April 30, 2009


I can't stop watching this video about Snowball the dancing cockatoo. My own parrots freak out every time I play it. Look here for a link to the original story about birds and their innate ability to dance.

April 29, 2009

How to disappear completely.

I want to crawl under my desk. It goes beyond that, actually. I want to stay under my desk for an extended and indefinite period of time.

I have been having this feeling since a couple months into my job. Every day I indulge in this fantasy a little: I roll back my chair, gaze at the darkness beneath my wrap-around corner desk, and note that there's plenty of room. I always look to my office door and the full length window next to it to examine whether the average passerby could tell from the hallway that I was under my desk. (I think from the hallway the answer is know, but once they entered my doorway they'd probably notice.)

This has been a weird secret of mine until last night. I talked to my best friend C. and confided this to her. I thought it was some weird little quirk about me that she would probably understand. "I know exactly what you mean," she said. "When I worked at that job I hated I used to think about getting under my desk every single day."

April 27, 2009

Attempts at "Toning Down the Crazy"

I've been trying to break out of my comfort zone in my writing. I'm trying to write about more present day issues and people. Trouble is, I prefer to cloak experiences in humorous pathos, and all I can come up with at the moment is pathos. With the exception of imitating myself, I can't squeeze a drop of humor out. Maybe I'm not far enough away from these events yet to be able to reflect on them well? Maybe some things just aren't meant to be funny?

I tried writing a piece called "Toning Down the Crazy" and I hate it. It came out sounding like a regular old blog entry or a simple recount to a friend. I need to think about it more. If you've been reading this blog, most of this will already be familiar to you because I wrote about it as I was experiencing it, but here's a stab I took. I don't even have an ending! I just stopped.

* * * * * * * * *

Toning Down the Crazy

I spent some time over the last couple of years losing my shit. It culminated in an ecstatic cacophony from December – February. I thought I was losing my mind. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening to me.

Let me tell you some of the gory details.

I vacillated wildly between crushing depression and hysteria. The depression is pretty self-explanatory, but the hysteria… There were days when the roar of noise was so loud in my head that all I could do was try to calm myself. My childhood patterns of obsessions and compulsions returned full-force. I would drive home chanting to myself—anything to shut off the noise. One day I needed to yell over and over, “I’m sorry,’ she said, “but I have nothing left to give!’” to no one in particular. Another day I found myself rocking back and forth at work furiously whispering Christmas carols to deal with the panic rising in me. I knew perfectly well that my office was a fishbowl and that anyone could see what I was doing. But I didn’t care! I banged out words on my keyboard that day that looked like this:


I check my personal email inbox repeatedly, thinking frantically, “Somebody talk to me SOMEBODYFUCKINGTALKTOME! I NEED TO HEAR FROM SOMEBODYANYFUCKINGBODYIDON’TCAREWHOYOUARE.”

I wanted someone’s—anyone’s—words and appearance of normalcy to soothe me.

I became obsessed with the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn’t really want to jump off of it but part of my couldn’t stop thinking about ‘what if?’ I had to read about it and drive to it and stare at it and research it. I needed to know how high it was from the water and how deep it was underneath. (How far could one go?) I needed to watch clips of others jumping off. I was terrified of the thoughts my brain insisted on having but all I could do was go along for the ride.

If a friend made me laugh to hard I couldn’t stop. It would turn into a hysterical, manical laughter and then—just as quickly—into uncontrollable sobbing.

I would call friends and beg to come over—couldn’t I please just come over for awhile? They always said yes, and often by the time I was supposed to head over I didn’t want to go anymore—couldn’t bear the thought of seeing anyone. So I’d call and cancel.

I found a quote during that time. I don’t remember where I found it or know who wrote it, but ohmygod it was me:

I have a darkness that I have to feed. I have a sadness that grows up around me like a weed. I'm not hurting anyone. I'm just spiraling in. I close my eyes and hear the song begin again...

There were days that—like a fog—everything would lift. I would feel completely normal. “What is my problem?” I would think. “I’m obviously fine. I need to stop acting so crazy. Why can’t I stop? I just need to be tougher with myself.” It felt like I'd managed to fool everyone into thinking there was something wrong with me--my God, what an actress!

