Monthly Archives: January 2010

my mouth is full of crystallized salt/i’ll never go to the yaffa cafe again


the title of this post is a line that ran through my head last night as i lay sleepless next to my lover, wanting so badly to kiss him but also wanting to let him sleep because he had to get up early the next morning. you know, when you can’t sleep but you’re close to it and weird thoughts crystalize. the yaffa cafe is (or was? i don’t know if its still open) somewhere in nyc, the village or the lower east side, i guess. it represents this certain new york to me that i know i’ll never get back.
i had an intense dream about biking around the country with a gorgeous black dude with long dreads and we were just arguing about where to sleep when my alarm clock went off, and i wasn’t about to sleep in a field, not on an adventure at all, but in my bed. i was sad upon waking, i wanted to go back to that world. not that my world’s all that bad or anything, but you know.
i’m at the library right now and there’s a young-ish couple using a computer together and occasionally kissing passionately, two computers in front of me. a crazy-looking old man walked by them and yelled, “that’s beautiful!” in a rough-hewn voice. they looked uncomfortable and didn’t say anything back to him, but it was kind of nice.
tomorrow the lover and i go to philly to commemorate a sad anniversary. tomorrow it’ll be five years. whoa. i’m not looking forward to any of it, really, but it’ll be nice to skip town for a day or two.
i have exciting news! but i don’t wanna blog about it. not yet. soon. nate told the woman at the coffee shop and said, “she’s really excited about it, really!” which made me laugh hysterically. i said, “what are you, my publicist?” he said yes. but really, i’m just poker-faced and afraid of jinxing things. i blame it on my catholic upbringing. it’s a pretty easy catch-all of blame.

pictures as of late!


my little sister came to visit me from new york and it was super fuuun. here we are crafting on my couch with heather, at craft night.

at some point in the evening, ray realized that he could make a tiny fake hamburger by smushing together some skittles.

heather and a fake hamburger! i love this god damn picture.

so, the next morning, jill, ray & i headed out to schenley park for a truly bizarre event that ray and i had heard of — mascot skate. pittsburgh is a town of strange, cute mascots, and they all convened to go ice skating. it was a truly bizarre experience.
below is my favorite mascot of all, the litterbug! you may recognize hir from all those posters at bus stops sternly warning you not to litter, because the litter bug is coming after you…or something. in real life, the litter bug is super cute!!

it was actually really crowded and zany, which is unusual for pittsburgh, which usually has a strange abandoned quality no matter what. but everywhere we went that day was really crowded, which prompted me to declare, “we have the most popular ideas in pittsburgh!”

and the next day we went to the museum of natural history to look at the dinos & whales. it was mostly uneventful. here is jill and a dino!

alyssa, jill & ray in the coatroom at the museum. i also really like this image.

jill looks on as sheeples grazes a paper bag. oh no, sheeples! don’t do it!

i feel like a giant nerd. surprise! i am a giant nerd.



i’m seriously having such a shitty day right now. a year ago today was fucking amazing, so i guess i can deal with the inverse. right? right!
i thought nate was gonna get fired & i was so pissed off about it that i said i’d quit in solidarity. when i told nate that, on the streetcorner, he hugged me and said “thank you!” in such a sweet way, but really, i am so fed up and ready to walk out anyway. but the workday got better, nate wasn’t fired, i didn’t make a pre-planned poignant speech about how my boss fucks over everyone & now it’s his turn to get fucked over. and my boss is flying to SF on friday, to be gone for a week! whoo hoo! the office will still be open if anyone wants to come visit.
also, my credit card got scammed (long story) & my ex-girlfriend sent me a totally unnecessary mean email. gentle reader, good luck trying to get a capricorn to take any responsibility for their fucked up shitty behavior. they lash out twice as hard. even the anarchists are machiavellian. they can’t take any suggestion that they aren’t perfect, even when they do things that any decent person recognizes as crappy. gentle reader, i would advise you to avoid dating members of this despicable sign altogether, if you can. i know, i know, sometimes they get you. i knew better going into this & i did it anyway.
am i being a judgemental astrology bitch right now? you bet. but i’m sure you would be too, if you were me, facing this particular set of circumstances and challenges. so, what the fuck ever.

