Friday, August 31, 2001

i've been out of commission. paint fumes, lysol, sweat, w/ one or two scented candles throwing their weight around -- that's the smell of the barn where i've been spending nearly all my waking hours, to the extent that coming to campus is a Big Deal. just today, after lunch on the porch, ross and i decided to Come to Campus, and we had to get dressed, redo hair, grab bags, and smooth the butterflies in our stomachs. and i'm only barely exagerating.
still, tho we have much left to do, the barn reflects the effort we've been putting in. our common room is now a bright peach; the trim will soon be cream. my room looks more acceptable (i.e.: more like me.) my mattress came as promised, tho we have yet to get phone service (may verizon grow like a turnip w/ its head in the ground and its legs in the air.)
mostly the thing that's restored my optomism and nearly-immortal good cheer -- so alarming absent the last time i wrote -- was ben's arrival. our reunion happened in public, coincidentally, and was witnessed, if not applauded, by the whole freshman class. i can't even put into words the relief, the just general gooey happiness i felt to be w/ him again. two months is two long.

meetings start tonite. classes, monday. stress, soon -- i can already smell it in the air, like you can smell storms. i'm doing my best not to let things phase me. w/ any luck, all this craziness will sort itself out. everything ... will be ... okay.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

FROM MCCABE (the swarthmore library): isn't that tremendously exciting? i don't know about you but i'm quivering w/ antici-- [say it! say it!] --pation.
maybe that was too sarcastic. i'm tired. it's hard to think straight: i've been inhaling soft scrub fumes all day. i woke up this morning at 7:15, alone, in a blue room that didn't feel like mine, alone, looking at a corner that seemed IKEA-perfect: neutral-colored desk, see-thru wastebasket, grey computer inoffensive enuf to look like a catalogue decoy. alone. my mother had fallen asleep next to me and i knew she was planning on leaving earlyearly morning, but i expected to wake up when she did to say goodbye. i didn't, and there are few things more depressing than being one person in a bed when you had hours before been one of two.

i just sat there for a while. i wrote. eventually i pulled out the book i was reading, got a bowl of dry cereal from the kitchen and curled up w/ my husband chair. that satisfied me for a while except that the book i was reading didn't agree w/ me. it's supposedly a scathing indictment of academia and political correctness; a satire; a sharp, perceptive character study. i just found it exhausting. worse, the author's writing style reshaped my thoughts for the next couple hours -- that always happens -- and drove me mad. but the barnies awoke and we met, talked, planned. becca and i scrubbed.
right now the rest of them are grocery shopping. i was not so enthused. the prospect of abadoning myself
to the internet seemed much more appealing. i'll rejoin them later. i wish i were happier. that'll come later too, i guess, perhaps w/ the bunny, who has yet to hop onto the scene. or perhaps not. but somehow i doubt i'll be terminally sad here. the smell of disinfectant and paint will fade. so will (perhaps concurrently) my memories of summer.

Monday, August 27, 2001

i got all moody this evening when liz jay and i went to umd to tuck lana into her new life. actually she needed no help from us. unexpectedly, her room has sufficient space for four people -- it's light blue and they've done a sweet job decorating and aside from the lack of air-conditioning, it seems very functional. jamie was there to meet us too. she and lana both seemed very settled. nomi joins them tomorrow.
i'm not sure why i got upset. maybe it was just the whole summer's-ending thing. it was a damn good summer. one can be relatively certain about the past and just as certain that there are no guarantees for the future. i don't know why i'm so timid. it'll be different! it'll be new! it'll be exciting! but when i look beyond tomorrow morning (packing car, driving off) all i see is white space. a page to be filled in and not-so-much by me.
bah. at least i'm not too stressed from packing: i've pretty much got everything under control. the only thing is i don't remember what size bed i have in my room so i don't know what size sheets, comforter, &c. to bring. i tried calling but the phone isn't plugged in yet (note to all thinking of contacting me by phone: call the cell. i'll have it w/ me and yes, i remembered to pack the recharger so it'll continue to work and continue and continue like that goddamned energizer bunny.) speaking of bunnies, that's something to look fwd to -- i talked to him tonite; he tried to calm me down. futile. but fun. :-) he advised finding something to punch.
it'll be okay. everything always is.
i have the liz phair song stuck in my head: "go on ahead":
You go on ahead, honey
You have a good time there
You make me feel funny
I'm no ordinary lover or friend

I believe we have things to do
I believe in myself and I believe in you
I believe when I sleep you are near to me
I believe when you sleep I am near to you

You walk out of the room with your hands so deep in your pockets, I don't
Recognize you
You say you're a ghost in our house and I realize I do think I see through you

It's a death in our love that has brought us here
It's a birth that has changed our lives
It's a place that I hope we'll be leaving soon
And I fear for the year in his eyes

And it goes around in circles: one night is lovely, the next is brutal
And you and I are in way over our heads with this one, it's hard
To admit it, but you hold me and I can't feel you
We hurt but we smile
I promise I'll make it back when the summer has warmed me awhile

hmm, i've done much quoting recently ...
anyway, til i can update again, everyone, have a wonderful nite and a last few wonderful moments of summer.
Damn everything but the circus!
...damn everything that is grim, dull,
motionless, unrisking, inward turning,
damn everything that won't get into the
circle, that won't enjoy, that won't throw
its heart into the tension, surprise, fear
and delight of the circus, the round
world, the full existence...

e.e. cummings
(courtesy of hanging on)

also, a link: this guy is one of the smoothest writers i've come across on the web so far: the bleat. i guess that's cause he writes a column for a living.

shit, man, i just revamped all the poetry pages, including the poetry page itself. give it a look, wouldja? i have a cramp in my side from sitting in the same position for 2 hours. but it looks a lot cleaner and more professional, i think.
thanks to becca for the tip about the frames; to liz for the tip about the colors; and to rob for the emailed kiss on the cheek.

i'm okay, if you get me at a good angle
and you're okay, in the right sort of light
we don't look like pages from a magazine, but baby
that's all right; baby, that's all right ...

