Wednesday, December 30, 2009

in loving memory of helen m. porod (1894-2004).

jesus christ, she was one hundred and ten years old.

we climbed the chicken wire.
we smoked cigarettes in st. boniface.
we are on a fast track to hell but you are a secular humanist,
(and i'm sure that's great, but i don't know what it means,)
and i am, well, secular - a heathen. that's nice.
but i found a personal bible. on the sidewalk.
if i keep it in my pocket,
i'm sure it cancels out brushing the snow
off of headstones with my dirty shoes.
i'll take you with me when i get to the heaven i don't believe in.
i'll take you with me when my corpse rots,
when my good organs are plucked out, and my ashes are scattered.

lovers names should have been carved into the tree in the cemetery.
my mind offered to carve our names, but my mouth and hands
didn't have the guts to follow through.

and we're just friends, because that's what we need.

the slashed, deflated and cold,
i love you
balloon defined the night.
that and the bikini kill song "white boy."
don't laugh don't cry just die.

Monday, December 28, 2009


so i bought this beautiful blanket

for 2andahalfdollars yesterday at the salvation army with the intention of turning it into a jacket a la

"pendelton meets opening ceremony"
but better,
because i am
1) able to make it without the flouncy bits which i do not really care for.
2) a real person who can wear my own creations with pride.
3) not a hipster.
4) diy-ed. cheap.
[5) apparently kind of a snob.]

but i'm kind of enjoying it as a blanket. damaged, yes. but pretty.
cut? cut? snip? sew? sew? snip? wear?!
i don't know.
if i confront the issue, and make a jacket, the photos might be up within a few weeks. yeah.

Friday, December 25, 2009

this might be thoroughly illegal.

this is without a doubt one of the finest christmas-y stories ever.
i would say it is reprinted here courtesy of esquire magazine, but really i just stole it from their website. ah, the internet.
the story also now appears in Sedaris' books, Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim and Holidays on Ice (which i currently have from the library - i've read a few of the stories and i highly recommend reading "The Santaland Diaries" as well. i read it in the library, trying to crochet while i read. i ended up putting down my hook and yarn and laughing out loud several times, which being in a library i tried to stifle and ended up going into that sort of silent-laugh seizure).

SIX TO EIGHT BLACK MEN by David Sedaris.
i highly recommend listening to a recording of it, either on youtube or an actual book on tape, because that's how i first met this story and David Sedaris' voice and reading are perfect.


by David Sedaris.

I've never been much for guidebooks, so when trying to get my bearings in a strange American city, I normally start by asking the cabdriver or hotel clerk some silly question regarding the latest census figures. I say silly because I don't really care how many people live in Olympia, Washington, or Columbus, Ohio. They're nice enough places, but the numbers mean nothing to me. My second question might have to do with average annual rainfall, which, again, doesn't tell me anything about the people who have chosen to call this place home.

What really interests me are the local gun laws. Can I carry a concealed weapon, and if so, under what circumstances? What's the waiting period for a tommy gun? Could I buy a Glock 17 if I were recently divorced or fired from my job? I've learned from experience that it's best to lead into this subject as delicately as possible, especially if you and the local citizen are alone and enclosed in a relatively small space. Bide your time, though, and you can walk away with some excellent stories. I've heard, for example, that the blind can legally hunt in both Texas and Michigan. They must be accompanied by a sighted companion, but still, it seems a bit risky. You wouldn't want a blind person driving a car or piloting a plane, so why hand him a rifle? What sense does that make? I ask about guns not because I want one of my own but because the answers vary so widely from state to state. In a country that's become so homogenous, I'm reassured by these last touches of regionalism.

Guns aren't really an issue in Europe, so when I'm traveling abroad, my first question usually relates to barnyard animals. "What do your roosters say?" is a good icebreaker, as every country has its own unique interpretation. In Germany, where dogs bark "vow vow" and both the frog and the duck say "quack," the rooster greets the dawn with a hearty "kik-a-ricki." Greek roosters crow "kiri-a-kee," and in France they scream "coco-rico," which sounds like one of those horrible premixed cocktails with a pirate on the label. When told that an American rooster says "cock-a-doodle-doo," my hosts look at me with disbelief and pity.

