"I'm tired of hearing you're gonna change, but seeing you play these games" - Angie Stone
Since it has a life of its own now, If you're here to read the next installment of the 'couple story thingie' which now has a title - You Never Know - then you should just go read Tricks of the Trade.
for the mac nerds: I practically did the dance of joy and applauded once I installed the Netscape 7.0 X preview release. Its, by far, the best browser in the OS X environment. Almost every page I loaded, loaded properly and looked like its supposed to look. Java works better (like I can actually see my hitbox controls and play monopoly at playsite), pages load pretty darn fast, nothing has crashed it up yet, I haven't felt like my machine was slowing down, and its cute. Its been a long time since I've used netscape but that mozilla engine rules the free world and parts of Communist China. Get it here.
not enough: I finally put my finger on why I have so much J to the L.O. disdain. She's an illusionist. She has people convinced that she can sing, can act, can do all these things. Here's the reality: She was cool when she was the 'chubby' fly girl, Selena was her one great role, she's a decent rapper but a terrible singer. That's it. Oh, and she has a nice backside. Now, that's it. She has ya'll fooled, hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray. Have you seen The Cell, Angel Eyes, Anaconda, Money Train? She couldn't even pull off the Iman role when Puffy tried to recreate the Remember the Time video. Damn.
The reason I'm annoyed? Last night my sister dragged me to see Enough. Now, nevermind that the movie was far better when it was called Sleeping with the Enemy and you really believed Julia Roberts was getting her ass kicked and the husband was just mega-perfectionist control freak so you understood the motivations of all characters involved. Nevermind that the script is pretty weak falling on too many characters that are only there to get the writer out of jams rather than to really exist as real people in the world of the film. Nevermind that they jump around in the story so much that it feels both long and rushed at the same time. What you should mind is this...she can't act. Or let me change that, she over-acts.
The difference between film acting and stage acting is simple. You overact on stage because you need the people in the back row to see your performance. You underact on screen, using subtlety instead of overt action to convey emotion a lot of the time because everyone can see you clearly, you have the benefit of a soundtrack, lighting, editing, establishing shots, the magic of movies and television to make it all happen. So you might flutter your eyes, raise an eyebrow, chuckle to yourself to get the point across rather than guffawing or dramatically flailing an arm or fainting.
Ms. Lopez understands nothing about subtlety. And it bugs throughout the entire movie. Enough is very cornball.
You know what else bugs? My sister trying to join the chorus of valley girls sitting in front of us every time they laughed or "whoo child" or screamed during the film. Be your own woman, little sis. Damn.
bug #2? Sitting next to a woman with tourette's during a movie. The arm twitching, leg kicking and the shakes was freaking me out man. And made me miss several moments of a bad movie.
bug #3? Turn your damn cell phone off.
bug #4? Leave your babies at home. You had the kids, don't ruin my evening because you can't find a babysitter.
bug #5? This is why I don't go to the movies deep in the heart of the valley often: 2 girls, no more than 19, both wearing 'stylish' hats, talking to each other on their cell phones while their boobs pop out of their shirts that are far too fancy for the movie theater. Why? Do you think Nelly's going to roll up in Winnetka and make you a St. Lunatic? Quit trippin'.
Tricks of the Trade
"Hello. Hello. Check one two, check one two. Bitches ain't shit but ho's and tricks somethin' somethin' somethin' and sucks the dick."
He snapped the telephone back together and replaced the screws. It seemed to be working fine.
He turned away from the desk and looked at his apartment. Today was the first day he had left it in a week. He'd called into work that Monday and was going to play sick to the voicemail but Lisa was already in the office and he knew she'd understand.
"Lees? Its Jason. Hey, just so you know, I don't know if I'm coming in this week....No, nothing's wrong, well, Amy and I broke up. At least I think we did. Anyways, I'm just really screwed up and need the time. I'll be at home if anybody needs me...You rock, kid. Thanks."
His apartment smelled like death. Newspapers were strewn across the floor, yellow and tattered from days of use by the dogs. He'd just been too depressed to even walk them regularly. He'd taken to drinking copious amounts of tea drowned in honey and a package of ramen noodles and crackers once a day.
He'd taken to sleeping a good 14 hours each day.
On Wednesday, he'd called his best friends to let them know what had gone down.
"Do you need me to kick her ass? I know you can't hit a girl, Jason. But I'm a girl so its alright if I kick her ass...She's a bitch...Jason, don't defend her. Some girls are bitches, I know you loved her...ok fine, still love her. But whatever, you're in love with a bitch. Say the word and we'll round up some girls and trap her in a dark alley. I've never liked her, Jason...There was always just something...okay, okay, we won't talk about her anymore. You should come up and visit soon, OK? Be strong."
