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1:49 am - Sat 12/28/02
Warning: Do Not Read This Journal Entry While Operating Heavy Machinery

Warning: Do Not Read This Journal Entry While Operating Heavy Machinery


FRI 12/27/02 9:00 pm

(Watching a M*A*S*H reunion special on Fox.)

Yesterday I took Leo's scratching post out to the dumpster. Then I put his food, treats, toys, litter & litterbox in a cardboard box, and put it out in the lobby of the building, in our little "giveaway alcove" (Which isn't really an "alcove"--it's just a recessed area against one wall--but I don't know the right word for it, so "alcove" it is).

The box was gone when I went out earlier today, and I felt good about that; It hadn't seemed right to just throw everything out when it could save someone 15 or $20.

(Between leaving things in the "alcove"--I left some cassette tapes out there today, which are gone now--and leaving my bottles out for the homeless people, I seem to have found a "recycling program" I can actually execute without a lot of fuss and bother.)

Well, my "long holiday weekend", the one I started out somewhat enthused about, has kind of sucked, to be honest...

I went to Cary and Kay's on Xmas day. Kay's mother was there visiting (I've met her before, and she's kind of a hoot), so it was the four of us for dinner.

They'd grilled some huge chicken breasts, which were delicious (At the end of the night, Kay sent me home with what was left over. About a breast-and-a-half). We had those, along with broccoli, green beans, salad, potatoes, and rolls (Cary actually doesn't eat vegetables, which kind of amazes me on two fronts; He's a full-grown adult, for one thing, and, as far as I can tell, he's the picture of good health. He's not big on fruit either, which explained the absence of fruit pies on Thanksgiving).

I'd felt guilty for not bringing anything, but once I got there, it became apparent that they didn't need the champagne I'd considered buying--they broke out a bottle of their own that I think they said was two years old--and buying them a $25 Borders gift card would have been a little embarrassing...since they'd bought me a $50 Borders gift card (If anyone reading this ever feels like giving me a gift, for whatever reason, and you feel like cash would be just too gauche, a Borders gift card is an excellent alternative. One of the few perks of my job, you see, is that I actually like the stuff I work around. And more importantly, I get a discount on the stuff I work around that I actually like. But anyway...).

Cary had told me we were all invited to Mike and Kim's for dessert (Mike and Kim are friends of theirs who are moving soon. To San Francisco, or San Diego. I can't remember. I think San Francisco...But anyway, Cary and Kay had them over for Thanksgiving, along with their mutual friend Ken, so I already knew them, knew they were good folks, and felt only a minimal amount of anxiety at the idea of seeing them again. And the fact I felt any anxiety about seeing them again says everything about where my head's at these days, and absolutely nothing about them).

I was okay, for the most part. At least at first.

I felt a little pang upon seeing their cat, just as I did with Cary and Kay's two cats ("Cleo" and "Maggie"? Man, I really have to get better with names and descriptions if I'm going to keep doing this shit...), but the coffee was great, the dessert was very tasty (Some sort of "chocolate silk pie"-like thing--Kim had gotten the recipe from Cooking Light magazine, which made it even more impressive-- along with one's choice of vanilla ice cream or sherbet), and the conversation flowed fairly freely.

Then Mike asked if I wanted a "tour".

I really didn't want a "tour", to be honest. Since Leo's death, I've been particularly depressed, angry, and bitter about being poor, and I wasn't really up for an in-depth "tour" of the life I'm missing out on.

But what do you say in that situation? "Thanks Mike, but I'm pretty bummed out because I feel like my cat just died, at least in part, because I'm poor, so I'm not emotionally up for seeing 'how the other half lives' right now"?

That would have been rude. So I walked around the place with him, saw all the rooms, bathrooms, the walk-in closet, the view on the water, etc and so forth, and I tried to say all the things you're supposed to say (I think I actually said it seemed comfy at one point, which made me feel like a moron the moment I said it), but I just felt like shit. And I don't really even understand why. I don't think I was envious of the actual edifice (My main impression was that they seemed to have about twice the house they actually needed). I just felt poor, and like a big fucking failure. 41 years old, with absolutely nothing to show for it.

