Dear Diary

April 25, 2012

A lot of outrage and a little bit of fun.


Last December, I was looking for a place to live after my time at the Starline art space ended. I found a mad cheap and gloriously restored Victorian fourplex with bay windows and high ceilings right across the street. After we snagged the best unit, I moved in with Kat, my roommate from freshman year, and Leah, whom I barely knew but now consider one of my best friends. We are living it UP in apartment three, which would be satisfying enough, but the stars aligned to give us the best bunch of neighbors possible.

The guy upstairs is so HAPPY and has so much ENERGY, and now we play tennis together on a weekly basis. That’s huge for me because I couldn’t find anyone to play with in Oakland until I spied a racket in his apartment. He has a dog named Phife that I usually walk once a week, which pays for our portion of the internet connection we share with him, and he doesn’t seem to care that a bunch of WiLd and CrAzY teenagers live below him.

We met our downstairs neighbor when she invited my roommates and me over for dinner, and we ended up drunk and doing karaoke knowing that (a) we never had to worry about making too much noise ever again, and (b) we had ourselves a new buddy. Her roommate hangs as hard as we do despite the fact that he’s a decade older.

Two of my female friends in the building are a couple, and they say they are married even though California doesn’t want to recognize that legally these days. They run a vegan food truck that delivers indescribably delicious meals. Another dude is building a screen-printing studio in our backyard this summer! One time, I asked him to go to a show when none of my other friends could come, and he was the MOST FUN companion ever. He found this gallery across the street that was giving out free beer, so he was shuttling the beer to me as I watched the music!

Here’s this almost ridiculously amazing cast of characters who are not only neighbors but total buddies. This weekend, all of my social activity resulted from knocking on their doors and spontaneously hanging out. Saturday night I came home and most of the girls in the building were around, so we made a fire pit in the backyard. As I was writing this, our friend came upstairs to borrow our living room for a scene in a movie that her friend is making this afternoon. We knock on each other’s doors at two AM all the time to see if people want to party (or that might just be me), borrow cups of sugar, walk each other’s dogs, the whole deal.

Most memorably, when I came home from getting attacked, the entire building was in my kitchen in less than 60 seconds with Band-Aids and Neosporin and a phone to call the police. The morning after, the owners of the vegan truck brought me kumquat biscuits with kumquat jam, and they just made everything bad go away. There couldn’t have been a better substitute for my mom. (Maybe they were better than my mom because they were totally calm!) And a community has sprung from our friendship with one another.

This is like a revelation to me, after my only-childhood full of alone time and never knowing my neighbors, because we were moving almost every year. Over our backyard bonfire, we tried to discern which person in the building played each familial role. My roommates and I rep the little sisters, but things got kind of convoluted when we started assigning parental roles. We might see each other as peers too much to be able to look at each other that way. But see? We already consider each other a FAMILY! This has to be the best living situation in the world, and it’s mine. How can I make it last forever? ♦


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  • VanyaTheDinosaur April 25th, 2012 7:12 PM

    I believe I just lost the rest of my faith in the human race because of Naomi, Katherine, and Ruby’s stories.

    By the way, I wrote something to the effect of Naomi’s post on a bathroom wall because I had been reading Hollaback! stories and was /so/ pissed (please excuse my language).

  • suburban grrrl April 25th, 2012 7:29 PM


  • Emilie April 25th, 2012 7:42 PM

    Dylan, that sounds AMAZING, bonfires, tennis, dog walkin and drunk kareoke- when can i move in????

  • Yellie April 25th, 2012 7:46 PM

    Ruby, I completely know how you feel. Isn’t it sad that you try to give a dead animal some respect and people misunderstand, and think you are “disturbing the peace”. It’s really awesome that you stand up for what you believe in. :)

    Love shout out to Katherine and Naomi… been there before!

    On the positive, feeling the ~LOVE VIBEZ~ Dylan, great for you!

  • moonchild April 25th, 2012 8:15 PM

    OH GOD. Ruby, if I was you, I would seriously be sobbing and just go to guidance. I would NEVER have the calm enough to stand up for burying the rabbit. Great job!

    Was it really graphic? Who would do that? Seriously. I totally feel ya.


