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Between Insane and Insecure

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In Offense of Nice Guys. [18 Jun 2010|07:00pm]
In light of recent events*, I've been thinking entirely too much about "nice guys," who aren't real-life, actual nice guys so much as guys who label to themselves as such and use this label as the reason that you are in their minds, absolutely fucking obligated to see them as a romantic partner without any consideration or introspection of your opinion on the matter.

A "nice guy" will start his interaction with you innocuously enough, exactly in the same way a nice guy will. Maybe he'll take note of the book you're reading and sit down to chat with you about it. Maybe you compliment him on the fact that he's wearing a shirt with the name of a band you like about it. Possibilities are endless, but you'll have a brief and pleasant but superficial chat about either of these things and you'll leave thinking "oh hey, I've potentially made a friend." And logically, you'll think he feels the same way. But oh, not so.

By fifteen minute long, superficial conversation number three, apropos of nothing, he'll start referring to you with uncalled for pet names, start sitting way too goddamn close to you, insisting on hugs and reaching for any excuse he can to engage in some kind of physical contact with you. And yes, sometimes people connect quickly and immediately in some romantic way and that's awesome and wonderful and magnificent, and also, sometimes a person can just be really bad at reading another person's body language and may innocently interpret platonic friendliness to "s/he's totally into me." It's an honest mistake, especially when people don't know each other too well, and it's totally up to the person on the receiving end of the unwanted affection to be decent, gentle, and considerate in letting down the giver of the unwanted affection (at least the first time). The reveal of this mistake is what separates a nice guy from a creep-tastic "nice guy." A nice guy will respect your opinion (and your personal space) and back the fuck off from encroaching into romantic territory, at least until some later date when you've gotten to know one another better.

A "nice guy" will quickly turn on you, launching into a whine or self-pity party about how women just won't give him a chance, how he just can't seem to get a break with the ladies. Sometimes he will beg outright, trying to gain your sympathy in telling you how the world is against him and he can't win because he is "such a nice guy," never mind the fact that if this KEEPS happening to him, it definitely has a hell of a lot more to do with him and his personality flaws than any of the women he's pursued. Occasionally, the "nice guy" will launch into straight-up hostility, the phrase "I have a boyfriend" giving him cause to refer to you as a bitch or a tease or a whore when all you did was be pleasant to him.

In my experience, a "nice guy" tends to reveal himself when talking about other women he's taken an interest in- watch as he refers to other women he's tried to go out with as stuck-up bitches or frigid or whatever misogynist hyperbole he feels fitting because they rejected him and how dare they. And while this isn't always the case, the "nice guy" tends to only be interested in extremely attractive women** who are almost always, for lack of a better phrase, "out of his league." The "nice guy" may even have female friends or associates who DO want to date him, but if they aren't hot by his limited standards, they aren't good enough for him because his "nice guy"ness simply entitles him to date whichever woman he wants despite, in every single one of my experiences in this situation, the "nice guy" made up his mind about pursuing the woman in the situation after a small amount of superficial interaction that revolves entirely around him talking about himself and not taking anything other than a sensory-based interest in the object of his *shudder* desire.

Lastly, I apologize for the gender-specific, hetero-normative tone of this because this kind of thing takes place among all genders and sexual orientations, but really, all I want to say is this:

"Nice guy," fuck off.








*which have nothing to do with anyone who could possibly be reading this, as inspirational forces exist outside of the realm of that meddlesome beast, internet.
**quick note- I'm not automatically placing myself in the category of "extremely attractive women" just because I know that I don't fit the, ah, more plebian requirements for the category.
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To imaginary You. [03 May 2010|04:50pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]

It would be nice to have a cute meeting story: I bought you a cup of coffee when you forgot your wallet and I was in line behind you at the coffee house; we wound up pressed against each other in the crowd at a rowdy rock show and were almost too shy to say "hello" despite our bodies being entangled in ways that could get me pregnant if not for clothes; we both were looking for the same book at the library; you were wearing gold spray-painted bowling shoes and I couldn't help but walk over and tell you how much I loved them.

In reality, it will be something less romantic. A friend's party. The internet. Your lackluster friend whom I dated before finding you, but oh how sordid that would be.

