BY Karen P

08/01 Direct Link
Jan 3rd, ‘86 from this old diary I found reads “... have to keep telling myself ‘I’m 11. I’m 11. I’m 11’ because I still feel 10. What if I live the rest of my life thinking I am 10?” Cute. Boy am I moody. Foot has hurt for weeks, preventing high heeled dancing. Impending business trip, deadlines, appointments, errands, bills, only to repeat. And I hate to admit it, but I sense that damned clock. It’s palpable. It’s probably late to change careers (again) and/or move to France. Right? So, at least this moment, I officially no longer feel 10.
08/02 Direct Link
Deja vu. Walking down Main Street in search of a surf store my swimming buddy mentioned, I swear everything indicates moving to Paris. At least that’s what I infer. There goes ‘Tour Eiffel’ on the corner - nevermind that it’s actually Vietnamese Pho(??); Voila Hair Design; Foreign waiters luring me into Ristorante Something-or-Other (Italian, but close); then a travel agency. Sure, the only French I know is ”Voulez vous coucher avec moi” (thanks Christina!), but I’d learn! Do I turn the knob, take a leap, buy the ticket? Of course not. Do I find the surf store? Of course not.
08/03 Direct Link
Just wrote some “testimonials” - simultaneously had too much free time and felt like feeling like a good person. After all when do you directly tell people what you really (at least partly) think of them other than their funerals? One was for someone who truly affected my life and I doubt it came across. Another for someone I do appreciate, but will never give anything to other than a nice Friendster testimonial. And the last was re-edited to the point of losing its original, apparently inappropriate, meaning. Even when I try to be honest, it doesn’t quite work.
08/04 Direct Link
It was a surprisingly pleasant experience lying feet propped up in oven mits, at least as far as ob-gyn experiences go. Maybe because there was nuthin’ going on and no such possibility. Guess every other time I was either paranoid about something-or-other or too young to be paranoid about anything but those tongs. She kept asking if I had concerns. Nope, just here because I’m supposed to be, once a year, like everybody else. Plus brochure-re-educated myself during the wait. She had an expression of unexpected satisfaction, like I’d done something right. Think I’ll make her my primary care physician.
08/05 Direct Link
For various good reasons, I absolutely hate the idiot in the cubicle to my right. I can’t tell anymore if it’s the condescension, the mannerisms, the friendship with my manager, the really know-it-all-y breathing, or the routine nail clipping while I’m concentrating. I’m annoyed from being annoyed. It’s become an entity in itself. Like the memory of a memory. Today, he blurts out that men and women “can’t” be friends, sex is always in the way. And not in that cute “When Harry Met Sally” way. More in a completely work-inappropriate way. I’m going to find something evil to do.
08/06 Direct Link
I wish I had a boyfriend just for the lingerie. Victoria’s Secret sends me an endless supply of catalogs with the cutest stuff, currently completely wasted. I would start off with the “Pleated Tulle Babydoll - For tulling around. Bodice has a flounced hem. Empire waist with ribbon trim. Adjustable slim straps. Matching panty in silk.” I love empire waists, and ribbons. I would order it (and panty) in “glacial blue.” And I love the new Italian sheer collection. Tulling isn’t even a word (checked) but it sounds so fun to tull around, dammit. I am so up for tulling.
08/07 Direct Link
I’ve got nuthin today. Nuthin. No single 100-word-worthy deep thought or moment. Just a collection of equally insignificant, uninspired ones, in order of occurrance: Pokie running in terror from the maid first thing in the morning.... Oatmeal, lots of brown sugar... Procrastination... Vaguely promising emails.... Push off, stretch, pool lines rushing past.... Tomato and mozzarella.... Re-education on sorting algorithms.... Daily recap for J. of the night before.... Spaghetti bolognese.... Access Hollywood, Friends, nap with Will and Grace chattering in the background.... My eyes involuntarily finding him across the dance floor mid-spins.... Pointless wasted butterflies.... Conversation about nothing, images of everything.
