When you're still up at 2:30 a.m, you might as well throw a blog in the fire, no?

Hm. That line might be reason enough to put the computer down and walk away.

I think I was more productive today (read: post rolling out of bed at 9 a.m.) than I've been in the last month. My back has curved to the form of the dining room chair I brought in to sit on. My mouth tastes of thrice-reheated French Vanilla coffee. The dirty pot from my break spent on a foray into experimental cooking (or any cooking at all) glares at me through the wall and into the room where I now sit. But I'm wild and crazy, and the crud of tonight's Bombay Fire creation (thank you Calcutta Heat seasoning) will just have to await cleansing until I'm up and at 'em tomorrow.

Not that I can fathom that once I'm in a bed I will ever rise again, but let's pretend.

I made the mistake of reading the news before going to bed. For this reason, I know that my dreams will now feature Ashley (who is quickly becoming "the angelic and compassionate Troll sister". Um, I mean Olsen Twin). They might have a cameo by Babbs, given that I misread CNN's headline about "Jury deadlocks in videotaped trial" to read "Jury dreadlocks". And then there's the woman who stole a law firm's identity. I don't know how you do that; I'm assuming that if I reread the story when I'm un-delirious-efized, I might get it. But maybe not even then.

Today's confession: at the gym, I found myself captivated by Dr. Phil's words of wisdom. He's a meanie, but he packs a punch. It made my workout go by faster, and now I'm concerned that it might enter into the elite ranks, joining CHARMED as "Things I'd Never Watch Unless I Was A Handcuffed Prisoner Placed Before It or If I Am At The Gym-- In Which Case I Will Start to Like It Against My Will."

So with these rambling words, I retire to my bed, fearful of the fact that it's only... Tuesday.

You're my Number One Best Friend.

I'm not sure when we outgrow this. The friend thing. I have at least one friend over the age of 30 who manages to keep his friends in line by suggesting ways they might please him and elevate themselves in his mind. At first it seemed absurd. However, when I found myself somewhat interested in his requirements (apple computer: yes, smiths fan: yes, republican: no), I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry myself back to junior high.

What I'm trying to figure out at this point is which is more appropriate. Childhood and adolescence lend themselves to uncensored communication with others, friend or foe. Few are the tweens who can separate themselves from someone they don't like and be quiet about why they did so. Thus cliques and whatnot. But as adults, all of a sudden this need to smooth things over comes along. If I hate your girlfriend, I will still hang out with her and make friendly overtures, because that is "the thing to do". And others will nod approvingly (ok, or raise an eyebrow if they heard what I had to say about her the night before). But for the most part, we put a premium on masking distaste or dissent about others. It's un-pc to not like people for a reason other than their being a mass murderer or, well, Republican.

When my friend asks me if her friend can come out with us, I cannot say no. Because without a reason (as listed above), it would be Unjustified. Or Immature. Or worse... Bitchy. You can't dislike someone just because. You can't dislike them based on the fact that you just simply don't affirmatively *like* them. But sometimes I think it would be easier that way. The grey area is too much for me to handle. Why should I spend dinner, or better yet, my full weekend, with someone I don't care for. Is that not a slower death than being with someone you despise? At least there's some fire there!

Come to think of it, I wasn't that blatant when I was younger, either. Except once. I told my mom I didn't like Elaina Schmolens (*not the subject's actual name. But it rhymes, for all you super-sleuths out there.) She asked me why. I didn't have a good enough reason. She was pretty and she was popular and she didn't hate me. In youthful society, you would think that'd be all she wrote, and we'd rush off hand in hand to buy a BFF necklace. But my mom thought I was being weird. And so mom kept nurturing this friendship. Elaina kept coming to my birthdays, grinning and gleaming and being tall (which was a cruel thing to do to my tiny self).

Then one day I went to her house. We were hanging out. The details are unremarkable. Something led her to tell me about the lax babysitter her parents had landed, who microwaved cookies for them. Woo hoo, livin' on the edge in the 'burbs. As we were touring the house and she was showing me the exact site where the babysitter then let them eat ON THE COUCH (you don't say!) she committed the inexplicable. Fully knowing I was *terrified* of dogs, she suddenly sicked her dog on me to "be funny." (She could have just armpit farted for all the tastefulness or wit in that joke.)

Then she called him away. Haha, oh, funny Dana. I mean, um, "Elaina".

Ok, so my point is that I think when we get a feeling about not liking something or someone, you should stick to it, because it will bite you in the ass (and if they have a dog, this could be prophetic and oh so literal). I realize that my little proclamation could throw our society into chaos. No more fake smiles? I'm not insisting that we take the gloves off, so to speak. But really, life is too short to hang out with people you don't care for. Unless "they" are me. Then do me a favor and pretend.