"When do you open your Christmas presents?" is another good conversation starter, as it explains a lot about national character. People who traditionally open gifts on Christmas Eve seem a bit more pious and family oriented than those who wait until Christmas morning. They go to mass, open presents, eat a late meal, return to church the following morning, and devote the rest of the day to eating another big meal. Gifts are generally reserved for children, and the parents tend not to go overboard. It's nothing I'd want for myself, but I suppose it's fine for those who prefer food and family to things of real value.

In France and Germany, gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, while in Holland the children receive presents on December 5, in celebration of Saint Nicholas Day. It sounded sort of quaint until I spoke to a man named Oscar, who filled me in on a few of the details as we walked from my hotel to the Amsterdam train station.

Unlike the jolly, obese American Santa, Saint Nicholas is painfully thin and dresses not unlike the pope, topping his robes with a tall hat resembling an embroidered tea cozy. The outfit, I was told, is a carryover from his former career, when he served as a bishop in Turkey.

One doesn't want to be too much of a cultural chauvinist, but this seemed completely wrong to me. For starters, Santa didn't use to do anything. He's not retired, and, more important, he has nothing to do with Turkey. The climate's all wrong, and people wouldn't appreciate him. When asked how he got from Turkey to the North Pole, Oscar told me with complete conviction that Saint Nicholas currently resides in Spain, which again is simply not true. While he could probably live wherever he wanted, Santa chose the North Pole specifically because it is harsh and isolated. No one can spy on him, and he doesn't have to worry about people coming to the door. Anyone can come to the door in Spain, and in that outfit, he'd most certainly be recognized. On top of that, aside from a few pleasantries, Santa doesn't speak Spanish. He knows enough to get by, but he's not fluent, and he certainly doesn't eat tapas.

While our Santa flies on a sled, Saint Nicholas arrives by boat and then transfers to a white horse. The event is televised, and great crowds gather at the waterfront to greet him. I'm not sure if there's a set date, but he generally docks in late November and spends a few weeks hanging out and asking people what they want.

"Is it just him alone?" I asked. "Or does he come with some backup?"

Oscar's English was close to perfect, but he seemed thrown by a term normally reserved for police reinforcement.

"Helpers," I said. "Does he have any elves?"

Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but I couldn't help but feel personally insulted when Oscar denounced the very idea as grotesque and unrealistic. "Elves," he said. "They're just so silly."

The words silly and unrealistic were redefined when I learned that Saint Nicholas travels with what was consistently described as "six to eight black men." I asked several Dutch people to narrow it down, but none of them could give me an exact number. It was always "six to eight," which seems strange, seeing as they've had hundreds of years to get a decent count.

The six to eight black men were characterized as personal slaves until the mid-fifties, when the political climate changed and it was decided that instead of being slaves they were just good friends. I think history has proven that something usually comes between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by cookies and quiet times beside the fire but by bloodshed and mutual hostility. They have such violence in Holland, but rather than duking it out among themselves, Santa and his former slaves decided to take it out on the public. In the early years, if a child was naughty, Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men would beat him with what Oscar described as "the small branch of a tree."

"A switch?"

"Yes," he said. "That's it. They'd kick him and beat him with a switch. Then, if the youngster was really bad, they'd put him in a sack and take him back to Spain."

"Saint Nicholas would kick you?"

"Well, not anymore," Oscar said. "Now he just pretends to kick you."

"And the six to eight black men?"

"Them, too."

He considered this to be progressive, but in a way I think it's almost more perverse than the original punishment. "I'm going to hurt you, but not really." How many times have we fallen for that line? The fake slap invariably makes contact, adding the elements of shock and betrayal to what had previously been plain, old-fashioned fear. What kind of Santa spends his time pretending to kick people before stuffing them into a canvas sack? Then, of course, you've got the six to eight former slaves who could potentially go off at any moment. This, I think, is the greatest difference between us and the Dutch. While a certain segment of our population might be perfectly happy with the arrangement, if you told the average white American that six to eight nameless black men would be sneaking into his house in the middle of the night, he would barricade the doors and arm himself with whatever he could get his hands on.

"Six to eight, did you say?"

