October 27, 2010

The haps

Dear Diary,

It's been awhile since I wrote. Since I broke my rib, things have been kind of slow. For the past couple of weeks I have been taking a lot of drugs and sleeping and wishing for the pain to go away. Things are still plodding along, though.

Early Friday morning, my little yellow bird Petey passed away after a sudden and very brief illness. I held Petey and had her beside me during the last hours of her life, and I cried and I cried when she was gone. There is no sweet little yellow bird swinging enthusiastically in my life anymore, and her boyfriend Sammy is quite lonely and inconsolable.

Ivan and I continue to navigate the challenges of life together. This rainy weekend Darius stayed with us and we (well, Ivan) carved jack-o-lanterns. I roasted pumpkin seeds even though I was the only one with a taste for them.

I continue to struggle with terrible anxiety. I am anxious about everything! Past, present, and future--I do not discriminate. I start the morning with intense fear and dread. I beg Ivan to hug me and tell me everything will be okay.

It will, won't it?


October 7, 2010

On the squelching of panic

I think I have always been under the impression that once you find a partner, you don't feel lonely any more. I should know already from experience that this is not true--that it's my own problem--but somehow I still seem to operate under this illusion. And it surprises me every time I encounter it.

I still don't know how to negotiate the boundaries of writing so much of my personal life in a blog that suddenly includes another person whose privacy has to be considered. And rather than deal with that or find a way through it, I have just not been writing, in general. And I miss it.

September 28, 2010


"Your life will soon lose all direction, which, considering how it has been going, should come as a vast relief."

September 25, 2010

If I ever leave this world alive

She said, "I'm okay. I'm alright.
Though you have gone from my life."
You said that it would
Now everything should
Be alright.

September 20, 2010

The kindness of strangers

I've been feeling a little blue. The reasons for this are not important right now, but what happened while I was feeling that way today is worthy of mention.

While the place I work is perfectly fine, people tend to keep to themselves. Other than the other person on my team, Michelle (thank God for her!), I don't really have anyone to talk to during the day. At times it feels a little lonely.

Today I've been feeling especially anxious and emotional, and it was so hard to coax myself out of bed this morning. I've burst into tears twice today at work. Michelle stopped by to let me know that a small reception had just let out, and that free for the taking were sandwiches, cookies, and pasta salad. This occasionally happens around here, and it's always a lovely treat. I hurried back to conference room where the food was located just in time to see someone picking up the last of it. Disappointed, I returned to my desk to continue working and to grumble about my bad luck.

Suddenly, the guy in the cube next to me stopped by my cube and introduced himself. I was a little surprised, as Michael's been my neighbor for 3 1/2 months now and we've never talked. (I'm shy! I'm horrible at introducing myself!) We chatted a few minutes, and he told me he'd gotten more food than he could eat leftover from the reception and would I like to share? I felt silly for feeling so grateful at the prospect of sharing someone's free lunch, but I gratefully accepted. He returned to his cube, got out his plate and fork, and created me a platter that was exactly half of everything he had: a roast beef sandwich, pesto pasta salad, and a peanut butter cookie.

I immediately teared up again, but they were good tears. I had my delicious lunch while I worked. I washed his dishes and returned them, and told him he'd really made my day better. He seemed a little surprised by this.

Sometimes it's the little things.

September 18, 2010

There's this weird little song that is apparently huge on the radio right now. When I first heard it, I was immediately annoyed. But somehow it's grown on me and makes me sad--like I've lost something I can't quite find.

It was not your fault, but mine
It was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn't I my dear?

September 17, 2010


There's so much passion and energy in our fighting, we could power a small city for the duration of the night.

September 11, 2010

On better

Somewhere along the way I lost the need to be better--to improve, to try, to embark on new personal projects. I can't seem to find that desire. I'm not sure how to get it back.

September 9, 2010

Marty Farty is in the building

A: Do you know the rhyme?

I: What? No.

A: Marty Farty had a party, all his friends were there. Tutti Frutti let a beauty and they all went out for air.

I: Tutti Frutti did what?

A: Let a beauty.

I: Lit a beauty? What? I don't understand.

A: Let. A. Beauty. Tutti Frutti farted.

I: Wait. Marty Farty had a party and someone else farted? That doesn't even make sense.

A: They were his friends.

I: I guess if you're going to fart that's the place to do it.

September 8, 2010


Today just got a whole lot rougher.

'Cause you might get run over or you might get shot

Occasionally I have days that are like one giant existential crisis. Today is one of them. I get up with the alarm, I smear shampoo through my hair. I dutifully put on my security badge for work and march through the front doors. I spend my work day in a sort of survival mode: just getting through it, getting it done, putting in the time until I can leave. It’s not clear to me why there is so much anticipation about going home at the end of the day. There is dinner to be had and dishes to be done. I may or may not do those things. If I’m really good I spend time writing to or about someone. If I’m especially restless I turn on the TV and try to absorb one of the mind-numbing shows on there. I try to be strategic about giving myself things to look forward to: dinner and drinks with this friend, concert tickets with that friend, the occasional movie. A walk in the fog. But I can’t stop wondering, “Isn’t there more that this?”

I suppose I’m not asking anything that everyone else doesn’t wonder at some time or another. It’s just that for so long I had this feeling that I was meant for bigger and better things. When I was young that feeling was so strong I could almost TOUCH it. A part of me refuses to believe that measuring out my life with coffee spoons and paychecks is all there is to it.

I don’t mean to sound cynical. I’m actually not. I pay attention. I look for the little moments and relish any time I get with people I love. I try to keep the shit that doesn’t matter in perspective and not lose sight of the bigger stuff. I try not to lose my general sense of optimism and my naïve belief that good people get good things because they deserve them. It’s just that some days are a little harder than others, and today I am working extra hard.

August 30, 2010

In this place that we call home...

...the match of the century: absence versus thin air.

Bump in the night

Last night Darius spent the night with us. He likes sleeping on my Aerobed and in my sleeping bag, and we set him up a bed in the living room. After giving strict instructions to come get dad if he had to go potty, we all went to sleep. About an hour later, he jumped out of bed in terror and came running into the bedroom crying from a nightmare. Ivan and I sprung out of bed immediately to comfort him. I wrapped my arms around him and stroked his hair, while Ivan said, "It's okay, buddy. Do you want to climb in bed with us?"

Somewhere during my half asleep confusion, I remember looking at Ivan and thinking, "Yes, I want to do this with you."

As Spiderman

Behind the mask

August 27, 2010

To the anonymous commenter who feels obliged to pass judgment on my life

Maybe you should go fuck yourself.

Askew, aflutter, and awash

I'm nearly dizzy with delight today.

We made some family planning decisions last night, and my brain can barely focus on the smaller details of my daily grind as it tries to wrap itself around these huge things. I think I'll keep the specific details private at this time (I know! You're not used to that, are you?), but I am lost somewhere between excitement and terror as I think about what I want to do and how I want to take care of myself before it's time to start trying. My brain keeps saying, "This might be your last August 27 as a non-parent!" and "This could be the last Christmas before you turn in to 1/2 of Santa Claus!"

How do people do this?

August 26, 2010

The San Francisco native

I'm gonna tell my son to grow up pretty as the grass is green
And whip-smart as the English Channel's wide
And I'm gonna tell my son to keep his money in his mattress
And his watch on any hand between his thighs
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till I write my whole life story on the back of his big brown eyes

August 25, 2010

Full mind, empty belly

Holy mother of god are we poor right now! The last time I was this broke it was, like, 1997.

I didn't have any money to eat lunch today and was pretty bummed about it. MAGICALLY my office suite ended up with a donation of free pizza after some event ended and it was just about the best thing EVER. Guess I'll have to pick up all the pennies and nickles that spill from my pockets to the floor when I take off my jeans (and drive Ivan crazy). There's no money for lunch tomorrow, either, but it's a work from home day and that is a major consolation. At least I can be hungry at home in my pajamas.

I suppose one day we will look back on this time period and laugh. Because we are sick sons of bitches like that. Right now it's not too funny, though.

August 23, 2010

Trapped/digging out

This weekend we had very few choices. For a variety of reasons not worth going into, we're out of money until payday (and we only get paid once per month). Plus, my car is having some serious issues and should not be driven until I get it fixed. Which cannot happen until after payday. Thus, this weekend we stayed in. And ate ramen noodles.

Mostly we lounged. I spent a little time clearing some clothes and other stuff out of the bedroom to give us more space. I threw away items that I swore I would fit into again. I threw away the blanket that I originally started crocheting for my grandma, because I am never going to finish it. Tears were the result.

I am still interested in getting back into running (inspired, in part, by brief encounters with my old running clothes) and Ivan agrees. I think joining the gym is our most realistic option, although we have different ideas about which gyms to join.

Last night we went to bed early.

This morning when emerging from the shower, Ivan said, "Baby, I'm sorry living with me isn't more glamorous."

He needn't worry. It's perfect.

