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A silly exercise in fangirldom...

... to bring me back to my roots/origins. Um, consider this part one?

Simon: In eight years, I'm going to completely deny this moment ever existed.
Nick: Are you sure you want to do that?
Warren: I certainly hope he continues to deny that he got with that skank ho last night.

Warren: Yeah, I think Simon needed to go, guys.
Nick: Simon, why on Earth didn't you decide to go before we did this photo shoot?
Simon: Shut up or else I'll lose my concentration.
John: Something certainly smells concentrated. Ugh.

John: I'm a little teapot, short and stout...
Roger: ... I'm a little tipsy, so help me out.
Simon: I'm having a fabulous time going off and being a jolly jack tar!
Nick: Uh, Simon, that's a flashbulb going off, not a lighthouse.
Andy: I hope they get this over with before I wet my trousers.

Roger: I wonder if anyone's told Andy that Halloween's a few months off.
Simon: I tried to tell him, but then he threatened me with a lawsuit.
Nick: I'm not even going to try convincing him he doesn't look like Ralph Macchio.
John: As long as my hair looks fabulous in this picture, I don't care what Andy looks like.
Andy: I gotta look tough for Mr. Miyagi!

Confession time: I did all of these late last year while I was going through a series of photographs I'd saved on my old hard drive. These are some of the funnier ones, so imagine how bad the unfunny ones were. I was mostly going for a bit of fun with these photo captions, and I kinda needed to reconnect with that, so. But anyway. Hope you enjoyed it and hope you found at least a little bit of entertainment value in the above. BTW, I might do this with other photographs I find of other musicial artists I'm a fan of. Hence the possible part one scenario.

Poetry Time (X-posted from MySpace)

Dedicated to you-know-who; directed at you-know-who-you-are

So I'm not indie enough to join your little clique.
You're not Eighties enough to keep up with me.
If I say that enough, maybe that'll do the trick
As I battle the ancient demons of misery.

So you're much adored by the folks in the in crowd.
You've still failed to make an impression on me.
As I think those thoughts, I resolve to be proud
Enough to make that truth fill me with glee.

Holding tight, holding tight onto my pride
As I flash the biggest smile my face can make
Hoping that it betrays the sadness inside
And struggling to head off another heartbreak.

So I'm not pretty enough to be squired around town
Your promises and loyalties are made with gossamer
So when your looks finally start to let you down
I'll laugh as others ask, "What happened to her?"

So you think my mindset betrays my calendar age
And I seem unhip and sadly old-fashioned to you.
When you're older your youth will fill you with rage
And deep satisfaction will my own memories accrue.

Holding tight, holding tight onto my pride
As I flash the biggest smile my face can make
Awaking to the nascent joy that's growing inside
And a high self-regard I'm no longer to fake.

So my intelligence had to be cultivated into being
Yours, natural-born, apparently serves you no good
Your conversations lapse into gigglefits and peeing
And mine are about connections and being understood.

So none of my origins are glamorous, it's true
And your own hometown is much more in the limelight
My town is growing fast and soon it will get its due
As yours dies out from being squeezed too tight.

Holding tight, holding tight onto my pride
As I flash the biggest smile my face can make
I've finally cast those nasty demons aside
And now my self-confidence is at last awake.

I like myself for the first time in my history
And I'm not afraid now to look you in the eyes
And tell you how little you finally mean to me,
You who had made me feel like a booby prize.

Your time will come when the demons will infest you
And taunt you constantly with their remonstration.
Don't approach me for help as I'll follow your cue
And do nothing as you go mad from self-repugnation.

I float freely into orbit and look down right into you
And see all those terrible things that you used to do
And now my time has come for me to take hold of myself
And watch your empty words gather dust up on the shelf.

Baby, it's hot outside.

So I'm finally inputting another journal entry after how many years of me not being in this thing?? It seems like years, anyway.

I've been having fun exerting brief spurts of energy on my MySpace "blog", which you can see by clicking on the handy little link I've finally included on this journal. Even though I have the list of links to the right of this entry, it'll be nice to have it somewhere where they put the home page links just in case you completely missed the link in the first place.

I also need to fix the list of interests. There are some things listed that I've gone off of, and some things I've completely fallen in love with since the last time I entered anything into this thing. That's the way the universe works. You change your interests. Though mine are generally more stable than the ones most people have, even my list changes.

