Monday, January 7, 2013

Actual pages from my journal, circa 1997

My Journal                                                                                                           February 22, 1998

          There’s something so empowering and wonderful about being in a dark, smoky, dimly lit room with loud bass thumping, hip-grinding music...dancing with the one other person in the world that seems to know just as I do what it’s all about*. I just love dancing in places like Girl Bar because I’m so tall, I tower over everyone else. I loom on the horizon, and no untethered gaze is safe, I’m mutha fuckin’ Big Ben and everyone needs to check the time by me!

I know how ridiculously conceited that sounds. And frankly, at this stage in my life and since this is only a journal entry and not my Grammy Award acceptance speech, I don’t really give a shit!

What I wrote in my letter to Brooke today:

Hey booboo. I loved your letter, it was very long and very thoughtful. I was dying, it’s so funny that you’ve actually stopped going to your local post office (I mean, most people, choose to go to their local post office based primarily on the fact that it is convenient to drive the shortest distance possible and to try and compensate for the obscene amount of time wasted in that “slow-speed march” that makes  of using their nearest mail service provider--as opposed to decor, ambiance or the selection of self-adhering
stamps in the vending machine--even though they seemed to be already working with a strike against them since they stole the belt dad sent you!) because of the obsessive-compulsive behaviour of one of the homeless people who frequents that location. I was about to say how I would never  do something so preposterous as that but I just realized that I actually had a wierd moment like that last night. I went to the Brig for the first time in almost 5 months with Shannon and her cousin Jeff yesterday, and there was this girl there that was there the last time I was at the brig who is, quite possibly, the reason that I haven't been back in 5 months. Anyway I saw this girl and I was immediately repulsed and fascinated by her, she is such a drugged out freak. Anyway, last time I was at the brig I was talking to someone I didn't know very well at the bar and this girl came up to me, (Blond, anorexic,coke whore or speed freak,) the type of girl who could be pretty but she wears only clothing which looks as though she ripped off a couple of over-night bags from a Brownie troop camping trip--too tight jeans and "belly shirt" (which is called that because it exposes the wearer's belly, ... and plus, she's not a young girl--pushin' 35, who looks like she's been on drugs since David Lee Roth was in MTV's buzz bin.
Okay. Jump cut 5 months earlier.  I'm standing there making polite, uncomfortable small talk with some Brig regular one night while mike is doing his best "Fast Eddie" a la "The Hustler" impression on table #2, and this girl suddenly is standing there squawking at me, Oh
mi gawd, you've got such a cute little body, you're so cute!! You're body's just like mine, only taller!! You're really pretty, oh mi god is that a tattoo on your stomach, oh mi god you're really hot! I mean it, you're just like me butt-taller! Wow!" Now imagine this being screeched at you by a woman who's talking faster than that guy that used to do those commercials in the late 80's who could speak like 305 words per minute and who's also clutching at your arm and shouting at you but also swiveling her head around rapidly so that everyone at the bar would be able to hear what incredible wisdom and sage precepts she was uttering. I was totally freaking out on her, I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life.

Well, anyways, I saw her there last night, and she obviously was hopped up on the goofballs yet again, only luckily she was obligated, being the little coke whore she is, to spend the evening sitting in the drug-dwellers section in back, and busy herself draping her puny limbs all over one of those big fat black guys that I've seen in there a hundred times passing off little squares off to giggling women. i walked by her once, and I could see her watching me approach and new that she was itching to get my attention but i ignored her strenuously, and all she managed to say was, "I love your shirt," before the back of my head was reintroduced to her with the words, "thanks." as I fled into the ladies room. But anyway, she was complimenting my shirt, which i was wearing underneath my warm and cozy sweater up until then. Now, here's where the story relates to the old woman.

Even though it was pretty cold in the brig last night, I had taken my sweater off because after watching this girl just embarrass herself all over the place, I suddenly realized that our sweaters were the same color (only her's exposed her midriff of course, and that there might be people in the bar that might mistake me for her, or who might somehow look at the matching sweaters and perhaps they might associate me with her. It's like that great cartoon we had where the guy didn't want to stand next to something because it rhymed with the word "loser" or something and he was worried that someone might make the connection and then he'd be unable to get a date. Do you remember that cartoon? Well, I had to play pool and shiver at the Brig last nite because I was so paranoid about being associated with this freaky girl.

