Tuesday, July 31, 2001

shit, miss annie! dar and annie here is the good woman herself (far right) w/ the immortal dar williams (second from left). they're holding a poster of the green world, dar's most recent album. miss williams revealed to us over the course of her concert that she hasn't written much recently b/c she's (a) recently gotten engaged and (b) writing a book. quite an eventful life.

we watched three straight episodes of Pride and Prejudice this afternoon at annie's and ate rissotto (is that spelled right, love?) mm, colin firth ... the series is delightful and really well-acted. my head is nearly sloshing over w/ jane austen and pretty, hilariously constricting parlor dresses.

trying to remember the word for ritual japanese suicide by disembowlment, you know, the kind they do in shogun. help?
god, ilana's getting popular. her illustration has earned rave reviews and it has found its way onto the background of nori's page. *applause*

ilana has also discreetly mentioned to me that i made some mistakes in previous postings (heaven forbid!) to remedy: 1) the guitarists of the nields are named dave, not bob; 2) the farmer who owns the land in hillsdale, ny is bob, not joe; 3) and shite, there was something else, but i've forgotten. ah well, tis late.

today i walked from cleveland park to chevy chase circle, which means nothing to those of who not from d.c., and fell in love w/ potomac video and promptly signed up for a membership. my father called me a fickle consumer but i insisted that i'm just a demanding one. and if video warehouse sucks (and yes, yes, it does) why can't i take my business elsewhere, like a good capitalist? the store gave me 5 films for $5. i went outside and encoutered miss block wearing a wsrn shirt. i felt a pang immediately -- i have many good memories associated w/ that shirt. we talked for a while; she admired my rentals.
went home; then went to nomi's, where i showed the girls the hilarious, feminist, forthright the-clitoris.com. funny conversation ensued and before it dried up i hopped over to becca's to do what we always do: make jokes, share cold pop-tarts, and leave the tv on in the background, unwatched, while we chat. annie ilana ari and liz joined us in our merriment. i left around 12, regretfully. tomorrow: lunch at annie's after work w/ tamar (w/ whom annie wants to be friends) ilana and liz; yoga; then movie at my house. what a life i lead.

returned home to talk to mr. i-hate-telephones-too. flash back to the advice the lady on the train gave me as i left chappaqua like two months ago. long distance sucks, she said. just don't read too much into what he says on the phone. all right then, i won't over-analyze the fact that he wants to set up a pool to see who he cheats first. the victim would collect. :-) no, really, tonite's convo was more fun than last's. at least i didn't spend the whole time thinking alternatively "i wish i could go back in time and strange ben franklin w/ his damn kite" and "sleep ... sleep ...." back on the same wavelength, after momentary panic on his end that i've become too brainwashed by martha and ms. just b/c i said he was working for the enemy. sheesh. and they say feminists have no sense of humor.

Monday, July 30, 2001

ilana's illustration of this weekend (scroll down)
to resume:
ilana drove the entire way up and back to/from the festival site in hillsdale, ny. farmer joe owns a gorgeous plot of land in the catskills and lends it out every summer to the hippies. i think it's right commendable of him.
we had our own mini-music-festival in the car, singing and cding our way up the increasingly lovely mountain roads. we set up our tent, a borrowed a-frame none of us really knew how to use, and which liz ultimately figured out, in what we later learned was the social area. to our right, a group of kids our age seemed content to smoke pot starting at 9 in the morning and never leave their campsite. across from us and down were three boys that initially we could only see from afar, one of whom was wearing a shirt that looked like it said, in symbols, "i love cock." liz went over to ask them for weed and when they returned w/ her we saw that the last symbol was a cat, not a rooster. (ohhhhh ...) they may have been sexist but they were generous w/ their bowl. everyone in fact was lovely. that's the folk-festival atmosphere.
after that, we met the 40 year olds: more neighbors who latched onto us i think to feel involved (the woman kept insisting her job was "uncool"). they shared a bottle of california wine and talked nearly non-stop.
and then daniel, a 16 year old (looked much older) long-haired free-spirit of the purest kind, who lost his wallet w/ $150 in it and threw up his hands and called it "karma." he was very folksinger-savvy and he loved women: while he lamented that tho he missed his faraway girlfriend yada, he couldn't keep from hooking up w/ others and he demonstrated his good taste by confessing to want a piece of ilana.

mostly, tho, the three of us spent time by ourselves. we talked a lot, we enthused over the same music, we people watched and we went to bed at the same time. one morning, liz made a hemp spin for ilana's hair while i read portions of Tom Jones out loud. it felt really comfortable, really home-y.

ran into jonah on saturday so he chilled w/ us for a while. he had read this site (!!) and so knew that we'd be at falconridge at the same time that he was in the area. so that was cool and i got a report on the barn (kids: it's doing fine). as he was leaving, he paused and then said that reading this journal was strange b/c i write things that i wouldn't necessarily tell him.
made me think. i don't consider audience too much -- or maybe i do? i'm more circumspect than i am in the notebook only i read, that's for sure. i guess i have to deliberate further.

and i hate telephones. have i mentioned that? hate 'em. nothing honest comes thru a telephone, or very little. i prefer email and letters: represenations of voice rather than actual, physical voice. the latter is too imperfect.

Sunday, July 29, 2001

oh man. home and so much to say. solution, of course: make lists!

physical newnesses:
  • my face is raspberry-red and puffy around the eyes, as much from lack of sleep as from sun. (why did i think that putting a wet'n'wash cloth over my face could substitute for lotion?)
  • i finally put my hair back: i decided to try the ilana method and keep it down for three days straight. as strings frizzed over, i dealt by braiding them.
  • my arms have gotten nicely nutty, further dramatizing my watch tan.

musicial newnesses:
  • the nields. northhampton-spawned eccentric energetic group. five band members: two singers, both sisters, both married to their guitarists, both of whom are named bob. i don't know what the story is w/ the fifth guy but i imagine he feels vaguely left out.
  • erin mckeown. midgetous, impressive, bjork-like in style and energy (+ propensity to howl.) embarrasing moment: i asked her to sign my notebook, forgetting that i had written my impressions of her at the top of the page. she saw her name and asked, "oh, can i read this?" and proceeded to before i could splutter out an answer. i panicked for a moment, as i couldn't recall what exactly i'd written, but it was all complimentary -- she said that anyone who compared her to bjork was her best friend. course, i also wrote that she grappled w/ her guitar like it was an animal trying to get away; we both tactfully pretended that wasn't there.
  • deirdre flint. awesome. elementary skool teacher turned folksinger; adorable, ironic, and really funny, like the musician version of janeane garofolo. i bought her cd, shuffleboard queens, available at folkweb and amazon. i also ran into her so i got her autograph as well. she asked me if i'd been to a particular lighthouse and i just blinked at her. "it's written on yr shirt," she said. "oh," i said, looking down. "i just got this at goodwill." :-)
  • eddie from ohio. very much like the nields: upbeat, fun, clever. they played saturday nite after dar...

