Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Thanks For The Meme (ory)

Weez memed me a week ago and I somehow missed it. I'm a bad blogger! Bad blogger! Without further to-do...The Reading Meme:

Total number of books I’ve owned. Who would know this? This question reminds me of a story I read in Zoetrope. It was about a moving library—a bus, in fact—that was manned by an old-guy librarian and housed everything that its occupant (it changed depending on who stepped in) had ever, ever, ever read. Anyways, my answer is...many books.

Last book I bought. Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino by Emily W. Leider

Look at this cover! For obvious reasons, this photograph is called the "trance portrait." I cannot put this book down. I'm completely sucked into the era, the clothing, the crazy mixed-up gender issues, the New York scandals, the Hollywood drama, everything. Did you know Valentino started out as a taxi dancer in New York? He was a "tango pirate." That's a good Halloween costume idea for you gents: tango pirate. Technically, I didn't buy this book; I snapped it up for free thanks to my Books, Inc. frequent buyer card.

Last book I read. Hmmm. I'm reading a lot of books right now (I've done this since I was little; a whole stack on the floor beside my bed), but the last one I finished was The Snow Fox by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. A novel of 12th century Japan, both beautiful and creepy. Good for the beach.

Five books that mean a lot to me.
1) Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
2) The Third Woman: Minority Women Writers of the United States edited by Dexter Fisher. This was a text from a class I took during my second year at SFSU in 19ahemahem. It was my first look at Jessica Hagedorn, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorna Dee Cervantes, and many more. This is what I call my "well, loookee here," book.
3) Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love this book. I stole it from my high school. I have read it every summer since I was sixteen. This and #4 represent the pure joy of reading.
4) Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. This is the first book I can remember reading on my own. I was dead to the world, splayed out on my groovy rainbow comforter, just hanging out with Harriet.
5) Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

Five people I'm sending this meme to. I think I'll pass this on to my family, since I have no idea what will make their lists: Kuya Mike, Lui (if she ever updates, ever), Paqui, Toya, and Dets.

Tune In Tomorrow

My brother-in-law extraordinnaire, Bill, is a member of Animotion, the 80s band that had us all sizing up our romantic conquests while thinking like a buttah-fly, a wild buttah-fly, I will collect you and capture yoooouuuu.... (That's him singing on Obsession!)

I mention this now because tomorrow night—yes, tomorrow night!—Bill and his bandmates will take NBC's Hit Me Baby 1 More Time stage by storm and hopefully stomp Juice Newton, PM Dawn, Missing Persons, and Shannon into pop music pulp with their performance of Dirty Vegas' "Days Go By."

And now tell me. How fun is that?!! It could only be more fun if Pat Benatar was on, too, singing Shakira's "Wherever, Whenever."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Inspired by ADT: A Reluctant Confession


I believe that Britney Spears could turn her entire career around by performing a cover of Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." I believe this.

Love ya like Pat loves Neil.

My Last Ever Gym Post..

...I (almost) promise.

Allow me to present the recent cast of characters who provide much viewing pleasure while I listen to my iPod and do my time:

Snake Woman.This is a 50-year-old woman (I heard her reveal her age to someone) with a butt so toned that if the situation warranted, she could use it to protect herself and at least seven others from a hail of bullets. I call her Snake Woman because even though she's at the gym in 2005 and not at a disco in 1972, she always wears one of those gold snake cuffs up over her left bicep. Really.

Not-Quite Guy.This is a man—I'd say he's 58 or so—who knows everyone at the gym. He's pleasant-looking, he works his socializing in between sets, he always smiles. There is almost nothing amiss about this guy. I have dubbed him the Not-Quite Guy, though, because he pulls his pants up too high like Martin Short's Ed Grimley character. So...not quite.

Amazing Old Guys.There are two of them, each at least 70 years old. One is of undetermined European origin, complete with one of those accents that turns "w's" into "v's." The other is Chinese. Neither one can claim to be more than 5'2". But both could kick your ass. They do stuff like perform fifty handstand push-ups with 20-lb. weights strapped to each ankle. And they talk to no one; especially not each other.

