Thursday, June 28, 2001

also: becca and i were arguing, or discoursing rather, about whether or not a bunny is a rodent. jeeves of course has the answer. need i even mention that i was right?

they say that the breeding season lasts from february to october, altho some mate indiscriminately all year long. i wonder ....
so it's about 24 hrs since i last wrote and i'm in roughly the same place i was then: back in the berkeley library. only today becca and i are on the other side of the computer room w/ the bunny out of sight.

yesterday, after leaving here and wandering around some, ben and i made our way back to the house arguing about which of us would have to sacrifice art to be the breadwinner. we had pretty much compromised and assumed we would both work part-time and be expressionists part time and agreed that neither of us was interested in being poor when a woman jumped -- literally, jumped -- in our path.
i thought at first she wanted money b/c i couldn't make out what she was saying. once she slowed down, she explained more coherently: she didn't want money, she wanted advice. she was 53 years old and lonely. life, she felt, was pointless. her children were grown and raised and were off elsewhere raising growing children of their own. she had had a job once but no longer and there was apparently, tho i didn't ask, no husband in the picture. so: 53 years old, alone, on an unsatisfactory diet of fatty food eaten without company, she didn't see the point in going on. help me, she said.
it was a strange situation. i asked her if she didn't have other people she could to. surely, a priest, a community leader, a doctor ... ? someone had to be more qualified than a couple of teenagers. no, she said, they all told her the same thing: relax, watch tv, eat yr fried chicken, and be grateful. "but i'm tired of oprah winfrey," she said. the rough whine of her voice made me sympathize heartily. eventually, we advised her to change small things: mainly, get to a library and try a different supermarket. ben knew of an organic one not too far away. she seemed doubtful but at least slightly mollified. and she thanked us.

the evening after that got more normal. we took a nap (*cough*cough*) and then made dinner w/ alyssa and laurel, consumed said dinner, chatted over peppermint patties, and went to sleep. i've had very disturbing dreams recently, prominently featuring pain, fear, and often bathrooms. i can't really figure it out, except that it may be the belated effect of all the violence-against-women literature i've been reading, mixed w/ my parents repeated exhortations to "be careful" and my usual general paranoias.
that, and this strange susan sontag book i went thru on the ride over here called death kit. if anyone has read it and can offer any solace or insight, i would much appreciate it.
this morning i read thru a collection of sherman alexie short stories and really liked all but one. i wasn't imagining this either -- he actually did mention diet pepsi in each.

at any rate: i continue to be happy, the weather is lovely, and i am constantly reminded of how lucky i am.
i'm missing my first writer's center class today. ah well. enjoy, yanni, and take notes for me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

happy day, happy day -- i'm in berkeley california -- on the west coast for only the second time in my life and in this state for the first. right now i'm in the library -- ben got becca and me passes -- and ahhhhh internet .... the house tho lovely is unwired: no computer and no vcr. not much food, either. the kids are living more or less hand to mouth so i feel guilty already for trespassing. i'll buy them something; i'm not sure what yet. and i'll contribute to groceries and such.

the flight here was something else. i felt like i was in limbo -- setting my watch back and not talking to anyone for hours tends to do that to me. i boarded the first plane with about 40 chubby blond kids in identical tee-shirts and crosses. as it turned out, they're from assorted VA choirs and they're going to mexico city to sing of the glory of god. they did a preview show for about an hour at one point; luckily, i had my cd player and aimee mann and all was good. the airline also didn't have a veggie meal for me on either flight so a friendly flight attendent dug up an old kid's meal and i had peanut butter and jelly on white bread for what may have been the first time in my life. on the second flight, they gave me baby carrots so i partook of those for, oh, the 54,357th time. quality rabbit food. :-) it was all right: when i got there (ben becca and becca's bunny, sean met at the baggage claim) and we got to the house in emeryville, sean and becca went out again to obtain good veggie cambodian food for us all. and it finally occurred to me to call my father. luckily he hadn't been worried.

so, so far, so good. slept late after ben left this morning and then becca and i met up, having experimented w/ various sources of public transportation around here, in berkely proper. cute town, very busy, very ethnic. becca looked at all the stores enviously, comparing this to the sad excuse for a ville we have back at swat.

in general i haven't noticed too many things to differentiate this area notably from home. there are palm trees, tho it's hard to believe that this drizzly climate supports them, and the houses, at least in oakland, are small pastel cubes: they look like children's blocks. they're made of some material that could or could not be stucco -- i'm just not wise enuf to know.
i assume i'll find more differences as i go on. but generally, i'm having a wonderful time, taking everything
moment by moment, and i'm very very glad i'm here.

ilana, baby, if you're reading this, thanks for supplying the rain-check plan of seeing the ani movie w/ me.
definitely go anyway and tell me how it is.
love to everyone.