I felt like I struggled the rest of my time there. I felt out-of-it when they talked about some of the stuff they talked about, embarrassed when Cary told them about Leo (I can't yet talk about it without expressing my unhappiness over how money factored into things), and when I asked the guys opinions about the new ultra low-budget computers offered at Walmart (Cary, Ken, and Mike all know each other from Cary's work; Mike used to be Cary's boss, I think, and Ken works under Cary now), I realized I was talking to three guys who are well past having to buy the cheapest thing out there when they're in the market for a home computer (And honestly? I can't even afford that $199 Walmart computer right now. If this computer blew up tomorrow, I'd bite the bullet and buy something, but I can't just go out and buy a new computer because I want one, no matter how old and slow this one is).

(I thought this was kind of interesting; I often times have expressed regret that I'm not "a computer guy"--"If only I did something someone actually wanted to pay for..."--but Cary, Ken, and Mike all have liberal arts degrees. They didn't start out wanting to do anything anyone wanted to pay for either.)

We went back to Cary and Kay's house, and unlike the other times I've visited, I actually had to leave that night, because they were leaving for Michigan at 6:00 am the next day (I'd known they were leaving the next day, and thought that probably meant I'd need to leave that night, but it hadn't been discussed. I was disappointed though; I'd had a great time Thanksgiving night after Cary and Kay had gone to bed, watching cable, playing on Cary's computer, and so forth. For me, it was like a free night at a nice hotel).

They didn't chase me out or anything like that, but I wasn't feeling in great spirits, and was anxious about driving on the highway at night (Which I haven't done much at all out here), not to mention the whole "parking" pain-in-the-ass, so I left pretty quickly after we got back from Mike and Kim's.

(Parking didn't end up being too bad, by the way; I drove around for a bit, but ended up finding a spot right on the Catalina side of the building.)

(I'm feeling afraid what I've just written is going to be misinterpreted. So for the record, let me say that Cary, Kay, Kay's mom, Mike, Kim, and Ken, are all lovely people. No one tried to make me feel bad, or looked down on me because I was the poorest amongst them. I put all that on myself. Just wanted to clarify that.)

I borrowed some dvds from Cary (The Matrix, Out Of Sight, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon--three of my favorite movies of recent years--along with something Cary thought I'd enjoy, a werewolf movie I'd never heard of called Dog Soldiers), and I've been watching those over the past couple days (Before that, I'd watched Dracula and Nosferatu, a vampire double-feature courtesy of Brad W. at work).

With all that high-quality entertainment, it seems like it would be impossible for me to be depressed. But somehow I've managed.

I didn't leave the house at all on Thursday, except to take some stuff out to the dumpster.

Today, when I talked to Lauren and found out she wouldn't be able to do a movie with me today after all--Her sister went into labor today--I was really bummed. I'd kind of been holding onto that little outing as something to feel good about over this misbegotten holiday season (If you think it's a little self-centered of me, to feel bad about not getting to hang out with Lauren when her sister's in labor, you're probably right. But I don't care).

(She's leaving Wednesday, so we may be able to do breakfast or lunch or something before then. I'm feeling a little petulant about the whole thing--"I wanted to do something today, dammit!"--but figure a little Lauren is better than no Lauren at all.)

I felt tempted to call Kyle--I've lately felt a resurgence of feeling for her--but thought that was an impulse custom-made to make me feel worse, so I didn't.

I kind of didn't want to do anything after that. And I still had a couple of movies I could watch here at home. And I probably should have gone to work and picked up my paycheck, but I didn't want to. And I don't strictly need to be spending money right now anyway.

But I thought I'd better make myself go out and do something. I was already feeling "I don't want to go back to work on Saturday" dread, and that dread would be that much worse if I went back to work Saturday and hadn't had any fun on my "long holiday vacation" (The majority of my visit with Cary and Kay notwithstanding).

So I walked down to the Los Feliz theater and saw Catch Me If You Can.

It was very fun. Very well done all around.

My enjoyment seemed to last just about exactly the length of the movie. Afterwards, I crashed hard. I don't know why, unless it was that generalized "They're getting to be in a really fun movie and I'm not" angst. But I walked home and just felt miserable, assaulted by every bad feeling you can imagine.

And that's pretty much where we are right now.

Give me just another couple weeks or so, and I'll probably quit commenting on how weird it is to not have Leo in the apartment. But for now...It's weird not having Leo in the apartment.

Shit...I've spent all evening writing this, and suddenly I'm thinking that if I've bored myself writing this, you're probably going to fall asleep while reading, fall off your chair, and smack your head on your computer desk on the way down.

Now I really feel bad...


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