August 20, 2010

Because I am a dork

Our first piece of mail together!

August 19, 2010


I will not be fucked up by this any longer.
I will not be fucked up by this any longer.
I will not be fucked up by this any longer.

August 17, 2010

The unmentionables

I know you love me. You murmur it into my ear and against my hair when you are unconscious with sleep. So why can I not help but clam up when you ask me to tell you what I am feeling?

Maybe it is because we are still learning our ways around one another. Maybe it's because no one ever really wanted to hear these things and I'm not used to it. Maybe it is because I worry that if you know my true fears and worries, you won't want me anymore.

Know that when my lips are silent, my head is loud.

Living vicariously

I used to write,
I used to write letters
I used to sign my name
I used to sleep at night
Before the flashing lights settled deep in my brain
But by the time we met
By the time we met the times had already changed...

August 16, 2010


I would like to get to the bottom of why I feel abandoned over the slightest things.

I can see it now. I will be the reason.

August 15, 2010

The bomb-diggity

Alternative title to this post:
Living in sin

It's official. We now live together.

In reality, things have only changed minimally. I mean Ivan got his stuff out of his old room today and we brought it over, but he's been here all along. We've looked at each other a couple of times already and marveled that it was for real now.

He brought over a tupperware container filled with duffle bags. I looked at it incredulously and, knowing how little room we have, said, "Are you bringing all those bags?"

He opened his hands to me and said, "What else am I going to put my stuff in when you kick me to the curb?"

After resting awhile late this afternoon, I woke up with the most amazing idea. "Baby, let's get a Christmas tree this year!" I enthused. He agreed and now I am nearly beside myself.

Jumping in

The move in day is here! We're doing it!

August 11, 2010

This mess we're in

I think we might be destined to live in a federally-proclaimed disaster area.

I was just looking at pictures of other couples' apartments and--even the ones that bemoan how cluttered and messy they are--they're SPOTLESS compared to ours. Our laundry is in a giant, unfolded pile, our dinner dishes from last night are still in the sink, there is an extra computer in the middle of the living room, the bathroom needs scrubbed...I could go on but it's starting to stress me out. Like watching an episode of "Hoarders."

It's just that we have so many more interesting things to do when we get home in the evening than CLEAN. Like last night. I think I laughed for an hour just because we sat and TALKED and drank beer after dinner. Seriously: my abs are sore today.

I can remember lots of lonely nights in a clean apartment in the past and I wouldn't trade this for the world.

Well, baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you...

What put me into hysterics

I: I'm like the parakeet whisperer, excepting I'm not whispering. I'm talking normal.

August 10, 2010


   /ˈvʌlnərəbəl/ Show Spelled[vuhl-ner-uh-buhl]

capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.

August 9, 2010

In memory of smells (abbreviated)

She opened her eyes with a start and looked around. The room was empty and silent; the lanterns and paper cranes hanging from the ceiling were still. Turning over, she began to sniff his side of the bed frantically. She needed one whiff of clean laundry, shaving cream, deodorant, and that unnamed something--the particular scent of his skin. She ran her nose over the pillows and across the sheets and blankets, sniffing all the while.

There. On that pillow. A remnant of him. She curled herself around his smell like a cat and closed her eyes.

Let down

This weekend Ivan and I had his four year old son Darius stay with us. All of my fears are alleviated. We had a wonderful time. I adore Darius and I think he rather likes me as well. And I love Ivan even more after seeing the Dad in him. I'm trying to think of the best way to articulate this to him. I think it might involve whispering under the covers under the dark of night.

This morning felt quiet--no little feet running in to tell us, "Guys...wake up!" We drug ourselves out of bed and into the shower to begin our morning routine. Incidentally, how can this feel routine when it hasn't even been 6 weeks yet? How have I become so accustomed to and content with this way of being so quickly?

All I know is that I am at my desk and I feel lonely. Neither of my boys are here and I miss them terribly.

August 3, 2010

Me and Bobby McGee

I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues.
Windshield wipers slapping time, I was holding Bobby's hand in mine,
We sang every song that driver knew...


"I can feel your sadness all the way in Daly City, but I wouldn't want it any other way."

August 2, 2010

"I don't have to listen to you."

Ivan told me last night I should write a new blog entry. I dismissed this idea, because I don't want to make everyone barf by reading how happy I am.

We are busy trying to fit into my apartment and putting off our major cleaning day. Cleaning needs to come soon, though, because his son Darius will be staying with us in the near future and--though he is just a kid--I don't want the place to be a disaster.

I confess that I am nervous to meet Darius. I hear he's a sweet and easy-going little boy with a penchant for Spider Man, but all I can hear echoing in my head are future fights that end with, "You're not my mom! You can't tell me what to do!"

Oh god.

I look around my house wondering how to entertain him when he visits. Mostly I come up with the fact that I need to buy popsicles, except I think those might be more for me than they are for him. I have a neglected game of Hungry Hungry Hippos that might go over well. There is a small park near my house that he already likes. I kind of want to gather up and add to my art supplies for some fantastic creations. (Again, probably more for me than him.) I would like to find kid-friendly recipes so that making lunch and snacks could be an interactive experience.

I am remembering trips to my auntie's house as a kid because they were always a special treat. She had paints and cotton balls and watercolors and story books, and we could create and pretend to our heart's content. I would like Darius to feel this way when he visits us.

I am trying not to be daunted by this.

I have many years of experience in taking care of infants and small children; I just hope I'm not too self-centered to be able to do it these days.


I am enjoying your face. When you are away from me and I see a picture of you, I feel a pang of separation. We talk for hours, sleep with limbs entangled, eat together, cross paths in the shower, take turns brushing our teeth--and still I miss you when you’re gone.

July 30, 2010

Middle is Gold

Yesterday, I picked Ivan up from work and we went to his sister's so I could meet her for the first time. I was certain she was going to hate me and that this would be our last evening together, so I tried to make the most of it. We were in a celebratory mood: we were off work, we were being naughty and going to McDonald's for dinner, and we had beer with us.

As we drove and chatted, I scrolled through my iPod. I was stuck in the "M's" and went back and forth between the Misfits, Marvin Gaye, and Marty Robbins. Suddenly, Mates of State jumped out at me. Oh, I hadn't heard "Middle is Gold" in years! I put it on.

This was the song that I was listening to in Oct.-Nov. 2006 when I was moving out of the apartment with Chris and I was wild with hysteria and terror at what I was about to do. I recited the lines over and over to myself:

You can get only what it is you want!
(It's always the same by and by)

The deja vu was almost more than I could stand. I wanted to cry because I made it. I officially made it out the other side of that tunnel.

Who, can you tell me, who do you love?
You ought to know things will never be the same, boy...

I wanted to try to articulate this to Ivan, but it seemed too complicated. Instead I said, "Oh, my god I love this song." He couldn't have known how much I meant that.

So much gets trapped inside my head that never gets out.

July 28, 2010

Becoming a habit

The normalcy of it all is startling at times.

Two streams are coming together and forging their path as one river, noting the twists and turns and rocky patches along the way.

Or maybe it's a sturdy little boat determined to keep upright despite the surges and currents and the wake of the bigger boats.

July 27, 2010

Lots of details to discern, lots of details

So, yes, big news. Ivan and I will be cohabitating, as T.K. urged me to call it.

I'm not gonna lie: it's a simultaneously scary and exciting development. We realize it might seem crazy to others as we've not even known each other a month yet. I think I am more sensitive to others' perceptions of us than he is.

I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm happy he's the one that suggested this development. I'm not sure that I ever would have no matter how long we were together. I just never wanted to be seen as the whiny girl in a relationship who is always pushing for more, more! (When are we getting married!? What colors do you want to paint the nursery?) I think it may backfire on me sometimes, though, because I end up never pushing for anything.

Maybe that's why I have settled so much.

At my suggestion, we are beginning with a 30 day trial period before he moves all of his stuff in. I felt like we needed an emergency cord to pull just in case. I know we are in for plenty of challenges as we settle in to each others' living space. We're already facing some of them. I, for example, do not understand why the bathroom sink has to turn into a lake each time he uses it. What does he do that requires so much water all over the place? Maybe he has some of these thoughts about me and my habits, but I doubt it. I am very easy to live with...

Okay, I know that sleeping with my fan on makes him nuts. He's also incredulous as to why I never want to pick up the mail that my mail carrier drops through my door slot. One thing we have going for us, though, is the fact that we both squeeze the toothpaste from the top of the tube. (I think this characteristic about me alone made Chris want to scream, and I can understand that.)

My place is tiny. We'll get a larger place down the road with a second bedroom, but for now this is where we're at. I know it won't be easy, but there are so many wonderful things to look forward to. For example, he gets off work a couple hours later than me, and by the time he arrives I am practically jumping out of my skin to see him. I cook more now that there's someone else there to enjoy it with. I like reaching over in the middle of the night to find his warm, sleeping body. I love that we set the alarm a little early each morning so we can spend some time snuggling before facing the day. It fortifies me.