Monday, June 25, 2001

happy birthday, rick (technically it was yesterday the 24th but it just occurred to me and i wanted to give him a shoutout.) ran into nomi b.a. on the metro -- it's her bday tomorrow, just like it's ari's, so happy birthday to both of them. ("all the people i used to know are an illusion to me now ...")

i just got home and i'm still pumping adrenaline, so much so that i yelled at my brother in the car. i went to see a documentary called Paragraph 175 which is going to be playing on hbo on july 9: it was a preview showing sponsored by amnesty int'l b/c they're trying to raise awareness of treatment of LGBTs around the world. (man, all of those should be links and i just don't have the time to find them right now ... forgive me ....) my office got an invite so martha passed it along to us. really, aside from the not getting paid and having to seek mentally-deadening employment to earn money, this is the sweetest internship. i spent all of today reading gloria steinem critiquing -- intelligently and informationally, of course -- both freud and advertising. i only began that second section; the first absorbed much of my attention. and we get to go to all these great programs for free. this showing was at visions cinema and they gave us free drinks (two diet cokes and a chai for me. damn typical.)
anyway, the film itself was extremely well-done and as harrowing as i'm sure the creators intended it to be. certainly it got its point across. "i am ashamed for mankind," said one survivor, right before he broke into tears.
watch the movie, people. hbo. july 9 (i think.) i'm sure a big deal will be made of it.

check out the guestbook for yanni exhibiting signs of castration anxiety. :-)

man, i still have to pack -- i'm leaving tomorrow morning and of course i'm still stressing: maybe the reservations didn't go thru, maybe there won't be a ticket for me when i get to the desk ... this line of thinking is so common w/ me that part of me is calmly assessing my silver-lining options. if it turns out that at the last minute i have to stay home, i have my first writer's center class; my second NFMV program thing; and there's another cool flick showing at visions just this week that has ani difranco in it. and joc is coming down this weekend. see? it won't be terrible.
wish me luck.

Sunday, June 24, 2001

the vast majority of my friends here at home don't drink. they don't see the need to, i guess: they're quite content in their everyday-skulls, thank you. they don't judge me and i don't judge them. i wondered whether it'd be awkward -- a party in which some people drink and the others watch. as it turned out, it wasn't, or at least not on my end. :-) i usually get paranoid when i'm around non-chemically-altered people; i tend to think they're looking down at me or snickering into their unadulterated cokes. but last nite was fun. no bad feelings, no condescension, no anger. or at least none that i recall.
becca jay and i got gloriously smashed. some others had a few drinks. pat, jamie's bunny (pat the bunny!), politely acted as bartender. he's working as one so he has experience. i hadn't drunk since margaritaville at swat (at which, counterintuitively, no such liquor was touched.) that was a great nite too i remember. we all got wasted in the chateau, then went to see Wonder Boys, taking more along w/ us in juice bottles; then we returned to the chateau and partook some more before heading over to the DU party, which, as it turned out, sucked. we danced anyway in that lovely unself-conscious way that alcohol allows. ("could you please not act so drunk?") that was the nite that i said, "alcohol is just a state of mind," and ben said, "yeah, like a girlfriend."
becca has gotten herself an online journal but she won't tell me what the address is. ridiculous.
she and ilana slept over after all the assorted crazy people trickled away. then today we went to go meet the other becca, swatbecca, who's in town w/ the catholic branch of her family for the 85th birthday of the matriarch. she and her uncles, all of whom look the same, fed us and then took us for a tour of eastern market. i bought a new wallet, yes, unfortunately, leather, but what can you do? still looking for a new cool bag as well. as pennbecca pointed out, my new wallet will serve me well in sweden, as it has a rather large coin section.
SF on tues.
it's been a good week. dad and judah are back home, and when i got back (relaxed, refreshed) today, everyone was already sulking about something or other. yuck.
spark's stress test only gave me 15% -- certainly a week w/ all that rancor would raise that number significantly. guess i may as well leave, huh? :-)

Saturday, June 23, 2001

this is my day's work so far. another uploaded and created page of poetry. i guess i should probably organize these better but i'm not sure how yet.

two quotes:
my brother: "what day is it?"
my brother's friend: "seven."
"yeah, he said yesterday he choked on the estrogen."
(johnny, in ref. to a friend of his who was reading my [this] journal.)

didn't get the job i wanted. i'm not sure what i'll do now; find something else, i guess.
last nite was fun: talking and binge eating @ becca's cousins' house in potomac w/ becca and later ilana too. we would have gotten together w/ more people but people were reluctant to brave the storm. crazy shit: lightning kept turning the sky lavender for brief, passionate moments. i had to drive home in that, so, half-recalling conventional wisdom, i tried to only keep one hand on the wheel at all times.

party at my house tonite? adam's inviting friends over too. well, it's a big house.

