and so you’d think

And so you’d think I would rush through the door, throw down my luggage, tear through the empty boxes and set up my new life just in time for the stroke of midnight. 2003. The year I have waited for, for at least half a year.

Instead, I’m still in my pajamas. Instead, I’m staring at an empty coffee mug and I’ve been dicking around with my website for an hour, a website I’m not even supposed to care about anymore.

I thought about Doing Something but I really want to be by myself, with the cat, and one phone call at midnight. That’s how I want to spend it.

I also want cheap Trader Joe’s sushi, but that requires leaving this safe space I have created, towers of boxes and all. Maybe I’ll convince myself into that, or maybe it’s just soup and Cool Ranch Doritos, and red wine as the ball falls.

Happy new year, everyone. I’m mildly crazy about you all and we’ve all got a crush on 2003.


I wish I had more to report– no, that’s a lie. I’m glad I have almost nothing to report. It’s been such a relaxing time, and I needed it so much.

My writing partner visited me on Friday, and we ate dinner, wandered around Michigan Avenue, and talked and talked. Adam and I did much the same Saturday, except we wandered around a mall instead. Both visits were so comfortable and made me so glad to have the friends I have.

Now I have to face the fact that Monday night I’ll be heading back to California. Already? I’m both anxious to get back and reluctant to leave. My dreams have been ridiculous and hard, to make up for my easy waking life.

I miss my cat, my library, and my someone special.

a meme from mom

My mom just gave me a copy of Jonathan Carroll’s White Apples. I can’t wait to read it. She told me that the book contains five fascinating questions; want to answer them?

  1. What three meals from your past would you like to eat again?
  2. What two objects would you like to possess again?
  3. What is the one act in your life you wish you could take back or erase?
  4. What one person would you like to see again?
  5. What one experience do you wish you could repeat?

dear 2003

Dear 2003:

No more heart surgeries for my dad. This is non-negotiable.

2002 took the last of my grandparents, as well as my marriage, so you have less to work with.

I would like for you to be nicer to my friends, a few in particular, who have been quite roughed up by 2002. I would also like to make it through you with an intact sense of self, or perhaps just this newfound perspective. The usual wishes, such as world peace, people being nicer to each other, and the cessation of Jewel being given book deals for her volumes of “poetry” still apply. Thank you kindly, and come on in.


P.S. Don’t fuck with my new apartment.

shortest recap

Friday Scott arrived. Saturday he helped me with more moving stuff, and then we went into the city and I performed the wedding ceremony. Afterwards, we went to David’s apartment to play games and have dinner and lovely wine with him and Brina. On Sunday, we did more moving and unpacking, watched “The Fellowship of the Ring” on DVD (thanks, Ned!) and then went to see “The Two Towers”. (uh, wow) Monday we ran around like CRAZY people, getting everything packed and dropping Zen off at the boarding place. Somehow – no thanks to the taxi company we called WAY ahead of time – we made it to the airport shuttle, then to the airport, and had a quick dinner before I had to board my plane.

The flight was an uneventful four hours. Which was a good thing, you see, because I have had enough eventfulness for three or four people lately.

And now, the yearly preparation for the potential fiasco that is visiting my aunt’s house. O yay.

sleep success

Although the G4 didn’t make it over here last night – simply because I couldn’t lift the damned monitor – the coffeemaker did, and so in just a few moments I will brew a pot of coffee and greet the day properly.

Zen slept curled up next to me for part of the night, and then at some point I woke up and she was on the third level of her cat tree (the thing is 7’ tall and has four levels). Right before my alarm went off, I woke and heard her fiddling in the litterbox, and then she came to bed and curled up next to me again for a few purring minutes until she was off to inspect some new part of this small place.

Now she’s on the very top of her cat tree and dozing again. I, on the other hand, am awake and ready to face my very last workday before the holiday! Tonight, Scott arrives for a few days, and tomorrow I perform the wedding. Sunday and Monday may be spent just doing absolutely nothing. Ahh.

aww yeah

My movers rocked. They were so incredibly wonderfully awesome. Two guys, two hours, less than two hundred bucks. In the beginning of the storm of biblical proportions, no less.

