…here we are…flashes

Thursday, January 22, 2015 — turned my phone back on last night, first time since Sunday, I hadn’t missed any messages or texts. Got back on Twitter today, hadn’t missed any messages. Seems my disappearing is going to be even easier than I’d thought, LOL. Cue the rolling in of the green mist. Here were some notes I took during my absence — and a few added today.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 — I’ve turned off my phone. I’m rationing my on-line time. I’m not Tweeting or, even, opening Twitter. I need to re-program my brain so that I can, once again, focus hours-long on reading and writing. I’ve allowed myself to be short-circuited. Or, rather, as another step in my long and steady parade of self-destruction, I have short-circuited myself. So, in much the way I stopped with the damaging-self-negating relationships, stopped with the smoking, stopped with the drinking; I am stopping (for a while) with the techno-distractions.

However, I still get these URGES (compulsions) to drop a headline, elevator-pitch about things going on in my life. So, in lieu of Continue reading

Zeitbites Sunday: I’m Feeling Sed

So, these things have distracted me briefly from this seemingly intractable heaviness of mood:

Schiele, Egon 3

Egon Schiele

  • Egon Schiele at the Neue Galerie. [CLICK HERE] Why don’t I live in New York?
  • I HATE the new stats page that WordPress has forced on me. But, I’m a free user (which seems only fitting, as I am a free writer) and so, there’s that. And, too, WordPress jumped to my defense [CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS] when Ben Affleck’s people at FOX came after me for posting a screencap of his genitalia. Well, part of it anyway. So, six (or eight) of one and … you know the rest.
  • Other than my home page, the following post from another Sunday — this one in August of 2013 called “Sexting (re-visited)” about Russell Tovey and wanking [CLICK HERE] — was my highest clicked post this week. On reviewing my “searched for” terms, turns out, oh dear, the way most people find me has to do with typing in a celebrity name and the words naked or nude or dick. It is somewhat ironic (tragic?) that it is my writing which is sought out when people are in pursuit of dick, when in real life … well, never the case, really. Then again, I’m not sought out in real life for my writing either. Then again, in real life — I’m not sought out, thus … my Saturday night follows.
  • Last night in my usual “sought out by so many people, so little time” life, I was again absent Saturday night invitations. So, I started watching Empire, [CLICK HERE] about which I’d read various things, good and bad, but someone compared it to Dynasty in its campy, soapy hey-day, and that was all this ghost needed. Holy shit. LOVED IT. And while, once upon a time, I dreamed of having Alexis Carrington’s nerve and cash, now I want to be Taraji P. Henson —

— well, as her Cookie character — the THINGS SHE SAYS! She speaks to power. Speaking of such speaking (and how little it accomplishes) . . .

  • Oscar nominations. Old. White. Men. In. Power. Sick of it. Also sick of living in a world where conversations still include identifiers of gender and race and sexuality and age and religion and nationality and on and on and on and on … because I really, really, REALLY thought when I was younger — had HOPE when I was younger — that the quality and make-up of one’s soul would eventually be the only thing thing we saw about others. I hate to say this, but, despite some improvements, I don’t know that it is getting better — divisiveness seems to be selling. Big. Politics (Cruz and Rubio’s Republicans, Isis, Putin’s Russia). Religion(homophobia, misogyny, Duke University kicking out the Muslims) . TV (Fox News, Duck Dynasty, Duggars) – I don’t need to give anyone reading this any more examples — hate sells. Divisions and encouraging people to think what is rightfully “theirs” is being taken by those “others” is STILL a thing. Still makes bombs. Still breeds hate. Sadness. Solitude. Isolation. Speaking of which . . .

