Monday, November 1, 2004

The "Last" Meme

I sometimes get tired of making up my own content. Besides, I don't really have anything interesting to talk about. Well, that's not strictly true... I had a nice weekend, I saw many cute boys, I bought clothes for the first time in months (and after trying on my first pair of "boot-cut" corduroys, I fear the bell-bottom is coming back to haunt us, disguised under a different name, the way clamdiggers came back as "capris"), I met some nice people at a General Service Assembly (a lot of my fellow District Registrars are also gay men), and I've eaten so much Halloween candy that I'm in a near-permanent state of insulin shock.

Another topic I could write about but don't want to write about right now is that I've been thinking a lot about suicide... yes, even considering it as an option for myself, and how I might carry it out if I ever decided to do it (I'm thinking of household poison as a rather tidy method, but probably awfully painful... still, much tidier than driving into a wall or over a siderail on the freeway): thinking about it, but, as always, coming to the conclusion that I'd really rather not. I mean, it's such a commitment, killing oneself on purpose, and I've never been able to commit to a tattoo, or even a favorite color... much less to a Final Solution.

Besides, on top of the terrible impact on friends and family, I wouldn't get to find out what's going to happen next, would I? I'd hate to miss things getting better... or worse, or just different. I always want to know what happens next; you wouldn't believe how many badly-written books and poorly-made movies I've slogged through just to find out what happens next.

But I don't really want to write about suicide, nor about tomorrow's elections, nor about the weather, nor about beautiful boys, nor about my back (which is all better, thank you), nor do I really want to talk about the bizarre and confusing combination of doting affection and firebreathing jealousy I felt when I saw two men, on each of whom I have harbored ardent crushes and who have become one of the most attractive couples in the world of Gay AA; I knew they were together, but this was the first time I'd seen them, and I was bowled over by the bizarre mix of emotions I felt when I saw them together, so very happy and so very unattainable. So what shall I talk about instead?

How about a meme? Here's one I took from DM, who got it from Frog, who apparently made it up herself. And, as DM pointed out, it is not the "Last Meme" insofar as being the Meme To End All Memes... it is merely a meme about the last time we did certain things. But "The Last Meme" has a nice ring to it, no? So...

~ The Last Meme ~

Last Cigarette — July 15, 1998; I had just graduated from university (SFSU, Go Gators!) and was convinced that, with my luck, my first job would be way up high in an office tower and I'd waste half my life going up and down the elevator to smoke on my breaks. I used "The Patch," in particular a brand that comes in different strengths so you can taper off (NicoDerm CQ, I now remember). I stayed on it three times the recommended length of time, but I was rather more addicted than I thought. I rather enjoyed parts of it, though... if you go to sleep with the patch on, you'll have very vivid dreams; and when you give up cigarettes (most brands of which are packed with saltpeter and other anaphrodisiacs), you get really horny — the combination led to some really entertaining nights.

And then, in the usual turn of fate, my first (and still-current) job was located on the ground floor, my desk was about ten steps from the front door, and I could have taken my phone out there and done my work on the patio with all the cigarettes I wanted. But I'm glad I quit, anyway. Not only is it nice to be able to sit quietly after dinner or after a meeting, without having to rush outside to answer the Call of the Beast Nicotine, but I've spent all the money I would have smoked on jewelry... and now have an absolutely stunning collection.

Last Alcoholic Drink — May 26, 1995. I think it was peppermint schnapps, something that I used to drink to avoid mixing grape and grain (I don't remember the logic behind that, I don't even really know what schnapps is made of). It was the day after graduation from Laney College, where I had achieved three Associate Degrees with High Honors, and I was kind of full of myself. I started off with champagne (single-serving bottles of Freixenet, so cute), and then switched to white wine on tap (I was always quite the œnophile). By the end of the night, I was drinking something clear, I assume it was schnapps, but it might have been vodka tonic. I still sometimes miss wine, and gin martinis... but it's been so long that I really can't quite recall what they taste like.

Last Car Ride — I am going on the assumption that "ride" is not the same thing as "drive"... assuming that a car "ride" is a passive passenger activity rather than an active driving activity. In which case it has been a long time since I let anybody drive me anywhere... let's see, when was it? Last month when we took my boss's van to the furniture store to buy our conference-room chairs. I don't like being driven, I much prefer to drive... it's partly a control issue, partly an enjoyment of driving; but mostly it's a control issue, my stereo, my speed limit, my route.

