Monday, January 31, 2005

It is a Fantastic Night For Piss and Vinegar, My Starry Chiklits!

So, I'm just about to cry right now, which I'll explain at the end of the post. I knew I should have waited until after I wrote this piss and vinegar post before I opened this box.

I was fucking pissed off today. Fucking, fucking pissed off. Fucking internet psychos drive me fucking nuts. I was also harrassed on the train platform last week, after six months of fending off fucking train psychos. I was exhausted, run down, and wasn't holding myself in my butch I'll-fucking-kick-your-ass-you-psycho mode, and he came up past me and dragged his hand against me and said something leering-like, and I yelled a big "fuck you" after him and turned to face him - I fucking wanted to fight all 300 fucking pounds of him - but he kept moving, and honestly, it's better that way, cause I quite like the shape of my face. But he fucking touched me, that fucking fucker!

So I've been pissed off. Pissed off femi-nazi pissed off. And you know, every once in a while, going back to your MA class when you're really fucking pissed off is really fucking good.

I grabbed one of the heavier weighted bags, the one that's 200 lbs and Sifu Kat likes to keep for "the big guys" and I beat the fucking shit out of that bag. We rotated out boxing and kicking rounds with squats on the balance balls, and the squats are getting easier, which is cool.

If all I have to do once in a while, is take some time off and eat properly to have ass-kicking workouts like these, I need to get my shit together and do that more often. I was bouncing off the goddamn walls. I should have stayed for the second class.

Instead, I went home and put the same five Everclear songs on repeat and went jogging. Yea. Ok, it was only a couple miles, but I went jogging. I went jogging not cause I *had* to, cause you know, I'd already fucking exercised, I went because I wanted to, and yes, I nearly fell on my ass like three times and did some fancy sliding routines around the stoplights, but I went, and it was great, and I burned off all the pissed off fucking energy I've been building up.

And it occurred to me that what I've been doing with all that freak-out, angsty energy is turn it into negative, loopy self-hate talk, bitching to myself about what I'm supposed to be doing, what I'm supposed to be eating, what size I'm supposed to be, the way people are supposed to look at me, and I was letting it eat me up. I was so mentally exhausted at the end of the day, after spending dull hours at work with little more to do than beat myself up about what I *wasn't* doing that I was too tired to do more than slump home and get to bed.

Stupid.

And there was one more thing I wouldn't owe up to, a big one, the biggest freak-out of all, and I pressed it back and shrugged it off and pressed it back. And tonight I stepped off the bus and headed to MA class, and thought back - what's been so different about *this* month? Why is it *this* month that I'm so unsettled? What's freaking me out? What's bugging me? Start with the first of January. Hell, start with New Year's Eve!

Oh.

Oh, well, there's that. Shit. Shit. Shit. Owe the fuck up to it. C'mon. Yea, there's that. Goddammit, son of a bitch, I fucking know better, I'm so fucking stupid, goddammit.

Cut that shit out. Get your fucking shit together. What the fuck are you thinking?

I'm an all or nothing person. I'm down for four days, down for the count, and then I get pissed off, and bang through the morning weights, the MA class, and I go jogging.

They're having a big "welcome back" workout session/party tomorrow at the MA school, so I'm going into class tomorrow, too, cause it sounds cool. We've got a bunch of new students, and it's fun to watch them. I suppose I'm not yet one of the amazons or anything, but my arm muscles are looking way cooler.

I was lying in bed last night, thinking too much, as I'm bound to do, and prepping, again, for the dating odyssey. If you want to know why I'm getting pissed off more than usual, and why I'm talking about guys more than usual, it's because I need 6-8 months to prep myself for actually sitting down and going on dates, which I'm planning to do this summer, and let me tell you, that takes all the fucking courage I have, and it means long nights of running through scenerios, of figuring out what's a make or break deal, of viewing me and the poor boy as two warriors sitting down to table and sizing each other up, me inevitably going:

"OK, so, what are you going to cost me, emotionally?"

And him going, "Huh?"

