Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Thanks, Jeremy

by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


i shouldn't be writing right now. i promised myself i wouldn't sit down to blog until i returned to baseline, at least somewhat. but i don't believe that's going to happen anytime soon, and when i feel too much, i often feel compelled to write it down, filter it through, get it out and send it on its way.

i don't fucking know. i should be doing a million other things right now, like packing up my shit to get ready for a move i'll likely be making soon. i could do some schoolwork, dishes, anything, everything. but nope, just sitting here consumed by this.

YES, it's true, folks. it is indeed over; YES, he cheated; YES, i'm pissed -- hurt, sad, disappointed, shocked and every other sorry feeling you can think of. i'm a fucking mess, walking disaster, i even cried in class the other day. that was so dumb, but i just couldn't help it. my column writing professor had us do an in-class exercise where we just free wrote for 10 minutes nonstop. guess what i wrote about? then he had us read it aloud to the rest of the class. i squirmed and said it was too personal, but he insisted, and since i knew i wouldn't be able to get through it, a classmate kindly read it for me. here it is:

"my heart is broken. that's the bottom line. he did it, broke it, finished it. and of course i never saw it coming. (does anyone?) just feel destroyed, like a nuclear wasteland, my safety net obliterated, my home ruined. four years -- good ones -- and he leaves me with this as his parting memory of us: that he cheated. that's what it's all reduced to. i can never remember the summer spent traveling through europe, the courtship that seemed so perfect, those first few weeks with the new puppy when we became a family. nope, nixed. now only this: that he cheated, he strayed, he lied. four years reduced to this simple fact and nothing more.
but i'll go on. i must, i'm not easily broken. i'll rise, survive, and maybe one day learn to love again, without fear. 'just keep busy,' i tell myself. must GO, GO, GO. there's work to be done, tasks that need completion, papers that need to be written, dishes to be washed. i can't stop, not even for a minute. otherwise, i just fall apart, collapse onto the floor in a sobbing heap. must pull through. keep it together and for god's sake, don't cry in class!! and sometimes it works. sometimes i get so focused on what i'm doing that i forget for a moment. the pain ceases and i can exhale. that's about all i can do -- breathe in, breathe out. lord knows i can't eat or sleep. can't really smile. won't be doing anything that feels carefree for a while. just surviving -- taking it one day at a time, letting time heal all wounds, that it's his loss, and every other fucking cliche i've heard in the last few days."

so of course i cried in class when it was read aloud and now i'll always be the Tragic Girl among my classmates. i was so embarassed, didn't know how to recover, so i sat silent the rest of the class, wishing it would finally be over so i could go home and cry some more.

sorry, maybe this is too much information. i never put shit up this personal on my blog and that's always been intentional. i really am a private person, despite even having a blog. but i don't want to vanish. you'll have to bear with me as i work through it here, at least some of it.

thanks, friends who've offered their support through phone calls, emails, comments. i hear ya, appreciate it. but i need some time alone right now. i won't be coming over to ruin your day with my trauma so you can feel sorry for me while i feel sorry for myself. i best grieve in private.

and i'll pull through ultimately -- this, i don't doubt, so don't worry too much about me. yes, it'll make me stronger, my heart a little harder, my eyes a little sadder, but it won't break me. now if you'll excuse me, i have to go weep.

Friday, January 23, 2004

The Big News in Six Words

he cheated. i'm pissed. it's over.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The (Last) First Week of Classes

ah, nice to be all done with my school week on a wednesday and through until next tuesday, as monday is MLK day. how did it go, you ask? well, nothing unusual -- standard passing out of syllabi, professor introducing himself (yes, all men this semester), outlining course goals and setting expectations. here's the rundown:

Column Writing: i wish i can say more about this one, but the prof was out with the flu on day one and had a sub step in and show a documentary during class. the doc's subject: the prof himself, the venerable norman corwin. ok, this guy is the shit, amazing writer, really more of a poet than a journalist, but he's 93. no joke, that's his real age. i've been waking up each morning afraid i'll see his obituary in the LA Times. i mean, having the flu at 93 is a big deal, no? for my own selfish sake, i hope not, because i don't want to miss out on this guy's eminence. the class requires me to produce plenty of columns, but i rather enjoy writing personal essays and this blog is kinda like a column to me, so it should be fun.

Magazine Writing: finally, a class on magazines -- you know, the arena i'll likely enter after graduation. i'm so sick of daily news. this class better be good, because the school has a lot of making up to do. prof seems cool, heard he's lax with deadlines, very nice and approachable guy. just need to produce two lengthy pieces for this class, one of which is a personal essay. so again, outlook good.

Publications Design & Technology: this one will teach me how to use adobe's in design 2.0 and photoshop 7.0 and a little of quark. useful, engaging, easy. that's how all should be with this class, though i've heard it's really a lot of busy work. there's a final design project of my choosing, so i hope to create a snazzy portfolio to showcase my work in. bad news is that the class is full of undergrads and the only other annenberg grad student is the most annoying girl in my program.

other than that, the class i'm the TA for has to do with sports. it's something like "sports, business and society." (big yawn) but whatever. usc is still footing the entire bill for me this semester and giving me a monthly stipend. i'm also gonna continue copy editing for those wacky dorks in culver city and keep trying to pick up clips. and maybe i'll pick up an internship somewhere, if i can make the time and if it's really worthwhile.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Break No More

today is officially the last weekday of my winter recess. this depresses me to no end. the only bright side is that it inches me closer to the goal of graduation, just one semester, three classes and five months away.

