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52 million cigarettes and 5 years later... [entries|friends|calendar]
Amanda Gayle

[ website | For What It's Worth ]
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I*RON*Y [18 Jun 2015|11:51pm]
So recently I read an article in the Washington Post about Harper Lee's new book - something previously unpublished that had just, you know, been lying around - like one of the most beloved American authors ever had been withholding it from us, the eager public, just 'cause.

[Article: "To shill a mockingbird: how a manuscript's discovery became Harper Lee's 'new' novel," Neely Tucker, 16 Feb. '15, the Washington Post]

First off, you gotta think, if something is "previously unpublished" isn't it that way for a reason maybe?

'Twas, actually - apparently, when Lee was shopping her novel around, her only novel EVER thanksverymuch, it was in a vastly different form from the "Mockingbird" we know. It's this original draft that's been published now as "Go Set A Watchman." Anyway, her editors had her rewrite and rewrite and rewrite that first draft - it took on several incarnations before they finally considered it something publishable. (Not only was it publishable, it was a masterpiece - Lee's editor knew what she was doing. Other clients included Margaret Mitchell and Steinbeck.)

I've not read "Go Set A Watchman," this first draft now published as a completely different novel (and ironically, a sequel to "Mockingbird), so I don't know if it's any good. I haven't actually even read reviews. But the fact that it's a best seller is sort of par for the century so far. So much of what is considered publishable is crap.

Yeah, you have good novels now (I think? I don't really know - are there?), and back in the day (Lee's day, I mean) there was a lot of pulp published - should we consider that on par with self-pub'd novelists nowdays? Yet, these new writers who crank out works like machines, many of them parts of multi-novel series ending in cliff hangers to get the reader to purchase the next publication -

Fuck - my head's too scattered and swimmy to keep going with this. That's what I get for trying to be coherent the morning after a migraine. I need Annie Laurie Williams and Maurice Crain pls!

Gah, if I choose to continue at some point - could the likes of Jessica Sorensen or Rachel Van Dyken actually be good with benefit of an editor? or, dare I say, Stephenie Meyer and her ilk? Also - serialists who were actually good, even though their format meant the shouldn't have been: Dickens (debatably), Dumas (well, ok...yeah), James, Melville (gack!), Collins (voluminous!) - ...Doyle? Can't have had the benefit of that much intensive editing, right? Not when they were working with those sort of deadlines.

Moving along.

Back there I used the word "ironically" (though I didn't use it ironically). I really try not to use any word rooted in "irony" - er, the actual word, not what it means. I've never properly understood the definition of "irony." I'll read it, the definition, right out of Oxford or Merriam Webster, and cannot wrap my head around it. I know I'm not as smart as people think I am, but that's kind of ridiculous, yeah?

Possibly I've never tried harder to actually get it because it's an awfully overused word so it seemed better to just avoid it altogether. Or, from what I do (very limitedly) understand, it seems an unpleasant thing to be the subject of and it's better not to know.

"...intended meaning different than actual meaning..." <--- idek, tbh. wtaf?

Ooh - literarydevices.net
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Jesus. [18 Jun 2015|03:47pm]
It's been forever.
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Talk About the Weather. [19 Jun 2012|04:17pm]
I'm driving myself crazy. I may gnaw off a leg. It's about the way I'm trapped, and the way this feeling is unreasonable. It's about wanting to be more than what I am, and do more than what I'm doing, and how it's crazy it's this way, because what I am and where I am and everything about me should be good enough for anyone.
It's humid in NNY in June. Actually, it stays that way for the better part of the summer. I arrived here early July last year, and now it appears I'll be leaving here right around almost exactly a year later. It hasn't been a bad year. The winter was mild, apparently (although if we'd had the same in WA it would've been deemed a rough one), and I feel lucky for that. I never did buy a winter coat, like Cory said I'd need. I just stole the one he got in Germany, military surplus or something, lined with fake fur, and hooded, and too big for me, and it felt like wearing a protective blanket tent. ("Be sure she has a coat so warm, to keep her from the howling wind...")
It amazed me how fucking windy it gets up here. I started writing a blog, "About the Weather," because it seemed like that's all I had to say last summer, fall and winter. And then spring happened, and moving happened, and I had other things to say, finally. Now, again, it's talk about the weather.
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Oh [sigh] books. (A tangental rant within a rant with appendix ~ a busted appendix.) [13 Jun 2012|11:51pm]
So, I read "Game of Thrones." Just the first book, which is actually just called that. The series is called something about fire and ice, but the television series is named after the first book, which is confusing. I started to read the second book, and then stopped.
I wasn't intending to read the first book. Or, maybe I was. It hadn't occurred to me to do anything but put it on my Curious About list, not even my To Be Read list, even when Lindsey said she was addicted to the HBO show, until Mikey said it was bad. Actually, what he said was, "I read A Game of Thrones and became disgusted with the act of writing for a time. Well, that's probably way harsher than I mean it to be, but it is true. After I finished that book a couple of months ago, I haven't touched another book since. The way he writes, the way he structures his books, his characterization, and his massive popularity all combined to make a foul-tasting slurry that served as a most efficacious Mike-repellent."
Elegantly put, if a bit loquacious.
Anyway, I wouldn't have even considered it reading it ~ wasn't, even after watching the season finale of season two ~ if Mike hadn't said that. Such foul censure inspires a certain sort of curiousity, you know, the same kind where someone says "Oh, don't look! there's a dead motorcyclist on the road!" and of course, everyone does.
Anyway, Mike and I have different views about a lot of things, but I may know where he's coming from on that. I mean, like I said, I got maybe a bit through the second chapter before I stopped reading the second book. And I couldn't exactly say why, except that's what I'm trying to do here in this journal entry apparently.
All this brings me to mind of an entry I wrote a while back, lamenting the flood of books in the world, spurred on at the time by a quote I ran into in Time Magazine ( ), 'On the sustainabillity of the publishing industry, in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE; 5.26.10: "I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numerals (UR 2 1derful)... the future of publishing: 18million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $1.75." ~ Garrison Keillor
I think I even knew at the time he was being bitter...or maybe not? There was absolutely no context with that quote. But regardless of whether he was, my agreement with him WAS ~ the tone of it and the motivation behind it. My views have morphed some since.

