Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Getting over a crush goes something like this:
Denial: “He’s only ignoring me because he likes me!”
Self Loathing: “If only I were prettier, smarter, funnier, skinnier, etc… he would like me.” Often followed by a vicious cycle of ice cream and elliptical machines.
Anger: “What the hell is his problem?! I’m cute and smart and funny and I actually like him! That’s not enough for him?!” This stage usually includes beer and cursing.
Sad Acceptance: You’ve given up hope that he’s ever going to show up on your front lawn with a boom-box held over his head. You’re mostly okay with this but every so often you think about that time when you were so sure he was flirting with you…and that smile… There is usually more ice cream. Or cookies. Cookies are good.
Peaceful Acceptance: This is where you get all zen talking about how it was never meant to be and how you can see now that he was all wrong for you and it never would have worked out and you wish him well and you hope he finds love and the universe will provide and you go from downward facing dog into child’s pose.
Ooooh Shiny! aka Hey… who’s that guy?: Eventually a new guy walks into the bar and the cycle starts from the beginning. This is a floater stage because shiny can happen at anytime rendering the rest of the steps unnecessary.
In conclusion: Liking someone who doesn’t like you back epically sucks. But you get over it. And something shiny is always just around the corner.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I thought you had been planting flowers
while you were sleeping
I buried you in the grave
I watched you dig for me
(I thought you had been planting flowers).
I shoveled dirt on top of you
in large, angry loads
eager to cover you completely
before you began to inhale the black earth
and the worms came
to eat you like words.
in the silence of years that
stretched around me like
someone else’s house
I liked to imagine that
it had all been buried with you, that
what we had done was biodegradable,
broken down beyond molecules
because even molecules can be mistakes.
but sleeping is not dead
and buried is not gone
and even now after all
the time it took you to
pull yourself through
the dirt into the air,
even after I have
burned over the bruises
and watched myself heal
into something shiny
and strong, and beautiful,
the molecules of my mistakes
Friday, June 19, 2009
I like to think of parallel universes. It’s comforting to think that somewhere, in some universe, there is a Michelle who has made all the right moves. But, for the first time, I’m glad that I’m not her. I make mistakes on a daily basis. I’m never happy about them. I never feel good about the fact that I’ve hurt someone or broken something or let myself be maneuvered into a difficult situation. But, at the same time, I love my mistakes. Because mistakes are always more than just mistakes. If you listen to what they’re trying to tell you sometimes they help you grow and sometimes they show you how you’ve already grown more than you realize.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I’ve used this metaphor before but it is still sadly accurate: When it comes to love I’m the kid out in center field looking up at the pop fly wanting to catch it and praying it doesn’t come anywhere near.
This manifests itself in many awesome ways in the real world. My favorite is the fact that when I like a guy I find it SO necessary to hide that fact that I will often treat him with what appears to be complete disregard. What’s really fun is this is completely involuntary. And there’s usually a neurotic little “what the fuck are you doing?! Talk to him!” dialogue going on in my head while I’m acting like he does not exist. This frustrates me to no end. See, if a guy’s not into me, I can deal with that. But if a guy is into me and nothing happens because I’M A FREAKIN TOOL and made him think I’m uninterested, well, that kind of keeps me up at night.
I can’t be the only one who does this. I know this because the internet exists and the internet was obviously created by people who share my pre-pubescent courting style.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot in my convalescence and it seems to me like evolution fucked up a little bit. Everywhere else in the animal kingdom courtship is about putting your best face forward and screaming “PICK ME! PICK ME!” Even plants have it down. Flowers bloom as prettily as possible and thrust their petals into the air in a manner that says to the bees “you know you want it.” This is what we all should be doing. When you like someone you should be the most yourself and say “this is what I got. If you want it, bring it.”
So why is it that the moments when I should be the most confident and aware of my innate awesomeness are the moments when suddenly I can’t think of a single redeeming factor about myself? This is not productive to the whole continuation of the species thing. Instead of the “that’s right, you fight for me, I’m damn fine” mentality the females of every other species have got working for them, so many of us go into the “run away! run away!” mode that culminates in Jane Austen movie marathons and excessive blogging. And dying alone in a houseful of cats.
I don’t know about you, but creepy cat lady is not exactly my Plan A. So, from here on out, on my honor, I will try to serve God, and my country, by not being so much of a tool. Because what good is the human race if my DNA dies with me? I have a responsibility to keep the awesomeness going into the next generation. And, also, it would be nice if the next boy who kissed me wasn’t gay.
Friday, May 29, 2009
as her family slept
the child crept, heel to toe
down steps and through doors
to the little yellow tree
in the backyard that blocks
the chained and broken gate.
the lesser light hung heavy
in the hearkening sky,
shining borrowed light on
the brown bottoms of her bare feet
as she knelt, head resting
on midnight green grass
damp with the remnants
of April’s last shower.
She remembered that morning
when, under her stroking hand,
the animal closed its eyes
and the body released
shit and soul on her sundress.
watching little yellow flowers
fall like stars or skin
she weeps, wishing
she did not understand
the science that they taught her.
under the little yellow tree,
dirt she had held in her hands,
black like worms
under her finger nails
as she let the grains
slide over open palms,
slipping through fingers
and falling to blanket
legs and furry face,
which life was this?
This is my body
as it was in the garden
as it was when
I was a child in the bath
before you cast us out
and the world came in
and I had to stretch my skin
to make the sadness fit.
This is my body
as you remember it,
as your hands remember
the places they created
the hollows between my bones
the branching tubes that
bind and feed and bleed
the colors of my eyes
that change shape in the sun
This is my body
after sucking at the knowledge
that fell like fruit
too ripe to be held.
the words you wanted me to steal
slipping from the corners of my mouth
staining my skin
and everything I see.
This is my body
fault lines and flaws
breaking under your breath,
swaying chords that sing
like suspension bridges,
hairs and scars and the marks
where I have burned,
finger nails and smiling lips
the green leaves of my shame.
This is my body
dirt and blood,
blood and water and bread.
This is my body
I give it up for you.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Who knows how long this feeling will last, how long until the wanderlust starts churning in my veins and I have to dig my fingers into the soil to tear up the roots that started spreading out last night. Next year? Next month? Tomorrow? But right now it feels like summer, real summer, not just the heat and the lengthening of days, but the way summer used to mean something when we were kids; freedom, possibility, the way everything just seemed to happen like ice cream and music. No one ever wants to leave summer.
A little over a week ago I turned 28, which isn’t all that old geologically speaking, but feels pretty damn ancient when you haven’t accomplished anything with your life. Or, rather, I haven’t accomplished anything that society would consider to be a pat on the back worthy success.
It’s not laudable to have written a book unless you’ve been published and lots of clever people say you’re worth reading, or, many, many more moderately intelligent to “how the fuck do they dress themselves” stupid people pay to read what you have written. For a long time I’ve been caught up in trying to make myself into society’s version of a successful writer. In the back of my head, at every job, every day, it’s always been ‘this is just until I can live off my writing’. Because that’s the goal, right?
