less charming and more strange than your average blog

October 31, 2003

Eric: The Lost Documents, part VIII 

Grade: 8
Subject: Science
Description: Short story in which we were assigned to include all of that week's vocabulary words. That's just a recipe for disaster, isn't it?

"Michael Jordan was walking down the street one day when suddenly, the properties of physics stopped applying. His volume did not change, but his mass, the amount of matter packed into a certain amount of space, suddenly weighed nothing.

"As he floated around, he exhaled, and that sent him flying straight toward a nearby street pole. Thinking quickly, he grabbed the pole and he swung around, making a turning radius of his height. Then he started flying toward the sky, nearly reaching terminal velocity. As the cubic centimeters of air held less and less oxygen, he looked down and from so far away he could see the meniscus of the ocean.

"With his weight being nothing, his density changing around, and there being so gravity, there was no inertia to stop him from staying at the exact same speed in a straight line forever. He floated into the sun and burned to death horribly. His manager released a statement to the press saying that Michael Jordan had retired, which was technically true."

October 29, 2003


Someone got to this blog by searching for the phrase "strange and interesting breasts." No, that's all I have to say.

October 28, 2003

Eric: The Lost Documents, part VII 

Grade: 11
Subject: German 2
Description: Doodle that characterizes everything I, and everyone else in the class, felt about our bigoted Satanic prostitute teacher, Mrs. Hansen. Note such clever jabs as, "Ich bin eine Whore!"

October 27, 2003

The Lord of the Rings naked 

Something very interesting happened to me last week. It all started when I was linked a second time in Pamie's blog. (By the way, I am such a loser. This is a huge deal to me. I lost my shit and called everyone I know to tell them. Nobody cared.) The first time Pamie linked me, nothing really happened. This time, for whatever reason...well. Let's put it this way. It took me over two years to break the 4,000 mark on my hit counter. And let's be honest, most of those were probably me. I would be all, "Ooh! One person just visited my site! [pause] Wait, that was me, just now. Dammit." Less than 72 hours after Pamie linked me in her blog, I was well past 10,000. People in whose faces I wasn't pointing a shotgun were taking interest in my creative output!

Some very rockin' individuals were even kind enough to send me a few emails expressing their support (or lack thereof, but we won't go there at the moment) for my writing. One of the emails I received was from Cleolinda, the woman who runs this site (and a few others, actually), and after she linked me, she went ahead and invited me to be a contributor!

Here is my first post in Trailer Park, her blog devoted to snarky commentary on the newest movie trailers. I feel like the new guy at work who doesn't know the ropes, and I'm terrified that I'll do something wrong. I'll format something incorrectly, or I'll write a joke that's not funny, and she'll fire me and make sure no other websites hire me. Gah, now I'm scaring myself. But the point is that she's awesome, and so is Pamie, and blah blah blah sunshine lollipops and rainbows.

(People, you know I'm not an egomaniac or a traffic whore, right? It just boggles my mind to think that people are actually reading and enjoying things I wrote. If I am not writing for a living in ten years, I will be a very sad man.)

Sour grapes rule 

Since becoming a single man, I find that the world around me has suddenly become infested with happy couples who are sickeningly in love and prancing around my field of vision like the demonic pink elephants in Dumbo.

I know there hasn't actually been an increase in the number of couples, but you can see how I would be super aware of them right now. They seem to be everywhere I look: on the bus, in my classes, walking down the street, you name it. I'm such a stereotype of The Bitter Dumpee. Every time I see a happy couple on the street, the only thing that prevents me from saying loudly, "YOU KNOW IT'LL NEVER LAST, RIGHT?" is the fact that the very sight of them makes me throw up my mouth, rendering me unable to speak.

A little while ago, I was in the U-District by myself, enjoying a nice pho lunch, when I found I could no longer concentrate on my textbook over the distracting conversation going on two tables down. Actually, I'm using the word "conversation" loosely, because it was just this guy doing all the talking. It looked like he was on a date. He was in the lengthy process of telling a girl his life story, in a voice and manner that strongly suggested that he had been practicing this monologue in his head for years. He had only been waiting for someone who actually cared to listen to it.

