Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Status Update

Good morning. I was asked when I’d be writing, and I told myself I would write and I tried to write back in a hotel in Camarillo, but as it turns out, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead I’m sitting here in Oakland, on 108th street (2380) in a guest room of the house my dad and his fiancĂ© bought. In the room with me, besides my things, is a shelf full of self-help books and a piece of contemporary artwork by said fiancĂ©, which features some kind of word bubble theme on dripping, what I’d guess are watercolors or very watered down oils. The painting sort of clashes with the French design of the siding for this room and the bay window immediately behind me. I woke up late today, as I spent all of yesterday in a car, variably traveling past the endless plains of Californian highlands or driving along a vantage of the deep blue Pacific Ocean. Eventually I will get up and do laundry and then perhaps visit my aunt and grandmother. More likely just google the nearest taco bell and eat there.

As I’ve mentioned on my facebook a few times, I’m a little bit grouchy being here. I’m glad to get a chance to get away and see something somewhat new from new Orleans, but I feel less like I am or have done this under my own power and more like I’ve just ended up in high school all over again.

Tangent: some three people have told me I don’t know anything because I’m only 3 years out of high school or something. Honestly, they’re right, but not because I’m, just because that is the way of it. They don’t know anything either, they’re just blustering for some kind of way to shame me for having the audacity to be younger than them and disagree with them. Age = authority, and often the only authority people can justify any more. Personally I’m terrified of the elderly. They’ve had so many more years to have all their prejudices and irrational thinking etched in. Like petrified trees, they’re the least likely to ever accept or understand change. That is why I mentioned several times when writing about occupy that change will only happen when the next generation of people with somewhat more progressive ideas replaces the current.

I’ve mentioned living in New Orleans to several people here, and the responses were about to be expected, from complete ignorance to frequent mentions of Mardi Gras and how I must party all the time. I am not even remotely surprised, having moved from California to Maryland and heard people ask me whether or not I surf and moving from Maryland to California, which some people seemed to think was actually another school called “Marilyn.” It seems ironic that the most “well-traveled” of people that I meet also seem to have the most skewed concepts of the places they’ve been. Tourists, man. I don’t think I’ve ever been a place just specifically to see it or wander around (fact check: did this for spring break 2010. Went to San Francisco and hiked all of market street and avoided everyone. Not sure if it counts as tourism as I was born there and have lived fairly near there for a substantial portion of my life). I go to do certain things or see certain people. My trips are business trips with a side of scenery.

I actually brought out a collection of t-shirts that are all relevant to New Orleans, and I’ve worn them every day so far and no one has asked me what Noisician Coalition is or who Mitch Landrieu is and why vote him mayor or what the Zephyrs are or what the big five made of hammers and stuff represents (Habitat). It’s a little frustrating, only in the recognition that I could have worn any damn thing and it would’ve had the same response. I think maybe I’m just one of the really few people who would ask about something like that. I remember when a professor brought in a bag from the American Gilder’s society and I was totally fascinated that such a society existed, but he got kind of embarrassed and silly about it. Apparently his wife belongs to it, and yes it’s exactly what it sounds like. He’s kind of a poor representative, though, as he gets embarrassed and silly about a lot of things. It’s just an attitude change.

Oh man, and coming back of age is weird too. I keep being offered alcohol for one reason or another and have been sitting here limiting my intake because I seriously do not want to be inebriated around family. Maybe it’s the holidays or something, but it feels like every day so far I’ve been offered a drink. Maybe they’re trying to outdo Nawlins. I don’t even know. But damn, I would rather be shitfaced around a bunch of complete strangers (which I have) than tipsy around people I’m related to, one way or another. I’m trying to get the people I know to throw some kind of party so I can get comfortably drunk around people I am comfortable with being drunk around (and so I can make Dark and Stormies, which is apparently my new obsession. Yay!) but so far it’s not taking.

