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|Thursday, May 21st, 2009|
Today I thought i was very witty for diagnosing myself with Seasonal Affective Disorder, with the addendum that my case of SAD is triggered not only by winter but spring, summer, and fall, as well as all transitional stages between them. Then i realized, woops, that's not actually witty, that's a concise and relentless characterization of life in general.
|Tuesday, July 8th, 2008|
|I guess I'll never learn my lesson
So I recently rediscovered my lifejournal account, or rather someone rediscovered it while stalking me. It's been some three years since i posted something, but it is amazing how the only thing i would want to post is the exact same diatribe about a world so full of love, of tragic secret unrequitted embarrassing love, and the boy who was destined to wander positively alone through it all. there was the tg-2 thing, which on the one hand exploded nightmarishly because of my own jackassery, but in a more reasonable light was bound to fail from day one for violating the laws of god and nature.
then this summer, after a lifetime of aspirations, i found myself in armpit-tsburgh, the most romantic city on earth. yes, if there was one place one could rediscover the true meaning of love, it would have to be in the iron city. enter my last great tragic secret love, a fiery dudette fond of increasingly nonsensical babble, phil collins songs, and master lists of junk email titles. on top of that, for a radical difference from most of my tsl's, she actually apparently could tolerate my company and would actively invite me places and initiate conversation with me, or at least the sequence of beeping sounds and phantom of the opera lyrics that lately qualifies as 'conversation' for me. so, since she was a girl that talked to me, obligatorily, i had to fall's tragically secretly in love.
and things would have stoically marched on until the end of time that way, had i not gone on a fateful night of carousing with her roommate, who confided in me that apparently my dumb tsl had broken the rules and vaguely reciprocated some sort of emotion in my general direction (though in all fairness she could have been aiming it at the walls or light fixtures). i'd speculated that when two dudes spend 18 hours a day together and flirt continuously, hey, maybe there's something there, but i never would have thought seriously about that possibility had it not been for someone else stating that and recapitulating the views of a couple dozen other people on the drama. but then there was the fact of her having a dudefriend, and her playing this bizarre game of alternately flirting with me and then talking about her dudefriend.
so then the stakes seemed to get higher because after cancelling once, i was obliged to go on a date with someone else. the date was of course confusing and awkward, and probably a story onto itself. several months ago, following the unholy automobile accident of my relationship with tg-2, i tricked her into talking to me over the phone by calling her from canada. among other things, i found out that she was going on dates with dudes she'd met off of the intraweb. well, two can play at that game, i said to myself. after a couple of dates with dudes from the internet, i decided i'd leave that to her and try dating dudettes from the intraweb. so sheerly out of revenge i made a profile on the onion personals, merrily embracing my lameness and elevating it to unreal levels.
so one of the dudettes that i'd 'met' on the onion personals and i had been conducting a month long letter writing war, and just as things seemed to be coming to a head with my tsl the dudette from the intraweb proposed a meeting. so i said whatever, but then realized that i couldn't go on it and cheat on my tsl, a fact which i apparently mentioned to tsl. anywho, since she spent most of that evening talking to her dudefriend or whatever, i in turn was passive aggressive enough to go on a date the next day with onion dudette.
it turned out that she was kind of as big an alcoholic as i was (apparently the only thing standing between me and total alcoholism is not any kind of conviction or self-control, but just the inflated price of alcohol in most other states) and as charming as she seemed to be in her emails-es. after four wine-soaked hours, she proposed that we go to her place, where there was allegedly more wine (and indeed there was). so then we sat there for another four hours drinking. by 4 in the morning, i realized i would have to do something, anything, since i had class at 9. it was clearly a bad idea, but the only thing i could think of was trying to smooch and tickle her so she would let me get to sleep sometime. thankfully the ruse succeeded and a little over another two hours later, i found myself happily napping for two hours before class. she was so in a hurry to dispose of me that she packed me up in her car and drove me home (well, to tsl's place).
i wish i had any way of reading into the secret machinations of people around me. they're always so fiendishly clever that you can make neither heads nor tails of their intentions. thus all the heartache with my tsl: does it mean something when you spend 18 hours a day with someone and find every available opportunity to touch them? does that mean you hate them, or that you're finding a lot of ticks in their fur? likewise, when i got raped by a ballerina a few months ago, it was because i sincerely took as purely innocent her invitation to sleep in her bed, since she did say it was 'very large,' which a reasonable person takes to mean that it should comfortably accomodate two sleepers without any hanky-panky or brutal rape going on. likewise, in the episode at hand, i had no idea whether i should read anything into being invited over for wine after midnight by someone i was on a date with. and i probably shouldn't have, but goodness help me i was so tired.
