If Groupon and Charlie Sheen were to jointly take over the world, would we be better off or worse? Discuss. |
Follow-up question: Has this already happened?
Follow-up to the follow-up: Does anyone know where I put the frigging duct tape?
PS. Hi, Livejournal.
PPS. I made this while you were away.
PPPS. And this.
PPPPS. Also, I moved to Missouri and got a girlfriend and my rabbit got an eyeball-ectomy and I'm about five months from finishing a masters and I ate a buffalo wing the other day.
I have always read on Chowhound about how the gelaterias in France and Italy make all other gelato seem like so much flavorless slop. I have always interpreted these proclamations of foodsnobbery with equal parts slavering envy and [jack off motion; eye-roll]. But now, having sampled gelato a la Continent, I find to my unending dismay that it is all true.|
Caffe et biscotto gelato from Amorino. So delicious that it actually made me kind of angry.
I mean, Grom in NYC is really good. Capogiro in Philly is better. Amorino on the rue du Vielle Temps in the 4th arr. is, regrettably, on another planet entirely. So good it was stupid. So good I wanted it to shut up. So good that I was hoping someone would slap the cup out of my hand so I could prove how good it was by eating it off the street.
Dudes, seriously. It was good. I can't believe I don't get it to eat it every day for the rest of my life.
( After almost eight years of Livejournal I have finally figured out how to do an LJ Cut without looking up the code first. Astounding.Collapse )
Ways in which New York is superior to Paris: People don't make fun of me to my face about the way I talk.|
Ways in which Paris is superior to New York: All others.
That, as you might imagine, is a tough thing for a dyed-in-the-wool New York-phile such as myself to admit, but it's true. Paris just got every single thing right, dudes.
In particular, I am a fan of drinking wine at heated sidewalk cafes at midnight. Of course, that's something I knew I would like before coming. Ditto the bread and cheese. Here's what I didn't expect: better yogurt. French yogurt makes the American-made stuff taste chemical and cloying. France has ruined Yoplait for me forever. Really, France? You have to scoop us on everything? Bastards. I suppose now we are even for your help with the Revolution. (Thanks for that.)
Things that are basically the same: the crowdedness, the energy, the pretentiousness.
Oh, and the hallway in our building is a circular staircase with doors on all sides, sort of at random, sort of like a hobbit hole. Old, worn wooden stairs. It was particularly like a hobbit hole for the first day and a half, before we discovered that there was a light switch. I cannot properly convey how dark and weird it was without light, other than to say "completely dark" and "very weird."
Basically, what you are looking at is an omelet. It's not called an omelet, it's called something else, but it is an omelet. MADE FROM UNICORNS. I ate all of it. Everything in this picture went inside me and I do not have any regrets. (Yes, the bread basket too. I am not about to let a little wicker slow me down.)
( More Photos and More Words!Collapse )
I'm sure you're not going to try to say to me that these are not the most incredible shoes you've ever seen. I'm sure you're not going to say that.
I'm in Paris. Yesterday I was in Missouri. Today, Paris.
( Photos and a bunch of friggin words below!Collapse )
A year ago, my partner of five years walked out. He did so in part because I had asked him to marry me. He couldn't commit, and also couldn't commit to telling me he couldn't commit.|
I wrote about the what a year ago. But I never wrote about the why.
I don't pretend that this emotional suicide bomb — my need to wrestle publicly with ghosts — matters much, or to very many. Far more distressing things happen in the world; I know that. People have been hurt far more; I know that too. On the other hand, people have been hurt, all people. For me, typing in wrought, concentric sentences and being Queen Overshare is what helps. I hate to be a cliche and emoblog, but I hate more the idea of never giving this a public voice. Thanks for reading it.
It starts with the leaving.
Just after midnight in Brooklyn, when the street was as dark as it ever gets but not quiet, it's never quite quiet, he said he wanted to talk. It was the first time in five years he'd ever wanted to.
One look and I understood he didn't want to.
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Hey there Livejournal Land! |
I wanted to come in and say a few things... all will become clear why presently.
1. Grad school is amazing. Coming here is far and away one of the best decisions I ever made -- perhaps the very best. I am totally stimulated and fulfilled. Of course there's a lot I miss about New York, but there are also a few things I'm really glad to be away from. I also just recently had one of the best birthdays within recent memory, and it happened far away from my family, friends, and even most of the new friends I've made since coming to the midwest. It's all about the brand new experiences, right? This was quite a leap, as I've said, running off into the unknown in a 10-foot truck by myself. I wanted to do it that way, and so far, it's worked out better than I could have hoped.
This is the little quad between the J-school buildings. I was leaning against a tree with my shoes off, reading, when I took this picture. I take none of this for granted.
2. Grad school is, apparently, a lot of work. No one explained this to me before I came; consequently, I have no time for side projects like creating a new blog, finishing sewing that skirt I've been working on forever, or eating food. Hence, no "hey here's my new blog" post. Yet.
This was taken during my very first Mizzou home game. Go Tigers! As you can see, I was more interested in staring fixedly at the bleachers like a jackass than watching the game. The sign on the bleachers says "DO NOT STAND ON THE BLEACHERS." (Everyone was standing on the bleachers. Renegades!)