i tried to ride out this week in style, doing more of nothing. took in shopping with money i don't have, saw some people i hadn't seen in awhile, listened to music i hadn't heard in a while, still been sleeping in late and being awakened each morning by my canine's tongue or paw.

pabs returned last night from his trip to argentina after spending about two weeks away. though i'm glad to have him home, i will admit that i enjoyed my me time immensely -- big bed all to myself, playing my chick music at full volume, smelling up the house with sauteed salmon, a dish and fish my beloved detests.

this sunday, his parents come into town to stay with us for a few days before zooming off to phoenix for his dad's work conference. this means that we will spend all of saturday scrubing the apartment down from wall to wall, ceiling to floor. gotta wash the dog, do all the laundry and ironing, dust the blinds, etc. back to the mundane. the break really is over. ugh.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Thoughts on the New Year

now that i've emerged from the hangover haze that kept me disoriented the first two days of 2004, i can now focus on the 363 days that are left -- or is 364, are we going into a leap year? anyway, the worst part about entering a new year is making that mental adjustment to date checks correctly. it'll get me for months.

beyond that, i guess i should make some resolutions that i'll likely break in the coming year. i think making one or two a year is feasible, any more is just setting yourself up for failure. i'll keep it simple this year and just focus on the liquids -- namely, a resolution to drink less alcohol and drink more tea and water.

i'm not sure what's happened over the past few years to make me such a lush. but now it's hard for me to even fall asleep at night without a glass of wine. maybe it's the wannabe european in me leftover from the summer who needs a glass with every meal, but it can't continue. for starters, it's impeding my weight loss. i'll be judicious about my diet all day and then have a bottle of merlot all on my own with dinner. that translates into sugar which marches straight to my ass. and an entire bottle doesn't get me drunk -- a whole bottle. i mean, that's bad, right?

so no more casual boozing. from now on, i will drink solely during social occasions and celebrations. so far i've been very good. haven't touched a drop of alcohol this whole year. do i miss it? hell yeah -- i'm cranky and can't sleep well at night. but i'll keep going with this. quitting smoking was way harder. and i can replace my nightcaps with tea and/or water, which i've been neglecting to nourish my body with over the years. i bought some moroccan mint green tea to start me with my journey. (but the coffee i'm keeping -- i'm down to two cups a day and that ain't bad, ok?)

beyond that, i can see already that this year will be full of changes, all hopefully for the best. whereas last year seemed like an awesome summer bookended by stress, this year should only start stressful and end blissful. graduation is in may, and it couldn't get here fast enough. then comes the job hunt, which will probably suck, but should get me to the next level, whatever that is. by the end of the year i should be a working professional again, which means regular paychecks -- no more student scrounging.

in addition, pablo is talking about getting an internship up north for the summer and doing a semester abroad in the fall, leaving me (delightfully) on my own. hopefully before then, in late may, there will be a trip to asia in store for both of us. i'm also thinking of moving out of my ghetto neighborhood and getting a new furry baby, maybe a rottweiler. and i'm also thinking of embarking on a serious writing project, like a book or screenplay. something i can start and finish just to know that i can really finish what i start, and that writing for me won't be just half-baked ideas and scribbled notes that lead nowhere.

hmm... what else? maybe new couches, if i have the money, and laser hair removal, so i never have to shave my armpits again. i'd also like to take another trip to hawaii with kiana. and while i'm at it, i think i'll lose 20 pounds and win the lottery. hey, sounds like a fun year ahead!

but tonight i'll start with updating the Milla Times website -- you know, that thing i said i'd do six months ago.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy Friggin Hangover

i was ready to decapitate myself this morning. anything to get rid of the throb in my head. three liters of water and half a dozen tylenol later, i still feel crummy. why does a shitty morning usually follow a fun night?

yeah, it was fun and all. thanks to those who showed their lovely faces -- zee, nick, doug, beth and avi. i must admit i was a tad worried when i first arrived at 10pm, as the club was virtually empty and the DJ was playing eighties music. but in what seemed like a half hour, the space filled up and the beats began blasting. we entered the new year, noisemakers in hand, to basement jaxx's 'red alert,' a song i really like. unfortunately, i couldn't sneak in my puppy for the requisite midnight smooch, so i hugged nearby strangers instead. at that time, i was uncharacteristically sober for such an event -- only had a few drinks and a shot of vodka at my parents' place earlier, but on the whole i felt together.

then i'm not sure what happened. i do know that i left the club feeling more sober than i did when i got home -- as if all the alcohol caught up with me on the drive back. it was bizarre, because i know i left the club feeling relatively clear-headed, but by the time i arrived home i could barely walk straight. not sure what happened in between. i have a vague recollection of making drunken phone calls to various friends looking for an afterhours party, which i never found.

(Public Service Announcement: the Milla Times does not endorse driving drunk, and in my own defense i'm very conscientious about these things. i know my own limits, and i've never gotten behind the wheel fully wasted, only slightly buzzed. if i'm too drunk to drive myself home, which is rare, i never do. i wait it out or find a sober driver and urge all to do the same. thank you. drink responsibly.)

this morning, i awoke at noon to a 65-pound dog pawing my face. sparkly confetti was scattered throughout my bed and stuck onto my face and torso. my throat was as arid as the sahara. i was not in the mood.

at first i resisted and tried to play dead. but the pawing became intrusive quickly. most mornings she licks the face, which is so much more pleasant, but on those certain days when she knows it'll be harder than ever to get mommy out of bed -- wham! -- a stinky paw will land in my eye and slide down my cheek, as if it's trying to pry my eye open. so i slowly crawled out of bed, careful not to make any sudden moves with my head, and took the little fucker out. i've had a headache ever since.