a sensory booster shot

“In an era of stress and anxiety, when the present seems unstable and the future unlikely, the natural response is to retreat and withdraw from reality, taking recourse either in fantasies of the future or in modified visions of a half-imagined past.” - Watchmen

there are a couple of ideas that have been scrambling around in my brain pan lately. i’ve had more free time this summer than in recent history, and have gotten to see a good number of movies. so many of them were comic book movies, or superhero type movies. . . at least more than i remember in an average summer. . . . but then again, i didn’t used to get out as often. i thought it a bit telling of our current state that our entertainment has become so saturated with hero fantasies. like we’re looking for saving or something? america: the well endowed damsel in distress.

for the most part, i’ve greatly enjoyed the movies. . .the comic book/ superhero ones: ironman- surprisingly FANTASTIC!, hulk- very strong, hellboy- enjoyable production eyecandy, dark knight- amazing, wanted- really good for what it is , hancock- actually didn’t see yet, . . . and then the super human ones- indiana jones- enjoyable, get smart- enjoyable, x-files- not nearly as bad as rottentomatoes made it out to be, mummy- probably won’t see. .. .

it was at one of the more recent movies that i caught the watchmen trailer. i came to comics late- and i wouldn’t say that i’m well versed or a huge fan, but i definitely like what i’ve read and want to read more. tank riot touched on the subject in a recent podcast. when asked what comic book they can’t wait to see come to the movies they said ‘watchmen’. . . so it was up on my radar, and i ordered it.

i just finished my second chuck palahniuk book in three months- (i’ve completely diverted from my reading list, but i’m a little hooked). i picked up a dusty jd salinger that had been sitting on a shelf since i was in highschool and started that, when again, i was diverted by the arrival of my copy of watchmen. i have a tendency to read too quickly. i really want to devour the story. . . and i quickly forget details. i will probably have to go back and reread the watchmen. it is so thick- both literally, which surprised me. . . and thick with a variety of reading levels. . . deconstruction, satire. . . . i’m not describing it well. it doesn’t read like a straight forward comic. there are book excerpts, news articles, and letters interjected throughout. the history and parallel world-like view is lush. . . and there’s a meta comic- adding even more allusion and metaphor. it’s an incredibly rich and detailed world. all the acclaim makes sense. i’ll have to do my part to become a watchmen pusher.

now i can’t wait to see what the movie does. hurry up march!

the salinger is good, but it’s like going off of caffeine compared to the watchmen. there’s a sensory withdrawal. . . .

i’ll have to supplement with more doses of the latest sigur ros album. :)


fuck the squeaky wheel

for those of you who may be offended by the use of the word ‘fuck’. you may want to stop here. in recent times i’ve been known to substitute an ‘effing’ or ‘frick’ and even a ‘frel’ (though not a ‘frack,’ still waiting to netflix those) for comedic effect, such will not be the case today.

i’m not fucking laughing. for those who don’t mind it, and are interested in the rant to follow: welcome. keep a tally if you wish, because i intend to fucking use the word as much as fucking possible. you see, i have few vices. i’m not a heavy drinker (barely a drinker at all), i don’t beat the proverbial ‘wife’ or ‘cat,’ nor do i usually feel the need to unleash my anger at complete strangers just because someone else has fucking disrupted my calm. so when i’ve been pushed to the fucking limit, i turn it inward, yeah, i sulk and become not so fucking cheery. . . perhaps play some NIN or linkin park really loudly in my car or headphones. . . but i’d rather upset the person who fucking upset me, than treat the next person like crap. they don’t deserve it, and frankly, neither the fuck did i. fucker.
(10 if you include the title)

perhaps this is my vice. i don’t intend to use real names, though i’m not sure why we should keep these fucking people anonymous. they are not innocent. they are a fucking scourge. yes, fucking yes, i understand that everyone has a fucking story. *eyes fucking rolling* there is always another side, so why should i stay quiet? i have a fucking story too. . . why is that not taking into fucking consideration? i’ve had too many other people’s fucking problems laid on me as of today. last week one of the program assistants noticed that i was being hassled by a third party and said (feeling sorry for me) that her mother, in these situations, always used to say, ‘one’s inability to organize does not constitute an emergency on my behalf.’ i wish i lived in that world.

i’m gonna keep going with this. . . since i feel my blood pressure falling and my shoulders relaxing. fucking finally.

