I have to say, I’m really sort of sick to death of the statements going around waving Kim Kardashian’s name and face at us regarding…well, anything. But most recently, regarding why gay marriage should be legal. Actually, I was sick of it the first time I read it somewhere.

And this is absolutely not because I don’t support legalizing gay marriage 110%. And if you in any way question this, please refer to the article I wrote previously: https://gomersasquatch.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/proposition-8-protects-people-from-marrying-unicorns/ .

Furthermore, I agree that the sanctity of marriage has been compromised since probably its inception, and that upstanding right-wing politicians who yell the loudest about it often have several failed marriages under their belts, at least. Or extramarital affairs. Or hookers. Or extramarital hooker affairs involving belts. And often with a touch of gay-as-Christmas scandal to finish it on up. Not that any of these are bad, per se, but these are the sorts of things those politicians hypocritically pose to rally against, and that’s what’s bad. Clearly.

And I can see how drawing attention to their hypocrisy only strengthens our pro-gay marriage equality arguments. The people advocating hardest for a “sacred union” often have a completely unfounded argument when it comes to the way they live their own lives. Let us silence them one by one by holding them up to the mirror.

However.

Who the hell gives a good goddamn about Kim Kardashian’s failed marriage? So, she got married in a highly public fashion—some have argued entirely for this publicity to promote her television show. Maybe. Sure, why not? Although I don’t know too many details about her life and celebrity past snippets here and there, I can still say I find it very plausible. Sooooo, that would put her in league with Gene Simmons this last season of his show. Fine. Trashy, but fine. And following that, Kardashian filed for divorce some 70-something days later. This seems on par for a celebrity marriage.

But then—oh goodness—everyone just went ape shit for a week. Normal, otherwise good-natured people are standing in (a metaphorical Facebook) line to throw the fact that Kardashian couldn’t maintain a successful marriage back at her. Ha ha! One for gay marriage! …wait. What did we win here?

I mean, let’s remove from this discussion the people who went ape shit because they’re actually interested in her life. Because, dear god, why even try to reason with them? You people—you go over to Perez. I’m sure he has something for you.

The remaining people—those whose Schadenfreude leapt from their hearts directly into their wagging fingers at the first chance to go, “AHA! Straight people sometimes get divorced hastily! Why can’t we get married?” Those are the people to whom I refer. But please let me explain.

I guess I just don’t understand the sentiment. To step through it: okay—I can totally see saying this if she had ever been actively against marriage equality or was in any way raving about the sanctity of marriage as she sees it. From what I can find (and if I’m wrong, please point it out; I don’t follow the woman’s “career”), she has never said anything against gay marriage to begin with. In fact, I painfully sat through this video of her stating that she is, in fact, for gay marriage. Nothing political about this video, really. She’s asked a question and seems to summon up a fairly neutral, if not slightly airy answer.

But the point is, the only thing I could find linking her to speaking out about gay marriage is actually a statement supporting gay marriage. And if she has ever been against it but I just haven’t stumbled across it yet, let me be first in line to dance on the grave of her diamond-encrusted schmaltz package she called a marriage, now that it’s been put out of its misery.

But considering I can’t find anything of the sort on her…why is her failed marriage pivotal? In her being unrelated to politics or sanctity of marriage issues, this mudslinging seems…I don’t know…mean spirited, I guess? Or misdirected? Or straight-up irrelevant.

Seriously, couples in Hollywood get divorced all the time. Well, for that matter, so do regular people. And if allowed the right to marry, so will gay couples. Not all love lasts forever, and not all love equals longevity in life-partnering. I realize this is an unpopular thought for both camps, but hey, it’s just the truth. Divorce is a right we are afforded when love turns cold, or expectations aren’t met, or someone is unfaithful, or cruel, or sneaking off to have relations with our livestock, or what have you. It seems to me that by offering Kim as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of marriage sanctity, you are either saying one of two things.

