Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM
I feel like a dweeb writing this, but I was intrigued by your post. I guess I’m here to submit my candidacy? I am an excellent online dater; I really love the art of correspondence - so much so, that I have decided to write and send a hand-written letter to a friend every day this month. But the business of shopping for dudes on the internet is getting hard. I live in Salt Lake City and the people here are terrible, my friends excluded, of course. I would love to have someone to talk to without that skepticism that comes from knowing I will eventually and inevitably find out they are not that person in real life, and then have to mourn the loss of someone I liked very much, who apparently doesn’t exist. That’s the worst part of the reveal.
I’d be happy to talk about your brie-log exploits, though don’t expect any guidance…I’m a recently confused vegan who is still figuring out my relationship with cheese. In exchange, I would want your reassurance that I don’t watch too much TV on the internet (I do watch too much TV on the internet), a general availability for gchats while I’m trying to avoid working, and a steady stream of interesting things and honest shit to talk about. I also do a radio show (at a terribly inconvenient time - 1-3 am on Sunday mornings) and if you listened every once in a while, that would be cool too.
Are you more scared or more excited about this project ?
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM
I’m a bit of both, to be honest. I would love to hear your radio show.
I slept with someone from SLC. She seemed to like it there, which might be why we weren’t compatible.
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:07 PM
You weren’t kidding about being responsive.
It’s not that I hate Salt Lake City, actually. Sometimes I completely love it, but I don’t want to get stuck. Mostly, it’s the people. The Mormon thing, yes. But even the non-Mormons have adopted this conservative culture that’s a bit suffocating. Especially when it comes to young marriage that makes me feel stunted, when pretty much everywhere else in the country/world it’s the coupled 22 year olds that are suspicious. Or maybe I’m particularly sensitive to it right now.
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM
I experienced the same phenomenon in my home town, which is a small-ish city of 80,000 2 hours south of San Francisco. Young people marrying without experiencing the world. Tract homes. A sad, 80s-era mall that’s been practically abandoned. Lots of pick-up trucks. It made me want to escape so much. I did a lot of reading and imagining as a child.
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM
Did that make you want to become a writer or is that something you figured out later?
I had always planned on getting away and never looking back. And I suppose things are a bit different because I don’t live in my hometown anymore, something pulled me home to Utah. Unfinished business maybe? Maybe I had to learn to understand this place before I could really leave it, figure out something about the core of Salt Lake City before I could see where/where I need to be next. Does that make sense?
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:17 PM
My first desire was to be a comedian (which I also am), then a film director, then prose became part of it. My dream is to have a career similar to Woody Allen’s, essentially.
That makes sense. Oddly enough, I moved away from home to go to college in San Francisco, then moved to LA for work, was miserable and went home again. I think I needed exactly what you are referencing. Some perspective, some closure. I have been back in LA for 4 years now and haven’t looked back since.
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM
Do you think you can be Woody Allen not living in New York? I’m a fan, though I admit, the nebbishy neurotic comedy makes me uncomfortable sometimes. Maybe growing up as one of the only Jewish people where I live, I was already kind of sensitive to stereotyping.
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM
It was worse for me, because I’m Jewish AND biracial. That was super awkward.
I kinda want to move to NYC, but I also really like LA.
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM
It sounds like it might have been a bit more uncomfortable than awkward… So, how Jewish are you?
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM
On my mom’s side. Reform. Had a Bar Mitzvah. Went to Israel. Go home every year for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Try my best to observe Passover, but usually fail miserably. Mother constantly guilt-trips me into going to temple.
Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 3:53 PM
What gives you goosebumps?
Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Sorry for taking so long to respond. It really depends…
A thought-provoking film, a first kiss, a realization of our shared mortality. I guess I’m a very emotional person, generally.
Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I remember a quote from the movie History Boys that went something like ‘the power of literature is that whenever you feel alone or different, you can look down on a page and see that someone, somewhere, at sometime has had that same thought or feeling, it’s like a hand reaching out to you.’ That really stuck with me, because those moments of resonance are what gives me goosebumps. Mostly really sweeping, orchestral, devastatingly sad music lately, especially Dolly Parton’s cover of Stairway to Heaven and this Portland band called Typhoon.
Do you have any questions for me?
Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM
So many. How old are you? What are your goals for your life? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? What’s your favorite movie? Favorite album? Favorite book? How often do you cry? What happens to us when we die? Do you like marshmallows?
Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM
I’m 24, but I’ve always acted older than I am. I think it comes from not having patience for my little sisters and always desperately craving the approval of authority figures. That’s something I still struggle with. I want to find work that makes me happy and that lets me use both my mind and my body. I want to learn tangible skills that make me feel like I can handle my way in the world and add something to it - I want to know how to fix a car, and grow a garden, and speak another language (or several), and play an instrument, and be passable at a sport. I want to find love that is supportive and enriching but not codependent. I think I want to raise children. I have been crying quite a lot lately, but that’s because Valentine’s Day in all it’s stereotypical glory threw me for a loop, and when you start feeling essentially alone in the world, the little things that are shitty become sharper. Also, generally, I’m easily affected by emotional moments in movies, books, tv, music, and life.
