Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nothing new to report, except anxiously waiting the release of Stephenie Meyer's last book in the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn. My friend Blu keeps finding all these clips from the upcoming film, and as much as I totally get skeeved by favorite books being pushed to the screen, I must say, the looks of it might be shaping up. Initial teasers and photos were quite dim as some publicist who has been fired by now, surely, relased these:

Which are just. Not. RIGHT.

Luckily, someone got it together and pulled these out of the bag:

Which are precisely what we'd all been hoping for. MUCH better, thanks!! It seems ridiculous how important it is to get characters looking right, but I just have three words for you if you think it doesn't matter: Tom Cruise. Lestat. 'Nuff said.

It's also kinda sad that a gaggle of near-middle aged women are spending alot of time drooling over an imaginary vampire ( a TEEN vampire, no less), and the most common commentary is that unless you've read the books, you just might find it hard to believe that they are THAT compelling. I would argue something more explicit: Everyone wants to be loved the way Edward loves Bella ( his human paramour; "star-crossed " isn't even sufficient to explain....). Their oh-so-chaste but passionate soulmate dance is what anyone would find difficult to resist.

And everyone is drawn to this notion-- in one way or another, whether it be vampires, fairies, magic, aliens,whatever-- that there's this Other Reality just a slip away from Real Life. "The World Behind The World", or as Wiccans say, ' Behind The Veil'. It certainly makes regular life, with work and obligations and money problems and day to day drudgery seem more interesting, doesn't it?

But the real testament is to Meyer's writing; she just spins a damn fine yarn. Really, it's not a story anyone's never heard before: a million vampire romances sit on the shelves collecting dust as I type. She just infuses some sort of prodigious description into whatever world she builds, and somehow, resists the propensity for cheesey at every turn, while keeping you extremely invested in unknown outcomes. That's a pretty big skill to have, in a genre that's known for the utterly predictable, overwrought, melodramatic, cliched and geekarific. I don't know how she manages to avoid those traps , but she makes it happen.

Other than that, I'm anxiously awaiting yet another call from MOCA. I applied for another position, one that again would be perfect for me in terms of pay, proximity,'s with their education department, which, thankyouverymuch, I already have six fucking years experience with. I know, I keep saying tha all the time, but if this go-round doesn't produce at least an interview, I throw in the fucking towel. I either give it up or I start doing the truly unappealing, which is trying to get in the door via pulling any string I can find-- like calling up my former supervisor in STL and having HIM call whomever HE knows there, even if he knows no one. I HATE that option. It's the most imposing of professional favors, way beyond a reference, and who says if ex-boss has strings to pull, he doesn't want to keep those options to pull them for himself when he might need them? UGH. I don't even know if I have the chutzpah to ask, it's so distasteful to me.
However, the doors aren't opening no matter how hard I bang, and I don't know what to do anymore. I'm frustrated and tired, and I am really sick of wasting away watching my life head into NOTHING. It's like I'm doomed to work retail or some such other forever, and scrape by untill I die. It begs the question: why? And what am I doing wrong?

And lately I've been having that There's Something Wrong With Me Feeling again, as Sassy so accurately described it once. She mentioned to me when I was bereft about Anthony that I somehow got the idea in my head that because I was unattached at this late hour in my life that I was somehow Broken. Everyone else is having this work for them, everyone else finds a mate, has a family, I don't, did I miss the boat? What am I doing wrong? Nothing, therefore = I'm Busted.

I thought I had gotten past that after some serious internal cheerleading on my part, but lately I find it resurfacing as 40 looms large. As time ticks by and my bedtime routine consists of staying up late so I don't have to go to bed alone ( I really do this), and I look for more reasonable solutions to the crushing lonliness and come up empty, that THIS is the default position my mind as to why it's all happening this way and there's no ready answer. I'm not feeling as desperate this time, like "ooh, I'll date this Unsuitable Mate and make him suitable!" so I guess that's an improvement; I'm definitely seeing any potential crush objects through the harsh lens of "But is he THERE, you know, where I am? Ready to GO and not dick around for the next 5 years and then bail??? Is he quality goods, or a fixer-upper? Can I live with him AS HE IS, or does he need some work that I am in no mood to initiate?"

