January 14th, 2003


a funny email from andy barron

I'm stuck late at work again. I have time to kill while they publish the site, so I'm reading through this archive of emails Laura sent me. They're all messages I wrote to her years ago, some containing snippets of emails I'd received from other friends. This one is from Andy Barron, who was teaching English in China at the time.

i almost got married this week. really, almost
hilariously roped into it by social politeness etc
etc. a teacher wanted to "introduce" me to a girl. i
thought, fine, i like girls, and i like meeting them.
but the more we talked about the pending introduction,
the more she kept using terms such as "good match" and
"father-in-law." i began to get nervous. i finally
realized this wasn't going to be an introduction, it
was going to be an _Introduction_, with the parents,
probably toasts, evaluation of the foreigner and
fixing a date for the wedding. at the last minute
though, the father had some misgivings. when they were
relayed to me, instead of dispelling them i took the
opportunity to give a lesson about how things are done
in the land of the Free (the US) and the home of the
Brave (Canada). so the meeting was called off. i felt
like we almost went to defcon 1 though, you know, in
that movie War Games, when both sides are bluffing.
real brinksmanship. only without an evil crazy

so that's the news from china. oh, plus the purge of
the Evil Religion Falungong. But that shouldn't affect
me one way or the other. just everyone else.



I stay late at work (so it begins)

in that netherworld, too late to really do anything social but too early to go to bed. still at work because we were supposed to go live with the simcity site at midnight. been pushed, always pushed. reminds me of qa at sapient, which basically consisted of setting a bushel of monkeys loose in a computer lab and feeding them ephedrine. how many coffee spoons of life have i measured out in this airless cubicle farm?

no right to complain, really. i have a cushy job and a cushy life. e.g. this weekend, got lifted with regularity. az. and i make good partners in crime, sober or otherwise. two towers was a wonderfully old fashioned story. i got caught up in aragorn's noble carriage and the way he spoke. liv tyler was definitely a mistake though. all those soft-focus shots drenched in light, her breathless overwrought lines... it looked like a goddamned douche commercial.

later that night we set up az's computer and listened to heiko laux in the darkness while watching the windows media player light show. i'd always thought that software was stupid and pointless, but that's because i didn't see that it's DESIGNED FOR STONERS! DUH! in the past i've experienced similar epiphanies with regards to "Friday", Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey, and laser pointer key chains.

i was telling triet last night that when i'm stoned, time stretches out. something as simple as a trip to the movies becomes an epic journey. do you think you can live longer this way? how many years could we gain if we never woke up from our dreams?

time becomes subjective, aesthetics too. at the top we shook our asses and i couldn't tell: was the music good? i wondered if my reflexively critical approach to experience interferes with primal response. i don't always interpret things, but if my knees don't buckle then my brain kicks in. the second dj was better.

afterwards we had a drink at noc noc, a cavernous funky bar that reminded me of the odeon. the music was deliciously abtruse. we (az, triet & i) sat at a table facing mirrors. i kept craning my neck to get a glimpse of myself.

this is pointless, as always. i'm going home. i am tired and stressed and ready to fold into my lover's arms. the sign of truly having lost one's shit is when romantic songs start to sound profound instead of corny.

We'll find a house and garden somewhere

Along a country road a piece

A little cottage on the outskirts

Where we can really find release

'Cause nothing's any good without you

Baby you're my centerpiece