just got off the phone w/ ben, who wanted to share his musicial experiences. guess it was just that kind of weekend. but i'm exhausted and i'll have to finish this tomorrow.
still to come: susan warner; our crazy camping neighbors; jonah; dar; and i haven't said a word yet about ilana and liz. terrible. well, tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2001

last nite, i woke up to the sound of my own voice. it sounded like it was coming from faraway; it took me a panicked second or two to understand that it was being filtered thru my answering machine. i jumped up and plugged in my phone, interrupting the message. "hi," said ben. "are you sleeping?"
i consulted the clock: 1:15 a.m. on a usual nite, i'd be awake, probably tripping around the net somewhere. but i was trying to stock up on good, bedded sleep since i'll be sleeping bagging it for a while. "yes." i said. "i was just watching old films," he said. "go back to sleep. i'll talk to you tomorrow." i hung up and crawled back under the blankets.
this morning when i woke up (to someone else's voice thru the radio, the way god intended) i pushed play on my machine to hear the message from the beginning. it was the recording he had made of senior year coffeehouse, our skool talent-show of sorts. the camera, the phone, and my machine mangled my voice to a wince-inducing state but i remained comprehensible: i was reciting "confessional". well do i remember that evening. i decided that, regardless of the fact that he was there in the audience, and filming no less, i was going to read the poems i wanted to read. and i did. i couldn't tell at the time whether he got it. he hugged me tightly afterwards, grinning, but that's just his way.
no room for interpretation now. "you called me yr 'green-eyed muse'," he says (on the message). "that's so sweet. you have a great voice --"
at that point, the message cuts off b/c i managed to pick up the phone.
i hope he appreciates that poem. sweet, hell: that's one of the sweetest things i've ever written.

ilana's coming to pick me up in a matter of minutes. i'm all packed. also talked to the other ben for a while last nite (johnny: "why do you call him #32?") after i got home from class. ahh benz.

Thursday, July 26, 2001

phew. getting on the metro this afternoon, all i wanted to do was go home, take a shower, put lots of gel in my hair (the frizz is driving me insane), and think calming, non-vagina related thoughts. anyway, it's over. my dad picked me up and we went to a nice vietnamese lunch. i had surprisingly good squid, which didn't bother me, but trying some of his soft-shell crab did somehow. i consider myself a vegetarian tho i do eat fish and seafood, but the crab felt particularly like an animal. part of my sort-of-joking excuse for eating fish is that i'm a jewish vegetarian (by jewish law, y'see, fish is not considered flesh: it's in another, neutral category.) but by that logic, i shouldn't be eating unkosher sea things. ahhhh maybe i'm taking this too seriously.

the doctor: a lady with thick blonde hair and precise mascara enlarging her already confrontational eyes. anytime she brought up an adult topic, she'd further widen her eyes to impress upon me the seriousness of the discussion. i had to widen my own eyes in response; by the end of the interaction, i felt like betty boop. of course i'm sure betty boop never had to go thru a pelvic exam.
(damn, she is cool. let's take a moment and process that, hmm?)
the upshot is, there is absolutely nothing wrong w/ me. i suppose i could go to disneyland then but falconridge will have to do. :-) we have a tent! still need to shop. mmm, three days of living out in the humid air; no showers; w/ the hippies and their music ... excellent.
i guess this will be my first moderately-extensive absence. i leave early tomorrow and don't get back til sunday nite. so readers, if any of you exist outside of the close crazy circle of friends you see represented in my book, please sign -- let me know you exist. if you have nothing else to say, say congratulations.

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

from the tinman's blog:

according to emode's personality test, i'm a movie star. since three of the other options were Poet, Critic, and Observer, i was thrown for a loop. but after checking them out, i realized they didn't really fit me either. they all involve being shy which i don't think of myself as (very much? anymore?) so i'm in limbo. fine. emode pisses me off anyway: it's gotten too goddamn chirpy for its own good.

i've been at work twenty minutes and i'm already searching for things to do. last nite at becca's during our conversation about idealism and the future and our perceptions of the Real World we will one day most likely have to inhabit, i told her she'd never make it in my office. we're too inefficient, too chill. people do get things done but it's not on the same kind of schedule that she operates on.
the discussion started b/c ari said that even if he lived 115 years, he couldn't do everything he wants to do in life. 115 isn't enuf, just like 4 years of college isn't enuf, and don't get him started on monogamy. ... becca and i exchanged dubious glances. it seemed he was channeling the 60's idealistic, hedonistic free spirits. get with the times, man: it's about apathy and irony now. isn't it?
at the very least, you have to be realistic. at 115, you probably won't want to go on forever. your bones will hurt, you'll have no teeth, you'll have to wear diapers and feel your body whimper for death like an abadoned dog for its master. you'll be a tax on resources. and even if there are infinite numbers of things to do, places to go, people to see in this life, not all are enjoyable or even edifying. and many will make you wish to die a whole lot sooner.
i don't mean for this to be so gloomy. but the research i've done this summer has shown me that the world is not a friendly place (not that i didn't know that before; i'm just more aquainted w/ the details now.) we should try to have a great time while we're here and even better, try to leave a positive mark on our surroundings, sure. make lots of friends, fall in love, be ambitious, be optomistic even.
don't romanticize it, tho. it seems like the only thing our country truly has faith in is money and that, probably, in large part b/c they don't realize that it's only their faith that keeps the system running. maybe it's a good thing: most wars have been caused by people who feel passionately enuf to kill and die for a cause. (what cause? protestantism? capitalism? ridiculous in retrospect.)

maybe the only people who should be allowed to live to 115 are the ones who can guarantee they will leave this earth better than they found it in some small way. hedonism and/or fear of deat doesn't cut it w/ me. the question is, if you decide to keep living, what are you going to give humanity in return?

