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03/01 Direct Link
I am myself indifferent honest; but yet…


I am jealous. I think it may be my worst fault, and it is the thing I dislike most about myself. My jealousy comes from fear and insecurity. My jealousy is not limited to the romantic type, although I've had my share of that as well. I feel uncomfortable when someone comes in between me and a friend for fear that the two of them will run off. It’s ridiculous and petty, but I have no control over it. I’ve never acted out of jealousy, but it may yet get me into trouble.
03/02 Direct Link
Cute hippie girls don’t hang around the Price Chopper at 9 a.m.

They do, however hang around at Honest Weight. The bespectacled girls of my dreams inhabit every corner and aisle of that place. I see them out of the corner of my eye as they select organic produce for their fragrant vegan stews. In the bulk aisle our hands meet as we both reach for the textured vegetable protein scoop. Music.

“Do you know that you don’t have to soak it? You can just throw it right into your soup or whatever…”

“Kiss me, you fool.”


Some day, maybe…
03/03 Direct Link
the conversation after I left (imagined)

"Wow. You know, he's kind of a prick."
"I... um... well, yeah, he is."
"Yeah, definitely..."
"He has his good moments, though."
"Good at being a prick, you mean."
"Yes."

----------
That's really unfair... sorry. Really.
----------

I decided to walk home instead of taking the bus because I guess I just needed a long stroll in the snow. While walking I wished that someone would leap out and stab me, but now I'm glad that no one did.

I got back with wet socks, dampened spirits, and some singularly terrible carrot salad.
03/04 Direct Link
Yesterday I felt less than human, and today I feel as if I could take on the world. Why the sudden mood swing?

Exercise.

I lifted weights until my arms felt like limp noodles, then I got a very respectable aerobic workout, and now my blood is pumping and the endorphins are flowing and everything is easy.

Leap out and stab me, will you?

WHAM!
KA-POW!

“Your stabbing days are over, my friend! Ha-ha-ha! You can still leap, though, because leaping is fun.”

“Me mum didn’t let me do much leapin’, sir. Ya might say she was opposed to leapin’.”

03/05 Direct Link
My TV crushes:

* Christiane Amanpour
* Tina Fey
* Terry Romero (of the PPK)

Having a crush on someone from TV is almost as bad as having a crush on a fictional character, since you have about the same chances of meeting / smooching the person in question. You might say that the whole point of a crush is a sort of idealized romantic bla bla bla, and for all I know you might be right. But maybe Terry Romero is really lonely and she needs some park-bench canoodling right this second. Why am I sitting here writing this?

03/06 Direct Link
"Are you eating alone again?"
"Seems that way."
"Doesn’t that bother you?"
"I’m sitting, I’m chewing, I’m digesting… other people don’t need to be involved."
"OK, but eating can also be a social activity… it brings us together as human beings…"
"Did you get that from a cooking show?"
"Shut up, it doesn’t matter where I got it… it’s true, isn’t it?"
"Can be."
"I’m just not sure that it’s healthy for you to spend so much time by yourself, that’s all."
"I’m spending time with you, aren’t I?"
"Voices in your head don’t count."



"You’re funny, you know that?"
03/07 Direct Link
I wonder if the people next door think of me as their crazy neighbor. The other day the girl was coming in as I was going out, so I smiled and said hello. She glanced at me nervously and fumbled with her keys, saying nothing.

“Hello dear, I saw our neighbor today.”
“Oh, really? What sort of guy is he?”
“He smiled at me and said hello.”
“I told you he was crazy… I can hear him singing while he washes his dishes.”


Actually, sometimes I do sing while I wash dishes. Could that be it?

Human relationships are complex.
03/08 Direct Link
I’m in a fairly heavy mood, and everything I try to write comes out the wrong way. I could just write about cupcakes, but that’s even worse.

