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+ 0 - 0 | § Desert Nights.

In the beginning, I hated Tucson. I dug school, and I loved the U of A, but Tucson bothered me. I hated the weather, the high hick ratio, the lack of an ocean, the half-dozen wal-marts in city limits and the complete futility of trying to get in and out of a grocery store without hearing some bizarre tale a transient would tell as an explanation of how any spare change I had would save his life.

I kinda dig it now, though. Especially in the summer.

There's something weird about Tucson summers, I'm not sure people who've spent their lives here are aware of it, and I don't think people understand unless they've been here for at least a whole one. I don't know how to explain it, except that they're... mad. In the Kerouac definition of the word, not the angry type. They're intense, as though the mindbending heat pushes energy, breathes more life into the people for an extra couple months out of the year. Every spring, I go into my last final and the world around me is students shufffling with their heads hung low, or in a state of flash panic, last minute cramming. There's a sense of sullen, hopeless, yet frantic academia, the last reserves of effort and energy plunging forth for this one final task. But as I walk out of my final, it's like a whole different world. I'm pretty sure Tucson doesn't actually change within that hour and a half, it's just that there's a parallel universe here that one can only be aware of when you're no longer tied to class. The air smells like rain, freshly mown grass, sunscreen and hot dogs. Fantastically beautiful girls rollerblading past you, dressed the way they only can in the summer. Suddenly, now that you no longer have any direction to exert your energy, you have it again.

Tucson summers are lazy days and mad nights. Barhopping followed by halo parties, bowing to the porcelain god because you lost track of how many drinks everyone poured you. They're hiding inside watching farscape all day, screaming when someone opens the door and paints direct sunlight on your face. They're some girl on the couch next to you yelling "Close the door, you're letting all the dark out!" and frisbee and barbecues and monsoons. Freak rainstorms where the very sky is ripped apart by lightning strikes only a mile away, and the sky is all sunny and happy a half hour later, the streets flowing like rivers and the smell of dust kicked up into your nostrils. The nights are warm, with amazing indigo blue washing through the night sky, brought on by sunsets that can't even be described, pinks and oranges and greens and blues, and you have this sense like you're somewhere important, like the world is never going to be this way anywhere else, and it's your holy task to savor it, and to remember.

I swear it makes me some sort of freak to say it, but I love the desert in the summer.
-Alex

+ 0 - 0 | § And on the 8th day, he kept resting.

This one time, about 5 years ago, I did this counselor gig at a daycamp at the Santa Barbara Zoo. There, I met this girl, Nicole, and she was a pretty good friend.
Through Nicole, I met this other friend, Marissa. I had a mild dorky-ish crush on her at the time. Not major, but just enough so that whatever she thought was a good idea (other then dating other guys) I, too, thought was a good idea. She picked up this whole "online journal" thing from a friend of hers, and it sounded like a stupid idea. Still, I promised I'd give it a shot.
And I dug it.
All of the sudden, there was this community, this haphazard collection of people who talked about themselves. Some of them needed a place to whine, they moved on to livejournal. Some of them were pretensious- They borrowed pre-packaged templates off of other sites, touted them as their own, and sneered at those who didn't think that diaries were conceptually dependant on being visually appealing. And then Bobby put them in their place.
Many of these people fascinated me. They hurt the way I hurt, they laughed at what I thought was funny. I carefully, tentatively extended my social horizons on this bizarre, voyeuristic yet startlingly honest frontier, and met people. People who read the same ones I did, people who read my friends, people who read me. It was amazing. I used to watch cars drive past me on the way to school and wonder at the fact that each vehicle, each little atomic unit, contained a life, a complete set of experiences,biases, beautiful and horrific moments. The guy who sold me a bag of Beef Jerky at the 7-11, the girl I brushed past in english class. All of the sudden, these people were no longer small atomic units. I could read their lives from a first person perspective. And meet people, and make friends.
And express myself. And I was just as fascinating to a lot of those people.
But the service I used was flawed. In the beginning it was perfect, it did everything for me. But it wouldn't let me do anything for me.
It's kind of scary, leaving the comforting folds of diaryland. Nobody can list you as a favorite in their profile. There's no internal linking system to everybody else. But it's time I broke out, it's time I defined myself as an individual. Just like everyone else.

So, hey, welcome to the new digs.
Dave, Billy- Whenever you feel like moving- email me what you want as username/password, I'll set you guys up some accounts.
-Alex