Thursday, December 29, 2005

Easy (As Falling Apart)

I wish everything in life didn't have to be so god damn painful all the time. Is it just like this forever? Do I just make things hard for myself by obsessing and being too sensitive? Is it low self-esteem? Is everyone else just a lot more detached than I am? Maybe it's just the holidays. Stupid Jesus.

Sorry. I'm just having a little self-pity party today.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Aliens and Dixie Chicks

Apparently this is the Christmas of the Dixie Chicks. I borrowed my sister-in-law's copy of Wide Open Spaces for the drive up from Little Rock to Rogers and listened to it the entire way (read: over 3 consecutive times). Then I got a copy of Home for Christmas, then bought a copy of Wide Open Spaces for myself at Wal-Mart today. They're both wonderful, and I am now officially a huge fan. I guess I always considered them sort of a "singles" band, but seriously, both records are nearly flawless.

Last night I sat in my kitchen with my dad, both brothers and my sister-in-law and had a very long conversation about aliens and the Bible. We actually discussed, in depth and with all seriousness, about why the aliens would have built Egypt, and what they must have been doing. I think we were all running on the assumption that aliens do actually exist, and did actually build Egypt. At least for the sake of conversation. I think my dad might actually believe it, I'm not sure. It was also sort of interesting to listen to him refute and explain away multiple Old Testament stories, attributing them to geologic activity. Neither of my parents have ever been Christians of the literal, fundamentalist type, but they are both avid Bible readers, church goers, and people of deep faith. The thing my dad explained in the most detail was how the parting of the Red Sea was supposedly caused by an earthquake and the tides pulling back or something. (I was fairly lit at that point after having consumed 2 whiskeys and almost 3 beers.) I guess explaining away the parting of the Red Sea due to an earthquake is still assuming the Red Sea did actually part, and that the whole exile from Egypt is also true, so maybe my dad is just the master of Intelligent Design, having found a perfect balance of his faith and his science. Or maybe the Moses story is actually historically accurate and I'm just ignorant. But we never did come to any conclusions as to why the aliens built Egypt. Obviously it has something to do with irrigation, but what? Beats the shit out of us.

On Friday before I left Little Rock I visited the Clinton Library. I have to admit that I was deeply moved and actually cried 3 times. Just thinking about America back then, and watching his speeches, and imagining how much promise there was, pre-Bush, pre-9/11. Just the things that administration did for civil rights, and the poor, and for education. My heart broke. I didn't get behind everything Clinton did, obviously, but it just seems like everyone in the White House back then was so smart, and committed, and progressive-thinking. I truly feel this country was headed towards a greatness it may now never realize. I'm not blaming it all on Bush of course, but he has certainly altered the tides and direction it may take generations to get back. In a lot of ways, the library was really depressing for that reason. But I'm happy I went, and if nothing else, it's an architectural masterpiece, truly stunning.

Overall, it's been a very nice trip. My nephew is 3-and-a-half now, and he's so much fun. He's really starting to form a real personality, and you can carry on semi-conversations with him, and he's becoming quite opinionated and big-mouthed. A true Cox. But more than that, he loves me. He always wants me to play with him, and carry him around, and his face lights up when I walk in the room. He loves to run up and wrap himself around my leg and then beg me to carry him around upside-down; he loves it. He thinks his brains will fall out, but he doesn't seem too concerned about it. I think for maybe the first time, I will be truly sad to leave him. My brother and sister-in-law are thinking about moving back up here from Little Rock and I hope they do. I might even come visit more. I think now that the nephew's personality is really starting to come out, I'm getting a little sad at how many of the things I'm going to miss: his school plays, soccer games, taking him out for afternoons at the movies. Fuck. I hate that kids can do this to you, and I hate that I'm not immune to it. Maybe when he gets older he can come stay with me a little bit in Austin during the summers or something. That might be nice. Who knows what the future holds.

