Unique New York

Just like a regular woman, only crankier.

Friday, April 08, 2005


I know I have depression, and I have had it since I was 14. I have had it steadily for 11 years, with some exacerbations here and there. I am in the middle of a slight dip in my mood because of illness, and so I bought some films since I am too weak to do much else.

I bought "The Hours" since I had read the book one night when I was babysitting for a friend. I remember reading it and feeling moderately uplifted when it was through. I was sort of excited to watch the film, since by now I had completely forgotten the book. The cover seems menacing, so I wanted to be sure I could handle it since I really don't need to be extra depressed.

Good Lord.

Is everybody in the world that transparent? The whole film felt like I couldn't come up for air. Every moment was so tension filled with hardly any release. There were no moments when people sounded reasonable without the audience having to doubt the agenda. It was like pathological depression...manipulative depression. I am not entirely sure what the point was. I felt terrible for the other characters who were not so contemplative as the centrally depressed people.

And frankly, life is not always about being on the verge of tears and blinking them back. Life is much more silly. And growing older is not always the end of the story. Also, suicide attempts and ideation are not as prevalent, either. What the hell? I wanted to shout at the characters for being so whiny.

I had no empathy for the depression, which in a depressed person, means you have no empathy for yourself. I finished the film even though it intimidated me since my life is so internal at the moment. I finished it waiting for the message. However, the message was so imbalanced compared to the bulk of the film. The message is, take life for what it is, and love it anyway. But, then the last shot is Virginia drowning herself in the river....which hardly seems like a good way of accepting life for what it is.

The imagery is so vivid, but every moment is weighted heavily against all other moments. I know that was partially the point, but there is a reason that people take moments for granted. If you swallow them whole all at once, all of life become indigestible. Sometimes, you have to just ignore details, which this movie had no intention of doing. Life has much more small talk, and more people who engage in meaningless pleasantries. I could never predict what someone was going to say. Though the dialogue was creative, it felt unrealistic. The small talk of daily life helps to lighten the load. It was like watching a movie about depression filmed from the perspective of an autistic.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


I went to my local liquor store to pick up some wine, and I saw something awesome. The checker woman was this tiny (and I mean itsy) Asian lady, and she spoke broken english. She had this pink tee shirt on that had an elephant on it. It said, "Ain't nothin' wrong with a little junk in the trunk". First of all this woman had no junk, and I doubt the existance of her trunk. I am pretty sure she just has a place where her legs meet. Also, I am reasonably certain she did not know what "junk in the trunk" means. Which is awesome. I have this idea in my head that she was at one of the local shops and went, "Hooray! Elephant!" and bought the shirt. So cool.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Envy and Gratitude

I was thinking today about a culturally acceptable sin. This sin is envy. Envy is what I feel when I see a woman purchasing a scarf and I want it for myself. I want to distinguish between envy and desire. Desire is the drive toward a need or a want. Envy is wanting that thing at all costs because you feel the other person doesn't deserve it. I covet quite frequently, but in US culture, it's okay to covet and be envious, because of the US infatuation with entitlement and capitalism. Businesses could not sell products if they marketed to only my needs, so they bump up the chances that I will go into debt and buy by saying I deserve what is out of my reach.

While envy can be destructive, envy takes another form with me. Envy makes false promises that it cannot keep. While I am living here in this shitty neighborhood where I have no friends or supporting culture, I am envious of people who get off of the subway stop to Atlantic Avenue, and even more envious of the lucky bastards who take the F train. The promise of envy is that once you have your desired object, that all will be well. However, I know that is not the case. My happiness is not location specific. What's worse, is that in American culture, if one is unhappy with one's situation, if one decides to get over it and accept the environment, it's called "settling". Settling is practically a four letter word. It contradicts the pioneer spirit of freedom, democracy, and the whole western ideal. If my parents had "settled", they would still be in Ireland.

However, happiness and contentedness is a commitment and a decision. While enviromental setting can paint the walls of one's own happiness, one's own commitment must supply the roof. My commitment to myself is to internally distinguish my desires and envious feelings in order to decide if I should fulfill them or not, and to make my happiness an altogther separate issue. Buddhists have been onto this track for a long time; that the root of all suffering is desire. However, Buddhists are not on the marketing teams at Target. So I have to change my own mind.