We are silly and excited and looking forward to our future. Please excuse us if we are corny and cheesy and make you gag.

July 23, 2010

And then I cry.

It's easy to forget that there are these nights--these nights that test you and make you wonder if you can really make it work. I think they will come no matter what, but they always scare me and give me a (at least a brief) sense of hopelessness.

"Fear we may come, so run, run, run..."

July 19, 2010

Compliments and thank yous

I think that compliment-giving is a lost art. Receiving them may be as well. I would like to write down some compliments for things folks have done for me recently. The fact that you likely won't know who they are is immaterial.

1. Cricket: you make me laugh when you stick your butt feathers up in the air and dig upside down while grunting. Thank you for being a fool.

2. Security guard at DeLano's at 2am Saturday morning: It was really impressive the way you recognized me in my pajamas with my hair swirling in a tornado around my head while I drank Nyquil from the bottle at the cash register. It really makes me happy to know that that moment is immortalized in someone else's mind forever, in case I ever just want to pretend like it didn't happen.

3. Mom: Thanks for letting me know your boyfriend's penis is 6 inches long. Really. There are no words.

4. Suzie: You are the most enthusiastic steak-finger maker in the history of the world, and I absolutely adore it.

5. Ivan: Thank you for your thoroughness. Holy mother of god.

6. Geico insurance agent: I really liked the way you described in great detail how Mucinex works. Nothing was left to the imagination, and I am grateful for that.

7. Michelle: It makes my day when you eagerly trot back to tell me about the presence of cheesecake, strawberries, tuna sandwiches, and any number of other scrumptious treats that make their way to our desk in the lobby at work. It's nice of you to think of sharing first and foremost.

8. Dude in the cube on the other side of the wall: I've never seen you, but I feel like I know you intimately. I know you have a rash on your inner thigh, are grumpy in the mornings, and like all things Spanish. Thanks for making me feel a part of your life.

The sunset tree

St. Joseph's baby aspirin,
Bartles and James,
and you or your memory.

July 9, 2010

Typically at the phalanges

G: What did you think about today?

A: I thought about whether or not you can "prove" you love someone. I thought about whether or not it was a good idea to wear this strappy sundress on a foggy day, and decided that it was because it makes me happy. I thought about why it is that there are some issues that turn me into an ostrich--putting my head directly into the sand. I thought about the fact that I haven't finished my book yet for tomorrow night's book club, and am I the worst member of the club? I thought about making a list of meals to make for dinner because, without a conscious effort at diversity, I will eat the same thing almost every night. This, in turn, led me to think that I was way overdue for making some homemade mashed potatoes. I thought about issues of privacy and trust, and the the borders where one person begins and another one ends.

G: All noble thoughts. Yes. Yes. I read an article this weekend regarding a similar vein, but it was with food and not issues. That happens, and No. That's a good idea, and, in theory, it is cheaper. mmmm potatoes Typically at the phalanges, but it depends on how you roll ;-)

July 6, 2010

Headin' down to Brazil

Inspired by my friend B's success and relatively minor pain, I've decided to get my first Brazilian bikini wax. Appointment scheduled for Saturday afternoon. This is not a job for Penny, my old Vietnamese waxing friend. I'm paying to go to a nice place. 'Cause I'm skeered.

Awash in the post-taco glow

I know. I'm off living my life and not writing about it. Crazy, huh?

A bus hit me in my car. Still dealing with insurance and, as TK said, some of the organge-y goodness has been squished out of Julius.

On July 3 I passed the five year mark of living in San Francisco. It filled my mind with nostalgia and memories of the day that Chris and I arrived with the moving truck feeling exhausted and wary and anxious. So many things have happened since then. I have fallen into and out of love, gotten jobs, gotten fired, made new friends, lost one friend, lost my two beloved grandparents, traveled, has emotional breakdowns, got help, got lost, got found...and so on.

I have some decisions to make. I keep putting them off, hoping they will get easier.

June 27, 2010


I'm feeling restless and experimental again. God help the world.

June 25, 2010

On anticipation (III)

My house is clean in preparation for a friend coming over to cook dinner with me this evening. I'm wearing a strappy sundress despite the fog and drizzle because I feel rather sunny today.

The day is perfect except for one minor inconvenience...

June 24, 2010

Push the pieces in place

Two-headed boy,
She is all you could need,
She will feed you tomatoes
and radio wire,
And retire to sheets safe and clean,
But don't hate her when she gets up to leave...

June 21, 2010

Despite what at least one of you may be thinking...

...No, I am not pregnant. There's at least one essential activity that has to be taking place for that to occur and--not that it should be publicized here, but will that stop me? No. No it won't--I've not done that for, what? Years? Seems that way.

Lighten up!

June 20, 2010

A personal Father's Day wish

Happy Father's Day to my baby daddy.

You really are the best. It's the little things you do that I adore, you know? When you roll down the window before farting in the car, it makes me love you even more. When you lovingly smack me in the face with your penis as I wake up in the morning, I realize how lucky I am to have you in my life.

I can only hope that little Buddy grows up to be half the man that you are. I look forward to watching you teach him how to secretly look up girls' skirts and to see you serve as his role model for shifting your package while noisily belching in public and calling the dog "Lil' Fucker."

Just thinking of these things makes me want to make more babies with you.

All my love!

June 15, 2010

"There is no Naomi in view..."

"And my emptiness is swollen shut
Always a wretch I have become
So empty
And please, please don't leave me here."

Some of you have been asking where I've been and it warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart to know that I have been missed.

To tell you the truth, I'm doing well. I'm in a period of transition.

I love my new job. I really do. It's not like it's anything spectacular, but it's the normalcy of it that makes me happy. I don't dread getting up in the morning. I don't shake and cringe when my boss calls or stops by. No panic attacks. No tears.

I have been meeting a lot of new people and shedding cracks of light on parts of myself that have been hiding.

I have been taking stock. There are things I'm unhappy with and want to change, and I'm figuring out how to go about that.

I want to purge it all. I want all the weight of the things I've been carrying off of my shoulders.

A perfect example: In the closet of my office I have a bag of stuffed animals that I have been collecting since I was 16 years old. They're animals given to me by Chris or ones that we acquired together. I've loved them dearly for so many reasons--because they represented young love and hope and innocence to name a few. I haven't been able to look at them, but I haven't been able to get rid of them either.

The past is weighing me down.

When Nannette gently suggested it might be time to get rid of them, I welled up immediately. I think it's time for them to go.

I'm looking around all the signs of light and hope in my bedroom--a room which I've adorned with the things I love: lanterns, paper cranes, collage, words--and trying to pull out inspiration and the forms in which it comes.

I have two definitions written on my wall. One is for the word "desiderium": a yearning, specifically for a thing one once had, but has no more. The other is for the word "balter": to dance clumsily.

I'm ready for less desiderium and more balter.

Not so long ago, I mourned to a friend that the people who have loved me most and best are gone, and I don't know how to be. If I continue to lament this and to live in the past, then it will always be this way.

Part of the reason I stayed away from blogging, also, is because some of my thoughts on the things I need to let go of have the capacity to hurt other people--the last thing I want to do. As much as I love having readers, sometimes it's also a curse to have them. I've chosen to keep my thoughts private.

"She comes and goes most afternoons
One billion lovers wave and lover her now
They could love her now
And so could I..."

June 4, 2010

He was well-read, calm, and awkward.

He would run every morning, but only for a mile, which was all he needed to clear his mind. He admired the intricacy of origami. He would write about spaceships on weeknights. He would eat a large breakfast each day, with ice water and herbs. He didn't believe in foreign travel so much as foreign living. He wore jeans everywhere, except weddings, because protocol matters. He smiled easily. He would go to zoos to be sure the animals were taken good care of. He would spend his days golfing with his ideas, sending them into the water, the woods, and the far off sands.

June 3, 2010

Jail doesn't sound that bad.

You're in your room from 11pm - 8am each day (which I already am). Showers, free meals, and hour and a half outside. Visitors for an hour. Hell. This is a better day than I normally have.

I guess I could deal with being somebody's bitch.

June 2, 2010

Back to UCSF

I got me a new job.

Obviously this is good news for financial reasons. Also? It means the living hell of a job I have been in for the last 21 months is over. My god that place made me so unhappy. I miss my co-workers terribly already, though. They made it bearable.

The pay is less than what I was making before, but I was able to negotiate it up a bit. And I won't be paying for gas and all the wear and tear on my car.

But seriously. I am really proud of getting this job because the competition was fierce. On Monday I move into my new office. I will have a Mac desktop and a Macbook laptop and I am a little nervous about figuring out how to use them.

But I am feeling incredibly optimistic.

I am looking forward to morning walks to work--it's about 2.4 miles. No more 2 hours of commuting! I should be able to lose some of the weight I gained during my misery at my last job. In the meantime I am enjoying my week off.

