home about submit ask archive
Hi. I'm Dani Oliver. I'm a writer living in Los Angeles, working full-time at an arts non-profit and ghostwriting on the side. This is where I write personal stuff publicly. Like ya do.


rhino birthday

I follow the San Diego Safari Park on Instagram. They post incredible photos and videos of endangered species in their park. 

Tonight they posted this video of a six day old rhino. Six days. Maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Little ears like tiny funnels, flawless grey skin.

Their caption was “Do you know how long rhinos have walked the earth?” I wanted to know. I scrolled down for the answer in the comments.

I didn’t find the answer. But one of the top comments was, “Who fucking cares.” 

Haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. 

[0 notes]


Why, and I mean WHY, am I drunk and eating spinach?

[0 notes]




I didn’t think I would write anything about this publicly. I generally don’t like using social media as a platform for anything particularly serious. Probably because it’s scary to put yourself out there, especially when you lay down your Opinion with a capital O smack dab in the middle of the…

[42 notes]


juice by yourself.

Granted it’s only been a week, this breakup — compared to the last — is really taking a strange toll on me. The last one left me manic and busy and attention hungry. This one is keeping me quiet, meek, and antisocial. I really just want to be alone; to hide somewhere padded for a bit. Sleep. The furthest I can be from another human. 

I’ve stopped the crying nonsense for the time being. Now I’m just achy and I sigh a lot. 

Really, why do we even need each other? Why is that we can’t function without the approval, the push, and the hug of other people? Other people are just us, really, externalized. They’re bits of us that feel more concrete than our thinking-things. 

I truly have no idea what Forward looks like. 

I’m on a juice cleanse, because that’s what you do in LA. I’m drinking lots and lots of vegetable juice, spiked with copious amounts of ginger, and a bit of almond milk. (All unpasteurized, so infants and the elderly and the infected, beware.)

Once I’m done drinking the juice, after five or six days, I’ll go back to exercising everyday and eating meats and veggies, and let’s see if I can’t drop the weight I’ve found in the process of losing myself.

[0 notes]


today, at the post office.

I ended up screaming at a stranger today. Full-blown, rage-filled yelling.

I went to the post office on my lunch break and as I’m pulling around, this guy waves me on in front of him and back into traffic. It was annoying as hell because it actually made it more complicated and difficult for me to see into traffic, but I started to pull out. And the fucker honks at me, intentionally, to scare me. 

I jumped, swore, and kept going, but the fucker pulls up alongside me and starts making lewd hand gestures and kissy faces.

I lost it. I lost every bit of sanity in my body. My window was down, and we’re right alongside each other waiting at a red light. I started screaming as loud as I could. There’s no way I could recreate what came out of my mouth, but the main gist was…


Did I mention I was screaming this? Not saying this. I was screaming it, full-force. My throat hurt the rest of the day. 

He kept trying to get in a word edgewise, that was the funny thing. Every time I paused he tried to say shit back, but he couldn’t get it out, so he’d stop. Looking like a fucking piece of shit motherfucking turd. 

Save situations that could be dangerous, I normally say something to men who leer or shout things or make comments. I’ve gotten pretty good about not letting it happen passively. Maybe that’s not the right decision, but fuck all if it doesn’t feel horrible just sitting and taking it. Fuck all if I’m going to exist while men get to treat me as an object. Fuck all if I’m going to be looked at as a woman without a mouth, without a fucking voice, who won’t fight back.

It ended with me stopping, and him saying, “How much, baby?” Me saying, “Fuck you, motherfucker” and driving off.

I don’t believe that the trash who shot all those young women in Santa Barbara was anything but mentally ill. I don’t think the issue was that he was a misogynist any more than I think the issue with a schizophrenic who stabs someone on the subway, mumbling about God’s great plan, is that he was a Christian. Insane people don’t make sense, and sane people like to dissect the kernels of the familiar in their nonsense, analyze it until they can rationalize insanity’s motives. Insanity has no fucking motive.

But that said, you better fucking believe that this asshole was in the back of my mind when I screamed, like someone insane, through my car window at a stranger. Because, #YesAllWomen. Because yes, as long as men talk about “pussy” as a sphere that exists outside of the woman its attached to, I am existing in a world that insists on doing unto me, and not leaving me room, and not allowing me the privilege of safety, and personhood.

