Friday, March 7, 2008


I lost my virginity at 18, after graduating high school, and I had kissed five people up until that point. I didn't need a list (I could recite everyone I had kissed in chronological order until the number reached around 20), but I had one. The list had the boy's name, as well as symbols signifying "how far" we went. Also, everyone I kissed received a journal entry (so quaint!). So, numbers were big to me. HUGE. Anyone I dated, I wanted to know their numbers as well - how many he had kissed, how many of them gave head, how many he slept with. Since my numbers were pretty low and I mostly dated guys who were a little older and little more experienced, sharing wasn't a big deal. But, once I hit six, I started to worry. My last boyfriend, who was two years older than me, had only slept with four. Was I a slut?

The next sexual situation I was in was with a friend with whom there was no chance of dating, since he lived in Maine and I live in Seattle. We were hanging out one day, and he kissed the back of my neck while we were in a toy store. My entire body responded, every hair on end, a current running through my spine. We couldn't get back to his house fast enough. When we were naked on his bed in the light of the afternoon sunshine, he said I was beautiful, and I believed him. I felt perfect in that moment. It was electric, one of the most arousing experiences of my life. And I stopped it short for the sake of a number. (We never went all the way. He has a serious girlfriend now, and once she found some old racy correspondence of ours, so he had to stop talking to me because it made her uncomfortable, regardless of the fact that we live on different coasts. But irrationally jealous girlfriends are another topic.)

A few months later, I had sex with someone else, and it was lousy. I had wasted an opportunity for GREAT sex for the sake of the number, then had mediocre sex with someone I had no intention of dating, or even sleeping with again. I felt defeated. I still had a higher number, and not even a good story to show for it. As anyone who has experienced phenomenal sex knows, it's an unrivaled experience. What had I passed it up for? I then vowed to never let myself miss another opportunity. (That was later revised to not allowing myself to miss an opportunity except for the sake of monogamy, but that's another story.)

I still kept the list, more for curiousity's sake, but I didn't allow fear of adding to it to interfere with whom I chose to sleep with. Now, I'm not proud of everyone I've slept with, and I would take a few back in the light of hindsight. But the lion's share, I don't regret one bit, number be damned.

This last Summer, I stopped updating the list. At first I panicked: was that really someone I wanted to be? I remembered with horror the first female friend who told me she honestly had no idea how many men she had been with. Then I thought about it more. I consider myself to be a sex-positive person, and I think the double-standard of males with a high number of sexual partners versus females is ludicrous. Tucker Max doesn't know how many people he's slept with, why should I? (Note: it's nowhere near as many as Tucker Max. I'm double-digits, not triple ((double-note: why do I feel the need to clarify?))). Also, I prefer to date a guy who has had many partners - he tends to have more sexual skill, be more confident in bed, and be more adventurous, all things that I value.

Rather than be afraid of how someone else would react to my number, I thought about it this way: Do I even want to date the kind of guy that would judge me for something like that? The answer was no. A relationship is about mutual respect, and trust; if my past makes him feel insecure, that's his problem, not mine. I would rather weed out guys who are uncomfortable about that sort of thing than pussyfoot around someone else's prejudices.

This was originally written in response to a question about whether "notches on the bedpost" really mattered, which he asked in advance of his own blog post on the matter. I don't think of his general readership as my peer group, so I want to ask you the same thing: What are your thoughts on numbers? Do you keep track? Do you ask? Does how many people someone else has slept with affect your opinion of them?

(PS- the timeline of my experiences with the "friend" is a little off - it made more sense this way, in order to maintain flow as well as to protect his anonymity.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Now - "Welcome."

So, new blog. You may have noticed the 49 posts preceding this one: they have been pulled as a representative sample from five years of blogging on other sites. Some are lightly edited, but most were left unmolested as a testament to my young and angsty blogging beginnings. Lucky you.

The move to this "grown-up" blog will mark the end of my other blogs; not that they were updated that often, anyway. I'm not going to delete them - the ability to search through past entries for reminscing purposes is too valuable - but they will not receive any new posts other than a final one redirecting (my very few) readers here.

That said, I'm hoping to keep up my interest in writing by shying away from the boyfriend-related gush-or-sob-fests that dominated my previous postings and sticking to the areas of social commentary, philosophical poderings, or bitchy snark; you know, my strengths.

Thanks for your interest. I'll do my best to deserve it.

January 08 - "Bad Blow-Job Face and You: The Comprehensive Guide."

This is a detailed explanation of what makes a "bad blow-job face," as requested by interested parties. To clear up confusion, this term refers to the face of a potential giver of blow-jobs, not the receiver, and also is a general condition of the face that occurs normally at rest, not just in the act. For the sake of simplicity, I've focused on female faces affected by BBJF, though it certainly occurs in men, as well. BBJF should not be confused with simple ugliness - there are plenty of "conventionally attractive" people whom I would give a BBJF diagnosis to. And I am apparently the preeminent authority on the matter.

PS - I wouldn't necessarily call this NSFW, but tread lightly.

The Humble Beginnings
The concept of "bad blow job face" (BBJF) came from a fairly innocent conversation between Chris and myself, regarding a sure-to-be-perfectly-nice girl he had recently met and attended a party with. She quite obviously had a crush on him, which made me want to know what she looked like, which resulted in Chris sending me a link to her Flickr and directing me toward this photo:
the original
(Please note: I do NOT have permission to use this photo, nor any of the photos to follow. If anyone in any of these photos were to contact me and ask for their photo to be removed, I might consider it.)

My response to the picture was something to the effect of, "Oh. She doesn't look like she would give very good head."

This comment was meant to convey two ideas: 1) I'm a snarky bitch, and 2) Chris is well-endowed and possesses an insatiable sexual appetite - he needs to be with a girl who can take it like a pro. Plus, he's a good person who deserves GOOD blow jobs. Expressing my opinion that she wouldn't meet his needs was actually an example of me looking out for his best interests; the snark is just an added bonus.

He seemed amused by this and asked why she looked like she wouldn't give good head. I couldn't come up with anything concrete, and simply asked if he really disagreed; he didn't, and the subject was more-or-less dropped. Well, dropped until she was mentioned again. After that, whenever he brought her up, I immediately thought "girl-who-looks-like-she-gives-bad-head," and I think he perpetuated the nickname himself a few times by referring to her as such. It became a bit of an inside joke between us.

Fast-forward to last weekend. Pat and I went down to Portland, OR, so he could see the city before he leaves the wonders of the West Coast for the banality of Shithole, USA. There we stayed with some friends of mine, and Chris came out to meet us at a bar (Dante's, where we watched a fire-dancer - aka stripper - set her titties on fire). I honestly do not know why, but his unfortunately-nicknamed former friend came up, but this time under a truncated title: "Bad blow-job face girl." Pat, being of sound mind and inquisitive spirit, asked what exactly made up a "bad blow-job face." I found it difficult to name specific characteristics, and instead tried to name a celebrity that qualified, but could only come up with pinch-faced, hollow-cheeked ones like Calista Flockhart and Lara Flynn Boyle, who do not actually personify the spirit of BBJF. In hindsight, Renee Zellweger would have been a better example; but I digress.

Even working together, Chris and I were not able to come up with a list of characteristics for BBJF, and the subject was dropped at the time. But apparently, after the weekend, Chris revisited the idea with his good friend Scott, who was also dissatisfied with the lack of parameters. He came to me asking for BBJF "rules," and I have the sad task of informing him that there are no rules regarding this affliction. Only guidelines. Let's look at these guidelines in greater detail.

A Brief List
In preparation for this entry, I brainstormed a few facial characteristics that could be construed as BBJF. While sitting in Psych class, I came up with:
-Thin lips (please note that the originator of BBJF actually has full lips)
-Cold eyes (frequently beady)
-Inexperienced-looking (not to be confused with innocent-looking)
-Unenthusiastic about the task
-Large nose (wide, long, or both)
-Underbite (overbites have a surprisingly low impact on BBJF)
-Weak chin

While no one trait consigns a face to BBJF territory, the combination of a few of these traits can have an erection-killing result. For instance:
(like my slick editing job? MS Paint for life!)

This girl is clearly a professional, so she must appeal to someone. But when I look at her face, I see BBJF written all over it. She has a big nose, cold eyes, thin lips, and certainly lacks enthusiasm. If I had a dick, I would NOT put it in her mouth.

A non-professional example of combination-trait BBJF, exhibiting large nose, underbite, and cold eyes (not having a dick in her mouth, her enthusiasm is difficult to measure):
This girl has a nice full lower lip, but it is not enough to excuse her face from BBJF-dom.

In this example, she has pretty eyes and acceptable lips, but the large-nose/weak-chin combo is too strong:
double yuck
No blow-jobs, please.

In Conclusion
Our original BBJF, while possessed of thick lips, warm eyes, and likely enthusiasm (she did have a pretty major crush on him), still qualifies for BBJF status because of her large nose and because she is inexperienced-looking, as well as an unidentifiable je ne sais quoi. BBJF doesn't have to be based on an aforementioned trait; it can be more of a feeling. I apologize to those looking for a more definite explanation: this is not yet a science.

If anyone has received a blow-job from any of the ladies used as examples and can vouch for its quality, please let me know. I am only making general observations, and any additional research could be helpful in the advancement of the field.

10/12/07 - "I've got something to put in you."

I am so hungover. BUT, but, I was totally on time to work. Believe me, I'm more surprised by this than you.

Electric 6 was amazing. There was much pre-funking with my awesome coworker Dana and her rad friend/bandmate Tracy (Dana and I each had two 24's of Rainier, and the three of us killed two bottle of champagne), then some gay bar action and strawberry shortcake shots at the Crescent Lounge (where Johnny met up with us for a bit, yay!), then much dancing (with a smattering of face-rocking), then much giggling over a beer at Pony, and finally much walking around the city with my friend Steven. After seeing him safely onto the bus, I finally grabbed a cab sometime around 2:30? I think? Maybe before that. But after 2.