let's show 'em all how it's done:
let's do it all imperfectly

-- miss ani

Sunday, August 26, 2001

i wrote a whole thing before that blogger erased when it crashed. ah well. it was basically a paean to bjork, whose new album is coming out tuesday (right, ross?) i quoted "pluto":

excuse me

but i just have to

explode this body
off me

wake-up tomorrow
brand new

a little tired

but brand new

i made some mention of my general uneasiness. tuesday is only days away. that's unsettling. lana's already at skool. so's becca. annie goes tomorrow. tamar and i go thereafter. liz and i spent the nite at donny's -- we hadn't seen her all summer. college has made her a little tougher, it seemed. more sarcastic? she's still a great person, someone i wish i saw more often. luckily ours is a friendship not contingent on contact.

my mom and i were reading personals ads this morning. it's frightening how depressing those are. one man's in the bottom corner of the magazine in red declared himself authoritative and wanted a petite, pretty, feminine woman. seriously. another was from a "mr. mom" w/ a kid looking for "a wife". the ad described him and the child, and for the goals of the relationship, he had "pregnancy" listed first. his kid needed a sibling. so why wasn't his kid placing an ad? or why doesn't he just adopt and get a maid?
another in the top left corner, boxed off so it looked important, was a divorced man, 56, looking for a woman between 37 and 44, white, rich, attractive, petite, feminine. fool: all the white rich attractive petite feminine women are married by 37. hell, they're married by 22.
all of them said attractive; most said finanically secure; all of them said white. one said "intelligent" but he was talking about himself. nearly all were divorced. i couldn't help but wonder where their wives were now. sipping daquiris in fiji, rolling their eyes under their gucci sunglasses at these pushy, shallow personals ads? hocking the china? or pawing thru a pocketbook on the aisle at safeway, and realizing there isn't enuf change?
my mother asked me how i'd describe myself in a personals ad. i laughed off the question. "dorothy parker seeks robert benchley," i said. "anyone who gets the reference would be all right w/ me."

saw six feet under last nite. amazing how real the actors look. writing cinematography &c. all quality. everything is two degrees from death in that show. everyone's job, everyone's significant other and preoccupation. they talk to ghosts. it's transfixing stuff. too bad the barn does not come equipped w/ hbo.
oh, and i redid the first of my poetry pages. if i get positive feedback on the design, i'll proceed w/ the others. check it out and let me know, would you?

Saturday, August 25, 2001

all right: top five modern filmmakers:
darren aronofsky
brothers coen
tom tykwer
guy ritchie
lars van trier
(altnerate: wong kar-wai)

i saw snatch last nite. i laughed at everything that was funny, amusing, ironic, or well-done, so by the end, my stomach hurt. who was it recently told me that i laugh too much at movies? i guess if you count m. van trier's films, i cry too much too. and flinch: during the fight scenes, i was reacting (like always) like i was being hit myself. liz told me she's never seen anyone so sensitive. damn straight: years ago, i used to have to leave the room during Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when the others made fun of rafael too viciously. i have a very clear memory of standing behind my family room's door, crying quietly, while my brothers cheered along w/ the tv inside.
yes, let's a have a moment of silence for that, shall we?
now when liz returns from running we're meeting lana and annie for brunch. she told me i talked in my sleep last nite. i was amazed -- that's a first. (the talking, not the amazement.) all i remember from my what i dreamt was that something was wrong w/ my website (god i'm a dork) and that i kept having to take refuge from the rain by ducking into strange places. in one of them, these people were cooing over me and wanted to polish my feet and i was begging them not to.

Friday, August 24, 2001

this is ridiculous. i have to take a shower, make lists of things to take to skool, make collages, make ilana's box, and all i'm doing is playing goddamn 3d pong. it reminds me a lot of jezzball which i got bored w/ eventually (*cough*a year*cough). i almost always have some computer game fixation. first semester it was Freecell. second, minesweeper (fastest expert time: under 100 seconds). my little brother masters those complicated death-by-gun games that involve blood and burly men grunting as you blast thru their chests. i don't have sufficient aggression. but these small, frustrating games engage my competitive spirit. or maybe just my propensity to procrastinate.
silly the things that make me happy. i'm sitting in sweatpants and a fir-green shirt i bought 2nd hand, chewing gum, listening to tori, pondering reggie's entry. and i'm perfectly happy. i got off the phone w/ tamar: we were reminiscing. william called my poetry "groovy". something could go wrong. i mean, come to think of it, i'm getting sick of the taste of nutrasweet -- and when i go thru too many pieces too quickly, i start flushing and that can't be good. i could get a headache. i could remember that i only have four days left to be the charming, easy person i am at home. reggie's entry hit the nail on the head (forgive the cliche). we don't have personality mirrors, tho we wish we could, or i do anyway. i was flipping thru girl, interrupted by miss kaysen (who went to [swat]becca's skool) and noted w/ interest how she had xeroxes of her therapists' diagnoses of her as she progressed.

i'd love that.
i mean, of course not the crazy part. but diagnoses, honest reads by objective folks. that'd be great.

question: should i fuss w/ javascript? is it worth it? i finally figured out how to do a drop-down menu; but should i? what say you?

Thursday, August 23, 2001

two sites i've found on my random circlings today are really worth mentioning: (titled Catharsis? it's hard to tell), b/c she posted a lovely sylvia plath poem i'd never encountered before, and bouillabaisse for the soul, b/c he raised my eyebrows and made me laugh (the man put his IQ up on his About page!) anyway, it seems like original content.
i find a lot of these, bookmark about half, and return, continually interested, only to a few. it's hard trying to compile a good set of links. it's also mildly disheartening coming across people whose designs are so much more sophisticated and whose fanbases are so established. some folks write two lines and get nine comments, just like that. but i shouldn't complain: it's moving, however slowly.