It's also been more of an emotional vacation in other ways. My grandmother has Alzheimers and is deteriorating quickly. I had lunch with her on Saturday, and it was nice, but possibly one of the saddest things I've ever seen happened the same afternoon. I went to her house to give her some flowers and a vase I got her, and she wanted to show me a picture she had. She went to her class reunion this past summer and she said the picture was of her and a really good-looking fellow she met. I thought this was pretty strange and was intrigued until she showed me the picture, and it was of her and my grandfather from several years ago. They were married for almost 60 years, and he died from prostate cancer 6 years ago. She had found the picture in her bedroom, and had sort of decided, i guess (i have no idea how the Alzheimers brain really operates), that she had met this "fellow" there. When I tried to explain to her who it actually was, she had zero recollection of my grandfather, and was convinced she had only met this man this past summer and had never spoken to him again. In these situations, when dealing with this disease, you just have to acquiese and change the subject most of the time, which is about all I could do to keep from crying. And in some ways it made me really angry, but it's not her fault.

I'm leaving here tomorrow, aware of how much I'm leaving behind, and for the first time actually caring. I'm not sure how I feel about that. But I'll be glad to get back to my adopted home and my regular life. And all of my other family.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

And I don't Understand Why I Sleep all Day

So today I talked to my old college friend Allie for 45 minutes on my drive to Dallas. Allie was the girlfriend of my freshman roommate, and we met through him. He ended up dropping out of college for various reasons at semester, but Allie and I remained friends. We haven't spoken since I first moved to Austin almost 7 years ago, but talking to her today, I realize very little has changed.

I actually started laughing to myself in the car thinking about her. We had so many adventures together. She was from Little Rock, so we went back there often to visit her parents and go to punk rock shows at Vino's. I remember being 18 and sitting in her Volvo outside Little Rock's only gay dance club, Discovery, and just wishing so badly that we could go inside but we were underage. We thought about trying to sneak in a few times but we never actually had the guts. And once in the snow, her windshield wiper broke on the way to the Rock, with our friend Jeff, so we stayed in a hotel, only to find out the next morning that it was just a loose screw. We laughed so hard, but had a great time in the hotel room. The 3 of us devised this incredibly elaborate story about being strung-out club kids in this incredibly sordid, bisexual, drug and sex triangle that we were going to try to use to get on Jerry Springer. There were late night "study sessions" at the Waffle House in Fayetteville playing "No Rain" by Blind Melon over and over on the jukebox. Punk shows at the Station, muddy raves out in the woods, skipping Communications class to sit in her dorm room watching reruns of My So-Called Life. Drunken 4-square games at the Greek Theatre in the middle of the night with all of the stinky crusty punk rock vegan hippy weirdo kids from Little Rock, one of which we both wanted so badly, we stayed up many nights with aching hearts discussing him and looking at his pictures.

Yeah, we had many good times. It seems her life has taken some unusual, but fulfilling and wonderful, turns and it was so great talking to her. It seems we can still make each other laugh just as much as we ever could, and she hasn't lost a single shred of her goofiness. So we're going to have breakfast on Friday morning in Little Rock before I leave my brother's house to drive up to Rogers. I can't wait. I anticipate spitting coffee out my nose and laughing so hard my guts hurt. And maybe just for good measure we'll go to Waffle House and listen to "No Rain."

Monday, December 19, 2005

There will be no white flag above my door

Goodbye Karen. I love you. Austin will never be the same without you. I'll miss you more than you'll ever know.


I is officially a student

I went in this morning, signed up for my classes, talked to the financial aid advisor (things are a little scary on that front...), and got my parking permit!

Most importantly, the classes I'm taking are:
Spanish I (since I took 2 different languages while at the University of Arkansas - don't ask! - I could either have taken the second class of one of those, but since it's been 10 years since I took either one, and you have to have 2 semesters of the same language at St. Eds, I just decided to start over with Spanish, since that will probably be infinitely more useful than either French or German, which are what I took at the U of A.)
Gender Studies (to fulfill my Literature requirement. They had many things to choose from that sounded interesting, but most of them were full, including "Southern Writers," which I think I would have liked, but "Gender Studies" will suit me just fine, I feel.)
Theories of Personality (my first Psych elective), and
The American Experience, which is sort of like an American Studies class. blech. Not looking horribly forward to that one, but whatever.

