Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Prefer Not To

It’s such a small thing, but sometimes hearing someone say your name when you weren’t expecting to is really kind of wonderful.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

As Seen On T.V.

Lately I'm having these moments that are hard to imagine other real life people also experiencing, although somehow it’s very easy to envision them happening to fictional characters.

Also, (perhaps related:) recently I’ve been having daydreams about growing out my hair specifically to get a haircut and handing the stylist a picture of Emily Bronte for inspiration.

I hope atleast somebody finds that as amusing as I do.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The New Yorker

So today I decided I would send away for a subscription to The New Yorker. I’ve clearly decided this somewhat against my better judgement since, as far as I can tell, it’s kind of like paying to have someone come to your house on a weekly basis and torture you with descriptions of exciting events and museums and restaurants that you can’t possibly go to, tell you unfunny and slightly pretentious jokes, and make you feel generally inept for not knowing about/appreciating certain artists and authors and books.

But at least I wouldnt be paying very much, as the price will be at a discounted “professional student rate.” Did you know that I’m a professional student? It’s news to me, too.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


– Sometimes I wonder if people who think TV is utterly ridiculous, idiotic trash that turns viewers into lobotomized zombies are aware that they’re making the same sort of argument that was being made about novel reading 150 years ago. What do you think?
– Do you remember that TV show about the girl who could stop time by pressing the tips of her index fingers together? There was one episode where she started to take advantage of her power and kept freezing time in order to get done with her homework before all the other kids. I think this would be a really great superpower to have, although using it to do homework seems pretty lame, if you ask me.

– There are many reasons to have a crush on Jason Bateman’s character in Arrested Development, but the most obvious is his unwavering loyalty to his bicycle. That show needs to slip into a new time slot so that I may view it once again.

Ah... Tonight, tonight is a very different kind of usual night. Tonight feels strange to me. Somewhat novel to my system. I feel as though maybe I had just moved to Berkeley. Or that I am still only visiting. When will I come to call this home?

When I was younger I used to try to imagine myself all grown up but I never could, the face and body and future were always blurry and would come in and out of focus, like a photograph trying to decide if it wanted to be developed.
Eventually I became a bit worried that this psychic failure might mean something, that it was a bad omen, that I was going to be the victim of a gruesome and improbable accident like an Edward Gorey character and then never make it to grownuphood. When you’re a kid the number of ways to die seems infinite, and I imagined the airplanes we always heard overhead crashing into the house or the ceiling fan in my bedroom coming unhinged, taking flight and chopping me to bits during the night.

I suppose it is somewhat reassuring to now know that my inability to picture some other, older version of myself wasn’t because I wouldn’t exist so much as it was a mysterious case of a simultaneous lack of and overactive imagination.

Feeling anxious or guilty or mismatched because you are not sad or upset or regretful about something you had expected to feel those things about is maybe one of the silliest things in the whole world.

But oh. I wouldn’t put it past me.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Brownings

It seems slightly crazy (in the best possible way) that Robert Browning began his introductory letter to Elizabeth Barrett Browning like this:
I do, as I say, love these books with all my heart -- and I love you too.

I wish I'd had time to read all of their letters and in their proper order, but because I didn't I scanned the pages impatiently for anything that looked particularly dramatic and promising, and discovered that by page 38 they were both calling one another "dearest" and unabashedly proclaiming their love. I sort of wish I had known about the Brownings when I was 14, because it would've been nice to have known that such a relationship had existed and could exist, that it was possible to have creative collaboration and (for girls who wanted to be writers to have) happy endings. Maybe if I had, I wouldn't have wasted quite so much time sunk in stupid fantasies about being Ted and Sylvia.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Lately I’ve been wondering an awful lot about how we (“we” meaning you and me and everybody else) get to the point of convincing ourselves that certain pieces of our personality are inflexible, immobile. Mountains not to be moved. I mean those pieces that we don’t like, the ones that we don’t even have any real proof of being unchangeable (other than the flimsy excuse of inertia). Seriously. What’s going on there?
Not so long ago I was reading the journal of someone I know (or maybe it’d be more accurate to say someone I used to know or may one day know again), and came across a part in which this person declared that he was worried that he had some inherent capacity to always be sad or dissatisfied or something equally despondent. My first reaction (which I’m sure would have surprised him very much) was to want to tell him that I somehow deep down did not believe this, that I thought he was made of something stronger than this. Truthfully I’m not sure what I was basing this on, and I’m not even sure if I’m right. But how does he know he’s right, either? It seems pretty terrible to be sentenced to thinking of yourself as being one particular way forever, to be convinced of your inability to alter that, for (perhaps) no reason other than familiarity and habit. History can tell you about the future, but it’s not really supposed to predict it, right?