Last Good Cry — Sunday before last, when I was watching The Color Purple on TV. I pretty much only cry at movies anymore... I can't quite remember the last time I so much as wept about anything going on in my own life. No, that's not true... I wept a little when I was writing a ninth-step letter, about a year ago. The last time I had a real long good cry about something in my own life was about three years ago, when I was working through some romantic-relationship issues (in particular my complete and persistent inability to get someone I loved to love me back, and how horribly unfair it all was); the last time before that was right after I'd quit smoking, and I had misguidedly reduced my patch dosage the day of a big family dinner for the Grandmother's birthday, and I had a serious meltdown right in the middle of everything. But the crying at movies, I think I really end up crying about something that is in my own life, it's just that I need the movie as a catalyst to get me going.

Last Library Book — Wow, it's been a while since I went to the library. I'm so acquisitive, I always hated bringing the books back if I liked them. But let's see if I can remember... I'm pretty sure it was a murder mystery, and that it started me on a series... it was a Brother Cadfael mystery; but no, I can't remember which one.

Last Book Bought — Uhhh... I've bought a lot of books in the last few weeks and haven't read any of them yet because I'm still bemired in my Anne Rice "Vampire Chronicles" project. The last book I bought, though, was a used picture book of Greg Gorman photographs; the last novel I bought was something I got off Amazon, so let's see... Reap the Whirlwind by Josh Atervois. I have no recollection what it's about or why I bought it; nice title, though.

Last Book Read — Most recently I finished The Tale of the Body Thief, and am now working my way through Memnoch the Devil. I found the latter extremely helpful in coming to terms with the idea of God when I was first working on my Second and Third Steps, way back in early sobriety. I had difficulty allowing myself a belief in God while I still held my bitterness and anger over the Christianity in which I had been raised; Memnoch's history of Creation and the Fall presented me with a theology that revolutionized my thoughts on the nature of God (though I didn't then and don't now "believe in" the events portrayed in the novel, I do understand the theology and agree with parts of it). Oddly, the first time I read it, I sympathized most with Memnoch's point of view, and now on this reading I am more understanding of God's point of view. But I think they are both presented as terribly egotistical. Anne Rice's characters usually are, though, aren't they? And I've also notice lately that only her male characters ever ring true, I have a sneaking suspicion that Mrs. Rice is a little bit of a misogynist underneath.

Last Movie Seen In Theaters — I can't believe it's been so long since I went to a theatre: the last movie I saw was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Last Movie Rented — The last movie I rented was the perfectly idiotic Thirteen Going on Thirty, at the behest of my little cousin Jessie. Ordinarily, I buy videos rather than renting them: the last time I rented (before the last last time) was Kill Bill (Volume 1); I forgot to return it and ended up spending over ten dollars on late fees... which, added to the original rental fee, was $1 more than it would have cost to buy the pre-viewed DVD. So I don't rent videos if I can buy them.

Last Cuss Word Uttered — Cuss word? How quaint! I believe the last one was "shit" when I dropped my Melitta gold coffee filter in the garbage-can while trying to shake the old coffee grounds out of it. I may have said sheiße, though... I often do. For some reason, "shit" sounds dirtier in German.

Last Beverage Drank — Coffee, black, Medaglia D'Oro to be precise... and oh, look at that, it's my next beverage too!

Last Food Consumed — A fun-sized Snickers bar in a glow-in-the-dark Shrek wrapper. I had a lot of candy left over from last night, but I left it at home thinking it would be too difficult to keep from eating it all day long if I brought any to work to share; when I got here, though, my boss had brought in a huge bowl of his leftovers, as his wife would not have all that temptation in the house; then another of our officers, who came in for a meeting a couple of hours later, brought in another big bag at the behest of another weak-willed and weight-worried wife. He put that last bag on my desk, and I haven't got the will to pretend they aren't there, so I've been snacking. I think I'll have a York Peppermint Patty next.

Last Crush — Lukas, the guy who works upstairs in our new office, about whom I wrote a couple of weeks ago; also the incredibly cute Kyle at the sandwich shop that mysteriously closed at about the same time... I miss him a lot, the Daily Dose of Kyle was one of the things that got me out of bed in the mornings. I am also obsessed with the degorgeous Kevin Zegers, about whom I wrote at some length in my last two posts.

