Friday, August 30, 2002

my last post before i dismantle this computer and sit in the back of the car for the trip tomorrow morning up to swatland. a few things worth noting: leaving the chinese restaurant my grandparents took my family to this evening so that my mother wouldn't have to cook, a voice called to me, "did you go to swarthmore?" i turned around to face a nondescript older guy sitting by himself at a table. he squinted at me, trying to figure out how he knew me; and i knew him immediately. "yes. i'm ester," i explained. "you're *** ******. we worked on the phoenix together." that's the least of it, of course. he also asked me out numerous times, and he pursured with equally indescriminate ardor my flatmate rebecca.

earlier in the day, while running errands at compusa with lana and her mother, lana and i collapsed with joy at the sign for "gender changers." we flagged down an employee and subjected him to our questions. gamely, though having turned three shades of red, he detailed the logic of assigning computer cord ports genders. we nodded sagely and thanked him and after he scampered away we slipped the two signs out of their holders and into lana's bag. no one stopped us: two white middleclass smiley girls don't attract the same kind of undue attention as, say, shifty-eyed bearded men with untied shoes. that's the closest i've ever come to shoplifting.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

at long last i met the famous elke at college park. actually it was a two-for-one deal: i got to meet her girlfriend and another close friend of lana's, kim. the visit was bittersweet, being both my introduction of kimandelke and their farewell to lana, who's transferring. but elke was in high spirits. she gave me a cupcake, which functioned as my dinner, and a margaret cho poster she'd intended for liz. but when she said "notorious c.h.o." i yelped louder, so it went to me.
we spent the night at nomi and jamie's quiteclean, quitewhite apartment. i withdrew cunt from my bag and a discussion ensued about how good exactly women need to feel about that particular region of our anatomi. i thought about but didn't recite the poem i wrote in cape cod on the subject (funny how certain themes keep popping up sometimes):
The Other Woman

alone of all of us,
she looked at her other face in the mirror.
she examined her other mouth
while we were content to marvel at arm's length
what went in and came out
of ours.
before we knew of another eve -
not apple-eve, but the eve who laid
a cross-section of her apple out
for the world to examine, and felt no shame - she
alone of all of us
could say Vagina and not turn the color of one.

somehow we've leapt ahead of her
Liberated in college, acquainted with women
like the other-eve - not that we should be
ashamed of the first one, who had no mirrors, but
in biting into that apple discovered introspection -
we have developed relationships with our other faces
We have reached inside ourselves and shaken hands
Her acquaintance remains professional, detached
One face communes with the other
without (the pleasure of) electronic translation.
(she who deserves it most)

we share. we try to. we're shy
and really we know that she, in whom both eves
reside, knows better than we do, still - and when
like children all my faces can do
is make faces at each other, i envy hers.
(summer 2002)
today i brazenly decided to have my way with 104 sheets of paper. a hardcopy version of true love waits now sits on my bed. i'll take it to kinko's i guess to get all them pages affixed. now if only i knew the step after that.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

in the first of two gorgeous literary surprises, last night i beat my father at scrabble. we went to dinner at our indian place, where everyone knows us and we figgered they wouldn't mind if we took our customary table by the window and spread a board and little wooden tiles all over it, and i got 78 points on my first move and maintained roughly that lead throughout. not an unimpressive feat considering my father is the smartest person i know and does an average of two crossword puzzles a day; but then, i've had a lot of recent practice.
afterwards he grumbled/gloated to my grandmother (cuz when your child surpasses you in anything it's nachas) and then drove me to liz's house. we watched amelie, which i liked even better the second time, and entertained rick the vagabond. he's been wandering the country for two months and looks no worse for wear -- in fact he looks just as scruffy and puppyish as he did at the end of high skool when i beat my head against a wall trying to stop liking him. he's one of those people who never lose the quality, usually associated with infants, of being cute in all circumstances, even when vomiting or explaining earnestly why one's girlfriend should be small enough to fit one's arms around and touch oneself. i guess in a weird way at that time in my life i was into s&m.