I suppose that's good. Too bad nothing changes about the situation, regardless. It's not like Said Crush Objects ( as few and far between as they are) are lining up to entreat me for a the pleasure of a second or two of my blessed company. It's not like I'm so in a position to be a Progressive Gal and take the initaive myself, (see "few and far between", above). It's not like I even have a social life to speak of. I work, I go home, I eat, I straighten up some, I read, and I go to bed. What am I supposed to do, hit the clubs?? Do something ultra-declasse' and take a cooking class in order to catch myself a man? Snort. I don't think so.....and I am SO done with internet dating. No more. Had enough of fishing in a pond with way too many fish and so few ways of weeding out the mutated ones.

Needless to say, I'm in quite the mood these days. Both of those conditions area adding to the slowly increasing throb inside my stomach as another year marches toward its natural end. I feel pathetic and sad and incredibly freaked out on a low level all the time. All the time.

Which brings me to this topic, in a nice segueway:

I know some people out there are silently disapproving of my decision to go to Paris, (or are unconsciously jealous?) because a few key folks have said absolute so little in response to the news that the silence is defeaning. Perhaps they're just preoccupied with their own stuff, I don't know. However, I would say to those who question the wisdom of throwing out a significant sum of money ( that I didn't earn! For shame!) towards such a whimsy when I can barely pay my phone bill: I cannot overemphasize the level of sheer panic I have about wasting my life, and having woken up this summer and realized that it is speeding by at an alarming rate. While you all were going to school and having babies and getting hitched, (or divorced and then into second major commitments ) and generally living out your life as One Might Expect, I was too sick to function for large chunks at a time.

I'm not asking for pity, since I know you wouldn't offer it anyway, but here's the deal: inside I feel like I'm 28, not 39. I'm way behind on the Life Goal Curve, here. Stepping aside from the comparison game for a moment, I am finding that I have sacrificed most of my adulthood to a total interloper on my opportunity to progress normally. That's fine and all, as I have finally been able to move out of Bittertown about it ( mostly) , 'cause you know what? It can't be changed. So I do what I can and try to tune out the deafining din of messages of Where I Should Be Now and boost myself up and above feeling terribly lonely and without a proper peer group, since very few women my age are in my situation.

Still, when something like this hits, I realize that there's just some things you don't get to negotitate with, and one of them is TIME. I may have lost those years and it may be unfair and I can be a late bloomer and it's all going to be fine and don't worry, Jessica, BUT, here we are. I'm NOT 28. I'm 39. Non-negotiable. When AM I going to do all the stuff I wanted to do? Well, tick tock, 'cause it waits for no one. Would have liked to have gotten to it sooner, but.....yeah. We already covered that.

So I do what I can to throw a wrench into the works of that infernal clock and say "I can still do things. Even if they're not perfectly orchestrated or well-timed, I am going to try and do some stuff I've always wanted to do. I'm going to try and squeeze some dreams in before I really am middle aged and even MORE time has gone by without my doing anything!"

Y'all can sit back in your chairs and think I'm crazy, but I challenge you to look at yourselves and really be aware for a moment: feel that smugness? It's coming from the fact that you HAVE some goals under your belt that are appropriate to your age. And I look like a crazed narcissistic teenager to you because you're ready to be more settled, having acheived some normal developmental timeline. I'm happy for you. BUt I am not an It's All About Me Immature Human. I'm just wanting to have a slice of what you have, and not feel like I'm sliding into the next decade of my life with nothing to show for it. So this is my way of grabbing something that MEANS something to me -- this is one of my goals and a piece of MY picture of happiness-- and being able to have it as a keepsake for when I look back at my life and ask if I've wasted it.

It's also a way of breaking the monotony of what has become my life; a way of saying I can still Seize the Day. Make fun of it if you will, or say I'm being overdramatic, overidealistic, childish, whatever. But aware of it or not, everyone's got their own little Code to Live By and that's been mine. I've always liked it: I think it's a good one, simple, exuberant, true and courting many a reckoning moment which help define our character and shape our daily experience in a life-embracing way. Life IS short (duh), and I've recently come to see it as less of an abstract and more of a reality now more than ever. I haven't been seizing very much in the last 5 years, and I've been fucking miserable. I don't know how that's supposed to change, but this is my grand gesture toward pushing things in another direction. Maybe I'll end up broke and living with my parents and working at Wal-Mart, but I can say for sure I won't regret the leap.

What can you say that about?