just got back from a weekend in chicago with eliina, amanda, kirsten and cleo. over the course of 2.5 days, i…

DRANK: good beer in smoky geek-chic dive bar; bad beer in cheesy-loud country western bar; peaceful slurpies on eliina’s balcony; mexican hot chocolate in cozy coffee shop with amanda; cups of fresh-ground, eliina-brewed coffee each morning.

ATE: a dill havarti sandwich, butter cookie and macaroni salad from al’s deli [bob and john from the deli were happy to see me and told me to call next time before i come]; whole-wheat pasta with sauteed grape tomatoes and spinach [made by amanda and i]; peanut butter cookie dough ice cream [in madison, wi. while looking at grad schools for kirsten]; buttermilk pancakes [kirsten, eliina and i took turns pouring and flipping and then ate them communally with our fingers by dipping into a dish of maple syrup].

PLAYED: by hanging around on the beach with eliina’s dog henry [who is eliina herself compacted into a puppy personality]; by singing a song with eliina et. al. about al’s deli; by dancing crazily to bad country-western music in aforementioned country-western bar; by browsing a used bookstore in search of destiny [cleo found this instead].

WISHED: that it were easier to figure out what to do with our lives; that it were not already sunday evening as the rain poured down and charlie drove and we listened to ‘all that you can’t leave behind’; that it were not 11 pm in the anesthetized o’hare airport where we waited for our delayed [delayed, delayed] flight; that every weekend could be like this weekend for ever and ever.

I would write more in this weblog about the day-to-day, but I really can’t. I just can’t get it. When you write down a memory, something leeches out, the light and life (for some reason I’m thinking of Tinkerbell dying). And so you have to infuse something back in. And whatever this mysterious infusion is, I can’t get it right now. I cannot convey how _______ it was to walk down Georgia Ave. yesterday in the sun, all the random chaos of that street bubbling but not affecting us, people yelling, sauntering, stooping on doorsteps, past liquor stores and antique stores and take-out chicken places and cop cars stopped along the side of the road. I was walking with Emily, a frail, artsy college freshman from Maine who works at my organization as a work-study job. We talked about what she wants to do when she grows up, how she used to ride horses, and how it is in Maine. The sun was shining a perfect 65 degrees, no wind, our walk was 15 minutes long, and we had plenty of time.

The trouble with reading self-helpish books in public is that then everyone knows your problems. For example, I would really like to read my copy of What Should I Do with My Life? on the bus today. But you know…. I’m not sure if I can bring myself to do it. Everyone will know that I’m a confused little chickie. The book itself is bright red and yellow and has the title written in enormous block letters. It’s like a big, red zit advertising your angst.

I wonder if my crises are seasonal. Perhaps I have an annual spring freakout. Let’s see:

March ’01: Really, really out of it.

Feb. ’02: Painting houses in Portland?

Feb. ’03: Montessori school teacher! Librarian!

And actually, about one year ago I apparently wondered if my thoughts went in yearly cycles. Ha.

“Get. Up. Get up! Go back to where you come from!” –crazy Nigerian cab driver to seagull in road

Later, he began to sing under his breath, “I just called to say I love you…” He also took us down a tiny alley the width of the cab. Which was actually from Fairfax, VA and which had a $126 fare run up on the meter. When I brought this up, he asked me if my money was green. Yes, I replied. Yes.

Everyone in my office is buckled down working hard on their NCAA tournament brackets. The grand-prize winner in our pool receives a whopping $35. I have no idea what any of these teams are like. Neither does anyone else in the office, except the person who organized this pool. So we’re all sitting here yelling things like, “It’s gotta be Maryland!! We live in Maryland!!!” And: “Which is closer to Kansas City, Oklahoma or Memphis? Who’s got the geography?”

In other news, one of my boss’s friends has brought in his one-year old. She’s a tiny tiny half-Korean child toddling around in a miniature Barbie pink sweatsuit, with a pink barrette in her fine black hair, chasing a wind-up hamster.

“You were the kid in school who always did her projects wrong, weren’t you?” — Brooke, my co-worker