My Face for the World to See (Part II):
The Diary of Sherilyn Connelly
a fiction

December 21 - 31, 2003


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Wednesday, 31 December 2003 (pre-mortem)
sometime after midnight

Tonight someone told me that certain mannerisms and speech patterns of mine reminded them of Danielle. (In addition to my general appearance, of course.) Not something I've really picked up on before. Would I, even? I'm guessing she meant Danielle before her "fucked up junkie" phase. She then showed me pictures from an early nineties On Our Backs benefit of her fisting Danielle. It's hard to explain, but in a metaphoric way, that conversation summed up 2003 for me. you're like someone else, someone dark and beautiful and artistic...but, then again, not really anything like them at all...out of the corner of the eye, bloodless...

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Tuesday, 30 December 2003 (trails of color dissolve)
sometime after midnight

On the opposite end of the scale from MDMA? The mall.

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Monday, 29 December 2003 (28:06:42:12)

Feeling better. Stormy outside, though. Good reason to have stayed in town, I suppose.


My name isn't misspelled in the Chronicle article, because I'm not mentioned. And, for the record, the Wicked Messenger referenced in the first paragraph was actually Wicked Messenger 2. Wicked Messenger 3.0 isn't until next month. See what trying to be clever gets you?

Hawaiian Baby Woodrose sounds like fun. Hallucinogenic and toxic: two of my favorite effects.

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Sunday, 28 December 2003 (as strange as a conspiracy)

Still in San Francisco. Our plans to return to Fresno today for Futureshockk have been waylaid by illness. Bummer, that. I'd been looking forward to it. No, really. But, it wouldn't have done our collective health any favors. Alas.

We also bailed on tentative plans to go see the Diane Arbus exhibit at the SFMOMA yesterday with (e). Way way way too much walking. Sounding a little more feasible, and at least getting us out of the house for a little while, was a 35mm restoration of Chaplin's Modern Times at the Castro. The audience was considerably more respectable than when we saw Fritz Lang's Metropolis there last year, and even if they'd been their usual catty selves, it still would have been worth seeing on the big screen for Paulette Goddard. She is such a hottie in that movie—while she's playing a street urchin, that is. When she's cleaned up, she just doesn't seem as pretty. It's a precursor to horrible Ally Sheedy makeover in The Breakfast Club.

Those thousands of dollars I still owe on film school? Worth every last penny.


I don't have to be back at work until a week from tomorrow.

It feels like too soon. I don't wanna go back. I don't wanna have to deal with Him anymore.

I miss being on unemployment. The money was better, and it was far less stressful.

Today at Rainbow I bought 5HTP, B-complex and C-complex supplements, for use with the MDMA. Who knows, I may start using them regularly. Just in case.

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Friday, 26 December 2003 (reflecting in shadows)
sometime after midnight

Back home, which is good. Sick, which is not.

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Thursday, 25 December 2003 (the secret place)

I'm accustomed to being a freak in Fresno. Sometimes it's recognized in a good way, though.

This evening, Maddy and I were eating dinner (well, supper—"dinner" was earlier in the day at 2pm, being xmas) at one of the few places open, a cheap yet surprisingly good asian buffet. There was a couple we'd been nudging each other about all evening long, some alt/goth types. We had evidently been on their radar as well, since they came over to our table on their way out. They're involved in a local goth club called Futureshockk, and the next one is this Sunday. Small world time: one of the DJs is an old friend of mine whom I haven't actually seen since the early nineties (not knowingly, anyway, because he saw me a year and a half ago at Audible Irregularities I).

He emailed last week, offering to guestlist me for the club if I happened to be in town. We hadn't originally planned on it, and we're definitely driving back to San Francisco tomorrow morning, but seeing as how we've been invited by two separate sets of people involved with the club, and I don't have to work on Monday, and this is as close to a vacation as I'm going to get for a good long while, it now looks like we'll be returning on Sunday for the express reason of checking out the club. It's nice to be wanted, y'know? Besides, if the site can be believed, the Fresno goth scene is right about where the San Francisco one was in '99...which sounds like a very good thing indeed, since I miss those those days...