In the years before central heating, Dutch children would leave their shoes by the fireplace, the promise being that unless they planned to beat you, kick you, or stuff you into a sack, Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men would fill your clogs with presents. Aside from the threats of violence and kidnapping, it's not much different from hanging your stockings from the mantel. Now that so few people have a working fireplace, Dutch children are instructed to leave their shoes beside the radiator, furnace, or space heater. Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men arrive on horses, which jump from the yard onto the roof. At this point, I guess, they either jump back down and use the door, or they stay put and vaporize through the pipes and electrical wires. Oscar wasn't too clear about the particulars, but, really, who can blame him? We have the same problem with our Santa. He's supposed to use the chimney, but if you don't have one, he still manages to come through. It's best not to think about it too hard.

While eight flying reindeer are a hard pill to swallow, our Christmas story remains relatively simple. Santa lives with his wife in a remote polar village and spends one night a year traveling around the world. If you're bad, he leaves you coal. If you're good and live in America, he'll give you just about anything you want. We tell our children to be good and send them off to bed, where they lie awake, anticipating their great bounty. A Dutch parent has a decidedly hairier story to relate, telling his children, "Listen, you might want to pack a few of your things together before you go to bed. The former bishop from Turkey will be coming along with six to eight black men. They might put some candy in your shoes, they might stuff you in a sack and take you to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don't know for sure, but we want you to be prepared."

This is the reward for living in Holland. As a child you get to hear this sto-ry, and as an adult you get to turn around and repeat it. As an added bonus, the government has thrown in legalized drugs and prostitution--so what's not to love about being Dutch?

Oscar finished his story just as we arrived at the station. He was a polite and interesting guy--very good company--but when he offered to wait until my train arrived, I begged off, saying I had some calls to make. Sitting alone in the vast terminal, surrounded by other polite, seemingly interesting Dutch people, I couldn't help but feel second-rate. Yes, it was a small country, but it had six to eight black men and a really good bedtime story. Being a fairly competitive person, I felt jealous, then bitter, and was edging toward hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off into the Michigan forest. He might bag a deer, or he might happily shoot his sighted companion in the stomach. He may find his way back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before stumbling through your front door. We don't know for sure, but in pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American.

happy holidays, winter, or regular old friday - whatever floats yr boat.

oh, check this out, i found a website with the recording in three parts.
that's the link for the part one page.

Monday, December 21, 2009

never thought i'd think this, let alone say it out loud.

i miss bronxville,

i whispered. and then i hid my face in my hands.

Friday, December 18, 2009

bells, whistles, ravens, riddles, cars, and stars.

i saw a couple holding hands, walking on the sidewalk tonight.
the two people were looking at the sky.
the guy was pointing. at the sky. at the stars.
see it?
it's kind of up and down (hand motion) and there (side to side hand motion).
right there.
oh yeah, yeah.

they were looking at him.

my smile was so big that it almost fell off my face.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

no sleep and disguised skeletons.

in the next twelve hours i have to:
write an (at least) 8 page paper on disguise in a renaissance play (i'm choosing twelfth night). for my class at 9:30 am, tomorrow.
print said paper in the library, because my printer has no black or dark-colored ink.
print two other papers (one a self-evaluation, one a sort-of revision of a play-like piece of creative writing).
hopefully get two hours of sleep around the time the sun comes up.*

once all this is done, all of the semester is done. and then i get to pack to go back to chicago on friday and stay for a month.

in twelve hours plus three-and-a-half hours of classes i am done with school.
oh i have a class on friday, but it's acting class and we're just having a party.
i made fudge. and tomorrow i think i will bake vegan banana muffins. for the party.
i think a girl in my class is allergic to bananas. huh? who is allergic to bananas?
i need to ask her tomorrow if she can't be in the same room as bananas (unlikely) or she just can't ingest them (plausible).

*i will probably not get any sleep, let alone two hours.
last time i pulled a school work related all-nighter it was for the same class. and i felt awful the next day. i would get really restless in my legs and need to walk and move. i think it was the after-effects of about a dozen large mugs of black tea. if i finish my paper tonight (which i simply have to) i might reward myself with my last mint tea bag. yes, think of that. now start fucking writing about billy shakes. (OH MY GOD I DO NOT WANT TO.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

honestly, the sanitariness of this set up is of little concern to me.