Work. We're statistically most likely to meet at work.

Maybe we'll be teaching abroad together. We'll fall in love in England the first year,
decide that we have a good thing going and should pursue it in Thailand the second year, pledge our hearts to one another in Brazil the third year.

You'll be some kind of artist, a writer, a musician, a sound technician, or a compassionate and wonderful person, because that's an extremely complex and unappreciated art. On rainy nights I'll sit across from you and write while you read or play music or draw or also write, occasionally pausing to watch some gorgeous branch of lightning spread across the sky, and it will be lovely.

Our Song, if such a concept is not too ridiculous, will be a little ridiculous, like either of the Pixies' Manta Ray songs or something death-metally with Satan in the title (or at least the chorus). We'll both like to go out dressed in silly clothes; you'll be in suspenders and a top hat, I'll wear a flapper's dress. If it's cold, you'll offer me your jacket because you're a gentleman, but I'll try to remember to bring a coat because I'd never, ever want you to be cold.

We'll fuck like the morning will never come. I'll teach you how to tie me up; you'll be the one who finally gets me to enjoy anal. Places we'll fuck: the beach, the park, empty subway cars, almost-empty subway cars, museums, rock shows, the opera, government buildings, closets, the kitchen, the kitchen counter, the kitchen table, the shower, my bed, your bed, eventually our bed. Your ability to growl, and I do mean growl, dirty things into my ear will drive me wild; you'll be partial to my mouth.

We'll be mouthy people anyway, and we'll never have trouble finding things to talk about. Your wit will make me laugh until I can't breathe, and mine will make you blush crimson. Silences will be warm and not awkward, and we'll always hold hands, or at the very least, we'll hold smiles.

Things won't be perfect between us. You'll be embarrassed when I curse out the guy who was rude to you at the bar, annoyed at my love for kitschy Americana like A Prairie Home Companion or 1920's delta blues, frustrated at how easily I'll burst into tears over things that aren't important to anyone but me. I'll wish you weren't compelled to provoke (and win) lengthy political debates with strangers whose opinions you overhear, that you would let me sleep when I'm tired, that you would stop eating junk food around me when I'm trying to lose weight, that you didn't partake in listening to techno. These are all problems we'll accept because we love each other and arguing about small things isn't worth it.

Should we get married, and as naive and idealistic as it is, I hope we will, you'll want a tiny, intimate ceremony; I'll want a bigger one with our friends and family present. We'll do both, first in an elopement in our travels to Andalusia or Costa Rica or Cambodia by an elderly sea captain with his wife and dog as our witnesses, then in a library courtyard in some place of mutual homestead in a more formal but still financially responsible ceremony. When all is said and done, I'll admit that your idea had been better, but we'll still have fun and sneak off to consummate the legality of our love against a bookshelf.

And I hope, I hope, I hope that, despite the aforementioned idealistic naivete, this will sound good to you as well if we cross paths someday.

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[30 Nov 2009|11:31am]
I want a cat.
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My grandfather [25 Sep 2009|11:21pm]
turned 95 today.

He has two kinds of cancer, needs two people to move him from room to room, and breathes with the constant aid of an oxygen tank. He's mentally present, but almost completely blind and deaf. "I'm alive," he wheezes after we sing him happy birthday, "but that's it."

My grandmother, a youthful and agile 86, is perpetually cheerful and takes a seat beside him. She kisses his cheek and snuggles into his arm.

"This is my guy," she declares, "forever and ever and ever."

She beams and it's all I can do to not burst into sobs at the dinner table.
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New blog: [20 Sep 2009|05:46pm]
[ mood | awake ]

http://corinnecooks.blogspot.com

Follow/add me if you have a blogger, and let me know if you spot any of the inevitable typos.

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Petite blog [13 Aug 2009|10:33pm]
I'm on the east coast surrounded by my boyfriend's big Jewish family.

It's fun.

I'm sleepy.
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Almost kind of an update. [28 Apr 2009|11:47pm]
[ mood | sore ]

(Kind of, in that I'm not really going to say anything of substance.)

Creation from nothing and miracles and a personal God.
- James Joyce, "Telemachus," Ulysses

The above encapsulates my take on the satisfaction of writing something good, though I know Joyce's intent was to describe the Word and not merely the (secular, written) word.

