BY Jillson

03/01 Direct Link
Boot Camp: Day 1
I didn't wake to the alarm at sunrise…
First days are always tough but in this case it's especially challenging since I have to figure out what the rigorous schedule should include and what the general constraints are to be – then I have to take on the role of both drill sergeant and weakling in need of whipping into shape.
Sounds sadomasochistic, no?
Or is this how everyone lives and I'm just getting hip to the basic principals of self discipline?
Free Lakers tickets made it my way today so I must be doing something right.
03/02 Direct Link
Boot Camp: Day 2
Saturdays here are about maximizing relaxation, stretching inspiration. I went places and did things today that I wouldn’t have done last week. I sang and danced in my car, acquired expensive inspirational impulse buys at the book store, laid in the grass in the park. I almost settled in for an evening alone but needing some socialization, I went to Di & Popo’s for dinner where I swung Samba by the feet, held petunia and monitored the garlic bread.
(My name is not Bridget so I won’t share with you the number of cigarettes I inhaled.)
03/03 Direct Link
Boot Camp: Day 3
I woke briefly at sunrise.
I made it to 9am yoga. I’m standing taller and looser today because of it. It was a little easier to clear my head of clutter today and just sit in my body. I’m getting somewhere, closer to my center. It’s an absolutely gorgeous day out. I’ve returned all my e-mails and am writing my words early in the day so that I don’t have to return to my computer later tonight when I return from the dinner party. Boot Camp forbids letting hours disappear in front of my home PC.
03/04 Direct Link
This day has completely exhausted me.
In my left hand I have the simple question of what I should be doing in my life. This question surfaces unanswerable seasonally. Meanwhile it’s becoming clear that I need to move on to something more challenging and meaningful that puts my actual passion and skills to use.
In my right hand I have needs for love and companionship that aren’t being met.
Ah yes, I was the righteous teenager who believed in the power of love, who wanted my life work to have philosophical meaning and make a difference no matter how small.
03/05 Direct Link
It’s late and I’m tempted to leave words for tomorrow to describe today but I ended the night talking about my commitment to these words so I’m extra committed tonight. I didn’t expect to close the bar by any means but we ended up doing so. We are in different places in our lives, writing, what we’re seeking and what we’re willing to risk but still we had tons in common and to talk about: work, people, writing, even step siblings... Cool connection. Driving home after 4 vodka-tonics was fine, but getting mail out of the mailbox was too complicated.
03/06 Direct Link
Random news and information: the speedometer on my car passed 15,000 this morning - last year's "profit related pay" arrives on Friday, my boss thinks I'll be pleased – Granny has water in her lungs, Dad's blood pressure is alarmingly low - I wish Lugano wasn't so far - Sagittarius is naturally drawn to the hips and legs - paper trails of unbilled travel costs are missing – "To drive safely, you must follow many rules and laws" I'll be tested on them tomorrow – friend understands my crush, is curious of online protocol– There's someone on the corner dressed as a pizza.
03/07 Direct Link
What impressed me most today were the constantly transforming clouds in the sky. There are endless opportunities available with winds, a mix of clouds and a dancing sun offering shifting light. Half of the morning sky was dark and shadowy but the rising run seeped through casting dazzling rays. On my way home, there were fluffy white clouds stretched across the blue atmosphere while the sunlight cast flat against the intense storm clouds - dark purple blue grays, shiny metals, warm trees. Ending two years of procrastination I took the test to prove I know the rules of the road.
03/08 Direct Link
To call myself restless would be an understatement. I’m flustered, resentful, feel wasted. I don’t even trust myself to follow through on the plans I layout with my best interest in mind. There is a very specific distraction that I want so completely (but I can’t spell it out for you). It’s mid-afternoon and I’m leaving work. I’m hoping that I can find a way to put my restlessness to use today. I do wish that I had a fun satisfying positive place to pour all my desires and energy into - instead I move from distraction to distraction. Cheers.
03/09 Direct Link
I straightened myself out yesterday – applying the force of yoga, a dime bad, six pack, a carton of camels, Indian delivery, candle light, a cheesy movie and a good night’s sleep. Now I’m up, dressed, organized and hesitant. Voices of surprise ring in my head, from my stepfather to my co-worker, when they hear details of my personal hermit life “You of all people”. Yes I have come to such a solitary place and despite my impulses and natural social tendencies, I’m here holding my own. Sometimes when opportunities arise to socialize I hide despite my desire to do otherwise.
03/10 Direct Link
I spent the day with 2 close friends, one visiting from New York the other her best friend who I’ve become close with. I’ve known them both off & on for years. We all hate our jobs, albeit for different reasons. I enjoyed the comfort of familiar friends but it made me feel uneasy. I don’t understand how I’ve accumulated so many close friendships but am not surrounded by them regularly. At some point I hope to understand why I’ve isolated myself. But everyone is so scattered it’s impossible for me to return to familiar circles, even if I wished.
03/11 Direct Link
A sick day. It was in the general vain of what my step-mother very rarely permitted in high school under the title of “Fuck the Bastards Day.” A sparse tradition definitely worth maintaining when needed. Letting the air out of the tire. Napping. Escaping responsibility. Maintaining a stable state of mind. In doing so I accomplished a great deal – I finished the project I procrastinated on last week and I received interesting communications that progressed 3 different relationships (of which I have very different uses and expectations) with a stable mindset that in itself offered satisfaction. Thanks for the encouragement.
03/12 Direct Link
Well today I really am sick and god I feel really awful – fever, throbbing sinus headache, congested, dry throat, and even a lower backache. I feel like a wimp, absolutely can’t stand headaches or backaches. I saw a new doctor. She’s a real hard ass. I guess she gave me the smoking lecture that at times in the past I’ve solicited other doctors to give but in doing so she was rather dismissive of my current pain (which she explained is all due to smoking). I dragged myself to class because it was the last one. I couldn’t miss it.
03/13 Direct Link
Haven’t moved much today flopping between bed and coach, refilling my juice on the way. Honey said she’s bored making promos. Boredom, that’s a state of mind I’ve been raging against and wallowing in for some time. My head is swollen and I’m up to my eyes in mucus so I don’t care.
My life is full of expectations and disappointments – cheap thrills that give only brief satisfaction, like the fiery moment when the sulfur of a match sparks and sizzles before the flame catches but a wind keeps passing restricting the flame from really catching. I’m high on sulfur.
03/14 Direct Link

