Category: anxiety

The Airport

January 5th, 2013 — 3:26am

There is a paranoid fear that I have while standing in line at the airport, and it is like a recurring nightmare, because all of a sudden I remember… I wake up into consciousness in the middle of this thought in which I realize that there are no planes and there will be no destination, but that this line is all an elaborate hoax, or rather a concrete plan organized by the people who control our lives, and that when we tell ourselves that we are going on a trip, whatever it might be, we are really reporting to a large scientifically-monitored and controlled slaughterhouse, because we have outlived our usefulness …or else that we are regularly sent to these places and enticed to stand in long, miserable lines because we are about to be reprogrammed, that our memories are to be wiped and replaced with more modern memories, or else that our personalities and those of all the people we wait in line with have been determined to have gone slack, to have become tired and unproductive, and so they will have to be wound back to an earlier more useful point in time, a point when the days of aimless toil in service of whatever sad and unpromising careers we are now on vacation from will seem less soul-crushing, more amenable to change, or just slightly less tedious, because the memory of the defeats and disillusionment will have been wiped away.

And I half expect that when we finally pass one by one through the metal and plastic archways that are always just around the corner, that everything will go white and suddenly we will be returning from vacation refreshed and eager to face another year of work.

But these fears are groundless.

Comment » | anxiety, consciousness


August 21st, 2008 — 2:13pm

Here is a graphic of the path of development for the as-yet-unfinalized sidebar to the online beauty retailer account management pages. Click on it to see the full image (apparently one of the dingbat fonts is missing from this computer, so they look a little off).

It begins on the left as I am given the suggestion to make the piece look like Vegas signage. I know they don’t really want Vegas signage, so I try a few limited touches to imply that ’50s, quirky attitude.

No go. So then I go full Vegas, knowing they will think it’s too kitschy when they actually see it, which is exactly what I am told. But they like the lighthearted aspect, so I keep some of the assymmetrical shapes and that doesn’t fly either.

At this point, the brand director gives up on me and there is a missing design that the CD did, which replaced the lipstick icon with some pink shapes that were symbolic of a mixed drink. That one wasn’t appreciated either.

No Vegas signage, I am told: we don’t want to see ANY Vegas-ness whatsoever–what a dumb idea Vegas was, they say. And so the parade of design continues to the right with a more retro ’70s look, but I have just learned that the director is asking the CD for more examples, too, after not quite being satisfied with my take on the ’70s. I’m not sure what retro ’70s means to the brand director, but I’m thinking pseudo art deco, cocaine and the movie Xanadu.

Comment » | anxiety, design, Whining

Sweet Hellish Pain

August 14th, 2008 — 3:39pm

The online beauty retailer account management pages that I have been working on for most of eternity have now received an official shrug of indifference from the brilliant, young boss of the company. This is amusing to me, because at this point the creative control has been taken away from four different people, me being none of the four. At this point in the design process, everyone who has fretfully micromanaged the process has had his or her decisions second-guessed at some point along the line, most finally the CD of the site, who went and redesigned the graphics that I created, making them apparently less desireable than they were originally. It was frustrating, but now it’s just amusing, because I no longer feel insecure about the process. Everyone has had their creative expression bitchslapped in a massive circle jerk of uncertainty. I, however, am working at home today. My life may be going nowhere at the moment, but at least I get to ride my bike at lunch.

Comment » | anxiety, office

The Unusual

August 14th, 2008 — 3:27pm

After my work day was over, I headed to the Austrian Bunker where I met with my German doctors. I’m just going to call them German because that’s the accent they have. Actually there was an American guy there this time, whose name was Monroe and who, at some point in the conversation, let slip that he was a descendent of the president (and by president I mean President Monroe, the man who came up with the doctrine). He was just taking notes however, and seemed at least somewhat sympathetic when Dr. Pierley (rhymes with barely, as in ‘barely able to contain her anger’) started complaining about the demo I brought in.

Apparently I missed the whole point of the exercise, which was that the weird stroboscoping quality of the aging 16mm film was something she wanted to KEEP. She began a lecture about brainwave frequency, occular refresh rate, etc. and I stared at her with all the comprehension of a dog watching TV.