Maybe 2010 is my year after all.

May 31, 2010

For some reason...

...a growing number of men seem to want to have coffee with me. Is there something about me that screams, "I love coffee?" 'Cause I do.

May 30, 2010

Novacain Stain

Remember her sounds
Remember her smells
Remember her colors
Remember through towns
With fear and fascination
of what was here
And what's replacing 'em now...

May 29, 2010

All the best

I hear you got married.

I actually found out a few days ago, but had to mull over my response before writing this. I'm still not positive what to say. Let me tell you a few things I do know for sure.

I am mad at you for being so selfish and hurting your mother. It did hurt her, you know. Maybe she didn't tell you. Probably she didn't tell you.

I always thought that if I had a major life event like, oh, moving across the country, getting married, having a baby...that I would tell you. You know why I would tell you directly? Because I wouldn't want you to hear it from anyone but me. It seems that you do not feel that obligation, and though it hurts me it seems it is something I have to live with.

At first I was really mad at you for marrying Anna from Canada when you had carried on with her before I was gone; when you had brought her into my apartment; when you had (bizarrely) kept our pictures side by side. I guess she got you over me in short order. I suppose that is good.

And now I am left with all my other thoughts. They vary from anger to bitterness to hurt to resignation, depending on when you ask me. I do wonder this, though: do you ever miss those two kids? The two who were so young and naive that they thought their love could and would overcome anything? The ones who wanted nothing more than to sit beside each other on the bus to Florida? Because that's who I think of when I think of you. I think of the shy, long-haired boy to whom I told all my secrets and for whom I saved the best of myself. I prefer to think of us that way than as two people who grew up and further apart.

I guess everyone has a first love. Someone whom they fall in love with with reckless abandonment because they have never been hurt and don't know any better. I know that I can never get that back again because time and years and pain have made me more cautious, more protective. I still like to think of myself as someone who can love freely and openly and without pretext, but there are places in me that I'm not even sure I have access to anymore. I want to give them to someone else again. I am working on it.

I have plenty of ridiculous, irrational thoughts, too. I wonder if you thought of me on your wedding day. I know that is selfish. I wonder on what points you compare she and I, and on which ones she wins and on which ones I do, if any. I wonder if you ever regret not spending some time alone to find yourself the way I did, or if you're happy you had her before you even lost me. I wonder if it feels strange to you that your family still considers me a part of them.

I guess it is natural to wonder these things about the person who consumed half of your life.

Though you love someone else, and though I love someone else, I imagine that I will never again in this life lay eyes on you, and that is a strange feeling. The face that was once more familiar to me than my own. I imagine it is something you have already successfully come to terms with.

I don't know what else I can tell you except for this: I hope you have found what you are looking for. I hope you are happy. I hope you don't dream about me anymore.

May 25, 2010

1 2 3 I love you

I seem to be developing a nervous disorder. Every now and then I'll be overcome by the irresistable urge to squeeze my eyes shut - as hard as they'll squeeze. I feel so much calmer after I do it, but each time I do it my students seem to flinch a little - like they're wondering if this is the moment when I'm going to choose to snap. I want say "No my pretties. I've snapped a long, long time ago. What you need to fear is the moment when I can no longer mask my turmoil."

"Hello, beautiful!"

Alright. I admit it, okay? I bought a pack of cigarettes today. The stress and transition of last couple of weeks have done my months of hard work in--temporarily, I would like to emphasize--and I broke down. So this morning on my way to work I stopped at the old tobacco shop that I used to frequent in order to purchase them.

Some of you already know part of this story.

There is a 60 year old Indian man (no idea what his name is) who owns the place and--for years now and for unfathomable reasons--has seemed to really like me. I would walk into his shop and he would cry out, "Hello, beautiful!" For a long time I have assumed he does this to many female customers, as he is a bit of a flirt. He would always ask me if I had a boyfriend and why did he never see me with him? Then he started asking me out for coffee.

I had learned bits and pieces about him over my years of visiting his store. He commutes to and from Vacaville, has two college-age sons, likes to play soccer with his friends on the weekends and (are you ready?) is single. His interest in taking me on a date began to get uncomfortable, so when I moved further away from his shop I didn't bother stopping there anymore.

When I came in this morning he was so surprised. He ran out to hug me and kiss my cheek and ask me where I had been? How was I doing? Where was I working now? He renewed his request to take me out for coffee and I laughed to put him off. Getting very serious, he said, "No, really. When are you going to let me take you out?"

Apparently I need to continue to stay away.

If I weren't 99.9% sure that he had romantic intentions, I might consider having coffee with this strange man, but I have no interest in encouraging him further. I can't even begin to imagine what we would talk about. I have a few ideas about where he would like to take the conversation and it creeps me out to think about it.

May 21, 2010

Adventures in psychotherapy

Today two interesting things happened.

1. I was invited for another interview at UCSF (for a different job than the first interview). This is tremendously good news. The interview is Monday. Enough said.

2. I had my first psychotherapy appointment with Dr. J, and she was lovely. Her office was warm and inviting, with a big cushy couch and throw pillows and blankets and windows filled with sunlight.

I always find the first therapy appointment to be a little awkward, because a) you're meeting a stranger for the purpose of telling him/her the most intimate details of your life and thoughts and behaviors, and b) I never know how to begin. Do I start with the junk in my mind today? Do I immediately go way back to the beginning with, "So I was born..." or Do I offer a simple, "I'm fucked in the head. Please help?" I try to be up front about this uncertainty by admitting my discomfort to the therapist. Dr. J. was lovely and guided me by starting with simple and then increasingly deeper questions.

What is it about telling my story that makes me ball like a baby immediately? I mean, I've told it before. I'm years removed from these events. I'm in a safe place in the middle of the day. But I gush like a dam burst in me.

Dr. J. is more spiritual than what I'm used to, and I have to work actively to keep an open mind. I mean, I'm here for the purpose of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, which sounds kooky enough as it is--so I might as well go with the flow. We didn't start any EMDR today, as she said we needed to get to know each other and develop some trust between us first. That makes sense. We spent some time having me connect with different parts of my body mentally and physically, and feeling my "soul space." (I know how it sounds, but I'm willing to try.) I realized from this experience that I'm incredibly out of touch with my body and my mind is way too analytical. I need to relax and loosen up more. I could use some help with that in so many ways.

Whether it was the crying or the compassionate ear or the soul space, I felt relaxed and much more peaceful when I left.

My homework assignments are these:

1. Practice hugging myself. Literally.

2. Rub my chest to take the positive energy out of my heart and then rub my bellybutton to transfer it to the source of my sadness.

3. Brace my hands against the back of my head and feel the force of my inner strength to survive anything I encounter.

4. Do a few sweet things for myself, such as rubbing luxurious cream on my body.

Stop laughing.

May 20, 2010

Know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em

(Know when to walk away, and know when to run...)

I'm cleaning out my office today. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

May 18, 2010

Haves and have nots


- professional clothes
- kick-ass resume
- clean laundry
- ice cream fix
- pocket full o' kryptonite
- 42 exams to grade


- new job
- toilet paper
- batteries


- trip to a tropical destination
- hugs and kisses
- scooter

Incredibly optimistic

I am quite excited about my interview tomorrow--I feel so optimistic. Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself in my head (planning walks to work, searching for recipes for healthy lunches to pack) but I can't help it. I am such a great fit for this position.

Maybe Thursday, May 13 should be known as Amie's Independence Day.

Maybe this is the beginning of great things.

Maybe a little weekend trip is warranted in the near future.

Maybe I am not a lost cause.

Maybe the things I want can happen for me.

May 15, 2010

The theraputic process

A: Oh. Know what else I do?

Dr. T: What's that?

A: I file things in my head for him for later. Sort of like a chest that I store things in that I'll tell him someday. It's like, "Remember that time you were asking me what you stopped and I felt like I couldn't tell you? Well, this is what I meant..." Stuff like that.

Dr. T: So, you mean that you file stuff away that you want to tell him when you allow him to know you?

A: [pauses] Yeah. I guess so. For when I feel more secure that he won't just bail from a simple comment that I make.

Dr. T: But what are you doing in the meantime? Until then?

A: You mean until I let him know me well enough that I can tell him these things?

Dr. T: Yes.

A: I guess...not letting him know me...

Dr. T: And who does that hurt?

A: I don't know. Me. Him. Both of us.

May 13, 2010

Looks like...

...I need to find that new job a lot sooner than I thought.

May 12, 2010

What made my day today.

My friend P. just returned from a hiking trip on top of Mt. Shasta, and today she tentatively knocked on my office door and asked me if I had a second. "Sure," I said, "what's going on?" (I was nervous, you see, because work hasn't exactly been a source of good news lately.) She was cupping something in her hand, and looked a little shy.

She said, "I brought something back from my trip for you because I wanted you to know I was thinking about you. I was thinking about the people that lift me up every day, and I wanted you to know that you do that for me. So, from 10,000 feet up on the mountain, I brought you some snow melt so that you would know I took you with me and I'm grateful for you." She handed me a small, clear vial of water.