But lately I’ve been thinking that I’ve been going about this wrong- big surprise, me going about something the wrong way. How can I expect to write anyone’s favorite book (which is the real dream) if all the time I’m writing I’m hoping that these are the words that will save me from this mediocre life I’ve made for myself? That’s kind of a lot of pressure to put on a paragraph. I need to find a job that doesn’t make me want to do harm to myself and others, a job that can be a career, that I can be in for the long haul. Because I don’t need to write the next Harry Potter or Da Vinci Code, or, god help me, fill in the blank Nora Roberts novel (that woman has earned so much money for writing so much crap), I just need to write what’s inside me and if I’m very, very lucky someone somewhere in someplace in time will love something I’ve created the way I have loved so many books. If you’re expecting your words to save you from financial ruin they can’t save you in the ways that they’re supposed to.
I think all my life I’ve been waiting to be rescued. But I don’t live in a tower, or a dragon guarded castle, there are no wicked stepsisters in sight and I have yet to eat a poisoned apple. I don’t need to be rescued so it is really about time that I stopped wanting to be. I’m 28, for god’s sake; all the princes are looking for Taylor Swift.
And I’m cool with that. I’m not really the prince type. I like them a bit dorkier, with a bit more geek and a whole heap of nerd. Which is beside the point, because this isn’t about my Eliot poem of a love life.
This is about slowly figuring things out, even if you never really figure things out. About realizing that even when you don’t really know who you are, you still know how to be yourself. And about one perfect night that was perfect not because of any post-card perfection, Hollywood montage of moments filled with beautiful people making all the right moves, but was perfect because of the disappointments and defeats, annoyances and awkwardness. Because the things that make nights memorable hardly ever have to do with what you wanted at the time but when, sometime around 4 A.M., you realize that what you got is so much better. And because jumping into a pool with your clothes on is always the right decision.
Friday, May 1, 2009
In one of the choirs at one of the colleges I attended while taking the scenic route through higher education the choir director asked me if I could sing two notes at once. He was only partially kidding. Our tenor section was full of pansies, I have a pretty good range, and my singing two notes at once would have been much easier for him than trying to figure out which parts of which songs I would sing with the altos and which with the tenors. I sing much better in choirs than I do by myself. Maybe it’s the being part of something that brings that confidence out in me, maybe it’s something about wanting to be seen while hiding. Maybe it’s because my tongue longs to sing words it doesn’t understand.
That same choir director also gave me the alto part in the Regina Coeli quartet. I was shocked that I was able to gather the balls to audition; I was incredulous when I actually got it. I wasn’t the only one. A girl whom I was friendly with, who was also an alto, congratulated me with: “so, you’re singing the whole thing?” Her voice tinged with hope and confusion. I should have replied with: “That’s right, bitch. The. Whole. Thing. He picked me, NOT YOU. Deal with it,” then strutted away as murmured choruses of “Oh, no, she didn’t” erupted around me. But what I actually did was blush, shrug awkwardly, and say “uh…um…I guess?” before walking away thinking I’m singing the whole thing, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, and trying to stave off an anxiety attack.
I haven’t been in a choir since I graduated. And although I sing loud and proud in the shower and my car, I haven’t even so much as stepped up to a karaoke machine in probably over a year. This is a symptom of a larger problem, quite possibly a brain cloud. The good news is I am acutely aware of the problem (i.e. how completely uninhabitable my life is), the bad news is I may be sacrificed to an Orange Crush God before I figure things out.
Every day, good days, bad days, I feel more and more just how desperately I need to get out of retail. I think part of the reason I hate H.B. so much is because I know that if I don’t get off this train I’m going to become her. *shudder* Problem is I got an English degree then threw myself into 4 years of retail slavery. I have absolutely no idea what else I can do. Oh, marketable skills, how I pine for you. As much as I hate retail management I’m good at it (god, that makes me sad) and it comes with health insurance. The prospect of finding something new is daunting, but the idea of staying is devastating.
What I need is for the universe to tell me just what it is that it wants from me, cause if I knew I would totally get on that.
Or a Sugar Daddy.
Either works for me.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I don’t understand why people are so down on marijuana. Where did that come from? There’s got to be some kind of history. Why is alcohol perfectly acceptable but weed is the devil? How many weed related deaths are there a year? How many angry, violent potheads do you know? How many people OD on grass? Is that even possible?
This is my new life plan:
Write brilliant novel.
Move to Amsterdam.
Everyone needs a life plan, unless your plan is to not have a plan and to just float around and see where the ebbs and tides take you, but really that’s a type of plan too. I think my life plan is pretty perfect. Contribute to the world, avoid doing harm, be happy with who and where you are. What else is out there to want? If I can do and have that then the love I want will come to me or I will find that it’s not something that I need after all. Either way, I’ll be okay. Either way, I’ll be happy.
just want to like everyone, hold hands and sing friendship songs. But some
people make it really fucking difficult for me not to want to punch them in the
face. H.B. –a woman who gives herself credit for other people’s sales all the
fucking time (she’s done this to me on huge sales more than once)- had the gall
to accuse me of shorting J on sales and taking them for myself. If she had read
the numbers correctly she would have seen just how far from the truth that was.
This woman just makes me want to scream. Not, even like,
scream at her and tell her off but just a general filling my lungs, opening my
mouth and releasing sound, ANY sound. Just so all these hateful vibrations can
leave my body because they really can’t be good for me. If she falsely accuses
me of one more thing I swear my appendix is going to burst.
I try to like her. I try to empathize with her. I try to
understand her. I try to avoid eye contact and allow her to be the Alpha just
to get through the day. I try. And sometimes I succeed. Sometimes she’s even,
dare I say it, nice. But it never fucking lasts. For every one civil gesture
there are ten experiences like this.
Deep breath in… and out… This is not my life. This is not my
life. This is not my life. This is not my life.
Can I move to California now, please?
I listened to Years of Refusal on my break to help calm
down. I don’t know if it was Morrissey, the peanut butter sandwich, or the
venting but I felt better. I'm not sure how I feel about this album though. The
critics are raving. But, I don’t know, I feel like the last three albums have
been too similar. It’s not like I don’t like it, I just like it when there’s a
real difference between albums. I feel like a heretic saying anything vaguely
critical about Morrissey- at least, about his music. The man himself is another
story. I love him, but he’s a tool sometimes. “The smell of roasting flesh is
just too much for me to bear.” Oh, you poor delicate flower. Ok, I get it, the
idea of eating a hamburger makes me want to vomit, but you’re on stage, man,
performing for a crowd that I’m sure was chock full o’ vegetarians. Suck it up.
No one’s asking you to eat it (Yes, that is how I talk to people I love).
Know what else I love? Fruit. Fruit makes me happy. Everyone
should eat more fruit. It’s yummy and makes you feel happy and gosh darnit it’s
good for you. We’ll all eat fruit
and hold hands and frolic through the flowers singing friendship songs. Either
that or I’m going to have to start doing incredibly hard drugs.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Conversation Overheard Today
God: Like serious, end of the world, we’re all gonna die,
even the fish are drowning, flood-type rains?
