smooth like jelly

we went to three parties, we three jellyfish and a bird. i guess people liked our costumes, they sure yelled a lot, especially at the last party where we didn't even know anybody. it was good because earlier as we were just leaving to go out we all felt a little "special" (in the olympics sense) in our bubblewrap costumes. but it went over well, and i may reprise it next year with a bit more forethought.

i was feeling a little sad, unsocial and disconnected which was unfortunate because there were lots of awesome and interesting and even attractive people i probably would have wanted to talk to more if i had been the "on" version of myself. but oh well, if you're not feeling it you're not feeling it.

the good part about that was that i could stay in my costume and it was a total shield from the world. guaranteed personal space, very isolated and peaceful in there. except for when a guy who came as "red" got in there with me. he went as red dressed all in red, red face paint, hair, shoes, clothes, everything. his roommates went as green and blue in similar fashion. together they were a pixel.

but red came into my little private jellyfish world and it was strange. he was like "it's a beautiful costume, i'm glad to be in here" and i was like "thanks" but i really felt a bit encroached upon. so i tried to just ignore him, which isn't easy to do when someone is inside your halloween costume with you, when the bounds of the costume are defined by the edge of an umbrella which is 3' in diameter. i looked off to the right over my shoulder and then after a little bit he just left.

and then it was peaceful again.


dress up day

parties tonight. not really in the mood but when plans have a certain momentum it's easier to just go through with them.

it's just a moment i'll be fine.
it's just that i keep thinking of his hands on somebody else STOP.

just stop.

it's fine and there seems to be sun outside and it's almost time as soon as the phone rings for me to open the door and breathe outside air and let the sun fall on my skin and things will be okay. i know they will, i have always known that but these things are just subrational. they just are there, really in there deep, and no amount of logic can ever hope to counter or remove them.

if he had just done what i wanted and been all in would i have been happy? would i have been certain?

i suspect not.

so this is part of the problem. david's inconsistency and push-pull forced and allowed me to be the committed one, the wholehearted one, to try on the costume without the risk of really having to play the part. probably some part of me knew that our little drama was poorly cast.

how do you stop missing someone who doesn't even exist?


the silence of the sheep

in june i switched from working fulltime to working halftime, to start doing my renegade school thing. so now i'm at work sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon. so yesterday i missed our monthly cake time which is actually a really good thing at my work 'cause we get cakes from cafe madeleine which is like pastry valhalla.

so my coworker saved me a piece of lemon cake which is my favorite thing, anything lemon, and which i ate half of and then realized that i was pretty sure the lemon moussey frosting had gelatin in it. and i don't eat meat (other than seafood) for reasons which i don't usually go into much because for one, i don't really care what other people chose to do; and two, when people disagree with you it's a lose-lose, you either capitulate or you come across as really preachy defending your reasoning.

so about a year after i stopped eating meat i stopped eating gelatin as well and so i realized that this cake probably had gelatin and then i just stared at it and sighed for awhile, because it was delicious and so lemony. then i went to the kitchen and threw it away and the office boy (favorite quote of the week, he yesterday while directing people around during our fire drill wailed "i went to cornell, and now i'm a fire marshal!") saw me and ridiculed me for just wasting it and so i did what i never do and said something silly about principles and about not participating in a system that i disagree with, to which he had some scathing response involving derisive references to berkeley and sheep.

and he's been making baa-baaing noises at me. all afternoon.
every time i walk by his desk i hear "baa...baa" floating after me.
i pretend offense but really we both know i find it hilarious.


pointless observations, random thoughts

i'm in the middle of cleaning my house and i don't really like doing that too much but i require a fairly clean house if i am to be at all productive, so i clean. luckily i don't make too much of a mess so it's not that hard. i do have a lot of shoes by my door right now, ml says it looks like an asian person lives here. i just got in that habit when i dated her and it seems like a pretty good thing so i don't wear shoes inside.

i am also baking a bowl of apple crisp, i put dried cherries in it too. later i'll make tea and finish watching the movie i fell asleep in the middle of, last night.

i miss sex and have been thinking about that a lot today. the first guy i ever had sex with was also the first guy i loved (aww) and the first time i saw him naked i was all no way is that gonna fit in me. but it did of course, and all was well in the world for about a year. a couple of years ago we hooked up again when i was recently broken up with ml and already totally retarded over david. he's polyamorous now and has two girlfriends. he was a good first boyfriend and we lived together in minneapolis and i treated him like crap, i'm sad to say. i was just a kid playing grownup. i didn't know anything about anything, and i wish i could have done things better. but we're friends now, so you know. water. bridge.

