Sunday, September 27, 2009

it is simple to put these concepts of virtue into black and white, health, is visible.

that utterly unintelligible title is the work of a senior girl in my roommate's aristotle class. she wrote it in an essay. it was the opening of a paragraph.

anyway: i have a pair of questions for anyone who comes across this blog in the next four days (now through thursday). if you read the questions you must provide an answer. it is imperative and possibly helpful.
1. who is your favorite dead poet?
(not your favorite poet of all-time, necessarily, though you can tell me that too, but your favorite DEAD one. and don't say something like john lennon or kurt cobain. sure lennon was a poet, but i want poets who published on paper.)
2. what is your favorite poem by that dead poet?
(or any other poem by a poet of similar state of living (read: dead.). i realize that maybe your favorite dead poet is your favorite overall, but one poem by a different dead poet is your favorite poem.)
thanks for your answers, i hope.

remember rock n' roll radio?

i've got a radio show. legit.
a college radio show.
i'm a college radio dj.
well, i would be is the radio worked.
it's an internet steaming radio thing, i-don't-know-what-i'm-talking-about-because-it-involves-technology-created-post-1995.
anyway the name i gave it is "golden" and that's what the website says, but i don't know, i'm not so keen on that name anymore.
and it was going to be a pop music show, because i thought i had to have like a genre, a focus, but i don't. it's really chill.
so basically i get to play anything i want for an hour once a week.
sundays 6-7 p.m. EST.

tonight i played:
ne vois-tu pas que c'est toi que j'aime by anna st. clair
i feel the earth move - carole king
you're my only one - cadallaca
tonight - the smith westerns
island ave. - jacuzzi boys
people talk - cheap time
new feeling - talking heads
i got a lot (new new new) - mika miko
instant hit - the slits
teen drama - times new viking
i'm waiting for the day - the beach boys
give him a great big kiss - the shangri-las
apple pie - lake breeze
midnight-a-go-go - beat happening
this must be the place (naive melody) - talking heads

so there it is.
next week: same bat time same bat channel (click it for a link that might not even work).

UPDATE: the radio link totally works now.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

saturday night movie screening in my r.a.'s dorm. makes me think.

the movie amelie always gets to me.
it leaves me feeling perfectly content and totally shattered-sad at the same time.
the first time i saw it, i said to my mother
"i liked that movie."
"i knew you would," she said, "she kind of reminds me of you. well, you aren't quite so painfully shy."
but i am just as alone.
like amelie, i don't really regard my aloneness/shyness as painful or incomplete. it's just how life is. it's going day-to-day reflecting quietly, preparing dinners that look nice enough to make us proud and happy, but not nice enough to share, doing without real kisses because we can imagine them well enough, making observations of things so beautiful only we can see them.
she is the fictional character to whom i relate the most. (well, maybe if she and weetzie bat had a baby and the baby took after amelie, that baby would be the fictional character i was most like.)

at college this is hard.
i'm not the most broken.
i'm not the most beautiful.
i'm not the loudest.
i'm not the most creative.
i'm never on the cutting edge.
i'm not the best conversationalist.
my eyes don't give off the warm comfort of a person who understands everything.
i've got a sensible streak, i like to listen, and i make bad puns. the clothes i sew are well-made garments for everyday wear. they have flair, sure, but it's the kind of flair that can slip right under the radar. i don't attract the people i want to, and so i get annoyed with my shallow self who can't be happy with who she has.
i like to smile. i like to look people in the eye when i pass them on the street and give them a smile that i hope says "we could be friends. we could be the people we need each other to be." but we always keep walking.

if anything, the moral of amelie is: go for what you want.
i guess i should try to take that part of it to heart.
but i already know that.
that's the moral of so many stories, of so many lives.
but fuck it, i'll keep trying.

go to a parking lot, sit on the ground and cry; you'll never know why.