And I was thinking last night, running through another rehearsal, how I'd handle X or Z sort of guy, how I'd handle it if he pushed me a certain way, if he used threats of violence or coercion, "poor me, you selfish bitch," to get what he wanted, and there was that moment, that moment when I opened my eyes and said out loud, "I'm stronger than you. "

"I have been through the shit. I know exactly how far you can push. I know exactly how much I'll push back. I have a one-up on you. I know myself. I know exactly what I'm capable of. I know exactly what I've done, and what I will do. I'm stronger than you."

It was like I was a stand-in for Jennifer Connelly, staring down David Bowie, going, "You have no power over me," and everything broke apart.

And it was the first time I realized I could do it. I could sit at the table. I could pull up a chair. I could be me.

I am incredibly strong. I have done incredible things. I am fucking amazing.

When I got home, I found a package waiting in front of my door, which I did not open until after my run, because I had a feeling it would take away some of my piss and vinegar.

Jeff Vandermeer, cool writer extraordinare (I've gushed oodles of times about his Dradin, In Love here), wrote to me when I said I was taking time off, and said he was sending over a galley copy of his new book, Shriek, and some "goodies."

You know, the galley copy would have been enough to leave me hopping around my apartment. I can't even list everything else he sent me, but it includes a copy of Secret Life, which I was supposed to fucking buy three months ago, and his non-fiction collection, and a friendly plastic squid (long story), and.. and... it's just fucking amazing. It's the best present I've ever gotten, and he signed all of the books he sent that are his, and they are fucking beautiful, and I want to wander around the apartment just carrying them, it's so damned wonderful.

And you know, it's so funny, with these blogs, with public writing, with just bitching into space, because most of the time, you just feel like you're talking to yourself, and it doesn't mean a damn thing to anybody, and nobody but you could give a shit, and then the good people - not the fucking psychos, but the good people, and there are a lot of you - e-mail you and think about you, and you worry about them, and you think for just this one starry, pretty moment, "Wow, not everybody in the world is a fucktard."

And, of course, you get up in the morning and start over again, but you know, right then, right now, it's like people and life are the best things... well, the best things in the whole world. Seeings as they, you know, make it what it is.

I just love everybody tonight.

Well, maybe not the psychos. But the rest of you all are damn fucking cool.

12 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Geez that's some fine fun stuff. Not the troubles with a-holes mind you (they out number the insects in most regions), but the way it was put down.

So let's get some suggestions for approaches to the odyssey. Think of structured improvisation. Think of a one act play, where you can expect about 5-8 min of dialog/response/questions.Don't worry about defense, you've got that one wrapped up.

Think of plans for attack. Yes,seriously. Ask more questions than make statements.Yes, this IS an interrogratory. (Practice makes perfect, right?)

Size 'em up. The big hulking momma's boy? Make a joke of living in his mom's basement. Ask him when he's got plans for escaping. If he smiles and laughs along while telling you of his dreams for a dry cleaning empire (hey, it's a dream, right?), he's got to first base. Angry and belligerent gets him summarily dismissed after the first round. You decide on the length of the rounds. Evasive answers are marked down. Amusing or humorous answers are awarded points. Lit references that you can share are a plus, but may not be common.

Temperament also counts for something. For round 2, go missing sometime. See what happens if you're late for a date, or don't return a phone call right away. Do they go ape and all possessive like? Never call back? Never show any genuine concern? They fail to enter round 2. This is not 'playing hard to get', this is a series of tests, (yes tests), for the aspirant. They can pass or they can fail, but you decide if they can continue in the game in some capacity.

This is improv. It's Jazz. If the guy has a capacity to play up to the level that's acceptable for the road, take him on for a try. It's not logical. It's not a static defense. It's performance art. You'll know it when you see it. (I know that sounds really silly). If you are sitting across from this modern sculpture and it's fun, lively, and makes sense to you, that's a good start. Friendly approaches are probably best. If there is a hint of violence or threat where there need not be, or one that is not desired, the game is over. Anything beyond that is stalking.

But think of it as committing art. It's T. Monk and John Coltrane trading riffs. The level of art is as high as you can manage it. If they miss a step, it's straight down the 'Harlem Airshaft'.It can and may well be strenuous, time consuming and require some chops, but it also can also be a bit of fun whenyou're in the right mindset. These are some of creations'funniest creatures, they can and should be quite amusing.