almost all of today was spent sitting on the linoleum next to my grandmother's bed, holding her hand like it was a vase. i've never seen her so thin -- she must have lost thirty pounds this summer and she never had much spare flesh on her; she's too thrifty for that -- but i tried not to let the dismay show. her face, unlike the rest of her, reassuringly looks mostly normal. i imagine that's a good sign.
we entertained her, bought her sherbert and bananas, conversed. i made a joke about bringing her harry potter b/c she was too weak to read the john adam's hardback she was in the middle of. somehow it ended up getting taken seriously and my father brought the thing along w/ him when he arrived. hey, whatever. as i told her, if she likes it, she can see the movie in november.
at quarter to five, i left to go to the dentists. like all college students, i had to do my lastminute checkup before heading off to skool. unlike most, i think, i'm lucky enuf to not have any problem w/ my wisdom teeth. i was petrified he'd tell me they needed to come out -- i've spent the last year teething, sometimes painfully -- but he said if i'm content w/ them, he'll leave 'em where jesus flung 'em. content, hell -- i'm ecstatic. this year, even if they were occasionally a nuisance, they did some good: they inspired a poem or two. i wrote this first semester when i was melodramatic over boy #1: fifth column
I�m growing a new tooth:
I feel it thrusting like a tulip through hard,
February earth: even
when I try to dwell on other things, my tongue
meanders back: you distract me: dark,
intense, and out of place: you are
throwing the rest of me out of sync:
black tulip white tooth, only a surgeon
could remove, stubborn
in the shadowy corner of my mouth:
you frighten me: you feel
less alien to my prodding tongue
every day: you are thriving
even in this crimson, hostile land: I wonder
at a surgeon�s hand
which of us when pulled
will yield. (fall 2000)

it was published in, uh, one of those silly lit mags i write for ... damn, now i've forgotten which. i think small craft warnings.
ooh, ben just called. and laughed at me for saying i was posting. and derailed my train of thought. blame him.
i dreamt last nite that i was living in a barn-type arrangement (a series of rooms) w/ my parents; ilana and ellen, from swat, who shared a room; ben; and mariah. for some reason, ilana and ellen and mariah were always fighting and i was trying to mediate; and ben was always off by himself. i remember thinking he was taking me for granted and getting upset.
at some point, i went into his room and we lay down together and everything righted itself. i was so relieved the only thing i could do was breathe.
then my mom came in and got upset b/c i was wearing a shirt that said "i love cock" in pictures, like the shirt that townie was wearing at falconridge. i turned to ilana, who had also come in, and said, "at least i'm not wearing the fuzzy strawberry shirt."

my grandmother's in the hospital. it's not terribly serious; they suspect legionnaires disease. we're going to visit her in a minute. i have to get dressed. i hope she's all right: the woman is 88 and strong, capable, independent. she had my grandfather by her side all morning as they tried to get her into a bed. they've been married over 60 years. it's incredible. they keep each other in shape, they take turns taking care of each other. my family is lucky enuf to live really close to them in d.c. so we see them every week.
babbling. sorry. time to hop down to GW again.
why am i the only one who likes female poetry?

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

the best things, i've just realized, are done w/ your hands. typing, turning pages, twirling your hair, touching people -- hmm, those all begin w/ "T". a coincidence, i swear. the best foods are what're eaten w/ your hands too: dry cereal, muffins, carrots ... casual food, stuff you can lick off if necessary.
these are the conclusions an afternoon in front of a computer leads one to. :-) august is a slow month.

i've also been looking at kat's quote page. it's an astoundingly comprehensive list. another that i've always liked is melanie's.

on the subject of quotes, one from last nite: "you only name things that are going to die" -- liz. ponder that.
this is the funniest thing i've seen today: discussion w/ a magic eight ball. his comment of yesterday was as controversial as that is amusing. he mentioned how he didn't like women writers, which i would take offense to except that he declared web-friendly females exempt. okay, maybe i could take offense anyway, but i don't know even know him and it's not as if he's read my poetry specifically and rolled his eyes. i asked what his problem is -- is it that he can't relate? that's always what i assume it is. i feel like most people who say they don't like a general thing, like women's writing or scandinavian film or the internet (hi annie :-)), simply have problems identifying for one reason or another. often all they need is exposure to something that doesn't fit their stereotype and their minds expand like so much baked dough.

yanni's piano recital is tomorrow, not today. fine. liz leant me survivor by chuck palahniuk (sp?) and now that i'm done w/ tom jones, i have space in my bag for it.
there's a meme for you: if you carry a bag around most of the time, what's in it?
mine: a black cvs notebook and a mechanical pencil; a green 40-year-old's wallet that once belonged ot my mother and a ballpoint pen; a soft-blue change purse, which was a gift from ari last year; survivor; my cellphone; two hair things; about 40,000 Trident wrappers; 40,000 movie ticket stubs; and 40,000 receipts. characteristic? you be the judge.
i haven't internetted from the downstairs computer in ages. it's strange: very nostalgic. i had a number of early michael conversations here and emails w/ becca. anyway.

my father and i just returned from lunch at green papaya, a new vietnamese restaurant in bethesda. we played the word game on the paper covering the tablecloth and i won w/ 76 points. i can't remember the last time i got 76. i beamed into my tofu.
tofu! yet another food i didn't use to like.
after that, we got my mother, whose birthday it is, a cake (it is also miz parker's -- yet could there be two more different people in the world? i ask you.) it's as beautiful a day as we get in d.c. in august and i'm just so goshdarn cheerful about it all. last nite, jamie tamar lana liz and i gathered at lana's to drink tea, light candles, and sit in a circle, chatting. oh it was wonderful. why? who knows? sometimes the stars are just aligned.

speaking of celestial bodies, i heard yesterday that when i arrive in sweden, there will be only about eight hours of sunlight per day. the good news is that it will increase as i'm there. but the question remains whether i'll be strong/stable enuf to deal w/ cold weather, no sunshine, and all that foreign-ness. ... yuck.
whatever. i'll talk to m. piker when i get back to skool. there's no point worrying about it yet. i'm in too good a mood and i have to get to yanni's to listen to him play piano.

Monday, August 20, 2001

banana nut muffins. yet another food i only recently discovered i like. also, butter pecan yogurt which i tried when lana, my dad and i were doing our one day, full blast, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. automobile tour of n. carolina. our ostensible destination was this cute small town where my greatgrandfather once lived and ran a store. he chose well: of all the places we passed thru and stopped, that was the prettiest and seemed the most live-able. one corner boasted that it was the birthplace of pepsi-cola, which i don't drink but do have stock in. (the stock market's a funny thing. my mom's father basically plays for the whole family: he buys us shares as well as himself. every once in a while, he'll present me two hundred shares of some company i've never heard of ["sun microsystems? what do they do?"]. but he chooses well. except for the one time, like thirty years ago, when someone proposed that he buy jointly w/ them the land next to a bourgeoning theme park in orlando. "disneyworld?" he said. "ridiculous. that'll never get off the ground.")

uch -- family fighting downstairs. in nine days i'll be back at skool. ben laughed at me today for being nervous. yes, finally, after three (?) days of unsuccessful attempts to get in touch, he called on the cell phone as i was heading home from tamar's. i missed the initial call but pulled onto a sidestreet, parked, called him back, and sat in the grass by my car for the next hour or so. attracted some strange stares and some run-of-the-mill honkings. it was worth it.