i haven't had sex in a little while now, and i think it'll probably be a long time before i do again, for some reason. i miss it but i seem to be past the point where i have much interest in that with someone i don't trust or care about. i had my wild youth, wild enough anyway...it's intimacy i'm after now. i can make myself come quite satisfactorily, so sex really ought to be about more than that.

i hate it when people spell 'come' as 'cum'. i mean i get why but for me 'cum' is so much more down&dirty. and i am ALL for the down&dirty IF the mood is right. but it's like you don't want some guy to start talking to you about his cock and your cunt if you're not totally in the mood just then...it's just a turnoff if the timing is wrong. like the guys who try to radio-dial your nipples, you can't have too much too soon. if you ARE in the mood it can be very hot, but it's all about the mood and the attitude. i wouldn't start typing to you here about xxxxx xxxx and xxxxxxx because that wouldn't be hot, we aren't in the mood, it'd just be like ummm, what? 'cum' is like that for me. it can be sketchy. and why would you wanna be sketchy about something as purely great as the orgasm.

when i clean i play the pixies, usually doolittle, so doolittle is playing now. i still love the pixies. one time years ago david played that awesome johnny thunders song for me "you can't put your arms around a memory" and i was like...did he just say you can't put your arms around a manta ray? david said that's the danger of being weaned on the pixies...you think everything is about some ocean creature swimming by in the middle of the desert or some crazy thing.

so, your take-home points for the evening:
1. save the dirty talk for when the mood is hot
2. same for radio dialin'
3. you can't put your arms around a manta ray


almost famous

dude, check it out.

so this guy mark okrand did his ph.d dissertation in linguistics at ucb on the grammar of mutsun, an ohlone language indigenous to san juan bautista. then like any good doctor of linguistics he got a job teaching for awhile. but ultimately he abandoned academia when he was catapulted to fame by...get this...INVENTING THE KLINGON LANGUAGE. swear to god. and he used elements of many native american languages: unusual consonant clusters, object-verb-subject word order, etc., to make the language sound so alien.

that's my department!

oh ho ho there's big things in store for me.
just you wait.


come on barbie let's go party

one of the great things about having such fucking amazing friends is that when you're like "omg david is going out with someone else" they're like "oh fuck, okay, what are you doing tonight." so suddenly you're busy every night seeing your friends and they're like okay yeah he's an idiot but seriously you're better off and you're like i know, i know. and they're like hey maybe we could be roommates and you're like hmm, intriguing. and they're like let's order the pear cranberry crumble with cardamom ice cream and 20 year tawny port and you're like fuckyeah now you're talkin' girlfriend.

but back to the case at hand, amy (hereinafter the PLAINTIFF) vs. all the other people in the world (the DEFENDANTS) in the matter of who has the most hilarious friends. the plaintiff respectfully offers to the court as exhibit a the following evidence of a recent night of hijinks (photos courtesy of the h&h collective):

this girl is straight.
no, really.

"just because."

still life with ginger margaritas, lottery scratchers, and debauched barbie.
as seen by the fearsome blazing countenance of god.

back to the center

had a very positive conversation with my phonology gsi today about my course project and general grad school observations and advice, and then felt a marked shift in my level of energy and engagement with life. so instead of bracing for the sad which will probably come back, i'm enjoying the break and taking a moment to record the following observation.

this past week is the universe's way of saying:



notes from the im log

amy: if i were really daring i'd get some kind of model radio tower with a flashing red light, fasten it to my chest, and go as "twin peaks" for halloween
karen: uh, amy, you ARE a daring person


annie: maybe you can get a boy to go with you as nob hill
amy: omg


amy: i have these moments where i think he's kinda hot
amy: but mostly he's just my work buddy bob
annie: yeah, well, you can be my hot work buddy amy.
annie: I need to find a new work buddy now that henry's gone
annie: the twins make me feel really lonely
amy: awww
amy: well you have ken though, you guys are buddies
amy: but yeah of course i'm your work buddy too
annie: no, I can't be buddies with ken, cause he's buddies with brian already. And you can only have one!
amy: let's sit together at the company meeting & make fun of people
annie: hahah, okay
amy: maybe we can make someone cry
amy: we'll be like mean girls


