BY Ira

11/01 Direct Link
Wonder if most people start this off writing about 100 words itself. I was going to, but I'm in computer rage mode, as my new broadband (I finally joined the modern world!) insists on connecting and disconnecting itself pretty much arbitrarily. (The modern world is overrated.) I'm furious - I'm paying extra for a service that is supposed to have a reputation of being reliable, and it's only the first day! Computers are maddening.

This is an inauspicious start. I won't spend 30 days writing about how much I hate computers, I promise.

One hundred words is really not a lot.
11/02 Direct Link
Something so simple, yet for some reason I had forgotten it until I read it again today. The first time I read of the idea, it struck me as so simple, so obvious, that I couldn't understand why I hadn't thought of it before. And then what do I do? I went and forgot it again. Until today.

Maybe after this I have to go find a piece of paper, write it down, put it up somewhere where it would be prominent: Would you treat other people the way you've been treating yourself? If not, why do you do it?
11/03 Direct Link
Had a drink with two friends and one of the friends' father, where conversation descended into anti-immigration and racism and the father ranting about foreigners and mostly ignoring me - for that's what I am. A foreigner, who can never feel at home here - because I can never tell whether the next person I meet would hate me for something over which I have no control. Angry and desperately sad and know that I shouldn't take it so hard, but I do, every time, knowing that there's no corner of the earth I know of I could truly call home.
11/04 Direct Link
Still not over yesterday. I know I should be. I take these things way too personally. Have just been watching freestyling battles on youtube so everything is rhyming. But back to yesterday. Most upsetting was finding out my friends hold similar kind of views. Tabloid poison. Will have to confront them about it next time I see them, I hope I can, though it probably won't go well. But I can't bear it - it hurts too much when I hear that kind of thing from my friends. It's not politics, but how you view and treat your fellow human beings.
11/05 Direct Link
Should book an appointment to see the doctor some time this week. Had chest pain two days in a row, and not the kind I used to have that recedes after ten seconds or so - these ones lasted about five to ten minutes. I think it was my heart. It probably is nothing serious, but at the time it was a twisting pain, almost like Richard Pryor described, and I found myself wishing to God, if he or she is there, not to take me just yet - I haven't done much with my life. I'm not ready to go yet.
11/06 Direct Link
We drink and we talk and we ask what each other has been up to and we talk about things on tv and the music making it necessary to shout into each other's ears and anything and everything inconsequential but within reach to fend off the silence and fill the time and pass the evening, but sometimes, not often but sometimes the mood changes, don't know how it happens, sometimes someone asks or mentions something that matters, and we look into each other's eyes and we see ourselves opening up.

In other news, a hundred words is not really enough.
11/07 Direct Link
Not sure what to write about today. Have decided to try internet radio. Have to get things in order. Look for volunteer work. Also have difficult confrontation with friends coming up.

Started reading Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. She's very funny. I really like the idea that hope is a revolutionary patience, which she quotes from a preacher. It's very true.

Life is demanding patience. I am demanding patience from myself. Changes are slow, but they are there, if I pull back far enough, largely with hindsight.

Waiting for results from U.S. election. Hoping for some hope there.
11/08 Direct Link
Think I'm coming down with a cold. Cannot think straight. Am angry - with myself, with others (and not sure whether I should be), with computers that don't work as they should. Don't want this to be a blog.

Good results to the US election though. Hopefully they'll take the Senate too. Hopefully it'll be the beginning of them turning back in the right direction. Tomorrow hopefully I won't be ill and will be able to go outside, get out of my head and my flat and have better stories to tell.

I use the word hopefully a lot don't I.
11/09 Direct Link
Couldn't go outside today, have a cold. Hope it's better tomorrow. I'm trying some new things, things I hadn't done before, and I read somewhere that just before you try to make these changes you often get a cold or something that tries to put you off. I won't let it.

Good news from the US and an air of optimism, even if the news reporter said what I already thought, that most people voted against the incompetence, not the conservatism. But at least they are heading in the right direction - and in 2008 they may have Clinton and Obama.
11/10 Direct Link
Did manage to go outside today, and it gave me an idea for a short comedy sketch which turned into a script for a short film. It's an idea; don't know if it's any good. I always feel it necessary to add that disclaimer or qualifier, because how foolish would I look if it turns out not to be any good right? At least these days I can stop myself pre-empting it with It's probably shit.

I will write it anyway, it seemed good in my head.