I am not a person in the eyes of these men. I am a cunt attached to something fleshy that they want to ejaculate their insecurities into. I am the soft thing that makes them feel important, and big, because they can’t always take down the man who’s winning, but they can sure as hell assert themselves over me. I am the weak thing that makes them stronger. I am the object when they realize they own nothing — are nothing.

I am the girl, the pretty box that can’t fight back.

[3 notes]



Update: 2am phone calls to my mother, crying like a bitch, make things 52% better. She also suggests 2% milk before bed. Something about milk chemistry. Does a body good. 

71% chance I’ll get through this alive. 

[2 notes]


help, please.

The past two days have felt like an eternity. Full stop. 

I want to rewind or fast forward three months. I’ll take either, really. Just someone, help a girl out. 

I hurt so, so bad. 

[0 notes]


breathe out.

May 19, 2014: Mars turns direct today after retrograde motion since March 1st, dear Sagittarius, and this planetary change of direction can translate quite literally as a change of direction in your own life, particularly on social, romantic, and creative levels. There is likely to be more clarity and confidence in your life over the coming weeks, particularly when it comes to friendships, group endeavors, long-term plans, the lives of your children, and romantic relationships. Today, however, challenges in these areas of life may seem overwhelming. Give it time and don’t expect immediate results.

[0 notes]


walk, walk there.

When I got home from work (late, of course, as I’ve been working overtime this week), I went to walk from my car to my apartment and I just stopped. It’s so goddamn hot outside. It’s 85 degrees at 10 o’clock. And I’m so goddamn fizzy inside (surely, a wavering 98.4, 98.6, 98.3…). So I turned around and walked down Sunset, to the bookstore/cafe where I write. I wanted a cold drink, and I checked the entire menu before deciding on an Arnold Palmer. The woman in front of me ordered an Arnold Palmer. The man at the counter, my age, who’s always there, was sweating, beads on his forehead sticking to his drooping black hair. She walked away and I ordered an Arnold Palmer, in a calm, slow voice because he seemed so harried. He breathed a second and said, “I can make it with mint tea. We have premade mint tea. But that doesn’t sound very good.”

"No," I said. "That sounds awful, actually."

"So I’ll steep you something from this list."

"That’s great. Darjeeling, then."

"I’ll steep it."

He calmed himself, turned around, began steeping my tea. Realizing he had nothing more to do, and letting himself breathe, he turned back around.

"We’re out of iced tea. We ran out. We ran out of lemonade. It’s almost gone. We even ran out of cold cups, for iced drinks."

He looked at me, incredulously. Waiting for me to say something.

"Well…" I said, slowly, "I came in here looking for an iced drink. Didn’t know what I wanted, but then I saw your menu. An Arnold Palmer sounded nice."

"Yeah," he said, looking perplexed. "I guess it makes sense." He wiped some sweat away.

I waited, he gave it to me, it was delicious.

I picked up a Frank O’Hara selected poems and bought it. 

Walked outside and listened to three guys play guitars and sing behind the book store.

Walked down to the lake, read the book until it went all dark.

Came back, ran into my boss, of all people. He does not live on this side of town. He was parking his car.

"What are you doing?"



"I don’t know, really."

"In the dark?"


"Where are you going?"

"I don’t know."

I must have looked like a silly, silly loon. 

I said goodbye to him, he clearly did not want to talk to anyone, and I walked back to where more people were playing music. It was bad, I left quickly.

On the way back, a guy was coming towards me and pointed over my shoulder. I don’t know what I said, but I knew he was talking to me, so I said something like, “What’s up?”

"The moon. It’s huge."

I turned around, walked to the left, and sure enough, there it was. And huge. The guy had already started walking away as a car came towards me. I was standing in the street.

"It IS huge," I said to the guy over my shoulder. "I’m going to get hit by a car now, but you’re right, it is huge."

I got out of the way, watched as the moon guy walked out of sight without another glance at me. 

I went home. 

It’s very, very warm in my apartment. There is no AC. I’m thinking about leaving again. 

[2 notes]










"Heroin What-If-There-Are-Ghosts-In-My-Garden"

… And I’m whiskey dying alone.

Beer Jowls. Sexy.

i’d be Whiskey Sour Shit Root

Gin Defective

Coopers Coward.