Maybe it’s unfair to use someone else as an example, though, so I will tell you this: I’ve been really afraid, for as far back as my memory will crawl, of wearing people out, of exhausting their good opinions of me, of being left because I was “too much work.” This has happened all too often, though (at least, as far as I know. What other possible reasons would people have decided, "Nope... can't talk to you anymore..."). So what created this fear, and why is it so instinctive? Why does it continue to linger and how the fuck do I get rid of it?

Lately, my heartbeat seems so conspicuous.

childhood fears:

moving to mexico
not growing up (1)
car accidents
junior high school
cancer (and diabetes)
Unsolved Mysteries
being buried alive (2)

grown up fears: (3)

being mediocre (4)
making bad decisions
bad teeth (5)
getting old alone
Roe vs. Wade being overturned
not being understood (6)
“writer’s block” (7)


1. This led to a self-imposed cartoon ban at age 10 for fear that if I didn’t stop watching them then, I’d end up being 35 years old and still watching DuckTales or something.

2. Okay, I was a creepy little kid. Maybe I read too many Poe stories? I remember thinking that a glass casket like Snow White’s was the way to go. You know, just in case.

3. Relatively speaking here.

4. e.g., Of Human Bondage

5. This may or may not have something to do with the childhood memory of being punished for having perfectly straight teeth. Seriously.

6. e.g., The Catcher in the Rye

7. Fuck me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I’m all kinds of out of sorts today. I’m not sure that sentence even makes sense, but I’m going with it anyway.

I am at the coffee shop down the street from where I live and it is very very busy and noisy and it is making me fantastically agitated. I have my laptop out and my mom on the phone through my ear-peice. I’m pretty sure I’ll catch on fire shortly as penance for attempting to be technologically advanced. Well, at least I don’t have an Ipod, so maybe I’ll only suffer minor burns. I thought coffee shops were equivalent to libraries in regard to noise level. Apparently I’m not enough of a coffee shop afficionado. They probably don’t even call them coffee shops anymore.

Some young girls, six of them, are next to me, playing cards. They are at that precise age where they still like their parents and have slumber parties (without alcohol and drugs). They are completely awkward and haven’t grown into their real bodies yet. Free of makeup and thongs. Lankiness. Braces. How I envy their innocence. Truly.

I hope the older ladies behind me aren’t reading this. As if they really care, or can see font this small from where they’re sitting. Really. How self absorbed I am.

Like I was saying, I’m in a panic today. I haven’t felt this, on the edge, feeling in quite a while. I’m not having a panic attack or anything (unless I don’t even know it), but I feel like if anyone asks me anything the wrong words will spill out of my mouth.

Random person: You think it’s going to rain today?
agreenleaf: Soylent Green is people!!!

So, I think I’m going to avoid discussion where possible.

Some sort of switch needs to be flipped in my life. I am out of control. Please. Do the honor. Flip that fucker. What? I have to do it?

[Old ladies to the rear have left and now a younger person (hence better eyesight) is behind me and making me super fucking anxious. He’s moving chairs and shit around. Walking around the table for the seven thousandth time, like my friend Megan’s dog that is always circling. Always. Circling.

Also, I don’t know how this guy across from me can study while the six girls play some loud and fast moving card game that involves lots of hands being slapped down in the wooden table right in front of him. I wonder if he thinks about any of the girls. You know what I mean.]

There is a little baby near me. Well, she’s probably 1 ½ or so. I want to hold her adorably soft chubby teeny hand. I think that would fix all of my problems.

I think we might be entering the Era of the Great Hermit-ing of 2005.