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Willie's Off-Brand Web Journal: December 21-December 27, 2003

Saturday, December 27, 2003:

I was looking at the Miffy website, and it turns out Miffy has been around for 50 years, so I guess I was perhaps a little hasty in referring to her as a Hello Kitty rip-off. (Unless Hello Kitty is actually an octogenarian or something, but I'm not really interested enough in her to look it up.) For whatever reason, I guess US publishers are only now catching onto Miffy, since she's suddenly everywhere. And it turns out her creator, Dick Bruna, is from Utrecht, the Dutch city where my friend Anne lives!

Jon and I have been sending horribly depressing Miffy e-cards back and forth to each other since last night. He sent me one depicting Miffy sitting alone at a table with a cupcake in front of her, and he captioned it, "Happy birthday to me.........." I sent him one showing Miffy walking with a toy pail and shovel, which I captioned, "I don't understand why they had to kick my castle down and throw handfuls of sand at me when I asked if they wanted to be friends." Ball's in his court.

CURRENT MUSIC: She Haunts My Dreams by Spain.
CURRENT MOOD:
Dread.
UTTERLY RANDOM SIMPSONS LINE MY BROTHER HAS BEEN REPEATING FOR THE PAST FEW DAYS:
"Stupid babies need the most attention!"
TIME:
10:51 AM.

Doot? | |

Friday, December 26, 2003:

Okay, thanks to additional prodding from Cole, I've picked up a LiveJournal account. So from now on, you can go to http://www.livejournal.com/users/disclaimerwill/ to read stuff. This stuff! I'll be posting the exact same thing over there that I post here, except in the case of entries like this one, where I specifically refer to the LiveJournal account, in which case some verbiage will be changed so it doesn't sound barmy to LJ readers.

Have you ever seen Miffy, the little cartoon bunny from the Netherlands? It's the saddest thing in the world. Basically just a Hello Kitty rip-off, but something about the way Miffy is drawn makes her seem so hopelessly lonely and unloved that I want to cry every time I see her. She just seems so quiet and obedient and unnoticed by all those around her... Today, Jon and I received a kids' book entitled something like Miffy Loves You, and oh it was awful. Just ten pages of Miffy professing her love to seemingly indifferent characters. Look for it, if you think of it. And Jon agrees with me on this one, so it's not just another case of me projecting unpleasant situations and fates onto inanimate objects and fictional characters; it really is that sad.

CURRENT MUSIC: Le Tigre by Le Tigre.
CURRENT MOOD:
Somewhat cheered up by the dual accomplishments of figuring out how to set up an LJ account and listening to Le Tigre. Yes, that last one counts as an accomplishment. I've decided that any action successfully completed on my part is an "accomplishment," because I feel better about myself that way.
THIS ENTRY'S RE-WORKED INTRO PARAGRAPH FOR LIVEJOURNAL USERS:
"Okay, LiveJournal now. Type fast LiveJournal in! Mirror topics Disclaimer site from! Joining belated community I! Type topics community LiveJournal! LiveJournal comments community comments! Many topics LiveJournal! Journal entries type comment friends! Friends community LiveJournal! Disclaimer site LiveJournal synergy! Good comments I! Friends I LiveJournal!" There. Now you loyal disclaimerband.com readers haven't missed anything.
TIME:
6:37 PM. (Apparently, the LiveJournal community is about five minutes fast and on Central Time, so don't go by that.)

Doot? | |

Thursday, December 25, 2003:

What is wrong with me? For the past two days, my family and friends have done nothing but show me how much I mean to them and how lucky I am to have them in my life in the first place. So why the hell do I feel so alone

Today, I had a wonderful morning opening gifts and chatting with my immediate family (parents and Tim), and this afternoon, we all went over to my aunt and uncle's house, where my dad's whole side of the family gathered to hang out. I spent most of the time chatting with my 15-year-old cousin, Caitlin. She and I have always had a nice bond, because she's very creative and loves Trading Spaces, but she's also just now realizing that there's a world of great music out there beyond what MTV and Clear Channel radio are willing to play. So now I get to be the cool cousin who introduces her to all kinds of interesting music that she never knew existed! I'm excited to play that role. Anyway, we talked and I helped her illustrate a story for her English class, which was rather too ambitious for my drawing abilities, but fun nevertheless.

Caitlin proudly gave me a gray sweater from J. Crew, saying that I should just trust her that it's something that will look good on me even if I didn't think it's something I would like to wear- but I love it! It's a nifty going-out-for-coffee sweater, and very comfortable. Between Caitlin, Adrienne, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, I'm starting to feel fairly confident in my fashion sense, which I've never felt before. Granted, it's more because I have good consultants than because I've developed any sort of ability to judge what looks decent, but it's lessened my inhibitions to a point where I'll actually take chances and try out new looks or styles on my own, instead of relying on the same concert-T-shirt-and-jeans ensembles that I'd been modeling every day since eighth grade.

