24 June 2001

Last Day of Summer Vacation

The temperature is starting to drop and the fog is rolling in. It’s like a little seal on an envelope, the letter says, the party is over. We got a summer that wasn’t really ours, had no claim to, and now it’s over. I once again start leafing through the real estate guides for Kauai that perch with a cadre of periodicals on the toilet tank as bathroom reading materials and wonder when Ed is going to start fully realizing his white-male earning potential. I resolve to pluck the two, inch-long hairs growing out of the mole in the crook of my arm. I consider that it may not be September until with comfort I’ll once again be able to wear my new Mephisto sandles.

22 June 2001

Abercrombie and Fitch

We all survived the summer solstice. The world didn’t end and there was no mass hysteria at the prospect of shorter and shorter days. Okay Ms. Glass-is-Half-Empty, snap out of it.

In other news of the world, the Cookie Monster was assaulted and battered at a Sesame Street theme park yesterday. The Cookie Monster was pushed to the ground, while a father hit and kicked the fuzzy blue cuddly bear-monster. The perpetrator was arrested and contends the Cookie Monster was rude. Let’s take a moment of silence and grieve for the world and her ways.

The day was filled with a judgemental angst. This is probably a result of my wandering into Abercrombie and Fitch before boarding the bus from downtown to the neighborhood. Admittedly this was the first (and the last) time I have ever set foot in an Abercrombie and Fitch store, and frankly I was appalled. I’m far from being a fashion princess, my ripped T-shirts and Boy Fit Capri blue jeans are testament to this. I’m quite excited that Punk is making a comeback, even if it’s just fashion. I was assaulted with perky colors and slinky slogans on tight-fitting T-shirts and stretch pants. It was painful. I had no idea that’s what was in these places.

I walked out of the store dazed. It left me feeling like a fifteen-year-old girl ready to rebel and I got to wondering how a late thirty-something me would look in a Mohawk again. I recommitted to getting myself two biceps.

Today I find myself a little more concerned about the health and well-being of the Cookie Monster and the fate of humanity as a consequence of the recent attack on the beloved blue bear-monster. Some might call this denial, others may call it altruistic. While certainly a number of definitions are up for grabs, one thing is certain – Abercrombie and Fitch ruined my day.

20 June 2001

Ode to Boy

My arms hurt, my legs hurt. My biceps hurt and I don’t even have biceps. It’s a good hurt, but everything still hurts. It’s the kind of hurt that reminds me that I’m alive and in so doing leaves me feeling more alive – so I like it. Lesson in this? Go out there and cause a little pain and remind yourself and someone else that we’re all still breathing.

I met a man once, while wandering the streets of Leningrad, back when Leningrad was Leningrad, and I asked him who his heroes were. He told me, “my hero is the man inside of me, the man I am to become.” In truth, this is the first time it dawned on me that the person I could/should aspire most to be like, whose values represented an ideal to strive for, whose life and gestures are a testament to all I believe in, is myself. The person who could move mountains and change the world is me. That little interaction on a sleepy dark city street transformed my thinking and expanded my horizons.

Sometimes I think of how the Soviet Union crumbled in a relatively bloodless revolution. I ponder how that fractured great beautiful country contains this being who aspired and inspired, living in a City that both lost and found its name. I wonder if he has yet to realize his becoming amidst the chaos and uncertainty.

19 June 2001


As I was dropping seventy-five dollars on hair care and make-up products at Walgreens (Yes, seventy-five dollars), I ran into Restaurant Girl. She’s quitting her jobs and was jovial and friendly. I’m invariably shocked when she’s cordial. I always look around and wonder, are you talking to me? Are you serious? Don’t you remember that you’re always rude to me? I think she forgets and I wonder if at some point mid-way through the conversation she remembers who I am and thinks to herself, damn.

So anyway, I’m being nice back, simply because I’m stunned by her pleasantry and I tell her that Cassie has recently returned. Oh yeah, she says, from Spain! Wow. And she asks after her, how was her trip and how is she? I tell her that Cassie looks beautiful and healthy and that it was my impression that the experience was great for her. Restaurant Girl breathes in acutely, gasps almost, and takes a step back, overwhelmed for a moment, “she really couldn’t be more beautiful.” Her eyes get wide as she ponders the mere thought of it and I think she’s going to fall right there in the checkout line at the make-up counter.

At that point all I really want to do is take my little plastic Walgreens basket and slam it upside her head. I think to myself, she’s given you her phone number how many times, encouraged you to call her and all but tattooed the word AVAILABLE on her forehead… you dizzy bitch! Well now she’s beautiful, radiant and glowing, I tell her – hoping it tortures her mercilessly. She’s dumb struck and nervous and just says, “wow.”

Restaurant Girl pays for her manies and I’m next in line. “Doing some make-up shopping!” The shop lady proclaims as she peers into the blue plastic basket with eyes wide, then gives me a sideways glance of disapproval. She pulls out a number of little sparkly eyeshade products and says, “these are marketed for teenage girls,” with a matter-of-fact condemning tone of utter disappointment. “Well I am,” I say casually, “a teenage girl,” and leave it at that. She steps back and looks at me and shakes her head. “For the girls who won’t wear Revlon,” she whispers under her breath. I’ve just committed a crime against humanity.

