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Today's Interview: drastane -

Please give a short bio of yourself for our readers.

If I were to sum up my life in words, I would have to use "waste" and "scorn" often. I turned thirty years old last year and I took a long hard look at how I spent my youth as I waved goodbye to my twenties. I feel as though I'm just now beginning to live. Granted, I have the benefit of encouraging nudges from Gloria, my girlfriend, but it took realizing I'm worth living for myself to get off my ass and start succeeding. For at least a decade, I lived life feeling as though the entire world was taking a dump on my doorstep daily. I strove to be the physical embodiment of righteous anger. I woke up every day with a new reason to hate my surroundings. I used hatred and contempt to internally justify never taking a chance when opportunity knocked. For brevity's sake, I won't go into why lived in such a way, but I have written about it in the past. I will say I've found an artistic vein I ignored in my youth. I play guitar, bass, and drums. I am currently hammering out the planning stages of a band with a drummer friend of mine. I've written a few of my own songs and poems for a collection I call "Therapy." I even found the balls to play a few open mic nights here and there. Hell, every word I type for this page is a gigantic middle finger for those who discouraged me in my youth. All in all, I would have to say even though I've lived through a few forms of dysfunction, I've had rich and varied experiences that let me know who I am.

Why did you choose this username?

Drastane is a character in one of my stories. He is a voluntary mute. Drastane is so afraid of what others might say he avoids conversation even though he is physically capable of talking. If anyone tries to talk to him or force words from him, his fear unleashes incredible powers within his mind against his assailants. He struggles with the disbelief of his power yet tries to learn more about it everyday. His survival depends upon his ability to discern and utilize his talents. Yes, the character is somewhat autobiographical. Come to think of it, all my story ideas are rooted in my past in some form or fashion.

Why do you keep a diary online?

Originally, I started writing here to hone my craft. I wanted to start capitalizing on some of these ideas floating around in my head and I thought Diaryland was a great place to grind off some rust. During the course of the last year and a half, I've found solace in typing my words for all to see. Honestly, I feel more comfortable airing out my head beneath a veil of mild anonymity amongst strangers. I feel I've been lucky. I've had the good fortune to meet wonderful people and I've managed to alter enough pixels to develop some cool electronic relationships. Writing in my space is a coveted form of therapy for me. There are those who have asked me to write in their journals, someone asking me to contribute to their world is an honor. There aren't enough words to express how much such generosity blows me away. Invitations to write for spaces other than my own flatter me and keep me maintaining my journal.

How important do you think a layout is for a web-based diary? Would you also comment on yours?

The last time I checked, the whole point of writing was so others could read. I would love to find a few people and slap them upside the head for their annoying color schemes and fonts. Some designs are down right offensive, other layouts just plain hurt. While I don't subscribe to the theory of artistic pages correlating to wonderful writing, I will say a pleasant page that is easy on the eyes is extremely important. Hey all you html geniuses out there, an easy reading page means someone might be inclined to stay awhile and read what you have to say. In short, inject some life into your page as long as people can read your words without the benefit of Excedrin.

I feel the layout of my page represents a huge chunk of yummy, old-fashioned, Diaryland goodness. I have my goddess to thank for that. I met her through Diaryland and she has become one my closest D-land confidants. Her design was based solely on my entries and our correspondence. She secretly developed my layout while I moaned about my lack of html skills. Tears of gratitude welled in my eyes the first time I saw it. I find it amazing someone could capture what I wanted from so far away.

In entry, you talk about a former relationship that (I think) changed you for the better. Have you had any other relationships that have really impacted like this one did?

My relationship with Rain was unique. Unfortunately, I fell prey to the electronic nature of our coupling and became obsessed with meeting her face to face. I never acknowledged that she, in essence, was really a figment of my imagination. Our conversations were powerful, they helped me lace up my boots and kick a little ass in the real world. However, we were indulging each other's fantasies. Being separated by such a great distance and never meeting face to face failed to advance us out of our own imaginations. All in all, I feel our nine-month electronic courtship did more good than harm. I did get a good look into who I was as a person and a small degree of belief in my abilities.

