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10/1/01 My first 100words. Like one of those kids' books:
My First 100 Words: In German
. I'm at work I work at a college near Boston, managing the student computer help desk. Basically, I schedule and organize and untangle red tape and call my student staffers in for "conferences" when they're "not meeting expectations." Sometimes I even like it. There's free hot chocolate, at least. It's so cold today.
Mostly what I do now is miss my boyfriend. His picture's on my desk hi, Jarrett! He's in California until Christmas, slogging through mud to study shorebirds. He's been gone three days.
New episode of Buffy tonight! I've looked forward to this all summer. I watched at Brian's with Chris and Kirsten, and we had a party of bready and cheesy goodness - grilled pizza, baked brie, homemade focaccia with olive oil. Mmmm… The episode was quite good, if painful to watch. My TV friends have such pain in their lives. Wow, that sounds pathetic.
Just got off the phone with Jarrett. He's made it to San Francisco, and is getting ready to watch Buffy there. Phones are wonderfully instantaneous, but it's still only 7:50 out there. God, he's so far away.
'Did you hear about the Greyhound bus driver whose throat was slit by a passenger?' Yes, I heard on NPR this morning. 10 people killed. Is it related to what they're now calling, 'last month's attacks'? Who knows? But I'm scared. We're all so fixated on airport security, but what about security everywhere else? The only things to stop someone from carrying a bomb on a subway or slitting a bus driver's throat are his conscience and fear of death. What if he has neither? Should we have police checkpoints before entering any public place? Who can live like this?
The Great Dilemma of my life rears its ugly head again. Do I move to the West Coast with Jarrett next year, or do I stay here? The idea of job hunting again terrifies me, but I'm going to have to do it if I want to have a career instead of a job. Can I develop a museum education career wherever Jarrett will be? If not, can I put it off for six years? Hell, can I develop a museum education career, period? Can I make a life wherever he decides to go? Is he worth all this? Yes.
Ok, I promised myself I wasn't going to write anything today until I had something good to say.
There's some obscene number of 100words members now, and no one's going to read yours if you mope all the time, Sam.
So I waited, and now I'm all tired. But I did have a pretty good night. Had dinner at Lance's (some gloppy peanut buttery Indonesian concoction), then he, Michelle and I went to ImprovBoston's Commedia Dell'High School show. The principle was that both commedia dell'arte and 80's teen movies are based on stock characters. Anything involving 80's movies is good.
Wine tasting at Seth's tonight. You don't get drunk at wine tastings, my ass. I'm still kind of tipsy, so I guess I shouldn't have driven home. I felt fine while I was driving, but then I weaved all over the place climbing the stairs. Go figure. And then as I passed my female housemate's room (she always leaves the door open for the cats), I saw that she and my male housemate were asleep with their naked arms around each other. When the hell did this happen? Whatever.
Still lonely. Still miss him. Still have no solution. Fuck this.
Ugh. What a pointless day. I went to the aquarium for an hour to take my "assessment" (they think we'll be intimidated if they call it a test). I rocked it - it was good to take a test and actually know all the information. I did well not because it was easy, but because I knew my stuff. That happened far too infrequently in school. So woohoo - now I'm a New England Aquarium Guide. Yay, me. Other than that, I watched episodes of
that my housemate taped. I think I've watched 5 today. I feel like a slug.
Maize maze with Lance, Michelle and Sara in Central Mass. Tramping around between rows of corn taller than me. It's cold, but I have my fuzzy grey fleece. Like wearing a koala, only without the teeth. (I've had my job for four months, and so far I've been given two t-shirts, two mugs and the fleece, all with the school logo and possibly a tacky slogan like, "I got mugged at Human Resources Orientation." The fleece is the only one I like.) The trip was worth it just to watch the trees - red, gold, burning orange - against bright blue sky.
Reading old journal entries from junior year. Always interesting.
- Yes, I still hold that grudge. You're an insensitive whore who cares more about getting dick than about your friends. So there.
- I thought you were wonderful once. We supported each other through so much. You were always the first one I wanted to talk to. What made you become such a gigantic bitch? (Grudge number two...it was a rough year.)
- "It hits me a thousand times a day that I am so in love with him. I can only hope that someday he'll reciprocate." And he did.
What's with all these people who stop answering my emails and phone calls? Some of my best friends, we're talking about here. Part of me misses our single days, when all we had was each other - you and me against the world, baby. Let's sit and talk for hours at Taco Bell and then drive along I-95 singing along with Sugar Ray. Dew, booze, and some 80s movies. Kick
. And my oldest friend - we hit the decade mark this fall. Two outcast 8th-graders, bonding over 70s sci-fi and falling in love with each other's minds. I miss you guys.
