Welcome To My Bed

VLOG # 13, & it's a family affair!



I did it! I hung out with my brother Owen all day long! He offered to push me around in a shopping cart, and told me things about animals and planets and weird religions. And it was awesome. Who cares if he's in eighth grade? When catching up with family is as great as filet of sole stuffed with crabmeat or avocado salad or candles shaped like onions, you know something is going your way.

And with that, I'm going to excuse myself. I have not one, but two gigs to prepare for. Sarah Lawrence for poems and such (I even made a new mini-chapbook and everything!), and then my first official turn as DJ Chickadee at Kevin Devaney's new place for the after-party. See you there, in your very best red dancing shoes.

And if you absolutely can't make it, I'll forgive you if you head over here and find a day you can.

Shortlisted.

+ I spent the better part of today flexing my secretarial muscles. My former advisor has hired me as something of an administrative assistant. It surprises me how much delight I take in hunting down and organizing alumni contact information. The list, now divided by decade of graduation and then alphabetized, is for possible panel members for a discussion entitled "Beyond the Disciplines: The Continuing Value of A (Hampshire) Humanities Education". (I am such a nerd.)

+ One of my co-workers called earlier, asking to pick up a shift, so for the first time since acquiring my new job, I decided it was time to give myself a three-day chunk of time off. Things have been a bit hellish lately (that flu, my car battery acting wonky, paperwork mis-filing and whatnot), and I am thoroughly looking forward to a day in bed with my mountain of books.

+ Speaking of books, I just devoured Karen Finneyfrock's Ceremony for the Choking Ghost. Even though I am failing miserably at my resolution to read a book every two weeks, I have been taking more initiative with my reading life. I'm probably not helping matters by reading at least six or seven books at one time, but I like it when they overlap. Some of the references in Karen's poetry collection are calling up images from Nights at the Circus, and just this afternoon bell hooks literally shouted out a passage from Bitch. I want to high-five someone at every instance of intertexuality. (Again, I am such a nerd.)

+ Involving the internet in my thesis was the best choice I could have made. Blogging counts as homework now? Hell yes.

Magic morsel #4, and the bulleted play-by-play.

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start your day off the hippie way


I love you Internet. With all of my swollen lonelygirl waitress heart. You are who I came home to on Sunday after over eight hours on my feet and an extra table in my section, my pocket fat with other people's money. Cass mixed me up a triple-strong bourbon sour and we sat with you, Internet, and enjoyed the view out our treehouse window. It seems you end up being our companion on every-post work outing. I want you to know how much I appreciate the matching lengths of our attention spans. Granted, I have more of an excuse at that point in the day.

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We've been absentee blog parents, and Grössby and I have kisses in atonement for that.


Alright, now that I've done that bit, I can give you the rundown of how my time gets eaten by the world. In the past week I have:

+ dyed my hair again (maybe? I am losing track of days)
+ dined in Worcester with my sister on a pre-V-day reunion (post to follow later)
+ officially passed Div II (yay for starting my thesis!!)
+ found out that the other Emily at work and I are TOO SIMILAR
+ got an oil change, which ended up in my being informed of an "excessive oil leak"
+ epically failed at making the CUPSI team in spite of winning nearly every slam at Hampshire this year
+ made massive amounts of cash on Valentine's Day and have since renamed it "the best night of the year to be a single lady waiting tables"
+ got sad and lonely
+ got happy and rowdy with the poets
+ went on a V-day roommate date to the Holyoke mall for some single lady lingerie shopping
+ made a video blog that is now lost to time cos youtube deemed it "too long"
+ sat in my window staring at the snow that I don't want to clean off my car
+ bought new slippers for the end of all these long days; they looks like this--

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Cos if you're going to revert to childhood as soon as you get in the door from you taxable-income-and-adult-language-only restaurant job, you might as well cause a wild rumpus in the process. Am I right? Also, when things like this (novelties that I'm not really sure I need expressly) are on double and triple discount in the sale bin, I have a difficult time saying no.

