JUNE 14, 2009 3:35AM

This Boo-Boo Itches

Rate: 6 Flag


A Park Stroll Interrupted


Michael: You know what really disturbs me about what we just said?

     Talking about if we’re real or not.

Melissa: I wonder if it’s more obvious to people who’ve been reading us from the beginning—

Michael: Has anyone been reading us from the beginning, other than maybe Delia and GalaxyMan?

Melissa: Probably not.

Michael: Those first posts are pretty rough. But then again, it was a record of a beginning, which is like childbirth. That’s pretty rough, too. I remember saying something at the time that this is like the initiation phase. If you can get through this beginning part, then you’re initiated into the club, as it were. The thing is, this isn’t a club, it’s not a secret society, it’s not anything except you and me sharing these conversations that we have about writing this.

     Do I sound morose?

Melissa: No! Where’d you get that idea?

     (A) Can you check my glasses? I think they’re smudged.

Michael: (B) Uh-oh. They’ve begun. Isn’t that “(A1)”, not “(B)”? We talked about this being “(A1)”.

Melissa: (A1) That’s exactly what I was thinking to myself after I typed “(B)”.

Michael: (A1) Wouldn’t we go back and fix that?

Melissa: (A1) I was wondering that, too. Do you think it’s too disorienting for our reader when we do that? I mean, isn’t that like pulling the textual rug out from under their feet before they’ve even finished taking a step?

Michael: (A1) Yes, but it’s also deceptive. In our earlier posts, the ones that didn’t follow our new way, it was okay to leave them because they were correct for their context. But in many cases, once we’ve discovered a way of doing something, we’ve retroactively gone back and made those changes. "Michael:" and "Melissa:" was one of them.

Melissa: (A1) No, that doesn’t count. Because we did that before we ever posted. That’s what’s so liberating about blogging. It frees us from the perpetual perfectionism loop that prevents all of our other projects from becoming finished.

Michael: (A1) So it’s just stuck there like that? “(B)”?

Melissa: (A1) I think so. I don’t like it any more than you do.

Michael: (A) They look okay to me.

Melissa: (A) I see smudges.

     (A) I hope it’s on the glasses and not on my eyes.

     (A) I’ve got smudges in my eyes.

Michael: (A) “You’ve got flies in your eyes.”

     I don’t know. It was weird. I was sitting here, and in the silence, you sitting there typing. The fan going on in the background. I just thought, am I too minused to do this right now? I would hate to think that I could ever really be too minused to do this because doing this does give me such a sense of worth, really, that I don’t normally have. I mean, not because people are going, “Oh, Michael, you are great.” It’s just that I feel like I’m contributing something to other people that they’re able to enjoy, hopefully laugh, maybe learn something, I don’t know. And that all we have to do to do this is to take the time and effort to record ourselves having these conversations as we create the thing that our reader ends up reading. The finished piece.

     Man, was I talking a long time?

     Was that a tangent? Or just something said later? About something said earlier?

Melissa: Oh my. Let’s just keep that top-level. I’m not ready to deviate into all those sub-threads right now.

     It’s really odd how we both feel sort of deflated right now—and at a time when the responses are so encouraging.

Michael: (B) It’s interesting because we’re not really feeling that way anymore, but it still fits because we did just get some encouraging responses today. When did we actually write this?

Melissa: (B) Back on Monday, I think.

Michael: Wait a minute. When you say “deflated”, do you mean you are discouraged from writing metaness?

Melissa: No, of course not! I’m very encouraged, actually. I think part of the problem is we had this creative flow during the weekend, and then having to go back to work today and be separated, prevented from working on this—uh, this blessed metaness that—

Michael: Wait, did you just say “blessed metaness”? Oh man. Now I think you’ve gone too far. But I agree with what you’re saying. I think it might actually have more to do with the day. Monday. You mentioned it was about the weekend. We’re together, we’re able to work without too much interruption. It’s great. But as soon as we’re separated, we’re not really able to work. We kind of pine away the day until we can get back together and start working again.


Melissa: I’m almost blind without my glasses right now, so it’s hard for me to—

Michael: Oh, I didn’t realize that! I was just sitting here holding them.