1.) “Look, her marriage was a sham, so clearly marriage isn’t a serious institution,” which totally undercuts the message that gay marriage is in fact a serious institution. Or this argument even encompasses the idea that Kardashian’s marriage proves that marriage isn’t sacred or holy, when it actually still is to many gay or lesbian couples, as well.

2.) “If I—an honest, loving person who has been in a committed relationship with the same person can’t get married, why should someone like she be able to get married?” And is that really a comparison one would like to make?  It cuts at marriage as a whole (when clearly marriage is a concept that’s important to all camps here), almost suggesting the argument that Kardashian shouldn’t have been able to get married if everyone else can’t get married because she’s such a poor model of marriage. Or that committed gay couples have more right to get married than people like Kardashian who don’t take marriage seriously.

And that’s backward. My problem with this issue is that nothing about it states, “She has the right to marriage and we have the right to marriage because we are all equal and deserve equal rights provided to us and to our would-be spouses/families.” The point of the marriage equality argument is that everyone deserves that right—committed gay and lesbian couples, committed straight couples, and unfortunately, people who do it for money or reputation or dowry. (Because anyone of breeding of course still has a dowry.) Everyone deserves it. We’re all people and we all should get to choose how, when, and why we marry (within obvious reason). And that “everyone” is very important to the equal marriage rights agenda.

My gauge is that (and I could be wrong) the sentiment underlying this “Why should a marriage like that be allowed to exist when a marriage like mine is/would be real?” argument is that because straight marriage rights are already given, it’s gay marriage rights that need the media attention and public outrage on their behalf. So very, very true. But if we want to make comparisons to marriages that so offensively fail the sanctity of marriage test, let’s maybe pick a target that’s relevant and where the failed marriage actually proves to uncover the hypocrisy. Where our completely justifiable anger isn’t just spilling out all over the place but is actually focused where it needs to be in order to make the country pay attention and get the point.

And I feel like well-intentioned people are forgetting this in the excitement of the media hate-fest right now. (Well, this particular media hate-fest.) Instead, what’s been going on in reaction looks to me like useless mudslinging at someone who is just going through a divorce. And whether or not this divorce is painful for Kardashian, the mudslinging still lacks tact and precision.

I’m quite dumbfounded that this woman is the one that everyone has been so ready to jump on, when divorces of Hollywood and celebrity tend to line the drugstore magazine racks pretty much constantly. Um, can someone please explain to me why Kim Kardashian should be a  model of the sanctity of marriage to begin with? Why anyone who needs to have their mind changed about gay marriage would have cared one way or another about whether her marriage had been meant to last? Were we all expecting that this marriage was going to be successful? Were we even really caring?

I realize some of you care because you’re fans of hers, and you would probably do well to go read someone else’s blog. Because that’s just silliness. She’s a non-celebrity celebrity. Call me old fashioned, but in my day, you had to possess some sort of talent to be…you know what? Sorry. Tangent. I get worked up. About back in my day. When you had to have SOME kind of TALENT—nope. Stopping now.

But who was really thinking she would be a great person to make an example of? No one seemed surprised that this arrangement didn’t work out (possibly least of all Kardashian’s publicist). So why is everyone all, “Look! Look at your straight marriage, everyone! It fails too!” It’s petty, it’s redundant, it’s flawed logic, and I feel like it takes away from the serious, ardent message of people who want and unquestionably must have the right to marry the person of their choosing—whatever sex and/or gender that may be. I don’t know. That’s just my opinion on this topic. This whole particular media blitz is strange to me.

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A Hole in Pandora’s Box

August 12, 2011

So, the joy of technology (and trust me, I find few joys in technology beyond simple convenience and the comfort of warm face, warm hands, warm feet) is being able to find totally new hobbies that would have never existed before. Like customized radio.

