what is it with me and difficult, damaged people who send mixed messages?
am i drawn to them, or they to me?

is there a difference?

seriously, all i know is that i'm putting ALL this shit aside until after midterms. for the next two weeks i'm not answering my phone if it's a boy's name on the screen.


on spending time with one who left tracks

this is what i want to say to you and i couldn't say it to you and i can't but at least i can write it here. at least i can say it here to some other people and maybe that will make it a little more real in my head and my heart and then maybe someday soon i can make it real between me&you too.

i want to say...go the FUCK away. just get away from me. do not call me. do not offer me your advice or your smiles. just go away.

and don't go away, i want to be your friend be in your life so badly.
the thought of losing you still terrifies me.
i have no defense against you.

but i sit there across a vegetarian combo platter and i watch the way your skin moves over the beautiful geometries of your face as you talk on and on and on about yourself and what you think about every damn thing. never asking me how i'm doing, never even really listening to what i'm saying. never allowing me to change you or your mind, you are always right you are the rightest person in the world, aren't you?

i hate you.
but i don't.
i don't love you anymore.
i hate not loving you anymore.

i'm angry. you were so bad to me for so long. you were sometimes a good friend but sometimes you weren't. then you were a horrible pseudo amorphous boyfriend type. and now you're just a bad friend. just a selfabsorbed selfish fucking waste of my time and energy and WHY

do i keep saying "sure i will meet you."


because i know it never really makes my day better and often makes it worse. and you know my class schedule and you keep calling me shortly after five on tuesday thursday and i wish i forgot my phone today like i did tuesday, i wish i would have missed your call again.

because today? today was lovely. today a random stranger stopped me on the street and said "you look beautiful." today i had walked smiling away from the other boy only twenty minutes earlier saying "go conquer metaphor now." and he is honest, and he is clear, and he doesn't sneak around and hide things "i have to go meet some people" after YOU were the one who called ME. whatever, you think i don't know? i'm not stupid, i know as much as you hate intimacy with anyone you LOVE attention from girls exponentially more.

feeds the narcissism well, doesn't it?
and the narcissism is always ravenous, right?

you. you are a depressive borderline alcoholic. PLEASE for fuck's sake explain to me why i am the one sitting here dissolving, a mess of hot tears, hands sticking to my keyboard. i am BETTER than you. i am better than this. you never deserved me and you are the one who lost something pure, it wasn't me. so why did i waste those years and why do i keep wasting time, even one more evening, on this?

the one good thing is that when it hurts i just sit there stony. you will NEVER see this again, you will never feel my vulnerability ever ever again.

i want you dead.
i want you living in new york or sailing away on your mythical journey with someone ELSE.
i don't want to go there with you anymore.

go. away.

what i hate most right this minute is that when you said "am i being rude?" i couldn't even bring myself to say yes, intolerably so. but trust me, it's what i was thinking.

look at my boobs

i have this tshirt that i call my "look at my boobs shirt".
and the name is well-deserved.

it's from a mountain goats show i went to a couple of years ago and it has this big syringe right across the boobs, horizontally. wait, i'll see if i can find an image for you...

nah i couldn't find one. i did find this interesting site that is tangentially related to the record though, you can poke through it if you're bored.

well anyway, the tshirt is brown and has a syringe right on the boobs and a bunch of ampules above it. then some text below. anyway, it's for the "we shall all be healed" record which isn't my favorite darnielle by far, but even average darnielle is light years above most of the other stuff out there.

but when i wear the shirt everyone looks at my boobs. i mean i'm not trying to be all "yeah people check me out" 'cause it's not like that...it's just the design of this tshirt doesn't leave much alternative. which i think is funny and i take a bit of sadistic delight because there is one very typical guy reaction where they look right at your boobs and then rightaway realize they're looking right at your boobs and they immediately look up and away and try to pretend they never looked at your boobs in the first place.

sometimes if i'm talking to someone for awhile when i'm wearing that shirt i notice their eyes keep getting drawn back to the syringe and i kind of want to be like "hi i'm up here." not because it bothers me that they're looking at my boobs...it doesn't. just because i sometimes want to make people squirm, a little.



last night i had a dream that i was eating dvd's. i was sitting at my parents' house on the couch with a stack of dvd's next to me. and i was just compulsively munching them down, one after another. they didn't taste good, obviously. i was aware that they were from greencine and some of them even belonged to my brother and that this would be a bad thing, but i just kept eating. the next day was my mom's birthday and i didn't have a present for her and i kept eating dvd's.

