Surrender

kveikurI’m never been much for podcasts. I can’t tell if that’s my own biases against being introduced to a new medium or a problem with the medium itself. Did people dismiss early cinema as nothing more than a novelty because they hadn’t yet seen what it could become? It’s quite possible. A lot of podcasts, to me, sound like a bunch of friends shooting the shit. That’s it. I’m sorry, but you need to have more than that if you want me to listen to it. I don’t even have that many friends and I think listening to other people and their friends talk about nothing is boring. Seriously, I don’t get it: What is the appeal of listening to people you don’t know go on random comedic tangents for an hour or more without ever coming to a point? I’m not trying to be dismissive here, but I honestly do not understand why people like some of this crap. This American Life is about people’s lives, and the stories are organized around a theme. Savage Love is relationship advice. WTF With Marc Maron is interviews, although he opens with a story. Even with a podcast, there has to be a point.

Maybe I’m weird, but I like to think of everything as a potential learning experience. Even if I’m just going down the street for a burger, I feel like I’m cheating myself if I’m not looking for a chance to be enriched, entertained, or educated. A lot of new media doesn’t do it for me: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. That probably does have more to do with the fact that those platforms are relatively new, but I don’t particularly like any of them, which means that I’m kind of an old fuddy-duddy even though I’m in my 20s. I’m getting left behind, but admittedly, it is by my choice. Since I’m straying into well-trod territory here, let me shift gears and talk about a story that is constantly updating: LGBT equality. Specifically, let’s talk about the wide world of sports. More and more athletes are coming out, and while very few of them are doing so at the professional level, it’s only a matter of time. I think what’s holding us back is that even though there are parallels between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement, there are some differences, and we have to acknowledge that as well.

There is something very primal about sexuality that race and possibly even gender don’t touch. It’s not something that you can often tell just by looking at someone, and that confuses a lot of people. More importantly, it causes a lot of LGBT people to think that there is something special about them if you can’t tell just by looking at them. Sometimes you can, but that’s not the point. It’s been such a lazy stereotype for so long that gay men aren’t into sports that now that we are learning that some of our athletes are gay, we need to stop acting like it’s that big of a shock. Yes, some gay men love sports. And some straight men love fashion. Could you seriously not have figured that out on your own? It’s ironic that sports are typically held up as a bastion of masculinity, because really, what is gayer than slapping on tight pants and shoulder pads and slamming into other guys for a while? Football’s pretty gay too, come to think of it.

I’ve learned by now that people will never leave you alone if you let them do it on their terms. This does not mean that you have to shut everyone out for fear that they will hurt you, only that you have to own your own words and actions, whatever they are. As I’ve probably said before, I have a million regrets. But I’m not sorry for anything. I just don’t have the time. You can roll your eyes when I say that I’m the greatest human being who ever lived, but as far as I’m concerned, I am, and who are you to tell me I’m wrong? It’s all about living in the present, not that I’m all that good at that. I spend most of my time brooding in my room. The only person I can name who hated humanity more than I do is Bill Hicks, and he died at 32 because he didn’t take very good care of his body. I’ve heard multiple people quote George Carlin as saying, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that leave you breathless.” Bullshit. Carlin didn’t say that. That’s from a chain email that somebody claimed was written by him. He would never have said something so trite and meaningless.

I have decided that there is one thing about California that I’m going to miss when I eventually get out of here, and that’s In-N-Out Burger. There is no other fast food chain that compares to it. It’s not the best burger around, just the best burger you can get for under $10. Double-double animal style, there is no competition. New York has Five Guys, but aside from the fries, there’s nothing too remarkable about them, and I say that as somebody who used to eat there pretty regularly. We all have our fast food, I suppose.

I’m not a very good judge of what will take off and what doesn’t. This blog has never climbed very far about 1,000 hits per month, and even then very briefly. Whatever. What I have to say these days doesn’t quite fit into this format, and maybe that’s for the best. Because I want to push outward. I want to find out just what I can get away with and what I’m capable of. And when that’s done, I want time to watch season two of Orphan Black. I go at my own pace, is what I’m trying to say. Don’t try to stop me.