God: Heathens abandoned to face the consequences of their
sinful ways in the swirling waters of doom?
God: Animals gathered up two-by-two and lead onto the arc to
be saved with the righteous?
Noah: Uh… arc?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I’ve been working on a blog about my cat for, like, a month. But I don’t think I’m ever going to finish it. I write one sentence and then I hit save because I’m just too damn sad to write any more. My cat is old. The phrase “decisions will have to be made” has been used more than once and I don’t like it. She’s deaf and now we think she’s going blind. She cries a lot. The thing about cats is that they’re not like grandparents. When they get to be 80something in cat years you don’t feel consoled that they’ve lived a long full life. Because even though your cat may be 80 in cat years to you she’s only 16 and it is not okay to die when you’re sixteen.
So, yeah, I’ve decided to blog about other things because if I keep trying to blog about my cat I’m never going to write again.
Thursday was a really good day. Took an early train into the city. Had Chipotle with Sadie and my name twin. Oh, how I love Chipotle. Michelle went back to work and Sadie and I walked to stogo. And as we sat on the bench in front of stogo eating some AMAZING organic vegan ice cream and judging passersby on a beautiful spring day I couldn’t help but wonder how I could ever even contemplate going so far from this city I love so damn much. Then we went to the tiny studio apartment with an alley view that Sadie’s friend pays almost $2k a month for and I remembered why exactly it is I am getting the hell out of dodge. It was a bittersweet day because even though I’ll be going into the city plenty more times before the big move this was the first time that it felt like I was starting to say goodbye.
My cat keeps walking around, crying and then lying down.
I’m too sad to blog.
Monday, March 23, 2009
*also, i'm too sleepy to spellcheck or seek out any grammatical or other errors, so, fingers crossed and all
1. The GRE
I can’t believe I paid $140 to sit in a cubicle feeling inferior for three hours. The good news is my test scores didn’t make me cry. The bad news, I don’t know, is there bad news? It was fine, actually. Which surprised me. I kinda imagined myself either skipping out of the test center singing songs of glee, or being carted away after collapsing into an inconsolable heap of misery and regret. I actually wound up getting almost exactly (it might actually be exactly) the same score on the GRE as I did on the SAT, which is tragically comedic.
We managed to find a spot around the block from the hotel to park while we checked in and dropped our bags in the swanky-swank room Jax swindled for us with her insane amount of points. I stepped out of the car and read the marquee for the theatre across the street: “Morrissey 3/14” Yeah, Morrissey had a show AROUND THE BLOCK FROM MY HOTEL on the same night that I was in town to see Flogging Molly. Mmm hmm, that’s my life.
4. Death by Music
Would it really have been an Irish festival if everything had gone smoothly?
We didn’t bring coats because we knew we’d be rocking out later. So, of course, it rained. It wasn’t a downpour but a consistent, permeating drizzle that didn’t let up for the entire time we were there. The free beer helped. The music helped more. It’s a handy thing to have a cousin with good taste in music. I now heart the Aggrolites and heart Flogging Molly more than I did before. I need to gear up and psychologically prepare before the next FM show though. We were up front, part of the unstoppable ocean of awesomeness and bruising they call their fans, and I was holding my own (by which I mean, holding onto whatever or whomever I could hold on to so as not to fall down and be trampled to death) and wanting to be there, for about a song and a half when suddenly I flashed on a time in the not so near future when I was no longer holding my own and not so much wanting to be there as I was bleeding and broken and crying for me mum. Also, I almost lost my glasses when a crowd surfer made contact with my face. Which is not cool. I really like my glasses.
Flogging Molly fled the stage too quickly and we were left, cold, wet, tired, stumbling through the festival grounds back to the metro. A sea of green (and me in my little red writing hoodie) sleepily slid onto the orange towards Vienna and Jackie played her penny whistle as we headed back to the hotel. This is something I could never do. All too often I care far too much about what people are going to think. My cousin has balls. She dives into mosh pits and chats up boys and plays her penny whistle on crowded subways. A lot of times I wish I was more like her.
has cheap gas. Everything else blows.
7. St. Paddy’s Day
Back to Long Island, back to work. I thought that perhaps, St. P’s Day being a Tuesday and all, I could let this one slide after our weekend of debauchery but my DNA threatened to unhelix itself (it’s a very ugly and painful process, there are pictures on webmd but I wouldn’t recommend looking it up. you’ll be scarred for life) if I didn’t go to a bar and have a Guinness. Plus, it gave me an excuse to txt a boy. Jax and I went to chilis for dinner while trying to figure out where to go. Two twofers later and we still had no idea. We wound up driving around aimlessly listening to Jason Mraz (because aimlessness is what happens when you leave decision making up to me) before eventually making our way to a supposed pub. Here’s a little tip for you; if you walk into a bar and you are the only people not carded, turn around, this ain’t your scene. We had two beers and got the hell out of dodge. Dodge, in this case, being a bar that serves beer in red solo cups to yuppie 22 year olds. This may sound like a bust, but, well, what’s more Irish than drinking beer and going home disappointed?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Long Way From Home
Made for the snow
I did not know
what it meant to burn
until the turn
that brought me here.
Blue water that beats
into brown-gold earth,
green on the ground and
lashing the sky.
So many colors and
none of them mine.
But the sun will teach
my skin to sweat and squeeze
into the color and
shape of this place,
a cluttered purpose
from dirtsweet flowers
that will fill the empty
sound that used to sing
of endless white and
open, unbroken sky.
Closing my eyes in
the shade of breezy palms
I sleep and
dream of things I understand;
the freeze that made sense
of who I am,
the desert that was
an ocean I could stand on.
Monday, March 2, 2009
I made chocomole, finally, because I love chocolate and avocados and making a mess in the kitchen. The first “attempt” was a farce as the avocados I had bought on Monday had rotted by Wednesday. Epic fail, avocados, epic fail. But Friday came with 3 new avocados and as the dates were already mashed I wasted no time throwing ingredients into the Kitchen Aid. Which brings me to today’s lesson, if you’re going to throw avocado halves into a food processor you should make sure the bowl is big enough to prevent the halves from flying out at you. All in all though, it was a pretty successful endeavor. I think, perhaps, less dates next time. Jason Mraz must have HUGE avocados. I say this because the 20 dates he indicated were just too much for my little green friends, and, cuz it sounds kinda dirty. I still enjoyed it, which is a good thing because no one else in this house is going to touch that crazy-raw-vegan-shit in the fridge. Especially since it kinda looks like poo. Though, I did get my dad to eat vegan lasagna a little while back. He knew what it was and still ate it. I gave myself a gold star.