I don’t know that I have ever been quite this lonely and sad. But, with things like the NCAA approving child-rape by re-instating co-abuser Paterno’s wins and Penn State’s eligibility, who wouldn’t be sad? In the same vein, with the St. Paul/Minneapolis Roman Catholic archdiocese claiming bankruptcy to escape its duty to those children and families of children its priests raped, who wouldn’t be sad? With the church in Rome backing such a move — despite the Roman Catholic church being one of the wealthiest organizations in the world — who wouldn’t be sad? With that majority of old white men on the Supreme Court being given the power to decide whether people of the same gender can wed, who wouldn’t be sad? WHY IS IT A QUESTION AT ALL? Why, in fact, does the state have ANY interest in marriage? I find the concept of marriage idiotic, but that the state should have any hand in sanctioning and rewarding it, even more so. I took my Mom to her hair appointment Thursday and had to listen to two people at salon trashing Jane Fonda as “un-American” (because, apparently, speaking your mind is un-American unless you agree with these women) and “all these men getting married in magazines and on TV is making me sick” — aside from that syntax, the sentiment is just — well, WHO WOULDN’T BE SAD? I was turned down this week — not by literary agents (for a change of pace) — and not even for JOBS, BUT FOR INTERVIEWS FOR JOBS collecting grocery carts in parking lots and sitting with the elderly.

WHO WOULDN’T BE SAD?

And, sitting in my bed, reading, as I so often do and am, enjoying a particularly beautifully composed section of Celeste Ng’s brilliant Everything I Never Told You [read here where I wrote about it]  it came to me with terrible force that in all my centuries of living, no man has ever told me he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me.

And, memory flood. Bad dreams. Slaps of visions of past slights and contemptuous affronts and dismissals, one after another, came at me, beating me into the ground, burying me alive — alas, ALIVE.

That time I said, “When you turn on me, and you will, I want you to remember that I am still going to love this person you are now, this true you, always.”

And how, I never said that to me.

Those times I cooked and cleaned and cared for and supported and believed in and saw and stood with and beside and behind and walked ahead to take the hits and fought the fights for and carried and counseled and was there, showed up, and how, now, I would, so much, like it if I was enough — or, even, just didn’t ever again have to hear about how I am not enough, how I am wrong — and how nice it would be to be in a situation where I didn’t have constantly to worry about living on a grate, where someone fixed my dinner and made my bed and cleaned up after me and did for me what I did for them, and loved me, really loved me not because of what I could do for him, for them.

Yes, I am having a lot of bad dreams. And memories. And I am sad. And I am lonely. And I feel unseen. Or, incorrectly seen. Or, just, NOT. I feel NOT. And I want a room, a bedroom, with windows, and to be able to spend my days in rooms with sunlight and silence. I am sick of having to sit in the dark. I am weary of all the noise. The endless noise that has followed me my entire life and follows me still. Always other people’s noise. And in the face of all that noise, someone always telling me to be quiet — I was just told to be quiet again yesterday. And I am — how many times can you say this you whiner — EXHAUSTED.

And, to sum it up, wasted some time at Boscov’s this week — because my Mom wanted to use her gift cards, and throughout the store, this sign:

Clearence

. . . so, yeah, I am totally fucking sed.

 

 

… exhausted …

I am existentially exhausted.

I do not get it. I have never gotten it.  And I am tired. It’s all too loud. It’s all too ridiculous. Horrid people keep winning. Games. Prizes. Esteem. Statues. Fame. Forgiveness. Wealth. Fantastic people keep losing. And being lost. Forgotten. Damaged without relief. Used without thanks. Used, period. Forced in front of trucks. Exhausted.  Just fucking exhausted.

And good people keep letting it happen. What is the point? WHAT IS THE POINT?

His father died. I’m adrift. Drift. Out of control. Very iffy tonight. He was not human. Don’t leave me here alone. Take me up. I’m not human.

 

 

I’m NOT That Big … Unlike Humongous Ben Affleck

Image_removed_DMCA

ADDENDUM: RECEIVED A LOVELY NOTE FROM KEVIN AT WORDPRESS:

Hello Stephen, 

Unfortunately those images were temporarily disabled by mistake, due to an error 
in our software. We never intended to take those down and I apologize. All three 
images have now been restored. 
https://herewearegoing.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/affleck-dick-1.gif?w=300&h=150
https://herewearegoing.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/affleck-dick-3.gif?w=300&h=150
https://herewearegoing.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/affleck-dick-2.gif?w=300&h=150

We don't believe the size of a blog or the bank account balance of its author 
are relevant to free speech and fair use rights. 
http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/striking-back-against-censorship/

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Again, my apologies.