I fell gloriously on the walk home from Fish Rap tonight. I was skipping about and rambling on about Bea Arthur and The Tempest when I neglected to see the sidewalk had turned into a curb and I landed half-on and half-off of it. Still, it was an artful fall, limbs akimbo and a great, flowy dress catching the breeze just so as I tumbled soundlessly to asphalt beneath the brilliant indigo of a newly-darkened sky.

But, of course, after walking nearly a mile home, it hurts like a motherfucker and my ankle looks as though it has swallowed an orange. There is now a baggie of frozen corn resting atop it to ease the swell. I'd take a photo if it wasn't so grotesque.

And, oh, I wonder what it says about the world when even Arlen Specter seems to be getting it right.

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[21 Apr 2009|11:13am]
I feel nothing.
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[17 Mar 2009|12:57am]
Ach.
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[06 Feb 2009|03:06am]
Words I never again want to be forced to use in an academic paper: locus, matrix, denkexperiement, Heidegerrian.


Thank heavens that's over.

Actually, thank me: I wrote the goddamn thing.

Addendum:

Okay, okay, this bit by Stanislaw Lem is kind of hilarious. It's from a piece he wrote in which a sassy supercomputer becomes intelligent enough to lecture people:

“When I was looking for ways of communicating with you, I sought simplicity and expressiveness which... pushed me into a style which is graphic and authoritative, emotionally vibrant, forcible, and majestic- majestic in not an imperious way but exhortatory to the point of being prophetic. Nor shall I discard these rich metaphor-encrusted vestments even today... and I call attention to my eloquence with ostentation so you will remember that this is a transmitting instrument by choice and not a thing pompous and overweening.”
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Goddamn. [26 Jan 2009|11:28pm]
[ mood | awake ]

1.) I went to ye olde Pergolesi to write today, as I oft do, pleased with myself for having a single, crisp five dollar bill in my wallet, as to buy a cappuccino. While there, I was met at the counter by the handsomest barista in the shop, whom I fancy in a passing sort of way. We conversed and I stumbled awkwardly over talk of kinds of cheeses as he steamed me some milk. He too was engrossed enough in cheese that he didn't steam me the right kind of milk, and when he realized this, he offered to make me a new drink, but I paid it no mind and handed him my crisp, five dollar bill.

He offered me change for a twenty.

"Aw, silly, tired, oddly cute barista," thought I, "I shall right this and look all the more moral and pious." I informed him of his error, he questioned me, I restated myself with smug confidence, and he brought me back the proper change and thanked me, and I beamed at my own good character and sat to write. Some time later, I felt a bit hungry and decided to check my wallet to see if I had enough quarters to get myself a oatmeal cookie. I found no quarters, just a crisp... five...dollar...bill....

See title.


2.) Trying to frantically get a writing sample in shape to apply for a fellowship in the UK. I don't think I'll get it, but it's too good to pass up the chance.

3.) I want to start a post-punk, borderline-grunge, almost entirely bass-driven band called Wlad and the Godzichs, as an homage to the most esteemed professor at this fine institution and his hip but erudite manner.

4.) Mandatory, Masturbatory Mclusky Adoration:Read more...Collapse )

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In which there is cheesecake. [14 Jan 2009|08:13pm]
[ mood | awake ]



I made a blueberry cheesecake today. There is now a custom of my posing for a photo with the cheesecake every time I make a new one.

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Mmhm. [12 Jan 2009|07:51pm]
[ mood | tired ]


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Smaller worlds. [07 Jan 2009|11:40pm]
It's weird when you realize that you recognize your new creative writing professor because you used to sell her tremendously best selling novel-turned hugely popular film a few years back.

Between her, the one nominated for poet laureate, and the one who has written books on dense literary theory in four languages and is considered one of the most brilliant academics alive, I'm officially intimidated by all of my professors. Also, the former two are classes of twenty people or less.
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Still life with Jewish mother. [27 Dec 2008|06:07pm]
[ mood | blah ]

Scene. Living room. Corinne sits on couch with laptop. Mom enters stage right.


Mom: What are you doing?

Corinne: Writing up a resume and researching writing fellowships.

