Tuesday, July 16, 2002

I forgot how addictive videos are. I met Charlie at Stonewall for a drink after work. I’ve never been there before, it’s actually a mellow bar at six pm, and they have soap and towels in the bathroom. I’m a big fan of knowing that the bartend can wash his hands after he’s gone to the restroom. Charlie took off, and now I have to finish my happy hour Rolling Rock (actually, a total of four beers). What torture. On the video screen are some carefully selected videos, and I can’t seem to carry on a conversation. I’m mesmerized by the fluid images, the kinetic entertainment, the A.D.D. fix. I’m transported back to my early teens, sneaking out once my parents were asleep to watch “Night Tracks” on TBS. My sister Bonnie and I felt so rebellious, because everyone knows that videos are a tool of the devil. The penalty was missing early morning cartoons, something I still continue to miss. I love videos, the strange barrage of images that assault the senses, provisioners of ten second gratification.

This bar is great, the music is pounding, but not distracting. It reminds me of my early college days, where I would do homework while some bad band was sweating onto my notebook. I was oblivious, as I thrive in chaos, worshipping some kind of pagan god who blesses confusion or convulsions. I hate to study in some library, I have always found silence oppressive. The people swarm about, searching the happy hour free food for something tasty, moving on to something tasty sitting at the bar. A ridiculous cowboy hat person swaggers about, my urge to castrate looms. I have this recurring issue with cowboy hats. People who have never seen a horse should not wear a cowboy hat. I don’t want to pull a Dubya and do some form of capital murder, but I have to feel that one earns a cowboy hat. I’ve earned a cowboy hat, even though I don’t wear one. I’m waiting for my step-mom to mail me my old one, or at least one of my dad’s castoffs.

Back to the videos. Love ‘em. Videos are perfect noise in the background. No cable at the Swanktuary, my home in Brooklyn, although we have some sort of strangely random collection of movies on the IFC channel for free. I love indie films that are chock-full of angst, unexpressed emotions, and no explosions. To contradict their normal program, they showed a Peter Jackson film from his early days called “Brain Dead”, which is so full of violence and gore that I was hypnotized within two minutes. Anyone who can use a lawn mower to kill the undead should be allowed to direct a film. It’s a new classic for me, alongside the Evil Dead series and maybe Buckaroo Banzai.

I love this bar! These people amaze me! I’m at one with the universe! I think I should stop drinking.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Why do I keep using the giant can of shaving cream that I don't like? I bought it at Walmart in Lubbock just before I left, one of those ultra-mega-huge econocans of foamy stuff. From the very first time I used it, I didn't like it. It's all farty and such. As I depressed the tab, it hissed, frothed, and produced this lousy foam. Maybe if you don't shave your head, you just wouldn't understand, but think of it as a shampoo that you don't really like. It's never consistent, sometimes a quarter size amount produces enough for my head, other days not enough, other days I have a giant foamy 'fro. The other day I looked like Mr. Softee.

So why can't I just throw this substandard stuff away? Was I born in the Depression or something? I will do the standard action and blame my parents. I'm not sure at which point that my parents imparted this lesson, but it haunts me to this day. I have such a hard time throwing things away. It's why I habitually poison myself with skanky food. I know that the old ham is bubbling with dangerous bacteria, but I'm such a botulism optimist that I always end up microwaving the bejeezus out of it, and then ingesting it. This isn't your rare event, but a regularly occurring habit. Plus I can't tell if the milk is gone off, unless it turns to cottage cheese.

I've corrected the mistake, buying some really good Aveeno oatmeal shaving cream at the Bedford stop. I'm down to the last bits of that nasty stuff, but I can't force myself to throw it away. I just wonder what other things in my life I've missed out on, just because I've stuck with something out of habit.