Gazelle. Thirty years old, maybe. She is thick, she is short-legged, yes. But put her on the treadmill and she is a thing to behold. She extends her legs fully, she maintains frightening speed and amazing posture. When I arrive she is running, and when I leave? Still running.

Sparkplug. Think Fred Flinstone in running shoes. The most unlikely candidate for superior cardio performance. And yet I've seen him run for an hour straight without breaking form or sweating. Well, okay, he sweats, but it's not flying off and splashing the people on either side of him. Also no taller than 5'2".

The Great Pretender. This is a 30ish woman who never actually works out. She sits on a mat in front of a mirror and reads a book while pretending to stretch. The footstep-shaped id tags hanging from the side of her shorts mean that her two children are down in the KidWatch area, though, so I can't really blame her. Gotta find your moments somehow, some way.

Perhaps I am in one of their blog posts. Maybe I'm "Unfocused Woman Who Stares at Other People" or "Wimpy Woman on the Elliptical Thingy" or "Woman Who Steals the New Yorker From the Magazine Rack."

Monday, June 27, 2005

Taking Suggestions

In an almost unheard of aligning of the planets, The Date Night Gods/Goddesses have granted me and the spousal unit an evening to ourselves this coming Thursday. A movie—like in an actual movie theatre with greasy movie theatre popcorn and bouncy movie theatre seats, and corny movie theatre music and endless movie theatre movie trailers—will almost certainly be involved.

And so I ask those of you who enjoy a little more roaming freedom than the two of us...what movie do you suggest? I'm becoming attached to the idea of Mad Hot Ballroom, but a documentary might be a hard-sell. Still...the trailers/clips are killing me! What could be more hysterical than a group of 5th grade New York City public school boys being scolded with, "Gentlemen, where are my tango faces?!"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Tag!—I'm Not It

So, Ian tagged me with the question What relaxes you? He did this, this tagging, days ago. And I haven't responded because I am paralyzed by the question.

People—certain people, lately—have been confused by my blogging and have wondered directly to my little blogging face why I choose (in their words) to "reveal" so much about myself and my family. I believe the exact query was, "Why? Why do you do it?" This struck me as a touch dramatic. As if I wander the streets of my neighborhood naked every Thursday between 1 and 3 pm, and I've posted fliers on the telephone poles to let everyone know. There's a big difference between laying bare my heart (which, hi, I do not do) and sharing my irrational fear of large birds. But, I have to admit that this person's apparent deep concern gave me pause. Do I say too much?

Now, thanks to Ian, I realize that I do not. And I know that for sure because...I'm not comfortable answering the question, "What relaxes you?"

At least not here in my blog.

Which, by the way, is a place I come to relax.

*strikes the kickin'-it-on-the-front-stoop pose*

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Professional organizers warn against labeling anything "Miscellaneous," because the thing so labeled becomes a black hole into which all manner of items are deposited willy-nilly with the real possibility that they will never be retrieved again. But that happens to me all the time regardless of labels, so I don't really see the problem. That said, I present miscellaneous links that have attracted my attention of late:

The Fairy Tale Review. Nothing produces a far-off look in my eyes like a fairytale; it's magic. I like every piece here, and I love the idea of fairytale poetry.

Steve Jobs' "stay hungry, stay foolish" commencement address. I laughed when he said that dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he ever made. I mean, ya think?

Bookmark Now. Despite its blinding whiteness (ADT and Miz Barbara Jane are having a discussion about whiteness over at her blog, but I have no idea what they're saying because they are very smart whereas I am just a smartass), I am enjoying this book. I probably would have spent the fifteen bucks just to read Robert Lanham's "The McEggers Tang Clan," which is a hilarious send-up of all things McSweeney.

CANVAS - Celebrating Philippine Art. I found my way to this site via Ian's blog and am so intrigued by the Elmer Borlongan painting and the related children's story contest. I am inspired.

Zebra Hall Toys, particularly this maze. Because, let's face it: when I buy a toy for the girls, it's for me, too.

What about your miscellany? Share your random links, please.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I'm here at home, and it's light and airy and sweet. But if I said I wouldn't rather be right here during this particular week, learning from these particular people, I'd be a big. huge. liar.

