Category Archives: The Diary Project

February 27, 2001: fangirl

Some days, I didn’t have a lot of time to write. I had homework to do, new hairstyles to attempt and anime to watch. But other times, I had a shitload of nothing on my schedule. Maybe it was a weekend and Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” wasn’t on the air (you know you remember that afternoon lineup featuring Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo, Gundam Wing, etc., from the time when anime was vaguely popular and socially acceptable.) Maybe my dad had kicked me off the computer. Maybe I had just seen a great movie and it made me want to wax poetic (this still happens.)

BFF Sara and I have been reading a lot of memoirs lately, mostly in the genre of “pretty white girls with problems.” This is accurate to our lives, since we are also pretty white girls with problems. (Say what you will about your life, but I know one of my biggest problems is that I used to feel superior and East Coasty knowing about guidos, and now every Midwestern fraternity is having Jersey Shore themed parties. Where were you six years ago when “True Life: I have a Summer Share” aired? I mocked guidos before it was cool!)

If you don’t know the reference, check out the Mad TV sketch here:

Anyway, one of my most recent reads is Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin. In a similar style to this blog, she follows her diary from age twelve to twentysomething. One of her themes was that you don’t write in your diary when you’re happy. You’re too busy having fun. What your diary is actually for is all the times when your life sucked. Or when you’re bored and you don’t realize that very important and life-changing things are happening all around you. That’s definitely something this diary shows, since most of my entries are OMG DAVID B. DOESN’T LOVE ME. It’s further evidenced by the fact that I stopped keeping a regular diary when I was 19, right before I went to work at summer camp. Working at camp was basically the freshman year of college I didn’t have the first time around, and after all the underage drinking and girl manipulation and boy drama, I reached a level of maturity that I’m not likely to ever leave.

Those times when I felt bored/depressed/flaily made for the best diary entries. This is definitely one of them.

My Dearest Diary – (hehe – i’ve been reading too many fanfics)

Everywhere I go and whatever I do, I’m always thinking about him. I read 11×13 fanfics and I wish we were 11×13, instead of D+D. + = friendship or a small crush, x = a relationship that is physical.

I didn’t get to see him at all today, because of the stupid field trip! rats! It’s like I feel really empty when he’s not around.

I see  his face in my mind, and his laughter in my ears. He’s such a strong presence, that I feel it when he’s not around. Even if I’m not talking to him, just knowing he’s there is a comfort to me. I wonder if I’m falling in love with him…

my symptoms are

* feel empty if he’s gone

* can’t sleep

* poor appetite

* blush at his name

* feel electricity at his touch

* I can’t go ten minutes without thinking of him

* major mood swings

* I spaz if he looks at me or gives me that smile of his

* I’m becoming a fanfic addict – reading at least four a day

* the world ceases to exist if I’m talking to him

* I am slowly going crazy … (^_^ hehe)

Something about his smile makes me go crazy? I want to just go up and embrace him right there in front of everyone. We’re so alike, yet so different. I can’t begin to describe how I felt the day of the post-it note thing.

It’s like this, kinda:

Diane: I don’t know if you know this, but you have post-it notes on your back

David: (laughs softly) Oh really? Take them off, please.

I slowly reach out my hand and touch his shirt, then get a hold of myself and remove the post-it notes. We were by a window, but all I saw was the brightest light. It was just him and me in the world. For a minute, I forgot who I was and where I was.

He looks at me, and I hand him the notes.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!!! The evil side is yielding to the peaceful one, good grief!

I think this entry requires some explanation for those of you who grew up without the world of fanfiction. For those of you who also engaged in now shameful fangirl pursuits in fiction, art or message boards, you may skip ahead to the next paragraph. In the early days of the internet, in a time before Facebook and Youtube would forever immortalize our adolescent actions, nerdy teenagers everywhere formed fan communities to discuss their favorite shows. Usually, fan communities formed around anime or science fiction shows, because like myself and many of my friends – these attract the crazies. The various web sites, message boards and mailing lists were a way for fans to connect, either to form alliances or start internet arguments about their favorite character’s destiny, love life and true sexual orientation. Hardcore nerds decided to take it one step further, and write their own versions of the story. While fanfiction’s existed in print form since the Star Trek days, the internet meant the stories could spread quickly to a much larger audience. OK, lecture over. Let’s continue the throwback!

