Tuesday, September 28, 2004


It seems that the ambition to become an artist is either a dirty little secret or a badge of pride. It all depends on the individual. Too many people seem to like to wear their dream on their sleeve, working their latest idea into every conversation. “This is something I wish to explore in my poetry.” “Last year I began work on a screenplay that deals with this very subject.” And so on. Jesus, I remember once eating a bagel at a coffee shop with a coworker and somehow he managed to take that experience and use it as a springboard for telling me, in excruciating detail, how it relates to a song on his demo tape.

I am no different inasmuch as I have similar ambitions. Yes, as dull as it may be, my confession is that I write. I have, in the past two years, cranked out a ridiculous amount of writing, all of it in rough draft form and little of it very good. It feels better making this confession via cyberspace than in the flesh, as I cannot blush in a blog. I mention this because I am sure there are scores of others like me who consider their ambition to be a disease and thus do not share their secret with many. A symptom of this disease: we hate it when anyone else expresses his or her ambition. Just about everyone I know is inclined toward creativity, with varying degrees of potential and skill. I have many friends who write, a few who want to make films, many who want to act, one who writes comics, and many, many of them are frustrated musicians. And they keep at it and they pray and they do what they can. Or do they?

To be sure, some of this gaggle of would-be artists have the dream but not the drive. Lazy artists are nothing new. I have meet hundreds. It is easier to put in minimal effort and lay claim that the world just doesn’t understand your vision than it is to actually work on your art.

But I digress.

So I got outed over the weekend. My friend Mike asked me to help him with a script idea. I agreed, with slight trepidation because (1) I work full time and go to school at night, (2) I have my own “projects” I am working on, and (3) I have never written a script. Mike seems to think I could be helpful. He mentioned something about my sense of humor and how it would be perfect for his story. I don’t get it, as my sense of humor seems to work only if one wishes to clear a room.

So we were discussing the story in an informal “script meeting” (hahahahaha) with this girl Mike wants to be in his movie. She got a phone call and told her friend that she was with the two screenwriters she knew. I suddenly felt ill. Mike turns to me and says something along the lines of, “Man, doesn’t that feel good to hear!” Ugh.

I don’t know, I suppose it is rooted in not wanting to be a total flop. If you don’t try, you can’t fail. Or, if you never let anyone know you are trying, no one will witness your failure. I would have been happy writing my half-assed fiction and accumulating a stack of rejection letters. But I figure it is time to admit to one and all who might give a damn: I write. I am guilty. I am so ugly and ambitious and full of dreams that may very well fade like smoke in the air. I am no better than anyone else. I fear I have no originality, nothing to say, yet I continue to try and say something. I am as vain and lazy as the next guy. I am terrified of being seen in the same light as those pompous artists I despise yet I am secretly intimidated by them and seek their approval. I despise them for their marginal talent. If any of my writer pals got published, I would immediately hate them as well. I am petty.

Okay confession over. Stay tuned for chapters from my novel… have I told you all about my novel?

Monday, September 27, 2004

My Own Vanity Page

I still don’t quite understand the concept of the weblog, even now as I have one. This is nothing new, as I don’t understand half the things I do.

Okay, so this is what I am thinking: most people—as people are by nature vain and unoriginal—have tried to keep a journal at one point along the line. And I would guess that most of the people who write in these journals do so hoping, maybe even subconsciously, that someday someone else will read their words. Perhaps these journal keepers secretly pray that they will be famous and thus have their diaries published someday so that all can see what tortured souls they were and how difficult it was growing up middle class in the suburbs.

“Today my mother told me to clean my room or I wouldn’t get to use the car. I tried to tell her that my room reflects the inner workings of my soul. No one understands me. Why won’t Josh ask me to the prom…”

And so on.

Enter the weblog. So now the dream is realized. The journals are online and any and all can read them. The trouble is, who really wants to? I imagine a few friends and family will stumble across this page. I doubt anyone else will. I wouldn’t. Having scanned a few others, it seems that everyone either is hoping to meet people online or is really keen on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Well, so am I, so it looks as though another blog has been born. I’m sorry; I’ll try and make it more interesting in the future.

P.S. Willow rules!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Another Potential Life Changing Experience Dashed

My latest music obsession, Diamanda Galás, has recently announced that the show she was set to play here in Chi, right at the old Park West, is cancelled. I am not happy. What the hell? How many times in my life will I get a chance to see such a strange and interesting performer? Goddamnit, Dave Matthews trots through town every year with his brand of dullardrock and they clear out Soldier Field to accommodate him and his white girl college fans. So why the cancellation of a show I want to see?

I could speculate and come up with theories, but I will venture a guess that it is Diamanda Galás’ fault, as her web site http://www.diamandagalas.com/ evidences many a cancelled show on this tour (as well as some wonderful images and everyting one needs to know about Ms. G. and her art). Damn, she was all set to perform the recent, and damn haunting, Defixiones: Will and Testament. That would have been one of those life long musical memories. Alas, I’ll have to just sit alone this weekend, in the dark, listening to the CD and hoping her erratic 8 octave vocals scare away the demons of the night.

Pleasant dreams,



I never thought I would do this. Only as a guest blogger for a friend's site have I ventured into this territory. Alas, I got hooked.

Really, my father is to blame. His blogspot name is cubbyfan and he sent the link announcing that he had reserved a wee bit of space for himself online. So I went. Upon attempting to post a comment, I was blocked. Only members with their very own blogs seemed able to share their half informed thoughts. How elitist! I thought. So here I am, jumping on the bandwagon and riding it into the flames.

Feel free to come back and read a bunch of bullshit about whatever the hell has entered my admittedly myopic field of vision. Why the hell not, indeed.

Empty streets and faded dreams

The time is coming. Soon.