3 hours.
120 mintish chocolate chip cookies.
baking is surprisingly exhausting.
my back hurts.
however i believe i have more than compensated for
the great chocolate chip banana bread fiasco of november.
(wherein i learned my lesson about leavening agents and had to scrape burned edges off the two loaves every few minutes, so as to avoid smoking the bread and calling the fire department.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

radio show #whatever, it's the last one this semester.

i don't know the point of telling you what i played on my radio show today, other than i have every other week. the show's already happened okay. it was full of music that sounded good to my self-loathing and today's brain deadness.
but fuck it, whatever, why bother breaking my streak?

it's oh so quiet - no age (bjork cover)
get up - sleater-kinney
death to our friends - sonic youth
days of heaven - anon, good nurse
logos - atlas sound
i'm not in love - talking heads
i believe in nothing - vivian girls
in the mouth (a desert) - pavement
raised eyebrows - the feelies
all my little words - the magnetic fields
outta me - bikini kill
the moon - the microphones
something - the beatles

yeah i have so much fucking work. i want to sleep and drown in tea and do laundry.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

it's not ideal, but i'll take the moments i get.

i saw you in the library and sat down.
i want to lean across the table and whisper, "this is how it could be if we dated."
i would crochet and you would read,
your books and tobacco and my yarn and scissors filling the space between us.
and that endearing and sometimes annoying (and much missed) habit of drumming on your thighs.

you need to leave to rectify the problem of not drinking a drop for a week.
i tell you to look for Orion.
you say you will, but i'd rather you offer me your hand so that i can leave with you and point out my new seven favorite stars myself.
but no. i'm alone with my hook and yarn and a half-finished granny square and the question of "well, how should i go forward?"

Thursday, December 10, 2009


i love stars. constellations. history unchanged.
the greeks and romans named Orion and
i get the honor of hanging out with him today.
i love that stars make me feel small, make me feel just how spherical is our little bubble of earth and water and lava and hot/cold fronts of air. but at the same time, the stars never change in size, not really. they're always little flecks of light. little. so looking at them doesn't really make me change in size. i have to remind myself that that star is as big as life. as big as earth, maybe. as big as all the fires i never want to see in my reality. stars are likes paintings, because i'll never get close enough with only my human eye to change them. ever. i don't know the science of it all, but i'm pretty sure i'll never touch or kill or push or change a star. i can only look at them and maybe someday i will have the good fortune to look at them through a high powered telescope and get to tell Orion how nice his biceps look up-close.
last night i looked up at the right moment and saw my new friend Orion staring down at me. i freaked out and erin laughed at me. i love constellations. tonight i bundled up and went to try to photograph him, but he would have none of it, so i just looked at him and admired and jumped up and down to express my excitement to myself and hear my cold boots on the cement parking lot top.

everybody, meet Orion.

Orion, this is everybody.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

radio show #9. sure, fine, whatever. AND WEEKEND.

fight war, not wars - crass
creme brulee - sonic youth
vicious - lou reed
hippie, hippie, hoorah - black lips
anna (go to him) - the beatles
gimme some time (live) - smith westerns
tainted love - soft cell
the early 80's - times new viking
everybody's down - no age
hidden place - bjork
be yr mama - sleater-kinney
you're gonna miss me - 13th floor elevators
the murder mystery - the velvet underground
split - liliput

this radio show has no theme. this radio show was rambling. this radio show had less thought than usual put into it (maybe, maybe not). i went to pennsylvania this weekend. a little silly, rather expensive, but i keep dismissing it as "hey, it's college." every real-world mistake i make, i do feel like i learn a lot from. meagbus is a very nice thing (transportation), especially when it runs on time. cream of wheat is also a very nice thing (late-night breakfast). philadelphia looks like a very nice thing (place) and i hope to spend more time there some day. new york city is a very nice thing (distraction, time-waster, money suck).






