THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
Friday, Jan. 10, 2003 - 10:55 a.m.
In my life
It occured to me today: I have been writing here in this diary for more than two years. Two years! It began on Nov. 7, 2000, though I've since retraced some literary steps of mine and added essays and whatnot from other sources, various notebooks and journals and such. In some ways, I can't imagine myself before then, before this diary, before the conversations with myself and with others I have every day that I write.
I write for myself, open (to an extent) and upbeat, not particularly caring about the reaction of readers. I do tend to write with four people in mind: those whom I know in real life who read this diary. Other than that (and mainly, anyway) I write primarily for myself, to someday have a record of all that went on from that fall when I was 24 until who knows when?
And yet, I do appreciate the few readers I get (those 28 I average per day) and I realize that, in writing for myself, I have not taken the time to thoroughly talk about just who's who in my world. Online diaries, journals, "blogs," all of them, are growing exponentially in popularity and I do understand the responsibility of an online diarist. My motives are slightly contradictory as well. While I do write for myself, at the same time I enjoy the recognition from others. What can be better than being praised for simply being yourself? Does that make sense?
Since I'll be away for the weekend and I feel the pain of carpal tunnel in my left wrist and could use the break from typing for a few days, I doubt I'll be updating before Monday (unless I have something witty or profound later today). It seems like a good time to produce a Cast List, now doesn't it? After 630 entries, it's about time, no?
For the past week or so I've found myself in a writer's funk: I yearn to produce lenghty, extended prose worthy of a second look or recommendation, but I can't find the muse. So I've been posting short, disjointed verbal scatterings that I won't give much thought to someday when I flip back through the archives. Explaining who everyone is serves the dual purpose of hopefully sparking my mind and providing you with a stimulating enough read during my short break.
There is no particular order to how everyone is listed.
Well, except for Casey, my girlfriend, my cohabitant, my "sin-in." We met here, in the pages of Diaryland. I first mention her here, just after we first chatted on AOL (we'd e-mailed a few times before that). The story of our relationship begins here and continues, technically, in every entry since then. Even when I don't mention her by name or allusion, she's a part of me and that's not ever going to change.
Tessa is Casey's younger sister, currently off in Scotland for the semester. We've hung out about six times now and get along swimmingly. I've even slept in her bed, though she wasn't in it at the time. Occassionally, you'll see her named as "Bassett" or "Bassie," nicknames invented for her by Casey. (Take "Tessa," reverse it "asset" add a "B" to the front and an extra "t" on the end. Hey, it's not my formula.)
I've known Matt longer than anyone else outside my immediate family. We were born two days apart in September 1976 and our parents became friends two years later when our sisters were born on the same day, just two hours apart. As someone once said when we explained this coincidence: "Sounds like your parents were on the same sex cycle." Yeah, thanks. His sister Christy and mine have remained friends as well. After college (Matt went to Penn State while I was out in South Bend) he spent a few months working in New Jersey, but then moved out to Seattle where he's fallen in love both with the region and a good Notre Dame gal. He reads these pages and has an ID of his own, but either he doesn't write or he keeps it private don't cha?
Rounding out the elite group of people who know me both as Dan and Dano is Heather, a college friend now living in California. We worked together on the newspaper at Notre Dame and have become even better friends since. I believe I bear some responsibility for the existence of Dancing Brave, the site, for it was one night while chatting on IM that I directed Heather to my journal and, if I'm not mistaken, she then created her own cyberego. She began under a different pseudonym, but quickly relocated to the link above. She lives with Lauren, whom I've yet to meet, but I can tell we'll be cracking jokes within the hour.
Then we've got Jessica, my sister, my only sibling, two years younger than I. She's up in Boston engaged in more noble pursuits helping poor families build homes and considering grad school. She graduated from Notre Dame (as did my father) and spent a year of those four in France. She moved there on Sept. 10, 2001, but returned after Christmas because, for her, it just wasn't the right time to be a young American living abroad.
Oreo is our cat, still living with the parents. He's 13 and "catangular," as Casey says in describing his heft. That cat likes to talk. He'll walk into a room, look at you, and meow. He knows it gets attention and attention usually gets him food or a door open to the yard.
Dave is a good high school friend who works for a tech firm near home and still lives there, with his BMW. Trust me, the car is worth mentioning when mentioning Dave. He loves that car, more than women, I believe. As it turns out, I know many Daves, but this is the one mentioned most often. In descending order of frequency of mentions, there's also the Dave who works as a freelance photographer for a living and shoots a lot of minor league baseball, and the Dave who's the brother of one college friend (Kathy) and the husband of another (Laura). Both Dave (the first one) and Jess know about our diaries, but as far as we know don't know where they are.
