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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
A Day in the Life: New Year's Resolutions, 2010 Edition
ZA-ZA-ZOOM INSTEAD OF VA-VA-VOOM
Last year I took the approach of setting intentions instead of resolutions for 2009 and, judging from the growth of my excitement lingerie collection and my beautifully simplified closet, that went well in terms of bringing out my inner zen Dita Von Teese. It was ten times more interesting and better for me to know the higher principles I wanted to achieve, and then experiment with different resolutions to make it happen. Pat on the back, yo! Now we come to 2010, which is a different beast altogether. I knew 2009 was about laying low, but this year I'm set to navigate some crazy major "life transitions" -- graduating school, moving out of my beloved apartment, reckoning with the economy, waaaaaah. I'm a Cancer, and I find change overwhelming. What do I need to be able to face down this battalion of anxiety-producers? The obvious answer is money, but of course the bohemian/slacker in me finds that totally boring. Besides, I always found that the less I fixate on money and my lack of it (and the more alive I am to the good things in life I already have), the easier it is for money to make its way to me. So we won't talk of money right now...maybe I'll deal with it in the latter half of 2010 or save it up for 2011. No, judging from my past experience, I tend to shut down and get drained and tired in the face of major changes and want to hole up in my bed and beg someone to wake me up when it's all over. I need to be armed with ENERGY to face down life, 'cause lately I find myself feeling more rundown as I get (shhhh) older. That's the one killer thing about getting older. Being all grown is good for a lot of things: it's easier to make money, you make better decisions because you're wiser, you have focus and purpose, and generally for the ladies sex is better. But you do realize that energy is a resource and it's harder to replenish. So yes, 2010: THE YIPPEE-SKIPPY ZIPPY YEAR, the year in which I explore a million ways to up my vitality so I can tackle the million-bizillion things I want to do in life and you know, not feel like a grumpy pants monster. There are a million things I can do to explore this: because I'm aggro and driven and kind of Type A, I'm going to tackle one resolution within this intention a month, with the first few months being: CONQUER INSOMNIA ONCE AND FOR ALL. January: Off the Internets by midnight, 'cause a major sleep-zapper in my life is my computer and other electronics. And generally develop a sleep-inducing routine.
The other big resolution I had for 2010 came about very recently, i.e., New Year's Eve. Basically: Susan Miller was right. December 31st's lunar eclipse brought about one of those piercing life-altering epiphanies. On a night hazy with champagne, laughter and everything you want on NYE, I had a tiny bit of drama that was like a speck of squid ink in a glass of bubbly. The next morning, I woke up thinking about how I was pissed I was for letting that minor drama cloud my good times and memories. I thought about, oh, life and love and shit in general, and to spare you the long way around of my thinking, came to conclusion that 2010 was the year I wanted to know more about love. Not dating, not romance, not dudes, not falling in love, being in love, finding love: just love, and somehow be a more loving and lovable person in the course of my investigation. If some chick can cook her way through a Julia Child cookbook, if another can explore happiness...why not do it with love as the grand subject? I thought for a split second about doing another blog on it, but then, remembered: this is nogoodforme! If LJ and Liz can turn this into a Beatles blog, I can turn this into a semi-scholarly, semi-squicky rumination on love and all its forms and contents. Why the hell not? So, in the grand nogoodforme tradition of starting random columns, I'm going to start one called TOO LOVE FOR YOU. and it's going to be kind of weird, but hopefully kind of illuminating to at least myself at the end of 2010. Maybe I should start TOO SLEEPY FOR ME as well, chronicling my battles with insomnia. This is what I love about nogoodforme: everything's possible! (Kat)
GET GOOD AT WINKING, AND THEN WINK A LOT
I used to know three really good winkers, and now I don't know them anymore. Where have all the winkers gone?, I've whinily asked the world at least 27 times over the recent years. But the world never answers. And the day I DJ-ed at Barcade I posted this clip of the Hard Day's Night disco scene on Facebook and announced I was looking for both a "Ringo Dancer" and a "Paul Winker," but neither showed up for my set. "I Wanna Be Your Man" was Ringo-less and winkless but instead of sobbing into my Sapporo tall boy I killed the damn can and decided: BARKER, BE YOUR OWN WINKER. Like, duh - why did I ever think only boys were allowed to wink? I was such a sexist asshole in 2009.
But now it's 2010 and I've been practicing real good and I think I've nailed it, the winking thing. I use my right eye. I'm more subtle than Paul and his disco winking or his Help! winking, but it's no less effective: All these lusty babes keep dropping dead in my wake, my sly charm slays them so. Also I dig how one of the "wink" definitions is "to shine fitfully," even though that's more like the kind of wink used in the beautifully composed Freedictionary.com sentence Harbor lights were winking in the distance. Dudes, I shine soooo much more fitfully than those stupid harbor lights! I am all the Christmas trees in the world, all the stars in the sky and in the planetaria too. I am scintillant as all get out.