In this particular entry, I discuss my obsession with Gundam Wing fanfiction involving my favorite couple, Evil World Dictator Treize Khushrenada and his aide Lady Une. In the Gundam Wing fandom (fan community) pairings (couples) are listed by a numerical system. Each character had a corresponding number, and the relationship postulated in the story was indicated by a multiplication sign (they’re boyfriend/girlfriend) or an addition sign (they’re friends or it’s a one-sided crush). So I wanted my life to just be a 13×11, meaning I wanted to be a chick with a split personality (more on that later) who had a boyfriend who was an evil world dictator. Don’t blame my parents for this. I’ve always had a really bad case of villain empathy.

Again, I manage to incorporate a list. What can I say, my OCD tendencies manifested fairly early on. Though I wouldn’t make my transition from wannabe-goth to Annie Adderall (minus the pills, plus a healthy Lord of the Rings obsession) until 10th grade, you can tell I had total overachiever issues from a young age.

I love my little recreated conversation from the Post-it Note Incident. Did we really need a reenactment of that dialogue? Take that, Carrie Bradshaw. My ridiculous butterfly clip-wearing ass had a post-it situation long before you did!

The last line of this entry refers to Lady Une and her wonderful split personality. I made a papier-mâché sculpture dedicated to her insanity in art class that year, so obviously her character resonated with me on some weird level. (But last night I drunkenly defended Scar’s killing of Mufasa, so like I said, villain sympathies…) Lady Une had a peaceful side and an evil side, and I thought that I had the same thing. This is total bullshit, obviously.

(My ninth grade picture is an homage to Lady Une. I so don’t wanna talk about it.)

The list of symptoms is also hilarious. I think half of these are imagined from things I’d read in bad fanfiction set to songs like “Crush” by Mandy Moore. The other half were the result of self-induced hysteria. At home, I spent a good portion of my time scrolling through anime-related prose, at school, I fantasized about applying the fanfiction relationships to my David B. situation.

I also wrote my own fanfiction for a variety of shows and movies. But that, my BFFs, is a tale for another time.

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February 26, 2001: Dial-Up

I guess either David B. found out about my secret love for him, or I was too ashamed to talk to him after realizing so many people knew about it. Either way, it was time for the Awkwardness Avoidance Dance.

While this was not my first experience (remember Ryan and the Groundhog Day Dance?) with the Awkwardness Avoidance Dance, it was certainly not my last. I may be an adult (in theory anyway, I’m turning 23 in two weeks – wtf is that about?) but I still do the AAD on a fairly regular basis.

Currently, I’ve managed to do it for almost six months without an awkward run-in. It helps that I’ve moved seven hours away, but Facebook chat is no one’s ally.  I spent a lot of time this year staring at the chat screen, wondering if someone would message me. I dreaded it, but then I wanted it to happen. Either way, I certainly wasn’t going to make the first move. It’s some early-2000s AIM shit all over again. The only thing I’m missing is the purple-and-blue sTiCkY cApS proto-emo quotes about love and loss. (But now we have statuses for that.)

Sigh. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

(THIS SONG NEVER STOPS BEING HILARIOUS. NEVER. Especially with the dial-up AOL sound in the background.)

Anyway, today’s entry discusses the Awkwardness Avoidance Dance at its best (and most dramatic).

2/26/01

Dear Diary,

David and I are avoiding each other. He didn’t say one word to me, and I didn’t talk to him.

It was the loneliest that I have ever felt.

I talked to Kit last Sunday. She said some-thing really funny: “you and David have to get married! You’d have the most messed-up kids.”

I was laughing *so* hard!

So ridiculous! Um, David B., wherever you are now, I hope the girl you wife is less crazy than I was. Good lord.

Speaking of AOL, Bunny sent me some e-mail gems from high school! Now these are a little bit older, obviously, but I think since we’re on the subject of awkward internet things, we should take a look at this survey, circa 2003.

Click here for the lengthy and melodramatic pdf.

Do you like our screennames? Aren’t we ~original?

Good lord, I was snarky. I particularly enjoy the part about how I’d kill some girl named Jennifer because she “vandalized” (toilet-papered) my house. What a *bitch.* Oh Jennifer, I no longer resent you. Haters gonna hate.

This eagle is STRUTTIN! I have him taped to the wall at my office.

Another great moment here:

17. Do you have any psychiatric problems? list them
haha. I have lots of irrational fears: underwear shopping, calling boys, the world ending randomly, elevators, etc. ooh and wanna hear about my neuroticism to? i don’t care, you’re gonna! I have to have the “L” of my middle initial in everything I write and if the food touches, I just can’t eat it, and I don’t eat anything that’s been pickeled in a jar or has the ketchup right on it. *smiles* i’m not nuts, really!

No, mini Diane, you are nuts. I promise.

