[ordered chaos 9]

||Life After College:  Year 2 - Corporate Hell


(I am)
..22 years old  
..in New York
(Soundbite) || 08.04.03
(x)Prelude to Foundation
:: by Isaac Asimov
(x)Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix
:: by J.K. Rowling
(x)Bird by Bird
:: by Ann Lamott
(x)Forward the Foundation
:: by Isaac Asimov
(3.9.03-?)One Hundred Years of Solitude
:: by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(x)Foundation's Edge
:: by Isaac Asimov
(x)Small Wonder
:: by Barbara Kingsolver
(x)Man from Mundania
:: by Piers Anthony
(x)Second Foundation
:: by Isaac Asimov
(x)Daughter of Fortune
:: by Isabel Allende
(x)Foundation and Empire
:: by Asimov
(x)Ender's Game
:: by Orson Scott Card
:: by Jose Saramago
(x)A Clockwork Orange
:: by Anthony Burgess
:: by Asimov
(x)The Eyre Affair
:: by Jasper Fforde
:: by Milan Kundera
(x)In Our Strange Gardens
:: by Michael Quint
:: by Diana Wynne Jones
(x)East of Eden
:: by John Steinbeck
(x)Future Homemakers of America
:: by Laurie Graham
(x)Bel Canto
:: by Ann Patchett
(x)DragonLance Chronicles
:: by Margaret Weis
(x)Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
:: by Dai Sijie
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"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad enough to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved... The ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."

    -Jack Kerouac

[Tuesday, July 30, 2002]

I've got a hole in my pocket!

Holy crap, buying business casual is burning a hole in my wallet. I'm going through a schizo stage where I'm simultaneously spending lots of money at Urban Outfitters in a last-ditch effort to stock up on interesting clothing before I enter the world of blah, and spending even more at places like JCrew and BR in a last-ditch effort to stock up on appropriate clothing for work so I don't make a jackass of myself. I hate buying business casual, but my mom loves doing it for me. I trail around behind her as she picks things of the rack. At first I veto'ed almost everything she picked up. "Mom, you're going to make me look like I'm 30." After about half an hour though, I realized that looking 30 is the PURPOSE of wearing business casual. I grudgingly let her load up on a couple things I figured I could tolerate. I drew the line at wool plaid jackets from Talbots. Absolutely not.

I've now got more cardigans and shells than you can count. My mom was absolutely thrilled. Its kinda sad how happy she got when she saw that her daughter was finally dressing "respectably", as she would say. As I glumly tried on each item for her in the kitchen when we got home, she made me spin around as she clapped her hands in delight (mothers seem to specialize in humiliation). With each subsequent pastel-shaded ensemble, she'd ooo and aaaah and make comments such as:

"I'm so glad you've finally decided to dress like an Ivy League graduate."
"You look SO much more mature. Not like that other trash you were wearing before."
"You know, your aunt in Taiwan asked me specifically why you still dress like a child. Now I can say you've come to your senses and decided to join the rest of us adults."
"You'd look even more dazzling if you took out some of your earrings. After all, 5 earrings is hardly becoming, and it doesn't go with your outfit!"

(Notice how she manages to pair up every compliment with criticism. Another tried and true mother attribute).

The absolute clincher though, was when she said, "Just a piece of advice from a mother to a daughter honey. Sometimes its not to a girl's advantage to be -too- successful."

.... I could not believe it. What was the point of my expensive education then?! To husband-hunt? Good Lord, if that was the goal, I failed miserably. No wonder I'm a disappointment. But I nodded mutely in response to the statement as she wink-winked. Some battles just aren't worth fighting. Its smarter to retreat and high-tail it for the hills as soon as you're far enough away, which will be on Friday: Moving Day.

I comfort myself with the thought that I managed to squeeze in a new pair of jeans between the khaki's and silk sweater sets. Granted, they're no Diesel jeans (they're JCrew jeans, more "proper" according to my mom), but they're jeans. And anything blue-jean is a welcome relief to my eyes right now.

posted by ink| 10:25 PM |
[Saturday, July 27, 2002]

Keep fishin' if you feel its true. -weezer

My credit card bill is going to be through the roof.