but we had fun. and today, after a disappointing greek wedding and much running through raindrops, liz brought me home and i found on my doorstep my second gorgeous literary surprise: cunt: a declaration of independence by inga muscio. my dearfriend andrea from denmark sent it to me as a belated-birthday present. that's how cool she is. her package contained a note written on lavendar stationary with a kitten face on top, big bubbly handwriting, snapshots of us in copenhagen and barcelona, and a cheerful yellow book called cunt.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

what luxury nothing is. i've been listening to the new beth orton cd, which is more enjoyable even than expected. i've watched orson welles' the lady from shanghai. impossible to take seriously (surely that's not what he intended anyway,) it's sumptuously photographed and as stuffed with melodramatic quotes as close-ups: "say hello to the sunrise for me" "of course killing you is killing myself. but i'm getting pretty tired of both of us" and a top-notch walking into the sunset line: "maybe i'll live long enough that i forget her. maybe i'll die trying."
maybe i'll live enough that i'll stop wishing i were rita hayworth, or having an affair with orson welles, or vice versa. maybe i'll die trying.

Monday, August 26, 2002

three and a half hours up to swarthmore, a new record, thanks to the preponderance of new york and new jersey license plates lumbering back north. unaccountably edgy, i snapped at traffic, little brother, father, and idiot tenants. my mother tolerated me well. we lugged my stuff up the four flights to my room and were pleased at least to discover that it's of decent size, with a verdant view from the window-seat. the trip back home took less than two hours, granting me enough time to cut the meat of my hand making a sandwich and salivate before HBO (best exchange: "i'm here to return this vibrator." "we don't sell vibrators. that's a neck massager." "okay, fine, i'm here to return this massager." "why?" "because it failed to get me off.")

"pop," short for prince of peace, is a moderately, harmlessly crazy guy who lives with his affluent brother ("we're as different as blue and grey") in my neighborhood. when he first arrived, he sent us an empty envelope covered with biblical quotes and references. initially we called him jesus, less as he became a familiar figure. he once weighed close to 300 lbs; after doctors instructed him to lose weight he's walked his way down to 180. at first he just orbited my neighborhood, always in the same clothes: grey sweatpants, sneakers, white t-shirt, glasses with one lens missing, fingernails like a fashion model and only half his god-given teeth. when he got good enough, he expanded his trek to politics and prose, our neighborhood indie bookshop.
my brother and i were browsing there, weighing war and peace ("read the first paragraph and tell me if it's good." "i can't tell you if the book is good from the first paragraph!" "fine, so tell me if the first paragraph is good." ... "okay, i read the first two pages. it's good.") v. the life and opinions of tristram shandy, gagging at fast food nation and the fountainhead, when pop popped his head over. hey neighbors, he said. can i get a ride?
as we drove him back home, he regaled us with stories. he has the memory of an austistic and an uncanny sense of humor. "i had a friend in college. nickname 'knot.' you know what kennedy always said? 'ask knot'" ... "i get everything by a different name. i get sports illustrated to ted williams. i get entertainment weekly to paul newman. i get to the holy ghostbuster, i get to prince of peace, to Our father in heaven, hollywood is thy name" "i haven't paid a bill since 1993. i send it all to the white house; i say, Bill clinton (i'm using bill as a verb)." ... "what was robert redford's name in shane? [we haven't seen it] you haven't lived."
when he slides out of the car, he always extends his hand, like jesus in renaissance paintings, his fingers forming a V, and says, "peace."

Sunday, August 25, 2002

as you can see the redesign lies before you. my darling elizabeth drew the picture for/of me (defending the likeness while we argued over how big she had to make my butt so that people would recognize me) last night while we lay like happy sluggards around the house. eventually after she approved of the new look and we'd eaten a sufficiency of blueberries, which everyone keeps telling us are INCREDIBLE for our health, like better than prayer or margarine, we watched three kings, the most anti-war "war" movie i've ever seen. the director's name bears an unfortunate resemblance to david o. selznick, as does his lack of subtlety. but it's an interesting movie: i can fully understand why critics appreciated it and audiences abhored.
going up to swatland in a moment or two to fill my room. hopefully will make it back in time for Sex and the City, because like many humans i am a creature of habit. this is why it's a good thing i never started smoking.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

ever since it occurred to me at AU how "patriotic" this blog looks (which was the last thing on my mind when i chose these colors) i've felt dissatisfied. i should redesign it but inspiration is off doodling somewhere, or wasting its time patting albert brooks' sweaty forehead. bah.
i'm home! i'm still in my nightgown! yes i own a nightgown! it's huge and white and has a picture of a blissful redheaded reclining girl surrounded by stuff with the caption, Princess of Quite a Lot. indeed sometimes that feels all-too-apt.
today i'm supposed to pack cuz tomorrow off i swing to swatland to drop off the nonessential majority of what will compose my room. i have mixed feelings about this returning to dorm thing. perhaps this indicates that i am regressing, or that i will have a flashback-like mixed fall semester. come of think of it, my fall semesters have simply not measured up to my springs. i need something concrete to look forward to. that's what i need.