My obsession with Mr. Camel

you’ve pumped my blood full of energy
calmed my rattled nerves

I’ve depended on you constant availability
fondled you between my fingers
embraced you with my lips

you burn for me

I’ve welcomed you into my life and
welcomed you into my body

you are always there for me
and will always be
at a price

I’ve taken you for granted
tossed you around
lit you on fire

you’ve filled the air I breathe with death
eroded my heart

the ritual

I’m left alone gasping for breath

(maybe it’s time to quit?)
03/15 Direct Link
Energy seeping back into my body slowly pushing out the sickness. I found myself on the edge of sentimentality today. A segment on the radio about cheesy love songs about real people brought chilly bumps to my skin. An anti-smoker activist criticizing “In the Bedroom” for featuring Marlborough made me rage – There’s premeditated murder in that movie – HELLO! And then a silly interaction between mother and daughter on TV brought tears to my eyes. How can I be so moved by such simple things? I guess the emotions are there and need to be released somehow. What awaits me now?
03/16 Direct Link
Right out there in the open I dug my hole which remained empty only briefly before I stepped in. I sat for a minute examining this burrow before calmly clawing myself out. I acquired need knowledge on that short journey. “Being kind of an ass” was intentional distance, a forum for free ideas is a valuable thing that I think I need less than others but that I’ve grown from and next steps are attractive ideas to all but not really an intention. A certain outcome is increased distance which is precisely what I’m needing. My new vocation – ditch digger.
03/17 Direct Link
The seasons here are whacked – it’s cloudy, windy and really, cold so besides going to a yoga class first thing this morning and later darting out in my car to get two movies (Sweet November and Hillary & Jacky) at the video store and Indian food from Electric Lotus, I burrowed in cozy at home talking on the phone with the parents who were especially encouraging today, reading an engaging novel and crafting a new mixed CD titled “Sundays” while warmly dressed in Gap sweatpants and my Cherry Republic hooded sweatshirt, both soft, both blue, one dark, the other faded.
03/18 Direct Link
I had little energy today (probably an extended effect of the antibiotics) which made me feel down and purposeless. There’re signs that similar to last Monday’s rather fake sick day preempting a real sickness, today’s down mood is a precursor to actual depression. I’ll get reviewed in the morning. I’ve been told it won’t be pretty. Why should it be I haven’t done any work in the past six months because I haven’t been given any real work to do. It’ll be best for both involved if I turn off and nod, which is both the solution and actual problem.
03/19 Direct Link
If I’d written at 6am this morning this would have a different tone. I was up unusually early rather stressed out but the day was ok and things will be changed and restructured which I see as a positive thing because I can’t continue along like this for much longer. I talked with friends, had drinks with my brother-in-law and got new interesting messages. Two weeks from tonight will be Kate’s hen night in Naples. My world at times is tiny, myopic, and in the moment and at others it’s large, global and spans my whole history. Balance. Baby steps.
03/20 Direct Link
These 2 days have been an odd mix of a recognized void, fear, desperate thoughts searching a purpose and simple moments. I technically got demoted yesterday (It’ll be what I make of it) and today I found myself feeling a need to be especially kind to random strangers in elevators. I’m currently distracted by online conversations and have the balance to extract entertainment but not be deeply engaged. I’m sure I’ll sleep well tonight. I’ve been working full days and it feels like jet lag. Seeing my brother in law the past two nights has offered a natural, familiar grounding.
03/21 Direct Link
I just want to let things be today, to let ideas mull and events to pass undocumented. I’m burdened by selecting something remarkable, too many complicated issues tormenting my soul.