Surprisingly, his date was not a troll, but a pretty girl who appeared to be listening intently with an intent half-smile on her face, laughing occasionally and sometimes finishing the guy's sentences, but only after there was like one word left and it was incredibly obvious what that last word was going to be. This happens on first dates a lot. It makes people feel like they have a "connection."

So I sat there rudely spying on them and I thought, Wow, I feel so sorry for her right now. Then I realized, Holy shit, she's not pretending to like him -- she actually finds him interesting!

It was true. She wasn't faking it -- she was listening for real, and giving him That Look. You know what look I'm talking about. She was positively delighted with his heavily rehearsed tales of how he knew ever since he was a child that he was a faster learner than the other kids. She was really into him. Naturally, I was disgusted. I continued to watch them like a National Geographic documentarian hiding in the bushes taking notes on the bizarre mating habits of some wild animal.

Then something interesting happened. For a moment, the thick walls of cynicism I had been building around my heart ever since Luke and I split up weakened, then came down completely. For a moment, I found myself deeply moved by this ordinary, harmlessly pretentious nerd-man whose date I was spying on. For a moment, all I could feel was the sweetness of that possibility for all of us to find that special person who thinks we're the most interesting person around, who will listen to our boring stories and genuinely laugh in all the right places, who will think we're delightful and perfect not in spite of, but because of all the things that make us weird. I felt that, and for a moment I didn't feel quite so lonely and hopeless. Love is possible for all of us, and I won't always feel this alone, I thought.

And then I came to my senses and resumed wanting to bitch slap the guy and drown him in his soup while his little girlfriend watched helplessly.

October 25, 2003

Get thee to a nun-clownery 

Halloween is once again nearly upon us, and I am engaged in my annual internal debate over whether or not to dress up in a costume for whatever I'm doing that night. Yesterday, David and I happened to wander past a party supply store that had oodles of Halloween costumes for sale.

Eric: Look! This store has nun costumes. [suddenly excited] YOU HAVE TO BE A NUN FOR HALLOWEEN.

David: Why do I always have to do these things?

Eric: Because you spent a week making a robot outfit out of moving boxes and duct tape that one year. You're the one who likes to dress up. I'm the one who likes to laugh at you. See how that works out?

David: I'm not going to be a nun for Halloween. [pause] Okay, maybe I'm going to be a nun for Halloween.

Eric: That's what I'm talkin' about.

David: I don't know. Is that drag? Will I be going to high school in drag? Am I going to be persecuted?

Eric: Please. High school teachers always do the drag thing for Halloween.

David: Yeah, and they're not funny. And they're persecuted.

Eric: You're going to be a nun for Halloween.

David: YOU be a nun for Halloween.

Eric: Okay, we can compromise: [long pause] YOU be a nun for Halloween.

David: I'm not talking about this anymore.

Eric: Seriously, dude. Your friends will love it. Nuns are FUNNY. There's a reason Sister Act was a hit at the box-office. People respond to nuns. By laughing. See, I'm laughing right now! Can you imagine how funny a male nun would be?

David: It's not that funny.

Eric: Oh my god! You should be a nun-clown for Halloween.

David: That's the scariest thing I've ever heard!

Eric: But wouldn't it be funny?

David: I don't know, I think the nun and the clown would cancel each other out. The funny would go back to zero.

Eric: OR! Or the funny would be DOUBLED.

David: Can you imagine standing there in a nun costume and clown makeup and NOBODY THINKS IT'S FUNNY?

Eric: That couldn't possibly happen. A nun-clown is the funniest thing that's ever been thought of.

David: Try to imagine how catastrophic it would be. Everyone is looking at you. You're a nun-clown. And nobody thinks it's funny. They don't think it's offensive or anything, they just don't think it's funny.

Eric: I can't. I'm almost bleeding internally giggling over the fact that you're going to be a nun-clown for Halloween.

David: I am not.

Eric: You are.

David: Okay.