I was reading a sample of a kindle book that was (supposedly) written by a seventeen year old (or three of them ~ the author was listed as three different people). I read the reviews (which is how I found out about the 17 year old bit, shopping from your kindle it doesn't give you much info) but all the reviews said it was written by a seventeen year old, and they COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW GOOD IT WAS (as soon as I smoke a cigarette, and my browser is done deleting its history, imma look it up. Damn, I gotta take the dogs out with me. Oh well). However, there were a few two and one star reviews scattered among the five, stating it was over vocabularated, and read like a high school english project. So, I read a couple chapters (free sample) and couldn't even get through the prologue (which wasn't actually a prologue. It was a first chapter). It wasn't the vocabulary. I could've made due with four syllable words. Highschoolers do talk like that ~ some of them. It was the pacing. And the fact people don't use four syllable words in that context. Not all of them anyway. And certainly not unsavory criminals. I just wanted to tell those poor boys "Ok, you're obviously not stupid. Maybe you even have some great story ideas. Don't give up, just keep writing. After you write several million words, and several dozen stories, or a few books, you'll totally be ready to put something out there. But YOU'RE NOT READY YET. THIS IS NOT GOOD. AT ALL." Obviously, the copious 5 star reviews were written by friends, family and idiots. (Maybe there's a possibility the book got better after the first page of chapter one, but I couldn't do it. COULDN'T. MAYBE if it was a friend, or a friend of a friend, but I have a hard time reading stuff that bad even then.)
(Ok, just got on amazon on the puter, and from his bio ~ I don't know why there are three people credited as authors, but if they're shadow writers, or whatever those are called, they did an AWFUL JOB [edit, one was a copy editor and one was a layout editor] ~ but from his bio he obviously thinks highly of himself, though falsely humble he attempts to be ~ and probably wouldn't listen to me if I tried. Though, I can't say at 17 I would've listened to me either. I had an over inflated sense of my own talent till roughly...well, so I still have blind spots, obv. I'm especially arrogant about my punctuation, as is constantly pointed out to me whenever I'm in error.)
When I first encountered epublishing, indie authors and the like, I thought, "this is a really good idea."
For a while, spring of 2011, there was buzz about Amanda Hocking, self published e p...self e publisher? Whatever...who made it big. Or whatever big is in that context. I just remember it was right after I'd discovered that sort of thing and I'd read a few of her books. "Oh, I know her!" From what I can tell, partly from the rate of publication and partly from things I gathered here and there, like me, she'd developed a backlog of books and pretty much flooded them out there (one at a time, but in rapid succession). Anyway, I had the benefit of reading her first book before all the hype. Not bad, not excellent. Frankly, a Twilight ripoff. (Or, if she wrote it before hand, she definitely got shafted there.) Her second series was about trolls though, so...
I'm tangenting off my tangent. I swear I've got a point. Or a blunt object...
Holy SHIT puppies, shut up! It's one a.m., everyone's asleep, and the dogs inherited my unfortunate vampiristic tendencies, speaking of Twilight. Which I've read, and I'm not ashamed of it.
Which leads me to admit I've read a lot of things a lot of people say are pretty horrible. I read Twilight ~ twice. I read romance ~ well, I've grown out of that mostly, I keep trying when I want something mindless and it's just way too mindless ~ I read BAD fantasy. I am most certainly not a snob. My perception of adequate, I've been told, is sadly off base. And a lot of these self published e books are fine with me. They're .99 cents, they're right there ~ don' have to drive to get 'em ~ and I go through them like candy. Not terribly nourishing, light, fluffy, and occasionally give me a literary tummy ache. On the other hand, I've got to point out, a lot of stuff I've picked up at the library over the years, or in bookstores, was no different. Sure, the editing was better in the paper versions, but fuck, these self e pub'ers have to pay their own editors, or just be damn good off the bat themselves, and almost no one's that good, if anyone. Everyone can use an extra set of eyes or five to go over something one to ten times. If it's truly atrocious I will put a book down ~ for the same reason if it's slightly atrocious in a print version I'll put it down (hola book, you come from a publishing house, I paid eight american dollars for something professional. You, ebook, you're all right. I paid one dollar for you and I expect slight atrociousness. Heinous misplacement of apostrophes and misuse of words however are not allowed ~ Ok, forget I started to bracket that with parentheses. I'm meandering around to what I wanted to say. The Biggest Downfall of self publishing is people do it when they're no where near ready to. They're so excited just to get something out there, time wasn't spent on an editor. I've bought self pub'd ebooks with a disclaimer attached that the book I'm buying is the newly edited version, and if I'd previously bought the old error-riddled one that copy should've been automatically replaced on my devicee and yada blah blah. Curious, I researched one such author via her blog and replies to early comments on the amazon site and she freely admitted she'd just been so excited to share her book she just HAD to get it out there, and she's sure her loyal readers forgive her and blah blah blah.
Well, you know I bought the book. It was $.99! I was bored! I was in the mood for YA forgetfulness! (This is why, of course, these people write this drivel in the first place. Or, there's some Stephenie Meyer-driven delusion of fame to be had quick, so I guess dillusion ~ disillusion? I need to get more sleep ~ abounds.) And lo and behold, the edited version still made my fingers itch for a red pen. Should've known. I wanted to write to her and say since I was stuck in the North Country doing nothing I'd be entirely willing to edit her editor's edits for a nominal fee (chocolate?).
So, I'm torn. Is e-pub, to be crude, luring writers to go out and get their publishing cherry popped way before they're ready? In many cases, hell yeah. On the other hand, would these authors ever have a chance to form any sort of audience otherwise? Noope. In many cases, not.
There's also the been-there before aspect. I was looking up agents and publishing houses back when I was working at Ramadinn. A lot of them were trolling for specific types of writing. For adult fiction, only lit fic ~ serious lit fic ~ would do. Even for the idie pub houses, you had to have an agent already. YA fic? If it's paranormal, bring it on. They'd take anything, and from random, cursory glances at the market since, even as recent as a couple months ago, that hasn't changed much. Nearly every self-pub'd indie I've stumbled upon is either YA paranormal or romance or a combo of the two. (This could be, however, because of what I read on amazon. The only other thing I look for on there is Sci Fi, and a lot of my favorite authors out there are either out of print, or go through small publishing houses that offer their e-books on their own websites for significantly lower that the large publishing houses, who understand that ...oh, man, this is a whole other argument. Some other journal entry. Or, I could just link myself blog posts by Cecelia Tan and/or Eric Flint or any number of others and save myself the trouble). (This tangent is officially irrecoverable.)
Anyway, I used to wonder, when I was younger, if we were (as a society in whole, as a society of readers, as a society of capitalists ~ is capitalist the right word? my brain kept saying communist. I was struggling. I swear my eyes aren't drooping, not a yawn has escapted, but I can't FUCKING THINK. I'VE BROKEN MY BRAIN IN THE NORTH COUNTRY!) over flooding the market with books. You're going to sacrifice quality when you favor quantity, almost always. And do you know how many books are published a year? A fuckton. I think I looked up the numbers in that journal rant from over two years ago in which I quoted Garrison Keillor, or whatever the hell his name is. The Ketchup Society dude. On the other hand, It Can't Be Avoided. Until we all inflate so hugely we collapse, not unlike the stupid romans, all markets will be Innundated.
The great thing about self e-pubin' is, for instance, publishers are only taking certain things. When you publish yourself, you can publish WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT (regardless of whether you can get people to read it).
Not that I'm saying I'd do it. It sounds like a lot of fucking work to me. Reading Game of Thrones took up enough of my time.