When Casey and I leave for Boston tonight, we'll be going up there to visit not just with my sister, but also with Bryan, my closest college friend (well, I suppose he and Heather are 1 and 1A) and roommate for two years. For him, college truly was a time for self-discovery, and he spent the subsequent four years navigating his way out of quite a spacious closet, which I find very admirable, considering Notre Dame's less-than-accomodating stance on anything that remotely differs from Catholic views.
There's also another Matt, another college friend, who lives much closer, in Washington, D.C. He's also known as LJ, a nickname I try to use to differentiate when needed. He's probably the friend most like me a prolific writer, a rabid sports fan, a dedicated traveler. While my post-graduate cross-country jaunt took me six weeks to get to California and back, Matt used six months to go to all 49 contiguous states.
Mia went to college with me, too, and now lives and works in New York City. She's obsessed with the Fighting Irish and lives and dies with them. In her mind, if you're at the game, you'd better be standing and cheering. Fandom could use more of people like her. She's also from Massachusetts, so she and Bryan met even before arriving on campus and became good friends.
Going back to high school, Jaime and I have known each other for 12 years now. Our parents became friends when her family moved to the area, and although Jaime and I went to different high schools, we became good friends and integrated our cliques from our respective schools into one big, inter-town posse. She's now living in Philadelphia.
The rest of that high school posse included Will, now living in NYC, and Brian, who's in Orlando. Those two were best friends back in second grade, and Will and I began hanging out after school around fifth grade. My mom would love it when I'd walk home and ask, "Mom, can Will come over today?" and she'd reply, without turning around or coming into the room, "Hi Will!" In an interesting coincidence, after grade school, Will moved to an adjacent town and started high school at a private all-boys Catholic school. After two years, he transfered to the public school the same one Jaime went to, which further cemented the bond between our two groups.
Elise moved to the same town halfway through high school and has been in college since graduation. After receiving her B.A., she went to one grad school in NYC, then law school in D.C. She's now finishing her last semester with an externship or some sort of similar work/study agreement and doing so in New York while living back down the shore with her boyfriend Jeremy, who works with Dave. We have so many intricate connections in our group.
Lisa is the final piece to the high school puzzle at least the puzzle that we still put together from time to time. She's really moved around since college (not only did we all stay close after high school, but with one or two exceptions involving an extra semester or two, we all graduated from college in four years), living, working and volunteering in Washington state, New York, Italy. She also spent a semester taking classes in Portland, Maine, recently, and I'm not even sure what she's currently doing. I think she's back home for the time being.
Another college friend I should mention is Nate, since he lives nearby, in Hoboken, with his fiance Nicole. He'll be at the Super Bowl party and we get together for various Notre Dame events and alcohol events. A good friend of LJ as well, so they're often all part of the same stories.
I have some extended family I see often. Dad's brother, Uncle Chic, is remarried to a woman named Donna, same as his daughter. My other cousin on that side is Scott; both Donna and Scott are older than Jess and me. On mom's side is her brother Johnny, who lives in Maine with his wife Barb and high-school aged daughters Kate and Christine. Those names appear here and there.
That covers the bulk of those who get the most mention. Other names I've tossed about include Brad (college newspaper friend, married, living in Virginia), Jamie (female college newspaper friend, engaged, moving to Atlanta), Lori (college newspaper friend, former post-grad roomate from Nov. 2001-Nov. 2002, working in NYC), Colleen (former college girlfriend, a little um intense), High School Heather (my only other long-term girlfriend, two years in high school), Julie (a college friend whom I dated briefly but we're still good friends, married, lives in Cincinnati) and Kregg (married to another Julie, he was Bryan's boss at one of his off-campus college jobs; lives in South Bend and always has a room for us). Then there's Casey's mother, Moom, dad Jim and step-mom Carol.
After this weekend, you'll be reading about Leanne, one of Casey's close college friends, who lives in Boston. There's also Kerry, another sorority sister, but she lives in New York and we see her often.
That's all I can think of right now, so does that mean those are the important ones? I suppose it does. They're the ones I see with any frequency, or mention with any regularity. I may someday mention other college friends like Barb (married in Illinois) or Courtenay (married in Texas) but you'll never hear of Betty (former psycho roomate Lori and I shared, the only fake name I think I've ever used) again.
That should catch everyone up and maybe give a little insight into what doesn't come through in words.
Next page: Back in Boston
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