May 03


It’s really starting to feel like summer. This is very exciting for a couple of reasons: 1) I am wearing a cute knee length denim skirt today and it’s not that often that I get to feel all that cute. Mostly I feel like I just get by. Not today, though! Today I am wearing a necklace and earrings and a skirt. Seriously, this is very cute. 2) I got to go for a walk around Greenlake yesterday with one of my co-workers and that was very nice too. I was going to swim but by the time I could tell it was going to be nice there was no way I was going to exercise by shutting myself up in a windowless box full of chlorine. I love that walk…it takes about an hour if you walk medium fast and gossip with your co-worker and discuss your mutual desire to be in a band, and there are plenty of weird people to look at as you walk. There’s Power Walking Rope Neck, there’s Intently Rollerblading Guy, there are many many Stroller Joggers, and several gaggles of So-What-Did-You-Say-To-Him Girls, all in their precious tracksuits with their darling little ponytails. Yesterday Marisol and I saw (twice) this really cool looking girl wearing the single greatest summer dress I have ever seen. Black, flounced knee length skirt, embroidered flowers. And she had a very beautiful tattoo on the back of her neck that just really set off the whole ensemble.

I think I want to get a tattoo too. Yes, I am twenty-eight, and why, yes, my ten year high school reunion is coming up and I don’t happen to feel as though I have accomplished much since 1993, having neither a) written a novel or b) perished dramatically of undying unrequited love. I thought maybe a tattoo would help distract people’s attention from my stunning lack of ambition. You think? If I got it on my forehead? That would be distracting, don’t you think? Instead of, “So, Chiara? What are you doing now? Didja ever write that novel or star in that TV show like you said you were going to?” people would be like “So, Chiara… WHAT IS THAT ON YOUR HEAD?” And then I could go, all nonchalant, “Oh, not much, how about you?” Wouldn’t that rule?

There are only a couple of problems with this plan, and they are that I don’t like pain and I don’t know what kind of tattoo to get or where to get it. I mean, where on my body, because heaven knows there are plenty of clean well-lit reputable tattoo artistry establishments in Seattle. That’s not the problem. Dawn of the ABL has some really gorgeous (and big)Chinese characters down her back, which she spent a long time choosing, but I hear that she cried the whole time it was being done. My sister has an ankle and a hip, and she said they didn’t hurt. Moxie has one on her chest and one on her back, and I remember everything she went through to cover them up for her wedding, but I don’t know if they hurt her. I don’t know. What could I get? Three toed sloth? Jellyfish? Orchid? I don’t really have anything that’s really me, you know, like some people love penguins (hi Abi!) or they love cipollini onions or they love Mt. Rainier, and everyone knows this about them, and people get them stuffed mountain ranges and penguin mugs and books about onions for their birthdays and it’s like that’s their symbol, like if you ever see a cipollini onion you immediately think of your friend, and when he finally gets one done on his thigh for his ten year high school reunion, people go, “Oh, man, Fred! That’s the greatest tattoo ever! That is totally you.” Nothing like that. As I have mentioned before, I used to be into the three-toed sloth thing pretty heavily when I was I college, and if I’d gotten a tattoo then that is almost certainly what I would have had, but now? Not so much. Not that I don’t like three-toed sloths still (and two-toed, for that matter…pretty much anything slothy) but I don’t identify with them in the same way. So what can I do? I don’t know. You guys send me some ideas, okay?

This isn’t really about wanting a for-real tattoo, by the way. It’s just that I’m in the mood to get in some trouble, which is greatly at odds with my general desire to be safe and secure and predictable. I’m just feeling a little too safe and secure and predictable. I’ve thought about starting a band, but I don’t play an instrument, and I’ve thought about having a wild affair, but I don’t know anyone I could have one with. Drinking’s out because I can’t seem to acquire the taste. I don’t know. What am I supposed to do? You all send me some ideas about that, too, okay?

Oddly enough, given the above paragraph, the other reason I am glad it’s summer is more about what I’m not doing, and that’s being unemployed as I was last summer and the summer before that. This is not to say I wouldn’t appreciate a summer vacation just as much as anyone else, or that I am so attached to my work that I don’t want to leave it for a minute. It’s just that I’m still…still!…grateful to be working and getting a paycheck, and I remember very well the rising panic with every resume sent, with every week that passed that I didn’t get a call back. It’s really nice not to have to worry about that, although the stability of working does open up some extra brain space for more WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE sorts of worries. But still, I’m glad that this summer I won’t be sleeping late and spending all day looking for work and then feeling ashamed when I got my unemployment check every week. I may just be getting on the bus and sitting in a chair and going to lunch and sitting in a chair some more and then getting back on the bus, but still. It’s good. I think.

I do have some good plans this summer…my knitting class starts in July, for one thing, and so that means that I will learn more than one stitch (I am hoping to upgrade to two stitches) and that ought to be pretty fun, don’t you think? There’s the ABL party, and John and Treasa’s wedding (I HAVE to get plane tickets) and there’s being single for July again, just like last year. This year Carl is going to be in DC for the month, spending time with the other people he works with. There are some parties to go to around here. And finally, there’s Burning Man. Yup, I’m going. I haven’t figured out how yet, exactly, but I’m going to go. I haven’t been for three years, and I have no idea how this year is going to compare to that one, if my Freak Tolerance has changed or what. But that’s where I’ll be for Labor Day Weekend this year, if you were thinking of inviting me to your cookout. (You were, weren’t you?) So that’s another good thing about summer, yes? It’s all coming together now.