Obviously frustrated with me, she went and had a pow-wow with her Austrian brothers and I thought they were going to fire me, but instead they took me to a room and gave me the complete test in its appropriate environment… which I have to say was pretty cool.

The room was battleship grey and had ambient light sources (from somewhere), giving the whole thing a hazy, floating quality. The projector sound was masked by a low humming thing that one of the tech guys turned on, and then they sat me in front of the screen with a helmet on, that held my neck stiff and pointed constantly at the screen, with what seemed to be a laser directed into my right eye. I made a joke about going blind and Dr. Pierley assured me that it was not a laser but just highly collimated single wavelength light (which according to Google is the definition of a laser, so I think she was just fed up with me at this point).

I’d already read the entire thing for my demo, but now the questions seemed more unnerving. I had to answer “A” or “B” based on seemingly irrelevant questions about random shapes that appeared on screen. Later she told me the whole experience was designed to send the conscious mind into a kind of fugue state and that the strobing was the most important part of the process. My right eye started to throb and it bothers me still, 3 hours later. I got a splitting headache and really didn’t care if they fired me. But oddly, she seemed impressed by my responses. Not sure why, since it all appeared quite random. She said they’d test me more when I brought in the next iteration.

Before I left, one of the tech guys brought over a sheet of paper with specific frame rates and color flickering patterns that he said I should use in my flash. I felt weirdly calm and peaceful walking back to the car… as if I’d taken a xanax. But now I am going to see if I have any real Xanax in the house, because my head feels like it’s going to split in two.

How did it get so late?!

Comment » | anxiety, office, Whining

Endless Tedium of Least Worst Scenarios

August 7th, 2008 — 2:41pm

I finalized the job with these German scientists today… except that they’re not really German they’re Austrian, and they’re not really scientists, they’re doctors. Actually, these people are a bit annoying; my excitement has already waned. Maybe it’s because they’re medical doctors, but the men and women I met today have the personality of wine snobs, or the sort of people who used to work at record stores (back when there were record stores). At any rate, they were professional enough but I couldn’t help feeling that I was somehow inexplicably lacking in taste when I met with them this second time to get the details on this latest flash work.

Apparently they’ve been around for years and years as some sort of multinational research group. But only now are they realizing that they have to move into the digital age. I got the script and will come back with a quick proof of concept in a few days. Dr. [ Brarely?? ] (her accent made it sound like she had a mouthful of cheese), said it is ‘vitally’ important that I reproduce the experience of their crappy 16mm movie as closely as possible. I told her I could improve the image quality and she totally snapped: “You will do it exactly our way!” I don’t think she is used to people who talk back to her.

This is why doctors get on my nerves; they’re all trained to think they’re God…

Comment » | anxiety, Whining

Balearic Ibizian Neo-Disco

August 1st, 2008 — 9:34pm

I get bored of things once I understand them, and the correlary to this is that to remain interested in, say, music, I tend to wander away from my comfort zones. All of which is the excuse for why I’ve been listening to a lot of disco lately. It began with Hercules & Love Affair, which was so highly regarded in various and sundry reviews that I had to check it out. The usual disco tropes made me uncomfortable: achingly fake synth sounds, tinkling bells, oppressive 4/4 beat… but it was so well made that I had to admit that the songs were good. All those things that set off the ‘crap music’ alarm in my head soon began to make me like this album far more than I would have if I didn’t start the experience from a position of hating disco. Now I’ve moved to an even more creep-inducing happy sound made famous by the outdoor lounges of Ibiza. Balearic Dance, in this case a Swedish remix team called Studio. It’s about the only happy music that doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out, which itself is enough to give me an embarrassing sense of excitement.

Comment » | anxiety, Whining


August 1st, 2008 — 12:20am

Now that I’ve stopped taking Welbutrin I can feel social anxiety in a more isolated form. Say, walking to the store at lunch. I live on a long straight street, so I can see a human coming from a quarter mile away. A quarter mile of walking directly toward a stranger who is facing me. The knowledge that this person has seen me and that we both are aware of each other’s existence fills me with an intense dread. Not because I’m afraid of what might happen; I’ve wandered through dangerous parts of town in the middle of the night, I’ve hung out with shifty locals in third world countries. It isn’t a fear related to any prospects for the future. It’s just the KNOWING that terrifies me.