my roomiestonite liz and annie (who're home, altho i haven't been able to get in touch w/ them yet) are going w/ lana and me to see annie hall at the NIH film festival. i think tomorrow is willy wonka, which makes me think of (swat)becca. her time is winding down in hong kong -- maybe she's even done. she's heading to the barn on the 27th; ross is getting back around then. gaaa, the future approaches. i should march to meet it, proudly and in anticipation of adventure! i hate exclamation points but the word "adventure!" seems to demand one.

oh, speaking of adventures, adam dad and i saw apocalypse now redux yesterday. for some reason, i liked it better than any time i'd seen it previously. i'm not sure why: i don't think the additional footage contributed greatly to the narrative or to the viewer's understanding of the film. the french plantation sequence was pretty awful. it might be that i've become acutely aware of how important sound is since a.i. aronofsky is a master (maestro?) at using sound to maximum effect -- his work resonates partially b/c of its score -- and a. now is similarly breathtaking.
my brother and my father of course had to fight on the way home about what the movie means. i'm not convinced that it means anything. war is crazy; people when pushed can do crazy things; sanity is subjective; paganism is tempting; wagner makes your heart leap up and applaud in your throat. what else? why am i/ are people so enthralled?

Saturday, August 18, 2001

once it was searching colleges; now cities. here're what says are the best places for me to live. the list favors connecticut, oregon, and, oddly enuf, maryland. interesting. some of these cities i've never even heard of.

present discussion w/ tamar: what does it mean to be a liberal intellectual? am i more liberal than she is? i used to dislike the word -- i think mostly b/c my father did. certainly i aspire to be an intellectual; i don't know if i qualify yet. to me it's high praise. just liking books, music, arts stuff does not an intellectual make; nor does being able to mangle quotes.

(me) ishtar42: what is an intellectual anyway?
(tamar) tamari2: i don't kow
tamari2: know rather
tamari2: someone who enjoys their intelligence, to the point where sporting it is one of their hobbies
ishtar42: but that sounds so pretentious
tamari2: not sporting then -- exercising.
ishtar42: i still think that sounds pretentious.

*shrug* the discussion continues ... meanwhile, more interesting dialogue over at rabi's.
ohhhhh wonderful wonderful computer ... i could kiss you, i could, if you weren't so primly unresponsive.

music: "mr. right now" from the nields. good to listen to stuff i don't have on cd, just from now-defunct napster (you have to update? what the hell? i assume it's part of the grand scheme to eventually deprive us of all our music. ah well. you were good while you had the opportunity to be, napster.)

i'm distracted. surely there are things to say, they're just escaping me at present. ben and i have been playing phone tag since early yesterday, which was six-months-of-what day. that priceless phrase was coined by miss lana and it made me think. what an odd relationship it's been: the first three months we were together, and then an equal amount of time we were across the country from each other. hands down, the separation was more difficult. do all bunnies find it so? since june, i have:
developed an antipathy to telephones;
visited CA for the first time;
missed someone -- really missed them;
loved reciprocally;
and dealt w/ the opposite, an emotional vaccuum that scared me until i remembered the horror of prolonged wednesdays.
it's been eye-opening. six months of what indeed.

beach was lovely. our good luck w/ the weather lasted, as did miss lana's and my psychic connection. our emotions/desires continued to coincide: when we wanted to beach, we beached; when we wanted to porch, we porched (i got much excellent reading done: in america by sontag blew me away, and i'm three-quarters done w/ tom jones.) towards the end, family relations got a little strained and everyone's patience w/ joanna was pretty much smoke and ashes. lana handled it all admirably, never once losing her cool, for which i'm grateful.
i'm so lucky to have this group of friends ... i returned home to a letter from becca that made me say "aww" outloud and repeatedly. lana and i parted over sweet words. and i made a full list of other similar type occurrances but blogger just erased it all. luckily i had saved everything up to that last line so not too much disappeared. i don't feel like going thru it again; suffice it to say, the gods are indulgent and i appreciate it.
i'm scared to return to swat. i'm always scared to leave wherever i am. damn i'm a wuss. it'll be fine. of course it will.

as to net fellows: dacicle let me know i'm missed, and kat wrote heart-fluttery things about me on her site and in my book. i wonder what will change over the fall. not that there's any point in wondering. all right: i wish then for this fall to be as interesting and enjoyable in unexpected ways as this summer was. is. it's not over yet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

i only have a few minutes -- naturally, in a hurry, i'm drawing a blank. ilana and i are in the tiny rectangular room that serves as the library here. as far as i can tell, they have childrens books, a few magazines, and Grey's anatomy. clearly, the essentials.
but they also have two computers which you can use for thirty minutes and i'm grateful. last nite i fell into a mild funk for the first time. when my mother asked me why, i said maybe i was in withdrawal. aside from that negligible dip and the spots of sunburn in rather uncomfortable places (one rarely thinks of putting lotion where one assumes the sun's hands would be too respectful to roam) i'm having a wonderful time. if my intuition can be relied upon, ilana is as well. adam has four friends here who i think irk her by talking to me -- but then, they know me, if only as the little sibling they've tormented in the past. mel and joanna are here as well. they're family friends: mel is my dad's age and joanna is adam's. she and ilana are like polar opposites which at least one of them (guess which!) realizes. the craziness just keeps things interesting. the boys left to go fishing this morning. ilana and i decided to go driving. everyone so far has been doing their own thing and not getting in anyone else's way.
there isn't too much else to report. we've gotten a lot of sun, ingested a lot of salt water, hottubbed, eaten rugalach, missed our dearly beloveds from whom we're removed, and watched movies. what else could you ask of a vacation?
last note: i dreamt last nite about my berkeley-bound boy. it was a dream-that-knew-it-was-a-dream: he came to visit at the beginning and hugged me goodbye at the end. but i nearly woke up in tears. (hi, bunny, if you're reading this. i'll give a call back at thouse.)
to the rest of you: adios, and i'll see you soon. make sure you return in one piece.