I love Pandora. Pandora, if you’re unaware, is a Web site where you can make a radio station customized around a certain band or song you start with. Enter a band, singer, or song, and you have a whole list of songs playing for you that are (arguably) in some way related. Usually. Sometimes it strays. Like how I got from Otis Redding to the Dixie Cups once, I’ll never know. There are some kinks. Like how I got from The Kinks to Linda Ronstadt. But generally, it’s a pleasurable experience. Additionally, you can add variety to a station by adding the name of another band or singer you wish to incorporate, so Pandora can find songs that work between their two styles and smooge them into one Frankenstation.

And this morning, in order to keep myself occupied, I’ve been playing with my newfound hobby–seeing how long it can take Pandora to get from Tony Orlando/Dawn to the band Hole. Which, you know, just makes me giggle.

So far (and I’m writing this as I listen, so it’s like a play-by-play. Be excited, gentle reader. This is breaking news.), I’m still waiting for how they’re going to bridge that gap. I’ve had Tony Orlando’s Bless You, I suppose as my punishment for placing such a silly request in the first place. Then Roy Orbison’s Only the Lonely, followed by Sam Cooke’s Wonderful World, a darling song about the quest of a non-intellectual attempting the fair heart of the elusive smart chick. Sort of a “pre-Lloyd Dobler” Lloyd Dobler anthem.

And Sam Cooke is always marvelous. Let us not toss that aside.

Then It Never Rains in Southern California by Albert Hammond. Waaa, waaaaa, waaaa. This is also punishment for my silly request. Is it too much to ask for a simple Tie a Yellow Ribbon? Can I get a Knock Three Times? Anything? Throw me a Tony bone, here, Pandora.

…pretty sure there’s a better way to phrase that.

Holy hell—it just leapt from Albert Hammond in a rather jarring transition to Hole’s Celebrity Skin. Ha! Oh, please play Candida next. This is brilliant.

Okay, so we have Dumb by Nirvana following Hole, and then a little Key Largo by Bertie Higgins. Wow. The disturbing aspect of it was somehow unforeseen. Not gonna lie; it’s swiftly approaching “oh god, make it stop.” Ripping my mood back and forth between the two worlds. There really needs to be a dramatic record scratch sound in transition each time.

See? Hobby. This will amuse me for hours. It actually hurts. And some pain, you gorgeous people, is good pain.

Overheard

July 28, 2011

A conversation, as I boarded the elevator down to the lobby in search of lunch today.

I got on in front of a hiring manager (whom I don’t know) from my company who was holding a clipboard of information, and an interviewee in a fancy suit who was (he thought smoothly but I thought nervously) attempting to make a final lasting impression of being–hey–a swell guy. The hiring manager was seemingly less than impressed. It went something like this:

Interviewee [as the elevator doors open on the 18th floor and we all get in]: “Man, something smells goooood downstairs.” [laughs for no reason]

Hiring manager: “………..yep. Not bad.” [we begin our descent]

Interviewee: “That’s, uh, another reason; I’d love to just work in the Loop. It’s just got to be so much better than Schaumberg. Nothing to do out there, you know? [clearly searching for common ground] It’s just terrible.”

Hiring manager: “……yeah, it’s probably….the best place to work in the city. The Loop.”

Interviewee: “Yeah, tell me about it. Tell me about it… Where do you live again, in the city?”

Hiring manager: “I don’t. I live in Barrington. …Right next to Schaumberg.”

Interviewee [suddenly more optimistically]: “Oh. …Yeah, alright, alright, well–” [door opens]

Hiring manager: “Well, thanks, and have a nice day. Your way out is to the right.”

Lovely. I think there’s nothing that amuses me more than other people’s awkwardness sometimes. I was just glad I got to be there for it. It was like my 30-second theatre break.

Really bet he gets that job…

Today

July 28, 2011

And not just today.

Beer Me That Job

July 25, 2011

There are just so, so many things that bother me about the job search process.

For instance: why is it that nowadays, if you want to send in a resume to a job that’s located on a site that isn’t Craigslist, often they make you register with a multi-step process for their own stupid site, which then begins to send you more spam than exists in the entire state of Hawaii? News flash: If I’m looking for a job, I need to be checking my email account for serious job inquiries or, like, videos of kittens happily attacking watermelons sent from friends who want me to be less depressed about the dejecting work of job applications. I do not need it bulked up with requests for me to apply to jobs for which I would never apply and so, you know…I didn’t.