Comment » | anxiety, Whining

Nigeria Loves My Art

July 31st, 2008 — 1:57pm

So the Nigerian scammers have branched out a little. No longer are they satisfied with getting a few million dollars worth of stolen government bonds out of the country, now they want MY ART:

Dear Artist,
Oceanic Artwork Is located in Abuja, Nigeria with is various stores across Africa. We have been in business since 1992. We buy and sell different views of artworks including Sculptures, fabrics artworks, Metal and Wooden artworks, Poetry with pots, canvas and Captivating carpets, Herbs & Natural Foods, Textiles etc….

Over the years, and through our commitment, experience, and expertise Oceanic Artwork has established a business relationship with our customers that will last a lifetime! We hope we can count on you to be one of our faithful customers. We challenge you to give us a try. We will do our best to beat the competition.
We came across your web page while searching for good artworks And I will like to buy some of these creative artworks out of your Stock. I am pleased to let you know that we am interested in the Purchase of some of your lovely artworks, please let us know the present Condition of the artworks. Are they in frames?

We appreciate and value your business and look forward to provide you with the best possible service.

4 comments » | anxiety, art, Whining

5.8 earthquake in the Chino Hills

July 29th, 2008 — 5:03pm

The house begins to shake and I pause for a moment to sense if it’s an earthquake or just the passing of a truck outside… and the shaking grows, and I get that unmistakeable sense of joy and freedom as I leap to the nearest doorway.

It’s not noble, since earthquakes kill, but I can’t help feeling an intense urge for the big one to come and shake this house to the ground around me, as if the power of nature were somehow just an outgrowth of my natural urge to fight the ever-grinding weight of culture and Capitalism that forces each of us to toil away at the seemingly meaningless jobs that put food in our mouths and rooves over our heads: Bring it all down! Who cares about tomorrow with it’s complete lack of a functioning water system in this arid desert environment, the roving bands of starving blue collar workers marching from house to house with shotguns and knives looking for loot and a release to their long-smoldering anger and frustration, the armed guards building a causeway to carry relief supplies to Beverly Hills as the rest of the city burns, columns of black smoke rising from car fires and buildings gone to the torch, sparking electrical wires skittering over the blacktop, spraying sparks across overturned cars, stray dogs rotating above a frontyard pit of coal and scrapwood feeding tiny children who clutch at the smoldering fur of a Chow that is now chow, the very foundation of our society gone to ruin: DESTROY THIS MOTHERFUCKER…

–but then the shaking stops, and KCRW pauses a song by the Fratellis to tell us that it’s a 5.8 temblor centered in Chino, wherever the fuck Chino is… Time to go back to work.

Comment » | anxiety, entropy, Whining

A Streetcar Named Jack Daniel’s

July 29th, 2008 — 2:50pm

Like one of those gothic southern plays, my parents are descending into oblivion. Father has cancer and his chemotherapy is failing, so on a visit to my sister’s house last weekend he got into a horrible pattern of taking everyone to dinner, ordering something that he loves (because he’s dying so he might as well eat what he wants), and then having a couple of bites and becoming nauseated. Then, since he can’t eat any more, he just sits there at the table talking about his life at the orphanage, how his mother didn’t love him (she is the one who dropped him off at the orphanage after all: ‘come on dear, you’re going to summer camp’), and assorted other unpleasantries.

Meanwhile, my mother, who has lost about 50 pounds since I remember her best, now looks like a deflated balloon and takes the majority of her calories in the form of Jack Daniel’s. It would be total Tennessee Williams if only she were more of a loudmouth.

My sister, who overcame breast cancer with a double mastectomy, has my father’s temper and so she has very little patience with any whining from him. Also, of course, since he was such a hardass when we were young, she wants to see no soft side now. (People get cancer and die; get over it.) I sent my mom Barack Obama’s book, but I just don’t know if it will lift her spirits. (That was a joke, kind of.) The future for everyone is cancer.

Comment » | anxiety, entropy, Whining

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