An Open Letter To Chelsea S., From M. Dylan Raskin

August 10, 2007

The following is not a work of fiction. Dylan asked me to run it as a favor, and I’m doing so. If you’re not familiar with his work, see this and this and this and this previously published in this blog. The strange way the Internet sometimes works — despite its date of Monday, I only got it in my emailbox today, Friday, August 10.

August 2007

I know I’ve always told you that your memory is second in line to none. But I’m willing to lay healthy odds that even you don’t remember what the weather was like at Point Au Roche that Sunday in early April.

I do.

Dear Chelsea:

It’s Monday and it’s mid-August.

It’s early evening, gray, shadowy, and quiet. The pitter-patter of raindrops on the hood and roof of my car outside is the only sound keeping me from going stark staring mad.

I keep thinking of something Lincoln once said: “I don’t claim to have controlled events; but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”

Earlier, I watched your CR-V disappear out of eyeshot and into the mist on Ridge Top Road. It occurs to me now that I may never see you or your CR-V on Ridge Top Road again. And it breaks my heart.


Dear Chelsea:

Simply put (too simply), I don’t quite know how this happened to us. With you gone, there isn’t anything familiar left. Just me and Esme again. Boy, when you lose someone, you really are reminded of their importance in your story.

I didn’t need any reminders.

I’ve kept in mind your importance in my story every day since our first meeting at Mangia. I never, ever—for a half-second, even—took you or our chance meeting in this tremendous world for granted.

You’ve been slipping through my fingers for weeks now and I could never understand why. I still can’t. It doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t register. I close my eyes and think of the memories we’ve made—the good, the bad, the funny, the genuine—and can’t help but feel like it’s far too soon to end the making of these memories. I stare at the wall and see these memories—they play like a silent movie: the first time I shook your right hand with my left; the time you searched for capers through my dinner; the way you looked on that chilly night when we skipped rocks at Point Au Roche; the first time I met Jeremiah; the time in Koffee Kat when that old bastard asked if I was in the same counselor program as you; the balloon/Blockbuster incident; the first time I saw you in your cowgirl shirt and hat at Washland and how I thought to myself I’d never laid eyes on a girl like you before; the first time we kissed on your couch in the middle of the night; the time I got comfortable in the passenger’s seat and forgot to put your wheelchair away; the time your mom called me Collin; the time at the theatre when I leaned over, my knees shaking, and asked you to go steady and you said, “Thanks;” the time Esme pissed on your rabbit; the first time we went to Guma’s and had our ears assaulted by the hipster girls on cellular phones sitting behind us; the first time we walked together and how I wanted so badly to kiss you but couldn’t get up the courage; the time I fell backwards out of your wheelchair in that ditch outside your apartment; how excited I always got when I received a midnight text message from you; the time I said goodnight to you after promising that I’d stay put; the first time we ordered in and watched a movie on your couch; the time we necked in your country kitchen while basking in the early summer sun; the time at Perkins when you went to the bathroom and Jeremiah pitched a fit—I was lost; the time at Lake Eaton when you made PB & J sandwiches on the CR-V picnic table; the way it felt to hold you in front of the camera in Time’s Square; the time we returned the chair at Target and told the customer service lady that it didn’t match the rest of our patio furniture; the long, sweaty drive from New Jersey to the Adirondacks; the way you looked the first time I saw you wake up in the morning; the way you looked the first time I leaned over and said goodnight to you. The way you looked this afternoon from a slight distance through your mist-shrouded windshield while I spoke with your sister on my porch.

What a wonderful, wonderful time we’ve had together—why you’ve chosen to end it now is beyond my level of comprehension. The only thing I’ve ever wanted for you, my sweet, sweet girl, is the world. I wanted to give you everything because, in my opinion, you deserve everything. The thought of never holding your hands again makes my eyes tear and forms a lump in my throat. The thought of never rubbing your October arms again makes the lump in my throat bigger. And the thought of you with some jerk-off guy-guy who could never—in two thousand billion years—feel for you the way I do, makes me want to vomit.

Perhaps I’m still in shock. Winded. Suckerpunched. The Adirondacks will not be the same without you by my side. Nothing will be the same without you by my side. Maybe I’m an idealistic son of a bitch, but goddamn it, I wanted you to be by my side forever, and vice versa. I’ve always looked at our chance meeting as something truly unique and extraordinary, a twist of fate—you took me off the road and gave me shelter; you made me see a side of the world I’d forgotten about; you made me the happiest bastard in the world. I’m sorry that your interest in me has changed. I don’t know why it has, but I’m sure you have your reasons. Please know that my interest in you has not changed. I’ve meant every word I’ve ever said to you, and the thought of moving ahead with nothing but memories of you makes my innards burn. For all the comfort they may provide, memories are little more than a reminder that things can never be the same; that the past is gone forever.

