Saturday, November 29, 2003

A mystery of capitalism...

Where does all the stuff go?

Yes, we did the shopping thing because we couldn't do the nature thing due to hurricane-like rains. We were with old people, too.

Shopping can be dangerous...they mowed this shopper down like a herd of cattle...

from Open Sewer

I hate to shop. If you like to shop, you may not realize that shopping actually takes skills (nay, even virtues) but I am proof that it does. First, it takes patience. You have to sort through all this stuff and then you have to try it on, etc., etc. But I don't have patience. Hence I tend to buy the very cheapest thing in the store in some stretchy fabric that does not involve trying it on. I often 'abandon' my purchases. I'll be holding some kinds of sheets or something, standing in line when suddenly I'll just think: MUST GET OUT OF HERE. And I will ditch them on some tables and flee. Flee into the open air. If there is any.

Generally, there isn't. You are in this self-enclosed bubble of a mall. But we were at an outlet mall. Outlet malls, as you may know, are temples of capitalism in or near the most pristine nature. In fact, my husband and I realized that climbing the hill to the outlet mall reminded us of a recent trip to Monte Alban--we drove on a similar hill going up to beautiful Zapotec ruins.

So the view from the parking lot of this outlet mall was breathtaking. Mist rising from the evergreens, etc.

I was with my in-laws. It was a strange thing. First, I was too embarrassed to jump ship and second I thought: Well, I should buy something. Just to fit in, ya know. To keep America going. So I did...a camisole. I know it will come in handy one of these days.

I buy things. True, I do sit around most days in soft comfy t-shirts that are between 10 and 20 years old and which someone probably gave to me. But I'm just like the next gal--I want to be pretty. It's just that I have to know exactly what it is that I will buy and I have to be able to locate it and purchase it in 15 minutes or I can't hack it any more and flee.

Also it has to be triple discounted. I like to have stuff (or I assume so--I do have plenty of stuff). But I don't like to pay for it.

But my puzzle of the moment was the abundance--the humungous and never ending amount of stuff. How could there be so much? It seemed implausible to me that someone was going to buy buy all of it. All those bras and underwear? They would sit there for the many years it takes? What about clothing? Would it really all sell? And then where does it go after the outlet mall? After the discount store? What happens to the forlorn cast offs? The odd sizes, the many remainders of creative design people and third world sweat? Does it ever get bought?

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

What are we crying about lately?

Dooce's list...
Shucks. Dooce's list makes me realize that the 2nd trimester is over for me--and the crying might start again. Yikes.

And of course Dooce's post reminds me of what I think...what I always think whenever I hear about someone
--tragically lonely
--criminally evil
--slimy and nefarious
--callous and self-aggrandizing
Most of all, what I think whenver I hear about anyone who is a total creep, jerk, idiot, etc. is: He/she used to be a baby... The tragic cases are hard enough. But it's worse when you think about the former (possibly even cute) baby existence of slimeballs...

This was my list from about my second month.

But believe me, it was an abbreviated list. The number of things that could make me cry seemed infinite. A sprinkler's futile attempt to water a parched yellow lawn in the Southwestern summer was more than enough to bring on hours of tragic meditation on the pointlessness of our existence and more than a few ounces of tears.

As usual, my crying tends to fall along fairly broad 'the human condition' lines. My friends used to ridicule me for this in college. My ability to turn my personal problems into large, sweeping, eternal issues. My complaint about the manicoti in the cafeteria would quickly broaden into a diatribe against mass production. Of course, in college I'm pretty sure I thought I was the center of the world--so it wasn't much of a stretch.

The pregnancy cries are interesting. I'm in a different mode and see the world in a way that I cannot access during my normal hours. If you asked me later what it was that drove me over the edge to great, gulping sobs I'd have a hard time remembering.

(I do remember getting lost to meet my husband at a party and walking through the city in circles--realizing I'd walked over a mile to go one extra stop on public transit. It was cold and starting to rain and I hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast. (It was about 8 p.m.) I didn't blubber. Instead at first I hiccuped the little fussy hiccups the way a baby does...Then small toddler tears and then little gasps of misery before the final flood. It was like I channeled the baby or something. My husband says he is still haunted by the patheticness of that cel phone message.)

My crying is sometimes about how freaking unfair everything is (little kids starve!) but it is often about lonely people who have no one to love them. (Or so I imagine.) There is this old man who lives in the apartment building across the street that has this incredible, freakish humungous nose. It's like a nose that went wild, a nose that refused to stop growing. You can't look at it directly but you don't have to in order to see that this is a nose that went wrong. What is it like for him to have that nose. Could he be happy? Is he all alone? Did he ever find love? I cried so hard about him that it took a few hours for the pillow to dry.

Sniff. Better stop now.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I said that babies are scary...

Scary Baby Conspiracy

from fiendish word

Ya know what I mean--scary movies....babies crucial to the destruction of the world...good vs. evil. The baby is either very good or very evil. He's there to save or destroy mankind.

Babies/children making scary noise, talking backwards, etc.

Beings bursting from inside the body.

These scary baby/children things in movies never fail to startle or terrify. I've got some potential explanations for that fact. Maybe I'll get into some of these later and I think I've mentioned these before. But roughly they are:

1. The 'uncanny' (suspension of natural expectations or laws)

2. General hype about innocence of babies being subverted.

3. The true and rather terrifying fact of creating someone from virtually nothing...There are some freaky metaphysics here. First some gooey microscopic globs...wait a while...hey! a person! Eventually a person who talks back. That's pretty freaky in itself.

4. Just babies. As the woman in 'Raising Arizona' says "Course they cry! Babies cry!" Whether one's baby does or does not speak in tongues or float or become part of Satan's plot to rule the world: Babies are scary.... Even the cute ones who are the product of wholly natural causes. Let's face it.

And wholly unrelated: Merlin's lists of Fives