oh, wait, i actually do have something to talk about.


so, as many of you know, i recently wrote a split zine with my good friend matt, who’s serving time in california. he wrote me a letter recently, after i sent him the first copy of our zine. he works in the main office in his prison, and saw the mail come in & saw a zine-shaped package from me. he was really excited to read it (even though he’d seen it all before it was laid out, it’s always exciting to hold it in your hands for the first time). but, of course, since he’s a prisoner, all his mail has to be inspected by a guard before he can read it.
prison guards, even at their nicest, are still assholes. and the guard on mail duty saw that he really wanted to see my package, so he took his time. he pulled the zine out and waved it in front of him. “what’s this?” he demanded. “a zine,” he said, and tried to explain. the guard sat in front of him and read it for a little while, and after about ten minutes, threw it in matt’s face, snarling something like, “this is fuckin’ weird,” or whatever.
anyway, he told me that most of the guards at his prison are familiar with me, because we write each other so often (at least once per week, usually more). he said, “some of them are polite and refer to you as ‘ocean’. the ones who aren’t call you ‘that weird girl,’ or ‘that emo chick.'” i wrote back and was like, “EMO!?!?! really??!!! why are they calling me that??” and he wrote back and tried to explain what emo is (of course, i already know what it is) but, since he’s in prison and has been for the past several years, wasn’t entirely sure what that meant.
so i looked up the famed “seventeen” magazine article, “am i emo?”

hee ha, does anyone remember this article? it came out about ten years ago. anyway, i was mildly disturbed to see how much the emo boy resembles me. oh no, what if the prison guards were right after all? that disturbs everything! everything i ever knew about the world!

blah, blah, blah. i want yr love


dear internet,

lately i’ve been kinda overwhelmed with speaking, or writing, or communicating, because everything i want to say i feel like i can’t talk about. it’s too personal, or too up-in-the-air and i don’t want to jinx it, or i don’t know how i feel, or it’s talking uneccesary shit, or whatever. i have been writing about the past a lot lately. i swore i wasn’t gonna do another zine until my book is done but i’ve already started working on another one, inspired by my decade-in-review post. writing an essay about each year out of the past ten. i only get inspired to write after midnight and then come into the office bleary. it’s been awhile. i’ve been a responsible bed-goer during the weeknights for quite some time now, no longer up all night writing or doin’ it. waking up at 8:45 to go to work refreshed. fuck it. who needs that sort of thing.
my sister was in pittsburgh this weekend & that was fun. we mostly just hung out casually, which is nice. i had something larger & more meaningful to say about it but i forgot. the snow is all gone & it feels like it never happened, like those fourteen consecutive days of snow were all some sort of mistake. it was our entire reality just last week & now it’s gone. feeling mild like springtime even though spring is a long way off, even though spring as we knew it will probably never happen again.
love, ocean

things i have been doing as of late.


because i don’t feel like writing a real post.

*hating my job
*obsessively listening to my boyfriend’s “born in the u.s.a.” cassette
*thinking about making several huge changes in my life
*but being kinda scared of it
*trying to relax & remember to let it be
*hanging out in neighborhoods i don’t normally hang out in
*thinking about making a pretty serious commitment to pittsburgh & to another person, in the form of real estate
*checking my credit online & accusing my mom of stealing my identity to open some credit cards (she didn’t actually, thank goodness, but it sure seemed that way for a minute)
*missing people but being too depressed to call them
*dorkily watching as many rick sebak documentaries on channel 13 as i can
*cooking giant stewing pots of chili
*spilling my lunch all over myself
*baking vegan cupcakes, of course
*seriously pondering blowing the whistle on my boss’ many scams
*handing out zines (i have a new zine out! let me know if you want one) and wondering what people think of them
*hanging out with 4/9ths of my housemates from 2001! wow.

the 00’s in review, in case anyone is even remotely interested.