The opening band was called "The Gore Gore Girls" and it was noisy and sweaty, but in the bad way. I don't like all-girl bands, and I don't think that makes me misogynistic. I just don't like things that suck, and girl bands tend to suck. This particular girl band was fronted by a mannish, horsey girl with frizzy drag-queen hair who attempted to make up for her lack of stage presence by wearing sequined underwear, which were admittedly pretty sweet. The band wasn't that together, they weren't that interesting, and watching them play actually made me kind of angry, because I find it frustrating when girls fail in male-dominated activities. It's like we're supposed to pat them on the back and say, "Good effort," just because they tried.

When the Girls finally made their much-anticipated exit we bee-lined it for the front and secured spots up against the stage. Electric 6 played a nice long set, and despite being sick with something icky they caught on tour (I'm assuming it's more in the vein of a cold than gonorrhea, but he didn't specify) they exhibited excellent showmanship and the whole show was, well, electric. Sorry. They saved "Gay Bar" for the encore and it was presented with surprising enthusiasm, considering (as Dana pointed out earlier in the evening) they're probably getting tired of playing it. I don't have much sympathy for such things (hey, if Nada Surf can keep playing "Popular," then anyone can suck it up and play a song they're no longer fond of), because refuseniks are basically biting the hand that feeds them. Oh, to be burdened with a hit song.

When the show let out Tracy and Dana went to either continue the evening or crash at Tracy's, I'm not sure which. I started to leave, but then texted Steven and we agreed to meet up at Chapel. Chapel is lame. Sure, it's beautiful inside, great ambiance blah blah blah, and the couches upstairs are great (if your posse can score one), but we showed up a few minutes after 1, and they had already called last call. Their service is notoriously awful, but calling last call before 1:30 (bar time, even) is unconscionable. So we took our perfectly spendable money up the street to Pony, which also had a couch to sit on, and speculating about what sort of bodily fluids might reside on that couch made it that much more enjoyable. This was my first time in Pony, and I must say that I like it waaaaaaay better than the old Cha (haven't yet been to the new location, so I will refrain from passing judgment on their current iteration). Though I was a little bummed that I couldn't get a PBR. No matter.

We stayed till closing (we were asked to finish our drinks at a completely respectable 1:45, thankyouverymuch), then walked downtown through the refreshing Autumn night. The late-night bus scene down on 4th was quite the screen-shot of urban living. Buspimps for days. Had I bothered to check, I would have seen that I could have taken the 82 - it ended up right behind my cab on the way home. Oh well.

And that was that. Now I have but a few short hours before I fly to LA and undoubtedly get into some sort of trouble with Joseph! Yay! Hopefully I can sleep on the plane, but I'll probably be too jazzed. It's okay, I'll sleep when I'm dead. Which may be sooner than later, at this rate, but I'd rather have a shorter life brimming with intrigue and action than a very long life with a very short eulogy. I think.

6/12/07 - "Departure."

My last day at work is this Friday. I wish it were right now, and I could get up and walk out and never come back.

Last night I stayed up far too late with a boy who was far too cute doing things that were far too familiar. I've known him for years and we also just met. It's a long story. It was sort of bittersweet having one of those nights, the nights where you talk about everything and feel so immediately, tenuously close to the person and it's exciting and scary, momentous and monstrous, knowing that I'm about to leave and that nothing will come of it. Sometimes you just get the one night, and that's okay. Those nights are so compelling to me, I could tell my life story as a string of the details of each one. Cory. Ben. Augie. Jonathan. Matt. Dave. Andy. Marc. And now another Dave. There have been more that fit the general description, and technically two of them were dates that became "the night" which is sort of not what I'm talking about because part of the wonder is the spontaneity, but these are the ones that stand out right now in my memory. Some of them became relationships, some friendships, and some were just the once.

The encounter gave me a much-needed confidence boost, as he had very kind things to say(you're smart, you're cute, you're beautiful, you're hot, you're sweet, you're good at that - I don't think any of these things can be heard too much), and on Sunday I found out for sure that I'm going to see Cory again at the end of the month, and there's nothing like the prospect of seeing the first person who ever saw you naked to make you wish you were considerably skinnier.

5/14/07 - "Get a real name, Tommy Thompson."

Tommy Thompson is an assbag.

Vote Tommy 2008

I know it's silly to care about this at all, because there's a snowball's chance in Hell he'll make it through the primaries, but I was honestly astounded while reading this article ( that this guy actually thinks someone might want him to be President of the United States of America. This guy couldn't be president of a homeowners association. If you're too preoccupied with being deaf and having to potty to know what you're saying during a debate, how can we have any faith in your ability to be aware of your words with foreign dignitaries, AKA people with access to giant bombs?

Also, I ask, nay DEMAND, that all presidents have necks. Seriously.

4/29/07 - "Happy Resurrections, Jesus!"

I wake up at 6:30am to leave Nick's and return to Ballard, in keeping with my dogsitting duties. I arrive downtown around 7:00am and have 15 minutes until the number 15 bus to Ballard comes. Still being slightly inebriated from the Road House drinking game the night prior, and working on like 6 hours of drunken slumber, I decide to get a bagel from an SBC by the bus stop, thinking bread may sop up some of the over-full, over-strong vodka crans I had been consuming. Of course I was like seven hours too late on that one, but it seemed like a good idea. Since my plan was to go back to sleep immediately after feeding the dogs, I did not want a caffeinated beverage.

I walk in, and the over-friendly, over-alert staff greet me immediately, asking, "What can I get started for you?" This should be a simple question to answer.

"Oh nothing, I just need a bagel, thanks," would have been appropriate.

"How about a bottle of water?" could have helped explain my mussed hair and glazed expression, not to mention give me a jumpstart on the road to recovery.

"Chamomile tea, please?" is another reasonable option.

Basically, anything besides the zombified "Uhhhhhhhhhhhh..." that escaped my lips would have been sufficient, but I guess we can't all be Rhodes Scholars. Or, functional.

The barista gave me a look of sickened pity and offered, "It's pretty early, huh?" To which I think I replied something like, "Totally." Then, defying all logic, I order a tall soy chai latte. That is definitely caffeinated. I pick out my bagel, and when the girl at the register asks if it's for there or to go, I say for there. Whaaa? I have a bus coming soon. But, apparently, sitting is an important element of not coating myself in sesame seeds, and that is a higher priority than little things like busses to catch. As I sit and wait for a beverage I have no business consuming and a bagel I am sure to regret, I decide that I should text Nick, who I just left sleeping at his house, and tell him how braindead I am. I concentrate really hard on this text message. They call out a bagel that is a different variety than the one I order, and nobody claims it, so I wonder if it's supposed to be for me and approach the counter. The same barista sees my confusion, gives me the same look as before, and tells me that my bagel is coming. When it's done he motions to me and as I collect it, he looks at me like I just won the Special Olympics. Ugh. I sit back down with my sundries, and ignore their consumption to continue concentrating on on the text message. It's almost done when I see the bus go by outside. I promptly close the phone to check the time, thus deleting the message. Genius.

Now I have half an hour until the next bus that goes to where I need to go, and 15 minutes until a bus that gets me within striking distance. I hate waiting for busses (which is how the whole SBC plan came about), so I opt to take the earlier bus and walk from Leary Way to 73rd, which Mapquest says is 1.45 miles. Over the course of the bus ride, I feel the change from still-a-little-tipsy to oh-Lord-I-wish-I-was-dead. This change should never happen when a person is awake. The air is losing its early-morning dimness and brightening into a beautiful day; my lack of sunglasses and worsening headache don't appreciate this development. The second bus passes me when I have about eight blocks to go, and am nowhere near a stop. I don't make an attempt to catch it.

I stumble into the door over an hour and a half after I left Nick's apartment in Eastlake. The dogs go insane, having been alone for about 12 hours. I open the back door to let the dogs into the yard, which triggers the most heinous noise known to man. I shut off the alarm, get out their food, fill their dishes, and sit down. The caffeine kicks in. I realize I'm not going to go back to bed.

I read more Tucker Max stories (a recent obsession, I finished them all last night, and am debating whether to buy the book), then get in the shower to prepare for brunch with Nick and Kate. We trek to the International District and digest a delicious-yet-greasy dim sum, which is immediately followed by a lunch with my mom and Dylan, where I have a salad and a bloody mary. So for Easter, I ate, basically.

The Me-Dylan-Mom combo is known for morally reprehensible humor, and true to form, the following conversation takes place.

Mom: "Tara (my pregnant aunt) is having a boy, but she won't tell me the name."
Me: "Did she pick out a back-up name, in case it's retarded?"
Mom (laughing): "No I don't think so, I'll have to mention that to her."
Me: "It's a good idea. You don't want to waste a good name on a baby you won't love very much."(We erupt into laughter, to the point of tears streaming down our faces.)Dylan (regaining composure): "You know, karma could come back and bite you in the ass, and you might have a retarded baby."
Me: "Yeah, that's true. I mean, I'll have to love it and all; I'll just die a little bit inside."

We also discussed the nuances of where and how you can catch genital herpes versus oral herpes, and if there's a way to tell which sores are which. This was theoretical, of course.
I feel bad for the old lady sitting next to us.

3/19/07 - "Not for the sqeamish. Or the related-to-me."

Once I had a lover who admired my faces. He claimed that my flinch, my moan, my contortion increased his pleasure greatly, and I found this so flattering that on one occasion I let him take pictures. I wish he had never told me, because now in the throes of ecstacy I'm often thinking of what my face might look like. Does this lover have the same appreciation as that one did? What if this one thinks I look pained, or monstrous, or silly? Sometimes I think I might like to go back to that one, temporarily, just to feel like I'm really being looked at.

The faces-loving lover also liked toys. Once he tied me up and blindfolded me, and used a glass instrument to elicit my pleasure. He had introduced this particular tool before, which he wielded with some skill, but I look back on its use with mixed emotions. It was so impersonal. It could be warmed, but often wasn't, and went in so cold. It felt medical. I grew to resent his affinity for it, because I felt like he liked the experience - the faces, the toys, the power - more than he liked me. Which I suppose was his prerogative to prefer. The nature of our relationship was not one of love or adoration; it was a bargain between people of like-minded proclivities. If I wasn't willing to put in the emotional legwork, I couldn't expect sex not to be the focus of all our interactions. I got what I paid for, so to speak.