Shannon and Jeff were laughing, but I was dead serious. I was really really afraid of this girl.

Well, that's all for now. Stay happy, PS I'll be fed exing you a copy of "A Dish Served Cold" sometime in Early april to give to Tanya...thank you sweetie!
Love esme

My Journal                                                                                                                   May 17 1998

There’s this semi-glossy, lightweight little magazine inside every Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times called “The Los Angeles Times Magazine” (the name alone should give you an idea of the kind of inspired creativity—or rather—tepid mediocrity which pervades every limp page of this truly awful periodical) which usually features a long, nauseating puff-piece on some dim-witted celebrity (and always one who’s such a media whore that you feel as though they were somehow stalking you, so incable you are of eluding their face, their voice, their products ad infinitum, ad nauseum.) And this week is no different—so who is on the cover of this week‘s muted-pastel cover?

Perhaps the most insipid, common, vulgar and talent free human being ever to wear a pair of relaxed-fit jeans (size 18?)—Rosie O’Donnell.

I was reading this article yesterday, and as I read it, I suddenly came across a line that made me so fucking angry that it was all I could do to keep myself from spitting on the fairly valuable Persian prayer lying demurely beneath my feet at the edge of the sofa. Let me insert the passage here for you to enjoy:

Rosie: It’s always weird to me when people say, “You go food shopping?” How do you think I get my food? But if you grew up having a normal life, I don’t know how you could switch in your 30’s to a spoiled, rich mentality.

LA Times: Is that why you moved back to New York, to get away from the Hollywood mentality?

Rosie: I couldn’t live here, because it’s a distorted reality. There aren’t that many real people out here. Even the valet who parks your car has a script he’s written. And on Christmas morning it doesn’t matter if you have an Academy Award, it matters that you have a family to love and share your life with.

There is so much to be horrified by within just these few sentences, so much ammunition to launch back at everyone involved in this small, small-minded piece has been provided me here, it’s hard to know which grenade to pick up and lob in it’s general direction. I guess I will just begin at the beginning. First of all, when Rosie O’Donnell describes her shock and puzzlement in the face of being asked whether or not she goes “food shopping,” (!!) she thinks that we, the dumfounded readers are collectively going to say to ourselves, “Gee, what a trooper! What an incredibly stoic and bravely self-sufficient gal! What a real-person!! She not only eats regular people food but even goes to the regular supermarket to buy her groceries and stuff! You know, if you think about it, it’s almost as if she weren’t a multi-million dollar-salary talk-show host who also makes millions more endorsing Kmart and Scope—or maybe it’s Listerine... But anyway, wow!  She’s not jaded and hollywood like some of those other celebrities, who make their housekeeper or assistant do it for them, or even worse, has the store deliver it—not that Rosie, she’s like me!!  Only without the food stamps and double-coupons, of course!”

Actually, what I suspect,—what I pray— is that what’s really going on in the mind of your average, self-respecting and cogent reader is actually more like; “What? She does what? Goes food shopping!? No kidding! Big deal!  So she goes to Ralph’s when she’s hungry and the kids need diapers! That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have someone chauffeuring her to and from the store, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have someone putting those groceries away once she gets home, and pulling them out and throwing them into a pot when she feels like eating some of that food. It never occurred to me to tell people that I actually “do the food shopping” for my family, whenever I want to convince people of my unspoiled, not-that-rich mentality. But I’ll be sure to remember that one, the next time I feel the need to remind all my friends of how I’m a real person. Gee, I never thought to bring that up before, silly me!! Actually, what I really want to know is Rosie, where on earth did you dig up these freaks who are impressed by the impressive feat that is “food shopping” which is one performed daily by your common/garden-variety-American-adult consumer? And who is this alleged “journalist” to conduct such a cloying, smarmy and above all superficial interview? I’ve not seen toadying like this since the Seinfeld interview in Vanity Fair—and that journalist got fired for that piece! I wonder how ”The Los Angeles Times Magazine’s” editors will chastise this “reporter?” (And I use that term very lightly.) Probably with a nice little raise and the key to the corporate washroom.