the best part of the last week that i inadvertantly left out in my swift recounting was hamlet on the beach with ben and his father. ben had lugged his imposing yale shakespeare. ben's dad was trying to sleep. i was curled up with aimee mann. he disturbed us both, his request for a salon sufficiently absurd that we could not say no. so, alternating parts (though i played the angsty prince of denmark throughout) and with growing bravado, we plowed through the first two acts. i even got to voice two of my favorite bits, "what a piece of work is man" and "what's hecuba to him, or he to hecuba, that he should weep for her?" ben's dad mused over how brilliantly uncle willy slyly slips substance into flippant characters' rants, avoiding heavy-handedness and moralizing. ah yes. and keeps us from taking any of the characters too seriously.
i also wrote a poem about my friend tamar and wonder whether i should run it by her (when she returns from israel, and hopefully in one piece) before posting it.

Friday, August 23, 2002

hallo world. wow, i can't remember the last time i took a hiatus that long and thought about it so little. only once, yesterday on nantucket where ben's father took the brood of us for a daytrip, did the internet leap up and confront me. i didn't even mention it to ben, though i know he noticed too. bravely putting temptation behind us, instead we took a langorous loopy walk, book-shopped where i bought a confederacy of dunces cuz i hadn't realized it was a novel and my chagrin forced me to the register, and music-shopped where ben spent nearly-exactly twice what i did but we each left with a respectable load. mine consisted of catie curtis truth from lies, good ol' kiss me kate, and lucinda williams car wheels on a gravel road, all used. i debated over til we outnumber 'em and k.d. lang's ingenue -- and ben, in the throes of a reckless abandon brought on only by record stores, encouraged me not to hold back -- but i figgered three sufficed.

when we weren't glutting ourselves commercially the past few days, we hung out with ben's dad, his little sister and a blonde toothpick with an eating disorder who spoke in a priceless combination of a russian and brooklyn accent in the rented house in cape cod. as i'm obligated, i should admit that yes i was wrong about cape cod. it isn't yuppie. it's old. it's even-tempered, comfortable, in places charming, and generally geriatric.
as ben and i had spent the previous few days in new york running around the change of pace was much appreciated. his birthday especially, from which i needed to recover half of the following day: just thinking about recounting all our stops makes me tired. as becca and lana would say, LSS, we visited harlem (twice), the upper west side (twice), soho, and both sides of the village; we lunched in midtown; and eventually we camped in an apartment of ben's "financially independent" highskool friend on the upper east side, 21 floors up and with a delicious panoramic view of the city. in between we saw kurosawa's the hidden fortress, from which mr. lucas apparently ripped off star wars, went to condomania (twice), had ben's first official drink, met up w/ and parted from a swattie-grad i fell instantly in charm with and will most likely never see again, were barred from harlem song and the new museum (both closed), and ate impressively-good ethiopean food.

virtually the first thing we did when i arrived in new york was exchange presents. i gave him the box i designed for his 21st birthday (theme: CALM) and he gave me a vinnie's giant period chart and tampon case. adorable. we toasted the fact that we've managed to stick together for a year and a half, and despite a few squabbles over the week and a lot of travelling and family, kissing goodbye in the providence airport this afternoon, it seemed it's been a good choice.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

once again in westchester. once again with ben. once again so many things. i left my dearest dog in the care of ms. lana, cuz my mom and brothers escaped to the beach for the weekend. i arrived here yesterday and was met by ms. becca. she took me to a nifty dessert place where we proceded to share my lunch, and then i met ben and his mother for dinner at angelica's [no-animal-products, trendy-decor, our-mission-statement's-nearly-as-long-as-the-menu, earth-friendly, leftist, modern, drag-queen-as-host(ess?) but at least the food tastes good] kitchen.
today we returned to the city, wandered around in the sweltering while i wondered why i alone in this city of millions looked over-cooked, and watched a movie at the angelika as the one we wanted to see -- and just arrived in time for -- and the film forum was sold out. no problem: mostly martha, our consolation prize, was a sweet german comedy about northern europe's guilty fantasy of wanting to be italy.