anywho, after extricating myself from that hairy situation, i found out from roommate that when i was out that night tsl was irately bumping around the room and stayed up til 3, around the time i was resolving to whore myself out for the ability to sleep. thus perhaps my passive aggressive blow had succeeded in slightly disconcerting my tsl. but i had payed dearly for that offensive in feelings of guilt and betrayal, and there remained the question of what would happen if for some reason the person i raped against their will invited me on another date or something. i had to say something, just to know whether or not she felt anything so i'd be able to avoid any future dates.
the lord works in mysterious but perfect ways, so yesterday he cooked up some elaborate scheme by which i would have an excuse and indeed be forced to stop sleeping on the floor of my tsl. essentially moving in with someone you're tragically secretly in love with but have never touched is the most reasonable course of action one can take, so i set about doing that a couple of weeks ago. now if i wanted to ask my tsl about our tsl, i needed to have an excuse to quit sleeping on her floor, but who would have thought some slightly scorched paper found on the windowsill would do the trick? anywho, with last night being the last night of my increasingly awkward squatting, i gave up and in violation of my own tsl principles decided to say something. but we were already kind of pushing the tsl ethical code and stuff, since we spent most of the last couple of days laying on the bed together, standing uncomfortably close to each other, and hiding our heads in one another's shoulders.
but she happily denied ever feeling anything for me and apologized for leading me on. i was groggy today as the awkwardness of yesterday's dual events settled down on me like a cloud of tropical moths, but it didn't take me long to find and revel in the considerable golden lining of these clouds (cue the dramatic yet inspirational music, 'coming to america' perhaps?):
As unbearably suffocating as the very institution of tragic secret love is, it is positively necessary for my epistemic world view to maintain itself. firstly there's the practical fact that just like celestial bodies tsl's serve to demarcate time and heavily influence all of my choices and undertakings. much more vital is the service they carry out in defining and validating my identity. let's say that say in this last case my tsl had actually reciprocated my feelings. now even though this outpouring of emotion would never lead to anything since we would never have been able to be in a relationsip, i would be left in an awesome dilemna: i would be nothing more than an ordinary real boy, capable of building up some affectionate connection with another human being through mutual acts of kindness and similar interests and blah blah blah and i don't evidently know what else. as is, it turns out that weeks of this pseudo-relationship building were an absolute farce, and i have demonstrated for the millionth time that the only reason someone would show me any attention is through gross negligence or because they are on alcohol/ecstasy/insert powerful mind-altering substance. so once again, in face of incredible obstacles, i prove myself to be a miserable caricature of a human being who never was loved, is not loved, and never will be loved by anyone. this is a particularly ironic offshoot of the entire drama since my tsl continually castigated me for mentioning how despicable i was and how no one could ever love me, which i do in the same fashion as one speaks about the weather, and i would get flustered that someone would dare question the pillars upon which my reality is founded without some good reason. but she apparently never foresaw the fact that she would so masterfully validate these very same axioms.
i win again! and that's why i get to sleep on my own tonight again after such a long long time
|Thursday, April 28th, 2005|
|some things have got to be said
i've been reflecting a lot on tragic secret love. having become the last of the famous international playboys, in so far as i've had undesired awkward and embarassing sexual experiences lately with a variety of creepy people in public places, i can now say with certainty the answer to the ageold question am i gay or straight: neither, i'm a morrissexual. in essence it means that i like to tragically yearn after people. in essence, in terms of my sexual orientation, i am most attracted to 'depression.' in all honesty i could have put the moves on my latest tragic secret love, but that would just be crude. why would you want to make out with someone you're tragically secretly in love with? or rather how could you do that? it would be like masturbating with a cross, which isn't just sacrilegious but more importantly would scratch and probably leave marks, just like when you masturbate with ''hoover lube'' (i.e., cheap shampoo or bacon drippings). that terri dude made out with me in a dark alleyway, and it was okay i guess, but i had to despise the man. obviously he didn't really like me if he was willing to touch me. am i the only person left in this crazy world that believes if you're really attracted to someone, you would just flirt with them for months and months on end and constantly hum belle and sebastian to yourself? is everyone so interested in sex that that's what they think of primarily when they fall in love with someone? the cheesy line that terri said 'oh, you're so beautiful' strikes me as the most disturbing thing i've ever heard, even more disturbing than that techno song about slipping a girl on ecstasy and raping her all night (mmm, i just realized how ironic it is for me to be saying that's disturbing). in essence i guess it means 'uh, i'd like to make out with you because i'm physically attracted to you. i mean, we have nothing in common and can bearly hold a very boring polite conversation, but let's do it because i'm horny and you're not entirely repulsive etc.' maybe that's what makes tragic secret love so tragic, not the tragic longing, but the tragic fact that you'll never fall in love with another person that's as hopelessly romantic as you are, who's actually felt deeply about someone enough to tragically pine after them. i happened upon one such person here, my 27 year old slovenian friend vlatka. i ran into her in a bar and i walked her home, and she lamented to me 'i've been in love with one of my friends for months but i could never dare to tell him. have you ever loved someone that much?' and she made me cry, and then i made her cry. so it's not just me that's crazy. but without the illusive mirage of tragic secret love, that consists in believing that somehow this love will be reciprocated, what can you do, the world would become unbearable and love would become nothing more than making out with annoying people in alleyways. and like a good unamuno character you would have to commit suicide as the only rational resolution.
