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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.

November 6, 2000: An important list!

When ever I’m bored in class, I like to make lists. It’s never something I do if I’ve brought my laptop. (In that case, I’m probably browsing celebrity gossip sites, facebook-stalking or talking on gchat. Because I’m seventeen years old at heart, I can’t bring myself to get distracted by important things like news during class. Most of my serious internet-browsing is done first thing in the morning, so by my evening classes, it’s time to trade awesome/appalling .gifs with friends or comment on the ridiculousness of the Twilight franchise.) But when I don’t bring my laptop, my mind still wanders. That’s when I start writing. There’s something about about a handwritten list that appeals to my inner control freak.

Usually my lists are mundane. I like to write my address. I list all my former roommates (there have been a lot, somewhere in the double digits, if you count everyone I lived with during camp.) I write my name and practice my autograph. Today, I made a list of all my crushes and how long I’d liked them. (That last one was less on the mundane side and more on the “how long has it been since I didn’t have a crush?” side. Answer: never. Since the sixth grade, I’ve pretty much switched from dude to dude in an almost scarily immediate fashion.)

Today’s entry features such a list, except it’s much more important and exciting. It’s a list of things I’d want in my very own fantasy world. It’s a kind of blue print for my ideal adventure story. Given what was relevant to my interests at the time, I’d guess this world was something like “Gundam Wing” crossed with “Star Wars.” KEEP BEING AWESOME, 13-YEAR-OLD SELF.

11/6/00

*My World*

* mobile suits

* Oz

* space colonies

* alliance

* people

– Jessie

– Kit

– Polly (maybe)

Becca

– Emily (maybe)

– others

* we’d all be in Oz

* I shoot someone out of an airplane (yeah, baby!)

* I have a bf

– some one smart

– confident

– cool

– hot

– a lot like Treize but better looking!!!

* also, maybe Polly and Em would be space pirates like Ryoko or something

* I never die

* I’m 21

* long dark brown hair

* thin

* taller

* interesting

* green-blue eyes

* white skin

* perfect mess-free hair

* a limo (black & silver)

– jet

– boat

– motorcycle

* wouldn’t my world rock!!

* a maid (or two)

* confident

* sexy (but not too sexy)

* my bf should live

To understand some of this list, you’ll need to understand that my obsession with “Gundam Wing” had little to do with the five attractive young dudes who were supposed to be the heroes. Instead, I focused on the four villains who ran an evil (but awesome) dictatorship called “Oz.” In one particular scene, the female head of Oz, Lady Une, is travelingon the evil dicatorship equivalent of “Air Force One,” admonishing an underling for messing up a top-secret mission. In the middle of her speech, she pushes some sort of “eject” button and the floor rolls back, causing the guy to fall to his death from hundreds of feet. Just to make sure, she shoots him mid-flight. I thought this was the pinacle of badass.

You can watch a clip here, but the dialogue is in Japanese. I don’t think you really need English to understand the truly ridiculous and unnecessary events.

I like the parts of the list that are crossed out. It’s like I denied some people from being part of my AMAZING world because they stole my favorite glitter eye shadow that day or something.

Particularly amusing are the goals for my own personal appearance. Thanks to tweezers and hairspray (and the fashion evolution that moved us from sparkle hair gel to summer scarves), I’ve managed to improve my appearance tenfold. I am neither taller nor thinner, but I’m OK with that. I’m not sure how I rank on the sexy/not too sexy scale, but I did have an unfortunate love affair with my cleavage during sophomore year of undergrad.

Also, who really wants to be 21? My 21 sucked, minus the whole legal drinking thing. I spent most of it being really, really bitter about my love life, when I wasn’t attempting to fix my problems by hitting on lots of guys in bars and then ditching them at the end of the night.

My boyfriend qualities are actually somewhat decent. Minus the part where he should be a lot like an anime character who happens to be an evil dictator. I managed to list actual personality qualities. This is somewhat disturbing, considering my “ideal man” list from tenth grade involves almost no personality qualities, but very important items such as “can throw a punch with a closed fist” and “wears khaki.” We’ll get to that list, I promise!

So, that’s my ideal world. Apparently it involves space pirates and badassery and evil dictator boyfriends.

I’d be lying if a little part of me still didn’t want the things on that list.

After all, I’ve yet to achieve perfect mess-free hair.

November 4, 2000

We skip forward quite a bit in the diary. (Well, to be honest, there’s one entry from September 3rd that consists of only a picture of I drew of me being excited that “Gundam Wing” wasn’t canceled. We’ll get to that abomination once I can use a scanner.)

