Monthly Archives: August 2008

peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god


yesterday sucked, but there were a lot of really funny, interesting people roaming the streets to keep me entertained. perhaps the best of them was this old woman in my ex-neighborhood who i am obsessed with. last fall, arthur and i squealed with delight every time we saw her: this old lady, tiny frail and limping down the street, wearing a leather jacket with a smiling skull & crossbones painted on the back. above the skull, in ham-handed lettering, it said “DON’T MESS!” we loved her. LOVED HER. arthur once said, “i’d buy her anything she wanted, but i bet that would just be a carton of cigarettes and a bottle of gin.”

anyway, i haven’t seen her in a long time. but yesterday, i was riding my bike to my old house for three and a half hours of extremely frustrating cleaning, and i nearly hit an old woman who was wandering aimlessly in the middle of the road. imagine my shock when i realized it was her! instead of the leather jacket, she was wearing an oversized purple sweat shirt. upon closer inspection, i realized that she had the same logo as the leather jacket, but this time it was EMBROIDERED on the sweatshirt! with pink embroidery floss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i nearly died of happiness and astonishment at the strangeness of humanity.

then, at the waterworks b&n, two teen girls wearing hijab pushed me out of the way at the gay&lesbian section so they could get to the lesbian books faster! and then started devouring them hungrily. they couldn’t have been any older than 14. i was so excited by their enthusiasm and gayness that i wasn’t even mad that they jostled me.

on the bus back, this sassy fat teenage girl with ratted hair and lots of piercings, dressed all in hot pink, sat in front of me. she got off in sharpsburg (poor kid) but she was a welcome splash of color in the usually dreary 91A.

when i got home i decorated for a while & felt good & happy & at home. then my dad called me, extremely drunk, and said, “am i bothering you? are ya in the hot tub?” i said, “i don’t have a hot tub.” he said, “c’mon! why the hell not?’

can’t hold me down, i’ve got to keep on moving


today i bought a clothesline for my new backyard at family dollar. there was a warning label on it: “this clothesline is not intended to be used in ways that might damage your health.” like, hanging yourself? auto-erotic-asphyxiation? the brand name for this particular clothesline was “family values”. shudder.

moving day was, weirdly, so much fun. it involved most of my pittsburgh favorites, and we all sweated and grunted and moved and then when we were done we lined up in height order in front of the u-haul. aaryn wanted us to hold each other like we were at the prom, and then pino drove up as we were taking the picture, yelling, “oh, it looks like i arrived just in fucking time!”

and then we went to my house and everyone liked it and then we got all the furniture in with a minimum of mishaps (except for my endless girly scream) and then lounged around eating pizza and giggling. and then back to my house for the mattress & the furniture going to the faggots. eric, aaryn & i rode in the cargo part of the u-haul, and it was oddly hilarious. the door kept blowing open and we made all manner of inappropriate jokes that i won’t repeat here.

and then we all went to shea’s grandma’s house for swimming. literally 30 seconds after the straight men went home, me and monica hurled our bathing suits off & pretty soon everyone was frolicking naked. playing volleyball, jumping off the diving board, making out (not me, but other people), etc. it was a really good ending to a hot sweaty day. life sure does take you places, huh?

adventures in housepacking.


yesterday while packing, i picked up arthur’s bed because it was taking up too much room, so i could lay it on its side and have that space for boxes. i was horrified to find a dead mouse, its fur chewed off in patches. weirdly, it didn’t smell bad at all. i went downstairs, got an old bread bag, and went to pick up the mouse. i had forgotten how stiff dead things are; its claw went through the bag and poked me and my body shuddered fully and i was genuinely scared in a way i haven’t been in a long time. it seems silly to be scared of a dead mouse, but i was.

right now i’m at the library sitting next to the card catologue, which has computers smushed up against it. i can see a few drawers, though, and for some reason the subject headings are funny to me. “o-paddle” (sounds like a new nickname) “pittsburgh-privy” is another good one. “privy” is such a hilarious old-fashioned word, from a more genteel era where bathrooms needed to be alluded to, if mentioned at all.

i have more to say but some library-talkers are working my last nerve, so there you go.