Regards, 
Kevin
Community Guardian
Automattic | WordPress.com

GRANTED, HE DID CALL ME STEPHEN, BUT HE THEN APOLOGIZED FOR THAT IN ANOTHER NOTE! LOVING WORDPRESS RIGHT NOW! TRULY. AND CLICK AWAY TO SEE BEN’S DICK.

Errr, Charlie, I meant to say. Another terrible mistake. Apologies again!


Kevin
Community Guardian
Automattic | WordPress.com

SO, WHILE BEN (or his reps) IS BEING A DICK, WORDPRESS IS GRAND.

Ben is being a freakishly stupendous dick – via Fox.

Apparently Fox Legal has nothing better to do than troll for little, tiny weblogs like mine — with my itsy-bitsy little following — and make sure they are protecting the ginormous Ben Affleck’s monstrously large appendage. Look what I got from WordPress:

 

 

Hello, 

We have received a DMCA notice (https://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/IP#dmca) 
for material published on your WordPress.com site. 

Normally this would mean that we'd have to disable access to the material. 
However, because we believe that this instance falls under fair use protections, 
we will not be removing it at this time. 

Section 107 of US copyright law identifies various purposes for which the 
reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, 
comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. You can learn more 
about that here:
http://www.copyright.gov/title17
http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

While we believe that your use of the material is protected (we have fought for 
our users in similar cases in the past - http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/striking-back-against-censorship/), 
please keep in mind that the complainant may choose to continue to pursue this 
matter, perhaps directly with you. If you would prefer, you are still able to 
delete the content from your site yourself.

The notice we received follows.


— BEGIN NOTICE —
To whom it may concern:

We are writing to you on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and 
its related entities (collectively "Fox") which own intellectual property rights 
in the motion picture film Gone Girl Image 81313611/CA2014005206. It has come to 
our attention that one or more images purportedly from Gone Girl Image 
81313611/CA2014005206 were posted on your website at the URL(s) listed below 
without authorization of Fox. This conduct infringes Fox's intellectual property 
rights.

http://pmchollywoodlife.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/p1gicsogfodfghavvis2.gif
https://herewearegoing.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/affleck-dick-1.gif?w=300&h=150
https://herewearegoing.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/affleck-dick-3.gif?w=300&h=150
https://herewearegoing.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/affleck-dick-2.gif?w=300&h=150
http://pmchollywoodlife.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/p1gicsogfodfghavvis2.gif?w=636&h=264


We must demand that you remove the images from your website immediately. 

I have a good faith belief that the use of the material at the URL(s) listed 
above is not authorized by Fox, its agent, or the law and I declare under 
penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of Fox and the 
information in this letter is accurate.

Please confirm via e-mail that you will comply with our request.


/Kasimira C. Verdi/

Kasimira C. Verdi
Director – Intellectual Property
Fox Group Legal
2121 Ave. of the Stars, Rm. 2234
Century City, CA 90067
310-369-3110
foxip@fox.com


Please reply to info.antipiracy@dtecnet.com, replies sent to 
no-reply@dtecnet.com will be ignored.
— END NOTICE —


Regards, 
Kevin
Community Guardian
Automattic | WordPress.com

Okay, so, despite WordPress saying they meant to protect wee-little-me, I was going to go ahead and remove the images of behemothic Ben. I have enough people after me for enough things IRL, who needs the angst on a tiny, little blog?

But, they were already gone. Girl! Look, whatever. But, uhm, the images are still up at a much HUGER (like Ben) site than mine. (Not to mention names, but, here at OMG BLOG) Why, I wonder, did an enormous (like Ben) corporation like Fox target teensy-weensy ME? And WHY target anyone? I didn’t pirate the film. I didn’t give away plot points. I have immense (like Ben) respect for the intellectual properties and arts of others — I have had my ideas, words, work stolen and compromised and appropriated so I know what an elephantine (like Ben) insult and heartache that is. But that was NOT what I did. I was talking about Fox’s super-colossal-titanic (like Ben) release of their film. In my own TINY LITTLE way (unlike Big Ben) I helped create the giant (like Ben) buzz for which they were hoping, using limited images from the monster (like Ben) film they spent mammoth (like Ben) MILLIONS OF HUGE (like Ben) dollars promoting to all the LITTLE PEOPLE (like me). Ben (and his prodigious endowment) was EVERYWHERE talking about the film and his big-fat babymaker’s screen time. They practically SOLD the film based on Ben’s zipcode-of-its-own-worthy cock, so, uhm, what is the massive (like Ben) fucking deal?