But, I had such a wonderful day. Shopped at Urban Outfitters for clothing that is -completely- inappropriate for my near-future. Think short shorts, and bandannas. Imagine if I showed up to client meetings in -that-. If my dad knew about my purchases, he would lecture me about poor financial planning, and I'd have to agree with him on this one. I really should've spent the money on business casual clothing instead. Especially since I've got all of... oh... THREE OUTFITS. You think they'd notice that I keep wearing the same things over and over? Even if I mixed and matched my three outfits, that'd be (3 choose 1) * (3 choose 1) total outfits, which would add up to a grand total of... 9 outfits. That's about two weeks worth. And to think, I failed my Math Theory and Probability class. Guess which finger I'm holding up Prof. M.?

I ran into an old college friend and had bubble tea with him. We caught up on all the juicy gossip of our respective love lives. Or, more accurately, told funny stories about our respective catastrophes of a love life. Interesting how its always funny later when you're recounting it to someone else. You seem to completely forget the utter humiliation and horror you felt at the time. I figure its a fair trade-off. If I'm going to be mortified at a situation, I should at least get a funny story out of it to tell at cocktail parties later and further embarass myself, but this time in front of well-dressed strangers. And then I can use THAT embarassment as a funny story later on too. See the mirror-in-a-mirror-in-a-mirror situation? Its like my personal version of Pay It Forward. Except I have no Kevin Spacey in my life. And I'm no Helen Hunt either.

I hit the Rare and Used Bookstore on my way home. There's something wonderful about browsing through old books... Its a completely different atmosphere than Barnes and Nobles and the other corporate bookstores. In a used book store, you know you're in the company of true book-lovers. Everyone mills around in self-contained silence, each moving within their own bubble of intense focus, scanning the bindings of the books, looking for that old favorite or new favorite. The clerks actually know where everything is without having to look it up in the computer. And seeing the old-school children's books with their worn cardboard covers is infinitely more endearing to me than their new high-gloss counterparts of today.

I scanned through a worn hardback of Nature's Poems. The pages were yellowed and tattered, the binding was coming off, but that book was a real treasure. Inside, there were watercolor illustrations per poem. The original illustration, pasted onto the page. They just don't make books the way they used to. Old hardback books have this wonderful smell when you open their worn bindings. My friend who used to work in a library said that its the smell of mildew, spores, old dust, and little bugs eating at the glue. But I like to pretend that its a breath of the past. There are times when I love science, but there are definitely times when science is quite the party pooper and flat out ruins the romance of things. In the latter case, I usually choose to ignore it.

I bought an old hardback copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales (inside is the inscription: To Thomas. From Aunt Libby and Uncle Bob. Christmas 1973), and an old classic paperback version of Alice in Wonderland (1962). I've got two hardback copies already of Alice, but paperbacks are always more convenient for bringing to the beach. Once again, I can hear my dad's voice inside my head lecturing about responsibility. Why am I thinking about the beach when I should be thinking about what I need to buy for my new job and how I'm going to get furniture for my apartment? (My dad should be proud to have a daughter like me. He doesn't even have to physically be here for me to hear his lectures. I do it to myself inside my head and automatically feel guilty).

I still haven't managed to check one thing off the To Do list I made for myself this morning. And yet, in spite of that, I feel like I've had a full and productive day. But, having gotten nothing done on my To Do list means I'm still wearing those grannies. Laundry is optimum priority.

posted by ink| 7:33 PM |

Its my party and I'll cry if I want to.

Happy hour on my last day. Multiple shots, multiple drinks, on a 120 pound girl. A complete recipe for disaster. I had a great time though! Here's a bullet point list, short and sweet, a summary of the night. I'd love to elaborate but to be quite frank, I've been drinking since 5 pm, and I'm rather looking forward to passing out on my bed.