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

note to all boys: this is what we have to go through. and to all girls: check it out, it's a trip. calls to mind why i so instinctively fear anything -- needles, pills -- as an invasion. well. anyway. here's to thursday.

last nite, which prompted said journey into cyberspace i.s.o. information, nomi ilana and i gathered at jamie's. jamie is racked by guilt over various pet-the-bunny issues related to pat-the-bunny. we and ben and jerry's tried to help. her little sister, almost 15, was present: jamie in her distraction didn't care. "well, you wanted to know more about my life," she said, laughing helplessly. maybe it was more than she wanted to know but hey, that's what having an older sister is for.

she leaves for london tomorrow. next week nomi goes to israel, liz goes to canada, and tamar goes to europe. annie goes to senegal. on the 11th, ilana and i go to n. carolina w/ my family. becca departs. everyone, in essence, scatters: then, before you know it, we all settle back into our lives in the eastern college diaspora. funny -- we still have a month and i'm already in reflection-mode. how will i be when i return to swat? becca assures me it's startling at first and then you acclimate because you can, because you have before, because you have to. don't worry, she said.
all right, i won't. and i am looking forward to it; it's just that my tendency to develop contentment wherever i am complicates matters sometimes. happy here, happy there ... it makes me feel kind of shallow.

falconridge? anyone have a tent?

Monday, July 23, 2001

hallo world. i have "uncle fucker" from southpark stuck in my head b/c cindy was playing it upstairs.

this morning started w/ a scare. the phone rang about 9:35 while dad walked sheba to the corner and i was checking email before i left for work. i didn't answer it, figuring it would be for dad and he would get the message from the machine. as it turned out, the message was from my mother, crying and incoherent: all we could make out was something about g.w., our hospital.
we grabbed our stuff and rushed down there, calling as we went the admissions desk, the emergency room, anyplace that might have record of her. nothing. we couldn't find her when we got down there and walked from building to building, either. eventually we got thru to her office where her boss richard filled us in: she had had a procedure that she hadn't wanted to tell us about and it went much worse than expected so she headed home. a call from her a minute or two later confirmed the fact. she had called us from the metro station asking for a ride. relieved, my father and i got back in the car and he dropped me off at the office on his way home to see her.
couldn't help but feel slightly responsible, as all i had to do was answer the damn phone and the message would have come thru un-garbled. ah well. at least she's okay.

yesterday, perhaps out of guilt for recently choosing films over books, i eschewed my remaining videos to read My Year of Meats, a very vegetarian novel that disturbed me and made me think a lot about why i chose that route. the change in the means of artistic escapism did not affect my manners: i was just as impatient w/ the people who dared called and disturb me as i am when my movie-watching is interrupted. luckily people (under)stand me.

hung out w/ becca, went foodshopping and drove her home. refreshing as we barely spoke last week.

Sunday, July 22, 2001

god damn it. i had a whole beautiful entry written, then just when i pressed post someone called, knocking me off the internet and wiping the thing clean. grrr ...
well, to reconstruct: i'm now listening to the bootleg ani cd jamie got me -- ah, loveliness: "swandive" "both hands" "two little girls" "independence day" "up up up" and "cradle and all", among others. she presented it to me at the ceremony last nite at annie's party which also featured an anti-aging package from jay and then three themed gifts that escalated in their just shocking inappropriateness: the kama sutra from ilana, a blow-up doll from annie, and lastly the apex of such things. i didn't even have to open the box (from liz) to know what it was. shocking, shocking, shocking. by that point i was almost weeping w/ laughter. ... i adore my friends.
matthew stark and r. block had come by earlier and they stayed for a while. almost immediately ruby removed his shirt. but they didn't partake of the queen mary goodness annie provided -- taught ilana to inhale! -- and they left around midnite. we were thoroughly toasted by that point and stuffed w/ frosting and liz's cookie-cake -- we went to the living room to make like potted plants for a while. i started describing a scene from a book that annie didn't want to hear about b/c it involved cruelty to animals so i compromised by spelling out the offensive verb in sign-language. "K-I-L-L-E-D," said ilana: "kill Ed? why? who's ed?"
"killed, love," i said, and then she joined us rolling on the floor laughing.

then we hottubbed, then slept, then woke to make/eat blueberry pancakes and disperse. missed tamar and nomi. they never made it over b/c tamar, who's parentless at the moment, stalled on norbeck. jamie's dad eventually had to help her.
the other mini-tragedy of the evening occurred when ilana's glasses were sacrificed to the party gods at the paws of annie's spawn-of-satan golden lab, lulu. well, better ilana's glasses than ilana. all in all, 'twas a successful gathering. ari and becca, i think, both return tonite. and wow i wonder if ross is in san francisco by now. (hallo, ross, if you're reading this.) didn't get a chance to talk to him afore he left. well, enjoy. i did.

Saturday, July 21, 2001

estrogen-sprung tears aside (i cried thru sherman alexie's "comedy" smoke signals and then again when the mail came ["no diet coke needed": perhaps -- but it makes a damn good comfort food]) i've been much happier and more relaxed. my father got home yesterday, driving over to pick me up from liz's where i was having shabbes dinner w/ her and ilana. much of the afternoon time, we spent in the kitchen as liz cooked and cooked and ilana sorrowfully recited umd's shortcomings. difficult to gauge what exactly to say. create best combination of encouragement, looking-on-the-bright-side, you'll-be-happy-anywhere w/ Fiske reccomendations? racking my once-glutted mental college directory: have you thought about middlebury? she loves vermont (tho she's never been ...) bates was founded by abolitionists ... or what about haverford? maybe that's me being selfish. that way i'd get her, becca (penn), and ben (u. of a. ) all w/in half an hour's distance.
doesn't matter what i say anyway; she's unhappy and she will be until she shakes it off. i have to stop pretending i can fix anything just by brainstorming the perfect thing to say.

after dinner, to which stacey came too, liz's parents accompanied us to the living room to watch a movie. that's their ritual after a long week: wine, laundry folding, and video. i screwed up of course having brought over neil jordan's the butcher boy, which, tho critically lauded, i hadn't realized is the darkest of dark comedies. strike one for good judgement. liz and i liked it anyway. or i think liz liked it ... hard when the surrounding audience keeps commenting how long/violent/incomprehensible/unwatchable it is.

and despite everything i'm serene? i guess it doesn't make too much sense. still, i am. hopefully can make it to falconridge. i went a couple summers ago while at barnard w/ my then-roomie CA girl christine and much fun was had.
party tonite -- hopefully -- at annie's. then zoo sunday, perhaps. haven't been there in ages and yesterday i was struck by a craving. love the zoo.