But, actually, it’s the next paragraph which was really, for me, the most offensive and disgusting display of self-absorption, conceit, greed and of Rosie O’Donnell’s grossly “distorted reality”—to use her own words.  Here, she bemoans the alleged deficit of “real people” in Hollywood, using an example of what is, evidently, in her mind a make-believe person, “the valet who parks your car [who] has a script he’s written.” Now I wonder, is it the ill-fitting polyester suit, the lowly status of the young man’s occupation, or the fact that he has written a script which somehow relegates him to the realm of the “un-real?”  And what the hell does that mean? Is the guy a freakin’ hologram? And really, it should seem, according to her standards of being “real” and ‘down-to-earth,’ that guy, having not only shopped for his groceries his very own self, but also having parked his car when he arrived should be high on her short list of people to admire and applaud for being so un-”Hollywood” and unspoiled. It seems rather obvious that what is really bothering her about that “valet guy” and his barefaced ambition is the fact that she is very much threatened by anyone who aspires to rise above the lowly menial labor-type-job they find themselves in, someone who would also like to be paid millions of dollars to sit on a couch in front of a camera who can chat perfunctorily and flatteringly without seeming too much the sycophant (or the lesbian) to Barbara Streisand, the Taco Bell Chihuahua and even Whoopi Goldber.

(Rosie—You know what I think? I think that perhaps you do see yourself in them, and you worry that they see themselves in you and that they realize that you aren’t all that special.  You fear that they will actually figure out that all you are is merely absurdly, unbelievably lucky—and they might be gamblers themselves. But most of all, Rosie, you hate them for being there, because you know that’s all it will take for them to eclipse you one day—the will and the warm body, and perhaps not even the will. Because you are no great talent, you do not possess a keen insight or rapier wit, you do not even possess a point of view which is particularly unique and which could not easily be reproduced or even replaced. You are not one in a million—you are that million and they are you—and indeed, that is you gift, but I would not be distancing myself from the lowly valet guy with the script, because he only recently got off the bus from some small burb in the Midwest.)

Of course, the irony of the fact that she exposes her tenuous (at best) grasp on reality while accusing some poor peon parking her car to be removed from it might be hilarious if it weren’t so repulsive and so morally offensive. What it really is, however is typical. It’s just so goddamn typical for the current media-flavor-of-the-month to whine pitifully about all of these “fringe-dwellers” who seem hell-bent on insinuating their make-believe, mundane lives onto their “real lives.”  Of course, they rarely acknowledge the fact that they, too, once dwelled there without self-reproach or any real clue as to what was in store for them. Indeed, and now that they have arrived into the realm of their fantasies—they are not troubled by their lapses in memory—too busy they are, basking in their 15 minutes of fame that feels, for them, like an eternity. Kind of the way a goldfish is startled equally by one underwater tone as it is by the next, when those tones are spaced more than three seconds apart.

Okay, I do want to say this—and that is, I agree, it’s my own damn fault for not throwing this worthless little publicity-rag straight in the recycling bin as soon as it fell out from between the TV Guide and the True Value coupon booklet, instead of letting it be put aside on the coffee table, where I might come across it in a moment of boredom and poor judgement, invariably managing to offend my delicate constitution and my low tolerance for crap. But, I have to admit that occasionally, I do appreciate the inclusion of this wafer-thin little insert in my Sunday edition for one reason. And that is that, around mid-week when I have already finished the large Sunday-edition of the crossword found on the back page of the Calendar section, there is bonus Sunday-sized crossword puzzle on the back page of “The Los Angeles Times Magazine,“ which is not as good as the one in the Calendar section, but it will do when one is really jonesing for a “big crossword” the way I am known to do mid-week. So now, what do I do, go to a “Crossword puzzles Annonymous” meeting and rid myself of the temptation to ever open that vile journal again—or suffer through next weeks inevitable journalistic obscenity—let’s see, who might it be, Madonna, Leonardo di Caprio, Natalie Imbruglia—or, horror of horrors, the very bane of my existence, that preacher (presumably for tax reasons)/actor from Touched By An Angel,—Della Reese? Lord Have Mercy!