constantly surrounded by people, constantly having to behave with an air of diplomacy and discretion.

I am also interested by what the article really delicately describes as a heightened sense of empathy or attunement to the trials of others, but what I would more casually describe as hypersensitivity. Yes, it does have its graces, such AS the extreme empathy and frequent ability to identify when others are in silent crisis, but! It also carries with it anxiety, paranoia, and the assumption that every output from others towards oneself has some sort of pointed, deeper meaning. If those findings are correct and I can assume that more outgoing people are more or less dulled by their high ratio of interactions, ie things are not as big a deal as they seem, well...my life has just gotten easier. It's kind of a huge thing to consider, but again nothing that I can really take for granted or apply easily.

Anyway, the greatest part to living alone is not the peace, or the quiet, but the free rein to indulge all of one's total fucking weirdness with complete abandon. I just did a quick scan of anything strange I may have done recently, and I guess it doesn't sound that weird. Dancing, turning the heat way up in order to be at least partially nude in comfort, ad libbing the cat's name into popular songs of the day (kittle wants to know love is! she wants you to showwww her!), all pretty standard fare.

In other news, I love this font.

Friday, January 22, 2010

o no wayyy

When I look west towards downtown (from the 6th floor) ... I don't see pollution. NO POLLUTION. Not even the faintest lingering haze, none! Crystal clear! Inconceivable!

Thanks, tornado! See very poor-quality phone pic through dirty window for evidence:

No way! Today we will breathe the air that people came to Phoenix for 100 years ago. And then get cancer because all of the pollution is now in the groundwater. wah wah wahhhhh
I enjoy that high winds and a full day of steady rain = STATE OF EMERGENCY!!!! in Arizona. Again, I am disappointed in how put out I am by weather, but I lost power at 8:30 which more or less ended my night, abbreviating the already extremely limited personal time I have in life!

I tried to imagine what it was like without electricity, when nightfall meant wrap it up and get to bed, not get dressed up and go carousing. It is interesting how bright the night is even with no electric lights burning for a mile. Even brighter with clouds, which seem to conduct the light of the moon all through them so they sort of glow. Was that a no-brainer? I'm sorry, I have been in the center of a 500 square mile megalometropolis for the last 20 years. I don't know what things actually look like! Losing power is kind of a peaceful, strange, fascinating experience, but I have to admit that I'd rather be showering when I want to and watching the Tudors.

Cindy McCain! Scary wife of John McCain comes out for the gays. Article. Unusual for a republican to give a shit about civil rights, but then I guess almost anyone can admit (when there's nothing to be gained by placating hysterical religious people) that taxpaying citizens should be able to submit to the same absurd rituals as everyone else if they want to. I wish I could remember Bill Maher's remark on gay marriage, which basically consisted of, "If they want to be miserable, let them!"

And that's how I feel about that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's fucking...

an eskimo would beat your ass to be here

- Phoenix's status after the storms today, according to the fucking weather.

Weather of any kind is usually a challenge for me, having grown up in a complete vacuum of weather experiences. It took me about 6 weeks of toughening up to be able to not have to "bundle up" for some high-50s temps this winter. Then I let it rain all over my bike last time, because rarely does it occur to me to have to shelter something. Worst of all, for as much as I enjoy rain (theoretically), it is so unfamiliar to me that I react to BEING rained on much like a cat does. Confusion, anger, dejection, flight.

This week I have almost eaten shit on the highly polished floor in the lobby at work about 3 times. And once outside. Dangerous out there.

Two Beheaded, One Died, Two Divorced, One Survived.

I have somehow become a devotee of The Tudors (via instant queue on Netflix), although at this point I think I just have to know how absurd it's going to get, and how many seasons it's going to go for. I don't watch television (I can't, my tv doesn't "get" tv), so when I do, it has to involve at least some of the following: amazing wardrobe, rich content of historical value, or Don Draper. The Tudors has two of these things. And lots of ermine.

Kind of different from their IRL portraits.

