Sometimes I look around and think about what a waste of time it all is.
Posts Tagged ‘vietnam flashbacks’
It’s getting to be that time of the year in Phoenix when one’s ass is in almost a perpetual state of sweatiness. There’s really not much you can do about it either. Here I am in my underwear typing this in the comfort of my climate controlled habitat of a room…and still sweating my tail off with nothing to do but wait it out, which reminds me….
For some reason in the spring of 2002 I became obsessed with the Vietnam War, reading all sorts of dusty, out of print memoirs and accounts of mostly forgotten figures from that era. The best of these was probably Louis Fanning’s “Betrayal in Vietnam” which hardcover copies are still out there and available on Amazon starting at just 36 cents. One of my favorite documentaries on the Vietnam War was “The Ten Thousand Day War,” which came out in 1980 and incidentally was made by Peter Arnett, who later became a famous and controversial correspondent in both gulf wars. The bias in “The 10,000 Day War” is somewhat negated by the fact that the film features many interviews with former leaders, officials, and soldiers who are given ample time to state their take on events that transpired. The finest of these are the ones with former South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu and former Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky. Though I haven’t seen this in like 8 years, I recall one of our ally, Nguyen Cao Ky’s statements as being significant:
“Americans are a very impatient people. For Vietnamese people, time means nothing to them. They’ll just outwait you. I told President Johnson that the Americans should just go and win the war quickly.”
Fast forward to the present, and what in the world does the Vietnam War have to do with wishy-washy girls? Well, a lot actually if you think about it, but laying out those abstract connections in detail is not the purpose of this entry so just use your imagination for now.
I recently had a discussion with some girls who boasted about knowing exactly what they wanted in a guy, and they could know flat out whether they were interested or not. They made a point to distinguish themselves from those wishy-washy girls that can never make up their mind about a guy, and are forever going back and forth on what they want.
You can imagine their reaction when I told them that I actually preferred such eternally indecisive girls. The reason being is that if a girl knows exactly what she wants, and it’s not you…well then if you like her you’re simply out of luck. Her mind is already made up before giving you a chance to win her over and convince her that in fact she does want you, she just didn’t know it yet. I don’t want someone whose mind is already made up about what they want in someone before they even meet me. I know that i’m probably too idiosyncratic to fit into whatever carefully crafted image of the perfect guy they’ve concocted. At least with a wishy-washy girl I can make use of my skills in advertising and marketing to sell her a useless product she doesn’t need(…me!) And yes, I realize there’s a major downside:
“Cecelia, you’re breaking my heart. You’re shaking my confidence daily.”
Of course it can be exhausting to have a girl adore you one day while knowing she may not be interested in you the next.
“I got up to wash my face, when I come back to bed someone’s taken my place”
But so what? If you’re cleverly persuasive, she may like you even more the day after that.
“Jubilation, she loves me again! I fall on the floor and I’m laughing.”
At least if she craps out on you it will always be possible to win her back in the future. As a bonus this can also help quell one’s narcissistic fear of engulfment, since you know this isn’t an all or nothing deal and you will have plenty of opportunities for a way out, in order to maintain your sense of self. It’s also a whole-lotta fun thinking of ways to try to win someone back, especially if you know you’re not just going up against a brick wall, but rather a Belgian waffle.
You can buy them shoes, necklaces, write them elaborate text message love letters that borderline on creepy, send them flowers, set jealousy traps(sucks when they do that back to you though,) buy yourself a new wardrobe so they can see how attractive you can make yourself for brief periods of time, etc.
We’ve all done it, like in that episode of The Wonder Years where Kevin Arnold goes to that party where Winnie Cooper is there with her new boyfriend, and Kevin tries to make her jealous by hanging out with Madeline(who incidentally was not wishy washy in the least but still hotter than Winnie anyway) and being the life of the party, strutting his stuff on the wall to wall carpet dance floor and waving his jacket in the air(it ends up not working and he comes off like even more of a jerk.)
It’s never enough to just win a girl over anyway…or “get the girl.” As F Scott Fitzgerald somberly observed in “This Side of Paradise,” beautiful debutantes need to be won over again every time you see them. It would be a pity if simply failing to win them over just one of the times, would trigger a swift decisive judgment that would disqualify you for all time. Rather I’d prefer a stalemate see-saw battle,a war of attrition, where patience and persistence could eventually carry the day, even if just for that day.