Maybe my eventual bipolar diagnosis doesn’t come as a complete surprise, but it confused me. I thought the mania was supposed to feel good! I thought you were supposed to have super-human energy and feel like you could do anything! I just felt like a wayward tornado.

"Instruments lined on a silver tray--don't let me get carried away."

"Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."

- Red Smith

Celestial disappointments

Events in the sky had a way of eluding me for the longest time.

The first experience I can remember clearly was the approach of Haley’s Comet in 1986. I was terribly excited. I was 9 years old and relished thinking about what I’d be like in 76 more years. A grandma? Rich? Bones in a grave?

On the night it was supposed to be seen, my friends and I were outside waiting eagerly. It was incredibly cloudy, but this did little to diminish my optimism. This was a big deal. Something incredibly important was about to happen; my life was about to change.

We didn’t see a thing.

We were all disappointed, but I was the most upset. My friend Beau’s dad took pity on us and set off some Roman candles in the middle of the street as a consolation prize. This was only the first of many disappointments.

My grandpa bought me a telescope, and much to my embarrassment I could never see anything through it.

I wished earnestly on the first star I saw every night. I said the little chant and everything, “Star light, star bright…” Those stars never gave me anything.

Everyone I knew had seen shooting stars. While playing outside at night, friends would regularly say, “Oh, look! A shooting star! Oh, you missed it.” I would train my eyes on the sky for long stretches of time and never did I get to see a shooting star.

One night when I lived in Richmond, there was a meteor shower in the middle of the winter. It was supposed to be at its brightest around 4am when it was twenty degrees. I was eager to see the meteors, and dutifully bundled up and stood outside behind my apartment building watching the sky. After a half an hour of freezing and not seeing even a single meteor, I went back inside. This was pretty much my luck until I moved to San Francisco.

I moved in here in July 2005, and from a bench with a friend in Noe Valley one night in November, I about fell over when I saw a shooting star. I got so excited that he was a little alarmed, believing that my standards for entertainment were very, very low.

Since then I have seen hundreds of them. I catch them randomly all the time, and in October of 2007 I lay on a blanket in the backyard watching for shooting stars and contemplating constellations with someone I loved. One night last summer while on a midnight drive down Highway 1 with a friend, we saw a gargantuan flaming blue meteor, hurtling toward the ocean and we screamed with shock and delight.

Last night I lay in bed feeling desperately like I wanted to move away. I contemplated the things and the people and the memories I would have to leave behind, and I wondered if celestial events were included in those.

In my head I am so far away from here.

I want to spend the day on a blanket in the park. A bottle of wine would be nice here, but not necessary.

I want to see Tennessee Valley up in Mill Valley, CA.

I want to drive to Santa Cruz and spend the afternoon riding rides. And then I want to go to that little shop with all the lanterns.

I want to be most anywhere but here at my desk, feeling as though the world is passing me by as I send emails to participants in a research study.

April 24, 2009

Numero dos!

When it rains, it pours!

Today I got a rejection letter from The Sun magazine for "Hypervigilance." I am happier because this one's an actual letter instead of an email, although they didn't tell me they loved my essay.

Still waiting for: McSweeney's and This American Life. It's challenging to find places to send my work because not everyone wants memoir.

"Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey..."

As many of you know, my grandfather passed away on Feb. 7. There was an insurance policy divided three ways that my mother, uncle, and I are supposed to receive. I got the paperwork for it today, and I was woefully unprepared for the flood of emotion that would along with the copy of the death certificate that accompanied it.

Apparently there is another insurance policy that is in dispute between my mom, uncle, and step-grandmother. Lawyers are being consulted on both sides. My mom's trying to tell me not to talk to Wanda. I want no part of any of this. I don't know who's right and wrong, but it makes me sick that they've resorted to this.

April 23, 2009

We loved your essay...

Oh, you with the breathtaking eyes...

I got my first official rejection letter today from Brevity for "Narrate My Life."

What a day it's been!