Last Phone Call — Some salesman wanting to set up an appointment to sell me office equipment. I politely refused.

Last TV Show Watched — Last night I watched The Hollow yet again, just so I could share Kevin Zegers with Caroline. She thought he was hot, but didn't become enraptured the way I did. Then we watched movies; one of them was the DVD of a miniseries that appeared on television, Stephen King's Rose Red, does that count as a "TV Show"? It was pretty good, too.

Last Time Showered — Saturday morning, before sun-up even. I had to drive to Watsonville and arrive there before 8 am for the General Service Fall Election Assembly. It was a lovely drive. I was going to shower this morning, but I stayed in bed too late. I don't shower all that often, unless I've been sweating; pretty much every other day, when my hair needs washing, or right before I need to shave. I can go four days before I start feeling icky.

Last Shoes Worn — Besides the ones I'm wearing now? Which are my beat-up Converse gym shoes. The last pair I wore before that were the tan Rockports I bought two years ago but never wore because they were Old Man Shoes. But I was looking for a pair of shoes to go with the earthtone outfit I was wearing on Wednesday last, and my loafers were too formal, and I couldn't find my tan sneakers, so I brought out the Old Man Shoes... which were amazingly comfortable, so I ended up wearing them all week. I guess I must be becoming an Old Man, if I've finally gone over to the comfort-over-style criteria for footwear.

Last CD Played — I put in the Cowboy Bebop: O.S.T. Future Blues soundtrack CD in the car stereo on my way in this morning, but have been listening to the radio since I got here.

Last Item Bought — A wee bottle of Pepto Bismol when I stopped for gas on my way home from church yesterday. All the ibuprofen I ate last week for my back has given me a slight case of heartburn that bothers me after I eat, or when I haven't eaten in a while, or when I'm thirsty, and when I've been laying down for a while.

Last Download — I'm forever copying pictures from this domain, but I'm not sure if "Save As" counts as a "download." I downloaded some MP3s from Amazon last week. I almost never download programs, though. I don't trust anything that doesn't come with the Microsoft seal of approval (nor many things that do).

Last Annoyance — My work computer is too goddamned slow. The DSL is lightning-fast, but then it takes the computer forever to switch from one program to another, or to save a picture, or to do anything at all; it takes over ten minutes to start up in the morning. And then it frequently freezes when one of these space-intensive programs freaks out the running memory (God help you if you try to run iTunes and Word at the same time). Most annoying.

Last Disappointment — Sometimes I think my whole damned life is one big disappointment. But in the spirit of memery, I will say I was disappointed in a DVD I bought and watched last night with Caroline, The Wolves of Wall Street... though I expected very little of the directing, writing, and acting (in which I was not disappointed... they all sucked), I had hoped for a little more skin. There was a lot of skin, especially a couple of scenes involving boxer-briefs and very alluring groupist animal behavior; but I mean, all these gorgeous, well-built, and otherwise talentless young men cluttering up the set, you'd think they could manage a few more minutes of pointless flesh-baring, instead of pointless clothed shots that were endlessly repeated in flashbacks.

Last Thing Written — Besides this? A fax cover with instructions to our payroll service; I'm also working on meeting minutes and drafted a rather long email to our insurance broker. I's jes' a writin' fool today!

Last Words Spoken — “Sure." In response to my boss thanking me for something. It's probably what I most frequently say to my boss. I don't mean it, half the time.

Last Sleep — I woke up at a little after nine this morning, and then snoozed for about fifteen minutes; I'd been asleep since 1-ish. And I'd probably want a nap now, if I weren't pumped full of chocolate and coffee.

Last Ice Cream Eaten — Ice cream? I haven't had ice cream in a while, I think the last time was my cousin Jamie's birthday party three weeks ago (I had both kinds, too, mint chocolate chip and pralines-n-cream, because I'm a big fat pig); but I had a Dreyer's Whole Fruit popsicle (peach) last night, and a scoop of mango sorbet weekend before last.

Last Chair Sat In — Besides the one I'm sitting in now? I sat down at the small conference table in my boss's office a little while ago, but did I sit down in the breakroom since then? What an odd question, as if bloggers don't spend most of their lives sitting in chairs.

Well, that was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed yourself. And do, if you can, replicate the meme in your own blog. That's the whole point of a meme, after all: to spread it around so we can all learn a little more about each other... and in the meantime learn a little more about ourselves.

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