Btw, none of those things are true now. Too many years of awesome diner food has changed my eating habits, and I don’t ever use the “L” in my name unless I’m practicing my autograph during a particularly boring lecture. Also, way to use the wrong “to.” You suck, 15-year-old me.

It’s strange to think that after 10 years of technological advances, sometimes we’re no different than we were at 13. We’re still waiting all night for someone to get online. We’re still quoting passive-aggressive and cryptic song lyrics in hopes our crush will understand the secret message. We’re still updating profiles and sending inside jokes to our friends in hopes other realize how truly awesome we are.

I remember a time when I couldn’t even picture adults using AIM. Now my dad’s on Facebook, and has more Twitter followers than I do. (Hi, Dad!)

I don’t think that’s bad or good, I just think it’s part of internet culture.

I like that we’re always evolving.

But sometimes, especially last semester — when I spent an inordinate amount of time sitting up late at night reading Tumblr, crying at the emo quotes, and hoping my ex would Facebook chat me — I still think my heart’s on dial-up.

February 23, 2001: He loves me, he loves you not

Hello, again.

To make up for my prolonged absence, (I just started a full-time internship and consequently have even less of a life than I did before) I give you a very special and the first of (unfortunately) many editions of: Diane’s Poetry Corner.

In case you didn’t already think I was a complete tool, I will now reinforce it by giving you the half-written poem from mid-February, 2001.

Back when I wore bedazzled jeans and karma beads on a daily basis, I used to think of myself as Quite The Poet. I had a lot of Feelings, and I thought I should express them in stanza form. I rarely rhymed, because rhyming was for conformists who cared more about getting syllables right than expressing their inner angst. A few brushes with perceived classroom success (my poor teachers!) made me think I was The Shit, and so I took every opportunity to stare out the window and brood, scribbling bits of ridiculous metaphor on notebook paper instead of paying attention.

I remember I was picked to be part of a county-wide writer’s workshop. After taking my ego up about ten more notches, I proceeded to pick my best poems and adhere a fake nose stud to my face. Earlier that week, I’d conveniently picked up some fake crystals to put on my nails (don’t even judge me) and proceeded to use some of the nail glue to place one of the larger crystals where a nose ring would be.

I walked around like that alllll day. You know I was awesome.

I probably wore something like this to the writer's workshop, picked especially to coordinate with my fake nosering.

I remember being particularly impressed when some blue-haired guy (oh god, bad choice mini Diane!) complimented my poems. I remember we discussed poetry afterward and it was quite possibly the greatest thing ever. He probably just wanted to hit it. I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering I attracted the fake chain necklace and fake Japanese dragon shirt-wearing dudes even then.

Those writer’s workshops went on throughout the year. I remember loving them, because it proved there were other artsy/fake-goth/ridiculous kids in my area. I desperately wanted to go to one of the alternative high schools in the city, so I could be with others who ~understood me. When I took acting classes in ninth grade, I so badly wanted to be part of the tiny, artsy school located in a renovated warehouse behind one of the city’s teen centers. However, it’s a really, really good thing I didn’t end up there because I completely turned my shit around by mid-10th grade and I would’ve gotten my goody-two-shoes ass beat by some girl in eight-inch platform shoes and a Jack Skellington hoodie. Sigh.

Anyway, enough about my almost-life as a mini hipster.

Here’s “My Poem” (yes, that’s the only title – and it’s scrawled in cursive while the rest is in print):

2/23/01

My Poem

I’m always in the shadow,

Looking to the light.

Watching you across the room

Until the time is right.

I never know what to say,

or think or feel or do.

All I know is my world fades

When I’m standing next to you.

Here we have a rare rhyming example! We can obviously assume this poem is about David B., given the stalker-sounding phrases. Other than that, there’s not much to say except that it’s humiliating and I suck at poetry.

Don’t worry, we’ll have many, many more intricate and awful examples to come! Just wait til the summer between eighth and ninth grade. I had way too many feelings and way too much free time. There’s a little black notebook just filled with these gems. Get excited!

Also: before you judge my poetry too harshly, let’s take a look at Billboard’s top 10 songs of February 2001.

TWO TOP 10 SONGS BY SHAGGY. TWO.

I bet my eighth grade self knows more about rhyming than Shaggy.

And Dream, oh Dream. I did enjoy them. I remember listening to that song in BFF Emily’s van on the way to Border’s. (Where we were likely picking up the next Simon R. Green novel.) The fact that they were dancing around in iridescent pink pleather pants did not seem unusual to me.

Oh, 2001. You were kind to no one.