[Feel free to remove this post if you think it's just too silly to survive]. Good Luck! 

Posted by VJ

Anonymous said...

Jeezus, I love it when I have revelations like that.

I might take a kickboxing class thanks to you. I need the relief. 

Posted by Lauren

Anonymous said...

Yes, boxing might be the best way to get all the negative nergy out in a healthy way...that or swimming, I prefer boxing though...

Just wanted to write a note, I'm not one of the psychoes, I just find you'r writings fascinating, and I recognize alot frommmy own choice of career...but you do need a better picture of female firefighters...;) 

Posted by Anna

Anonymous said...

I really hope all women don't go into dates having drawn up the evening according to a military plan of action. Though that would explain the girl who plied me with mustard gas once...

My recent adventures in dating (which have, admittedly, been more comparable to The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, rather than the infinitely more exciting Old Indiana Jones films) have suggested that the outcome of a date is heavily predicated on your expectations.

If you expect a fight (emotional or otherwise), you'll probably get one. Expect tortured conversation, lack of chemistry or a grossly opposing worldview, you'll probably get that too. If you find yourself rehearsing how things will go in your imagination, don't succumb to habit, visualise what you want to happen, not what you fear will happen.

My advice (which, I realise doesn't count for a lot, but at least it's here to be ignored) is to look on it as an opportunity to find some new friends. A worthwhile friend will make an evening fun, whether you fancy them or not and even a fucktard can provide a passable evening when you know you don't ever have to see them again afterwards. 

Posted by Vincent

Anonymous said...

Yea, I'm well aware that preparing for a date like I'd prepare for a fight is not an entirely healthy worldview, and I'm working on that - I was just incredibly excited to get to the point where I could, in fact, envision sitting down with somebody and being myself, and not freaking out.

Learning how to move from "combat mode" to "hey, let's be buddies and have fun mode" is on the agenda.

Note that I said I needed about 6 months of prep, to get myself to a reasonable place.

Small steps. One step at a time. I'm getting there.  

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

That's the visualisation thing, if you can see yourself sitting down and not freaking out, you're practising what's going to happen (you probably already do it with the boxing - mentally rehearsing a good punch over and over trains your instincts as well as hitting a punchbag. Imagining an action utilises and trains all the motor centres of the brain, but the end result just goes to the frontal lobe rather than down the brain stem to the body).

Though there is a danger to this visualisation lark. I have seen myself winning a TV-run novel writing competition over here roughly twelve times a day since they said the winners would be announced this week. When they read out the results and I don't win, I'll suddenly be full of righteous indignation: "how can I possibly have lost?! I've won this competition hundreds of times (in my head)!"

You may well hear the strangled cries cursing the moronic choice of the judges over your side of the Atlantic.

Still, I'll take the pleasure of a week dreaming I could have won over a depressing week spent bemoaning the fact that I almost certainly won't. 

Posted by Vincent

Anonymous said...

Not to be flip, because the emotional weight of this post is pretty heavy, but this sort of encouraging positiveness without a hint of prentension, is one of the reasons I love reading your blog so much:

"Wow, not everybody in the world is a fucktard."

Or, tied for first place today:

"It was like I was a stand-in for Jennifer Connelly, staring down David Bowie, going, "You have no power over me," and everything broke apart." 

Posted by jp jeffrey

Anonymous said...

::"It was like I was a stand-in for Jennifer Connelly, staring down David Bowie, going, "You have no power over me," and everything broke apart."::

I like this one because it's also an "in" reference, sort of just thrown out there, assumption of audience. You either know what I'm talking about, or you're trying to figure out why the hell Jennifer Connelly was on tour with David Bowie...

It pleases me. 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

Yeah, no one gets my references either, but they are bound to be very old. I think much of what Vincent and others have said above is useful. I was not thinking of advancing the metaphor of combat, it's already there as far as the defensive stance remains, but one of a verbal challenge of sorts. This need not happen immediately, again friendly approaches are best. And yes, if you want to dispose of a candidate inside of few minutes there are plenty of quick, clean and efficient ways of doing it.

They can either play up to the level of the game or not. The question is how close they can come. After all, T. Monk did not tour much.  

Posted by VJ

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