This SORT OF brings me back to where I started. When the market is so flooded, a lot of people are looking for the same, or something like it. One thing I actually paid money on kindle for (before I found out Lindsey'd pirated 'em) was the Hunger Games series. Every time I logged on for a month after, amazon would suggest books "like the Hunger Games." People buy them, of course.

The Game of Thrones isn't all that different than a lot of fantasy books out there. It's a lot more obvious than many of them, not as original as most, so why the fucking hell is it so popular?
TV is a clever girl. More specifically, HBO is a clever girl. People liked the Hunger Games because it was "like" Harry Potter and Twilight in that it took place in an alternate universe ~ a fantasy universe, where anything can happen, exciting dangerous things, and everything turns out all happy "in spite of all the danger" (to hum a song the Beatles covered once upon a time). (People were so pissed when they found out the Hunger Games trilogy ended realistically. Yeah, the main characters lived ~ most of them ~ but sure as hell not off into the sunset, happily ever after. I loved the ending of that trilogy. It made SENSE.)
Game of Thrones is "like" those franchises in that way too, in that it takes you out of this world. However, this world is an Adult World. You don't have to feel guilty about liking it, because there are adult things in it, like murder and betrayal and incest [shocking! it's meant to shock us, and yet disguised as non-chalance, because it's "traditional" in some clans, or whatever] and stuff (never mind these are all cheap plot devices stolen, as far as I can tell, largely from Aurthurian fan fic ~ and yes, isn't that some of the first and longest running fan fic ever? And never mind there've been tons of midieval TV series, including Camelot-based ones, Game of Thrones is HBO.) ~ all the heinous things people will do for power. PLUS, there's dragons. And they're so cute all through the second season. But fierce. You can tell they're gonna be fierce.
Lord of the Rings was an epic fantasy, but Game of Thrones is a soap opera disguised as epic fantasy. Writing it all out, I'm beginning to see why I don't want to continue reading, and why Mike was so disgusted. BUT I know why people like it. They can identify (there's an internet meme comparing all the warring factors with current leaders and politcos of today). Larger Audiences can grasp the idea of a great good fighting a great evil (ever been to church?) but after you get past the fancy costumes and fantasy-world concepts, it's not all that interesting (ever been to church?). Game of Thrones is purposely dirty. It's not all that well written ~ I mean, it's FUNCTIONALLY written, which is all I look for in a book these days, writing wise. The plot's engrossing, if you like Days of Our Lives. But this George rrrrr Martin (grrrr) has SEVEN of these things planned out. As far as I can tell from the reviews, many of the pivotal characters from the first book are killed off by the third and fourth books, and replaced with new characters. How is that NOT All My Children-esque?
I guess what I'm saying is I don't think the first book is awful. I breezed through it fairly quickly, and was fully absorbed the whole time. It was when I realized what it was to become ~ what he started in the first book could've been wrapped up in a trilogy, if not a duology. SEVEN BOOKS?
I suppose that's why I buy self-published e books. It's totally not fair that this guy can make tons of a fantasy saga that promises to grow suckier with each novel, when there might be someone who legitimately deserves my patronage out there, who can't get it through one of the bigger, or even smaller publishing houses ~ at least as much as George rrrrrr Martin (I, um, pirated those. Not that I'm reading more than that one).

