Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review!


1.What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

gotten an IUD, worn a septum ring, paid over $500 for a tattoo, something sexual i’m not writing here, lived in oakland, and sued my landlord! [edited 12/31/12 to add:] snaked a toilet!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

i don’t really make resolutions but i had goals. they were mostly vague (keep pursuing a meaningful life, do good things, etc) and i accomplished them. i did not accomplish the one concrete goal, which was to publish my book. my goal this year is to publish something & keep writing & get a fuckin’ job & love in a sane & sustainable way.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
yes! quite a few people i know had babies this year. the person who i am closest to is radio! i cannot wait to visit her, o’ryan, and lil’ auggie at some point in the future.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
laura and morton died, as well as some clients. not close with any of them but it was still sad & sorta hard.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
a published book. a paying job that does not destroy my soul. a semi-permanent-ish home, and to know where my home is, what timezone and what city.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

oh geez. this was a really memorable year actually. um, i remember crying tears of joy at work when amanda texted me that terrell was set free after 17 years of wrongful imprisonment, feeling the first real hope that things will get better after 11+ years of prisoner support work. i remember kate bornstein telling me that i am a good writer & being so happy and then puking in a trash can. i remember danny dyeing my hair and sweating on me as we hid from the wasps in my hot apartment. i remember winning $180 at the casino with maxine and then frolicking in the surf, i remember going to the ocean with ben and amanda in NC and it was ben’s first time in the ocean for 20 years and he was so overjoyed. i remember being so present and safe with them, so happy on our adventure. i remember finding out this really awful thing had happened and freaking out. i remember jean grae and invincible pulling me out of said freakout with their amazing healing music. i remember the look on amber’s face when we found all that brie in the dumpster in montreal. i remember the sadness and beauty of that old amusement park in NY, i remember looking at the splashy happy new yorkers at coney island and thinking that i was really gonna miss them. i remember the mountains in colorado outside of a greyhound bus terminal. i remember sitting naked  in the hot tub with scarin, andrew and the danes and being so grateful.  i remember a beautiful, windy day at the albany bulb with a cute boy. i remember going to target drunk with jordan and pushing him in the shopping cart, across the parking lot & promising that i wouldn’t let him fall. i remember finding out something that healed me so much. i remember when i first got my collective tarot deck, doing readings for myself in aaryn’s living room in san francisco. i remember going to the playground with adam late at night and frolicking and it was so fun. i remember saying goodbye to nearly everyone i’ve ever known & how heavy that was.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

starting over, growing, healing. learning how to read tarot & doing a lot of really good work at all my jobs, paid and unpaid. also, this isn’t really an achievement per se, but my mirena iud put an end to 14 years of extremely painful menstruation which seriously affected my quality of life. it is seriously one of the best things i have ever done for myself.

9. What was your biggest failure?

this year wasn’t really a failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

i got the flu multiple times this summer for some reason. other than that i’ve been fine.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

my ailanthus leaf tattoo, my hot pink tights, many snacks, and both the greyhound ticket to oakland to start my new life & the greyhound ticket to pittsburgh to visit my old one.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

my friends & my sweethearts.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

no need to mention them.

14. Where did most of your money go?

student loans, traveling, and moving.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
moving, lovers, friends, books. as always.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

“sluttering” by jawbreaker, “ropes” by invincible, and far too many semi-embarrassing beyonce songs to mention here.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  notably happier.
b) thinner or fatter? notably fatter.
c) richer or poorer? notably poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

already spent it. with my mom & siblings & uncle. it was pleasant but not spectacular.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
yes, several times!

22. How many one-night stands?
none, really.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
90210, drag race, melrose place

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
no. but i still hate all the same people i hated in 2011. and i did find out something new and awful about a certain lady from my distant past that made me hate her a whole lot more than i already had.