I’m concerned about her… in an older brother way. Is that pain I can see in her face? I don’t think there’s anything I can do for her. If there is, I don’t know what it is. If I knew what it was, I don’t know whether she would want me to do it anyway.

I know that I can’t single-handedly fix everyone’s problems, but why can’t I even make myself slightly useful?
03/09 Direct Link
I love these guys! They took me out drinking, and now I’m so drunk I can barely think, but at least I remembered to write my 100 words, even if they’re incoherent and strange.

Was this my first real Friday night? If not, it’s pretty close. I feel some regret. I think the cute bartender girl was checking me out. She definitely was, now that I think about it. I probably seemed calm and sane compared to her usual customers. I wish I had said goodbye to her.

Anyway, these guys are some really solid guys. I really love ‘em!
03/10 Direct Link
That was me, out-of-my-mind drunk. I’d have thought I would have typed something like

Blaaaaarg jalalalalalar

Since that’s what it would have sounded like if I tried to speak 100 words. However, I managed to type something that sounded more or less like me. How can you tell whether I’m drunk or just being an idiot?

Drunken writing involves:

* Overblown opinion of self
* Underestimation of the judgment of cute bartender girls
* Maudlin silliness / unrestrained expression of emotion

Fortunately for all of us, I don’t drink that often. Even more fortunately, I write while drunk even less.
03/11 Direct Link
Have you heard about National Novel Writing Month? “NaNoWriMo,” they call it. The idea is that you have to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. Is it even possible?

In my imagination I see myself sitting down to write -- realistic characters leap onto the page. After a bit of development, the characters will do most of the hard work; I’ll just have to copy down what they say and do.

In a more realistic mode, I see myself sitting down, staring at a blank screen, and giving up after three minutes. 100 words a day is hard enough.

03/12 Direct Link
That plantain and black bean quesadilla was heavenly. The plantain was deep-fried; perfectly soft and sweet. The black beans were wonderfully spiced, the tortilla was warm and crispy.

On most days I’m content to eat simple meals of beans, rice, and vegetables. I like to think that I’m not all that motivated by food, but at times a good meal can be the highlight of my week.

A girl once won me over with cookies. Each time she brought different kinds in small bags, with the name of the cookie written neatly in black ink.

That was three years ago…
03/13 Direct Link
Has it been that long?

I liked to stand in front of the bathroom mirror with her. I’d just stand there with my arms around her, admiring how we looked together. We did this quite often, and I never really knew what she was thinking.

I told her that we went together like peanut butter and jelly. When she wanted to know which of us was which, I told her that she was jelly because she was sweet. It was a corny thing to say, but looking at her in the mirror I saw her smile and I was happy.
03/14 Direct Link
Spring has been toying with us for the past few days, and today she made her big entrance. The entire city of Albany fell in love with her for those few hours before she gave way to a late winter rain.

I ate lunch on a park bench with a friend, enjoying the blue sky and the warmish breeze. We watched a squirrel go through a puddle rather than around it, and laughed at him for being lazy. I also went through a puddle. It was fun.

I love you, Spring. Thanks to winter, I’ll never take you for granted.

03/15 Direct Link
I received an odd compliment today.

“You have such a pleasant face!”

What’s the proper response? I went with turning red and saying “thank you.” (I shall consult my etiquette manual when I buy one, which will be never.)

She’s an older woman in my management class. She’s really nice -- I hope my reaction didn’t make her uncomfortable. It can’t be easy to go up to someone and say that, so I wonder why she did. Next week I should bring her a cupcake.

For the record, my face is pale and forlorn. Earnest, maybe, but not pleasant.
03/16 Direct Link
I guess I’m hooked on the ‘at random’ button.

click - Bitterness and anger.

click - A funny story about a puppy.

click - More anger.

click - Seven meals. My new favorite? I don’t even know why, but I love this one.

click - Wow, a total psychopath. Good luck with that, buddy. I had to read everything he wrote to decide whether or not he was kidding, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t.

click - I actually have no idea what that was about.

click - The beauty of a simple moment captured perfectly.

