Dear Diary

August 8, 2012

Heaven is a place on earth.


The Seattle Freeze is a condition simply described as politeness without friendliness; distance; suggesting to hang out with someone you met last weekend and them acting like it’s the most garish suggestion imaginable. Unfortunately for me, the Freeze is real. Seattle, where I spent my formative years, is a really challenging place to make new friends.

In Seattle, it’s completely natural to be running around in the same social circle as a person for five years and never “meet” them, once. Up there, it’s not cool to be, well, like me: hyper, socially proactive, stoked about stuff. Everyone tries so hard to be cool that they miss out on a lot of stuff. By the time I was 16 I was 100% over that attitude.

When I moved to California for college, I was stunned by how different the social atmosphere was. Random people were coming up to me at shows and parties, introducing themselves, and chatting with me! I was BLOWN AWAY. Here were people with no reason to talk to me, but they did anyway! They were so approachable! So affable! I had entered the land of happy people, people who can be simultaneously cool and friendly—traits that Seattleites seem to consider mutually exclusive.

That was two years ago. Now that I’ve gotten to know the social climate here a little better, I know that Californians aren’t just friendlier and happier and more energetic than other people, and more fun at parties—they’re also a lot better at hiding their dark sides. I say this because most of the friendliest, funnest, most amicable people I’ve met here have eventually unveiled personality twists that I never, ever would have expected. This shit is like reality TV! It keeps happening: I meet someone who seems on my level in terms of enthusiasm, fun, love of adventure, love of music, etc.—one of my people, I think at first—and they turn out to have a crazy secret or something. It’s disappointing to realize that people who are fun and stoked and have their shit together are probably few and far between.

I just found out one of my closest friends has been a lifelong habitual abuser of heroin and is currently on a destructive bender. I never would have expected that from this nice, awesome person I look up to. It made me rethink everyone else who’s disappointed me. There was the friend who picked a fight with me and totally ruined my positive perception of him. There was this really fun musician dude I met and hung out with for a bit, until he made the world’s creepiest moves on my roommate a lot, and once on me (he left her a 45-second voicemail of SEXUAL PURRING (ew sorry that’s a phrase now). There’s this other dude I thought was the sweetest, coolest EVER, and I was so flattered that he wanted to be friends, but then I heard remarks from others who’ve known him longer about behavior on his part that makes me uncomfortable. There are a lot more stories like that, too, of people I meet and think are great, then they turn out to be Sketchy Vibes Central. I said all of this to one of my older buddies in Oakland, and they replied, “Yeah, I know. It’s kinda like a California thing.”

Hold on, what? Is there not one location on the planet whose social culture supports people who are simultaneously HAPPY and OK? At least in Seattle, where people were cold and indifferent to me, they seemed like normal people under the Freeze. Is it possible, anywhere, to have your life in order, be stoked, like to party, and not be too cool to have fun? I haven’t figured this out yet, and I feel stupid, like my good-human radar is broken. Right now the moral of my story is: most people who seem happy are secretly fucked up. ♦


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  • August 8th, 2012 7:22 PM

    Ruby: Congrats on getting the part if draco! That just so happens to be my fav character in a very potter musical :)

  • maddy417 August 8th, 2012 7:41 PM

    naomi, i know exactly how you feel! i spent a lot of time on trains and planes this summer and there’s something so oddly melancholy about them. my brother and i are both starting to travel on our own and it’s weird to think it’s the end of an era of family vacations.

    also, i haven’t been to iona but as i’m writing this comment, my computer desktop background is a photo i took in oban last month. WHAT ARE THE ODDS (this is only a crazy coincidence due to the detail that i’m american so scotland is ~far away)

    • dramallama August 8th, 2012 9:28 PM

      I went to iona last holidays AND my name is iona it was so weird seeing that :0

  • GlitterKitty August 8th, 2012 7:51 PM

    Dylan, the last sentence of that was so perfectly spot-on. It reminded me of getting the “always happy” award at summer camp. Although I am quite happy at camp and was flattered people noticed, I disliked that award too. It seemed so one sided and superficial. And when I am upset or feeling generally bummed out, I always think about that and get even more upset because I’m the happy one and WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME!?!?? Ugh life can be hard.

  • Mim August 8th, 2012 8:02 PM

    According to the Goldilocks-principle, clearly that in-between place for nice and dark-secret-lacking people is in Oregon! :D (Also mean, dark secret having ones, but they stand out.)

    • Anaheed August 8th, 2012 8:16 PM

      Now that you mention it, everyone we met in Portland WAS really great…

  • LeavesThatAreGreen August 8th, 2012 8:12 PM


  • bugaleeto August 8th, 2012 8:54 PM

    the “heaven is a place on earth” thing made me think of Lana Del Rey, which made this post even MORE dreamier.

  • Tiger August 8th, 2012 9:13 PM


  • Kathryn August 8th, 2012 9:19 PM

    Ruby, I am also non-ironically obsessed with Harry Potter! I started reading them in like first grade, so it’s been a part of my life for a long time, too. I cried when I finished the last one, and I felt really weird after I finished watching the last movie (I went to it at the midnight viewing thingy).

  • Victoria the Monster August 8th, 2012 9:37 PM

    Ruby- You are my soulmate.

  • maddyr August 8th, 2012 9:57 PM

    Katherine, did you see Claude the albino alligator at the California Academy of Sciences? He’s really cool.

  • bookworm123 August 8th, 2012 10:21 PM

    Ruby: NICE! Draco! Have a BLAST–AVPM is awesome, even more so than Redvines:)

    • bookworm123 August 8th, 2012 11:21 PM

      Also, how does one like Harry Potter ironically? Being a die-hard Potterhead since kindergarten, I don’t quite get the concept.
      (P.S. Is anyone here lucky enough to be going to LeakyCon? Team Starkid will be there, among other fab people, and I am JEALOUS of anyone who’s going!)

