Welcome To My Bed

Email GOLD.

I have loved Zappos forever, simply because they have a crazy-big selection of footwear paired with free shipping and a fantastic return policy. But when I got this email this morning, my heart melted for them just a little more.

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I had asked for a notification when this particular pair of Docs became available in my size again, and under the button to order, there is a list that says, "Here's the deal: 1. A lot of people get these emails. 2. Maple syrup should be its own food group. 3. If the product sells before you buy it, 4. then you can sign up to be notified again. 5. Music is a nice way to end the day." What a way to start my day, smiling like a fool at somebody's whimsical sense of humor.

Also, I'm listening to Prayers for Atheists, a Providence-based punk/spoken word outfit helmed by a bunch of AS 220 superstars (Jared Paul and Alan Hague among others). They have an album release show next Wednesday that I'm pretty sure is going to be off the hook.

Until then, hopefully the weather will allow me to work my butt off and make some serious paper. I just opened a savings account when I was back in Jersey, so most of the money that had been lying around in a secret box on my bookshelf is now safely tucked away where I won't be tempted to spend it. Which just means I have to make further stacks so the box won't feel so empty. Also, those boots won't wait forever.

The Narrows, the Ron, the universe crammed in between my ears.

Point B, which is our weekly artist shindig at AS 220, was fabulous. I am still inspired by the afterglow days later. It was like being in a multi-medium cipher, and we all had so much fun. Afterwards, Meg and Eric came over and we went for walk down by Roger Williams Park in the dark and told stories for what felt like hours. The friends I am making here are all because of the arts, and they re all exactly the kinds of people I need to be spending time with to keep the wheels in my head turning at the frenetic pace I want them moving at.

Yesterday work was canceled because of the rain, something I found out when I had already driven halfway down to Narragansett, but thankfully I had brought clothes with me this time, so I pulled over on the side of Route 4 near South Kingstown and changed, then hung a U-turn and drove to East Greenwich to chill with DC at work. We had many good talks and I wrote endlessly in the back room until we ventured next door to get delicious Mexican food. I am becoming convinced that a burrito is all I really need when I'm thinking complicated thoughts. After finishing our extended lunch, I said goodbye and headed back to the city for some quality time at Blue State Coffee with Meg and a bunch of her friends. We spent a few hours doodling and talking about old TV shows.

When the caffeine party adjourned, Meg and I headed to my apartment in Cranston to grab directions to Dan's feature at the Narrows in Fall River. I made her what she claims is the best grilled cheese she's ever had. We sang to the cats. And then we sang some classic Alanis Morissette on I-195 East.

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Fall River is a very interesting place, as you can see by the graffiti. And I am pretty much in love with the Narrows. DC's feature was fabulous, and there were some really great acts on the open mic. Meg and I were melting into puddles over it for most of the night. At the end of the list, there was a block of four female performers, which was so exciting. I love seeing women perform. I got kind of upset earlier in the night that all the slots had been filled by men, but the quartet of women made it worth it, especially because the night was rounded out by my new friend Kayla, the only performer who played piano. She has the sweetest voice, and it was a pleasure to hear her a second night in a row after the intimate performance at Point B on Tuesday.

To finish off the evening, DC, Meg, and I stopped at Nice Slice on Thayer Street for final sustenance and talked with one of the staff there for awhile. He suggested this delicious creation he had concocted - margherita pizza with broccoli and chicken. We urged him to get it put on the menu and to name it after himself because we had been calling it "the Ron" all night anyway. After considerable ruthless people watching, poetry reading, and group hugs, we put a cap on everything and all headed home. I have been having some of the best nights of my life here, and I do not hesitate to say it.

Today has not been planned yet, but Saturday is the Providence Arts Festival and a whole bunch of the Point B kids are going to get together for a picnic and chill session. And then Saturday night, DC is playing a radio show, which will be destination number two. I could not have picked a better Neverland to steer my course towards. No matter what, I am sure that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Also, "Jolene" by Ray LaMontagne has been popping up everywhere, and I thought I should share it with you because it is one of my new favorite songs. Follow the link to see him performing it live at Abbey Road.

Thought collector, weighing in.

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Safe among my books, arguably where I belong. Things have been whirlwind-exciting lately in terms of time spent exploring discussing experiencing writing doing shit. I have taken the past few nights off to recompose myself and absorb all of DC's guru teachings and the conversations I've been having with various people at various locations. Nothing has been finger-traced into cement yet, but on our way to work the other morning, Kait and I discussed moving in together next May after I graduate. I cannot see myself living anywhere but Providence. I haven't felt at home like this since New Jersey was the place that word was associated with. It would be silly for me to bypass something so right.

