Tuesday, April 27, 2010

feverish ramblings.

"The sound of the razor as it neared my head made the moment more realistic, and I opened my eyes to stare at my reflection in the salon mirror. I held my breath as Miss Peggy did her task. Within five minutes, the hair I had refused to let go of for years fell to the floor.

The razor turned off. I exhaled."

Too dramatic? Not dramatic enough? I'm having an issue with tone. I hate adopting a serious tone unless I'm writing about something apocalyptic. Yet even in the serious pieces, I've come to find my voice has adopted one of cynicism and irony.

I'm trying to find a way to infuse my personal voice into my workshop piece. I don't want to write a clich├ęd piece of overcoming hardships and triumphing over my own self-conscious attitudes. That's too easy and too boring, this "Hey, I struggled but now I'm fine!" attitude. And after all, maybe I'm not fine. Like I wrote in my Emotional Explanation and Examples post: You can embrace it, but you're always dealing with it everyday.

Lately, writing has been like jumping on a trampoline. You know it's fun and you want to do it, but you're tired and the fear of falling off irrationally runs through your brain. Or maybe it's everyone who says it should be fun, so you believe it is. I've been loathing my own words, as of late, for no particular reason. Every sentence I string together seems to drip with syrupy deceit. "What's the point?" I've been asking myself, but the truth is that I'd rather be writing and struggling with it than doing anything else.

This crisis I've been having has slowed down for now. I still find myself at a loss over the future, but this isn't the time to worry about it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

baseball, from the mouth of a literati

I have this obsessive need to indulge in baseball. When I was little and we'd visit family in San Jose, car rides to and from various places were accompanied by sports radio coverage of games (normally the Giants or the A's). I don't remember how old I was when Dad finally took us to the Coliseum as he'd promised he would for months and months. We'd taken many trips to San Francisco and the Bay Area since before I could remember, and even more after we started seeing the herbalist, but going out to Oakland was going to be a special trip. No more small, static-filled TV coverages for us, at least not for that day. We would finally be seeing the team in-person, and nothing could truly mask that excitement.

Plus it was a free giveaway at the entrance that morning for the Pokemon movie. Every kid got a free Pikachu baseball cap. You can't really argue with that addition to the equation.

Watching baseball was different for me than any other sport. I still don't understand the attraction of football nor do I care much for the aggressive nature of hockey. Other sports were enjoyable to watch, but rarely held my attention for long. I was--and still am--a basketball fan (and my deep hatred for the Lakers will probably never really go away) but that's almost a given growing up in Sacramento during the height of Kings Fever.

Baseball was different, though. Minor league and college games were one thing, but the pros were a league of their own (literally). It wasn't a fast, action-packed game like basketball was, nor was it slow to the point of excruciating boredom (golf, I'm looking at you). Maybe it had to do with the numerous baseball movies, or maybe it was that scene from Full House when Stephanie struck out the little boy she had a crush on in order to win the game that did it for me. I couldn't quite explain the appeal of baseball to my grade school girlfriends, but the guys seemed to understand. They couldn't explain it either though.

I distinctly remember drizzly weekends when the fickle weather would keep us indoors. Dad would be at work, as he normally was, and occasionally we'd have a baseball game on in the living room. Channel 36 was the best because it showed every A's game. Why did we like the A's so much? I can barely even remember the draw. I just always remembered the stark white A's cap sitting atop my Dad's bookshelves in his study. Mom liked that they beat the Giants in the '89 Series, sandwiched in between two losses in '88 and '90. Then they stopped doing so well, but we've always been one to root for the underdogs, because everything comes full circle and we knew they'd make a comeback soon. From 2000 to 2003, we held out hope they'd reprise a win, but things never went our way.

Reading Moneyball causes me to wish my love of baseball didn't slowly fade away. Like most things in my life, baseball got put on hold as visits to doctors and specialists became from frequent. The only way I found to truly distract myself growing up was with work and other things I could control. Sports were too often games of chance; I couldn't pin my hopes on a team, only to be let down. I had enough letdown early on in my life.

But now that I've grown up (I think) I find myself fleeing backwards in hopes of being reacquainted with the world of sports, to recapture a slice of my youth that I had put aside. I'm not too interested in the NBA play-offs this year (die in a fire, Lakers) so it's more baseball for me...

Dear A's: Please stop losing to the Yankees.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

first-person narrative exercise [workshop, 04/13/10]

I was four-years-old when Colin proposed. It was snack time and he casually offered me a celery stick and a ring from the toy box.

"Let's get married, everyone else is doing it," he said.

"Okay," I responded. "But let me eat my snack first."

The playground wedding was set for the same day underneath the metal monkey bars. It was brief and bizarre, a copy of what we saw from The Little Mermaid without the ship and sea witch.

"Now you're married forever," the girl who presided over the ceremony said.

"Forever?" I asked, as panic set in. I hated the word. "Forever" meant, well, forever. It meant a lifetime. I had already cried enough when my goldfish Gilligan died and my dad said he'd be in Fish Heaven forever. I wasn't prepared to handle a world where Gilligan was gone but I was married to Colin forever.

As snack time ended, I gave Colin back the ring, but he refused to accept it.

"It's yours," he said with a shrug. "You can keep it forever."

The next day, Colin moved away and I never saw him again.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

dark blue, dark blue.

2:00 a.m. emo blog time, guys. Ready?

I like this cover. Piano arrangements are just cool themselves.

And this.

Hmm, so how do I feel right now? I feel like I've had to choose between things and between people. I feel like I'm in over my head. I feel like I'm behind. I feel frustrated. I feel like I'm trying too hard. I feel like I'm not trying hard enough. I feel confused. I feel powerful in my actions. I feel powerless with my actions. I feel like I've thrown all of my problems into a box and put it in a locked drawer at the bottom of my desk. I feel like that's better than sorting through them one-by-one. I feel torn. I feel confident. I feel like people expect a lot from me. I feel like they expect too much from me. I feel like I'll let everyone down because, really, what do I have that everyone seems to want? I feel like I'm playing a role (badly). I feel like I have no clue what the fuck I'm doing.

And I also feel tired. Good night, moon.