we dashed home at my behest to catch sex in the city, which was subpar (grrr). i just finished my screenplay. 96 pages, but i'm sure i'll give and take a few. the important thing is draft 1 is done. tomorrow, ben's birthday, is all planned, and it involves various performances and art things as well as alcohol -- a crucial element in any turning 21. we crash in the city at a friend's place and rise early to zoom off to the cape. net access might be sketchy so brace yourselves for a possible three-day babblebook brownout. as though everyone else hasn't already taken one.

Friday, August 16, 2002

my last day of work, the powers that be finally come up with lots of stuff to do. instead/regardless, i've spent most of the day chatting w/ folks -- someone left a container of ghiradelli chocolates by the reception desk so that's become a gathering-point. my boss taped up my lengthy copenhagen pants. another of the lawyers showed me her jesus action figure and the bumper stickers obtained from the christian coalition conference: "good [elephant]; bad [donkey]; ugly [NOW insignia]" and "so you're a feminist. how cute." a third said goodbye: "it's nice having strong feminists around."
i'll miss this office. even if it is premature to say i'll never work in this kind of setting again, it's possible that i'll never work in one as pleasant.

yesterday, on my last day with karen, karen gave me a necklace. it's a small metal purse on a metal chain, and it's charming. i'm trying to think of what it could hold. quarters comfortably, sure, and bills too. pills, if i could take them. maybe a homunculus. a butterfly, creepily. another necklace if i wanted to change (but i usually dislike necklaces). a poem, if i folded it. a tea-bag.
driving isn't as much fun as it used to be. once i was famous for enjoying driving -- under certain conditions: but if i were alone and had no particular time pressure, driving, with the windows down and singing along to ani, ranked up on my favorite passtime list with quoting empire records and buying black t-shirts. no longer. my parents have traded in the car i so loved. now i can't drive without either mulling over the socio-economic-ecological implications of the behemoth, or clutching the wheel of the dinosaur, hoping that if i hold tight enough it'll stay in one piece.

i mention it only because i've done a lot of driving today. to rockville and back, to rockville and back, so naturally nostalgia accompanied both journeys. the second one being to meet tamar at an old hangout, it's not too surprising. in suave pomo fashion, we even did nostalgic things, like peer into every window of the silver diner in an effort to find a recognizable face (once upon a time you couldn't avoid it.) we strolled up and down the pike. we went to the starbucks where the cool kids used to hang out. this time i immediately noticed one of the few girls i dislike and even though tamar is friends with her i exercised my veto and steered us in the opposite direction.

she leaves shortly for israel. like everyone else, she's coming and going, busily planning and worrying and hashing things out and reading horoscopes. all these disappearances and reappearances, with the frequency of traffic lights but none of the logic -- is it any wonder i resort to scrabble?

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

my mother, my little brother and i went to the montgomery county fair this evening. twenty minutes outside of washington, yet you'd think you were in north carolina. people twanged, their stomachs bulged, men wore hats and everyone said "y'all." like all good fairs, this one had two halves: a livestock half, with rows of cattle, goats, rabbit, and roosters, and a carnie-half, with way too many lights. in the first half, my mother fell in love with a cow -- it was all we could do to keep her from dragging one home with us. in the second, my brother won me a huge glassy-eyed stuffed animal.

my legs nearly gave out as i'd spent the previous hour and a half cooking with ari. who knew that eggplant took so long to prepare? so long, in fact, that i didn't get to taste the parmesean fruits of my labor. thankfully i'm not goal oriented, and we much enjoyed the process.

my last day with karen tomorrow. my last with AU friday. before you know it, what'shisname will be 21 and it'll be time to head back to skool.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

i dreamt a met a guy named tristam shandy (sp?) "oh," i said, "like the character from the novel!" he grinned and i realized that everyone must say that, so i apologized. once i knew a girl named anna heim. though german, she'd studied in america and had grown to expect the inevitable response to her name: "oh! like in california!"
but having never read tristam shandy i have no idea what, if anything, sir shandy is like. or what put it in my head to begin with.