What made me think of all this, in the first place, to give credit where it's due, was a self-pub'd e book I just finished today ~ and I read its prequal yesterday. The books weren't great. A lot of the reviews pointed out the main character was under developed (he was, in the first book, less so in the second, and I can see why ~ it's part of the plot reviewers! He can't be developed when he has little to no memory! although, the author didn't make it fully clear how LITTLE he remembered till the second book. Another case of "excited to publish, gotta publish now!" before the book was really ready I think, and now it might be too late to go back and REALLY fix the first one, tie up loose threads, yada blah). This has got some pre-used plot devices (it reminds me a bit of the Matrix, a bit of the movie Wanted [memorable largely because of angelinajoliewithgun] some of Neal Stephenson and other cyber punk (the nano tech bit)

Fuck. I'm tired of writing. The point is, despite being not good, that book WAS good. I'm excited to read the next three, if this Zachary Rawlins dude makes it that far. And I'll probably buy his other book, not in the series, even though it costs two whole more dollarses than the other two I read. I was entertained. There's GOT to be more fresh stuff out there. Small Gems. You know? Well, I'll keep hoping.
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Movin to Poughkeepsie, away from the North Country... [24 May 2012|03:46pm]
(You sing that to the tune of PUSA's "Peaches")

It's about looking into the horizon and not having the view obstructed by mountains:
Which is a metaphore of my life. It's not unpleasant, it's just odd, unsettling. What do you mean, I don't have to climb to get there? It's not what I'm used to ~ none of this is. I find myself not having to fight to stay me, to become more. I'm free to grow as I will. I'm not fighting someone else's mold. With this new life I lucked into, I can be whoever, whatever I want to be.
And I've got to admit, not having to fight is almost as bad as the inertia and apathy that occurs when I've given in. I like a leetle bit of fight. Now someone's said "go ahead. I trust that whatever you grow into, I'll love just as much as I love what you are now, and I love you for what you are and I don't want to change anything about you, and whatever you wear is fine and whatever you do is fine and whatever opinions you harbor I'll respect."
I always gave that to whomever I loved.* Now, for the first time,** I'm getting it back.+ And I'm frozen. I don't know what to do with it.
So for the past year and a half, I've remained static.
I've got to force myself to grow. No, I want to be excited about growing, like Cory's excited about getting out of the Army, excited about moving, excited about starting a new education, and after that a new career. He could have fallen back, gone back home and into the family business, but he's not. He's taking chances on himself.
I've always been afraid of change, unless someone or something's holding me back just lightly enough that I want to fight it. How do I fix that? How do I grow without having anything to fight against, or to climb?

In other news, the movers came today. All our stuff is packed. I haven't seen the empty house yet, because I'm at work, but now I'm starting to feel faintly exited, rather than sensing adumbrations of failure (I can't help it. After being fairly successful ~ on the surface, to other people's eyes ~ for 22 years, and then getting my commupance by crashing and burning, over and over, miserably for the following 6, I expect everything to go wrong now, never mind that since I walked out on so and so two days before Thanksgiving, 2009, I keep getting better and better at life, once again [knock on wood HARD]. There's money in the bank. There's someone who's never given me a reason not to trust. There's a plan. There are two sets of lists ~ his and hers ~ to make sure this plan is followed through with properly (with compromises. We're learning to compromise. I flatter myself that we're naturals ~ only a couple bumps in a year and a half, and none of them ever left unresolved for too long [again, knock on wood, twice). This will be ok, right? Yes, I tell myself. This will be fine.

*Ok, that's a lie. I wanted my sister to stop stealing my stuff and selling it. I wanted Rick to stop stealing my money and gambling it and lying to me and cheating on me.
**(Ok, my dad always accepted I was who I was after only a small struggle, and then feels guilty he struggled at all. I don't give him enough credit. And there's my Rae.)
+Ok, those two sentences sounded good in theory, it's how I felt for the 30 seconds I was writing them, but they're totally not true. Except that I AM getting it back, that part's real.
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I found this in a notebook I'd lost while moving to the North Country... [24 May 2012|02:37pm]
Remember the night kids,
crouching cool in the dark,
Slim hunched shadows
making their marks
on the walls of your young mind.

Remember the lean days ~
mean days, scream days
And the way your mouth was
a constant gape, and the way
your mindscape was rotting.

Remember the numbness, the hollow
happiness of nail biting security
of beeing needed by vampires
And the way your heart cracked
a little more with every infiltrated
panic attack.

One step forward, two steps back.
Tangled in the years and lovers
and fears. Caught in dreams ~
Sleeping all this time, you
never paid mind to the realization.


When the second verse killed the first
what mad you think this time
would be different?
Fleet feet kept you safest happy before
in your plaintive angst.
Some kids weren't built to be happy,
and some chicks were made
to have sharp teeth ~
Knives out little girl blue.
bite those chains ~ 2 links
14k ~ "white gold"
Breaks jaws.
And Panic
claws at your throat
oh Airlessness.
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Once upon a time in Calcium... {excerpt from a letter} [19 May 2012|11:54am]
I had a dream last night I was living in this small town, and there was this weird thing going on. Children were being poisoned by pink goo, and all the peanut butter in town was contaminated by raisins. The list of suspects was four people long, including this weird, quiet middle aged man who always wore a red and black flannel shirt, and a fur cap with ear flaps. I knew it was really aliens who were doing it, but I also knew if I told anyone this they would accuse me of being crazy. They were taking over the chidrens' souls.

