pinole, you never left my heart. i'm back at the lovingly paved blip on the freeway where kidchamp's first entry stumbled together last year. as before, denial is a theme: i got caught in a nasty thunderstorm on my way to davis, and accidents on the bay bridge kept me on the road until (what little)sun(there was)set. i remain blind as a bat on freeways after dark, so pinole and i are getting comfortable with one another. but all is not lost - a nice man at the shell station is letting me leave my car parked there overnight, and mom is ferrying me to davis so i can take the GRE in the morning. mothers are wonderful people, and mine is the hercules of mothers. i am the augean stables for the time being, but we won't dwell on that. for now we will dwell on jack in the box, a pen and soggy scraps of paper, and a big-ass cup of free root beer.

phil seconded my comments about the ring, after a fashion, and notes that ringu (the japanese source film, and a substantial franchise at this point) is harrowing. paul claims to have bested its horrors, but he also refuses to drink tapioca pearl tea; sometimes we listen to him, sometimes we don't. i'm happy to report sleep sans incident for the last few days, though i now shut doors to televisions (in addition to closets) before bed.

affable big-headed foam guy or no, free root beer or no, i don't really trust jack in the box; their menu is too varied. they sell the sort of things that one eats when grocery shopping isn't feasible and the freezer is full of mummified food from a volume discount store: jalapeno poppers, taquitos, injection-molded sausage patties. i grew up going to carl's jrs, and though they are also utterly vile, each franchise smells the same and each item tastes like the same deep fryer. they generate a queasy sort of recognition, while jack in the box gives me the impression that they're serving whatever fell from trucks on the freeway over my shoulder. given a choice, i would not patronize them. it's still pouring, though, and my sweater has the weight and smell of a yak.

as months go, october was fairly bizarre. i finally 'saw' my father without a moustache, courtesy of the new york post and people magazine; a pair of irishmen, both named mick, began demolishing my apartment without warning; joe passed the foreign service exam and moved back to arizona, and mom offered me my sisters' wisdom teeth for a halloween costume. i'm a tough cookie, but wisdom teeth are strange things. they're striped like agates, and they look like they could run away on their goofy little roots. they are suspect.

i still get the feeling that i invite drama because i coveted it so much as a teenager. should i apologize to my family for being a lightning rod for weird shit? is it that i simply attach sinister meaning to innocuous things? can i start fires like drew barrymore in that movie?

here's mom.

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