3. Grad school being so busy, my AIDSWalk fundraising has taken a bit of a backseat. I've managed to head up a fundraising campaign, but haven't actually been able to do any fundraising myself. Supersnack's big annual event is this weekend -- tomorrow, actually -- and I appear to be $500 off my goal. If I reach the goal, I'm going to wear an evening gown to the walk (in place of my usual t-shirt/pants/sneakers) and YOU KNOW THERE WILL BE PICTURES. Can you help? (Would you rather help Greta? She still gets pineapple for every donation.) So really, I'm here to throw myself on your mercy. Do you hate or love AIDS? Do you hate or love watching me do dumb things like dress in formal wear at 8 in the morning? Do you hate or love making bunnies happy? Vote with your wallet.
4. We're walking in DC because the new infection rate there is higher than some parts of Africa -- estimates show 3% of the population is infected. That's three times more that the 1% needed for a disease to be considered an epidemic. Help is needed, in the form of mighty cash dollars.
In exchange for your kindness in considering donating, below is something I wrote after attending a biotechnology seminar. (IT WAS FUN!) (NO SERIOUSLY!) (OKAY ACTUALLY A LOT OF IT WAS BORING BUT HAVING GONE TO IT GIVES ME A CHANCE TO WIN A TRIP TO ROME SO WHATEVER!)
And if you want to see what else I've been up to since I arrived, here's a link to my bylines -- most of the stories are just straight up news, because everyone has to do a stint as a news reporter. I did write an article about DonorsChoose.org, though.
Did you know that some parts of the midwest look like this? Well, they do.
( Thrilling Tales From the Biotech Seminar Await!Collapse )
I know, I know, it's like I just roll in here and act like I didn't completely disappear for the last few months.|
It's been hard for me to keep up with the world of Livejournal. It's been a great community for so long, but so much of my attention has been focused on my upcoming move and on trying to get over my breakup. I think actually leaving the physical place we lived will be a great help, and so will leaving the internet place where the two of us spent so much time. So, I'm going to hop ship and start a new blog, and I'll let you know as soon as I have it up and running.
I'm deep in the throes of preparing to move to the midwest. I'm leaving tomorrow (or possibly the day after), and it's weird the way time moves faster and faster. I'm crazy excited to get out to Missouri and get to work, and at the same time I feel like I'm in limbo, all anticipation and reaching off into this void where I won't know anyone or have any idea what I'm doing. There have been all these little milestones here in NY that I've been in eager anticipation over: an Indigo Girls hootenanny in July (that was a dream come true), visiting friends in Virginia and DC, the last few Kites performances, getting Greta back, going camping, my going away party... and now I've ticked off all of those fun things, one by one, and they seem to fall by faster and faster, and what I've got left is the boxes, filling the boxes with my stuff, labeling and taping and getting ready to drive it halfway across the country. Even though I'm actually leaving tomorrow, I still do not entirely believe that I am. It doesn't feel real yet. It probably won't feel real until a few weeks after I've been in Missouri.
For my final Livejournal entry, I thought I'd blatherifically list out 62 things I've learned since moving to New York six and a half years ago. I've droned on and on at wild and merciless length very often in the past, so why not keep up with tradition, is my feeling. I'm hoping that my time in graduate school will teach me, among other things, the art of brevity. But if nothing else, at least I will get to tailgate at a Big 12 football game, and that's something.
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I've never felt comfortable calling myself a New Yorker. Other people have referred to me that way in the past, and I always feel the same mix of pride and unworthiness. It's such a loaded term; such a loaded place. It feels like an honorific you have to earn, not one you can just claim. You don't get to call yourself a New Yorker just by showing up here, or by memorizing the MTA map, or even by loving the city with all your heart. But I suppose you get to call yourself that whenever you realize that you are not in the city so much as it is in you, and you know there's nowhere else in the world for you. It's funny, only as I am leaving am I really going to be comfortable saying to myself, I am a New Yorker. I guess it's to reassure everyone, myself included, that somewhere else might rent some space in my heart for awhile, but I belong here. I was born in Virginia, and I love my southern heritage with great heart, and wouldn't trade it for love or money. But I Am A New Yorker.
(I probably still won't actually say that, like, out loud to people. It's pretty douchey.)
I am bugging the fuck out, Livejournal Land.|
It seems as if I only post anymore when I am bugging the fuck out, and I think it seems that way because it is true, but OH HEY I AM BUGGING THE FUCK OUT.
Have you ever heard of this certain type of disease or pathology wherein a person tries very hard to take care of something and ends up maiming or killing it? I think the guy from Of Mice And Men had it and I know I read a noir book based on this very thing not too long ago. I'm starting to wonder if I have this. I know that I really love animals - I've spent a lifetime picking up stray dogs and coddling any pet that stumbles across my path, and I haven't eaten any animals for six years for the sole reason that they are nice and deserve to be happy, but my own pets...
I'm gonna start over.
Greta is in trouble. The trouble is bad, but it's not as bad as it could be. She has glaucoma. Glaucoma is pressure on the eyeball. It's not life-threatening, not immediately anyway, but it's also not curable. She is now blind in that eye and no amount of wishing it were otherwise on my part can reverse that, apparently. If it goes untreated, it can cause pain and the eye could even explode. She has always been in perfect health. The glaucoma was brought on by trauma of being bitten on the eye by the other rabbit a few months ago.