I’ve been kicked when I’ve been down before—so many times it’s a miracle I still function—but I’ve always gotten back up. This time won’t be so easy. I was still on my knees when we met four months ago. My heart is broken…but still beating. I’ll somehow manage to shrug this off and get back on my feet. I don’t know how right now, but I will. And when I do, I’ll get back on track and turn both books into bestsellers (you heard it here first).

You’re once in ten lifetimes, Chelsea. It’s stupid, irresponsible, and foolish to let you slide away. Of course, the decision here isn’t all mine. If it were up to me, I’d never let you go, because I’m smart enough to know a good thing when I see it. I’m smart enough to know that certain things do not come around twice. You’re my snow globe girl—I’ll always think of you that way. I’ll always know you belong inside of one—far away from seedy, slimy guy-guys who only want you for one thing; safely tucked away and out of range of the evils this world produces.

As I sit here in my bedroom—blankets, pillows, sweatshirts all around me, I’m reminded that these are artifacts of a gentler time. Losing someone is never easy—losing the last person in your life is even less easy. I’ll always want the very best for you, my Chelsea. I know you’ll never meet anybody who feels about you the way I do—it just isn’t possible. But I’ll always hope you find what it is you’re looking for in this cruel, dog-eat-dog world. With autumn—and ultimately winter—closing in, I’ll often think of you and wonder what you’re reading, what you’re thinking, and from where you’re doing it. I’ll think of Jeremiah and wonder if he’s still making growling noises when you say the word tiger. I’ll wonder what could’ve been between us, had you not changed your heart. I’ll wonder if there are two people like us sitting on the beach at Point Au Roche on the verge of an unspoken crisis like we were yesterday. I’ll wonder about a lot of things. And I’ll miss a lot of things.

It’s Monday and it’s mid-August.


Meet Estefi Of NoBarbies

August 10, 2007

Clicking around MySpace can lead to strange happenings. I don’t know whose Friends I was stealing, but one of them was a band called NoBarbies. It’s an all-woman Punk Rock band based in Argentina!`

On their MySpace page, they have two sample songs recorded from rehearsals. One is NoBarbies, their signature tune. The second is Nadie es iqual (Nobody is Equal). Both feature a raw energy, a driving beat, and some sexy guitar work. That none of the lyrics are in English is beside the point. They rock!

Shortly after discovering them, I got a MySpace Bulletin from Estefi, their lead guitarist, revealing that she was vacationing in New York City. Wow! I immediately replied asking if we could meet for some pictures for this blog. She agreed.

Yesterday I got to meet Estefi and here are some pictures:

I begin in stalker mode. Yes, she is seated waaaay down there!

Hee-hee. She hasn’t seen me yet!

How close can I get before she sees me and runs away?

Oh-oh! Busted!

Close-up crop of Busted!

The first photo of Estefi and her new guitar.

A pensive Estefi strumming her guitar.

Estefi already wondering when I will go away.

Estefi’s jacket, all calligraphy and art by her.

Vivir Apasionadamente: Live Passionately
Siendo Siempre Unico: Always Be Unique

An eye motif that Estefi is very fond of.

The NoBarbies logo, designed by Estefi.


Estefi smiling, thinking I’m finally leaving!

Estefi holding the world in her hand — the U.N. building as proxy.

Estefi in a classic musician pose.

Estefi: Are you leaving yet, Mike?

I always get the shoes I started this with Girls Don’t Cry.

Estefi smelling the flowers. What you can’t see is that the flowers are the same color as her nail polish. One of those coincidences…

Estefi in classic NoBarbies pose.

Estefi is a multi-talented wonder. She’s a musician, lyricist, painter, is studying psychology and is interested in philosophy!

Estefi and Descartes! I have never come across a woman who wanted to take a picture like that. This is so incredibly great.

Estefi has been playing guitar since she was 15 and she’s played rhythm guitar in other bands. The NoBarbies band started to form back in November 2006 with three members. By the time they added a bass guitar in February 2007, they already had four songs written. It took a while to add the drummer, requiring six different tryouts. By March, they had their drummer and the band was complete. From March until their 7-7-7 (July 7, 2007) debut, they continued to create songs and now have a total of nine (they play NoBarbies twice in their live sets). NoBarbies marks the first time Estefi has played lead guitar. And you can clearly hear her incredible fingerwork in their two sample songs on MySpace!

NoBarbies rocking live on stage. Estefi is at left, in pink.

Right now, the band is lacking a bass guitar again and while Estefi is in New York City, her bandmates are doing tryouts with other guitarists to replace the one who had to leave.

NoBarbies right now: No Bass Guitar. Estefi at left.