Melissa: Yes, it makes me miss you even more than I already do during the work day.

Michael: What does?

Melissa: Well, working together so—

(together): Closely?

Melissa: Yeah, and it’s strange because we’ve been working together on so many creative projects for so many years.

Michael: I know, love, but this is different. This demands more of us. We have to pour more effort into it. We have to pour more of ourselves into it. I mean, we’re literally pouring what we say into it.

     This boo-boo itches.

Melissa: Hahaha.

     Okay, but going back to analyzing our melancholy.

Michael: Melancholy.

Melissa: Yes, I mean, last night, we were on such an ecstatic creative high, after having worked nonstop since the second I got home on Friday evening.

Michael: Well, that’s an exaggeration, love. I mean, we slept. You said nonstop from the time we got home. You made it sound like we just worked the whole weekend through without sleeping!

Melissa: Obviously not. But it really sort of felt that way. I probably got maybe four hours of sleep a night. So that’s another reason I think I’m a little sleepy-eyed tonight.

     It’s probably also feeling so helpless to ease C’s Sisyphean burdens, but I won’t go there because I’m not sure she’d approve of us talking about that.

Michael: I’m sure. She wouldn’t.

(C. calls)

(next day)

Melissa: Do you realize the only dates we have in this calendar are of deaths?

(later)

Michael: “I see what you did, lady. You dropped your caps. You dropped your caps. And now you need two spaces. Two spaces are mandatory when you drop your caps.”

Melissa: (G) It seems like we should put that in quotes because you said it in a character’s voice—


Michael: (G) I didn’t say in in a character’s voice, I said it in a funny voice. I was talking to you.


     (C) This is a weak ending. It was going fine until we got here.

Melissa: (C) I know. But that’s because that was just some random character you were making up, and I didn’t get the context surrounding it.

Michael: (C) No, it wasn’t. I was talking to you. About the fact that because you stopped using capitalization in your emails, you were forced to use two spaces after your periods.

Melissa: (C) Oh, now I remember. And it’s not “forced”—it’s just that I realized I still practice the antiquated two spaces when I type emails, whereas that would be an abomination in body text.

     (C) So I’ve actually been trying to remember to stop typing two spaces, but I keep forgetting. It’s just weird that it’s habitual for me to do two spaces for emails when I automatically do one space in every other kind of text.

Michael: (C) Yeah, that is weird.

Melissa: (C) This actually ties in with something I’ve been trying to decide about lately.

Michael: (C) What?

Melissa: (C) I’ve been wondering if I should start making my emails sentence case. I mean, maybe keep lowercase for our closest friends or informal emails. But it’s starting to seem a little odd that I still do lowercase now that I’m in my thirties.

Michael: (C) Like lowercasing is some teen thing, or some intimate thing only for your closest friends. “Notice how I’m dropping sentence case for you?”

Melissa: (C) Haha.

     (C) I know. But sometimes I have to email people outside and I sentence-case for them, so then it just becomes a hassle to try and remember whom I’ve established sentence casing with, and whom I have a history of lowercasing with.

Michael: (C) “People h’outside.”

Melissa: (C) But then it would be strange to just go sentence case on everyone.

Michael: (C) Well, I’ve always thought it was weird when you would lowercase people’s names.

Melissa: (D) There’s so much “weird”ness in here. I’m gonna make mine “strange”.

Michael: (C) I thought, Aren’t some people offended by that? But I guess they were just all your closest friends.

Melissa: (C) I don’t think anyone would be offended by their names being lowercased when the entire text is lc.

Michael: (C1) Melissa, would you say “lc”?

Melissa: (C1) I was just trying to decide that myself. Because I would actually sometimes say that when doing editor-speak. I wouldn’t typically say it to you, though. But the reason I did is I had just finished saying “lowercased”, and I really didn’t want to repeat myself again so soon.

Michael: (C2) You can use splat-i again, love. I fixed it!

Melissa: (C2) Yay!

Michael: (C1) I know. But you’re only conscious of that because you’re writing it. You wouldn’t be conscious of that if you were saying it, I don’t think.