This was, you see, completely avoidable. Negligence, and I have blinded and maimed my otherwise perfect little bunny. Do you know they may have to remove the eye if medicine doesn't work? Now this issue is not immediately life-threatening (as I believed it was initially, based on the vet I saw first thing in the morning yesterday who apparently purchased her DVM on sale at Sam's Club, and who was basically like YEP SHE'S PROBABLY GOING TO DIE) but it is still a sentence. She still has to deal with something awful. And she is just not the same bunny she used to be. I know her well, and she's not happy. She's bummed out. Is she ever going to go back to happy? With the binkying and the tearing at breakneck speed all over the apartment? The thought of her just being depressed with her one eye forever is breaking my heart. Yeah, yeah, it's just a bunny and yeah, yeah, I didn't do it on purpose. But it happened under my watch and would not have happened otherwise. I still hurt her. I still took something away from her.
And it's not like this is the only bad thing that's happened. My track record sucks. Ned got panleukopenia at 8 weeks old and nearly died because I was too stupid to think "hey maybe boarding an 8-week old unvaccinated kitten and exposing him to feral cats isn't a stellar idea." And then there was Fitz. Oh god I can't even read those old entries. You were all so sweet back then, all "You did the best you could, you gave him a great home," and those were nice thoughts, and the truth is... my home killed him. He'd still be alive pigeon-trilling it up happily in some NYC apartment, climbing high bookshelves and running around like a madman, if he hadn't won the evil lottery and come to live here. It is more than I can stand.
Artie's doing okay. So far.
Greta's so pretty. I had such a pretty, perfect little girl, and I have hurt her.
I'm also out of money now, thanks to vet costs being so exorbitant as to be ridiculous. We all know this is true, you pay like $100 just for walking in the room, and yet somehow I manage to be surprised anew by it every time. I don't know. I'm basically so catastrophically fucked that it's almost awesome. I'm totally going to become one of those people who has to choose between eating and buying her rabbit's glaucoma medicine.
(I make jokes because I do not know what else to do.)
(I'm going to go buy that medicine now.)
"Can we have a moment of appreciation for the quiet majesty of several @ symbols in a row?" - from a choogle with the effervescent Mr. Samuel Dingman. |
So hey, Livejournal, how's everyone been for the past, um, uh, month? Everything going well? Hair growing? Shoes wearing? American Idol trucking along? I'm pleased to brag that for the first time in years, I have no idea what's going on on that show and I do not care. Unfortunately for me, I've replaced the void of pointless television with even more deleterious time-sucks, such as Tabitha's Salon Takeover, reruns of Sex and The City, and even Treasures With Sue, which, if you're bored or drunk and you love to sit around with your roommate yelling things like "filth" and "hillbillies" and "HUMAN DISASTER" at the television, I recommend you check it out. If you like to watch television that is in some way edifying or reflective of the human spirit or any of that nonsense, don't come to my place. I don't think our TV even gets those channels.
Supersnack had its kickoff event this past Saturday, and I fully intended to post about it in advance of the event, that I might invite my gorgeous blog readers to come out for it, but I spaced on doing so in favor of actually planning the event itself. You guys should have intuited and shown up. It went well, thanks for asking. People drank, songs were played, and money was even raised, which is more than I hoped for. There were even minor scandals involving acts on my roof which, if I were to elucidate, would violate this blog's RIAA rating (R for Rice Pudding), so I will refrain from describing in detail. Let's just leave it at this: I was scandalized.
And so, here are a few photos from the event. I always like to dress up for my events - my feeling on that is, "I have all these dresses" - so I had on an awesome never-worn vintage dress that I stole from my mom years ago. I removed all the buttons from the back and left it hanging open, and it was pretty goddamn fly if I do say so myself (and you know I do). I wish I'd told you all to come out for it. The good news is, there will be more Supersnack events this summer, and perhaps I won't flake on mentioning it here.
I have one more item for you: at a recent Kites gig, we got called out - ONSTAGE - by one of the other musicians for how much our Myspace sucks. My feeling is, Myspace sucks, therefore everyone's Myspace sucks, but it was thoroughly emasculating nonetheless. So I've gone on and added some live mp3s from another show, which you are free to check out at your leisure, if you so desire. The quality isn't great on most of them, but maybe you'll dig hearing them and friend us, so as to prevent our continued suckage and mortification. Anyway, here's the link for tunes:
I have decided (via Facebook Status Update, so you know it is true) that if I ever have the option to relive any portion of my life, I pick this past week. Here are highlights:|
- Yummy cocktails with Kara, Marty, Derek, and Jill
- Indigo Girls in Philly
- Meeting Amy and Emily and getting them to write on me
- Kites practice
- Getting ink'd
- Showing off my tattoo and telling the story (and thank ya'll for all the love! it meant so much.)
- Grammar bee with Zach J, Nicole, and Posse Bunting
- Winning! ($50 bar tab. more importantly: the priceless and everlasting regard of my peers. holla.)
- Erin, Keri, Lindsay, Nina, and the restaurant that asks the giddy chicks in the back corner what music they want to hear and, when told Indigo Girls, blares "Land of Canaan." Rewarded with unseemly shrieking.