Driving four hours to Vermont tomorrow to spend the weekend with my parents' college friends. They live just west of nowhere, in a house they built themselves with furniture they built themselves. In summer they navigate the lake in a canoe they built themselves. We haven't seen each other in 5 years or more. They don't know me at all, really. They knew my parents once, in that other universe when they were still married. I'm not sure how well they've stayed in touch - knowing my parents, i suspect not so well. So I invited myself over. Why not, right?
Another person diagnosed with anthrax, this time in New York. You must admit, if this is terrorism, it's awfully ineffective - anthrax isn't contagious. But there's so much else they can do, and it would be so easy… I'm getting scared. And horrified - I heard an Afghan refugee on NPR yesterday talking about the bomb he saw fall near his house. It killed five children. "I personally helped bury them." I started crying in the middle of an intersection. It hasn't been confirmed by the U.S. military, my ass. Do
trust the military? These are children! What are we doing?
I'm writing this in pen on paper. I'll have to count the words by hand. I've only spent a day here, but it was lovely. I wanted to find out more about my parents, who they were before I existed. Maybe my mom didn't love my dad, but knew he'd be good for her. Gail and Rich still love each other. Gail took me up in her plane, we went for a walk to watch the sunset, had dinner...everywhere the trees where on fire. Vermont is just like in the pictures. I picked some leaves to send to Jarrett.
Tired. So tired. Drove back from Vermont early this morning after pancakes. With real maple syrup,
. Went straight to the aquarium and worked five hours on my feet. (I'm volunteering - have I mentioned that?) Hordes of small children pawing the sea stars and asking volleys of questions and hurting themselves on shark teeth. Shining moments of my day included chatting with a German family about horseshoe crabs and sea urchins
, impressing a boy and his mom because I knew who Rogue is, and of course driving through quaint New England mountain towns all morning. I'm so tired.
Man, I'm bored today. Someone's got a case of the Mondays. (Points if you get the reference.) Lately my job has not been the sort that inspires enthusiasm. What it inspires is web surfing. But even that is failing me today. Is it lunchtime yet? Nope, only 10:30. Crap. This afternoon I'm going to some HR presentation to learn how to manage my money. I'm too young to be managing money. But this might be the best-paying job I ever have, so I should figure out how the whole "investment" thing works while I still have something to invest. 10:34…
There's no place lonelier than an airport. Everyone's coming and going. No one's home. The people sitting behind me live in Portland, where I'm going. They're talking about their jobs and families, how beautiful the leaves are in wine country. I wish I were going home. Not that Boston feels like home these days. Home is wherever Jarrett is.
I take it back. The only place lonelier than an airport is a hotel room. I
hotel rooms. Featureless, dry, and filled with bed, so you have nothing to focus on but how you're sleeping there alone. I miss you...
I'm good at this meeting-new-people-in-a-contrived-situation thing. I forget that. I met a woman who found porn on the priests' computers in her school (and also binoculars that look into the girls' dormitory). I learned that the greatest dream of all help desk managers is to have software that does our scheduling for us. I can be proud to refer to "help desk managers" as "us" - it might not be my ideal career, but it's a good one. But I still don't know why it's dark when I get up at 6:45 here, but not in Boston.
Went out to dinner tonight with nine other people from the conference. Had Persian food - woohoo, more eggplant! I've found a gang here, like I always do in these self-contained "experiences" - a group to hang out with. I really like Portland, from what I've seen - good size, quirky, great food. I could do Portland. Too bad it ain't up to me. I'm feeling less bitter about that, though. I mean, I'm still bitter, but I'll be okay just about wherever I go. I'll carve out my own space. And next time,
get to pick where we move! Dammit.
It's 4 a.m. The gang just left my room, where we'd been playing games and swapping stories and philosophizing and shooting the shit for six hours. I often think of myself as someone with no talents. I forget that I have a rare, wonderful talent: put me in a self-contained situation with a group of new people, and I will become part of a small group, share goofiness and then secrets, and end up with real friends. Some of the most meaningful experiences of my life were late-night bonding sessions with people I may never see again. That's
Mmm...warm in bed after some time in the jacuzzi with Parrish and Karen. This after wrapping up the conference, finding Linsel, walking to the sunny Saturday Market, heading out to explore the Forestry Center and the Rose Garden, and having a really nice Indian dinner on our expense accounts. We don't look like people with expense accounts. In 8th-grade Health we learned that the highest "level" of friendship is talking
the friendship. We reached that at dinner. Who knows if we'll stay in touch? I've finally learned not to need that. Either way, they'll always be my friends.
Parrish, Karen and I shared a cab to the airport in the dark this morning. And I flew with Karen as far as Detroit! A grumbling gentleman switched seats with me so we could sit together. We did lots of puzzles in a game magazine she had, talked about our personal problems, and puzzled out the geography we flew over. You know, girl stuff.
When I got home, though, my trip and everyone I met seemed years away. I was instantly hit with the oppressive depression of my apartment. Not tired yet, but I have to sleep anyway. Bah, jet-lag.