running errands for karen in georgetown to-codered-day knocked me out with a headache. she dismissed me early and i've spent the subsequent hours huddled in the dark of my room. before i left, i noticed on a proposal she was sending out that last in a list of "contributions" she had written "ester ____, office work, $800." it had never occurred to calculate the dollar value of my pro bono services. such a nice number, 800. to think that i'd donated that much to a worthy cause! wow. without even realizing it, either.

last nite jamie lana tamar and i gathered at a park midway between our houses. we rehashed dreams, debated vibrators (tamar: "i don't want to have an intimate relationship with something made of plastic" lana: "you can't say things just to be quoted!" me, continually, "click BOOM!") which need a better name, decided "drive" should be rechristened "true love waits," after an authentic abstinence-only education program -- because, really, isn't the song already a cliche? at least among the 12 people who've heard it? -- and bathed in Off, which lana had thoughtfully brought. she offered it around saying, "west nile?" it's august. we're all just getting through it as best we can.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

my large loving family has descended and gone. they rather monopolized the weekend while they were here, constraining talk to the small variety. i must've been asked 14 times if i'd seen the wedding movies, monsoon or my big fat greek. sadly no. i'll get right on it.
my favorite quote came from my cousin e., a film major recent college grad, who's embarking on a film career. he's already written a couple full-length screenplays and is working on his next. after i answered a cursory question of his about my pet project, he cut me off. "listen," he said, "you're brilliant. i'm brilliant." and went on to expound about why he thinks he's going to make it in the Industry. i couldn't help grinning. you're brilliant, i'm brilliant -- that could be this generation's i'm okay, you're okay.

he has confidence. perhaps that's what convinces my hoardes of relatives to take him seriously when he discusses pitching and contacts and working his way up from across the country. they nod; i follow cautiously behind him, like an anthropologist taking notes, because i might be doing this myself in a couple years. generically, even if i don't pursue film, like him -- and like his mother, whose career as a full-time mom is coming to a pretty concrete close as the twins are heading to college in the fall -- perhaps i should have a speech prepared to give people who ask, "what are you going to do now?"

i can answer what i'm doing now much more easily. two things compulsively: scrabble and sex and the city. four games and five episodes in the last few days. oh wait, shit, make that nine episodes? what can i say, i've been with liz.
and i'm almost finished with drive. if what e. advises is true and you should never exceed 110 pgs, i only have 20 to go.

Friday, August 09, 2002

my contact launched itself out of my eye this morning with the determination of a suicide. i managed to catch it, and holding it in my hands i wept over it. within moments it had shriveled and lay pathetically, unnaturally twisted in my palm. as i despaired, intern sam walked by. i explained my predicament: i had no solution with which to revive the lens, yet i could hardly simply insert it back into my eye.
sam surveys the area ("like superman" says sam). aha! a beacon of hope in the form of the heritage foundation, an ultra-rightist "think" tank. (their link to "best conservative movies" takes you here. carnal knowledge in the top ten? ghostbusters? animal farm?? come on, someone seriously missed the point of that story... ) i'd always wanted an excuse to go in, sez sam, so shrugging, and still cradling my every-moment-fading contact, we stride into the lobby. through my one working eye i got a very strong impression of gilt and marble. no sambo dolls or wellstone voodoo dolls or ayn rand posters in plain view: that's a start.
i explained my predicament once more to the man at the desk, who called another fella elsewhere in the building, who arrived with a bottle of solution before you can say "welfare reform." everyone was as kind as could be. by the time i returned from there also not-visibly-white-supremacist bathroom, a jolly lady had joined the helpful man at the desk, and as sam and i bowed and left she carolled blessings after us: "bye now. have a great day. have a great weekend!"
it was a miracle. i could see clearly again, thanks to our friends at Heritage.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

the wonderous liz arrived late last nite, borne of locomotive. i met her and ferried her home, for which bit of niceness she drove me around all today. my usual duties being suspended, i had time to do a xword, and watch the lion in winter in the morning and elizabeth in the evening -- a pleasant as well as logical progression: 300 years passed in a matter of hours. both fit well into my recent costume drama motif.
in between liz and i attempted this is spinal tap but wandered away about 2/3 through. albeit clever, it was not what we were in the mood for. instead we talked and talked and met for brief intervals with miss lana and feasted on dairy products and drank diet coke.

