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01/01 Direct Link
New Year’s should be more like Christmas. It should arrive silently and magically while you’re asleep. It’d be nice to get a good night’s sleep and wake up cheerful and fresh-faced. You’d probably even have enough energy to run outside and bathe in the first morning dew of the brand new year and feel strong and pure and hopeful. “Well, it’s not every day you go to sleep in one year and wake up in another!” your neighbors would kid in a jolly, old-fashioned manner (because this would only happen in a jolly, old-fashioned world). “Happy Good Old New Year!”.
01/02 Direct Link
Zero woke one morning and found that he had been transformed into an enormous baked potato. His rough brown belly was sliced open to reveal a tender white mass dripping with butter. He lay on his warm mushy back and wondered why he wasn't dreaming. Was it because baked potatoes didn't dream? Even if they could, Zero the baked potato’s dream was most likely interrupted by his eventual consumption. The same thing could have happened even if poor Zero wasn’t dreaming. We do know for certain, though, that humans can dream, so there is some hope for Zero the human.
01/03 Direct Link
Zero was thrilled this morning to see that 96 e-mails had been delivered to his junk mail folder. He appreciated repeated promises of Buffy and Britney f**king hardcore and his heart beat at the thought of all of the cheap DVDs and rock bottom mortgage rates and high-quality prozac making the world such a wonderful place. One e-mail asked him if he liked animals and women and he replied right away with “Yes.” How did these people know him so well? Somebody out there liked him. He knew he would remember this tonight, right before he sank into blessed sleep.
01/04 Direct Link
My name is Zero. That’s not my real name and I’d never answer to it but it fills in the blank. I live in a building with a roof. In other words, I have a roof over my head. Don’t think for a second that I’m going to tell you anything about my job but rest assured that it pays the bills and then some. Just yesterday I bought a three-piece bathmat set for ten dollars. It came with a toilet seat cover and I couldn’t resist. I’m a man who likes to live under as much cover as possible.
01/05 Direct Link
Peter Frampton was singing "The Long and Winding Road". The red wine was expensive and perfectly sumptuous. Zero's gray slacks contrasted soberly with his bright red tie and warm maroon sweater. "I look really nice", he thought. The BeeGees' version of "A Day in the Life" came on. It'd be okay if that was playing when she arrived, but he had to be sure to lift the needle before Billy Preston started singing "Get Back". All that gender confusion in the lyrics would be a little embarrassing. When she finally arrived Zero was snoring and Alice Cooper was singing "Because".
01/06 Direct Link
"Win Cash Now! Yes You, ZERO, can win 1 Million Dollars if you enter our sweepstakes today!" Zero shuffled through his forms and tried not to spill them on the floor of the subway train. There were so many boxes to check and shiny gold squares to scratch and, of course, so much fine print to read! Zero could smell a swindle a mile away but the smell of money was stronger this time. He chuckled with joy. The young woman sitting next to him heard his soft chuckle and felt a pang of pity. She found him unbearably poignant.
01/07 Direct Link
I try to be upbeat most of the time, Zero wrote. But it’s hard when everything seems so ugly. I saw her walking with her boyfriend on Friday and I felt stupid. Stupid stupid stupid you’re stupid, I told myself. Later that night I rented “Jane Eyre”, my favorite “feelgood” movie. Mr. Rochester feels stupid because most of the people he loves are pretty stupid. Stupid stupid you’re stupid. I said it out loud and then had to rewind part of the film. Smart move.

Zero felt he was being too hard on himself and Mr. Rochester and stopped writing.

01/08 Direct Link
“Now both of his grandparents were dead and no one worked there anymore.”

Zero had just completed the last sentence of his autobiography. It was the first sentence he had. Relief flowed through him. He knew how it would end and now just had to figure out how it all started. Richard Nixon started his autobiography with “I was born in the house my father built”. Zero was born in a hospital and his father never built a house. Nevertheless, Nixon’s words inspired him. He wrote: “I was born in the world my father built.” But what about his mother?