1. Puked 7 times. Very neatly may I add. I even took care to wipe the toilet seat off when I was finished, in consideration for the person coming in after me. I'm a very obsessive compulsively neat drunk. And very verbose. Never slur. Just truncate sometimes.

2. Told my friend Lucy she had nice boobs. Very jealous. I wish I had a rack like that. Full, but not too big. Briefly considered making out with her when she offered. Very attractive girl. Too bad I passed out soon thereafter. Got waken up by my manager who walked me home.

3. Had an interesting conversation with the weed dealer in my house when I got back. I was drunk, he was high. I'm not sure either of us remembers what we talked about. However, I have been dubbed his "most favoritest person" in the house. Aw, I'm touched =).

4. Got a going away present from my co-workers. Was expecting something like a paperweight when I got the gift-wrapped box at lunch. Opened it to find a palm pilot instead. Wished I could've offered gracious words of thanks. Instead, gaped, opened and closed my mouth silently like a fish for long 3 minutes. Wish could be slick at moments like that instead of stupid. Blown away by their generosity, was speechless. And very much touched. Feel like I don't deserve such love since only been working there for 8 months. Makes me sad to be leaving. But wouldn't have palm pilot if wasn't leaving.

Moving out Sunday. Need to do laundry tomorrow. On my last pair of undies today. Yes, the grannies.

posted by ink| 3:35 AM |
[Friday, July 26, 2002]

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

Manager: "Last day!!"
Me: "I know! Sad =(."
Manager: "Uh huh."
Me: "Don't cry. You'll electrocute yourself on the keyboard. Tears have electrolytes you know."
Manager: "I heard that."

Today's my last day working at the Children's Hospital, last day I can claim that I work for humanity in the name of science! As shitty as it started, I have to say that all's well that end's well. I have a sense of closure already... I think perhaps I knew in the bottom of my heart that this wouldn't last. I'm even going to miss my slightly neurotic boss. She's been pretty good to me despite a rocky start. In two days, I move out of the house, away from the psycho people I live with, away from West Philadelphia, and towards a life of "biz cash" (as I like to refer to business casual) and working for corporations in the name of profit. Yay! One more step up in the karma ladder of life.

Overall, I don't think this year has been too much of a sidestep in the road of life. Working in an research lab was a good intermediate period between college and corporate life. Its like a small cocoon, you can wear whatever you want to work, but you still have to get there on time (I'm still working on this last bit). Its very nurturing and forgiving and conducive to learning. School with a touch of work.

And so finishes another year. Funny how life goes by so much faster when you're older. Summer used to feel like forever when I was ten.

Thinking back on my time spent in this room, I realize that I made it through a humid Philly summer without air conditioning and nothing but a small fan. Now -that- is a real accomplishment. How many people can claim to have survived as such?

I am one tough cookie.

posted by ink| 8:47 AM |
[Monday, July 22, 2002]

I am folded and unfolded, and unfolding. -Counting Crows

We are all far-sighted when it comes to life. Things in the distance are amazingly clear and discompassionately sharp. But the lines blur with closer proximity, red running into blue, until you're confused about where one starts and the other ends.

It always seems easier to see the right choices, cut through the fog to the solid bulk, see the truth beneath the illusion, when you're far away and removed from the situation. "Oh yes, Anisa on Real World shouldn't have talked behind Tonya's back". Its so easy to be unbiasedly judgmental when you're viewing the play from the balcony. But when one is in the play... oh does it become confusing. And what is life but a play? What are we but poor players that strut and fret our hour upon the stage, and are heard no more?

Like watching rats in a maze, you can see from above where the rat should go. But when you're the rat, you're caught in a cloud of confusion. Without the vantage point of being removed from the situation, choices suddenly become that much harder to make. Circumstances don't seem as clear-cut, the right choice gets called into question. Why is it that once we ourselves are involved, all sense of logic and all semblance of rationality goes out the window? The "right choice" no longer applies to us, only to everyone else. After all, close range vision is blurry and facts become ambiguously unclear. We squint at the things directly in front of us, trying to make sense of it. Our decision making skills are compromised.