08/08 Direct Link
Tonight while finishing my “vanilla bean” icecream, it re-occurred to me why I never hang out with my friend S. on weekends. Because his shameless, spoiled, antisemetic, married girlfriend is always there. It feels strange to be the only one not fooled in the room. Plus that accent: “Ah. Gabrrrrrriel ahl-vays ahhhhsks me to daahhhhnce. He does not aaahhhhsk yooou?” Bitch. I feel ill from biting my tongue. Well, partly because what are the chances, and partly because I believe in the truth: Piot, your wife, Renata, is blatantly cheating on you, and S., she’s probably cheating on you too.
08/09 Direct Link
Resumption. One of those words that doesn’t seem like a word if you say it ten times fast. There’s something I’m obviously not getting. I’m stuck. Like in movies like Freaky Friday, Groundhog Day, that U2 song. I haven’t yet reached that magical moment where I realize that thing I’m supposed to realize for life to resume like normal. I feel it on the tip of my tongue. I know I’m supposed to know it, yet I have no idea what it is. Probably has something to do with appreciating something. The grass on my side. But what in specific?
08/10 Direct Link
There’s gotta be some correlation between the ears’ tendency for selective concentration and built up hostility. The shower faucet drip was especially audible this morning. Snapped at the landlord for the first time ever, even tho the drip is nothing new. I remind him every so often, but he never fails to forget. Usually I don’t mind as he covers the water bill. That fact is even strangely satisfying. Normally I find pure quiet disturbing and appreciate background noise, even the kind most find annoying: unwatched televisions, refrigerator humming, city sounds, snoring. Point is, waking up angry can’t be good.
08/11 Direct Link
It’s a sad day when a girl’s criteria becomes ‘would he walk me to my car thru this shitty neighborhood when I leave this stupid event?’ and no one passes. Men really are only thinking: sex. Drifting between pool tables in my pink millitary pants (hate this style that’s overtaken the fashion world, but the pink almost camoflages it)- and fuzzy, blue, ballerina sweatshirt. Someone says I look “softer than usual.” It’s not provocative (but it is cute). And three grown men literally ask me to have sex with them. Well, maybe not literally, but that’s exactly what they meant.
08/12 Direct Link
For the person who tells me I suffer from the-grass-is-always-greener syndrome, some things I appreciate: modern medicine, good customer service, drivers quickly leaving the fast lane when tailgated, amphitheaters, fettucini, a strong pair of arms hugging me from behind, that moment a headache fades, excited nervousness, orchids, denim, rain, men that cook, a good song on the radio, inexplicable connection, push-up bras, breaking the yom kippur fast, coworkers that dislike the same coworkers you dislike, surprises, a good dance, baby corn, people that care, Pokie, a chocolate croissant in the morning, the scientific method, post-its, my parents, mapquest, insightfulness, magic.
08/13 Direct Link
I promised I'd make the first bid for a friend who's being auctioned off at this bachelor auction "extravaganza" tomorrow. I'm all for the objectification of men, but I just don't feel like going. The bachelor list describes them as models, personal trainers, "muscular powerlifters", financiers, or candidates for California governor (really), while my friend's listed as a "pianist/technologist." Seems like a bit of competition. He's braver, or stupider, than I thought. Still, I wonder who actually bids on these people. He's a good guy and all, but, boy, I hope I don't end up having to pay for him.
08/14 Direct Link
Note to self: crash next door neighbor’s boys-night-out if in need of an ego trip. There’s nothing quite like being reminded by a large gathering of men of your hotness. It also helps if you’re the only girl in the vicinity. I arrive just as it’s ending and the crowd soon dwindles down to two: my neighbor and his friend, who makes an interesting comment. That if he were my neighbor, I’d “already have dumped him four times.” Neighbor gets this cute embarrassed grin and stares angrily at his friend. It’s a new thought. The boy next door like-likes me.
