Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Life Moves Pretty Fast. If You Don’t Stop and Look Around Once in a While You Might Miss It.

So I’ve been reading this book called Don’t You Forget About Me.
Basically, it’s contemporary writers talking about how the movies of
John Hughes changed their lives.  When I saw it at the bookstore, I
totally freaked out.  I mean, John Hughes movies defined much of my
youth and now these people, who are no doubt, more eloquent and
thoughtful that I am are writing about John Hughes.  I bought it right
away and got to reading.  I was about five essays in when I
realized…I can write a better essay about John Hughes than this.
They were all superficial, save one about the virgin/whore (molly
ringwald/ally sheedy) dichotomy.  None of them said anything all that
profound.  Needless to say, I was dissappointed.

Now, for those of you, who, unlike me, are not completely crazy and do
no aspire to be writers, you may not understand the need to write
essays.  But I assure you, though I never thought I’d assign myself an
essay after college, I can now think of nothing I’d rather do.  So
here it goes…How John Hughes changed my life.  By Julia Rose
Callahan

I guess we should start at the very beginning (a very good place to
start).  My first John Hughes movie, which also happened to contain my
first celebrity crush, came out when I was about seven years old.  A
little film called HOME ALONE.  That’s right, Macaulay Culkin alone in
the house, beating the crap out of Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci, plus
Catherine O’Hara and John Candy…can’t go wrong.

The thing about Home Alone was that it actually empowered the kids.
In a time when we were dealing with Richard Allen Davis and Polly
Klaas, a film where kids took control and fought off a potential
threat, was actually a very positive (though perhaps a bit too
hopeful) role model for young kids of my generation.  It gave us hope.
 This was really some of the first we were hearing about what
potential threats could be for us as youngsters and Home Alone showed
us that we didn’t have to take it lying down.  John Hughes was the
Leni Reifenstal of our generation (Leni Reifenstal with a much more
humane message, and without all the Nazi hoopla).

Mr. Hughes and I took a little break until my early adolescence.  When
I was in Junior High, my mom used to do this thing where she would go
to the video store on her way home from work and pick out movies.  It
always bugged the crap out of me that she did this because I didn’t
want to watch the movies she picked out (of course, they were
inevitably all great and I always loved them, but still…).  So one
Friday night my mom brought home a movie called The Breakfast Club,
and my life was forever changed.

These kids were me.  They felt what I felt, the dealt with the same
crap I dealt with.  I knew them.  And I knew assholes like Principal
Vernon.  Needless to say, all of us at a certain age have felt awkward
and out of place, even the most “popular” people have, at some time,
felt like they didn’t belong.

I really think the thing that got me about The Breakfast Club is that
I was a little of each of those people.  It didn’t matter what labels
they had, they all had similar problems.  I mean, who isn’t a little
bit of a basket case sometimes?  Ally Sheedy’s character most
resembled who I was when I watched that movie.  No, I wasn’t eating
Cap’n Crunch, Mayo, and Pixie Stick Sandwiches, but I was a total
loner, with few friends and no real way to relate to most of the
people I was in school with.

But a little part of me was Emilio Estevez as well.  I mean, I wasn’t
wrestling or really playing any kind of sport (except basketball), but
I knew what it was like to be under so much pressure you would do
anything to alleviate it.  I, like Emilio, blamed my parents, but
unlike Emilio, I did realize that I was actually the one putting
pressure on myself…his parents were actually putting pressure on
him.

This is also how I related to Anthony Michael Hall.  He gets an F in
shop because he can’t make a fucking lamp.  I never got an F in
anything, but I understand the sentiment because in my house a C was
like a D, which was like an F.  So if I got a C, I actually got an F
and then bad things happened.  And let’s face it, who hasn’t thought
of killing themselves (I mean, not necessarily with a flare gun).  Who
can’t relate to his plight, especially in High School?

Judd Nelson (who I met on Saturday, and who might actually be crazy)
was the Criminal.  He came from a broken home and acted out because of
it.  Now, my family was normal (well, not normal, but my parents are
semi-sane and still married), but I did act out because of certain
things.  I actually acted out because of all the pressure I felt.  Was
I as fucked up as John Bender?  No.  But I could relate to wanting to
act out.