but despite the depressive tone of this, i'm over my latest tragic secret love. which is even more disturbing than being in TSL. typically these things have to be resolved dramatically, ordinarily with trips to europe, and usually they last months, but the timeline of this tsl was only a month to the day. and this time around all it took was a half liter of brandy and a phonecall from rebekah. despite my preachiness am i losing faith in tsl? i wish the fortuneteller i went to yesterday had been better, it should have been his duty to cast some light upon these matters, but as my serbian colleagues say he wasn't worth half a pussy full of water.
|Wednesday, March 9th, 2005|
|nothing gets past the US state department
US Office Pristina (USOP) wishes to alert American citizens in Kosovo, particularly Pristina, to the possibility of protest demonstrations...we wish to remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence
|Sunday, January 23rd, 2005|
|how bulgar of me
so yesterday marija's all 'let's go to belgrade.' personally, i wanted to go to the north to the delightful town of kikinda, whence hails my crazy serbian fiance, and meet her godmother and my soon-to-die great in laws. but no, i go with marija to belgrade. at first things are fun: i buy marija ridiculously expensive diesel jeans. then we quickly find that no one we know there wants to hang out with us: a couple people simply disconnected their phones, others ran out of town. i'm used to this kind of rejection, but to marija it was kind of frustrating. then we combed through our phonebooks searching for someone to hang out with us: i considered marko the serbian gangster, someone i hung out with for a day and half made out with while we were playing 'blanket monster,' etc. marija took the initiative to call someone listed in my phonebook as 'dude,' which i guess is a plus because now there's only 13 names on my phone the identities of which i don't know instead of 14. alas, even he had gone up to goddamned kikinda for the weekend.
so with things looking more and more desperate, around 8 at night we decide to blow belgrade and take the first international train out of serbia. 40 minutes later we're on the train to bulgaria, land of my dreams, well after dorothy and blanche. would i do anything differently? well, i guess i should have brought my camera so i didn't have to spend $20 on a disposable one. also, i should have changed my socks sometime in the last 4 days. but sofia, coolest city in the world! for starters, i speak bulgarian, go fig, since it's the same language as serbo-croatian-bosnian-slovenian-farsi-g
erman. and marija's all whaa, no it isn't, and so i hit her. i mean, she accidentally fell down the stairs right after saying that. then maria and i walked in on someone's wedding, a ceremony which in eastern european culture is the substitute for prom king and queen coronations insofar as the bride and groom get large costume crowns, and then slow dance to new kids on the block's 'please don't go girl.' a quote from marija about the joys of sofia-living: "the bum dogs in bulgaria are way better than the bum dogs in serbia." sofia even somehow pulled a metro out of its ass, and a really hot one to that leads to fun gasoline stations and desolate stretches of motorways. i found i could rip off the ticket machine too by inserting worthless dinar into the automatic vending machine. then i realized that a 50 dinar coin is actually worth twice as much as the required .50 leja for a ticket, and i silently cried. in bulgaria's long history, it has been settled by slavic tribes, mongol invaders, and now dunkin' doughnuts. of course their doughnuts are really grody, but what's a dude to do? a doughnut's a doughnut (i know why the caged bird sings, page 36). and some guy came up and asked us in 6 different languages if we would buy some dollars off of him. he reassured us though that they were real dollars, that he 'takes them illegally from people,' then he mentioned more specifically from some american jew by the name of jeff. i wonder if there's a warrant out for the arrest of an american jew named jeff.