Yesterday, when I arrived back into San Diego, I found myself standing in front of the baggage carousel. I stood for a good half hour watching Carousel #1 rotate. It whirred and spun, mimicking me just standing there. Reunited families gathered their horrendously ugly tan floral luggage, their camping gear, their boogie boards and each other and headed out. The belt kept turning, eventually spitting out a lone piece of luggage that swirled and swirled, me its sole audience (but appreciative, as I was really too jetlagged to do much else). I was fascinated and stood for awhile watching it (medium upright roller -- black) tour the belt purposefully. The pace stayed the same, but I began to lose hope that it would find a hand to haul it off.

Eventually I realized that my bags were probably shelved somewhere, as I'd been bumped from the previous night's flight, and let my pensive moment by Lindburgh Airport Pond go.

Tonight I have this one thought that keeps going through my head. Each time it disappears around the corner, I convince myself that it will come back differently. That I'll see it in a light that won't be as nauseating and frustrating and breathtaking and.. revealing... as the one I now see it in. Watching the black suitcase go around, I somehow convinced myself that it might return in the blue and red form I was seeking. Freshly practiced, I'm doing that now. I'm squinting into the past and trying to play a game of revisionist history with myself. For some reason, I can't help trying to give this person and this situation a chance at reappearing in shades that don't clash so much with the hues of truth I credited them with.

No one wants to be played for a fool. And no one wants to play the fool so well.


It's been said before, but let me say it again. Friendster is a big fat popularity contest. I am not bitter, however. For once, I am winning, with 48 first-degree friends and no less than 95,758 charming individuals in my friendship network. Numbers like those could afford me a seat in a cyber congress or something. Yay for hunting down summer camp friends. I've kinda become a Friendster snob, too. When people write me random "wanna be my friendster?" emails, I first throw my head back and laugh. Kinda cackle. First of all, no one talks like that except NEW kids. Secondly, um, NO! Hahahah. Cackle cackle. Then I give my screen a weird look and delete. Which is not the way to increase my numbers, I now realize.

But more to the point, I have begun to view people who don't have testimonials as 'shady'. I see them as shadowy figures of a conspicuous and shameful nature rather than what they are, which is probably "people with more of a life than me and mine." I see a profile with no testimonials, and I must wonder. Does this person *literally* have no friends? Are the friends unable to muster up one or two flattering comments to sandwich in between juvenile and irrelevant inside jokes? Are the friends sending me a secret message directly meant for me saying "This person is no good. Run, don't walk, in the other direction"?

I don't view the fact that I actually think about this stuff to be a good sign at all.

But you have to occupy your mind. I'm trying not to think about the upcoming trip I have. I leave for Chicago at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Well my flight is then. I will be up stumbling in the dark at a beautiful round 4:30. I will then spend 6 days working intensely, networking with the literary elite. I have packed my glasses in the hopes of finagling my way into a few VIP parties (Janeane Garofalo is a speaker). My professional endeavours will be interspersed with socializing with my high school friends and some cousins.

Going back to Chicago is always a bit tough for me. It doesn't help that two of my best friends recently moved within a 2 block radius of my ex (and no, they are not roommates, let alone friends. This is the sick hand of fate at work.) Blah. Will I be walking down the street and be forced to confront what I masterfully avoided for three years? I mean, why have closure when I've had such wonderful fodder for girl bonding armchair analysis sessions?

And there's the whole 'hometown' thing. I've beat that subject to death, but it will be weird to go back to the town where I have no home. My brother and sister do it from time to time; jump back onto memory lane. But what need have I to go to the streets where I once walked with pegged jeans and army boots, oversized rainbow-colored flannel shirts, and a backpack full of teen angst? None, I tell you. Unless TC is in town. That would change things.

I like to think I'm not related to the girl i was when I lived in Chicago. At the end of the Madonna show last week, lights blazed that read "Reinvent Yourself". In a way, I think I did that the minute I walked out of graduation. I didn't look back once. Granted, I haven't become a megamogul sexpot like SOME people whose name rhymes with Fadonna, but I feel like I've moved lightyears past where I was. Which I think is the general notion of reinventing yourself. Improve yourself. Cut the shit out that you just don't dig. If the number 60035 makes you queasy, spend your Orbitz dollars elsewhere.

I love the city, but I don't love who I was or what I went through when I was there. Rather than dwell on it, I've left it behind. Maybe this time I'll just be a visitor. I hear the Sears Tower is nice.