Saturday, August 11, 2001

music: swinger's soundtrack. would make me want to get up and dance, if only i knew how. alcohol is a great tutor but that's more a party-at-skool thing than an at-home-at-midnite-wearing-pajamas-w/-a-little-black-bow thing. i have to be content to just type in sync w/ the beat.

oh man i'm going to miss blogging over the next week. i feel like i've spent half my waking hours online since i stopped working for martha. it's addictive: creating, maintaining, promoting, searching, reading, commenting. *phew* but it's rewarding. i always wanted a virtual community. a few years ago, i tried to get into the message boards at it didn't work so well b/c all they wanted to talk about over there was how hot leonardo dicaprio was. these were 40-ish housewives and i just couldn't compete.
becca will remember this: i met a guy on the boards who i got really excited about. well, "met" is an exaggeration: researched and exchanged a few comments w/ would be more accurate. still we seemed so similar. that was a warning. i should have known that after that, it was only a matter of time til i actually got into a significant entanglement w/ an internet boy. remind me to tell that story at some point ... (or hey, michael, if you're reading this, feel free to tell the story from yr p.o.v.) here's a taste. there's much more to it than that.

anyway, for the loyal 5 of you for whom the loss of notebook for a week is tragedy just short of bush-presidency proportions, here is a list of links to occupy you in the interim. these are sites i've come across recently that i found interesting, engaging, entertaining, or worthy of a glance:
of course there are also all the links to the left.
so if i don't get to talk to all of y'all while i'm in n. carolina, enjoy yr week. feel free to sign the book, email, comment. let me know i'm missed.

Friday, August 10, 2001

what fresh hell is this? -- dorothy parker. absolutely right, reggie, thanks. i can't believe i forgot that.
my house is an absolute mess right now. electrical failures (downstairs computer, fax machine) compounded by leaving-tomorrow stress, constant phone calls, blown tires (poor becca), dinner preparations, dog vomit, torrential rain; all soothed of course by chai. well, for me, anyway.

what is it w/ august?me hugging copenhagen

oh, and this is a riot: dacicle linked to me, which is flattering, and declared me a boy, which is less so. to clear up all confusion: ester = female (altho not according to the spark). look, i swear: here i am:
i don't know who i am but you know life is for learning ... why is that one of the most beautiful songs ever written? don't worry about answering; it's a rhetorical question.

so tomorrow morning, to north carolina until the 18th. miss lana comes w/, as do (get ready for this) 4 of adam's friends, our family friend mel and his daughter joanna. that makes 12 of us in a house for 6. i guess someone can sleep in the hottub.
it's supposed to rain the whole time too. oh man is this going to be insane. i'm bringing lots of books and a good pair of earphones. that should do it. ilana's chill (lana and chill in fact are synonymous) and she and i should be low-maintainance. it's everyone else i'm worried about. ah well. what would i be w/o worry?

meme (from wockerjabby):
three things i see:
  • little plastic box of thumbtacks overflowing w/ two strings of jolly's mardi gras beads and a bracelet i bought during my summer in nyc a couple years ago
  • my smartwhore button and the gore/leiberman button i was trying to affix it to
  • ten women who shook the world -- a book we had to read for fiction that i now use a mousepad

three things i hear:
  • adam watching lock stock and two smoking barrels in his room
  • "the circle game" -- joni's just wrapping it up
  • the rain getting more and more passionate outside

three things i feel:
  • the bottom of my jeans which got wet from walking thru puddles in georgetown earlier
  • the carpet under my bare feet (i hate wearing shoes indoors)
  • a little apprehensive about this n.c. trip

Thursday, August 09, 2001

another survey, this one courtesy of pandora's boxers: In the last week have you...

Cried? yeah, from that ny times article
Helped someone? hopefully
Bought something? today: diet coke, diet pepsi, columbo frozen yogurt, and a spinach knish
Not known the answer in class? i don't make a policy of that :-)
Dissected something? not literally
Cut your hair? no, but i tear it out all the time. trichotilomania.
Worn a skirt? yes. well, two slips, actually.
Worn a tie? uh, no
Been mean? *sigh* probably, but i didn't intend to be
Been sarcastic? *scornfully* sarcasm is the lowest form of humor.
Been horney? who on earth spells "horney" w/ an "e"? sheesh.
Sung? today in fact, walking down the street. if you're going to get looks anyway, you may as well do something to deserve them
Gone for a run? no --> see #1
Gone for a walk? of course
Gone to the movies? tomorrow: apocalypse now redux. the new yorker went crazy about it; i hope it lives up to the hype
Gone out to eat? sushi yesterday
Felt stupid? being w/ johnny reminds me that i'm not as smart as he is
Said "I love you"? yes
Written a real letter? what, like "A"?
Written a paper? does a rant count?
Taken a test? personality test: i'm a journalist (idealist something or other. it means i'm paranoid.)
Met someone new? not really
Written in a journal? adam: you keep a diary? me: i call it a notebook. adam: so you take notes on what happens during the day. ... sounds like a diary.
Watched your favorite movie? no, but i did see some good ones
Given someone a present? only the gift of my company
Had a serious talk? ha. of course.
Hugged someone? virtually hugged jamie; was hugged by my writing teacher as i left class ("keep writing"); kissed ilana's shoulder
Had a nightmare? no
Fought with your parents? no, thank god
Fought with a friend? not really fought; disagreed ... got on one's nerves ...
Done something Crazy? crazy w/ a capital "c"? nope
Taken a shower? yes. not that it's done much good -- this weather seems to delight in ruining my hair. my picture today for my passport was nearly turned the developer to stone.

three cheers for ross who is starting a blog of his own. he's one of the barnies and a good friend from year 1 at swat. among other things, he is passionate about music and it is b/c of him that i have half my monster mp3 collection, my bob dylan cds, a couple jonis, elliott smith, and various random others. check him out. he's one of the most unique folks i now.
apocamon, courtesy of www.sturtle.comahhh resolution. for most of today, i was a sun-frazzled victim of august. my site refused to show up; my brother adam and my father had a loud over-dramatized argument about israel -- a friend of adam's is determined to study abroad there. my father declared that commendable while adam decried it as foolish self-aggrandizement. as they were getting nowhere except into ad hominem attacks, i ushered adam out the door. we had to get our passports renewed. what should have been simple took forever: in the midst of correcting the first flawed set of prints, the person helping us left the store. "where'd he go?" we asked the lady behind the counter after he didn't return. "oh, he went to buy a magazine," she said. another employee eventually finished up the job. we went from there to the post office to fill out forms, and then, relieved, walked back to the corner of wisconsin avenue where we'd parked. for a moment or two, we just watched the traffic whoosh by.
"isn't this where we parked?" said adam. "uh-huh," i said. ... "shit. shit shit shit."
we hiked down to the police station, got the address of the place where our car had been towed, hiked there, paid the $75 fine and pocketed the additional $35 ticket. it would have been funny, at least in a life's-a-bitch kind of way, except that it was over 100 degrees outside and adam and i, by the time we were done w/ the whole mess, were like melted canvases. he dropped me off back in the heart of bethesda where ilana, laboring as always in the seed, gave me water and a fan and restored my equilibrium. my writing class assignment was to write a rant and an opinion on the same subject; i hadn't done either, so after i cooled off, i delved into the topic of beauty. creating the rant was so much fun that i never got to the opinion. it didn't matter ultimately: we didn't even discuss them in class. once i polish it a little, i'll post it here.
so i'm a journalist, otherwise known as a vigilant idealist. *shrug* i don't know. maybe a little.

