i saw this in my local mall

First Kiss at the Forbidden Mall

As read on January 19th, 2016, at the Vol. 1 Brooklyn Reading Series in NYC.

In 2003 I was 13 years old, I lived in Jacksonville Florida, and I had just started dating my second boyfriend, “Adam.” (My so-called first boyfriend was some self-professed “goth infantile”, who I mostly talked to on AIM. The few times I saw him IRL were at Sunset Place in Miami, where he would narc on shoplifters at the local Hot Topic. He would be compensated in some real shitty band stickers.)

Anyway, Adam and I met in the school cafeteria, where we bonded over our shared love for Tool. We were also friends with “Hannah,” a bisexual goth girl who was often making out with other goth girls in the school courtyard. I was invited to join their communal makeout once, but I declined.

Still, Adam and I were both strangely fascinated by her. Sometimes we stayed up late on the phone with her and candidly discussed music and sexy things. (He only knows what an orgasm is because Hannah and I gave him our half-baked 13-year-old knowledge, probably scavenged from gURL.com.) Most importantly, Hannah and her mother were my cover up for my first date with Adam, which happened at the Forbidden Mall.

The Forbidden Mall was forbidden because 1) people got shot there and 2) Jacksonville is a Navy town and sailors were often found in the food court trying to pick up teen girls. Still, that Hot Topic was the best one in town. I told my mom us girls were going shopping at the nice mall… And met Adam at the Forbidden Mall, where romance ensued. This is the original account from my diary, written in March 2003.

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One of the most satisfying things I’ve done was act like a lesbian couple with one of my friends in front of a anti-gay rights protester (I’ve done this twice, once with an actual protester and once with a lady who was talking shit in a restaurant)

There was a small protest (about 10 people tops) outside a local mall a couple years back and me and a couple of my friends from school went out since it was summer and we had nothing better to do. We came across this protest and saw this crowd of people holding signs. One of the most prominent people was this soccer mom christian lady who had this tight grip on her teenage son’s arm while she held up a sign and yelled things like “god hates fags” and stuff of the sort. Her son looked like he wanted to be anywhere else, and you could see him gritting his teeth and trying to tug away from the lady.

So I turned to one of my friend’s and said “babe can you believe these people?” really loud, and it caught the attention of this lady. Luckily my friend caught on right away and replied with “I know its ridiculous, but don’t get upset,” and kissed me on the cheek and promptly linked her hands with mine. Now we had the lady’s complete attention, and she stopped shouting and was staring at us with an angry expression. We were a little afraid she would do something, but there were enough people milling around that we were relatively safe and this lady couldn’t pull shit. Her son looked hella confused. We kept on talking loudly and insulting them in between affectionate statements while our friends stood a little bit away, trying to control their laughter. This lady’s face progressively got more screwed up and redder until her entire complexion was this purplish pinkish reddish thing (I’ll be honest it scared us a bit). She stormed off with her sign, and her son just stood there, giggling for a bit and then bursting out into full laughter.

Nothing feels better than pissing off a conservative soccer mom.

Pokemon Go: The Force of a new Social Culture

I wanted to do a quick write up of the amazing experience I was a part of today, before the magic faded away and the excitement had drifted.  This is a feeling I never want to forget.

By now, it’s the second full day in the United States of the Pokemon Go official release.  I had opened the app here and there (and at work, shh!), but hadn’t gotten a huge opportunity to really go out and play.  After I finished work, I convinced my husband eating at the local mall was a good idea (and a good place to walk for Pokemon in the heat, in my opinion).

The first thing I noticed at the mall was the sheer amount of people with their eyes glued to their phones.  I had never seen anything like it.  When I glimpsed at the screen and saw the familiar map, I was in awe.  I would elbow my husband in the ribs and hiss, “LOOK, they’re playing it, too!” At one point, I entered a particular store, and then spat, without thinking, “Oh man, servers are down again.”
“What?!” said one of the employees, rushing to the drawer by the cash register.
“Don’t worry,” said my husband, “she means Pokemon Go servers.”
“DUH!” the employee exclaimed, holding up her phone, flashing the Gyarados loading screen.  “What else would you be talking about?”

We came home, I sat at my desk to do something else productive… and couldn’t get Pokemon Go out of my head.  “Honey,” I said, “I’m going out to play.”

“Oh, have fun,” he said (as he loaded up the game and picked Squirtle).

I went to a particular historic shopping area I had frequented during the field test, and had the most amazing experience of my life.

Well over fifty, maybe even a hundred (I was there four hours, it’s hard to know exactly), people were walking and playing Pokemon Go, eyes glued to the screen, spinning PokeStops, and battling at the gyms there.  The most awe-inspiring thing was when, eventually, everyone else realized everyone was there for Pokemon Go.

I don’t think I’ve talked to so many strangers, struck up so many conversations, and felt so at ease with groups of people.  Ever.  Suddenly, from a block away, you’d hear someone scream, “SCYTHER OVER HERE!” and a crowd of people would cheer and run in that direction.  When one group would hunt out a rarer Pokemon in the area, people immediately started communicating with everyone else, until the collective en masse had captured it.  At one point, a Blastoise showed up, right in the middle of the district, and the utter cheers and cries of happiness when he was caught was just inspiring.

“YES, YES, OH GOD YES!” screamed one 40-year-old gentleman.

“DID YOU GET BLASTOISE?!” a 16-year-old girl yelled.

“YES, YES I DID!” he sobbed.

I saw mothers with their children, entire families, groups of twentysomethings and more, all coming together over this.  Over Pokemon Go.

Our area appears to largely be Team Valor, and when a Team Mystic gym suddenly showed up in the area, about ten of us locked eyes, realizing we were all proudly Red, and ran over there, only to reclaim it.  It didn’t matter what team you were on – everyone was laughing.  I haven’t felt like this since I was a child.

And Pokemon Go gave me this experience.

I’m pretty sure I’m hooked, and I hope you get a chance to experience just a sliver of what I did.

Because it was amazing.

Back to school haul part 1. The local shopping.
Today I went to buy hay for my guinea pigs to the mall and Office Depot is kinda next to that shop so I went in. I bought a washi tape (really expensive unfortunately, so I only bought one - actually the brand is called Scotch, I hope it’s great quality). I bought a pen, too, it’s a Uni Jetstream 101 and an envelope folder. When I saw it I immediately felt that I need it, because it’s so beautiful, isn’t it?
And the last item I bought (I actually bought it earlier and not in Office Depot) is a Pukka Pad. I decided that I will write my notes on loose-leaf papers just like in semester 2, but this time I’m going to rewrite my notes to exercise books, so in this way I can focus better in classes ‘cause I won’t have to juggle with lots of different coloured pens, because I will only use blue/black and then when I get home I will rewrite them with more colours.