Over on Facebook there’s this 15 albums thing going around and I’m pretty well diggin it. I love finding out that friends like the same obscure band that I thought no one else knew about or how a girl I kinda knew in high school has awesome taste that almost parallels mine. I like the discussions it’s been starting. Also, it’s been making me want to do nothing but listen to music 24/7, which is going to cause some problems since I have to go to work tomorrow ☹ So, anyway, here’s mine:
Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you're over 40) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazoo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including moi. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!
ok. so right now, these are the 15 but in ten minutes time i'm sure i'm going to think of another 5 and be pretty well pissed.
1. The Queen is Dead- The Smiths
2. The Boy with the Arab Strap- Belle and Sebastian
3. Electric Warrior- T. Rex
4. Bandwagonesque- Teenage Fanclub
5. Sunshine on Leith- The Proclaimers
6. Either/Or- Elliot Smith
7. Crosby Stills and Nash- CS&N
8. Treasure- Cocteau Twins
9. Ladies of the Canyon- Joni Mitchell
10. Hounds of Love- Kate Bush
11. IV- Led Zeppelin
12. Absolution- Muse
13. Pink Moon- Nick Drake
14. Slanted & Enchanted- Pavement
15. Monk's Blues- Thelonious Monk
I love snow. Love, love, love, love, love. I love walking in it. I love driving in it. I love looking out at it through the window. I love lying down in it and making snow angels. I love balling it in my fists and throwing it at my friends and family. I love tilting my head to the sky and letting it land on my tongue. I love the way it rests on tree branches and coats your hair. I love how it makes the world a little less loud and a little more beautiful. I love how by trapping us, it sets us free. I even love the brown sludge of the following days because it reminds me of the beauty that was. Love, love, love, love, love.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Oh my god I could have peed my pants.
Of all the completely applicable things one could have said to me after my geeky gushiness she managed to come up with, off the fly, the single most perfect response. Does Morrissey know about this?
I heart my mom.
Well, sorry Morrissey, you reap what you sow. Perhaps if you hadn’t allowed your New York concerts to sell out while I was at work my heart would smile for you alone. But there’s a new kid in town and he’s younger so I bet he’s got more stamina. (oh, snap!)
I still haven’t gotten Years of Refusal yet *slaps wrist* Bad, Smiths fan! But I have been actively not spending money as I have huuuuuge… tracts of debt and I work retail. My mom and I went into the mall –a place I have always loathed- after lunch and just walking around made me feel bad about myself in ways the mall hasn’t made me feel since I was a chunky teenager glancing wistfully into the windows of Contempo Casuals (are they still around? I remember fearing and sort of revering that store when I was young. It was everything that I was not.). So, Moz, if you’re reading this, (which, let’s admit it, you are, I know you stalk my blog) let’s make a deal. You free up some tickets for me and I’ll buy your album. K?
Demetri Martin has shiny hair.
He also has a new show. I missed the first episode but actually remembered to DVR it this week. He amuses me. I’ve always enjoyed his stand-up (sigh. R.I.P. Invite Them Up) but I have to admit I get a bit distracted by his shiny, shiny hair. It’s so big and fluffy and just so damn shiny that I kinda wanna pet it. And by kinda wanna I mean Demetri better run if he sees me on the street.
Speaking of hair. When I was in the mall, feeling disgusted with myself, I went into Bath and Body Works, not because I like the store –which I generally don’t- but because we had this gift certificate that had 15 bucks on it and figured we should spend it. And as much as I have disliked B&BWs in the past I have to admit I’m a bit excited now. THEY CARY VEGAN HAIR STUFF! I know, right?! I’m not saying I’m all of a sudden a B&BWs fan, but it gives me hope for a brighter tomorrow. ☺
P.S. You should never, ever, EVER develop any kind of romanticy feelings for me. Whenever I like someone, or find out that they like me, I turn into a twelve year old. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and rather horrifying. And so I blog, and sleep alone.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I’ve also been thinking about the Three-Fifths Compromise recently. I think it was a question on Jeopardy last week or something. The Three-Fifths Compromise came about when the Constitutional Convention was trying to figure out how many Congressmen each state would be able to send to the House of Representatives. The southern states said, “We want our slaves to be counted as part of the population.” And the northern states said, “You’re fucking kidding me, right?”
The Three-Fifths Compromise bothers me to no end. It is bad enough to look at a person and not see a person but see something so inferior to you that you consider it to be a possession more equal to your cow than to yourself. If you are looking at a person and not seeing their worth then there is hope that your perception can be altered, but if you’re looking at a person and seeing a person and are still treating them like livestock or a chair, well, where do you go with that? In this debate the southern states were pretty much acknowledging the humanity of those they were enslaving; no one has ever asked for representation for their cattle.
We don’t come from a happy sunshiny place of nobility and virtue. We come from a murky pond of suffering and good intentions, cruelty and bravery, accomplishments and mistakes, justice and spite. But, like our primordial ancestors, the important thing is that we continue to pull ourselves from the swamp.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Also, you should take a walk because if you read a lot of blogs you’re probably low on Vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of those quirks of nature that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the universe. Our bodies naturally make all the Vitamin D we need through photosynthesis, which is kind of amazing. We’re like plants without chlorophyll! Though, would be kinda fun to be green. Sigh.
ANYWAY So many things about the sun just blow me away. It’s 91 million miles away and you can still go blind from looking at it. And it’s not even that big of a star! If our little solar system had formed around a super giant we would have been sehr screwed.
Well, that was a little unexpected nerdgasm. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go tickle the ivory colored plastics before settling in for some Masterpiece Theatre.
P.S. I made vegan lasagne and a mess in the kitchen. Both were yummy.
P.P.S. If Paul Newman and Robert Redford hadn’t switched roles would it be called the Butch Festival?
There’s this Eleanor Roosevelt quote that everyone knows: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
So why the fuck have we consented to feeling like shit?
Because we want to. It’s like Valentine’s Day has become a day of self flagellation, purging ourselves of the horrible sin of being single. I think it’s because we live in such a results driven society. If you want to have a boyfriend and you don’t have a boyfriend then obviously you are doing something wrong or being something wrong and Valentine’s Day is like society telling us that we should sit here quietly and think about what we’ve done. Well, fuck that.
I’m in a surprisingly good mood, an almost alarmingly good mood considering it’s Valentine’s Day. Considering that I had to work. Considering that I’m not in love but would like to be. Considering that I am nowhere society says I should be.
Society is just going to have to chill because I’m doing alright. No tears. No ice cream. No Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies. No feeling bad about the things I want but do not have. No feeling bad at all.
I day dream a lot. A lot. Like, RIDICULOUSLY a lot. Always have. Even as a wee thing. And I missed many a math lesson thinking about JC Chasez (oh, NSync, my over hormonal 15 yr old self never stood a chance). I’ve been thinking though, if I harnessed half the creative energy I’ve been funneling to embarrassing drivel I would be unstoppable. UN FUCKING STOPABLE. (for some reason feeling empowered makes me want to drop the f bomb all over the place)
Valentine’s Day. I went to work. I came home and watched Battlestar Galactica (best. episode. ever.) and Dollhouse (just when I decided to start tapering my tv viewing joss whedon had to come back to the airwaves- wait, it’s all digital now, back to the fiber optics?) I IMed and texted and talked on the phone with friends near and far. I sat in bed blogging and listening to much too much Mraz. Singing sometimes, smiling often. And now I think I’ll dance through the carpet in my bare feet.
