My friend Angie tells me that my new apartment reminds her of Nicaragua. My downstairs neighbor, whom I have never met but my landlord tells me is very nice, covers his windows with aluminum foil.

I have three keys that get me into my apartment, which is in the attic, a last minute idea of a rented dwelling. One opens the gate's padlock, and two open my front door, which, sadly, was never intended to be a front door. It's particle board innards are slowly receding from the two pieces of plywood that hold its shape, making it look from the side like a wood chip sandwich.

The man who lives in the adjoining lower apartment has a hibachi and several white plastic chairs. There's a stove down there with a rug covering it and a variety of skewed screen doors.

The iron steps that lead up to my place have little holes eaten through them with rust. My kitchen sink is so illogically hung that I use a stepstool to do the dishes.

All the walls are slanted halfway up so that most of my posters have to be held up with foam double-stick tabs that will, no doubt, remain on the cheap wood paneling long after I am gone.

"Bye", she said. Actually, it was more along the lines of "Bye!!!". She has that sort of constantly cheerful voice that, in most other people, would annoy the heck out of me. But with her, it's different. Maybe it's because she's drop dead gorgeous.

Scratch that. Of course it's because she's so pretty. Call me superficial, call me a lookist, but I have to admit, I'm primarily attracted to her because of her physical beauty. Of course, the fact that she's smart and funny too doesn't hurt.

I'll probably see her in class again tomorrow. Odds are, I'll probably go another day without managing to turn the conversation from "Hi, nice weather today, huh?" to "I'm madly in love with you.", or even "So, are you single?".


In other news, the older sister of one of my friends from high school is running for Student Government President. I've promised myself I won't be influenced by that one way or another; I'll go hear the speeches in a couple days, and make an objective decision.

My mother calls me at work. She's taken a couple of days off the trail because of pain. Everyone is so nice, she says, you have to do this, soon. You'll love the trail culture. People on the trail call her Mum. She might as well change her name: everyone calls her Mum.
I have the birthday presents from her in a bag at my desk, so i open them while she's on the phone. This seems unreal. When the rain stops, she'll be back on the trail, and i won't be able to call her. She's told me before that she feels bad that i don't confide in her, that i don't automatically call my mother when something happens, when something is wrong. But mum, i'm not the confiding type. Mostly, i want to keep her on the phone because as long as i'm talking to her i know she's all right. She seems so fragile to me. She gave me measuring spoons and cups. She wants to grow me and i want to protect her. And so it goes, and so it goes.
But i am at work, so i'm stealing glances to see if people realize i am not working. I am distracted when i should not be.
i recently just got back from a vacation to my mom's house in bumfuck, pennsylvania. her sister (my aunt) lives across the valley on a large farm. they grow lots of their own food, they keep their own honey bees, and generally do a great job of living off the land. i wanted to get something nice for my boyfriend for his birthday, and since he enjoys wine, i thought it would be neat to pick up a nice homemade wine. fortunately, i didn't wait until his birthday to give it to him.

it was elderberry wine. i'm not sure what elderberries are, but they must be dark -- the wine was a dark deep purple red. the bottle was corked and sealed with red wax. oddly, when it was poured, it fizzed.

i went ahead and took the first cursory sip. it tasted like heartburn. there wasn't any taste beyond this burning that went from the back of the throat down to the bottom of the stomach. it wasn't a liquor-esque burn... it tasted like vomiting stomach acid does.

craig (my boyfriend) made the suggestion that perhaps it should have been served cold. i am going to try, but i don't anticipate that chilling the wine will put a damper on the acid reflux taste.

i am glad that my aunt showed the generosity of giving me the bottle of wine. i know she puts a lot of effort into her home made stuff. unfortunately, this stuff sucked.

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