Anyway, I had fun with my relatives, and got all kinds of cool stuff to boot (CDs, DVDs, books, a wah-wah pedal, a neat pair of hooks I can use to hang my guitars on my wall, etc.), but even though I know I'm surrounded by people to whom I'm important in some way or another, I feel so isolated from everyone else in the world tonight that I can hardly stand it. This isn't the bittersweet sort of emptiness you always get after a holiday, where you're stuffed with food and half-asleep on the couch and you think, "It's a shame that's over because it was so marvelous." This Christmas has been marvelous, but that's not the point. I feel like an afterthought to everyone, and it's because I've lately become so fixated on finding some sort of romantic connection- or, more specifically, on the futility of my attempts to do so- that I seem to have conditioned myself to think of capital-L Love as the only acceptable way of confirming that I mean something to anyone. And because this Christmas I shan't feel anyone's arms around me, or her lips on mine, or her breath on my chest as she sleeps, part of me still feels like I'm standing outside in the freezing cold in my pajamas, no matter how many other great things happen for me. Which isn't to say this Christmas was worthless by any means, or that my friends and family mean nothing to me- they mean the world to me- but it's like there's this little insect-sized void in my life that an entire cement mixer full of platonic love can't fill. To put it in the most pretentious terms possible, I can't appreciate how lucky I am to have an overabundance of the philia I've been given because no one's offering me any eros.

(If you want to punch me for that sentence, I don't blame you, but I'm keeping it because the act of typing it made me laugh.)

I'm selfish and greedy for thinking this way. How pathetic is it that I can't even retain a sense of cheerfulness and contentment for two days on which I've been consistently showered with affection and love, because it's not the precise sort of affection and love I'm imagining? It's like that part in "Ego Tripping At the Gates of Hell" by the Flaming Lips that goes, "I was wanting you to love me/But your love, it never came/All the other love around me was just wasting all away." Why can't I even remember the way I felt yesterday, when I wrote the entry below? I hate myself for how ungrateful I am. And undesirable.

Which is, of course, a very healthy and productive attitude to have if I'm hoping to not be alone anymore. Just making things worse. Always. I'm a horrible, ungrateful brat who has no more business saying any of these things than Fred Durst has whining about how rough his life is. Boo fucking hoo, Williams.

CURRENT MUSIC: Is a Woman by Lambchop and Happy Songs for Happy People by Mogwai.
CURRENT MOOD:
Just ego trippin'.
TIME:
11:49 PM.

Doot? | |

Wednesday, December 24, 2003:

Despite being trampled by boxes galore at work, it was a day full of great moments. As soon as Jon and I arrived at the store, we exchanged gifts. I got him some R.E.M. discs because I am nothing if not predictable, and he and Paul had put together a great little Christmas gift bag for me, with candy, cookies, little cake slices, and a copy of Chris Ware's ACME Novelty Date Book, which is amazing and rich with insight into how Ware's uniquely curmudgeonly muse operates. As always, I think food is a wonderful, exceptionally thoughtful present as well, which I admit is kind of odd because I eat so infrequently that I'm never able to consume it all before it spoils.

An hour later, Erica came into the receiving room and yanked me back into the breakroom so she and I could exchange gifts. I got her a copy of the New York Public Library Desk Reference, and she got me a fifth of vodka and a Chia Pet, so I guess my Christmas Eve just got booked solid. She also gave me a small Coronado brand air freshener for my car like she has, because I've commented repeatedly on the fact that I can smell her car from a good block away, so overwhelming is the scent of synthetic cherries. It's not a bad smell by any means- just strong- so now Pip smells all cherry-like, which is nice because it'll make me think of both Erica and Jess every time I get into my car. (Jess has one of those in her car as well.) We hugged, and I put her gifts in my car, so I would not be tempted to make use of the vodka while working.

Throughout the work day, I got to have great, sincere mini-conversations with lots of my friends and coworkers, which doesn't always happen. For instance, I had a really nice, brief conversation with Christina about our holiday plans, even though she and I never really talk about our personal lives with one another. She's a very cool person, but we just don't have enough in common to ever be close friends, I don't think. Today, however, we got to connect a little instead of just snarking on B&N-related things the way we usually do. Elsewhere, Rita and I each apologized for not having anything for the other, because she wasn't expecting anything from me and didn't want me to feel guilty or obligated to get her anything if she purchased the shirt she was thinking of getting me, and I still haven't received the present I ordered for her from Germany. Hugs all around anyway. Then she spent a couple very excited minutes talking about how she's going to surprise her fiancee with the most awesome present in the world (which I won't spoil here in case, by some miracle, he should stumble upon this tonight), which she's been telling me about for almost two months, and which I can't wait to hear about because she's so enthusiastic about it.