And so it came to pass that after an Egg McMuffin and a nice, hot shower, I curled up for just a little while and fell asleep while listening to the rain.

Now I’m attempting some work, at work. (Five-minute commutes also rock.) Tonight, I pick up Zen, the G4, and the coffeemaker, and then things get interesting.

Thanks, everyone, for the good-moving-vibes. They worked!

ouch, says my back

Who invented this moving thing? My back hurts.

The movers come for the furniture in the morning. My new flannel sheets and microfleece blanket are washed and ready, and along with my feather pillows and the beautiful afghan that Lynette made me, they all should make my futon comfy-cozy tomorrow night.

Which is great, because tomorrow night I will sleep the sleep of the dead.


I made the mistake once of answering a “friend” honestly about why I wasn’t on good terms with his friend. I felt I was as fair as I could be, while still preserving the key aspects of why the situation was so.

Instead of keeping this knowledge to himself – as he said he would, since he asked “in confidence” – he ran right back to her and told her everything.

She, of course, confronted me. I hate confrontation, and even more when I feel like I have conducted myself in an ethical way to begin with, or at least my best approximation of what others believe are ethics. (More on the debate of ethics later, perhaps.)

I have decided, since this last shining example of human stupidity (on his and my part both), to keep a few close confidants and to shut the rest of you out. This is why at times my writing here is so impersonal, or merely stream-of-consciousness. Yes, it is ye olde “a few people ruined it for the rest of you” but I finally learned my lesson. I finally figured it out. My dad would be so proud. He tried to teach this to me many, many years ago and I never got it.

I’m sharing this with you today because, of course, it annoys me to no end that I can’t just trust blithely anymore, and write whatever I want. Sure, I can technically write whatever I want, but it gets twisted up and to the wrong people in third-hand form, and then they come looking for me, confrontation in hand.

Not spilling everything isn’t a fuck-you. It’s a turtleshell so I don’t get fucked over.

the press

My weekend was simultaneously relaxing and depressing. The storm nodded its cheery little head at me and said, “O no. You’re not getting anything moved this weekend.” And so I did a bunch of nothing, and was sad and then glad about that. Glad and then sad.

Sandwiched between last life and the next, contact lenses worn out and blurred, like in my dream. I got off the train and you stayed on, and it ended up being the last time I saw you. Cars are slow to function in my dreams, and the windshields are always rain-pummeled. I’ll shift gears but the car won’t, and this time, I drove right on past.

I drove right on past.

Did we ever mean to go this way? It’s never as easy as a mistaken left turn. You’ll stay on the train, and I’ll remember.

wedding etcetera

I worked a bit on my wedding officiating site tonight, with Scott’s help, who is designing a logo for me as well as business cards. I sent off the final (I hope) draft of the ceremony I’ll be performing on Saturday at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. Now I just have to pick up my “wedding outfit” from the dry cleaners, which consists of an ankle-length aubergine satin skirt, an ivory silk blouse, and a black 40’s style vintage collarless blazer. I certainly hope I’m warm enough for the ceremony, since being cold makes me cranky.


The last time I threw a dinner party, no one came. That’s all right, I thought, since I hadn’t made any food, or put out any plates, but still, after I had turned off the front-porch light and gone to bed, I opened my mouth and hollowed out words upon words of outrage, indignance.

This silent suffering is in vogue, now. Don’t you know?

The last time I fucked myself I hadn’t bought myself dinner first, which is incredibly rude, and presumptuous of me anyway, that dinner equals sex, or that tickets to the ballet equal a handjob, but really, we all know: there’s got to be a tip scale for this somewhere, and we’re all just playing along. Anyway, I won’t go out with me again. The sex wasn’t that great, and I’m still hungry.