…i felt like doing this. copied from crabigail adams.

i was 17/18, a senior in high school. i worked at cvs all the time, saving up to travel around the country when i was finally done with school. i cut all my hair off the night i graduated high school. i got kicked out of my dad’s house for being a dyke in august. on september 10, 2000 [imagine if i’d waited a year!? holy f!] i flew to san francisco and then spent the next few months riding a greyhound aimlessly around amerika. it was great & memorable, if lonely & daunting sometimes too.

i came back to my shitty town after months of adventures. i was depressed & living with my mom, who made it no secret that she didn’t want me there. she told me i needed to leave in late january and i moved in with some girls i’d met travelling, in the deep south. bad, bad idea. i moved to philly six months later, sight unseen, knowing one person. i hated it, until i moved into la concha (a dyke collective house that still influences my life to this very day). i lived on less than $6,000 that year. i stole a lot & dumpstered a lot too. i was happy but sad. i lived in six houses in three states and had over 20 housemates in that year alone. 9/11 happened and i was surrounded by haters who didn’t get it. i thought my dad was dead, but he wasn’t (he’s a construction worker who worked in the towers all the time). one of my lovers that year completely destroyed my life for years to come.

one of the worst years ever. i was sexually assaulted by someone i trusted. it wasn’t brutal or violent, just another incident of people not hearing me or acknowledging my needs, just another reminder that my safety or comfort wasn’t important to anyone. a crackhead tried to break into my house & rape me & my housemate, and stood on our porch until 5am screaming about how we needed to get out there & suck his cock. everyone who loved me was bad for me. i got into an argument with a man at work and he brought four friends back with him to kick my ass. they stood and watched me for hours. i ran to my bike and hopped on and pedaled for dear life and knew then, more than ever, that my life was expendable. that i meant absolutely nothing in this world. this was the year i knew nobody would care if i died. i went home to long island & concentrated on healing. it was hard. i moved to brooklyn and i loved it more than anything.

i started binding my breasts & presenting as genderqueer. i fell in love with a girl with a blue mohawk & we ran amok, getting drunk and smashing things gleefully, making out while barreling down the highway at 80 MPH, one eye on the road…one night she asked me to marry her and i said yes even though we were both queer punx who were ideologically opposed to that sort of thing. i quit my job in publishing to go back to college & even though i was living in a freshman dorm in westchester county (at age 21) i was happy.

another horrible year. i started it off with a nervous breakdown (which effectively resolved many of my gender issues, as i was too concerned with not committing suicide to think about my breasts). i got really wrapped up in my unhealthy codependent relationship & alienated most of my friends. i had the worst birthday ever and it was my girlfriend’s fault. one of my best friends started acting really crazy & nobody knew why. in july the doctors found a tumor in her lung. i worked construction & was exhausted & lived in a horrible basement apartment with an annoying goth woman.

my friend died. i lost my home. my computer was stolen. i went to new orleans and had a great time and first kissed the boy who is my current partner. we rode bikes all over NOLA and i was so happy. i went to california for the summer and healed so much and had tons of amazing experiences. my girlfriend cried because she missed me but wouldn’t write me a letter. i had a lot of friends & a lot of good times mixed in with the bad.

i moved in with my girlfriend in philly because i was pretty much out of money. it was dull & crappy, but necessary. i delivered pizza on my bike. i had the hottest summer of my whole life & then went back to school and had lots of fun.

graduated college, broke up with my girlfriend, moved to pittsburgh with the dude who i thought was my best friend. i also thought we were having lots of fun, but i was wrong on both counts. i wasn’t gonna find that out, though, until…

i lost people i loved. i drank, cried and wrote a lot. fucked up my wrists and my heart. started dating my current sweetheart. wrote lots of love letters.

i was generally happy and in love. i saw a lot of interesting things and traveled a little bit and was, for the most part, content. wow. how about that?

don’t have time, something quick before i forget–


at lunch i was telling my boss about an experience i had at a thai restaurant, where i was with four other people and we ordered food at different spice levels, from mild to extra-hot, but when we tasted each others’ food it was all at the same spice level.
my boss thought about it for a second, and said, “imagine how much that cook must have been…chortling! in the kitchen! thinking about how badly he was treating all of you!”