The title of this entry was a variant of the book title “In Praise of the Stepmother” which I have to say deals with entirely different subject matter…
My friend Steven Christopher Wallace texted me today to tell me he had finally watched one of my favorite movies, “To Live and Die in L.A.” which he had never seen before due to extreme procrastination. The conversation brought on one of my childhood flashbacks. I remember in perhaps 1986, as a wide eyed, jean jacket wearing, mirror tinted sunglasses sporting, prepubescent 80′s kid, that one of the only times I ever bonded with my stepdad was one afternoon we sat on the couch and watched “To Live and Die in LA” in its entirety followed by a basketball game(the Chicago Bulls vs. someone.) It is one of the few memories I have of being a child where there was not some sort of anxiety or childhood trauma involved. And I use the word “trauma” loosely as in from the perspective of a child. Getting grounded no TV for a week for sneaking your football back from the 3rd grade teacher who unjustly took it from you…or having to sleep with the lights out with a talking Pee Wee Herman doll visible in your room is traumatic to a kid.
Speaking of the 80′s, whenever I hear popular 80′s songs I am reminded of how I comically misheard the lyrics to many of them:
Take for example the chorus of Madonna’s “Material Girl” which I heard many times being dragged shopping with my Dynasty era, diet pepsi drinking 80′s mom. Waiting hours and hours while my mother spent ungodly amounts of time browsing and trying on shoulder padded clothing and pantyhose at fashionation (a hip 80′s clothing store not to be confused with the porno boutique chain “fascinations”)
“everybody’s living in a material world, and i am a material girl”
is how it went, but I mistook the lyrics for:
“cause everybody’s living in a cereal world, and I am in a cereal bowl”
And I REALLY thought those were the words to the song.
another fine example was how I thought the song “The Heat is On” was really “Peter’s Uncle” (I had a friend named Peter, though why someone would be writing a song about his uncle and it subsequently playing on nationally syndicated radio was outside the bb gun scope of my logic at the time)
I still remember the disappointment while riding in a truck when I told my own uncle how “I really like that song that just played, “Peter’s Uncle” only to have him get briefly confused, laugh and then tell me “that’s not Peter’s Uncle” it’s “The Heat is on.”
And so it is. In the real world of material girls, here I am a serial boy, in a cereal bowl, living in a cereal world…kind of explains a lot. I’ve often wondered if I was perhaps the ONLY person out of the millions who heard these songs to interpret the lyrics in this fashion.
So the other day my car ran out of gas on the freeway. The needle wasn’t on “E,” it was just low…and just as I was merging onto the freeway…. “*putt* *putt* *putt*” my car lost almost all power. There was no initially shoulder of the road so I managed to limp it along about a half a mile to where there was an area to pull off to(my apologies to whomever bewildered road rager was stuck behind me as I was doing 20mph with the pedal floored.) I thought I was toast actually. Luckily I have Triple A, but they couldn’t understand my directions and never showed up. What’s worse is that after numerous calls and being on hold when the tow truck driver called to clarify where I was…my phone died(there wasn’t much charge left to begin with.) Not to mention the freeway was so loud that I couldn’t hear a word over the phone, and just made statements based on the sorts of questions I’d imagined they would be asking.
Anyway, I was stranded on the side of the road
for nearly 4 hours…and not one person stopped, not even numerous highway patrol officers which cruised on by. Eventually, I abandoned the notion that someone was going to rescue me, and as soon as I did..I was finally able to make some progress. Way off in the distance I could see a “Harkins Theater” so I knew where the gas station was nearby. I made a very treacherous journey in that direction (running across the freeway during rush hour is not my kind of risktaking as I prefer occasionally forgetting to take my vitamins or going down on a girl when it’s that time of the month.) I made it to Arizona Mills mall after climbing one of those fences that’s really hard to climb(the kind with just vertical bars running parallel) and had to trudge through the entire mall where I saw some of the fattest(briefly pondering the physics of their sexual activities), most ghettorrific human beings this side of Central Ave. Also was dismayed to see that they had gotten rid of the fortune telling machines that Shannon and I used to mess with while we were waiting for a movie. There was one where in this phony Eurabian accent this guy would say “Look into my eyes” but only one eye would light up…and then “yes, I can feel your positive vibration!” Ahhhh, good times, great oldies, fond memories.