On Thursday, he told his mother. He didn't explain much.
"Ma? Hey. Yeah...not too good. No, she's, uh, well, she's not living here anymore...I can't explain it yet, just some shit, I mean stuff, some stuff went down...how do you know its not my stuff? Maybe I'm the bastard...she's not a bitch mom, come on. I just wanted to tell you we probably won't be showing up on Sunday for dinner, OK? OK? I'll tell you more when I figure it out. No I don't need anything. Love you too...heh, you're not the first person to say that. Why didn't anybody tell me they didn't like her before now?...I gotta go. Bye."
He slept the entire day on Friday. The entire day.
But he'd awakened this morning revitalized. He had a plan, he had things to do, he had a new lease on life. He wanted her back and he wanted the truth. He wasn't sure if the two went hand in hand but he was going to try to have both. And he wasn't going to play the fool anymore.
He cleaned up the newspapers, put away the dirty clothes and ran the dishwasher. The phone rang.
"So, Can I come by tomorrow and get the rest of my stuff? I'm going to stay at my aunt's for awhile." He held the cordless phone between his shoulder and his ear, grabbed his power screwdriver and headed into the bedroom.
"Yeah, you can come by tomorrow. But hey, I've been thinking about it and I made a promise to you. I told you that you could live with me as long as you were in Law School. I don't like to break promises. I was thinking maybe you could stay." He turned on the screwdriver, using it to replace the light fixture in the corner of the room.
"Are you sure? I'm not sure that's a good idea."
"Look, you can do what you want to do. I'm just saying that I'm a big boy, I can handle it. I said you can live here. You can live here. You want to be with the dogs. You're still my best friend and I want to see you. We'll figure it out." He holstered his screwdriver and pulled out the hammer. He started nailing cords along the floor board of the bedroom wall.
"What are you doing, Sweetie?" She still called him sweetie. It made him smile.
"Oh, I'm fixing some stuff in the place. You know, that broken light in the bedroom and I found a cable long enough to reach your computer from the other room so that you can use your modem instead of using my laptop. I know you need your privacy and everything."
"Look, that's one of the reasons I'm nervous about moving back, Jason. I can't believe you read my email. How do I know you haven't been reading it all the time." He holstered the hammer and went back into the living room. With the sounds of tools safely away, the dogs ran into the bedroom. He laid his toolbelt on the table and turned on the tv.
"Amy, sweetie, that was a weird night, right? I would never do that to you. I'm not that guy, ok? You just threw me and I was searching for something, anything to help me make sense."
"Ok...I'll think about it okay, we can talk more when I come tomorrow. Just so you know, David's scared of you. He thinks you're going to come to school one day and try to beat him up."
"Heh. I'm about peace, sweetie. But, tell him to keep his ass out of the valley because if I see him on the street he's going to have more to worry about than his one testicle. My foot will be in his ass." He laughed lightly to put her at ease. But he wasn't joking.
"Ha ha ha. Okay, Jason. I'll see you tomorrow....you know I still love you, right? I just...I just don't know what I want."
"I love you too, kiddo. But we can talk about all that tomorrow. Bye." They hung up.
He turned on his computer and pressed a few keystrokes. A media window popped up. He pressed play.
His voice: "Hello. Hello. Check one two, check one two. Bitches ain't shit but ho's and tricks somethin' somethin' somethin' and sucks the dick.
He moved the knob on the timeline forward a bit.
Her voice: "-kay, Jason. I'll see you tomorrow....you know I still love you, right? I just...I just don't know what I want."
It was working perfectly. Sometimes being a technogeek was pretty damn cool. He looked up at the television and saw a dog sitting on a bed. He banged on the wall.
"Bailey! Get off the bed!" He watched Bailey look up, confused and slowly amble off the bed. He flipped the channel and another gray screen showed another dog drinking from the toilet bowl.
"Kahlua! Get in here now!" The dog creeped into the living room and stared at him.
"No toilet! How many times do I have to tell you? No Toilet! Bad Dog." Kahlua cocked her head to the left, confused as to how she had gotten caught when her master wasn't even in the room.
Jason grabbed Kahlua's leash and started humming. He leaned down and grabbed kahlua's face rubbing her ears and singing to her.
"I always feel like...somebody's watching me...quit playing tricks on me...whoa oh oh."