For this reason, behavior in all sorts of personal relationships that may involve emotion, ranging from romantic ones to professional ones to familial ones, becomes erratic. One can argue that you are not truly yourself. After all, can you be blamed for making the wrong choice when you clearly don't have unfettered access to the facts?

Also for this reason, I feel that being around emotional situations brings out the worst in me. Like a rat trapped in a maze, the cloud of confusion around my head leaves me with one of two options: fight or flight. And neither choice is a particularly brave or courageous one. Fight results in tempers flying (and boy do I have a temper when you set me off). But temper is usually a cover for confusion about the situation. Its something bad, I'm lost,and I must lash out in defensive reaction, hope that one of my flailing fists makes contact. Flight, is cowardly and and only results in frustrating the other party. This is what is defined as "attitude" by my mother. When I just fall silent and shrug and nod and "whatever" my way through it. When in doubt, lay low, and hope the lion passes over you.

The crux of the matter is, I'm never particularly good at teasing out the details and facts of the situation when it first falls upon me. I'm one of those kids who has to take the ball of yarn to the corner of the room while I muddle through and slowly tease out the knot. I can never see what's really important to me or what's really making me upset, until I take some time to sit on my own and think it through. Like a word problem in math class, there's too many facts flying around, too many thoughts jumbled in my head. Which do I need to solve the problem? Am I really upset over what I think I am? And when put on the spot, that's when damage is done, when I proclaim the wrong thing or I fall into a sulk and refuse to answer. After all, not saying anything is better than saying something hurtful, although its infinitely more maddening.

I always see more clearly when I've walked some distance away and turn around to look at it again, with far sighted clarity. Then, I can walk back into the confusing close-range vision of blurred lines and crazy angles and explain what I saw while I was gone. Usually accompanied by an apology for my instinctive reaction, whether it be to clam up, or shout it out. Or sometimes I realize that I've walked so far that I can't go back. And then I take the lesson I learned and hope that I can keep my wits about me the next time.

But, just like you can't change animal nature, I can't change the shrinking sense I get when I'm in an emotional situation. The animal fear of being trapped, by accusatory facts, criticism, or even something as simple as pure emotion.

Sham dead, bare your teeth, or lay low and make a run for it?

Can I really trust the lessons I've learned in the past? Have they really solified and taken hold? "Face the music, with a calm cool head." Perhaps I should take a lesson from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which has the words "DON'T PANIC" printed on its cover in large friendly letters.

I make the same mistakes over and over again. Only to chastise myself afterwards, over and over again. After all, dad says that you can't get good at something unless you practice. How does one practice the lessons you've learned without messing up a few more times and leaving a trail of destruction in your wake? The bodies of friends, family, and loved ones.

I feel like the pink elephant in the china shop learning how to ballet dance. Can I really tiptoe my way through the obstacle course again this time? Keep my temper in check, my eyes unclouded by emotion, and make calm cool rational decisions in the face of mounting frustration? Or will I once again feel the regret of post-event clarity?

All the I-should've 's in the world don't mean a thing if the same ones keep coming back.

The I-should've's of the world were meant to be stripped away.

posted by ink| 9:59 PM |
[Thursday, July 18, 2002]

[Switzerland. Neutral. Middle Ground. In Transit.]

I'm caught in the middle of a miasma of emotions. At the crux where all things meet and nothing dominates. In the eye of the storm where chaos and battling winds run into each other and cancel out, resulting only in a sudden dearth of sound and fury, an eerie uneasy silence.

Between the dreaded anticipation and exciting potential of moving to New York, the confusion of boy situations, and the impending last day of work at a well-liked job that pays me practically nothing -- I'm not sure how to feel on a day to day basis. So I settle on a careful neutrality. A tentative feeling of nothing. A mood of contrived blankness. Otherwise I'd be like a ball on a rubber band, swinging from emotion to emotion, extreme to extreme, like Tarzan through the jungle on a wild ride of arcs and dips.