So I only got enough financial aid at this point to cover a little over half of tuition, and that's it. So I panicked a little, but that's based on the amount of money that I'm currently making, which, obviously, I won't be making once I'm in school. So I have several options, one of which is to fill out this form for the school basically telling them that, and the advisor pretty much guaranteed I will get a substantial amount more. Also, she gave me another pretty big loan I can apply for with a co-signor, that was also pretty guaranteed. So all is good. Now I just need to go find another part-time job! Yay for part time, service jobs.

But all in all, it feels a little more real now than it used to, even yesterday. I'm sort of swimming and overwhelmed, but very excited.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ahh, Christmas.

Everyone should immediately go here. It's one of the funniest god damn things I've ever heard in my life. I was laughing before the music even started.

You need speakers or headphones.

On another note, this girl I work with told me this morning I looked like I got run over by a truck, then asked if I was sick. Geez. I didn't get much sleep last night, but I didn't think I looked that bad.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Only 11 days of work left

Thus, I'm not doing shit, and the postings have been a little heavy on here lately. For the second day in a row, I'm aping Collier by posting the results of the Ok Cupid Death Test.

Apparently, I have 19,221 days left on Earth, until I finally pass in the year 2058, age 81, of a heart attack. Better that than cancer, I suppose. But even more sobering, I have lived 35% of my life already. That's very sobering to think about.

"What is it that you really want?" "Real Estate."

Victor sent this along yesterday, and I wanted to share it. It's a Yahoo! news article about the enduring appeal of A Charlie Brown Christmas. I've seen this show every Christmas for as long as I can remember, and it still gets me a little choked up every time. Money quote:

Schulz, who died in 2000, never doubted the power of his tale of Charlie Brown's quest for the true meaning of Christmas amid the garish trappings of a commercialized holiday. "It comes across in the voice of a child," says Jeannie Schulz, the wife of the cartoonist, whose friends called him Sparky. "Sparky used to say there will always be a market for innocence."

Now that my nephew is around, we've started sharing it with him, and I love sitting and watching him watch it, wide-eyed, taking it all in. Last Christmas he was only 2, so I'm sure he didn't get much, but you gotta start em young. It makes me sad that they just don't seem to make this kind of stuff anymore. Everything now has to be so hip and reflective of pop culture, and have sexual innuendos and hip hop music. It breaks my heart. Another quote:

"A key element in all of Schulz's work is his sense of man's place in the scheme of things in a theological sense as well as a psychological sense," says Thomas Inge, an English and humanities professor at Randolph-Macon College who edited a series of interviews with Schulz released in 2000. "Then there's this slightly cynical attitude that makes everything work."

Maybe a trip home and to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas is just what I need to get back in the spirit this year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Random Brutal Sex Master!

Ok, so I took the OK Cupid Love Personality quiz or whatever, and these were my results: (thoughts?)

Your results are in! Riotboy6, you are...

The Hornivore
Random Brutal Sex Master (RBSMm)

Don't ever marry, you're The Hornivore. Roaming, sexual, subhuman.

The Hornivores (you) are some of the most screwed up and naughty beings in the Universe. And their numbers are growing, mostly due to skipped or misused contraception. You care not. There's one thing you want, one sole need.

Half manly, half bestial, you act on instinct, and animal charisma smoothes the way. It's unlikely you're driven by much other than your own selfish, orgasmic requirements. Your appearance and personality have evolved for the hunt. Ass beckons, you oblige.

For the record, you can happily bang all personality types, however your match percentages might be low with the kinder, more sensible people of the world, purely because they all wish to avoid you. Good luck to them.

Your exact opposite:
The Slow Dancer
Deliberate Gentle Love Dreamer

"One day, the villagers came with torches to the house. In the smoldering ashes, stray dogs looked for cooked flesh."

AVOID: The Mixed Messenger, The Slow Dancer
CONSIDER: The Last Man on Earth, The Hornivore

And I'm rolling downhill like a snowball headed for Hell

So it's official: I'm an honorary St. Edwards student! Yay! I'm so excited. I have an appointment for next Monday to go in and set up all of my classes. I'm so anxious to see what I get to take, especially the electives. I'm so ready to just dive in and be really busy and be learning things and really feel like I'm working towards something real. I have so many things I want to do, like start writing for the literary journal there, join clubs, like the gay club, and the psychology club, and maybe take cello lessons. I'm bringing my cello back from Arkansas after Christmas, because I decided I want to start playing it again. My mother, of course, is totally off-her-rocker thrilled about it. It's been 10 years since I've even touched it, but I'm going to have her give me a refresher course while I'm home, and since I played for so long before, maybe it will all come back to me pretty quickly. (And after I re-master the cello, I want to learn the banjo!)