annie: anyone who's happy and has someone else to play with is not cool.
amy: we are cool
annie: we ARE...
amy: today i had one of those days where i just walked around looking at all the happy strangers out there thinking "i hate you"
annie: yep yep.... I think "Ha, you just wait 5 years from now"
annie: in fact, I had to really bite back my words when xxxxxxx sent out his little engagement thing
amy: he sent an engagement thing?
annie: my grave, or the happy people's grave?
amy: wait, i didn't get it
amy: the happy people's grave
annie: yeah, he got these cookies.... for his engagement, and he was like, hey everyone come share
amy: ohhh right
amy: yeah
annie: hahaha


in actuality, karen and i will be dressing as bioluminescent jellyfish.

rest and pain and hope

today was beautiful and horrible.

started badly of course, hangover probably more from crying than drinking. couldn't sleep couldn't get up just hating the world. somehow made it through the morning with friend phonecalls and television, opium for the mind (the latter, not the former). heather picked me up and took me away from here in the afternoon/evening for kabuki and foodie love. h is the greatest food friend and we ate roasted figs stuffed with chevre, ahi tartare with wasabi creme fraiche, and such things. drinks were on the hostess for messing up our seating so i got the lillet i didn't intend to order, after all. after kabuki i always feel clean and soft, like the softest thing you can imagine times ten. it's all the hot water salt scrubs fancy moisturizers and naked women walking around. good for the soul.

on our way into the city david called and i sent it to voicemail. it wasn't the time. later on at home i called him back and he apologized for the misnaming. tried to do the smalltalk thing and because i am so subtle i countered with "so who's the girl."

so yeah. turns out he is going out with her. which ripped me apart turned me inside out and reattached me with a staplegun. with big dull rusty staples. god, i wasn't ready.

"are you sad about that?" he said. "i didn't think that would make you sad, i didn't think about it." fucking idiot. i cried on the phone for a couple of hours because i am stupid.

and he's going out with someone else. he met her at some skating thing and all i remember from last night is that she isn't really that pretty which i shouldn't care about but of course you always do. just kind of nondescript with dyed black hair and punk rock clothing and he's not in love with her it's just a new thing with a random person and i'm sure she's just fine and it's not even about her. she's totally irrelevant. i called him a liar for all those things he said to me before, about why he couldn't be with me and needing to be alone. "sometimes things just happen" he said and i said that's bullshit. we choose what we do and you chose this. and around and around and around, everything disintegrating yet again and maybe he's right, maybe this is exactly why we aren't together. i wanted it more than i ever wanted anything but i have to leave some space i suppose for the notion that he might have done the right thing.

and then i made him come over even though he didn't want to because he has a paper due tomorrow for this really tough professor who's supposed to write him a letter of recommendation for grad school. and i got that, of course i did, it matters a lot. but i didn't care. i was alone and in pain and i needed him. so finally he came over and sat with me on my couch and i cried into his chest for awhile, his arm around me squeezing my shoulder a little. after he got here everything changed and he said he should have come sooner, and he's sorry. he kept saying he's sorry over and over. and i just said thank you for coming.

and i felt grief still here, but i said everything i needed to say and i think he did too. i don't know if tonight was good or bad but i needed him and i am grateful that he was here. maybe the thought of him with someone else will sear and cauterize (to resort to sad cliche) this wound that can't fully heal.

one can hope.
one must hope.

anyway i know this is tedious, it's just an exorcism. it's just purging. like i have to finish digging out a piece of me that i don't really want to live without. so it's hard and it takes too long.
but i don't think i really want to talk about him anymore.


two hours

i don't really recommend walking from rockridge all the way down alcatraz past telegraph shattuck adeline turning right on ellis for a few blocks to david's house in the middle of the night, chainsmoking the whole way. it's not a good thing to do, but sometimes you don't really have a choice.

the way it happens is that after the dinner/dancing with friends you go to that show that he told you about a month ago because you love this band, you love it and you're the one who introduced him to them, damnit. it's your band, it's your show, it's a small venue but hopefully you won't see him and you think you can handle it if you do.

what you aren't prepared for is what happens. you scan and scan the crowd and never see him and the band is good but not as great as they used to be and you never see him there which is a relief. you're glad he isn't there. then it's over and you and the friend you dragged with you leave and you walk out and turn right on mission and he's right there, he's standing there on the sidewalk with some girl you've never seen before. he sees you and says hi and you say hey and then he says to your friend "hi michelle" but her name isn't michelle, it's amy and he knows that, he knows her. you don't really make eye contact or break stride but just after you pass him you turn around and spit "did you just call her michelle??"