Later, I was sitting on a sidewalk, kinda like a bum, but I wasn't panhandling. And these three girls came up and said, "Oh my gosh, are you the new Hannah Montana?!" And suddenly I knew I was. I wondered why they'd pick a 30 year old married chick who can't sing to succeed Miley Cyrus, but I agreed to sign their autograph books anyway. "Sign right there," one of the girls said, and I did. Another girl's mom said, "Her name is spelled K-E-A, get it right!"

And then I woke up. It was just fucking bizarre.

The movers are coming to pick up our stuff on the 24th, and I'm fucking nervous as all hell to move. I always get nervous when I move. We don't have a confirmed place down in Poughkeepsie yet either, but the one we like best probably won't be ready for us to move in till sometime between June 10th and 15th. (I REALLY wish the owner would get back to us with the results of our application SOON). We're out of our house on the 31st. Cory can't leave the army till June 4th, so we can stay with the Bechtolds for 4 days (we'll have to board the cats ~ the B's have two big ass mutts ~ one of which Casey calls his badger-shark ~ and a shorkie).

After that...?

And what clothes do I leave out from the movers? I only have so much space in my car...and who KNOWS what the weather will do up here?! No wonder I'm nervous.

I shouldn't be. I've moved enough in the past several years ~ two of those fly by the seat of my pants getting evicted moves with the asshole ~ and this time I have time, AND free, professional movers who are also storing our things for up to 90 days until we're ready to move intou our new place. It's just the time lag. And the fact that as soon as we get down there, NEITHER of us will have jobs. I HATE job hunting.

And it doesn't help that Cory's very confident about it all. He's certain he'll find a job within a couple weeks of moving there. He's certain nothing will go wrong, we won't run out of money. He's already made up savings plans, and calculated how much we'll have saved when he graduates if we save xx amount a month, as apposed to yy amount a month...nevermind we've managed to save only a couple grand the entire time we've lived here in the north country. He doesn't understand what there is to be nervous about. He doesn't get my nervousness about money, and moving, and where it all comes from. He can't remember what it's like not to be able to pay rent because someone SPENT it all before you could write the check, or someone was POSITIVE we could afford a place we couldn't.

Finally, I told myself I just had to trust Cory, because he's never ever let me down. I just have to let go, it isn't fair to freak out about sins that aren't his. But it's so hard, because the only person I've ever been able to trust with things like that, someone who pretty much has my life and welfare in hand, is my dad. Even my mom's let me down before.

I work until the 29th. I'll be kind of glad to be moving on, and that I won't have to fight through another winter here. I swear the cold aged my skin two years in 5 months. The skin around my nose was constantly peeling and patchy. I couldn't wear anything fun ~ it was too cold to wear skirts with tights, or either of my capes. I walked around in Cory's surplus German hooded coat with fake fur lining that was pretty darn big on me, but it was the warmest thing in the house. I want to live somewhere I can feel cute again. I hope that can be accomplished in Poughkeepsie.

Anyway, I just needed to rant, and didn't really have anyone to talk to. No one really gets my nerves. Cory KNOWS I'm nervous all the time, panic attacky, and just tries to soothe me with kisses and beer. Beer helps in the short term, but it kinda fucks up my stomach the next day (acid reflux, gas) which is one of the triggers of panics ~ weird, huh? That stomach problems trigger panic attacks?

At least he TRIES to soothe me. He's so careful around me sometimes, I feel bad. Last week he got pissed at me (I was drunk, I don't remember). Apparently I woke him up in the middle of the night, trying to talk to him, and he had to be at work really early the next day, and couldn't get back to sleep. He mentioned it the next day, and I apologized. I thought it was done. Well, that weekend, when HE was drunk, he left me a nasty note about it, stuck to the bathroom mirror so I'd see it when I woke up to get ready for work. I left HIM a note ~ what's wrong, are you mad at me? tell me about it, yada blah ~ and he sent me an email when I was at work explaining he was still mad, that I do stuff like I did all the time and just brush it off, then do it again. I had to explain to him I had NO IDEA he was actually angry about it, because he never TELLS me. He conceeded it really wasn't fair of him to not let me know how upset he was, because if I knew how upset he was, I'd make a concious effort not to repeat my mistakes. So we worked that out. But he admitted he has a hard time telling me anything that might upset me ~ including, ironically, when he's upset with me ~ so I wonder sometimes how much he's hiding from me. I can never hide my feelings from him. I've never been close to anyone I can't hide my feelings from, and it's weird. He always knows what I'm feeling.

How are things with you? Are you still sad? I saw your posts on zocks the other night, and my netbook (which I'd gotten back from a coworker's husband who took it home to "fix" in October and who just gave it back the other day) locked up and crashed. I haven't had time to get back since (my phone won't go to zocks for some reason).

Anyway, since I'm at work I should probably work and stuff. Loves you.
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[21 May 2011|05:56pm]
A premise to your summer, in the wake of a cool, gray day:
The bones of all these things rattle in my ears, in the jangle I can't discern the proper angle from which to pick them clean. Whish bones, jaw bones, rib bones: cage; the point at which we meet, hope to hope, whisper to heart, the dust in our skulls where heart truly resides.
"It's a breeze," you would say, as my voice is carried away, in the gusts of these whirlwinds we create. But you hold tight to my hand. I close my eyes against the storm and sand of hourglasses, running dry too fast.
Play those bones, darling, and wait up for me please.
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[21 May 2011|04:58pm]
"They said they'd give me everything and here's the part that made me laugh: they didn't give me anything, and then they took half of that. Oh, sharpen your teeth and lay flat." ~ Ugly Casanova, "Pacifico"
I'm not precisely angry...I'm just precise, I suppose. I'm tired of this lumbering shell I reside in, and I feel a bit determined to shed it. Stary Dynamos in Night's Machinery don't inspire me just now. Cat Faces in the Pines might. The knives are retracted for now, everything is muffled and muted and gray. "Whatever" ~ the word of the day. No reaching today, just sit back and gaze away, at trivialities that seemed dire yesterday. Yawn hugely, tongue curls, desires abate. Consider a life of nothing. Muse on tossing it all away. Or not even so much as that, more a gradual erosion, decay.