later when i was getting in a car to drive home my mom was following behind me asking "do you have your technology? do you have your technology?" i was like yeah mom, i have all my technology.

somebody analyze me!


days like this

the kind of day where everything breaks.
you know the kind, head in hands at desk uttering silly quebecois curses because...what else are you gonna do.

it's fine though.

i think it might be me. there's a new evening chill in my house these days and the blanket can't quite warm up my nose. soon it will be heater time and that means winter, and i'm not too good with the onset of winter.


resistance / only a crush

i just stayed in my house all day and read some things and tried to stop thinking of him and cleaned some things and tried to stop thinking of him and talked to mom on the phone and very carefully didn't say anything about him. i hate being obsessive. you're thinking 'damn, just chill out' but trust me it's not that easy.

i mean, it's not THAT big of a deal but i just don't like missing him and wondering about this friend he went to visit. and i don't like when i'm trying to read and i can't concentrate 'cause i'm thinking of something he said or even worse, i'm drifting happily through memories of things that never happened.

i don't think everyone thinks so much about people who aren't there.
i wish i could be like that.

people aren't helping. ken said 'he could be the one' and kathy said 'it's nice to be loved' and i was like woah, hold on there people. this is not love, this is not fate. this is only a crush.

i'm not gonna bust a move on this one though. after the last one, i think anyone would understand why. i think i'm hoping a little bit that he will follow form and never say anything either, and then this can just float away like a light little empty thing, like paper, like bubbles.

and i can stop being so crazy.


as if it's real

"the older you get, the lonelier you become, and the deeper the love you need. which means that this hero that you're trying to maintain as the central figure in the drama of your life - this hero is not enjoying the life of a hero. you're exerting a tremendous maintenance to keep this heroic stance available to you, and the hero is suffering defeat after defeat. and they're not heroic defeats, they're ignoble defeats. finally, one day you say, 'let him die - i can't invest anymore in this heroic position.' from there, you just live your life as if it's real - as if you have to make decisions even though you have absolutely no guarantee of any of the consequences of your decisions."

-zen master sasaki, as told by leonard cohen


one great thing this week was that i played my guitar again. first time in nearly four months, i sat and played and the fingertips of my left hand are still sore and bruised feeling, they've lost their toughness. i played all the songs and they didn't hurt at all.

he's in portland this weekend and i miss him, a little. the cohen reminds me of him. the blue sky backdrop reminds me of him and his moment of clouds breaking. and how he says things that nobody else would say. and how things are changing.

calling him summercrush doesn't seem quite right anymore, but i don't know what else to call him, here. something about using his name before anything is really real feels wrong. i will just call him 'him' for now and that will be enough.

the good thing about this is that i have learned that no matter what you think a thing is or will be or should be...you never know how it's gonna shake down. everything can turn on a moment and the rug gets pulled and the floor spins, rushes up and smacks you in the head. so you do the best you can to not have expectations. you tell yourself everything is fluid and you know it's true because you remember.

the good thing about this is that i have learned to live my life as if it's real.



it's good to be careful when you do this:

[amy@scifi tmsdevdomain]$ rm -rf *

i recommend not being sleep deprived.
and not being one directory up from where you think you are.



this morning i had just talked it through and decided this: until i know him better, until and unless more parts of him open up to me, i am going to background this thing, crush, feeling, whatever. because she had asked me to describe things i want in a person and i realized that i didn't know some of the important stuff about him.

timing continues to smack me upside the head and laugh mercilessly.
every damn time i think i've got it all figured out.

when he dropped me off just now i said "thanks for telling me all of that." he said "yeah, it was interesting. i'm just not sure what to make of it." i said "what to make of what you told me? or what i told you?" and he said all of it.

i said "maybe just don't make anything of it." hopefully he doesn't think i meant that it wasn't anything. it certainly was something. i just don't know what and i don't think it's really something that can be figured.

but he pays attention, you know? he asks. and he remembers everything too.

also when we got into his car he knew to hand me the jewel case for the cd that was playing, just as i was about to ask what it was.


i must contain multitudes

outside was a warm embrace when i left barrows today after section which was after an officehours meeting with my historical professor who has been impressed enough with his concurrent enrollment students (meaning me & summercrush) that he is going to drop people off the waitlist (they haven't been coming to class) and agree to grade our papers if necessary (the gsi's hours are held to an absolute limit of fifty students' worth of grading, apparently) so that we can take this course.