he says "oh...uh...sorry...amy. hey amy. bye amys." he's saying all of this to your back as you're walking away and you don't turn around again. you get to the car and you cry all the way home and you know it's stupid and you know everything but it doesn't matter, you're just broken and miserable and alone. friend drops you off and asks what you're going to do now and you say you don't know. you feel surreal, it's just a bad dream but you go inside and you lie on the couch and you walk around a little and then you put on your jacket and a hat because it's cold and you take your keys phone cigarettes lighter and that's all. you tell yourself maybe you'll just wander around for awhile but you know where you're going.

you pass a few people on the way, most of them just say hi and that's okay, you say a vague hey back if you can manage it. some of them say more like "hey baby, smile, it's gonna be okay." you ignore them because you don't really think you want to make friends with the kind of people roaming the streets in the middle of the night. then you realize that you are one of those people.

it takes you 1/2 hour to walk there and you pass his house on the opposite side of the street and it's all dark and you know he's not there because he would never go to bed as early as 2.15 on a saturday. a guy standing in the shadows drinking from a bottle tries to talk to you, asks you where you're going and seems like he's going to follow you but he's drunk and slow so you just keep walking, maybe a little faster. and you duck around the corner and malcolm x school is there and you walk up to it and find a dark place to sit down. you can see across the corner to his house and you're looking and the drunk guy wanders into the street, looking up and down, you think he's looking for you but you're in the dark and your clothes are dark and you sit really still and then he goes away.

you imagine him in that girl's bed fucking her. and you know what he looks like when he does that, you know what he feels like and what he says. and you tell yourself you should go home but you can't so you tell yourself you will stay until 3 and then you have to go home. and you just watch, especially when you hear a car and then at 2.43 he pulls into his garage and it closes behind him. a little later a light goes on upstairs and you stand up. you stand there alone in the dark on the street and watch that square of light. you try to see motion behind it, an outline, anything. you think about a lot of things and you feel numb but you're glad he's home. and you watch the square of light some more and you hurt and you miss him and your head hurts and your lungs hurt and you wish you were home in bed.

you think about how you keep saying you're so over it, you don't love him anymore, and how that's so obviously bullshit and how sometimes people try to tell you that and you just get angry at them because you suspect that maybe if they would just agree with you it might become true. they say maybe it's okay that new guy didn't work out because maybe you're not ready quite yet and you hate that they're right, you know that part of that was just about connecting with someone, anyone, besides david. and then you think maybe if i had just one more night and you take out your phone to call him and then you put it back in your pocket. you take out your phone to call someone else and then you put it back in your pocket because there isn't anyone who can help you right now.

then you know that nothing can help you right now, not even him. so you watch his window a little more and then you start to walk back the way you came. this time you walk on his side of the street, right past his front steps, garage, under his bedroom window. you're walking quietly because you definitely don't want him to catch you sneaking past his house in the middle of the night but also you're holding your breath and trying to hear if he's playing music. you can't hear anything though. all you want is to run back but you know there's nothing to run back to.

once you turn back up alcatraz you feel only tired and you don't even know why you're doing this and you've never done this before but like i said, sometimes you don't have a choice.

then you just walk home.
slowly...because broken hearts can be hard to carry.


dream / about a car, part four

in my dream i was on a ski trip and was charged with watching a little girl, it seemed to be my three-year-old cousin grace, who is me in miniature. she was strapped into some sort of external frame backpack and i was carrying her around. i was riding a chairlift with my dad and at the top i set her down. my dad went off one direction, we had a plan for when and where to meet. i went off the other way to quickly look at something then come back and pick up the girl, but somehow i slid off the edge of a cliff and was hanging by my arms. it was funny because i knew i would be able to get back up but i also knew it would be really hard and take a long time, and i was worried about grace. she was just sitting up there alone. i threw one leg up over the edge and slowly with small movements began working myself up to safety. i think it took around an hour because in between advancements i had to stop and rest. the funny part was, after i made it to the top i realized it wasn't really a cliff...more like a bridge over a rocky sort of ravine and one part of the bridge had simply caved in. it wasn't very deep so i just jumped down into it, then noticed a stairway that i was able to easily walk up, to the top and out again.

easy to interpret, i suppose.
it seems my psyche enjoys dramatizing its own story.