5:50am, 30 April 2011
"Angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the
Starry dynamo in the machinery of night ~" (Allen Ginsberg, from "Howl")

How far up can you reach? On a night like this, the stars should be well within your grasp. They hang down low, quivering against the near-black background of the sky, or so they seem, through the film of wet in your eyes.
Constance calls nights like these deep nights, but they're anything but. Cadences of philosophical rehashes run through the fingers of your mind like sand, a grain or a few getting caught in the crevices there, to itch and abraid and be worried over.
But only in the lightest sense, you understand. There are no new musings here, no bursts of existentialist epistemological enlightenment that later proves to be bullshit. These nights are paralyzing, it's about the rehash, those diamond stars drive in home: like stakes to your night waking dreams, that this is deja entendu, it's all been done before, by you and another before, and others and others before that. Namaste.
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Oh, Mazda. [18 May 2011|10:35am]
Why do I want to know certain things? How is a working knowledge of Zoroastrianism going to help me with anything in life? Study of any sort of engages and exercises the mind, but I could be just as entertained by quantum physics, couldn't I? Actually, quantum physics isn't all that applicable to anyone in my situation either.
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[20 Apr 2011|11:22am]
"The superstition respecting power and office is going to the ground. The stream of human affairs flows its own way, and is very little affected by the activity of legislators. What great masses of men wish done, will be done; and they do not wish it for a freak, but because it is their state and natural end."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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[12 Apr 2011|08:25pm]
It's about a certain flow. It's about the way I love this, and how sometimes I forget. It's about reaching out and getting yourself back (myself back), riding the black ink wave. I never have writer's block, but often lately I have writer's don't-give-a-shit. Try to blame it on the stars ~ go ahead. You whipped out that journal entry next to this page in the matter of a whim and two cigarettes. Sure, your mind's been on other things, but there's not shit you can do about any of it right now except make another list (I DO need another list, and this has nothing to do with my addiction to lists, really!...) ~ point is, you're here, you're now, in your place, one of the paces this thing began to be born (this YG thing, oh Matty Munroe, my one true child ~ hah).
I just need to catch a wave. It truly is like surfing, just floating along riding the pen, waiting for that brainstorm. I'm not a writer who can make things happen. Like a surfer, I can place myself in an environment where things are likely to happen, but I cant make the brain waves come, I just gotta... ok, I don't really know the surfing terminology. I'm picturing a calm blue sea, sand-colored...sand behind me, yellow sun above me, soft breeze on my skin, sound of gulls all about, to which I'm hearing, relaxing to, but not really listening to. I'm just soaking. And then there's a stillness, nothing terribly palpable to one who wouldn't know, its just a sense of expectation, of knowing something's coming. And I tense, and flex and relax and breathe, roll over on my stomach and take a deep breath, paddle out to meet it.
And when you're riding that wave, it's like you cease, yourself, to exist. You are the wave ~ the water, the air, the earth below and that magnet of moon that draws the tides. And all these are you, their beat indistinguishable from the throb of your heart and the blood in your veins. There's nothing like it, no other drug.
Patience, though, is what's required here: lying in wait for the moment. And no matter how naturally you ride that wave, always steady, rarely a slip, you'll never catch it if you don't go to the fucking beach, put your goddamn toe in the water, get on the board, paddle out and wait.
Beer is such immediate gratification.
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[10 Apr 2011|06:35am]
I don't feel ok today. I wonder what I'm doing here, in this place, I'm thinking about chain reactions: if, then; if then.

If, then. It's about who will miss you when you die, according to an Alkaline Trio song, but I don't know about that. I think about Will, and the way his mother can't move on, and I don't want that, for my mom or dad, or my melodramatic coworkers and friends. (I think Cory will be ok. He's too practical to get so hung up over a dead wife.) With Will, it's like he's become some sort of martyr or saint who, let's face it, did nothing to deserve this martyrdom. He was an ordinary guy, if of somewhat sweeter disposition than most. I took off the WB bracelet attached to my lanyard today. It was a random sudden thought, to do so, and I followed through without much further thought except "I've got to let this go." It's hard doing this without religion, looking in the face the idea there might be nothing more, this is it. And yes, you'll live on in memories of family and friends, but soon (in the scheme of things) they'll die too, and all you are is maybe just a name in some leftover legal records, or, like my great grandma Ida, the peculiar archaic middle name of some young woman who never knew you, never gave a thought to the life and the time that moniker came from.
It's about the moment you're living in. People say this over and over, "live for the moment," but it's said so often you forget what it means, like repeating "toy boat toy boat" over and over till it's just a mangle of sounds from a certain configuration of blood and flesh and spit made to convey these things, noses,. It's all just noises, echoing about you, and each moment you lived in, live for, passes away spent like the $5 bill you worked 40 minutes for in the scheme of things. It's already died its death, you've already died a thousand little deaths, what's one more, except maybe the last one?
And all those names you memorize in school, the words that come from the bearers of those names, what are they without the feelings that inspired them, the gut twists and palm sweats, adrenaline rushes and pure pockets of peace (though I suppose that's what it inspires in you too, if done well, and that's a different brainstorm). I guess the point is, I've done the right thing, in my marriage, in my letting go. I must continue to be until I can't be any more, I can't worry anymore about what happens when I'm not, because there isn't any reason for it. Things are so detached from life and death in this present, we're set on sustaining something that has very little meaning anymore. Give yourself joy amanda, let go of the static, be moving, unparalyzed, loving, loathing, present. Be present. Just breathe, and love, and enjoy that you can do so till you can't.