Thursday, December 3, 2009

PEARS. exacerbate.

this afternoon at the train station
i exhale
i take out my green pear.
oh god oh no
this pear has cancer,
i gave it cancer.
there is a brown spot where my mouth bit.
there is a cancer and a spot i avoid eating
- it turns into a tumor.
the pear is delicious when i get to the good parts
the pear is delicious when i don't want to cry at it
into it, salt water and fruit juice.

on the train i notice a man with a bandage on the side of his head, at his temple. WE ARE ALL INJURED. EVEN THE PEARS. I AM STILL FEELING OFF.

in my playwriting class today, everyone liked what i had written. probably the most positive feedback i've gotten yet. "it reminds me of the handmaid's tale," was one comment. i know. i knew it when i wrote it. "damn," i said to myself, "this is the most atwood thing." and i didn't like it because of that. i love margaret atwood and the handmaid's tale but i liked my play over.there, not as something i had written, as something that my writing buddy hannah might have written. i don't want to sound like anyone, which i realize is really naive but ultimately an honest thought.

i want to write a play like crave by sarah kane.
well, i don't want to be depressed enough to write a play like crave, but you understand?
the style, the images,
it's forty-five minutes of busted up spitfire poetry.
i saw a production of it at school tonight and it was beautiful.
my writing buddy hannah said she thought i would like it, that it was a very "me" play. i agree, i think. i want it to be me: in style and staging, but i am not that obviously broken. but i think the style and structure and staging is maybe more than half the play. that point can be argued. hannah also introduced me to her friend/producer:
"do you two know each other?"
(head shakes all around.)
"this is nora."
"i'm emma," i say.
(hand shakes all around.)
"she's our costume designer," says hannah with a smile.
on tuesday hannah asked me to be the costume designer for the show she is directing in the spring semester, the last five years. tuesday was a great day. i said yes. i want to do a good job. i want to do the best job. i want to make the costumes
i want to sew them all by hand and machine.
there are only two characters (i haven't read the script, but i know that much) and they must be attired perfectly.

the characters may be injured, but their clothes will suit them perfectly. their clothes will attire their injury. their clothes will be their unsuspecting pear skin, the first layer before we bite in, just like in real life on train station platforms.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

scavenger tendencies.

when you find that one of your suite-mates has cleaned out her part of the fridge (good for her) and has thrown away two perfectly good bunches (heads? trees? stalks?) of broccoli, what do you do? if you're me, you eat them even though you aren't hungry and enjoy vegetables! vegetables! besides, even if you're not hungry, it's good iron, which as a non-meat-eater, you don't really get enough of,
so congrats on the broccoli find!
all day today i've felt off.
like depressed, maybe,
i've been quiet a lot and when i realize that i haven't talked in a while, my mouth feels heavy and when i talk my tongue feels heavy, but i don't know that i'm talking. i'm more like interacting. giving that person near me something to react to. going through motions according to the abstraction of personality that i've somehow built for myself.
the day isn't over until i take off my blue jeans.
i could still go out. i'm still clothed, my hair is how it always is. i may have invited myself to pennsylvania today. i hate inviting myself places, i hope i don't seem pushy or invasive.

"we need to have an adventure."

i need to sleep more. when i sleep, lately, exhaustion overcomes me and i sprawl. i don't normally sprawl when i sleep. face down arms out, i've heard it on two separate accounts of two separate nights.
what's wrong?
the rocking, post-cruise,
feeling has gone away mostly i think,
except for now, when i think of it. the rocking, world-moving-beneath-my-feet feeling was equivalent to being slightly drunk. i would sway a little every now and then, even when on dry land.

at six o'clock i was sitting in the library, endeavoring to read bleak house but i apparently had to get some things out of my system and i wrote this:
"there are two things and only two things happening in my head right now. one is whatever is in front of me. the other is the opening number to Company.
'those good and crazy people, my friends.
those good and crazy people, my married friends.'

it's been like this for 2.5 hours.
i wish the world would stop moving in waves beneath my feet.
i still feel the cruise ship.

'phone rings,
door chimes,
in comes company.'

in the fall/winter i fall in love with peoples' faces and sweaters and skin
in the summer i fall in love with peoples' legs.

rain or shine i'm going to new york city this weekend
and then hopefully to pennsylvania to bryn mawr to see christine.
i want friends."

and then i censor myself and stop typing what i wrote over six hours ago. because i hate it and it is unimportant. i wonder if tomorrow will be different, even though my complete tipsy apathy towards things was kind of nice today. i laughed inappropriately and said odd things. i did not do the homework that i should have. i was very fidgety. sitting through three hours of a pretty decent Cabaret was very difficult. i kept shifting my legs. i felt bad for the girl next to me. i would have distracted me if i was sitting next to me.

i need to finish it ASAP.
i have three-hundred+ more pages to go and now i have the opening to Cabaret playing in my head.

