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This hunk of wire and plastic and silicon is at the same state as when we bought it. There is nothing left. It crashed. Crashed and burned. This is the computer I discovered Napster on. I had some 400 mp3s on this thing. I had a quote file eight pages long. I had a steadily growing 100 Words file. I had poems written to me. I had scads of saved e-mails. So I’ve started everything over from scratch. I’m bookmarking all of my favorite sites again, downloading better songs than I had before, and re-installing all of my favorite programs.
This is what home is like. Looking at a picture that I took, and from the tiniest portion of landscape, trying to figure out where it was taken. I think I figured it out…just from a tree and a stoplight. Home is knowing your town
well. Home is that damn couch that we've had for as long as I can remember. Home is having people understand me when I use my slang and various made up words. Home is James. Home is Beau, but Beau's dead. Home is putting pictures up on my website. Home is sleeping naked again.
Today I was asked what I want to be when I grow up, and, once again, I didn't really know what to tell him. The one that I've been kicking around for the longest is astrophysicist, and recently I've tacked on the prefix ‘theoretical.' But I would also like to own a little boutique in San Francisco or Paris, and have my own line of clothing, or perhaps just work under one of the big names. If I became good enough, I would LOVE to be a photographer for National Geographic. That would be heaven. Or maybe I'll do everything.
Alex says that he imagines me living at a winery, reading and writing and reading and writing. Not doing much, just enjoying life. I could live with this vision of his. Perhaps I'll be living in Napa, which is hot, which I don't like, or France, which in wine country, I believe is also hot. Maybe in a few years I'll develop an uncharacteristic love of the heat. Or perhaps I'll just spend all of my summers in the cool, earthy wine cave, painting an ever developing mural on the cold stonewalls, brushing away the soft mold as I go.
The other day I was at Alison's house, and she has a parrot, an Amazon I believe, which is always out on her perch on the kitchen counter. Lately she's taken to eating the sponge that sits on the sink. For a while they were going through a sponge a week. They came up with a very temporary solution. They have a big, tall, cast-iron vase. Or maybe it more resembles a fruit basket. They stuck her perch on top of it, so now she's trapped a good foot above the counter. I hope she doesn't fall off of it.
The computer here at this house sits on an old, super heavy dark wood desk. It has two drawers on the left, though the bottom one still has two handles so that it looks like there are three drawers. On the right there are three drawers and a writing board that can be pulled out or pushed in like a drawer. There is a spot for one on the left, but the board for that side was lost or damaged longer ago than my memory stretches. Our mouse pad has The Three Stooges on it, with Curley. I prefer Shemp.
Desk, part two:
Along with the computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, two speakers and a subwoofer, there is a Corsair II radio, and a bug. Not an insect bug, the kind of bug that you make Morse code with. The radio is to the right of the monitor and subwoofer, and to the left, in front of the computer tower, is a white Casio telephone, with cord. And scattered all about the rest of the free space are various papers, CDs, coins, a magnifying glass, a remote control, a book of matches, a bottle of patchouli oil and some floppy disks.
"Now, you know the door is a premo spot, right? So you don't want to put stuff in there that we won't use very often."
"Yeah, you put it in the back so that it can get really old and funky."
Yesterday we cleaned the refrigerator. Not by choice, of course. We got a new refrigerator. First we scooted the old one around a lot with all of the food in it, but we decided that it was too heavy and pulled all of the food out and threw away the funky stuff. Now we have a shiny, new refrigerator.
Contents of my backpack: Two binders, one for literature, one for Math. One hardcover copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. One planner. Two calculators, one graphing and one scientific. At least seven pens of varying colors and brands and three pencils (all mechanical, I don't like regular ones). One spoon. One nail file. One pocket French/English dictionary. One pot of Carmex brand lip balm. One Olympus brand digital camera. One very small bottle of aspirin with a large pink highlighter stain on one side. One unlined composition book. One pad of graph paper and several miscellaneous other loose papers.
Ah, god, fish! I just cooked fish for my first time, and it was so light and flaky and wonderful. Lime baked cod, with caramelized onions, cilantro and a few sliced of pickled jalapenos. I just wish that I had someone to share it with. But I have plenty left, so I’m sure I can save some for James. I need a second opinion, make sure that it’s really as good as I think it is. Maybe next week I’ll try making Kathy’s salmon... I’m supposed to be a vegetarian, really, but perhaps it’s time to be just a semi-vegetarian.
