Like Sisyphus, without the balls...

"I have made mistakes in my life -- admitting that might be the biggest."
-- William Lind Kurdt.

I could really use a friendly voice, a friendly face, or a friendly e-mail today. I just spent the last several hours in bed, staring at the ceiling or attempting to paperback my way into dreamland, neither of which worked all that well. Losing sleep really becomes a negotiation after a while, and I struggle now knowing that though the clock says "8:23" as I start this entry, if I could find it in me to pass out when I'm done, even if I only managed to sleep until noon, I'd get four hours and be able to function pretty well. But instead, I'm just tired, and not "sleepy" [a word that strikes me as juvenile this morning], so, as usual, I bring my grievances here. Fair warning to my regulars -- there's bitching ahead. And a wealth of self-pity.

Yesterday [still today for me] was worthless, or I'm saying it was as I can't recall doing anything productive and there's no ink stains dried to the pinky side of my hand. Full disclosure -- I slept through the majority of the daylight hours. It was pleasant when I went out to get the mail, which only sort of pissed me off since ever single person from WV I've ever met regards snow and cold as the devil's magic, and use any warm day to go sleeveless and frolic around happily, making sure to ostracize anyone who doesn't appreciate springtime in February as much as they do. Well, I still have one hell of trench coat fetish, and miss winters in Vermont and New York and even Connecticut [who choose to do New England weather like we do in the south] like I miss dead relatives, so excuse me for not being ecstatic at the prospect of everything getting sunny again. And the birds... damn chirping birds, starting up again as they did in the summer at 5 a.m. on the dot. And I wonder why I can't sleep.

I take consolation in knowing at least the Lord is on my side, and ended all this unseasonably warm February weather with a torrents of rain and 50-mile per hour winds. If only he'd drop the temperature another forty or fifty degrees and turn it all into a LOTR-style ice storm so I didn't have to put up with neighborhood methheads and roving bands of teenagers as I walked to the store, then I could go out and enjoy the weather we're supposed to be having.

All told, I don't even know why I'm in such a sour mood. Certainly, the lack of sleep is part of it, but I've been this long before, and know I'm no where near the bad stuff that this insomnia, or "insomnia-lite" can bring. Plus I'm not exactly Mr. Cheerful, anyway. Things were actually going pretty well. This previous day, or previous previous day [Re: Tuesday], all went to plan I managed to use my wrapped change to snag a new pair of shoes [a pair of Comancho-style Vans that weren't nearly as cool-looking as my Airwalks, but are suede and black, and not something to be picky about] and even had enough extra to snag a few new pairs of boxer shorts, which, thanks to my active lifestyle [hate that "word"], makes it look like I'm trying to amass the world's biggest collection of male underwear. It is rare for me to go shopping, and actually find everything I want in that trip, and I remember feeling almost high on the way home that things had worked out so well.

Better, in fact. While out I hit a couple of bookstores, hoping to snag a copy of "Welcome to the N.H.K." a manga that is supposed to have a Japanese shut-in as one of the principle characters, and considering my plans for "Assisted Living," as I thought it might be helpful to see if someone had beat me to the punch on my hikikomori story. No luck there, but paperbacks are still dirt cheap, and I picked up a copy of Chris Jericho's biography, and Jane Austen's "Persuasion." Post-Bennington, I decided my embargo on all things Austen was stupid, because I was a literature student, dammit, and I needed to catch up on these things if I had any hope of being a real intellectual. Having read "Emma" [Re: Clueless], I had to admit to being charmed by the endearing characters and the social settings which made them all work so hard to move as little as possible [that's right, I'm likening another classic to something I'm trying to do], and "Sense and Sensibility" was next on my list -- but after watching a gaudy and addictive version on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre a couple of weeks ago I decided I'd get bored too easily going over things again, and opted for "Persuasion" which claims to be "darker" in some way than the rest of her work. Since a lot of people lately have pointed out I'm quite the dark, serious guy, it sounded more up my alley.

Jericho's book only took me a day. No-brainer who's next at bat.

I also ran into Kate and Lana, two of my old co-workers at "Books-a-million" [actually, they were my co-workers at Borders, but at some point everyone who didn't quit to go work on being a full-time writer and a sap on their grandmother's living expenses joined in a mass exodus to work at the other book store in town]. It was nice to see both of them again, and I think they also enjoyed the change of seeing me in a mood that wasn't foul or anxious. Lana actually left Borders before I did, to go off to school to become a person trainer [she's been having some trouble finding work here], but unless we start hanging out on weekends together, I think what I'll always remember was that on the day she left the store she came to work dressed like the hottest version of Billy Joel I've ever seen. She was always exceptionally chill to be around, and managed to keep it together despite the constant rain of shit that was her family life, a song and dance I was only starting to know myself [and even now, not in the same way], and I have a lot of respect for her, for a lot of reasons that probably shouldn't pontificated on here.

Kate I actually knew a little better, mostly because how bold the girl is. On our second or third day at the store together, she was verbally trying to pry me out of my shell [not shyness then, just a damn good way to hide the panic attacks that stupid store put me through], and when I actually took the bait, she playfully started to throw rapid-fire phantom punches into my [too] soft stomach. This was shocking to me because, generally, people don't break my personal space bubble out of what I can only assume is fear -- I don't exactly welcome physical contact from strangers, and some of my closest friends have actually asked before hugging me goodbye, and in totally legitimate hugging situations no less. By the fifth or sixth punch, the girl had pretty much melted me, and now I smile every time I see her. And you can ask around -- I smile less than I hug.