“Job available in your field: Prison Barber” Is it? Is it?

Or bulked up with ads directed at me, the job seeker. Alleged head-hunting agencies that—if really scammy—want you to pay to play, or—if merely sleazy, useless, and opportunistic—desire for you to go to their advertisement-marinated web page that no one actually uses to find jobs. Hey, glad that while I can’t find a job, you’re able to make lazy cash off advertisements springing up in my face like so many unwanted joke nut can snakes.

https://gomersasquatch.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/4e4f5-circussnake.jpg?w=344&h=373

Job peanuts.

Don’t believe me that they’re not there for you to apply to jobs? Actually attempt to apply to a job on one of those sites some time. More often than not, you can’t submit what you need to, it’s unnecessarily convoluted to the point that you end up just not applying, or you have to sign up for more advertisement abuse in order to submit a resume.

Departed are the days of sending in an application directly to the company via email or in a very simple one- or two-step process. Dead and buried are the days of just going over the building and handing the resume in.

(Yeah, try this some time. Then as you leave, hide and watch the receptionist unenthusiastically use it as a great big wrapper for stale gum.) Just, really. In a vast majority of careers, the physical resume is all but obsolete in the eyes of an employer.

Which is fine. All I wanted to do was to email the damn thing in anyway. But it’s just never that simple.

There are other things I loathe about the job application process, too. For example, feeling like the worst sort of corporate whore, having to sell yourself on your cover letter to please the sadistic evil hiring machine of the non-desperate, already-job-havin’ HR dementors while they muse over your life’s accomplishments in the most trivial of manners and make capricious decisions about the fate of your life.

Or that’s at least what it feels like. I know and love a few hiring managers—family members and friends. That’s really not dementors. …that we know of… But I’m fairly certain that all the hiring managers who’ve gone over my resume and cover letter have been exactly like this. Evil suckers of hope and identity.

But most of all, what I cannot handle about the job search process is the interview. The terrible, horrible, stinking interview.

Very possibly it’s just that I’ve always been as inept with interviews as I have been with auditions or, say, blind dates. I lose all semblance of personality (or even what a human is and how it normally functions) when faced with the daunting task of “BE CHARMING AND SAY ONLY THE RIGHT THINGS.” What the hell? It’s like someone telling you, “Be funny.” Or, “Be interesting.” Or, “Be sexy.”  Uhhhhhh. Ummmmm. Buuuuuuuh. *blink, blink, rub eye, blink*

https://monarcaresblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dog-stretch.jpg?w=198&h=168

“Is this sexy or interesting?”  “No, but it is funny.”

You can’t put someone on the spot like that and expect them to perform well. Least of all me. It’s like I completely lose the ability to comprehend the fundamental makeup of humor or normal speech patterns at that moment and instead sit thinking totally functional and moderately intelligent thoughts with a horrified expression on my face, unable to make them come out of my mouth. It’s amazing—another person’s power to abduct attributes you might otherwise rock when not having to try at them. In these situations, rather than funny, interesting, or sexy, I instead break down into a grotesque amalgamation of the antonyms of all three—a character I think of as Abused Meg.

Abused Meg has had handed to her some of the most ghastly, miserable experiences known to man or woman and is therefore now no longer able to talk with the usual shape or wetness of her former mouth, cannot consider numbers or manifest emotions with certainty, can’t find an appropriate volume at which to express her monosyllabic sentiments, has never seen the sun nor heard loud noises, is constantly on the verge of tears or hiding in her own arm crevice like a sad baby Dracula, and otherwise behaves just as an abused, neglected dog might. At best, she has no personality at all; at worst she’s strange and alienating with the ability to rob anyone else in the room of a sense of normalcy. I am not good at interviews.