what is going on w/ this page?

Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Harry Potter =D courtesy of this is too cute, i couldn't resist. have i mentioned what a sucker i am for harry potter? last summer when i bought the 4th book, the nite of its release -- johnny took me to b+n -- i stayed up til 5 a.m. reading. then of course i had to defend my taste to my extended family. snobs. not that i should talk; before i deigned to pick up the first one, i rolled my eyes at the phenomenon like every other wannabe-intellectual in this country. i'm trying to make up for it tho by being upfront about my conversion. i have seen the light and now, like every other born-again in this country, i am the phenomenon's biggest supporter and prostelytizer.

ADDITION: survey (courtesy of
1. Open up your CD player, what's inside?: belle and sebastian's boy w/ the arab strap; i just took out revelling and before that revolver
2. Look in your VCR/DVD player, is there a movie?: bonnie and clyde and before that pi (and i just had a long conversation w/ my brother adam about requiem for a dream, also by aronofsky. he thought the film was equally well made and depressing. what's the point of stuff that just depresses you, he asked. i argued Appreciation and Aesthetic and other Abstracts. he argued entertainment. but if the film was on his mind, as clearly it was, and if it affected him, i believe it was worth watching.)
3. If there happens to be music playing right now, what is it?: belle and sebastian, dude. i just told you that.
4. What are you wearing?: jeans, black t-shirt. boring but somewhat typical, especially when there's no one around i have to impress.
5. Look down, what's the first thing that catches your eye?: my tarot cards. much reading recently.
6. Turn on your TV if it's not on already, what network is it?: i hate tv.
7. Look out the window, what's the weather like?: dark, oppressively hot. thank god we're getting out of here and going to the beach.
8. If you were to hit redial on your phone right now, where would it call?: ben. talked to alyssa since he's not there (dinner w/ justin? alyssa didn't know) she's going to japan -- brave girl.
9. Say "hello?" out loud, did anyone answer?: no. but i was too timid to say it too loudly; if i had, my little brother judah might have responded.
10. What are you planning on doing next as soon as you get offline?: mmm, sleep ...
anyone know where the quote "what fresh hell is this?" comes from? i think of it as said by katharine hepburn but i may be completely off.

plans this evening aborted. it's all right. i can read, spend some quality time breathing, sleep. sounds excellent to me.
jamie and i watched bonnie and clyde. it's always interesting to see two movies in a day that are both good for very different reasons.

last nite ilana and i were play fighting about something. "you're judgemental!" she said. "i am not; i'm a perceiver," said i. "well, you perceive judgementally," said she. couldn't argue w/ that. not so much, no. but i try not to judge -- really.

this ( is the best about page i've seen in a while.
jamie chose this color. she slept over -- so did ilana, but ilana's already back working hard at the seed. we watched pi by one of my emerging-favorite-filmmakers darren aronofsky. it's not that his pictures particularly have moved me -- he doesn't seem to care about having the audience identify w/ the characters -- but he has a unique vision and a talent for creating scenes that stick w/ you. the genius is in the details: like the sounds in the background, for instance. i hope he doesn't end up like tim burton, who began bright and became a sell-out once he got money.

last nite we paid a surprise visit to becca and laid waste to her pantry. that was after fro yo at always-spooky kentlands, a suburbs-in-their-purest-form neighborhood reminiscent of the one created for jim carrey in truman show. it's an experiment in closeted living. they have a school there, and a church and a mall (complete w/ 50's diner and movie theater) and a couple hundred expensive houses. "new urbanism" -- an attempt to create a microcosm in which cars aren't necessary and crime is seen on television, not in the streets.

not that my own unicorn lane is so much better. (really. that's the name of my street.) what on earth could be expected of me having grown up on unicorn (or as becca once miswrote it, "chicorn") lane?

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

courtesy of the hell was i saying about layout being fun? right when i was about to put my self-satisfied-self to sleep last nite, i decided to tempt fate by actually checking to see how the site, w/ all its new impressive changes, looks in netscape. (i am a moderate person. it takes a lot to become someone i really dislike -- in fact, i can't think of an enemy i even have at the moment. recently, the closest i've come to to shrill, blazing-eyed fury has been when confronted w/ the idiocies ot netscape. but so as not to drop the narrative:) i heard the fates chuckling around me and ignored them, sauntering onto communicator. the page loaded; immediately, i threw my forearm over my face to shield it from the horror. it was a mess, worse than my room at the present, almost worse than my room at swat.

i backed away, forcing myself to breathe. once i recovered my strength, i ventured in again, and i spent the next 2 hrs trying to reformat the (this) page so that it looked acceptable on netscape without compromising too much of its original design. when i signed off at last, i was exhausted but so jumpy that i kept expecting to see stern little girls appearing behind me or hanged people noosed from the shower head. (i have a terrible imagination. once it gets started, i feel like the kid from the sixth sense only this has been plaguing me for years and that's a movie.) i took refuge in bed w/ tom jones. my mother heard my door -- she hadn't been sleeping either. she came in and we sat and talked until 5. nice conversation even if it was a ridiculous nite. she left to actually rest a little before work and i was soothed enuf to go to sleep.