The demise of our arrangement marked the demise of my ability to carry on a fulfilling casual relationship. It can be argued that I never found it all that fulfilling, I just told myself I did, but that's another idea entirely. When I have a friend with benefits, I want them to also be my friend, otherwise the benefits lose their luster. So when he stopped agreeing to see me for anything other than sex, I lost interest in the whole idea. There's a fine line between being objectified and being desired, and I'm sure I've confused it before, but having it thrown in my face was unappealing. This experience, coupled with others that I'll get into in a minute, led to my current uneasiness about including toys in sex play; I feel like objects equal objectification. That the things I "should" feel or want to feel should be attainable through "normal" sex. I know this is flawed, and I don't agree with it in principle. Just in practice.

What troubles me most is that I didn't always feel this way. When I was young and first started masturbating, I would use practically anything I could get my hands on. I felt little shame, and I don't think it was an effort to debase myself; I was simply curious. When I was 15 I started going to church in an effort to scandalize my liberal, new-agey mother, and stopped masturbating for 8 months because it was supposedly sinful, and not conducive to my new holier-than-thou attitude. When I finally couldn't stand it anymore, I learned how to get myself off using a combination of thigh-pulsation and Kegel exercises - if I wasn't touching myself, it wasn't masturbating! Or at least wasn't as sinful! Or something! This was a labor-intensive process, though, and eventually laziness brought touching myself back into my life, though it was guiltily repented for, every time. Soon enough, boys were also introduced, and the churchiness began to dissipate; intentional hypocrite I am not, and if I was going to fornicate, I'd rather not have to apologize for it every time.

So, in summary: church-inspired irrational guilt + an emotionally distant boy with a treasure chest = me feeling uncomfortable with "marital aids."

Over a year ago I was given a well-meaning gift certificate to the best sex store in Seattle. I never used it. It's either expired or depleting in value as we speak. How sad.

2/28/07 - "Lent."

I love Lent. Ever since my very first one, those long ten years ago, I've tried to give up something (with or without a religious context), to varying levels of success. Had my first Lent not gone so well (I gave up red meat, which led to me becoming a vegetarian), I probably wouldn't get so excited about it. But it did, and I do. Much better than a New Year's Resolution, Lent provides sort of a trial-run for things in my life that I'd like to change, but am unsure of. With a set start and end, and the added accountability of God presumably "caring" how you follow through with it, it's a much easier thing to undertake than a vague, "In this year, I will try to _____." A resolution seems so... wishy-washy. There's too much wiggle room. But Lent? It's very specific. You say, "I'm not going to do ____ (or I'm going to start doing ___) until after Easter." Then you just don't do it (or start doing it, as applicable). If you can't abstain from (or commit to) something for a measly 40 days, then you probably have a problem with it, and ought to do something about that anyway. So really, if you fail at Lent, you fail at life. Nobody wants to fail at life, and fear of failure can be a great motivator. That's what's so great about Lent: instant will-power.

My Lent is more complicated this year than many years past. I've given up three things, and made one commitment. In no particular order, I have given up: sex, beer, and doughnuts. The commitment is to go to the gym three times per week (which also involved joining a gym).
Giving up sex just seemed like a good idea; while I no longer enjoy the whole casual thing, I found that I was quick to escalate things with people I really liked, too, and that I was too permissive with people I've been associated with in the past. This Lent has found me in a uniquely single position, with no one even in the wings, and keeping it that way for a while seems wise.

I chose to give up beer for a few reasons: 1) I feel that I drink it too casually, 2) It is empty calories, and 3) I wasn't willing to give up all alcohol in light of Dylan's impending 21st, so beer seemed like a reasonable compromise. I will say it's been a little more inconvenient than I thought it would be (Cocktails are expensive! Beer is so refreshing!), but there was a time when you couldn't pay me to drink a beer, so I have no doubt of my ability to follow through.

Doughnuts are a repeat from last year's Lent. It went well, and I didn't immediately start gorging once it ended, but over time I have allowed more doughnuts into my diet than I'd prefer. Some people think this one shouldn't be so hard, but keep in mind that we have doughnuts at work every day, and on top of that we have special doughnuts from a different place on Thursdays. It's all-doughnut-all-the-time up in this piece. They're tasty, accessible, and free. But again, empty calories, and a misuse of company resources (they're supposed to be for customers). Giving up work doughnuts but not other doughnuts would just be silly - I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl.

The gym thing was mostly good timing; I had been thinking about it anyway, and I'm just using Lent as an excuse to get me into the habit of going that often. When Lindsay asked me a while ago to go to her gym with her, I was receptive but non-committal, because in general I'm both busy and lazy. But lately I've also become increasingly, unacceptably fat. To the point that schedule and fatigue were deemed less important than a solution.

We're supposed to go together on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, which went well last week, but yesterday Lindsay had to go pick up her car from the shop, so she flaked. Which, of course, made me totally want to flake too. But, thanks to the compelling powers of Lent, I went anyway! By myself! And that, my friends, is an Easter miracle.

1/22/07 - "Horror Movies 101: The Slut Gets it First."

I'm writing an English paper about the role of the classic theme of Death and the Maiden in Joyce Carol Oates' short story, 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" The premise of the argument (and, arguably, the theme) is that a loss of sexual purity equals death. That's right, folks: you give it up, and then you get your slutty ass murdered. Let this be a lesson to all you fornicators out there; don't say nobody warned you.

In less absurd news, Beth, the other cashier/admin girl at work (who was our third replacement for me when I got promoted, and the only one who was both good with customers and understood the concept of alphanumeric filing), is leaving to go work at Red Robin. Which means we have to find a new girl, and I have to train her. Which means I'll have to be down there working with customers for more than just a few hours in the morning and her lunch break in the afternoon. Which means my allotted web-surfing hours during the day will be greatly reduced. Weaksauce. Hopefully whatever new girl we dredge up will be moderately competent, and I'll be able to leave her alone after a couple weeks. Hopefully she's cool and doesn't put pictures of cats and Bible quotes all over the front desk. Hopefully Beth takes her cat pictures and Bible quotes with her when she leaves.

That's all for now. I need to get back to my paper, as it's due tonight at 6pm. We'll see if the prof buys it; I'm phrasing it very theoretically in a Judeo-Christian context, being sure not to capitalize my g's in "god," and setting it up as a scholarly interpretation based on the morals inherent in the theme, and not as a judgment from the author, as I don't think that's how she meant it. It's more pulpy, in the vein of a morality tale that only sells because of its exploitation of immorality.

1/15/07 - "Whining."

I miss being in a relationship. More specifically, I miss being in a new relationship. I miss the butterfly-inducing text messages and phone calls, the dinners and the movies, the groping in the theater and the mad dash home to rip off each other's clothes and consume one another, emphatically. I miss late-night conversations about minutiae, stories I haven't heard yet, and stolen kisses on street corners. I miss tingly touches and tenuous intimacy masked in mystery. I miss being asked if I'm seeing someone and blushing in response, thinking of just how much I saw of him the night before. I miss how invincible it makes me feel to be the object of someone's affection, how pleasing the view can be through someone else's eyes.

I don't have feelings for anyone at the moment, no promising prospects even, and in that absence I think I've fallen in love with the idea of being in love. Or rather that place right before you're in love, when you know you're going to be, but you haven't quite surrendered yet. I'm infatuated with that week before you say, "I love you," when it's all you can think of in their presence, but the words can't make their way out of your mouth. When you secretly hope and more secretly fear that they're thinking the same thing about you.

12/7/06 - "Oh, nostalgia."

There is a name from my past that I cannot remember for the life of me, and in an effort to find it I went back to the very beginning of my livejournal. It's not there, though I know it is in my paper journal from that time, so when I get home I'll have to scare that up. Anyway, looking for the name started me on reading all these old entries, including the first one ever (which was about TaTu, and girls kissing... I'm retarded), and then the entries about when I first started dating Anthony, and the drama over whether to accept Cory's offer to fly me to Maine, and Nick the intern who I had a crush on, and all these things that were my life at the time, but that I had since practically forgotten. That was three-and-a-half years ago. It feels like a decade. It feels like it wasn't really me, it was just some movie I watched. There was a play-by-play of a week spent with Anthony and others after he returned from Thailand the first time, and when I was writing it up the detail seemed like overkill, but now, being able to read it and remember from it, I'm glad that I included the detail that I did. I wish I had done that more often. Many of my paper journal entries skim over the details, because I thought the event was so major, I would always remember; my feelings at the time were more important than the circumstances that led to them. But now I wish I had the details - out of the context of the details, which I don't remember, I can't place myself back in the moment and understand why I was feeling what I did. Why I would need to do that I'm not sure, but it seems like I should be able to.

Something else in my lj history that I wasn't expecting to find: the details of my last meeting with a classmate that has since died. When I found out about his death, I recalled running into him, but little else. In the lj entry, I actually mention things about our last conversation. It was his 20th birthday that day. By 22 he was dead, from cancer, and left a baby behind. I'm still writing journal entries about boys and work and inanity, and he's dead. It doesn't really seem fair; though I would be lying if I said I'd rather our places were switched.

This morning began with a myspace message from someone I briefly dated over a year ago, and with whom I haven't spoken in nearly a year. He apologized for running away (we had stopped dating but agreed to be friends, and a while after that made dinner plans - he flaked and then never returned my calls) and said he found a cd of mine that he wanted to return to me. A couple of days ago, while sending out myspace invites for the party, I came across him on my friends list, thought "oh wow, I wonder what he's up to," and checked out his page. That was all - I didn't send him an invite. It's weird how, so much later, we could both think of each other at about the same time. I've been looking for that cd, too. We weren't dating or anything when he disappeared, and I knew that he had done similar things before, so I wasn't particularly surprised or hurt. He's not someone I think of often - there are a few songs that remind me of him, and a few sexual experiences I look back upon fondly, and that's really the only time he comes up. But getting that message from him this morning made me feel really good. At the time, I was peeved for a day and then probably found something else to pay attention to - it wasn't a major moment in my life. This wasn't an apology I needed in any way, yet it still felt pretty nice to hear.