Like any TV show with a significant time jump, it’s important to note where we left off. In seventh grade, I was your typical, semi-trendy, stuck-in-the-middle girl. I walked that line between being too cool for the true freaks/geeks, and too lame for the popular kids. There were a lot of us in the middle, and we existed in large, one-gendered groups. The extremely popular and unpopular kids were the first to make opposite-sex friends, which is understandable, since there are only so many other incredibly attractive/hopelessly weird kids per grade. However, if you existed somewhere outside that line, you were doomed to two more years of all-girl lunch tables, group crushes, and unnecessary trips to the bathroom to put on lip gloss/apply body glitter.

Upon entering eighth grade, I decided to start dressing more, um, alternative. Yes, I was a wanna-be Goth crossed with a nerd who loved science fiction and chandelier earrings. This made for some interesting fashion choices, but hey, back then Avril Lavigne didn’t have a clothing line, so I had to fend for myself.

My theory was that I would rather fit in somewhere than sort of float in the sea of other brown-haired girls with glasses who wore cargo pants and butterfly tees.

It didn’t really work out.

(One of my middle school fashion icons was Caitie from the short-lived Disney show “In a Heartbeat.” If you can bear to sit through three minutes of bad editing and Michelle Branch, then watch the video to see how I dressed back in the day. Also: this is just the sort of horrible fan tribute I would have made if we had this kind of technology back in the early 2000s. Let’s all be grateful that YouTube wasn’t invented yet.)

Most of my friends didn’t get it when I came to class on the first day in an all-black ensemble. Looking back, it wasn’t particularly shocking or inappropriate, just incredibly hot for Michigan in August. However, it did change my peer group entirely. I still remained close with my bff Emily, but most of my peripheral friends drifted away. I did maintain my often volatile and ridiculous relationship with my frenemy Stefanie. (Hi Stef! If you’re reading this, I hope you have equally awkward things written about me somewhere.)

11/4/00

Stef is trying to hook me up with her friend, Joe. He said he wanted to meet me after seeing my drawing of Relena on a note she gave him. But how do I know that she isn’t lying to me. She’s lied before.

Also, I’m not sure who I like anymore. I still think Ryan is hot – but I also kinda ❤ David B. That sorta bugs me, but I don’t know either one of them all that much so I’m still just kinda confused about the whole thing. cya!!!

Again, we have a really short entry that basically says nothing. We won’t start seeing consistent entries until around February or March 2001, but the hilarity will remain, consecutive or not.

Relena is (shocking reveal ahead!) a character from “Gundam Wing.” I had some truly horrific anime drawings back then. I’ll scan them someday, and we can laugh and cringe at my artistic endeavors. I also MIGHT have some drawings and early drafts of my very first “Gundam Wing” self-insert fanfiction featuring me and bff Emily as Mary Sues.

We are also entering into a time of great romantic confusion. Get excited about that! My former flame, Ryan, is soon to be traded off for the ever-attractive, ever-douchey, ever-rides-his-tractor-to-school David B. I have no idea where he is now, or if he’s still as attractive as my eighth grade self imagined.

The story of my love for David B. is best savored over the rest of the diary. I appear to be quite the expert on the subject, as it will later fill most of the pages. There are particularly fantastic incidents where I mull over whether a brief interaction means he is hopelessly in love with me.

I actually do remember the story of how we met. It’s not that different from every other story involving my inherent attraction to jerkasses. I’m pretty sure every dude I’ve ever wanted to bang has won my heart by being a complete tool within minutes of our first meeting. I should really figure out the psychological implications of the fact that a guy has to be a douche bag to attract my attention, but I prefer to blame my childhood crushes on fictional bad boys instead.

We had some sort of class poetry assignment, and being the obnoxious wanna-be writer I was, I decided to show everyone up by writing a deep and meaningful poem about how no one understood my tortured heart. After I read my poem aloud, I was supposed to receive feedback in the form of notes from each person in the class. I kept getting tiny little bits of paper with one word on them. Words like “it” and “was” and “lame” kept appearing on tiny, dirty, wrinkled pieces of paper. I looked around to see the culprit, and that’s when David B. and I locked eyes. He winked and gave me one of those confident half-smiles. That was all it took. He had already taken his place as the Rhett Butler to my Scarlett O’Hara.

(Oh, and Joe, the other guy mentioned in this entry? I’m pretty sure he and Stefanie ended up dating. So yeah.)