but anyway, as promised...


about a car, part four
...in which i meet a repo man

so judy called on monday night and oakland's finest had recovered my car. we planned to go down on tuesday morning to see what kind of shape it was in; they weren't able to tell her anything when they called.

tuesday morning 8.30a in the opd is an interesting place to be. where interesting should be read as 'depressing'. the guy at the next window was trying to use a company check (his company, mind you, he had paperwork to prove this and the name of the company matched his name on his driver's license) to pick up his company truck which was...either towed or stolen, i don't know...and they wouldn't let him. it has to be a personal check with your name. but the truck is registered to my company. doesn't matter, it has to be a personal check with your name. i got frustrated just listening to it.

a few people were sitting in chairs behind us, waiting as judy negotiated the release and obtained a copy of the police report. based on what she was saying, one of the guys sitting down asked me if my car got stolen. "yeah." big dude, buzzed hair, looked nice but kind of tough, like a bouncer. a friendly bouncer. "oh. i'm a repo man, i'm here to pick up a car too." excuse me, did he just say he's A REPO MAN?!?! omg i totally wanted to ask him if it's like the movie but then it was time to go and as we were waiting for the elevator he stepped up to the window and i noticed the back of his shirt said "speedy auto recovery" and i tried to take a picture but my stupid camera battery had no charge.

so then we had to go to some crazy towing place in like far east oakland or nevada or something, i don't even know where it was but i don't really care 'cause i don't really see myself wanting to go back anytime soon or ever. even the graffiti was sad, pitiful scrawls of "fuck you," no style, no bite. paid over 300 bucks and they told us where to wait for them to bring the car out from the back. waited there for like an hour or a month or something, finally got bored and i was like hey judy, let's just walk back there and check it out. walked past the caged barking dogs and forklift drivers and it was cool because there was this HUGE warehouse with windows all along one side and half of them were broken so i could just put my head right through and look around. thousands and thousands of cars and motorcycles just sadly waiting there for somebody or nobody or auction time.

they didn't like us poking around so they shut the gate & made us move out to the street. finally they told us that the car wasn't driveable because whoever stole it pulled the ignition out of the steering column so we'd have to get it towed. while we were waiting for that to happen, the repo man showed up! he went inside but left without getting his car, i'm not sure why. there was someone tailing him which sketched judy out but i think repo man can handle it.

long story long, aaa came and we got it towed to the mechanic i went to for my old car before i moved into the city and it got shot and killed. they said it didn't look that bad, fix the ignition, the flat tire, and the broken back window. so for a day or so i thought i'd get it back but then we found out that whoever stole it also put about 12 holes in the gas tank. they look like screw holes so probably they were trying to attach something maybe for carrying drugs or something. my car was almost a drug runner! which is sort of cool too. anyway apparently a new gastank is super expensive so now the repair estimate is getting close to the value of the car so the insurance may just want to total the car. everyone else is figuring it out, all i really have to do is sit around & wait.

but whatever.
i met a repo man!



some people disagree with me, but i truly suspect that these last couple of years i am paying back a karmic debt from the fucked up ways i treated people who loved me when i was younger.


at the end of our meeting this week, my therapist told me about a dance the sufis do. where they put their right hand over their heart and raise their left hand, palm facing forward, and then they move around and at certain times they pair up and two people press their left palms together and turn in a circle, looking into each other's eyes.

if a person finds him/herself with no unpaired people nearby, then s/he just puts left hand over right hand over heart, and turns around alone.


so...no more new guy.
i really did like him, but i think it will be good to just be turning by myself for awhile too.


destruction is creation

saw david on the street today when i was walking home from school.
i don't know if he saw me; i didn't stop.
i had that sad lonely feeling for a little while.
"the days run away like wild horses over the hills."

then i came home and ate some squash.
so things have changed.

next: about a car, part 4.
the story continues!


hello wall

watched the dogtown documentary tonight, it was excellent and like sticking needles under my fingernails. i thought why am i punishing myself like this. every minute echoing his words images mannerisms themes. i don't even know who i'm missing anymore.

i wonder how one finds peace in a life like this.

all i really want now is to be somewhere else. new york, anywhere.
to wander less familiar streets.
to be anonymous.


love letter

do you know how much i love my dear friend karen?
let me tell you about it.

first i should remind the home audience that in the last week:
1. my car was stolen
2. i flailed on a midterm
3. the guy i finally decided that i really DO like flew to portland to visit another girl

not my fuckin' week. but karen came out with me last night, our plan: have a glass of wine after work.