If you remember the time I sat on the newsprint in the corner, and tried to toilet-train myself, you’ll also remember that I couldn’t even pee. My eyelids turned yellow and nothing came out. You rolled up a magazine and hit me on the nose; I yelped and hid, and later I ate your slippers.

Crazy though it may seem, I have unraveled everything you’ve knitted, only so slowly you won’t notice. I hid it under the couch. O, how I want you to hate me, with fist and fury and sugar. How I have unhated you in return.


For the past two weeks, I’ve slept in my work clothes. Usually I change into arbitrarily designated “sleep clothes” during the wintertime, which involve fleece and sweatshirty bits. Not so, these past weeks. I don’t know what this means, other than it’s cold and I have surpassed all previous levels of laziness.

Or it is a metaphor, and I am unwilling to face what it represents.

Last night, the last night the two of us were together in the house, we watched television and we divided up DVDs and we cried. My heart and muscles ache: I had a dream of sleeping under an electric blanket in a bed that used to be mine, but nothing loosened the tension. Everything rests on the short side of the spring. My eyes opened at 5:59 and instead of doing as I did a hundred times before – hit the black plastic for a seven-minute reprieve – I slipped out into the cold air.

It isn’t the same.

Nothing will be.


Pull yourself apart. Go on. See the things that connect you to other you. It’s all inside. Open up. Each part to part, slide thin things inside, separate. Distend. Open up.

I am still here. Buried underneath layers of silt carried as sediment through tears down my face. Down, down my face. If you chip it all away and there is clockwork underneath, does that mean I am automatic? Do I stil need to be wound up?

Bring me a fucking glass of water. I’m so tired, and it’s always half-empty, even if you fill it. I can kill the fake pain with a fake Advil, but if I shoot myself in the foot I’ll still buy both shoes.

Disperse. Lift up. Evaporating like eyeballs, slow to go, when the rest is gone. You’re my Alka-Seltzer, baby, over the counter and fuzzed up. You make my head feel all right. You make me feel all right.

cookie dough

In a sick and twisted way, it feels great to argue with PacBell – oops, I mean SBC – over the phone line in my new apartment. It’s sort of comforting to know that I’m going through the same sort of bullshit that everyone else does, even if I’m doing it ten years late.

I always was the tardy one. Walked late, talked late, teethed late, screwed late. The only thing I did early was learn how to read. It figures.

Apparently free boxes are only available around 01:00 at Safeway. I am such an old fart that I’m lucky if I see 01:00, let alone get in the car and drive to Safeway to ask for boxes. I miss the days of all-nighters, the days that didn’t end, that just stretched into a week and then it was a matter of hallucinating TMBG songs in my poli-sci class, wandering outside in the January air to find a place to smoke a crapass menthol cigarette and wonder how my feet were able to detach themselves from my body and wander off towards the dining hall.

Really, I miss it.

Mostly I miss that feeling of being a college student: the inimitable fuck-you-world feeling, hiding amidst change-major forms and blue books and beer bongs and ramen and “Jeopardy” and then, you know, dessert of cookie dough raw from the plastic tube, all my fingers stuck up together and sweet and salty at once, like sex only with chocolate chips.

This time, we’ll do it over. We’ll have a full-time job and we’ll have ten years of knowledge and we’ll have a cat. We’ll have a room again, all to ourselves; we’ll have a hotpot. We’ll have ramen. We’ll have evenings alone and weekends uncluttered by frat parties. We’ll have no television. We’ll have DSL.

And maybe we’ll have some cookie dough.

new mantra

My mantra been “I am not a bad person” for a while now. I just changed it. It is now:

“I will not freak out. I will treat people respectfully even if they do not have the compassion to do the same in return. No matter how angry or hurt I am, I will not lash out, even in retaliation. I will let it go.”

I will let it go.


