Saturday, March 27, 2010

Office Ladies (Or: Diet Soda, Microwave Popcorn, and Baked-Good Terrorism)


Allow me to be a dick for the duration of the present post.

The ladies in my office are loud and always talking about nothing in particular, and I am extremely unkind to them in my mind.

Near the microwave in the break room someone has thoughtfully placed a coaster that says, "In all things God works for the good of those who love Him," or some similar quote that is clearly not fucking true. Their voices are reedy and birdlike; they say "um" loudly, like an interjection, and they strain to talk over one another. This is what a typical morning sounds like:
squeaksquawk Weight Watchers brawwwwwwwk Dr. Oz squeaksquawk OH. bokbokbokbok Cookies and/or Snacks brawwwwwwwk UM. squeaksquawk OH. OKAY squeaksquawk UM. bokbokbokbok Weekend [etc.]
They are TEXAS LADIES. I love my adopted home, but I am not sympathetic to the Texas accent when it leaves the mouth of a woman. Men: Just fine; sounds avuncular. Women: Sounds ignorant. I KNOW THIS IS WRONG. I don't know why I am this way. This is how I feel.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fair and Balanced

Dear Shiddy,

I humbly submit to you the weeknight musings of a tired poet and a punchy house-husband:

It gives me an embarrassing amount of satisfaction.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Need a Minute.

I saw this the other day, and I got more jazzed than I've been about anything in a while. In this case, it was more the condition of the clothing and coffins that interested me than the condition of the bodies, but: Jesus, why does this do it for me?

I've been fascinated by dead bodies since I was little. As a child, I was obsessed with the skeletons and plaster casts at Pompeii and Herculaneum. I kept a copy of National Geographic with an article about it. I slowly destroyed the binding by flipping through and considering all the pictures, especially the Ring Lady.

I am strangely invested in the past: I am (maybe) more interested in it than I am in the future. Perhaps this is my weakness. I'll spend some Saturday mornings clicking through this site, enlarging images so that I can see lettering on windows and appliances, facial expressions, stitching on clothes. For me, the past is irresistible when there's a record of it--a photograph, a sound recording, a skeleton or (better) a weirdly preserved body--even if that record's not entirely reliable. I did seriously try for a career making half of the money I make now just so that I could flip through dead people's diaries and letters all day. (For the record, I'm now glad that didn't work out.)

As for my own past, I remember too much of it and consider it about as much as I consider what I'm doing in real time. (This is probably not true in reality--that would be incredibly sad--but it least it feels this way sometimes.)

Speaking of which, real time has been fucking me tough lately. I want to find a secret pause button so that I can enlarge and peer at some stitching or lettering. I've noticed the general acceleration more keenly since returning to Austin, because this place feels like a city-sized personal time capsule from my twenties. What intervened (New York City) was a blur: two and a half years of a certain routine (work, subway, gym) after years of little routine (graduate school, social life, part-time work). My memory from April 2007 to December 2009 bleeds and clusters. It feels like it didn't actually happen. Maybe this is excellent.