- Indigo Girls in Albany
- Indigo Girls in NYC, at Highline, pressed against the stage, dead center, between the mics
- Being at venue early enough to see Emily and Amy (and Julie!) arrive, and also hearing soundcheck
- Meeting new superfans; gushing
- Rhett Miller at Poisson Rouge with Ashok and Steph. And spicy cocktails
- Afterparty at Angels and Kings. With, apparently, a bunch of 30 Rock people (none of whom I knew) but we gave up before Rhett arrived
- Artichoke (the pizza place. you go. you go now.)
- Kites show. with everybody. Jo, Brian, Nat, Alexis, Lindsay, Lindsay, Lindsay, Nicole, John, Alex, Don, Gerrit, Sam, Ashok, Steph.... everybody. Almost. YOU were not there, and that made me sad. Unless you were, in which case it made me happy. This was a fun fun fun show for us.
- Brunch at Perch
- Indigo Girls in Hartford. FRONT ROW
- Meeting yet more superfans; more gushing. I'm not sure what took me so long to meet the other superfans, but it was silly. It is very edifying to be able to talk to other people who are insane in the same way as you. Er, me.
- Julie. Period.
Along with my usual repertoire of bunnies and walking around and consuming artichokes and playing guitar and reading, adding in amazing weather and road trips and friends and cocktails and learning about the origins of "Do Not Want," subtracting sleep but that is all right. Like the man says, I'll sleep when I'm dead. Happy Angela.
I saw a t-shirt this morning that said "Hyperbole is the best thing ever," and I feel that every person in my social demographic needs one. We wouldn't even need to wear them, we just need to hang them somewhere AS A REMINDER TO STOP IT. Of course, we can't stop it, because even my saying that every person in my demographic needs this shirt is itself hyperbole. Oh, the irony. Another thing we need to stop with: irony. I think we are irritating all the other age groups.
I have noticed that there is a certain equation about doofy comedies and how beloved they become, something about amount of hype surrounding a film + amount of letdown the film is in reality / satisfaction inherent in using catchphrases from the film to ameliorate the letdown of the film reality, to the power of Will Ferrell. I will give you a current example: "Totes McGoats." I keep seeing it pop up, mostly on Facebook, and I think people innately feel that parrotting this around makes I Love You, Man seem not to suck as much as it did. So I am beginning to wonder if ten more viewings and absorption of its various catchphrases would elevate it to Office Space or Napoleon Dynamite status.
You can't even quote Office Space anymore, unless you pick something completely unrelated to anything, like, like um, "Hey can I borrow a pad of Post-Its" which as far as I know isn't even in the movie but that is how over-quoted that movie is. Go on, try to think of a line from it that isn't a soundbyte. You can't. Because it all totally is. Okay, get this... it's a jump... to conclusions mat. I don't know that repeated viewings and quotings would definitely work to endear I Love You, Man to us all, because there is just no denying that "Slappa-the-bass" is not in the same stratosphere, comedically speaking, as "I'm gonna have to go ahead and sort of ah, disagree with you there," but there might actually be something in the masturbation station thing or perhaps the Lou Ferrigno subplot. More thinking about this is required. No, wait, less. Less thinking about this is required.
TRYING TOO HARD TO GET THE POST TO WRITE A CLEVER HEADLINE ABOUT ME AND MY TRAGIC RAMPAGE
You know how children do that thing where they sort of stumble around the universe without any thought about whether someone else, someone older and therefore more important, may want to occupy a particular space? How, basically, they never watch where they're going because they don't realize they might run into something because they haven't really been around long enough to have life experience or perspective or any concept of trial-and-error? How personal space is completely not even on their radar? Yeah, well, I really hate that shit.
Look, I know they aren't being entitled little wanksticks on purpose, but seriously. Get a grip, please. I know you're filled with joy because the world is new and exciting but you see I'm trying to get somewhere and when I have to break stride to avoid bodychecking your drunk ass, it makes me feel a little bit stompy. Attend, children of the universe: I know that running in one direction while looking another direction and yelling a nonsense vowel over and over seems important right now, but trust me, you've got college and taxes and bitching about the government to look forward to and you should probably quiet down and start cultivating a bunch of useless neuroses, like the rest of us.
I DO NOT THINK IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS
I am currently working at a financial office, filled with the sorts of people who work at financial offices, and recently several of them were discussing a friendly wager about some sporting event, and one of them was all "I'll totally take that bet. But you have to give me 20-1 odds." The other conversation partners exploded in incredulity at this idea, and he explained, "What? That's not crazy. You pay me $20, I pay you $100." It worries me because even I know that is not what 20-1 odds means. I think he may need to go back to Financial School or whatever the hell. What do finance people do? I'm honestly curious. What are they doing over there bugging around with the graphs and charts and stuff? I suspect the answer is Not Anything Much. But they do wear ties to work so at least they sort of look impressive.
I'D RESOLVE TO STOP GUSHING ABOUT THE INDIGO GIRLS, BUT COME ON
Could we instate something called April Resolutions? This would be like New Year's Resolutions but without all the fraught hand-wringing about keeping resolutions, and what are your resolutions, and trying to remember who likes resolutions and who thinks resolutions are stupid and refuses to make them On Principle, and trying not to ask these latter people about resolutions because you don't want to hear for the grillionth time about Resolutions Being Stupid, and so on and so forth in a maddening and upsetting feedback loop.