I'm also bored right now. I'd love to be swanning about the Interweb, but I haven't been able to get any (save for one) website that I frequent to actually WORK. What's wrong with the Internet? Is it broken? Is my DSL connection for shit? I don't know the answers to any of these questions, but I do know that I'm incredibly grateful for the New Wave Outpost's continued operation at 100%. Well, LJ is also operating at 100% too, but I don't really frequent it anymore, do I? Anyway, the NWO still being up is keeping me from going completely nutso. Dude, I can't even get WIKIPEDIA to cooperate with me tonight. That's just wrong.

Suddenly I feel a burst of energy guiding me to type furiously into this thing. I suppose I would, though. Considering all the things that have happened since the last time I created a new entry, my LJ cup should very definitely be running over. But one thing I'll start off with (and close this entry with, quite paradoxically) is the disconcerting notion that, because I didn't really do that much complaining about the weather last month, which happened to be the hottest month on record for the city, I'm actually beginning to be at peace with this heat and sun I loathe so very much. Being at peace doesn't mean I'm going to go and actively SEEK out this shit, but at least I'm at the point now where I can live through it and go, "Meh, this is just summer. Live through it, babe." OR MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE EVERYWHERE ELSE IS HOT MWAHAHAHAHAHA LIVE THROUGH MY NIGHTMARE, CHICKADEES. Ahem.

Little brief update-y type entry

Apparently I am slowly but surely becoming adept at maintaining my Orpheus (Orpheus being the name I christened my 1995 Chevy Blazer, after the David Sylvian song). It was doing some mighty awful chugging this morning, but when I tightened some battery connectors and disabled the cruise control (which I had no idea was even on in the first place), it started humming like a champ. I am now currently knocking on the particle board that my desk is composed of. But really, there shouldn't be anything wrong with Orpheus; its battery is practically brand new, it has plenty of antifreeze/coolant (after I filled the reservoir a couple of months ago), I checked the gauges and the water temperature is perfect, I'm getting exactly the right amount of charge from the battery, and I don't need any oil (I'm going to have to double-check that one this afternoon, but I just put oil into the vehicle last month). And it can't be that my vehicle is filled with bad gasoline as I only stick to three gas station chains -- Exxon, Shell, and Texaco -- and all three of them are trustworthy.

So anyway. How am I doing? Not too bad, actually. I am trying to deal with another cyst growth on my back. This time it doesn't feel all that bad. I'm putting the heating pad on it and I started a regimen of antibiotics (speaking of -- that's the one word in the English language I have trouble pronouncing) that will hopefully dry it out. I don't want to go in for another procedure. I've had it with those procedures. I'm going to try this non-surgical route for now. Though the last couple of nights haven't been the most restful for me. I find myself in the old routine of having to sleep on my side, waking up whenever I need to change sides and tucking a pillow between my legs to reduce/alleviate the painful pressure resulting from having the cyst on my back. You know, cysts love me for some reason. On top of having problems with cysts along my spinal column, I also have polycystic ovarian syndrome -- I've even seen x-rays of my cyst-filled ovaries. Oh gee, I feel so special.

I'm going to have to close up this decidedly lacking journal entry now. I have to leave myself enough time to type up a little entry on my other LJ and to check my Gmail before returning to my regular world o' responsibility. TTFN!
Counting the hours
Till the dawn
Now that I am starting to remember
How to love
How to learn
Draw like a child
Run for miles and miles
Now that I am starting to remember
Who I am

One of the most wonderful things about YouTube is the fact that they have just about everything under the sun. Just last night I was going through the myriad of videos they have available for viewing and was able to spot quite a few videos from "Sesame Street" that took me back to the days when I was a little girl, actually watching "Sesame Street" and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and a whole host of other programs PBS had available for children in the mid - late '80s (ca. 1984 - 1989). At first it was a sort of "Oh wow, I can't believe they have this" situation, but then it slowly became something of a "Wow, if I could just have a bowl of cereal handy I would totally be able to revert back to my childhood!"

I suspect that that kind of thing could be therapeutic to me. You know, a sort of revisiting of that time period in my life, when all I knew how to be was to be just me. No self-conscious editing, no masquerade, just pure, unadulerated me. I need to remind myself to draw from that well every now and again so that I can remember who the real me is and what she represents, what she stands for. This is something I have unfortunately lost over the course of the last several years, something I have covered up by piling atop it layer after layer of bitterness, cynicism, wariness, suspicion, and anger. I mean, yeah, I was hurt a lot when I was younger; I was one of those children who are constant targets of bullying and harrassment. I had no real friends at all until I was fourteen. But at least I was comfortable in my own skin, and it's not like I've been able to avoid the unpleasantness by trying to be as proactive as I possibly could.

