[my diary]
an occasional feature



I read a book where a woman detailed what she did in her typical day. Sounds like it could be dull but it was really interesting. Now, I'm not saying my day was interesting, but it was kinda typical, so here it is

My Day

by Jessamyn West age 29

08:45.....wake up to trash being collected, drink juice, take vitamins
09:15.....mess with my journal, send email, read listserv
10:15.....tell fixit guy to please stop walking by my windows five times a day. he gives me a passive aggressive grunting style answer indicating that I have just made things more difficult for myself
10:45.....go to Fred Hutchinson to donate blood and get $60 [you can too if you're type AB]
11:30.....go home, eat oatmeal, go to library on the bus
12:00.....work in the writer's room at the library on my articles for the Encyclopedia of African American Politics, make miserable progress
03:30.....return to hall, clean kitchen [not mine] and open doors for Mature Friends group
03:45....pay bills with my swifty on-line bank
04:30.....make lunch, lament my insanely messy kitchen, Eric stops by with his new long board
05:30.....win tickets to some show at the Crocodile tonight by knowing how to spell H [aitch]
05:45.....make hummus, further ruining my kitchen, decide to do dishes, this takes nearly an hour
06:30.....Peter comes over & we all go to the beach & eat food & talk about kites
08:30.....everyone returns to my house, sits in my pseudo-living room , plays with my cat, takes digital photos. Eric checks his email. we all read newspapers, just like in the New Yorker.
11:00.....it is becoming clear that we are not going to the Crocodile, I make coffee & tea for Eric
11:30.....I go upstairs to clean up after the Mature Friends, Peter goes up to ride Eric's new skateboard in the upper hall, I toy with the microphone and squash bugs in the kitchen
12:00.....Eric comes up and we ruminate on the slant of the floor, it seems to bow up in the middle
12:30.....Peter and Eric take off after helping me lug four bags of trash down the stairs
01:00.....I return email, work on my journal, play with the cat and lament my messy kitchen


[zombeeee!] This has got to be the first day in a long while that I have woken up, got coffee, checked my email and found nothing. My first idea was that my email was broken [which happens occasionally] and my second was to laugh and say get over yourself and get out of the house which is what I'm going to do.

Last night the Odd Fellows had their annual Strawberry Feed which is a big dessert party where they invite the other lodges to come eat with them. It went as well as any event I've seen hosted entirely by married men: no one knew how to work the electric teapot, there wasn't enough whipped cream, no one wanted to clean up and everyone drank decaf coffee. I spent most of my time with the 8 to 10 year old set.

Is anyone else completely unsurprised at the rash of shootings in public high schools lately? I know that when I went to public school I spent a good deal of time plotting how to kill various administrators, teachers and taunting classmates.


I've been leading a double life: getting up with my Mom and hanging out all day, then sending her off to her B&B at 9 and then going out at night for five more hours. This is not a sustainable lifestyle but she's only going to be here for two more days. Last night I went out to see Pete Krebs at the Owl & Thistle where he plays free every Monday. He was incredible and worth missing Bowling Night for.

Tonight I went to visit my bowling buddy at work on my way out to get some beer. Halfway to Safeway I decided I didn't really need any beer and headed home for some rest instead. When I turned the corner onto my street there was an unopened, full can of beer in the middle of the sidewalk waiting for me like a stray puppy. I took it home.


[neat, huh?] Sometimes I just think I'm a supergenius. This can have to do with doing volunteer work with people who are not supergenii [guess who worked at Folklife today?] or it can have to do with the manic fits of creativity I sometimes get when I'm avoiding work and stuck in my house. My brilliant plan: Folklife Bingo! Kind of like auto bingo which is for those times when the family is trapped with each other in the car -- this is for families trapped at Folklife. With useful categories like belly button tattoo and guy in a dress it's fun for everyone and has a great graphic of that curious dead chicken logo they have this year. Find me at the info booth and I'll give you one.

My Mom is in town and we are going to Folklife for the next few days. Usually my Dad comes out for Bumbershoot, now I am hoping to get my Mom to come out more regularly for Folklife.


Unlike most people who are going to call in sick tomorrow, I called in sick today [on my one day work week, yes I feel kind of bad about it...] and skipped town to go to Vancouver with my secret agent pal who had some microfilm to deliver. I brought some porno mags just in case we got stopped at the border [which we did, but they didn't want to look in my backpack] and we spent most of the day just walking around in another country.


[Sojourner Truth could kick your ass!] I spent most of yesterday at the library doing research for the Encyclopedia of African American Politics. I am writing over a hundred articles that average about 75 words each. It pays about eight cents a word. You do the math. I will get a copy of the book when it's done, too.

Seattle Public has this snooty writer's room on the first floor where you can lock your stuff up, use a special reference collection and sit and do your very important work in a special room away from the riff raff [myself included] that inhabits every other square inch of the library. As near as I can tell, you just need to be a published author working on a contract. That's me! If I get to be one of the 15 prestigious authors invited to work there, you are hereby invited to the grand opening.


