it feels so planetary here.

I have been feeling very domestic lately--washing dishes, purchasing Tilex. Yesterday I took a walk to the Mission (I have discovered the best route! Going down 24th street to Valencia and over to 18th is easy; it's getting back up the hill that is the both the best part and the problem). I bought medicinal flower seeds at the Scarlet Sage Herb Company. The cashier told me I should eat the flowers to receive all of their health benefits. Hmm. I picture myself standing out on the porch, leaning against the railing, chewing calendula? Too weird. "You can also make tea," she added. I'll do that.

Also on the flower theme: I planted poppies yesterday! I sat down on the ground and pushed soil around the seeds with my hands. The wind blew the dirt back in my face. Blech. The seeds are old, so the flowers might not grow. Who knows? It will be such a surprise. One day: brown earth. Next day: poppies! Can you tell I've never gardened before?

Ghazy and Helen came over on Friday night. Nora and I cooked them dinner: gnocchi in vodka sauce (2FRESH) and the biggest nicoise salad we'd ever seen. It took me about an hour to arrange it. The purple potatoes were the best part.

We like our napkins mismatched and our lighting romantic.

The next day was Nora's birthday. Twenty-one! Our landlady brought her a balloon. We made birthday breakfast waffles with Nora's mickey mouse waffle maker. On the side: sliced strawberries and yo-gurt. Yum. At night we grabbed dinner on Mission with friends.

In other news: Nora bought nail decals and Raiders temporary tattoos at Walgreens. We went right to work. I feel half-trashy, half-fantastic.

Went to outer space (that is: PLUTO'S!) with Mart and Elana last night. I am always happy when I'm with those girls. I ate strip steak. This is a really food-heavy entry. Miam miam. Elana stopped by to see the apartment afterwards. She lives so close now--fun!

I am reading "The Book of Other People" right now. Some of the stories I like, some I don't. The Miranda July is really good. Vendela Vida, too, and Heidi Julavitz's I keep thinking about. I love stories like that--ones that have so much good material you can just go around and around in your head afterwards. And when you discover something new, hours or days or maybe even weeks later--while doing something completely unrelated--I get it now: that connects! My favorite stories, though, are usually the ones that make me want to write. I have that problem--stopping in the middle of a page to work on something of my own. Sometimes I feel guilty. There is so much left to read. But how will I ever get to it all? That is the great and awful thing about short stories.

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