And the thing with interviews is, you just can’t ask the freaking questions you want. Mainly—how much will I get paid, and what are my benefits? I don’t get why this is such a taboo. You’re not supposed to ask that until right before you get the job. Why are we all wasting so much time?!

I understand that employers want a person who is right for the job and dedicated to the work. I get that. That makes for a more pleasant work experience for all and a more dedicated worker. But here’s a thought that is applicable for every single person I’ve ever met—unless there’s something truly horrific about my current job, I am leaving my job to look for either comparable pay or a vertical move of some sort, like more pay and better benefits. If money weren’t important with regards to the job, I wouldn’t be working in the first place. I’d spend my time … I don’t know … rowing a fucking boat or painting pictures of me rowing fucking boats. I wouldn’t be sitting in a cubicle taking orders from people. Right? And you—the job dangler—are remarkably stupid in not acknowledging that out in the open and right away.

So why can’t I ask on the first interview—or hell, before I go take off work to waste my time and the potential new employer’s time—what the pay is going to be? Then let’s see if I’m a good fit. Because I tell you what—even if I really love a potential job, I—like most everyone else—do not live in a career utopia fantasy. I have rent and bills to pay. I have to eat. I have a life outside of work I’d like to continue living in a similar fashion or better. I need to find a new job that’s going to pay me what I need to make in order to do all these lovely lifey things. And nearly everything beyond that is a minor deciding factor. The order of importance has to be: 1.) Do I vaguely want to perform this job/am I qualified?  2.)Does it pay what I need/want to make?  3.) Literally anything else that might be a point of interest. It doesn’t matter.

Number 1 is taken care of when I apply. I got the job description, I’m interested so far. Number 2 should be next. Number 2 should always be next. There is no point proceeding if number 2 is a deal-breaker. PEOPLE—NUMBER 2!! Come on.

So, yeah. This is the aspect of our job culture that I think I find most aggravating and wasteful of everyone’s time and energy.  And so does Abused Meg. As she shambles off into the shadows, totally freaking out all who exist there with her wide-eyed weirdness.

**I should note that this is not about a current job search I’m doing. In fact, I’m on the brink of going down to part-time work in a month so I can start full-time grad school (Yaaaaaay!). But being around others who are currently looking for jobs, it brings me right back to that same old rant in my head. Why the senselessness? Why the time-suckage? You know what? Let’s all just quit our jobs and join a commune.

Or go back to grad school.

Oh dear god, I’ve finally reached the end of these old blog posts (the ones I wished to actually keep). Here you have it–post number six of six that I have pulled from the murky depths of my former blog, washed off, and set here.

This one is from 2006. Pause with me to see if you can remember it. Back before our hovercrafts and our robot nannies. Back when we still lived on the ground. Before our food was given to us in the form of small, flavored pills. Ah, 2006. How I faintly remember what a tree looked like.

Okay, moving on. Here’s my final post of yesteryear, a snippet of me in 2006. I give you Origin of the Phrase “Nose to the Grindstone”:

The phrase “put your nose to the grindstone” is commonly used today to mean “get to work.” Its origin has been traced back 5,000 years (by the etymological research department of UCLA) to when humanity relied on grindstones to sharpen all their tools, teeth, and household items. Carpenters of yore had made a startling finding about the sedimentary stone sandstone, and thus began using it solely to make the grindstones that sharpened their tools and other items.

The properties of sandstone were first discovered by renowned carpenter and gymnast William Van Metermeyer, who unearthed the fact that the stone, when grinding against something else, gave off a surprisingly invigorating lavender aroma (for which the stone is now best known). Carpenters began using it to build grindstones, because they found that it helped them to better focus and to stay more alert. When they would begin to feel fatigued, they would simply put their noses close to the grindstone and inhale the scent of the stone for energy, and then get back to work (hence the phrase).

As a related side note, this was also the birth of the popular new age practice of aromatherapy.

…this is all true.