October 24, 2003

Eric: The Lost Documents, part VI 

Grade: 7
Subject: Pre-algebra
Description: Random page from my math notes, with teacher's grade and comments. Yes, our notes were graded. Transcript of teacher's comments: "Journal grade 'B' as of 1-25-96. Eric, work on having a journal that is organized and avoid doodling. It lowers your grade because it distracts you and is messy." It's nice to see them squashing creativity so early. I mean, I still got like 100% in his stupid class.

October 22, 2003

I Wanna Put My Cat (In Your Hat) 

Eric: David?

David: Yeah?

Eric: We have to talk.

David: About...?

Eric: The Cat in the Hat trailer.

David: Oh, Jesus. Don't get me started.

Eric: I'm getting you started.

David: My eyes were about gouge themselves out after 60 seconds of that trailer.

Eric: That movie looks almost as ugly as--

David: The Grinch?

Eric: Exactly.

David: People, if you're going to make a Dr. Seuss movie, JUST ANIMATE IT!

Eric: And making a live-action movie in which every other thing is badly computer animated doesn't count.

David: Who's going to pay $9 to see a big creepy furry hanging out with children for an hour and a half?

Eric: Furries are THE WORST. They're so evil and weirdly sexual.

David: I know, and I can't explain why!

Eric: But they are.

David: They totally are.

Eric: The worst part of that trailer is when Mike Meyers picks up the photo of the kids' mom and says something like, "Hubba hubba! Who's this hot babe?" and the kid is like, "That's my mom!" And then Mike Meyers pauses and goes, "Awkward!"

David: That joke is seriously dead on arrival. I guess it's supposed to make the movie appeal to the older crowd or something, like, "Ooh, the Cat in the Hat tells dirty jokes, too! I'll be there opening night catching the adult subtexts that fly over the children's heads."

Eric: The setup of that joke is just lazy. I mean, who does he think the picture is of?

David: "Oh, that's Heidi Klum standing next to my dad. You're right, she's one fine piece of ass!" OF COURSE IT'S THEIR MOM!

Eric: And there are so many fucked up issues with the Cat in the Hat wanting to fuck their mom.

David: Diegetically, there's bestiality.

Eric: Otherwise, there's the fact that Mike Meyers is dressed as a giant cat and getting a boner over these kids' mother.


Eric: Isn't it bad enough for kids to imagine their moms in a sexual context at all, let alone being babysat by a giant animal wanting to put his weird cat dick in her?

David: "CAT DICK"?!

Eric: You're not going to forgive me for that one, are you?

David: Not anytime soon.

Eric: If they're going to try and "update" the Cat in the Hat, they should just go all the way. He should transform their house into the video for "Dirrty". The kids would go into shock, but I think there would some significant repeat business in the 18- to 22-year-old male demographic.

David: Seriously, they're probably going to have some godawful promotional single to along with the movie.

Eric: Will Smith will finally work again. It'll be called, "I Wanna Put My Cat (In Your Hat)."

David: Don't even joke about Will Smith working again. It might actually happen.

Eric: But probably not.

October 19, 2003

Eric: The Lost Documents, part V 

Grade: 8
Subject: Algebra
Description: Old self-corrected math homework, in which I opt not to stick with the traditional stars and X's.

October 17, 2003

Seeing Intolerable Cruelty 

Yet another strange moviegoing story. This one doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out, so I felt it was something to write about.

So when I walked into the auditorium to see Intolerable Cruelty this afternoon, I started to sit in one seat, and then realized that I would be blocking the view of an extremely short woman sitting directly behind me, so I moved several seats over. And then I did a double-take, exactly like in the gum commercials, and saw that it was not an extremely short woman at all, but a little girl. She must have been 11 years old. And she was accompanied by six or seven of her little friends. There was a woman (a grown-up one) seated at the end of the line.

Um, what?

This is a Coen Brothers movie. It's a comedy about lawyers. Parents are stupid and take their kids to movies that are inappropriate for them all the time, but it's usually to movies like Bad Boys II. But this isn't stupid, it's just absurd. I'm not sure what kind of parent thinks their kid is chomping at the bit to see George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones in a feature-length round of verbal sparring. Although I have to say, if they were, they'd have awfully good taste.