One June, though. One June I'm gonna give it a go.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Strange things about today:

1) A sudden hatred of the word "snark" and all its permutations: "snarky," "snarkiness," "snark-fest," etc. This word is finished; this word should never have started.

2) I received literally no e-mail today. That's plain weird.

3) I went to write something down—on, you know, actual paper with an actual scribbling implement—and spent a good six to eight minutes looking for a pen that was not a Sharpie. What kind of writer cannot find a pen in under fifteen seconds?

4) I keep wondering—as in I am unable to free myself of the question—if Johnny Depp (as Willie Wonka) will utter that Shakespeare quote from the original C & the CF: "So shines a good deed in a weary world." And while we're on the subject...Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing?

5) There are other odd little things about today, but they're even more banal than the previous four, so I'll spare you.

I think my best course of action at the moment would be to vacuum. Off I go.

Help A Girl Out

Yesterday morning, after washing and moisturizing my face, a brief moment of panic: my make-up was nowhere to be found. I must have left it at the beach house.

*strikes the horrified Risa pose*

Bare-faced and intensely uncomfortable, I dropped the twins off at preschool. Rather than chiding myself for my vanity, I thought a gladiator does not step into the coliseum without protection. (I swear to God, that's what I thought). Because when it gets down to it, make-up is my armor. It is not that I feel unattractive without it; it is that I feel vulnerable. Which is no way for a mother of three to feel. (I don't remember what my excuse was before I had children, but...whatever)

So guess who was standing in front of Sephora—with Lea for a companion—when the doors opened at 10:00 am? Yes, that's right. I was greeted by a black-smocked Sephora person. I told her I needed to replace the contents of my make-up bag. Now, if you were a Sephora person and there were no other customers in the store and the woman who told you she needed to replace the contents of her make-up bag had a small child with her wouldn't you...

...hear the ca-ching of cash registers in your head?
...realize that it might be difficult for your customer to pick out several items when there is nothing for her child to do but "explore" all the colors in the little pots and palettes in the store? (Luckily, Lea took a liking to the crazy Euro club music they were playing and spent all her time shaking her butt in some kind of dance-trance bliss)

Unfortunately, this is not what happened. Despite several attempts on my part to engage someone's assistance, nobody was interested. I was extremely reluctant to reward the store and its lame-ass morning staff with such a large chunk of change, but I didn't have any options. Bah to the Sephora staff on Burlingame Ave.!

I am not unduly hard on retail stores. I ask only to be acknowledged and then helped if I need it. Having worked in retail for a few years out of college, I know this is not difficult to do. I appreciate everyone's need for a paycheck, but if you don't like to help people, maybe a store is not the place for you to earn it. Bah again!

That said, I once accepted a return from a horrible woman. She handed me a shirt inside a Zip-loc bag. She said, "My child threw up on this shirt." I thought how is that the shirt's fault? But I smiled and accepted the shirt—covered in vomit—as a return for cash. I once took the bus at 8:00 in the evening to deliver a $3.99 kid's sale sweater to the Pacific Heights frickin' mansion of one of my customers. I once called every "sister" store in the country to round up seventy-five hunter green sweaters in sizes M, L, and XL for a kid's chorus. But you know what? That was my job.

I'm just saying. Help a girl out.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Weekend Report

Spent the weekend just outside Aptos in a beautiful house that sat on a cliff overlooking the ocean: 2 dads, 4 kids, and one Ver. Yesterday afternoon the dads—prompting me to wonder if they had mistaken the weekend for Mother's Day weekend—took the kids, leaving me with nothing but a "See ya in a coupla hours," and the sound of their feet crunching the little stones on the winding path that led down, down, down to the empty beach.

Helpful Hint: you should never fully relax until about ten minutes after these kinds of departures because almost always someone returns needing sunblock or one last visit to the potty or a band-aid for the cut on their knee incurred four minutes after leaving. But that didn't happen this time.

