Powered By

Free XML Skins for Blogger

Powered by Blogger

Friday, November 8, 2002

No Fur Flying, At Least...

Yesterday was Nita's Urinary Infection Day. Her problem was still going on after two days, and still no clue and no urine sample, so we turned to the experts. Jamie packed Nita off to the Allen Boulevard Vet Clinic for a few hours and let Dr. Mark Nielsen get it from the source. Of course they had to get off the exam counter before they got it into the specimen cup. After a few drinkee-poos, kitty-kat kut loose.

The diagnosis was a more confident one, but still had a tentative ring to it. Apparently the urinary tract is uncharted territory. (I guess I can't blame 'em. I sure couldn't fit in there.)

But at least every other possibility has been eliminated. It's urinary for sure. That's our number one suspect. We minded our P's and Q's, and that's what it all trickles down to.

In blog space, there is no pun tax.

Jamie and I used to host a local writer's group meeting thingie. I'm starting to wonder if this was ever meant to be. These meetings hardly ever happen anymore. I know everyone's busy and, since we're not exactly rich, these are basically trying times for all of us. All the same, something about people not showing really brings me down. I mean, what's the point to the whole group anymore?

Maybe men really are allergic to rejection. The slightest whiff of it drives me up the wall. I'll stop there before I start sounding all weepy or something. "Oh, the world sucks, no one understands me! Rhubarb, rhubarb, martyr rhubarb...."

I wasn't sure, but I guess a few people have been reading this after all. Every once in a while, someone comes up to me and asks if I'm okay or something. I don't know why that's such a surprise for me. In the last entry, I practically hint at going postal the way most people might talk about going Democrat or Republican.

"And how are you voting this year?"

"Postal." Insert maniacal grin here.

I'm just used to writing and not getting any apparent effect out of an audience. When I write something, no one stands up and applauds. It's just me, a cat, and her tiny tiny bladder in the room. Looking for feedback is a waste of time. Someone says it's good. When I ask for more detail, the answer comes back, "It's really good." It's hard to tell if anyone's there at all. I'm not a TV set; I need to know someone is receiving. I've written things to shock or get people mad just to see if anyone's really listening. It's a waste of time. People don't turn into English lit. scholars when they're massively cheesed.

Dickens would've shot himself with help like that. "Do they say anything about Miss Havisham's wedding cake? A single word about the double irony about Pip, Estella, and Magwitch? No, no, it's just 'really good'! Forget it! I quit! I knew I should've gone into taxidermy...."

So anyway, I've gotten used to working in complete isolation. I didn't show anyone my work for years. I just did it. I couldn't stop. I had words and images in my head, and I had to get 'em out of there. I was convinced that being alone was the best I could hope for. If there was no audience, they couldn't ruin it for me. You don't get applause or cheers either, but after years of people laughing at the wrong parts and nitpicking even my choice in word processor, I stopped expecting any.

And frankly, most people can't see what's in front of them anyway. In high school, I was on self-destruct. For days I would walk around, at home, at school, with my hands coated in my own blood. I know of only five people who took a second glance. OJ gets off scot-free. Posers and corporate shills are lauded as artistes. My prez the Shrub argues with the debating skills of a mummified walrus, and even without evidence, he'll get his war.

And I expect people to wake up half a minute just for me?

So whenever I get a clear and positive response to something I've written or said, I'm stunned. Old habits die hard.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

The Rush Hour of Our Discontent

I'm not quite as liberal as Jesus, but I'm not too thrilled with the election results. Locally it's pretty good for my li'l hobbit hole, but throughout the rest of the United States...well, I think the next six years are going to be a long, hard ride. I can only hope the music scene picks up during this Bush's administration as it did for Bush Senior. At least we'd have a cool soundtrack for the disaster movie to come.

Of course we had Kurt Cobain to kick everyone's butts into gear back then. Marilyn Manson (the goth answer to Sideshow Bob) and N*Stinc ain't gonna cut it.

And man, I need something to go my way here. Our cats--all fourteen of 'em--are rapidly turning into the Typhoid Mary brigade. Nita, a dilute tortie introvert/assault vehicle, has some kind of urinary infection. Jamie and I took her to the vet a day or so ago, and we're still puzzled as to why. She keeps bleeding all over the office, so I'm surrounded by puddles of watery blood even as I write. Visitors are going to think I'm a devil worshipper or something. ("See? I knew it! He wears black all the time, he's got heavy metal records! He even does blood sacrifices fergodsakes!!!") Meanwhile a couple of Jamie's Japanese Bobtail kittens, henceforth referred to as "JBTs," keep chunking charlies all over the rest of the house.

We're living in mortal dread that more than one cat might need professional medical attention at the same time. That'd take us instantly into three figures. Even if we weren't in the throes of bankruptcy, it would've hurt plenty.

Anyone who's kept up with Jamie (or her blog ) knows a lot of this BS already. For me, it's a different kind of pain. I never thought I'd ever have to file for bankruptcy, let alone spend enough money to go there. Technically it's not being filed in my name, but I'm about as screwed. All our efforts are being channeled to fix it. We're bleeding money. And frankly it's humiliating. A bunch of strangers show up at my door, demanding that I account for money I never saw. Yet I see all around me things bought with that money. And I didn't want even half of it. The whole situation is ridiculous, at least to me.