liz and i have been friends since we were three years old. our parents knew each other before we were even dreamt of. throughout our growings-up we fixated on how we were opposite: she had art, i had writing; she liked comics, i liked books; she was neat, i was cluttered; arguing frustrated her, i rejoiced in it; she played sports, i watched others play. now i marvel at how remarkably similar we are, and i don't know whether i've changed, or my perspective has.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

super-fun workday: we interns took a guided special tour of the capital with the wife of one of our co-workers. as a press-person, she has full-time access to both houses, even (like now) when they're closed. she let us in and sam, rob and i hopped over banisters to get a better view. she also brought us into the speech-giving room where we took turns playing senators and got our pictures taken (probably quite verboten but how could you resist?) anywhere rob's digital camera shots are hilarious: i'm partial, of course, to senator ester and the intern senators. hey, that's a good name for a rock band.
i played scrabble online w/ miss becca, interrupted by a free lunch in honor of rob, intern #2's, going away. it being a beautiful day, we sat outside and basked.
oh, quiet, i got stuff done too. just less notably.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

along with sarah, who sent me this link, i disagree with some of the names on this list. it's very joyce-heavy, and it neglects margarita from master and, and morgaine from mists of avalon. not to mention both of my childhood crushes, noel airman and rhett butler. apparently as dworkin's essay illustrates, i wasn't the only one holed up in my room, hour and hour, rereading those books and lusting my heart out for those scoundrels. but where's the cultural appreciation?

Monday, August 05, 2002

thrillingly, and in an upset of sorts, the class reacted well to my screenplay this time. the 60 year old woman who's also writing teenagers and initially objected to mine this time handed it back to me, saying, "it's good." i all but danced home. the only strange moment came when evil sci fi woman approached me during break. "did you read about israel?" she asked. i nodded, thinking she meant the escalating, intractable violence. she promptly launched into a tirade against the "breeding program" going on there. they're using old men, she said, only now they're discovering that the kids are schizophrenic!
breeding program?, i asked. oh yes, she said. on kibbutzes, to create a new army. i've lived on a kibbutz, i said. i didn't see any evidence of a breeding program.
she just blinked at that. well, anyway, she continued, it's not working cuz the men are too old. i read it! where, i asked. they tucked it away, she said. in parade.
correction: "Decision Allows Woman's Abortion By JOANN LOVIGLIO
PHILADELPHIA (AP) � A judge Monday overturned his unusual decision that temporarily barred a woman from having an abortion, allowing her to end her pregnancy.
Luzerne County Common Pleas Judge Michael Conahan dissolved the temporary injunction forbidding Tanya Meyers, 23, from ending her pregnancy. He also dismissed the lawsuit filed by her ex-boyfriend, John Stachokus, who had sought to force her to carry her pregnancy to term.
``Her right to privacy has been restored and she is free to go on with her life,'' said Susan Fritchey, an attorney with the Women's Law Project and co-counsel for Meyers. ``It's a great relief for her.''"

considering the number of emails and discussions on this topic i've had today, i think it's a relief to a lot more people, too.
my mother told me about this latest outrage on the metro this morning. amazingly it wasn't in the post. how can a judge keep a 22 year old woman from having an abortion for the sake of a man she's not even still dating? jesus.

according to you are where you live, i am demographically likely to shop at nordstrom, visit eastern europe, wear soft contact lenses, use olive oil, and attend the theater. i am guilty of all the above, though not so much some of the other allegations (read wall street week; use an electronic organizer; watch VH1). yesterday i saw a terrific performance of a little night music. you know send in the clowns? the song comes from this show.

Saturday, August 03, 2002

i should live in a literary adaption. oscar wilde, jane austen, or shakespeare films always prod the same soft spot in my heart, and i think, shiny-eyed, i could succeed in that world! all one needs, it seems, besides money, is wit, curly hair, and very white breasts. just think how much fun it would be to bow all the time, and read small hardcover books and speak in full, decorous but subtly-loaded sentences. and oh, the men: formal, well-mannered, dry. each one as pointless as the next. no one does anything in these movies - have you noticed? they just get their hearts broken, and then cheer up and get married. and wear those beautiful dresses, which cover everything from the waist down; no one would ever know if you had a stomach or thunder thighs. at least no one until your husband, guaranteed to be the most confident and dashing of your suitors, and by then he'll have already bought you and committed and ain't nothing he could do.
ah well, maybe some lifetime.