I've never been a particular fan of any sort of roller coaster ride.

Its left me with a blank mind and voice as well, although I keep feeling the urge to express. What, I don't know. There's too many conflicting emotions about too many things for any one to come out coherently and completely.

I'm suffering from a constipation of thought and expression.

Its like the Simpsons episode where Homer is called on to house-sit while Mr. Burns goes to the Mayo clinic for a checkup. The doctor pulls out a wooden doorframe and explains to Mr. Burns that he has every disease known to man, but he's not sick because all the germs (here is where he tries to cram all the stuffed "germs" through the door at once) fight each other trying to get through, and thus, none do.

I am Mr. Burns's body.

I just have an overall sense of tiredness, and a lack of any sort of original thought. I'm blank. I've become boring. I have nothing to say when people call me on the phone. I could fake cheeriness and funny stories, but I don't have the energy to do it. I must have sprung a leak somewhere and personality is dribbling away.

posted by ink| 10:24 PM |
[Wednesday, July 17, 2002]

Recurring Dreams

I generally don't have recurring dreams. I have recurring people. Or places. I very rarely dream about real people in my life, or real places. They're all imaginary - but in my dream, they're my friends and family and home and school. And its the same people and same places that pop up in every dream. Its like having an entire cast of characters at my disposal. Last night though, marked a new moment. I had a dream that I'd had before. Same exact one. It was like being stuck in a movie that you've seen before, I knew everything that was going to happen but couldn't do anything to stop it. Except it didn't end the same way.

I was running through this old warehouse building looking for an old man (who, for some reason, was played by Anthony Hopkins in my dream) who I knew was the only person that could help me get away from my pursuers. But his office wasn't where it was supposed to be. I got the same sense of panic and rising feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach that I get when I know that a dream is about to turn into a nightmare. I was frantically running down the stairs to check the basement of the building for the office (basement... smart... this part is all terrifyingly familiar the way recurring nightmares usually are) when I suddenly stumbled into it. The office that is. And there was Anthony Hopkins (looking kinda portly like he did in Amistad) sitting behind a desk. I was startled. This isn't how things are supposed to happen... I asked him what the hell was going on. I'm supposed to search unsuccessfully for his office in this creepy warehouse and eventually die while being chased down by witch-hunting maniacs who are witches themselves. The ending I remember was different. He shrugged his shoulders and asked me if I wanted his help or not. I shrugged -my- shoulders and said "sure, why not."
--cut to new scene--
I'm being chased down by witch hunters. Accused by these girls who are old childhood enemies of mine. The witch hunters are looking for any bogus misdemeanor to slap on me so they can arrest me. They catch me in the restricted basement area, but I pretend that I dropped my ring and was just retrieving it. They chase me into the town square area where, for some reason, I'm trying to catch a plane. I promised Anthony Hopkins I'd say goodbye before I left, so I scream up to his window "George! George!" (don't ask. His name was George), not really expecting him to turn around. Surprisingly, he turns and waves at me out the window. Only to be hit by a ray of magic from my pursuers. Hey, they're witches too! Hypocrites! Me and these friends (who suddenly appeared) chase down the witch hunters and throw this rope around one of female pursuers. She starts to scream as the rope glows blue and her magic drains out of her and into my friend who's holding the other end of the rope. He starts to implode because its too much for him to handle (weirder and weirder). We end up forming a chain so that we can each share in the backlash. After the woman collapses, I'm once again dumbfounded. This isn't supposed to happen. I'm supposed to be chased down and killed by her. I've had this nightmare before. I stare at the woman at my feet and feel like Jonas who was saved from the whale. Or David who slayed Goliath. Grateful, yet confused, and not sure whether I should even ask.

posted by ink| 7:45 AM |
[Tuesday, July 16, 2002]

Empty Nest Syndrome

I applied for an apartment near Central Park last weekend. Paid my 250 dollar application fee as well. They're making quite a killing off of us....