April Resolutions would be way more chill because no one knows about them, so no one will hound you to make any and there will be absolutely no pressure to still be sticking with them when May gets here. It will be your secret if you do not adhere to your April Resolutions. No one will ever make you feel bad about April Resolutions, and if they try to, you can just claim you never heard about them and excuse yourself to go get more hummus.
I ask because I thought of my first April Resolution earlier and I'd like to make it official. Here it is: I resolve to stop telling people I'm going to pee. I had a sudden realization that I do this ALL OF THE TIME and I think it might be impolite. I'm not even sure where this habit started or why but I really think I need to get a handle on it. No one cares that I have to pee. People barely even care that I pee at all. I'm sure you are all glad, in a passive kind of way, that my body is creating and eliminating liquid waste effectively. I do not need to constantly rub your faces in it. SO TO SPEAK. GET IT. PLEASE NOTE THAT I ALSO WROTE "PASSIVE." GET IT.
I am not going to start using dumb euphemisms like "powder my nose," either. I'm simply going to stop announcing my elimination intentions to the world entirely. If anyone wants to know, I trust that they will ask, and at that point I'll have no problem being transparent about my plans for the bathroom. I think this minor adjustment will make me lots more fun at parties. If you have other suggestions for my improvement, by all means let me know what they are. Probably stuff like "stop eavesdropping on coworkers" and "stop hating children." I will work on these, but no promises.
I believe that the TwitFlix reviews of Crank 2 have just convinced me that I need to actually use Twitter. So glorious. |
Oh, and also I just want to say that two nights ago was Indigo Girls, last night was Rhett Miller (+ afterparty), tonight is me (The Kites!) and tomorrow night is Indigo Girls, and holy crow I am going to miss stuff like this when I leave New York. Also, I predict that I am going to be dead to the world on Sunday. I already sort of am dead, but I am planning to keep it together long enough to drive up to Hartford and freak out during tomorrow night's show, my last of this run.
Come on out for The Kites show tonight, if you wanna. We'll be at Roots Cafe (18th street and 5th avenue in Bklyn) and we go on at 9pm. Free. BYOB.
When I was 18, I wandered into a tattoo parlor with three friends. We hadn't planned it that way, we just were driving past on our way home from class or the mall or Ruby Tuesday's, and we pulled in with an 18-year-old's will. Gravel parking lot, old wood paneling, and an intimidating smell like tobacco and solvent. Oh, and pages upon pages of hideous-looking representations of god-only-knows-what: skulls, blood-drenched daggers, daggers with skulls and roses, wizards, slutty women, slutty wizards, gothic lettering, and slutty skeletons holding blood-drenched daggers and also there's a wizard and stuff and maybe some more blood.|
I stared up at these options, nonplussed, scared. I jabbed desultorily at what seemed to be the most innocuous drawing - a heart - after being talked out of the next-safest, a ladybug. In retrospect, it would have been nice if I'd gone with the ladybug, since Rachel on Friends got a heart tattoo right around the same time. I'd love to be cool and tell you that my devoid-of-meaning tattoo came first, that I wouldn't get a heart tattooed on me just because a character on a TV show did, but let's be honest, I had the hair, and I probably did. It's not like a heart is something novel and unique in the first place, so whether I did or did not get this tattoo in order to be more like Rachel Green is really of quibbling import.
I've thought often in the intervening years about getting another design - something more meaningful, and somewhere more conspicuous, somewhere that I don't have to bare skin to show off my ink. But I never thought of a design that mattered very much to me, so I slotted the tattoo idea for "later."
A few weeks ago, I saw this amazing blog entry about how a NY comedian met his idol, Morrissey, and got Morrissey to write "Morrissey" on his arm, and then he got it tatttooed, and the wheels began a-churning.
I started fantasizing about what I might have Amy and Emily write on me, if I ever had the chance. I dismissed "Indigo Girls" because a band name feels too obvious and billboardy. I thought of "Lucystoner," a reference to Amy's song "Lucystoners," which is a reference to Lucy Stone, the first woman to refuse to change her name after marriage. I love the song, and I love the idea of proclaiming my feministy-grrl-power, but I saw three issues with putting "Lucystoner" on my body, to wit: 1) The song is about sexism in the music industry, an issue which, while I care about it, doesn't really affect me; 2) It's an Amy solo song, not an Indigo Girls song, and 3) The casual observer would totally just assume that my name was Lucy and I liked to get high.
Then I thought of getting "a+e=ig" lengthwise across my arm. Then Joanna said "But... Nazis?" and I was like, "Huh?" and she was like, "Concentration camps... serial numbers tattooed on the forearm..." and I was like, "But I had this friend who got writing there and it looks so cool," and she said "but this is vaguely numerical and you know, might evoke the Nazis." Vaguely evoking the Nazis, or even possibly doing so, is not a chance you want to take, particularly when we are talking about a thing that is going to be scrawled on your body for the remainder of your life, so I scrapped that idea too.
At this point, I stopped talking about the tattoo with people.