Friday, June 22, 2001

unforunately, patricia ireland ran into traffic or something; she never made it to the panel today. but ellie smiel (pres. of feminist majority and past pres. of now) did. she and a couple other vanguards of the feminist movement stood in front of the group of like-30 of us, all collegiate interns for various women's groups in the area, and lectured us passionately about the state of feminism today, what needs to be done, what's disgraceful, and what we have to be hopeful about. they also answered questions. the girls are extremely bright: articulate, energetic, and really engaged. just the atmosphere was inspiring.
it's a six week program combining discussion, think-tank-like elements, a public speaking class, activities, speakers, and finally a lobbying session on capital hill. yeah, i'm excited. not to mention lucky.

i met nomi at teaism, and maya who's working there, and we discussed the international arm of the women's movement and aids in africa, nomi's hotbotton issue. then nomi and i wandered over to cvs to feed my habit and while there we stopped in the feminine product aisle to see which tampons have bleach in them. "this is ridiculous," i said, surveying the aisle. "they should rearrange this so that it goes condoms, then pregnancy tests, then diapers." a woman standing next to us with a pregnancy test burst out laughing. "sorry," she said. "i couldn't help but overhear. ... you're absolutely right." later, when she was buying the test, the checkout lady congratulated her. "yeah, i hope so," she said. which, nomi and i agreed, was better than 'i hope not.'

i'm going to becca's for shabbes dinner in a bit. i get to meet her cousins and apparently her grandma too. yeeeehaw.
and i'm getting such a kick out of my guestbook; it's like one long extended private joke ... trying to figure out who each message belongs to is twisted fun (clearly, my friends have not yet learned the art of attribution.) still, i appreciate each entry: thanks, y'all. i feel loved. and amused, which may or may not be better.
happy weekend, chitlins.

Thursday, June 21, 2001

best advice anyone's given me in a while: "don't be tempted to fast-forward."
i always am, or nearly always. it's my nature. i want to read the last page early on; i want to know in advance that things either will work out or won't, or more generally how shit ends. i don't like surprises, really, or being taken off guard -- i guess i don't trust myself, or life, enuf.
i have to learn to enjoy things as they happen.

tonite was lovely. met ilana at skool, rescued her from reunion awkwardness, brought her to nomi's house. all three of us went to the playground and discussed women's issues (whahoo!) (no really.) tamar joined us. lots of laughter. i told the story about how yesterday, when becca and i were shopping, we stopped in the feminine products aisle. the display is mesmerizing: plastic box after plastic box of pinkbluepinkbluegreenpinkblue. "aren't they allowed to use any color but pastel?" i asked. "yeah," said becca. "they should make one black. like, 'this is what you feel like.'"
we were all on the same wavelength. that's one of the best feelings in the world. finishing each other's sentences, telling each other's stories, everyone just for a few hours cheerful and content.
yay solstice.

tomorrow i get to meet patricia ireland too. sweet, man.
check this out, kidlets. maybe it'll make you get all soggy too.

i don't know -- i guess there are just some days
(like when you're feeling heavy and draggy, claustrophic at work, and headachy; when, racing home to meet the exterminators, you just barely avoid an accident involving an oblivious woman in a subaru)
that you just need to walk in yr home
and find a package
preferably a mix-tape
preferably from across the country
preferably w/ a letter on powder-blue paper and a picture of an owl on it

i guess because owls rock.
that must be it.

east west us. east+west=us. east. west. us.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

uhhhhh so heavy ... becca had the brilliant idea to make us vegetarian chili tonite. we shopped for the ingredients and met ari at my house and all three of us contributed to the chili-making effort. that included brainstorming things to throw in the pot that would make what was in the pot taste less like tomato paste (ultimate [and successful] solution: more beans, more chili pepper, and little green chilis.) chili + garlic-infused bread = no movement; we all more or less passed out upstairs in my room.

we talked too. ari asked me whether if someone granted me 4 more years of life than i would otherwise have with the condition that i'd have to spend them doing high skool again, would i take the offer? i really didn't know. certainly gave me pause. i mean, maybe heaven's great, you know? granted, we don't know -- but i do know what jds was (not fun) and i have no interest in returning. *shrug*

my grandmother called. shoulder hurting. my mother called. bored in charlottesville. i told her to knock on doors and make friends. "oh no," she said. "it's not like there's any lack of people. they're all swarming in the bar right now, singing karaoke." i expressed my deepest sympathy. my father called. had i called my mother yet? was the dog still alive? was anything on fire? did the exterminators come? (no; and when they finally called, they didn't even apologize, just told me to be there at the same time tomorrow. bastards.)

network was a great flick. i was 5/5 this week, only it's still disappointing cause it's only 5. i guess i could squeeze one more film in before i return them but i don't really have the energy. whatever, 5's not bad, especially since they were all quality. quality words were spoke tonite too: more funny shit yo: "i am right 78% of the time," announced becca, and damn i was going to quote ari and now i've forgotten. ah well.