I've seen some strange things in my life, courtesy of very strange people, folks who were eager to believe anything, no matter how absurd or outrageous, as long as their consciences or perceptions got an easy out. For a long time I was surrounded by such humanoid creatures, subjected to more personal demons than Max von Sydow, forced to tangle with them just to free myself of them. And I learned, like any victim of brainwashing, that reality is liquid. It changes with the wind. People see what they want to see. Dysfunctional people, even more so. It's taken many years--after the efforts of so many to convince me 2+2=5; that there were five lights when I saw only four; that meddling with my life was their way of loving me; that I was a monster for not letting them get away with it; all because it suited their pathetic ends--for me to trust my perceptions again. So it takes a lot of thought and willpower to override the fear of retribution invading my flesh like an electrical shock when I speak my mind. Part of me wants to hide every time I feel anything. It might not be what someone else wants me to feel.

They say he who dares, wins. I look at all the horrors that happened in my life, at the ones plaguing the world at large, and the kinds of people who profit the most from them. I forget who was it who claimed that a barbarian has the upper hand in any battle because he's willing to do anything to win. Of late, I begin to wonder if that person was right.

And a horrible thought strikes me: Is this what it feels like when someone is about to go postal?

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

What's In A Name....

I figured I oughta tackle this before I get too deep into anything else. What's with the handle, right?

Like most things on the net, it's the name I could still get and it's the one I'm best known by in cyberspace. It started with a character I had to roll up for a Cyberpunk 2020 RPG. He was a netrunner, a hacker basically, and I was trying to figure out how to translate the Shadow into cyberpunk. "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men"--red scarf, black slouch, big schnoz, a .45 in each hand--that guy. Naming my character "Shadow" was too easy in my mind, too obvious and pretentious. I went through various permutations of dark, shade, shadow, mystery, etc etc. Dark Karma was the one that stuck. It sounded ominous and mysterious. And it doesn't mean any one thing. "Karma" as in destiny, spirit, aura? Is having a dark one necessarily bad, and for whom? Anyway it had the feel I wanted. Style triumphs; substance had better keep up.

(FWIW it turned into a interesting character and he has the makings of a cool story: a hacker who had a black-cat rep for making things crash just by walking past them, literally.)

Anyway, when Jamie and I decided to sign up on a friend's BBS back in late 1992, that was my handle. Most of the kids thought it had sufficient street cred (especially when I was able to punt losers offline). Ever since, it's a handle I keep going back to. It makes people sit up and look twice in a chat room. "Kewl, wassat mean?" Now and again, I can someone, borrow it. (Remind me to trademark it.)

And when the thought of my own stupid blog was too big to ignore, I just knew it had to be Dark Karma. I have to be angry, surly, and snide somewhere. I would've sign up on Dead Journal, but they sold out and stopped offering free accounts. (I'll bet the sales dept here at Blogger will love that!) If I'm stylin', whatever. That's okay too, I guess. As long as I leave a mark--something inoperable. Dark Karma isn't necessarily good luck or bad. I'm sure it's bad news for somebody. But the secret, kiddies, is to make it bad news for someone you don't like!

Now there's a thought for this Election Day, huh? Vote angry! Vote to hurt, shoot to kill, aim to maim! The system has failed for a lot of people, but only because they've failed to use it. If you can't vote for something, vote against something else!

And now, to make sure this still fits in with the miasma of narcissism that is blogdom, a Gratuitous Shallow Moment: "Oh, the Backstreet Boys are so the bomb!!!!"

Stink bomb, perhaps. Shaddup, go back to the record store and check out some CD racks full of grown-ups, you dinkette.

And here I was thinking this wasn't going to sound angry enough by the end....

And so it begins....

This is more of a last-ditch effort than anything else. I haven't been able to stay in touch with nearly as many people as I'd like, and as time and work progresses, it's bound to get worse long before it gets better. (Santa, I would like a smaller workload for Christmas. And if I don't get it, I swear I'll blow yer freakin' head off....)

So if you really, really, really wonder what's going on in my labyrinthine psyche in these times of trials, troubles, and tribulations--not to mention alliteration--this is the place. I'll be polite where I can, honest where I can't not, and brutally sarcastic where I slip up. I want to make this space as family-friendly as possible, but you can see the brilliant success I've had in just 40-50 words. Not even a paragraph in, and already I'm convincing the local authorities that it's time to send in the negotiators.

I'm new to this blog malarky. Please bear with me. If you don't, well, the scars will heal in time. (A very long time if I have anything to say about it....)

I certainly don't want this to be one of those silly, self-indulgent things where you see cute little icons dancing around, painstaking descriptions of my trip to the mall, listings for what I'm currently listening to or my current mood. If you can't tell how I'm feeling at the end of each entry, we're all screwed.

Welcome to my world. Now don't touch anything--you'll get fingerprints all over it. ;)