Tonight is the erotic open mic, and I only have a short time before work to acquire a few supplies, if you will, so I need to venture out in the snow storm ASAP. False eyelashes and fishnets, for the win! And don't worry, I'll get Cass to finally bring her camera out this time.

This week is the bomb (like "tick, tick").

1. I'm ill (not sick, says Weezy), sinus pressure, no-sleep-til-Brooklyn ill. I forget why I hate campus Januaries, and now it's all coming back to me with a surge of phlegm and a few too many cartoon sneezes. Maybe I'd feel better if I grew my hair out a bit and died it brown again?

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no, that can't be right...


However, I have been making the most of things in spite of this minor speed bump. Exhibit A:

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note the importance of wearing a particularly girly hair clip into battle


On last week's Providence visit (this is becoming an almost-regular occurrence), Kait and I went out for a night of substance-free fun (read: nostalgic reclamation of childhood followed by hot cocoa with schnapps and heaping helping of General Hospital) and ended up at an elementary school-turned-arcade that boasted indoor paintball and airsoft, along with a convoluted laser tag course that had my legs sore for too many days afterwards. We lost three rounds of laser tag to a group of fifteen-year-olds who had been there every night that week, played as many rounds of House of the Dead as we could justify, traded in our skee ball tickets for monkey tattoos that didn't stay on for more than a half hour, and were generally pleasantly surprised by the whole thing. From the road, the place definitely didn't look like much. But then again, we were in Attleboro, where a weeklong stay at the Pineapple Inn clocks in around $150. Don't ask me why I know that.

2. Exhibit B: last night at the Cantab was one of the best Cambridge nights I've had in awhile. The open mic was a stacked deck of awesome with a surprise visit from vintage heckler Eric Darby reading a persona poem involving a Yankee's fan on Sox Talk, day 2 of J W Baz's brief Hampshire-guided adventure in Massachusetts (we've nearly convinced the man to enroll), Melissa ranted about breast monsters and catcalls, DJ Muse played me on with an electronic track that made me feel like a super villian, and then there was this whopping moment where Tom Daly lumped me in with Brian and April as one of the venue's exciting voices (I promptly crawled into my scarf and/or melted into a puddle of my own blushing under the table where I remained for quite some time). Will Evans featured and blew me out of the water. Erin Jackson won a highly entertaining slam, the final pairing of which was against Sam Teitel. Oh Hampshire, look at you, making me proud. And then, we said, "Let there be IHOP!" And there were pancakes, and endless coffee, and so much shouting of stories down the line that I suggested we all play telephone. It felt like the best kind of family dinner, the kind you eat with the family you've chosen. And all 20-something of us (yes, we did break their seating limit something awful) said it was good. Cos it was.

3. I'm still waiting for my notebook to return to me via the mailroom (yes, I am forgetful enough to abandon my journal in another state), so I've been writing down things on a very long piece of paper towel, among various other places.

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why yes, I do have the smallest of all handwriting; thanks for noticing


Most everything I write down is either for my retrospective, or a quote from The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which I picked up on a boring afternoon at work earlier this week on a whim and cannot put down. I read this passage last night right before the open mic and had to hug the book to my chest and not move for a solid five minutes to keep from being completely paralyzed by it.

She felt attracted by their weakness as by vertigo. She felt attracted by it because she felt weak herself. Again she began to feel jealous and again her hands shook. When Tomas noticed it, he did what he usually did: took her hands in his and tried to calm them by pressing hard. She tore them away from him.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
"Nothing."
"What do you want me to do for you?"
"I want you to be old. Ten years older. Twenty years older!"
What she meant was: I want you to be weak. As weak as I am.


It may not be as effective if you haven't read the book. The only thing I can say about that is that you should probably read the book. Lara Bozabalian has this poem called "Music Box" that references the novel, which is how I ended it grabbing it off a library shelf, and have not regretted a second of rapt reading.

You're so high//why can't you fly?

1. It feels good to be solidly back in action the Western Mass way. My head is still spinning from all the pinball-bouncing around I do on a regular basis. However, now that I am standing in the same state for longer than a few hours at a time, there has been an avalanche of responsibility. (Agh! Who wants that?!)