I find it hard to believe that my dad put me through an Ivy League institution but still feels that it is necessary to give me detailed instructions on how to rent a UHaul truck.
"First, you dial 1-800-GO-UHAUL."
"Make sure to ask what time they open."
"Don't forget to ask about the price!"

I always tell myself to be patient and keep my mouth shut. But after about half an hour of this I can't stand it anymore and I burst out with "I KNOW DAD." And then we end up ripping each other's heads off.

That's how I ended up where I am now. We got into a fight and I told him I'd move in on my own.

Better start working those biceps.

posted by ink| 12:10 AM |
[Thursday, July 11, 2002]

To sleep, perchance to dream. -Hamlet

Full stomach = sleepiness.

I've been drinking water. Not quite the same effect as wine, but I tried.

posted by ink| 11:42 PM |

Against my will I stand beside my own reflection. -Linkin Park

I feel like I need some alcohol. A glass of wine or something. Something sweet. Like a Riesling. Maybe I'm becoming an alcoholic.

Its one of those nights. One of those nights where you're left alone to wonder what's become of you. I'm feeling moody and I don't know why. I called my dad to talk to him, and he said that this is why its hard being a girl. Unexplainable mood swings. But that these same hormonal imbalances are what will allow me to experience the joys of childbirth later on in life. Yay. Is it really too much to ask for my moods to be somewhat in the same spectra between morning and night?

I'm thinking that perhaps it's the impending sense of change that will sweep my life. Moving to New York. Getting a new apartment. Starting a new job. The loss of stability and the comfort of things familiar to me. It makes me want to crawl under the blanket with a book tonight. It brings back memories of childhood. I always felt like I was "safe" as long as I was under the covers. I know better now, but I think I still derive a certain measure of comfort from it. Its like Pavlov's dogs. I've been trained to respond to a certain stimuli.

I feel unfulfilled.

And that leaves me with a slight sense of discontent and dissatisfaction. Sometimes I wonder whether these are really mood swings, or whether these are moments of harsh realization. Maybe -this- is reality. And that tomorrow when I wake up and feel better, it is only the veneer of fakeness and denial that everyone lives with because they need it to go on. How real are we with ourselves? How many people can truly say that they're honest with themselves? That they see themselves truly as they are, without any embellishment or fuzziness, with all the flaws in glaring clarity? How many people can see themselves in such a way and look at their reflection straight on, without flinching, drinking in all the deformities that are inherent to their nature, all the gaping wounds and scars, those inflicted by others and those self-inflicted. And the question is, when you look at yourself in such a way - do you fall short of the mark?

Right now, I'm thinking that I do.

Tomorrow I'll draw up a plan of action. But tonight... tonight, I'm going to wallow.

posted by ink| 11:04 PM |

bum bum BUM!

This morning I tripped over another homeless man sleeping on our porch. This one managed to bring his entire shopping cart of possessions up there with him. Looking down the street, I can see a hundred other porches that would've been -much- easier to get onto than ours (we have two flights of stairs to get onto our porch). Why would he pick this one? Perhaps our house is part of the Homeless Bum Underground Network... Much like the Underground Railroad, the first bum that slept on our porch must've told the other bums about our house.

This time, instead of stepping over him and scurrying along my way, I squared my shoulders and said bravely,
"Excuse me sir. Do you live here?"
"No. Of course not, what do you think?"

I scurried along my way. I decided that confronting a big black homeless man at 8:30 am in the morning was a lost cause. Wimp.

posted by ink| 5:44 PM |

It's just the thought of you in love with someone else. -weezer

I had an interesting conversation the other night with a friend. What is the meaning of a soulmate? If "the one" breaks up with you and moves onto someone else, does that mean that he's no longer the One? Or just that the One is fallible and has made a terrible mistake?

(Why is it that talks about true love always happen inevitably when a friend has just gone through a breakup? )

After all, assuming that everyone has a respective One, judging from the the divorce rate in the U.S. alone, obviously - not everyone ends up with the One. This would indicate that its possible for your One to be married to someone else. Even assuming that everyone has a soulmate, what happens if there's an odd number of people in the world and you're the odd person out? Who decides who gets the Joker card? After all, all 21 year old's assume they will find True Love at some point in the future. Everyone thinks they'll be the lucky ones.