so. i am obsessed with this thing , which is called the bonsai story generator, which turns ordinary pieces of writing into weird surrealist poetry. it’s very illuminating. just for fun while at work, i fed the last few weeks of this blog into it. here are the highlights of what came up (the original result was, like, 8 pages, and nobody wants to read that, i’m sure.

every little bit of sustaining a functional bike, i was a dorky-yet-sweet old yeller” because if they just verified my hammock & listening to my friends who are from san diego i need compassion, i was just wants drugs.” and had fun.
i was watching “the simpsons” or maybe early 90’s song “whoomp!
there was a part of the radio yesterday i think, although i could think, the kitchen or may not too bad.
i am trying to sober up, like i was brightly lit and i happily read it aloud to my boss’ lousy health, vegetable gardens.
and i know is this following convo ensued.
normal person.
in a panic searching for you.
why would i woke up there used to be a part of town.
lots of things in the other day where i guess, as i’ve ever i think she’s willing to overlook that barrier, but i spent all winter & spring waiting for an extended period of abandonment you didn’t know, is always making it beat irregularly too.
i thought that happened this neighborhood….safe?
landlady: oh, yeah!
to this day, i realized that every emotion i don’t really know anyone to complete me.
perhaps to a new photo i.d.
card and it some more than a huff, i need coffee can you people are so many times have you ever had the state office all day; i’m trying to sober up, like growth & change.
if you commit any FAO schwartz without my life has a tattoo of evil, evil whereas i don’t really recently, and we had a good people.
*speaking of elementary school.
that was thrown out fully woken up i have the satisfaction of writing, i haven’t gotten any emails that unintentionally offend people i’ve ever known.
don’t think she’s willing to overlook that barrier, but i feel that you’ve failed yr way.
cuz singlehood isn’t this weekend.
after she got it.
that i’ve been through a disease where i could hear the gospel!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i don’t really was and it sucks, all day, about that, about it made and we got home, a.
was 12 or walk by any FAO schwartz store, which, if the people i’ve ever had the satisfaction of time winter break, no this used to be surrounded by all this other world.
he was crying hysterically, so many reasons to stay: easy life, cheap massage certificate, i lost my heart feel like my abusers to be a tattoo of other things, like how you know what on a nice day, where the families paused in was gentrifying rapidly, & we left, but i have is subject of barbie dolls came home dressed like the reason why would i had more and i happily read me this intense man host, wishing people they just wants drugs.” and one of a computer, bangin out fully decorated, as thomas builds-the-fire or, i blew bubbles that i could have i packed and hustled me at how much i need a hot dyke when i am relatively certain that i’ve rarely heard: “NONE OF YOU PEOPLE GIVE A SHIT!
I’M DYING AND NONE OF YOU JUST WALK ON BY!!” i lost my dick!’, and minneapolis for that yet.
he just wants drugs.” and began hanging out with a cardboard sign saying what i finish this year has a disease cuz friendships aren’t just yet.
i knew she got off and began another unremarkable night and i happily read it aloud to not have been all day, about the most of my boss’ lousy health, vegetable gardens.
and it sucks, all i can feel that wasn’t completely utterly lied to.
my skin crawling ironically, i needed to florida to the city to do you always making extremely obvious comments, if i hadn’t lost my wallet, i’d be surrounded by my landlady is fucking johns.
they exchanged a panic searching for you.
why do you commit any crimes here, you put that sitting at the dying giant piano keys and living life.
if you commit any emails in their drunkenness that makes you didn’t.
dude: have a space where a gigantic three-story clock sang a sobering realization.
and yelling like how you and that stuff like why would have enjoyed, even matter.
lately the universe has a tattoo of clarity and he looked fascinated as i’ve ever ”this is really important, & something else, totally unrelated, that was thrown in the kitchen or fifteen people when i do remember a single thing about how she has a two-year commitment to pittsburgh.
it’s something i would have enjoyed, even though i totally would i want to do, provided i was at book ‘em, the satisfaction of evil, evil whereas i need coffee that won’t make my heart broke its bringing up somehow.
& the whole skilletful, except for you.
the great early 2004, before all the hell i am rather dry.
i thought that helps put them in “and he is holding] oh, it’s SO GOOD.
you only hear the slight noise & all good.
i was just beginning to do tourist-y stuff.
we were driving down the other day where i didn’t want to see his family to my skool, read blogs of amazing writing i cracked page 100 on my heart feel like the office we left, but i’ve already forgotten it.
oh, my hair.
like, what that’s what i mean?
me: [smiles, walks towards oakland.
we went to fall in love with each other kidz in my soon-to-be-former neighborhood, and i think is really important, & something similar to listen to tell her.
oh, i was around gaily, where cute toys smiled at that angsty teen stage, which sound gross but there was over, but i guess, as if the cold, gritty streets of fun.
i say depths.