The Harder They Come

mr rogers

I know it sounds dramatic, but there are times when I feel like the whole world is conspiring against me. I’m not sure how else to put it. I had my first round of interviews recently at a fast food chain that shall remain nameless, but prides itself on being not like all those other fast food chains. I was friendly, professional, and enthusiastic, but they told me that I really should have researched the company and its grand corporate vision (such as getting as much of its food locally and organically as possible) more before coming in. I dunno, I guess I thought knowing what they served would be enough. However, they did call me back in for a second round. As a side note, I’d like to ask: Does anybody besides me still dress up for job interviews. I was raised to believe that even if the place had a casual dress code, you should wear something that’s at least one step up from that (i.e. a dress shirt and jeans) to look presentable. I interviewed for two jobs last week, and in both cases, there was another interviewee who was in street clothes. WTF?

I didn’t really want the other job. It was at a clothing store that you’ve all heard of but which shall likewise remain nameless. The other interviewee was a high school senior who seemed nice enough and was clearly more interested in the company than I was. So I don’t really begrudge them for giving her the job. But the fast food chain—man, did that one piss me off. I’m still not entirely sure why. I know rejection comes with the territory, but is there such thing as being too good for a job? The first interview went fine, setting aside my lack of knowledge about the company. The assistant manager seemed like a swell guy. At the second interview, the general manager told me that the first one didn’t really “count” as he had been out of town and the assistant manager had just gone ahead without him. The other interviewee was a nineteen year-old college student who sat there with her hands neatly folded reciting a few basic facts about the company and otherwise being perfectly bland and pleasant. I had done my homework and knew practically everything about that company, but that didn’t help. I couldn’t be bland if I tried.

I can’t be certain if the other candidates at these two interviews got the job, but I’m pretty sure they did. And that pisses me off. I’m a hard worker. I’m smart, capable, punctual, even friendly when I have to be. But there is something about me that rubs people the wrong way, and I just don’t know what to do about it. Do hiring managers look for people who just go through the motions and don’t rock the boat? I guess they do. Because that doesn’t describe me, never has, never will. It’s why I started this blog. If I had more friends, a cushy job, and Daniel Radcliffe begging me for a date, maybe I wouldn’t need it. But I don’t, so I do.

I had an interview a few months ago at a store that sells kitchen appliances. I can’t remember if I’ve told this story before, so just bear with me. I shop at another location of this store, so I already knew a fair amount about them and what they do. I could not have given a better interview. I had an answer for every question. I was on-point, made eye contact, and clearly wanted the job. I could even see the managers scribbling positive notes about me as I talked. As I left, one of them even said something to the effect of, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you again soon.” Fuck you. They didn’t even get back to me. I called back a few weeks later and finally got my response. What did the other person do? At first, I thought maybe they’d gone down on the managers, but now I’m starting to think that they were hollow and dead-eyed, like the lady who probably got hired over me at the fast food chain. Somebody just kill me so that I can move forward in life.

I looked at an apartment lately. It could not have possibly gone any better. The apartment was perfect, the location was perfect, I was perfect. Any guesses as to whether or not I got the place? I’m at a loss here, people. My prospective roommates seemed nice. I chatted with them about my living habits and job and asked them about theirs. I even petted their fucking dog. But they gave it to somebody else. Always to somebody else. I’m someone else to someone else, so why can’t I ever get lucky?

Since I have to relate everything to Doctor Who, I would just like to say that “Listen” really wasn’t that good. Like everything Moffat does, it was circular cleverness that ultimately amounted to nothing much. So Clara helps the Doctor overcome a childhood fear. Why couldn’t he do that by himself? Why does everything in Moffatworld revolve around the main character? The Sherlock Holmes of canon was not “a high-functioning sociopath”, not even fucking close. He admitted when he was wrong. But Cumberbatch’s Holmes is never wrong about anything. And yeah, I suppose you could argue that helping the Doctor gave Clara the strength to talk to Danny again, but I kinda feel like she could have done that anyway. I wish like hell Moffat/Gatiss would stop reinventing and re-imagining old stories and come up with something new already. And that’s all that I have to say about that.

