Hey look it’s that otter I drew last week:
And hey, it’s that octopus I finished tonight:
I’ve been spending my free time sketching lately, which is good because I get this weird feeling whenever I’m doing only one thing that I have to do two things. For example: watching Buffy while sketching is an acceptable combination of activities. Cooking is also fun because it demands I do many things somewhat simultaneously. Dishes suck for this reason: they’re only one thing. Driving doesn’t count because I’m almost always either talking to myself when there’s no music, or thinking up music video ideas to the music when there is (and sometimes talking to myself about said music video ideas). One thing is not enough.
Why do I have to do more than one thing at a time? Is it some compulsion–HEY! I’m blogging! And doing nothing else! No, wait, I’m also drinking tea. False alarm.
So is it some compulsion my generation has developed due to our constant access to any and all things various via the interwebz? The need to multitask all the time? I’ve heard that multitaskers aren’t very good at doing many things at a time well, and are even worse at doing just one thing at a time well. Fuuuuuck!
Reductio ad absurdum: My generation sucks at sex. No, that can’t be right. *wink* HAHAHA!
Why do I want to punch every handsome man in his handsome face?
I’m not a huge fan of good-looking people in general, but when a certain kind of handsome man enters the room, I want to throw coffee all over his tailored sweater, and break his perfect nose. But why? Do all handsome men look like douche bags by default? Why do I hate them so fast? I have a few theories, and they all include broad, sweeping generalities, so be ready to sprinkle asterisks (with “most of the time” attached) all over the following:
1. Good looking people are more likely to be jerks.
Handsome people are treated slightly better during simple interactions with strangers than average-looking or ugly people. As a result, they become used to this treatment, and come to expect it. For this reason, their sense of entitlement makes pretty people automatically intolerable (even though they’ve been trained to feel this way by others, and it’s not their fault). People who expect attention seek it out when they don’t get it. They’re not content to be wall flowers; they must be heard and watched, and do what they must to achieve the attention they crave. Their tolerance for not being the center of attention at some point during every interaction is laughably low, and for this, I hate them.
2. Good looking people are better looking than me, and always will be.
I can’t stress enough how annoying it is when I’m feeling unusually pretty, and a beautiful woman walks in and suddenly I feel totally inadequate. It just sucks out loud. But what’s even worse than not feeling pretty anymore is that the whole time, I’m fully aware of how dumb it is that I feel this way. Have I gotten uglier since she came around? Of course not, but I’m less attractive by comparison, so I might as well have. It doesn’t make sense, but my brain can’t get around it; this woman’s face has conquered my brain and she doesn’t even know it. Fuck. And cosmetic surgery is for morons with issues, so this effect is guaranteed to happen again in the future. It’s a depressing, shallow thought from which I should be able to logically free myself. No dice.
3. Good looking people are vapid.
Clearly this isn’t true for every handsome person on the planet, but I’m making sweeping generalizations, so who cares. Pretty people are like pretty paintings: fun to look at, but lacking in depth and long-term return. With no need to do anything other than smile and laugh to get a positive reaction, deep interactions are unnecessary for pretty people. They don’t have to try hard to seem interesting, so they don’t. Think: If you wanted to have a fascinating conversation with someone, who do you think would be more likely to be able to provide one; a handsome person, or an average-looking person? Perhaps more importantly: which is less likely to complain about how fat they feel after eating half their meal?
4. Good looking people get credit for being good looking.
This is by far the most ridiculous issue I have with handsome people. I recognize that no one approaches a pretty face and says, “Wow, you’re so pretty, good job!” But some small function of my brain recognizes being handsome as a benefit on the same level as other accomplishments (the kind people work at). So who should get credit for a person’s good looks? I want to say the parents for passing on their genes, but they’re not responsible for having said genes either. So we’re left with natural selection, and chance. The handsome people didn’t have anything to do with it, so when they’re paid to be models or shitty actors, or whatever, it makes me pop my best “are you shitting me?” face. Stop rewarding people for shit they didn’t do.