I puttered around inside the house for a few minutes and then poured myself a Diet Pepsi Twist over ice and headed back out to the deck. I had the sun on my face, my iPod ready to go, and a stack of books at my side. It was a beautiful thing. Even more beautiful, it turned out, was not reading but just staring at the ocean, and not listening to music, but just anticipating the sound of every wave as it hit the beach. That's the closest I've come to quieting down my monkey-jumping-from-branch-to-branch mind.

One lovely weekend, two excellent dads.

And for your viewing enjoyment: the look of abject horror on Risa's face as she takes the plunge on the Logger's Revenge, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I've chosen to digitally enlarge our friend's face so that he will no longer be free to continue his reign of amusement park terror over unsuspecting children...


Friday, June 17, 2005


Nesting Ground lawyers have advised me to post this immediately in response to The Chatelaine's recent blog entry:

I, Veronica Montes, have never paid for services of any kind, um, rendered by Sr. Nick Carbo, who is currently spending inordinate amounts of time manipulating condoms into poetry. Unless, of course, you can count payment for his book Andalusian Dawn as a "service," which, I suppose you could, in which case, this statement is completely unnecessary.

As you were.


Novelist Tayari Jones contributes a fascinating post here at Conversational Reading. Her publisher has chosen to market her as a "black" writer for her recent novel and set her up with an African-American publicist. Independently, Jones also hired a white publicist. And now she feels like she's on two completely different book tours.

And so I'm just wondering how it feels for you when reading to a white audience vs. a mostly Filipino/Fil-Am audience? When I read at Santa Clara University with an all-Filipina panel, the audience was quite large (there were at least 60 people—I think some of the kids had to come as part of an assignment) and predominantly white. I was intimidated at first and thought there was no way I was gonna be able to connect with them, but they were surprisingly/pleasantly receptive. Lots of people and lots of talking afterwards with lots of hand-shaking and small talk.

But I—I with the memory that (at times, unfortunately) never fails—can't recall anyone except the three Pinays who ran back to their dorm rooms to pool enough money for a single copy of the anthology. And that means something; I'm just not sure what, exactly.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dugtungan. It's a Good Thing

More than a year ago, my online writing group (Filipinas, all—check out Susan Evangelista's essay about us right here) collaborated on a short story together. I can't even remember how it began...I think Nadine Sarreal started us off and we took turns adding to the piece in what Cecilia Brainard (the Rainbow Goddess herself!) referred to as "dugtungan," (connecting?) style. She says this type of collaboration used to be quite popular in Philippine literature. And she must be right because I just googled "dugtungan" and there are a bunch of Filipino message boards that do it for fun.

Anyways, Nadine ended up combining our names—something hilarious like 'Celsino Montreal' or something—and submitting it to the upcoming SAWI Heartbreak anthology (edited by Ada Loredo, BJ Patino and Rica Santos). And they accepted it! Which is kinda fun. So thank you to the editors for looking kindly on us.

And one of these days I will start a Pinoy Blogger dugtungan, and you all better play along...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Perhaps some of you will recall my violent aversion to swans. But for those who do not, here's a quick recap:

Swans make me queasy because all I can think about when I see them is that it's possible for their necks to be tied in a knot.

Apparently this thought reveals some sort of damage deep within and around my psyche, but we need not get into that here. What we do need to get into here is the fact that these...these...these...birds take my discomfort to a whole new level.

Help me.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Just Ordinary People

There is on one hand the Michel Legrand song, right? The one that goes what are you doing the rest of your life/north and south and east and west of your life/i have only one request of your life/that you spend it all with me... And it's so beautiful and so first-dance-at-the-wedding-ish. There's a place on life's timeline for that song.

But, if you're lucky, you make it—together—to the other side of love's first blush. Maybe it's not as simple as it used to be, but...surprise: it's much sweeter. And that's when it's time for this song.


It's after midnight, and the spousal unit is on the road again. Which makes this post a variation on the long-distance dedication.

*strikes the Casey Kasem pose*

Un Fortune (ately)

I would so kick butt at this job.


Never trust a man wearing white socks and black shoes

Bad luck comes to those who stare

When lost, always turn left

It is a wise woman who flosses after eating an entree flecked with cilantro

Those who start wars have no imagination

Check for panty lines

When a small child thinks you look funny, you do

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands

On second thought, I'd be fired after two weeks or one hundred fortunes, whichever came first.