in one sense i think it is so fucking sad the effect that this has on my memory. i’ve been working for this summer program. i have databased and tracked the names and information for all these candidates. 70 to 80% of all them were on time with their paperwork, they and their families were responsible and respectful. . . and i doubt if i can name one of them. i can, however, rattle off the fucking five top contenders for greatest fucking annoyances. most of the time it was not the camper’s fault, but their fucking parents’. though there were a few camper’s who seemed pretty fucking annoying, and i can remember their names too. i can remember the name of one fantabulous girl. actually, two. one girl took charge of all her own paperwork and i never talked to her parents. and a second girl was accepted very late (after some fucking kid dropped out) and she was able to get all the paperwork in at lightning speed. seeing two girls rocking it out makes me only wonder more why these other fuckers were incapable.

how fucking unfair is that? there are a couple hundred that did everything fine, but they will not stand out to me, because they didn’t squeak loudly enough. because they did everything right. it’s a fucking shame.

like most people, i’m rather patient and level headed. i can be very understanding of someone’s problems the first time around. but the 15th fucking time, or the 15th fucking person isn’t going to hear nearly as much compassion in my voice. ps, ‘15’ is a completely arbitrary number, i don’t know my exact limit. maybe because my limit is further out than others is why so many people think i’m so patient?

i am beginning to understand why creditors sound the way they do over the phone. they put up with nothing but sad stories and excuses all day. it’s all on the phone though. the don’t have some very annoyed and frustrated person standing in front of them, making fucking demands that cannot be met. yelling. . . . practically crying, fucking slamming walls?! really. . . is that how a grown up acts? oh wait. . . i guess so. it’s not like this is my first time on the fucking ferris wheel of emotionally fucked humans. and i’m not talking people who are locked up, medicated, and straight jacketed. i’m talking about people who act like fucking children when dealing with frustration and anger. they are allowed to walk around like everyone else.

fucking example #1
- a student designer at my undergrad. i was his scenic artist. we were doing some late night painting on his set together. he seemed mostly fine, kind of a dick. . . but no more than to be expected. he kept talking about this amazing blue paint he mixed earlier that day. it was this unbelievable color, there’s no way anyone could’ve come up with such a perfect blue. (in my head i’m thinking, it’s fucking BLUE. . . show it to me and i can mix it.) he was worried that someone had used it for a class project. he didn’t mark it. he left no note indicating that it was for a production and not to be used for a class. fucking idiot.

of course we got to the scene shop and the paint had been used. -it’s at times like these when i wish i had a video camera installed in my brain so i could run the playback for others who weren’t there. i’ve so often needed a witness.- anyway, a tantrum ensued. he threw paint cans and lids around the paint shop. he showed me the few tablespoons of his paint that was left over. i sat the bucket in front of me. while he fucking rampaged through all the class projects to eye who had used his color, i pulled out several cans of paint and set forth to remix the color. in ten minutes i had a perfect match. . . a full bucket. he had a red face and made a fucking huge mess of the paint shop which we had to pick up in order to work.

fucking example #2
-a mentor in grad school. to give a brief but definitive idea of my situation: there had always been two lighting grad students. after me, there continued to be two lighting grad students. for the three years i was there. . . i was one lighting grad student, doing all my normal work plus the work of the 2nd non existing grad student. there came a time when my fucking plate was simply too full. according to my schedule i was supposed to hold a lab session and keep five students busy hanging lights for a show. i was the master electrician, partial lighting designer, and lighting coordinator for a dance show. there were several lighting designers. some of them were fucking late with their choices and information. i didn’t have time to prepare my lab because of their lateness. instead of running a poorly organized lab that wouldn’t accomplish much beyond my own frustration and the frustration of my lab students. . . i let them have their two hours to themselves. i used the two hours to prep the late paperwork for the rest of the week. from that point on, the hang, focus, tech, and run of the show were all on time.

as i was using those two hours in the most efficient way i knew a few of my friends warned me that our teacher was on the warpath. she heard that i let my lab go for the day. in my own head i wonder if she had reflected on the fact that a student she fucking chose to add to the design process was now the one who had turned in her fucking paperwork late. . . and the responsibility to fix the problem fell on me. guess fucking not. when the teacher found me she was literally gnashing her teach, pulling at her frizzy hair, and spitting as she yelled at me. (another great brain cam moment.) she was so angry she could barely articulate. i remember the main idea- ‘what was i thinking? how could i let my class go? i’m so irresponsible.’ blah blah fucking blah.