25. What was the best book you read? “rookie”, “every you, every me” by david levithan, “the gentrification of the mind” by sarah schulman, “15 ways to stay alive” by daphne gottlieb, “love cake” by leah lakshmi piepzna-samarsinha, “glad no matter what” by sark, “quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking”, “how to become a scandal”, and more that i can’t recall.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

don’t ask me for a musical discovery, i’m hardly cutting edge. i spent most of this year listening obsessively to beyonce & jawbreaker.

27. What did you want and get?
a mature & considerate lover, a doable life plan, a fresh start, hope, and evidence that what goes around comes around.

28. What did you want and not get?
a published book! california food stamps! a good night’s sleep!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 30 and had one of the most fun birthday parties of my entire life. my dad & sister came from new york, bearing approx. 90 beers, and all my pgh favorites came to my house and we just laughed hysterically for hours. at the end, 8 or 9 beers in, i drilled a xylophone to a pole outside my front door without injuring myself. & for the rest of the summer, anyone who visited me would play the xylophone to let me know they were there.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

it was pretty satisfying. oh, i guess not having so many contact lens problems. i’ve finally given up!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

pink! wacky!

33. What kept you sane?

this year i have dated more people than i ever have & every single one of them was so awesome and so healing and so good to me. my friends were also awesome, healing and good, but on a different level (also, friends being good to me is not really that noteworthy or unusual). also, 3 people i know were set free from prison this year & 2 horrible stories that have been haunting me for many years turned out to be untrue. this has changed my view of the world a little, tiny bit.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

three strikes getting repealed was SO awesome, i know of at least one person, a board member at my job & nonviolent 3rd striker who’s been down since 1998, has gone home!!!! this is huge, this is real, this is amazing and i’d like to thank any cali voters reading who voted to reform this awful law. not to discount the huge amount of behind-the-scenes work that has happened prior to voting, of course. usually voting is stupid, but sometimes it can change shit & this time, it really did. ❤ thank you!

36. Who did you miss?
everyone who wasn’t with me at that particular moment.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
all the bay area peeps, esp. adam & emma!

RIP morton d., 1930-2012.



here is a picture of you, years ago, when the dude-bro-y law clerk said that paintings by jackson pollock are just splatters. you said, “if it’s just splatters, anyone can do it. why don’t you paint us a pollock?” and so we all went to the backyard of our office and stood around, on the clock, watching this very-non-artsy dude attempt to mimic a master.

i was your secretary for years. on my job interview, you made me research star trek fan clubs. when i showed you what i compiled, you rifled through it and proclaimed: “why, these people are crazy!” you asked me what writers can do to change the world. i said all we can do is write something that might make people feel better about their lousy lives. you sat back on your chair and thought about it.

i was your secretary for years. usually secretaries didn’t last around your office. the pay was lousy, and you were eccentric and demanding. clients, associates, and even random clerks at the courthouse would say, “what’s a nice person like you doing working at a place like this?” i would laugh and say that i liked it. i did, even though you pissed me off on a regular basis. even though you behaved in ways that were morally bankrupt, absolutely horrifying sometimes. people would marvel at how good i was at handling you and i’d shrug, “we’re both arieses. his bullshit is my bullshit. i know where it comes from and how to deal.” and it’s true. i don’t exploit people ruthlessly for money like you do, and i hope i never will. but we’re both headstrong, stubborn, swirling with both self-loathing and grandiose ego. both of us love the absurd, the strangeness that life throws our way. you took on clients with the most bullshitty cases if they were interesting people. we both have a flair for telling wacky stories.

i stopped in to visit before i moved away. you weren’t in, but you called me at home later that day. you said i was moving to san francisco and i corrected you: no, i’m moving to oakland. “well, san francisco is far more interesting!” i know, i can go visit. “you’d better learn how to swim!” i had a feeling, in that office, that i was there for the last time.

you died last month. i found out today, sort of by accident. you had several near-death experiences when i knew you and i always thought that when the time came, i’d be able to go to your funeral and hang out with all the weirdos i’d met through you. that it would be one big reunion. but i’m all the way over here now. i couldn’t go. i didn’t even know about it.