I guess the person I related to the least was Molly Ringwald, but her
story includes the most pertinent/poignant part of High School life,
especially for women.  She’s the center of the Virgin/Whore dichotomy.
 Now, any UCSC people want to kill me because it seems like every
class you take at Santa Cruz (be it Chemistry, Feminist Studies, or
Underwater Basket Weaving) someone always has to bring this up.  I
think that now (thank you Sex and The City) we’re moving a little bit
away from that, but in the ’80’s it was still going strong.  In the
big moment where Molly Ringwald screams, ‘NO, I NEVER DID IT!’  She is
really screaming out of frustration.  What is she supposed to do.
She’s a prude because she’s a virgin, but if she wasn’t a virgin,
she’d be a whore.  As a modern woman, I ask, who hasn’t felt this way?
 You’re in your 20’s, you’re sexually active, you get drunk, you have
a one night stand, you inevitably feel slutty.  Sure your friends, who
have all done the same thing, assure you that it’s okay to just have
sex, but you can’t help feeling a little slutty…this feeling is even
worse when you’re younger (please don’t read into that…or do,
whatever).  It’s funny because I was watching the Breakfast Club last
night and I actually totally relate to Molly Ringwald’s character now.
 But, when I first saw The Breakfast Club, it was a different story.

So The Breakfast Club, in its more serious look at High School power
dynamics and sexual proclivities, introduced me to the concept that I
still carry to this day.  High school sucks, or as Angela Chase puts
it in My So-Called Life, ‘High School is a Battlefield for your
heart,’ but it’s also where you learn to survive in life.  It’s where
you learn to deal with pressure and lonliness and sex.  It’s a place
where you can make mistakes that (hopefully) won’t haunt you for the
rest of your life.  It’s a place where acting out will get you
Saturday School, but maybe you’ll meet people who are going through
the same things you are.  Maybe, you’ll stop seeing people in the
simplest terms and the most convenient definitions, and figure out who
people really are.

Plus, it’s got some of the best quotes in movie history.  So just
remember that screws fall out all the time…the world’s an imperfect
place and always remember to show dick some respect.

Where the Breakfast Club deals with the more serious, real problems
behind High School kids and the politics they are forced to adhere to,
Sixteen Candles deals with the most talked about problems in High
school…boys, dating, and being the middle child.  In one of my all
time favorite movie lines ever, Molly Ringwald sums up the plight of
the middle child ‘THEY FUCKING FORGOT MY BIRTHDAY.’  Her delivery is
impeccable, her expression is priceless, and the sentiment behind it
is so much more that a simple declaration of a forgotten 16th
Birthday, it’s a battle cry.  She’s not fucking around anymore.

I think Sixteen Candles is the most accessible of the John Hughes
Movies because, on the surface, there is not that much darkness in
this movie.  Unlike the Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink, Sixteen
Candles doesn’t tackle suicide or deadbeat parents.  It doesn’t tackle
all of the pressures of high school.  It does tackle boys and dating
though.  And, for anyone who has lived through high school, we know
that this does take up a lot of time and energy where you’re a high
school student.

Sixteen Candles is the fantasy that we all want.  The hottest guy in
school (who also happens to be two years older than us) decides to
drop his shallow hottie of a girlfriend and date the frumpy, sophomore
who has more going on in her head than in her bra.

Now, let’s be realistic, even if Jake Ryan dumps the dumb blonde and
dates us, the movie ends before happily ever after falls to shit.
Because in reality, Jake Ryan goes to college and starts hooking up
with the college girls and his high school girlfriend gets left in the
dust.

And let’s take out the if.  From my high school experience, people in
high school are, on the whole, too superficial to ever dump the hot
blonde with huge boobs.  Would the real life Jake Ryan have sex with
Molly Ringwald?  Yes.  Would he date her? No.

But that’s why we love John Hughes, right?  He gives us hope.  Sixteen
Candles is the Sleepless in Seattle of high school movies.  In
reality, this scenario would never ever work, but we can dream.  So I
guess we owe John Hughes a little thank you for getting us to dream.
(we also owe him a thank you for casting John Cusack who then went on
to star in Say Anything…lord love Lloyd Dobbler).