My eyes stung immediately. I hugged her and thanked her profusely for thinking of me, because she is someone who lifts me up each day, as well. She made this day a lot brighter.

May 11, 2010

A little rain never hurt no one.

I had a major disappointment today. It crushed me and I cried at work. I knew it was a distinct possibility. I received sweet support from Dave, Ruben, and Tamara and I am so grateful. I'm trying really hard to keep my chin up and stay hopeful.

I have no other choice.

Thus, I am drinking champagne and celebrating small things.

What's the best way?

Counting weeks? Or months?


Today can only get worse if I am bludgeoned to death on my way to the parking lot. I am trying not to spend the day in tears.

May 10, 2010

For the love of god!

Today I messed around briefly on MySpace. I changed my profile picture and updated my status, and immediately got a message from "Moses":

you look so sexy and hella beautiful, sorry but im very curious! do you give head or no?


YOU don't care because you can't remember
But I do
You don't want to hear, but
I'll fill you in on the things she can't or won't
These are the things I go back to
in my mind and
I want you to understand what it's like
to feel worthless until
he gives you permission not to.

A tiny patchwork quilt

I sit and listen and wait in vain
What have I done? (What haven't I done?)
I don't seem to have the courage to ask
But the difference is marked
I can't help but wonder
Is this the point that I'll later look at as
The moment things began to unravel?

May 9, 2010

Jealousy (cubed)

My female parent has been visiting the past few days. While we've had a surprisingly nice visit, I've come to really loathe her boyfriend. He is insecure and jealous and can be rather vicious. He calls while the two of us are hanging around in my apartment and says things like, "Who's there with you? Do you have guys there?" While we were spending Mother's Day in wine country, he would call and text constantly. She wanted to get off the phone so we could continue our day, and he assumed she was in the middle of fucking someone and wanted to finish. The rest of our day was spent getting phone calls and text messages from him saying, "What the hell's going on out there? You've been out there for days. Who are you seeing?"

She defends him at every turn: "He has a good heart." This afternoon I officially got fed up and I'm spending a couple hours in my room so I don't have to listen to her reassure him over and over that she's not fucking anyone while she's here visiting me.

On one hand, I am jealous that she has someone who seems to miss her. But that's exactly where that ends. I am exhausted from dealing with him vicariously through her, and don't know how she can stand his constant accusations. My insistence that she deserves better--someone who can trust her for more than 5 minutes at a time, at least--falls on deaf ears.

May 5, 2010


I love those moments when you're poised on the brink of something, not knowing which way things will go. Sometimes the moments when your life is about to change feel mundane and ordinary, with no clue in sight. At other times they feel heady with meaning.

I guess I'm somewhere in between right now. Of course, it may or may not be about to change.

I feel lucky to have had the recent changes that I've had and, no matter what happens, I will continue to pursue new ones. There are only so many tomorrows. I'm grabbing them.

Hush, hush. (I thought I heard you calling my name...)

Zip, zip, zip!

Quiet, quiet, quiet!

Maybe nothing, maybe something...I don't know...

I do know that 2010 is my year. I already made a new friend and also met my Dave. I hope for many more changes to come...

May 4, 2010

My bodywash smells like hope.

I am abuzz and aflutter. Exciting things. Hopeful things.

I am exhausted and have an alarming amount of work to do in a very short period of time, but I am still quivering with excitement.

May 2, 2010

You didn't.

Thank you for not stopping.

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?


Okay. Let's get this over with fast. While I'm ready.

So my therapist was trying to tease apart all the things that are wrapped up in me, and she said, "This is how I would describe you. You're prone to intensity--attracted to it, in fact, tend to think in black or white, all or nothing, alternate between feelings of closeness with people and feeling abandoned by them, have a lot of self-loathing and struggle with finding your identity internally versus externally."

I cried softly and said, "What is that?"

She gently told me she feels that--mixed up in all that is me--are some traits of borderline. She stressed that it was NOT THE FULL DISORDER, just tendencies and traits. She said it was very common for people with significant early trauma to experience these traits because they'd never had a stable sense of self.

As a result, and in addition to her former recommendation that I seek EMDR therapy, she suggested that I have some dialectical behavioral therapy in conjunction with it in order to seek a more stable sense of self.

That's it. That's all. It was just scary to talk about because there is a lot of stigma associated with borderline.

May 1, 2010

Blitzkreig bop

I am still trying to work up the courage to finish my earlier post, but I'm not sure that I ever will completely be able to.

Tonight I am wide awake, and re-reading old posts that characterized the blitzkrieg of insanity (peppered with bits of clarity) that has been my mental health for awhile now. This one still summarizes it well and still moves me.

After a particularly earth-splitting therapy session today I feel scared but also completely optimistic.

I know I am going to be fine. And I love that.

April 30, 2010

Foggy brain

I dreamed of Maple Lake and popsicles and Isuzu Troopers. And my grandpa.

You stopped.

Why'd you stop?

"...over the borderline..."

I want to write about this while it's still fresh in my mind, even though I have 1,000 things to accomplish.

There are days when I feel fragile enough that it seems like if I were to say what's really on my mind without censoring it--to really put it out there in the open--I might shatter into hundreds of tiny pieces on the floor. Today started out as one of those days, likely because I had an appointment with my psychiatrist and I haven't had one in a few weeks. It was overdue.

I love my doctor for many reasons, but one is because she is really putting effort into a finer-grained diagnosis than my others in the past have done. She agrees with my bipolar diagnosis. But she was the first person to put a name to some of the problems I was having that never occurred to me to share as symptoms of PTSD. And today she was the first person to mention that there might be shades of something else tied up in all those layers.

Before I get into that, let me describe part of how she summarized me today. I've never had someone describe me so completely before in their assessment of me, and it brought tears of recognition to my eyes...

fuck. i don't have the courage to do this. i thought i did. maybe later.


Oh the clever
things I should say to you
They got stuck somewhere
Stuck between me and you
Oh I'm nervous
I don't know what to do...

Message in binary code

01001001 00100000 01101100
01101111 01110110 01100101
00100000 01111001 01101111
01110101 00001101 00001010

(I love you)

When you're around I don't know how to hide my feelings. I count in binary in my head: zero, one, one, zero, one, one. And you count clouds.


I used to take pride in oceans as if they were mine for pockets of coats/shirts. We wanted a kitchen with checkerboard floors when we were small enough not to know better. Now: I distance myself from visual depression. I only care about feeling overwhelmed. The sea means nothing more than boredom. I prefer gas stations. I prefer the freeway bridge. Butterflies left a long time ago. Now I just flap my wings. I only like linoleum. Progress. Using time up. You took me to the barbeque place with the bad lighting. I preferred it
to dining by the water.

- Molly Prentiss

Today I feel nostalgic for things like this.

April 27, 2010

I can haz repetition?

I can be kind of all or nothing about things. I'm either all about it or could care less. When I find something I like, I LOVE it passionately, dearly. If it's a song I discover, I need to hear it 1,000 times on repeat (S.T. suggests this is symptomatic of the aforementioned need for medication). If it's a meal I enjoyed, I want to have it every day for two weeks straight. A movie I love? I need to watch it over and over, read about it, get the soundtrack, watch the trailer on YouTube.

I recognize that this extends to larger issues in my life, too. Taking this one step further (but stopping short of laying down ALL of my neuroses for you), I am attracted to similar intensity in others. I have been criticized for this, but is it something I can really change?

I don't know how to find the middle ground. It feels so...mundane.

April 26, 2010

First day of my life

This is the first day of my life,
I swear I was born right in the door way.
I went out in the rain,
suddenly everything changed,
they're spreading blankets on the beach.

Yours was the first face that I saw.
I swear I was blind before I met you.
I don't know where I am,
I don't know where I've been, but I,
Know where I want to go.

And so I thought I'd let you know,
these things take forever,
I especially am slow.
But I realized that I need you,
and I wondered if I could come home.

Edit the sad parts

Sometimes all I really wanna feel is love
Sometimes I'm angry that I feel so angry
Sometimes my feelings get in the way
Of what I really feel I needed to say.

Lack of color


Alternative title: What I crave right now

Your prettiness is seeping through
Out from the dress I took from you, so pretty
My emptiness is swollen shut
Always a wretch i have become
So empty
Please, Please don't leave me.

I'm watching Naomi, full bloom
I hope that she will soon explode
Into one billion tastes and tunes
One billion angels come and hold her down
They could hold her down until she cries

I'm tasting Naomi's perfume
It tastes like shit and I must say
She comes and goes most afternoons
One billion lovers wave and love her now
They could love her now and so could I

There is no Naomi in view
She walks through Cambridge stocks and strolls
And if she only really knew
One billion angels could come and save her soul
They could save her soul until she shines.