08/15 Direct Link
Must start writing stuff down when it happens, because by the end of the day it's vanished. Like this: Just woke up from a dream. This guy gets road rage at *something*. My mom is in the passenger seat. He reverses violently into the front bumper a bunch of times. We're more surprised than angry or scared. His license plate is "4MUDDUH3." Why in the world would my brain create such a precise image of something so meaningless? And if it wasn't, what does it mean? Not 100-word-worthy but it'll be gone in a few minutes unless it's written down.
08/16 Direct Link
Discovered an absolute surefire way to win an argument with my parents - bursting into sudden, uncontrollable tears. The sympathy it evokes is unreal. Who knew? Not only do they cave, but instantaneously, magically, they’re on my side, and even more unbelievably, they understand. At least for the rest of the weekend. I’m surprised it took so long to figure out. After all it worked long, long ago. All along I’ve been on the wrong track - acting strong, independant, determined, like I know what I’m doing. Wrong! Crying. If it wasn’t for the unintentionalness, it would’ve been pure brilliance.
08/17 Direct Link
His sighs simultaneously anger and inspire me. My steps need more deliberateness, more upper body, I'm beginning spins half a beat late, more "dancing my arms," more of a 6-7 push-off, wrist rotation, I'm exerting excessive downward pressure in my connection, doing some funky new neck thing, on top of which, for some reason, I'm holding my breath. Lot's is wrong, even considering my improvement since the last private lesson with him a year ago. He's my favorite, but I've since moved onto more encouraging teachers. Still, his lack of faith itself should keep me driven till the next time.
08/18 Direct Link
Remember those paintings consisting of zillions of colorful symmetrical dots that you're supposed to stare at out of focus (or is it in focus?) for a while before some image is supposed to materialize? I can never get those things to work. I swear people that claim to are just pretending. Anyway, it took far too many hours at work today of instant messaging, phone calls, re-explaining, re-analyzing, before the answer, there all along, finally emerged, in that surreal dot-painting kind of way. Our understanding snapped together in sync. Either that or *someone* could have written a non-misleading design document.
08/19 Direct Link
"Yo K-babe, [Dey] is on da break fo' practicn'. Mi don tink de goin. Fi tirdy ok time fo' we goin from der. Teem" There's nothing like the day's first email, from one of the coolest white guys you know, making you burst into hysterical laughter. Must be a good sign. Can't wait till Saturday. I spend excessive weekday time doing silly things like zigzagging the third floor cubicle maze in roundabout paths, in hopes of avoiding various coworkers. I do this a lot in non-cubicle situations too. But today reminds me that there are people who I plain like.
08/20 Direct Link
One video store cashier is chatting while sipping his coffee behind the counter. The other is solving some payment issue in unbelievably slow motion. Unfortunately, glaring is pointless, as both cleverly avoid eye contact with growing line. If only they'd apply equivalent brainpower towards, like, good customer service. Then I notice the difference between us. He's patient. He's not getting annoyed (like me or the guy behind us) and has no desire to make a point. Weird. It almost seems he's afraid I'll make a scene. When we finally pay, we notice she's horribly cross-eyed, so I hold back everything.
08/21 Direct Link
one two three five six seven, one two three five six seven, one two three five six seven eight and one two three, four and five, six seven, eight and one two three five six seven, one two three four five six seven eight, one three five seven, one three, five and six, seven eight, one two three five six seven, one two three four five six seven eight, one, two and three and four, five and six and seven, eight and one two three five six and seven, one two three four and five, six seven eight and one.
08/22 Direct Link
Is it possible to be upset with an entire city full of people? If so, where do SF inhabitants get off? Sure, it's a wonderful frigging city. Real cultural. Lots to do. Museums, ball games, theater, symphonies, cute trolleys. But if you're wondering why I cancelled a date with you (plural you), it's not because I was working late, had car problems, or made other plans. FYI: there's stuff happening everywhere, even an hour south of you and your universe. Besides that, it's not about stuff. Is it too much to go out of your way just a tiny bit?