|Wednesday, December 29th, 2004|
|srecan swiat bozego narozdenia to all, except the 1 million germans we deported from here
well, poland adventure 2004 is winding down. after what was supposed to be a whirlwind tour, i've actually only seen roughly four cities--poznan (so much of poznan), a charming little village on its outskirts, gdansk and the old czestochowa. i did get to spend a night in warsaw, without any money, so i did see the palace of culture indisputably the finest building in central europe with the exception of all the outlets of TGI Friday's. and my polishness accounts for so much of my behavior: when my adoptive family put butter on their bread, for example, they smeared it on like i smear eurocream on bread. when i went to eat in a milk bar finally yesterday, i got potato pancakes with what i presumed was sour cream. it turned out to be heavy whipping cream, which i could vaguely understand since it's another dairy product, but there was really no reason for the gigantic heap of sugar that they dumped on top of the entire concoction. with my adoptive family, we spent three days talking unendingly about george michael, the neverending story, and about the indefatigably lame biggest basket in the world that they took me to see on christmas (the only time we really deviated from this agenda of conversation topics was when we became excited cuz this guy in the dragon pub, thus named on account of the large papier mache dragon hanging from the roof, was dressed like one of the dudes from the flamboyantly gay romanian pop band o-zone). plus their--i mean, our grandmother--was always reading a magazine about the pope, like i hope to do in my golden years (roughly 22 on), and made senile comments like "all american presidents have turkey for thanksgiving. i bet george bush had a turkey for thanksgiving too. don't you think so?" and for some reason we found this the funniest thing to ever come out of a human voicebox.
the moral of the story is that 'charming old town' is codeword for 'boring conglomeration of uninspired buildings copied from other cities'. zagreb=novi sad=salzburg=munchen=wroclaw=warsaw=pozn
an=budapest, basically, except there's a bigger castle there. i mean, how many times can you feign excitement to see a building painted a hideous shade of pink by colorblind austro-hungarian architects or their sniveling imitators, maybe with a facade, even a real wooden door. it dawned upon me that my love of stalinist architecture is totally validated when the 'charming old town' of every central european city is more ruthlessly uniform and unoriginal than say a kilometer long building or a 3.32 hectare area concrete collusus in the center of warsaw. you won't see that in every single 'charming old town.'
well, i have to go to katowice, which i can only hope will be highly industrialized enough to be interesting.
long live nowa huta
|Saturday, August 14th, 2004|
|Third world countries
maria and i had an intriguing discussion today about the distinction between third and second world countries. apparently, a third world country is distinguished by people being afflicted by easily curable diseases, by light and water ceasing to function at random, and unstable currency. given all that, and add onto it that belgrade is regularly afflicted by flash floods in mid summer because there's no drainage system so within 20 seconds of rainfall you have to slosh through 8 inches of rainwater, serbia truly is my favorite third world country (the ivory coast sulks in a corner.)
i was on tv yesterday for like the 30th time. i made an ass of myself, saying 'i love ceca!' and the cameraman just shook his head in utter disgust. i think i did a better job though in the newspaper interview i gave to someone from 'politika.' and not like i'm bragging here, because no one will ever read this livejournal much less know what the fuck 'politika' is, but it's the most prestigious newspaper in serbia. the most prestigiuos newspaper in serbia interviewing a random 20 year old foreigner and asking him about serbian girls. oh serbia, we belong together.
last night i also witnessed a very impressive performance in the major square that consisted of a robot dancing slowly to popular truba music, before he was consumed in flames and collapsed on the ground. why not?
|Friday, March 19th, 2004|
looks like the time has come for a little cocky reflection upon my well-nigh nonexistent social life. i guess a lot has happened since the carefree days of mid-november. ah, the bojana drama...when she tried to trick me into kissing her by saying she was standing under the mistletoe, and my fetching a chair for her to sit on...then unintentionally making her boyfriend uncomfortable (i can never be in a stable relationship with any sane human being, but at least i can disrupt the relationships of others) cuz she sits on me. then an unexpected character surfaced from arizona for new years eve. then i proved that though i may fear i'm a dirty old man sometimes, i can't even recognize someone climbing on me and kissing me to be a proverbial 'move.'
then the latest installment in this danielle steele romance novel, 'cookie girl.' who has now gone off to the netherlands to pork her ex-boyfriend after milking me like the fairground heiffer for one and a half weeks. but at least the metaphysical angst that tortures me everyday incarnated itself into sort of sweaty making out in a room with a one millimeter picture of the bay, punctuated by tales about ponies and kittens from the unofficial autobiography of cookie girl.