I’ve just encountered a new accented voice full of flattery, excitement, hope and enthusiasm which may be contagious. But I wonder at the degree of naivety and the intense hope blinding reality. Men have this approach of “I’m ready and you seem fine”. I’m cautious and have become cynically blasé but I’m tempted to feed into the enthusiasm, maybe this is someone who gets it right the first time around.
03/22 Direct Link
If I string events, facts, people, or plans together the future looks bright with plenty of potential for exciting and enjoyable things. But today I feel tired, apathetic, and pessimistic. If I were a bear I could hibernate for months, letting the system shut down completely, expecting nothing from myself besides rest. It seems like that’s what I’ve been trying to do and it’s precisely that which has been driving me crazy. Then I wonder what I’ve been struggling to summarize, label and figure out because my internal dialogue has absolutely nothing to do with the actual world around me.
03/23 Direct Link
I’m 100% sleepy tonight, time for bed without passing go as my mom always used to say but here I am stopping at the jailhouse writing my words. Today was dark and cold and I was hung over but I got my camera fixed and videos returned and had a nice date over sushi and dragged my ass to a party where I didn’t expect to know anyone and then an old friend showed up and we got to catch up and that really made my night. I’m glad the one heater in this apartment is in my bedroom. Goodnight.
03/24 Direct Link
Did you know that if you cut off the tip of a strawberry it can stand up right? Well it works. And if you cut it accidentally at an angle, the strawberry will stand at a slant which is a little awkward but also unexpectedly inviting. I was instructed in the recipe passed via voicemail to carve out the center of the strawberries with a potato peeler. I wasn’t looking forward to wasting the center of such a luscious fruit but it ends up there’s a natural hallow core to a strawberry. I filled it with sweet, creamy, lemony goodness.
03/25 Direct Link
Erosion of commitment is something we all suffer from at some point in life. I’ve slipped from top box commitment to the third box offered from a five point scale, from core committed follower to lapsed user. Have I also strayed from their target market? Inconsistent performance has chipped away trust, respect, confidence and finally my dedication. Did the functional benefits of challenging work & high performance weaken before or after the emotional bond was torn? The data shows that involvement has degreased, lowering functional performance and in turn weakening involvement even more – spiraling downwards, the committed relationship has deteriorated.
03/26 Direct Link
Moving walkways. Why do we only encounter them in airports? How much faster do they get us to the other side?

Blank faces. Was the news actionable? Was it politically incorrect? Did it take too much time? Wordy bullet points make for a less dynamic presentation than visuals.

Airport bar. Double shots for $2 more? Yes, thanks.

Catching up. Maybe I shouldn’t have opened the flood gate and expressed my frustrations.

Meeting someone new. What will we talk about? Where will we go together? How will we be in bed? Not necessarily in order...

Afraid to ask. Are you unhappy?

03/27 Direct Link
Liz called today, briefly talking to her made me feel better. She always tells me to “fuck it” or “fuck them” just when I need to hear it. It’ll be good to see her and spend time with her next week.

Care. Careless. Take Care – of yourself? Of everything you do, do it with care? I don’t care deeply about things – or maybe I do – but if you burn me then I clam up and I shrug as if I don’t.

There’s a travel advisory for Americans traveling in Italy this Easter weekend. The state department web-site didn’t offer much.

03/28 Direct Link
Everyday this week I’ve wanted to start my words with “God I’m exhausted today” but today I think it’s especially true.

The dark cloud that’s been surrounding me lifted today and I found myself in a more normal even state of mind. It wasn’t a sunny day but it was clear, calm and easy. Did I mention busy? I got tons of work done in the 10-12 hours I was there and now I’m on vacation with an endless list of things to get done before I leave on Saturday for Italia. I’m ready to hang out with old friends.
03/29 Direct Link
What a Good Friday it has been, I wish it were over already but it's midnight and I haven't even really begun to think about packing even though I'll be heading for the airport in twelve short hours. I bought a purple dress for the wedding and got my haircut and did some work and visited friends. Now I need to fold laundry, pack, open the week's mail and I was planning on cleaning too…

Good news it's the second day in a row that I'm clear of dark clouds – maybe vacation has something to do with it. Ciao Bella.
03/30 Direct Link
My bags are finally packed and outside my front door. I just called Amy and after several minutes discussing trains into Rome she said she'd come with her son and pick me up at the airport. I think the last time I saw Amy was in 1996. She commented on how strange it was to hear my voice. I'll meet her in 22 hours. It still amazes me just how far I am. She had news of when the others will be flooding in. Liz called from the train to Naples. Kate goes down tomorrow. The boys arrive Monday night.
03/31 Direct Link
I won't be near a computer so I'm fast forwarding. I won't project what the day will be, descriptions of endless hours of travel and a reunion with old friends will have to wait for them to actually take place.

Instead I'll pause to comment on how great this journey already feels. Not only will I see and hang out with close friends who I've continued to encounter over the years but I'll see a bunch of others as well – the holes will be filled with such a diverse group of people. The question remains – Is Lucia coming as well?