Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why is Everything Voice Animated Now?!

Seriously, you can't talk to anyone anymore. I feel like I'm living in a really bad sci-fi movie starring Heather Graham and Matt LeBlanc about voice animated robots taking over the world. Why is everything voice animated?! I can't stand it. Pretty soon 9-1-1 is going to sound like this:

Hello, you've reached the 911 automated fire emergency directory. Please choose from the following options. If you need an option repeated, press star. Press 911 at anytime to return to the regular menu.
-If you are currently burning alive and need medical attention, press 1.
-If you think there's a chance your house can still be saved from the scorching flames, press 2.

-If you started this fire from a lit cigarette you tossed on the carpet, hit your head against a cement wall 5-6 times, and press 3.
-If the fire is out of control and you think your local television news could catch some great footage, press 4.
-If you could run into your house right now and save three things, what would they be? Write a 2-3 page essay and send it to 911 for a writing competition. For more information, press 6.
If you are not satisfied with these options, call your local fire department so they can assist you. Have a great day and thank you for calling 911.

Pretty soon we're all going to have automated voice messages on our cell phones. Mine will go something like this.

Hi, you've reached Kaz's automated answering directory. Please choose from the following options:
-To pay Kaz a compliment, press 1.
-To invite Kaz out for drinks, your treat, press 2.
-To invite Kaz to a movie or out to eat, your treat, press 3.
-To remind Kaz of what an incredibly amazing person she is and how much she’s impacted your life, press 4.
-If this is Dane Cook, asking me out on a date, press 5.

Something like that…anyway, write your own voice automated directory message sometime. You may laugh at me now, but it's coming.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Long December Night

We got in a fight last night and it was terrible. Why do we get in fights about the stupidest things? Last time it was over a chocolate chip cookie. This time it was over a Christmas tree.

I took Graham downtown and walked around, looking at holiday displays in the store windows. I thought it would sooth my mind, but I didn’t see anything. I saw anger and hurt and frustration slamming me in the face. The warm rain only invigorated me, instead of cooling me down. It made me feel like steam, like exhaust, like the sidewalks around me were melting.

I came home and walked upstairs and sat on the bed. I closed my eyes and pictured plate tectonics. I saw converging plates, fault lines, fissures and cracks, sheets of rock. Maybe it’s how I felt inside. Jarred, cracked, a little sharp.

I walked downstairs and noticed how dirty the carpeting is. How does it get so dirty? We take our shoes off before we come in the house. Why are there black clumps of dirt everywhere? Then I remembered I have a dog.

I sat on the couch downstairs and looked at the red wall in front of me. I blinked at the mantel, covered in garland and white lights and the three stockings that hang over the fireplace. I closed my eyes and pictured home. I pictured my parent’s house, which I won’t see this holiday. I won’t be there to see the tree, usually fat at the bottom and bare in spots and always perfectly layered in large, colorful lights with presents packed underneath. I won’t be there to drink a glass (or two or three) of Baley’s in the living room with my Mom. I won’t eat cookies until I want to vomit and wake up with a sugar hangover. I won’t be there to sit in front of the fire at night and watch Home Alone, or The Christmas Story, or Christmas Vacation, or Rear Window, or To Catch a Thief or all of the above. I won’t see the snow and how it frosts the branches of the trees and hangs like confetti over lights outside. I won’t take walks at night to look at Christmas decorations and breathe the icy, cold air of winter.

I opened my eyes and I thought about Los Angeles, which is soon calling me, and the rain, which I love and the ocean so close I can almost see it from my window. And I felt really empty. The cracks and fissures inside me grew larger. And something sad poured in. And it’s strange because sometimes when I’m the saddest I feel the most alive. Maybe it’s because I know these moments have to happen, because the bad times wake you up to appreciate the good ones. I guess.