this isn’t real typing

I’ve been thinking about how I do more photography than writing these days.  Taking pictures makes me think about things in a writerly fashion, in the same way that breathing used to make me think about things in a writerly fashion.  Sometimes I won’t think about things in a writerly fashion for days, and then I’ll go to caption a photo real quick and get into explaining the photo and all of a sudden I’m writing when I hadn’t intended to.

The difference between writing and not writing has nothing to do with typing or the forming of sentences, I guess.  And the difference isn’t intent, either.  It’s like when I sing things in falsetto I think to myself, “This isn’t my real singing.”  It’s not real writing or real singing unless I say it is, except when I start doing it without thinking and decide it’s real afterwards.

If any of you know of a support group for people who make things more complicated than they need to be, don’t tell me about it because I won’t make the first meeting on account of I’m too busy overthinking.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  Several of my friends are doing those photo-a-day-for-a-year projects, and I’m going to join in. The focus for me, however, will be writing as well as photography.  I’m going to describe the photo or write about why I took the photo or write about whatever the photo made me think of, even if it’s totally unrelated. I may not post every photo here every day (especially on the weekends), but I’ll try to do it most days, and all the photos will be on Flickr.

Here’s the first one:

So I guess we're doing this, then.

This is the frost that was on my car this morning. I usually park in a carport, but yesterday I parked on the street because someone was blocking the driveway.

My car’s really old by car standards-it’s a 1996 Acura Integra named Betty. I’ve driven Betty since 1999, long enough that I can’t get comfortable when driving someone else’s car or a rental. It’s kind of falling apart in places, but it still drives and it still air-conditions, and these are the two important things for a car to do in Texas. The ABS went out a few years ago, but that’s less important in Texas, so Betty and I are still rolling along.

I’ll probably drive it until it falls apart or I do.

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.