"How do you detox off that?"

This little piece "Before" has been getting a surprising amount of attention. I got another response about it from a guy I went to high school with.

My God Amie. How do you you sum up life so perfectly? I related to this in so many ways. You have a gift of reaching out and defining things everyone experiences in life that would otherwise be intangible fellings to others. Thank you for this one. It helped put some of the stuff Im dealing with in life into a bit of perspective for me. Sorry about gushing. I had an emotional moment. Thanks for that.

I showed this to my roomie and he read it and said, "That is a total junkie statement." I questioned him about this. He responded....

"That is what goes through a junkie's mind before every hit they take off the pipe."
I was stunned.

He had hit something in me with that statement. My mind immediately began disassembling EVERYTHING. Every possible memory or feeling I had began to fly through my minds eye, scrutinized to see if I had felt that way in association to ANYTHING else I had ever experienced. In about the span of a half hour, perception had, once again, shifted. I am, in essence, a junkie. A drug whore of sorts. My drug has always been acceptance.

"How do you detox off that?" I ask myself.

"Do I really want to?"

After 34 years of life, I still question why I am the way I am every day. Every once in a while, I actually get an answer.

Thanks again.

How incredibly touching and flattering. How incredibly like myself.


My friend Seth sent a response to the note I posted yesterday. The original post:


I fidget: desperate to otherwise occupy my brain.
I wonder: what if...?
I hope: what if...?
I vow: the last time, the last time.
I worry: long to be more than I am just for a little while.

His response:

her fidgets and wonderment, her dreams and promises, and her worries........... all the tiny pieces of a puzzle. intricate and meaningful by themselves, come together to create a vision larger than any of the individual pieces could have inspired to her imagination. you are more than the parts that make you. :)

I love my friends.

April 22, 2009


I fidget: desperate to otherwise occupy my brain.
I wonder: what if...?
I hope: what if...?
I vow: the last time, the last time.
I worry: long to be more than I am just for a little while.

April 21, 2009

Today, a poem.

I have posted this here before, but it seemed like a good idea to post it again today.

Her Lips are Copper Wire
by Jean Toomer

whisper of yellow globes
gleaming on lamp-posts that sway
like bootleg licker drinkers in the fog

and let your breath be moist against me
like bright beads on yellow globes

telephone the power-house
that the main wires are insulate

(her words play softly up and down
dewy corridors of billboards)

then with your tongue remove the tape
and press your lips to mine
till they are incandescent

Can I...

work up the courage to try it one more time?

April 20, 2009

This is ridiculous.

I'm tired of scaring the hell out of myself by nodding off on I-280 before the sun comes up. I think I'm going to have to start traveling with a pillow and blanket in the car at all times.

In other news:

I'm positive my creativity has left. Gone. Shot. My boxes wait unfinished. My new greeting cards wait patiently for captions. Large portions of my bedroom walls remain bare. I have unwritten stories in me yet that haven't figured out how to come out. Even words I love hearing and reading are in short supply. The most interesting creative endeavors I have coming up are an origami paper unicorn centerpiece and a meat-shaped cake. Things have to get better.

I think it may be this whole full-time job nonsense. Note to self: Must put in more nights on the street corner so I can cut back on the 40 hour/week gig.

April 18, 2009


On the way home tonight, I saw a hippie dude with a guitar in front of the DeLano's grocery store singing what he described as a haiku:

"Please don't murder me.
I hope you don't murder me.
Please don't murder me."

April 17, 2009


Yesterday I had the most hideous day at work.

It's not even worth going into, especially since this is a public blog and I need this job. But on the way home I was in tears and trying to think of what to do to help myself feel better. It was tempting to choose from any number of destructive things, but I'm trying hard NOT to do that.

So I went to Target.

And I bought some inexpensive but luxurious items: butter cream body cream, mascara, foot pumice, intensive hand cream, body wash. I felt better, I felt better about myself, and I smell fantastic.

April 15, 2009

Amazing powers of description

"Madame Merle slowly seated herself, with her arms folded and her white hands arranged as a support to one of them and an ornament, as it were, to the other. She looked exquisitely calm, but impressively sad."