now she's run off to holland and now i'm preparing to go to arizona where a rare but hideous genetic deformity in the human population forces people to like me. i didn't tell cookie girl i was going for quite a while, and when i did start to let her in on the secret it took a while for it to run its course: 'i'm going to arizona to visit friends.' 'i'm going to arizona to visit specifically female friends and a professor.' 'i'm going to arizona to visit my professor and some female friends, one of whom may have tried to make-out with me.' ''i'm going to arizona to visit my professor and female friends, one of whom may have tried to make-out with me when she drove for 30 hours to visit me on new years eve.' '''i'm going to arizona to visit my professor and some female friends, one of whom may have tried to make-out with me when she drove for 30 hours to visit me on new years eve, and who sends me charmingly obsessive postcards.' 'i'm going to arizona to visit my professor and some female friends, one of whom may have tried to make-out with me when she drove for 30 hours to visit me on new years eve, and who sends me charmingly obsessive postcards. and my professor according to all indicators also appears to be obsessed with me and i'm reasonably certain wants to make out with me as well.'
yar, what more can there be to say? i suppose it's better i stop casually seeing cookie girl because we didn't seem able to do homework together. i don't see how any prospective love can surmount that obstacle.
|Wednesday, November 12th, 2003|
I'd better look busy so they don't take away my livejournal account and give it to someone interesting. that would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to me at this point, aside from puberty. due to rebekah's granddaddy dying, and then her having to linger in southern california for the week, i had to send her some mourning garments yesterday which allowed for a dreamy visit to the oakland greyhound station, which i think one-ups the stations in riverside, phoenix, central los angeles, and needles. it's so grimey and cramped, and the untouched felt-and-white-lettering sign above the ticket counter offers for sale the same r.c.-cola and batteries that it has since time immemorial. then i got to go back there today, on the pretext of trying to find rebekah's lost clothes. but the greyhound employees are a crafty lot, and the one who first engaged me told me that i had to deal with the package over the phone, that there was nothing they could do there, etc. fortunately, since i didn't know what to do i continued standing there for several minutes, until another clerk who was leaning on the counter next to me during the exchange with the first greyhound dude slowly returned to the world of living and gave me a paper to fill out. having falsified half the information on the form and forging rebekah's signature, i completed my honeymoon with the force of nature that is greyhound. o greyhound, i shall sleep with the customer copy of my claim form nestled against my breast.
|Tuesday, October 7th, 2003|
wow. the man who made a career by reciting lines such as "it's not a tumour!" is now governor. the celebrity who portrayed a man who had to stick some robotic tool up his nose to extract a large glowing ball will now be doing the same thing in the State Capitol. what am i complaining about? with the functional collapse of representative democracy already occurring quite a while ago, the only respite for the citizens of this country is when someone who has comedic value before (instead of after) their election is voted into office.
did i tell everyone about my haircut yet? rebekah and i have been upping the ante with each progressively more horrible haircut we collaborated upon. we feel that with the new "i'm a middle-aged balding man" style, we've once and for all reached the pinnacle of irony. what's uglier than a balding old man? someone pretending to be a balding old man? if that someone is me, then the answer is yes. what's more, the balding man haircut opens up to us exciting frontiers that hairdressers a century ago had never even dreamed possible: the "i'm a middle-aged balding man who's trying to hide it with a combover," the "i'm a middle-aged balding man who's trying to hide it with a poorly-fashioned toupee," the "i'm a middle-aged balding man who has a little remaining hair on the sides of his head that's really puffy" (from this stage, according to my projections, it may be possible to develop an "i'm a jim henson's muppet" haircut.) what a powerful message with which to inaugurate my third decade of life: i can't wait until i'm inaugurating my eighth-decade of life, when the mutually understood societal role assigned to me will be to putter around my squalid living quarters drinking ensure and voting for strom thurmond as a write-in candidate in every election. of course there's no reason i can't get started now.