Had many ideas for this paragraph, none of which were under thirteen words.
11/11 Direct Link
I have emailed a friend and asked him not to ever say anything racist or anti-immigrant/foreigner in front of me again. He has not replied, when he usually replies almost straight away. I'll try not to jump to conclusions. But I had to stand up for myself. I was never allowed to, in my family, so over recent years I've had to figure it out for myself. And learn that it's better to lose people than to bottle it all up inside. That conflict can help relationships grow. I'm getting better at it, and more relaxed with it.
11/12 Direct Link
Today I saw Mark Thomas, a comedian and investigative journalist who's doing quite a lot to change the world. I would like to do something like what he does one day. Although I don't think it's too paranoid to think that going up against arms dealers all the time as he does, he may well end up dying a death under suspicious circumstances. But we're all gonna die anyway. It'd be a life well-lived.

...and twenty-four words are not really enough to express my next thought. It would've been great - you'll just have to trust me on that.
11/13 Direct Link
I don't know if I have any truth worth telling Anne Lamott.

Need to spend less time on the computer, so sometime this week I'm going to take a one-week break from the internet. Sitting in front of the computer so much is not healthy. Need to exercise. Never was one for the gym - the monotony of things like cycling machines and weights is too much. I prefer team sports. The other day I started wondering why cycling and rowing machines in gyms are not hooked up to power generators - it seems an awful lot of energy to waste.
11/14 Direct Link
Self-absorption aside, I am not quite sure why I struggle so much to remember people's names and faces. I gather it's my subconscious sticking to the decision it made a long time ago: that people are not worth the trouble, that they are only going to hurt you in the end. I'd like to think that logically I don't believe that anymore, but I'm unable to turn off the pre-emptive forgetting as self-preservation - that's also why I remember so little from my childhood. And also why Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind means so much to me.
11/15 Direct Link
BBC News headline: Japan patriot bill clears house. Japan's lower house of parliament has passed a bill encouraging teachers to instil patriotism and respect for tradition in their students. Why do people have to be taught to love their country? Shouldn't love develop naturally?

How can you teach someone to love something?

This particular story was about Japan, but it happens everywhere. Humanity really seems to be regressing lately.

Gay marriage and civil unions are being made legal in more and more places though, so it's not all bad. People are trying their best, in little pockets of the world.
11/16 Direct Link
2007 will be the best year ever, I'll say to myself come first of January. I'll be a whole different person - better, stronger, happier. I do this every year of course, like most everybody else. Still, I like New Year's - I'll take any and all symbolic opportunities for new starts I can get.

I don't like christmas, or pretty much any other holidays or special days in the year. Especially if it involves obligatory gift-giving. That includes my birthday. I like gifts spontaneous, random, and given only when somebody truly wants to, when the person is thinking of you.
11/17 Direct Link
If I were anyone else, a friend, partner, even family, I would've given up on myself by now. By that I mean if anyone else had treated me the way I treat myself, had been unreliable and irresponsible and destructive the way I've been, for this long, I would've given up on them. But I can't give up on myself. So all I can do is be infinitely patient and encouraging, and hope someday I would be able to change.

As said in Hitchhiker's: If I ever meet myself, I'll hit myself so hard I won't know what's hit me.
11/18 Direct Link
Avocados is a recent discovery. Had I tried it before? Probably, though I don't remember. But I tried it recently. The first time, probably because I hadn't let it ripen enough, it tasted awful and I ended up throwing most of it away. The second time, it becomes one of those things that make me think there is probably a god. I mean, sure he lets an awful lot of awful things happen - but he made avocados. so he's alright in my book.

Wikipedia says they are mildly toxic, especially to animals. I just think they are addictive. So good.
11/19 Direct Link
Having only seen the first Lord Of The Rings film, I caught the end of the third on tv today. It made me think: wouldn't it be a good idea for a story, say one in which the hero and a sidekick travel on an epic journey, for there to be a twist at the end, where the loyal and humble sidekick turns out to be the one destined to save the world all along, and the original hero's role was just to take him or her there? It has probably been done - though I can't think of an example.
11/20 Direct Link I thought it'd be fun to write a 100-words of just dialogue.

Right. So what kind of a character am I?

You don't have character, really. You're a stand-in.

What? Why?

Because I'm afraid to create real fictional characters. Because I don't understand people, their motivations and hopes and fears and dreams. Because I'm afraid any character I create would just be a flat, poorly-disguised facsimile of myself - because that's all I know.

Why do you fucking bother then?

