March 17, 1999

"I'd forgotten my audience. I assumed my needs were the reader's needs, and often they were not."  ~ Bonnie Friedman, "Writing Past Dark"

Happiness sucks.

At least, it sucks when you're trying to author a "cutting-edge" Internet journal.  Apparently this website is having a   ...  how shall I describe it? ... somewhat soporific effect on some readers lately.  Sort of the cyber equivalent of a warm glass of milk and a Cowboy Junkies CD. (One longtime pal, who shall remain nameless -- although her initials might be M*I*Z*Z*L*E -- had the nerve to suggest that recent entries have made her "snooze.")

Read this: I'm not as entertaining when I'm happy.

Am I hurt by this? Embarrassed? Outraged? Ready to chuck the entire project into the nearest cyber-wastebasket and move on to the next form of shameless self-promotion? ("Nashville Music City Songcrafters Need YOUR Songs and Poems!") Ready to invent some interesting new crises, just to keep things popping?


The whole point of this journal -- besides revenge, I mean, and maybe a little revisionist history -- is to hone my writing skills. What kind of "author" would I be if I couldn't handle a little constructive criticism once in awhile? Besides: it's the truth. I'm not as funny when I'm happy. And this website isn't as interesting as it was when I was living in The Tree House, talking to birds and watching my ceiling collapse. The bad news is that I'm in a great relationship with a guy who isn't a shit or a loser or likely to go ballistic if I use the same knife to spread the peanut butter AND the mayonnaise. I have a job I like, a boss who brings me coffee, and a little money in the bank. I sleep eight hours every night, more or less consecutively. I haven't had a hangover in six months.

That's the bad news, at least as far as this website's *entertainment value* is concerned.

The good news is ...

... plenty of stuff in my life still sucks!  Honest!
  • I'm still 1,000 miles away from the Tots!
  • David and I are still sorting through a combined 84 years' worth of personal baggage!
  • I'm still worried that I'm going to do something to screw things up, and that one day I'm going to come home for lunch and discover he's moved to Portland without me!
  • I am still at the mercy of the local public transit system every day!  (Today the bus driver gigglingly informed her captive passengers that she'd forgotten her glasses. "So we're gonna drive reeeeal slooow," she said.)
  • I STILL don't understand what's happening on "The X-Files!"
  • And  --  on top of everything else  -- the Teeth Falling Out In My Hand Dream is actually starting to come true!

So you see? There is still a wealth of stuff for me to bitch and moan about.  All I have to do is remember my audience.



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