01/09 Direct Link
“Mother was not of this world. She was so timid that her family became the first in their neighborhood to install indoor plumbing. Her parents celebrated her 18th birthday with a masquerade ball, and mother dressed up as an invisible version of herself. This was accomplished by not attending the ball. No one noticed, and her costume was a success.

Mother became so self-conscious that she wore shaded eyeglasses and pretended she was blind. My father crushed these glasses under his foot at the conclusion of their Jewish wedding ceremony. This was to commemorate the destruction of the Holy Temple.”

01/10 Direct Link
“Now I should write a bit about myself, I guess. Unfortunately I’m not talented enough to make my life sound interesting. Every day I observe neat, quirky things but my observations become pretentious and condescending when I write them down. When I read what I’ve written I cringe because it seems like I’m congratulating myself on my amazing sensitivity and perception. Who cares? You can notice something and then let it go, not try to capture it and make it yours. Why turn something real into an artificial piece of ‘art’? A work of art my life isn’t.

The End.”

01/11 Direct Link
“We’re called Bitchprick. This is our first single, it’s called ‘Shitflake’”.

The audience had never heard the word “shitflake” but immediately knew what it was: a flake of shit. What could be more disgusting or more hilarious?

“Next song is ‘Fucked Up and Fat’”.

“Fucked up and fat How do you feel about that”

This song was so popular that it evolved into an extended call and response session. Everyone in the club knew someone who was fucked up and fat and thought it was damn funny. The show went so well that afterwards Bitchprick decided not to break up.

01/12 Direct Link
He bought the pink pajamas because they were on sale, and he'd never owned real pajamas. Medium was the only size left. There was another, real reason for buying them. That night, he turned on just one light in his room. It was dim but he could still see himself in the mirror. He put on the pajamas and squinted his eyes at his reflection, imagining himself as her. A mirage of breasts and waist and hips appeared. There were now two people in the room. He was himself again and she stood facing him, in her beautiful pink pajamas.
01/13 Direct Link
I found a star spoon in the woods when I was five years old. Twenty years later I found a plaster baby head on the sidewalk. At Christmas time I walked by a creche and saw the same little head attached to the body of baby Jesus. I've used the star spoon ever since I found it, but the baby head isn't so useful. I often take comfort, though, from tucking it in at night. It looks very content propped up on my pillows. The dear grubby head is all mine and my throat usually tightens when I whisper "Goodnight".
01/14 Direct Link
I helped a homeless woman move. I pushed her and her wheelchair closer to a window. Then I went back to her bench and collected three dimes, a yogurt, half a packaged coffeecake, an old grubby prescription bottle, and a bundle of stale winter things - hat, gloves, scarf. She dropped her glasses on the ground and I got those for her too. They were missing their arms so I don't know how she ever kept them on. Of course the whole thing made me sad and I was smugly gratified to realize that I had been "moved" as well.
01/15 Direct Link
You can go to hell on your way to dreamland if you claim your head hits the pillow unconscious. I’ve been awake all my life. There are some blackouts, but why I should I believe that I was asleep? My mind and body don’t always have to be there assuring me that I exist. I used to hold my eyes open for as long as I could at night. I was scared of losing my place in the world, as if I was holding a place in line. People tell me: “You’ve lost it”. I answer: “I never had it.”
01/16 Direct Link
Uh, there’s this thing called Ancestry.com. You can search for all these ancestors for a free 14 day trial period. Just three days in I found some shady stuff about you. I’m warning you, it isn’t pretty. I e-mailed ancestry.com’s online help center for advice. The guy was like, “Damn”. But then he said you should know it all, every single bit. If I paid $69.95 for a year’s membership maybe I could find out some good things to tell you as well. And why weren’t you a member, they wanted to know. “Your friend must not deny his past”.
01/17 Direct Link
“Oh my god, check out her V.P.L. [Visible Panty Line]”.