Hello, happy campers! Here it is: post four (of six) that has been ripped from the cold, dead hands of my former blog. Re-posted here from 2007 for posterity, and may some relevant god have mercy on my sad soul. I give you Moral Turpitude. An Outrage.:

So, I was reading the RedEye this morning like a good little CTA rider, and I came across this small, glimmering gem of knowledge:

“One long-term study on rats showed that former binge-drinking rats—with a binge defined as exceeding the equivalent of a .08 blood alcohol level—had more trouble learning new things than rats that had never had a drop to drink. Tasked with swimming around a pool in search of a platform to stand on, the teetotaler rats were able to find the platform easily after it was moved, while the former binge drinkers—which had last been drunk three weeks earlier, the equivalent of six to seven human years—kept circling around the platform’s original location.”

Which just begs the question–if the average lifespan for a rat is 2-3 years, where are these rats being served? Clearly Chicago’s age enforcement for bars is not as stringent as we all thought. Shame on you, city enforcers. Shame on you. I move we discredit this study as unethical on the grounds that they must instead test on animals old enough to understand the effects of alcohol. Like turtles.

My Profound Apologies

July 20, 2011

Generally what looking over these old entries is like.

Entry numero trois in my series of recent posts that have been resurrecting old bloggity ghosts from my little blog graveyard where my former blog used to live a few years before I ever started writing this one. Let’s see if I can use the word “blog” some more. Blog bloggity bloggitude. Blog.

This post is actually decently interesting (to me), because it starts out as me around the year 2007, and then stretches back to my booze-soaked mindset around late 2005. And it is vastly different from the present, mostly due to slowly diminishing levels of substance abuse over those periods all the way to my current happy resting place of better emotional health. (Also, you’ll note I’m less snobby about online journaling now. Not related, but it bears mentioning since I have lots of current friends who use Livejournal and other things, and also since I’ve been much more emotionally candid on my own blog in recent years.) However, the message of my original 2005 post still resonates with me.

Isn’t that weird, by the way? When you find an artifact that proves the existence of a part of you you barely remember, but the artifact is still relevant?

So, anywho, here is my 2007 entry, My Profound Apologies (and, you know …my profound apologies):

I know I never actually post anything truly serious on here because I prefer to make my blog entries all very tongue-in-cheek, blatantly poking fun at the teary-eyed, attention-whore drivel that so many misguided, over-funded youths around me hammer out over weak-ass coffee and cigarettes they’re too young to buy and, likely, have to hide in the basement so their parents don’t find them. …Clearly I don’t speak from past experience or anything… I don’t post serious stuff because I live only very little of my life out of the public eye. Anything there is to know about me is pretty well-known by anyone I see regularly. There’s no need. Or ask me a question in person. I’ll give you an honest answer, and hey, probably offer to buy you a beer.

However, gentle reader (I’m going to go ahead and continue by the off-chance that there is possibly one of you out there who has made it tripping over the long-winded structure of my first paragraph. Bless your little heart), I will write this one serious blog post. Because I think it is a good thought.

I have kept a series of journals since I was about 14 years old. Back before Livejournal or Xanga or whatever else people use, when some individuals (myself included) had the idea that private journals were, well, private matters. My journals are full of most of the experiences I’ve had, many of the late teens/early 20s entries are substance-tainted (and the substances vary), and feature some pretty interesting poetry inspired by…well, inspirational quantities of liquor. The great equalizer. (Makes my poetry roughly as bad as the next guy’s.)

Yore.

Tonight I came across a few paragraphs that were the end of my very last entry of my college career. I have no remembrance of writing it (not unusual for me), but I thought it was truthful enough to bear repeating. So hear it goes; an excerpt of the life of a one-time rum-soaked harlot:

“I would really like to take the end of this experience day by day, not thinking about it as a whole. That way, I guess I’ll be less saddened or scared about moving on. On the other hand, I feel like if I don’t stop and really take in the weight of this time of my life–this time on the brink–that I’ll never be able to hold on to these moments like I’m supposed to. I don’t know which will make me a happier person in the long run, or if it matters. I’d like to take more pictures before it’s over. Open myself up a little more to the people I love. Breathe these occasions in. There just wasn’t enough time for all I wanted to experience with these people. Will all of life be so evanescent? Shimmering briefly, then going out as quickly as it had flared up?