After exiting the mall, I walked to the nearest gas station, bought a gas can and then proceeded all the way back to my car…poured the gas in and prepared for the most dangerous part…you see my car was pulled over in the center of the freeway at the very edge of the shoulder right before 3 freeways merge. In other words, there was no “runway” as the shoulder ended about 20 feet ahead of where I was parked. Because my gas needle wasn’t showing empty…I had no way of knowing with absolute certainty that gas was the problem. There was a good chance my car would simply lose power and roll suicidally slow right into freeway traffic. Obviously that didn’t happen as I was able to write this entry. I waited for a brief moment when no cars were coming and floored it. My car accelerated like Eric Dickerson circa 1985, and I drove home like it was burgertime…which it was.
Last friday night was Jaymz’ birthday. He only drinks once a year, and man that is a good thing. A drunken Jaymz is like a little kid on xmas morning. A pervy kid, too. He was trying to get practically every single girl to eskimo kiss with him/make out with him, whatever. He really milked it for all it was worth. I really have to admit though, it was nice for a change that for once I wasn’t the creepy one! We went to Plaid to see Wes’s band play, then Casey Moore’s and then Glam. Nothing else notable happened.
Anyway, Sunday night we went to “The Faint” at the Marquee, which brought back some dark memories/vietnam flashbacks for sure. I was introduced to a girl named Valerie, and I asked her if she was named after Valerie Bertinelli. She said she was. I was like “you probably get that a lot” but she said that I was the only person whom she’s ever met who guessed that. She was was Cuban, but said her mom named her after a 70′s sitcom actress apparently to make her seem more American.
So Wednesday night, I was driving home from target eating some goldfish crackers and blasting my pretty things cd(coincidentally, the song “mr evasion” was playing). As I was about a block from my house, my phone rang. Never one to miss a call, I was reaching for my cell as it vibrated in my pocket and I turned kind of “sketchily”. All of the sudden, there was a cop behind me shining his spotlight getting ready to pull me over because he must have thought I was drunk or something. Rather than wait for him to pull me over and get a ticket for no registration and no insurance and god knows what else, I simply parked my car and got out while talking on the phone loudly and cheerfully pretending I didn’t see him. I just walked off, and I looked back to see the cop stop and park next to my car. I walked all the way around the block and cut through the alley back to my house.
After a half hour or so, I took a peek outside down the street, and sure enough the cop was still there with his lights flashing and looking at my car. At this point I called Clint to discuss strategy and warn him of the situation, and I live with a cop who happened to be home so I went in the bathroom to talk and left the water running so no one could overhear anything. I couldn’t go back to my car because the cop would have asked a lot of questions and potentially given me various fines, run my name(s) as well as go through my wallet and ask about my various “ID’s”. About two hours later, I decided the cop would probably be gone by now, so I walked the long way around only to find as I almost turned the corner, that he was right there waiting for me. I didn’t look directly at him though, and I kept walking only this time when I came back around the other side of my street, there was another cop sitting there! With no way home, I went to AM/PM and bought a bottle of aquafina so it looked like I was actually going somewhere. With no way home, I called Jeff and told him to meet me at Hollywood video in 10 minutes, and I proceeded to make my way there via alleys and side streets. When I finally made it to Hollywood video, I swear it felt so great it was just like when Chevy chase finally got to Wally World(before he discovered that it was closed and went crazy.)Hollywood Video was open though, so I browsed around and briefly checked out all of the crappy new releases and remakes of great and mediocre 70′s films. Jeff got there right on schedule, and drove getaway back to his apartment on central and camelback in downtown phoenix, or “the belly of the beast” as I like to call it(for those who know). I tried to get him to go to bikini lounge, because the ordeal was so intense that it made me want to go there and (censored) but he was too tired. I was slightly exhausted myself, and crashed on his couch using only my arm as a pillow. Thursday after work I went home planning to find my car towed, plates taken or some sort of ticket attached at the very least. Much to my surprise, the car and the plates were intact without even so much as a note attached to it. I got off scot-free!