“Does she want us to stuff dollar bills in it or something?”

“Ech, that woman’s wearing ‘autopsy red’ nail polish.”

“I wouldn’t be caught DEAD wearing that color.”

“That’s because you’ve got TASTE, honey, TASTE.”

“Speaking of taste, we should do lunch sometime!”

“Speaking of lunch, my boss was totally mixing her textures today, I almost puked. I mean, I really tried to since I had just eaten lunch.”

“Corduroy and beads? Satin and wool?”

“Worse. Tweed and velour.”

“Oh god, I’m going to vomit.”

“Yay! Go for it girl!”

01/18 Direct Link
I wear my alien egg bracelet everyday; I have to. My father strung together 25 frozen embyros and placed them around my five-year old wrist before he was murdered by space invaders. They destroyed our planet but saved me and took me to Earth. Someday I’ll return and release the embryos and the dead planet will grow. The invaders have told me awful things about my planet and I hate my alien egg bracelet, but when I take it off my mind is filled with screams and sighs and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to go home again.
01/19 Direct Link
In the past minute there was a desperate, furtive chorus of orders for Gourmet Pretzel Rods. 321 orders in one minute, all across the country. The QVC hosts are holding massive apples covered in caramel and three heavy layers of chocolate chips very gracefully and taking delicate bites. News flash: the Kansas City 12-piece Steak Burger Combo has sold out. Jeezum, I was really looking forward to getting some meat in the mail. Now I'm feeling sentimental about the candy apples. They're just too ugly to eat. When I'm grown up I'm going to adopt a sad ugly candy apple.
01/20 Direct Link
Who could sing "Strawberry Fields Forever" like she could? The recording's got a lite disco beat that just hits the spot. Her name was actually Strawberry Fields, so it changed the song's meaning, her own name being in the song. Like someone called Bernie Fieldstein crooning "Be-e-ernie Fieldstein forever!". How immortal is that? Strawberry also did a totally sultry version of "When I'm 64". She made it real soulful: "Vera..Chuck..D-a-a-a-ve!". You wondered what was going on with her and those three. Whoo! No one these days has heard of Strawberry Fields, and I'm glad she isn't around to know it.
01/21 Direct Link
I thought the car was going to hit me. That's the story I heard later on at the hospital, but actually it just wanted to talk. "Don't go through with it. Remember what we talked about last night? You're going to wipe yourself out financially and emotionally. He'll find another way to get through law school." I felt a little embarrassed for the car, because it had obviously mistaken me for someone else. I know I feel dumb when that happens. All that good advice was wasted on me, but I admit that I feel better for the emotional interaction.
01/22 Direct Link
I’m kinda drying up with the 100 words thing. First of all this has been the slowest month of my life. Maybe it’s because I have to think about each bloody day. I read some of my entries (whoops) and god they all seem so pretentious and strained. When I write something and put it up and see it in that nice font and all it looks pretty good. I think, “I created something today. I am a fascinating person who creates.” Well, I want to think that. Actually, if I did think that I’d have to shoot myself. Sheesh!
01/23 Direct Link
I just lurve that Midol ad where this poor woman has period pains and her three spazzy gal-pals frantically search through their cluttered handbags to find the magic pill which will lift the curse. Extra-Strength Tylenol? “No, I’m bloated too. God, I think I’m hemorrhaging.” Uh...Alka-Seltzer? “Give those to your dad for his heartburn, I’m a fertile young woman!” Someone digs out an Advil. “Goddammit! I’m bleeding to death here! Severe loss of iron!” Hmm...hysterectomy? “Please.” Yum yum, great dinner conversation.

Their waiter innocently asks, “Got anything for a headache, ladeez?” and they giggle: we’re from Venus, he’s from Mars!