God damn it, my wrist hurts. Not sure why - I've barely typed in a week. I iced it all evening, and forewent making cookies so I wouldn't have to strain my wrist with all the heavy stirring. (Well, ok, that's a lie. I didn't make cookies because I'm a lazy bum.) But I still have to write my 100 words! Things to do: come up with a costume for Halloween. Put away my suitcase from Portland. Find some gym clothes for tomorrow. Buy stamps. Pay bills with said stamps. Get control of my life. Find my wrist brace. Bloody hell.
A lot of my friends who are still in college seem to be having a bad week. They've posted stuff on imood.com and their personal websites to that effect - cryptic expressions of pain. But I don't know what's going on. Which, in a way, is blissful. So much of my stress in college came from Traumas and Issues; "Debbie hooked up with Paul at the party, but now Paul is ignoring her." (Names changed to protect the immature and stupid.) After college, those problems seemed to vanish. Does it make me a horrible friend that I'm glad I'm not there?
Ahhhh! I have escaped back into my room, where the air smells sweet, and not like the stench of undercooked beef. Unlike my kitchen. My housemate eats nothing but meat. I swear, I have never seen him eat a vegetable or fruit. It's disgusting, and amazing he's made it even to 25 or however old he is. How on earth do you eat like that and not get scurvy? God, why does my house
so much? I was having a great day until I got home. I've been having a great week, every day, until I get home.
The diversity retreat went pretty well today, actually. Not nearly as painful as something similar would have been at Brown. There was far less sense that there was a "right answer," and if you didn't spout it, you were a hopeless bigot to be hated or pitied. We played a fascinating game wherein we split into two groups. Each group listened to a tape that introduced us to our "culture" - each culture had its own rules. We sent visitors to the other room to try to get along in the other culture. I got to play anthropologist! It was great!
Salem officially knows how to do spooky. It warms my heart to know that there's a place so nearby that really knows Halloween. I heard creepy ghost stories (including one about a dollhouse - why are dollhouses inherently creepy?), flirted with actors in garb, drank "chilling cider" and ate "frightening fudge" (of the pumpkin variety), saw where the bored youth of Salem hang out, talked lots with Michelle, and generally had a spooky blast. And tomorrow is pumpkin-carving day!
(I honestly don't need Jarrett around. I'm having a great time without him. So I'll let him call me for a change!)
So damn tired. Sometimes I just want to put this off until tomorrow, you know? Sara's party: lots of journalists making fun of cops they've interviewed. Too lazy to carve my pumpkin. Miriam/Carolyn's party: wore my gypsy costume. Techno music drove me into quiet conversation upstairs. I just ain't a party girl anymore.
Walked down to Waterfire before all the parties. I'm so tired of people saying, "Do the fires
anything?" No, it's just a beautiful experience, and if you don't get it, go the hell home.
Jarrett's lonely. I'm kind of glad. He'll come back to me sooner.
Public service announcement: I can't believe how much better I feel since I gave up chicken! I haven't eaten red meat in maybe a decade, and finally this summer I said, "Sam, you cook for yourself. Quit being a wuss and give up chicken!" And so I did, for moral, health, and above all environmental reasons. And I noticed today that I have much more energy. I miss chicken a lot, taste-wise. But I'll get over it. I don't miss beef - well, ok, I'll always miss big juicy homemade cheeseburgers. But I can deal. Go vegetarian! (End public service announcement.)
Feeling unusually lonely tonight, for some reason. Maybe because my housemates are both out of town. First time that's happened since I moved in. I thought I'd be thrilled, but...I like having people around. Maybe because Jarrett will be here in 10 days and counting, so I'm missing him terribly again. Maybe because Halloween always makes me long for a family. My family was always lame about Halloween after I grew out of trick-or-treating, but I have rosy memories nonetheless.
kids will never have to complain that I'm lame about any holiday, particularly Halloween!
When Xander and Anya announced their engagement tonight, I looked at my friend Brian and wailed, "Even my TV friends are getting married!" I was excited for them, and... jealous. Damn biological clock. I want the whole "big fancy party so much in love beautiful bride" thing. When did I become such a
Tomorrow's Halloween! I think I've convinced some of my students to dress up. There will be candy, and cheap plastic crap prizes for the best costumes. Bribery works wonders for college students. All my co-workers are too cool for costumes. Losers. It's not Halloween without costumes!
Happy Halloween! The lame-asses I work with didn't dress up at
. Lorraine was a pumpkin, Magnolia was a vampire, I was a gypsy. That was it! But Denis and Mary's party tonight had some good costumes. Deborah's was my favorite: Kaga from
. She had a yellow pepper to bite dramatically and everything. A few trick-or-treaters showed up at my door as I was on my way out - a nerd, a generic ghoul, a girl with a blonde curly wig. I had no candy, so I had to steal some of Mandy's Jolly Ranchers. Hope she doesn't mind.
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