I wish I were at home. I know so few people I really want to spend any time with here, and what few I do are still stuck in their prisons, at home with their parents or a stone’s throw from them at some college. I planned this trip out for two weeks partly out of interest in having a complete visit with all of family and all the people I left behind and partly because I really thought I was restless and needed to get out of nola for a time. Maybe I am still restless, but coming here wasn’t the place. I helped my aunt and grandma get skype set up on their computer and the first thing they did was call up my aunt and uncle in Montana and they of course got the kids up and everyone was there in front of the screen and happy to see each other and all and I couldn’t help but thinking “damn, I really should have gone up there.” I like my family up there, and I like snow, and I like hiking alone.

Fortunately, Christmas is over, and besides the two lunches and a dinner that are now planned for me to attend, the rest of my trip is open. I’ll probably just wander around the city and get lost and have fun by myself. Then I’ll come back to New Orleans and throw a party and go to parties and maybe feel like myself again.

p.s.I do think it's a bit sad that I am finding out that I didn't really want what I thought I wanted, but I'm not going to feel bad about it because everyone else does it too. So there.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Faux-ironic title designed to maintain my masculinity

Loop de doop, looking at the blank page. I don’t know what to put here because I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s not totally true; I know what the symptoms are. I’ve been picking internet fights for a week straight. It’s a really obvious sign that I’m frustrated about something. The way I operate is that if I’m frustrated about something but can’t really do anything about it, I end up channeling it into something I’m passionate about and start petty arguments about things I normally would let slide. I assume everyone does this to some degree. The problem is that I don’t know what I’m really frustrated about. My life is going more or less okay. Things are fine on nearly every front. Every idea that I have that I might be frustrated about doesn’t pan out when I try to imagine whether I’d feel any better if those problems were solved. My best idea so far is that I feel like my life is going nowhere or not going somewhere fast enough or that I’m totally unsure of where to go. I think I’ve thought up (And then done little to no work on) half a dozen projects to work on, to theoretically jumpstart the drive and get me back on my feet. It’s so strange, because I’m pretty sure I had peace of mind at some point this year, but it’s gone again and I don’t know where I’ve put it.

Not to help matters, I’ve been getting a bunch more acne than usual, especially on my shoulders and forehead, which frustrates me both on a totally vain “insecure about my looks” level and also on a “for fucks sake everyone told me when I was a teenager that I was going to grow out of acne and not get it when I got older” level. Lying assholes. They should have just told me “well, you better kill yourself now because you’re gonna be ugly for the rest of your life.”

Of course when I look back at it, I’ve been feeling kind of like this since the last queerlesque. I’m restless and dissatisfied and totally inconsistent. I’m not even depressed. I know when I’m depressed, and this isn’t it. I’m angry, is what it is. I keep wanting to unfriend everyone I know and say vicious and mean-spirited things to the people I otherwise like and I want to yell and scream, which is basically another way of me saying I want someone to pay attention to me and give me hugs and reassure me and things like that. But I don’t even think that will help ultimately, otherwise I would be asking for hugs and reassurance. The problem will still be there even after the person leaves.

I hate feeling ashamed for feeling the way I do. Because that’s what I feel. I feel like even posting this is a cloying attempt to garner sympathy, which is ultimately pathetic for me to do. I hate feeling like I need to act this way or that way to satisfy whatever audience I have. I hate feeling weak for writing about my feelings. I hate that I still feel weak for writing my feelings after doing it for years. I hate that I imagine the reaction from people whose opinion I value and cherish will inevitably be tainted with “that’s nice, but boy isn’t Jake melodramatic and whiny?” I hate writing faux-ironic titles where I sort of hint at the idea that I know how silly my emotions are. I hate that anyone else ever feels like this and I hate the people who perpetuate it with non-advice like “man up, son.” For fucks sake, I’m a person on this goddamn planet and I will not be made to feel bad for being as emotionally fragile as I want.

Clearly the solution is drugs or something, but that terrifies me on another level where I admit the ultimate physicality of my being and the completely true concept that I have no independent will except what is chemically expressed by various regions of my brain. I went to a bar just to drink and feel sorry for myself the other week. I didn’t tell anyone. I don’t tell anyone anything important these days. No one tells me important things. I made a hand-turkey for the college of liberal arts office at UNO and dedicated it to someone and then I didn’t tell them about it. It’s still on the wall.