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Wednesday, 24 December 2003 (further back and faster)

Onwards to Fresno.

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Tuesday, 23 December 2003 (venerable degeneration)

Playing a zombie has definitely helped Maddy overcome her fear of them, considering she successfully made it through Dawn of the Dead last night. She's been curious about it ever since Night closed, and after an unsuccessful job interview yesterday afternoon, she was in the mood for some hyperviolent catharsis. I think she was more disturbed by the cat harshness in the other movie we watched, May, although I couldn't help but notice we went to bed with a few more lights on than usual.


Very quiet day at the office. Nobody but Kelly and I are even here, meaning there isn't much point for us to be here, either. Except that The Boss will call. I've been teased about this, but I was warned early on that when away he would call to make sure I was in the office, and it's always been the case. Besides, I have to wait for a delivery from OfficeMax. (Actual office supplies, nothing xmas related.) My current dilemma is not when to leave, but when to come back. We have through Thursday January 1 off, with the option of taking the following day as well with vacation hours.

While I have enough hours accrued to do cover that day, I kinda want to build them up as much as possible. Between my anemic pay and Maddy's about-to-expire unemployment, I can't afford any unpaid time off. (Maddy occasionally talks to someone in HR at CNET, maintaining the fiction that she might someday return there. She spoke to them yesterday, in fact. The person in question started there on the same day as me: January 4, 1999. She's about to go on vacation for three weeks. Yeah, sometimes I am still a little bitter about it all.) But something about coming back in a week from Friday seems pointless; I might as well just give myself the full week and a half, get a quasi-fresh start come January 5. I have a feeling 2004 might be a rough one.

It'll also give us a little more time to do the ecstasy we recently bought. Yay new drugs! Curiosity has finally got the better of us, and since acid and 'shrooms are so hard to find, this seems the next best thing. It's an altered state of consciousness, anyway, and I need that every so often. (Grass, needless to say, doesn't count.) I've been researching the side and aftereffects to make it as pleasant as possible, especially given the potential for depression. We're also considering doing whip-its as well, which we haven't had since the first time Maddy did acid almost three years ago. Make an evening of it.

The question is which evening. Probably sometime next week, time permitting, and it may not. Although I'm glad I'm a fairly responsible person, sometimes I do envy being able to just drop out for a few days. Not an option for us, though. Hell, we're even planning on cleaning and vacuuming the apartment first. 'cuz we're crazy druggies like that.

are you shivering?


One thing I learned this weekend: penultimate night cast parties are a bad idea. Oh, they're fun, but evidence would suggest they hex the closing night. Well, not "evidence" in the strictest sense of the word. Actually, it's an unscientific observation, a post hoc logical fallacy. But I digress.

Friday night's performance went quite well. We were feeling a little more comfortable being back in our regular theater after the Odeon show the night before, and everyone was on time with no major line hiccups. Joe Donohoe and Tallulah were among the standing-room audience. Although the Odeon show wasn't quite packed, our final Spanganga weekend was sold out. It's a shame we can't run the show for a little longer, since it would almost certainly continue to do well and the theater could really use the money, but it just isn't going to happen. Some of the cast is clearly ready to move on; indeed, they'd seemed bored and annoyed with the whole thing long while we were still in rehearsals. Kinda makes me wonder why they got involved in the first place. I'm sure they had their reasons. Or not.

The forces of darkness did win a small victory: I had grease-penciled nose and whiskers. For Cameron's sake. He didn't beg, but he asked so sweetly, I simply had to say yes. How could I possibly disappoint a face this cute? Evidently, I couldn't. (The picture is before the facial alterations, by the way.)

Since Danielle (not Willis, but the actress playing Trillian), Jim, Erin and all had to leave town on Saturday night, the cast party was held at Spanganga after Friday's show. Like many other nights, a pipe was shared. I took a single hit and started coughing; it might have just meant that the air went down the wrong pipe, which has been known to happen, but sometimes it means that it's very strong. Erring on the side of caution, I decided not to take another hit.