we proceeded to get slowly and methodically fucked up at this yuppified but somehow still cozy raw bar/cocktail lounge near my work, while halfway listening to some local guy sing blues then some other white boy from west virginia rapping while trying to sound like a jamaican. kinda lame so we started making up our own songs to go with the music, mainly about linguistics or the guy or how thinking is hard, and then had the super brilliant idea of recording TEN of our songs in my iTalk (omg i've been listening to it all day). and getting creepily shmoozed by the waiter, jim. three hours later we staggered our asses out of there, stopped in the 7-11 for cigarettes and cupcakes, decided to go to yerba buena gardens, took photos of nighttime welding guy, decided to go in the metreon and see serenity and by strange accident ended up seeing it on imax.

so why do i love karen?
worst week ever, and i had the most perfectly awesome night i can imagine. even stumbling in my front door at 2.30a, wet and cold from walking in the rain, already hungover, i couldn't stop grinning.

why do i love karen?
because i told her to put it in her mouth and suck it. and she did.

because she poses fabulously.

just because.


the way things go

sometimes when i can't make up my mind about something, i can't figure out how i feel or can't make a decision, i flip a coin. if i'm disappointed, that means i should choose the other outcome.


he: i'm flying to portland tonight.
i: oh. to see your friend?
he: yes.
i: is she...a girlfriend?
he: ...i'll tell you when i get back.

flash back to him looking at me so direct and steady that latenight, saying "don't you know? nothing i can say now would be as honest as saying nothing." forward to that same look but sitting outside dwinelle one sunshine morning.

back to him saying "i don't know what to make of this" and me saying "don't make anything of it." and now i want to say wait, that was not what i meant. that was not what i meant at all.

forward to him quoting me t.s. eliot.
back to innumerable coffee mornings.
forward to stories and secrets told.

i wasn't looking for doorways. i said that. a couple of times i think i stumbled across them anyway and i chose not to walk through. do i regret that now? perhaps. does it matter?

flash back to this morning, earlier. me saying "i think you should do ntl. it's a good thing for you." how he then closed his eyes and held them closed for a few beats too long. how i could see something happening in his head or heart. when he was back in the world i said "what was that?" but he didn't answer.

forward to him telling me about portland just before we separated, i on my way to phonology section. he told, i asked, he answered. i looked at him with calm face and retreating heart and i smiled and told him to have a good weekend.

what else could i do?


a bedtime story

so this woman i know through a family friend, she used to teach at this fancy college back east for a long time and then she quit her job and moved to berkeley to work for a buddhist center. she worked there six, seven days a week, all on a volunteer basis. read: NO FISCAL COMPENSATION.

she's really nice and okay maybe seems a little tense now and then but i had no idea. last night i found out that she's way too nutty even for berkeley buddhists and here's how it played out:

first they tried to talk to her about the problems they were having with her. i'm not even sure exactly what, something about micromanaging, stressful energy, control freaky stuff. (remember that she is a volunteer. she teaches stress management classes.)

then they started calling her husband at work all the time saying "what do we do about xxxx?" he was all uh, i dunno. i can't do anything with her either.

then they had a brilliant idea...we'll get her out of town for awhile. then she can't bother us. so some director type decided he needed some super rare vintage bottle of wine that was only available in the nether regions of british columbia. so this lady agrees to go get the stuff, the buddhists of course are paying for her trip.

but she thwarts them! she flies the redeye friday night, makes the drive to the remote location and back on saturday/saturday night, and flies home sunday. just in time for work monday morning!

then they sent her some other places, i can't remember exactly.

but now, this is the best. she has been in BRAZIL. for NEARLY THREE MONTHS. on the buddhists' dime. staying in some posh 'hood with a bunch of expats i'm sure. the brazillionaires. and she's not even doing anything there, she's just on vacation. to destress.

to destress from her job as a volunteer at the BUDDHIST CENTER.
she comes back in a week or so.

a plan is forming though:
1. volunteer at buddhist center
2. become sort of crazy
3. collect three month all-expense-paid trip to brazil



compass spinning

i was trying to write something about sadness but it all sounded really affected so i erased it.

usually i'm sad a lot and i find profound beauty in the sadness. i don't necessarily like the feeling but there is some weird attraction. it's always been where i get my intensity of emotional experience.