01/24 Direct Link
Crowds of pedestrians were crossing the street to avoid smoke billowing from a pipe in a construction site. I chose not to stray from my path, and found that the spectacle was gentle and tame. The pipe certainly made a lot of noise but it was only emitting pure, harmless steam. If only the rest of the world was so resolutely open-minded. That pipe could have been another human being: lonely, downtrodden and shunned for his unpleasant aroma and wild, wandering eyes.

Moral: Don’t spend your life crossing the street. It will make your journey to heaven that much longer.

01/25 Direct Link
Music and the homeless and mentally ill fill the indoor arcade. Two regulars are singing “Play that funky music white boy”. They call a Starbucks employee “The Quiet One”. A gawky guy in a corner blasts “Sgt. Pepper’s” from his boombox. The security guard calls him “Buddy” and tells him to turn it off. “Sorry”, the Beatles fan says but only turns it down. He dismisses the guard with a fake Liverpool drawl: “He called the fookin Beatles disco-o-o”. Ten minutes later “A Day in the Life” comes on loud and clear and the guard says “I’m not kidding, Buddy”.
01/26 Direct Link
I go to extremes. I'm unconventional to the point of being unique. "Devil's Advocate" is my middle name. Psych! Got your mind. But really! It might as well be true. I'm bound to hate everything you like. And vice versa. Oh, I also challenge people about heavier things. A Jew told me Jews and Moslems don't believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Boy, that got my adrenaline going. "Well I think he was the Son of God" I said, sweet as I could, knowing I was totally making waves. It's one of the coolest things I've ever done.
01/27 Direct Link

Scribble, scribble.

Cross out.

Ah! Inspiration!

I wrote this poem when I was nine years old and even then I could tell it was pretty lame. I'd already written my first poem back in third grade:

I went

to my friend

Elizabeth's

and

got a big

splinter.

I

almost

fainted.

Then

I threw

up.

Originally it was a prosey paragraph but I chopped it up after my teacher explained that Poetry should look different from Prose. She liked it chopped. I didn't see much difference but was grateful to Poetry for making it so easy to fill up the page.

01/28 Direct Link
Today I’m going to write about my twin sister. We are so close that at some point we wished we’d been born Siamese twins. Soon we will undergo an operation that will make this dream come true. I lost my left arm in the Gulf War. Strangely enough, she lost her right arm around the same time while playing golf. We’re totally meant to be conjoined. It’s so perfect we feel like we’re in a movie, a Hollywood musical or something. If there weren’t already a book AND a movie called “Farewell to Arms” maybe we would actually make one.
01/29 Direct Link
I hated school so I loved the ten or fifteen minutes between getting in bed and falling asleep. My day was finally over and I had a whole night’s sleep protecting me from the start of the next one. My bed was in the center of the room, a few feet away from my bookcase. I lay on my right side and could make out my books’ familiar, comforting outlines in the dark. Of course I dreaded falling asleep because it would turn tomorrow into today but tomorrow was another day, I hoped. I kept thinking this and fell asleep.
01/30 Direct Link
When are you sad?

I’m sad when a flower gets hurt. A hurt flower spends all of its time shivering and coughing and sneezing and wiping its nose and then excusing itself. A flower should never excuse itself. And when you see a sign that says “Please do not walk on the grass”, please do what it says. Grass is usually less sensitive than flowers, but it can have bad days. On bad days it will cry if you walk on it. This is what it is trying to tell you: “Today I need to be held, not walked on”.

01/31 Direct Link
So yesterday I went into the city to drum up some money for my kid’s 4-H club. “Hi, ma’am!” I yell at a rich-lookin gal. Boy, this must be a lonely, bitter woman cause she ignores me and keeps walking! A pretty girl in a bright red coat walks by. She’s a nice girl, she’ll cough up. “Hi, miss!” I scream. She jumps a mile in the air, hits the ground again and walks! “Oh, I forgot – in the city when you say ‘hi’ to someone they’re supposed to ignore you!!!” I howl, and all night I can’t stop howling.