Now you try.

Friday, June 10, 2005

It's Official

Lea is a nudist.

And Now I Feel A Little Silly

My short and sweet ode to SkyFlakes is now playing at Timothy McSweeney's Internet Endeavor. Scroll down a little—I'm the second piece...see my name? If you blink you'll miss it...see it? It's right there! You got it?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Stating My Cupcake Case

I said I'd bring cupcakes to the girls' preschool diploma day party. But what people sometimes do not understand is that when I say I will bring cupcakes, I will deliver. I will deliver cupcakes baked in my own oven (okay, yes, from a boxed mix) and decorated by my own cramping hand. If need be, I will stay up 'til one in the morning to complete this task with only amusing e-mails from Miz Barbara Jane to keep me company. I will not place the said cupcakes on throwaway serving dishes; I will arrange them on three very pretty, all-white pedestal cake plates. I will cover them loosely so as not to muss the little stars of frosting that punctuate their tops. I will drive 10 miles an hour to ensure their aesthetic safety.

I'm fully aware that hardly anyone will care, but what can I say by way of explanation? For some perverse reason, I care. Here is the exchange between me and one of the dads at the party:

The Dad: It would never occur to you, would it, to just go buy cupcakes?
Me: Well, it would occur to me, but I wouldn't do it unless some sort of emergency happened.
The Dad: Why not? I mean do the kids even give a shit? Do you think they even give a damn if you made them or if you bought them?
Me: (pointing to my daughters who are serving the cupcakes with completely exaggerated pride) Look. Look at them.
The Dad: (looking) Okay, then. Well, that's something.

There's a certain logic to my actions. I think.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Boys Drool and Eat Bugs, Yes...

...but apparently girls are capable of performing psychological headgames so complex in nature that they leave their victim lying prone in front of her locker wondering if life—or even fourth period—is worth the trouble of having to walk by the bitches that are forever rolling their eyes at her for no reason.

Or something like that.

I went to a lecture last night by Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. I'd read the first 30 or so pages of the book in preparation, but I still wasn't sure what to expect. When I got past the minor (and at some points truly bloody major) irritation of having a grown woman shriek in Middle-Schoolese (this involved multiple uses of the words "dude," "like," "so," "whatever," "word," etc., all performed in Upspeak which, as you may know, is the tendency to speak every sentence as a question regardless of whether or not you're asking one. It's kind of like this? And I'm so happy? That it wasn't prevalent? When I was younger?) as she drove her points home with anecdotes of her field work amongst girls, this is what I heard:

(1) the pressure we put on girls to "be nice" no matter what is what leads to their obsession with perfection

(2) part of this obsession with perfection manifests in the inability to resolve conflicts via verbal communication

(3) lacking the ability to voice their emotions, they turn to those non-verbal gestures ("aggression") we all know and love: eye-rolling, back-turning, pointing, whispering, and the mysterious ability to make everyone hate the victim without really knowing why

(4) a girl's world is all about her relationships, so when this ganging up bullshit happens to her, everything gets all effed up

(5) this behavior often goes unchecked because girls know how to perform these stealthy feats of aggression without teachers noticing

(6) if girls enter young adulthood without having learned the lifeskills necessary to resolve conficts sans rolling their eyes and emitting small, disgusted sighs, they will never be CEOs

Or something like that.

Sitting there in the audience, I began to shrink lower and lower in my seat. All the heinous crimes I committed against other girls (and vice versa) beginning in fifth grade or so flitted through my little brain. And I awoke this morning thinking that maybe it would have been easier, after all, to deal with the relative simplicity of boys punching each other in the face.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Penguin Does The Noli

I'm pulling the following out of my comments, since you (and you, and you, and especially you) probably missed it. This was in reference to my neurotic obsession (see last paragraph here, if you like) with Harold Augenbraum's take on my story in his review of Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America:

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous said...

Actually, I remember your story very well and how much I enjoyed it.

Harold Augenbraum

At 1:53 PM, ver said...

If you are truly Mr. Augenbraum, I thank you kindly.