Because when I thought of the right thing, I knew it immediately.
And I didn't require confirmation.
I picked the song about a dead cat. It's never been my favorite Indigo Girls song. I don't mean that I dislike it, although believe it or not there are a few IG songs that don't do it for me, but it's never risen to the top of the heap as a beloved, freedyed mantra song. It's an important song, from arguably their most important album, and it's a beautiful song. I've always liked it. But it's never been my favorite. It's a eulogy. It's a song about a dead cat.
It's also a song about bravery, ascension, change, freedom, rebirth, joy from pain, fiercing it out, breaking ties that bind, and raging against the machine, and it embodies everything I want to be thinking about at this moment in my life. So I resolved to shore myself up for the next chapter by getting a message of strength - solitary strength - inked on me by two people I idolize.
Warning: I am about to describe the experience in creepily minute detail. Creepily Minute Detail should probably be the name of this blog. I hope you do not expect otherwise at this point.
So I'm at the stage door. I'd just seen a show - my first time in 26 Indigo Girls concerts seeing them by myself. It is all very fitting. Seeing them alone was a thrill. I didn't have to share them with anyone; it was just me, and the girls, and the energy of faceless hundreds. The show was like every IG show - better than the one that came before. I don't know how they manage this, but they always, always do.
Emily. I smile at Emily, brazen, not nervous, like we are friends, like she's as excited to see me as I am to see her. Unlike the last time I met Emily, I didn't ask someone else to speak for me, and I didn't sob helplessly afterwards. I said something about how amazing they are, gush, gush, and then I asked her to write the word "Secure" on my arm. "In block letters?" she asked. "However you want to write it." She wrote casually - big, expansive, childlike letters - smiled, and moved on.
Amy. She is so rare and so pretty and her eyes are - how can I put it? like stars. like the sun. like the moon. they aren't like anything. I dismiss caution by looking directly at them, and then I ask her to write "Yourself" under where Emily has written "Secure." This is the first time I have met both girls after a show, and it is also the first time I have asked a gay icon to write on me, unless you count that time I had Carson Kressley write "Surfboard" across my chest. Amy scrawls in tight, compact capitals, very different from Emily's, and I thought, "Exactly." From somewhere on my left someone said "She's getting it tattooed," and Amy said "Oh? They can probably clean it up for you at the place." I focused - of course - on Amy's wrist bearing down lightly on my arm, willing the seconds to slow down, and I said "Well, I wanted it in your handwriting," and she laughs out a charming bit of self-deprecation: "Oh, I've got terrible handwriting." She's finished now, and it's perfect, but I don't want to fawn or contradict. I just say thanks. Again. How can I ever really thank these people so that they understand. I can't. I don't even try.
You know, it's not like I'll ever need to be reminded that I like this band.
But all the same, a reminder is a nice thing to have.
falling softly as the rain, no footsteps ringing in your ears
ragged down worn to the skin, warrior raging have no fear
secure yourself to heaven, hold on tight the night has come
fasten up your earthly burdens you have just begun
During my more rowdy partying days, I used to roll with a bunch of complete drunkards (as opposed to the semi-drunkards I roll with nowadays), one of whom lived with his mother in a very large, very nice house, and his mother was kind of a drunk-ass too who didn't judge, so we used to always go over there to party. And I just a moment ago had this total recall situation of something I'd forgotten but which is very sweet, in a "sort of fucked up" kind of way. At the beginning of the night, when everyone was just arriving, the mom would accost everyone that came in and take our car keys, and then she'd put them all in a bowl and put the bowl in a locked cabinet. It got so she'd just shake the bowl at us and we'd drop the keys in, no discussion needed. I just remembered that, and I'm not even sure why. That was really sweet of her. What am I saying, it was responsible and she was the grown up. But she could have not done it. She could have been complicit in the insanity. Once during one of these bacchanals, the others convinced me I had shoved a Chinese food delivery guy and then blacked it out. It turned out there had been no delivery guy, and we were just eating leftovers. I was not buying the shoving thing anyway since I do not tend to be a mean drunk. Loud and stupid, laws yes, but not mean. Also I think one time a guy tried to use a closet as a bathroom and then just fell asleep in there. It's all kind of hazy, but I remember there was homemade Kahlua, and that was pretty good. I'm not sure if I was there the time that this one guy rolled a frozen ham up the driveway, or if I just heard about it so often that it feels like I was there.|
There was this other time that I was on a cruise ship with that woman's sister, and the sister's husband was sort of stodgy (aka, "a responsible drinker"), and the rest of us were on our way to getting pretty housed, and the husband went to bed, but not before telling his wife, "Just don't show your ass tonight." I'm pretty sure he meant it metaphorically but she chose to take it literally and said "Guess I better get this over with then" and immediately unzipped her pants and mooned everyone. This happened on a public cruise ship. There were grandmas around. Perhaps your grandma was around. I hope your grandma found it as funny as the rest of us did. Then we probably went and drank about 13 more daiquiris. I miss those people, they are so fun.
Ten years ago, this was. Ten years. It is impossible!
Links. One for you and one for me. Click on them both and nobody gets hurt.|
Link #1. Seeing stuff like this review of Strange Fire always makes me swell with (unearned) pride. I think it's because I feel like I GET IT, I REALLY GET IT.