That prompted me to wonder - should I be making my own apologies for the past? This isn't my first contact from someone I used to be affiliated with, apologizing or wanting to say hello or whatever, after a long enough time that I wouldn't have expected to hear from them again. I commented to Johnny this morning that apparently I am "easy to leave, but hard to forget." If those that feel they've slighted me in some way still remember me, what about those I may have slighted? They're not going to look me up to ask for an apology, obviously, but would it improve their day if I looked them up and offered one?

I looked up one of them. He wasn't hard to find. This is from years ago, around the time I graduated high school... and I really acted immaturely and without any regard for him at all. I was so into Cory, I didn't care that this boy had been missing me while I was gone - I made fun of him, and complained about what an inconvenience his feelings were for me. The last time we spoke was probably August of 2002 - I was supposed to call that September when I got home from Maine, but doubt that I did. This is a prime example of me earning some of that bad relationship karma I mentioned before. And I don't recall feeling very bad about it. I chocked it up to "being young" and filed it under "learning experiences." I sincerely doubt this guy is holding a grudge - it's been over four years, and he's not insane (not to my knowledge, anyway), but maybe it would feel nice if I threw a little "Sorry I was a child, how have you been?" his way? Or has it been too long? Is there a statute of limitations on these things? I'm not sure. Maybe no sorry, just a how are you? Sorry might imply I've been regretting this the whole time, and I haven't been. It wasn't really on my radar at all. But when I thought of who I may want to make reparations to, he was the first person that came to mind. Perhaps my subconscious was a little more sorry than I thought?

11/28/06 - "More on that guy. Jeez, I'm wordy when feeling jilted."

I don't think Rocky Votolato sounds like the Gin Blossoms anymore.

I feel even sicker now. Part of it is probably because I was drinking last night. Part of it is because I still can't really eat, and my stomach being empty just makes it more upset. The other part is that I was right. The girl that I thought it was? Lindsay confirmed that it's her. How did I know? He omitted to mention that she was in his apartment once. He told me that Patrick and Alan were up there watching a movie, but didn't say Christina. I was with Johnny at the time, and Johnny commented that was strange, where did Christina go? She was there, of course. At the time I was willing to write it off as maybe he didn't realize I had already met her and would know who she was. But it stuck with me, and other vibes I got while hanging out with them both, and now it really doesn't seem this was as "sudden" as he claimed, considering I noticed this on November 15th, a full week before he claims anything happened with her. Which makes me feel more stupid, for trusting him instead of my instincts.

Want to hear the funny part? Before she moved here, Dave and I went out to dinner in the U-District, and I was feeling rather introspective after watching a movie about dying, and he made a joke about me thinking too much. Later, while he waited with me for a bus, we were faced with a gaggle of skinny, over-coiffed, underdressed twinks, who were babbling about something inconsequential, and who happen to be dead ringers for Christina. I motioned to them and said, "Would you rather I was like that? Because if so, we might as well end it right here, because it'll never happen." He replied, "No, no, they're nice to look at, and sometimes nice to have sex with, but that's about it." Hilarious, right? Now he has his very own, practically living in his apartment (now she doesn't have to share a bed with Patrick! How convenient!), and apparently the irony is completely lost on him.

Maybe I just need to be mean again. I used to treat boys pretty badly. Like they were expendable. I was uncompromising when it came to what I wanted. One of the hardest things to hear from Joey after we broke up was that he felt like he was my slave. I didn't want to be like that. Then I jumped into things with Chris, and carried over some of that characteristic. I pulled a few "my way or the highway" moves with him, but felt bad for it. When we ended things, that was a huge reason for my boyfriend moratorium. I was tired of jumping from relationship to relationship, and I was tired of being such a bitch to boys that I cared for. Shouldn't they be the ones I'm nicest to?

I dated casually for a while, and did a pretty good job avoiding emotional entanglements. I was smarter than that, I thought. Sex is just sex, it's for fun. No heartbreak, and no need to be particularly considerate of these guys either; I mean hey, they weren't my boyfriend. Then the whole thing with Bo, which was obviously emotional for entirely different reasons (and also oddly unemotional... something I'm sure I'll have to come to terms with eventually), and then being freaked out by things of that nature, and then... a string of mostly drunken, irresponsible choices. But hey, at least it was fun, and I didn't have to deal with any messy feelings. I started to have an actual crush on Will, and was a little bummed when he didn't reciprocate, but nothing even approaching tear-worthy. Then I met Robert, and had a burst of hey-this-person-is-awesome-I-want-hang-out-with-him-all-the-time! Which, regardless of how it all turned out, was a nice thing to feel again. I had sort of forgotten what it was like to be so excited about someone. But, despite the great beginning, things spiraled quickly, and I was able to, rather painlessly for me (to the point that his pleas started to simply anger me, fueling my resolve), extricate myself from the situation. Meeting Eric at the time also made it easier. Now I fear that Dave feels towards me what I felt towards Robert - I was so happy to be with Eric, the idea of Robert struck me as ludicrous, as did the feelings he professed to have for me. If lighthearted myspace quizzes are indicative, Dave appears to be practically giddy over this transition from me to her. Sort of like I was with Eric. Ugh. There's that sick feeling again.

Why am I constantly plagued by bad relationship karma? Here was my second earnest attempt at earning good karma, thrown back in my face just like the first. I was upbeat, I was supportive, I gave more than I took, and I followed what I've now come to regard as the relationship golden rule: Leave them better than you found them. Someone told me once that our highest responsibility in a relationship is to leave them better than you found them-- that no matter what goes down, even if you end up not speaking, as long as you leave them better than you found them then you've done your duty, and I really took it to heart. I feel I've done that twice over now; will I ever get it back? Or is bad karma the only kind that comes to pay its respects?
So, what have I learned: that when you come to a relationship openly and with your guard down, when you give it your attention and your respect and, out of respect for the other person, stop fooling around with other people, they trample all over you. But, if you ignore someone, while simultaneously seeing other people, and don't give a shit about any of it? They'll keep begging for more. This isn't something that I'm okay with - do I have to be labeled a "hopeless romantic" or some other cliche to reject this lesson?

11/27/06 - "The boy in the picture."

I feel nauseous. And not just a little, but completely sick to my stomach. This is a common reaction of mine to break-ups, and I'm trying to keep that in mind, but it's still bothering me. I feel like I could be okay, if only this feeling would subside. My mind could move on if my body would quit reminding it to be upset.

Last night I went through a few stages of grieving for the last two months; first sadness, then anger, and finally a little bit of relief. I've been so caught up in all of his problems, trying to tip-toe around his issues and be a source of support, trying to be fun and sexy and not too needy and on and on, putting my needs aside with the idea that I was building on something. It's taken up a lot of energy, which I've been aware of (and noting in a journal, because I had allotted six months for this "experiment," and was going to re-evaluate if the effort was worth it after that). The relief was stronger when I woke up this morning, and I even left the house on time and caught the bus, breaking a three-week streak (at least...) of taking cabs to work because I'm lazy and don't get up on time. That's over. A lot of things are over, actually. Drinking more than three nights a week. Potato chips. Snacking (or dinner) after 9:00 pm. I've been feeling fat lately anyway (metabolism slowing down, too many beers), but nothing can make a girl feel like an elephant than getting dumped for someone else. I don't know who she is (I have an idea, but it's based on nothing but intuition, which I've learned is not as reliable as I'd like it to be), but I can only assume she's incredibly hot. Please, Lord, let her be hot. I would much rather he be shallow than me be uninteresting.

After I got to work, though, the relief wore off some, and the sicker I feel the harder it's been to be "okay" with everything. Constant questioning by coworkers wondering how my holiday weekend was didn't help, and while "good" ruled my responses, I told my supervisor that I had been broken up with, so I wasn't feeling well. Which made me tear up a little again, but I was able to keep it together. Ugh. This is so not worth crying over. My roommate and my brother both just got out of three-year relationships, and both break-ups were instigated by the girl. That's worth some tears. But two months? When we weren't even technically going out? What is my problem? I was a disaster after Eric, too, and that was only one month. Something is seriously wrong with me. I used to have a much thicker skin. I also used to be the dumpER, though, not the dumpEE. When did that change? When did I acquire the stink of desperation?
If he has just ended it a week and a half ago for emotional reasons, as he had tried to, I would be fine. It's that he changed his mind, said that he enjoyed being with me and wanted to keep seeing me. That night, he had said he still needed to be alone, to straighten out his thoughts. We said goodnight and I closed the door. Then a few minutes later he called, asked if I had made new plans yet, asked if he could come back up. He said he was wrong, he did want to be with me that night, and invited me back to his place to watch dvd's. I thought it was so romantic. We went, watched, had a couple beers. It was really nice, I felt like things were right again, and we had a rejuvenated round in the bedroom that, to me, spoke of good things to come. We saw eachother again on Sunday; unbeknownst to me at the time, that was our last sleepover. Then fast-forward to Wednesday. We spend the day together at the Seattle Underground, I meet his coworkers, we get our picture taken (yeah, I'm really glad I have that little memento now...). I had to go to class, so we part ways, but discuss possibly getting dinner later, he says he'll let me know if he can. I get a text a few hours later saying he's going to hang out with his friend Lindsay instead, who I've been hanging out with recently as well (which means I could have been invited along, but I wasn't), and then... silence. I thought I was doing him a favor by giving him the space he has professed to desire, but... I'm getting ahead of myself.

