Secret Pop

Dec 29, 2005

You can't be too careful about radiation.

I have a few notebooks I carry around with me most of the time. Depending on the handbag, I sometimes have as many as three. There's one notebook I carried for a while. It's bound in red leather. I think I got it for Christmas from my mother a few years ago. There is a tacky place on the back where a price tag used to go. And there is a long leather ribbon that ties, but it gets in the way, so I usually don't bother with it.

I found the notebook in the bottom of a suitcase I've been bringing with me when I travel. I haven't written in it for months. When I go away from my notetaking for that long, I sometimes forget what I was trying to remind myself of. It's frustrating. This notebook is full of bits from my workshop with Ian Roberts and things I had intended to write out into sketches. It's also the notebook I took on the plane with me for my two recent trips to New York City. And I often pass the time on a plane by writing really small on blank journal pages. I think I write especially small to keep my seat partner from being able to read what I'm writing. But I write small anyway. I've had teachers complain.

Here are some of my notes, with certain proper nouns blanked out for the sakes of privacy and decent human behavior. These are not the funny ideas. These are the plodding journalings of someone with time to pass. Flying to and from New York. In August.

Had a nice chat with ____ last night. It's funny. I don't infuse things with angst with him. The last time I was giddy over him and came home to feeling disappointed and embarrassed. But I didn't feel that last night. I have forgiven that. I wonder why that peace is still out of reach with ____.

After the ____ show, ____ wanted to go to the ____. ____ was there. But nothing came of it. He walked out as we were leaving and as I was turning away.

Work has been so disappointing and demoralizing. If it weren't for ____, I don't know how I would get through the day.

I love the Scissor Sisters. But the disco influence in pop music right now is sort of disappointing. Doesn't anyone have any new ideas?

Pamela Anderson is being roasted? Isn't this a waste of flame?

____ confessed to cribbing from my blog in his act. I was flattered.

____. Whatever. He's got a thing for ____. Well, that was shortlived. I suppose it could have been me killing it. But it still smarts when you realize it's dead. Ask other murderers.

These asses on their Bluetooth headsets. Seriously.

American Airlines offers power outlets in every third row. So the lady with the baby gets one. But I -- with my notebook and iPod and everything else -- I get a copy of SkyMall and a sanitary bag.

Don't ever book on Travelocity. And not just because they use that Amelie-rip off of a gnome as a spokesperson. Try and change your flight and it'll cost you a thousand dollars. I'd just as soon put that money toward developing teleportation technology. Or starting a worm circus.

What'll I Do came up on my iPod. Sad song. Reminds me of the Z Channel documentary. They played it at the end. And it made me sad. Then for ____. Now also for ____. We haven't spoken in so long. I wonder how I ever get it into my head that anyone I know actually cares about me.

Let's Talk Turkey reminds me of those post-car accident days, driving around town in that big black Jeep Grand Cherokee. I keep finding that what I'm looking back on is better than what I'm in the middle of. How much must life not be awesome when you look back wistfully on your most recent car accident?

Kicking and Screaming on the plane. Robert Duvall surprised me and was funny. In the preamble. Now, I'm wondering if he had a stroke. Not a well-written movie. At all. But Will Ferrell's delivery reminds me a lot of ___.

I even stay for the credits on the plane.

Hello Kitty backpack with a doll sticking out of it. A real doll. The kind with blinking eyelids and real eyelashes. I remember being a kid and having that specific inventory of crucial items I had to have with me. Especially on a plane trip.

Under Attack sounds a little (in the verses) like it's from Chess. And I still can't be taken back to that show without feeling terribly melancholy. Everything about that time was me out of control. Job that got the best of me. Rent I couldn't always afford. Change happening right under my nose. And me mistaking it for growth. That following summer -- I never once felt the fear of it ending. And then nothing was ever the same again. And it's just been a string of these pockets of time. Some, I'm on top. Some, I'm not. Just a series of half-years where some new version is being written. And I catch myself just wondering a little bit if ____ ever thinks any of these things. Or if it is all just gone and forgotten. Never really as important as I might have mistaken it to be. I'm sure if he could read my mind, he'd be lost entirely. None of it would make sense or seem familiar. You fool yourself into thinking that other people know how you feel. But they only know how they feel. And they know a little of what you tell them. But even that is filtered. Poked and prodded by their own experience and ego until it is a pill more appropriate for swallowing. That makes me feel a bit of despair. I wish I could know that the things I've said would have been heard and understood in the way I meant them. But you can never know that. Some people don't even speak English.

We haven't ever really been on the same page.

Willing to Wait by Sebadoh pushes buttons I don't really want to have pushed. I have to keep reminding myself that these songs aren't being sung to me by anyone real. They are not for me. They are just coincidentally relevant. They make sense to me, but they shouldn't. Like opening a letter that wasn't written to you. It makes sense and has meaning until you see the name on the envelope. Everyone feels the same things. That's why it's so easy to co-opt someone else's emotions. That's why books and movies and poems ever get read and re-read and seen.

I got on the Bill Murray train late. I didn't like
Stripes. I don't know why. I didn't like Ghostbusters all that much until I'd seen it a few times. I never really watched Caddyshack until recently. The one episode of Saturday Night Live I got away with seeing as a kid featured Bill Murray saying something about his penis burning when he urinates. And then my mother turned the TV off, never to allow that show on again until the year when Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Downey, Jr., were cast members. I don't know why I didn't love everything he was in immediately and unconditionally, but I'm such a fan these days. I'll even watch Ghostbusters II when it's on. And I'll watch Groundhog Day a million more times and never grow weary of it. I wonder if that was the turning point for me. Groundhog Day. It seems like it might be. And Lost in Translation fixed it. But in that case, I was more in love with Japan than I was with Bill Murray. But Bill Murray helped.

The circular motion your finger performs on the iPod click wheel is a little erotic, don't you think?

I like tight harmonies. I also like loose harmonies. I even like it when people talk instead of singing. Are there people in the world who don't enjoy music and songs? How can that be?

AOL meetings done. I was tempted to just put my iPod headphones on. All I keep thinking is that I'm not going to be around to have to worry about any of this.

Saw ____ last night. ____the night before. ____ today. Good show.

Nice catching up with ____ at the Hudson. Exactly the setting I would picture us in. Soft leather chairs in front of a vanity fireplace in a faux library. Even back in high school when we were reading Hemingway and impersonating Michael Palin and discussing philosophy and haircuts and ordering Pimm's at expensive bars in Tokyo. We have always been awesome.

I'm drained and exhausted. Anxious to be home. Dreading going to work. I used to travel for work. And this feels a little like that. But seeing ____ made me feel both young and old. This job is taking the youth from my face. I can see it. I wish I could be someone else entirely. And I wish I could have wanted that ten years ago.

There. Now, wasn't that clearly all worth writing down and saving?

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