i realized that the reason i wasn't as euphoric after this most recent ani concert was b/c she plays a lot of new stuff now. her new stuff's great, but i don't like it much more, or in some cases even more, than most new stuff i listen to. whereas her earlier stuff got me so excited -- i just really related to her; she touched me; it's personal, somehow, in a way that this stuff isn't as much. if she did a flashback tour, i might expire of happiness, but hopefully after the show and not just having got word of it.
funny shit, yo. all right, it has been brought to my attention that i "indescriminately" male-bash. SO, because (a) i would hate to give that impression, and (b) i'm in a better mood now, having (1) slept a little, (2) showered, (3) had people over who hung out, were amusing company, and then left before i started looking meaningfully at my watch, i should do something positive.
like pay tribute to the many many males in my life who are wonderful people or have been wonderful to me in the past; males who would never yell at a woman out the window of their car much less ignore it if they were standing next to a woman being harassed.
so here's to the boys who have:
* driven me when i didn't have a ride;
* taken me to orioles' games;
* taught me to play pool;
* made me laugh;
* inspired poetry;
* read my poetry;
* critiqued my poetry;
* introduced me to new music;
* made me paper flowers;
* kissed my hand;
* taken me seriously;
* asked me questions;
* told me stories while we worked together, wiping tables and slicing melons in the kitchen on kibbutz;
* made me fall in love w/ them (him.)

thank you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

i have scottish accents running thru my head, having just come away from breaking the waves, a lars van trier film with that bears more than a passing resemblance to his later dancer in the dark, starring bjork. in waves, it's emily watson who plays the sort-of-simple, pure, otherworldly heroine. she's fabulous, just as bjork is and in the same way -- each seems perfectly suited for the part. van trier is now 2 for 2 in succeeding to leave me curled up like a shrimp and sobbing.
pretty impressive.

actually, i don't know what's been wrong w/ me recently but every evening has provided me w/ reason to get depressed. even (especially) stupid things. quite possibly it's exhaustion: i haven't gotten nearly as much sleep as i should have: 16 and a half hours over the past three nites. i keep pulling at my hair, which gives me headaches but i can't seem to stop. i have nothing to stress about and yet i'm filled w/ stress: i have to watch all seven of the movies; i can't get my webpage to appear on certain computers (is it a netscape thing?) and i don't know how to fix it; i haven't found a second job yet, tho i've applied.
christ, what's wrong w/ me?
yesterday, after ani, which was terrific of course, liz jamie and ilana came back to my house. it took longer than it should have since a bunch of girls there got blasted w/o thinking of how they were going to get home, and, being somewhat acquainted w/ liz, they corraled her into helping them. it's a long story and the result of it was an even longer drive that threatened to irritate all of us, particularly liz, who was tired too and had the work the next day.

maybe yoga this evening; maybe that'll help. maybe a small crowd at my house, tho i'm not letting anyone stay too late. and if matt rubin makes one more explicit comment, i'll give him his balls in a tupperware box and send him and them home to GW in a taxi. too much reading about violence against women and too many catcalls have left me w/ no patience. (really, unless it happens to you continuously, you have no idea how large a toll that shit can take. you feel guilty, you feel dirty, you feel ashamed, and all you did was walk down a street. it's made me angrier, too, i've noticed, in general, because there's no recourse and there's no outlet for your frustration. this after only having to deal w/ it for 2 - 3 weeks!)

4 month anniversary a couple days ago. totally forgot about it. that's one-third of a year ... wow.
okay. i'll cheer up. i'll go to sleep first; when i wake up, i'll be all right.

Monday, June 18, 2001

"i wonder about all the roads not taken and am moved to quote Frost ... but won't. It is sad to be able only to mouth other poets. I want someone to mouth me." --sylvia plath, journals of sylvia plath.

i underlined that almost exactly a year ago. initially the journals really excited me, i remember. i kept my pencil in my hair and kept pulling it out to mark something that struck me as poetic, particularly well-said, or just something that could have come from my own mind. then as i continued to read, or, put another way, as sylvia aged, i found myself relating to her less, and ultimately i even disliked her. funny thing. i'm not sure what changed. i think i lost patience w/ her bipolarity: she was either entirely confident in her own brilliance, or she felt she had no talent at all and should stop take up dishwashing as a hobby.
it frightened me a little b/c i felt like we were on the same wavelength, to a degree, early on. i didn't (don't) want to end up like her. altho of course the accolades &c. would be much appreciated.
was there any way to be memorable w/o being depressed? i remember also mulling over that. as jill sobule says, "dorothy parker: mean drunk and depressed. ... tennessee williams: drunk and depressed. i guess i'll just get drunk and depressed ...."
it was at the same time that i discovered that janeane garofolo had gotten a breast reduction when she was in her teens b/c, as she said, at 5'2", a 36D chest made her look "dumpy."
so much for heroes. (which is, of course, jill sobule's point in the song)

