Amanda Ponyum

This morning, I shit you not, I watched part of an episode of the Carmen Sandiego cartoon on Univision that was dubbed in Russian and subtitled in Spanish. It was fantastic.

Less fantastically, I was supposed to go to somebody's house to watch Willard, the movie where Crispin Glover gets all moody and befriends rats.

This would have been fantastic, of course. But I call down to the front desk and ask to have my car brought up from the garage. The valet can't get my car started. I'm finally paying my penance for living in a building with valets and doormen named 'Terrence' and 'Ronald' and 'Victor.' The valet's name is 'Frasier.' After 5 months, I'm still on the same tank of gas I was on when I got here. And my battery's not to happy about it. So now I've got to call AAA, which I've never done before, and am tricking myself into thinking I don't have time to do. The only consolation was this music video, made to accompany Willard.

It's Crispin Glover covering "Ben" by Michael Jackson, and it's sublime. In a way, the original promo clip is equally bizarre -- not so much for what happens in it, but for what happened after it. Y'know.

Abrupt transition: I'm catsitting. Every day I have to go to somebody's apartment, buzz myself in, check the mail, and then look after these two little brickshitting terrorists who have 22 hours of pent-up energy from the last time I saw them. Their names are Sam and Jasper, but I call them Jam and Sasper because I can never remember which is which. One is a hyper scratcher and the other is a sullen biter, and they shit more than they eat. Probably more than they weigh. Probably more than I weigh. Certainly more than I eat. If they were children they would be little nightmare punk fuckers. But they're cats. So they're ridiculously adorable.

I still haven't properly started on either of my two papers, which are now due in a week and a half. I have, however, worried about them full-time. I even went to the library yesterday. I sat down and cracked open the most boring book ever written, and a horrendously boring book about the most boring book ever written, than you very much Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Raymond Williams. Then I took out pens of several colors and a notebook, and promptly tooled around on my laptop for two, maybe three hours. The internet-guest policy at the library stipulates that you cannot use your connection for anything "obscene," and also that you cannot use it for child pornography. It says nothing about regular pornography. So as long as I can find some pornography that's not obscene, I'll be golden.

I needed an internet fix, though, because Windows Vista isn't compatible with anything. I got my new computer, and it's a beautiful freak. Elegant, speedy, and unacceptable. I've got nothing to do with it because it refuses to recognize my wireless adapter, which means I can't do the one thing I've done every day since I've moved here: steal the internet from my neighbor. Unless I use my old computer, like I am now, but it sort of takes the shine off of having a new computer. So I'm a doozy of a pickle. I can either keep stealing the internet -- but I'll have to go buy a new wireless adapter, which will require me to get my car fixed, and there's no time! -- or I can bite the bullet, call Comcast and start overpaying for a service that would be free to taxpayers if only the government would cut out the overhead largess of clean needle programs and interstate highways. We should turn over control of internet communications services to the mob. They're friendlier, more forgiving people, and leagues better at customer service.

I've been falling asleep at 7:30 PM and waking up at 3 AM since I got back. It's not very cool, because I do all my good work late at night, when there's nothing else to do. You can always find stuff to do in the morning. You can make an elaborate breakfast that turns out to be inedible, and then you can throw that breakfast away. You can keep abreast of current events and ogle Matt Lauer's pretty-boy-in-the-wrecking hairline. What a charmer. You can just lay in bed for three hours wondering why, god, won't you let me sleep. I did some of that this morning. But what you cannot do is write a paper. All papers, to my mind, should be written on the edge, pushing the envelope, motivated by the terror of failure, the near inevitability of shame that can only be avoided by some miracle. And it's your job to make that miracle. That terror, though -- that ambrosial, miracle-making terror -- only comes out at night. Writing in the morning is only a minor inconvenience, and inconvenience is the one thing I'm not willing to put up with in the morning. I'll languorously make two cups of tea, put on fuzzy slippers, and walk from room to room forgetting what I meant to do in each, but I will not be inconvenienced. I'll check the TV listings four or five times to make sure I remember the correct start times of the two NFL playoff games that are on later, but I will not be inconvenienced. I will stare at the trash, but I will not take it out.

The one New Year's resolution I did manage to come up with -- eat more sugar in the morning -- is going along swimmingly.

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