Henry James, Portrait of a Lady

Janie had tried to show her shine.

"She had found a jewel down inside herself and she had wanted to walk where people could see her and gleam it around. But she had been set in the market-place to sell. Been set for still bait. When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks made them hunt for one another, but the mud is deaf and dumb. Like all the other tumbling mud-balls, Janie had tried to show her shine."

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

On the meeting of Eddie and Ruth Ann

(They were my maternal grandparents.)

He was on a street corner waiting for a bus. She was helping to carry a mattress down the sidewalk. He watched her go by, staggering beneath the weight of the mattress. He thought she was beautiful and wanted to ask her out, but she looked rather busy at the time. Every time he went to that bus stop after that he looked for her; it put a little extra bounce in his step on the way to catch the bus. Finally one day she was there.

She stood primly off to the side in a long red coat, looking much more put together than the day she was carrying the mattress. He felt nervous, but the memory of the long wait to see her again spurned him to action. He quietly introduced himself and asked her for a date, and she accepted with a smile.

The rest is, well...

April 14, 2009

Bad joke

Yesterday while urgently searching for over-the-counter allergy medicine, I had to be reminded that they now keep it behind the pharmacy counter so the quantity you can buy can be controlled so as to reduce the chances you're converting the pseudoephedrine found in it to meth. I had to show I.D., sign a form, and turn around in a circle three times with my hand over my heart to promise I wasn't making meth with this allergy medicine. While signing my name, I asked the pharmacist, "This is all to keep me from producing meth, right?"

"Right," she answered.

"Well, fortunately my meth lab is already well-stocked," I replied.

She did not look amused. I might be on some kind of narcotics watch list or something now.

April 13, 2009

Text message conversation with S.

A: What what the name of that Bettie Serveert song?

S: Life is an Imbecile?

A: Haha! I thought it said "Life is an Amber Sail."

S: That's not even remotely close.

A: Duh. That's why it's funny. At least I didn't think they said 'cock' like normal.

S: What's funny is that you can replace "life" with "Amie."

A: Now you're just being a dickface.

S: Oh, that really cuts like a knife, Bitter Tits.


[Standing outside a bar in Oakland talking with a friend of a friend, A.]

A: I'm more of a whiskey drinker.

Me: Not me. That's my sad bastard drink.

A: What do you mean? Really?

Me: I'm serious! I have a couple whiskeys and I'm curled in a fetal position on the floor and I'm all like, "My life is meaningless! There's no point to going on!"

A: (laughs) No way. I can't even imagine that.

Me: It's true! (goes on for effect) "We're all alone! There is no God!"

A: I don't think I believe you. I can't even imagine you being sad.

Me: (stops cold) What?

A: Yeah, I can't even picture you sad at all. Every time I look at you you're smiling.

April 11, 2009

"If you must put me in a box make sure it's a big box...."

When I tell you that I love you
Don't test my love
Accept my love
Don't test my love
'Cause maybe I don't love you all that much.

-Dan Bern, "Jerusalem"

April 10, 2009

"I've been looking so long at these pictures of you..."

I noticed something interesting in the picture below. If you click on it and enlarge it, you can see some of the kids' crafts along the top of the chalkboard. I *think* that the last owl on the right (just before the tear in the picture) says "AMIE" at the bottom of it. How cool is that!? I think I remember making both the owls and the black cats now that I see them.

Pictures of you

My friend Susan posted this picture of our preschool class last night on Facebook. My god, it was so strange seeing this particular group of faces again. The mists of memory are hazy. I am in the 3rd row, the 3rd from the end, in a pale pink dress with pigtails. (You can click on it to make it giant.) I remember feeling incredibly beautiful in that dress, and I wore it every chance I got. I still feel a sense of annoyance when I see the kid who hogged the best tricycle every day (back row, middle, red hair and shirt: Jeremy L.).

I remember the day Matt R. got his head stuck between two posts.

I remember the little green cots on which we took our naps.

I remember making crafts about Jesus, because it was held at a church.

I remember learning to climb to the top of the monkey bars on the playground outside.