  • alliya April 25th, 2012 8:25 PM

    Katherine I totally had the same kind argument with my mum this week. My parents are conservative Muslims, and I am too, I wear the headscarf and that’s my choice, but don’t wear skirts all the time which is the more traditional thing. She suddenly started a campaign for me to start wearing skirts 24/7 and yelled at me when I came out wearing straight jeans with a knee length skirt on top when we were going to visit her friends. I got super angry and thank god Rookie published an article on how not to look like you’re crying. Turns out my friends who wear skirts went through the same thing and I try to dodge my mum’s remarks about my outfits from now on :)

  • Pashupati April 25th, 2012 8:39 PM

    Naomi, let me give you an Internet hug if you’re comfortable with it. It really sucks but it’s nice to know there are people who works to change others’ mentalities, to make them understand it’s not okay.
    Ruby, Katherine, you merit an Internet hug too! <3

  • Ruby B. April 25th, 2012 8:42 PM

    Oh, Naomi, that’s terrible! Nobody should ever have to deal with that. It actually makes me really sad just to hear about it. I’ve never been street-harassed before, but maybe that’s because I often look like a 10-year-old. I still worry about it, though.

    And Katherine, I totally know how you feel and it sucks!

  • Maggie April 25th, 2012 9:02 PM

    Whoever did that to the rabbit needs to PAY. That’s horrifying

  • KinuKinu April 25th, 2012 9:14 PM

    Naomi, I’m so sorry. That’s terrible and I hope you’re okay.I feel so angry right now. Extremely angry. I remember in the 3rd grade, a kid touched my butt. Not by accident. I slapped him and told my dad. He almost confronted the kid, but told the principal instead. I don’t know how they can see it acceptable. Like, do they even wrap their head around the fact that strangers asking for name and number is FUCKING CREEPY?!?! Do they think walking behind someone and yelling ‘pussy’ is OK?!? I can’t even think of what’s going in their head.
    I’m sorry to anyone who has to go through this. It makes me angry. My dad actually gave my mom a zapper.I t puts you in shock, it’s a mini electro-nizer. She gets off of work late at night so my dad gave it to her. I feel sad that we aren’t safe, and to feel legitimately safe, we have to use weapons. I’m sorry Naomi.

  • Kristen April 25th, 2012 9:49 PM

    Naomi, that was spot on. I hate that I feel vulnerable when I walk alone, especially at night.


    and thought it sounded like a great idea, but then worried about being raped. I hate that when I told my dad about it, he said he would feel safe with my brothers doing it, but not me. “It’s different for you, you’re a girl.”

  • Kathryn April 25th, 2012 10:03 PM

    Ruby, ugh I can’t believe the disrespect that people can have for other living things. That sort of reminds me about how my mom was telling me how these women she was walking with said that when they would see a snake while they were gardening or whatever, they would cut it up with a shovel. So vicious. It makes me feel queasy.

  • Mako April 25th, 2012 10:11 PM

    I just realized the importance of self-defense. I am searching for a martial art to study for the personal development, enlightenment, and for self-defense. I am 28 with 2 kids, and my kids aren’t “school”ed and now I believe if I have them learn one thing, it is martial arts for self-defense. Seems so obvious, but it didn’t occur to me even during all the traumatic times of my youth, that if I had been armed with the ability to defend myself my fear would have been minimized and my confidence maximized. Advice to all young ladies every where: learn self-defense, it is the one most practical thing to learn.

  • Abby April 25th, 2012 10:24 PM

    RUBY!!!! That story made me want to throw up. How could someone do that to a helpless little animal?? Ugh.

    Also, Naomi, I feel you. I’m so scared to go to college next year and have to walk alone, especially at night.

    Also Also, Katherine, I totally get that. I was watching Law and Order: SVU the other day, and there was this rather graphic scene where one of the investigators is undercover and about to be raped, and my dad flipped a shit about me watching it. I’m seventeen, and he’s never had a problem with it… it was really irritating. I’m a big girl, I can handle things like that. I know it isn’t nice, I know that it’s graphic, and I would never let a kid of mine under 14 watch it without extensive discussion, but I’m seventeen. Suck it up, dad.

  • caro nation April 25th, 2012 10:30 PM

    Last time I was verbally attacked by some fucking assclown, I gave him the most powerful two middle fingers I could and screamed “Up yours!” I also memorized him license number. I saw him a couple weeks later, same car, and he drove away as soon as he saw me.

