Thursday, November 27, 2008

I don't have a lot of things going for me. I mean, I share my birthdate with Steven Weber and Chastity Bono, and my initials match the "Lord Krishna Bank". But there was always that song to redeem me, the one song in the world that I thought used my first name: "Groovin" by The Young Rascals.

One day a few years ago, listening to easy hits while driving my mom's car one weekend at home from university, I realized that I'd misheard the lyrics every time. It wasn't "I feel it comin' closer day by day, life would be ecstasy, you and me and Leslie" (where I always imagined Leslie was the dog or something crashing this couple's romantic Sunday picnic). No. It was "endlessly". Just "endlessly".

I felt like I'd just been dumped.

Monday, November 24, 2008

just like anyone

I'm constantly flip-flopping with this program. I am certain that it was the right choice for me to make, and at the right time, but I'm still not convinced that I really want to head down the road that they seem to be priming me for: "Pretentious Writer, 20 years away". There are tiny things that tend to sway me one way or the other, and there are thousands of them throughout each day, and I'm constantly choosing one side and then changing my mind, and as a result I still don't know what the fuck to do with myself. I fall asleep spooning the same demon every night.

What the hell do I want?

I have trouble finishing up the final polish on this novel chapter: i don't want to be a writer.

I settle into bed with my laptop at 130am one Sunday night and manage to write a pretty great short story in a little under three hours' time, one day before the deadline: i want to be a writer.

I go to the ATM for some twenties and am rewarded with a bank account balance slip that's less than $1, but more than 0 (it was 51 cents): fuck, i don't want to be a writer.

I see a crazy guy in the woods up at Spadina and St Clair, who is pushing a baby carriage full of urine-soaked Chihuahuas wearing dog collars made out of rope, and attempting to rake up the leaves, to RAKE UP THE LEAVES IN THE WOODS: yeah, i want to be a writer.

I continue to feel completely ostracized from the generally older students who populate my MFA program: I'll never fit in. I'm not pretentious enough. I don't want to be a writer.

I realize that writing is a solitary act, and a lonely life, but also that I'm a solitary person, and a lonely one, and it suits me just fine, and even though I've been doing this since high school, the reality is that I'm still wetting my feet, and I still have a million stories left to tell, and I'm not done yet, so I guess I'll keep going as long as I've got it in me: okay, fine. I'll be a writer.

Monday, November 10, 2008

somebody's patti scialfa

I'm supposed to be writing an essay right now (that's right, an essay, that beast I fought for the last four years but apparently have yet to slay). I'm also supposed to be writing the third chapter of a "novel" for my fiction workshop (a novel that I conjured up the night before my first class back in September, and a novel that I've been molding out of garbage for weeks, and a novel that will likely stop at the end of chapter three and never see the light of day once this workshop finishes up). I'm also supposed to be running, running always, in prep for that December race I love so much (they give us free egg nog as consolation after the snowy 10.8k, and that's a great deal in my books). I'm also supposed to be managing my budget, budgeting my time, and timing my breaks.

But I don't want to right now. I want to take another break instead.

The Worst Songs Ever, and Why I Love Them Anyway, Jerks

"Sad Eyes" by Bruce Springsteen (from 18 Tracks, 1999)

This is one of the laziest, safest, and most boring songs Springsteen has ever done, off an album that's barely even an album. He sings like a little lady, the arrangement is saccharine, and the lyrics are fortune cookies. But the first time I heard it (on an episode of Dawson's Creek) I knew that I was hooked. Embarrassed to admit it, but hooked. It happened in season 2 of DC, during the awkward but not entirely regrettable Andie+Pacey plot. The late-late nineties. It was an easy time, a hopeful time. It was a time before James Van Der Beek disappeared, and before Joey Potter bowed down at the temple of Xenu, and before anyone had even dreamed of a 90210 remake. It was a time when good things could happen, as long as you believed they could. If you wanted a boy to climb up the trellis outside your bedroom window, declare his love for you after tumbling onto your floor, and then kiss you while holding your face in both hands (Pacey Witter style), then, yeah. It was possible. Everything was possible in 1999.

"Have A Heart" by Bonnie Raitt (from Nick of Time, 1989)

Because my dad used to play this cassette all the time when I was growing up, before I learned how to tell the difference between shitty music and good.

"Only You" by Yaz (or Yazoo, if you prefer. From Upstairs at Eric's, 1982)

I was going to write about that one scene in The Office Christmas Special, you know, those ten heartbreaking minutes at the very end that always send me into projectile weeping, but this really doesn't even need an anecdote. It's a good song, seriously.