Until she Shines
Until she shines
Until she shines
Until she shines

So pretty
So pretty
So pretty
So pretty

Please, Please don't leave me.

Nobody knows I have delicate toes...

(...but please don't watch me dancing...)

I won't tell, I won't tell, I won't tell.
I can hide it sufficiently under self-deprecation and colorful banter
No one in my life wants to know these things
And the part of me that needs medication
Goes on and on and on
And the hysteria rises
And no one can (or will)
Say anything to make it stop.

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.

Monday morning quarterback

AKA: Texting with Scott

ST: [quoting Modest Mouse] This is the part of me that needs medication this is the part of me that believes in heaven this is the part of me that thinks outer space is all dead

AA: The part of me that needs medication is beating the other part of me's ass.

ST: That's a pretty big part of you, second only to the boobs part.

AA: You eat boogers.

ST: Well, evidently I just got served. If I were six.

Post #700

Alternative title to this blog entry: You should probably not ask for the cucumbers in your salad...

April 25, 2010

"O" is for the only one I see.

I'm talking to you now.

I'm resisting.

I'm being good.

I know this much is true.

I take requests.

I'm kind of excited.

My blog has been getting HUNDREDS of hits per day--more than ever--and I'd like to celebrate. I want to write something for you.

Let me know what you'd like. It can be a writing on a topic of your choice, something written for your eyes only, or anything else that your pretty little head can dream up. Let me know what you want in a comment or in a personal email (amieashcraft@hotmail.com) and I'll make it happen.

You. All of you.

Thanks for reading.

"Let me hold it close and keep it here..."

If only I lived in or around Massachusettes, I could go see a performance of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" on ukelele.

How wonderful!

50 things you can control

“Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?” ~Unknown

I am a worrier. I fret and pace and ruminate and wonder "what if?" I worry about things that haven't happened in order to keep them at bay. I worry about things that have happened to keep them from getting any worse or happening again.

This week I have been in overdrive.

So when I found this list of "50 things you can control" I was intrigued. Some of them kind of make me want to barf (i.e., #1 feels a little too much like blowing sunshine up one's arse). Others really resonate with me (see the ones with the asterisks), because I have been bad at them of late. Take #13, for example. At least 3 times in the last week I have exited a conversation prematurely because I felt hurt or rejected, and I didn't know how to continue. At least once it led to confusion on the part of the other person, and then I agonized over what an idiot I was.

Then there is #3 and #29 which--for me--go together like peas in a pod. I tend to run on the "too honest" side--telling people things they don't even want to know. Telling people things that they may, in fact, be better not knowing. This week I have been struggling with that, too. My tongue has twisted; my thoughts got choked in my mouth; I have kept silent. It hasn't felt good.

I have faltered on giving the benefit of a doubt (#8). I interpreted every situation in the most negative way possible (#9). I have been hideous to myself in my head (#14). I stopped saying "I love you," because it felt unwelcome (#49).

Wow. I'm not very good at all this.

1. How many times you smile today.
2. How much effort you exert at work.
*3. Your level of honesty.
4. How well you prepare.
5. How you act on your feelings.
6. How often you say “thank you.”
7. When you pull out your wallet for luxuries.
*8. Whether or not you give someone the benefit of the doubt.
*9. How you interpret situations.
10. Whether or not you compete with people around you.
11. How often you notice and appreciate small acts of kindness—they’re everywhere!
12. Whether you listen or wait to talk.
*13. When you walk away from a conversation.
*14. How nice you are to yourself in your head.
15. Whether you think positive or negative thoughts.
16. Whether or not you form expectations of people.
17. The type of food you eat.
18. When you answer someone’s question—or email or call.
19. How much time you spend worrying.
*20. How many new things you try.
21. How much exercise you get.
22. How many times you swear in traffic.
23. Whether or not you plan for the weather.
24. How much time you spend trying to convince people you’re right.
*25. How often you think about your past.
26. How many negative articles you read.
27. The attention you give to your loved ones when you see them.
28. How much you enjoy the things you have right now.
*29. Whether or not you communicate something that’s on your mind.
30. How clean or uncluttered you keep your space.
31. What books you read.
32. How well you network at social events.
33. How deeply you breathe when you experience stress.
34. How many times you admit you don’t know something—and then learn something new.
35. How often you use your influence to help people instead of focusing on building your influence.
36. When you ask for help.
37. Which commitments you keep and cancel.
38. How many risks you take.
39. How creative/innovative you are in your thinking.
*40. How clear you are when you explain your thoughts.
41. Whether you formulate a new plan or act on your existing one.
42. How much information you get before you make a decision.
43. How much information you share with people.
44. Whether you smoke or drink (unless you’re an alcoholic, in which case I am not qualified to offer you advice.)
45. Whether or not you judge other people.
46. Whether you smell good or bad (unless you have some strange resistance to soap and deodorant).
47. How much of what other people say you believe.
48. How quickly you try again after you fall.
*49. How many times you say “I love you.”
50. How much rest you get at night.

April 24, 2010


I keep telling myself: one day we'll look back on this period--at the things I did and thought out of insecurity--and laugh.

April 23, 2010

How could I?

Shyness is nice and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to

So, if there's something you'd like to try
If there's something you'd like to try
Ask me I wont say no, how could I?

Do you like fire? Are you free Saturday night?

So last night, my friend Roberta and I were talking before going to bed and were making plans to do something this weekend. She likes dance clubs (I hate them); I like bars (not really her deal). So I was throwing out ideas for activities on which we might be able to agree:

Roller skating!
Ice skating!

At the mention of "bonfire," she said, "Oooh!" From the time I first learned of people having bonfires at Ocean Beach I have wanted to do this. We're each inviting friends. She's taking care of s'mores supplies, and I'm working on the fire bit. (A little bit daunting!)

I don't actually care who shows up--nothing sounds nicer than a fire on the beach under the stars.

It will also help occupy my restless, wandering brain that is my curse these days.

April 22, 2010

A reason to visit Portland

My beloved friend Dave with whom I went to grad school in Richmond is moving west, and it's the best news I've heard all fucking week. I told him I mention him more often than he realizes to my friends here and it's true. I love that crazy boy to pieces. Here's him passing along the news of his move:

I realized I've slept with everyone in Richmond, so it's time to head out west. Fugitive or refugee, I can't decide. That's what the court is for. I'm going to move to Portland, Oregon, in the next month or two. We must catch up. I get the sense that your life has changed dramatically since the last time we talked in person. I would love to get to know you again. It was loads of fun the first time. How are the birdies? (Does that date me with you?)

My tongue you're tearing out

Your teeth believe
That teeth are for tearing
Tear into me
The scent of you sweating
Smells good to me
As long as we keep in our clothes

Where is my mind?

"Thank you for calling Nerves R Us. For generalized anxieties, press 1. For suspenseful waiting, press 2. For skeptical analyses, press 3. For futilities, press 11."

We were made of gold

When I woke I took the back door to my mind
And then I spoke
I counted all the good things you are
And that list of charms was longer
Thank my chain of broken hearts
And when the days was done
I figured I had already lost
From the start, from the start

I was gonna love you til the end of all daytime
And I was gonna keep all our secrets and our lullabies
I was made to believe that our love would grow old
We were gonna live in a tree house and make babies
And we were gonna bury our ex-lovers and their ghosts
Baby we were made of gold...

April 21, 2010

They are not the same.

"It's different," he assured her. "Nothing at all like that other situation you had." She sniffed tearfully, hopefully.

Busting out of this joint

I have started a habit I hope to continue. I have been applying for at least one job a day first thing in the morning after arriving at work. It helps me stay hopeful, helps to make more bearable the rest of the day at a place that makes me so incredibly unhappy.

R. and I promised each other. We're getting out.

Message from a friend tonight

don't let anxiety sabotage your love! i'm trying hard not to freak out too. two days after he tells me he loves me to pieces, i find out he can't come back to this country anytime soon.i'm in pieces allright. and he's gone completely off the air...not answering phone, text, email. i feel marooned, left for dead. i want him to know how i feel. i send letters into a void. why do i trust, i wonder? why do i love? THEY don't care. what is the point?
i feel your pain. i'm sorry. i love much too quickly and with too pure a heart. i never learn that the world is hard and dangerous. it is still trying to kill me and i will not learn. i want to believe that people are good, that life is beautiful, that love is the answer, that happy marriage is not an oxymoron. i am a fool apparently.

On anxiety

Three years ago I fell for someone I met online after talking for a few months. He visited once. I never saw him again. Then we planned to move to Barcelona together, and soon I stopped hearing from him again, too.

I got burned badly. I was devastated. I cried for nearly two years. My anxiety over a repeat situation is almost unbearable.

So that is what is going on with me. I should have told you sooner. And perhaps not in this forum.