"wilkomen bienvenue welcome."

if i could, i would travel back in time and give courtney love a great big hug and buy her a pack of cigarettes and a cup of coffee. then we would go to the brown elephant, where i first saw and wanted live through this when i was about ten but didn't ask my mom to buy it for me, because i didn't know what it might hold. at the brown elephant we would buy clothing for ourselves and for her daughter, who she would hire me to babysit every now and then. she would pay me well, but not always in cash money. sometimes she would have to pay me in stories.
i wonder to this day how i might be different if i had bought live through this all those years ago.

Monday, November 23, 2009

reading graffiti in a library study room.

"be who you are and
say what you feel
because those who
mind don't matter
and those who
matter don't mind."
- dr. seuss

density. drag.

i might be asleep. right now. my eyes might be closed. my fingers might be typing out of self-deprecating habit. i might be dreaming. that's what i thought last night when i walked in and saw my roommate not wearing pajammaz. well, i thought, that might be her bare back, but then again, the room is tilting pretty severely and i'd rather just lie down. i might never finish my homework. this might be all one long day, as the light of the sky has no bearing on when i'm awake. i'm sleeping less than 25% of each day, at least five days a week. usually six. thursday night (when a whole lot of rather illogical partying happens), i can usually get eight hours. this morning i woke up, admittedly in a possibly altered state of mind, and stepped straight into the shower. and then i cleaned my room and completely forgot about my morning until later erin, who'd been leaving for church when i was washing my hair, said she was surprised to hear me up and cleaning myself no less (i like to get good and scuzzy before showering, so i can better appreciate clean. however, erin enjoys reminding me that i shower maybe one or two times weekly, passing only mild judgment) so early. i stared at her. what? i had forgotten that i'd showered this morning. or yesterday morning, as we are now in monday. today is one of my suite-mate's birthdays. tomorrow is my birthday. which i have also been forgetting. my mother told me to stop by the post office on tuesday. why? i asked. because it's not just tuesday, she responded. huh?ohyeahright. i hate how much time i spend on my computer. i'm looking forward to not having it over thanksgiving break. so looking forward to that. i hate itunes. i hate itunes. to listen to most of my music means i have to have my computer on and open and then i think of this thing or that thing to look up online and everyone knows that vicious horrible cycle of mouse click after mouse click until all hope and time has been lost, and it's your own fault and not the computer's or the fault of the capitalists who dreamt up the internet. it's your own lack of self-control, like the kind that comes out when you eat half a pint of ice cream like some fucking girl cliche, some chick all ripped up after her boyfriend broke up with her, only for you, for me, there is no break up, there is mutual agreement, and there is ice cream and the two are independent of each other.
in other news: i really like my bangs.
in other news: i would like somebody to love here at college.
in other news: there is a coffee table outside my window, on the roof of the parking lot, which is also my apartment's fire escape. i found the table weeks ago, and washed it and then put it out (which was difficult - getting it out the window) because it smelled. i brought it in today and now it is full of water from the rain over the weeks and it still smells. so i put it back on the roof. i will take it back to where i found it sometime in the next couple days. and i liked this table. everything goes wrong.


dr. gibbs: they'll have a lot of troubles, i suppose, but that's none of our business. everybody has a right to their own troubles.
mrs. gibbs: yes... people are meant to go through life two by two. 'tain't natural to be lonesome.
-our town by thornton wilder

scorpion 1: too, too, two.
scorpion 2: so many twos.
scorpion 1: everything comes in twos.
scorpion 2: except you, winnie.
-the desert play by eric dufault

Saturday, November 21, 2009

radio show #8: california dreamin'. not really. i'd rather just stay in chicago.