|Friday, October 3rd, 2003|
|Social mobility? more like social go-nowhere-bility
rebekah was riding my ass pretty hard last night about getting a new slightly less soul-crushing job. indeed, things at the old burrell place have been steadily declining. on wednesday night, after working for chris for the standard unnecessarily long two hours, punctuated by him sending me out to his car repeatedly to find some vitally important shoebox-sized battery (whose disappearance can be attributed to firstly the fact that it was hidden under his bed, and more importantly, to the fact that it wasn't a battery at all but an extension cord), i decided to celebrate the one day upon which i can wake up after 9:00 by staying up until five reading about interwar hungary. so i am unpleasantly roused at 8:00, because apparently chris had decided i was going to work for him on thursday morning without consulting me. this incensed rebekah, as it did me, especially since after dealing with chris i reported to the central co-op office for my four hour carnival of horror. firstly, there was an angry denunciation of my purported tardiness by my supervisor, whom luckily i just caught (she was on her way out for what would turn out to be a three-hour lunch break). then i was finally initiated into the sacred brotherhood of the furniture warehouse. the interior architecture resembles the depictions of native american mud huts that abound in fourth-grade social science books. it has a deathly, furniture-filled silence, which i became well acquainted with because my foreman/bailiff/overseer excused himself to flirt with the lady that delivers pickles on the pretext that he didn't know which type of dresser we were supposed to deliver. my personal hypothesis was that they'd ordered the dresser that wasn't covered with cobwebs and didn't have a hole kicked in the side, and eventually my outlandish views were validated. i enjoyed my co-furniture dude, not least because i first met him as he was hungrily eyeing the freepile. he stole the heart of jason during the scene in which we delivered the wrong item of furniture (perhaps it should be noted that we only had two pieces of furniture to deliver), and upon being informed of his mistake, he simply stared off into the distance and walked out. from the gossip that i overheard in the bloated bureaucratic ranks of central kitchen as i futilely scrubbed everything in view with filthy soapy water, i had no clue that there was almost as much conversation about the incompetence and paranoid psychoses of wilde house members there as there is inside of wilde house. i got back at them by accidentally locking three different sets of brooms and dustpans in the employee lounge and employee bathroom. who's incompetent now? don't answer that.
|Friday, September 26th, 2003|
|From my Big Pig Pin in the Sky
While alternating rapidly between three modes of listening to folk music from former jugoslavia, drinking spuriously purchased safeway soda, and contemplating smoking quality-produced mint-infused nat sherman cigarettes, it hit me that there is an unbridled buffalo stampede of addictions i've erected in my life. this is all the more distressing because i can find lyrical expression of such a sentiment in one verse of a belle and sebastian song (I guess i would take pictures of my addiction, though i fancy that taking pictures of all the cups of coffee i absorb through my single-cell membrade in the course of 24 hours alone would waste a lot of time and anyways end up on the wayside next to pictures like the now famous image of someone posing with a "no sexy? no party!" beglittered shirt in a serbian flea mart.)
i'm pretty certain there was some digression there. anywho, like an increasingly real boy i've had to sort of shave from time in the course of the last year (though i've yet to even use up the original can of shaving cream jamie and i bought at a 99 cent market in the mission), have actually for the first time actually been under conditions of highly-taxing workful days (though my backwards primitive mentality and slouching body type only permit me to accomplish in a fortnight what ordinary man accomplish in one of your 'working days), and most impressively and involuntarily am being thrust out of the citadel of my tender teens (characterized most powerfully in the bidding farewell to blessed but oh-so-costly Teen Spirit deodorant). for my birthday i'll have to purge myself of these damnable cigarettes and spread the proceeds as thinly as i can in order to get all the clothes newly deported from the free pile to my room properly washed. i guess i'm just mentioning it so that if i get attacked by rats while disconsolately sweeping the floor of the USCA central kitchen or assaulted by the bees who have been ominously appearing in my bed, we can get in the newspaper by telling the story of how i had ambitiously sought to rid myself of my bad habits in a few weeks only to end up contracting a new addiction in the hospital like sugar-water or fruit-flavoured Tums. geez, that's enough of that.
|Thursday, August 28th, 2003|
survey says that whereas beograd most definitely rules, satellite images received from the hubble space telescope prove that london drools. it's impossible to pin down, but after emerging from victoria station (my ancestral homeless hangout) and walking for a block, i paused with horror and realized that i fucking hated that town. i was mildly irritated that the dudes working in the left luggage department were, as usual, african immigrants with commanding but idle white supervisors. then i saw the headlines about homeless gangs ransacking shops on the west end, and if i'd still had any money to my name, i would have bought some rifles and raised a partisan army tito style. too bad serbia's government is ironically the least nationalist government in the balkans nowadays, or else it might be able to resist the tightening noose of foreign encroachment. i can only pray that the inclusion of poland and the czech republic to the european union will plunge it into economic chaos, devaluing the euro and forcing the prevalence of the eu to decline in the balkans. and everyone knows that the only things serbians can afford to buy are cigarettes and fruit-brandies and second-hand clothes from germany, so it's not like america could try convincing the people of the balkans that they are in dire need of top-secret orthodontic technology or liz taylor's diamonds.
on the plus side, i did overcome my apprehension towards sleeping on the street and met some drunken brits to whom i spoke, or rather tried to understand, for an hour when i woke up. but they still couldn't have held a cigarette up to paranoid elderly woman i met in front of the beograd train station at 2 in the morning.