Maybe I’ll find the love I want on the way to finding me, but for now, I have all the love I need.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Ah, nothing says romance quite like colon cleansing.
Though, I have to say, if there was ever a holiday that warranted an enema, it’s Valentine’s Day. (What do candy hearts and mawkish greeting cards have to do with martyrdom anyway?) Alas, I’m working on the 14th and I don’t believe that my coworkers would be too pleased if I had a colonic before starting my shift. “What? You have a return? Uh… do you think you could carry the register into the bathroom? What? Shut up! Everyone poops!”
After work though, I’ll be engaging in something equally as ass assaulting as MR A-Z’s favorite past-time: grad school applications (Lord, take me now).
Most grad school applications include a “statement of purpose”. In 500 words or less you have to explain who you are, what you want and why they should want you. 500 words. Which is both too many and too few. Especially when you’re not quite sure who you are, what you want and what the fuck your purpose is, anyway. I feel like I’m sitting down to an exam, number 2 pencil poised over A, B, and C, only I don’t know what the question is.
Okay, to be fair, I’m sure they’re expecting a rather narrower focus than what I’m freaking out about i.e. “what is your purpose in applying to this program”. And most people would be assuaged by that fact, stop bitching and write the damn essay. But that would be far too easy for me.
There has never been such a thing as a human being with just one purpose in life. Any one person can be a daughter, a sister, a mother, a lover, a friend, a writer, a teacher, a pilot, a dancer, an explorer all at once. I’ve never been good at compartmentalizing my purposes. So when University X asks me my purpose for pursuing a Masters in Y I see all the little bits and pieces of who I am and I’m not quite sure which parts to grab onto and display for their judging pleasure.
Half of the purpose of any kind of education is the education itself, learning more about Y so you can go on in the field of Y or F or Z, but the other half of the purpose of education is what you learn about yourself while learning about other people and other things. I’ve always been more concerned –often to my detriment- with the latter. Which I guess sums up what I really feel that my purpose is, to look, to learn, to fail, and fall and grow. Which may be poetic and but sure as hell doesn’t pay the bills.
I was born in the wrong century. The wrong millennium. The wrong epoch, even. I should have been a troubadour or a bard or a sorceress. But I wasn’t born then, I was born here. Which means as much as I could have been a million different things I was only ever meant to be me. So, in conclusion, my purpose is to be me. And, hopefully, sometime before I die, I’ll figure out who that is.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Like, could someone be so eager to prove a self proclaimed psychic wrong that they would subconsciously turn February into the worst month of their life? On a lesser degree things like that happen all the time. You go into a math test or an audition telling yourself that you’re going to fail and no matter how talented you are or how hard you studied you’re probably going to psych yourself out and bomb. And that all got the pendulum of my mind swinging in the other direction. If a psychic tells me that things are going to start looking up in February and I choose to believe her can I, via the placebo effect, turn February into 28 days of absolute awesomeness?
it’s quite possible that I had a stroke today. I was unpacking a box of pants and I swear to God they smelled like ice cream sandwiches.
Monday, February 2, 2009
When I was in the fourth grade I was in love with John Adams. I thought he was the cat’s pajamas. Truthfully, this probably had more to do with William Daniels than our second president, as the musical 1776 was the catalyst for my infatuation.
I still love that musical; I have the director’s cut DVD. It’s perfect for me; it has all the geekiness of being a musical with all the nerdiness of historical drama. Nothing quite warms my heart like the idea that our founding fathers were noble and pure of heart, and occasionally broke into song and dance.
My affections for Mr. Adams have waxed and waned over the years. I couldn’t help but feel betrayed when in later history classes I learned of the Alien and Sedition Acts, a series of bills written in the late 1700s, which, if you look them up on wikipedia, I am sure you will discern a frightening familiarity about them. Still it’s hard to hate a man who scampered amongst the Second Continental Congress (yes, there were two of them) singing at them to “Vote Yes! (Sit down, John) Vote for independency! (Someone oughta open up a window!)”
My uncoolness knows no bounds.
Sometimes, on the news, they say “The President” instead of “President Obama” and it takes me a moment to remember that they’re not talking about Bush. And then I go a little gooey and it’s like I’m getting the election results all over again. In a week, or a month, or a year, the gooeyness is going to fade and I’m going to go back to caring exclusively about the issues but right now, for the first time, we have an African American President of the United States. And, I’m nerdy enough to admit that I teared up a bit typing that. Right now I don’t care about what kind of a president he’s going to turn out to be because I am just so damn proud of US as a nation, so proud that WE elected a black man to be our president. Now, I voted for him because I like him, because I believe in him, because he most closely holds the political opinions and ideals that I hold. But even if he had held political opinions that I disagree with and I had chosen to vote against him I would have been proud of OUR country, because so recently the only thing that would have mattered would have been the color of his skin and he never would have even been nominated. So, now we have an African American President of the United States and in the next four to eight years he is going to prove to be just as capable, intelligent, fallible and human as every old white man who has preceded him.
And now that we have a black man in the White House ANYONE can be president. They’ve always said that, that’s always been part of what people say when they’re talking about how great the U.S. is, how ANYONE can be president. You may be poor and hopeless now but if you work hard enough you too can have the American Dream! But it’s never really been true before. There’s always been the fine print: Catholics need not apply. Jews need not apply. Women need not apply. Blacks need not apply. Latinos need not apply… But not now. Now the door has been opened. And now, who knows? YOU could be president. I could be president! Well, no, not me. I mean, the day I get elected president is the day I emigrate. I would not want to live in a country that has declined to the point where I am considered the most qualified person to lead them. That’s pretty much the definition of dystopia. Yeah, so, not me, but you could still so totally be president now!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I’m nervous about the GRE, but more than a little excited. Because the test feels like something I can control, unlike the number of applicable letters of recommendation I’ll be able to garner. I haven’t taken a math class in 10 years and while the thought of being tested on skills that have lain dormant for years is frightening, if I do a bit of studying and practice (I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.) I should be fine. Whereas there’s no book that can help me go back in time and foster stronger and longer lasting relationships with my former professors (My kingdom for a TARDIS). SO instead of freaking out about that I’m focusing on test prep. And Dear, God, do I need it.
The problem I have had with math is that somewhere along the line I grabbed onto the idea that if I didn’t get something right the first time that meant I was bad at it, that I was stupid. In my head, for as long as I can remember, I have equated hard work with not being good enough. Which is why I have no discipline and tend to suck at rewriting. It’s also why I’ve never really worked hard at anything in my life. And you can see how well that turned out for me.