on a similar note, i watched the insider this afternoon. long but interesting and extremely well-acted; clearly russel crowe got his oscar belatedly.
i was supposed to go w/ RB and MR to a concert this evening. at the last minute, tamar called and said nomiyoni and adam were going out for ice cream as a goodbye to yoni, who's leaving for memphis. i changed plans and went, partly b/c i knew i wouldn't see yoni for 5 months or so, and partly b/c i needed to talk to tamar.
it went all right. i don't know, i just have much more fun in situations where i don't have to banter mean-spiritedly. inevitably it catches me off guard, i guess b/c i'm still unused to being attacked, even jokingly. i can respond w/ attacks of my own and sometimes they amuse the people around us, but mostly it doesn't make me happy.
it particularly sucks in this instance b/c last year yoni and i were friends -- or at least more than we are now. last year we were moderately close: if we did banter, i knew that there was luv behind the barbs. w/o that reassurance, i get a little upset.
ah well. i'm really tired. after going to bed at 4 last nite, i got woken up at 9:45 this morning and i didn't go back to sleep. ("sleep! that's where i'm a viking!")
five pts if you can get not only the reference but the episode. email me yr guesses (see form on the side that i worked so long last nite to get right?)
god bless.

Sunday, June 17, 2001

oh man oh man ... today was one marathon after another: 6 miles in torrential rain w/ ilana and jay (altho it was constructive, as the rain and i finally made friends) and now 4 hrs straight of web design. i don't have much to show for it but check it out anyway.
in between, good lebanese, truffaut's the 400 blows, and general chill time. jamie joined us. i hadn't seen her since last weekend.
my father leaves tomorrow and apparently he's taking my little brother judah w/ him. monday my mother leaves so it will be adam and me alone for a week. whoa craziness. might go to ben lee w/ rachel block and matt rubin tomorrow nite? i have no idea who he is but r. block invited me. hey man, whatever.

ANI monday nite!

christ, i should sleep.

Saturday, June 16, 2001

i was too exhausted last nite to write, partially because i had stayed up til 3 the nite before working on my website. it's still not really in working order. i had no idea how time consuming it was -- well, before this year, i had no real substantial interest in the internet. when liz ilana annie and i were hanging out, someone mentioned something about this journal, and annie's eyes got wide: "you have an on-line journal?" i nodded. "wow," she said. "i've just lost so much respect for you."
i think college does a lot to change people's perspectives of the web. you meet really cool people who are into cs; ethernet connections and yr own computer mean unrestricted alone time w/ everything out there; and you find that boatloads of students around you have webpages and envy begins to creep up ...

anyway, so my dad drove ruby home last nite, tho i accompanied. we had fun, and of course of course he hit it off w/ my family. he's comfortable w/ himself, he's assertive almost to the point of arrogance (almost?), he laughs at jokes, sometimes even lame ones, and he converses well. i told them everyone has a strong response to him, whether or not they have a positive one. they said they could understand that.

before that, i watched the adventures of buckaroo bonzai across the 8th dimension, had thai w/ my father, combed thru classifieds w/ the girls in the office (we're iso part time work), made plans to hit the newseum for real this weekend, and got disappointed at the less-than-enthusiastic critical response to tomb raider. blah.
might go walking again today. love that walking.
"oh it gets so lonely when you're walking and the streets of full of strangers; all the news you read just give you the blues; so i bought me a ticket ... california, california, i'm comin home" (joni)

Friday, June 15, 2001

so everyone can calm down: once more, things worked out for princesster -- swat becca, noting my distress last nite, suggested that i try priceline. no, i told her -- nothing can be done. it's over. it's hopeless.
clearly, she's more attuned w/ the rhythms of my life than i was. just try, she ordered, and i did. and sure nuff, not only did i find tickets almost immediately, but they were the exact price i was going to pay before, at almost the exact times i had intended to go, and on continental (!). so bless becca, bless priceline, bless the indulgent gods who hover over me and for the moment anyway are content letting things go well.
i'm happy too -- now i have a more familiar thing to angst over than not getting what i wanted: what to do now that i have gotten it. i always worry too much. but worry is a luxury sometimes; if you have to worry about various issues specific to spending a week w/ yr boyfriend in san francisco during early summer, then, baby, you've got it made.

today was good. alexis from wifp and i went to hear a panel at the newseum in arlington sponsored by the freedom forum. apparently they spotlight a different country every other week and conduct a discussion about the state of its media. martha got an invite and asked we interns if any of us were interested in freedom of the press in russia. alexis spent a month there this past year and i ... well, i'm tangentially related to the country, in a 2nd-cousin-twice-removed type way, so i thought, what the hell. also, it was just something different.
it was interesting. two journalists spoke. one, a jowly, beak-nosed, cheerfully round, economically-minded conservative who assured us in very good english that the situation there is being overdramatized and blown out of proportion. the other, a narrower, tired-looking, cynical liberal with more stilted english, was not as optomistic as his colleague. still both maintained that the truth is distorted in our newspapers, and that no one understands the importance of a free press more than russia. no, this was not a communist regression. people are merely restructuring; a comeback is in order and is in the cards.
afterwards, they gave us lunch. the audience for the most part skewed to the older, suit-wearing demographic. a loud click resounded thru the ornate top-floor dining room as everyone seemed to open their business card cases at once. two ex-military men asked the panel the same question about organized crime in russia. of course the journalists couldn't answer but you had to wonder what the army knows that we don't.
made friends (and exchanged cards!) w/ the woman next to us, who was intrigued by our description of the institute. also made friends w/ a guy from unc who's working here this summer. i realized at some point i didn't know his name but i just felt like he was an adam -- he looks like an adam -- and i kept referring to him that way in my head and that was sufficient. we talked politics and feminism (of course, always) as we metroed back from VA.