They're are all pretty awesome... except that one guy. Seriously... yikes.
03/17 Direct Link
“But this is my method,” I said to her. I was hurt. “Do you dislike my method?”

She rolled her eyes. “I dislike it.”

“What could there be to dislike about it?”

“Your method is inelegant.” She sat down and looked away, bored.

I sat next to her on the couch and stared at the floor.

“Do you have a method that you’d like to use?”

“I would not have come up here with you if I had.” She crossed her arms.

Hurt again. “You can leave…” I said, disappointed.

“No.”

You actually have no idea what this is about.
03/18 Direct Link
I had the least productive day of my life, which gives rise to intense feelings of guilt. In order to assuage the guilt and ensure a good night’s rest I must here list the few things that I actually did do, and perhaps exaggerate their significance somewhat.

* Had short but meaningful conversation about coffee with coffee shop dude

* Took amazing nap

* Gambled with own life by eating from dented can of chickpeas (botulism?)

* Downloaded (but did not read) six articles pertaining to my project

* Thought about getting married (decided against)



By the way, it was eight meals, not seven. Sorry.
03/19 Direct Link
Self-esteem crisis... not averted.

Hers, not mine.

I told her that she needs to accept herself, which is true. She sometimes feels worthless and, as she put it, wants to ruin herself.

I said that I could see her good qualities clearly, and that if she could see herself as I see her she’d feel great. Anyway, I didn’t make her feel any better.

Should I just drop out of my current department and become a therapist? People seem to feel comfortable coming to me with their problems, I just have no idea what to tell them.

“Accept yourself.”

Riiiiiight...

03/20 Direct Link
At this point the fact that I don’t have a cell phone has become a point of pride for me. It has become my “thing.” Harold smokes a pipe, Jenny writes crappy poetry, and I’m the guy who refuses to buy a cell phone.

Actually, if I could get away with throwing my normal phone away I might try that, too. People would have to write letters to me in a neat, copperplate script. I’d also require them to write in the style of an 18th-century gentleman or lady.

My other “thing” is that I’m a nut, you see.
03/21 Direct Link
why i don’t go to bars

Hello there, ma’am, I noticed you were sitting here and I was wondering whether you feel the anguish of solitude as keenly as I do... Maybe you’d like to come over to my place -- we could sit on my couch and I could just sort of wrap my arms around you, see? Does that interest you? Oh, be careful, ha, you’ve spilled your drink right on my face.

Are you going to look for napkins? Thanks, I’ll come with you, then. Ma’am? Wow, be careful where you put your foot -- owww, that’s my groin.
03/22 Direct Link
today’s mail


My Dear Mr. Dumpling,

You cannot imagine our dismay at your recent turn for the worse. You certainly must know that we’ve been concerned about you for some time, but it seems that your grip on reality has become ever more tenuous of late.

Please reconnect your telephone. I was very much pleased to hear that "Little Miss Sunshine" was in your Netflix queue, so I wanted to give you a call to see whether I could come over and watch it with you. I would have brought a sack of burritos.

Believe me yours faithfully, etc, etc...

03/23 Direct Link
It was kind of a weird birthday party, since for one thing it was just the two of us. Also, she’s on the other side of the globe, so we celebrated over our webcams, which means I didn’t get any cake. Finally, it ended with me getting somewhat drunk and mostly naked for her amusement. "Happy Birthday," indeed.

If she were anyone else I’d be worried that my performance would end up on YouTube with a thousand horribly cruel, badly-spelled comments, but she is a woman of discretion. Also, she has no idea how to record video on her computer.
03/24 Direct Link
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade was canceled because of the snowstorm last week. The vendors got together to make sure it was rescheduled for today. The vendor lobby is powerful.