|Sunday, August 24th, 2003|
|I know everyone here earns 1/1000 of what i make a month, but come on
unlike serbia, which is a little better off, bosnia has crossed that threshold wherein everyone tries and in fact succeeds in stealing from you. from the taxi driver who demanded four times the fare, to whatever inventive mind stole my fifty euro note and the mildly valuable bus ticket next to it. that pickpocket deserves special recognition because he/she got skills: id anticipated that someone would probably make a grab for my last bit of real money on earth, so id cleverly hid it among a heap of worthless dinar notes. but voila, they somehow managed to sort through it and leave me all those dinars to buy a coffee with when i get back to beograd. i am just irritated because in serbia the level of trust is infinitely higher: you leave your bags at the entrance of stores, you leave your bags on the beach when you go swimming for an hour, people chase you down the street to return the 10 dinar note you dropped that couldnt buy a pack of gum even in serbia. im also irritated because i wouldnt have ended up with a fucking fifty euro note, which i knew from the get go would probably be stolen or lost, if i hadnt taken everyone's advice to cash my travelers checks before going to sarajevo.
even though i am no where near proficiency in the serbian ekavian variant of serbo-croatian, i felt pretty comfortable trying to speak to people there. in bosnia they speak the ijekavian variant of serbo-croatian, which in a nutshell amounts to adding a j everywhere there's an e in serbian. it's such a little difference, but it's infuriating. i'm experiencing deep linguistic alienation in a language i can't even speak. maybe adding ekavian subtitles to ijekavian movies for serbian audiences wasn't such a bad idea after all.
i just want to go home and cry and want to die. because at least then i don't have to wonder what i can pawn in order to buy a bus ticket to the airport.
|Friday, August 22nd, 2003|
|Some kind of confession
Looks like any souvenir obtaining is cancelled. my bag is already full, since i was stocking up on clothes since i don't think i'll be able to find a place to stay for the next week and i'm sure as hell not getting anything washed between here and san francisco. on the plus side, i did get two matching german t-shirts so people can take turns being my identical twin.
last night was my friend gina's last evening in novi sad, and as we went back to the student dorm, she saw some sign saying novi sad in cyrillic and exclaimed "how i'll miss you, hobn kad!" this was amusing to me. oh, this trip was a motley assortment of such tiny amusing episodes, none amusing to anyone outside of the little universe of jugoslavija, and probably not even amusing to anyone outside of the infinitisimally tiny microcosm of Team Arizona. now our imposing four has dwindled down to two, and in a few hours i will seek my fortune or lack thereof in sarajevo. if i may totally be a fucking nerd for a second, like i've been for the past 19 years, sarajevo derives from a turkish word for a resting place for caravans. it is only fitting that my final vikend in the balkans be spent sleeping somewhere in a park on the outskirts of that town, where overpaid nato peacekeepers dispose of used-condoms from their trists with local underage prostitutes nearby.
great god in heaven, i know this is cheesy, but this was not a learning experience, but a life experience. astro.com was deadly accurate in its assessment of the overall positive effects of a trip to the balkans. for the first time in my life, i find there's not only something i can sort of do competently, but that i enjoy. actually two things, if you include the fact that i can drink everyone around here under the table. on top of containing the wildfire of the serbo-croatian language, who would have ever thought jason would make sexy friends from arizona? sexy friends who are getting majors in economics, and will probably one day be wildly successful and who will take pity on jason and let him sleep in their trash cans? oh, if only my parents were alive to see this, instead of having been replaced by gigantic funguses that send a lot of voicemail messages and tell me incredibly boring stories about palm trees.
now i have some direction in my life, if you would like to call it that. in another week when my confidence is shattered by the fact that other people speak serbian and certainly polish better than i do, i will edit all of this and replace it with a textual remix of my favouritest morrissey songs, but until then let me bask in the tender heat-lamp of jugostalgia.
|Sunday, August 10th, 2003|
|Ja Sam Bas Siromahan!
dude, i just found out that all my earthly assets have been unwittingly liquidated and are in repose in a little cabinet in my squalid cubicle in my squalid serbian student dorm. if only i could find someone willing to harbor an american in his/her basement. i read in the newspaper that someone's looking for volunteers to staff a kitchen for poor novisadians, and i'd totally work 20 hour days in a serbian soupkitchen, subjected to relentless physical and verbal abuse, if at the end of the day they'd let me sleep on a pile of old newspapers in the corner and occasionally give me a half-consumed bottle of rakija or Cockta. but on a slightly less serious note, i wonder what i'll do when i return to the states as poor as a witch's tit.
my cohort gina wants to go to croatia and watch a soccer game. this seems an awful plan, especially since marija isn't coming along and so the sole responsibility for keeping things undepressing falls upon my shoulders. oh well, i'll just drink a lot and insult croatian football players. i always knew i'd make such a sweet and tender soccer hooligan if 'the man' would only give me a fair chance.