When I was in middle school and our shop teacher would be out for the
day (usually to surf because it’s Santa Cruz and he’s a professional
surfer), we always got to watch a movie.  One name always sprang up
and one day we got to watch it; it was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  And
my life was never the same.  I never heard Danka Shoen the same way.
I never saw Leiderhosen in the same light.  I never could listen to
Twist and Shout without wanting to be on a parade float in Chicago.

Sure, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is every kid’s fantasy.  A day off
where you do anything and everything.  Not the harsh reality of
ditching class where you just go and do the same thing you would do on
the weekend.  Beach, watch t.v.  maybe, once or twice you might have
snuck off to San Francisco on a self-appointed day off, but never did
a day of ditching class ever lead to anything as awesome as Ferris
Bueller’s Day Off.

While, on the surface, the film is just a fun romp, we actually dig a
bit deeper into the psyche of high school through the role of Cameron.
 Cameron is one fucked up kid, he’s got asshole parents who ignore him
and by the end of the movie he’s primed to stand up to them (only
after crashing his dad’s 1961 Ferrari 250GT California).  Cameron
becomes his own man after a day off with Ferris.

Did this movie effect me in the same way that The Breakfast Club did?
No.  But it’s still one of my favorites, and still gives hope that we
can play hookey and have the time of our lives.

The last of the John Hughes films that I saw was another of the darker
ones.  Pretty in Pink tackles the class divide in high school.  Later
explored in much more depth in a little show called Veronica Mars,
Pretty in Pink was really the first to explicitly portray the Rich vs.
Poor divide so prevalent in many high schools.  I guess my high school
was a little better with this divide than most because I never really
noticed that big of a divide.  Maybe that was because we were divided
(as most high schools in the Santa Cruz area) by race.  Though, once I
saw Pretty in Pink, I did start to notice that the people who drove
brand new cars all seemed to hang out together.

Of course, I’m sure that divide is much more prevalent in places like
Los Angeles or San Francisco or New York.

Of course, as a total nerd magnet, I think that Molly Ringwald
should’ve picked Ducky instead of Andrew McCarthy at the end (which
was the original ending) but Ms. Ringwald didn’t want that to happen.

It actually gives a good message that she ends up with Andrew McCarthy
because it does sort of show that class divides can be overcome, but
really, he treated her like shit and he doesn’t really deserve her.

Anyway, I set out trying to show how John Hughes Changed my life.  I
don’t know if that was achieved.  I guess it’s harder than it looks.

Peace, Love, and John Hughes,


Julia

Advertisements

June 14, 2007 Posted by | High School, John Hughes, Movies, Sex | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk About Sex (and the City) Baby!

So last week, after my John Hughes email, I was talking to a friend who will remain nameless and she had an interesting take on what I was saying about the Virgin/Slut dichotomy that Molly Ringwald dissects in The Breakfast Club.  My friend posed a very interesting question:  As women are ‘allowed’ to have sex without being called a slut, what happens to the Virgins?  Interesting. 

We, as women, are so quick to be excited that we’re not considered slutty for having sex or wanting to have sex, we forget that now choosing not to have sex is looked down upon.  And I will be the first to admit that when my friend brought this up I hadn’t thought about that scenario.  As a woman of the 21st century, I always took pride in the fact that I am able to have sex and enjoy sex without being looked down upon. 

This started being true in the ’80’s.  Sure, the sixties and seventies were all about free love, but there was still a stigma attached to women who had sex with multiple partners.  But the eighties changed many things.  The late seventies and early eighties saw the teen sex comedy come to the big screen, where men set out to loose their virginities, but with movies like Little Darlings (starring Oscar Winner Tatem O’Neal and teen favorite Kristy MacNichol), women were cast in roles that had them searching to Lose it.  Of course, as a woman these movies always had dire consequences.  Rape, pregnancy, the ‘I should have waited’ excuse.  Sex was rarely good for women UNTIL…drum roll please, SEX AND THE CITY.  Sure, there were instances beforehand where unmarried women had sex and the world didn’t end, but those instances were few and far between before Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda graced the small screen and changed womanhood.