Sure, I'm never really going to be able to regress to that same state of mind I carried around me when I was eight, for example. Yet I could also learn a lesson from the little eight-year-old in me, and maybe being a little more like that will at least keep me from looking back at what I've done and who I've become and not recognizing anything at all. In all honesty, I have made some strides since my childhood days. I have learned so much and have gone so far. I will never forget that, nor would I ever; that's why I began this entry with some Duran lyrics. But I must also try to remember who I used to be. This is why I'll end this entry with the lyrics to a song that Mr. Rogers used to sing at the end of each of his episodes. Hopefully I can come to some sort of compromise and find the me I really am supposed to be.

It's such a good feeling to know you're alive.
It's such a happy feeling: You're growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say,
"I think I'll make a snappy new day."
It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling,
The feeling you know that we're friends.
I only have a very short time period to insert anything into this journal, but I'm going to have to state something I desperately need to get off my chest. I hate who I've turned into. I hate whom I've become. I am completely lost when it comes to who I am, to the point where I don't know who I am or where the real "me" begins and ends.

I am completely lost when it comes to interacting with others. I don't know where their honesty begins and ends and I have no idea how to see through other people's facades. I try as hard as I can to analyze others and see whether they're being genuine or not, yet at the same time I seem to come across ever more duplicitous and devious personalities who are better and better at covering their real selves up. So I'm always left with a sense that I'm being laughed at or used or that all my efforts to shield myself from two-facedness are for naught. This is not what I had hoped or dreamed of happening back when I decided to try to become as guarded as I possibly could for the sake of not being taken advantage of.

That's it, ultimately. I have lived much of my time since turning 18 with the sense that I needed to take care of my overly trusting character and nature, to protect myself from being hurt by others. Yet nothing I do seems to work, and worse of all, I seem to be losing the concept of who I truly am because of all of this. Who am I? What am I doing? Why is it that this should be happening? I am fearful of the fact that I don't know the answers to these questions, and am horrified that I have had to turn myself into someone that I ultimately don't like for the sake of trying to protect myself, and that that hasn't done anything for me.

Ok, that's it. I'm going to be having to get off soon, but I just wanted to input that, to get it off my chest. Now I can go about the rest of my daily business.
The other day, I whinged to a friend of mine about my inability to fit in with anyone. The people of my generation cannot understand my pop cultural loves, while the people who CAN understand my pop cultural loves cannot understand the people of my generation. The people of my ethnicity can't understand why I am the way I am, and the people outside my ethnicity... can't understand why I am the way I am. I live a life perpetually as a square peg, though even communities full of square pegs seem to have difficulty understanding me (I think this goes back to the whole thing wrt the people of my generation). I've always felt that it was difficult for me to find like minds out there in this world, but recently I've felt that it is nigh on impossible to do so.

Anyway, I was explaining all of this to this friend of mine because he's been the only person out there on this planet whom I've found to be in my exact same situation, and he gave me a good pointer: If I'm tired of being this perpetual misfit and want to try to pretend to be someone else for the purpose of fitting in, it won't be worth it because I'll just be pretending to be someone else, not me. He says it's more worth it to keep on being myself, even if it's a detriment to my finding a niche community or group out there. And you know what? I think he's right. As much as I would love to find a ready-made grouping of individuals out there whom I can instantly feel a part of, I must come to the realization that that would never happen for me unless I were willing to completely compromise who I am. And I just can't do it anymore. I can't fake interest in the things that don't interest me, nor can I suppress interest in things that I'm not "supposed to" be interested in. I'm tired of attempting to be bendable. I just want to be me, regardless of what that means wrt my wishes to find a circle of friends.

I guess that's why the nostalgic-/historic-themed 'zine idea I've got going will end up being of great use to me. What I'm trying to do with this project is take a look back, year by year, of what's happened in both Duran Duran's life and my own life since the band formed in 1978. It really has been helpful to me in terms of my ability to reclaim myself in the context of something that has been helping to define who I am for such a large portion (well over half) of my life. I can no longer pretend that the fantasy of being able to live the life of an Eighties Teen can or should be reality. Not only would it never be feasable, it would actually be nightmarish in that I would probably lose my own identity in the process. Like it or not, my time spent as a Nineties teen did help shape who I am, and the circumstances and situations I have been a witness to in the various stages of my life have been hugely important to shaping my identity. This is the one tiny aspect of my being that I and the rest of my generational crowd cannot diverge from. And, like it or not, I will always utilize the Eighties pop culture as my gold standard for that which I can be interested in. Whether it be John Hughes teen dramedies or Billy Crystal romcoms (they existed in the late '80s!) or yuppie dramas or synthpop or disco rock or anything orchestral and highly polished or anything else that is a signifier of the 1980s, these aspects of pop culture will always return to me, time and again, in the entertainment and style choices I make. I can never, SHOULD never, separate myself from that.