|Wednesday, August 6th, 2003|
|Novi Sad--sad 'cuz you're not here to share it with me
I was rather firm on the point of not going on the damn fangled internet in srbija, but my classmates and i went for dinner and 75 cent milkshakes and now we're at an internet place, and i'm 600 kilometers away from home and i don't want to walk by myself, so i says hell i'll post something here.
today we went in the danube river. yes, the mighty danube, the mighty danube into which people dump their trash from poland down to hungary. and now i'm swimming in it, and in fact smearing myself with mud from its bottom because someone else was doing it. it was so precious. i asked some guy to take a picture of team ASU in front of this inexcusably picturesque landscape, and he responded that he was really in a hurry to go swimming and went ahead a few feet and stood in the water. so i slashed his tires. at least i hope i got his tires, because i must have spent three hours slashing all the car tires within a two kilometer radius.
of course i love novi sad, but the ultimate goal of my sojourn is a triumphant reentry into the white city, and if the airport murals are to be believed, the city of love, sports, and comedy, o sweet beograd! i can't wait to wander around beograd trying to perform some boring task while screaming at the top of my voice the lyrics to 'April u Beogradu.' and smoking too, what with domestic cigarettes going for 50 cents a pack. but novi sad has more than its fair share--most would say unfair share--of old world charm. despite the police force's tradition of semi-brutality, every square centimeter of the city is drowned in grafiti, ranging from political declarations like "Patriotism is a Sickness" to "Beastie Boys." outside of the city center, all the living spaces are prime examples of hulking stalinist architecture. you don't even have to specifically request it--they automatically choose for you a bad-ass sweet cubby hole within a thirty-story concrete slab in which to live.
the most exciting prospect in my future is a trip on friday to a karaoke bar. i'll keep everyone posted on the results, but i know that as soon as i fortify myself with a few hundred dinars of sljivovica and they play the introduction to 'i saw tito three times,' then we'll see what's what.
|Friday, July 25th, 2003|
if you assemble a pack of college students and faculty in a room to watch an amateurish university of california video on comparative cross-cultural nonverbal communication, you should expect everyone to be flipping one another off and performing the Hindi gesture for "you are a pussy" to his/her respective neighbour. but somehow my roommate and i were the only ones trying to convey to one another through our newly-acquired gesticulations that we had screwed one another's moms. speaking of which, my roommate has bowed to international pressure and stopped hating me. and in its last week the serbo-croatian class is de-balkanizing itself and overcoming its centuries-long antagonisms. my neighbour/classmate kata has even asked me to make her a mix cd of jugoslavian music--little does she know that all this time i've been lying in wait for someone to give me a pretext for burning a CD of the most touching music ever to fall upon my eardrums like flower-scented dew drops. and it's sort of a consolation that the temperature has plummeted under 103 degrees as of late. yes, i'd say the only thing that could stop me now is a devastating secret from my past. . .
|Saturday, July 19th, 2003|
Today is the beginning of twelvetidemas, the annual observance of my having 12 days left in this gosh-darned pooh-hole. i mean this in the sweetest way possible, but i won't miss this place. not a goldanged thing. i spent two hours trying to locate the only used bookstore in tempe, a project doomed to extreme inefficiency and poor execution because i took all of my information as to its location from a passing comment someone made to me at a party last night when i was drunk or life-threateningly bored. when i finally reached the bookstore, they had a moderately hot book on the "nationalist question" in the balkans, as well as the major enticement that drew me there--Harry potter in serbo-croatian. of course, one of my many unjustifiable, prejudiced but adamant personal opinions is that harry potter represents the greatest debacle ever inflicted upon the written word, but i figured anything would be good if written in the modified latin alphabet. but when i considered buying it, i was impeded by another one of my unjustifiable, prejudiced but adamant personal opinions, namely the principle that $40 is too much to pay for a book.
12 days. . . i can already taste the honey-roasted peanuts of freedom that await me on the southwest plane out of this dump. . .incidentally, any one (eric) seen the league of extraordinary gentlemen yet? am i alone in infering that sean connery will come back as a zombie in any possible sequels?
|Friday, July 18th, 2003|
I'm so happy, i could kiss the dust covered floor of my apartment and gently tongue the spray canister of raid. my apartment, contrary to my expectations, did not explode. the package for the fumigating canisters warned that they were extremely flammable, and i figured i'm just the kind of person whom one would see on the news explaining how he blew up his living space using simple household chemicals. and although this time around the canisters did not unleash the power of the atom to wreak havoc upon my hapless apartment, there' s no telling what devastative potential may lie dormant in the remaining two fumigators.