I should probably say something patriotic and memorable here, but I’m not a terribly patriotic person. I got lectured on that today, told that I’m taking advantage of the country because I’m not patriotic. I’m just not a flag-waver, that’s all. The school told us to wear red, white and blue today, and an enormous amount of students complied. And there was an assembly, where the band played America songs and the art teacher dedicated a peace pole. The atmosphere was terribly jovial for being such a solemn occasion. I’m sorry, but singing war songs isn’t my idea of mourning.
I love sneezing. I just sneezed a really nice one. I don’t do it very often, but when I do, it’s an explosive event. My sneezes have lots of build up; I huff and puff in such a way that sometimes people think that I’m crying, but it’s just leading up to the climax where I go Hat-tschu! and throw my head to one side to avoid sneezing on myself or whatever is in front of me. It’s the best, and leaves me with a cleared head and feeling very stunned. I hate the ones that hurt my throat, though.
So today is Friday and I’m camping, and I’m sleeping under the stars. My feet are cold as hell, but other than that I’m nice and toasty. I can see so many stars here. The milky way is a big, fat creamy band across the sky, and I’ve seen two little meteors. There are cows grazing nearby, and they have cowbells that clang at their every movement, and it’s really a very beautiful sound. Before they were here, the silence was absolutely amazing. Not a single rustle or rumble or rasp. It swallows me and makes my ears play tricks.
I had an ember jump on me today. That was interesting. I’ve never known anyone who had an ember jump on them before. The fire popped, and this pebble sized hunk of burning landed on top of my collar against my neck. In the time it took me to jump up, dumping everything in my lap on the ground, say “Ow, ow, shit!” and shake my shirt, it fell to the ground, and left me mostly unscathed. My neck was a little sore for a while, but it wasn’t a big deal, and it gave me a story to tell.
This morning I had a chipmunk crawl over or around me on three separate occasions. I woke up first at about seven, and apparently was still enough to be considered a safe thing to crawl on. The first time he awoke me, I kicked to scare him away, as it felt like he was chewing on the bottom of my sleeping bag. The next time, I was on my side, and he was walking back and forth along my hip. Perhaps it made a good lookout. The last time, I heard him running around above my head on my mat.
Cramps suck. Why is it that this perfectly natural cycle that I have has to be so painful? Since it occurs so often, every freaking month, shouldn’t it be a pleasant thing? Instead of cramps, wouldn’t it be nice if one were to get a warm, cozy feeling right in the lower back where the cramps are? I don’t mind the whole menstruation thing, really. In fact, I rather enjoy it. Keeps me humble. And it’s a monthly reminder that I’m female and have a nice dose of estrogen running through my system. But, ah, god, the cramps are lame.
Hey! Been trying to meet you. Hey! Must be a devil between us, or whore in my head, whore at the door, whore in my bed, but hey! Where have you been? If you go, I will surely die. We’re chained.
God, I’ve had that song stuck in my head for days, now. It’s “Hey” by the Pixies, and I absolutely love it. There is a show coming up at Wolves, the local coffee shop, and my favorite local band is playing. Sideburn Rock Orchestra. Or just Sideburn for short. It’s been too long since I last saw live music.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life just yet, but I suppose that’s to be expected. Surprisingly, though, at least at the moment, I seem to know what I want to study. Astronomy or astrophysics. It’s always been an interest of mine, off in the back of my mind, but I never expected to actually study it and possibly make a career out of it. I’ve had so many other things that I wanted to do. Like art, but I’ve decided that I’m not productive or good enough to be able to live off of that.
I’ve been looking at colleges the last couple of days, and discovered that I’m more certain than I thought about where I want to go. I was vaguely thinking about the American University in Paris, but that’s been ruled out now, because their astronomy department is seriously lacking. Other than that, I guess I’ve decided that I’m heading north. Other than Santa Cruz, which is south of me, I think I want to go to Oregon or Washington. I don’t deal well at all with hot weather, so I figure those are the best states to evade the sun in.
We have cantaloupes! Dad and I eat a lot of melon, and always just throw the seeds off the front porch. A while ago, we noticed that we had some foliage that looked like squash or melon. So we've been watching the flowers bloom, wondering when it was going to bear fruit so that we could identify it. But lo and behold, the other day we were checking it out and noticed that there are several nearly ripe cantaloupes on the vine. They were so well camouflaged that we didn't notice them until we were right on top of them.