So yeah, I put in my notice at work yesterday. It looks like I'll be here until January 6th, but that's still only, like, 12 actual workdays, since there's Christmas and all. It's crazy. It's almost unfathomable, that in 3 weeks I'm going to walk out these doors for the last time, after almost 4 years! I hate to admit it, but in some small way, I think I might miss it. Not the actual job, but when you've done something every single day for 4 years, it sort of becomes a part of you, whether you like it or not. I sort of regret that I've wasted so much time here, but on the other hand, it served its purpose of lighting a serious fire under my ass and making me realize that this is NOT what I want for myself, thus I think I'll push myself that much harder in school. I'm already having fantasies of getting my Master's degree from Harvard. heh. Anyway, I'm going to theoretically work towards that, even if it's not something I would totally choose. But can you imagine me at Harvard? It's pretty funny.

Also, I had the pleasure of catching a sneak of Brokeback Mountain last night with Karen, Kat, Stacy, and her daughter, Annalise (sp?). It was beautiful and perfect and totally drained me. Karen and I stopped at La La's on the way home to have some whiskey and decompress. I loved it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Where I hope to live my final days

This makes my heart ache. In a good way.

If I knew how to upload pictures onto this stupid thing, I would upload a picture, in the NYT, of the actual table where Collier and I had breakfast every morning we were there. So, when are we moving?

Red wine and sleeping pills help me get back to your arms. Cheap sex and sad films help me get back where I belong.

God, I hate winter. All I want to do is board up the house, crank the gas heater, drink wine, smoke cigarettes, take Xanax, and watch episode after episode after episode of Six Feet Under until I fall into a pharmaceutical-induced coma. (That show is my religion, I swear. I would totally drink the Kool-Aid with the Fishers.)

No, it's not really as bad as all that. But I do hate winter. Everything silent and frozen is the loneliest feeling in the world. I really like having Karen around. It's like we have a snug little home together. It's very comforting.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Has it been 6 months already?

I'm going to bypass the obvious topic of conversation today, and instead bring you this charming Yahoo! article about people being fed up with misbehaving children.

"It's not about the kids," says McCauley, the 44-year-old owner of A Taste of Heaven cafe, who has no children but claims to like them a lot. "It's about the parents who are with them. Are they supervising and guiding them?

"I'm just asking that they are considerate to people around them."

Amen, brother. Happy Tuesday, everybody.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Master of My Universe

A couple of weeks ago I came to the startling realization that since I started running regularly again last August or September, or whenever it was, that I've started losing a lot of weight. About 10 pounds to be exact, which I can't really afford to spare. I knew my appetite had increased: I swear that while I was running I could have eaten a full meal every 3 hours and been okay. I was just so hungry all the time, and although I consistently snacked and ate lunch and big dinners, it was never enough. I simply couldn't keep up and started to feel like my body was going to start eating itself pretty soon unless I spent every waking minute and dollar I had pursuing carbs and protein, like some caveman.

So I decided to stop running, but keep going to the gym, and start doing weights on my lower half, which i didn't do before, because I ran. And in the 2 weeks since I made that decision I've promptly gained back 6 pounds as of yesterday.

I love being right, even if it's a no-brainer.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Gettin' on the Gay

I bought the new Madonna record last weekend, and can't get enough of it! I love it. Of course the lyrics and all are retarded, but I don't listen to Madonna for her lyrics. It's a great dance record: it's one continuous mix, and it's really driving, and some of it's really dark-sounding. It's totally infectious, and there are multiple melodies that I can't ever get out of my head. Music like that is just so viscerally satisfying.

And in other news, in contrast to all those cyborgy, blinking cell-phone earpieces everybody seems to be plugging into these days, I want one of these. Courtesy of this guy.