Now, there is another person in my life that will also remain nameless who loves to argue with me about sex and the city.  Now, in all fairness, this person is married and has not had to date for multiple decades, so I believe that he/she  doesn’t really have the authority to comment, but that doesn’t stop him/her.  This person claims that Sex and the City is a depressing, and unrealistic version of single life.  But I see it differently.  Sex and the City makes it okay to be single…a revolutionary notion in this day and age.  I mean all four of these ladies are single for some prolonged period of time, none of them stay with a man who treats them like shit (I mean Carrie breaks up with Big because of this more than once), and when they are single there is not pressure between them to be in relationships.  There are multiple episodes of Sex and the City where Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda are the only single people at a party and they support each other, when their snooty married friends are looking down on them.

Not only did sex and the city change how single women felt about themselves…it changed how we viewed ourselves.  For the four ladies (even in the end) it is always about them first.  It’s about their friendship, not their relationships with men.  Though their relationships with men are important (and some are much better than others), their friendships with each other is what gets them through life. 

But Julia, you started this email talking about sex…where’s the sex?  Well, young ones, Sex and the City is (in more than just my mind) responsible for a HUGE change in women and their relationship to sex.  Okay…I’m going to warn you now, put the young ones to bed…and if you don’t want to hear your neice, daughter, granddaughter, friend, talk frankly about sex then stop reading right now because here it goes…and I’m not censoring it.

Sex and the City made it okay to have sex with lots and lots and lots of people (both men and women) and not be ‘slutty.’  Enter a woman named Samantha Jones.  Samantha has tons of sex, and she has it in such a way that one could consider slutty, but in the show she is never seriously judged by any of her friends.  Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda are definitely not doing it as much or with as many people as Samantha, but they never seriously call her a slut, and they never put Samantha down for having tons of sex.  I’m going to make a claim that you all are free to argue: Samantha is the first woman on television who has lots of sex and isn’t made to feel bad about it.  Samantha loves orgasms (who doesn’t?), she loves dicks, she loves her vibrator, she is open, she is experimental, she is probably one of the best role models women have ever had…and not just in regards to sex (the fact that she runs her own P.R. firm is pretty awesome as well).

And now we women refer to are more sexually active friends as ‘the samantha of the group’ instead of ‘the slutty one.’  But Samantha isn’t the only lady who gets her groove on on a regular basis.  In fact, all the women of Sex and the City are pretty active, and that’s what is so great.  As long as there have been groups of female friends (after the 1950’s) there have been, as Margaret Cho puts it, The Sweet One, The Smart One, And Then There’s The Ho.  But really, in Sex in the City those labels dissappate.  Sure, Samantha has more one night stands, but all four of the women participate in many of these themselves.  Sex and the City not only does not judge the one ‘slutty’ friend, but it shows that even the non-‘slutty’ friends can be pretty ‘slutty.’  And ladies I have to say…ain’t that the truth.  We all have give and take with our friends on which one’s the Sweet one (okay so this isn’t always negotiable), which one’s the smart one, and which one’s the ho.  

But, our new outlook to sex isn’t the only thing that rocked about Sex and the City.  Sex and the City (and I fully intend to hear back from my little friend who likes to argue about this show with me) showed dating as it really is.  It didn’t show some sweet, romantic, candlelight, 90210, Dawson’s Creek dating, no, no.   It showed the horrid,  we have nothing to talk about, he wants me to pee on him, you want to stick that where? kind of dating that anyone who has been single in the last 10 years or so has probably experienced.  It showed dating how it really is…a battlefield.  There are landmines, and undetected attacks, and more landmines.  People now date for so long that they have emotional baggage that would easily sink the Titanic yet again, and, they try to hide it.  But really, you can’t hide that much crap and sooner or later it all comes to the surface and you find out how fucking freakish everyone is.  Before sex and the city, that was never really spoken about.  Sure we told our girlfriends about the first time we touched it, the first time we licked it, the first time.  We talked about how bad certain things taste, we talked about how weird certain experiences were, and we definitely talked about how bad certain experiences were, but before sex and the city we didn’t have the assurance that every other woman was dealing with the same shit we were.  Until the funky spunk episode, how were we supposed to know that sometimes that shit just doesn’t taste right?  And that it’s okay to say, this tastes like ass and I’m not gonna take it anymore.