While she’s been in NYC, Estefi has been updating her Fotolog [update: URL changed; few photos as of 9/8/07]. Here is one I just had to use:

Estefi in the belly of the Barbie Beast!

This is a good time to run the lyrics of their song:


No quiero tu sonrisa finjida
No soy tu princesa perdida
Tus objetos me quieren someter
pero no van a poder..
nooo van a poder!

Nobarbies no!
Nobarbies no!
No somos barbies no!

No quiero tu libertad tu mentira
Mi mundo te desafía!
Antes era la realeza, ahora es la empresa
quien se queda con tu vida (tu potencia)

Estefi also has an account on treemo (it is sort of like Flickr) where she has posted pictures of her paintings and also interesting photos from her NYC vacation.

The band NoBarbies has already been mentioned on one blog. I’m sure this is the first of many more writeups to come.

I think NoBarbies is a band that we will hear a lot about in the future. Personally, I can’t wait for them to get in a studio and record all their songs so I can hear more than just the two fantastic ones on their MySpace page! Hey, I’d settle for rehearsal recordings of the other seven songs! Go NoBarbies Go!

Thank you, Estefi, for letting me bother you with my camera!

MySpace SpamGrrls: The Next Generation

August 10, 2007

Oh, just came across the latest twist.

OK, so you Add this female whose Profile is just about barren, but you do it to give her the benefit of the doubt since there’s no spam in the Profile.

Then you wind up getting a MySpace Bulletin from her that is spam!

Someone I added less than four hours ago invited everyone via Bulletin to her adult webcam show!


Previously in this blog:
MySpace SpamGrrls

MySpace SpamGrrls

August 10, 2007

On MySpace I’ll wind up getting a Friend request that shows a pic of a Hot Chick.

The ruse worked to get me to Add three of them.

But I’ve caught on and have deleted them.

These SpamGrrls (as I call them) wind up with a fake Profile that contains one Comment — and the Comment is an ad.

The ones that are outright Spam — “Oh, I’ve got these hoty pixx MySpace won’t publish, so go here…” — get marked as Spam while still sitting in my Friend Request box.

I catch on slow, but I eventually do.

Quote Of The Day: Tech Edition

August 10, 2007

Oh those nasties at uncov!

Michael Arrington has declared that e-mail attachments are now a thing of the past. I have declared that Michael Arrington is terminally retarded.

The waves of stupid being emitted from TechCrunch this morning hit the resonant frequency of glass and shattered a decorative vase that my wife keeps in the living room.

Man, What Is This Shit With Firefox’s Tabs?

August 10, 2007

Why do my tabs sometimes freeze? Why am I sometimes stuck in one tab with the only option of navigating between different tabs being the use of CTL-TAB? Why the hell does this happen? I can count on it happening at least once a day, and there doesn’t seem to be any pattern I can discern for triggering it. This has been going on since two upgrades ago and it’s driving me mad. Too many times I’ve had to use CTL-ALT-DEL to kill the firefox.exe process because I can’t even minimize it or cleanly quit it.

It’s things like this that make me sometimes agree with the term The Writer Formerly Known As Fake Steve Jobs devised: freetards.

Firefox is freetarded and needs to be fixed, dammit.

It’s not free if it costs aggravation and time!

Five Things That Would Improve MySpace

August 10, 2007

1) Being able to find bands by number of Profile Views

2) Being able to find songs by number of song plays

3) Being able to find bands by location (for instance, NYC)

4) Being able to find bands by their self-classification (Punk, Rock, etc.)

5) Being able to see the bands that have just created a Profile

Journeyman Still Not Leaked

August 10, 2007

Yes, I keep looking.

And this song I just found on MySpace only rubs salt in my wound.

Time Won’t Let Me Go by The Bravery.

Give a listen.

(Now watch, that’ll be the series theme or somehow end up in the series…)

Previously in this blog:
September 2005: NBC Promotes A New Earl Show
I Give NBC A Kick To The Nuts. It’s Called An Incentive.
Now Sinfest Persecutes Me!
Hey, NBC! Leak Journeyman, Dammit!!
Bourne Ultimatum? Yes. Journeyman? No.
Hollywood: Settle!
Brightcove: Journeyman Preview
DailyMotion: Ha. Ha. Ha.
Are The Suits Using P2P To Hype Their Shows?

You Can Trust Us. We Wear Suits.

August 10, 2007

AT&T calls censorship of Pearl Jam lyrics an error


Media consolidation is something I fear and hate more than any group of terrorists. Terrorists cannot get a stranglehold on our information. Media consolidation has already done so.

Bellylaugh Of The Day: Accidental Edition

August 10, 2007

WARNING: Put down what you are drinking before reading further!

Man living in car since ’00 upsets city

“I get better reception there than I do in there,” he said, pointing at the house. “I listen to Rush (Limbaugh) every day, just about.”