Monday, June 23, 2003

What? You're still here?

The Spooky Dream House is empty. This doesn't make it any less spooky, but it does make it somewhat less entertaining. Mostly, I am here.

Same girl (goth). Same world (strange). Different webpage.

Friday, December 21, 2001

Someday, in the event that I have nieces and nephews, adorable little children (all children that eventually go home to somewhere else are adorable) will look at me with their Dave Keene eyes and say "Auntie Never! Tell us about the nineties! We want to hear all about the internet boom when everybody became a millionaire overnight." Some of my friends did become millionaires. It was funny to see the names of people that I knew in press releases. It was strange to hear everybody talking about some company where I knew the CTO. Someday, when I'm surrounded by wide-eyed children, I will tell them about the time The Magazine Which Must Not Be Named rented out City Hall and threw a 2000-person party with eight open bars. There were the suddenly-rich ravers at Critical Path and the thugs-in-suits at Scient. There was that time that J, S, and I all made $10,000 overnight. On New Year's Eve 2000, most of my friends were in Fiji.

Some of them struck it so rich that they were inspired to spread it around. Jamie, unhappy when Netscape's corperate celebrations, rented out the Sound Factory for a Mozilla Party. D found a champagne he enjoyed so much, he bought every last available bottle in the United States, and then brought it out, case after case, for his friends to drink. I'm certain that there was an entire year when every time I went out, I saw some display of wealth so ludicrous I couldn't stop laughing.

When I got the invite from Dan Sully, I didn't understand at first. The first time it showed up in my mailbox, I mistook it for spam and deleted it unread. I do this a lot. My friends, if I've been owing you a reply to some tidbit of email for six months, there's a very good chance that your message has been lost in a fit of overzealous deleting. I thought he was just getting some friends together for the premiere of Lord of the Rings. We would all stand in line and give each other moral support. I could not have underestimated him more. Dan pulled a move directly from the 1999 playbook . He had rented out a full theater at the Metreon and he'd invited three hundred of his friends to see Peter Jackson's movie the moment it premiered: midnight.

Nevermind the movie. It was a beautiful movie, a great movie, I can't even count the number of times it gave me goosebumps, but the night was a beautiful thing in and of itself: three hundred people milling around a theater in the Metreon, hugging the people they hadn't seen since last week and the people they hadn't seen in years.When the lights dimmed and we took our seats, it was like watching a movie on a couch that seated hundreds of my friends. We cracked wise and hooted and laughed and ahh'd in a way that we would never have done in a dark room full of strangers. When the credits rolled, after we were done applauding Peter Jackson, we turned and we applauded Dan, because he'd thought to do this when we all so desperately needed cheering up. And this bitch of a year, 2001, didn't feel so miserable.

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Sometimes I don't know why I do the things I do. That's not true. I know why I recorded Angela's Ashes. I felt guilty for not reading the book. I am a literate girl (how old can you get before you're not a girl anymore? Will I still be a girl when I'm eighty?) and the idea of a Book of Some Importance that I haven't read is bothersome. Everything I know about Frank McCourt comes from a former co-worker of mine who is his niece.

There's nothing at all romantic about poverty. My parents and grandparents had to survive things that make my worst day look like a picnic. You wake up one morning and your mother's gone to pawn the last of the family silver to feed your eight brothers and sisters. You wake up one morning and you're dying in a Soviet hospital because they've botched an operation which is standard throughout the United States. You come home from the war and your entire family is gone, buried in a mass grave just outside of town. It's not that I think McCourt found poverty romantic, not in the least, but I suspect his readers did. There is nothing quite like American sympathy for the Irish Troubles, the way we drink their beer and fake their accents because we think that their troubles are part of some great epic tapestry, so very unlike our own.

It rains all through Angela's Ashes. It's either raining or about to rain. It rains and then somebody dies (a child, if at all possible), then it rains some more and McCourt's father comes home drunk. I almost couldn't stand it, so much nasty unrelenting sogginess, but I watched even though I knew that thing would never get better, that Angela's life would never improve, that there would always be some new indignity around the corner. It was a slow, sad car crash, but I'm sure I could have looked away if I wanted to.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

When the going gets tough, when the tough can't bring themselves to clean the house or do laundry or look for a job, the tough go to the gym.

My gym is within walking distance of the house. It's unpretentious. No one bothers me, or talks to me, or carries on any sort of conversation. Sometimes women will talk to each other in the locker room, but it's network television or some radio station I don't care for and everyone quietly counts their reps. I like that in a gym. It's hard to find a place to work out in San Francisco that isn't a pickup joint. Nevermind what the boys do in the men's locker room, I just can't stand sweating in the kind of place where women put on makeup before going to their afternoon aerobics class. There are some things I simply should not be forced to endure.