I warned you folks…it’s getting raunchy in here.  And you know what, you all have Sex and the City to thank for that.  For me personally, before I watched that show, I was never as up front and frank about sex as I am now.  Now, I have no problem talking about fellatio and cunnilingus (in much cruder words) and I have no qualms about having these conversations over lunch.  Thank you ladies  of the city for letting us live our lives and for letting us talk about our sexual proclivities, sometimes even in public. 

So, Julia, what of the virgins and the women who choose not to participate in copious amounts of copulation who you started off this increasingly loquacious email talking about?  Well, Sex and the City actually addresses that in an episode that takes place in the Hamptons.  Carrie looks on in a bit of Horror as her 25 year old shadow confesses that she is, in fact, a virgin…and is saving herself for marriage.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in saving yourself for marriage.  I don’t care who you are…that is a terrible plan.  You have to test drive the car before you buy it.  In any case, Carrie, though shocked, handles herself quite well before deciding that  ‘And then I realized, twenty something girls are just fabulous until you see one with the a man who broke your heart.’ 

I guess I’m not doing a very good job of standing up for the not so sexually active, but let me take another route.  I agree with my friend, now the women and men not getting busy are stigmatized, and yes, to a certain extent they shouldn’t be stigmatized for waiting…as long as they’re waiting for the right reasons.  Yes, I am making huge moral judgements right now, but from my experiences those who decide to wait until marriage to get busy, usually get married much too young and they are almost always divorced shortly after (hello, Jessica Simpson anyone?)  Sex is not a good reason to get married, though, it seems like in certain red areas of the country this is the norm.  No wonder the divorce rate is so high, no wonder people are fucking miserable.  Still, I don’t think that choosing not to sleep with a large variety of people is something to be stigmatized or something to be looked down upon…as long as people choose to wait for the right reasons. 

We’ve come a long way from having sex meaning you get pregnant, killed, or take some sort of dramatic fall, but let’s not lean too far in the opposite direction either. 

Peace, Love, and Safe Sex,

Julia

June 14, 2007 Posted by | High School, Hollywood, Sex, Sex and the City, Television | Leave a comment

A Battle of Epic Proportions

I come from a long line of teachers.  Granparents, aunts, parents, all
are in the field of education.  And I know from personal experience
that they are all great at what they do.  I have the utmost respect
for educators, especially educators that work with kids that don’t
want to learn.

I’ve dabbled around in tutoring and training, but it wasn’t until
yesterday that I actually came face to face with what teachers are
actually up against.  And it’s not like I experienced the brunt of it,
just a frustrating little faction of how unmotivated kids can be.

I was working at the bookstore yesterday and a kid who couldn’t have
been more than 13 came up to me asking about bestsellers.  He wanted
to know if we had a section of bestsellers.  Now, like any bookstore,
the bestsellers are near the front of the store so I showed him where
they were, but that was not the end of this little terror.  Three
minutes later he asked again for bestsellers.  I got the feeling that
he wanted me to show him exactly what the bestsellers were.

Now, I don’t know how many of you have actually looked at a book
(apparently that kid hadn’t ever seen the cover of a bestseller)
because they advertise the shit out of the fact that any particular
book was or is a bestseller.  So I took this kid, who, judging by his
parents, was a spoiled little you know what, and started grabbing
every book that said bestseller on it.

Now here’s where I actually laughed out loud in the kid’s face.  Yeah,
I know I’m a bitch.  I have no problem laughing in a kid’s face when
he’s being ridiculous.  Hell, I have no problem laughing in anyone’s
face when they’re being ridiculous.  I know that being ridiculous is a
sort of L.A. thing, but I don’t buy into it and find endless amusement
in how damn seriously people take themselves (in all fairness, I had
no problem laughing at the same kind of people in Los Gatos or Aptos
or any other self-important group of rich people when I lived
elsewhere, so it’s not exclusively a trait specific to Los Angeles,
but it does seem abundant in the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area).