Conversely, this is probably all bullshit.

Amber egg last night...
Some guest handed me an amber egg to hold. It was heavy and about as big as my head, and fractured fractal lovely inside. That's permanance. I am not.
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I Feel Some Bad Poetry Coming On... [06 Apr 2011|07:13am]
March 23 at 7:50pm
This isn't finished. I started it in october, and then realized I'd unconsciously ripped off a Mumford and Sons song. But I decided to finish it last night. Except I didn't get there.

29 lions in you standing on the edge
of something small
A snarl for every year you sat still,
making all the choices not to fall
29 times nine lives stand for
each and every single time you died,
And every time you came back once more
licking cuts upon your sorry hide.

Ten whole years spent sleeping, sighing
mumbling in your dreams to anyone
Because the pillow next to your head
might as well be bare for all the ways you're numb.
It's been 10 years on the lam from faces
you can't face for things you've left undone
Hiding from the things they thought
You'd have the muster to have beat and won.

But you fly low to the ground
under the radar and the sound
of all the voices all around
in your own head
lest they shoot you down.

And now those 29 lions under your skin
claw your insides to break loose
From that day you woke to find your once familiar leash
was just a pretty noose.
We wear our stains so proudly these days
blackened fingers held high and splayed wide
Burnt lips pursed to kiss the shadows
'cause nothing's wrong when nothing's ever right.

So tomorrow, now, ten years ago
those lions know there's never any start.
There's never any finish either
and the point of you is not even a mark
In the scheme of things, the world at large
the deja vu and circling of the years,
And in this is the crux of it, the sticking point
of each and every fear.

It's like the first time that you cried
or the last time that he died,
where every breath and every sigh
is nothing but a noise
is nothing but a lie.

29 lions in you bleeding from the edge
of what you've wrought
The jagged ends of broken peace
from standing quiet when you should have fought.
It's been 10 years sleeping on your back
like a turtle with legs running to nowhere,
When you may have well stood statue like ~
your sins mean nothing even when laid bare.

But still those 29 lions in you ravage your gut
with their razor claws
There as they try to prove the point of all this
pointlessness of fear and numb you draw
In deep to close inside yourself and hidden in the search
for purpose and applause.
But your quest is going nowhere dear, your life is silent
sitting stuck on pause.

And still you fly low to the ground
with lips sewed shut voicing no sound
of all the wonder that you've found
in your own head
lest they shoot you down.

Those lions' claws are telling you that happiness is
nothing but a slice
between the time before and next time, that's
the piece of time for which you pay the price

It's the slice of life so sharp you bleed, the moment
viewed in stark relief
The few times that you felt the need a second there
to show your teeth
It's the blood you lapped from your side with your lion's tongue
that tastes of rage and grief.

These beasts inside you disagree
that anything you've ever done
is worth a conversation over tea
Why don't you cut the ties that bind your tongue
And find out where your heart has gone
And be for once what you once thought you'd be.
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killing thoughts. [07 Sep 2010|12:38am]
I need something to set me off. Some lovely or insightful turn of phrase, some lightbulb flash or lightning strike or an explosion: a head orgasm, if you will. But these hotel doors keep slamming; the guests are restless tonight, if not all that demanding, and I wouldn't mind, except these aren't true night walkers, they're holiday up-laters, their apologetic smiles make me grit my teeth (they know they're disturbing my peace), and every door slam and footstep makes me stand to order. Assholes. I want a quiet night, to enjoy the wet sheen on dark cement, the little chill in the air and the sliver of moon (hiding), or inside: just the ticking of the clock, the clacking of the keaboard or the glide of my pen against paper (I swear I can hear it), the brisk tap tap of only my own two heels against tiled floors. Go away, please, everyone, everything, except you cars out there ~ you're alright ~ rush of air and squelch of tires on a wet, dark night.
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"Deconstruction Site" [29 Aug 2010|01:00am]
Tonight's topic: Religion. (ooh) (aah) Maybe it's because one of my aunts "liked" something on her facebook about not building a mosque by the WTC site. Certain things just bring a knee-jerk reaction that makes me want to point and cry "Bigotry!"
Possibly this makes me a hypocrite.
And saying this is going to disrupt the flow a bit: I am not a Christian. I don't know what I believe. I love theology though. It's like a bare bones psychiatric profile of humanity. Take the core beliefs and values of any religion, study them objectively, and you've got a head start on understanding a person or people. It's absolutely fascinating. And it's truly amazing how one person's truth can drive him to fanaticism.
Food For Thought: Cult, n. 1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rights and ceremonies (there are nine more definitions, but bear with me). Origin: 1610-1620 - from Latin "cultus" - care, cultivation, worship. Earlier Latin - tended, cultivated.
You can gather from this, perhaps, the "worship" bit came about from tending to ones god(s).
Now: religion, n. 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and prupose ofthe universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. (again, 8 more definitions follow.) The etymology here is a little more confused, most concisely it's old french from latin "religio" - fear of the supernatural, from "religare" - to tie up, from "ligare" - to bind.
never dismiss the etymology of a word. the evolution of langage can be a study, just like theology, of the human psyche. In the case of the word "cult," it's a study of the human pathology of fear, esp. of the unfamiliar.

realization: concision, lately, has become impossible for this girl.