I remember going to school in a dress without underwear, and my mom yelling at me because they had called her at work.

April 9, 2009

Poised on the brink of something important...a tidbit

I watched him unabashedly, wanting him to notice. He was absorbed in putting drum equipment away and didn’t seem to pay attention to anything going on around him. In true high school girl fashion, I leaned toward Chaunette and said, “He’s so cute.”

Her eyes followed my gaze. “Oh, Eli?” she asked, using his nickname. “I’ve had a crush on him forever.”

“Really?” I asked, with mild interest. I felt no competition here. “Is he nice?”

“Oh, yes. He’s really nice! But he doesn’t say much,” she laughed.

I continued to stare at him, wondering if I could work up the courage to talk to him and—somewhere in the back of my head—filing away the details of this conversation so that I could tell him about it one day and we could laugh together.

Another tidbit

I sat huddled outside the door to the room all the girls were in. I was the only one my age in the shelter—all the other kids were babies or teenagers—and I was achingly lonely. I listened to them laugh and sing along to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I hated Michael Jackson, and my shyness would probably prevent me from opening my mouth, but I still wanted to be in the room with those girls. Suddenly the door opened a crack, and a suspicious eye was cast on me. I turned toward it hopefully. “How old are you?” came a muffled voice.

I hesitated. Should I lie? “Eight,” I answered honestly.

“Will you tell anyone what we talk about in here?” the voice asked.

“No, I swear,” I answered with as much vehemence as I could muster.

One final question from the voice: “Do you like Michael Jackson?”

“I love him,” I lied while mentally vowing to apologize to God a hundred times later that night.

“Okay, you can come in,” the voice relented. And the door swung open.


I hurled myself against the door in an effort to block anyone from coming into the bathroom, screaming, “No! Don’t make me go home!” The door knob jutted into my ribs as my body collided with the door, and I grunted with pain. I could hear my classmates calling for Miss Wilking. I knew from experience that someone would take pictures of my bruises, and briefly I wondered if I should tell them that I caused this one.

April 8, 2009

You do, you have, you are.

You take trips in your mind.

You get crushes on cities the way others do on people.

You've saved that card for years, hoping for someone to give it to.

You will never say those particular words to another living soul.

You write all over your walls. And body.

Your hands still remember. And they refuse to forget.

You're trying to walk a fine line.

You do it to comfort yourself.

You long to do something more constructive with tears.

You're looking for a way out.

You don't actually need to know.

You look up to her.

You're closer than you've ever been.

My nose isn't that big. (It looks nothing like me.)

There are days...

...like today when my sanity is fleeting and external forces don't make it any easier to hold onto.

I could use some serious huggage. There are none in sight; the horizon is expansive and empty.

April 7, 2009

A change in tone

For awhile, my mom had a habit of texting me with, "What r u doing?" This irritated the hell out of me.

I made a little game out of thinking up things to say to her in response to that--stuff like, "Chewing off my arm to try to escape from this bear trap," or "Belching the alphabet," or "Trying to find out who my baby daddy is." She never acknowledged my efforts.

Lately, her texts have changed. I think that since my grandpa died she must be feeling her mortality. Now she texts things like, "I love u so very much. Never doubt that," and "I miss u every single day."

If we were close, this would be one thing. We are not. And I am speechless when she sends these texts. I am without witty comebacks.

Self-imposed constraints

I'm trying to work up to writing memoir pieces about people who have been in my life since I was less than 10 years of age. This feels trickier to me because: 1) those earliest paths are so well-worn in my mind that they're easy to write about--they almost write themselves, and 2) I have no qualms writing about my parents and grandparents and my very earliest friends. It feels stickier, however, to write about people more recently in my life--especially given that I am submitting these pieces for publication and working up to a book. I'd love to talk to other memoir writers about how their subjects deal with showing up in their pieces.

I have one very emotional piece that I wrote about 2 1/2 years ago that I haven't had the courage to make public. Parts of it are so dark--and all of it is so personal--that I'm not sure I can bear it. I keep thinking I should just do it quick and get it over with. Like pulling off a band-aid. But then I remember that it's not just me that it has the power to hurt, and I stop.