Key Quote: "If I had to guess who people will still be listening to in 50 years, I would pick these original artists over those that follow trends."
Link #2. If you haven't read Lindy West's brilliant piece The Different Kinds of People That There Are yet, well my friend, I demand you drop everything immediately and remedy the situation.
Key Quote: "Russian Wizards. Don't be ridiculous."
Link #3. OKAY, THERE'S NO LINK TO SHOW YOU FOR THIS, BUT HEY GUESS WHAT. IT IS CURRENTLY SNOWING AND IT IS APRIL. NO THANK YOU.
Key Quote: "SERIOUSLY, I AM WEARING BALLET FLATS TODAY. THE WEATHER IS A TOTAL JERK."
3. Hey Are You All Done With The Wasabi
Spicy peanut butter plus Mango Strawberry fruit mush = EFF TEE DOUBLEYOU. NOM.|
So now, if one of you could go ahead and find me a cute studio in Columbia, Missouri, I would sure appreciate it.
Oh yeah, I don't think I mentioned this, but hey Livejournal Land, I'm definitely moving to Missouri in the fall for that Journalism program. Mizzou was my first choice of schools, and last week I was offered an assistantship that totally sealed the deal. Free tuition + top choice school + interesting and valuable work experience = almost as big a win as that sandwich I just finished eating... ALMOST.
Anyway, I'm excited. Go Tigers. However, I've resigned myself to never being able to find a decent slice for the next two years, and I'm beginning to make my peace with it. I sense more than one trip to DiFara in the coming months.
EDIT: Anyone who lives on the west coast owes it to him or herself to attend this show, because it contains all of the funny.
This is just the cutest ever:|
Oh, those two adorable sprites released a new album yesterday, you know. Their 16th. Personally, I purchased it and listened to it.
I just had to run an errand, and ugh, Livejournal Land, the roving hordes. The roving green hordes of tourists in their dumb leprechaun beards. The blockades and the shamrock necklaces and the already-drunk-ery. WHY.|
Now, never let it be mouthed that I am not an avowed fan of both drunkery and stupid costumes. I am. I love both loudly and vehemently. And yet, today's sanctioned festival o'shame bothers me to such a degree that I don't even understand myself anymore. Either a) I'm getting old, or b) those people are being douchebags. Or maybe c) I just want to state for the record that I, like most white persons who live in the United States, also have an ancestor or two who once lived in Ireland, and I have never claimed to be Irish. And I would like for more people to take my lead on that. Born in America = American. Unless, you know, your family really is from another country and you just happened to randomly be born here. Or whatever. I suppose I can't relate because my family's been in America since before the Revolution, so I have no ability to seek out and claim a more intriguing ethnicity, even if I were inclined to.
Finally, I can currently hear bagpipes, from my office 16 stories up, and it is distressing.
Am I being a huge, no-fun-pants killjoy? Maybe. I just deeply do not get the appeal of this celebration. I guess it's pretty cool that the Irish are not the pariahs they were in the 19th century anymore, since now everyone's Irish!, but the whole thing just feels very ick. To say nothing of the actual ick that's going to get all over the sidewalks of my city today. I'm going home after work and get some cleaning done.
Does anyone want to wear the complainer's apron? I'm all done with it. For now. I'll need it back before Cinco de Mayo, obviously.
In less shaking-fist-at-the-sky news, I don't know if Snickers is currently waging a viral marketing campaign in all corners of the earth, like they are in NYC, but hereparts, they've gobbled up quite a lot of MTA adspace to advance the concept that Snickers will cure hunger. To wit: "Make an appointment for a HUNGERECTOMY," "Get a degree in SNACKONOMICS," and (dumbest), "Take a dip in the CHOCOLANTIC OCEAN."
Now, although most of these ads make me feel that I am getting DUMBGRY, I still stare at them whenever I see them because that is how viral marketing works: you are assaulted with the ads and defied not to look at them. And I do my bit as dutiful sheeplike consumer and I stare at them. And this morning, I saw:
It took me a minute. I gawped northward, mind churning furiously: "... feed me, Seymour?" and "...Doctor Feelgood?" and "WHAT IS THIS REFERENCE?" and then it hit me.
And after that, I went "Ha-ha!" Out loud. During my otherwise-quiet commute. Well-played, Snickers. You have convinced me to eat your candy.
This morning, two famous old poems came up in a choogle with Shacid:|
To His Coy Mistress (1652)
[...] But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity [...]
The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives The Flower (1937)
[...] The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime [...]
I've been thinking about these two poems a decent bit lately. I like them both a lot, and would probably, if it were not totally boring and useless to try to analyze a poem, make a long-winded and possibly fallacious argument that they're about the same thing ("let's make out! we'll be dead soon!"), although where Marvell's take is sweet and horny and rhymey and a little twee, Dylan Thomas makes it a total drag. A circuitous, beautifully-worded drag.
I admit, I do appreciate any and all reminders about this concept, because the fact that life is short, and diems ought to be carpe'd, is never far from the front of my brain. I think these will probably be the next two poems I memorize.