this week's radio show is california themed!
that means bands from california, or (as in the cases of joni mitchell, led zeppelin, the mamas and the papas, and tnv) songs about california!
so here we go:
(get excited!)
wolf like me - tv on the radio (fine, in no way related to california, but it's the theme song/curtain call music for the play that i spent this week teching at school. i was a dresser (for quick costume changes) and a general run crew person. the play was called the desert play. it was written by eric dufault, who is a student. i like the play, it is about loneliness (i think?) and is a little surreal.)
going to california - led zeppelin
california - joni mitchell
here should be my home - no age
california girls - beach boys
los angeles - x
sex boy - the germs
long walk on the beach - grass widow
sex jazz - mika miko
sun was high (so was i) - best coast
tv party - black flag
unfair - pavement
move to california - times new viking
california dreamin' - the mamas and papas

so what brings on a california themed show? well, as we all probably know, thanksgiving is coming up; it's thursday to be exact. and i have wednesday, thursday, friday off of school. so i get to fly to chicago on wednesday, very early in the morning. cool. i'm so psyched to get to go to my city. i'm expecting/hoping for some huge heart swell of emotion when i fly in and see that skyline (even though i don't like downtown all that much - what fun is there in huge phallic office buildings? kind of kidding.).
but i don't get to stay in chicago for five wonderful days, seeing friends and movies and doing homework. oh no no no. that sounds far too leisurely.
as my grandma (on my mom's side) gets older, she wants to do more and more things with her whole clan (all 7 of her children, their spouses, and her 16-18 grandchildren). so she bought the entire family a cruise.
yeah, all 30 of us are piling onto a Carnival cruise ship that leaves from long beach, california and goes to mexico, and then back to long beach. in three days (friday-sunday). on monday i fly from california back to new york city.
i'm excited in an anthropological sense. i get to see southern california! i'm gonna put my body through some kind of weather shock - even though fall is being incredibly warm here (normally, in november, i'm like, preparing for the first snow storm, thinking about my heavy coat. but no, i'm still beatin' around in a cardigan.).
i'll take lots of pictures. of hot california girls in bikinis. and PALM TREES!!!
i actually want to go to los angeles really badly. see it. go to the Smell. hit the scene. i mean, i know i'm not going to los angeles, but, hey southern california, whatever. it's all new to me. cool.

Friday, November 20, 2009

haircuts for a higher purpose.

last night i'd had it with my curiosity.
i sat down in front of my suite-mates' full length mirror
a trash basket in one hand and
a pair of scissors in the other
and cut myself a heavy set of bangs.
i. like. them? i think.
whatever, i have to live with them.
my three roommates/suite-mates all watched and said "oh emma, they look so good."
(or one said, "you look like the girl from chicago. (what's her name? ...what's her name? catherine zeta-jones!"))
i was more proud of the community i created in the other bedroom
than my slightly crooked fringe.
that was only the second or third time the four of us who live together
have been in the same room for an extended period of time, all of us talking to each other.
and even after my bangs were done, we all just sat around talking,
laughing occasionally, sharing stories. it was nice. i think. at least, it was community.

for my birthday...

i only want very practical things.
i haven't had time to think about "fun" very much and i've never really been one for cutesy shit and frivolity. i want laundry money and black ink for my printer and metro cards and baking utensils.
and fabric. fine, i have been thinking about "fun" things, because i'm dying a little bit inside without my sewing machine and i have all these ideas of things to make. my fingertips ache for want of sewing!
and i want a cake.
actually cupcakes, but whatever.
i want someone to remember and bake me a cake. please?
i'll admit, i'll be a little bummed otherwise.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i don't know, i'm just typing. also, today i sustained a mild electrical shock in my right hand from our 4-slot toaster.

this is pretty well said. especially the last long paragraph.
because i have been letting my mind wander.
to sewing projects and
familiar streets.
to sweaty concerts and
other people's mouths.
the other day, on my long walk peppered with the mallards and other westchestetr towns,
i wanted another person there. i could feel air rushing past my palms
and i wanted another hand there to block it. i wanted to laugh and not feel lonely.
have you ever had that happen,
where you're like watching a movie and something funny happens,
and you laugh out loud, not hard or crazy, just pleasant,
and you hear your laugh and open your eyes from their smiling squint, and
you feel so profoundly alone.
have you ever had that happen?
where you're fine by yourself
until it's called to your attention - by your own mind?

