Monday, May 30, 2011

art is hard (but fun!)

here's a silly little snippet of something I was beginning to write as the start of a song but who the hell really knows:


Dommage of disaster
look at what is plastered
how can it be, that eyes
cannot see wide shut?
what is left to salvage
from this average menial wage
our pride and our values
apparently don't mean much.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy tails

Miranda is talking hilariously to Elliot, and watching a random modern western on the tele; I skilleted up some zuchini, baby bellas, and brussel sprouts for us to enjoy -- and Elliot just channeled Satan. As comforting as this is, both of us agree we need Gaby to come back from NYC already.

Young Dude: "I'm done."
Old Farmer: "You know, the thing is, living on a farm, work is never done."
(cut to super angsty look on young dudes face)

Having paid off my rent for next month finally on time, I can actually situate a vacation soon. Someone take some time off and come with me. (I love writing shit like that into a random void.)

Elliot responds to Miranda when she talks to him. IT-IS-SO-CUTE.

Got some music suggestions recently that I'm milling through, so far, this band is tickling my fancy at the mo':

Time to crack open a growler of IPA! OPA!

(PS: Check out

An article worth reading.

Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts.
Published: May 28, 2011

A COUPLE of weeks ago, I replaced my three-year-old BlackBerry Pearl with a much more powerful BlackBerry Bold. Needless to say, I was impressed with how far the technology had advanced in three years. Even when I didn’t have anybody to call or text or e-mail, I wanted to keep fondling my new Bold and experiencing the marvelous clarity of its screen, the silky action of its track pad, the shocking speed of its responses, the beguiling elegance of its graphics.

I was, in short, infatuated with my new device. I’d been similarly infatuated with my old device, of course; but over the years the bloom had faded from our relationship. I’d developed trust issues with my Pearl, accountability issues, compatibility issues and even, toward the end, some doubts about my Pearl’s very sanity, until I’d finally had to admit to myself that I’d outgrown the relationship.

Do I need to point out that — absent some wild, anthropomorphizing projection in which my old BlackBerry felt sad about the waning of my love for it — our relationship was entirely one-sided? Let me point it out anyway.

Let me further point out how ubiquitously the word “sexy” is used to describe late-model gadgets; and how the extremely cool things that we can do now with these gadgets — like impelling them to action with voice commands, or doing that spreading-the-fingers iPhone thing that makes images get bigger — would have looked, to people a hundred years ago, like a magician’s incantations, a magician’s hand gestures; and how, when we want to describe an erotic relationship that’s working perfectly, we speak, indeed, of magic.

Let me toss out the idea that, as our markets discover and respond to what consumers most want, our technology has become extremely adept at creating products that correspond to our fantasy ideal of an erotic relationship, in which the beloved object asks for nothing and gives everything, instantly, and makes us feel all powerful, and doesn’t throw terrible scenes when it’s replaced by an even sexier object and is consigned to a drawer.

To speak more generally, the ultimate goal of technology, the telos of techne, is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes — a world of hurricanes and hardships and breakable hearts, a world of resistance — with a world so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self.

Let me suggest, finally, that the world of techno-consumerism is therefore troubled by real love, and that it has no choice but to trouble love in turn.

Its first line of defense is to commodify its enemy. You can all supply your own favorite, most nauseating examples of the commodification of love. Mine include the wedding industry, TV ads that feature cute young children or the giving of automobiles as Christmas presents, and the particularly grotesque equation of diamond jewelry with everlasting devotion. The message, in each case, is that if you love somebody you should buy stuff.

A related phenomenon is the transformation, courtesy of Facebook, of the verb “to like” from a state of mind to an action that you perform with your computer mouse, from a feeling to an assertion of consumer choice. And liking, in general, is commercial culture’s substitute for loving. The striking thing about all consumer products — and none more so than electronic devices and applications — is that they’re designed to be immensely likable. This is, in fact, the definition of a consumer product, in contrast to the product that is simply itself and whose makers aren’t fixated on your liking it. (I’m thinking here of jet engines, laboratory equipment, serious art and literature.)

But if you consider this in human terms, and you imagine a person defined by a desperation to be liked, what do you see? You see a person without integrity, without a center. In more pathological cases, you see a narcissist — a person who can’t tolerate the tarnishing of his or her self-image that not being liked represents, and who therefore either withdraws from human contact or goes to extreme, integrity-sacrificing lengths to be likable.

If you dedicate your existence to being likable, however, and if you adopt whatever cool persona is necessary to make it happen, it suggests that you’ve despaired of being loved for who you really are. And if you succeed in manipulating other people into liking you, it will be hard not to feel, at some level, contempt for those people, because they’ve fallen for your shtick. You may find yourself becoming depressed, or alcoholic, or, if you’re Donald Trump, running for president (and then quitting).