I had a discussion with a friend the other day about how my generation tends to absorb music in tracks rather than full albums. That being said, my favorite album is probably Graceland, but maybe a little bit less than before since I saw a documentary about the making of it that caused me to reconsider my high opinion of Paul Simon. I have an unrelenting, un-embarrased love for good pop music, especially if it has a bit of an edge. I guess that’s my aesthetic generally - cute, solid, and slightly weird. Does the adaptation of Anne of Green Gables count as a favorite movie? Harold and Maude is a close second. As for books, The collected works of Michael Chabon are my favorite. I can’t separate them out, each one has something that I desperately love and something I think could be better. Egalia’s Daughters will always have a special place in my heart, it was the first book I read that made me feel like I really understood and believe in feminism, which fundamentally changed the way I view the world. ( I was a Women & Gender Studies and History double major.)
I know that when we die, our bodies begin to rot, and that is it. I think that the spirit, or soul, is something special and it becomes electricity. Maybe. We live on until the last time someone says or speaks our name. What do you think happens?
What skills are you most proud of or do you want the most?
Fresh (vegan) marshmallows are great. The mass-produced stuff is only edible when toasted over an open fire. Peeps are of the devil.
What kind of food do you eat?
Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 4:38 PM
Too often, I’ve been stuck with the co-dependent relationship. Where do these people come from? I have been crying quite a bit too, but usually due to my recent break-up.
I really loved Harold & Maude in college. I should rewatch it. Also, I was fond of Graceland in elementary school because of the “Call Me Al” video with Chevy Chase. I loved Chevy Chase, and was mildly approving of Paul Simon.
I think death is the end and we just cease to be. That’s tough to live with. My father died when I was 22 and I have grappled with that question since then.
I wish I was a better swimmer.
I have been eating poorly lately, but I love Indian food, Japanese curry, and Mexican food. I also have an unhealthy love of deli food.
Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I guess it can be easy to fall in love with the idea that someone can save you. Is the breakup what led you to start this project…experiment..lifechoice? Do you cry just thinking about it, or is it a sense memory type thing that sets you off?
Chevy Chase is pretty killer. I hear he’s kind of a crazy bigot though. That shouldn’t be surprising but it is. Do you watch Community?
I’m so sorry you lost your father so young. How old are you now? I can’t imagine what that’s like. I had a couple of friends pass away this year and it has really forced me to think about my own mortality. I think I more fully acknowledge that everytime I say goodbye to someone I love, it could be the very last time. I find myself in this midst of these weird morbid daydreams where I die or one of my parents dies and there is this devastating aftermath. What was your father like? Did you have a good relationship?
Ohhh. Deli food. I was more partial to a half brisket, half corned beef sandwich myself - but it’s been ages. Love a good knish, though. What are your thoughts on pickles? My grandfather’s family owned a deli in New York, and he was kind of a douchebag so I was the only person he ever shared his pickle recipe with, but it is killer.
Do you ever swim (or try to swim) in the Ocean?
Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM
Culturally, people are encouraged to see a relationship as a savior for their myriad of problems. In truth, relationships tend to create *more* problems than they solve. My breakup was the catalyst for doing this, yes. I don’t always cry when I think about it. I tend to cry when I think about particular moments, situations, etc. My ex encouraged me to read ‘Franny & Zooey’ for the first time, and Franny reminds me a lot of my ex. I almost lost it on the subway.
I do watch ‘Community.’ Glad to see it’s coming back. Chevy Chase has a horrible reputation, which is definitely a shame.
I’m 27 now. My father and I had a good relationship. He was constantly depressed and preferred not to socialize, which, I suppose rubbed off on me to a certain extent. He had a negative relationship with his parents, so I don’t think he ever really learned how to be an effective parent. I actually have this hypothesis that he didn’t even want to have children, but he was sort of backed into a corner by his my mother and his previous wife before my mother. Despite all that, I have fond memories of him, particularly his appetite for knowledge. He was not an intellectual, but he was definitely an effective autodidact. He taught himself, and encouraged me to do the same.
The ocean terrifies me. I am afraid to drown. Also, the seemingly infinite nature of the ocean reminds me of the finite nature of human existence. Logically, I know that the ocean is not infinite, but it certainly looks that way from the shore. I hear there are a lot of people who have this same reaction to the desert. There’s no landmarks, no sense of place, no culture, no clear meaning to anything. It reminds you that the world will go on without any of us one day.
By the way, I’m not always this morbid.