was she interested in my method? fuck no. was she interested in knowing that because i had these two hours i wouldn’t have to shave it off my four hours of sleep time that night? fuck no. apparently she needed to show that my ability to prioritize pissed her off. . . and that she resembled fizzgig from the dark crystal when she throws a tantrum. (see link)


i’m feeling fucking better and better. . .

fucking example #3
-a staff person comes looking for her check. the checks come in the afternoon mail. she was promised by someone else that her check would be waiting for her. i am a temp with no control and little understanding of how things run. i comb through the desk. i look in the normal places. no check. i tell her it normally comes in the afternoon mail around 2pm. this isn’t fucking good enough. she was told differently. the person that told her is on vacation.

‘i need it.’ ‘what am i supposed to do for two hours?’ ‘i was told it would be here.’ all repetitively spouted at me. the frustration and anger building in her. and now she starts looking at me like i could bend over and fucking shit a check out for her, but am refusing. i make calls. the check was cut. it’s in the mail system. i tell her the mail comes around 11am and 2pm. . . . again, and again. she’s practically yelling at me now, for something i can’t fucking control. then she slams the wall with her hand. (dammit, where is that brain cam?!) she has to be somewhere, she needs that check before she leaves. . . . yeah, and i was supposed to be doing work. . . but now i’m here listening to you say this over and over again, and none of it is changing the outcome.

she reassures me that she isn’t yelling at me. she isn’t mad with me. does it matter? i’m making the phone calls, trying to remain kind to the payroll staff as i repeat questions. i have to deal with the human equivalent of the squeaky wheel directly. it doesn’t matter because she can’t actually take her fucking frustration out on the right person. . . therefore i get it.

she finally left. the people in the neighboring office return from lunch (oh right, i skipped lunch listening to this fucking mess) and i ask them about the morning mail. they explain there was a back up in mail services due to a power outage a day earlier.

she calls at 1pm. mail hasn’t arrived yet. again at 2:07. . . should be here soon. she decided to come back and wait for it.

oh goody.

the mail guy came by, no check. i explained the situation. calmly. (in my head i’m wondering if this woman carries a gun. could i duck quickly enough? she’d be frazzled. it would probably make her a bad shot. maybe i’d have time to duck and throw something damaging at her. throw her off her fucking game just long enough? ) the mail guy agreed that payroll is important and usually makes people smile. he delivered it yesterday and watched the vacationing person put it in a special spot. he pointed it out to me. there were the checks. i’m relieved. i thank the mail guy. my calm exterior didn’t faltered once. perhaps he even feels that he’s helped me. . . without me upsetting him first. i’m relieved and frustrated. someone could’ve told me (the only person in the office this week) where the checks would be hiding.

the staff member reappears. yet some other tragedy has occurred in the time it took her to drive back. what the fuck ever! take your fucking check and leave me in fucking peace!

i have no one take my fucking frustration out on. so i put it here.
good news: the inclination to writing ‘fuck’ is subsiding a little.

fucking conclusion
am i better than these people? yes. yes i am.

that just kinda feels good to say. yes i am better than these fucking squeaky wheels. fuck them. go choke on some oil!

ahhh. . . this is fucking zen!

truth? i have bad days. i complain about them. i lay my frustrations on others. . . though usually it’s a shared frustration. i don’t throw things, i don’t tug at my hair and grind my teeth, i don’t slam walls, i don’t yell. i do cry in bathroom stalls when no one knows. i do write about it and seethe on it for YEARS! i do hold grudges. for YEARS.

i feel better.

fucking addendum
in the face of all these fuckers, the more upset they got, the quieter and more stoic i got. is it possible that this is a catalyst for their overly dramatic ridiculous fucking behavior? is it possible that they feel better when they see someone else all worked up over their problem? and when faced with someone who remains resolved they spiral out of control?

if this is true. . . i’m really gonna need that brain cam installed STAT!

i’ve used an hour of my work time to write this. i will have to make up for it. maybe listen to some tool. . . post this to my blog. . . but i won’t give the check out guy at the grocery a hard time because i fell behind on my work. i’m gonna SUCK IT UP and finish my work. no biggie people.