Melissa: (C1) Yes, I’m speak-writing it, which makes my sentences a little less colloquial, a little less natural. It’s just because I have to type simultaneously while conversing with you. See, that wasn’t very natural.

Michael: (C1) That’s why I want you to say it before you write it. I have to say mine out loud.

Melissa: (C1) I know, but if I say it and then wait too long before typing it, that would be even harder to capture the authenticity. I mean, the actual words I used.

Michael: (C1) That’s why I suggested just saying a short sentence, and then when you’re happy with that, writing it down.

Melissa: (C1) But that’s not dialogue. That’s saying and writing lines. I need to keep my hands on the keyboard to capture the natural flow of our conversation.

Michael: (C1) Keeping your hands on the keyboard is what hampers the natural flow of your conversation.

     (C1) You get to points where you stop speaking at all and just write for long periods of time. Now here’s the thing, we usually have to go back and work on those sentences to make them sound more natural. Wouldn’t it be better to just make them naturally to begin with?

Melissa: (C1) We do! It’s just these anomalies, usually when we’re metaing and trying to finish the fecking post.

Michael: (C2) So I thought that might work as an ending, but it doesn’t.

Melissa: (E) I was just realizing we are about to post a post we first wrote last Monday on a Saturday, which actually just became Sunday, and in a previous post, we posted a post we wrote on a Sunday on a Friday, which actually became Saturday.

Michael: (E) “This year, you buy next year’s car, and next year, next year’s come out already again.”

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Okay, but now you're more like Vladimir and Estragon.
I enjoyed that. I take it you two never have a moment to be bored?
@consonantsandvowels:

“But what Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday?”

Didi & Gogo

@Newton:

Melissa: Whew. Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed it, Newton. You’re right in that the concept of boredom is completely alien to us—

Michael: That’s not true. I get bored. I get bored waiting for you. What are you gonna say next, that we sleep on golden blankets and eat food off of plates made out of clouds?

Melissa: Hahaha.

Michael: And it’s not like we were sitting here saying, “Oh my God! What if Newton doesn’t like it? Who’s that commenting? Is it Newton? Does he like it? He does?! Hooray!”

Melissa: Okay, you’re right. That “Whew” was a bit exaggerated. What I really meant is that we’re relieved to know . . .

Michael: That Newton likes it?

Melissa: Hehe. Sorry, Newton, it seems your kindness has prompted another impromptu diablog. We’re glad you visited, and even gladder that you enjoyed it!
I am just in awe of this...I hesitate to call it craziness but that will have to do for now because I am on my first cup of coffee. I am learning so much...email etiquette, the fact that I had no idea about getting rid of the two-space thing, that you can talk and type ( I can barely type and type), and that you two are totally my new favs. I have to slow down reading this to keep all the voices straight which is a good thing in a world of rushing around. I did go back last night and read a bunch of your older posts -didn't stop to comment on them but, by the time I went to bed I had quite a few voices running around in my head. Please tell me about your artwork -I love them all and was looking for clues about them but only saw a brief conversation about the inclusion of artwork. Maybe I missed it somewhere but tell me more...I have an un-used MFA in painting still longing to find a place in my world of 3 kids and a job and your work is inspiring me to get around to creating more than washable marker drawings. I'm assuming you guys did it but maybe I shouldn't...one of the birds maybe? I am so glad I bumped into you last night, and so glad to find new reading material waiting for me this morning!
are you as handsome as peter lawford and as beautiful as phyllis kirk? I guess it doesn't matter...you are to me. I'm just wondering if this is the modern version of that dashiell hammett spawned thin man loveliness?

great stuff for a sunday morning. there's a reason I'm here reading this instead of the execrable parade magazine.
mamoore: I hesitate to call it craziness

Melissa: Don’t worry—you’re not the first to use this term. We take it as a compliment :-)

mamoore: I am learning so much...

Michael: I’m glad you mentioned this, mamoore. As I said in this post, that’s one of the things I hope these can be—educational.

Melissa: Yes! Although certainly not didactic, we hope.

mamoore: email etiquette, the fact that I had no idea about getting rid of the two-space thing, that you can talk and type ( I can barely type and type)

Melissa: Haha! We’re are continually relieved to hear these AR topics are actually of interest to others besides ourselves.

mamoore: and that you two are totally my new favs.