    But this didn’t prevent me from crying, because as of then, nobody had admonished me to the turmoil caused by sexual harassment.

    But you can’t let them break you on the outside.

    Also, Ruby, I think you should publish a book of essays, in the likeness of David Sedaris. I adore your anecdotes and vignettes.

  • LittleMissE April 26th, 2012 2:54 AM

    Ruby, that’s so awful. Basically the only important thing I’ve learned from middle school is that a lot of people suck.

  • JennaF April 26th, 2012 8:30 AM

    Dylan, have you read “Tales of the City”? (Armistead Maupin.) Or watched the miniseries based on it? (The old, original one.)

    If no to either of those, you must.

  • Jaime April 26th, 2012 9:25 AM

    These diaries are my favorite part of the website — I completely relate to all of you in some way. I’m a bit older (turning 22 this Saturday) but NONE of this shit ends (my mother still thinks she has a say about what’s appropriate for me to wear, for instance. Kind of thought that would end when I started paying my own rent!).

  • tallulahpond April 26th, 2012 1:02 PM

    RUBY YOU ARE AMAZING. I would totally have done that- what a brilliant thought! And then stupid teachers have to ruin everything. Ugh. I mean, most teachers are pretty cool, but shouting at you when you’re trying to help the poor thing preserve a bit of dignity? Not good.

  • MikaylaT April 26th, 2012 1:09 PM

    Oh Ruby. I applaud you for trying to bury that rabbit. I hate to say this, but if I ever tried to do that, my school would do the same thing. Awhile back, I was in a fight with another girl over the boy I was dating. She threatened to cut me with a razor, and it was a big mess. The vice-principal was supposed to take care of the whole thing. She received TWO days of in school suspension. I know a girl who got five days out of school suspension for a FACEBOOK post. The next day, the girl approached me saying my boyfriend got her pregnant. Keep in mind, this is in 8th grade. I was crying, and told my friends WHY I was crying. I got called down to the vice-principals office not too long after. She lectured me for 20 minutes about how I shouldn’t be spreading rumors and that she had to do “damage control”. I was never so angry in my life. Sometimes teachers think they’re so high and mighty, when in reality, they’re human like the rest of us.

  • julalondon April 26th, 2012 1:15 PM

    Favourite part of rookie ever! Ruby, i’m so sorry, i think i would have probably started crying and started to shout at the gym teacher.. Poor rabbit!
    Naomi, i can totally feel you. I had to deal with stuff like that as well and I TOTALLY KNOW THE FEELING YOU HAVE AFTERWARDS. It’s terrible, let me give you an internet-hug!!=)

  • whodatgal April 26th, 2012 2:56 PM

    Ruby.B- Omigod what utterly horrible people. I hate teachers. HDAJSKXLJSHJ Annoys me so much!

    Naomi- That is horrible. Internet hug \:)/

    Katherine- how can I watch Girls? I’m in London it won’t let me but I’m desperate!

  • MissKnowItAll April 26th, 2012 8:48 PM

    Katherine-Try watching Skins when your parents walk in. My mom walked in on the series premiere and she was convinced that I was watching porn.

  • Jes April 28th, 2012 12:38 PM

    Ruby- I feel for you. Teachers’ silly rules often result in good, kind people getting a lot of mean. I eventually learned that the only way to not get in trouble in elementary and middle school was to never talk and do nothing except for what the teacher tells you to do, which is an impossible goal for any sociable, thinking, unique person.

    However, I think that there is a lot less petty rule enforcement in high school. But it’s probably because teachers and principals have more serious stuff to keep track of, like kids smoking pot in school bathrooms and skipping class.

  • NotReallyChristian April 29th, 2012 12:15 PM

    I spent three months living in Italy a couple of years ago, and Oh. My. God. the street harassment is ridiculous. The number of times I got followed home when I was out at night (literally slammed my door in people’s faces), the time I got whistled at *by policemen from their police car* – seriously? I won’t say I was ever scared (I was in Florence, which is pretty small and safe) but I was creeped out on many, many occasions.

  • Cammy May 11th, 2012 10:55 AM

    Oh Naomi, I know exactly how you feel. As a brazilian, you don’t have idea what I suffer every time I step out. Most of brazilian men are like the italian ones.