I don't...really know.



...heh - this is a bit Charlie Kaufman-esque isn't it?

11/21 Direct Link
It was like waking up - the fog of alcohol lifting and him finding himself on top of her, their lips locked, their tongues swirling. Her eyes closed.

He could not remember how he got there, but as sobriety set in, his heart grew cold; she was no longer the girl he was head over heels in love with. She wrapped her legs around him then, but he felt numb. It was all wrong.

I'm too drunk, he whispered in her ear, an excuse that was the opposite of the truth - and pulled away from her, stood up and walked away.
11/22 Direct Link
I am blessed in that I fall to sleep easily, and get great dreams - dreams that I think would make great scripts or feature films. The only problem is, I don't get to remember them.

Often I'm aware, in that halfway place of half-awakeness, that I'm having a great dream, and I don't want to wake up but I'm having to, and I'm saying to myself, Please remember this, this is fucking great, this is genius - as reality insists on rudely intruding and taking over. And then it's like trying to stop the tide from receding with your fingers.
11/23 Direct Link
I get disturbed by people saying things like We played really well, when they mean The sports team I support played really well. You weren't on the field, were you? I get disturbed by the lengths people would go to to belong to something. Players get sent death threats from fans of a rival team. Death, and for what? Football. I like football too, like playing it, but at the end of the day it's just people kicking a ball back and forth into nets, isn't it? Death, for that?

And once again 100 words leave me no room to
11/24 Direct Link
I'd only gone up to her to buy her cd, having enjoyed her performance, so when she said, looking me straight in the eye, seemingly out of nowhere, If you'd like to talk, we'll be in the bar later. - this was not the kind of performer/audience interaction I was used to. And why did she say talk? Could she see - did she know?

Or maybe it was nothing, maybe it was her imperfect english, maybe she meant chat or hang out and was simply open to audience feedback. But I left and went home. And I wish I hadn't.
11/25 Direct Link
I'm thinking I may have grown to enjoy my own company too much - don't think I've really felt lonely as such for years. There's always something to be getting on with, something to learn, something creative to do, something other creatives have done that I can enjoy - and that's always preferable to people, unreliable, frustrating and unfathomable. I hesitate to say this because it shows me in a bad light - once you've done a certain amount of growing up you know misanthropy, fashionable as it is, is not really something to be proud of. I'd like to love people, but...
11/26 Direct Link
I know we've had nothing to do with each other for a while now, but I hope you won't mind, if I use you as motivation, as fuel for my drive.

Do tell me about how well you've been. Do tell me how happy you became, once you left me, how you found love, love that makes you happy, how you're having a great life and now doing the things I told you I wanted to do, all those years ago. I have been lost, but bitterness and jealousy will be my compass. And you will inspire me after all.
11/27 Direct Link
They say old habits die hard. I would like to see them die. I would like to see them die quick deaths. Then I will dance over their graves, maybe have a party, and I don't even like parties. At least not most of the ones I've been to.

I am having two good days - I'm feeling more centred, more myself. I'm hoping I can make it last longer this time.

It's strange how my words, insubstantial-looking in the word processor, takes on a strange sort of grace when it goes into 100 words and falls into its formatting.
11/28 Direct Link
She said I was going to learn from this, my first painful breakup, and I said Yeah, next time, to compensate, I'm going to be too aloof. The I'm going to be too close again. Then I'm going to be too distant. And I will swing like a pendulum between the two, until god knows when I'll get it right. And she laughed, and she said that she was glad I still had my sense of humour. She was glad to see me joking about it. But I wasn't.

I like to meet people, really. But only once. No relationships.
11/29 Direct Link
I had two stories, well sort of stories, one about being on a plane, one about being on a train. But the images are not forming in my mind, so I'll have to leave them for another day. I am in a hurry. There are not enough hours in the day. I wish I had more time to really enjoy this writing. I want to stop writing about myself. I spent a lot of money on a camera for this reason. I want to learn to pay attention. I want to see the good around me. And record it somehow.
11/30 Direct Link
It's been both fun and frustrating, and I very much intend to do this again, hopefully in January. It's nerve-racking for me, to lay open both my limited ability in writing and my currently limited life, while days are still more bad than good, more boring and self-obsessed than story-worthy. Most of the time I can pretend to have it together - but not over three thousand words.

Guess I'm a work-in-progress. So is my writing. I'm sure if I keep at it, I'd get good.

Many changes in line for December. Changes make me happy.