Some things that I like: rain, birds, James' freckles, watercolors, Converse All-Stars, square plates, sleeping in trees, dragons, James, my digital camera, going to the dark room, mustard, happy dogs, sweaters with dress shirts underneath, down pillows, Sluggy Freelance, sailing, boogie boarding, Morro Bay, live music, spelunking, crepes with Nutella, scooter rides, going bay jumping, backpacking, eastern cuisine, my friends, the hanging doorknob on our front porch, haute couture, playing hide and seek in the dark, the smell of redwoods, banana slugs, seafood, my dad's jokes, fruit, chopsticks, making art, rocking out, cool sheets, heavy blankets, and getting dressed up.
Some things that I am not particularly fond of: cat hair clinging to my face, hot weather, mayonnaise, cramps, homework, having writer's and/or artist's block, math tests, or rather, not doing well on math tests, being upset, the mold that always forms on the mouth of my boxes of soy milk, the smell of fish food, procrastinating, racism, losing things, cold feet, when the computer freezes, ants in the house, mosquitoes, when people pronounce a ‘th' at the end of the word height (height does not have a third ‘h' at the end), feeling underdressed, feeling insecure, and non-mechanical pencils.
Dad is in the bathroom shaving. He has used an electric razor for as long as I can remember, and a quiet buzz is filtering its way to my ears through the chords of Bob Dylan playing in the other room. He has to keep clean-shaven for work, but I have a feeling that as soon as he retires, a massive beard will creep its way onto his face. Just now I can smell his aftershave. Occasionally, in the mornings when I've just woken up, the smell of it lingers in the bathroom, even though he has departed hours ago.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things." This is the excerpt on the back of
's book jacket. It's a book worth reading, but it can't be rushed.
I've been doing lots of drawing lately. Covered an entire page with purely doodles. I was afraid that I would stop drawing if I wasn't taking a "flat" art class, but apparently it isn't so. It helps that in the sculpture class that I'm taking we have to draw our ideas before we make them. I'm a stealer when I draw. I'm not very good at drawing things from my mind, though every so often I pump out a decent one. But normally I search through other people's drawings, or old National Geographics for someone with character. Then I draw.
Today a guy from UC Berkeley came and gave a lecture on the life cycle of stars, and the expanding universe, and it was the coolest thing ever. I just wish that it had been longer so that he could have gone more in depth. I stayed after and asked questions, and he gave me his e-mail address, which I am excited about, and I can't wait to come up with a nice long list of questions to ask him. I'm sure Gretchen will be able to help me with that. She really liked it too, but James wasn't interested.
Today I made a new friend out of an old acquaintance and saw a good friend for the first time in a while. I haven't spoken to Robby since, geeze, seventh grade or so. He's in my math class this year, and I've been meaning to talk to him, but haven't gotten around to it. But today we managed to speak. I then learned that Jake was on campus, who I hadn't seen for some time, and I found him. It was wonderful talking to him. I hadn't realized how much I had missed him until I actually saw him.
The show last night was a success, though I only got to see the opening band (grrr…). I had to get up early this morning to take dumb standardized testing. But the show was good. The band, Influenza, was from Sacramento, and I got their contact info so maybe they can play at an armory show sometime. Jake was there. And I got to see Matt as well. He's been living and going to school in the city. Unfortunately, I had to leave before Runyon showed up, but I suppose that I'll probably see plenty of him over Thanksgiving break.
Holy heroin, Batman! It's essay day! That's right, kids. It's time for me to escape from the evil throes of procrastination and distraction and write a big, fat essay on a nice passage from Thoreau's
. For some reason, I'm super sleepy, and want like no other just to take a nice, long nap. Tonight could be a very long night. I've been sitting at the computer for about four hours, and have written a whole page and a quarter and drank three and a half cups of tea. I've also learned not to use teabags twice. Makes weak tea.
Wow, last day. Three thousand words. I don't really know what to write about on this last day, it just feels like another 100 words…Perhaps now I'm supposed to reflect on the last month. Well, in this month, I haven't seen rain, but it got darn close, and I'm desperately wishing for the nice weather to come back. It was warm today. I've seen some hot days this month. We got a new refrigerator. I wrote a really difficult essay and went camping, where I learned that altitude makes me lethargic. So that's it, I guess. This is the end.
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