Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Greetings

apologies to all the friends who sent me the holidays cards displayed above. i’m sorry i didn’t reciprocate your thoughtfulness by sending you a proper card in return. next year for sure. instead, please accept this virtual holiday card from my silly little website. and please have a merry new year and a happy holiday and i hope santa brought you that Wii you wanted and i hope you ate a whole lot and spent quality time getting drunk with loved ones and all that other jazz that usual accompanies holiday cards. i wish you all of that.

i’d like to extend these warm wishes to all the thoughtless folks who didn’t send me a card but still read this site regularly. i guess you’re allowed some good tidings as well, so please take them. and please know that i’m thinking fondly about all of you lately, daydreaming about the terrific 2009 that awaits you — one filled with steady paychecks, home-cooked meals, personal satisfaction and plenty of orgasms. happy holidays.

Monday, December 22, 2008

One-Hit Wonders: December 2008

remember the new feature alert that appeared last month, the one where i listed a bunch of internet search terms that pulled up my blog, sometimes inexplicably, courtesy of the google analytics i installed, the ones that let me know that you’re reading this while sitting at work procrastinating instead of doing the job your boss is paying you for, you lazy fuck. yeah, those. i’ve decided that those terms really need to be broken out into their own monthly post. so without further adieu, i present to you this month’s One-Hit Wonders:

  • milla jovovich breathing in your sleep espaƱol

  • milla is gay

  • free pictures of madly drinking lactating milky breasts

  • hypnotic voodoo mistress

  • what does mispucha mean?

  • pinko skeletal animals


  • im swollen and throbbing right above my big toe

  • my coworkers belittle my appearance

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recession Depression

i’m convinced that this recession is the new black or at least the new election, maybe even the new Sarah Palin. it’s become one of those inescapable, overexposed topics that spits in your eye and pisses on your leg all day long. the feeling is similar to the campaign fatigue i had earlier this year, where i would turn on the radio or load up the Times to find endless stories on swing state voters and Katie Couric interviews and Obama’s terrorist ties, now replaced with foreclosures and layoffs and bailouts.

and hey, let’s make sure to examine every angle of this topic and interview an unemployed worker in each of the 50 states to see how they’re handling being out of work, and let’s interview every grandmother who’s lost her retirement in the market crash and is now facing foreclosure. let’s ask her how she’s managing the high blood pressure she can no longer afford medicine for. to balance things out, we can throw in a feel-good story on how you can stretch your pennies by making crafts this christmas instead of buying that flat-screen you really want.

come on, media people. is there no other news happening in the world? aren’t there Nobel prizes being awarded this month or some medical breakthroughs to report? how about just a cat being rescued from a tree or photos of the new baby panda at the zoo? i know journalism is known for its “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality, but when the whole damn news hour is a bloodbath, i begin to wonder why i should get out of bed each morning knowing that my day will be filled with dismembered limbs instead of rainbows.

i know i can just turn the news off, and rest assured that the radio station my alarm wakes me with every morning has now been set to mexican ranchero music rather than NPR. Mo and i have also found an awfully fantastic eighties station that we blast on sunday afternoons as we tool around the house, baking bread in our own uninspired attempt to follow the penny-stretching crowd.

yet i still can’t escape the bad news bears. they were out en masse at my company’s christmas party the other week. they looked a lot like my coworkers and stood huddled in corners, whispering about the bad economy like it was some secret, asking strange questions like, “think this party will have half as many people here next year?” someone even asked me what i would do if i got laid off. “well,” i replied, “this is just my first guess, but i’d probably look for another job.”

i know it’s serious stuff out there, folks, and that grandmas are losing their homes and i might even lose mine if things get really bad (though i would rather sell ass on the corner before i allowed myself to lose my house — not my own ass because i doubt anyone would buy it, but someone else’s ass, as i’ve always thought i would make a good pimp), but i don’t need daily reminders of how much worse things are getting.

if they get much worse, that’s ok. not like i didn’t see it coming. and if i get laid off — and i have no reason to believe that i will — that’s also ok because i’ve been laid off before, twice in a row actually. the first layoff was from the dot-com disaster eToys. it was right after christmas, early 2001 during the days of “dot com death toll” headlines. the CEO, a harvard MBA, called a company-wide meeting to announce that Toys"R"Us had made more money than we did during the holidays, which meant leaving our Aeron chairs, unlimited Snapples and free weekly massages behind because the entire company was folding in a month. i went home and cried that day. a year later, i was laid off from The Hollywood Reporter. i went home and cried some more.

and while i do remember those times sucking immensely, the days of crying and weeks of feeling like a loser, i also remember not having to sell any ass. i remember the world not ending.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

That Time of the Year

lately, i’ve been feeling kinda blue, kinda blah. it’s the normal holiday season stuff where i pop my head out of the trenches, look around and think to myself, “how’d the end of the year get here so fast? why didn’t i do x, y and z like i had planned?” some days i feel as though i’m far too behind to ever catch up to where i should be right now. other days i feel as though my expectations are ridiculous and i should stop whatever i’m doing and find some friends to laugh with while drinking wine and being merry.

i try to tell myself that life is too short and also still long, so i shouldn’t stress over the fact that i haven’t begun writing The Great American Novel or made enough money to retire by 35. i remind myself that, yay, you bought a house this year! yay, your dogs are sweet and well behaved (sorta). yay, you have good friends and family, and love in your life. i try to count my blessings and imagine how much worse things could be and maybe will be in the future. i try to imagine the alternative — a life lived in Russia, eating snow for thanksgiving and growing a third eye from the Chernobyl explosion in the eighties.

but still, there’s an ick and an ache, a melancholy that says things could be better, i could do better. i could be working harder, writing every night, taking classes, exercising daily, keeping the house cleaner. i could be dreaming up the next great invention, or at least perfecting my burrito recipe. i could do more volunteer work, make that any volunteer work, and resist the urge to sleep all day when there are languages to be learned and dreams to be realized. i could be, would be, should be doing everything i can to quit being so damn average.

holidays really drive it home, reminding me of the x, y and z missing from my list of accomplishments. i know, i bought a house this year and that should warrant some backslapping, but it’s not much comfort because i know i won’t be buying a house next year or the year after. as exhilarating as it was to reach that milestone, it created a vacancy, too. and it’s not like buying a house is some extraordinary accomplishment that landed me the cover of Time magazine as its Person of the Year.

maybe i need a long-term goal to focus on, something that will evoke tunnel vision instead of melancholy, providing me with a sense of purpose instead of the stability that makes me restless. or perhaps i need a long vacation to help me restore perspective — i could visit my three-eyed cousins in Russia. a day at the spa would also be good; i could use a little pampering. or maybe i just need a really rich piece of cheesecake.