So let’s review: Pretty people are jerks, they make me feel like shit, they bore me to tears, and they get rewarded for doing nothing. This all seems like solid evidence for my previously unnamed, knee-jerk hatred for the handsome.
Now that we’ve established that I’m a shallow person who hates pretty people, I have a confession to make: All my friends are handsome and beautiful. All of them. I don’t have a single ugly or average-looking friend. They’re also intelligent, funny, thoughtful, selfless people who work hard, and are not rewarded for their looks with modeling contracts or acting gigs.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to my friends, and especially Boyfriend, the handsomest guy I know.
I have thoughts that make me feel very, very old. Today, I had a really devastating one:
Good penmanship is rapidly becoming obsolete, and that’s kind of a shame.
I was not taught handsome penmanship. I was taught how to write, and if it was remotely legible, I got a passing grade. I barely passed. I remember one assignment where my words were so scrunched together that I put lines between them for clarity. My teacher was not impressed by my consideration.
Here’s what I was taught:
Here’s what I wish I had been taught:
How awesome would it be to be able to create something beautiful while writing something simple like a note to myself, or a quick letter to someone on a memo in the office? It’s like being a word artist. I’m working on sketching pictures of animals right now (so far I’ve adequately completed a fox and an otter) because being able to accurately draw whatever you want is an amazing ability that I don’t currently possess. So I’m working on it. But I wonder if I should be working on my penmanship too…
NO, of course not. That would be pointless. I will never hand-write as much as I type. But it makes me sad that when I write, it’s bound to be a little scrawly and ugly. I want to make pretty words look pretty. I want to make ugly words look ironically pretty. Haha, that would be hilarious; writing some cuss-filled, horrifyingly detailed medical report in perfect cursive. New goal!
I discovered while walking to the car today that my grasp of the English language is, at times, tenuous at best.
I overheard a snippet of a conversation: “…by a twenty-year-old…” and I thought “huh, that kinda makes the number 20 an adjective.”
INITIATE LOGICAL INSANITY SPIRAL
But wait, 20 is describing how something is, not what something is (as in How old are you? 20). Describing how is an adverb’s job (how did you do on that test? I did well). Describing what is an adjective’s job (What color is that? Blue, old man!). So what does that make 20 in this case?
Whenever I’m having trouble distinguishing adjectives from adverbs, I stick the color blue in the sentence to see if it makes sense.
How old are you? I’m blue years old.
Ok so that doesn’t really work. How about this:
How old are you? I’m many years old.
The answer makes sense, even though it doesn’t answer the question. So that makes many, and therefore any word you could logically stick in that position, an adjective, right? Right. Let’s do another example:
I have blue crayons.
I have many crayons.
I have 20 crayons.
They’re all adjectives! Hurrah! So why does the question How old lead to an adjective for an answer?
How old is really asking Please describe the number of years this person has been alive. People are nouns, and adjectives describe nouns. But wait! That’s not really what we’re being asked to describe. Look again:
Please describe the number of years…
How can years be described? With numbers, yes, but with adjectives too, like difficult (adjective), blurry (adjective), and fucking (adverb) awesome (adjective).
But we’ve specifically been asked to describe the number of years. The only way to answer that is with a number. Answer: The number of years is twenty. Wait a second, this makes twenty look like a noun! Let’s use math to figure this out:
x = y
The number is twenty.
number = twenty
If number is a noun, twenty must be too. So even though it sounds like twenty is describing the number, all it’s really doing is acting as an alternative for the concept of the number of years someone has been alive, which is a noun.
Note: I think about this kind of thing all the time, especially walking to or from my car, or while driving. Anything that requires less than 80% of my attention automatically receives only 25% of my attention, while the other 75% works at figuring out whether numbers can be adjectives. This is my life.
UPDATE: I just looked up twenty in the Oxford English Dictionary online. Holy shit. I love dictionaries, but holy shit.