But I digress…this kid actually scoffed at the books I handed him.
And, to tell you the truth, I did put some thought into the books
before it became obvious that this kid couldn’t care less what the
book was.  This revelation came when the kid scoffed, and then noted
that all the books I was handing him were ‘too long.’   Now, I’m not
feeding this kid War and Peace.  Hell, I didn’t even give him John
Irving.  I was giving him books that were around 300 Pages long.

I’m sorry, but I can read that in a day.  I know that not everyone
can, but 300 pages is not that many even for high school.  I swear, it
took all my might not to just slap the kid. Like I said, I did laugh
out loud at this point.  And promptly gave him a novel that was about
150 pages long.

So I said earlier that I’m a mean nasty bitch.  This is probably the
reason that if I ever go into teaching, I’ll be teaching college.  I
have not one ounce of patience for that shit.  I almost walked away
and just said find the damn book yourself.  Then it caught my eye.
Just released on paperback in a nice aquamarine colored cover.

I gave the kid Everyman by Philip Roth.  Have fun with your short book kid.

Peace, Love, and Vindictiveness,

Julia

P.S.  Thank you to all my teachers and my family who are teachers for
putting up with that kind of shit.  I would just slap them.  You’re
better people than I am and my deepest thanks for molding the minds
that will allow you.

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Education, High School, Los Angeles | Leave a comment

Unprecedented

Ok guys,
So I know I’ve alluded to atually writing something other than
mediocre rants about crap you all could probably care less about, but
none of you, with the exception of my parents, have actually read said
material.

So here it is.  Feel free to be as mean and nasty or nice and fluffy
about it as you would like.  But first I’d like to give a little
disclaimer.

1) I haven’t done more than proofread for grammatical errors since I
wrote this.  But feel free to rip it apart.  I was a lit major…I can
guarantee someone’s said something worse about something I’ve written
(and I’m probably related to her).

2)  Since my father didn’t quite get this, I feel the need to explain.
 For those of you who are science people and haven’t really had to
write more than a lab report (or in the case of my father, a lesson
plan) you may not be aware of the fact that when people write fiction
they make up characters.  That’s right kids, this story is not about
me.  I mean, sure, I only have the experiences I’ve had so I can only
really write from them, but the girl in this story is a fictional
character.

3) I know it’s dark, but you know what?  This is how I deal with my
demons.  Some people work out, some people smoke crack, I write.  And
contrary to popular belief, I don’t think the world is all sunshine
lollypops and rainbows everywhere.

Ok, Love you all.  Enjoy.  And let the games begin.

Julia

I’m attaching the document, but I use mac so just in case I’m going to
paste the text below.

                                                           She
          Smoke surrounds her face as she brings the cigarette to her
lips.  Shiny with lipgloss, they close around the filtered tip.  She
inhales slowly, savoring the flavor.  Her eyes connect with his from
across the room.  She is obscured by the fingers of smoke coming off
the cherry of her cigarette and his interest is piqued.  She takes
another sip of the clear liquid in her hand as he slowly makes his way
across the room.  They never take their eyes off of each other.  Even
when he is stopped by a group of his friends, his eyes are on her
face.  The dim lights of the party and the incessant haze of smoke
around her excites and scares him.  She watches as his ex drunkenly
stumbles towards him, running a finger seductively from his lip to the
buckle of his pants.  Still, his eyes never leave her.  A warm heat
spreads through her chest.  Partially from the vodka, partially from
his ceaseless gaze.  She is hypnotized, she wants to look away, but
she can’t.  She knows he’s bad news.  She knows he’s trouble, but his
messy hair and the chain around his neck and the glow of his eyes make
her feel alive because she knows he’s alive.  She thinks about dying
all the time.  She thinks about killing herself.  She thinks of pain.
When she’s in the bathroom, alone, in her parent’s modest middle class
house in the suburbs of a town she can’t stand, she drags the razor
across her skin painfully slowly.  But as he walks towards her that is
all forgotten.  It is as if he has cured her with his deep brown eyes.
 She’s lost, but he has found her.  And maybe it’s a cliché, but she
doesn’t care.  She doesn’t want to think about anything else.