Michael: Thank you, mamoore. We are honored.

mamoore: I have to slow down reading this to keep all the voices straight which is a good thing in a world of rushing around. I did go back last night and read a bunch of your older posts

Melissa: Your enthusiasm is inspiring.

mamoore: I had quite a few voices running around in my head.

Melissa: Clinical tests have proven that schizophrenic side effects are purely temporary.

mamoore: Please tell me about your artwork -I love them all and was looking for clues about them but only saw a brief conversation about the inclusion of artwork. Maybe I missed it somewhere but tell me more...

Melissa: I’m glad you asked, mamoore. This came up in a recent (as yet unpublished/unfinished) post, and I was worried Michael was going to make me take it out. Now, he’ll have to keep it in, thanks to you :-)

Michael: Melissa, the is is the second time you’ve used the OS community against me.

Melissa: Hahaha. When was the other time? Was it about “The Yellow Starlings”?

Michael: Yes!

Melissa: But nobody responded, so we’re still at a crossroads on that one.

Michael: Just because nobody responded, doesn’t mean nobody read it.

Melissa: I’m not saying that. I’m just saying, nobody weighed in on whether they did or didn’t like that title for my birdie blog.

Michael: (A) (sings) Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody.

Melissa: (A) I think that’s our first meta in a comment. Neat.

Michael: (A) We’re doomed.

Melissa: So I can’t start the birdie blog until we can agree on a title.

Michael: Well, Melissa, this is starting to turn into another post, and we’re totally ignoring mamoore. And that’s rude.

mamoore: I have an un-used MFA in painting still longing to find a place in my world of 3 kids and a job and your work is inspiring me to get around to creating more than washable marker drawings.

Michael: That’s wonderful, mamoore. Please do, and don’t forget to share!

mamoore: I'm assuming you guys did it but maybe I shouldn't...one of the birds maybe?

Melissa: The birds are working on a collaborative process piece Michael used to call Void, which is now titled, No Longer Void. But to answer your question, Michael is the one who makes these exquisite works.

Michael: Exquisite?!

Melissa: Yeah, well, mamoore thinks so, too. So there.

Michael: Okay, we won’t get into that.

Melissa: Anyway, mamoore, you can find out more when we get around to finishing and publishing that post I mentioned earlier.

mamoore: I am so glad I bumped into you last night, and so glad to find new reading material waiting for me this morning!

m&m: And we are doubly glad to welcome you into our meta-home.
bbd: are you as handsome as peter lawford and as beautiful as phyllis kirk?

Melissa: Not quite so aristocratically dashing and glamorous. More the imperfect, ordinary sort—Sundance rather than Hollywood.

Michael: I wouldn’t even say Sundance. I would say more like documentaries.

Melissa: Haha. Incidentally, bbd, this comment led us to discover that Phyllis Kirk actually appears in a Twilight Zone episode, playing the wicked Victoria West in “A World of His Own.”

bbd: I'm just wondering if this is the modern version of that dashiell hammett spawned thin man loveliness?

m&m: It had never occurred to us before, but perhaps it’s time to get to know the Charles(es?) better. Not to mention Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.

bbd: great stuff for a sunday morning. there's a reason I'm here reading this instead of the execrable parade magazine.

m&m: Always delighted to provide an alternative to fecal reading matter.
Wow, I am so glad I came back to check on this before I went to bed...but I have to sleep now. Next time, I will bring friends!
Like mamoore, I have been reading your older posts. I didn't comment on them because I know it's often hard to keep up with comments on older posts. I am loving the metaness. Just . . . loving it! Ya'll (as they say in our "neck of the woods") are amazing.
Is it me or is this like the Seinfeld of Os? A train-wreck-of-a-blog that you just can't look away from.
A brilliant journey within a conversation. Funny. Rated!
sigh, I had a whole response to this that I wrote while pina coladaed and wanted to wait to read again when sober before posting, but Karen must have closed the notepad window :(
I hate it when that happens. Well, teaches me to stay sober.
I vaguely remember something about asking why Michael worries about coming across morose. (why would that be a bad thing?) and something about why Melissa feels like she is seeing less well than usual (smudges- Michael doesn't see them on her glasses, she does) What do you think you aren't seeing as well?
I get all psychoanalytic when drunk evidently :/ who knew.
@mamoore:

We’re glad you did, too, mamoore. Friends? Sure. Bring as many as you like!