After some scattered text mesaging throughout the day, at about 8 o'clock last night I leave him a very lighthearted message asking if he'd like to have a snowball fight, and he texts back saying he was out to dinner, but would call me later. Later ended up being almost four hours later, close to midnight. We chat a little, and then he gets to the meat of it - he's been spending the last few days with someone else. I'm a little taken aback, and ask more questions, and he throws out fun cliches like not wanting to hurt me and wanting to still be friends. Not understanding his whole meaning, I say that fidelity isn't high on my list of priorities, that I'm fine with something being open, but he says that he isn't, he can only see one person at a time, and I'm out. She's in. I don't think being a little upset over this was unreasonable. He apologizes, says he feels like a jerk. I let out the leash on my inner monologue and come back with a sardonic laugh and "Maybe you feel that way for a reason," or something to that effect. Not my finest moment, but biting my tongue has never been a strength. In defensive mode, I try to end the conversation by telling him to "Have fun." He says he doesn't want me to say that to him, he doesn't want me to be mad. I respond that it's okay for me to be mad right now. I tell him I'm going to be mad for a little bit and that I think that's perfectly reasonable. There's more conversation, it loses its importance. He told me to call him when I'm ready or something like that. After we hung up, I remembered that I have a cake pan and a pair of earrings over there. It's subconscious, but I know part of me does that on purpose. Like, by leaving things there, I'll be harder to disentangle from. It obviously doesn't work, but I'll probably keep doing it.

So, unlike the first break-up attempt over him not being able to deal with how "serious" this felt, this one is a horse of a different color. This isn't being emotionally unprepared, this is liking someone else better. After all of four days, if his assertion at the "suddeness" of it all is to be believed. How is that not supposed to be hurtful? How can he possibly expect me not to be at least a little upset? He's said many times that he was sort of a mess before he met me (and has admitted to still being a mess in some ways), and that he feels so much better now, and I've done so much, and blah blah blah. In retrospect, it was wrong to be giving if I was expecting something back; if I wanted to help him, it should have been just for the sake of helping him, not with the idea that maybe he'd make a good boyfriend some day. I still think he will make a good boyfriend some day; just not to me. I was the bandaid, but now my job is done, and he wants to go back out and play.

What I'm probably most ticked off about is when this first started, not the first night but that first week for sure, I specifically said that I'm tired of being the girl that people spend time with until they find something better. I've become a placeholder, and I hate it. I'm not trying to settle down for the rest of my life or anything, but I want some stability. I want someone who cares about me, not what they can get from me. Why is that proving so difficult? When I was younger, I felt like I was constantly being held down by guys that wanted more serious commitments than I was capable of. Now that I actually desire some sort of commitment, there's no one in sight. That's not completely true, in fact there are two people I could call right now and immediately pick up a dating relationship, but... meh. The ones that want me are never the ones that I want.
Just now I had to go downstairs and break Beth for lunch, and leaving this up here, with my phone too, allowed me to think about other things for a while. It was nice. I don't feel like so sick anymore - the little nausea I have left is mostly hunger-based, considering all I managed to choke down earlier was a small fruit smoothie this morning and half a salad at lunch. When I came back up I had a voicemail from Lindsay, who I had texted earlier to see if she'd be out tonight, and I called her back and while we were talking I wasn't even thinking of her as his friend, I was just excited to be seeing her tonight. It was a light-hearted conversation, and probably the first time all day I've laughed and meant it. So... yeah. See? I really did just have to get it out. Things are already better.

I guess the last thing I'm mad about is that he was supposed to go to my company Christmas brunch thing with me this Sunday, but now, obviously, doesn't want to go. He knows how I feel about plans; bailing on me at the last minute is like a slap in the face. Ha, that and as soon as we got off the phone, he logged on to Myspace and took me out of his Top Friends. Seriously. I never even asked to be there, he did that all on his own. Like a week after we met, too. But now? Gone. Can you say petty? Boy, do I know how to pick 'em.

11/15/06 - "Ho, ho, ho."

I am 90% sure that when I have children, I am not going to tell them the Santa Claus myth. Or at least, I'm not going to tell them that it is true. I'm willing to teach them about the cultural context of our Santa myth, and its beginnings and significance in other cultures, but I don't want to sully what should be a happy time in the family with a giant batch of lies, perpetuated over years and compounded as the child gets older and asks more questions. How do we teach our children to be truthful when, before they even acquire language skills, we push upon them this monumental lie? I'm sure I'll be wearing many hats when I become a parent, I just don't want "hypocrite" to be one of them.

I don't mind the Christmas season so much as I mind the lies. I like that everyone covers everything with twinkling lights. I like pumpkin pie, and pointsettias. I like gifts, and I like tree ornaments. I like the songs, including the religious ones. I just don't like prefacing all the good, nice things about the holiday with a big fat lie, and I'm willing to extend that to the nativity teachings, as well. I consider myself to "believe" in Jesus (as in, I think he existed, I think he taught people things, and I'm willing to accept the possibility that he was related to a higher power), but I do not believe that he was born on December 25th, nor do I believe that the "spirit of Christmas" has anything to do with his birth, or wise men, or mangers, or virgins. The "Christmas spirit," and many traditions, have to do with Saturnalia, and paganism, and being nice to people because the turn in weather brings a greater sense of responsibility for those in need (which is more like an evolution-instilled herd mentality than true charity). So, I don't know. While I'm certainly not a "Christmas-hater" in any way, I fully acknowledge that it has turned into a big ugly beast based on greed and missinformation. I fully intend to continue celebrating Christmas for the rest of my life, but I want to do it honestly and with fidelity to what I feel Christmas "means."

I understand that Santa can play a welcome role in people's Christmas celebrations, and I'm not saying that that is inherently bad. I enjoyed leaving out carrots for the reindeer, and my mom would take a big bite out of them so it looked like they had been eaten, which I thought was great. I just feel that personally, because honesty is so important to me, and an attribute that seems to be universally approved as appropriate to instill in children, one ought to lead by example. Developmentally, it is difficult to teach a child something if they can observe you acting otherwise. I don't want my message to be perceived as, "It's important to always tell the truth... except for sometimes, when it's more fun not to." I feel like this has greater ethical ramifications than the benefit that can be gained by adding "magic" to Christmas. We will still celebrate Christmas, we will still give gifts, but I don't feel that a brief belief in Santa is worth years of mixed messages."

A friend's response to the above information:
I am not a fan of Christmas in any way shape or form. However, if you did decide to be forward with your children on the myth of Santa (and I assume the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc), how would you instruct them to deal with their peers? Other children may treat your child as a pariah, or your child may disillusion the other kids prematurely - something other parents would not be very happy about.

Like I said originally, I want my children to know of the Santa myth and to understand it's cultural context (as well as other fairyland phantoms, like the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc.), but I feel that "social normalization" in these aspects is less important than the fundamental lesson of honesty. When they are school-aged and the issue of peers arises, I want them to understand that our family doesn't perpetuate these ideas, but it is okay that other families do - just as a Jewish child is not taught to believe in Santa, but is (presumably) also not taught that people who do believe in Santa are evil or stupid. While I understand the pariah argument, it seems faulty to me in that no one would reasonably expect a Jewish child to believe in Santa, or to be taught to believe in Santa so that he shares that commonality with his peers. Why is a non-religious objection to Santa viewed differently? It is my intention and hope that my children are able to understand what Santa is without having to "believe" in it - just as they should understand what a boogeyman is, or a centaur, or a heffalump. They will be taught to respect other children's right to believe in Santa just as they would be taught to respect other children's rights believe in anything else. They're allowed to believe it. That doesn't make it true. The difference between what is permissible and what is "true" (or "right" or "desirable" etc.) is one that I hope to drive home before enrollment into public schools, because I think it sets an important backdrop to interpersonal relations for the rest of their lives.And if another parent wants to get into an argument with me over my child telling their child that our family doesn't believe in Santa, then I'll be more than welcome to take them on. I think that's a scenario where I would have the upper hand.

10/27/06 - "The Dragon's Kettle Korn."

There's a tent set up in the strip-mall parking lot by my work, purveying the mind-boggling combination of raver-inspired flashing jewelry and fresh-made "Kettle Korn." Objecting to the unnecessary use of the second "k," I was going to keep on walking by, until I saw the logo for this particular sweet-and-salty snack/flashing jewelry shack: A drawing of a dragon blowing fire under a kettle of popcorn, which looks like it was drawn by an eight-year-old. But it was probably drawn by the middle-aged man running the enterprise. It's great, I wish I could scan it. But it's full of popcorn. And I don't have a scanner.Superfluous k's aside, the kettle corn is delicious. It was a good buy.

10/1/06 - "Fall."