I just got the approval to take two weeks off in late February and early March for my and Scott’s birthdays. Europe, here we come!

calling all internet geeks

I am shopping around for a good ISP (dialup, not broadband). I’d prefer a company within the Bay Area instead of a huge national one, and I steadfastly refuse to patronize Earthlink, AT&T or AOL for my own reasons. I have a Mac and I want unlimited access; none of this $19.95 for 200 hours crap. Have any recommendations for me? Send ‘em on!


I am packing for Detroit, and will leave soon to spend the day with David and Brina before heading out on my flight tonight. Scott is safely and happily ensconced with family up north; I head east to do the same with myself for a few days.

My family has been so supportive of me this year, and o, have I ever needed it. My friends have, too, but I’ve also seen a little sorting out on that score: there are those who have remained close, and those who have drifted off into the ether. For once, I’m not blaming myself for losing touch with people. I have given it an honest shot, and to do more would require the rest of my life to be more stable than it is right now. It isn’t, and so the friends who require more attention than I can give them will just have to wander off.

But family … they have to stick around, no matter what. Suckers! ;)

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow American peeps. To the rest of the world, happy Thursday!

things change

I get fairly confused when I read entries I made two years ago. Is it common to change so much within two years that your past self is barely recognizable?

I will be returning to Detroit this year, alone. Gramma and her house, both of which had figured so prominently in my childhood, are no more: Gramma passed away earlier this year, the house sold mere months before that. Things change, my mother once joked to me, pretending to give me such unwise advice. Now I know that’s the only wisdom that means anything to me.


The book is 2’ by 1’ by 6”. It is bound in leather with gilt lettering.

A dictionary of the English language: in which the words are deduced from their originals, and illustrated in their different significations by examples from the best writers: to which are prefixed, a history of the language, and an English grammar by Samuel Johnson.

Publication date: 1755. First edition.

I didn’t lick it, but man, I wanted to.

Sprint PCS Samsung SCH-3500 phone for sale

I have recently changed mobile service providers and so I am selling a Samsung SCH-3500 dual-band mobile phone. It is in perfect working order, and in very good condition with only a few minor cosmetic scratches. Included with the phone is a Body Glove Neoprene Cell Suit Case, a desktop charger, and an over-one-ear headset.

You can activate this phone with Sprint PCS (online, even) for an activation fee of $34.99, although I believe this fee is waived for current Sprint PCS customers. Don’t quote me on it, though! I’m entertaining all reasonable offers for the phone and its accessories; you pay shipping costs from the San Francisco Bay Area. To make an offer, leave a comment or email me at the address listed in my userinfo. Thanks!

again with the talking

I just got back from my first counseling session, or rather, my first counseling session of Round Two of Keeping Halsted From Going Postal. It was really … nice. My counselor is very supportive and asks good questions. I like her. And of course, there’s no meds involved this time around. I’ll be seeing her Wednesday mornings.

I cleaned my study last night and so that’s more liveable. Tonight I go into the city to meet up with the wedding people, who cancelled at the last minute last week. Friday I head down to L.A. to visit Scott. This week has actually been okay, for a change, aside from friends of mine losing their mom last night. I am focusing a lot of positive energy their way right now, what little I have to spare.

the finalists

  1. University of Washington
  2. Washington University of St. Louis
  3. University of Arizona
  4. University of California at Irvine


I had a truly wondrous visit with my dad and stepmom. So glad; I needed it. Berkeley is such an incredible place. I would look into Cal for grad school, but they have no MFA in creative writing. Bah.

Reading The Stranger by Camus, finally. It’s captivating. Making me want to write in short sentences, too. Oops, even fragments. Shame on me.

This morning, I got up to the sound of my new alarm clock at 0600 and was out the door by 0700, just like I used to! It felt great. Unfortunately, the 101 was completely backed up and I didn’t get into the office exactly at 0730. At least I was here before 0745, and with only a 30-minute lunch I’ll feel not at all sorry for leaving on time.

That means I have to follow through with the rest of my new-old schedule, which involves exercise, meditation, and an hour of only writing … nothing else.

More GRE review shall happen tonight, yea verily, forsooth. (I’m working the old school vocab, see?)

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