Friday, July 20, 2001

listening to ancient, haunting folk music via my aunt. naturally i consulted amazon and only upon finding that both albums had 5-star ratings and glowing costumer reviews did i break open the plastic. i'm such a dip.

last nite around 12 i decided i needed the sleep, which i never get somehow either on weekends or during the week, so i would forsake wifp for a day. immediately after i made the mother-sanctioned decision, ben and liz called: "where were you? we were trying to get you all evening!" i excused myself, citing class and becca and johnny's visit thereafter; they waved that off. "we're coming over," they said. "now?" i said. "now," they said.
who could argue?
i threw on clothes and slipped out of the house as soon as i saw ben's new white pickup (!!), clutching my bag like a runaway.
we didn't do anything crazy; i kept insisting i had to get back soon to go to sleep (see previous self-analysis). we went to liz's porch and sat and talked. we're an interesting combination, we three. liz is my oldest female friend and ben is my oldest male friend. i've been thru a lot w/ them, individually and as a unit. the three of us, along w/ jay and lisa, back in the day, used to cast circles. religious rebellion, yeah; regular rebellion; but mostly an excuse to bond.
they returned me home safely around 2 and i promptly went to sleep.
i was glad of the thing, tho: i hadn't done much bday related stuff yesterday. other activities filled my schedule: running around the hill, first to deliver handbooks to rep.s, then to meet w/ santorum's and spector's L.A.s. the latter, despite his junior-senator status, has a much fancier and more formal office; coincidentally, he's a much more hardcore (read: hellbound) republican. spector actually has a decent record on women's issues and he's co-sposoring one of the bills we were lobbying for.
after that craziness, and catered chinese lunch, i went over to visit mom and read tom jones on a park bench for a while (wisdom therefrom: "... men of true wisdom and goodness are contented to take persons and things as they are, without complaining of their imperfections or attempting to amend them. They can see fault in a friend, a relation, or an aquaintance, without even mentioning it to the partiest themselves, or to any others; and this often without lessening their affection. ... There is, perhaps, no surer mark of folly than an attempt to correct the natural infirmities of those we love.")
Then i caught a 4:20 show of princess and the warrior. that last left me dazed. i love when films affect me physically, when their residue is impossible to shake off.

judah presented me w/ his and adam's present: state and main and rhps on dvd. very sweet. and i got phone calls and/or emails from my boatloads of friends and well-wishers. so thanks, everybody: i feel more-than-adequately loved, natural infirmities'n'all.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

i'm a fool. as it turns out, my piece isn't due tomorrow after all. that means i raced home for nothing; didn't contact becca tho she was nearby; worked myself into a near-frenzy wonderful what on earth i was going to write about ... :-)
(i found this out via johnny of course: desperado1926: have you not read the 201823740812374 e-mails sent?
ishtar42: not read, per se ...)
whoa silliness. anyway. i'm calm. tomorrow i lobby. tomorrow i'll be 19, same as the cereal, same as the day. my aunt sent me revolver, as well as two cds of singer-songwriters she remembers from her own folk-lovin' hayday and a book on dylan that purports to explain the meaning behind each song. really sweet of her: i have the feeling she's reliving her youth thru me. hey, man, whatever works.

my last day of being 18 had -- like every family has -- its ups and downs. ... i just got off the phone w/ ilana talking some stuff thru. hopefully having discussed the issue will help make it go away.
and spending time w/ tamar tonite was wonderful.
the interns and martha threw me a little suprise party at work today. that was really sweet too. really, i just need to resist being moody and critical and over-sensitive and stop scratching my mosquito bites, and life will be dandy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

too tired to write much -- only wanted to mention briefly that (1) my mother returned home late tonite while i was on the phone w/ tamar. i heard vague commotion but couldn't place it. when i emerged from my room, i realized she was in hers, with the lights off. cautiously, deciding i had to risk it, i walked in. "are you okay?" i whispered. "yes," said my mother. "i just had too much wine. and a martini!"
at which point i burst out laughing and more readily approached the bed. my silly mother was affirmatively tipsy, enuf so to repeat an off-color joke that of course i am much too ladylike to repeat here. she was also sober enuf that we could talk some -- not about yesterday, of course; just about general stuff, sufficient to reassure me that she does not in fact hate me and that i could even go so far as to say perhaps that all is well.

also (2) tamar called me just when i had been thinking of calling her and asked me precisely what i had wanted to ask her: for a date. just the two of us, exploring the wonders of rockvellian cuisine. ah wavelengths.

(3) matthew stark bumped into condit today, or so he says: "literally." (i refuse to engage in chandra gossip -- suffice it to say, the woman is either pulling a sheinbein and in the holy land [jay's notion], or pregnant in belize [ilana's grandmother's], or else hidden in a painting somewhere, a la roald dahl's the witches.)

(4) t - 1 days, really, til my day. wow. i'll be 19. ...

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

my mother raised
three children
to be served

paranoid that any of us should
feel overburdened or have
anything done unwell �

which is to say, imperfectly � she did
it all herself: dishes, laundry;
and spent the sunny hours baking

in bad lighting, where petty
office battles and flourescence�s
endless quarrel with aluminum

raged. she wrote briefs
that wouldn�t let her rest, like
her mother-in-law whose mind

had phased back, over her eighty-six years of
midnites, to the lopsided, clumsily-
formed moon of childhood

Why not American rice? she�d
say petulantly evening after
evening when confronted noxiously

with cous cous. My mother strove
not to let impatience show while we children

my grandmother called me "pepi,"
the second name of an unknown aunt
who died young from, my normally unromantic

father tells me, a broken heart:
her husband made her choose between
her ailing, fragile mother,

and him: cruel man: whose heart
wouldn�t give way like a crab under
such a mallet? The subtle lesson

of this was, Don�t intermarry.
I got her name and my mother got
her burden: a mother-in-law

whose damp sighs clouded
the inside of the windows as she and her
dangling armflesh lumbered up and down

the stairs at night, calling "Marge?" Once in my bathroom
on the top floor, she collapsed
and lay like a de-shelled mollusk

on the white tile til the white ambulance came
and white men lifted her onto a white stretcher
and took her away

After that, the waning of her mind accelerated
like a wind-up toy my little brother propelled
toward a wall. She died in a hospital.

My mother never said a word
throughout and if my father grew impatient with
her later, I never doubted he loved her

for that. My mother who lay the
job she wanted, the helping-people job,
on the altar to help us instead

three pampered children who sighed
and bitched and poemed our way
through 13 years of expensive Jewish school

returning home to ask Dad questions
when we had them and inform soapy-
handed Mom what different rabbis

ruled was the proper way to clean.
She invariably listened and she still
feeds the dog first because in sixth grade,

I told her to. Taking advantage of her compulsion
for order, we carelessly left smears and piles
for her to rearrange: in explosions,

sometimes, she reminded us that this
was selfish, and we were contritely diligent
for a while.

she wanted us to be mannered, sociable,
attractive, and polite, but while I hid
from puberty�s invasion in tee-shirt tents,

she allowed me � even as I did
so (reading instead of running, remaining
stubbornly content in my circle

of familiar friends) she called me pretty;
wisely, she kept
her frustrations sheathed.

essentially, she gave me freedom
not leashing me with even modest obligations
to the house

where she whiled away nearly all
of her out-of-office time.
and when I got into my first choice

college, twenty-pounds lighter
between the shedding of weight and angst;
contact-ed, gelled, expressive, Express-ed;

she built a Mayan temple from
the surplus bumper-stickers she ordered
from the school store

but never once said "I told you
so." I�ll be a mother someday � it�s possible,
even likely, but my generation wasn�t raised

to sacrifice like that; to bite our lips
and bide our time -- I don�t know how I�ll handle
motherhood. hopefully better than daughterhood.

and hopefully my mother, a perfectionist
to the end, will instruct me: what rice to cook,
and for how long, and when.