rented another 7 movies for $7, my favorite deal in the world. also spoke to the manager about getting a job there. now that SF is happening, i need to get a fucking job -- i want to pay my parents back as quickly as possible. i filled out my barnes one but i'm hesitant. i'll probably give it in ... beggars, choosers, you know. i've tried lots of other indy bookstores; they just don't need people. ah well. at least it's not starbucks.

then this evening better than chocolate w/ liz ilana and annie. it was cute, very sexual in an artsy turn-on way. liz squirmed and made adorable noises when her parents wandered w/in earshot of the tv. the two main characters were like commercials for Noxema and Bally's Total Fitness meeting, falling in love immediately, and consummating their flawless passion by painting each other's naked bodies and rolling around on white sheets.

back to work tomorrow. then shabbes, then weekend. and so on and so forth, until the 26th.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

for about 20 sweet, sweet hours, i was going to SF after all. my parents and i worked it out: i would pay them back $200 and i would promise to look up all their old long-lost friends and not buy any drugs on the street. (really, i'm a good kid. i only started doing any kind of drug senior year of high skool, i never did anything stronger than pot, and that was (is) only sporadically. i told my parents i was clean and they believed me. then they found an article i wrote for swat's humor magazine, spike, where i described my trip to amsterdam this summer, part of which was spent w/ my brother adam, and much of which was spent in a classic a'dam-style haze. naturally the whole thing was exaggerated for comic effect and mostly my parents took it in stride. only now they probably feel naive and stupid for trusting me. ah, parental dynamics.)

so yeah, up til this afternoon, i was SF bound. becca (swat becca) was excited: we'd be in the city the same time -- we could do the slack-jawed, saucer-eyed tourist shtick together. martha was excited: she loves SF and told me i'd love it too. ben was excited: we'd be together. and, of course, i was excited: SF; my first visit to sunny CA; becca; the bunnies; ben (benbenbenben).
today travelocity fucked me in the ass. unexpected and unpleasant. i cried in the car going to bethesda out of sheer frustration -- mental, sexual. i had dinner plans w/ becca (penn becca) and ari. tho i was late, they were later; i had calmed down, but standing in front of the restaurant in the thick, sewer-quality air, i still felt pretty miserable. i heard someone call out, "ester!" and i glanced across the street. ben -- different ben: oldest-guy-friend first-boyfriend (5th - 6th grade) once-partner-in-wicca oft-partner-in-rebellion senior-prom-date who dated another girl named ester in high skool just like i'm dating another guy named ben @ college, isn't that a funny coincidence? -- was working at xandos. we chatted for awhile until i saw becca approach.
and five seconds later, ari.
dinner (wonderful: everyone go to raku) discussion about feminism. becca calls herself a feminist, always has. ari, like ben (swat ben) w/ whom i had this same talk last nite, doesn't see the need for people to label themselves feminists. again, very reasonable, calm, intelligent argument ensued. everyone i'm around is so mellow, especially compared to some of my beloved swatties, god bless 'em.

tomorrow i'm going to a lecture on russian freedom of the press which no longer exists so really the lecture will be on the ramifications of that. afterwards, they give us food. then i guess i go and try to find a real part-time paying type job. i picked up an application @ barnes today and i'll pick up another for video warehouse. i have no retail experience; i guess that's probably a detriment. maybe they'll hire me anyway. even if i don't need to make $200 asap anymore, it would be nice to get some cash.

wish i looked like this: beautiful.

wisdom from ani: "when i look around, i think this, this is good enuf/ and i try to laugh at whatever life brings/ cause when i look down, i just miss all the good stuff/ and when i look up, i just trip over things." (as is)
so true.

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

last nite was moderately discouraging. johnny tamar geoff and i rendezvoused as planned at silver diner and moved from there to eatzi's to eat. initially the dynamic was all right and we discussed interesting things. eventually, however, it disentegrated into geoff and johnny making fun of tamar. i've found that when i'm w/ boys, my instinct is to go along w/ them. maybe it's from long years of experience being the younger sister: it's safer to laugh w/ the boys who are mocking some other person rather than to be indignant or defensive. it's also b/c i haven't, historically, been the person targeted.
none of that makes me any less chicken-shit.
but johnny and geoff weren't malicious -- it seems that's the way they can relate to tamar, at least when someone else is present. i don't get it, and i don't get why she stands for it, and clearly i'm no good at trying to make them stop, so more or less inevitably neither tamar nor i enjoys these gatherings. i don't think the boys do either -- they're good guys; they don't want to upset her and don't really know how to react when she stops reacting and retreats into herself.
anyway, after that and a very mediocre health shake that tamar and i split back at the silver diner (it was so bad we tried to start a drinking game in which the loser of each round would have to take a shot), we all shrugged and hugged and headed our separate ways.