April 20, 2010


fear - a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

trepidation - tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.

anxiety - distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune

April 19, 2010

Cuidate (reimagined)

For years she’d listened to them--those who would have her believe that her way of loving was naïve and that her head was in the clouds. Those who warned that she would end up alone because of her unrealistic expectations. She listened and nodded quietly, but stubbornly refused to give up. She refused to come ‘round to more realistic ways of thinking. She often gave up, and regularly fell to utter despair, but she continued to carefully cultivate her dream.

Vindication comes in the strangest forms.

There was the night she sat blindfolded and tentatively touched him—learned the shapes, tastes, and textures with which she wanted to be so intimately familiar. She was a good girl. She didn’t even give it all away—didn’t let it all go. But she privately lived a thousand lives in the quiet moments of those few days.

She drank greedily from his well and filled up all of her spare reservoirs for the long days of drought that surely lay ahead. She languished at the source of the river, putting out of her mind the questions that could so quickly make her terror rise. She waited and gave and received and listened and spoke and loved and—God! Oh, God!—had never been so well-loved and probably never would again. In the quiet moments she found her voice: in those where he kissed her hands, brushed back her hair, or parted her legs. Those were everything that there had never been but that she’d always known existed.

How had people kept these things secrets? How had they never let on that it could be this way? All this time she had been taking care and biding her time when—really—she should have been running headlong into these moments. For it was these that made it all worthwhile; it was these that had begun to be impossible to imagine living without.

And the lights from the TV running parallel to you...

I am trying to think of just the right words. I tried to think of them at the airport, too. It appears I don't have them. All I can think of are other people's words.

I can say that I feel like I'm coming down of a multi-day heroin binge.

I can also say that I keep sniffing myself for hints of you, of me, of we. My lotion reminds me of walking home with you in the dark.

April 15, 2010

Right now

You are sleeping in my bed.

I am so happy.

April 14, 2010

Today, today.

I will remember today for the rest of my life.

April 13, 2010

One day

Alternative titles to this blog:
On anticipation
The hands that wrote this letter sweep the pillow clean
I'm so tired of playing with this bow and arrow

A thousand flowers could bloom
Move over, and give us some room...
Give me a reason to love you...
For this is the beginning of forever and ever
Its time to move over...

April 12, 2010

Confidential message to D.

I am writing you letters.

I know you'll never get them in time, but I am overflowing with words to you, for you, and about you.

It has begun.

I am officially a wreck. Two. Days. How am I supposed to get through this?

You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off you...
Now that I've found you stay
And let me love you, baby,
Let me love you...

April 11, 2010

Someone to throw the waffle back

I related this story to Dave earlier today in trying to convey to him some of the reasons I loved him, and it seemed worth mentioning here.

I know. All of my posts are about love these days, right? Deal with it. There's plenty of angst from the last four years to tie you over.

Anyway: I caught onto the show "Friends" several years later than everyone else. I thought it was a pretty cute show once I got into it. There was one episode that always stayed with me.

Monica decided to break off her relationship with a guy to whom she was engaged, and her friends were incredulous about why she would take such a drastic action. In trying to explain her reasoning, she relayed a story from a recent morning at breakfast. She was making waffles, and her fiancé was reading the paper. In a moment of playfulness she threw a waffle at him. He wasn't particularly pleased with her childishness, and went back to reading the paper. Monica pointed to that incident as an analogy for their relationship: "I want someone who would throw the waffle back," she said.

That struck a chord in me and stayed with me for years.

I want someone who would throw the waffle back. I want someone who would dance in the kitchen. I want someone who will sing off key and make silly faces and impersonate animals. I want someone joyfully and unabashedly ridiculous and comfortable being such. I want a fool who can turn around and make me feel naughty and sexy one minute later.

Hell yeah.

April 8, 2010

Holy blog hits, Batman!

So my interview about this blog is posted here, and my blog hits have shot way up. How exciting! Maybe soon I'll reach SPACE. Although I'm not exactly sure how that would work.

It should be noted that they messed up a comment I made at the bottom. It should say "a little wit" instead of "a lit." This is really bugging me, as my words will be messed up for posterity.

Better get my autograph while you still can...

April 6, 2010

Totally punk rock

On Wednesday, Amber is coming from Richmond, VA to visit. For three fun-filled days. NEXT Wednesday, Dave is coming from Dallas, TX to visit. For four luxurious and blissful days.

I can barely think of anything else, which is unfortunate, since I have a grant to write and a class to teach and an apartment to clean.

He knows about my history. He knows about my bipolar. And yet he doesn't seem phased. When shall I tell him about my serial killer past?

I am happier than I have been in many years. If I could just get my professional life up to speed with my personal life, things would be nearly perfect.

"I laugh along but inside I know: being in love is totally punk rock."

April 5, 2010

Everything I've got

I feel like I am in a state of suspended animation--perched on the brink of big things, holding my breath and waiting. The wait is killing me.

I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind...

A face with a view

We are well into our third week together, and it feels like I have loved you forever.

April 2, 2010

Today can only get better.

My boss is on the rampage again. And today I am her whipping boy (girl). Kill me now. Please. Thank you.

April 1, 2010

Two week anniversary

How can your life change so much in two weeks? How wonderful to celebrate each week--each day, for that matter. I can't remember what I was like before.

March 31, 2010


My humble blog was selected as a reader favorite, and I was asked to be interviewed as "the person behind the blog." Oh good! More people can read about the train wreck of my life! When the interview is put up on Blog Interviewer's website, I will link to it here so you can read my words of wit and wisdom and tales of personal angst.

It's gonna be great!

March 30, 2010

On insomnia (part 742)

I dreamed of the Golden Gate Bridge falling on my house.

I dreamed of sipping sweet mango nectar and wondering where it had been all my life.

I dreamed of my brothers when they were little and innocent.

I dreamed of standing in line, waiting to be picked.

I dreamed I was alone and pregnant in an empty house, about to give birth.

Then my dreams stopped, and so did my sleep.

On the alignment of stars

You may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote about advertising on Craigslist for new friends. I was so pleased that I did actually get a friend out of the deal--my new friend R. She is interesting and quirky and spontaneous and good-hearted. We started hanging out regularly immediately.

I was so happy I'd taken a chance and gone out on a limb a bit, despite some ribbing from existing friends.

You may also remember that I spent a couple years attempting (and generally failing) online dating. I'm not even linking to any of those posts here because I want to think of them as little as possible.

On the day before my birthday this year, Jan. 21, 2010, I gave up. I had the 2nd worst date ever and ended up in tears in my car on the phone with the lovely M.S.P. I took down my account and stopped, and prepared myself for a life of singledom. I cried, I mourned, I slept, and I became annoyingly apathetic again. My friends said, "You'll meet someone when you least expect it!" I scoffed at this, because I LEAST expected it at that moment.

Then I met Dave.

Dave and I met through R's Facebook page--by commenting on each other's comments--and now we are inseparable. Unfortunately, he is currently in Dallas. That makes being inseparable a little challenging and frustrating. He is coming here to see me in a couple of weeks, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Isn't it funny the chains of events that take place to bring people into our lives? Isn't it funny how easily we could have missed each other had I changed my mind about posting my ad, had R. not responded, had we not gotten our schedules together to meet up, had I not left a comment on her Facebook page.

It's enough to make one believe in fate.

March 26, 2010

On love

Alternative title for this blog: Should I be alarmed that this is post #666?

I haven't felt this way since 1992.

I am giddy and excited and happy and floating. I can't sleep. I keep forgetting to eat. I make wrong turns when I'm driving because my head is in the clouds. I giggle and blush like a shy little 8 year old girl.

We talk for hours. I can't wait to hear his voice. When an email from him appears in my inbox, I am absolutely ecstatic. Even if he just wrote 5 minutes before. Especially if he just wrote 5 minutes before.

How can it only take a week for your world to turn upside down?

March 22, 2010


Let the words "I love you" surround you forever. I command everything that surrounds you to repeat this phrase endlessly. A thousand kisses I plant on your lips. Kisses hot as fire, kisses which thrill your body, kisses which make you surrender and promise you eternal bliss. Goodbye, love of my life. I would send you a whole volume, but a letter that large would only attract attention.

Alexandre Dumas
(To a married lady friend)

This morning I dreamed I was showing you my temple.

I dreamed about you. I dreamed that I went to meet you at the airport, and that when I saw you coming I ran up to you and we grabbed each other and held on. Other arriving passengers pulled their suitcases around us in irritation and the airport security staff nearby rolled their eyes in boredom--they had seen a thousand and one greetings before ours. I walked you back to my car and--once we put your suitcase in the trunk--we got in and held on to each other for the longest time. I knew it would be so much better when I got you home and we could do this in complete privacy, but I couldn't resist. Eventually we pulled ourselves apart and I did, in fact, take you home. We left your suitcase in the living room and climbed directly in my bed, all our clothes still on for the time being, and wrapped our arms around each other.

It was lovely.

March 19, 2010

Let it breakthrough

So. Today I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist, Dr. T. I love her. Love, love, love her.