He stops in front of her and carefully brushes a strand of her curly
brown hair behind her ear.  She smirks at him, the corners of her
mouth turning up ever so slightly at the corners.  It’s the most
sincere smile she’s smiled in over a year.  He smiles back with the
same smile.  And they just look at each other, transfixed.  His gaze
moves slowly down her arm as he sees the bottle of clear liquid.  She
doesn’t need a chaser, she’s been doing this for a long time and she
likes the pain that it causes as it slides down her throat.  She
doesn’t want to dull that pain with orange juice or diet Pepsi, she
relishes the pain, the burning.  He knows.  He respects that.
Respects her.  No one else does.  That’s why she loves him.

His fingers graze her shoulder.  Her whole body erupts in goosebumps
even though she is wearing a leather jacket.  The warmth of his hand
permeates her beloved jacket, the one she never leaves home without.
She lives in California, but she never takes off her jacket.  It hides
her from the world, shelters her from the hurt she’s afraid to feel.
She loves the physical pain, it’s the emotional kind that kills her.
Even though she’s felt a relatively small amount of it, she fears it.
She doesn’t fear death, doesn’t fear her parents catching her with
this bottle of vodka in her hand, she doesn’t fear the future.  She
fears the pain.  She fears emotion.  And her jacket keeps it out.  It
keeps people away.  It scares them away.  Until him.

They haven’t even said anything to each other yet and she knows that
she’s just shed her jacket in front of him.  She’s giving it to him.
She starts to loose the ability to think coherent thoughts as his
fingertips lightly move down her arm.  They stop at her hand, at the
bottle and, for the first time, they have actual physical contact.
He takes the bottle from her hand and slowly lifts it to his lips.
His full red lips.  As he brings the bottle down his tongue comes out
to taste the last remnants of vodka on his lower lip.

He brings the bottle up to his lips one more time.  This time, she
can’t stop herself.  She reaches for him and slowly licks the remnants
of Vodka off his lips.  Her eyes slip closed as she feels every
emotion, every muscle, every breath.  For the first time since they
locked eyes across the room, their eye contact is broken and it’s
wonderful.  His chin is coarse with stubble and this is the first time
she’s ever found that sensation pleasurable.  When her dad forgets to
shave she doesn’t let him kiss her, but this stubbled cheek makes her
kiss him harder.  She wants some of him to seep inside of her.  He’s
so much better than she is and maybe if she kisses him hard enough, a
little bit of him will rub off on her.  As her lips are pressed
against his she knows she’s come home.  She knows she’s found her soul
mate.  She doesn’t even believe in soul mates, but she’s found hers.
And in that moment she knows that he has the power to crush her.  He
can hurt her in a way she’s never been hurt before.  She’s scared, but
she’s excited at the same time.

As they pull apart a small smirk plays on his lips.  He lifts the
bottle one more time and takes a gulp.  He lowers the bottle.  His
fingertips, along with the brown paper bag, graze her hand lightly.
She slowly opens her hand to accept the bottle.  She smiles at him and
he smiles back.

“Thanks” he says quietly.  He turns around and heads for the door.
She knew he would break her heart.

June 14, 2007 Posted by | High School, Santa Cruz, Sex, Stories | Leave a comment

I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation…

So I spent Sunday night working (who’s shocked?).  I worked at
Paramount, where they threw a huge party on the New York City backlot.
 The Killers played, me and the other pages who were working snuck off
to drink some champagne.  All in all it was a good night.

I’m not shocked easily.  The Santa Cruz I grew up in is not the Santa
Cruz most of you know.  I was 12 when I made my first friend who also
happened to be a speed freak.  I started smoking cigarettes at 13.  I
started drinking alcohol at 14.  When I was 15 a friend of mine died
of a heroin overdose.  By the time I was 16 I’d already taken more
than one friend to planned parenthood for various reasons.  Now, I’m
not saying this to elicit any sort of sympathy and I know that all
that information may be shocking to some of you.  I’m sorry.  I mean
no harm and I promise I have a point, a big one.  My point right now
is that it takes a lot to shock me.  In fact, I can’t really remember
a time when I was really and truly shocked about something that people
were doing.