The crunch of fallen leaves under my feet is exhilarating. I am so glad that Autumn has arrived, with all that it entails. Scary movies. Chilly nights. Pumpkin flavored everything. If I were offered a chance to live in perpetual October, I might consider it.Last weekend I went to a corn maze. It wasn't very hard, though I'm glad to have had the experience. When it gets closer to Halloween, they have a HAUNTED corn maze. That might be worth going back for. I generally embrace any opportunity to scream.Yesterday I went to Leavenworth with David. He rented a car, and we had the best intentions of getting out of town early, but my ability to stay in bed much longer than appropriate, coupled with his inability to convince me of the benefits of leaving the covers and clothing myself, led to a late start. We finally escaped the metropolis around 1 pm, under a gloomy sky, and were pleased as the farther East we went, the sunnier and less urban the scenery became. I'm not a huge nature buff, but it was honestly beautiful. We stopped at a funny little espresso-and-gift shop on the way, and I'm suspicious of the sanity of its proprietor. There were three rooms filled solid, floor to ceiling, with snaky paths between stacks, of things. Live birds (caged). Antiques. Parkas. Furniture. Plates. Party supplies. Sweaters. Dolls. Photo prints. Accessories. Knick knacks. I bought a nightlight with a black silhouette of a cowboy riding a motorcycle, printed on a miniature, halved, old-timey lampshade. For two dollars. It is illuminating my bathroom, and my heart, as we speak.The town of Leavenworth happened to be holding its Centennial Celebration, art fair, and Oktoberfest, all at once. It was a zoo. It didn't occur to me that, being Bavarian-themed, this is probably their peak tourist season, and while parking was a nightmare, the people-watching was top notch. David had never been there before, so he was a good sport, and at least moderately interested in all the stupid little shops I wanted to go to. We went to the dollhouse store, the music box store, the hat store, the Christmas store, the soap store... it was a little ridiculous. He purchased a novelty gift for Patrick, and I purchased a music box with wooden ducks that twirl on a pond, to the tune of "Love Story." The girl duck has eyelashes and a flower on her hat, so you know the ducks are heterosexual, and by default in love. Though the point of the day was meant to be hiking, the late start and extended shopping had us pressed for time, and we ended up going on a brief nature walk instead. The trail is accessible from downtown, and it was very pretty. Multiple deer of the extremely tame variety were spotted. Some hand-holding occurred. We discussed indigenous species. I really like this boy.We headed back to town with the intent of locating a dining establishment with vegetarian options. We were in a Bavarian town, during Oktoberfest. Sausage abounded. We finally came across a restaurant with one vegetable/linguine/cheese sauce offering, and decided it was the best chance we had. We placed identical orders, except I tried a German beer, and he had a Sapphire and Tonic, like always. The decor of the restaurant was Laura Ashley-meets-craft-store-chic. Except without the "chic." I just like how that sounds. Anyway, it was charming, in the most disdainful sense of the word, but my unmitigated good mood and unprecedented good company led me to be quite enamored with the place. I will probably eat there again. The leftovers were delicious. Which reminds me, I still have some German chocolate cake. I had better get on that.It was getting late, and we had plans with David's friends Lindsay and Matt, so we headed home. We made excellent time, until the Mercer St. Exit. We literally crawled through that off-ramp for 40 minutes. Which was sort of disheartening; I love the city, but it has its faults. Matt was feeling sick, so we went over to Lindsay's with some beer and sat and watched the Eukanuba dog show with them. Then David's roommate called to say he had locked himself out of the apartment. We cut the evening short to go let him in, though we were also both a little tuckered out, and while I was glad to meet the oft-mentioned Lindsay, I was looking forward to going to bed. We let Todd in, then went downstairs to see Johnny and Patrick, and give Patrick his gift. It went over pretty well, as expected. We hung out with them for a bit, Patrick revealed something I found to be rather embarrassing, because as mentioned before, I am particularly sensitive to being made fun of. They said I was blushing. I don't think I blush very often. Modesty has never been my strength. But I was embarrassed, nonetheless. We excused ourselves to go shower and go to sleep. I made sure that David's bedroom window was closed, so as to avoid future embarrassment. We went to bed and, well, you know. We fell asleep in each other's arms, as has become customary this past week. I think we might be sleeping apart tonight. I joked before that I might not remember how to fall asleep by myself, and now that I'm facing it I'm wondering if it's true. I'm sure I'll manage, but still. I can pout about it. I think that's all I've got for tonight. There are other things going on: school, work, home, family. All have notable happenings. But, as usual, I'm much more interested in boys. Or, one boy. Or, a man, if you want to get technical, though I still think of myself as a girl, not a "woman," and therefore consider my romantic interests to be "boys," because a girl with a man sounds kind of gross. Unless Nabokov is talking about it. He somehow manages to make the girl/man dynamic rather compelling. Too bad I'm no Spring chicken. 23 is quickly approaching, I'm unfortunately lacking in any Lolita-like qualities. But I digress.

8/26/06 - "It must be beaten, the iron: pound it, knead it."

I'm halfway through Anna Karenina, and all I listen to lately is Regina Spektor. You might as well paint me pink, because I'm well on my way to being an honorary Russkie. If only I could find a Russian gentleman to whisper sweet foreign nothings in my ear, I'd be entirely converted.

6/21/06 - "Don't hate."

I'm totally listening to the new Dashboard Confessional album on MTV's The Leak. You can listen to it as well, by going here: on, you know you want to.I will buy it when it comes out. And I will go to the concert at the Paramount on the 10th.I think this might be my last Dashboard album, unless he loses the band. I cannot fathom what made him think that going back to the full "rock" band sound was the way to go. I mean, he left Further Seems Forever for a reason, didn't he? This isn't quite the same, but it's close enough.I want another "Brilliant Dance." Or a "So Impossible." Or a "This Bitter Pill." As lame and teeny-bopper as this may make me sound, those songs actually make me emote. Still. After years. Maybe because it's been years, and they're remnants of a more emotionally tumultuous time (read: high school). But I miss the fervor, the bite, the urgency and ultimately the relevance of his old songs. These new songs are just... songs. They're not bad to listen to, and sometimes he sounds like he maybe cares about what he's singing about, but not really. I guess you can only be falling in and out of love for so much of your life, things have to even out eventually. And then what do you sing about?

5/30/06 - "Cookies and customers."

I am eating E.L. Fudge double-stuffed sandwich cookies with chocolate filling. Double-stuffed with chocolate filling? Hot.They are delicious. They have ridiculous phrases printed on them, like, "From the Hollow Tree," "Do You Believe in Elves?" and the aforementioned, "Elves Exist!" Really? Thank you, cookies, you've opened up my eyes to a whole different world. If it weren't for these cookies, I would have kept believing that elves are the products of fanciful imaginations and belong only in stories, but so many cookies have proclaimed so emphatically that elves do indeed exist, that I have now seen the error of my ways and am a true believer. These cookies have effectively changed my life.Or something like that.When I went to make this pointless entry about cookies, it asked if I wanted to restore my last draft, and since I've started any number of lj entries while working that I never finished, I decided to see what it was. It was my customer story, that was supposed to be like Rhiannon's customer story, only not as good, because her customer is worse than this guy was. I only had to see him a couple times, she sees Neal every day. But anyway, for the really bored, an account of my encounter with a total jerk.In honor of Rhiannon's Ode to Neal, I thought I would share my own crazy customer story. It's not as bad as hers by any means (the idea of drinking a glass of the milk from the pitcher for coffee is a perfect combination of inappropriate and disgusting), but I was still a little amazed at the utter lack of tact, poise or general understanding of ethical business practices exhibited by this man.We had a customer last week that tried to pay for a car part with an usigned credit card in a female name. When I saw it was unsigned and asked for ID, he was like, "Don't do this, just run it through." I insisted, because duh, and he said it was his wife's card, but that they had different last names. I'm willing to bend on first names, but last names on ID and credit cards should match, or you should put both names on the card. Again he tried to pressure me to just drop it and run the card, which is the precise way to get me not to accept it, because 1) I don't appreciate being bullied, and 2) Logically, only someone who was doing something wrong would be so forceful. I actually believe that it probably was his wife's credit card, but he was being such a jerk that I told him I couldn't take it - which is true, the ethical thing to do is not accept the card, whether it's his wife's or not. He FLIPPED OUT. He stormed out to go to a cash machine, complaining loudly that we had taken this card from him before and that clearly I know nothing about customer retention. After he left he called and curtly asked for parts. I knew it was him from the caller ID, and the thinly veiled contempt in his voice. According to JD, the back counter parts guy, he said that he was thinking about trading in his Navigator next year, but since I had given him such poor service he wouldn't be doing it here. That has nothing to do with parts, maybe he should have asked for a manager, or someone who might care? Also, his Navigator is a '98, which is old in the world of luxury vehicles, and he was buying parts for a Grand Marquis. This guy's no Mr. Moneybags, and certainly doesn't warrant any special favors. He came back twenty minutes later, and insisted that JD leave the parts department and come over to my counter to take his money, childishly proclaiming, "I'm not going to give it to her." The man is in his late 40's, but behaving with such petulance that I know multiple four-year-olds who could command more respect. JD gave me a weak smile as he walked by to come behind the counter, and I smiled back, which the dude noticed and said, "Oh, so this is funny now." I turn to him and say, "Sir, I'm not sure I see what the problem is here. Would you like me to get a manager for you?" He sort of blusters a bit, in a mocking tone says, "Oh, you don't see what the problem is," but again blows off the idea of getting a manager involved, which seems to speak of possibly knowing that a manager would be on my side, otherwise known as the side of logic and reason. I'm not a customer-is-always-right kind of person, and in general I have a hard time letting people operate under incorrect assumptions, so I again try to disabuse him of the notion that I am somehow wronging him by not accepting this unsigned, differently-named credit card in a woman's name. "Sir, it's in everyone's best interest that people don't accept unsigned credit cards without ID."He replies, in all seriousness: "I'm not in the habit of accepting advice from eighteen-year-olds.""Sir, I am not eighteen.""Oh? Well how old are you then?""Old enough to know how to ethically accept credit cards."He makes a snarky face, but is quiet for a bit, finishes up with JD, then as he's walking out comes up with this gem: "The key to a business relationship is consistency. You people have taken this card before, you should take it now. CON-SIS-TEN-CY. You took this card before.""Well then I apologize, because it was inappropriate for us to ever accept that card from you.""Humph." Aside, but loudly, to the parts guys, "She's got an answer for everything, huh.""I guess I do. Have a nice day."

1/27/06 - "Boston."

It is COLD in Boston. No duh, right?The day time is bearable. It's actually sunny right now, and since Mandy's room is on the top floor it just bakes, we actually had to open the window. But at night... Outside is frigid and windy and biting and inhospitable. With every icy gust the city is saying, "Go home. We don't want your kind here." Which is really unfair. I've done nothing but love this city. It must be playing hard-to-get.Last night was so cold, in fact, that I elected that we go to an on-campus pub, rather than a club in Cambridge we've been trying to go to since I was here in September. That is really fucking cold. I am normally a champ when it comes to overcoming barriers to an exciting night out. I take busses, I walk miles, I get home at 6am when I need to be up at 8 for work... But this cold, it was too much for me. I've grown soft in my old age. And it's making me rethink whether Boston is ever a place I want to live. Before it was the ultimate place I wanted to live. This is all very illuminating.Later tonight, we are going to this vegetarian Chinese restaurant that is to die for. And I hope to get my fill of the Allston junk shops, which are also pretty delicious. Then after that we're going to see OK Go. I know, right? I love stupid concerts. Last time I was here we went to see Gin Blossoms. FOR FREE. Boston has so much to offer! This weather thing is really throwing me for a loop.PS- Everyone wears jeans here. All day, all the time. It's like a uniform. It's disgusting. People say Seattle is bad for fashion, what with the few flannel hold-outs and the occasional shorts/socks/sandals combo, but I swear, Seattle's fashion ills are nothing compared to the open, weeping sore that is Boston's dress code. I will admit to having seen a few FABULOUS winter coats, however, which was refreshing.