As soon as I left the building for the day, I ran into Lorenzo in the parking lot, so he and I tagged along with Aimee to the World Market for a couple of minutes while she bought last-minute gifts for her cousins' kids. (Some Hello Kitty thing. I don't know. If it has Hello Kitty on it, Aimee will purchase it. I imagine her bedroom resembles Bart Simpson's, only with Sanrio products lining the walls instead of Krusty the Clown ones.) Just some chit-chat, but still a nice surprise, as I wasn't expecting to get a chance to do any "hanging out"-style things with them today. Aimee told us about her dating life, and Lorenzo and I jabbered at each other in British accents.

When I returned home, I discovered that Adrienne had dropped off a present for me while I was at work. As with all her gifts, it was beautifully wrapped: gold ribbon tying up two presents stacked atop each other, wrapped in thick, red paper that was very nice and therefore wasted on me. She'd bought me copies of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and The Wolves in the Walls because she thinks Neil's children's books might be more my speed than his full-blown novels. (I gave up on American Gods after only a few chapters.) They look beautiful. I immediately drove over to her place, to deliver my crappily-wrapped present to her, which I assume she has by now discovered is the box set of Little House on the Prarie books that I thought I remembered her saying that she wanted when we were in a bookstore last summer. I might be wrong. She greeted me wearing an adorable, festive apron and gave me some freshly baked Christmas cookies in a Ziploc bag.

So today has been a really great day. It's not that I'm happy because I got a bunch of stuff- although I am totally stoked to do some drunken reading later tonight as my Chia dinosaur germinates and I munch cookies. No, I'm happy because rare indeed is the day when I get to have fun little friendship vignettes with all my friends from this area. (Or nearly all, anyway. I think Jess is coming back to her parents' house later tonight, so I'll give her a call then. And were it possible for me to fly all around the world in one night like Ed Asner, spreading holiday cheer to all my far-flung friends like Anzie, Ben, Jim, Cole, Rich, Christine, Steve, and Scott, I totally would. Alas, you'll all just have to make do with me wishing you the happiest of holidays from Disclaimer headquarters.) No one was grumpy or distracted or anything more unpleasant than a little frazzled by the season; everyone I know was just overflowing with nice feelings toward everyone else I know. And me! And I felt nice toward them! If it weren't for Barnes & Noble customers being the same selfish bastards that they are 365 days a year- such as the woman who accused Jenn of ruining her children's Christmas because we didn't have that stupid Sean Hannity book in stock- it would've achieved that feeling of utter, unblemished love and kindness in the world that I always want but rarely experience. I hope you're all able to have a nice holiday snapshot like that sometime this season. (Check out Ben's, which sounds great!)

I talked to Rich for a couple seconds tonight, and he suggested I move this whole journal over to the LJ community now that it's free. I dunno. I'm thinking about moving it over there, but also mirroring and archiving all my posts here. It'd be nice to allow people to make use of the LJ "comments" feature (if they so choose), but I for some reason feel cozier having this part of my domain as my journal's "home." I am neurotic. Any suggestions?

CURRENT MUSIC: The Smell of Our Own by the Hidden Cameras.
CURRENT MOOD:
Christmasy, as much as I hate to admit it.
TWO EXTRA CHRISTMAS BONUSES: No snow tonight (I hate snow and therefore am of the opinion that White Christmases can sod off), and a mini-South Park Christmas marathon at 11 PM!
TIME:
6:24 PM.

Doot? | |

Tuesday, December 23, 2003:

Adrienne and I went to Caribou Coffee and then to dinner at La Shish on Sunday. I didn't think I'd ever been to La Shish before, but I later realized that I went there (at a different location) with Lorenzo and Erica this past summer. I didn't eat anything on my previous trip, which is probably why I didn't remember it. Good food. Or soup, at any rate. And soup is good food! (We don't need you anymore!) Anyway, a few weeks ago, I claimed in this journal that Adrienne and I had mutually decided upon 45 as the ideal age to die, because it's all downhill from there. At dinner, she told me that she'd actually said 65 was the time to go. While I'm not calling her a liar, I really remember it as 45. It's quite possible, though, that she'd said 65 and I'd been in an especially pissy mood and said 25, and I just decided to average our two answers.