Mom: Well, if you're going to get a job in today's economy, you're going to have to fix up your appearance so people will take you seriously.

Corinne: Mom....

Mom: You could start by letting your hair lighten up to a more natural shade. It looks too harsh.

Corinne: Lots of pale people have dark brown hair.

Mom: But you don't! It's unnatural.

Corinne: Tell it to the Irish.

Mom: I still think you should get gold highlights and lighten it.

Corinne: Look, you've been telling me that for years now and I haven't changed my hair, so all we're really accomplishing is making me feel uncomfortable. You wouldn't like it if I kept telling you to change your hair-

Mom: -I like my hair-

Corinne: Exactly. So can we just agree not to talk about it at all anymore?

Mom: Okay, fine, fine.

Corinne: You promise?

Mom: I promise.

Mom sits down on couch and turns on television. Ten minutes pass.

Mom: Look at that Julia Roberts' hair. Don't you want hair like that? You should have hair like that.

Corinne: sighs

Mom: What? I was talking about Julia Roberts!

End scene.

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1930-2008 [26 Dec 2008|02:18am]
Praise the Lord for all good things.
We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.
We did it.
Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.


-Harold Pinter
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[04 Nov 2008|11:33pm]
YES WE HAVE.
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Why I haven't yet gone to bed: [03 Nov 2008|01:34am]


This is Ovid the spider. He's a regular visitor to my apartment. Sometimes his personality can be overwhelming to others, so I'll gently scoot him into a glass, cover the glass with a magazine, and send him on his way outside. Tonight, he has used geometry to his advantage and nestled into the corner of my bedroom.

I'm waiting for him to move so I can evict him again.
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Always, ALWAYS meet your heroes. [29 Oct 2008|10:07pm]
Entry dedicated to Mike, and all of his broken bones.)



If you've talked to me for more than, say, fifteen seconds about music, you probably know all about my near-religious love of the Welsh band Mclusky (disbanded a few years ago), and more recently of Future of the Left, which is comprised of Mclusky drummer Jack Egglestone, Mclusky vocalist/guitarist Andy "Falco" Falkous, and Jarcew bassist Kelson Matthias. I was too young to see Mclusky play the handful of times they did LA shows, and I wanted to see FOTL in London while studying in Paris last summer, but the cost of the trip+incredibly short window of time to do so+my complete inability to orient myself in unfamiliar places made this effort something of an impossibility.

I can't put my finger on what it is about these bands that makes me react so strongly to them. Obviously, they fucking rock so hard, but they do so with an intensity and passion that I've never seen elsewhere. As a younger person, listening to Mclusky was a grounding force for me. They had a sound that you couldn't slap a label on, sharp lyrics that could make you laugh or break your heart, and the ability to be simultaneously apathetic and anguished. When I was frustrated or angry, I'd listen to the loud songs and hear Falco scream perfect, soul-shaking screams that encapsulated my feelings so well. When I was sad, I'd listen one of the few low-key, beautiful ditties tucked away on albums where they were least expected and I'd feel comforted. When I feeling hopeless, I'd sing along and feel confidence rising in me. Then when I was happy, I'd do it all over again. It's a feeling that I don't think is unlike that which the devoutly religious feel when consulting scripture, even if that's a largely blasphemous and uncomfortable association to draw. The truth is that this music has made me very happy, and that can't be bad.

As I drove into San Fransisco Monday to see Future of the Left open for Against Me, it dawned on me that I'd been looking forward to that show for the better part of the decade. I went to the event hall and found myself a spot near the front, perhaps twenty feet from the stage, nestled in amongst devout Against Me fans who would not move from their spots for the next five hours.

FOTL was incredible. I'm certain I annoyed people around me by jumping around like a loon and singing along at the top of my lungs while grinning psychotically the whole time, but I couldn't give a fuck since it was one of the best sets I've ever seen with the best band I've even seen.



Falco took the stage and the heavens opened up above him and blessed his mighty voice the set started out with a roar with Wrigley Scott.



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Recommended Reading. [26 Oct 2008|06:40pm]
[ mood | tired ]

David Sedaris wrote an excellent piece in the New Yorker this week. Here's an excerpt to convince you to read it:

To put [the election] in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

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