So when the dreaded Coke race came onscreen and the kids started hollering about which beverage they believed would "win" the "race," I actually concluded that there in fact must be a God because there's no way this much crap could happen to me if there wasn't one to hate me.

I started to question if I was in the wrong auditorium. I started to hope that they were in the wrong auditorium. I started to hope that the first five minutes of the film would contain an avalanche of gratuitous full-frontal nudity so that the kids' chaperone would haul them out of the theater immediately. (And also because the movie stars George Clooney.)

Fortunately, the kids hushed up as soon as the movie started -- because they were so damn confused. They had no idea what was going on. They tried weakly to laugh along when everyone else in the audience was laughing, but they totally didn't get it. It wasn't their fault. What did this woman think these kids were going to get out Intolerable Cruelty?

I wasn't mad at all. I was insanely curious.

After about 20 minutes, the woman ushered the kids out of the theater. She returned 10 minutes later to enjoy the rest of the film, sans kids.

She must have dropped them off at Runaway Jury.

October 16, 2003

Eric: The Lost Documents, part IV 

Grade: 11
Subject: German 2
Description: Yet another skit from German class. One year later, my developing German skills had opened up whole new worlds of terrible dialogue.

Eric: Hello! How do you keep fit?

Andrew: I swim, I play football, and I job at 3 o'clock four times a week.

Eric: That is fantastic!

Andrew: Let's eat! What would you like to eat? You surely eat toast!

Eric: No! I am allergic to toast. Do you eat cucumbers?

Andrew: No, cucumbers are fattening. ["What?" -- Eric 2003]

Eric: Let's eat then our lunch. What will we eat?

Andrew: There is meat with sauce ["That's the vaguest entree description I ever heard. He's clearly hiding something. Don't do it, Eric 2000!" -- Eric 2003]. Perhaps let's eat also noodles.

Eric: Wonderful! What did you eat for breakfast?

Andrew: I ate breakfast flakes and an egg. And you?

Eric: I ate nothing, but I drank orange juice and coffee.

Andrew: Enjoy your meal!

Eric: Thank you, same to you!

Andrew: Can you please pass the potatoes? ["They have potatoes?" -- Eric 2003]

Eric: I am sorry, the potatoes are gone. ["Oh." -- Eric 2003]

Andrew: It doesn't matter! Can I have some more pepper?

Eric: Yes. Great!

Andrew: OUCH!

Eric: What hurts?

Andrew: I have a headache!

Eric: Would you like a pain killer?

Andrew: Yes! I love pain killers. They are my favorite tablets.

Eric: That is great! How do you feel now? Do you feel better?

Andrew: No, but it doesn't matter.

Eric: Get well soon!

Andrew: How do YOU feel?

Eric: Not so good. I broke my leg. ["Just now?" -- Eric 2003]

Andrew: How did it happen?

Eric: I fell on the ice. What should I do?

Andrew: I can make an appointment.

Eric: No, I don't need a doctor.

Andrew: On the contrary! You have sprained your leg!

Eric: No, I BROKE my leg.

Andrew: Yes, yes. I don't believe you. Let's go to the movies.

Eric: Great!

October 14, 2003

Seeing Kill Bill -- Vol. 1 

This story really ought to be filed under the greater category of "Moviegoing Horror Stories" and thrown in the pile of things to erase from my memory forever, but this particular experience was something special.

So I was bumming around Seattle last Friday with nowhere to go and no car to boot, so I decided to see the new Quentin Tarantino flick while I was waiting for Luke to get off work. It was opening day, so I was expecting the multiplex to be quite a bit crowded, and it was. So I bought a ticket for the show that started in half an hour. When I went upstairs to grab a seat early, I was directed to a lineup. Except there was no lineup, just a sign and a roped-off area. Apprehensively, I shuffled to the front of a new line, which always makes me uncomfortable because it makes me look like one of those freaks who lines up for the new Star Wars movie five years in advance.