Moving to London, and then to Los Angeles was certainly eye-opening
and both of them were a change, but neither were shocking.  And really
nothing that’s happened to me here so far has been, categorically
speaking, shocking…until Sunday night.

So this party at Paramount is rumored to have had 6000 people at it.
But really, it seemed more like 2000, maybe 3000.  In any case, there
were a lot of people there.  And as I was carting around drunk old
people (going to and coming from a private party on the lot)  I passed
by what seemed to me to be an extremely high percentage of drunk
women.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting drunk on New
Year’s Eve…Hell, I’m all for getting drunk period.  It’s fun, it
makes you to funny shit, and it’s a good way to let yourself let loose
like you wouldn’t normally.  It seemed to me, however, this New Year’s
Eve, that everywhere I turned there was some girl who was so drunk she
couldn’t stand.  Some girl puking in the very expensive, very highly
manicured plants, some ambulance coming for some girl who drank until
she was poisoned.  Some unbelievably drunk girls.

Now, when I was in college things like this happened.  Hell, when I
was in high school things like this happened.  Now this party cost
these people $150/person to get in.  Drinks were not free, neither was
food.  I guarantee you, most of the people attending this party were
25 or over.  They were old enough to have jobs that paid them enough
to spend $150 to go to a party (either that or they’re hot off the
real life Beverly Hills 90210).  Now don’t get me wrong, the people at
this party were, by and large, young.  But they weren’t that young.

What I’m getting at here is that on Sunday night, for the first time
in a long time, for the first time that I can remember, I was really
and truly shocked.  This kind of obscene alcohol consumption never
used to bother me.  But at a certain point it’s just sad and…wait
there’s a word for it right?  Oh yeah, fucking alcoholism.  I’m sorry
but what was once, us being young and stupid, is now really
depressing.  The shocking part of it for me was the sheer number.  I
saw, and I’m not being hyperbolic, at least 10 or 15 girls who were so
drunk they couldn’t walk.  And  I wasn’t even at the party…not
really.  I was working at a different party and they just happened by
me on their way out of the studio or on their way to a nice manicured
bush.

I guess what shocked me so so much is the fact that we’re not kids.
I’m sure these people have been doing this since college.  And you
know what, I used to do it in High School.  I got drunk all the time
and puked in bushes and generally was a complete asshole, but I grew
out of it.  So much so that when I do drink, I never get to the point
where I can’t walk or can’t get myself home by walking, cab or subway
(yes, L.A. has a subway).  Is this what my generation has come to?
People work all day in jobs that are obviously paying them too much
since they can afford this party, then drink themselves into oblivion.
 I mean, we’re a smart group of people, my generation.  We’re
disillusioned by everything, we’re completely skeptical, a bit
cynical.  We have trouble with relationships, we sleep with people we
shouldn’t, and we were raised completely by television (this is not
meant as a bad thing, just a simple statement).  But overall, we’re a
pretty smart group of kids.  Our parents are, on the whole, a college
educated bunch.  A huge percentage of us are college educated, and
those of us who aren’t are smart in other ways.  I’m hard-pressed to
find a truly stupid memeber of my generation.   Lazy, yes.  Cluless,
sometimes.  But really fucking stupid, hardly ever.  So why do people
feel the need to get so unbelievably obliterated that they can’t
function?

And you know what.  For once, I don’t have an answer.

Don’t mean to leave this on a downer people, but it’s 9 and I have to
work tomorrow and I’m so unbelievably exhausted (from working every
day except one since Thanksgiving…that’s right Christmas day was my
first day off since Thanksgiving and I haven’t had a day off
since…there isn’t one in sight either) I’m going to bed at nine.
And I’m sleeping until seven so I can get up and greet people to go on
the Paramount studios tour.  Living the dream people, living the
dream.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year.
Love you all,

Julia

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Alcoholism, Education, High School, Santa Cruz | 1 Comment