If you are a literary practical jokester then...well, I also thank you kindly.

There, that works out.

At 6:52 AM, Harold Augenbraum said...

I actually am Harold Augenbraum and did indeed reply to your blog entry. I used to review for Manoa, where that review appeared, when I was director of The Mercantile Library of New York. I have a love for Filipino-American literature (and some Filipino literature) that stems from reading N.V.M. Gonzalez's short stories, Ninotchka Rosa, etc. and I have just handed in a translation of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere for Penguin, which will be published next year.

At 6:53 AM, Harold Augenbraum said...

Sorry, a typo on Ninotchka Rosca's name.


At 12:52 PM, ver said...

Excellent news about your translation of the Noli! I will spread the word.

Thanks for dropping by again!


So I'm sitting here quite uplifted by finding a non-Filipino who not only loves Filipino/Fil-Am literature, but who works to move it from the periphery to the center. Because, really, have you ever met a Filipino who didn't enjoy the spotlight?

*pausing for a moment while you think about that*

Here is Mr. Augenbraum's address at last year's National Book Awards gala. My favorite line from this speech is, "...By the way, I don't classify states as red or blue, they're either literary or not." Hahahahahahahahaha!

And finally, is it okay to refer to Noli Me Tangere as "The Noli?" Because that's what I do, but I'm sure I can stop if I really try...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

In Good Company

Miz Barbara Jane wrote about maganda magazine a few posts back, and it reminded me (in that sinking feeling kinda way) that the story I contributed in 2003 is—oh, let's not mince words— bad. It's more a sketch than anything; I'm not sure why I set it loose on the world. But the first scene is quite close to my heart, and I've always wanted a chance to go back and do something more with the piece. Well, the opportunity has arrived.

I couldn't find the original .doc, so I pulled out ol' issue 16 and took a look. What a surprise (and I'm not talking about the big, fat, huge typo)! I had no idea that writers I've since had the chance to meet were all over it: Gura, Patrick, Barbara Jane, Eileen, and Tony Robles.

So, on one hand it pleased me to know that I was/am in good company; on the other, I'm embarrassed for having submitted something before it was ready. *strikes the I'm-a-loser pose*

And so now...I have work to do.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

All In the Family + A Question

So many members of my family are now blogging (is this just a coincidence or are exhibitionistic tendencies genetic?) that I think I will start a new category on my sidebar. But for now:

USC Undergrad Perpetually Dreaming of NYC: Lui
Ice Skater Turned Harvard Grad Turned Teacher: D. (calling her out by first initial only, as I think she's attempting anonymity; we'll see how long that lasts)
Underpaid, Appropriately Angsty SFSU Student: Toya
Brothers Who Shop Too Much: Kuya Mike
Once Was Lost, But Now Is Found: Paqus

I am often surprised by these blogs. I cannot imagine my cousin D. playing poker on a habitual basis. Nor did I ever think she would use the word "bling." But there ya go. And Lui's grown-up musings freak me out because though I'm fully cognizant of her actual age, she will forever be the little kid sleeping on my lap while we rode the train around Europe sometime in 1989. It's all so...unnerving. And Toya! I hardly know her, but I certainly recognize her voice: it's mine at about the same age. I'm half-tempted to tear out a page from an old journal and show it to her.

Still, I wonder how much we really learn about each other from our blogs. Which brings me to my poll:

Out of all the people who know you, who knows you better—the ones who read your blog or the ones who don't?

Happy weekend, all.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Old Habits

Longtime readers (where are the two of you?!) may remember my former penchant for reporting the various snippets of rotating wisdom found on the sign in front of a church in my neighborhood. I thought I had successfully weaned myself from this particular blog tic, but today I drove by and the message was so rich, so deeply felt, so paradigm-altering, that I just have to share:

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.


In other marginally fun news, iTunes has Yaz's Upstairs at Eric's!! I cannot tell you how many times I sat alone on my crappy little bed in my actually quite fantastic San Francisco apartment (shared with two un-fantastic roommates) listening to the tape on my boom box and occasionally dragging my angsty self up to dance—badly, so badly—in the mirror.

Tell me I'm not the only one.