tonight i appeared on stage
wearing only my underwear,
for the first time.
(please note that "first" implies that there will be subsequent appearances of me on stage in only my underwear. maybe you will be there for the next one.)
well, okay, i'll level with you.
i don't always wear bike shorts under my pants.
i never wear bike short under my pants.
i do however wear that particular red brassiere several times each week.
see, i had to keep my real underwear dry,
so i could change back into it after i sat in
the large clear plastic tub full of water.

i wrote a short play.
i have written several short plays.
i have now performed three of them.
one of them, half-naked, sitting in a tub of water.
(i fucked up the lines badly in that one.)

i joined a little theatre group, here at school.
i joined the very first week of school,
after watching them perform at orientation week.
a theatre group called "midnight cabaret."
they are based on the neo-futurists.
imagine a very "student-run" (in the bad way), un-professional, goofball, and not always based in total honesty
and you kind of have midnight cabaret.
they - we? -
start on monday, getting ideas,
which we write into plays on tuesday and wednesday.
on wednesday we choose the 14-17 (15 is average) plays that get into the show.
thursday is rehearsal,
friday at midnight (technically very early saturday)
we perform.
all plays change each week.
the cast changes depending on who shows up on monday.
it's very chill.
sometimes it gets a little too goofball and disorganized for my taste.
but i like it.
they accept me at least.
that's not nothin'.
and the plays (they all call them "pieces" but i always say "plays")
aren't always great.
but i think that as an audience member,
your time (about an hour) is well spent to
get to see the handful of gems,
good well written plays that do make it into the show each week.
i'm biased,
but i usually think my play (i've gotten one play in each week)
is one of the better ones.
at least i hope it is.

the shows aren't heavily attended.
the space we perform in can only hold maybe seventy people.
some people think we suck,
like we're the non-theatre kids trying to be
theatre-y or funny or something.
i see that point.
i don't agree with it, but i see it.
the audience that does show up is an odd one.
a fellow ensemble member broke it down like this for me tonight:
1/3 of the audience is close friends
1/3 is present/past cast members, who, for whatever reason aren't in the show that week
and 1/3 are out of their minds drunk or stoned.
i told him that tonight it seemed more like at least 1/2 was inebriated.
he agreed.
the fucking audience needed to shut up.
i like audience interaction and i like them getting into it,
but they were rude tonight.
it's like a fucking fifth grade play where you see your friend on stage and you figure that you can talk to them and give them feedback because, well, they're your friend.
you shouldn't though,
right now they're benjamin franklin,
holding a kite and discovering electricity.
or they're just sarah,
doing her best to move the show along.

i didn't mean to rant about audiences.
without them i would be nothing.
without them i wouldn't have gotten to be half-naked in public
(exempting swimming obviously).

i liked that,
it was confidence building.
i should write more parts like that for myself.

the videos of each show will be on youtube someday.
when that day comes i will put them on here.

for now, i think i'll just put the text of the play i wrote/performed this week.
it was/is entitled

two young women. #1 is stage right, #2 is stage left. 1 is sitting upright in a bed with a headboard and footboard. she has cup of tea overflowing with steam next to her bed. 2 is sitting in a large clear plastic tub full of water in her underwear (though the tub is big, she should look cramped, her knees should be at her chest). they speak to each other through cans connected by a string. they should speak as though their connection is bad, yelling a bit. deerhunter's "twilight at carbon lake" plays at a low volume throughout.

1: i said, i’m sick. and i’m at home.

2: huh?

1: i’m sick.

2: homesick.

1: no, flu-sick

2: i got homesick the other day. you know that pancake house on the corner, a block from where I live?

1: no. not really. (her mother enters, says “good morning” and leaves a plate with several pancakes on it on 1’s lap. 1 thanks her and the mother exits.)

2: it’s there and it’s got a big yellow sign. the Golden Nugget. a big golden sign. pancakes and waffles and open all day. it’s so beautiful to me. i wanted to see it the other day. i wanted to see it so fucking badly. and it was raining that day.

1: when?