My instincts were correct, because when it kicked in a few minutes later, it knocked me on my ass. Jim and Sid reported the same thing. Earlier in the evening I'd agreed to give Sid a lift back Berkeley after the party, and by around a quarter to two I was just about sober enough to make the drive. Which isn't to say I was completely straight, nor not tired at all, but I managed, even if I was on autopilot when we made it back into the City.

The party wasn't quite as wild as one for Night of the Living Dead—the impromptu broom hockey didn't quite compare with, say, Cory wielding the Hitachi Magic Wand—so, at least, to me, the final Hitch-hiker's Guide didn't feel quite as anticlimactic as the final Night. It had its own host of problems, though.

Saturday was a packed house, complete with children, which I'm pretty sure was a first. Casey and Paul were there, as was (e), who told me something I'd really needed to hear, an extension of David West's comments from Thursday: that while I looked good in the suit, I also looked, well, girly. Not like a boy, but a girl in a suit, like a butch at an old school lesbian bar. Yay. Yay yay yay. That works. Really not wanting to look like a boy. Doing what I can not to. I still feel like I look like a boy when I roll out of bed in the morning. Born that way. Been tough to overcome.

Anyway, the evening was crisis upon crisis. Again owing to assorted travel plans, the show was at eight, unlike the last two weekends when it had been at ten. Jim and Erin were planning on driving to San Jose afterwards, but Danielle had to catch a plane to New York. If the show started on time, there was no reason why she would make it.

Except the show didn't start on time. Two of the cast members were unaware of the change, and as such arrived late. One made it just in time to leap into costume and go on stage; the other, just as their final scene was ending. We stalled as long as we could without causing the audience to revolt—the blackout provided a plausible excuse for the delay, especially since BART was partially affected, and Jim announced that as a result, "understudies" might be used. Funny, I started out as an understudy too, except that the person I replaced disappeared long before the show opened.

Eventually, it got too late for Danielle, who would have had to cut out straight after the show even if we'd started on time. She had no choice but to split, leaving us with three people to replace instead of two. It was also the only female character. I was otherwise engaged, being a mouse and all. Which left...oh, you know who it left.

For as nervous as she was about her fiery baptism and as much as she hated how the costume reminded her of her mother (though not when worn by Danielle, interestingly enough), Maddy did a fantastic job pinch-hitting. It helped immeasurably that the nature of the character allowed her to carry a clipboard, and she was extremely grateful when I suggested she portray math geek Trillian as OCDing on her work, thus allowing her to constantly look at her script.

There were, as I say, other problems. At least one of the last-minute recastings (not Maddy) didn't work out so well, and since it's all about me, my scene was once again truncated because of a missed cue. No "Treated. Prepared. Diced." Damn. Oh well. Even without that, Cameron and I still delivered the Big Funny, and hey, that's what matters.

The stress of everything (I felt like some of the things that had gone wrong with the play that evening were my fault, even if nobody else would see it that way, and it felt like The Boss had been picking on me a lot lately) was getting to me more than I realized, though. A misunderstanding unrelated to the play—a literal misunderstanding, me hearing someone say "fiddle" when they'd actually said "faddle"—triggered something in me, and I had myself a little meltdown. I felt a surge of adrenalized negative energy, and had to do something with it. Thermodynamics, and all. It found its way to a wall, as it so often will. That, and a stream of expletives. Maddy tells me I weirded out Ty and Cory quite a bit, as they're accustomed to me being a bit more mellow. Hey, so am I. It didn't do Maddy's nerves any favors, either. But I was confronting demons, and not liking how they looked one bit—a hell of a lot like me, my own weaknesses and flaws and negativity and evil. Hard to keep cool in those situations, though I gave it my best shot.

For better or worse, the evening was not over. Tallulah had invited us to a party (a Hawaiian Chanukah party, to be precise) at her domme friend Eisanna's well-stocked house. She'd been talking about it for a couple months, and very much wanted us to be there, especially so the host could meet me. So we went, bringing (e).

I tried my best to keep a veneer of cool, but (e) knew something was up. As did Tallulah, for that matter. My weird emotional state resulted in some drama between Maddy and I, and we tried to keep it between us as much as possible. I locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes, hoping to induce a crying jag to clear out my system. fine. let's get it over with. do it. have your way with me. It didn't work, and I gave up before I was in there long enough to be suspicious. The last thing I wanted to be was the person who bogarts the bathroom at a party.