The thing is, these guys had carts full of stuffed green monkeys and other green merchandise, and they needed to move it. "Move it" is vendor slang. It means that you put your crap on a cart and push it around in front of little kids. When they see it, they’ll bug their parents to buy it for them, no matter what it is. It’s really an ideal business plan.
03/25 Direct Link
"Christianity institutionalized guilt as a virtue." -- Alan Watts (Jesus, His Religion)

I was raised as a Catholic. I’ve given it up, but parts of it are buried deep within my brain. Guilt, for example, hounds me constantly.

Today’s thoughts:

"I’m exercising... I’m burning energy that could be used for other things. I could be harvesting parsnips, ladling out soup, or doing battle with Albany’s criminal element. The Good Earth produces veggie dogs, I eat the veggie dogs for energy, and I use that energy to ride a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere."

Thank you, O Lord, for this neurosis...
03/26 Direct Link
I came home around 7:00 p.m. exhausted, cold, and hungry, with a pounding headache. "As soon as I walk in the door," I thought, "my girlfriend is going to break up with me."

This was a strange thing to think, since I don’t have a girlfriend, but it seemed like the kind of thing that would happen if I did.

If I’m going to pretend that I have someone waiting for me at home, why couldn’t I imagine her greeting me with a cupcake and a smile? Has my own imagination turned against me? My refuge?

"We need to talk."
03/27 Direct Link
Thinking ahead to graduation day...

I’m telling you, I won’t make it without this fake moustache. I’ll throw some clothes into my suitcase and I’ll take the next bus to Toronto. I’ll catch a flight to one of the former Soviet republics and I’ll begin my new life.

Maybe I’ll open an orphanage. Maybe I’ll start a fiery, independent newspaper that will expose police corruption at the highest levels. Whatever I do, it will be an authentic, meaningful life. I will not spend my best years hunched over spreadsheets in a cubicle. Damn you, I would rather die right here.

03/28 Direct Link
actual overheard conversation

"Dude, we’re gonna get some tonight..."

"Dude, you have to get the digits first... so check out my line: you know how sometimes they wear a dress? So I’ll say, like, 'Hey, is that dress felt? ... Would you like it to be?'"



The idea, see, is that at first you think he’s asking whether your dress is made of felt (the material), but then you realize he’s asking if you’d like him to grope you.

I must know whether this line worked. If it did I’ll just become a monk, because I don’t stand a chance.
03/29 Direct Link
Again, I really want to write about something other than how I’m feeling right now, but nothing is coming out. So, this day is a filler day. Maybe every day is a filler day, I don’t know. Either way, I have to go to bed tonight, so this is what we’re going to end up with.

A Buddhist might say that we all experience pain, but our reaction to and method of dealing with that pain determines how much we suffer. We are strangely addicted to prolonging our own suffering.

Pain vs. suffering. Chew on that. I know I am.
03/30 Direct Link
I hope I don’t get this letter

SIR,

First, you missed a comma on 3/2. Pointing out punctuation mistakes makes me feel special.

You really are a prick for putting words into your friend’s mouth. She’s nice. (3/3)

You’ll never pick up women with the method you describe for 3/21. Show some respect and develop a witty pickup line.

I’ll bet you have a comfortable life, so you have no reason to complain. (3/3-3/8-3/26-2/29)

Finally, your guilt no doubt comes from your bleeding-heart liberalism and not from God. You need to accept Him into your heart. (3/25)

Sincerely,

Ugly McJerkface
03/31 Direct Link
My birthday. My parents sang to me, my brother sent me something, and about two other people remembered it. It’s just another day, right? But it’s easy to see your birthday as a sort of referendum on yourself. Do people remember your birthday? If so, you’re approved. Who doesn’t crave approval?

The best part was spending a few moments on the swings in the park. Earlier I had noted that they were usually full of kids. When I saw them empty, I didn’t say anything. (fear of appearing immature?) She knew that I wanted to swing. Some people are awesome.