Maybe someday when I’m dead these words will be read by a few. Or by more, god help them. They’ll certainly think me a lush and perhaps too liberal with my sexuality. I hope so much, however, that they find the heart in all of it. The love of freedom of expression, the appreciation of people who’ve touched my life, the drive toward actual substance, and the strain for meaning and understanding. That is what should be taken away from every single entry. That is what I put into them, every time, in the middle of all these nights spent writing. The enjoyment, the lunacy, the abandon, the grasping, and the pain. Telling it as I see it, whether it’s meant to be read or not. I wonder if someday I’ll have grandkids who stumble across these journals in a box and are appalled by the way I’ve lived my youth. I hope not, though. Because I sincerely hope they’ll have truly known me before I’ve died, that age will not bring with it the fear of truth and feeling for me. Anyhow, here’s to the rest of it. Goodnight.”

I’m pretty sure I passed out in an alcohol-induced slumber at that point, but you get the gist, yes?

For maximum effect, play this while scrolling down…slowly.

da daaaaaaaaaaaaaa…

da daaaaaaaaaaaa….

DA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…


DA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM


Obsessions Bite.

May 26, 2011

Okay, so here is what’s been going on. Here is what I’ve been thinking about every time I look like I’m listening for the past year. Here is what’s been distracting me from writing during my free time. Here is that comment or anecdote ready to burst from my anxious lips; from my hot, erupting brain. The thing that I’ve been visibly holding back in conversation so much of the time. Here is the thing I find it hardest to admit about myself.

**And I feel the need to put forth such a sensitive, revealing exposure of self as a penitent offering for not writing for so many months. Bless you, both of you, who read this. You shall now be rewarded with a large nugget of scandalous truth.**

Here it is. I, myself—she who is too cool for school, too hip for yo’ lip, too fab to…um…grab (and of course, I quote only myself here)—I am a mostly closeted Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanatic. FANATIC. Like, it’s fallen off into complete pathology.

I say “mostly closeted” because, while I will tell people I enjoy the show and occasionally engage in a little light Buffy chatter with like-minded individuals, I do not generally divulge the degree to which I am involved with this show. Even my darling male companion—he who introduced me to the long-gone television drama—only knows snippets of the reality of my sickness. He has grasped the stalactites and stalagmites of my geekdom where this is concerned, but he’s never seen inside the whole big, scary cave.

*waves from inside the cave*  Hi baby. Don’t judge me, mkay?   *vampire bats fly about over my head*

How did this happen, you may ask? Fair question, fair question.

So, I have resisted watching the show for years. As an awkward-appearance, slightly weird, and overly theatrical teen girl existing outside the skinny popular girl social orbit, when the show originally aired, I never felt drawn to the momentary glimpses I had had of the show’s protagonist. Sarah Michelle Gellar—a beautiful, tiny, perky teen girl (who at least starts out as a cheerleader). A cheerleader. No, please. Cheerleaders have always given me the wig. (Yeah, I see you, other Buffy fans who just enjoyed my use of the word “wig” here.)

You see, without having seen the show, I knew this archetypal girl at school, and…well…to put it delicately, she seemed to me a vile, heinous, Satan-incarnate bitch. And at 14, I was far too busy watching Dawson’s Creek to bother with a show that had the outright over-the-top special effects you see in the first few seasons of Buffy. I mean, come on. The Master looks like they put Mr. Bigglesworth’s head on Dr. Evil’s body.

So I never watched it.

Years later (about a year and three months ago, to be exact), I suddenly find myself as an adult (kind of), mostly living with my darling male companion, and this puts us both in the position of having shared programming for entertainment in the evenings. And hey—he just so happens to have all seven seasons of Buffy on DVD. He asked me if I would watch the first season with him, see if I could get into it (since he had seen the series once before and enjoyed it). And since the dear man had sat through every movie from my collection I could think to inflict upon him, I gladly obliged.