Monday, July 16, 2001

oh hell. today had been going really well: actually doing work at work today made the day go by faster than usual -- then i came home to find an envelope from africa. the contents were nearly unbelievable. the author, presently a member of the peace corps, told me in neat, curly cursive without a single blotted word or awkward sentence that she was a swat alum; since the skool continues to send her our paper, the phoenix, she read my review of amores perros ("love's a bitch"). she complimented me (it) and said that she intended to rent the film at her first opportunity. flattering enuf. then she went on to say that she was the person who interviewed me oh-so-long-ago and that i stuck in her mind as one of her favorites, so she cheered for me when she saw me accepted and is even prouder now to see that i am happily bedded down in my swat-nest. "i know that swat can be stressful and unnerving at times," she concluded, "but i just wanted you to know that you've had someone rooting for you all along, that you made an impression on someone along the way, and that your writing, even in the little old Phoenix, is reaching people in further corners of the globe than you probably ever imagined it would."
isn't that insane?
i was so thrilled i immediately called my mother.

good luck kept on coming: much better emails; hilary and jackie; plans w/ ilana and annie to go to franklyn's for the poetry open mic. when we finally got down there (late, of course) the circle had long-since formed and become un-inclusive. we got a table to ourselves instead and chilled for a while, then made plans to score, rent a new batch of 7, and party at my house. all was blissfully, vanilla-y smooth.
we dashed to my house to check messages, thinking becca or tamar might've called, and instead found a furious message from my mother. i had left her a car in the appropriate place, only apparently the wrong one. ilana annie and i sped off toward friendship heights and passed her, walking -- she waved us on, still fuming. everyone in my family has a tendency toward anger and i figured i deserved it: earler, i had burst out at ilana for something innocuous. karma, dude.

plans aborted. i went to the video store alone and rented another week's worth, but was further dispirited to find that annie hall, harold and maude, and sophie's choice had all mysteriously disappeared. would they ever be replaced? not likely, shrugged the cashier/manager.
how can you argue w/ someone who doesn't care?
i came home and i've been tiptoeing around my mother since. shite, man. that's all i have to say.
my horoscope said that today was my kind of day (and even added an exclamation point [!] for emphasis.) maybe it's my rather suspicious nature, but i always get put off by that. in this case, rightly so. when i woke up, i felt distinctly non-social: despite intentions to round everyone up early to get an expedition together to go to adam's morgan for lunch, i ate brunch at home, stayed in my pajamas, and meandered down to my living room to watch lola rennt. (dubbed, too, those bastards ... )

then people showed up. it took us a while but we finally got our shit together and met jay at his place (where we chatted w/ his mom, who was our lower skool guidance counselor and of whom we all have fond memories.) then we walked. six trodden miles, one margarita, three salads, one chimichanga, 54,321 conversations about food and/or fitness, four recounted dreams, and (for my part) the same two bars of music hummed 67 times, we returned to jay's, bid him farewell, and becca liz ilana and i made it wearily back to my house.

i think everyone's estrogen level was completely out of whack. it must have been. once jamie and tamar appeared, we sat around my kitchen table like a group of goddamned matrons w/ mugs of tea and bowls of raisins and grapes and discussed moon cycles. no, actually, that part was fun. i don't know why i didn't enjoy what preceded it as fully. in any event, we watched fabulous lock, stock, and two smoking barrels. i adore movies that know that they're movies -- which is to say, the work of filmmakers who know that they have a unique medium and under no circumstances have to confine themselves to the simple or even the realistic.

i'm beginning to feel shitty again for being the only one who doesn't run. bah.
poetry tomorrow. hopefully moodiness will have passed.

Sunday, July 15, 2001

oh, the goodness of today was totally removed from the mediocrity that was last week (post mad tuesday loveliness.) friday nite things looked precarious: ilana, becca and i hung out but got into a mood to do something and found that there was nothing to do. went to the silver diner to check whether their midnite movie was worth watching. as it turned out, no. we lounged around in the parking lot for a while, shrugging off ideas; then ilana just returned to her house and becca and i came to mine where, w/o much ado, we went to sleep.

this morning, revitalized, we organized the trip to baltimore which ended up including rick, liz, and jay. the five of us smooshed into rick's car and headed off to this festival. interestingly, as it was held in a fairly ethnic area, we mingled, sweated, and laughed at bad performance art w/ quite a mix of people: black locals and white touristy-looking folks, oldsters and youngish punks. after collecting all the free samples we could hold, both in stomach and in arms, we met up w/ jamie and decided to walk down to the inner harbor. we returned in time to see etta james (or, rather, liz and rick left; jamie and jay wove their way thru the crowd to get w/in viewing range; and becca and i found a farback seat and half-listened to the music while we discussed Marriage and Relationships.)

came back to my house, toyed w/ the idea of going out again, decided against it, and split amicably w/ promises to meet tomorrow for more walking and lunchtime margaritas as rewards. the whole thing successfully distracted me from yucky emails, unsatisfactory phone calls, and peer angst. everyone got along swimmingly: laughter is definitely social lube, and we all have a sense of humor in common. to top it off, i got home and talked to ben. yes, this long distance thing sucks, as do arguments w/o hugs at the end to diffuse the negativity. but i'm glad he's there.