back at home, my mother informed me that i might not be able to go to san francisco. she cited money, which is inarguable, and the necessity of saving mileage so the family can visit me in stockholm next spring and adam, my older brother, in australia.
then she added that she didn't think it was fair for me to take a week off from work, from which comment i derived that maybe she simply doesn't want me to go. i don't really know how to proceed -- certainly there's no law that says parents have to send their daughters across the country to visit significant others on demand. at the same time, the idea of not seeing ben until august makes me feel hollow and heavy at the same time.
the depression lasted thru the night and this morning until work cheered me up. the office is full of very sweet young women and i keep trying to explain to people that it isn't radical in the least. we all have long hair, something i noticed a complete absence of at the dyke parade, and everyone voted for gore except martha, and even she was vaguely apologetic about having voted for nader. but, she said, her voice staying firm, he was the only one who addressed media, the issue i really cared about. everyone in the office nodded; we all respected that. it's a great atmosphere that way. no one is confrontational, discussions are always conducted diplomatically, and (so) everyone gets along.

too hot to walk today.
angelina jolie was on leno last nite -- i can't wait for tomb raider.

Monday, June 11, 2001

more walking today: three miles up conn. ave. again, from adams morgan where a girl from my office and i had lunch (@ tryst) and where i sat down briefly to read oleanna by david mamet in a small playground, up to politics and prose to meet my father. i had chai, he had iced coffee, and we discussed whether there are any admirable characters in shakespeare's plays. we attracted a few curious glances, which is nothing new. once in a coffeeshop, he and i got into such a heated argument about cartoons, of all things -- the effect of disney on this country, i think it was exactly -- that a woman unfamiliar to us both approached us, patted me on the shoulder, and said, "for the record, i agree w/ you."
quite heartening.

shortly to silver diner to meet tamar, johnny, and maybe geoff. supposedly they have a new improved menu and we skeptics are going to try it out.

read thru my first edition of ms. today -- i'd glimpsed it but never flipped thru before. also took a quiz from off our backs to determine whether or not i was a feminist. not surprisingly, i'm not, but they said i'm close.
when i was w/ my friends the other night, i polled them as to the same question. they all shied away from the term. one said she still felt it was associated w/ man hating. that's unfortunate. can't you promote the cause of one group w/o being violently opposed to another group, even if you do view that other group, generally, as oppressive?
i don't know.

my elliott smith cd arrived in the mail today. yesss. i borrowed it from a friend at skool but reluctantly gave it back before i left, and i missed it. my music taste expanded so much this year, for which i have ross to thank, mostly. but my affection for elliott smith, belle&sebastian, simon&garfunkel, the beatles, bob dylan, jill sobule, suzanne vega, ben harper, and tori amos are new and much appreciated. and of course none of it could have happened w/o napster.
ahh, college. ...
i king leared tonite w/ becca, ari, and johnny at the free theater at carter barron. the production, michael kahn's, was, as it happens, the same one that we saw a couple years ago w/ our skool at the folger theater. doesn't matter: it's still a terrific show; the cast is uniformly strong; and if anything the lighting and set added a different, interesting dimension. it is a play, after all, where at least half of the action occurs outside. it makes sense to perform it that way.
i was also vaguely worried about the dynamics -- becca and ari had been friends sort-of once, back before my privilege to call ari "nari" was revoked, back in high skool when she would come down from nyc (she went to hunter) to visit. but they hadn't really interacted since. she used to express concern when i would visit her in what she considered strange or unbecoming clothing so i also wondered how she would react to ari's new biblically-inspired look. needlessly, as it turned out. they got along fine.

i'm a little tired b/c i spent last nite at tamar's. she had a gathering of about fifteen, and, true to form, we basically just talked. ate, too, of course: we needed the energy to fuel our mouths. yoni entertained, of course. jamie and i laughed ourselves breathless recounting europe stories (i can't believe it was almost a year ago that we set off together to do amsterdam and copenhagen on as little money possible. god that was a fabulous trip. jamie led: she had the agenda, the things we had to see and do. i was more or less acquiescent, except for the certain points when i would put my foot down and demand that we find a bench, take a lull from touristing, so that i could read harry potter. i was repenting, you see: like the snob i am, i turned my nose up at the series. when i finally deigned to open the copy rick leant me, i got drawn in at once, and i was so chagrined that i couldn't help but get carried away in the opposite direction. i read all 4 books during that trip and it was well worth it.)

jamie and i slept over, curled up on various couches (mine too short, but how can i complain: tamar insisted she was perfectly comfortable in an armchair.) jamie left the next morning to study chem and tamar and i went walking. more walking, always more walking. :-) discussed college; differences of identity here v. there, attached v. unattached; careers; the stasis we fear will claim us in middle age; the suburbs in general. i missed having her w/ me this year. she notices things -- she would most likely have noticed fifty small ways in which being w/ ben, and just being at swat, has made me different.
speaking of which, becca (the other becca, the one from swat) emailed me, and offered june 25 as the departure date for san fran. maybe? must ask. johnny leant me a mamet play. never got to read the patricia ireland bio. maybe this week.