Well, gladly is the wrong word. Truthfully, I just thought it would be sort of unsupportive if I didn’t give it a good old try.

So, over the next few weeks, we watched the first season. Thankfully it is short, because the first season is not exactly the series’ finest work. This, of course, will be up for dispute among other Buffy fans, but I stand by it. The monsters in season one can be silly, the drama can be overplayed, and the special effects are old enough now to be more adorable than scary. However, as Joss Whedon is widely regarded for his winning dialogue, it was at least amusing, and I did really begin a love affair with the primary characters. So we moved on to season two.

Month after month, I watched diligently as Buffy, a character I grew to admire immensely for her integrity and general adorableness; Willow, who had my favorite ‘isms of the entire run; Xander, who I would so have dated in high school; and Giles, who I would so have dated right now (actually, Tara too); went on to defeat the Big Bad in story arch after story arch. Some plot lines were regrettable (*coughTheInitiativecough*), some were really compelling, and some ended up being sort of terrifying. That last season was dark, man.

It took us from February until about October to be finished with all seven seasons, during which I—no joke—became preoccupied enough to start subconsciously scanning a room for wooden pointy things the moment I walked in. That, gentle reader, was the beginning.

Two days after we witnessed the end of this show, to which I had devoted the at-home evenings of my every week, I found myself waking up in cold sweats, walking around with the shakes, hallucinating about vampire babies crawling on my ceiling and rotating their heads to look at me, experiencing unyielding hellmouthless restlessness, anxiety, and depression. General malaise. The Buffy and Angel love theme haunted my dreams. I listened to the Once More with Feeling soundtrack several times for a little bump, but it only barely took the edge off. I found myself feeling isolated and alone without my friends. Not, like, my actual friends. But without Tara and Willow. And Giles. And Oz. And Spike. It was full-blown withdrawal, and I was fairly certain it might injure me to stay that way too long.

And then it hit me like a stake to the heart. Oh my god. I had become a total and complete Buffy nerd; I mean absolutely to the core.

So, in order to alleviate my pain, and now that I had identified what I was, I made the decision to begin the show all over again. All the way back to the beginning. I work at a desk job where I can listen to things on my headphones, so I just started streaming it (intravenously) through my Netflix while I worked. I did this mostly in secret. I had literally just watched the entire series, so I was able to merely listen to it and watch what was going on in my memory with crystal clarity. And oh god, was that a relief. The world was back to normal. Joyce was still mothering. Tara was alive and waiting to be discovered. Giles was still a father figure. Angel’s neck wasn’t all thick and obnoxious. I could watch Faith get stabbed again (she annoyed the crap out of me). For that matter, the Mayor wasn’t a blown-up snake yet. (I love him beyond reason.) All was right.

Until I ran through the entire series again. Second time. This time I got through it in three months. Three months, back-to-back episodes. What a high. So, upon finishing season seven, I experienced the same problem. Sweats. Cravings. The fervent desire to see someone turn to dust after a well-timed pun or quip. But I knew what to do this time.

Season one, episode one—we meet again. I went through the entire series a third time. Three times through the entire series within a matter of a year and a few months and  change. I started noticing crazy, little things I might never have noticed. For instance, nearly all the monsters—if you listen to just the audio—are voiced by the Tasmanian Devil, as far as I can tell. Really. Listen to it. I found plot points I had never noticed before. In fact, I unearthed plot hole after plot hole. I know things no socially functional person should ever really know.

And just this Monday was the day I finished run number three.

Now. I sit here, on my computer, staring at the Netflix page I keep open and waiting on my far left tab. How many days will I wait? How many days will I pretend I’m done?

By the time you read this, dear reader, I wager I am already knee-deep in early high school vampire slayer angst.

It’s far too late for me.

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