2004-09-22 - 4:50 p.m.

Ok. I didn't work on a story last night. That's like a bazillion nights in a row without working on a story and I feel like I'm going into some kind of withdrawal. I did one of these "creativity" exercises and I got some interesting stuff out of it but it just isn't the same as actually stringing words together in an attempt to create (to paraphrase John Gardner) a waking dream. So tonight I will write something narrative even if it is total crap just so I can get that giddy thrill upon which, as of late, I've become disturbingly reliant.

I have a pretty simple philosophy: go with your strengths. I think it's a waste of time to get hung up on one's weaknesses and that you're probably better off trying to perfect your good qualities than trying to make up for inadequacies. For example, I'm really good at lying around like a slob but I've never been very good at "doing things". A lot of people would say that I should get a job that requires movement or something active because I might get unbalanced or something. Well, I say "screw that". That's why I got a job as a computer programmer because I'd rather sit on my lazy ass and pretend to be productive because that is a skill for which I have a natural talent.

I'm really quite good at not "doing things" but I seem to live in a world where "doing things" is heavily emphasized. Oy. For example, when you go to some personals site you look at the ads women leave and almost always you'll see a list of things they like to do. So, I figure I'm really good at being a misunderstood loner, so I'm just going to see how this whole thing plays out. Perhaps one day, if I apply myself, I can be one of those guys on the bus that no one will sit next to even if both their legs are broken and they have a huge backpack full of lead strapped to their back.

Yeah, this is one of those happy mood days.

Anyway, since I'm in a bitter mood, I guess I'll do some needless complaining. Cell phones are pissing me off today. I was walking back from lunch and there was this old man walking near me talking into his cell phone trying to explain why he was late for some appointment. Hey, that's what cell phones are for, right? Letting people know you're going to be late or something. Well, this guy gives a point-by-point description of his entire commute. How each individual road was, how long this bit took or how much traffic there was on that interstate. I'm not exaggerating. He really did describe his entire convoluted commute. Why couldn't he just say "traffic was awful, I'll be there in five minutes"?

That isn't the worst of it. That only shows that this particular person is either (a) a moron or (b) talking to some moron who gets a woody when you describe your commute in exacting detail to him. That I could let slide because it is so unusual to find someone who finds sexual fulfillment in descriptions of traffic conditions.

But there are these people who have long, boring and trivial conversations while walking along which mimic the long, boring trivial conversations they should be having in the privacy of their own homes. They talk about what they are wearing to the bar tonight or who in the office thinks they are a vacuous air head (wherever could that idea have come from???) or what the little ones have been spitting up lately.

Wake up! Having lengthy cell phone conversations in public has been statistically proven to indicate that your an ass hat! If you're in a public place here are some typical, acceptable cell phone conversations:

The following are not acceptable

Anyway, cell phone conversations are annoying. I hear that they even piss off people who have lives, although obviously I don't hear this directly as I do my best to avoid all human contact. I think I saw it written on a piece of paper I picked out of the trash while looking for discarded soda cans to supplement my income. Well, I don't actually do it for the money, I just sometimes get bored. That, and I have an unhealthy love of other people's refuse and garbage.

The truth is, that I am totally paranoid about dirt and germs. "Wait! Crate, are you telling me that you are one of those nut jobs who sees germs everywhere?" Yeah, I know. I'm a total nut job. Big surprise.

Anyway, on top of being a total nut job I feel like a big old hypocrite as my cell phone went off during a meeting this afternoon.

On a lighter note, my brother is fleeing the state this weekend, so I will have absolutely no one to spend Christmas with. I'm both ecstatic about this and filled with dread. On the one hand, there is nothing so pathetic as spending Christmas by oneself. On the other hand, there is nothing better than having a day off where no one is going to bug me. You see my dilemma, right? Anyway, I suppose it's too early to worry about Christmas, isn't it? The big thing to worry about is Halloween.

Already got my costume. I haven't tried it on, but I got it from a pretty cool mail order costume shop. I'm going to be a zombie! Woo hoo! I love me some zombies! I don't know exactly why I have such an infatuation with zombies. Perhaps it is because zombies are one of the few monsters that really scare me thanks to some great films made about zombies. It'll be a hoot.

I've been obsessed with Halloween for ages. It is one of those holidays which I always build up into something wonderful in my head and it always materializes as something pitiful at best. But this year will be different. This year I will go to a Halloween party or at least see some scary movie at a theater or probably just watch a scary DVD. Whatever.

The point is, that my brother is leaving which sucks. I'm going to see him Thursday night, which happens to be tomorrow, which sucks because I hate going out on weeknights and it'll mean another night where I'll probably only write a handful of sentences which means I will feel like the world is coming to an end. I thought about applying some of the principles my shrink is teaching me to make me feel less awful on nights when I don't write, but frankly, I don't want to. I think I should punish myself if I don't write because I'm some kind of screwed up masochist.

Oddly enough, my brother used to be the writer in the family but he gave it up to get into computers. Well, I'm sick of computers and am now getting into writing. Weird, huh? Plus, I figure if I ever get successful as a writer I'll be able to shove my success in his face and make him feel like the little insignificant loser which was always how he made me feel when I was growing up. Yeah, good times. No dysfunctional family here!

I mentioned recently that I really like my parents and that they are a lot of fun to be with. It wasn't always so. It took thousands of dollars worth of drugs and therapy to bring about the situation where I could actually spend time with them without wanting to kill myself or them or the puppies of random snot nosed kids. So, if you hate your family, just know that there is hope - albeit, a very slim hope.

Argh... I need to call Heather tonight. I've put it off long enough. I really don't want to call her. I think I made a big enough ass of myself yesterday. Ugh. Plus I'll be pressed for time as I'm getting groceries delivered tonight because actually going to the store would be just a little too much like a social interaction for a nutter like me. I might see some girl and think maybe if I wasn't such a punk I would have a chance with a girl like that and then sulk all night and decide that all women were bitches or something like that. Well, not all women are bitches! They just act like bitches when they are around me! I have it on good authority that they treat other people like members of the human race.

Maybe it's my breath... I should probably brush my teeth once in a while.


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