Consumer technology products would never do anything this unattractive, because they aren’t people. They are, however, great allies and enablers of narcissism. Alongside their built-in eagerness to be liked is a built-in eagerness to reflect well on us. Our lives look a lot more interesting when they’re filtered through the sexy Facebook interface. We star in our own movies, we photograph ourselves incessantly, we click the mouse and a machine confirms our sense of mastery.

And, since our technology is really just an extension of ourselves, we don’t have to have contempt for its manipulability in the way we might with actual people. It’s all one big endless loop. We like the mirror and the mirror likes us. To friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors.

I may be overstating the case, a little bit. Very probably, you’re sick to death of hearing social media disrespected by cranky 51-year-olds. My aim here is mainly to set up a contrast between the narcissistic tendencies of technology and the problem of actual love. My friend Alice Sebold likes to talk about “getting down in the pit and loving somebody.” She has in mind the dirt that love inevitably splatters on the mirror of our self-regard.

The simple fact of the matter is that trying to be perfectly likable is incompatible with loving relationships. Sooner or later, for example, you’re going to find yourself in a hideous, screaming fight, and you’ll hear coming out of your mouth things that you yourself don’t like at all, things that shatter your self-image as a fair, kind, cool, attractive, in-control, funny, likable person. Something realer than likability has come out in you, and suddenly you’re having an actual life.

Suddenly there’s a real choice to be made, not a fake consumer choice between a BlackBerry and an iPhone, but a question: Do I love this person? And, for the other person, does this person love me?

There is no such thing as a person whose real self you like every particle of. This is why a world of liking is ultimately a lie. But there is such a thing as a person whose real self you love every particle of. And this is why love is such an existential threat to the techno-consumerist order: it exposes the lie.

This is not to say that love is only about fighting. Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. And this is why love, as I understand it, is always specific. Trying to love all of humanity may be a worthy endeavor, but, in a funny way, it keeps the focus on the self, on the self’s own moral or spiritual well-being. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.

The big risk here, of course, is rejection. We can all handle being disliked now and then, because there’s such an infinitely big pool of potential likers. But to expose your whole self, not just the likable surface, and to have it rejected, can be catastrophically painful. The prospect of pain generally, the pain of loss, of breakup, of death, is what makes it so tempting to avoid love and stay safely in the world of liking.

And yet pain hurts but it doesn’t kill. When you consider the alternative — an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology — pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world. To go through a life painlessly is to have not lived. Even just to say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll get to that love and pain stuff later, maybe in my 30s” is to consign yourself to 10 years of merely taking up space on the planet and burning up its resources. Of being (and I mean this in the most damning sense of the word) a consumer.

When I was in college, and for many years after, I liked the natural world. Didn’t love it, but definitely liked it. It can be very pretty, nature. And since I was looking for things to find wrong with the world, I naturally gravitated to environmentalism, because there were certainly plenty of things wrong with the environment. And the more I looked at what was wrong — an exploding world population, exploding levels of resource consumption, rising global temperatures, the trashing of the oceans, the logging of our last old-growth forests — the angrier I became.

Finally, in the mid-1990s, I made a conscious decision to stop worrying about the environment. There was nothing meaningful that I personally could do to save the planet, and I wanted to get on with devoting myself to the things I loved. I still tried to keep my carbon footprint small, but that was as far as I could go without falling back into rage and despair.

BUT then a funny thing happened to me. It’s a long story, but basically I fell in love with birds. I did this not without significant resistance, because it’s very uncool to be a birdwatcher, because anything that betrays real passion is by definition uncool. But little by little, in spite of myself, I developed this passion, and although one-half of a passion is obsession, the other half is love.

And so, yes, I kept a meticulous list of the birds I’d seen, and, yes, I went to inordinate lengths to see new species. But, no less important, whenever I looked at a bird, any bird, even a pigeon or a robin, I could feel my heart overflow with love. And love, as I’ve been trying to say today, is where our troubles begin.

Because now, not merely liking nature but loving a specific and vital part of it, I had no choice but to start worrying about the environment again. The news on that front was no better than when I’d decided to quit worrying about it — was considerably worse, in fact — but now those threatened forests and wetlands and oceans weren’t just pretty scenes for me to enjoy. They were the home of animals I loved.

And here’s where a curious paradox emerged. My anger and pain and despair about the planet were only increased by my concern for wild birds, and yet, as I began to get involved in bird conservation and learned more about the many threats that birds face, it became easier, not harder, to live with my anger and despair and pain.