Maybe I'm just being impatient, though. Maybe in five years' time, that which I have always found to be ideal will be considered ideal by the members of my generation. Maybe it will happen with some odd moment of "this is actually COOL"-style cultural renaissance or retro adoration. But if it never happens, I will still keep on liking what I like and being a product of that which I am a product of. I know this much is true.
What did I say about Jill Carroll on Friday?

Though I'd actually prefer to wait awhile for those psychological wounds to heal a bit and for Ms. Carroll to recover her wits. That will be the moment when she'll be most with-it. Who knows what kinds of shit her captors put her through? Even just the act of being held captive must do some pretty awful things to a person; the State Department is aware of that and in its publication entitled "Personal Security Guidelines for the American Business Traveler Overseas", there is a section that deals with coping strategies should an American citizen be kidnapped overseas. (It's in a document for business travelers because I suspect that business travelers are historically the ones who get kidnapped most often.) In fact, the following is a quote from this very publication:

· DO NOT be uncooperative, antagonistic, or hostile towards your captors. It is a fact that hostages who display this type of behavior are kept captive longer or are singled out for torture or punishment.
· Watch for signs of Stockholm Syndrome which occurs when the captive, due to the close proximity and the constant pressures involved, begins to relate to, and empathize with, the captors. In some cases, this relationship has resulted in the hostage become empathetic to the point that he/she actively participates in the activities of the group. You should attempt to establish a friendly rapport with your captors, but maintain your personal dignity and do not compromise your integrity.

What Jill Carroll seemed to be doing, then, is precisely that which was advised in the first bullet point quoted above. She wasn't about to be hostile toward her captors, even though they killed her translator, whom she must have been very close friends with. She was simply trying to get along with her captors for her own sake. Plus, Carroll, by all outward appearances, did "attempt to establish a friendly rapport with [her] captors", but only time will tell whether/if she actually developed a bit of Stockholm Syndrome, and only time will heal her from that, if indeed she did develop that syndrome.

In the meantime, it'd be interesting to see if those people who were quick to lambaste Ms. Carroll are now backpedaling furiously or blubbering on about being apologetic, misunderstanding the original message, etc. Though I still stand by the observation I made about their ironic detraction of one kind of religious extremism while being ardent defenders of another kind of religious extremism. That does not change.
I find myself coming to the table yet again with very little to say but an awful lot of thinking in the interim. I don't know what's wrong with me. I had such perfect, beautiful thoughts flowing in and out of my consciousness all throughout the week, yet when I finally can have the time to type all of them out, my mind goes, "Neener neener, I'm going to give you NONE of it!"

So: The state of friendship today. My own personal state is this -- I'm still maintaining good ties with two people, both of them surprisingly male. I'm stuck in a limbo state with two others, both of them surprisingly female. Two more people are in the "Maybe" column, two more have landed squarely on my Shit List, and one person is confounding me. (Mixed signals? Or maybe it's because this person is a recent addition and I should know to take those slowly?) And two other people are Big Surprisers. Hurrah for the Big Surprisers?


I have been thinking long and hard about what's happening with Jill Carroll, and while I'm at a loss as to why some people aren't joyous with celebration over her release, I do understand why they feel that way. They look at what she's saying and her overall global viewpoint and they see a traitor, a silly little girl overly in love with something that these individuals view as a danger to Western society. And, you know, they're halfway right. The zealots and fundamentalists of Islamist society are the ones who regularly call for bloodshed directed at the "infidels", the sinful Westerners who don't follow the strictly Islamic way of life. But that's not the whole story wrt Muslims. Most Muslims are friendly toward those of other religions and ideals. We have millions upon millions of them right here in the U.S.; they're American citizens who fly the red, white, and blue just as proudly as anyone else, they serve in the U.S. military, are willing to die for our country, and stand up for the country as much as they can. If Jill Carroll is standing up for THEIR interests, then more power to her. However, if her wide-eyed romanticism is directed at those who would wish to kill her because of where she was born and what religion her family practices, then she is obviously a very deluded person who will hopefully grow out of it eventually.