It sounds like they reach just about the same conclusion I reach, which is that twenty stands in the place of a noun, thereby allowing it to take on the properties of a noun. Which of course means…
I WIN!! TIME TO JUMP IN SOME PUDDLES!! PET ALL THE CUTE DOGS!! EVERYBODY JUMP IN THE POOL WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON!! I WIN!!
Now and then I think, “Y’know what’s awesome?” followed by whatever just caught my fancy. I should have started writing these down a long time ago, but I didn’t, so I’m starting a segment called…
Y’know what’s awesome?
Building Romantic Tension
I was reading this online comic today where these two friends (boy/girl) hang out. The girl tells the guy he needs to start dating. The next day the guy wakes up, looks at a photo of the two of them, and calls up some other girl for a date. Ok, so not the most romantic setup in the world, but you know something’s gonna happen! And I want it to! Everyone loves that feeling.
I fucking hate getting soaked in my work clothes, but I genuinely don’t mind getting rained on in my normal, everyday attire. Clouds are fucking beautiful, even if the rain they produce is occasionally a pain in my ass. Whenever there’s any rain in LA, I find myself staring at the clouds (they’re pretty exotic here). I don’t even realize I’m doing it sometimes. Clouds always make me smile, even if things suck at the time, and rain is depressing or whatever. Still, clouds are the best. Especially those big billowy ones.
I picked up a package from the FedEx facility downtown today. It was like visiting a foreign dignitary in a third world country. Hard to find, then there was a surprising amount of security, then it was a piece of shit.
I got off the freeway and followed my gut south (the directions the FedEx lady gave me were crap). I passed over a bridge, turned onto the right street, drove past a set of railroad tracks…
and then past warehouse after seemingly abandoned warehouse until I reached what appeared to be a cul-de-sac. But no! There was this weird entrance with a small sign that said “Customer pickup” on the chain mail fence topped with razor sharp barbed wire surrounding the rest of the cul-de-sac. On I drove toward what could only be an air strip, given all the chain mail fencing and open tarmac.
A parking lot! With weird buildings on one side…
…and a train on another side…
…and a whole lot of nothing everywhere else. I asked a man in a uniform walking past my car for directions.
“Excuse me, I’m here to pick up a package.”
Without looking at me, “Just park and head over to the guard building.” Then he started walking away without pointing to where said building might be.
“Where is the guard building?”
“Over there.” Then he walked away with certainty.
I looked toward where he had indicated. A small shack with windows and a few doors surrounded by fencing and… more nothing. I parked and decided this experience was too weird to not snap a few photos.
I headed to the shack, walked past the “Exit” door, past the sign that said “No weapons beyond this point” and into the “Entrance” door. There I found two guards. The White Guard was helping two other men through one of two metal detectors.
The other guard, Hispanic Guard, asked for a door tag, or something with the tracking number on it. I gave it to him, he made a call, came back and asked for my ID. “I need to check you in,” Hispanic Guard said.
I said, “Ok… Am I going somewhere?”
“Yeah, right across there to get your package.” He indicated across the tarmac to a large building. He politely took down my information, passed me through the metal detector, passed a wand over me, poked through and then closed my purse, double checked to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, and told me to “follow the blue line.”
I followed the line to the building (after losing it once or twice while I wandered around), where my eyes needed to adjust to the darkness. For a ground floor with no walls, this area was depressing and dark. No one was around. The stillness was eerie. A few echoing clunks and clicks let me know that a machine somewhere was struggling to do its job. I walked past a motionless conveyor belt with packages waiting to be processed on it. It looked like a dead snake with a few mice taking a disappointing ride on its back.
I kept following the blue line.
It led me to an office where two dismal women checked my ID (again), had me sign something, beeped the bar code on the package, and sent me on my way. I followed the blue line back to the guard station. Hispanic Guard opened the door for me and passed me through the metal detector while White Guard chilled out. I thanked him and left, feeling like I had just gone on a quick trip over the U.S./Mexico border and back. Adventure!