12/3/05 - "Hilarity ensued."

Last night I lost some things. My cell phone (located), $15 (not located), my Star magazine that I had not yet finished reading (not located), and my mind (the search party is out on that one).I'm a person who enjoys the misfortune of others. Probably too much. I like to surround myself with people who share this attribute. The problem with that is then, when I go to do something stupid, there's no one to stop me. Because they're more interested in being amused than preserving my dignity. My poor, beleaguered dignity. I can't really complain, I'm the same way. It's just an unfortunate byproduct of being a caustic bitch at times.What I've had to come to terms with is the fact that I essentially rape myself. I'm in a situation, I realize it is completely not in my best interest at all, and part of me is screaming, "STOP! Don't go any further, speak up, say this isn't what you want, just say SOMETHING please." Then the other part chimes in, "Shhhh, it's too late now, don't make a scene." My mind goes somewhere else, and I quietly wait for it to be over. Sometimes I do stand up for myself and change what is happening. But sometimes I don't. The self-loathing associated with such decision-making really frightens me, because it's not something I'm consciously aware of. It's like a disease that's all symptoms, the cause of which is hidden somewhere my immune system can't dredge out.I'd like it on the record that I do not count this on my list. I count it as a drunken mess during which someone tried to penetrate me, I tried to be accommodating, I then came to my senses, and subsequently appeased with a blow job.I don't mean any of this in offense to the person who inspired this little diatribe, he's a good-looking kid who could be a perfectly nice person for all I know. I regret the scathing comments I made upon exiting my bedroom and being aurally assaulted by a chorus of friends chomping at the bit to make the first wisecrack. It was a defense mechanism. "So how was it?" "Ugh." "Sorry, I should have warned you." "Yes, you should have.""Are you going to post about this on livejournal later?""Ew. No.""Just a quick one, saying Something happened last night. I don't want to talk about it.""No, it's not even on my radar."I deadpan. They cajole. I walk away to wash the acrid taste of cum and disappointment from my mouth. Hilarity ensues.

9/18/05 - "The girl in the pink shirt hates cilantro."

The girl in the pink shirt was me, and it's true, I do hate cilantro. Which is why I raised my hand when the "guest celebrity chef" at the Taste of Boston asked who hated it, and why I was then singled out and informed that it's because I'm allergic to it. Which makes sense. Nothing too serious happens when I have it, it just tastes icky and makes me nauseous, but I now feel validated for my years of anti-cilantro diatribe.Taste of Boston was fun. Lots of free samples, a free Gin Blossoms concert (oh yes, you better believe I was right up front, "till I hear it from youuuuuuu"), and a drunk spilled cheap wine all over my skirt. It was disgusting. But made me feel slightly more important, I'm not sure why.Boston has been a blast in a half, though I'm definitely ready to go home, and in fact wish I was going home right now and not Tuesday, because I'm out of money and nothing fun is really going to happen between now and Tuesday. Oh well. If I had the funds I would have gone back to Maine today, but I don't, so I didn't.Have had some interesting "night life" experiences. Though I've learned that Boston is a mostly unattractive city (correction: most MEN are unattractive, there are hot ladies everywhere), and miss dancing in Seattle, where I normally am asked to dance by at least one non-Pakistani, non-obese guy per night, but here not so much. That's not totally fair, I danced with some fun thirty-somethings on Thursday night who weren't bad-looking, but still. One out of three is a fraction I am not fond of. I need to get out of Mandy's room, so I'm cutting this short. I would promise a more detailed account of my trip later, but I know better than to make a promise like that. It may happen, it may not. I'm feeling homesick in more ways than one and I am so tired of being asked what college I go to that I want to vomit. Let's get a new talking point, people.

3/8/05 - "Practically Pre-Pubescent Pop Princes."

There comes a time in every young person's life when they have to make a very important choice: To be an active Jesse McCartney fan, or just a passive Jesse McCartney observer.

If you're not familiar with Jesse McCartney, let me introduce you. He plays the troubled surfer youth with a frigid girlfriend on Summerland, the WB's answer to The O.C.. He's also a child of Disney, my first exposure to him being his heartfelt recording of "Second Star to the Right," for the live-action Peter Pan movie. He is now an accomplished pop star in his own right, with his catchy "Beautiful Soul" single being played on Top 40 stations like our local Kiss 106.1 approximately every four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Seriously, I timed it.

Last night was my first time watching an entire episode of Summerland, which is a better show than I thought it would be. Carmen Elektra is guest-starring for a bit. I don't know that that tidbit helps the show overall, I just find it to be of interest. The show also stars Laurie Loughlin, otherwise known as "Aunt Becky on Full House." You have to admit that's pretty cool. I'll gloss over the fact that Jesse McCartney looks pretty good in a wetsuit, seeing as he's only seventeen, and that's a little bit wrong. Or a lot wrong, but I digress.

I've almost bought his album on multiple occasions, but couldn't get myself to the check-out with it. Now I've seen his show, and basically enjoyed it. This just leaves one last step: commit to being a fan, buy the damn album, and start keeping Monday nights at nine open, or-- get over it and try to forget this mini-obsession ever occurred. This is a harder decision than you might think. I don't know if you, my general readership, are really appreciating this kid's musical genius. Take this sample from one of his songs, "The Stupid Things":

Yes I recall
Skipping on breakfast to play basketball
And feeling two feet small
Sometimes you read like William Shakes
Your scent is sweet like Betty Crocker bakes
I'd love to have your cake and eat it too

Honey, you can eat my cake any time. Err, I mean, any time after your next birthday. Right.

And come on, with lyrics like that? How can I not give in and join the fanclub!? This kid has a way with words you cannot deny. We just may be looking at the next Poet Laureate.

If American Idol has taught us anything, it's that all major decisions should be put to a popular vote. In that spirit, I leave it up to you: Should I become a full-fledged Jesse McCartney fan?

1/17/05 - "Sideways."

So tonight my mom and I had a date of sorts (Thai food and a movie, she paid). Despite my sound recommendation that we go see A Very Long Engagement, she really wanted to see Sideways, and I couldn't think of a reason not to see it besides "I think old people have sex in it," which I didn't want to voice because my mom knows of my aversion to old people fornicating (OPF) and likes to exploit it, so I agreed.

I am never allowed to go against my OPF radar again. I was SO right.

Sandra Oh, who is actually hot, would have been okay to see naked. But no, in her sex scene you get to see Thomas Haden Christiansen's cellulite-ridden butt cheeks. Thankfully, Paul Giamatti's sex scene is tastefully implied with a closed door and later reference to "fucking" (old people swearing is okay, as long as they don't say something like "I was fucking Betty White in her asshole and her fucking nipples kept beating me about the fucking belly-button." That's not okay.). Though, lucky us, we were treated to not one but TWO shower scenes with him. He's a great actor. He's not a great naked actor. Know who's a good naked actor? Brad Pitt. That boy deserves a Naked Oscar. But I digress.

And yeah, if you go see it, beware the most disturbing full-frontal male nude scene yet recorded on film. It involves hair, and a gut, and being pressed up against a car window. I think a little piece of my libido died tonight.

Anyway, when fully clothed the actors are actually quite enjoyable. I'll admit to laughing at multiple occasions. There's way too much wine talk, though. Some of it's funny, and one conversation between Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen even borders on inspired, but for the most part it's bore central.

If you're under 40, or value NOT having the desire to gouge out your eyes, I'd suggest not seeing this movie.

9/28/04 - "V-8."

I just drank a V-8. I don't think I've ever purposefully imbibed a V-8 before now, only sips to ascertain that it is, indeed, repulsive. It wasn't so bad after I got over the initial "oh sick it's like cold tomato soup with a celery after-taste" reaction. I got used to it. And I finished it. And I think I'm a better person because of it.

8/30/04 - "Freeze frame."

Remember all my commitment phobias that made me act like such a boy? Well they kind of all fell away, and I'm left with a big smile on my face and an actual boyfriend, that I'm actually happy about, and have actual feelings for. Rather than tell all my ego-boosting back-burner boys (alliteration what? I'm a pro) to put things on hold until I'm inevitably single again, I'm actually cutting ties. No back-ups, and no escape plans. It may seem like I'm over-exaggerating, but I've honestly never done this before. I always have a safety net for when I freak out, or get bored, or whatever. But not this time. Because I don't think I'm going to freak out, or get bored. It's not a "good enough for now..." sort of thing, it's an "oh thank goodness, this is just what I always wanted."

8/25/04 - "Jimmy Eat World and Anne Frank."