2: the day I got sick.

1: you’re sick too?

2: no, the day i got homesick. it was raining and foggy. (from 2’s side of the playing space, a person with a spray bottle begins to mist her.) like if you walked out the front door you were suddenly covered in mist. so I wanted to wear a heavy sweater and hold my cat. but my cat isn’t here. he wouldn’t like it here. i’m all wet. (Slosh, uncomfortably.) but i wanted to press my hands and cheeks against his warm body. and tea. i had a lot of tea that day. i was filling the cat void.

1: i’m having tea now.

2: good, good your voice sounds rough. (the misting stops.)

1: that’s the connection.

2: huh?

1: and I’m coughing.

2: coughing.

1: and the connection.

2: huh?

1: connection.

2: listen you’re falling out. are you still there? i can’t hear your coughing. hey, feel better okay? drink a cup of tea for me. i’m so cold.

blackout. the music plays for a few more seconds then fades out.

i'm really tired. if i stay up much longer i'm just gonna eat all the oatmeal raisin cookies my mom sent me from home, which i received on thursday. finish this vanilla tea, and i'm out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

my day in bisquik.

i made cinnamon rolls for breakfast,
which one of my roommate's and i ate. happily.
i made pancakes in a saucepan and called it college.
i played at doing a handstand and wondered
how many push-ups and how much more faith-in-gravity
i have to go.
too many.
the pancakes are for a play i wrote.
tiny play.
two minute play.
edible props.
i burned one side of one of the five i made and fanned at the smoke detector
for five minutes even though there was no smoke to begin with.
the last thing i want is the fucking fire department in my tiny kitchen.
(though one of my aunts once told my about how she heated a pyrex pan and then ran water over it and it burst into a thousand pieces or something, so the fire dept. had to be notified and "like half a dozen of the best-looking men i've ever seen were in my kitchen." i was like fifteen, i didn't know what to do with this story. i still don't. my aunts are silly. she advised me to get pyrex pans to attract good-looking firefighters, that was the moral of the story.)

i like baking.
making food.
it's a nice thing to do.
expensive, initially,
but nice nonetheless.

one of the most beautiful things i never saw.

for no good reason i woke up at six this morning.
(my alarm was set for nine.)
i looked out my window
and upon realizing i wouldn't remember seeing the beautiful sunrise,
i reached for my camera and took this picture:

and promptly went back to sleep and forgot about the beautiful sunrise.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

THAT kind of day.

you wake up an hour later than you intended.
you forego a shower for the fourth?...fifth? day in a row. because you're only gonna get dirtier.
your hair decides it keeps no secrets.
your clothes fit badly and you can't decide if it's just because you washed them or you're gaining weight.
you rush out of the house with toothpaste in the corners of your mouth.
you go to work in the costume shop:
and you sew on an industrial machine for the first time UNsupervised;
you fold fabric and swat spiders off your blue jeans;
you hit your head on the above mentioned sewing machine.
oh, now, after a few hours your clothes are fitting fine.

you should be working.
you should be more efficient.
you should waste less time.
you shower.
you waste time.
you go to class.
you realize too late that your fly was most probably open for the two hours you spent in class.
you love midnight bike rides and don't want to go indoors to face your laptop and the paper yet to be written.
you are pleased by how your shadow's hair cut looks in the street lights.
you try to work.
you're not sure about this paper you're writing: you might be writing too familiarly, not formal enough. ??
you realize that your wealthy, spoiled roommate never says "thank you", and that "thank you" still means something.
you fill eighteen hours with good and bad that all melds into a haze called mondaytuesday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

two minutes. battery life. did everyone hear about the pavement reunion?

this is me in bronxville, ny.
this is me two weeks into school
(three weeks into living in a place with actual factual hills)
and still not sure what the fuck i'm doing here.

this is me still feeling the smoke of a found cigarette in the back of my throat.
the second cigarette i smoked today,
not because i was pressured into it,
not because i needed to or even necessarily wanted to.
just 'cause i could.
that seems like a good enough reason for college.