Today I went and bought some insurance and got my car registered. As always, at that moment where I have to give them my license at the dmv so they can run it I always get slightly nervous at what will come up. My hand was shaking a little, and I looked around for what would be the nearest exit if I had to run for it. The guy at the counter looked at his computer screen said “oh no, that’s not good” and went in the back for a while, when he came out he handed me my new title and registration, and I left. So now my car is legal, thanks to the highly affordable prestigious institution of “Coast National Insurance”, whom I’ve never heard of until today.
The whole event was reminiscent of the days of skateboarding and running from the cops downtown and making our way down treacherous ravines in the pitch black to escape busted house parties in the middle of nowehere.
Last Friday Clint and I went and bought a lot of valentines that were on clearance. I bought these ones that were called “sea creatures”. I want to scan them and post them on people’s myspace pages. We decided we’re going to try to keep valentines day going..even though I don’t even like that holiday and I always say it sucks ass.
I was sick all week and so I drank 25 Emergen-C’s…I’ve come to the conclusion that they don’t do shit, but then I drink a diet pepsi and feel like 20 bucks again. Could it be because of caffeine’s antibacterial properties? I stayed home from work on Tuesday and watched “Charade” with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. My favorite scene is when Cary Grant takes a shower with his suit on. The fact that I was able to purchase it at Walgreens for 1.99 is both terrific and depressing at the same time. It was one of those cheap dvd’s so it just replays over and over if you leave it on, so when I fell asleep I kept waking up during different parts and it must have played like 8 times, and was sort of a soundtrack to my fever dreams. Then I watched “Deliverance”, one of the greatest films of all time. It kind of strikes a personal chord because it reminds me of hunting and fishing with my dad as a kid. And the scene where Jon Voight is pulling back the bow to shoot a deer and is so nervous his hand starts shaking and he kind of loses it… it’s something I’ve actually experienced. My dad always referred to it as “buck fever”. Clint and I talked about getting a night DJing somewhere, and we would call our night “deliverance”. It would be so popular.
Anyway, Friday was Abe’s CD release party at the Trunk Space. Almost everyone in the world was there. It just like a 2002 party, with everyone coming from far and wide. Abe really does put on an amazing performance. He really gives it the old heave-ho(sp?). Hard to believe he’s a schoolteacher by day. He’ll be famous soon if he just keeps doing what he’s doing. Oh, and Asleep in the Sea is still the best local band in my opinion. So creative and original.
Clint was wasted so I had to drive his car home. He couldn’t believe that I knew how to drive stick shift. I remember last summer when I was hanging out with Lindsey, she said she was really impressed that I knew how to drive stick. But I figured she probably just always hangs out with these emo kids or whatever. And I mean, I used to hunt deer with a bow and arrow from up in a tree. Of course I know how to drive a stick shift car. It’s one of the few things I can actually say I’m great at without having to lie.
Last night Adriane called me, and invited me on her bus for her birthday tonight. She rented a bus that’s going to drive all her friends to a hotel and these different clubs, and then finally to the rogue. I’m still kind of sick, but I think if I just pop some pills and spray some of that zinc stuff in my throat I should be good to go.
Friday night I drank too much and ended up spending the night at some apartment in Chandler that Roxanne “kidnapped” me and brought me to. It was me and Roxanne, John Cramer, and some girl with a cuban name. I fell asleep watching that “world’s wildest police video” show that’s always on late at night, the one with the really intense announcer….John Bunnell. Woke up at 8:30 am feeling like absolute shit, and it was like a furnace in that place, too. That girl must have really cranked the heat up, because i was cold when i fell asleep.