I'm listening to the new Jimmy Eat World single, "Pain", and I don't think I like it. I'm not sure yet... I'll listen to it a few more times. But I'm thinking not so much. "Bleed American" was also kind of an odd lead single for the last album, so maybe they're just repeating history by starting with the hardest song (NOT as in difficulty) that doesn't really sound like the rest of the album. "Bleed American" had a lot more personality to it though, and it was certainly much catchier... I'm honestly kind of sad now, if this album comes out and I don't like it, I'll be the most disappointed girl in history. Well, maybe not as disappointed as Anne Frank, but... close. Hahaha the Anne Frank bashing will never get old. That's like my new favorite joke. The back story:

When Marlon Brando died I decided the occasion called for a Myspace bulletin. Marlon Brando was an oft-impersonated man, with practically every Tom, Dick, and Harry having their own lame version of the little Godfather voice. So I commented on it being a sad day for impressionists everywhere, as it's not quite as funny to make fun of people after they're dead-- the whole taint of tragedy and whatnot. A clever counterexample seemed to be in order, so I tried to think of the least-appropriate dead person one could do an impression of, period. Anne Frank came to mind, and the very thought of it amused me so much I should be ashamed. But I'm not. So I added on "Except Anne Frank, whoo boy, that girl's a laugh riot." The bulletin elicited little response, but I was still very pleased with my little joke, and it would spring to mind and make me giggle to myself from time to time. One of these times I happened to be with my equally macabre-minded brother, Dylan, and shared the whole thing with him, and we were able to take it to levels far beyond any I had every dreamed. We have actually come up with a simply wretched "impression" of her (which entails saying "I'm Anne Frank" in a whiny little voice and including other horrible details such as "I live in a secret apartment" and "Please don't kill my parents"), and can launch into said impression at the most inopportune of moments. Kathy is also in on it now, which is so much better because she's German. It's glorious.

8/14/04 - "A story."

This is the story I started working on last weekend. I added like two sentences to it today, so I'm obviously a bit blocked. Or distracted. It was supposed to be a dirty story, copying a friend of mine because his stories are gloriously hot and I always wanted to write that sort of thing, but I'm kind of nervous about starting the dirty part, I'm not sure why. The non-dirty part was easy, because I actually carry a lot of sentiment around for this person, and I think part of my fear of getting to the dirty stuff is cheapening it? Because this whole night is one of my favorite romantic memories. Anyway, read what I have so far and let me know if you think I should finish it.

It's warm, it's dark, it's Summer. We're in the guest house on his grandmother's property in Maine. Yes, she has more than one residence. Now she even has more than one guest house; at this time the larger, more grand one was still being built. He's from one of those families. They're old money, and they have manners, in public anyway. This guest house is modest, but very comfortable. The wooden, whitewashed walls are scattered with paintings and family memorabilia, bookshelves hold pictures and nautical reference manuals. The couch easily doubles as a bed, built into two walls and meeting in the corner, with removable cushions covered in a charming and efficient blue-and-white-striped canvas. His father sleeps in the bedroom on the other side of the house, separated by a hallway, the bathroom, and the kitchen. His father is a sound sleeper, and with both sets of doors closed we're mostly safe from being interrupted. Mostly.

It hurts to be in love with someone when you know that they're leaving the next day and there's no guarantee that you'll ever see them again. The concept overwhelms me and my vision fuzzes with tears as I watch him walk around in what to me is his natural habitat, but to him is only Summer vacation. It's hard to imagine him in rooms other than this one, wearing clothes that aren't these, talking to people that aren't me. He puts on some music, and coaxes me to dance with him. He's tall, and broad, and strong. I wrap my arms around his neck and bury my face in his shoulder, breathing him in. I let him flood my senses, my whole awareness becomes his hands on my hips, his breath on my neck, his words in my ear as he softly sings along to the song.

"I'm going to miss you so much," I manage to choke out.

"Shhhh," he soothes, his deep voice in a low whisper, "we'll be fine, don't cry."

I cling tighter. He pulls back, catching my teary gaze in his sharp, blue eyes.

"I love you, sweetheart."

"I love you." I consciously leave out the common "too", because it isn't just a knee-jerk response, it's a factual statement.

He grins and leans in to kiss me on the mouth. The kiss is passionate, and moist, and we mean it. My whole body reacts; the spark of desire pulses once through my vascular system and settles in the pit of my stomach, its warmth radiating outward. He calmly leads me over to the couch. This time there are none of the giddy excitement and word-games that plagued our first sexual encounters, just desire, resolve, intimacy, need. We lay down lengthwise and kiss again, our probing tongues meet and I'm reminded of how much I love his taste.

8/6/04 - "Pee Story."

Today I peed for longer than I have ever peed before. There's no absolute way to prove this, of course, but I'm pretty sure I'd remember peeing that much at any other time. It was intense. We're talking a good minute and a half of a powerful stream. That's a lot.

I had had to pee for like an hour, but I was on a bus. My original plan was to get off in Renton and go to the comic book store, but I decided I had to pee too bad, and I didn't want to just find somewhere in Renton to go, I'd rather go home. But as we pulled in to the Bellevue Transit Center, a good 15 minute walk from my apartment, it became clear that going home wasn't an option. I ran into the Bellevue City Center building, an office building that has shops on the ground floor. As it was near 6 pm, there weren't many people around. I wandered through the hallways with an increasing franticness, until I found someone who looked like he belonged there and demanded "Where is the bathroom in this place!?" He said to follow him, and I promptly told him "Thank you so much, you're my hero." I wasn't kidding. He led me through another series of hallways and had to unlock the door, so I'm lucky I found him.

As I was leaving a very pregnant woman approached me and asked "Where is the bathroom!?" I pointed in the general direction and told her she'd need to find someone to unlock it for her. I don't think English was her strong suit, and she seemed confused. Hopefully she located a hero as well.

8/1/04 - "Shows and books."

I went to the Suffering etc. show at the Paradox last night, and I'll say that on the whole the music was really good - the Hidari Mae cover of a Suffering song (and vice versa later on) was inspired and lovely, I enjoyed Dear Darling quite a bit, and this was the first time I've seen Damien Jurado ever, so that was neat. But being there completely alone really sucked. I need to remember that no matter how much I like the music, I can't go to shows alone. I always think "Nah, it won't be such a big deal, plus I REALLY want to see these bands, and isn't that what it's about?" but I'm wrong wrong wrong. That's what it SHOULD be about, but that's never what it's actually about, and one can't start a social revolution alone; that's just called being a loser.

I'm sitting around in my bathrobe reading the last bit of High Fidelity and wishing I was satisfied with any aspect of my life whatsoever. But I'm not, and all the assurances that that's just "part of the age" have fallen on deaf ears. I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon and go back to pretending everything is sunshine and bunnies, but these brief lapses into cognition of the generally lousy state of affairs are genuinely unpleasant, to say the least.

Oh well, back to reading. I'll be done within the next half-hour or so, what should I read next?

I'm torn between more of this modern kick I've been on (First Tommy's Tale, then The Hottest State, then The Virgin Suicides, and now this), or returning to my classic roots. Actually, I think just at this moment I've become un-torn: these modern books are theoretically good, but so fast and tasteless... I'm tearing right through them and it's becoming old, how momentarily-entertaining-but-ultimately-uninspiring they are. So classic it is.

I've got some unread Nabokov around here, Bend Sinister is the most accessible (i.e. unpacked--isn't that disgusting that after six months I still have things that are packed?), and that Nietzsche compilation I bought at Steph's urgings but have only leafed through, though I think at this point Nietzsche would make me want to kill myself, so I'd be more likely to pick up the Nabokov. What else... some Rilke (Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus), which would of course be inspirational; The Crack Up, which I need to get to soon if I really want to consider myself a FSF fan (it's a collection of stories and letters and things by him and people he knew detailing his spiral into ruin, pretty much), though it's guaranteed NOT to be inspirational except as a testament to the perils of success and alcoholism, two things I'm most certainly lacking; and I'd like to give Franny and Zooey another shot, as I was much too young when I tried to read it the first time.

Anyway, thoughts, suggestions? I'm trying to conquer all the things I've bought and not yet read-- my reward at the end will be getting to buy the new David Sedaris book, which will be a sweet reward indeed. That man is a genius.

7/28/04 - "Phases."

July is an historically slutty month for me.

Follow me on this one--

July 2001 - have my first kiss, and, despite my recent mission-trip-high (Christians know what I'm talking about, you come back feeling so rejuvenated and on-fire for life and God), go a bit farther than kissing, and MUCH farther than a "good girl" should go after knowing a boy for only a few days. To my credit, I said a lot of "no"'s, but unfortunately... actions speak louder than words, and a boy can tell when a verbal no is a physical yes. They need to learn that a physical yes, however, is mostly hormonal and an instinctual reaction, while the verbal no is the mind speaking, and thus what the girl actually wants... bygones.

July 2002 - lose my virginity, when I had been planning on waiting until marriage. And I wasn't fake waiting, I meant it. See above. Though the first time itself involved a verbal yes and a physical no... ironic.

July 2003 - I was (non-exclusively, mind you) dating Anthony, but I accepted Cory's offer to visit him in Maine. While in Maine, I also fool around with BJ and with Jeff. While not in Maine, I have a few encounters with Ben (the last of them, ever, as he's now happily married and living in New York... for Sex and the City fans, Ben is my Big. Except he'll never leave his Natasha.). That's five in a month. September '02 was technically "worse" with six, but I wasn't officially dating, or sleeping with, any of them, so... this ranks higher on the "slutty" scale, I think.

July 2004 - holy fuck. Do you really want to hear this? Sure you do. We begin the month with ____, whom I believe would prefer to remain nameless, so I'll be respectful of that. Then we have Che. Josh. Matthew. A different Ben (parents should really find more creative names, this is the third Ben on my list). Tim Cady. Justin. Soto. Steven. There were overlappings of repeats (Matt between Tim and Justin, Tim between Justin and Soto, you get the idea), but this is the order they happened in. Different Ben and Tim were repeats from months ago, so they didn't re-contribute to the total number. Which is now at 35, for reference. I miscounted this afternoon and told Stephanie it was 34. I miscounted. Augh.

So that's nine this month. A new record, to say the least. There won't be any more additions for a while - I have plans with Steven tomorrow (they were originally for today but got bumped due to a family thing), who I'm sort of developing a crush on (which I'm not allowed to do, he leaves for school in under a month! I refuse to have my heart broken! so I have plans with Justin next week, to "keep things interesting" [read: be non-committal and aloof]). And besides that, there's enough repeat potential in the current cast of characters to keep me satisfied for a while. And besides THAT, the whole thing is striking me as rather distasteful, and the "way to go, hot stuff" mentality is being replaced with a small case of self-loathing. I kept telling people it was just a phase, but they never believed me. So to all you doubting Thomases: the phase is wrapping up.