(it's the reason i keep going to all sorts of auditions that i'm not totally qualified for.)

this is me outside in the dark
raping the moon and the stars
with the white glow of my laptop.

i'm just chillin'
cause i've literally studied all day.
i'm just airin' out
so my roommates aren't like
"you been smokin'?"

i'm just wishing i had some fucking friends.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

thank you?

this morning, i went to unlock my bicycle which i had only locked up for the night eight hours earlier.
i found a pink post-it note stuck to my bike seat.
it read:
"Hey. Tonight I turned your bike light off. I'm not looking for any sort of reward, so I won't reveal my identity, but I just want you to know that someone is looking out for your battery. I hope I have restored your faith in humanity just a little bit."

i have no idea how to even begin to react to this note.
i am grateful. sure.
as i laid in bed last night, trying to fall asleep only to wake up five and a half hour later, i ran through lists in my head and
did i turn off my light??
crossed my mind.
of course you did. it's bright, you would have noticed if you hadn't.
well apparently i hadn't and i didn't notice.
so i'm grateful, and i wouldn't have known to be grateful if they hadn't left the note.
but i think, like a lot of people,
i am thrown a little off when people are...... when people aren't... humble?
yeah, i guess that's it.
a reward? that this person would mention it, is odd.
and the part about restoring "my faith in humanity"
well that implies that i have very little or was in some way lacking faith in humanity.
which i am sometimes, sure.
but last night/this morning, i felt pretty good.
stressed out and tired, but my general faith in humanity was pretty high.
i wasn't really thinking about it, but if you had asked my, my response would have been okay.
but now my faith in humanity is through the roof!
only after some one turns off my tail light!
i think i'll jump off a building and just trust humanity to catch me before i hit the bottom!

so tonight, it think
i'll tape a post-it note to my bike seat that says "thank you."
my roommate suggested taping a lollypop or some "reward" there, too.
i have an orange lollypop that's about a month old,
so i think i'll attach that as well.

thank you mystery person.
i'm truly grateful that i don't have to worry about buying triple-a batteries today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ghost girls in the new worlds.

as i may have mentioned before, i went to the same school for jr. high and high school.
in jr. high, i had three very close friends. they had been my friends in elementary school and we stayed close in the entirely different world that was seventh grade. two of them, jennifer and ewelina, decided to go to a different high school, while elizabeth and i decided to stay at the one we were already at.
so freshman year started and i honestly can't remember almost anything about it, but this one thing i can remember so clearly: in the hallways teeming with students, i would hallucinate.
i would think i saw jennifer and ewelina in every tall or short blond girl. i would look at the back of a girl's head and be so sure just for a split second that that girl was my girl, my friend.
and she never was, and in my realistic, calm mind, i knew that they weren't at my school, couldn't be.
but that didn't matter,
i hallway-hallucinated on and off for the whole first semester.

and i'm thinking of this because here i am at a new school, with new people, and visions of old people.
yesterday i saw a girl with corey's face. and upon closer review, i could see that, her face wasn't all that similar to corey's but just for a second, i was so sure. the eyes and nose and mouth were so close.

also yesterday,
i saw elizabeth.
not actually elizabeth,
but for just a moment
that girl was elizabeth.
she was just finishing rounding a corner,
and her shoulders were slumped
and her head was tilted
and her arms were swinging in that limp lanky way
and her stride had just the right bounce and width to it.
and i felt my heart and body recognize that girl as elizabeth,
the same way i would feel when i saw her at school, walking down the hall or around a corner, with that same stride.
i breathed in sharply and exhaled with a "whoa."
i tried to give a disconnected explanation to the girl i was walking with.

i don't know if the hallucinations are a signal for some latent homesickness or something and i don't know how i feel about them.