@Owl_Says_Who:

“I know it's often hard to keep up with comments on older posts.”

That’s thoughtful of you, Owl_Says_Who, but no need to refrain for our sakes. We’re always happy to receive comments on earlier posts, so feel free to do so whenever you’re inspired to jump in on the conversation. Plus, we think our earlier posts are starting to get jealous of our newer ones.

Thank you for loving the metaness. The metaness loves you, too!

@Skip Reilley:

We would reply with a witty contextual quip if we weren’t totally ignorant of Seinfeld. Not too ignorant to recognize the compliment, though, so thank you. But we do hope you’re wrong about the train wreck ;-)

@Mr. Mustard:

Always an honor, kind sir.

m&m
@Julie:

Melissa: Julie, I completely empathize with your plight! Losing data is one of my Room 101 fears.

Michael: As for your question about morosity, I have profound respect for it. In this case, I was worried I might be dragging the conversation down, though.

Melissa: But that’s what’s funny, because what you said wouldn’t have come across as morose at all. You were probably just sensing the internal gravitation of your mood.

Michael: I prefer to just say plussed or minused.

Melissa: On smudges, Michael is my official lens cleaner, so when I begin to realize my glasses are smeared (as they seem to become almost instantaneously), I usually hand them over to him for a proper spit and polishing.

Michael: You make me sound like I’m your glasses boy or something.

Melissa: No, more . . . engineer.

Michael: Ah, “sanitation engineer.”

Melissa: Haha. So anyway, at that particular moment, I happened to be having trouble distinguishing between the smudges on my glasses and the blurriness of my vision, which had become impaired after hours upon hours of staring at—

Michael: Are you sure Julie wants us to explain all this?

Melissa: That’s what she’s asking. She’s an IN(F|T)(P|J) like me, so she should know what she was getting into ;-)

Michael: Hahaha.
Oh yes, of course I wanted it explained! If I could get away with it I'd walk around asking "why" every 2 min. It's an annoying quirk that refuses to remain hid despite my best effort at trying to act some other age than 3.

Yes, Michael- your asking if you were sounding morose sounds like a dead give away for 'I'm feeling morose' but I don't want to be a bother, is it ok I'm feeling sad? Easy to read and empathetic- those are such a nice traits, Melissa you are lucky!

About those glasses though- hm, :D Michael does Melissa talk about specific details to hide emotions?

Now I'm going to channel Michael for a min- is it ok I'm playing like this, or just freaking annoying? Karen and Garf love to talk like this- the rest of civilization other than my shrink and ex partner...mm, not so much.
@Julie:

Julie: Oh yes, of course I wanted it explained!

Melissa: I knew it :-)

Julie: If I could get away with it I’d walk around asking “why” every 2 min. It’s an annoying quirk that refuses to remain hid despite my best effort at trying to act some other age than 3.

(both laughing)

Julie: Easy to read and empathetic- those are such a nice traits, Melissa you are lucky!

Melissa: Yes, I am profoundly aware of that every day. And grateful, too.

Michael: As am I.

Julie: About those glasses though- hm, :D Michael does Melissa talk about specific details to hide emotions?

Michael: I think Melissa is the most forthright person I know, but also the most compassionate. Her ability to empathize with people is very strong. I think she must’ve gotten it from me. Hahaha.

Melissa: So to answer your question, Julie, I think Michael is saying no. Right, Michael?

Michael: I don’t even remember the question anymore.

Melissa: Hahaha.

Julie: Now I'm going to channel Michael for a min- is it ok I'm playing like this, or just freaking annoying? Karen and Garf love to talk like this- the rest of civilization other than my shrink and ex partner...mm, not so much.

Melissa: We’ll take you over the rest of civilization any day.

Michael: Definitely.