Everyone in the world seems to be in search of love, whether they admit it or not. I find it amazing that all people want the same thing, but so few seem to find it. Its like molecules in a box. With two of each color. Everyone bounces around, ricocheting off of other molecules and walls, in the hopes that by chance, you'll hit the match of your own color and stick. Some people have the fortitude to do that, but can't make it stick for whatever reason. And so they're off again, bouncing around, hoping that Life will give them a second chance. Others bounce off a closely matching shade and stick, somewhat imperfectly, but they stay together, somewhat uncomfortably. And yet others are never so lucky to find anyone.

I feel like its risky that something as crucial as your happiness is left up to chance and chaos. But I guess most of Life is like that. Chance and chaos. Leave work a little later and you're on the subway with a different set of people than you would be if you'd left earlier. The molecules you've bounced into are different. Every minor decision in life affects this. But if we all thought that way all the time, we'd go slightly nutty wondering at all the possibilities we may have missed.

After I got off the phone with my friend, she was the one left feeling -much- better and I was the one left with the anxiety attack. Figures. I spent the night turning over the cosmic significance of true love and whether such things as soulmates even exist, or whether its just a construct of the human mind created because people cannot live without hope.

After much thought, I decided that its better to not think about it at all. And just trust that things will work out. There is bliss in ignorance. And I'm not sure if worrying about it will change anything besides raise my blood pressure.

I'm obviously not in the driver's seat of my own life anyways.

posted by ink| 8:35 AM |
[Monday, July 08, 2002]

Cranky Cranky CRANKY.

It's been a bitch of a weekend.

I spent the past two days hitting the pavements of Manhattan, in search of that less-than-perfect place to park my butt for the next year. Target: a roommate/share. Reasons? Money money money. I tried to avoid brokerage fees by using Craig's List. I looked for apartments where people were moving out and thus in search for new roommates. I hit about 5 places on Saturday and 6 places on Sunday.

Let me tell you, I saw some pretty shitty rooms and met some pretty sketchy people. Some highlights:

1. $1200/92nd and 1st ave: For a room that obviously used to be a pantry. One twin sized bed in there, a small dresser, and not much else.

2. $1150/90th and 1st ave: Entire second floor of a duplex to myself. Own bathroom, own jacuzzi. Sounds great, eh? That is, if you can ignore the middle aged dirty looking Japanese guy who lives on the first floor on a stained couch and has full access to your floor whenever he wants.

3. $1200/Chrystie St, between Stanton and Rivington: A room sized 11x15. The current tenants all play in bands, have multiple facial piercings, and gravity-defying hair do's. Bongs are piled up on shelves everywhere, bongo drums are in abundance, and the smell of incense and weed pervades the air. The color scheme of the apartment seemed to be walls painted black, or blood red. I think it was devastatingly apparent that I wasn't a good fit for this place as soon as I walked in the door wearing my knee-length skirt, landlord-impressing cardigan, and J. Crew flipflops. "So, what makes you interested in a music loft like this?" "Well, I'm going to be working in business. So I figured I might as well live with interesting colorful characters since work-life probably won't be too exciting." Such hot-air. Perhaps I'm cut out to be a consultant after all.

4. $1175/39th and Park Ave: Beautiful beautiful BEAUTIFUL place. The lease-holder is a huge fan of Home and Garden channel so she painted all the walls herself in these great colors. Brownstone, fireplace in the living room, backyard, spacious bedroom... It all seemed so wonderful, until two little pomeranians came hurtling at me full speed, yapping incessantly. One of them then proceeded to poop on the carpet of "my" room. Then I started to sneeze.

Two full days of this. I found one place that I liked... one. I called the girl to tell her I wanted to give her my deposit and settle things. To which she replied "um... I'd like to keep looking for a few more days." I flipped out. And yelled at her. And waved my check at her. She said she'd get back to me in two days.