i'm bragging now and it's obnoxious, i'm aware. it's just that this is the professor who wrote me off this summer and i feel a flash of pride at proving wrong those who do not take me seriously. i'm a leo; it's my nature.

outside there was sun and it was warm warm, almost hot. the noon bells were just starting to ring and i said "i love the noon bells" and summercrush laughed and said that's a funny thing to call it. and he said "you look happy" and i said i am, i am i am! feeling life under control for the first time in a month. feeling the calm of knowing i am doing every every thing i can do right now, perfectly striving, cleanly striving.

today i articulated my master plan for the first time, and it terrified me.



yesterday i woke up at 8am and i walked to the dmv to renew my expired driver's license. the dmv is so interesting, the great equalizer. beautiful people and unwashed masses sitting side by side, united as victims of beaurocracy. (digression: i typoed that as 'beaurocrazy' which i love, but which my inner editor forced me to correct.) then i allowed myself to be dragged out briefly for coffee but when i got home went into high gear and spent the entire rest of the day reading phonology and historical, installing neoOffice with ipa fonts and keyboard manager, and getting the airport express all sorted. cleaning floors and dusting and filing and shredding a year and a half worth of receipts old bank statements and power bills, etc. i organized my closet and put together a bag of giveaway stuff. i called my dad to say happy birthday.

today i woke up at 7.30 and made eggs and toast. i wrote some emails and looked some stuff online, then i allowed myself to be dragged out for coffee again, by another friend. i was hoping for the high gear upon returning home again but no...i am desultorily walking around my (now very clean and brightlovely) home, with airtunes on random play. i should be at the library researching dravidian languages, i should be working on the work i brought home. god i really should be reading that journal of lexicography issue on the framenet database (the research deal is working out, i met with charles fillmore this week and i called him chuck, how hilariously awesome is that? like meeting einstein and being all "yo al, whasup?"). instead all i really want to do is put my pajamas back on and spend the day watching something worthless on television, drinking tea.

the whole point of this boring "what i did today" stuff is to background the following questions:

why is it always everything or nothing?
why do we so strongly resist what we know we need the most?

mmm, gastr del sol, "each dream is an example" begins to play.
this must mean it's time to do.


something about the fall...

hey, you.

what i don't want to write about tonight is that i wish you were here now.
(i mean a different 'you' than i have meant in forever.)

i don't want to wish that. i don't want to do anything about it either. but still if i am being honest...it is there.

and you know when you're trying not to write about something...nothing much else wants to come out.

i don't know. if i'm just creating this because i need that feeling. or because i want to transfer it from the impossible to the possible. something that seems safe and good, but what do i know really. because i do this thing, i see the best of who someone can be and then i can't seem to see the reality of who they actually are. reality is not my thing. i did that last time, saw the best and it was tragically far from the reality.

and we are so different.
and maybe it's too soon. i mean, isn't it too soon?

and it's digital...i feel things. then i don't. then i do. then i don't.
etc. onoffon.

anyway...yeah this is just what i was thinking of and it was what i didn't want to write. so i'm writing it and pretending i'm writing to you. like riding the bus home alone i pretended you were sitting next to me and i said "can i lean on you?" and you said yeah and i did and then you put your arm around me and i smiled and laughed a little, in my pretend world.

it's just a feeling.
it's the way you look out for me a little.
it's the way you keep coming over to where i am.

want it don't want it want it...
don't want to want it.

oh you have no idea. so many things you don't know.
how would i begin to tell you?

how would i explain that i don't know if i want to let people change me anymore?



this just in...

the japanese word for 'uvula' translates to 'throat penis'.
i know this because i go to college.

i LOVE going to college!


al the vampire

it's so weird to be alone. and not even alone like not having a boy or girl here with me some nights, warming up the bed 'cause it's getting cold now. not like that, but just being so in myself. i sometimes think his name in my head, say it to myself with forced urgency that i don't even feel anymore, it's just out of habit. i catch myself doing it and think why? that's the past now. it's the first time in i think ten years that i've been this way. learning to stop saying the name of the last one and not replacing it with a new name. nobody on my horizon and that's how i want it. i mean everyone has to figure their own shit, and i think i need to be still for awhile, to wait for something more...transcendent.