Of course the first appointment is pretty intense. You have to establish why you're there and the life experiences that led you down this particular path. Even when she asked me the most minor questions I burst into tears and barely got my words out.

Now I am emotionally exhausted.

She and I are adjusting my meds a bit, and we're going to explore some different types of therapy other than just the standard cognitive-behavioral therapy that was not enough in the past. She is interested in having me consider psychodynamic therapy and EMDR as a way to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

I am willing to try.

I am happy to be back in treatment.

March 17, 2010


I would love to hear your voice again.

March 16, 2010

On surprise, 2

Friday night I got home from drinks at El Rio with friends. While messing around on Facebook before falling asleep, I got an instant message from a former SFSU student I had a little over a year ago in class, M. At first we chatted about what we'd been up to since our class, and then he asked me out. I laughed and joked that I was 8 years older than him and why would he want to go out with an old lady? He got serious and said I didn't give myself enough credit. He said, "You can use me at your discretion."

My goodness.

March 15, 2010

"Our love is rice and beans and horses' lard."

I live cement.
I hate this street.
Give dirt to me.
I bite lament.

* * * * *

Gouge away, you can gouge away
Stay all day if you want to.

* * * * *

Sittin' here wishing on a cement floor
Just wishin' that I had just something you wore

March 14, 2010

Once there was a girl

This has been a long time coming. I just didn't have the courage to tell the story before.


Once there was a girl who didn’t think she was worth very much.

She was a shy, introspective, and melancholy girl by nature, and probably destined to have self-esteem problems even without the things that happened to her. She had a very young, single mom. Her mom was lost and lonely and didn’t think she was worth very much, either. So she did things to make herself feel worth something—all the things that made her feel worth something involved men and drugs. The girl’s mom loved her very much, but when she was on drugs she didn’t care what her daughter witnessed. Even when it involved men. And more drugs.

When our girl was five, her mom got married. This is when the girl’s problems began in earnest.

Her shiny new stepfather tarnished very quickly. (If you ever want a nice case study of brainwashing and pure, unadulterated physical and psychological torture, you should study this man. He still remains the cruelest human being the girl has ever personally known.)

The girl and her mom were stuck. They were broke. They were powerless against him. Other people knew he was not a nice man. No one ever knew the things they went through. He was very creative and sly.

The girl wanted to ask for help, but she didn’t know the right words. She didn’t know how to say:

“My stepfather makes me feed myself cat shit while he watches and laughs.”

Or what about, “He grabs me by the hair and beats my head against the wall if I don’t pick everything up off the floor. And even when I pick everything up off the floor, he pretends it’s still there laying in front of me and beats my head against the wall because I say I don’t see anything there. So I pretend to see what he sees, and gather up imaginary pieces of what he sees in my arms while looking at him, hoping I have pleased him.”

How was she to explain that he made it a game to see how hard of a hit she could take without falling down? She was only a little girl, and it was impossible to withstand the full force of a grown man. So she was destined to be knocked down. And to get back up. Over and over again.

When you are little, it’s not easy to tell people your stepfather held a gun to your head while the police surrounded the house and your mother screamed. He wanted to be sure she wouldn’t leave, you see. Sometimes he even hurt their pets in front of them. (This was especially hard for the girl. She loved all creatures. Except locusts. Their sounds and shells terrorized her.)

The girl and her mother were required to recite specific sentences regularly in order to ensure their powerlessness: “I am a bitch. I am a whore. I am ugly. I am stupid. I am fat. No one loves me. No one will help me. I am a bitch. I am a whore….” When the girl started off saying these things, she knew in her heart that they weren’t true and that she was just saying them to appease him. But after saying them regularly, over and over, these words started floating through her head even when she was not being forced to say them.

The girl did the only things she could think of to cope. In kindergarten, she went to school with bruises under her clothes and locked herself in the bathroom and screamed hysterically when it was time to go home. She escaped to her grandparents’ houses whenever she could. She played outside from morning to night with the neighborhood kids as often as she could. When the neighborhood kids weren’t around, she found places to hide and explore with imaginary friends created for that very occasion. She took long rides on her bicycle and ate green apples from other people's yards. She gave names and personalities to everything around her—the trees, the flowers, the animals, the broom—to make her feel surrounded by familiar faces and friends.

Unfortunately, her stepfather was not the only one who made the girl think she wasn’t worth very much. There was more than one man, in her family and otherwise, who were more than willing to let her know she was only good for one thing.

One of them was an uncle who had his own cross to bear. He did things that no little girl should ever have to experience. She was five. She wore Care-Bear pajamas. While it happened, sometimes she would stare at a picture of the devil whose iridescent paint gleamed at her in the moonlight; other times she stared out the window and directly at the moon itself. The girl felt so dirty and was so ashamed that she wanted to curl up and die.

But she did not.

She got really good at picking up the pieces of love and acceptance she could find and curling herself around them like a cat.

Years later, when the girl and her mom (and now two brand new baby brothers) finally got away from the stepfather by going into hiding for awhile, the girl’s mother fell apart. And rightfully so. But then the girl’s one constant ally through those times, her mother, felt more than ever like she wasn’t worth very much. And she tried to make the girl and her brothers feel as bad as she felt because she didn’t have anything else left to give them.

…Fast forward…

Our girl is 15. Her physical situation is much more stable now, but she is confused, hurting, and lonely inside. She is mortally self-conscious and shy and terrified of every move she makes—what if she makes someone mad? She gets better at hiding these things and at doing the things a normal girl should. She is positive, however, that if anyone really knew all of the things that made her up they would be horrified and disgusted and not want to be around her. They would discover for themselves what she’d always felt inside—that she wasn’t worth very much.

At that young age the girl fell in love with a shy, introspective, and melancholy boy. He didn’t have the deep, dark secrets that she had, but he listened to her secrets and didn’t make her feel ashamed. This boy gave her the courage to try for things she never thought she could do. She left home when she was 16 and set about trying to make those things happen.

She actually did some cool things.

She went to college and she was very, very serious. Others around her had the liberty to fuck around, but the girl knew she had one shot and she had to make it happen. She didn’t fuck around at all—not even one little bit.

She started to explore the world. Every chance she got to do so, she took it.

She didn’t know what she wanted to do when she got out of school, so she went to school some more. She wanted to know things and to feel she had some power and control over her life. She used to laugh when she thought of herself with any kind of high-falutin' graduate degree. It seemed terrifying and unattainable and ridiculous to her. So she decided to shoot for it. She eventually pulled it off.

The boy was there through it all--even when she tried to test him by pushing him away. (She was still very afraid, you see, of everything and everyone.) She warned the boy, “If you ever lay a hand on me, I will set you on fire.” She was pretty sure he wouldn’t hurt her, but she also knew a thing or two about self-preservation.

When the girl was 24, she started to honestly look around at her life for the first time. She started to look deep inside herself, too. She started to realize that she needed more—that what she had was not enough. She even started to admit to herself that the boy was not enough. This was terrifying to her. He had loved her and given her strength and courage when she needed it most.

She realized she had been in survival mode for a very long time.

Upon these realizations, she felt lost and lonely inside. She knew what her instincts told her but she hadn’t yet really learned to trust them. She was uncertain of who she was, what she needed, and how to go about finding out either of those things. (It was a tough time.)

Once again, she didn’t know the right words. She was now an adult and had a much wider vocabulary at her disposal, but she didn’t know how to tell the boy, “Thank you for loving me even when I couldn’t love myself. Now I need to move beyond these fences we’ve built; they are pinning me in and I am dying inside. You loved me as a child, and now, should I be lucky enough to love and be loved back again, it needs to be as the woman I am.”

When she was 28, the girl did another thing she never imagined she could do and that was very terrifying to her. She left everything and everyone she loved behind and moved far, far away to try to make a completely different kind of life for herself. It was very painful. It actually took her a couple of years to make it all come together, but she made it happen. At the last minute, the boy decided he wanted to come, too. The girl thought it wasn’t the right thing, but she felt like it was worth one last try. (She was still afraid, you see.)

It was a disaster from the start. The girl knew that living with anyone would never be easy, but this move proved to her once and for all that she loved him, but her relationship with him was not enough. She was honest with him from a very early point that it wasn’t working for her. He kept trying. It broke her heart, but it wasn’t enough. The girl finally told the boy she was moving out, that it might take some time to put the pieces in place, but that it was going to happen and he needed to make plans for himself. It was terrible, of course, and still continues to be very, very difficult. Her friends, both near and far, have helped her find the courage to move forward.

It took a very long time and seemed like a simple lesson to learn, but she finally started to realize that she is worth something. She also realized that she deserves something more. (The girl’s mother has not yet put these pieces together for herself. The girl has no idea how to help her.)

There are days, of course, when the doubts creep in and when “moving forward” seems to be at a glacial pace, but there it is.

This was that girl, a long time ago:

And this was the first postcard secret she sent out in the world to try to be set free:

(She still has work to do, but she has been fighting for years now with everything she has. She will make it.)