i did pretty well on the introducing-myself-to-people front. the meeting people thing.
not so much on the making friends thing.
i don't know how to make friends! in high school i started with a group and then that group lost people over four years. the new friends i made weren't that close and we became friends in situations, like school plays or art classes. and then i have lost them too because i don't have a facebook.
how is it that i think i've missed the boat? how can some people make such quick connections? when do i get to look a person in the eye and think best friend?
ever? never? would never be okay with me? i don't know. i'm just trying to get my work done and enjoy as many moments in-between as possible, but it's really fucking difficult.
also i feel really out-of-place here, especially in the classroom. my classmates/peers will say such beautiful, insightful things sometimes. the kinds of things that make me want to reach out and touch their faces, and then i'm still this teenager, this high schooler. this little girl looking at college and seeing summer camp without kayaks and the lake. and the kayaks were the only reason i went to summer camp.
i'm starting to form a theory of sorts. a ton of the kids here went to boarding school. also a bunch have taken a year off here or there. to have gone to the kind of school where i went home after six hours of "learning" everyday, let alone having gone to a public school, is kind of different. so my theory about boarding school kids is that they have a much more unified sense of self. they know themselves much better than those of us who lived primarily outside of school and yet had our lives defined by school (that barely makes sense). they are used to school and life being one thing, while i have never had school and life unified. so it's a new concept to me, this living and learning in the same place, and i'm away from parents for the first time and away from my past.
but i have no idea who i am and i only have little fragments of ideas for who i want to be, which are really hard to develop when i'm working all.the.time.
at least the weekdays pass quickly. i never have time to stop and ask "why" to get to any sort of constructive end.

Monday, November 16, 2009

sharp edges.

right. sure.
i remember to floss and then i actually floss for the first time in months upon months
and then i fuck up the wire retainer "permanently" affixed to the back of my upper six front teeth.
i guess i'll devote time tomorrow to finding either an orthodontist or a pair of wire cutters.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

radio show #7: happier for the family.

so my parents have recently figured out how to get the college's radio station, so they can listen to my show. grrreaaaaaat.
anyway, after last week's show i gave them a call, to check in, and they said they'd listened to my radio show and my father requested that i play happier music.
huh, bikini kill isn't "happy"?
well, okay. with that request in mind i set out to create a "happier" show for this week.

and here's what i got:
not a problem - black lips
teen drama - times new viking
(love is like a) heat wave - martha and the vandellas
spiderwebs - no doubt
step aside - sleater-kinney
uh-oh, love come to town - talking heads
girls just wanna have fun - cyndi lauper
eight days a week - the beatles
i'm gonna love you too - buddy holly
anything could happen - the clean
favorite thing - the replacements
never stops - deerhunter
neighborhood #1 (tunnels) - arcade fire
don't cry for me - the zombies
imagine, pt. 3 - smith westerns

next week is going to be california themed. feel free to make requests.
at 6 p.m. est, 5 p.m. cst.

also i just found the station's phone number!
so feel free to call when i'm d.j.-ing
and make a request that i cannot promise to fulfill,
just don't be a creepster.
the number is 914.395.6751.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

we'll die alone together.

i took a walk! i saw mallards!!

i walked to tuckahoe. that's tuckahoe in the distance. i climbed up to the train tracks and walked along beside them. i later found out (when i climbed up on the train station platform) that people are not allowed to walk along to train tracks. it didn't seem like a very good idea. i mean, what if a train came. it was fun though.)

that looks nice.

happy thanksgiving.

ooooh, a slanted hill street.

a happy day indeed. just now i realize that it says "happy [turkey] day." i liked it better before i noticed the turkey.

westchester ain't so bad.

i like my lonely walks,
but they're starting to feel increasingly lonely.
the kind where i want someone with me. i want to hold someone's hand and drag them along by my side. we'd sing our favorite songs at the tops of our voices. my spastic private impromptu dance parties would be shared and all the better for it.
but nothing changes in college. i've been a loner for so long that i don't know how to change, even when i want to.
i'm listening to about four different parties happening in my apartment building.
i'm gonna watch slacker and wonder i can't be as cool as those kids when i'm doing more (productive) things than them.