Friday, November 28, 2008


I found a tunnel that led into my dreams. It was out in the woods, but not too hard to find. So I took a bunch of my friends, and we wandered around. My dreams sometimes looked like a city with a confusing public transportation system, but other parts of them just looked like a mall. They were mostly under construction. I assumed I'd be able to fly and do whatever I wanted to, but every time I tried just left me lying flat on my face.

The bus to the exit only ran twice a day, so I had to make sure we left in time to catch it. I didn't want people running around in my dreams at all hours. I found some people, but John Kim was missing. We sent out search parties, checked out all the stores and alleyways, but he was nowhere to be found. We stopped in a coffee store to regroup, and decided to leave without him.

At the bus stop, I turned on my iPod. It was playing Crash and Burn by Radiohead. This seemed somehow wrong. So I tried scrolling back to the menu, where things really started to fall apart. Some of the songs didn't even have names, and the ones that were there didn't make any sense. It dawned on me that being inside my dream was itself a dream. I tried the flying thing again, but just fell...and fell and fell, into my parents' family room as it looked in 1989. But this time I knew for sure the whole tunnel into my dream thing had been a dream, and this was, too. So I started flying around for a while until I got bored. I don't care what you say, flying around your parents' family room is never very exciting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I arrived in Costa Rica, which is kind of like Disneyland, and also kind of like an airport. There were turnstiles at the entrance, and then a kind of waiting area. The American tourists had a special area on one side with leather chairs and their own bartender. I stuck with the locals on the other end, waiting for a bus up to the top of the large hill that was visible from one end of the waiting area.

My bus driver was pretty cool. But when we got up to the top of the hill, he dared me to ride a skateboard all the way down on the main road, which ended on a dock and would send me straight out to sea. To be honest, I was scared shitless, but I said, "Sure, whatever."

Luckily, it started to rain just as I was about to take the plunge. The whole hillside went dark like it was moved inside a barn. Everyone in the town was sitting outside with their families at backyard picnic tables when the storm started, and they continued on with sharing their meals and company like nothing was happening, even though they were getting soaked. I waited out the deluge, dreading the aftermath.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

musical journalism bus

The musical journalism bus is a moving city landmark. Kids line up outside the bus depot all day, practicing their saxophones and violins and various percussion instruments, just hoping for a chance to take a ride. I was showing some friends around the city, and they all wanted to get on. Unfortunately, none of us had any musical skills. I considered auditioning with my singing, but everyone in the group quickly vetoed that idea.

Somehow we all managed to sneak onto the bus without having our credentials checked, but some jerky kid with a flute ratted us out. As the bus pulled out onto the street, the door flew open and we were pushed to the front, where a militant looking woman started to pull us off the moving bus.

"I'm not jumping off a moving bus!" I said.

"Yes you are," she said, giving me a final push. I exaggerated my recent ankle injury as I hopped down, hoping to make her feel bad. People who kick other people off moving buses are among my top ten least favorite kinds of people.

It turns out one of our friends had been holding out on us. In fact, he was kind of a scratch clarinet player. We caught up with him a few hours later when the bus dropped him off near one of the bridges. He showed us all of the pamphlets he'd received. We oohed and aahed over all the insider information on interview techniques and fact checking. "If I had known if was a stupid journalism seminar," he said, "I would have gotten off with the rest of you."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the worst

In a horrible twist of fate, George W. Bush was re-instated as the president elect. He was also my brother. As he waited for the 2009 inauguration, he made me take a trip with him down to Mexico to put our parents into a cheap retirement home. I was unhappy with all aspects of this situation.

We got in a fight in the parking lot outside the Mexico City Costco. I made the mistake of asking him about his plans for his next four years of the presidency.

"Leave me alone!" he screamed. "I don't fucking want to think about it. I'm just gonna do it, okay?" The tires of our SUV squealed as he pulled into a parking spot that was much too small. We had to crawl out through the back door because there was no room on the sides.

"But you must have some kind of plan, right?" I was having trouble getting my knee over the back headrest. "There's a lot of stuff you have to fix."

"Whatever," he said. He jumped out and left me tangled in the seats.

I caught up with him in the electronics section, where we struggled to figure out the current exchange rate for the peso. W was convinced we should be getting 23 pesos on the dollar.

"But what about inflation?" I asked him.

"Fuck you," he said. He flipped me off and headed for the vegetables.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

stupid beavers

It started out innocently enough. Crossing a small park near my apartment, I noticed a beaver rustling around in the dead leaves. He was dragging a large saw with his mouth. Not like a chainsaw or anything crazy like that. Just your normal, old-timey-lumberjack-cutting-down-trees-in-the-woods kind of saw. It seemed like a reasonable thing for a beaver to do, especially in dam-building season. I pointed it out and said, "Isn't that cute?"

But then the beaver followed us home. I tried to keep him out, but that's hard to do when your apartment has no roof. The beaver clambered up the side of the building and tailed me around the family room like a lonely puppy. I tried to get him to leave me alone, but he started going nuts, scurrying around the apartment and bouncing off the walls. My roommate told me I should let him sit on the couch with me, that he would get bored and go away. But that just made him worse. Once he got up on the couch, he invited his dog friend along, and they both howled and panted and got dog and beaver slobber all over me. It was the worst. Never ever let a beaver in your apartment.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Me and everyone I know were Batman, and the Joker demanded a face-to-face meeting to resolve things once and for all. But it was a trick. His designated meeting place was a maze of wonders, full of beautiful gardens and amazing sights and challenging intellectual puzzles. We spent hours following his route, marveling at every turn and patting ourselves on the back for our wits and sense of adventure, while back in Gotham crime raged unchecked.

Friday, November 7, 2008

tomato garden

My dad has this amazing tomato garden. Red ones and orange ones and purple ones and yellow ones. He keeps them plump and juicy with an elaborate irrigation system rigged up to the roof drains. The pipes and tomato plants wind all around the house and into the garden like stringy pumpkin innards. You can hardly breathe without inhaling a tomato. Now my dad's threatening to take out all the drains and just let the rain fall where it may. I think this is a bad decision.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

my shiny derelict future

I was an old homeless woman who had been living on the same street corner for twenty-five years. That stability was the reason I was able to get such a good rate on car insurance. The agent cut me an excellent deal, and told me so as he shoved me up against the hood of a nearby car and pressed my face into the windshield. "The only reason I'm even giving an old hag like you any deal at all is because I know where you live, and I know I'll always be able to find you here," he said. "You got that?"

Then he had me fill out a form indicating all of the items in the lunch box my mother still made for me every morning. The rate went up slightly because I had switched from cheddar thins to whole wheat crackers, which seems counterintuitive, but who knows what crazy algorithm these insurance agents use to figure this stuff out.

The insurance wasn't actually for a car. I haven't driven in years, not since I moved to New York. But the fancy new subway cars require it. You know, the ones NASA designed? They strap you in like you're riding a roller coaster and take you from stop to stop elevated several thousand feet above the city. It's a big rush, but they haven't worked all the kinks out yet, so proof of insurance is still required.