April 6, 2009

Shades of panic

I think I may be the only person who can make a panic attack even more dramatic than it already is. About half the time I have them, like the one today, a contributor to my racing heart and shortness of breath and feeling of impending doom are my thoughts: There is no God! We're all alone! *I'm* all alone forever! We're all going to die absolutely alone! There is nothing else! What is the point?

Christ. I'm a bundle of good cheer and optimism.

Text message from my mother

Ok your mom is officially a biker's bitch. Lol

April 4, 2009

I am delicious.

Today I generously dipped into the special occasion, peony-scented body wash. I smell amazing!

A conversation with my mother long ago

I am 13 years old, and it is the summer before my 8th grade year. I'm sitting on the couching reading a book when my mom comes into the room.

Mom: Go outside and play.

Me: I'm too old to go outside and "play."

Mom: Then just go outside and do something.

Me: I'm reading.

Mom: Boys don't like girls that are too smart, you know.

Me: Then I don't like boys.

Mom: What are you, some kind of lesbian?

First lines

I did a fun little writing exercise where I came up with the first lines of stories. They may or may not develop into actual stories, but I really enjoyed doing this.

Being my mother’s daughter has resulted in acquired sleuthing skills over the years. There was always a need to figure out what really happened, as her take on the most mundane of events changed dramatically on a dime.

For much of my life I’ve felt the need to have a back-up plan.

My mother saved her happiness for other things.

I was a sorry girl the day my grandpa decided to talk to me about sex.

I picked up the crumbs of advice my uncles dropped like a hungry baby bird.

When I was little I took great pleasure in counting and ordering things. This included everything from books to records to boogers.

April 3, 2009

For Jennifer

I write stuff about all kinds of people in this here blog. I write about people who irritate me, make my day, help me, and make me think. I write about my mother. I write about evil stepfathers. I write about friends as well as past and future significant others. I write about loved ones who are leaving or whom have already left my life. I don’t think I write nearly enough about those who’ve made a long-lasting impact.

Jennifer is my sister. If you want to be technical about it, she’s my former stepsister, but I don’t think of her that way. She’s my sister.

My mom and her dad got married, and Jen and I first met when I was about 11 and she was about 8. We were nervous to meet. My mother filled my head with terrible things about her mother, and I imagine hers may have done the same. I expected her to be bratty and spoiled and snobby, but nothing could have been further from the truth. We hit it off immediately. Probably because we were both kind of odd girls—I like to think in a good way.

For the next several years Jen and I anxiously awaited each and every time she and her brother got to come and stay with my family, and when she arrived we were inseparable. We told each other all of our secrets and speculated about boobs and sex and periods. I taught her everything I knew which, in hindsight, wasn’t all that much. (Sorry, Jen.) We slept in the same bed and made up ridiculous songs and giggled about everything.

We spent our time in the most ridiculous and wonderful ways. We loved to lay on the floor of my bedroom and throw balled up socks and my ceiling fan and laugh uproariously as it batted them around the room. We ate ice cream cones in a bathtub full of hot water in our bathing suits. We made up songs about my family’s hamsters, Ralph and Julie (all three generations of Ralph and Julie). We jumped out of my bedroom window and snuck down to Maple Lake to go swimming. We made up homemade madlibs that were unfailing dirty for such inexperienced girls. She was around when I lost my virginity (terrible) and when I fell in love (wonderful). It is by no means a stretch to say that some of the happiest times in my young life were spent with Jennifer. She had unfettered access to my journal—an honor given to no one else before or since. She was the first REAL best friend I ever had.

We both hungered for fathers, and we both remember a night when we’d been drug to Interstate Speedway to watch races in which we had no interest. While standing in line to use the porta-potties, I bent forward to tie my shoe and got a whiff of the man standing in line in front of us. He smelled like clean laundry and soap. Nice. Strong. Safe. Like a dad. “Jen! Smell him! Smell his back!” I whispered urgently, nearly frantic for her to experience his smell before it was his turn to use the bathroom. Without thinking I was strange and without asking why, she immediately leaned forward and sniffed the back of his shirt with me. “Mmmm…he smells so good…” she whispered back. “Doesn’t he smell like a dad?” I asked. She heartily agreed, and for the next couple of moments we stood in line smelling this man. It was because she understood things like that that I loved her.