And then the nerds started pouring in. The ones that haven't seen the light of day since the last Tarantino movie. The ones that are totally balding, but have beards and long hair. The ones that buy extra-large popcorn and stuff it in their faces while arguing about cult movie trivia. The ones who have never interacted with a human female before, except when they have nerdy girlfriends who look almost exactly like them anyway.

And each and every one of them had to pass me on their way to the back of the line, taking time to look at me and snicker on their way. As if I had been there for days. As if I didn't have a date. Oh, wait. I really didn't have one. But wait a second! You can't judge me. Look at you! And it's 2:30 PM. You probably took the day off work to come here! I just happened to get out of school early. Suck it, Cankles.

The second part of this story involves the guy who was sitting directly next to me, who stuffed his mouth full of chewing tobacco just as the lights went down, and proceeded to spit into a paper cup every 10 or 15 seconds for the next half an hour.

I'll say it again: chewing tobacco. CHEWING TOBACCO!

I was like, we are not in Texas, nor are we seeing Open Range! What are you doing? He was trying to be all discreet and shit, too, like he really thought nobody was noticing. He wasn't exactly spitting, he was sort of squishing it out of his mouth into the cup, then wiping his mouth off with the edge of the cup. It was many things, but "discreet" wasn't one of them. I think they're actually trying to kill me now. They've read my website. Next time I go to the multiplex there will be people riding in on horseback, or describing the entire film out loud for a blind friend, or juggling, or wearing a big sombrero.

The whole thing was so horrifying it was sort of funny. But, of course, I couldn't immediately share my reaction with anyone because I didn't have a date.

And you just know Tobacco Guy was totally judging me, too.

October 12, 2003

Eric: The Lost Documents, part III 

Grade: 9
Subject: Language Arts
Description: Vocabulary exercise sheet which includes one of the most inexplicable drawings I've found among my old things. Who answers the question "Are you new in town?" with "Yes, very"? Somebody who is extremely new in town, I suppose. Also, is their weird outfit in some way related to how new in town they are? What is going on in this picture?

October 10, 2003

Why inspecting a turkey sandwich won't stop movie piracy 

Article by Roger Ebert blasting the new MPAA policy outlawing DVD Oscar screeners for Academy voters, in an idiotic attempt to stop piracy that will also serve to practically eliminate independent films from the Oscar race. Roger Ebert hates himself some Jack Valenti. He puts tirades against him in almost every review he writes. I believe he's trying to start a revolution. It's nice to think that his work might be making some difference in the way people think about movies, but it really is discouraging that American moviegoers are generally so fucking stupid that a real revolution would never catch on. But I root for The Ebert anyway.

My favorite quote in the article is one from filmmaker Norman Jewison, who argues, "Piracy to a small independent film seeking an audience is simply good word of mouth."

October 08, 2003

Ordinary goth 

Eric: Did you hear about Vanessa Carlton?

Luke: What, did she run over someone with her piano?

Eric: Heh.

Luke: Heh heh.

Eric: No, she's going goth!

Luke: What the fuck?

Eric: "I'm singing about suicide, insomnia and paranoia. There's nothing piano recital-y about it. It's goth."


Eric: It gets worse: she's into Wicca!


Eric: "Do you know what Wicca is? I believe in like spells and stuff like that. The Wicca in me has come out."

Luke: There is nobody on the planet less goth than Vanessa fucking Carlton.

Eric: Marlo Thomas is more goth than Vanessa Carlton.

Luke: Oh, I know.

Eric: They're making a documentary about the recording of the album. It's going to be called, Pleased to Meet You: Vanessa Carlton, the New American Goth.

Luke: Okay, you HAVE to be making that part up.

Eric: I'm being completely serious.

Luke: Vanessa Carlton looks like a moose.

Eric: That's true.

October 07, 2003

Linked, and links 

Once more I've been linked, again in someone's blog, and again by a very talented writer. He even wrote me an email and told me that my blog was the funniest one he's visited so far! Rock on, Rudy.

Would you still be my friend if I saw this movie? I think I might sort of want to maybe I'm not sure oh who am I kidding I'm going tonight.