Naturally, while there, I told them about the comic [Re: Calamity Cash and the Town with No Name], and the movie [Re: Trendsetter], and Kate mentioned that her brother was in to acting, so I promised to let her know when Kyle and I decided to hold auditions. We traded cell phone numbers, which officially makes them the closest friends I have made during that "Randall Does Retail" outing, and if stars align right maybe I'll get to hang out with them again in a setting that doesn't smell like paper cuts and despair.

Since I've brought up my creative projects, I suppose I should come clean and admit no more work has gone into either on my end since last posting. The one-to-two line rewrite on "Calamity Cash" is still in the back of my mind though, and I'm hoping to knock that out soon, just so I don't have to keep admitting I haven't done it yet. The re-writes for "The Trendsetter" are also kind of stagnant -- I spent a few hours scribbling out possible shenanigans for Eddie and Brandon, coming up with the golden Eddie line of -- "I believe the punishment should fit the crime. It's why I really want to have sex with the chick who cut me in line at the Haunted Mansion when I was 15." -- though when I was finished, I found most of what I had done unusable, since none of it got me any closer to the extra scenes I need with our leading ladies, Tess and Faye.

And I really need to read the damn script again, and give myself notes on it, but thanks to the current printer ink famine, I haven't been able to make myself a hard copy to carry around/mark on/curse at, and I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't part of the reason I haven't gotten much done [doubtful]. And even though I know I shouldn't be relying so much on feedback, I am really hoping for some more to trickle in, or just someone really excited about the script who wants to engage me/talk about it to come along. Kyle does a great job, but he's also really busy, and I already talk to myself too much for any more to be healthy so... I don't know. This is one of those things that is totally my responsibility, and totally in my means to do on my own, but it's just such a pain in the ass to bring myself to it one-on-one, especially as my mood dips around so much.

Then there's this weekend, and it's goddamn "holiday."

Pressure I'm putting on myself also is no good either. My nerves are fried, and I've yet to type up a single scene -- effectively cutting out the productive part of writing all together for the highs and the lows. Punk rock, baby.

Other things. It looks like a Myspace site will soon be in the works for "Trendsetter," and crazier still, it looks like I might wind up the guy who sets it up. While of this may seem a little premature without having the script finished yet, when Kyle and I start begging for money in the coming months, it can only help us to make the film look as legit as humanly possible, and a nice network of internet promotion isn't a bad way to make us look like we know what we're doing. I have been anti-Myspace for most of my online life, preferring Facebook's "you deal with the bullshit you want to deal with" policy much better to the exhorbent loadtimes and garbage coding so prevelant on "the" social networking site. But knowing I'm going to have to deal with the whole process eventually anyway, I've been considering setting up a Myspace for the Mojo Wire, and further self-promotion of... well, myself and "Trendsetter" goodies.

So far, I've thought of plenty of reasons not to do it -- the "exhorbent load times" and "garbage coding" I mentioned above being two strikes, and just general hate for anything that damn trendy. Another big problem, much bigger than my own rallying cry against hipster bullshit, is that my kid brother has one. Which wouldn't be a problem at all, would actually be a check in the "keep up with the members of the family you like" column of why it wouldn't hurt for me to make the damn page, except [and this is the shocker even to me] my mother has a Myspace page too. An already strained relationship will only become more strained if, on the off white chance she shows interest in what her eldest son is doing for a change, she comes here and sees the [limited] airings of my frustrations over the internet. And while I feel completely justified and honest in everything I've said here, I also feel completely justified in saying that the relationship is enough of a mess already and I don't need that kind of fucking heat on me.

I suppose the alternative would be to just not accept her friend request. I wonder if anyone's ever been disowned over that?

For now, I just have a test page I'm playing with, and likely it'll never see the light of day. Nevertheless, I do seem to have an ever-amassing group of friends who stand in the "Myspace" camp instead of the Facebook one, and being able to contact them a little more easily could maybe improve my social life a little. Or at the very least get the Wire some more attention.

It's kind of lame that I'm starting to care about that.

John suggested I do a post about "Death Note," which I recently watched in its entirety on I wasn't planning on writing it, but that was before I almost walked out of Hot Topic with a Near t-shirt charged to my every shrinking checking balance, so I guess I have to admit I'm a fan now. I'm going to give it a shot in the next couple of days, though don't be surprised if it never appears here -- I'm very particular about reviews I do. As for that t-shirt, well... I only wish I had a Valentine's Day present coming from someone this year. That would be a great one.

Or printer ink.

Ending my bitching on a lighter note I think.

That is my friend Ally at the NY Con with Terry Moore, creator/writer/artist of "Strangers in Paradise," and one of the biggest reasons I do what I do, the way I do it. Growing up, all the comics my friends and I read were superhero comics, as you really couldn't find anything else. I discovered "Strangers" [along with Neil Gaiman's "Death, the High Cost of Living" and Alex Robinson's "Box Office Poison"], and was mesmerized that not only could comics not have guys in spandex punching each other, but that sometimes they were a lot more entertaining that way. From there on, I just knew that those were the kinds of comics I wanted to read more of, and eventually, that turned into to those being the kinds I wanted to write.

And if it wasn't enough just having one friend of mine meet him, Lex was also at the Con on Sunday and talked to Moore about me too. While I'm sure the gravity of the situation didn't sink in for him [honestly, even if I told him what I just wrote in the paragraph before, I'd probably just get a "that's great, kid,"], I'm stoked because now I have two different two degrees of separation between me and one of my heroes. Short of meeting him myself, that's pretty damn cool. And a big "thank you" to both of my girls for knowing this would be something I'd totally mark out for, and a sorry to Ally for stealing her picture.

I expect the typos in this are numerous. I couldn't bring myself to proof it.


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