This month's party was fun as hell. There was a lot of good food and a lot of good loot to be traded. I personally came away with a toaster, a dustbuster, some sweatpants, some pants, a scratcher for P/Zesto, two t-shirts [I also got rid of two t-shirts, so it is a zero sum deal], some dried flowers, a book on revolutionary women and a bag for my laptop.


[alley cats] Last night Anne and I travelled to Redmond to go watch fixed gear bicycle racing at the Marymoor Velodrome. Velodromes are those steeply angled bicycle tracks. This one is outdoors and for a scant $3 admission [plus donations which go to the winners of certain races, some people give beer or cookies] you get to sit right on the edge of the track [or in the bleachers] and watch about ten races while music plays over the PA. For eight dollars more, you can actually race, though most of the racers looked pretty experienced. My favorite race was the Kiddie Kilo, featuring the 3-10 year old set.


I really do like this caretaking gig. How often to you get to hear people say "sorry I didn't drop the check off, the high priest brought the goddess down on me and I was a little out of it..."? [yeah, right]

I went swimming yesterday. Once my hair dries, I may go again.

And, now that I have the okay from Dad: "Mom knows about my changing situation, so HTML away I say" I can now announce that my father is getting married. Fortunately, he's as weird as I am and is marrying someone he kissed for the first time last week [and also his former secretary]. I will have two new stepsiblings, one of whom may be in the Coast Guard by the wedding.


I missed a reading by Chinua Achebe last night by not knowing what date it was. I need to get more on the ball.

[just] Todays project -- silkscreening! I haven't done any silkscreening since I was in a silkscreen club in seventh grade, but I am a big fan of words on t-shirts and the stencil/spray paint thing just wasn't cutting it for me. I made an orange t-shirt that says just in brown letters. So far so good.


I started an index to these pages. Hey, I may be a geek with too much time on my hands but at least I don't have a job.

You know, my life is amusing sometimes. No less than 12 hours after writing the above line in my journal, someone called to offer me a job. I am not joking. Basically this group called Children's Family Trust or Trusting Children and Family or whatever has a big grant to teach Internet skills to parents at the city's Family Centers. I think they'd like me to help them out. Funny, huh?


[too much coffee] Here is my best argument yet for why I really need to be getting a full eight hours of sleep a night: I made espresso this morning and forgot to put the little coffee catcher underneath the coffee spitter. Then I went to check my email. Mayhem ensued. There is coffee in my toaster, my cupboard, my trash can, and my rice steamer. Not to mention in every nook and cranny of my coffee maker. The worst part was, while cleaning all this up, I couldn't help thinking "damn, I really need a cup of coffee to help me deal with this."


I finished one more stamp and am taking suggestions for the fourth in the series.

Last night I got three free tickets to see the Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox. Highlight of the game was someone telling me that a member of the CWS's nickname was The Big Hurt [and his corporation Big Hurt Enterprises]. I can still count the number of times I have been to a professional sporting event on one hand and I hope they find a really nice use for the Kingdome.


[gratuitous] Happy Cinco de Mayo, another wonderful holiday celebrating people trying to keep their culture free of imperialist [in this case, French] oppression! Fortunately there is some Corona beer left in my fridge after last month's party so I can celebrate it in spirit, just like the people in the Irish bar a few doors down.

Speaking [loosely] of coronas, there was supposed to be some auroral activity in the sky last night but I lay out on a blanket with some friends of mine for a while and saw nothing. I think I may start spreading rumors of weird nighttime sky activity just to get people to go lay outside in the dark, it's a really good thing to do.


There's going to be a free reggae festival in upstate Vermont this summer when I'm going to be on the farm. Anyone who's considering visiting, I would recommend July 17-18.

I'm happy the Unabomber gets to live.


[wooden boat] The teach-in was cool and I slept through the opening day of boat season and then slept later on the beach some more. The teach-in definitely attuned me even more to the differences between progressive politics and radical politics but also highlighted the similarities betwen those groups compared to the status quo [when I just checked this link, it said "Ten Ways To Save on Dogs" does it still?]. Kevin Danaher spoke from from Global Exchange and he was really interesting, though I switched to coloring [did you know that crayon boxes now have 96 colors including purple mountains majesty] when the questions started coming.

I have also been working on some stamp art, what do you think? Here's another one.


April was The Month of Foot Traffic and Loot. I think I got more free tickets in April than I have in the rest of 1998. This month is already warming up to be The Month My Friends Went Crazy... but if you think I'm talking about you, get over yourself.

[return to
 normal] Actually, it's May Day today which is Labor Day in the rest of the world. It's also Beltane celebrating fertility in all things. May Day is a good day not to go to work, to sing a lot, and to decorate your house and your person with all that is Spring-y. There's also a lot of interesting radical activist stuff going on in town including a protest to overturn the Anarchy and Sabotage statute still on the books, a teach-in on the MAI and a panel discussion on Rebuilding a Fighting Labor Movement. I'll be at the UW watching a giant puppet show and working only enough to open the doors for the Carnelian Lodge [formerly the Emerald Lodge].

Go to April
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