SIDETRACK!: What confounds me most about this mosque controversy is the number of u.s. ccitizens who proudly stand and sing "the land of the free and the home of the brave" at the beginning of every all-american sporting event now standing tall proclaiming their fear, demanding restriction. If I didnt know better, about human vulnerablility and what people are like way down inside, I would be so confused. But I can dig fear. Earwigs terrify me and I squish them dead. I don't know anything about the creepy little buggers, where they fit into the natural chain of life, all I know is they look greasy and slippery and I've heard rumors they'll tunnel through your ear to eat your brain. I kill them dead on sight, esp. when they invade my home. I found one in my bed once and it scared the crap out of me. I'll never forget it.
Ok, so this is a drastic (gross) simplification (though sadly true).
I'm just so frustrated. I'm trying to explain this in the simplest possible terms without talking down, without losing hope for humanity itself, and it's getting convoluted, fuzzy. And I hate to think it all comes down to something as clinical as conditioning, or as mushy gushy as love, but it may be a combination of both. Acceptance is the key, and if you're not originally attuned to do so, well, practice makes for natural reactions, or as my latin teacher used to say, "repitition is the mother of study."

...Back to CULT: The first five defiitions are relatively benign, many of them interchangeable with the definitions for "religion." And then, somewhere along the line, it takes a nasty turn: "a relgion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremest, with members often livign outside of conventional society under the direction of a charasmatic leader." (One may also note this is the only definition out of ten that involves religion in what the average reader would view as a negative connotation.) Light internet research from various sources seems to agree this negative use of word in america is recent, developing in the mid 20th century alone (20s-80s). Now, that in mind, strip away all the whacked out cults you've heard of in your lifetime, apply it this way: charasmatic leader = jesus. members living outside conventional society = early christians. false, unorthodox,, estremest = the idea that a poor carpenter was messiah to devout jews who were taught to belive he'd arrive like king, somewhat like David.
I bring this up not to label all you good christians out there as cultists and estremests, but to hopefully show, with the evolution of a word, how somethign that began as relatively benign and good, like the word "cult," can evolve itno something scary and extreme, and how something initially scary and tabboo, like the early cult of christianity, the first followers of christ, can evolve into something largely accepted and considered benign: the christian religion as we know it today.
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[04 Jul 2010|11:44pm]
It's about an overactive imagination and an inflated idea of my own consequence: a brain that won't stop running, a neurotic disposition, and idleness ~ too lazy to find something more productive to worry over...

@ 3:02a: Girl From the North Country: Bob & Johnny Cash. best duet ever almost, except Crazy Love.

@ 4:30a: Just breathe. Life looks brighter with oxygen.

& @ 5:30a: This downward spiral of self-loathing is both helped and hindered by this crazy blend of artists I've fed into that pandora thing. Bob and Johnny nearly made me cry earlier, quickly followed by Norah doing Tom Waits' "the long way home." And now I have "you are my sunshine" stuck in my head and this desperate urge to be four again sitting on my grandpa's lap behind his guitar. I'd like to say I never felt like this as a child, but even that early I remember lonely 2a.m.s, listening for the roar and howl of the train, so I'd know someone was awake and alive in the world besides me, freaking myself out thinking about how the universe never ever ends. Some people don't change, ever, and I've always been a fool for a love song, and I've always been lonely.
"It's not you I want I'm lookin' for my mind..." <---I think that's a merle haggard song...
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[04 Jul 2010|08:30pm]
today I saw a beautiful man. @ Starboffee ~ passing through, I think, medium brown and very slight, pretty in that way of a GAP ad, w/ rugby striped sweater & vintage wash jeans to match, & he moved like quiet music. His hair was long and the curl combed out a bit, twisted to a messy bun @ the back of his head at the nape. His eyes though, seemed quietly dead, as he steered a small boy with lighter skin and glossier hair and longer eyes towards the restroom. They left when I did, and he held the door for me in that way people do, not really intending to, but realizing you're halfway through already and if they let it go it'll hit you in the face. They hadn't got any drinks or anything. The boy ran across the parking lot to a subaru wagon, and an asian woman in specs and khakis w. a longish no fuss bowl cut, who had the car doors open, rearranging things as people do in the middle of a car trip.

It's vignettes like this that get my mind going. It's the way the woman was, like a professional playing dressup as a real person; the way the man was so lovely and his eyes were so vacant; the way the little boy was just a little boy and the station was wagon being used as such a vehicle was meant to be.
by the time ~ or before ~ I was in the freeway onramp, my mind was already formlating short, slice of life story scenarios about failed soccer stars as house husbands to over acheiving professionals, emotionally stunted both, one because of his failures, the othe rdue to her need for success...

oooh, I'm a freak.
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[30 Jun 2010|12:25pm]
Oh figurative straw, the very same of camel fame, held between finger and thumb, like a weapon; he had no idea what he held. Yellow like sunlight, stuff for fantasy gold, faint sheen like a lacquer, not short, not long: she imagines it now, innocent seeming salvation. He placed it in her two hands, she took it, holding tight, and ran.
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[21 Jun 2010|09:30pm]
Solstice: it's still daylight outside. I can hear water running leftover from the rain, and there's a woman crying by the front gate of the house on the opposite corner. Her ex husband awkwardly pats her back. "Nothing I do, nothing!" She lives two houses down with her parents, in their garage. "What am I supposed to do? I have a real problem!" According to the neighborhood gossip, yes, she has a habit. "No one understands, my dad..." She lapses into babbling incoherency, inside the gate now, pacing up and down the walk in a dark sweatsuit, hair in a messy topknot, voice rising and falling... "What am I supposed to do?" On repeat. Every time she circles back, htere's her lumbering, darkly bearded former spouse and his awkward pats. He's said nothing, as far as I can hear. But I've never heard him speak. They retreat to the cover of the porch, where I can see now the glowing orange cherry of a cigarette butt in the quickly gathering shadows. It's quiet now, except for the rain runoff.
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