Friday, July 13, 2001

more feminist leadership training today. i'm all for it, but i realized that i'm not as cut out for the whole thing as some of the other girls are. the majority of the interns in this program are driven, mini-businesswomen or politicians: i can envision them on sunday morning talk-show panels and arguing before the senate. they have passion, they have self-assurance, they're smart, they're attractive in that conventional made-up stylish way.
at any rate, this is a unique experience for me. next thursday, my bday, my group is meeting w/ arlen spector and rick santorum and trying to convince them of the virtues of health care equity in the marketplace, making arguments like if insurance companies cover birth control, more women will have access to it and that will result in fewer unwanted pregnancies and fewer terminations thereof [can't use the "a word"]. so really, it's all about family values, not to mention to ultimate financial well-being of the community. [*cough*bullshit*cough*] some statistics: for every dollar the insurance companies pay towards contraception, they and the general community saves $4 - 14 in subsequent costs (dealing w/ the pregnancy, birth, and raising of the child.)
the truth is, men's prescription drugs are covered and it's ridiculous that women -- who earn 75 cents for every dollar a man makes anyway -- have to pay 68% more out of pocket for something as simple as the pill. goddamned puritan sanctimonious prissy country ...

after the program, i met nomi ilana and jamie for lunch at CA tortilla, where i'd never been. no carry-over hostility. nomi's leaving this evening to eventually get to memphis and yoni ("i'm jealous." "why? you always wanted to go memphis?") annie's leaving this weekend too, planning to try her hand at nyc karaoke. more power to her! maybe baltimore for the rest of us; probably small gathering w/ movies tonite. i'm way behind in my watching.
(side note to #32, if you're reading this: damn i miss you. damn. i miss you.)
in honor of nori who finally emailed me today -- among other things, to comment on how weird she looks in my barneys picture. it happens to be true but i think she gives the scene character.

anyway. today was sort of slow and strange, tho it ended well. i felt curiously grape-like; then my mother served a bowl of grapes w/ my grandfather's bday cake and i realized it might have been a distorted psychic signal. on the metro after work, a grumbly young man was ascending the escalator next to me as i was descending. when we were right next to each other, he said clearly and distinctly, "it's your fault." i had no idea what he was talking about, and no doubt he was right.
then fro yo w/ ilana (good)
followed by gentle chiding for having friendships that are too emotionally intense (bad? what? true?)
what does that mean? i don't have melodramatic roller-coaster relationships w/ anyone at the moment. energy and excitement are not synonymous w/ emotional intensity, not that that's even a bad thing. becca and i discussed the issue more while and after i drove her home. (at one point we wondered aloud what returning to skool would be like. i hypothesized that we might return to being on different wavelengths. she responded by "quoting" a typical phone conversation:
-- becca: "so i went to this party --"
-- ester: "so i sat in a crunchy grass skirt eating kasha w/ my vegan friends --"
that being so hilarious that i nearly fell out of my car. but to resume.)
both of us take friendships seriously. maybe, as i was told today, too seriously. i don't know. i don't know what i think. i also tried to create a list of possible careers and couldn't come up w/ nearly anything except 1) advertising, or 2) writer of a) hallmark cards, b) soap operas, or c) porn scripts. rather dispiriting.

baltimore this weekend, anyone? good times good times, i promise.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

in trying to submerge my depression last nite, and just b/c, i finally got al the pics on a thumbnail page. annie gets all the credit for the scanner (thanks, annie). it's only a start: 18 pictures. i'll have to scan more at some point. then i'll think about integrating them further.

talked to rick last nite for the first time in a while; we made tentative plans for this weekend. ari was going to come over and watch something but what w/ my mid-evening possibly-irrational breakdown and my recovery-thru-pagemaking, there was no time. today, after work, a woman from cbs is giving us a tour of the studio. class later. dinner in between, i guess?
i'll have a few empty hours.
i'm reading two novels at the moment, both of which are good: a milan kundera book
called The Farewell Party, and fielding's Tom Jones. the latter i'm reading at work; i haven't found a paperback copy at home tho i'm sure one exists. initially i picked it up to humor/please my father, but i'm actually enjoying it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

wow -- my counter hit 100. yeehaw baby and all right. check it out for yrselves, folks.

i was on a high of sorts earlier; i'm come down since. oddly, happiness didn't depress me, tho it is (as you'll see) a controversial and fucked up film. todd s.'s previous attempt, welcome to the dollhouse, made me want to crawl into a cardboard box and stay in a fetal position for a couple years. this one is definitively better, i think: more interesting, more well-written, sharper, although it veers off into the range of less-believable melodrama a la requiem for a dream towards the end. at least it remains creepy throughout.

maybe i'm so used to going places, being surrounded, feeding off of the momentum that i'm feeling some withdrawal. i have to pick up my mom in twenty minutes. i fought w/ my brother this afternoon but i might write about him for my class. becca suggested my other brother, which i hadn't thought of. i'll probably do one or the other. i might not be able to see tamar for weeks. nomi's leaving for a tour of the south. i don't have plans for my bday yet, tho i'm sure things will fall into place. they just tend to.
my hamstrings hurt, tho they would probably be worse if i hadn't spent two hours in annie's hottub last nite. much of that time was spent playing truth or dare -- the dares were relatively modest, being as it was 12 - 2 a.m. and we were all more mindset to talk than to dance or carol or sit naked in the middle of the water or do obscene things w/ ice cubes. still, it was quality fun. the yard smelled vaguely from the n. carolina fireworks annie set up while we cowered in fear from a safe distance.
when we were thoroughly prunified, we went into the kitchen and annie sliced her father's home-smoked salmon for us and then made us bananas enflambee. they didn't flambee so good but my, were they tasty.
after that, we went to sleep. had to get in our four hours, yessir.

i feel pretty woozy this morning, between the yoga that ilana and i did before (an hour and a half -- it was pretty intense) and the suburban bacchinalian excesses of the evening. it was worth it. lots of good food: ilana jay and i went to mama ayesha's for lunch w/ dyannah and cindy from my office, who subsequently went to get their noses pierced.

today will be much calmer. i am going to go home, watch one (if not two) of my latest 7 rentals, sleep, and maybe return for another, shorted yoga class. (watch me end up w/ liz, liz wilkins, annie, and ilana again. not that that would be a bad thing. we function well as a group despite the fact that, as i noted, we no longer all look alike.) and i haven't seen becca in 30 hrs or something. that must be remedied.
hey, ari finished death kit. excellent. that means i finally get it explained.

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

so my lovely drop-ins yesterday proceeded to proposition me to go to annie's house where i could scan in the pictures i've been meaning to add to the site. these girls waste no time. it's exhilirating being around them, altho every once in a while i feel a pang of guilt/nostalgia for not spending my time w/ the fuelos. but i don't hear from the fuelos as much. i remember last summer becoming irritated often b/c those girls were often busy or tired or simply couldn't get away so we couldn't hang out. the people i'm around most now are the people who're around most: ilana who works here, liz, annie, becca, ari ... it's not just a matter of convenience b/c i so thoroughly enjoy their company. it still strikes me every once in a while as strange.

talked to ben last nite who delicately expressed surprise w/ how free i am in terms of what i've posted on my site. i don't know, is it bad? too explicit? i can't tell -- i'm just fumbling around here, feeling my way. if anyone is ever offended, please, let me know. (i don't mean to imply he was; it just made me think of it.) i would definitely value any input. on the poems too, folks: nothing is a final immutable draft.

mexican lunch today perhaps, then yoga, maybe movie, hopefully party in annie's hottub. ooh baby.
quotes from yesterday: becca: "people from cornel are just like people at penn, only less happy. maybe because they drink less."
ben: "of course i have a sense of humor, you fucking dolt!"
ah, love.