IN OTHER NEWS:
According to this comic it’s not at all creepy for me to date 20 year olds. So we’re good to go on Michael Cera and/or Zac Efron. Sorry, 19 year olds, rules are rules.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
English teachers and guidance counselors like to pin up posters of a glossy Autumn wood with Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken blazoned across it in their classrooms and cozy tell-me-all-your-angsty-teenage-problems-and-I’ll-give-you-a-pass-out-of-gym-class offices. They gaze adoringly up at it and find solace, direction; and they want us to do the same. What they forget though, what most of us forget, is everything but the concluding lines of the poem.
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
We remember that the narrator tells us that taking the road less traveled “has made all the difference” but we tend to forget that Frost never tells us exactly what that difference was.
All through my youth this poem was held up as a standard for going your own way, for making choices that few others have made before. Frost is telling us to take the road less traveled. Or is he? Few people point to the first line of the last stanza when trying to rally you to the cause of the individual.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
If this is really the instructional, inspirational poem that we have been led to believe why is he telling us this with a sigh? Is the narrator really doling out advice or is he simply an old man reexamining the choices that he has made wondering what if?
I’ve been bludgeoned with those last two lines of the poem so many times that for the longest time I thought the poem was called The Road Less Traveled. But it’s not, is it? It’s The Road Not Taken. Two more often neglected lines are the last two lines of the second stanza
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
About the same! The poem doesn’t give us a narrator confronted with a choice between the trodden way of the majority or the hard going yet righteous plight of the individual; the right path or the wrong path; a path of thorns or a path of flowers; a path of darkness or a path of light. By the time we get to the end of the poem we seem to forget that the road the narrator chose was really only slightly less traveled than the other.
Now, I’m not saying that the narrator regrets his choice, but what I am saying is that the choice wasn’t as simple as we are often led to believe, nor was it simple to live with. As good or as bad as “the difference” was, the narrator can’t help but wonder what his life would have been had he taken the other, “just as fair” road. Because more often than not life isn’t a straightforward series of choosing right over wrong or even the lesser of two evils, but of trying to figure out which, among a host of choices “just as fair” as the next, is the one you should make. And, more often than not, the deciding factor is as arbitrary as flipping a coin or there being slightly more grass on path A than path B. And we never know what the difference is going to be until after the road has been taken.
I get inspiration and instruction from The Road Not Taken but not in the way that I have been told that I should. To me this poem isn’t about either road; it’s about the traveler. It’s about making a decision, any decision. Because no matter which road you choose or how long you take in choosing there is always going to be a wistful part of you that will look back and wonder what if? It’s human nature to want to go back to that yellow wood and take the other road just to see what there is to see. We’re always going to be curious, we’re always going to have regrets. The important thing is not to get stuck in the crossroads.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Monday, January 26, 2009
sloth, with a lower case s, not so much.
I’ve been in my bathrobe all day. It’s funny, cause it’s my day off and I got up early to actually do stuff but then I decided to freak out instead.
For the past few days I’ve been getting excited and hopeful because I found a Masters program at my alma mater that I want to apply to. Then, slowly, I've been rolling to a panicky boil because you need letters of recommendation to apply to grad school and I haven't talked to any of my former professors in years and how would any of them possibly remember me enough to recommend me- if they even remember me at all. But last night I figured what the fuck I'll email them and see what happens.
Then I wake up this morning, rejection-issue dread hanging over me as I go about my internet wanderings and I realize that the application deadline is February 1st and even if I did email my professors and find someone willing to write a letter for me it's way, way too short notice and I'm fucked and my life is just going to continue to be one long chain of misery and dashed dreams. Which was when I REALLY started panicking. Then, for no reason that I can think of, I suddenly remembered that it was the Creative Writing M.F.A. that had a Feb 1st deadline and NOT the Theatre program... which has a deadline of APRIL 1st. So, basically, I've been shitting myself for nothing.
So, yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 5 hours.
I should probably shower now.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I’m not exactly what you’d call a girlie girl.
I like bugs.
I hate American football because I think it’s a pussy sport (if I’m going to watch a rugby derived sport it’s gonna be Aussie Rules).
I’d rather drink Guinness than anything else.
I fear the mall.
I’m watching Battlestar Galactica right now.
But two customers complimented my eyeshadow today and that made me feel pretty.
P.S. I’ve always like the idea of being alarmingly charming. That line from “I Feel Pretty” is probably my favorite thing about West Side Story
Thursday, January 22, 2009
H.B. is on vacation this week and I was lulled into a false sense of security. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and children of all nations, races and religions were joining hands and dancing through the streets. Getting up for work Tuesday morning wasn’t nearly as painful knowing that I had a blissful H.B. free week ahead of me.
I had forgotten about O.C., or, more accurately, it wasn’t so much that I had forgotten about her as I thought that the absence of H.B. would mitigate any suffering O.C. chose to inflict. *sigh*
O.C. is a terrible beast with noxious, flaming breath and poison dripping from her jagged claws.
She used to manage the store but retired a while back and now comes in part time because she enjoys the challenge of trying to make me cry. She addresses me in the same contemptuous tone H.B. employs and I often imagine them at the Olive Garden, cackling over unlimited soup, salad, and bread sticks, as they plot the next wave of their assault on my will to live.
In order to make it through her shift without punching her in the face I focused on unpacking shipment while listing school that I am thinking of applying to. Also, an Ace of Base song made an appearance on the company controlled playlist and that helped.
P.S. Today I unpacked a box of “Fairyland Lavender” sweaters. This isn’t the Limited Too. Grown women shop here; I think lavender alone would have been sufficient. Unless instead of Asian children our sweatshops employ magical creatures and the sweaters really were more than your average purple… I’ll have to take a closer look tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Good writing always has a profoundly physical effect on me. Either the writer inspires me and makes me feel like I must immediately throw down the book and pick up a pen, or, he/she has a way with words that makes me feel as if I am the tiniest creature on the earth, that I will never write anything of significance; how could I ever hope to achieve anything that nears the brilliance of the words before me!
Jeanette Winterson is one of the later. John Green, one of the former. I asked for, and received, his latest book, Paper Towns, for Christmas. Two pages in and it’s already a struggle to get through because I just can’t resist the urge to push his words away and start crafting my own. Which sounds like an insult but is probably the highest compliment I could give him.
I scribbled for a while before retracting my pen and heading upstairs. I’m fairly certain that, a couple of days ago, I finished the story that I’ve been working on. Which is good and all. You know, woooo! But, well, my head always feels a bit empty after I’ve finished something, like I can hear a rattling in my brain and what is rattling around up there is usually self indulgent drivel. So, as I said, I scribbled for a while and then I went upstairs; because it’s Monday night and I had a date with my televison.
I have always wanted to be one of those people that scoff at television, ranting condescendingly about how it’s replaced religion as the opiate of the people and there are far better, less pedestrian things I could be doing with my time; both of which are sadly true. But, just as I will never wear a size 0 pair of jeans or go to the circus (clowns….*shudder*), I will never be one of those fully liberated, totally self actualized, TV free people.