Saturday, June 09, 2001

ahhhhhhhh ... it feels wonderful to sit down. jay and ilana and i spent the whole day walking: marched w/ the dykes up from dupont to adams morgan, shouting the slogans and otherwise being supportive. we were there w/ liz, who's queer, a friend of hers from smith, and annie, a friend of ilana's who was like best friends w/ liz when they were little. funny: they separated years ago but grew up to be similar people and lead parallel lives.
in the park where the march ended, a bunch of girls took their shirts off and ran around, whooping it up topless. about fifteen firemen appeared and just sat and watched, grinning.
then everyone got in a huge circle and started playing spin the bottle, at which we point we left.

jay, ilana, and i split off, had wonderful ethiopean food for dinner @ meskerem, and then walked it off, making it all the way up to van ness where jay lives and we'd parked ilana's car on foot. we argued about whether having a "permanent long-term significant other" (ilana) was the definition of success, or to what extent it factored in. the idea sort of upsets me b/c i like to think i'm a realist in general -- and i know that realistically that doesn't happen for plenty of people. realistically, the odds are against it.
i don't want to feel like a failure if i'm 45, i have a fulfilling-type job, satisfying relationships w/ people, respect and enuf money, but no PLTSO.
people have different values. i guess there's no one formula for happiness that fits everyone.
still, it also scares me to think that romantic relationships are that important, even tho i have one at the moment.

bought a ben folds five cd -- listening to it now. ilana and i are about to go join other friends for prototypical suburban good-kid fun in rockville. yumm.

Friday, June 08, 2001

today, walking back from my job at wifp, and holding, mind you, two books, one of which was a biography of patricia ireland, president of now, some guy whistled and made a thoughtful, incisive comment on my breasts. i mean, i appreciate irony as much as the next child of the 90s, but sometimes it just gets tiring. especially since i've spent the last week -- my first in the office -- researching pornography and violence against women.

ah well. working for the feminists is pretty new for me: i come from a democratic family but not a liberal one, really. my father professed support for some version of socialism for about 6 and a half minutes during its heyday in the 50s when he was at uchicago; nowadays when he says "feminism" it's generally in the same tone of voice in which he'd say "astrology" "spiritualism" "alien abduction" "football" or some other example of american dimwittedness. altho he's making an effort to keep the eye-rolling in check since i'm devoting my summer to this non-paid internship, and i appreciate it.
i don't know if my mother ever considered herself a feminist. she traveled and lived all over the country after college, including on an indian reservation for a while through the VISTA program, and didn't get married until she was 30. and she's worked more or less every day of her adult life. hmm. i guess i should ask.

i met my friend becca for coffee last nite in bethesda -- we're old friends, from cty (yay preadolescent overachievers!), and she's one of the few people i know who isn't taller than i am so it's always comfortable to be w/ her: we're actually at eye-level when we converse. that can be such a relief. anyway, she's in town, living w/ relatives and working in mclean.
we were supposed to meet up w/ matt rubin as well. you might not recognize the name now but the odds are you will, someday. he's also in town, staying the gwu dorms and working cheerfully on capital hill for the damn republicans. naturally, the three of us could not connect; becca and i ended up in xandos alone, and matt rubin (ruby) ended up in barnes and nobles, leafing thru Playboy.
a good time was had by all.
i'm used to keeping a real-space notebook --the rules that differentiate this from that are keeping me tongue-tied. i can't figure out whether it's okay to mention names. but this isn't fiction; i don't have to pretend it is -- and that's part of its allure to me.

when i was in eighth grade, i kept a journal on my computer. i had a dippy little laptop my mother borrowed from the government, a toshiba with a rectangular screen (maybe 4 inches by 7) that could handle wp5.1 and little else. it didn't matter -- that kept me satisfied. like most young writers, it was in my head somewhere near the surface that someone would read what i was writing, so out of courtesy, i gave all my friends pseudonyms.

is that necessary now?

well, i can introduce myself w/ impunity anyway. i'm ester, i'm 18, i'll be 19 on the 19th of july ... funny: growing up, i felt that 19 was the age. it just seemed special to me, and far enuf off that i could view it like the horizon, with awe, and never expect to actually have to confront it.

i have more things to confront before i get there, tho. like the fact that ben is leaving in a matter of hours. (there, i said a name. ben. benbenbenbenben. go read his journal -- he's my inspiration, as well as justin hall and nori.) all three either went or go to my skool, swat.

oh, i could write and write. but i should take this slow.

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

so this is it. maybe. so this may be it. i've been so timid about this whole webpage making/publishing thing ...

june 6: d-day. what a day to start.