Finally watched Owning Mahowny yesterday. So it took what- seventeen days since Janet lent it to me? That's not so bad, especially around this time of year. Good movie, though it probably would've seemed a smidge amateurish if not for great, subtle performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman (naturally) and Minnie Driver (surprisingly).

Interesting how David Browne of Entertainment Weekly proclaimed the White Stripes' Elephant the Best Album of the Year when I'm almost positive he gave it a B upon its release. (A very generous B, I might add. It's a C album if I ever heard one. And I've heard several.)

CURRENT MUSIC: Recurring Dream by Crowded House.
CURRENT MOOD: Headachey and therefore Benedrylly.
ITEMS CURRENTLY ON MY COMPUTER DESK:
Too many pens, a guitar pick, three floppy disks, an America Online 6.0 CD that has served as a coaster for some time (complete with the following message that Jen wrote on its underside in permanent marker a few years ago: "I thought you loved me. I had dreams and aspirations. Never wanted to be a coaster. Never wanted..."), innumerable CDs removed from unsold copies of Computer Music magazine, two packs of playing cards, my checkbook, assorted receipts, an awesome homemade MC5 keychain that a really nice B&N customer gave me a couple years back, a tube of Blistex, a bunch of copies of the liner notes to the Locusts, Roaches, & Ants compilation, and some vegetarian recipe cards that I seem to have acquired and forgotten about till now.
TIME:
5:02 PM.

Doot? | |

Sunday, December 21, 2003:

I spent the afternoon yesterday hanging out with Jen for the first time in about a year and a half. I mean, we'd seen each other in the interim, but mostly for "business" reasons (borrowing things from one another, working out custody of the birds, etc.), and we've talked on the phone some, but this was the first time we got together just to get together since June of 2002. It was nice! Not weird or awkward or painful at all, which makes me feel like a mature person. Which I'm obviously not, given the fact that I have a stuffed Mr. Hankey on my mantle as a Christmas decoration, but I felt like one. And that's not to say that I expected it to be awkward, or that I had to force myself to hang out with Jen to "face my demons" or whatever- I really wanted to- but it was a delightful bonus to confirm that we really can be friends again.

She and I went to Borders so she could buy a Christmas present for her little brother, and then we had lunch at Xhedos. I was somewhat embarrassed to discover how little I had to tell her about what's been going on in my life. I brought her up to speed in about ten minutes, and for the remainder of the afternoon, wound up repeating things I'd forgotten that I'd already told her when we spoke a couple weeks ago. Luckily, she's been doing all sorts of interesting things lately- chief among which was spending a week in Ontario to help work on The Super Popular Show with her friend Ryan- so she had lots to tell me about anyway. And also, her cold had her so whacked out on antihistimines that I don't think she noticed how boring I am. So yeah, I had fun. And I now plan to have more fun watching the Lions set the record for all-time consecutive road losses.

CURRENT MUSIC: "Hell's Bells" by the Dandy Warhols, "Hello Cruel World" by E, "Written in the Snow" by the Autumn Defense, "The House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals, "Mr. Blue Sky" by ELO, "I Want You" by Elvis Costello, "I'm a Vampire" by the Future Bible Heroes, "Tattva" by Kula Shaker, "Pure" by the Lightning Seeds, "Break It All" by Los Shakers, "I Will Be There When You Die" by My Morning Jacket, "Sliver" by Nirvana, and "Pickaxe" by King Missile. Hooray for MusicMatch playlists!
CURRENT MOOD:
Excitement for the Kraftwerk show in Toronto in April, assuming I can go.
A GREAT E-MAIL FROM ADRIENNE:
"you came very close to getting this as a christmas gift. hum. you may yet get a swiss army knife. hold out hope."
TIME:
11:33 AM.

Doot? | |

PAST JOURNAL ENTRIES: May 3, 2003-May 9, 2003. May 10, 2003-May 16, 2003. May 17-May 24, 2003. May 25-May 31, 2003. June 1-June 7, 2003. June 8-June 13, 2003. June 14-June 21, 2003. June 22-July 1, 2003. July 2-July 13, 2003. July 14-July 20, 2003. July 21-July 26, 2003. July 27-August 4, 2003. August 5-August 9, 2003. August 10-August 16, 2003. August 17-August 23, 2003. August 24-August 30, 2003. August 31-September 6, 2003. September 7-September 13, 2003. September 14-September 20, 2003. September 21-September 29, 2003. September 30-October 4, 2003. October 5-October 11, 2003. October 12-October 19, 2003. October 20-October 26, 2003. October 27-November 1, 2003. November 2-November 16, 2003. November 17-December 3, 2003. December 4-December 12, 2003. December 13-December 20, 2003. December 21-December 27, 2003.


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