  • Peet August 8th, 2012 11:22 PM

    This is the first time I’ve commented on Rookie (though I’ve read almost every article 0__o) because I just HAD to.

    NAOMI:: my mom had the same surgery as your dad I think!!! She had to lay on her side for a couple of weeks without moving (insanity) and had to put in lots of eye drops for a few weeks too. DON’T WORRY. she’s totally fine now, so I’m sure your dad will be too! She does complain about her eye but I mostly think that’s just her …… anyway she was very happy to know she wasn’t the only person in the universe getting the surgery!

    I also don’t know WHAT I would do without Rookie in my life. It’s hard to imagine that I’ve never met you guys because it seems that your interests and ideas are more germane (looked that word up in my SAT book, HOLLER) to mine than honestly those of most of my closest friends. It’s great to find such kindred spirits who have similar obsessions and just general outlooks of life.

    Sorry for all of the caps lock, but I just love caps.

  • Adrienne August 8th, 2012 11:30 PM

    Katherine! I love the California Academy of Sciences. I haven’t been to that exhibit yet, but I love the aquarium, indoor rainforest, and the planetarium!

    Ruby, AVPM rocks my socks. I think I found it a year and a half ago or something, and watched it countless times ever since. I feel like that AVPM has better songs and a better story, but AVPS is funnier. IT IS CONFIRMED THAT THERE WILL BE A THREEQUEL! And congrats with the part! I bet you’ll be great as Draco. Are you going to roll around on the floor? :)

    Holy Musical B@man! is hilarious as well. :D

    • 3LL3NH August 10th, 2012 5:42 PM

      Threequel!?!?!?! That is too exciting, they are so incredible.

      And I agree, Ruby, you are perfect, and Draco is such a good part. If you never do anything else, it’s so worth it!

  • guiltfreedonut August 8th, 2012 11:51 PM

    Spot on with the “Seattle Freeze!” I lived there for a few years in middle school and felt the exact same way. I thought it was only me! It’s really annoying that everyone is so worried about what everyone else is thinking about them and not just being themselves… It’s a very uniform city. I live in New York now and it’s a lot better, but there still are weird different social things. Maybe it does happen in every city!

  • marimba_girl August 9th, 2012 12:16 AM

    DRACO!!!!! Make sure to roll around on the floor a lot and simper after Hermione :)

  • Blythe August 9th, 2012 12:26 AM

    *seemingly-happy-but-actually-fucked-up-Californian raises hand*

  • Lucille August 9th, 2012 3:22 AM

    Ruby, you lucky girllll!congrats!

  • sedgwick August 9th, 2012 9:00 AM

    wait. ruby are you saying there are IRONIC harry potter fans out there? thats not right. impossible. how could people even do the lame ironic liking of something so good? harry potter transcends everything

  • Eryn August 9th, 2012 12:13 PM


  • christinachristina August 9th, 2012 12:47 PM

    uh, hey, ruby? you’re my hero.

  • Casey August 9th, 2012 12:48 PM

    Ruby, I would love it if you videotaped your adaptation of AVPM!!! I love Starkid (Lauren Lopez = my wife, Joe Walker = my husband…and the rest are all my secret lovers), and I would love to see you as Draco!

  • aliceee August 9th, 2012 4:07 PM

    Ruby that is so cool!!!! Good luck, my man :D

  • airplanes.books August 9th, 2012 7:25 PM

    dylan! “Up there, it’s not cool to be, well, like me: hyper, socially proactive, stoked about stuff. ” broad generalization! i’m from seattle, and live here, and i’m stoked a lot?

  • Yayo August 9th, 2012 7:37 PM

    ‘Heaven is a place on earth’

    … with you, tell me all the things you want to do. I heard that you like the bad girls, HONEY, IS THAT TRUE? It’s better than I ever even knew.

    (Sorry, ignore my hard-core Lana Del Rey fan-ning over here. It cheered me up.)

  • DE August 10th, 2012 5:19 PM

    Whenever I’m really anxious and feeling completely alone I read rookie and instantly I feel better. Thank you so much for softening the blow of growing up.

    • Dylan August 10th, 2012 9:16 PM

      I love that and feel the same way.

  • Eugenie August 12th, 2012 11:49 PM

    The normal people are the ones you don’t know very well Dylan. Everybody has their “secret”, and if you don’t yet, one day you will. I just hope no one decides they don’t want to be your friend because of it.

  • karastarr32 August 13th, 2012 2:56 PM

    OMG I luv Iona!! Gonna read the rest now… :)

  • JennaF August 17th, 2012 8:10 AM

    Dylan, I know exactly what you mean about L.A. There were two main parts to it: 1) if someone was friendly, they had a hidden agenda (someone tried to recruit me to their cult — energetically) and 2) if I was friendly, people were suspicious of MY motives! (Because #1 was so widespread.)

    I’ve found major cities in the Midwest to be that perfect combo you’re talking about. Minneapolis, Madison, Columbus, sort of Chicago.

  • LittleMissE August 24th, 2012 4:27 PM

    Okay I know this was a few weeks ago but I just found this now and *scream* RUBY OHMYWIZARDGOD. You are like the ultimate kindred spirit. I too have completely memorized AVPM (and a good chunk of AVPS) and I regularly reenact the scenes with my fellow Potterhead/Starkid friends. I am so jealous that you actually get to be in a production of AVPM – I hope you have blast. I know it’ll be TOTALLY AWESOME (*Goyle voice* Yeah you’ll be the one who is totally awesome)

  • Ellie October 13th, 2012 11:32 PM