Yes, there is a lot of crap on television. A lot. But there is also a lot of good. Okay, not a lot, but there’s some good out there. There’s even a bit of great, though they tend to cancel that rather quickly. Thing is, I am overwhelmingly in love with stories. And if someone is going to give me a good story; a funny story, an interesting, unusual story, well, I’m going to pay attention regardless of the medium and the fact that I had to wade through sewage to find it.
Monday is a good night for TV. I watch House because it is often interesting and Hugh Laurie is a god. And if you don’t believe me watch an episode of House and then watch an episode of Blackadder. I watch the Big Bang Theory because I am a raging nerd and they make me giggle, and Two and Half Men because my parents got me started on it and there’s nothing quite like having to stifle your laughter over a hummer joke so you don’t have to explain to your parents why it was funny (Chuck Lorre seriously needs to give me a job). And I watch How I Met Your Mother because it is usually quirky (though, I have to admit, this season they’re not quite up to par on the quirk) and because it gives me that little sliver of delusional hope that you need when you’re 27 and wondering if maybe you should just give up the ghost and become the cat lady already.
I would make an exceptional cat lady. But, hopefully I’ll get my shit together soon because tonight’s House reminded me of something. I decided a while ago that one of the things that I want to do with my life is to be a foster mother, and probably adopt.
I want to get married one day; I want nothing more than to meet someone who is insane enough to not only understand me but to also want to spend their life with me, in spite of all they know. But I don’t see marriage as a task I need to accomplish. I’m not going to settle for less just to have someone around. I have also never been one of those people that feels the need to have a biological child for the sake of having a biological child. If I meet a man who makes me want to have his child that’s great, but if not; there are just so many children already here who desperately need love and if I can save even one of them from the pay-by-the-child foster care system then that’s what I want to do. The foster care system makes me want to punch people in the face.
Course, none of that matters til I actually get said shit together. But a finished story is progress. Also, am hoping to apply to grad programs unless Steven Moffat wants to give me a job in which case, screw you all I’m going to Wales! I’m thinking of writing him a letter:
Dear Sir, I think you’re swell and I want nothing more than to be you when I grow up (I mean seriously, Dr. Who AND Coupling). I have negligible training and absolutely no experience but you should, like, totally hire me to write for and star on Dr. Who. Yours sincerely…
Yeah, well, it was just a thought.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Koalas are not bears; they are marsupials. They’re also junkies. The exist solely on eucalyptus which has little nutritional value and is a narcotic. Which is why when you see them they’re usually asleep.
The bear’s closest living relatives belong to the family that include the walrus, sea lion and seal (at least, according to wikipedia).
I think they’re yummy.
Oh, it’s back! It’s back! It’s back! It’s back! I have been dancing around gleefully since I set my DVR to record it last week.
Oh, it’s back! It’s back! It’s back! It’s back! I have been dancing around gleefully since I set my DVR to record it last week.
Oh, how I have missed Lee Adama’s gorgeous face and righteous indignation; Kara Thrace’s ass kicking insanity (that girl is my fraking hero!); and the cylons! The Cylons!
Okay…so… I’ll admit it, I’ve been kind of waiting for Duala to die for a while now. I liked her when she was with Billy but once she got with Lee she just started to piss me off. She just never seemed like anything more than a roadblock between Lee and Kara (Funny, though, I don’t have the same problem with Sam, at all. Interesting.). Apparently Lee and Duala were married in the original series, so I’m guessing that’s why they were put together this go around as well. Never saw the original so I don’t know what kind of relationship they had in the 70s, though, as Starbuck was a dude back then there probably wasn’t as much sexual tension between him and Apollo. So, I didn’t care for Di, but still, What the fuck?! Was not expecting that to happen at all like it did.
Speaking of what the fucks?! Am DYING to know what’s going on with Kara. There always is something going on with Kara. And if she’s not the final cylon (and I’m really glad she’s not because there would just be something innately wrong with Kara Thrace as a cylon. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a cylon) then what the fuck is she?
Which brings us to the big reveal…the final cylon… Ellen. ELLEN TIGHE. Ellen, who died on New Caprica. Though, there were still resurrection ships around then, so she may still be with us, but none of the cylons seem to know that she is one of them and wouldn’t her rebirth among them have tipped them off? What I want to know is, did she know that she was a cylon?
So many questions. I’m trusting the writers not to let me down; I’m sure they want their last season to be the best fraking thing they’ve ever written. I just wish it was Friday already.
Friday, January 16, 2009
At work today I had to continuously remind myself that my current situation is entirely attributed to my decisions and no one else’s- or else I’m sure I would have punched H.B.* in the face.
She’s horrible, at least, she’s horrible to me. 95% of the time she speaks to me with this tone in her voice, as if I am a stepchild she wishes she could hit. I still have the lines in the palm of my hand from where my fingernails dug in as I internalized the waves of evil I wished to unleash upon her. Oh, what I would do if I didn’t have debt.
Thing is though, H.B. isn’t really the problem here, I am. When you’re happy with your life you don’t cry in the bathroom at work. Which is pathetic, I mean, really. Okay, it’s not like I was wailing; it was more of a small, angry burst followed by a what-the-fuck-are-you-doing-get-your-shit-together-and-get-back-out-there series of deep breaths as I blotted my eyes. Yeah, still pathetic.
If I were at all happy with the state I’m in I wouldn’t be bothered or I would take steps to resolve the matter. But H.B. is a problem that isn’t worth resolving. Sure, I could have an awkward conversation with our boss about it, followed by an even more awkward conversation involving boss lady, H.B. and I. And maybe we would hug it out and things would get better. Then what? Then I would be slightly less miserable as I run for a pink pencil skirt in a 10 for Ms. “I’m sure I’m an eight, it must be marked wrong”.
If only I got paid for blogging.
*H.B.=heinous bitch. i feel slightly less guilty talking smack if I don't use her actual name. Not like anyone at work knows about this blog.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Rabbie Burns was right, the best laid plans of mice and men often do go astray. Not like my plans are ever well laid though.
This is how things go when I make plans. I decide to do A. The Universe says, no, you will do what I want you to do. I decide to do B; the Universe says no. Repeat for C, D, E, etc… until I stumble upon what it is the Universe wants and it allows me to proceed. Apparently, last night, what the Universe wanted, more than anything, was for me to see Harry Potter naked.
I wanted to see Spring Awakening. It’s closing on the 18th so if I don’t see it within the next few days I probably never will. But by the time Sadie and I got to the box office the student rush tickets were all gone (and sorry, I wasn’t going to get up at 6am to get tickets- or pay full price). Then I remembered that I wanted to see Speed the Plow because Norbert Leo Butz is in it for a limited time. Turns out I misremembered just how limited his time there was because when we got to the box office they informed us, yes they did have student rush tickets and that Norbert’s last performance was the night before. Thwarted again. We gave Billy Elliot a go but the guy at the box office curtly informed us that they did not have student rush tickets. He seemed somewhat insulted that we would think his theatre did that sort of thing. Then, we basically flipped a coin on whether to try for Equus or the Little Mermaid. You can guess from the above paragraph what happened next. After finally procuring tickets I went off to SoHo to meet up with Paul and Anna.