When I take over the world, I’ll have everyone who displeases me tossed into an active volcano. So be nice to me, okay?

These Days

They say that as you get older, you don’t change so much as distill. A lot of the people I knew in high school just bore me these days. I saw Y Tu Mama Tambien when I was fourteen and didn’t get much out of it. The explicit sex wasn’t a problem (for me, it was kind of a turn-on to see Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal going at it), but I just couldn’t feel engaged by the main characters. They just seemed like a pair of sex-obsessed dirtbags. Of course, that’s what most teenagers are, but it took me a while to appreciate that. Even though I was a teenager myself at the time, I somehow couldn’t identify with it. That did change over time, however. Looking back, I think it’s a fine film. It’s weird to think that you could drift apart from your best friend until you realize that you don’t have all that much in common anymore, but it’s happened to me at least a few times so far. And I don’t even have that many friends.

I think the reason I find myself drifting away from some of these people is that I see so many of them “settling down”. I put that in quotes because to some people, that seems to mean finding somebody they want to marry, as if all you have to do is find somebody you want to spend the rest of your life with and then you can spend it with them. But once you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you have to actually spend the rest of your life with them. Deciding that you want to spend the rest of your life with them is only the first step. I always get bugged when I hear people talk about their relationship as something that is going to last the ages, because so far, it’s lasted a couple of fights, maybe a handful of personal and professional setbacks, and that’s it. I’ve said it before, but my future husband had better be tough as nails. It’s not even so much about whether he’ll be able to handle me as whether or not we’ll be able to spend all that time together and not get bored. Seriously, let’s take it one step at a time.

I hate the expression “follow your bliss”. Joseph Campbell originated it, I think, and he’s the one who wrote about the hero’s journey and how certain storytelling tropes can be found in every culture and shit. I know what he means; I just hate the sound of it. It seems almost fatalistic, and I am not a fatalist. There is no “meant to be”, there is only what is and what isn’t. This might seem at odds with my own spiritual beliefs, which are more pantheistic than atheistic, but I don’t think it is. If there is a God, He doesn’t have a plan for you. It’s not a simple as just living the life that was preordained. Instead, you just have to live the best life you can, and maybe if you’re lucky, the Flying Spaghetti Monster will meet you halfway on occasion.

Let’s talk, for a second, about In-N-Out Burger. Actually, let’s talk about Chick Fil-A. A few years ago, CEO Dan Cathy stirred up controversy when he said that he did not support gay marriage. You might reasonably ask what gay marriage has to do with fast food, but that’s exactly the point: Who the fuck asked him what his views on gay marriage were? Obviously, you can continue to eat there even if you don’t share his views, but that leads us to my next point: I really like In-N-Out. It’s the only fast food chain that I patronize on anything more than a once-in-a-blue-moon basis (I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate at McDonald’s or Burger King), but something tells me I don’t share the CEO’s views. The Texas-based family that founded it is, I believe fundamentalist Christian, and if you look on the bottom of their drink cups, you will notice the words “John 3:16” printed on there. But that’s irrelevant. None of the chief executives have, to my knowledge, issued any public statements on gay marriage. They also pay their employees a good starting wage. So even though I brought this up, I think I’ll just call it off. Because nothing beats a double-double animal style.

When my father had cancer, he would take me along to support groups because I was a toddler and there was nowhere else he could leave me. He would tell everybody there that I was “shy”. I don’t think I am. Socially awkward, maybe even withdrawn, but not shy. In the right setting, I can be the life of the party. Ask anybody who’s ever gotten a real conversation out of me. But not when surrounded by people with metal voices and/or missing limbs and shit (my father used to be a smoker). He said that what he got out of this was a sense of perspective: surrounding himself with people who were even more fucked up than he was made him feel better about his own situation. I feel like that’s why I’m on OKCupid. Nobody ever gets everything they want, but I have a nasty feeling that I’m not going to get to be with one of the jocks that I spent all of high school (and most of college and, yes, probably the years after that) lusting after. I suppose I can live with that, but it’s nice to know that there are some folks who are interested in me whose interest I don’t return. Hey, I’m allowed to have standards, too. I just have to figure out what’s reasonable.