There's a pleasant hum of activity in the gym, everybody going about their business, machines running, weights clicking up against each other, "personal trainers" with immensely broad chests intimidating neophytes into doing one more set of situps. Gym etiquette is like library etiquette in that no one ever makes eye contact with a stranger. There's no one I want to make eye contact with in the second mile of my run. I'm a terrible runner, all short legs and no stamina. After twenty minutes or so, my legs feel like Jello. There's no one I want to make eye contact with while I'm stretching. Stretching in a public place always makes me feel like whoever is watching is trying to imagine what I'd be like in bed. I know it's an irrational concern, but I just can't shake it. It's paranoid delusions like this that make yoga classes impossible for me. There's certainly no one I want to see when I'm doing freeweights or machines. H.R. Giger missed his calling. He should have designed exercise machines, sleek and terrifying black monsters powered by the force of grimacing and grunting humans counting "twenty-one...ugh...twenty-two...ugh...twenty-three..." I think he would have liked it. I hate weight machines almost as much as I hate running, but I use them, hoping to tone that one little obscure muscle that the machine indicates it is designed to improve. Soon, the world's most powerful triceps will be mine!

As much as I hate exercise, I do love coming home with my lungs feeling clear and my whole body buzzing with extra oxygen. I like waking up in the morning just a little bit sore, so that I feel like all of my muscles are really there. It's worth it. In fact, I think I'll go again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Yes, it's Spooky Dream Poetry, courtesy of CmdrTaco. You can make your own poetry here.

Spooky Dream House
Parents grandparents, kid brother now approaching
six feet in the mechanic overcharge? Will give!
You heard this Take a great
vast nobrow culture, of an exciting time when
elite John Seabrook see it
is. a few months all of my family,
friends and fired again in
believe in the Nobrow culture,
of books. I
have you can
I had
two perfectly among them.Just stand there, comes
Julius, has his curly
hair and
good boys Maybe
strict with the morning that I do her family, no
no cousins, not hesitate. George Bush is due.

Saturday, December 01, 2001

I've spared you my updates. They would have all gone something like this:

Dear Diary,

I am sad, so sad! No one loves me! No one understands me! I will cry now for no good reason and then I will write wretchedly bad poetry. This is just like junior high. Waaah!

You don't want to read a thing like that. I don't even want to write it. The air is thick with disinterest. So forget about my week, except for the bit where J took me to dinner. That was nice. J took me to Azie, a sort of high-end Asian fusion place a few blocks away, and for the length of the evening, things were not so different from the way they were a few years ago, when we methodically made our way through every fancy restaurant in the city in a ritual we called Snob Night. This led to Never's Year of Being Fat, which wasn't so bad, considering that I got to get drunk on excellent wine and find out what fois gras tastes like. For nostalgia's sake, J and I ordered some ridiculous dessert that looked as if it had been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, if Frank Lloyd Wright's medium of choice had been pears. We came home tipsy and full of lobster, which is the best way the come home there is.

It's wonderfully comforting to have a partner in crime, someone who will notice when I fall into a week-long pout and say "Hey, that girl needs to be taken to dinner." Men, pay close attention: nothing says love like "let's go out to dinner." Of course, my moods aren't terribly hard to decipher. My happiness is inversely proportional to the amount of time I spent watching TV shows about forensic science. The New Detectives, FBI Files, The Justice Files, American Justice...Case Studies in FBI Justice with File Cabinets --any show which features people getting killed and then the killers getting caught because of geeks in white lab coats. Ballistics studies? I'm all over that. Luminol? Love it. Some people turn to drinking or drugs when they need to feel a sense of overwhelming numbness. All I need is a lengthy discussion about blood spatter or castor bean poisoning.

I'm sure I could commit the perfect crime by now. I know a million different ways to kill somebody. I know that there are hidden VIN numbers on cars whose location is known only to the vehicle manufacturer and the FBI. I know not to trust my phone records. I know that people leave hair everywhere. I know that blood gets everywhere and you'll never be able to clean it up completely. I know an awful lot about dental records and scratch marks. Every episode is a little morality play, a simple drama in which bloodthirsty monsters are caught by supernaturally calm, middle-aged men and women in white lab coats. When life is confusing and unfair, what could be more comforting than that?

Sunday, November 25, 2001

Blogger is being awful. I have updates. Oh, such updates I will give! You just have to be patient.