And while I'm in the "remember to do as much as you can while you're here enjoying the crazy-ass planet" brainframe, I signed up to learn aerial silks. This is something I've wanted to do ever since I first learned that aerial silks were a thing that existed in the world. What's kept me from it? Time/money? Sure, those. The easy excuses. Anyway, that's happening. I'll let you know how it goes, if I don't totally FALL and DIE.
Isadora Duncan, Patron Saint of death by scarf.
I bet you guys now think I can only be deliriously, manicly happy here if it's a freaking blizzard, though, right? Well allow me to disabuse you of that notion, because I just walked out to get Jamba Juice and I was smiling so much on the way that I'm kind of shocked no one stopped me or tried to round me up for Roosevelt Island.|
Why was I smiling so much? Peep this:
1. It is 53 degrees, and while it is not sunny, it feels sunny.
2. I was walking to Jamba Juice.
3. This weekend's going to be pretty cool.
4. I'm meeting up with some people after work to celebrate...
5. ... the fact that I JUST GOT ACCEPTED TO GRADUATE SCHOOL ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG.
Oh, and, just to make everything a little more awesome, my iPod coughed up "Perfect World" by the Indigo Girls just as I was exiting the elevator of my building. Of course. Indeed it is, Amy Ray, indeed it is.
I recently discovered that both The Smiths AND David Bowie were just ripping off Brian Eno all along. Hacks.|
Did I seem to be bitching about my city a couple of entries ago? Well, you can just forget all about that. I was already in a good mood this morning because of the lovely weekend I've just had (made some pie, saw some shows, ate some artichokes), and then I woke up without an alarm at 6:30a to inches-of-snow-and-still-snowing, and I laid in bed and thought about how awesome life is, and then I got out in the snow and it sucked for a couple seconds, and then I was like "omgSNOW." |
And I love the escalators at the 5th ave and 53rd station. I love the shape of the ads along either side of the walls (perfect squares) and I love that on both escalators, everyone without fail adheres to the Walk Left Stand Right rule, without exception (because you know usually there is at least one exception, and she has a lot of shopping bags), so I always get to walk when I want to. And I love that sometimes there are social rules that everyone follows, like we are all on a little escalator team. We win at the escalator every single morning, too. These are some really good escalators. And so I was feeling happy about that and then I got ejected into a snowstorm, and there's nothing better than midtown in a snowstorm, unless of course you are listening to "Colorblind" by Counting Crows (I have documented before how listening to this song makes me feel like I am making a movie with my eyes), and it was mucky and brown and awful and the snow was whirling and I almost fell once, and I slipped and slid and grinned all the way to work. I'm like, delirious with happiness.
Nat: I kinda wanna go back to this look, but with my fuller facial hair.|
Angela: Oh god, you totally just sent that to link to yourself in the New York Times.
Nat: You wish. That was just the first hit when I Googled it. Don't hate my fame, Angela.
Angela: Can I hate your crippling narcissism?
Nat: If you weren't already overburdened with your own.
Angela: I guess that's why we're friends.
Nat: (on-the-town montage!!!!!!!)
Angela: (lindy hoppers!!!)
Nat: (maggot-riddled gangster corpses!!!)
Angela: (don knotts in a bikini! don knotts in a bikini!)
Nat: (oh god, I hope he's making chicken florentine!!!)
Angela: (he was going to but he's still freaked out about that tainted spinach scare from two years ago! he's such a worrier!)
Nat: (it's 'cause his sister died young, remember?)
I am wondering how hard I am stuck here, or whether I'm even stuck. I can visualize and even fetishize that future life, the one where I totter off to Ecuador for my first glass of fresh-squeezed naranjillo, and then come home to my velvet-sweet Californian donkey, that life, you know the one, where I make clothes and read and recite poetry and drink wine out of doors and spend my days thinking in a room with distressed large-plank hardwood that I will paint and re-paint. I have the details pat - the cloudshapes and indents and tracks and creases and holes.|
Then there's the past life, the one where sitting in small rooms and debating about theory and theatre seemed elemental, but wasn't really; the one where I jawed a lot about having a place to stand, without actually standing on anything; the one where I constantly felt out of my depth, because the truth was maybe I didn't care. It felt like shame to say it.
It still does.
This here is an immortal city. That's why we come year after year, we bland vague pilgrims from every small town in the world, we come to be a part of something longer-lasting than feeble humanity. The people crush all around, the friends and the otherwise, and they prop you up and make you feel like it's something else, to just exist. To say I live in New York and really mean it: I live, I breathe this impossible air, I do the mundane shuffle to and from, to and from. And you believe them, don't you, you believe in the weight of the thing, of merely surviving in this other-countried madhouse, and you wear that like a badge of distinction, because not to do so would feel like cheating. I've been here for long enough that I've stopped, in certain ways, feeling startled, and I'm questioning whether this is such a good thing. The jury being out, the tide rolls. The city won't last forever. I make my little plans, I shuffle the cardboard cut-outs of future selves, would-be selves, thinking about tarot cards and the past. Trying to remember but not dwell. Trying not to hang myself out to dry.
The fortune is as it ever was: Be present. Be present in the day. To put it another way, "try to be true to me, for things are bad all over, etc. etc." To put it another way, life, in the end, might really turn out to be a never-ceasing march of getting stuck and getting stuck more.