some radvents

Day 11: What is your personal dream? What would happen if your dream came true?

I’ve got a personal dream I’m working towards right now! But I’m afraid to tell you what it is because I’ll feel super dumb if it doesn’t work out. So I guess the second question I’m going to answer instead is, “What would happen if you told the internet about it?

Fear of failure has been a pretty serious thing in my life. It’s why I almost always take the easiest path, it’s why I never try anything new unless the stakes are really low. But I’ve been attempting to get over that this year, and I have plans to barrel through the fear in 2011 too. Still, though, I’m afraid that if I tell the internet, it’ll jinx it. Well, I don’t believe in jinxing. I do believe that if I tell the internet, I’ll feel dumb if it doesn’t end up happening.

Conquering fear of failure? Going okay. Conquering fear of feeling dumb in front of the internet? Not going okay. Eh, I can live with it.

Day 13: Have you ever just quit something… without regret?

Yes! I had a professional blogging gig once, about the paranormal. It was interesting when I started, but two posts a week about something I didn’t believe in began to get tedious. Posts were due on Friday mornings, so I spent every Thursday night doing lots of procrastinating and bitching and moaning, and a little bit of writing. The only original post ideas I had were things I’d heard about here in Texas, which was fine, but then the head of the site told my fellow bloggers and me that we were writing too many things about Texas. After that I had no ideas.

When our contracts were up and we were each asked whether or not we wanted to continue, I barely wasted half a second before saying no thanks, and then I spent the next two Thursday nights telling everyone how great it was to NOT WRITE ABOUT THE PARANORMAL!!!!!!

Note: I have nothing bad to say about anyone I worked with or for at that site; it was just a bad fit subject-wise, and I should have realized that beforehand.

Day 14: Did you like to read as a child? Do you read more or less now?

Oh, I read like the wind. I taught myself to read at an early age, so once I hit elementary school I was reading ahead of everyone else. The teacher had to give me a special pass to the sections of the library for the older grades so I could pick books from there. I’ve heard friends talk about feeling singled out or ostracized when this happened to them as kids, and I definitely felt that in other aspects of my childhood.

But the reading pass made me feel special. While all my other classmates were at their desks, I’d walk down the hall and give the librarian my pass. Then I’d go back to the 5th grade shelves and choose whatever books I wanted. The library was always deserted when I went, so I could sit down on the floor and look through the books in silence. It was neat.

At some point my mother realized she could use my love of reading to her advantage. Anytime I was bothering her, she’d say, “Why don’t you go read a book or something?” When I figured out that that was her clever way of dismissing me, I started saying, “I don’t want to!” even if I did. What a brat I was.

didn’t you used to be bluishorange

It comes as no surprise to me that it is Ernie Hsiung who has said exactly how I feel about this website right now.  After all, our websites grew up together:

In another world and time, would have no ads and would be similar to what my blog used to be – completely ad free.

What killed this?  Jealousy.  Jealousy in that you see other people around you doing similar stuff, and then you meet them at parties or social gatherings and they’re like, “I just booked a sponsor for $1,000 and I’m going to hang out in Asia for a week [true]” or “I just scored a sweet book deal with Random House and I’m only 20! [also true]”  And you think your self, “girl, you’re like twelve years younger than me.  Where’s my thousand bucks and book deal?”

And then you realize to your horror that you had a pretty successful site that has been around for years, and apart from random strangers recognizing you from Florida you don’t really have anything to show for it, besides your dad pissed that you’ve written about his business for the Internet to see.  If my dad is going to be pissed at me, I might as well cash out from it.

Maybe that will change if I suddenly get laid off or fired, and free time is ample; but I feel like as I’m getting older I’m less creative, less funny and instead of having kids or a partner to spend it with, here I am, trying to do the hustle.

I don’t technically think that I have NOTHING to show for this website. It’s gotten me friends and dates and jobs and skills and experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  But sometimes I look at the nearly nine years of writing and photos and miscellany I’ve put on this site and think, WHERE HAS IT GOTTEN ME, REALLY.

I’m currently dating a guy who doesn’t read my website. At all. Has never been to my website as far as I know. Doesn’t follow me on Twitter. Doesn’t look at my photos on Flickr. Doesn’t read my secret LiveJournal. And you know what? It’s nice. He’s the first guy I’ve dated in a long time who didn’t fall for me on the internet first.

The other night I was telling him some story or other about myself, one of those stories I almost always tell to people I’m getting to know. I was halfway through when I realized that in the weeks I’ve known this guy, I’ve never, EVER needed to preface a story with “I wrote about this on my website at some point,” and watch for his reaction to see if he remembers reading it so I can tell the short version, the way I’ve done with so many people over the years.

It’s nice, is all.

uh, what?

I sent an e-mail to my friend B the other day about how I’ve been having trouble focusing on things that require thought and effort.  The fault lies with the internet and television, to be sure, but let’s not get into all that right now.  The problem itself is that I can sit down and write jokey e-mails to friends, or post little things in my LiveJournal, but when it comes to the sort of substantive writing that requires critical thought, I’m woefully inadequate these days.  As is my custom*, I’m going to make a list of things I’d write about had I the mental capacity:

1. I’m moving to a new apartment.  It’s closer to downtown, it was built in the fifties, and it’s prettier, though more expensive, than my current place.  There’s more light, too.

I’ve got this weird thing going on with my current apartment where work is a 20-minute drive away in one direction, and most of my friends are a 20-minute drive away in the other.  This wouldn’t be too much of a problem (though I’d rather not have to drive AT ALL), except for the fact that the 20-minute drives home from my friends’ area of town occur late at night, which is not exactly a good time to be driving home.  More weekends than not I spend at least one night sleeping on someone’s futon so I don’t have to drive all the way home.

This new place is ten minutes closer to my friends’ area of town.  In one week I’d estimate that I drive to that area and to work an equal number of times, so I’m going to use the same amount of gas I do now on that front.  The bonus is that my new apartment is in a highly walkable area (71 out of 100!), which means I’ll be able to walk or ride my bike to coffeehouses and restaurants and the pharmacy and so forth.

There is no 2. because I’m bored now.

*One of my favorite little oft-used phrases in The Floating Opera, about which Orville Prescott said this:

Nevertheless, “The Floating Opera” isn’t anywhere near funny enough to make up for its grievous faults. Most of this odd novel is dull. Most of its humor is labored and flat. Some of its heavy-handed attempts to shock seem cheap in a juvenile and nasty way rather than sophisticated or realistic, as they probably were intended.

So, uh, fuck that guy.