How does this happen? I think, for one thing, that my love of birds became a portal to an important, less self-centered part of myself that I’d never even known existed. Instead of continuing to drift forward through my life as a global citizen, liking and disliking and withholding my commitment for some later date, I was forced to confront a self that I had to either straight-up accept or flat-out reject.

Which is what love will do to a person. Because the fundamental fact about all of us is that we’re alive for a while but will die before long. This fact is the real root cause of all our anger and pain and despair. And you can either run from this fact or, by way of love, you can embrace it.

When you stay in your room and rage or sneer or shrug your shoulders, as I did for many years, the world and its problems are impossibly daunting. But when you go out and put yourself in real relation to real people, or even just real animals, there’s a very real danger that you might love some of them.

And who knows what might happen to you then?

Jonathan Franzen is the author, most recently, of “Freedom.” This essay is adapted from a commencement speech he delivered on May 21 at Kenyon College.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

hopscotchin' through states

Just spent an hour on calls MADE to relatives
(which was me basically admitting I don't keep in touch enough)
That was uplifting and rejuvenating.

My Grandpa (Raymond) started giving me advice and told me to 'put it in the papers' - but will probably end up just stuffing it in here somewhere. In return, I said I'd give recommendations, which was funny when I was asked them (my Grandma gets on the phone too) if they'd seen a movie made five decades ago (but it was those 'silly sixties') and they said no. This was after he told me people he knew hired a male prostitute for a woman (he knew)'s 95th birthday. Apparently, she bit the guy in the butt. Those silly sexy seniors.

My uncle said my Grandma is going to need healthcare at home = $$$. Also told me my Grandma makes less sense than Ozzy Osborne... but, seemed excited to tell her I called.

Feel good points of the day.

whoever possesses the key to the world, actually rules the world?

You really stop to wonder sometimes what keeps us going day by day.

What kept me entertained at work tonight (and by no means will anyone understand it.)
- "Absolutely Asinine!"
- Wabbit Season, DUCK Season!
- Troubleshooter Lady fixes computers, wears superhero garb with a giant T on the front
- Things that James Earl Jones should say: a Vagina Monologue skit, "BARBECUE SAUCE!"
+ Add Stephen Hawking and Al Roker into equation to create the "Supreme Dream Team"

ALSO, drew a picture of a hot straw hatted mamacita and a cross between Colonel Sanders and Kurt Vonnegut. (32 varieties of spice!)

WANT to get some friends interested in enacting/filming a short play by Kurt Vonnegut that was devoured recently. IT'S DELICIOUSLY CYNICAL. mmm.

Oh, and the crazies have been craisin out lately. Watch out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

is there any danger? no no, not really...

Thank the bright neon green nailpolish on my fingers that never usually wear girly paint for this rendition of Good and Bad: the past couple weeks edition.
+ Joyous car ride excursions and singalongs with THEE ultimate driver, gabrielle hernandez. Last week was chock full of scenic pastures and cows and merry mountains and even DAVID CASSIDY was on the radio - cut to gaby and I belting "I Think I love you" at the top of our lungs as she sped up and past a girl who WAS behind us but was trying to pass us at a notsogreat intersection - while not paying attention on her cell. Movies were watched, Wackos were consumed... songs were constantly made up and sang... which leads me to...
+ "The Rapture" (or, the 'end of the world') = Having a day full of odd coincidences, and a debauchery filled night drinking whiskey, laughing with friends, and playing with cute dogs.
+ Going to the movies to see 'The Beaver' last night with the best group'a'pals and laughing our butts off in a theatre entirely to ourselves (seriously, Mel Gibson and a puppet fight each other.) secretly drinking da nips... and then I felt empathetic for a diner waitress who didn't really deserve the empathy? (while we were leaving, she f'ed one of my friends over by making them pay twice (she secretly snatched his money off the table beforehand.) then I felt stupid to have felt bad for her - but, she still looked pretty glum... and waitressing gets pretty depressing.

- The only negative right now... I can't stop worrying about my Grandma back in Fort Wayne... she has been in the hospital for a week or so, she's down to 68 pounds and is not eating; has a feeding tube. A few months ago, she had made the decision of never leaving her favorite chair and has been wearing Depends since (my Uncle takes care of her) and.. to be honest this has where she has always really resided - with a beer, a cigarette, a book, the television, and the radio. My Grandpa, who was similarly inactive in his last few years with us, passed away when I was in seventh grade... and it was incredibly tough. My Great Aunt, who lived by herself in Upstate NY, was just the same... and passed away when I was down working at Disneyworld... and I was a mess, because I couldn't even make it to the funeral. Danforth's are very stubborn in nature, and very dormant/seclusive. Apparently my Grandma just... stopped eating. I told my cousin to please pass along a message from me telling her to eat... and that I love her. This is going to be gnawing on my brain.