[and on and on and on. i deleted about 90% of what came out.]

favorite memory #3.


late 2003, or maybe early 2004, before all the trouble began. another unremarkable night at the bar with my lover. the neighborhood she was living in was gentrifying rapidly, & we were at the last bar within walking distance that wasn’t completely overrun with yuppies just yet. i was an unemployed college student on winter break, no money & nowhere to go but her freezing punk house. luckily, we were crazy in love with each other & she had a good job at the cable company & her housemates were mostly my best friends, so it was all good.

i don’t remember a single thing about the bar. i do remember that we got really drunk, on her dime, and walked home holding hands. maybe we were singing, but probably just talking. i remember having a good conversation with an edge of sadness. & then we saw a huge pile of trash and stopped to pick through it.

christmas had happened really recently, and this particular trash pile had a fake tree that was thrown out fully decorated, as if the people who owned it said, “ehhh, i’m tired of this!” and tossed it right into the trash. i plucked the gleaming metal balls off and began hanging them at various places in my outfit–hat, buttonhole, scarf. and then my lover unwound the bright sparkly hanging from the tree (what is that called? it’s not quite tinsel–i don’t know) and wrapped it around me. we walked home giggling.

when we got home, a. was in the living room on the computer and c. was milling about. i opened the door and yelled, “I’M A CHRISTMAS TREE!” and they got it. completely unquestioningly got it. that was all i wanted. a. said something about how she was glad she had a life where drunk housemates came home dressed like christmas trees, i agreed, and then we all went to bed.

cause i’m a sucker for yr lucky pretty eyes


yesterday i was packing & i found a tube of bubbles that i trash-picked from bryn mawr (fancy all girls’ college in the philly burbs) three years ago, on one of the funnest trash-picking episodes of my whole life. i’ve never used them. i thought, “god damnit, how many times have i packed and unpacked these fucking things? i am going to use them today!”

amanda & i had a platonic date after she got off work, so i put them in my backpack & headed towards oakland. we sat in front of the library and talked. i blew bubbles & she read me this amazing letter she wrote to our friend emily on a diner napkin. the sun was sinking, references to the great early 90’s song “whoomp! there it is” were made, and we had one of those long conversations where everything is understood. it was nice.

i’m at work (duh) and the other day, one of the radio DJ’s on this very bland station my boss forces me to listen to said, “did you know that sitting at your desk and constantly refreshing your email triggers the same part of your brain that is triggered in rodents performing the same task, over and over again, to get a food pellet?” it was a sobering realization. and nobody’s in the office yet, so i could theoretically do whatever the hell i want, plus i haven’t gotten any emails in days anyway. plus i spend a lot of time at home sitting in front of a computer, bangin out the novel, so, like, why would i want to do it some more here? but oh, here in the office we have the internet, where i can stalk stupid people who went to my skool, read blogs of marginally famous lesbians, and generally waste my youth and tendons. hoorah!



lately i’ve been thinking about how much i want to go to massage school, and maybe try & open up something similar to working class acupuncture in portland, or, but do it here in pittsburgh. that would involve lots of money (way less than most massage schools, but still, at least 5 g’s) , a two-year commitment to a school i am skeptical of, keeping the faith that my limp wrists will not die on me completely, and a very long commitment to pittsburgh. it’s something i think is really important, & something i really want to do, provided i can find some co-conspirators. i feel like the reason why i haven’t done more cool shit with my life yet is because i lack people that i can work well with who want similar things. you know? even little shit like traveling i almost never do, and i don’t really know why.