Friday, August 02, 2002

somewhat allaying my unreasonable fear of next semester, my roommate-to-be offers the following: In terms of appliances/furtniture/other stuff for our room, I'm afraid I don't bring much to the table. Not even a sexy ass. All I can offer is the excitement that I exude in palpable waves. I cannot wait to be your roommate.
Jocelyn, Ross, Joel, and yes, even Rebecca--none can even contend with the roommate I intend to be. Are you bringing a bed? What, are you too good for Swat-issued furniture? And if you are, can I have your twin? Ooh, I'd love to have a really monstrous bed! And then our entire room will just be two giant islands of sexy bedness, the floor will be merely a river dividing the two!!!!

meanwhile, i've been quickly humbled again by the scrabble gods. my opponent today followed my previous opponent's strategy of using words she didn't know the meanings of but had seen on previous boards (which, when i reinvent the game, will be an immediate 20 point deduction). she thrashed me. but in such pursuits, i am persistent to the point of obsessiveness: i never stopped playing Minesweeper, jezzball, or hearts until i felt confident i could quite hold my own. as long as i'm the only one to compete with, i'm tireless. it is only in the company of real people that i become self-conscious, timid, and withdrawing, as those of you who know me know well. the internet was made for such as me.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

oh my god i just played the most intense game of scrabble ever with this chick online who COULD NOT SPELL when we were "chatting" but seemed to have the scrabble dictionary memorized. i asked from time to time what obscure words i'd never heard of meant and she kept saying, "dunno, but they always use it." they, i realized, = people like ross, or my brother's friend danny who played my father, a veritable guru, and insisted quite calmly that "jo" counts. sure nuff, my opponent tonite used "jo" and as i was ranting about it, my brother said, "yeah, danny got dad with that one. apparently it means boyfriend" and handed me the phone because ben was calling for me.
BUT i got her - it was neck and neck - i was sweating, i was tense (i hate competition, by the way; in real life, i would have collapsed or given up BUT that, dear friends, is the allure, power, and glory of the internet) - i was ahead by a comfortable 25 and we had picked all the tiles and i was picking the perfect places for my last 3 tiles when SUDDENLY she pulled a "w" and an "x" out of nowhere and won herself 30 points, putting her in the lead. i started screaming at the computer; i nearly shook the damn thing like an infant; until i threw down my last three, using her W, hitting a double-word score, and ending it in the wild hope that her final score, with leftovers subtracted, would be under mine.
and it was. by a single point.

now that, my friends, is a game.
anyone know anything about playing marbles? for instance, how it's done?
for the first time last night, and only briefly, i hung out in a gay bar. after our feminist discussion group, lana and i met jay at the dupont fountain and shared the tip that a woman at the group had passed on: a "dating game" type thing was to take place at Titans, if we were interested. at least lana and i were - jay allowed himself to be dragged. lana recalled a discussion we three'd held just about a year ago, as to whether being single life-long constituted "failure" in some form. we hashed out our positions again, somewhat changed over the interim.
the bar itself, a black metal staircase above a hamburger restaurant with enviable decor, was packed and dark, with robbie williams singing "mack the knife" on clusters of tv screens along the walls. after he finished, evil britney in a red bodysuit started making eyes at us. we shuddered and concentrated on the stage set up along one side for the dating game -- featuring one straight couple (an overweight, uncomfortable looking black man and white woman, in nursing skool together,) one lesbian couple (one dark-haired and aggressive, holding a beer bottle; the other blond, soft and self-effacing,) and one gay couple (distinguishable only because one of the medium-height brown-haired goofy-looking men wore glasses).

a towering man in drag plowed towards the stage past us shouting, "the jew, coming through!" made up as frighteningly as britney and sporting a huge crayola orange wig, she played the MC, and not very well. despite the amusing potential of the set-up, lana jay and i left after the first bit. people took as little notice of us leaving as they'd taken of us entering.
that was the cap to an extremely chill day where, taking advantage of our freedom from supervision at work (not that there's ever too much to begin with), we interns watched romeo and juliet and i got absorbed in a game of scrabble online.