speaking of transcendent. friend of mine once had sex with this guy. he started to go down on her & she was like wait, no, i have my period. and he's all...hey, that's great. i haven't told you this, but i'm a vampire. and well...you know etc. etc. and whatnot.

i think that's the best story EVER.

so when she called just now because some idiot fuckass from her past is sending her confusing signals which made me MAD then later after we talked all about that ("honey it's so much easier to not open that up now than it would be to close it later"...like talking to myself kinda) i made some jokes about al. said i wanted to meet him and she said she thought i saw him that one time and she said "he's the guy with..." and i interrupted, "pointy teeth? long black cape? doesn't show up in mirrors?"

i slay me.

but in all seriousness, i have to go to bed now, i'm feeling rather...drained.

this machine eats people

saw the decemberists tonight and they were delightful as always but god i fucking hate HATE the fillmore. first you can never park nearby then they want to pat you down when you go inside like it's the west wing or something, they even pat down the hood of your hoodie did you know that? the guy is all i have to check your hoodie and i'm like that's ridiculous. OH I HOPE YOU DON'T FIND THE GAT I HAVE SQUIRRELED AWAY IN MY HOODIE.

then you go inside and it's this big drafty barn of a room. okay the purple chandeliers are cool but that's it. it's packed and the crowd is always fucking amateur night, all bumping into you and whatever. fucking talking in your ear while the BAND IS PLAYING, HELLO! and then the absolute worst part is when its over and people stand around like stupid sheep bottlenecking the two small exits at the back. it takes forever to get out of there, you just stand there and stand there, stymied by a wall of humanity.

fucking fillmore. clearchannel owned motherfuckers.
so yeah, i have pms, you can't tell can you.


she loves it when i talk ipa

tonight my good friend said something to another good friend which i overheard and for some reason i found a little funny, i can't even remember why. but i punctuated my findings with a 'kkkkhhhhh' noise. the first friend was like why are you sssshhhh'ing me, what's that? i was like i wasn't sshh'ing you. she's like then what was that noise?

and i said: "it was a voiceless velar fricative."

i've been out the last two nights seeing the beloved olivias at the beloved gamh and i have my first historical ling homework due tomorrow and it kinda has to be totally brilliant since i'm trying to convince the guy to let me in his class. and i'm not done yet and the class is at 9a so tell me, wtf am i doing typing in here?


flip sides

there is the early sadness, that's like thrashing around in dark water pushing you down and you can't breathe, like falling in the river that one time trapped under the raft. you think "i don't know how long i can survive this." later sadness is better, you can just breathe and let it go all through you and dissolve, sometimes it even feels a little bit good. it reminds you that you're alive and feeling, that you don't filter your world so much. as stupid and cliche as it is, it reminds you that right now is the flipside of how impossibly much you loved him, and that says more about you than about him. the later sadness comes on randomly though and it does tend to surprise you, maybe on the train going to work one day.

it's okay, it's all okay. there's too much human suffering going on elsewhere for me to dwell on my own (surely ephemeral) hurts for very long these days. i loved that place, new orleans. i loved it. i don't even know what to say, i don't even know what to do. i cannot look at it for very long, there's nothing to be done by me and i don't have the emotional energy right now.

but in a quiet place in the middle of all that...there is something that happens in the east bay late mornings, usually a little before noon. it is the moment when the gloom breaks up and suddenly you feel sun on your face and the world breathes a little easier. i missed that moment so much when i lived in the city. this morning when it happened it was 11:55 and i was sitting on the outdoor patio of the fsmc. as the sun warmed up my nose and people around me sighed and smiled, i packed up and walked to my noon class.

even though sometimes we forget to see them, there are still small beautiful things in life that all the other shit will never be able to touch.


i'm that person

hi. i am so immersed in school stuff right now that i can't even talk like a normal human anymore. all i do is think about my classes, whether i can get in, i obsessively check waitlist counts. i worry about being assigned to the wrong section and how i can change, and when. i worry about whether all this will even be worth it. i wonder how crushed i'll be if i don't get in, again. i go on trips to tahoe and i bring a small pile of schoolbooks and i hide in corners, reading. yeah, i'm that person.