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Clarabelle and I have been slaving away for the better part of today on my retrospective essay (the first three typewritten pages of which can be found above; please excuse excessive typos). It should be easy. For the most part, it is easy. Think about my courses in chronological order. Check. Write about what I learned in said courses. Check. Write about real world experiences and their relevance to class learning, also vice versa. Check. Maintain a plausible through-line pertaining to the learning contract I wrote with myself last fall. Check. The tedious part of this whole process is that it's going to end up being about twenty pages of wind-baggery about my "becoming a writer". Is there some bar mitzvah-type ceremony for this coming-of-age process?? Any way I can get fat checks from distant relatives? No? Cos it seems to me like I am doing an awful lot of "entering a new phase of my life" in this essay. I don't want to get carried away and new-agey with the narrative, but it keeps wandering away from me into touchy-feely territory. I'm not sure if I should just go with it or not.

2. Being a restless spirit, but really because I left my journal in Providence and as a result had no place to record the deep dark secrets rattling around my head, I decided late last night that I was going to move all my furniture before going to sleep. It has worked out quite well. My new desk nook is nothing if not conducive to writing this essay. Except the moment my fingers got tired of typewriter keys, I hopped in bed with my lap top and ended up here. Kind of like how the last time I attempted real work (in this particular case, it was cleaning out the unfinished half of the basement), I ended up on my computer. Although in this case it was a little different, because there were odd costume-type items lying about.

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introducing Owen to the Beastie Boys




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I had a near-overwhelming inclination to play dress-up last night instead of changing my sheets and organizing my desk after the move, but I restrained myself by mentally arguing that I had nothing interesting to wear. Yeah, right. However, as I told Cassandra when she noted that she had dressed more outrageously than I had the past two days running, I am still recovering from pretending to be normal while in New Jersey. It is going to take at least another week for me to fully retire the real-world-uniform of t-shirts and jeans.

3. I've been taking a chill pill as of late in terms of music. Not that I'm completely divorced from pop radio land as of yet(though I'm not sure I can even call it that, being as I have no access to any radio), but I've been giving my spandex and sequins daydream dance sequences a rest in favor of a heavy dose of mellow-me-out.

Current favorites:





Still looking for a rock album that will knock my socks off. I don't know how much longer I can hide in the recesses of my pre-existing iTunes library before going Completely mad, although I'm fairly certain it is analogous to the length of time I can spend continuously typing out this essay until my head spins off into the stratosphere.

Stomaching my family.

1. The other day I drove into New York with Owen and my family friend Missa who is visiting from Seattle to hit up a weekly Sunday flea market on the Upper West Side. In spite of an interminable quest to locate parking (I should have known!), we had a fantastic time in the brisk but still unseasonably warm weather. I walked around all day, even after the sun started sneaking off, without a jacket. I have spent most of my time lately cocooned in ridiculous giant scarves, and it was wonderful to have them see the sun for once instead of being dwarved by the fur hood of my coat. Highlights from the blacktop shopping include a bracelet made entirely of little heads (see below, among my other daily jangles), more fur coats than I've ever seen in once place in my life, and skipping through the crosswalks with my brother. It was my first time taking him to New York without my parents, and I hope that it becomes a regular occurence, because we had an absolute blast. He's growing into a miniature adult.

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Also, there were these adorable felted slippers that were cats you put your feet in!

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2. I don't have a bedroom at my parents' house anymore (it's a long and complicated explanation, so I'll spare you), so when I visit, I stay in the attic with my sisters. It functions a lot like the dormitory in the Madeline books--twin beds all lined up and lights out by a specific time and long talks before we all eventually fall asleep. Most of the time it's delightful--I don't get to spend much time with both my sisters at once except when we're home for the holidays--but this particular break they've both been snoring up a storm. It must be how dry the heater makes the air or something. Anyway, we have cuddle piles that look like this:

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3. This year is one I'm going to treasure always as the time when I found my way back to my family without begrudging them their lack of understanding--I really am an odd duck, and to expect them to always know how to deal with that is asking too much. Since swallowing my pride several months ago, we've all gotten along so much better. I think it's a sign from the universe that we no longer get into crazy arguments at the dinner table--of what, I can't really be sure. But finally, FINALLY, coming home has shifted from a stressful activity to one that I actively look forward to and somehow manage to enjoy, even when there are hiccups.