lately though i just seem to want to get out from under all that. like the forced taste of real heartbreak cured me of my childplay melancholy. lately i'm often mad, at david or other things.

but there's no beauty in anger.
and i've never managed to find much intensity in happiness.

something is missing.

sprinklers. or, alternately: pee-s.a.

what's with those girls who think it's fine to hover while peeing, then walk out of the stall leaving their urine generously sprinkled about the seat?

i mean if you can't bear to rest your rarefied ass directly upon the seat and can't be bothered with a seat cover, then at LEAST can't you do a quick wipedown before you flush? other people have to use that seat after you and although conceptually i realize that urine is sterile and blahblahblah, that doesn't mean i want to clean yours up.

so the girl in front of me in the vlsb bathroom did this today and when i am the despotic ruler of my own island-state, all girls' bathroom toilets will come equipped with a special alarm where if you walk out of the stall with your pee all over the seat then a siren will blare and lights will flash and a richie rich style contraption will come down from the ceiling and attach a huge fluourescent yellow "S" (for sprinkler, of course) to your shirt or maybe your forehead, and for the rest of the day everyone will know what you did.



inspired by a synopsis of resonance

things i think of when it's late and i should be studying for a midterm.

which is the better to have: passion or competence?
choose one.

(what a horrible curse to have too much of one and not enough of the other.)

the passion i unarguably have. it must have its limits, i just haven't found them yet. okay, so the world is choking with raw genius unrealized, unchanneled by drive. i won't be one of those, for sure.

the ability...i don't know. above average? sure. beyond that? untested.
and who wants to be just above average. especially when you love a thing.

how does one measure excellence, anyway? in money or macarthurs or...?

most people are not excellent.
most are not remarkably competent.
even the really smart ones.
even the professors.

what if all that's ahead of me is years of pretending to excellence?
it sounds like a kind of death.


about a car 3: easy come, easy go

it really was the most beautiful car, because everyone had a piece of it. all my crazy family with their mechanics and their advice and their driving, and my dad's white tape over the rust spots and everything. i drove it one night and the next morning and then it got stolen. who knew my yuppified 'hood was the car theft capital of the universe.

so, now i have no car again.

did i ever tell you my last car got shot? yeah, that was in my last yuppified 'hood, in the city. k said "amy, i'm not sure you're supposed to have a car." and the policeman came and he looked like he was 18 years old, fresh pink face. he said "easy come, easy go" and we all laughed because judy said just the same thing, earlier on the phone. i gave him a limonata, he didn't know what it was and i said it's lemon soda, here have some. he saw the red star on the can and said it's commie soda. k and i, on the same page, said at the same time no it's from italy. it's fascist soda.

but anyway.
farewell poor honda, we hardly knew ye.


about a car: redux

i have my car.
it's old skool.
the seats are kinda cushy.
makes me wanna make out with someone.

in my car. heehee.


about a car

dear internet,

it's not that i don't love you anymore.
it's just that my internet (uh, you?) has been down at home.
and i haven't been at work since monday.
and i have midterms starting tomorrow.
and my mom is coming today.
and my dog ate my...internet?

but i still love you. for reals.
it's not you. it's me.
you look really pretty today though.
make me a sandwich?

today i want to tell you something about my crazy beautiful ridiculous generous annoying loveable family.

they're giving me a car. it belonged to my "grandma" alice. who is not related to me at all. see my parents have these best friends. d & k. i've known them my whole life, me & my brother grew up with their kids. we spent holidays together, took trips. in every way that counts they're more my family than most of my "real" aunts/uncles/cousins. they're second parents.

k's sister judy lives about a mile from where i live now. when my family & i weren't talking, she would have me over for thanksgiving, christmas, random times. she and her husband have been very very good to me. they also have a brother who lives in walnut creek, and another sister who lives in nyc.

alice is the mother of these four siblings. she does things like send me cards that say "love, grandma alice" with ten dollar bills stuck inside. she's 90 and has had two mild strokes. and she has some dementia and gets confused and tired easily. she shouldn't be driving at all but would get really angry whenever anyone talked about taking her car away.

but she agreed to give it to me.
because judy told her i need a car.

so all these people...they've had their mechanics work on it. they drove it from minneapolis to fargo and back to minneapolis. then judy's brother flew to minneapolis and is driving it out here. right now. he made it to laramie, wyoming last night. so this weekend i will have a car.

it's a late-80's white honda accord with rust on it.
it probably smells like old ladies.
and i think that it will be the most beautiful and special car in the world.