but christ. ... well, i guess everyone needs a nemesis. if my life were all sunshine, lollypops, and 5-for-$5 film rentals, it might get pretty dull.
all right, just redid the bio page along the same lines as this page. i realized why it all's so crazy new to me: i never did layout before. my focus was always on the literary/content end of things, as tho the two were mutually exclusive. this is my first real opportunity to play w/ how the material is presented. 2:15 a.m. fun, you betcha.
so ben's back -- :-) his astrology report, as listed on his site, is astoundingly apt (i think); as much as mine is. i wonder if he got the idea to check it out from me. seems a rather large coincidence that we use the same folks to determine our personalities on the same day, each independent of the other ... and mine came first, dammit.

dinner tonite was lovely. met johnny and ilana in bethesda and we had a leisurely meal on raku's patio. afterwards we strolled around dark bethesda, chatting. oh-so-relaxed, oh-so-lowkey, just the way i like things. threes rarely work and we worked. that's as close as one gets to a miracle in these godless times.

anyone like the new design? i only spent most of the day on it (ooh guilt trips come so easily to us jews.) please note the new links. i don't know why i keep finding more gay men's blogs -- the ones i've happened upon seem more substantial than average. rabi is a swattie whose blog i started to check out while at skool, and reggie i added b/c i admired his drive. he visited over 50 blogs and left messages in guestbooks. why don't i have that kind of initiative?

chai and the beatles (revolver) are putting me to sleep. more tomorrow probably. this is what comes of summer lulls.
to live a better life/ i need my love to be here ...

Monday, August 06, 2001

addition to best british movie lists: the lady vanishes, a chilling, wonderful hitchcock i'd forgotten about. my father reminded me over lunch today at krupins. (funny: steve's picture smiled down from the wall right above me. [steve krupin, son of mel, the owner, was in my class and now goes to nwestern w/ my friend geoff. over a year ago, while we were in israel as a class, steve called me a feminazi. at that point i didn't even consider myself a feminist and i got upset. just a few weeks ago, i ran into him outside kultura w/ a few other friends. he was wearing an ill-fitting suit and looked surprised to see us. he asked what we were all doing for the summer and i derived great pleasure from saying proudly, "i'm working for the feminists." yeah baby.])
( i'm ishtar42; avithepilot is my friend avi)
avithepilot: Incidentally, when do you become so cynical?
ishtar42: um, what do you mean?
avithepilot: I distinctly remember a while back when you got pissed at me for calling you cynical, and now you're telling the world that this country worships money and the world sucks.
ishtar42: i still don't think i'm cynical
ishtar42: this country does worship money
ishtar42: i don't recall saying the world sucks
avithepilot: Actually, the word I was looking for was disillusioned, but I wasn't sure if you were every illusioned to begin with... And I oversimplified and exaggerated on the world sucking.

discussion ensues. ...

in continuation (can you tell i was thinking of this while sleeping?): top 5 off-beat comedies: rushmore; harold and maude; slums of beverly hills; the big lebowski; living in oblivion
top 5 performances in movies that aren't as good as they are: angelina jolie in girl, interrupted; kevin spacey in american beauty; jeneane garofolo in reality bites; jim carrey in truman show; faye dunaway in mommie dearest (alternate: brad pitt in legends of the fall)
top 5 mainstream comedies: clue; clueless; ace ventura; ferris bueller's day off; groundhog day

oh, and one of the tom tykwer films is going to have to make way for in the mood for love, which i entirely forgot about and which is one of the best foreign films i've ever seen. but i'm not sure which.
all of these are still in progress. no worries.

top 5 funny women (modern): jeneane garofolo, christina ricci, renee zellweger, catharine keener, uma thurman
top 5 funny men ( " " ): (early) robin williams, jim carrey, bill murray, kevin kline, john cusack
top 5 women actors ( " " ): faye dunaway, katharine hepburn, emily watson, helena bonham carter, kate winslet
top 5 men actors ( " " ): jack nicholson, morgan freeman, kevin spacey, edward norton, steve buscemi
(alternates: cameron diaz, jeff bridges, emma thompson, guy pearce)
johnny and i are now debating top film lists. (ahh it's wonderous not to have to worry about getting up tomorrow morning for work!)
top 5 foreign films (non-british): chungking express; delicatessen; 400 blows; run lola run; princess and the warrior
top 5 british films: monty pythton and the holy grail; brazil; lock, stock, and two smoking barrels; ... oh gee i'm blanking. well, i'll return to this.
top 5 uniquely-bizarre films (aside from those listed above): all that jazz; heavenly creatures; barton fink; 12 monkeys; hudsucker proxy (alternates: memento, fargo)
top 5 most successful literary adaptions (aside from those listed above): high fidelity; much ado about nothing; sense and sensibility; amadeus; one flew over the cuckoo's nest
top 5 best depressing films: happiness; dancer in the dark; breaking the waves; clockwork orange; network

Sunday, August 05, 2001

i just installed reblogger, which means all of you can comment directly on particular posts instead of using the guestbook. and fight there, or joke around, or whatever. i'm really excited -- i've been trying to do that for ages.

today's been calm. i watched the pillow book, which was all right, tho during one of the nude scenes (of which about half the film is composed) it occurred to me that my parents could walk in. i was in the library which is my sanctuary, but it also happens to be my father's and he doesn't always knock. growing up, he was chill about me deciding what art i exposed myself to -- with a few notable exceptions. in living color and married w/ children were, in his opinion, trash, and he didn't want my brothers and me watching them; he saw like water for chocolate on my shelf when i was 12 and told me i was too young for it; and he didn't want me reading the narnia books b/c he said they were thinly veiled christian propaganda. he's right, they are, but he didn't need to worry about me being influenced and wanting to convert: if anything, he should have voiced concern over mists of avalon. not that i would have listened; i never did. he didn't really care either. i think he respected my independence, and he was too pleased to be having a child who was so in love w/ words.

as ilana put it, tinman scored! i've only been following his blog for a couple weeks but he has an earnestness in his journal i find really appealing. so good for him.
and mermaniac has a kickass collection of show links. i've been very quiet since my friendship w/ shira died about my love for certain shows, except w/ marc of course. but sondheim holds a special, undiminished place in my heart. lyrics have always been what's most important to me, and he's a lyrical genius.

my silly father bought pulp fiction today despite the fact that he'd never seen it. so he watched it and of course he didn't like it and we argued this evening about its merits. it's one of my top five (in no particular order, the others are shawshank, terms of endearment, when harry met sally, and chinatown. others in the top ten: fight club, princess bride, being john malkovich, magnolia, empire records.)
and i talked to michael today for a while. he invited me to take a year off and travel the world w/ him. it's funny: he still thinks of me as 16 and i still call him "professor" (where did that come from?). i had to turn down the globe-trotting proposal, however tempting. sweden spring semester is enuf of an adventure for me.
everyone, exhale.
just like that, come on: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ...

