The Mind's I


It bit me.

My sister has her radio on to a fairly popular radio station and the first time I heard this piece, I was shocked. It sounded like NPR, the speaker's voice has that ring to it. Well, I've actually really gotten to like "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)". It's full of the kind of advice that I dole out to people, funny, and Ii remember encountering it back in 97 and reading all the articles about it being a hoax, in regards to Kurt Vonnegut. I love the fact that his wife read it, thought it was one of the best things he's ever written, and forwarded to friends and family including her husband.

His reaction: "I didn't write this!"

Now, it's made into a spoken word piece by Baz Luhrmann with voice-over actor Lee Perry (an Australian 30-something doing an American 50-something accent) and is topping the charts. I saw Lee Perry last week on the Tonight Show (or Conan or something) and thought it was wonderful. After a bit of searching, I found the full text of the original Mary Schmich column that it was first presented in the Chicago Tribune. Excellent stuff.

I am a geek. This stuff is mega-cool.

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April 13, 1999
Taxes and Coincidences

Iko at Night Here I am , chugging away at my computer. Thankfully, my bleached head blocks your view of my completely messy room. I just finished my taxes tonight. It looks like I'm getting both a Federal and State return! Huzzah! Drinks on me! Well, maybe not... (I have told you that I'm allergic to alcohol, haven't I, Constant Reader? Well, I am. So, no alcohol around me if I can help it.) This deserves a small celebration. I thought that I wouldn't be getting any money back, so I am thoroughly pleased that I am.

My taxes are so simple because I don't own any property and I've got no dependents or any investments. So, it ends up being really simplistic. I dread the day that I start actually owning property or get married. This might end up being a real nightmare.

I didn't contribute any money to any of the little funds that ask for money on tax forms. Presidential donation? You've got to be kidding me. I find it funny how late I'm filing my taxes this year. Typically, I file them very early and get my refund very early. I think it is because of this complication with working in New York City yet living in New Jersey. I didn't want to think about it and so I kept putting it off. I really dislike putting things off, since that gets me stressed and stress leads to insomnia and that gets me so tired so I put things off... a bad situation all around. Typically, I confront things but for some reason, I've been avoiding taxes. Kind of like the bump on my leg.

Speaking of the bump on my leg, I saw the dermatologist about it yesterday and it looks like I'm getting it removed next week and they'll test it to see if it is malignant (very very rare) or not. It's supposed to take four days to recuperate, so I'm taking Thursday and Friday off from work and returning on Monday. They want me to avoid walking around on it as much as possible. I didn't sleep at all on Sunday evening, thinking and worrying about this bump on my leg. I've been avoiding seeing my doctor about it because I fear what they are going to say about it. Similarly, I haven't seen a gynecologist in over a year, and I really should be seeing one every four to six months. I haven't seen a dentist in a while either. I should get back into it. Actually, I should have Mike make my appointments for me. He doesn't harbor any of the fear that I have about going to the doctor... and I have a tendancy to put it off and avoid it. Taxes and health. Unlike my other problems, I've been avoiding them. I'm not sure what that says about me.


"Excuse me." Louder. "Excuse me."

I was walking down the steps of the Port Authority Bus Terminal this morning at 9am, glad that I will be arriving at work at a reasonable time. I saw my bus at the stop, few people on line and even fewer in the bus. Good, I thought. I'll get a good seat.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see a woman about my age, perhaps a little older smiling at me.

"Hi!" she said in such a cheery voice that you can hear the exclamation point. "Are you from Urbana?"

Oh no, I think to myself. Someone from school and... I searched her face for any distinguishing feature. No such luck. Typical dark-haired caucasian female. One of a multitude on campus. I have a hard time distinguishing different caucasians. Yes, I'm going to say it. "They all look alike." Mike ridicules me about talking about our blonde waitress, only to discover that she's a dark brunette. I will sometimes comment that person X looks like person Y and they look nothing alike. So, I was put into an extremely uncomfortable situation. Here's a woman who is smiling brightly at me that I don't recognize from Eve. She's talking to you, Eileene. Say something.

"Uhh.. yeah."

Her smile got even wider, and I'm amazed that it could. "Me too!"

"Uhh..." I was speechless. I held out my hand and mumble, "pleased to meet you." She shaked my hand. I gestured towards my bus and she let go, seemingly understanding. I gave her one last smile and turn towards the bus.

She pointed to my bag and exclaimed in a cheery and farewell-y voice, "I love that library!" I waved to her dismissively as I ran to catch my bus. I realized that she was pointing to my Urbana-Free Library Tote Bag. She really didn't know me, she just had a connection with the library and that beautiful town of Urbana.

I really didn't think about what I had just done until I was sitting comfortably on my bus. I didn't dare look out the window in case she was looking back at me. That introvert in me turned on and I was speechless and distant when someone genuinely friendly says hello to me. I could have kicked myself in the rear for being so cold to someone so obviously warm and midwesternish. I hope the city isn't making me "hard". I wasn't that late to work. I could have stopped and offered to have a drink and talk about how much I missed the midwest.

And I do miss the midwest. Terribly. I miss seeing the rows of corn. The flatness of it all. I miss the people and the cleanliness of the air. I look up at night and miss seeing the multitude of stars that you can see in the midwest skies out in the country. All I seem to see these nights is a yellowish haze of the city lights. Here's someone with a connection to my past (and hopefully my future) and I didn't take it.

Never again, Constant Reader. Next time I have the opportunity, I'm going to take it. I want to keep my midwest sensibilities. It's something that I thought made me a better person and I hope I haven't lost it.


After work, I went and spent a lot of money. I first went to the Roundabout Theater and purchased a ticket for just myself for next Tuesday. I'm seeing The Lion in Winter starring Stockard Channing (Rizzo from Grease) and Laurence Fishbourne (Morpheus from The Matrix). I then went to Virgin Records and bought the soundtrack for The Matrix and a 24 CD carrying case. I needed one badly since my current one only holds twelve. Then I went to the theater that is showing Chicago and bought two tickets for next Wednesday. One for me and another for my mom. I need to get tickets to Amy's View with Judi Dench and Night Must Fall with Matthew Broderick. Alan Cummings will be at Caberet until sometime in June so, no worries.

I love going to plays and musicals. There is an immediacy to watching them... and a direct connection with the actors and actresses. I also enjoy the medium. It's something that I know I couldn't do. I don't think of myself as a natural actor (but I'm actually a pretty good liar). I can be a performer, like on stage when I'm performing with an a cappella group, but I think that's very different from what an actor has to do. What I do is full of ad-libbing and smiling and just projecting energy. Actors don't necessarily do that.

Then again, aren't we all actors in some way? We have a part and we project it. I'm a one-character actress.

© Copyright 1999, Eileene Coscolluela