"don't forget me at the airport"

...she said.

i laughed but after we hung up i realized that these are things my mom actually worries about. that and the bart tunnel under the bay. i have told her at least five times in the last few weeks that the bridge goes OVER the water and that i won't make her go on bart.

she's coming to visit me this week, thursday through monday. she hasn't been to the bay area since 1999. we went through a rough period, my parents and i. i had a young and short-lived and ill-advised marriage which i left and then immediately began dating the hot asian girl. which they obviously didn't understand so we didn't talk for a couple years. in the meantime 9/11 happened and her fear of flying and her claustrophobia, relatively manageable previously, took over. she hasn't voluntarily flown anywhere since.

i say voluntarily because my brother got married a couple years ago in jamaica but it's not like she could choose NOT to go to that. there was cajoling and valium involved.

so. since she last visited i have left a marriage and dated girls and dated boys and moved to the city and moved back to oakland and finished school and started working and changed jobs and gone back to school and and andand. i tell her things about my life, but she's never seen it. she doesn't know my best friends.

this is gonna be hard for her, travelling here on her own. she's gentle and nervous, she likes to have someone there to fret at, to tell her where she needs to be. mostly i think she's afraid of not being in control. she's afraid she'll get into a situation where she's not okay and she won't be able to handle it and there won't be anyone there to help her.

somehow she ended up with me as a daughter and i, in my delusions of grandeur, have never been able to accept that i am incapable of anything. i blame my parents actually, when i was young they told me i could do anything in the world that i wanted to do, and i believed them. so i'm rarely afraid of things, and when i am afraid it just makes me that much more firmly resolved to do whatever it is. to prove that i can.

but she is different and i'm realizing now that bravery looks like different things to different people.

i'm proud of my mom.


october 1

today was spent sitting on a blanket at a festival in golden gate park, where it was gothically misty and it never broke. the best part of the day was the knitters which, if you don't know, is a side project of the band x and they play country songs with names like "poor little critter on the road". brilliant.


one year ago today i woke up with david in my bed, for the first time ever.
after having loved him for years.

recently someone said "but you had hesitations about david and you didn't listen to them." and i said no, no i didn't. i didn't have any because at first i just couldn't have him. he had a girlfriend, and so did i for that matter. then later i didn't but he still did and i longed and longed for him so hard for so long that by the time i actually could have him, he wasn't real anymore.

he was a myth. he was an archetype. i couldn't really see him.
i should have had hesitations, certainly i should have. but i didn't.

so one year ago today and i guess i can't even say i woke up with him there because i never really slept that night. i was like some weird conduit for all the energy in the universe, it sizzled through me all night long. it was like magic, like a dream.

on october 1 last year my friend karen said this to me:
"well, dang. life. pain. love. confusion. you're living it."

i guess it's still true, too. i guess it's hard to separate those things from one another.
at least if you're like me.

this is a zombie-ocracy

"goddamnit, mom! if i had told you two weeks ago that one night people would spontaneously turn into zombies and half the population would get eaten and we would end up living in a house with the hogans and george bush you wouldn't have believed me then, either!!"

in my dream i was attempting to convince george bush (my roommate, apparently) that he should get people to start figuring out what we would do when the "manufactured food supply" ran out and the "power grid lost its power." one of his cronies said "she does have a point, it can take awhile to power up the grill. i mean the grid."

this was about a week after the first people turned into zombies and the world was madness. i had almost been eaten the first night but had craftily avoided them, escaped the house, jumped a fence, and found some bushes to hide in. the zombies were vicious but not bright...as long as they couldn't see you, you were pretty safe. they were slow, too. anyway there i met a girl with a purple shirt who was also on her own and we decided to pair up. she was smoking two clove cigarettes at the same time and she offered me one. she never appeared in the dream again though and somehow i ended up back with my family (and hogans and george bush). i hope clove girl didn't get eaten.

anyway, george kept saying that it was "unthinkable" that we would run out of food or power (i remember i was worried about the internet, too, but only because then how would we look up information about survivalist skills. i was pretty sure george wasn't gonna be a lot of help on that front, and my printer was low on toner. everyone was kind of backing him up and so i loudly pointed out the obvious, the above.

everyone got all nervous 'cause i was yelling at george w bush and i screamed:
"this is not a democracy anymore! this is a zombie-ocracy! there is no law! WHOSE BAD DREAM AM I STUCK IN!!!"