pic contributed AGAIN by kathy cheng! click it for something she wrote a year ago

Please realize the the following was read by the author on the night of June 8, 2003, at The Very First Atlanta Film Festival Sunday Night Reading & Carousal in Atlanta, GA, pictures of which are available here.

Dear Diary,

Today is the last day in my parent's stupid house before I move into my new place. And where is my new place, you ask? Well, I'll be staying in a super fancy loft with six strangers for three whole months. That's right, diary! I'm going to be on The Real World!

We're only allowed to bring two bags of stuff, and I'm having a really difficult time deciding what to take with me. How am I supposed to know what I'm going to want to wear in two weeks? I've got to bring only my COOLEST, most flattering clothes. And lots of shoes. And a picture of my girlfriend, Susie. She's so hot. And I love her SOO much.

The next three months are going to be really interesting. Today, I'm a normal guy in a normal life. But tomorrow, I will be skyrocketing towards my ultimate goal of being a host on a dating reality game show. I mean, wasn't getting famous just sitting around my parent's pool or working at my dad's company. This is my big chance!

When your dream job is being a celebrity, there aren't a lot of things you can do. I don't want to be an actor or a musician. I just want to be on TV a lot, and get invited to good parties. Being on the Real World is like having a celebrity internship. And you're pretty much guaranteed to become a star. Everyone remembers the Real World casts. Like Eric Nies. And, uhm. Puck. And. Well, I don't remember right now. But they're famous. Really famous.

Well, diary! I've got to pack. Say goodbye to normal Ben! Tomorrow, I'll be too famous to talk to you!


Dear Diary,

I've been in the "real world" for a week now. It's even better than I thought. My roommates are really cool people, and our house is amazing. We've got a pool table and an iMac and all the rooms are designed really nicely. I'm glad I went on the Atkin's Diet all winter long because there's a hot tub in the house and everyone runs around with barely any clothes on. I wouldn't want my adoring fans to be disappointed by a less-than-perfect physique.

It's been an interesting experience getting used to being on camera all the time. There are 9 people standing around me right now, lights pointing at me, and everyone is just sort of standing around, watching me. For the first few days, every time the cameras were on me, I couldn't help but stare into space and talk about myself. I mean, it seems like that's mostly what people do on this show. But then, during my three hour private interview session, they told me I'd have to stop doing it. It's not "real" enough, they said. I'm just supposed to pretend like the cameras aren't there and "live in the moment." Oh! Duh!

So far, I like everyone. There are three boys and four girls, and everyone is mega-attractive. We all get along really well, even though we're really different. Like, I'm from the suburbs, but this other guy Matt, he's from somewhere in New York City. He's really street smart, and he's got a funny accent! Ha ha! What a character he is, always talking about how tough his life is back home. I mean, come on! How tough could it be?

I ESPECIALLY like ONE of my housemates. Her name is Katie. Boy, she's a looker. And we really seem to have hit it off. We're actually sharing one of the bedrooms. ...We've got our own beds and everything, but we stay up late every night chatting, and sometimes we snuggle. Platonically, of course.

I've never really met anyone like her -- I guess it's just luck that the producers picked two people who are so compatible. And she seems really stable and normal, unlike Susie who yells at me all the time.

But I'm with Susie, and I promised her I wouldn't hook up with anyone while I was on the show, and I'm going to stick to that promise. Plus, I'd look like such a slut if I cheated on her on international television.


Dear Diary,

So much has happened since the last time I wrote. Matt, my housemate from New York, totally got kicked out of the house. The producers found out that he was dealing crank out of his room to some neighborhood kids. They said that THEY didn't care, but that the network would get in trouble if anyone found out.

Both producers came to the house and sat us all down in the living room. They told us about how hard it was for them to ask one of us to leave because they'd grown to love us all over the last few weeks. But they said that it had to be done, no matter how painful it was for everyone. And when they told Matt to go, he burst into tears.

The housemates are really sad to see him go. All the girls were crying and giving Matt big hugs. We all shook his hand and told him that everything would be alright. On his way out, he told us that he would never forget us, and that we were his new family. It was an emotionally draining day. I experienced sadness, pity, disappointment, fear, relief and hope. The experience made all us all realize how lucky we are to be on the show.

I didn't tell anyone this, but I'm actually glad to see him go. Matt was a jerk. And he was better looking than me. And he always got more camera time than everyone else. Plus, he was always flirting with Katie, who I am now sleeping with eight times a day.


Dear Diary,

It would seem that Katie is a time-release crazy. Last night, after we had sex in the hot tub, she got all quiet and wanted to talk about our relationship. She told me that she's in love with me and how she wanted to move to Iowa with me after the show ends.

I was like, WHOA! It's only been three weeks and all of a sudden she wants to have my babies. I don't even want babies. Our priorities are totally different. I told her that you can't be an on screen personality and have a girlfriend, and that I thought we were just having fun while we were on the show. She started crying and locked herself in the confessional for three hours.

That is not going to play well to the audience.

And I've spent a lot of time thinking about Susie lately. I'm not sure I should tell her about the whole Katie thing. I think it'll probably piss her off, and I wouldn't want to throw away six months of hot sex before the show airs.


Dear Diary,

Today is the last day of my life in the real world. I'm all packed and ready to go back to the ... other world.

These last few weeks were a rollercoaster of emotion. My housemates ARE like a new family, and I will keep in touch with them FOREVER. I'm really sad to be leaving the house and going back to everything. It will be hard to readjust to life off-camera. I'll miss the constant attention from my three camera men, the sound girl, my stylist, the tech crews and of course Bunim and Murray. My mom said she'd interview me with her camcorder for three or four hours a week so that I don't feel too lonely.

I have learned so much about myself and about people, and about the world in general. Living with these six strangers really opened my eyes to how crazy everyone is, and how much better I am than most people. It was truly a growing experience, and I'll never be the same again.

When I think back on all the experiences we've had in the house -- the fun, the fights, our trip to Uzbekistan, our jobs as shark wranglers, the day when the militia group raided the house, and all the other great stuff, I can only come to one conclusion: Get ready Hollywood! I'm going to be fucking famous!

[Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/realworld.html] 


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the western coast of america is advised to spend the next few days
attending the hobart/monkeybicycle tour