As a matter-of-fact, I was reading Mademoiselle magazine last night, after the shopping extravaganza, which is clearly not marketed to teenage girls, and these Fetish products which I purchased were indeed featured in that magazine. Now I don’t say I was reading Mademoiselle with pride, nor can I attest to actually enjoying the magazine. The featured fashions are atrocious and over-priced, the articles are all about planning a wedding, getting your man to marry you, dealing with the fact your best friend is getting married when you’re not, meeting your to-be in-laws for the first time or losing weight. The magazine was a freebee that arrives periodically despite myself and I do scan through the pages with self-righteous indignation and mock the articles and advertisements. I’m happy to admit that I do in fact enjoy some of these pulpy trashy periodicals – I’ll get titillated and giddy when I buy a Cosmo for the airplane for the Jerry Springer-like reader’s writes. Think on that as you will. But I’m simply not part of Mademoiselle’s market audience. But, Ms. Walgreen’s Shop Lady, I can be a teenage girl as long as I want to. How do you like them apples?

17 June 2001

I Solace Myself By Thinking

I solace myself by thinking, eat of the apple, your own damned fault.

I called Dad for Father’s Day. What an odd bird. At some point I’d really love to say, with visceral candor, “listen, I’m really sorry that we don’t have much in common, that we don’t seem to even be living on the same planet most of the time.” Sitting quietly over coffee and watching hummingbirds we do try to communicate but always seem to miss the mark. It’s not evil or argumentative. It’s not even silent. The words follow some logical order, but they don’t have any weight when tied in a bow at the end of the day. I can’t seem to find words that mean anything to him either. At best we hold equal culpability yet admitting that doesn’t alter the outcome. This dynamic has ceased being tragic and has rolled into being just the way things are.

Mom, on the other hand, has been quite inspired by Cassie’s trek through the wilderness. I’d proffered that if Cassie made it without ill event that we consider this sojourn together. The prospect has tickled her imagination and she’s filled with questions and contemplation. I’m convinced that some untoward happening involving barnacles has sealed the deal. Or perhaps it’s the notion of meandering the Spanish countryside in pink flip-flops and a bag of magic rocks that’s placed weight on the decision. It’s hard to tell. Undoubtedly we’ll be following in Cassie’s footsteps sometime in the future and likely I’ll be cursing her under my breath, pelting her with psychic fruit and thinking, how’d you like it if someone picked an apple off of YOU! Though admittedly I’m equally thrilled by idea of spending that kind of time with my mother. I think it would be an adventure that we’d both come to view as precious. (Note to self: Be strikingly clear with mom that past life experiences are strongly discouraged on the journey.)

16 June 2001


I met Cassie and Martin for dinner last night at Edinburgh Castle, a Scottish Pub-ish thing that serves Fish and Chips in the heart of the Tenderloin. Cassie brought her own contraband barnacles from Spain (asserting that they look and taste like puppy penis’ – ours is not to question why.) Martin and I looked on aghast in and horror as she had the little critters deep-fried and served up with vinegar and salt.

She’d went to a psychic earlier that afternoon who told her she was going to die. I could have told her this for half the price, but she has no faith in my prophetic abilities. It was, after all, I who foretold her meeting of the trust-fund nun on her sojourn across El Camino in Spain – from whence she just returned. I think to myself, if only she would believe in me more she’d save a pretty penny – not to mention live a significantly more dramatic life – especially the way I tell it. (Note to self: continue to work more diligently on Cassie’s autobiography. Note to self: Stop telling me what to do.)

So the forum this morning went swimmingly. Afterwards Ed and I accomplished a series of mundane tasks, ranging from grocery shopping to sorting finances. We went to duel with an older black woman, who we came to know as Pearl, over a taxi.

Pearl was convinced this was her taxi, as she’d been waiting longer, despite the fact the driver insisted his call was for someone named Ed. It certainly wasn’t our intention to heist her ride, but hired drivers are hard to come by on a Saturday afternoon and we weren’t about to be overly chivalrous either. Once her dander calmed and she resigned to give up the wheels, we began negotiating. As it turned out she lives not three blocks from us so we helped her with her groceries and gave her a lift. In the end, it seems, it turned out all the better for her. She had to turn all those sideways glances and thoughts of indignation into a face full of teeth – quite happy in the way this story turned out for her.

13 June 2001


I bought new carpeting for the living room. A sage-ish colored thing to go with the new Luca photograph. I won’t hang the photo until I’ve painted and so invariably there’ll be a photo in bubble wrap on the floor of my study for the next year. Predictable? Am I predictable?

Cassie returns from Spain today. Any moment I’m expecting the telephone to ring and hear her sleepy jet-lagged voice squeaking, “I’m home!” But alas, I’ve determined that she’s invariably been a curmudgeon with a customs official and has been detained in some holding area while she proves she has no contraband. I’m guessing, however, that she’s smuggled in some barnacles and has some explaining to do.