And why are Fox and Ben being such outsize (like Ben), walloping (like Ben), whopping (like Ben) dicks (so to speak) about it?

 

Reading: “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

“Everything I Never Told You”  by Celeste Ng, 297pgs, Penguin Press, 2014 [click here]

Everything I Never Told You

Click Cover for Penguin Press page and how to purchase

Some books are so carefully, lovingly crafted, some stories so startlingly, truthfully told, some authors so prescient and insightful, so gifted at recreating the journeys of real people’s lives with words, rhythm, and a near-supernatural ability to know what to include and what to omit, that turning to the last page, one resists reading the final phrase. Some books, once they come to an end, leave you with both a fullness for having experienced the emotional arcs of the characters, and, too, an equal ache of emptiness, because they are finished now. There is not another chapter.

Celeste Ng’s debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, is just such a book.

From its opening sentences:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

— the reader is riveted by the heartbreaks, the hopes, the secrets, the sorrows, the misunderstandings, the mistakes, those things misspoken, unspoken, and regretfully spoken by Lydia, her mother and father, Marilyn and James, her sister and brother, Hannah and Nath, and her neighbor, Jack. We come to know Lydia — and the others — through the thoughts and observances of each, the ways in which they see and miss one another.

This is a story about expectations and the cost of dreams. This is a story about discrimination both subtle and overt. This is a story about fear, especially the fear of saying and being out loud who one is and wants to be. This is a story about loving someone who doesn’t exist, of loving someone in secret, of loving someone less for who they are than from a longing to be seen and loved one’s self, and the tragedy of that love not being returned in that way.

The book begins with Lydia’s death and then goes back in time, jumps here and there and back again until arriving at that night when it happened. Along the way the characters’ weaknesses and strengths, wisdoms and ignorances are artfully limned, and though the end is inevitable given the opening sentence, the reader begins — as in real life having lost someone — to employ magical thinking in the hope Lydia’s death will be averted.

Ng’s prose is sculptural, her imagery often breathtaking. Listen to this memory of the early courtship of Lydia’s parents, James and Marilyn, having just painted his apartment and made love on the bed, pushed to the center of the room:

Later that afternoon, waking in the fading light, he noticed a tiny yellow blotch on the tip of Marilyn’s toe. After a moment of searching, he found a smudge on the wall near the end of the bed, where her foot had touched it as they made love: a dime-sized spot where the paint was blotted away. He said nothing to Marilyn, and when they pushed the furniture back into place that evening, the dresser concealed the smudge. Every time he looked at that dresser he was pleased, as if he could see through the pine drawers and his folded clothing straight to it, that mark her body had left in his space.

And this, much later when youngest child, Hannah, whose powers of observation border on preternatural — as are Ng’s — has realized at a family dinner that something horrible, world-altering is coming:

Hiding under the smooth white [icing], Hannah thought, was the pretend driver’s license, the Congratulations and the blue L-Y-D. Thought you couldn’t see it, it was there just underneath, covered up but smudged and unreadable and horrible. And you’d be able to taste it, too. Their father snapped picture after picture, but Hannah didn’t smile. Unlike Lydia, she had not yet learned to pretend. Instead she half shut her eyes, like she did during the scary parts of TV shows, so that she could only half see what came next.

That is a fantastic piece of writing. Almost as fantastic as another of Hannah’s precognitive perceptions, this one involving a drop of water trickling from Nathan’s hair described from page 210 to 212 that struck this reader with such force, I had to search Celeste Ng out on Twitter (I do not know her, she does not follow me, I am simply an appreciative — incredibly appreciative — reader) late last night to tell her it had left me breathless and weeping.