In spite of all that, Tallulah says we made a good impression on Eisanna, who was happy to discover non-pretentious theater people. (Good lord, have we become theater people? When did that happen?)

Maddy and I left the party relatively early, but we weren't quite ready to go home yet, either. Instead, we drove around the blackened parts of the City. Not the wisest thing I've ever done, but wisdom wasn't the point. I was fascinated by the dead zones, the low-level anarchy of a dark city streets after midnight. In truth, not much was really happening, not so much as a single looter to be seen. People were even being relatively safe drivers. No carnage, damnit, and nowhere near the police presence I was expecting. We were happy to see, however, that Violet's apartment still had power. I was still feeling wicked, though, and since there weren't any torch-wielding hordes in the street overturning cars, we went to the Safeway on Potrero (which, unlike the one at Church and Market, still had full power) for soy ice cream. I'd originally planned on getting a pint, but the flavor I wanted was only available in quarts, so I got a quart. This is me being self-destructive.

After the weekend we'd already had, Sunday was a perfect day to relax and do nothing. But nothing is perfect, and I kept busy. Among other things, I had to pick up my 'mones from Market and Van Ness Rite Aid, which was still in a dead zone. The store itself was closed, but because of their deal with the Waddell Clinic they can't really close the pharmacy, not without substantially increasing the amount of people walking around San Francisco without their medication. I dearly love my City and its colorful street life, but lemme tell ya, that would be a very bad thing indeed. A security guard and employee were just inside the front doors; the employee checked my ID, then walkie-talkied back to the pharmacy and had my prescription brought up front. Yay teamwork.

From there, it was to Kinko's to make new fly0rs for next month's Wicked Messenger. Although her rehab place isn't particularly xtian, it turns out Danielle (Willis, now) can't get a pass for a Sunday. For a brief period Maddy was going to replace her, reading her story from the upcoming issue of Morbid Curiosity (about Danielle drinking her blood, ironically enough), but she declined for ethical reasons. Specifically, after having watched me work my way up over the last year and a half, she doesn't feel she's paid her dues enough to deserve a feature position. (e) has graciously stepped in. In any event, it gave me an excuse to make other tweaks to the fly0r, and I think it definitely looks better now. Of course, since it's finished and I've printed out a bunch, I'm seeing something else I could fix, but, no. That can wait for February.

Then, home...for a few hours, anyway, until we left for Cameron's holiday party, our third party in as many nights. (Is that what makes us theater people?) Like Eisanna's, it was a relatively low-key affair, even if the music was a louder and the lights flashier. And, like every party, there was one energy suck—that one person whom you really wish simply wasn't there. I don't know, maybe it's just me. And, in all fairness, I'm sure it sometimes has been me for other people.

If you'll pardon how this sounds, Cameron has a very large teevee. Wide and anamorphic and very neat. It's the kind I sometimes wish I owned (I can hear Maddy now: "Sometimes? You sometimes wish you owned one?"), if only for watching DVDs. Totally brings out the financially stunted videophile in me. As it is, I don't think it would even fit in our apartment. When we got there, it was on network television, one of the stop-motion holiday specials. The sort of thing which, to my jaded eye, is a waste on such a beautiful piece of equipment. Anyway, like everything else in the commercial media, it was heavy on the commercials.

It was too large to ignore entirely, but I tried my best. Something caught my eye, though: a commercial for what appeared to be breastforms. You know, falsies. Breast enhancers. And this was during family holiday programming. What the fuck? This is what television is like now? It was actually a relief when the PlayStation 2 was turned on. The Simpsons: Road Rage was at least a little less vulgar, even if the funnest part of the game is running over pedestrians.

So, yeah. I learned a lot this weekend.

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Monday, 22 December 2003 (drowned in gold)

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the angels thing is the UNIX fortune cookie I received when I logged onto sfgoth Saturday morning: You have the capacity to learn from your mistakes. You will learn a lot today. I think I earned a Ph.D this weekend.

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