08/23 Direct Link
Got “...where everybody knows your name...” stuck in my head after watching an old Cheers episode, which put me into an immediate salsa mood, despite the fact it’s only Tuesday. So, headed to Glas Kat, knowing my girl friend would be there. Arrived only to discover that the Bay Bridge had closed down (apparently horrible accident) so no one, including the band, made it. Damn. Didn’t get my dance fix, and none of my inspirations were there. The good news is that there was another pop-in which made me slightly more sure of things. And I kinda liked his haircut.
08/24 Direct Link
The cube lady normally hates me. It all started a few years ago when I complained about the "holiday" decorations being too homogeneous. I just snapped one day after feeling smothered by ubiquitous candy canes and Jesus babies. Of course I wouldn't let it go when she argued that Hanukkah decorations were "overly religious." Later she yelled at me for rearranging my cubicle furniture in apparently unsafe earthquake positions. She lost that one too, or at least eventually gave up. But now, she's being extraordinarily friendly. Either she's forgotten or grown up. In any case, she still creeps me out.
08/25 Direct Link
Guess it was about time to clean out the car’s between-the-front-seats compartment. Threw away some photos that should’ve been trashed long ago. It’s funny to look at pictures that would’ve once made u glow, would’ve once made u angry, would’ve once made u sad, would’ve once made u wonder about yourself, but today would’ve made you not care. Well maybe not funny. Truth is, somebody called me “guarded,” which probably affected me slightly more than it should have (or than intended), so decided to let something go, even tho it was only the tiny remainder of something already long gone.
08/26 Direct Link
For the last couple years I was strangely oblivious about it, but suddenly I'm freshly sensitized to next-door activity. The key jiggle; Hard wood footsteps; The door closing; The car's presence/absence; The mail check. It's undoubtedly not a very good idea to get involved with him. But dammit, he's surprisingly cute, funny, and a good kisser. Yesterday he stops by "to borrow paper towels." Sure, I'm going to have to look decent at every given hour because the pop-ins are beginning to happen regularly. But I guess wearing lipstick, being neat, dressing cute around the house, never hurt a girl.
08/27 Direct Link
There's nothing like a passionate kissing session to make the most mundane sentences ("I like you") sound deep and profound. My lips are really chapped today but I don't care. There's almost nothing that could bother me. That's right! Have to say that I'm starting to really enjoy things, not to mention, to look forward to things. It feels good, and real, and healthy– as simple as that sounds, I think it's rare to feel all three. My wiseass friend says he'll know when I really like him when I start using his name instead of "my neighbor" in stories.
08/28 Direct Link
Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins. Nail polish is chipping and I'm full of wheat thins.
08/29 Direct Link
Things that bothered me at one moment or another today: headache, overpriced shampoo, randomly seeing a person I’m accustomed to seeing at pool lockerroom at the grocery store (creepy when that happens), period started, running out of deodorant after forgetting to buy it at grocery store, the thought of losing touch, lying in my own writing, Chinese restaurant where they bring one person’s dish long before anothers, chipping nail polish, no “no MTBE” notice at a gas station, even tho I’m not aware of what’s bad about MTBE, bombardment of junk email, lame excuses, being uninspired, like with this entry.
08/30 Direct Link
“Help, I need an idea for my 100 words. Got writer’s block.” “Why don’t you write about how you canceled lunch on me today?” Hmm. Guess it did bother him. I’m allowed to change my mind, aren’t I? There is something unsaid these days between him and I and I haven’t quite figured it out. Our friendship seems to be invariably deteriorating. I almost don’t know if it would exist anymore if not for work. Scary. Will have to find something nice to do next week. In fact I should probably resolve to try to be nicer with all coworkers.
08/31 Direct Link
I think this month I’ve revealed a bit too much. Had some ups and downs, but all now seems as it should, probably because it’s ending on an up. At this time tomorrow, I’ll be having girl talk in a cabin in Yosemite, where I’m going for the weekend. Even tho I’m not a nature person, will be nice get away and do something different. Last I was at Tawonga, exactly one year ago, I remember lying in the shade on this blazing day, staring into the gorgeousness, and feeling the most at peace I’d felt in forever. Can’t wait.