Amaretto chicken legs

Riesling Softbelly

Jack Crazy Smile.

Or, alternatively…

Alcohol Bear Mauling.

(Source: an-anonymous-friend)

[149,174 notes]



The Huge Mistake Pie - The Hairpin
More pie charts here.

[242 notes]


the red eyed man.

Tonight a homeless and/or cracked out man came into the coffee shop where I was writing. He was kempt enough to be mistaken for a-okay, but I realized something was wrong before the rest of the shop seemed to, so I watched him for a bit. 

He walked through the cafe and up to the counter, all the while insulting everyone he laid eyes on, nonsensically.

"Oh look. Here’s the business man. Here’s the business man who thinks he’s going to make all the deals."

"This lady is out of dollars. She’s poor as shit. She’s going to want to steal the whole jar of dollars, keep them for herself. She’s a dollar-taker."

He saw me and muttered, “Oh, look. The next great American novelist.”

Ouch, dude. Ten points for the crack-lined bite of lemon, though. Top notch.

Then he stood at the counter and barked at the customers, all the while riding the thin line between slightly strange and utterly terrifying. 

He then chose a middle-aged Asian woman at the counter, murmuring something I couldn’t hear, rapid-fire.

The whites of his eyes were not. They were red.
He carried a dirty leather purse.

By the time everyone else realized there was something wrong, that he was out of his mind, he had walked out the back door.

"I thought he was with you," said the barista to the patron at the counter. She said nothing, just shook her head and took a seat again. Shaken. Holding her tea.

[2 notes]



Hi there.

I’ve made myself a promise that, every weekday, I’ll either exercise or write. So far, I’ve managed to accomplish this task (I’ve been working out a lot, writing a little, surprise surprise). Until tonight. 

I feel lethargic, allergy-stricken, hormonal, so the gym and yoga are right out. My brain is dull and irritated, so writing isn’t going to happen. 

Writing in this journal is my copout.

So hello, there! Again!

I’ll give you a few life updates, because why not.

My job, after a tumultuous few months, is going well. 

My social life, god help me, is the same. I’m trying my damnest to make friends, but I always have a hard time doing so when I’m not single. I’m not in flirt-mode when I’m not single, which puts an emphasis on the introverted and eliminates the go-getter borrower-sized human inside of me altogether. 

I went to Vegas, and it was a very tame trip. Almost too tame. I don’t know if that means I’m growing up or that I’m boring. Or maybe I just needed a different traveling circumstance. Couldn’t tell you, really. I saw a Cirque show, though, my first one. It was stunning. Also, I’m amazed that a casino was housing a theatre that large. Hell, a theatre at all. Vegas is sort of a wonderland like that. So disoriented, the whole time.

I applied to go on Birthright in August. I’ve wanted to go to Israel for years, and this year is my last chance at Birthright. Crossing fingers. 

I am writing, though. I’m working on my play. I want it more than I wanted it the last time I started. But it’s teaching myself a skill I don’t have yet; frustrating, overwhelming, trial and error.

My apartment is coming along nicely. The items still needed are as follows: a trunk/coffee table, a big circular rug, a pub table and chairs. The items I’d like to upgrade include the following: a dresser/wardrobe, my desk. The rest is just set-dressing, and that’s the easiest part. I’m comfortable there now. It’s home, and I want to be there for a while.

I wish there was more. And that might actually be the larger thing. I wish there were more, and I’m currently experimenting with different ways there could be more. 

And so forth.

[4 notes]



I. Don’t. Want. To. Sleep. 

[0 notes]


oh, right.

I have the worst memory for experience.

I’ve just recalled that this, always, is how insomnia starts. It starts with days where sleeping is out of the question. Maybe mania, maybe anxiety, maybe fear, perhaps aggression or boredom. Whatever. These are the beginning days. I don’t just start with a “oh shit I can’t sleep.” It happens with a “oh, christ. there’s no way I’m sleeping.” Then it unravels from there.

I’m back to listening to Li-Young Lee while trying to sleep (instead of the typical bad British tv). I used to listen to his readings on repeat until the sun came up, not wanting to sleep. Memorizing the poems, mouthing along with him. I don’t know why I’m listening to him again. 

I’m exhausted and riled up. Unquieted and internally chaotic. 

[2 notes]