also i added a class which is taught by a professor with whom i arranged a meeting this summer for feedback on last year's (failed) application to the ph.d program. and advice for the upcoming one. who basically told me i might not want to bother because i might still not be ready yet, this year. and who made me cry...not in the meeting, i was a grownup & everything & said "thanks for your time, this has been helpful" and shook his hand. and went home and cried like a stupid kid who dropped their icecream on the floor or something. i was mad and i thought "i should just take his stupid boring class in the fall and ace it, that'll show him." and through a somewhat complex series of conditions and conversations...that's what i'm doing. although it's not as boring as i thought it would be.

so for those of you playing the home game, that's two classes and an audit. plus 30h per week at my job. plus ~10h per week at the research institute, if that works out.

i look back on where i was & what i thought i should be doing last year when i applied. and i can't decide if i want to cringe or laugh, i didn't understand ANYTHING and i totally get why i wasn't accepted. i mean, aside from the fact that it's one of the top programs anywhere and crazy competitive...i just wasn't a very good candidate. i thought i was, but i was not judging myself by the correct standards. academia isn't like the real world and you can sit there and think that it SHOULD be, but that is like shouting at a mountain. the mountain isn't going to care, or move, or even notice you. i could say that you have to just put on your gear and start climbing, but that would probably be overextending the metaphor. the point is, academia is a closed system with its own rules and protocols. at least now i know a little bit about what it looks like on the inside.

you know that part in donnie darko where he can see visual representations of the future, the paths that people will take? they bulge out from each person's torso like shimmering long balloony things and the person walks the path which they describe. i feel like that. six months ago, taking these preparatory classes seemed neither necessary nor possible, and now it's everything. one week ago i would have laughed at the idea of taking this newest class. but once you realize that you can and you should...then you sort of HAVE to. it doesn't matter if it's hard, it doesn't even matter if it's too hard. once you've thought it you can't unthink it, and then you can't fail to follow through, not and continue to tell yourself that you're doing everything you can to make this thing happen. the question is: is everything i can do...enough?

i keep asking myself that, because i'm that person now.


okay my dears, i'm off to tahoe for the weekend. i hope to sleep outside on a deck under the stars. i'm certain that rumors of bears have been greatly exaggerated...

be good.
see you soon.


the girl card

summercrush and i walked to the record store after class today.

he said "let me see your hand."
i held my right hand up, palm facing down.

he said "let me see your other hand now."
i held my left hand up, palm facing down.

he said that you can tell how feminine a person is by looking at the length of her ring finger. he said more feminine people have shorter ring fingers...something about testosterone levels. i didn't ask what my fingers said about my femininity. it's not something i think about too much, but i suppose there are parts of me that are feminine and parts that are not. i like to wear makeup. i like skirts too, though i wear jeans a lot more often. i suppose i do feel rather out of place with the super girly asian girl squad at work, on the rare occasions i join them for lunch.

(funny digression: my last girlfriend was a coworker of mine. at the time, nobody knew we were dating. she's since left the company and now EVERYONE knows and not because i told everyone, but whatever. i don't care, i'm an open book remember? but she and i had lunch with the super girly asian girl squad a couple of times and they were all "boys...manicures...clothes...boys!" and meanwhile we were holding hands under the table.)

i will admit with some sheepishness that i have been known to play the girl card when there were toilets to be plunged or heavy things to be carried. but i never expect a guy to pay for me, or hold doors open, or anything like that. it's nice, appreciated, but not necessary. yet there is something really really great about a strongly male presence, it makes one feel so safe.

so yeah...femininity is a complicated concept to me. i always try to think of myself as a person first, rather than as a female. for the same reason, sexuality labels have always been weird for me. when you first meet someone and they're all "i'm a gay man!" it's like..umm..okay. congratulations? what are you supposed to say to that, anyway? and why can't we just be people, and let everything proceed from that?

i know that's a naive sentiment. i'm aware. an ex-friend once told me i should never be involved in politics because i get too angry when truth and beauty don't win. but you know i've seen the other side, dark and bitter and lost, and if it takes a little bit of naivete to stay warm in the light then i personally think it's worth it.

kalo mina!

in greece on the first of each month they say "kalo mina" which basically glosses to "have a good month." it's like celebrating happy new year, but more often (deep!). for a long time now i have enjoyed the idea that each month we get to start fresh. it is september first...kalo mina! suddenly i feel all shiny and hopeful (we ride rollercoasters into the ocean...).

summercrush: is this for the lunar or the gregorian calendar?
me: gregorian
me: you're supposed to say it back to me, now
summercrush: καλω μινα
me: showoff