Work is still slow right now, but vacation season is right around the corner and I'm looking forward to reaping the benefits of that whole situation. Sometimes, I feel like the only person at my job with a positive attitude. Two girls have already quit, maybe ever three. And I see firings on the horizon. This bodes well for my wallet, but it makes me sad. Girls my age seem so unrealistic in their expectations for the restaurant industry. True, things can be difficult at times, but that's part of it. And no one's going to tip you any kind of spectacular with a perma-scowl on your face. It seems like common sense, or average logic at the very least, but apparently no one gets this. I constantly feel much older than my on-paper age because of little things like this.

I made my first Salvation Army trip since I've moved here and was not exactly overwhelmed by awesomeness. It wasn't awful. Maybe the rainy day killed my shopping buzz. I found a few things I was absolutely in love with, two of which I bought. The third was this fabulous arm chair I wish I could justify purchasing.

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Sadly, I do not have sixty dollars at my disposal, nor do I have anywhere to put the thing. Even if we are in love, this chair and I, I'm just going to have to get over it. Even though it would be the perfect chair to have in bedroom to curl up with some Virginia and a fat cup of mint tea in the mid-morning. Agh. I must stop pining. There will always be this picture, I suppose.

Back at the apartment, I have been lazing on the bland, beige, decidedly un-funky faux-suede couch reading this coffee table book:

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about Edie Sedgewick all afternoon. It's not very well written, but the bare bones information is interesting and the pictures are fun to examine. It's a very Andy Warhol attempt at a biography - all style and decidedly less substance, more of a reaction to Edie's stardom than a true assessment of it. But it's published by VH1, so I should have kept my expectations low in the first place.

Anyway, tonight is a night of community excitement - I'm heading over to AS 220 for an underground salon-type gathering of artists to exchange idea and enjoy one another. I am very excited. I'm thinking I'll debut a piece I just wrote this afternoon, some of the riskiest writing I've done in a very long time. And tomorrow night, DC is playing the Narrows in Fall River. Busy busy busy, and loving every second of it. We'll see how the week shapes up. I promise to keep you in the loop.

The 12 Step Poem.



For all of my friends who couldn't make it, this is the second poem I performed in the Grand Slam on Thursday that Jared Paul is pretty damn jazzed about. I feel pretty proud of myself here, in spite of the out of control nervous gesticulations.

More, please.

I am sad to admit that I was the only woman competing in the Grand Slam last night. Not too sad though, because two of the already-selected members of the Providence team are women. But it was still jarring, coming from a scene like Hampshire's where I'm surrounded by quite a few strong female voices in a pretty evenly split community, and from Boston, where people like Simone Beaubien and April Ranger routinely kick my ass with their command of the English language. I showed DC and another friend the two following videos last night, and both blew their minds to the point of speechlessness. I want to have that effect. And I'm proud to have found strong female role models in the slam community, but I feel like beyond a lot of the role models, there is a dearth of female writers on open mics and under the up-and-coming status in people's minds. I want to see more of us.




Out of sorts.

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Some days, I feel as destroyed as Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson, but I'm definitely not addicted to cocaine, so I have to explain it away as emotional instability. Today I think it has a lot to do with how run down I get before a big slam. The Grand Slam for the last slot on the Providence nationals team is tonight, and I'm competing. I haven't been letting letting myself dwell on it, but it finally caught up to me yesterday when I was at Tazza with DC. Afterwards we went back to AS 220 and half passed out on his couch. I could have slept like that all night based on how exhausted I had been feeling for most of the day, but I woke up to him having a nose bleed and realized that it was after two - parking ticket time. I didn't want to go though. I have serious trouble leaving ailing people behind, even if it's just a good friend with his head tipped back looking a little pale. I don't like walking out of rooms uncertain of how the people left in them will continue on. It's probably a symptom of the fact that I worry too much.

I woke up well into the afternoon today and ran poems while making falafel for lunch, and though I have at least seven of them stored up and ready to fire at any given time, I feel unnerved. Not nervous really, just a little frayed and jittery. I'm hoping to make a good showing tonight. I don't want to think about it. Not in the slightest. My sister is coming to see me perform for the first time. I feel a little ridiculous.

In less stressful news, I finished the proof for my latest chapbook at about 3 AM today. It's a little bit of a hybrid with a zine because everything is handwritten and there are collage aspects to it. I'm going to take it to a copy shop in the next few days and get some printed up for my feature in a few weeks. Something to look forward to. I got invited to perform tonight after the slam at Snookers, and I got another invite to perform during Sound Session at Tazza in a few weeks. Networking in this city has been very good to me. I feel like such a part of the arts community. It's going to hurt to leave this place in September. I keep having a feeling that if I leave and come back, it won't be the same. I want to finish school and I only have one year left, but I getting very attached to a life independent of academia and the strife constantly caused by college students. But anyway, a preview of the chapbook:

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I promise better pictures when it's printed, cut, stapled, and ready for business. They'll be for sale on the 23rd, but if you want one and you're not able to make it to Providence that night, just let me know and we can work something out.