When our parents got divorced, Jen and I lost touch and it was very painful for us. We made a handful of phone calls and wrote a handful of emails to each other over the years, but otherwise had very little communication. One day in May of 2006, I was house-sitting in Berkeley when I got an email from her asking if she could come to San Francisco to visit. I was nearly beside myself and answered, “Yes, YES!” Two weeks later, she arrived.

I think we were both a little nervous. We didn’t really know to what extent the other had changed. We didn’t know if we’d still really like each other, let alone adore each other the way we once had. We spent the weekend holed up, talking and drinking and talking some more. One night at Trad’r Sam’s we got staggeringly drunk and laid in the middle of the sidewalk in front of my house, smoking cigarettes and laughing. It was like we’d always been. Except with alcohol and cigarettes.

I don’t get to see Jennifer anywhere near as often as I like to. She lives in DC now. She is beautiful and wonderful and intelligent and interesting and kind and accomplished and ridiculously funny. I am so proud she's my sister. I think of her more than she knows and love her dearly.

That’s really all I wanted to say.

"I have not had any sleep, so I ate Minithins to stay awake..."

"You crash your car right into me, there's two days that I didn't sleep... "

April 2, 2009


Can I just say how excited I am?

Here is a blown-up, blurry version of my business card with Jill's logo. Because she is a good friend (and cuh-razy) Jill only charged me the price of staying at my house and tour guide services when she comes to visit (which better be soon!). Jill owns Flyeye Design--check out her cool website here: www.flyeyedesign.com. Be sure to read about how she came up with her company's name when we were on a trip to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria in college in 1999.

My friend Lynn is also helping me out. She owns The Cat's Pajamas, a pajama company in Berkeley, CA. Lynn is kindly offering advice to this fledgling business girl on everything from making contacts with potential customers and contacts to getting a sellers' license to terminology.

Nannette also bought me the book Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business which is packed with helpful ideas and information. I devoured it immediately.

It's nice to have such amazing chicas around me!

The day I kept driving

For as long as I can remember, I have felt the need to have an escape plan from my life.

Recently, I was driving to work and I was immersed in my thoughts and music and I just kept going and going. Eventually there was a break in my reverie and I looked around and thought, Where am I? Where am I going? (Excellent questions, in general, as it turns out.) Nothing was familiar. I had bypassed my exit on the interstate and was heading south for parts unknown.

For a brief moment, I was free.

My mind swelled with the possibilities of where I would go and what I would call myself. Should I have a colorful past or keep it vague and mysterious? Should I make an attempt to let my family know I was alive or just fade into their memories? Where are the best beaches in Central and South America? Would I get the infamous Brazilian wax? Could I support myself by giving diving lessons? Could I learn to scuba dive in the first place? Would I eventually blend in with the locals? How far could I get?

I mentally calculated the amount of money in my bank account and, upon realizing I could only get about as far as San Jose, I sighed. And turned around.

(This was revised from an earlier piece.)

April 1, 2009

I wish that I was...

When I was about 5 years old, I was in love (as in love as it is possible for a 5 year old to be...especially since it was pretty one-sided) with Rick Springfield. The song "Jesse's Girl" was very popular at that time, and I would rock furiously on my rocking horse while listening to it on my little blue and white record player, only stopping long enough to place the needle back at the beginning of the 45' that I so cherished.

I would imagine what it was like to be Jesse's girl. In my head, she would be one of the girls with white teeth and shiny, billowing hair like the ones in the shampoo commercials. Her laugh came easily, and the sunlight glinted off of her natural highlights. I would rock on my horse and toss my hair casually the way I imagined Jesse's girl might, knowing that she was coveted and revered and envied.

I need some of that shampoo. I also seem to have had a strange fascination with girls in shampoo commercials most of my life. See here and here.