I can't see this trailer enough times. Animation truly is a criminally underrated art form. I went to see The Animation Show last week and nearly laughed myself into an aneurysm, but there were these really pretentious and annoying people sitting behind us who loudly compared notes about each segment after it ended. They were those people who deliberately vocalize their reactions extra loud because they're trying to let everyone around them know that these are the "correct" reactions, and that they are super intelligent for being hip and film-savvy enough to know them. They were those people who scoff at things because they think it makes them superior to scoff at it, not because they are simply idiots.

After one segment that was a bit weird and abstract (but particularly good, in my opinion), the following exchange took place:

Pretentious Asshole #1: [scoffs] Okaaay...

Pretentious Asshole #2: Oh, that one was by Aardman Films [creators of Wallace & Gromit]! [sounds unsure about whether or not this changes their opinion of the segment]

Pretentious Asshole #1: Mmm, too bad!

[pretentious assholes share a loud round of pretentious asshole laughter, all this while the next segment is already starting]

Eric: The Lost Documents, part II 

Grade: 11
Subject: Creative Writing
Description: A "mimic poem," in this case intended to mimic the style of Dr. Seuss. As you may have gleaned, my fear of clowns peaked in junior year. My Creative Writing teacher had no idea what to make of me. I mean, you've already seen a lot of the weird shit I subjected her to (see section entitled "Short Stories").

Do you know about clowns?
They're a terrible thing
And of their atrocities I feel I must sing
They put on their wigs and shiny red noses
And evil comes out of their fake plastic roses
They put on their makeup and crawl into town
["Do they live in the suburbs?" -- Eric 2003]
Hoping to find little kids to hunt down
They've been in your mind and they live in your dreams
They hide in your head and they feast on your screams

October 05, 2003

Eric: The Lost Documents, part I 

Part of preparing to reinhabit my old bedroom at my parents house was the business of getting rid of most of the stuff that was already in it. Most of it was other people's crap that had accumulated in there. There was also a lot of ugly lamps and vases filled with plastic flowers that my mother had apparently felt quite free to cover every flat surface in the room with.

While digging through all my old stuff, I found the mountains of binders in which I had saved every scrap of homework, notes, tests, etc. from 7th-12th grade. They were diligently sorted by year, subject, and date. Why did I do this for six years? Because it didn't make sense to me, after investing so much damn time and effort into it, to simply throw it out. Granted, I still believe that most of that time and effort was wasted, but still. So it all just piled up. Now I suddenly have this incredible collection of time capsules that allow me to look back on myself and my education, which really means that I am now able to fully recognize the stupidity of all the crap we had to do for so long.

Of course, now I've already gone and thrown out 99% of these old papers. I mean, I thought it was pointless and boring when I was actually doing it, so it's not much of a surprise that they're even more pointless and boring several years later. But buried in it all were hidden some truly weird, crazy, and amusing artifacts that allow me to trace the early indicators of this bizarre sense of humor I ended up with. Doodles. Stories. Poems. More doodles. No really, so many doodles. There's some great comedy here, people. Mostly because it wasn't supposed to be at the time.

Grade: 10
Subject: German 1
Description: Dialogue dramatizing a shoe-shopping expedition at the mall. This is the very literal English translation, which we studied in the hopes that it would make it easier to translate in our heads while performing it in front of the class. It didn't work.

Eric: Laura, would you like with me a stroll through the mall make? ["Jesus." -- Eric 2003]

Laura: Yes, that is super! I must new shoes get.

Eric: Nice, I meet you by Nordstrom, by the shoe department.

Laura: Nordstrom has a Birkenstock store?

Eric: Nordstrom shoes are expensive. Find you not?

Laura: Yes, but not so expensive like in the stores at the different mall.

Eric: Good, go we to Nordstrom! Are Birkenstocks comfortable shoes for me?

Laura: And how! I love my shoes. I have 20 pairs bought.

Eric: Which colors need you? There are dark blue, brown, purple, green, beige, and red. Ask we the saleslady, whether you can try on some.