That being said, my actual number-one new year's resolution is to "Lose The Inferiority Complex" - because it's really a big prob, all bloggy braggery notwithstanding. Oh and there's also stuff like "Get A Job And A New Apartment," "Read And Write Good Things Everyday," "Be By The Ocean Most Of The Time," "Stop Putting Sugar In My Coffee," and a few other important things. In addition, I plan to start reading the dictionary. (Liz)
LET IT BE, BASICALLY
ABOVE: An assortment of what comes up when you Google Image "opening doors"
Time doesn't exist, and January First means the same thing as any other day, which is that it is a day. But beginnings are hard to find, and every January First we get a free one, which is a sweet deal. Take it and run with it! Today is the fourth day of the rest of your decade.
Every (good) writer has something called a "voice", and that "voice" is defined by things like metaphor, sentence-length, form, content, adjectives, semi-colons and subject matter. You use that "voice" to tell a story. You can pick whatever story, and you can tell it however. These days, I write the story of me, and I write it synaesthetically. I'm honest, but I never speak the truth. I write on top of the truth. I am interested in "representing" how things "feel." I can't be bothered to accurately depict anything, because most things are boring.
In words: I am incapable of opening a door.
I started writing stories when I was six or seven; like most children who write, I never finished any of them. In my case, I would get frustrated and give up whenever someone in the story needed to open up a door. It would drive my child-self crazy- HOW DOES ONE DESCRIBE OPENING A DOOR??? She stretched out her fingers and then made her hand into something like a loose claw-shape. She extended her elbow and touched her claw-fingers to a doorknob, which was made of brass. She closed her fingers around the doorknob and rotated her wrist slightly to the right. When she did this, a piece of metal connected to the doorknob was pushed out of a thing that was kind of like a slot. This mechanism allowed the door to be opened, then, by her. It opened at an average pace. It's so fucking tedious to write about, and I never will. You'll just have to assume: somewhere along the way, a door was opened.
I write a lot, and I've always written a lot. Unless I'm writing about something I don't want to be writing about, like opening doors, it's SO FUN!!! My underlying motivation for doing pretty much anything is that it might give me something to write about. Last night, I unironically spoke the sentence, "I would sacrifice the lives of seventeen human beings to be able to write that book." It was part of my response to the stoned hypothetical, "What would you do if your first-born son grew up to be a serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen innocents?"
Because I care so inordinately much about using uniquely ordered patterns of twenty-six characters to represent only what I believe to be "interesting", I tend to gloss over and/or ignore all aspects of my life that don't fit into how I would want the story of it to read. At worst, I would once scramble and scheme to construct a day-to-day life that was epic, opulent, emotionally intense, and aggressively literary. When life did not live up to this obviously unattainable standard, I would flip the fuck out and decide it was barely worth living. In 2010, I'm not going to do these things anymore.
I went into anorexia recovery on April 15th, 2009, and have written extensively and candidly about the experience ever since. In doing so, I have accurately "represented" how it "felt." But there are some door-opening parts of what I went through that I didn't feel okay with documenting, because they were true, and that was embarrassing.
Anorexia is a legitimate mental illness triggered by a misogynistic and pervasive social condition. Anorexia made me feel special. I was celebrated for my ability to wear clothes. Anorexia made me feel like my body matched my brain: I was a wild, whimsical waif named Laura Jane. "I" frolicked around the world like an adorable Twiggy/John Lennon Frankenstein, seducing men and drinking margarita maraschino lemonade out of a Muppet Baby sippy cup while listening to Holy Ghost Language School on an ocelot-print vocoder and smoking battery acid out of Keith Moon's shrunken head on rollerskates on a tire swing in a tree house on the fourth of July on a sunny afternoon in the middle of May on the Moon a thousand years ago, in 1967, among other things.
I had to write about her, and I had to "be" her to write about her, and I had to starve myself to do it. I can't blame myself, I guess, for not being able to write about the reality of that. It was ugly. And sad. I'm glad I don't believe in her anymore. Without "her", my life is beautiful and happy, even when I'm boredly opening up a door. Sometimes, you just gotta do it.
The truth is, there is no division between Real Life and Life Written Down. I am confused as to why I ever decided that the two must be mutually exclusive. I am living Real Life right now; also, I am Writing Things Down. Also, I am Writing About My Life. It is not a grandiose fantasy, but it's not boring, either. I am writing this on my laptop, and sometimes I unplug it and take it into the kitchen so I can smoke a cigarette and write at the same time. Inevitably, I open up a door. I am okay with this.
All this talk of "opening doors", and it's funny how "door-opening" serves as an almost childishly perfect metaphor for all this Januaryey "fresh starts" and "new beginnings" business. It's also (sort of) funny how I accidentally wrote a whole thing of factual, non-descriptive "opening doors"-style writing about my disinclination to do exactly that. But perhaps the funniest thing of all is that none of this has anything to do with my actual New Year's Resolution, which is that I want my upper arms to be as toned as Elizabeth's Barker's by the end of it. (Laura Jane)
Tags: 2009 is done!!!!, 2010, Cancers, Christmas trees, conquer insomnia, dictionaries, DJ Black Eyes, door-opening, eating disorder recovery, Elizabeth Barker's toned upper arms, fitful shiners, inferiority complexes, Julia Child, Keith Moon's shrunken head, love, Paul McCartney, sexism, stars, winkers, writing, yippee-skippy zippy
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