Monday, July 09, 2001

spent this early-afternoon w/ liz at another freedom forum presentation, this one on child slavery in the ivory coast cocoa bean industry. after a panel of journalists showed their slides and discussed their findings (about 2.5 - 3% of the 600,000 family cocoa farms in the region use children who are bought and sold in various markets, then forced to work full days w/o compensation), they opened up the floor for comment. the reaction ranged from outrage from the ivorian ambassador who was, all the same, furious to see his country maligned, to the glossy flat denials of the represenatives of the chocolate industry ("we really didn't know") and their powerpoint solutions to the problem, to state department representatives pointing out that this is a more complex situation than we realize.
that there was controversy surprised and excited me. liz and i agreed that we had expected a pretty routine thing: after all, no one could possibly argue that slave labor, particularly of 9 - 16 yr old children, was a good thing. but a number of issues people raised were thought-provoking and liz and i walked away, mulling and discussing.

she's also thinking of marketing her strip to publications in the area, a la alison benchel's dykes to watch out for. she's using wifp's directory listing of women's periodicals in the area. yay i get to be of service.

ahhhh people just showed up; i get to be a host again. :-) more later then, i guess.
liz's illustration!

Sunday, July 08, 2001

liz has never seen this journal before. she's here now: she and ilana are splayed out on my bed, inaugurating my new real-space notebook w/ doodles. the l.a. confidential soundtrack is keeping us company. i have lovely memories associated w/ this cd.

"i need a jazz musician to just follow me around all day"
-- liz

i love my friends. last nite, after a day in great falls and hanging out w/ johnny and tamar (and an aborted attempt to see godfather I + II), annie ilana ari jamie and i ended up in annie's hottub. i nearly died. (extreme pleasure w/ me is always mentally associated w/ pain ... oh dear ....) it was that awesome. then annie got out and played us folky songs on her acoustic guitar. that's always been a dream of mine, and since she has 1) hot tub, 2) guitar, and 3) a scanner (yes! finally! pictures for my webpage!) i put my hand on her thigh like one of the old men in the bible and solemnly swore that she was my new best friend.

then jamie and ilana slept over at my house -- yay floor --; then brunch; then chilling and time wastage; then becca came over, brimming w/ stories about her crazy weekend. tonite i met up w/ liz and ilana and we watched requiem for a dream and baked fat-free "no pudge fudge" (just add yogurt!) score, baby. depressing movies always make me think about the state of things. in this case, i came down w/ a sudden, unpleasant attack of self-doubt. all my old questions re: the net surfaced: isn't it just self-indulgent? isn't all art? shouldn't we all be doing productive things instead of coddling our precious emotions and desires to express ourselves?
ilana says, what's wrong w/ being self-indulgent?
i don't have an answer for that.
they talk me out of it. i'm not really interested in being seriously depressed so the mood is easy-ish to shake off. but these are real questions and i don't have answers yet.

Saturday, July 07, 2001

surrounded by friends (which is my preferred state of being), i just took the spark's gay test. i started from the assumption that i was a straight female, tho another spark test informed me it was 86% sure i was a man; this one declared me 44% gay.

but i got my first ever chance to formally declare myself a feminist. it probably gave me a few extra gay points. so worth it.

Friday, July 06, 2001

i'm sitting in annie's office w/ ilana. we've been here for hours now. her supervisors are away so we're just chilling, chai-ing, "don't think twice, it's all right"-ing, spying at other windows out of ours ... it's awesome. it's been a good day. i had my feminism workshop where two women came in and coached us on the fine art of lobbying while assuring us cheerfully that no matter what we do, very little if anything will change and even it does it will be over the course of years. their point was that you should keep plugging away anyway but i found it irritatingly frustrating. still, they gave us cookies, so all was good.

ahh, 1200 curfews ...

i walked over to dupont after to check up on liz and was surprised to learn that, as per the discussion we held in bethesda while stuck in the rain, she had quit her mind- and soul-sucking job. that's what i call spur of the moment. also commendable, tho: she made a decision, she took the initiative, she got out of a situation that was making her unhappy. more power to her, that's what i say.

shabbes dinner tonite w/ the family that thinks they never see me. then the weekend starts and people everywhere are making plans plans plans. w/ any luck at all, i'll see tamar, nomi, and jamie ... christ, it's been ages, or that's how it feels.
hey! birthday soon baby. yeahhhhhh.
marc signed my guestbook which means he found me. marco, if you're reading this: howdy, dude.
i'm pumping. i should calm down. or maybe not. :-) as joseph brodsky says, "the grave will render us all alike/ so while we live, at least, let us be various!"
which in my case means hyper.
happy friday everyone. sign my book, let me know you love me. i'll return the sentiment, i promise.

Thursday, July 05, 2001

just returned from my first Sculpting the Story class. it was actually the second meeting for everyone else; i missed the first in favor of non-literary delights in SF. needless to say i don't regret it. i didn't have any trouble fitting in, either, or at least it seemed that way. the teacher is wonderful. the anti-lisa cohen, as it happens, which is not to say the indomitable l. cohen is unworthy or that her lessons were unappreciated. this woman's style is just very different and i think i instinctively respond to it more/better.

tomorrow i have the 3rd -- my 2nd -- meeting of the New Faces, More Voices workshop (motto: "turning the world feminist one co-ed at a time"). hopefully the adrenaline rush from this writing thing will carry over into that. since it starts at 9 a.m. and goes til 1, i can't think of much else that would keep me going. but the first meeting was wonderful and i have continued high expectations for this as well.

johnny drove me home tonite and spoke of a godfather marathon/festival this weekend. that would be wonderful. i'm craving distraction in all its forms: cinematic, classroom, food. it's all keeping me busy, tho not spotlessly happy -- i suppose that's as much as i could hope for what w/ SF all the way across the goddamn country (who designed the bloody thing anyhow?). and on that note, b/c ben gave his blessing thru laughter and liz got all misty-eyed when she read it, here's one of the three poems i've been working on the past few days:

The sun sets,
like a woman gently laying her bruised body
down, over me on the runway
while I think of your next girlfriend:
the lights of the runway forecast the
smart, tidy shine of her hair;
its length, the length of her thighs.
Maybe she will be a fireman�s pole like you:
I�m always shimmying up and sliding down you; maybe she
will simply lie there
Maybe she will not tell you to smile more
or anything so frivolous; she�ll encourage
the growth of a goatee, turn your chin into a
bonzai tree that she can cultivate. She will be spiritual
and serious and tall, so you won�t have to stoop
to kiss her, and composed, so she�ll never laugh
during love when you cover her mouth to stifle
her impassioned �ah�s. She will not �ah.� Perhaps
she will say �Yes.� Perhaps �Precisely!� Perhaps
she will orgasm in japanese. Regardless,
she will be suave.
She will you call Benjamin.
She will not have a stomach like a rabbit curled up
beneath her skin or breasts like pots of water for which
your hands are lids; she will not have a stomach,
and her breasts will be perky-tight like
dashboard dolls. And it goes without saying
she will never wear the same outfit twice.
I cannot compete with her. Superiority is her nature:
it would be foolish to try. You may grow old with her
but Ben, oh Ben, if you want to be young,
come find me in this plane, lost in the night as in
the shadow of a lover leaving, flinging me hours states
months away from you.
holy shit, y'all, i just had my first absolute stranger sign my guestbook. that's just so damn cool that i had to give him a shoutout: jonc.be.tf.
cds to buy once i actually get some money of my own: boys for pele, revolver, if you're feeling sinister, white chocolate space egg -- or does anyone know the best liz phair? i have exile in guyville but ross took one look at it and said that it was an interesting choice but i could do better.
speaking of which, ross is back from alaska. he's made plans already to get to SF (he's dating alyssa) and he's staying longer than i did even so that he can attend area one and go backpacking. it's so funny to remember that life continues in a place once you leave it. ben called me this afternoon while becca ilana and ari were here, feeling shitty, and i immediately felt guilty for having been in a giddy mood. when i returned to the kitchen after speaking to him, ilana told me i always look sheepish when he and i get off the phone.

ilana went to liz's, ari went to a barbeque, and becca came w/ my family and me to mel's. there we drank copious amounts of diet coke and then watched traffic. didn't get all the way thru cause i had to drive becca to a metro station. the plan was to proceed to liz's but traffic dissuaded me, and tiredness, and the desire to call ben, and to go to sleep. i also have (another) poem brewing in my head. for some reason, altho i thought i was going to and i certainly claimed i would, i'm reluctant to sketch on this site. it's too public a forum for drafts, i think -- ? anyway, it's about potatoes :-) if you're interested enuf, email me and i'll send you a copy. or at least a thank you note for yr attention. i also wrote one yesterday but i kind of want ben's okay before i post it on my site.

it's hard but i'm trying to take in only what's right around me, not to think about the two months ahead of me or even the week i just had. sheba smells (she's next to me, breathing heavily onto the bathroom tile). becca outlined her life's plan for me this evening, then demanded mine. i could only stammer vague ideas, like apprenticing myself to avy kaufman. unfortunately that would be locating myself in hollywood which, tho i might very well want to end up in movies, would be good for my self-esteem only in the sense that i would doubtless soon be the thinnest i'd ever been.
and may i add, it's wonderful to be back on my computer using IE 5.0 again. goddamn netscape in the berkeley library irritated me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2001

christ, i'm tired. i never found an adequate notebook in SF so i'm stuck staring forlornly at the last blank dirty page of my present one -- one page left, can you believe it? this thing lasted me less than a year. i started it 9/29. (amusing enuf, on 9/29/00, i wrote, "another high point of the day: i ran into the illustrious matt rubin by the cereals. he complimented my presentation at the poetry slam, said i was clearly a performer and an extrovert. i laughed and told him i wasn't, but it had been nice to pretend for 5 minutes or so.
and it was nice." yeah, as i remember it, it was: i won a prize, a little plastic horse and a sheet of alphabet stickers. but see now, i wouldn't say "nice" -- ben wouldn't have it -- and i would have laughed at matt rubin and said of course i was an extrovert. have i always been one or is it a recent development? hmm ....

anyway, that was a tangent. the point is i'm home, two plane rides (with, again, no veggie food) later, weary and feeling rather dull. whole days of travel in which i only hear what others say and have no meaningful interaction have a deadening effect on me. but yesterday was fun: after a fruitless attempt to meet up w/ alyssa for lunch, ben and i went into the city, determined to conquer it on foot. i have to say, we did a decent job: started at the bart station at powell, hiked up to chinatown, wound thru chinatown and north beach (the view from which reminded me so much of jerusalem that i had to continually stop and make weak, whimpery noises) all the way to fisherman's wharf, where tourists thronged for no discernable reason. then we walked along the coast and down chestnut street almost to the bay bridge to the exploratorium. i wish i could have enjoyed it more but a nasty headache that had been sending warning signals all afternoon finally bore down hard and ben had to guide me outside so i could lie down and wait for the pain to get bored of banging around my brain and move on. luckily beautiful weather and ben's pooh stories accelerated the healing process and before long i was steady enuf to retrace our steps and even see a.i., a film which is as muddled as you'd expect kubrick via spielberg to be. i mean, lord: kubrick's bleak worldview and obsession w/ sex and robots and spielberg's crowd-pleasing sentimental platonic-love stories are like oil and water. in this case, the oil is much more interesting than the water and i came away frustrated, wishing that more time had been spent exploring the darker side of the elaborate fantasy-future. the disney-esque part we've all seen thousands of times, altho admittedly it is visually stunning.

tomorrow is the fourth. i don't have concrete plans yet -- but i've scarcely been home an hour. what can i say? that was one of the fastest weeks in recent memory. my parents both met at the airport and fussed and hugged so extensively that it seemed like i'd been gone ten times as long as i had. well. it's over. happy independence day everyone.

and #32, goodnite.

Monday, July 02, 2001

i'm going to cry. i had the equivalent of like a 5 page entry and right before i was about to post it, i pressed some button and the screen went blank. fucking bastards, that's all i have to say. i don't have the energy to recap the whole damn thing and anyway we're about to go to lunch.

essentially: having a wonderful time (good)
going home tomorrow (very very bad)
saw come and see (excellent disturbing and induces a lack of faith in humanity)
am going to chinatown (yummy);
had blackberry pie; watched short circuit 2, hamlet;
went walking yesterday outside my comfort zone;
read becca's site (yay becca!);
dropped the other becca off at the airport for hong kong;
and bought a new bag (white. rather unnerving but i'm getting used to it.)

all in all, life is silly-wonderful and i have to go continue to live it rather than writing about it (FOR THE SECOND TIME).