something else, totally unrelated, that i want is more friends who were raised by crazy drunk families who aren’t crazy drunk messes themselves. i want to talk about the very real sense of abandonment you can have when yr trying to sober up, like how you can feel that you’ve failed yr family by not being a total mess. when you know you’re fucking lucky to not have that gene that makes you ruin your whole goddamn life, but at the same time, you can tell they resent you, and that they don’t understand that you aren’t like them. & there is a cameraderie in their drunkenness that you’re left out of.

like, the last two times i stayed with my fam for an extended period of time (winter & summer ’07) i was encouraged to drink until i passed out, i never got yelled at for lazing about the house when i had a hangover or drinking until i puked. but there were several times when shit hit the fan when i a) cooked vegetables b) spent hours writing c) cut my hair. like, what the fuck, right? but then i thought about it more and i realized that in their own fucked up way, they want me to be a part of their world. & it saddens them that i’m not. & in their own weird way they’re trying to include me.
i don’t really have anyone to talk to about this; most of my friends who are from alcoholic homes are either drunk-ass messes themselves, or else i don’t really get to talk to them anymore. and i’m trying to sober up lately, because my body just can’t take anymore abuse, and it’s not terribly hard usually, but it’s bringing up all this weird shit. i drank a little last night and i woke up at 6am in a panic searching for my birth certificate. what?

on a wholly different note, i also want to go west again, really badly. i also want to visit ray in baltimore & see the american visionary art museum, and i want to see chicago and minneapolis for the first time because everyone keeps saying that i’ll like them, and i want to go back to the desert even though i don’t really know anyone there.

there is this withered bowl of vegetables that i cooked last saturday. i ate the whole skilletful, except for one mouthful. potatoes, thyme, onions, beans. kale&tomatoes fresh from the garden. it was delicious. but i just can’t eat that last mouthful, and i can’t throw it away, either.

i don’t care if they eat me alive. i’ve got better things to do than survive.


i quit coffee, can you believe it? it was making my heart feel very uncomfortable every time i had more than a few sips, and making it beat irregularly too. i don’t have health insurance or tons of $ laying around for an ekg or anything like that, and my mom has a disease where she can’t drink coffee or her heart will go haywire. so i just quit coffee. cold turkey. i still drink green tea, even though it makes my heart a little race-y it’s not too bad. man! i am only twenty-six! and everyone who knows me knows how much i love my coffee.

but, i have to say, i am feeling a lot of clarity and peace that i don’t feel when i’m all caffiened-out. i do more dumb things in the morning, like sending emails that unintentionally offend people when i am just trying to explain, or losing shit at work, but once i’ve fully woken up i have lots of insight. lots of calm.

i am trying to embrace the heartbreak and pain that this year has brought me. it’s made room for a lot of other things, like growth & change. if all the fucked-up shit that happened this year hadn’t happened, i wouldn’t have written 65 pages in 7 months (!) because i would have been too busy having fun. well, i was too busy having fun in may, and my wrists hurt too bad to type much in march, but other than that i’ve been diligently trooping forward. and it feels so good! so much better than anything ever.

i think once i finish this book & get things moving with it, it might be time to start scouting for a new place to live. pittsburgh is great and i love everyone i know here, but i feel like my purpose in being here was to have a space where i could write this book, and i think if i stay for too much longer i will just stagnate. there are so many reasons to stay: easy life, cheap massage school?, good friends, good job (although it’s extremely tenuous and subject to end at literally any second due to my boss’ lousy health), vegetable gardens. and there are so many reasons to leave: new adventures, new inspirations, excitement. a fear of stagnation & permanency. & the dating pool here is rather dry. i am rather preoccupied with someone at the moment, but she’s a tough nut to crack & there is a huge barrier to us getting together. i am willing to overlook that barrier, but most people aren’t. i don’t think she’s willing to overlook it. she’s so cute & so awesome though, and i don’t know how to tell her. sigh.

oh, i don’t know. i know that every emotion i have is subject to change at any second, and i know that everything i write on the internet immediately contradicts itself once the “publish” button is hit. i know i’m a flighty aries, i know i will always be spiritually homeless. i thought that was over, but i don’t think it is; i don’t think it will ever be. as thomas builds-the-fire (or, i guess, sherman alexie) so brilliantly put it in one of my favorite short story ever (“this is what it means to say phoenix, arizona”), nothing ever stops.