My current relationship with Gloria blows whatever vessel I had with Rain out of the water. To state the obvious, Gloria is tangible and lives in a world where I actually can see, touch, and smell her. The fact she's still around is miraculous, especially considering the deluxe, twelve-piece American Tourister set of luggage I carry into relationships. I am rewarded every time I wake up next to her. I notice that everything I do is better ever since Gloria came into my life. The best thing she's ever done for me was to actively encourage me to live for myself. She calls me out for the slacker I am, something Rain never did. All she wants of me is to have my own life in conjunction with hers. I know what Gloria and I have is rare and is something I've wanted for as long as I can remember. I hope she gets as much out of our relationship as me. It's nice thinking I have a similar positive effect on another person's life.

As a bonafied rural Midwestern girl from Missouri, I totally agree with you on this one. Question is, would you ever go on a show like that? Or any reality television show for that matter? Why or why not?

I've been fascinated by reality TV ever since the first season of "The Real World." I think my interest in the genre stems from the lengths a human will go to save face in front of a camera no matter how contrived the environment may be. I think the audiences of reality shows sate natural judgmental tendencies with every episode they watch. I am appalled but not surprised at the depths to which major networks have plummeted in creating and copying each other's show ideas. With that said, I've always wanted to appear on a reality program. One of the things about reality shows people seem to forget is that every cast member participates willingly. It is their choice to be on the show. Candidates can pick and choose auditions and base their choices on a bevy of reasons. If they're lucky enough to be selected, the pseudo-actors understand that anything they do or say will be on the air, especially if the networks can hock the latest pair of Nikes in between segments. I tend to enjoy the game show/reality TV hybrid. I'm one of those that play to win and when you get a bunch of competitive folks like me together in front of a camera, the ensuing melee will sell new cars, t-shirts, feminine hygiene products, and the latest Disney "Buy Me" Collector's Edition DVD. To answer your question, no, I wouldn't appear on "The Real Beverly Hillbillies" because I disagree politically, but if a network ever decides to air "Fat Bastard Island," look out, I'm the horse that's going to win.

Your updating is very random and sporadic, with great gaps inbetween. What makes you want to update? Why not keep it more regular?

I'm humbled people take time out of their day to read my words. It's simple; I update to keep those folks reading. My lack of updates seems to be the biggest knock against me, which with all the other complaints circling around about diarists, is a nice problem to have. I strive to keep my content readable. I do not want to bore someone to death with "Bubble Gum" entries. I have come to grips with the fact that my life isn't that interesting on a daily basis. I don't do smack and I don't wake up next to whomever rubbed up against me at last night's rave. I'm not some Hollywood player doing a thesis on Sunset Strip hookers. I find the search for readable content challenging. The reasons for my haphazard and random updates spring from wanting not only for someone to read, but also for them to come back when I've written something new. I have to intently observe the world around and within me in order to plaster an article on my page that I deem adequate. My process takes time, I feel as though the quality of my diary would suffer if I wrote in it every day. I'm easily distracted, yet another reason for my sporadic tendencies. Lately, I've been struggling with a bit of an identity crisis. How do I write when I'm happy? Why write in "The Little Rantbox that Could" when I'm in a good mood? I know it sounds like a cop out, but it's the truth. Honestly, triumph in a bout like this would prove to me my worth as a writer.

If you had three days to go anywhere in the world with one person but were

given no money to do anything once you got there. Everything but entertainment

is paid for. Where would you go, who with, and what would you do?

Given the parameters; I don't have to worry about a roof over my head, the tab for all my food and booze is pre-paid no matter where I go, and I don't have to worry about transportation, sounds to me like I hook up with Bill Gates on a gambling junket in Vegas, just kidding.

Seriously, if all the mundane and necessary things were already handled and all I had to do was to find something to do without cash, I would have to go to the Super Bowl as an attaché to a player, coach, sportswriter, cameraman, musician, celebrity, or (insert token Super Bowl personality here.) I know I sound like the All-American couch potato, but going to the Super Bowl is the Number One on the list of things I must do before I die. I love football and it will always be a part of me in some form or fashion. Attendance at the game's penultimate spectacle is required when you're as devoted to the sport as me. In recent year's, it looks as though I could get more bang for my willingness to be a bitch buck; did you see Gwen Stefani and Sting blow up the field during halftime this year? America has always been fascinated with spectacle, showtime, glamour, and glitz. I think the Super Bowl symbolizes that fascination with each final January Sunday. I could die happy knowing I took advantage of an opportunity to experience such an event on my own.

Interviewed by Brandi

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2003-05-03

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