Notes from my Journal — People watching and other musings

Michael Drummond/Senior Staff

I’m unabashed in my people-watching. I will sit in a coffee shop with my hands poised over my computer, clearly just posing and listening to the fascinatingly boring coffee date happening between two bankers next to me. I’m not sure why I take such pleasure in the mundane; maybe it’s the overhearing of sentiments that I completely resonate with, or an appreciation of realities so different from mine. Fitting for this obsession with the ordinary, my “journal” is my planner. It is a green Moleskine with a lined page for each day. The outside is covered with stickers and random things from throughout the year — a picture of a stranger I found on the ground outside my favorite cafe; a sticker that boasts, “Clean Plate Club Official Member”; a copy of my friend’s poem. On the inside, I write down the necessary reminders of the day and whatever else catches my fancy.

Sept. 6

Standardized tests invented in 605 A.D. in China.

Someone characterized ex-hookup as “this” — proceeded to bounce potato off plate.

Catherine and her sister one time found their old poodle skirts and had a twirling contest until her sister fell and needed to get staples in her head.

Sept. 17

Overheard at bougie brunch place: “the synergy of flavor.”

Oct. 6

Mom came down with case of shingles. Her reaction: “What a dumb disease. Like what the fuck.”

Will buys things on Amazon just to have them arrive in the mail. Like Otter Pops.


His boyfriend (who lives with him) sent him his birthday present in the mail.

Oct. 11

Overheard in the Mission: “Do you ever write checks to your drag friends and find out their real names?”

Oct. 13

Brian and I went to get haircuts from “Jenny,” an El Salvadoran woman with cataracts. Has six children, two of whom are half-Japanese. Ex-husband was famous futbol player in El Salvador. Brian had to touch up his choppy cut in the kitchen upon our return home.   

“I hope if heaven exists, it’s reliving your highest moments” —Alana

Oct. 14


how motionless

the eaten moon

lies in the protecting lines.”

—William Carlos Williams

Oct. 17

Avocados and bananas are the only fruits without juice?

Oct. 18

There was a goth girl at Lily’s high school who dressed up as a valley girl one day for Halloween and then never went back and continued wearing pastels for the rest of high school.

Overheard: “You know Ron has a gray pitbull named Grandpa?”

Oct. 20

Mom sent a care package with soap, razors, lotion, “Autobiography of Malcolm X,” fuzzy pug socks and six pack of athletic socks.

Middle-aged woman on BART wore dated business clothing perhaps bought in ’90s. Dropped iPhone fumbling through her printed out MapQuest pages.

Oct. 22

Man about my dad’s age wearing a black Ralph Lauren polo tried to pay for his yogurt with a $100 bill. We told him we can’t accept hundreds, and he said, “That’s not very gangster of you.”

One proposed seal for America was an image of Moses parting the Red Sea.

Oct. 23

Overheard at FSM: “I’m feeling about as motivated as the guy who designed the Japanese flag.”

For Laura’s 10th birthday, she wanted to go to KFC. The girls in her class refused to go with her, so she invited them over and just served KFC out of her mom’s casserole dishes.

Peer pressured for the third time this week to buy a burrito when hanging out with Lilly.

Oct. 25

Alex told this story: In third grade, he got braces. After getting them off in fifth grade, a girl named Taylor told him he looked better with them.

Overheard at Blue Bottle: Sweet woman and husband with a baby to middle-aged couple emerging from fancy car (Spyder?): “That’s a nice car you got there.”


Middle-aged guy: “I know.”
Test this response to compliments out to see if I lose friends.

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