Made some important decisions today in regards to what lies ahead in the next couple months. Going to see to it that it spans out accordingly.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Let loose last night and got a back massage and reiki from Miranda where she got rid of all my 'baggage.' Today, I felt open-minded and, for the most part, okay with whatever was happening around me. My friends are so important right now. bless them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


What I dislike immensely: being up having a surplus of existential thoughts in my head, but having no one to share it with. Would have rather gotten to actually say them out loud then just fleeting sentences for my insides to hear.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

the latitude and longitude of people

This has been a weekend full of cartoon episodes/movies, beer, a good book, a great friend, and even work - but that's where I read the good book while on the phone, so... piece of cake.
Made an actual list with said friend - all the 'creative endeavors' we are trying to get amped enough to buckle down on. It's insane when you think about how hard it is to sit down and concentrate on something that will obviously take time to make. (hah, yeah. that's about right.) Then I have to remind myself that things TAKE TIME and how I try to rush everything and so it always results into... something less desirable.
I had a dream last night about a dead talking head of a rabbit, so Gaby had me watch the animated version of The Maxx, and in it...
"Julie's spirit animal is a rabbit. When she was very young, Julie rescued a dying rabbit that lay in the road in front of her house (as seen in The Maxx #10). Julie later witnessed her mother bludgeoning the rabbit to death with a shovel to put it out of its misery. This traumatic event linked the rabbit to Julie's subconscious. Julie projects the rabbit onto Dave as she tries to take care of him like the rabbit she was unable to save. Maxx, who is linked to Julie and her spirit animal, worries that, if he removes his mask, she will find the head of a rabbit beneath it." (from Wikipedia.) Really amazing animation.
I have recently figured out that I'd really love to get into voicing cartoon characters. If there's one talent I've been rather confident of: it's my ability to talk.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"In order to know virtue, we must acquaint ourselves with vice. Only then can we know the true measure of a man. "

Tonight I got to ask a mother in LA about one of her little twins while they were talking, reading books, and whining around her while she spoke: at one point, one mocked the answer that her mother was telling me, which I had read off to her initially. When she told them she was speaking to a nice lady, it seemed to heighten their attempt at getting me to notice them, alas: louder talking, them finding reasons to bug their mom just to be heard. (I think she hinted that this wasn't the first time...) Made me think of when I used to 'hang out' with my mother when on the phone, but would literally sit in her lap and play with her face/do her hair. (She didn't seem to care too much, she was always on the phone. ;] ) Suffice to say, it was a definite cheer up.

Watched the movie Quills in the late evening, which was about The Marquis de Sade, whom while sequestered away in a secluded (Napoleonic era) Paris asylum, wrote of 'the pain of love and the love of pain.' The patients got me thinking of the homeless here... and how it would be something to give at least one of them the chance to a fine suit or enough to clean up (at the very least) so they could get one solid attempt at a job search. Random connection, I know, but when I walked home from Gabys, I saw a man all wrapped up asleep in the bus stop and felt a pang. I really don't like being seen as a jerk to them when I tell them I'm just as poor as them, I just admittedly say so. I use all my change. One bum-out to not working at a restaurant anymore, not being able to give constant leftovers to them. That always worked out well. (At least I knew where it was going - to their belly, not their liver.)

Really have to encourage myself to get up early tomorrow, even though it's already 3:30am. long shifts apparently equal even more insomnia, who knew.

"I write what I see, the endless procession to the guillotine. We're all lined up, waiting for the crunch of the blade... the rivers of blood are flowing beneath our feet... I've been to hell young man, you've only read about it." - MDS

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ladies and gents...

Mr. Ira Glass.

"What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through."

tired eyes.

Haven't slept off my terrible, terrible day of hell and high nihilism. Trying to produce productive ponderings. in the meantime,

cora's knitted hat makes me feel better though, & so do the closest who helped me control my intense thought processes.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mamma mia

4:15am: approximate time of the beginning of the bird chorus for the momentous day of mothers.

happy birthday moms.

seriously what is my largest question in regards to me happening in this world? why KARYN, mom?! it has plagued me in so many ways imaginable at this point. (i guess i mean in good and bad.... ways?)

life is a somewhat tranquil pisspot.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I hate everything I've written in the past forever.

Let's just say the past is one hairy cactus.
I don't want to be near that motherfucker.