There are some people in your life that you just fall in with immediately and things are just easier than they are with most everyone else. You’re more relaxed, funnier, more yourself. Sadie is one of those people for me, so is Paul.
Paul and I met on a backpackers’ tour through southwest England and Wales. He managed to save me from death and dismemberment many times as I was the stupid American who continued to look the wrong way before crossing the street. (I also can’t help remembering that I was rather embarrassing over the tour guide. It’s not my fault, though, he was Scottish. Scottish accents make my brain go loopy. When a Scot is speaking I cannot be held accountable for my actions… ANYWAY…) I remember walking through Shakespeare’s house at Stratford-upon-Avon, they had it all decked out even so far as an assortment of fake foods, as if Mrs. Shakespeare was going to hurry into the kitchen to start on dinner before Will got home from a long day at the theatre. And I felt the need to make such asinine comments as, that’s the ham that Shakespeare was eating when he wrote Romeo and Juliet (I mean, why else would it be in a museum?). It was funny at the time.
I hadn’t seen Paul for 5, almost 6, years and I had forgotten just how easy of a friendship we had had. It was nice to just fall into that, even if only for a day. They left that evening for 3 days in Dubai before returning to Australia. The “they” including his finacee, Anna whom I got to meet yesterday. She is lovely. I friend requested her on facebook. We went to the planetarium; we totally bonded.
All too soon –insert sad face here- it was time to say goodbye. I went off to meet up with Sadie at the Shubert for Equus. Which was fantastic. I had read it senior year of high school, but, as that was 10 years ago now, I had forgotten pretty much everything other than that a kid blinds a bunch of horses and then talks to a shrink. Which, I guess is a pretty fair plot summary. But the play is so much more than plot.
It was a very bare, very grey set. Sparse. Four, large blocks were all that was used in the way of furniture and the cast manipulated them into becoming what they needed them to be for each scene; a chair, a bed, a psychiatrist’s couch. You didn’t need to see the fabric, you believed that they were there. The cast was great. Richard Griffiths was phenomenal. And the writing. God, the writing. It’s a haunting play; disturbing as fuck, but God, Peter Shaffer’s words. Here’s an example:
Martin Dysart: All right! The normal is the good smile in a child's eyes. There's also the dead stare in a million adults. It both sustains and kills, like a god. It is the ordinary made beautiful, it is also the average made lethal. Normal is the indispensable murderous god of health and I am his priest.
I mean… fuck. The whole play is like that, brilliant sentences violently, and sometimes almost silently, sprayed at you, covering you like a damp you can’t get out of your clothes no matter how long you hang them to dry. Writing like that makes me feel terrifyingly insignificant, in the most amazing way.
I wrote a sentence at intermission that I am rather fond of. Kept it in my head all the way home, sitting on the train back to Ronkonkoma, saying it over and over until I found suitable fellows for it. It is, apparently, the start of something new. Who knows, maybe a play. Maybe a screenplay as it seems all the money is in L.A. and none in New York. Whatever it may be it is new and that’s exciting.
All in all, it was a very good day.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I seem to have a blog blockage. For the past couple of weeks every time I have attempted to compose a blog I have gotten no further than a paragraph before scrapping it to go read Harry Potter or play Rock Band. As long as you’re alive there’s something to write about; sometimes it’s just hard to see what’s worth reading about. But here I am, once again, four sentences in, and already staring vacantly at my DVD collection wondering if there isn’t something better I could be doing with my time. And distracted by the fact that Word is drawing red squiggly lines under each occurrence of the word blog in this blog. You’d think that it would recognize blog as a word by now.
One of my least favorite sentences is: “That’s not a word.” Well, says who? All words are, are sounds with meaning. You make a noise and communicate to someone that the noise you are making correlates to this tall brown thing with the green things on top and voila! You know have a word that means tree. Or, rather, you have the sound “tree” that now means “the tall brown thing with the green things on top”. You get what I’m saying. Words are not these innate, inalienable fixtures in the universe. We can create and destroy them as we see fit. And we do. I mean, how often does anyone say affable anymore? Everyone knows what a blog is, though. No matter how often Word tries to argue the point with me.
Well, that was an interesting tangent. Though, can you really go off on a tangent if you had yet to establish a topic?
ANYWAY. Battlestar Galactica (2 more words unrecognized by Word) starts up again on Friday. FRIDAY! Yipee! I heart Battlestar Galactica and I have the social life to prove it. If a geek and a nerd found a way to simultaneously fertilize the ovum of a dork, I would be that zygote. Battlestar Galactica is a truly wonderful thing and I am looking forward to finding out who the final cylon is and what the fuck happened to Earth.
Speaking of truly wonderful things: my feet are currently housed in microwavable slippers. Scented too. Cranberry. They were a Christmas present from my brother’s girlfriend. Not only are my feet toasty warm but they smell delicious! Microwavable slippers. Brilliant!
And I’m staring off into space again…
I’m still kicking ass on Rock Band, btw. Cause I know you’ve been wondering. Problem is I don’t actually own it. My cousin brought it over here and has yet to retrieve it, though I know the extraction date is growing ever closer. Any moment she’ll step out of the darkness to claim what is hers. She could be on her way. Right. Now.
So, I’m thinking about eloping with her Rock Band. Because absconding with it would just be theft and stealing, let alone stealing from family, is tres uncool –at least that’s what I’m telling myself, daily- HOWEVER, if Rock Band and I are united in the bonds of holy matrimony well then, what is the phrase, let no man tear us asunder. There’s gotta be some religion out there with no qualms about till-death-do –you-parting man and machine. I bet if I did a google search I’d find some pretty startling results. Hey, I mean, it worked out pretty alright for Helo and Sharon.
It’s 9:30 and I just turned on the Golden Globes. I have no idea why. I feel a little bit like Audrey Hepburn in the beginning of Sabrina as she stares longingly down into a dinner party that she was not invited to. Except, you know, dirty. I’m sure I would feel entirely differently if I were wearing a shiny loaner dress, sipping champagne and waiting with bated breath for them to call my name, but as I’m not I kinda wish that I hadn’t already showered.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
You’ve gotta find your big, gigantic drum kit
It often feels that my life has just been one long, drawn out existential crisis. While that may be great for my writing life it makes the rest of it, the finding a way to pay the bills part, kind of a bitch.
We're all just looking for our big, gigantic drum kit; something to fill our lives with passion and purpose. Some of us (like my mom who obnoxiously found her calling at the age of 4 while watching "Miss Frances' Ding Dong School") figure it out and go on to live happy and productive lives. The rest of us, well we blog from our parents' basement and fret about our negligible contributions to society.
And we play Rock Band.
oh yes, Rock Band.
The following is a pretty accurate representation of what happens when I play Rock Band
after years of searching it turns out that my metaphoric big, gigantic drum kit might actually be a literal big, gigantic drum kit.