today is exhalation day. after my roller-coaster-type (ew, cliche) week, this weekend has been a huge relief. no stress. becca came over friday nite, quieted me down. we drank tea w/ my family (why should they be exempt from the scattering fad? my grandparents left for vt yesterday and my brothers went to cornell til tuesday.)
then we slept and slept and slept. when we woke up, we had breakfast, read comics, came back upstairs, crawled back into bed, read tarot for every person we could think of, stayed in bed a little longer, finally leaving to get diet coke. we drank, sitting on a bench in front of politics and prose, still wearing our pajamas. momentum carried us to my favorite indian place; we got a couple funny looks from other patrons but the food rocked, as always.
we changed once we got home (after lounging in bed some more and reading more tarot). ilana called as we were out the door to come visit her at the seed. we met her just as she was going on break and ate custard and i posed the same question i'd posed to becca earlier: if you could pick the number that was your fixed IQ and your weight, and it had to be both and you couldn't change either, what would you do? it works best if you're littler, b/c if you're tall, you can shrug and say 150 or 160 or whatever and it's not that big a deal. but 150 or 160 on a medium 5'1"-and-a-half frame would be somewhere b/w mattress and couch.
lots of talk about IQ recently. not sure why. i don't even know what mine is.
becca dropped me off and went home; i watched sophie's choice, which, like ghost world, i recognized to be a really good movie but which nevertheless didn't really affect me. again, i'm not sure why. both had great acting and interesting stories (tho the ending of sophie's world wasn't as shocking as i expected it to be). hmm.

after a detour at jackie's, which was too awkward for words, ilana and i ended up back at becca's and this morning, becca drove me home. it's weird that everyone's away. now that they are, of course, i get the impulse to call. *shaking head*
what am i going to do next week? mmm, write, maybe. or send stuff out.
incidentally, the FTP problem turned out to be a problem w/ kestrel, the swarthmore server. they fixed it; hopefully it'll stay fixed. i put the pages back up and all is fine.

Friday, August 03, 2001

my computer is scaring the shit out of me. all of a sudden, my usually-helpful FTP program is refusing to load basic files, stating that there isn't room. worse, it's erasing the files -- there are two that just aren't there anymore. i'm trying not to panic but it's hard when pages just disappear. the html pages still exist; they're even present in the first stage of the FTP process. christ, sometimes i hate the internet.

my grandparents are here. it's time for shabbes. i guess i'll have to store the worry and get back to it later.

briefly: had my last real day w/ wifp. said goodbyes to all involved. then saw ghost world w/ dyannah and ilana. good on many levels which i guess i'll address later.

Thursday, August 02, 2001

pleasant occurances of today:
* i burnt off the remnants of my questionable mood w/ a 3 mile walk and 32 ounces of diet coke
* read more of in america by sontag -- found it intriguing
* talked to him, resolved the misunderstanding (funny: he anticipated my complaint and apologized before i even had to tell him specifically what my problem had been)
* was extensively flattered at class for the piece i submitted. the criticism was smart and sound, too. i wrote the thing awhile ago; i think only mariah read it at that point. it was when i was just getting over david. anyway, once i've revised it a little i'll post it up here and y'all can tell me what you think.
* discovered that my worth as a person is measured at $1,768,820.00 according to human for sale. not bad.
i tried to post last nite but blogger was down for some reason. so this now is my first official blog to babblebook. ilana was w/ me while i made the bold decision. we were hard pressed at first to think of something adequate, so i handed her a book of poetry and told her to open to random pages and read random words. we had just finished watching harold and maude, a lovely off-beat film, and drinking chai; we were buzzed on beauty. i figured it was as good a time as any to make the switch.

earlier, i took my little brother shopping. it's incredible how out of the GAP realm he is. he'll be 17 in a matter of days, but if he had his way he'd spend all waking hours in sweatpants. the peculiar clothing choice matches his chosen occupation: playing computer games and watching anime. everyone says, for the irony of it, i guess, that he'll be the rich one and support adam and me. *shrug* there is no telling, that's true. but i don't intend to have anyone support me, except perhaps a benevolent Dickensian person who has a soft spot for poetry.

speaking of professions and the future, my sweet Harold and Maude experience was countered later in the day by Manhattan with becca over chili. becca and the chili were fine; it was the movie that sort of dampened my mood, i think. its lesson: love is fickle and unpredicable, and people are self-indulgent fools. woody allen irks me sometimes b/c he embodies a trait i particularly dislike. he seems to think that admiting a fault or even making fun of himself for it is a substitute for attempting to improve. in my opinion, it might even be worse to realize there's a defect in you and not try to fix it at all.
we didn't talk about that. our conversation centered around each other's future. becca decided that she saw me moving west for a year, maybe to seattle or to SF, then becoming disatisfied and returning; then i'd disappear for a while, traveling, and not talk to anyone while i'm gone. i told her she thinks i'm more of a hippie than i am.
accordingly, i created a coroporate-drone-type life for her, but one involving a cat named tigger, an east-indian PLoTSO [permanent long-term significant other], near-adoption of an east-indian child, and eventually a marriage to a jewish divorcee.

something else upset me last nite tho i was hard-pressed to figure out exactly what.
stemmed from this. this morning, tho, i remembered that misinterpretations &c. can occur from writing as well as from speech. so whatever.

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

FOLKS! i have changed the name to BABBLEBOOK.BLOGSPOT.COM. please adjust all links accordingly, as i am in the process of doing.
welcome to august, folks. this is the month of dispersion, of reuniting, of leaving, of arriving, of thresholds. (ooh, do you feel that shiver?) i don't really know what to feel, it all being so contradictory, that i'm content to just be calm.

on the good news front, my site finally made it onto google. only took a month and a half. :-)

last nite the usual suspects gathered at my house and i fell to pondering where all my male friends went. suddenly my friend distribution is at like 80/20 rather than 50/50. it's strange. at swat, it was about equal; when i was on kibbutz last spring, if anything, i spent a little more time w/ guys.
now the only ones i see regularly are ari and johnny. but the former is often drowned out in the clatter of estrogen and the latter i encounter only once a week. craziness.