Not that you can learn any more of historical value from the Tudors than you can from Disney's Pocahontas, but at least it looks rad. It is a highly stylized survey of all of the excesses of Henry VIII, which seem way more excessive when portrayed by weird transvestite Jonathan Rhys Meyers. And probably for the purposes of non-horrifying sex scenes, and because no one wants to see JRM in a fat suit (his lips + obesity = remind you of anyone?), the show tries to imply that all of Henry's greatest shenanigans occurred over a period of a few years while he was young and marketable, not grotesque and wheezy.

Oh, and Showtime has plucked two of these names from the annals and MADE THEM GAY. I love that. I guess they can do that while they're remodeling the rest of the story. Thomas Tallis and one of the Henry's early BFFs, I can't remember his name. Totally homosexualized for this series, and completely without warrant or record of actual gayness or bisexuality on the part of these men. Yes, I checked.

Not sure how I feel about Anne Boleyn being portrayed as some sort of shrewd fox who falls into her own trap, though. Maybe she was. I haven't reprised my feelings on her since I read HOW DID THEY DIE as a child and was horrified that 1. he totally killed his wife for like no reason dudes!!! and 2. her incredibly self-contained and honorable demeanor at the scaffold. Again, only according to HDTD and currently unsubstantiated elsewhere as I have not looked, Anne not only did not cry and flail before her death but even reacted with composure when the executioner, no doubt rattled at having to murder the young queen, missed his target and instead cut off the uppermost part of her skullcap. Anne allegedly raises her head to face him at this point and says, "Please try again." Very heavy. Ever since reading this, I have imagined her as such, the unfortunate, stoic mother of Elizabeth.

Speaking of which, remember that spate of also highly stylized and sexualized Elizabethan b-list dramas from the '90s? God, what an awesome time that was to be a teenaged loser nerd. Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth came out within a year of each other, if even that long. I think I still own them both on vhs, as well as the novelization of Elizabeth. I forgot that I cared at all about this time, preferring to dwell closer to the Revolutionary period. And wasn't Cate Blanchett obviously born to play Elizabeth I?

Too uncanny.

However, Jezebel isn't fucking around either.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


1. This is what I need to see at 7:30 AM
2. It's fresh - she's still mourning
3. Upon passing I saw it was an old Asian woman at the wheel, not the hip child/asymmetrical haircut I was expecting!

Monday, January 11, 2010

a fool there was

Mykil Zep's art at Lux. I will take both of them. Waugh! Why can't I buy whatever I want.

Theda Bara was my favorite silent film actress in high school (is my only-childness showing?). Her studio so successfully branded her as an evil vamp, specifically "The Wickedest Woman in the World," that she received loads of hate mail from the clean and decent women of the country, cursing and chastising her wretched on-screen behavior. Teenaged goth idol hellooooo!

This one is particularly impressive, viewed large. Damn, Gina!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


When family is in from out of town, the convergence is always at Carlos O'Brien's. I have no idea how this was decided, but it's been the case for about twenty years. Each time, I ask myself: why? Why Carlos? This is the blandest, most generic Mexican food you can find. These are native Arizonans, in from the east, and that is where they go.

That's my dad in the photo, presiding over his siblings.

Tonight I found out that one of my relations (by marriage...) is suffering from advanced syphilis and as such is or was the dubious darling of Barrow because they were so excited at the opportunity to study him irls, as it were. His brain is damaged beyond all repair - cases like this don't just grow on trees anymore. I guess he was such a badass mountain man that he simply refused to acknowledge or treat his condition, and now he's dying like Baudelaire, but more slowly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Finally sorting through some holiday photos. Cindy & Dana's party was a blast, and these photos unfortunately depict what kind of shape I was in. Phoenix is as small a town as ever - I ran into my cousin's cousin whom I haven't seen in I don't know how long. I somehow have random scenester cousins that I don't know running all over this city, associated on the fringes of my own social radar.

This looked better on the camera. Too cold/too drunk for accuracy! Still the greatest thing ever.

My brother and I.

New Year's Eve in the semi-corporate world: now with mimosas.

Little else to say. I'm over it. '09 was ok, I guess, and 2010 looks terribly futuristic in print.