Yeah right.

On a brighter note, my friend came out to me on Friday night. Yup, he's gay. Or more accurately, bisexual. Although, I get the feeling that he prefers males and just makes do with females when he hits dry spells. I imagine being bisexual must be pretty exciting. The chances of scoring skyrocket exponentially. After all, you're batting for both teams now. And you have all the beautiful gay men of New York to choose from. Hell, I want to be a gay man in New York City.

posted by ink| 7:12 PM |
[Wednesday, July 03, 2002]

I'm melting... melllllllllting.....!!! -Wicked Witch of the West

i am.
hot. sweaty. gross.

i have.
no air conditioning.
only one window.

i want to.
climb into my refrigerator. naked.

i could.
defrost the freezer with my body.
take a million more cold showers. and still not be frigid.

i will.
cuddle with the fan tonight. in bed.
three inches from my face.

posted by ink| 12:40 AM |
[Tuesday, July 02, 2002]

All that You Leave Behind.

The older I get, the more I realize that one really walks through the path of life alone. When does this realization set in? Usually when you start to become conscious of yourself and your own thoughts and desires, and no longer blindly walk the path set out for you by your parents and society. It's when you can make choices based on your own set of values, not those made for you. Friends come and go, family has their own agenda, and you - you are the one in charge of your own life and where it goes. You are the only one in charge of your dreams - the caretaker, whether they go anywhere or stay forever in their little box is up to your discretion. Friends may stand by you once in a while, but the truth is, they have their own dreams and lives to take care of also. Can you really expect them to come and take care of yours too? It's called growing up - when you step up to the responsibility and take charge. Alone. And stand strong, without any crutches to lean on.

I came to this realization last night. I was thinking about my recent choices. I made the decision to go to New York last week and take the path lined with golden nuggets. I decided to leave my dreams in the box for a little while longer so that I could walk that paved path, not because I want to, but so that I can collect the little golden nuggets along the side and place them inside my box of dreams... this way, when I pull my dreams out and dust them off to be used, I can buy shoes and a coat to clothe them with. I was thinking about this last night, and mulling over the thought of moving to New York, the hassle of finding an apartment, the ominous spectre of a strange roommate, and leaving all this behind...

All this behind... Life has a way of coming back to bite you on the butt. I started off this stage of my life peevish and churlish. I felt cheated by fate. I was unemployed. Then I was employed, doing a crackerjack job, but getting paid less than the janitors in my building. But somehow, it all turned around... And now, all this that I leave behind consists of fun co-workers, great working hours, photography and dance classes, and a life I cobbled for myself that somehow fell together in the most wonderful of ways, even despite my hot sauna of a room inside a house full of psychotic food-stealing characters. But I knew that a few more months here and it'd all start to go stale. I could feel that it was time to go.

So. Last night, as I sat in my room, the weight of my decision suddenly settled on my shoulders, and I felt alone. I closed myself in my room (I always want to be alone when I'm feeling lonely. Counterproductive, I know. But I need the space to think). I shed a few tears and wrote a couple of feverish pages in my journal. I called my best friend K and regaled him with a few rants, a few tears, and a lot of expletives. Poor guy. The last thing he needs when he's still at the office at 12:30 AM is a hysterical best friend on the phone having a minor crisis. I think a card is in order for him. After hanging up with him, I put on some Sarah McLachlan and hoped that J, the guy who's been calling me, would call tonight. So that I could feel like I'm worth something to someone, if only as potential booty. In the end, I settled down with one of my old favorite childhood books - Dealing with Dragons. A story about a princess who refuses to be rescued by princes because she happens to like living with dragons. A story about a princess who does everything wrong and against traditions. I settled down with the book in bed and read by the light of my nightstand lamp.

This morning, I woke up with the book under my rear end, slightly puffy eyes from the emotional storm of the night before, a renewed conviction, and a slight feeling of shame. Why am I such a freaking basket case? Everything will be fine.

Everything will be fine.

posted by ink| 9:00 AM |

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