This is a stunning novel. And, as I said at the start, it left me both full from the glories of its prose and emotions, and empty, once finished, missing it. Fitting, that, as the life and death of Lydia does the same for all the other characters in the novel.

Read it. Really. Just read it.

I bought Celeste Ng’s “Everything I Never Told You” at my local independent bookstore, The Curious Iguana [CLICK HERE].

 

Held Hostage

Created with Microsoft Fresh PaintI am being held hostage. By my brain. By my culture. By my writing. By my sorrow. By Ann Patchett not liking me. By Justin Bieber’s dick. Read on.

I am writing again. But it is an entirely new project. One that would not go away. One that would not leave me alone despite my insistence I had no interest in an ENTIRELY NEW PROJECT. But it keeps nagging me. Waking me. Pieces. In different shapes, looking for its truth. Like the following first draft, unpolished efforts:

He had been unhappy for so long.

Or ought it to be:

So long had he been unhappy.

Or, wait, don’t state it, show it. As in:

It hadn’t been until the week of that third death when that bitch (a word he would eventually stop using, recognizing the sexist, misogynistic poison of it, but, which, by that point in his life, he had not yet exiled to the list including the N, C, and F words) of a theatre manager told him she’d always thought of him as Eeyore that he realized how hard deep relentless depleting was his unhappiness. So much so, it seemed, it had somewhere along the line begun to define him.

Perhaps that is too far back in his history and it should be more immediate? As in:

He was busted trying to buy the pills with which he intended to kill himself the week after he realized Ann Patchett would never be his friend. She’d said in an interview that during one’s maturity, at a certain age and stage of life, one didn’t have the energy for new friendships with damaged, depleting people. It certainly wasn’t Ann Patchett’s fault. It was that he had failed to become the sort of person who would be attractive to the sort of person he had once wanted to become, which made him unattractive to himself, unattractive and someone for whom he no longer had the energy to deal: Too much damage. Too much depletion. Too little chance Ann Patchett or her ilk would ever. So, he went to CraigsList to buy the pills. He should have known better, having already ended up both bloodied in a parking lot and in need of antibiotics from CraigsList adventures.  But surely drugs were an easier score? Apparently not, he failed at scoring drugs as miserably as he’d failed to score mindless sex with inappropriately younger men of porn-like endowment who’d play Nick Gruber to his Calvin Klein. Although, he noted with something closer to a smile than he’d experienced in weeks, both had involved handcuffs.

You see where this is going? I’ve been Continue reading

Zeitbites Monday: Gainful Un-enjoyment. Link me up.

My world is somewhat not in the greatest shape right at the moment, but, I know that there are much bigger problems in the world than my inability to find gainful employment, a literary agent, or, actually, a place and way to live. SO… if you know of someone looking for a caretaker, or a long-term house/pet sit, or a walker who can toss of the witty bon mots with the best of them — let me know. I’d prefer leaving the U.S. at this point.

Enough intro whining! I Tweeted this today– the joy of this child, already loving Sondheim — I defy you not to smile or weep or both from this — LOVE THIS KID!

SOOOOOO, moving on — if you people would JUST Continue reading

What’s My Name? (Sebastian Speaks)

Leelah Alcorn

Leelah. She walked in front of a truck because she didn’t feel like there was any other option for her, no possibility of ever being seen or anyone KNOWING HER NAME.

Hello, Sebastian speaking, Sebastian Smythe.

I know it’s been yonks since I’ve been round, but I’ve finally wrested control from that fecking  waffling wanker of a yakker, Charlie, and can speak again. When the silly bastard stopped smoking, stopped drinking, and kept up that gym routine and healthy eating, all that positivity tied me up — not, alas, literally — making my appearances brief. Any adjustments and corrections I’d manage to this dreary life he’s trying to make us lead were shame-facedly expurgated by Mr. No Smoking No Alcohol No Tricking Stiff Upper Lip Smith — well, horses for courses, as they say, but I’m sick of the upper lip being the only thing that gets stiff in this body; spread the joy, you tosser, before the old prat’s todger withers away to dust, right?

Finally, the shite that has rained down recently — an accumulation of Continue reading