Then there's the issue of what she's said about her captors. She has had nothing but warmth and praise toward those people who made her cry in those infamous videotaped messages, the same people who killed her translator. The people who are crying foul wrt the Carroll rescue might see this as either an example of how she was complicit with her own kidnapping or a sign that she actually agrees with those people who wish to damage the world in the sake of their own deluded religious idealogies. I think it's noteworthy that a few people have stepped aside and pointed out that maybe Carroll was pressured by her captors to not say anything negative about her time in captivity lest her family or other innocents be harmed. Maybe she's just too tired or too afraid to admit to the captors' wrongdoing. Maybe she's adopted Stockholm Syndrome and will need years of counseling and therapy for that to be reversed. I agree with these people and think that others should just wait for time to elapse. If Jill Carroll is still saying what she's saying in ten years' time, that will be the time for us to wash our hands of her. However, as of now, let us wait for her to recover her wits and to place herself again in the land of the free. Lord knows what kind of psychological damage she's going to have to recover from.

Oh, BTW, I wish I could comment on how ironic it is that the people who are being the most vocal about the things that Jill Carrol has said that have angered them, are also the same people who readily and easily advocate our own homegrown zealots and fundamentalists who seek to destroy the U.S. (at the very least) by foisting their own unbendable, extreme version of Christianity upon the rest of us. But time is running out on me very quickly and so I must close this entry now. (Oh wow, I actually commented on something of substance!)
There's this new radio station in S.A. called KAHL - Call 1310 AM. Most of the time, its concept sucks ass. Do we really need another talk radio station in the city? Well, yes, if the answer involves having a more progressive-minded talk radio station settle in and root itself on the local airwaves. But the kind of talk this station does is so hilariously far from that that it seems completely pointless. What does excite me, though, is the music this station will play. See, from 6 p.m. - 6 a.m. Monday - Friday and from 12 noon onward on Saturdays and Sundays, this station specializes in playing the same languid, easy listening style pop and soft rock I specifically remember cuddling up to when my parents or grandparents would listen to "Soft Rock Radio" (KQ102 FM, for a local example). So when I listen to that station, I immediately return into a warm and comforting place, even if the types of music that move me now have little if anything to do with the honey-dipped AM pop the station plays. Why is that so?

On another note, I came back this past Monday from an extremely lengthy holiday period. Owing to the fact that last week was Spring Break, I was faced with more time at the house, meaning more time helping my mother out with things she had put on a list of Things To Do. I seem to have morphed into the "honey" that "honey-do" lists were created for, especially that week. Even though we did manage to attend two films throughout that week (Failure To Launch -- skip it; Mrs. Henderson Presents -- don't miss it), it was still mainly a chore-driven week, particularly when I took off work last Thursday and Friday. But I guess all that hard work paid off in having so many things get done around the house, especially on the outside. Trees are trimmed, plants are potted, and it really does look nice. Still, I would have loved instead to jet off to someplace else. Seattle, I'm thinking, or maybe even L.A. I haven't been to L.A. in over ten years. It's bound to look different than the mental pictures I have of it. OR... or I could have been bold and demanded *gasp* a city on the EAST COAST. Boston, maybe, or maybe Portland, ME. Imagine me actually being somewhere east of the Mississippi! I have never done that, not even for a day trip. It's kinda funny (oh-ooh-whoa-oh-whoa **): I've spent a few months in England, yet haven't even spent a few minutes in NYC. Ha.

So. Maybe a visit to Dallas would do me good. The last time I came back from Dallas, I must have hugged every building I encountered in S.A. for the proceeding week. There's nothing like visiting one of those Other Texases to be grateful for what you have in Your Own Texas. Hell, I'd even settle for Vegas, and I like the idea of gambling just about as much as I like the idea of several root canals without anaesthesia.

Argh. I've done it once again. I've typed out a full entry here without talking about the things that have really occupied my mind in my offline world lately. Well, I mean, I certainly have been thinking about this whole travel thing and how busy last week was, but I've also been thinking of lots of other things: how absurdly ironic/prophetic it was that the Judson ISD superintendent banned Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale (for those of you who don't know, Judson ISD is just about the most macho of all the local public school districts), how much last Sunday's editorial about Roe vs. Wade made sense to me, my conflicted feelings about the whole George Dickerson affair, and so on. Oh, and Genero Espinosa Dorantes was even nabbed by the FBI when the highly ineffective Mexican government decided to give him and a few other fugitives up to the proper U.S. authorities! That was news worth celebrating over! But, again, I will have to delay discussion on any of that until I can get my head straight and remind myself I should talk about any of the above. Darn it.

*: That comes from Duran Duran's "Late Bar". I r fangeek.
**: Yeah, that comes from the Josef K song "It's Kinda Funny". I r fangeek SUPREME.