Friday, September 4, 2009

worth the walk. found the supermarket. still a little lost.

i have the kitchen floor everyone dreams about.

this morning i rolled out of bed and rifled around for my sewing scissors and gave myself a shorter hair cut than i intended.
i wrote haikus for each of my roommates over tea and newly bought cereal and soy milk, and stuck the mini-poems to the refrigerator.
i milled about my shared bedroom and listened to jan talk very generally about me to a friend on her telephone.
i took a positively joyous bike ride to walgreens on my newly tuned up bicycle.
(i had a great little sojourn to a bike shop yesterday. the shop was a bit over two miles away and i walked my flat tires on over there, occasionally dragging my heavy old ride up hills and thinking it'll all be worth it on the return trip. along the way i met a sort of tough-looking older guy with a mountain bike and he asked, "why aren't you riding?" and i said, "it's flat." and he said, "oh i wish i could help you patch it, but i don't got all the parts." "that's okay," i said, "i'm going to the shop on mclean. thank a lot though." and he got on his bike and rode away. and then these two old guys standing in a front yard asked, "why don't you ride that?" "it's flat." "there's a place up on mclean. they'll help you." "yeah, that's where i'm headed," i said. we said "bye" and i just smiled so broad to myself. 'cause these people were somehow with me, rooting for me, wanting me to get back on my bike and ride ride ride into the sunset, carry myself off campus, fly like the wind down steeply punishing hills. and then i got to the really happenin' avenue of mclean and walked the final block of my sojourn. "i need a new tube, can you teach me how to change a flat?" i asked and the guy had a heavy accent and ultimately decided that my inner tube was alright and filled my tires with air and tightened up some loose parts and i put some more grease on my chain. all for free. nice guy. and i think the two mile ride back was the best bike ride of my life. never has my bike been so quiet and easy to ride.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

something to think about the next time someone asks you what your superhero power would be. or just something to think about.

"You will know the future when it comes, until then let it be,
to know the future is to bring sorrow in advance,
it will all come clear in the light of dawn
and let all that comes now turn out for the best."
- Agamemnon (lines 252-255)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

when i stay out so late i get bug bites.

i'd rather have a clean break.
i don't get my favorite machines,
uptown and its loonies,
i don't want the calls from home
the e-mails from oberlin.
all-or-nothing missing
all-or-nothing nostalgia.
i only have a handful of intentional bedroom decor toted from chicago to new york. a homemade stuffed cat, whose white felt body has turned all to pills (just like the knots in the fur of real, live neglected cats!). a white index card, i found picking up in the neo-theatre one night. the card reads "Everything is all right." it was taped over my bed at home, and it's taped over my bed here. it calms me.

i called home for the first time today. not because i wanted to, but because i'd promised that i would, the date was prearranged. i cried a few tears when i hung up, not because of homesickness, but because
they're still there.
eight-hundred miles and i'm still reporting back to parents. they're just as frustrating to talk to. and i guess i feel like i just want to be over here and not worry about chicago and i want everybody in chicago not to worry about me. i'm not asking them to worry. i'm not even thinking i miss them. i'm not thinking anything.
insensitive bitch.
i'm thinking:
gee, i want some one to go to brooklyn with tomorrow night.
i wish getting to brooklyn and going to this (totally inexpensive) show wasn't so fucking expensive.
i want to be on rowing crew.
i want to be in a play.
costume shop, i definitely want to sew in the costume shop for a while.
hey there, girl from l.a., can you tell i'm testing you by the music i play when you walk in the room? so far you've epic failed. just a heads-up.
if i smoked cigarettes it would be easier to meet people. i should smoke cigarettes.

i think i might be lying, when i say i want a clean break. but contact with "home" (my "permanent address" sounds better, more of an arm's length sort of thing) just makes me angry. and then contact with friends feels contrived and like i'm clinging to something that just keeps pouring through the spaces between my fingers and i just want to open my hand and let go already. and the reports from obelin are depressing because
i guess i haven't learned how to be happy for others. or happy for certain others. or...something. that isn't right.