Laura: I must purple and red have! They are wonderful ["I like how our tastes in shoes have been written to be just as stupid as our phrasing." -- Eric 2003]. But the saleslady is ugly. I look for another.

Eric: Which size needs you? Have you big feet or small feet?

Laura: My feet are very big! Small children run from me. I have size 10 to 11. Which size is that of German?

Eric: Size 10 is 41 in Germany ["Is that true, or is that supposed to be a joke?" -- Eric 2003]. Try once a pair on.

Laura: I put the purple pair on! They are too small.

October 03, 2003


Holy crap! I was linked in the blog of a woman whose brilliant writing has inspired me to get creative more times than I can count. And her Queer as Folk U.S. recaps were the only thing that kept me alive when I was working at Unnamed Software Company.

Can you link to a blog in a blog? Or does that disrupt some sort of time-space continuum?

Once, I put the recycling out to the curb in the usual plastic bins they give you, and the next morning, they were gone. I can only assume they were, in fact, recycled. I believe I am still speechless.

Lost in space 

Sometimes I look at the people around me and I wonder if I'm not from around here and I just don't know it. And by "not from here," I mean "not from Earth," because I haven't anywhere on the planet yet where I didn't feel instant dislike or alienation from most of the population. I'm not saying this general dislike applies to everyone, but it does seem to take me an inordinate amount of time to find a single person whose mouth I don't feel like wiring shut within the first five minutes of hearing them speak. Even if it's not to me. Am I the only person who feels this way? Today, it seems like it.

Just because I refuse to stop talking about the brilliance of Lost in Translation 24 hours a day for the rest of my life, I think part of the reason I felt so overwhelmed after the movie is because it didn't just capture how lonely and lost you can feel in a foreign country -- it captured something very close to how I feel all the time. Maybe what I'm mistaking for simple dislike is in fact the feeling that I have nothing in common with 99% of the human race. And it's so silly to say that, because I have so much in common with so many people, but the theoretical connection I believe I ought to have with people like me never seems to follow through. What ends up happening is a periodic series of trial friendships that seem to end as soon as I stop worrying and try to be myself.

Sometimes I think I lack some special instinct for holding part of yourself back from someone in the early stages of knowing someone, being more selective about the parts of yourself you reveal to them, pretending to be a certain kind of person so that they'll like you, until some unspecified point where you can finally stop this silly pretending and they really do like you. Sometimes I think I simply never learned this particular skill, and that's why I'm struggling so hard to make a human connection in this sea of people who are, after all, my peers.

Or maybe my expectations are too high. After all, in some friendships, the pretending never stops. Plenty of people have acquaintances that they talk to all the time, but never traverse into "close friend" territory with. I think, What's the point of having a friend if they're not a close friend? Then I think, So I don't feel the way I do now.

Today alone, I've encountered hundreds of people on campus, and I see members of another species who speak some secret language I understand, but can't comprehend. I think, What's wrong with all of you? Then I think, What's wrong with me?

October 01, 2003

How much do I hate Ben Affleck? So much 

Item on Ben Affleck, fifth blurb from the top. Seriously, I might have never hated any celebrity as much as I hate Ben Affleck. Shampoo commecials so bad, they were banned in America? Has this man ever done anything to be proud of? How is he still a star? Do his parents still love him?

Dear Ben,

Some people cannot act. You are several of them. Please write another movie or something. It's what you won an Oscar for.

Love, Eric.

Also, in what universe is he the Sexiest Man Alive? The man's head is the size of Jupiter. And his "sexy face" consists of puckering his lips and squinting. Is he Derek Zoolander? Is Ben's whole career a Zoolander spinoff? What's really going on here? It must be some elaborate new British reality show. It's called, How Shitty an Actor and Overall Dumbass Can We Get America to Make a Movie Star? Or it might be called, Are Americans Stupid Enough to See an Action Movie Named Reindeer Games? As in, the Other Reindeer Wouldn't Let Rudolph Join in Them?

I have to admit, if I was lucky enough to live in the UK, this is a show I would watch.

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