When I awoke, I turned the doorknob to go outside and John Cramer woke up and said “are you leaving”, and i was all “no i’m just going outside for a minute.” But then I just left. I seriously had no idea where I was or how to get home, and had to walk through all these deserts, and so I used the sun as a compass which got me at least headed in the right direction. Finally I made it to a bus stop, but after waiting almost two hours, the bus never came. So I called the number for the bus company, and they said the buses don’t go out there on weekends. I ended up having to walk a couple miles to the chandler mall, where I was able to catch the bus. Felt dehydrated and nauseous so I stopped in old town scottdale and bought a diet pepsi, my first one in almost 6 months). It took me about 3 hours and two transfers to get where I needed to go(40th ave and indian school to pick up a keyboard). After that I went back to Central because I wanted to go to “Movies on Central” to see if there were any good movies for sale. I was exhausted and carrying a gihugic keyboard so I took a cab home. Got home, my head hurt so I fell asleep for a couple hours. Woke up and my stomach hurt, made myself throw up. It was puke city so I didn’t end up going out Saturday.
Sunday I felt like a hundred bucks again. Went to eat at Plaid with Clint. He asked me to be the star of a feature film he’s remaking(and yeah I hate remakes but oh well), “High School Bigshot”(a movie they made fun of on MST3K but is actually quite good) that he’s shooting this summer on 16mm film stock. He says he has the money to make it. I was hesitant at first because I probably have leprocy on the big screen, and I haaaate remakes but he said I was perfect for the part so I agreed to it. He explained the plot to me and basically it’s about a kid who’s really smart but lazy and the other kids don’t like him because he doesn’t study, show up on time etc, but still gets by. Then this girl who has some jock boyfriend tries to woo him so that he will help her get good grades so she can graduate. So she starts to “kind of” like him, but doesn’t want to marry him because he has no money, so he tries to take a shortcut and pull off a heist to get money so she’ll like and marry him. He says it has a “tragic ending” so I’m enthused.
Then we went to a barbeque at Steve Wallace’s house. Sherman was wasted, and we all watched the short film “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe”. It was pretty good.
Jason and I were talking the other night about how it was funny how he wears this “SF” hat and I wear an “LA” Dodgers hat, and really we just like the cities, but jock people always come up and try to talk to us about baseball which we care nothing about. It happens everywhere and people are like “Fuck the Giants” or whatever. One college clone guy followed me three blocks saying stuff and I was doing my usual thing when I get an “unsolicited talker” on the street where I just ignore them and don’t respond, and finally he shouts “Look man I just want to have a conversation about baseball!!”, and I mean, he assumed I thought he was going to ask for money or talk shit to me or something and that’s why he persisted, but he obviously didn’t factor it in that I didn’t want to talk to him for any reason about ANYTHING.
Then sometimes a cute girl will ask me if I like the Dodgers, or tell me she loves them, and it’s a real bummer cause then I have to decide whether or not to just go along with it and pretend I’m into baseball because she’s attractive, or just be honest. But I feel bad because I know we have nothing in common and she doesn’t know it yet…so it gives her a sort of innocence which then I will feel guilty for shattering it. And I usually end up just telling the truth so that means I don’t like them enough because otherwise I really would “take one for the team” and do whatever’s necessary.
Went to the Rogue with Jeff on Saturday. It was a blast, but not really…
I always have so much stuff crammed into my pockets, (cellphone, cash, emergen-c packets, gum, coins, random papers) that sometimes I think about when some girl is dancing close and I’m “inadvertently” rubbing up against her then maybe she thinks I have some huge erection cause I have all that stuff in my pockets. I mean, that’s the sort of thing that a passive aggressive girl might just stop talking to you over. And you’ll always wonder if it was because of that…and you’ll go over it again and again in your mind over the years. So you really have to wonder about getting involved with a random passive agressive person.
I kind of want to go to the show at the Rhythm Room tonight, and I kind of don’t. I’m wary of multiple people who I could run into. Jeff and I were talking about how when ever I enter into downtown Phoenix, it’s like going to “Falluja”. Tempe is the “green zone”.
“Well, it’s a long way yet. Past the Great Rock that Looks Like a Long Neck, and pass the Mountains that Burn… still a long way, but we’ll get there.” -The Land Before Time
It’s raining buckets outside…
Flashback to new years eve 2004..
I laid around depressed and miserable the whole week and played “illusion of gaia” for Super Nintendo. I watched an awful made for tv movie about the show “Dynasty”.
The rain continued for days, and I kept lying around hoping for the best, playing illusion of Gaia, one of the all time greatest and most interesting of games.