"We all go to schools for people who don't like colleges."

1.
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This is the face of general anesthetic. And suddenly missing teeth. If you look closely, you can see the gauze I have to keep tight in my jaw (hint: it is much whiter than my actual teeth). Also, if my face was turned the other way, you'd see the pillow marks on it from passing out as soon as I got back from the oral surgeon. I stayed up late last night showing Matty slam videos and making plans to start a band (for real, this is going to happen, I am finally going to sing in a band and it is going to be EPIC), and while I'd like to blame my nap on that late bedtime, I'm pretty sure it had more to do with the combined effects of the IV in my arm, the nitrous/oxygen mix strapped onto my nose, and whatever else it was they used to put me under and into a dream state I couldn't describe to you if I tried. I blame the strange dreams on the fact that Alanis Morissette was playing as I drifted off into what I imagine this inside of the Barney bag must look like.

2. On Monday, I spent the afternoon reuniting with Meg and Erick on Thayer (Meglet and I had a low-key soup night on Sunday that quickly turned giggle-fit/poetry reading and stayed that way, much to my delight; my favorite moment of the night came during an epic conversation about Amanda Palmer in which Meg stated, "I've definitely written a poem about Amanda Palmer's thighs..." and then trailed off wistfully) for extra-cripsy pizza at Nice Slice and then a long discussion of respect and art at Tealuxe.

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She's so magic, her scarf is invisible!


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The conversation was the kind of satisfying where you're all jumping in and chomping at the bit to make your points, but nobody ever feels cut off in a rude way (or at least I didn't). But there was more than a fair share of digressions as well, with everything from the traditional Santa foil the Krampus coming up, as well as the monetary value of mental labor, Jesus' status as radical Jew, someone wanting to Falcon punch a cat, and the terrible existential question of what one is meant tod in their early twenties. I left the tea bar hours later with so many ideas to write about and so much fire in me that I decided I needed to drive back to Jersey almost directly in order to make some art in the basement. I haven't had an itch to do some painting like that in years. So I hopped on the highway after saying my see-you-laters and looking hopefully forward to a good, productive holiday and my return to Providence to do some more triangle tea table discussions about how to create and maintain healthy communities without stepping on toes or stagnating. And sometimes you have to stand on chairs to be among the people again, simple as that.

But the most important thing to take away from the tea house symposium on the ins and outs of art and academics is this, in reference to Erick's always rosy cheeks-- "he not a player, he just blush a lot."

3.
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This is one of the many reasons I love my brother: when we get together, we do silly dances in front of the living room mirror, and sometimes he wears a ceramic duck on his head? It's better not to ask about such things, because they only really make sense at the time. For example, last night at dinner, he yelled at his own reflection in the window, saying, "SILENCE YOU, Doppleganger!" I wish I had his non sequiturs around all the time--I feel so at ease when we skulk around the house together making up stories and songs and having wild rumpuses. I need more wild rumpuses. They are becoming less and less acceptable for me as I get older, and I am clinging to them for dear life. Yesterday I was stomping around the house in gold tights, lace trim bike shorts, a David Bowie t-shirt, and a turban made from an orange beach sarong I wore to death in middle school--my mother made a face at me asked if I was going to change before I went to the supermarket, but I just told her that if people wanted to stare, that was their prerogative. I wish I had a picture to show for it, but since it was nothing particularly remarkable in comparison with my day-to-day outfits, I neglected to document it. People did stare, but I am happy in my skin, even if it's too shiny for some people to understand.

Nerding out, newly incognito.

1. I have work in five hours, so this will be brief. I finished my first final tonight, the one that is due last. I guess we'll call today working backwards? I'm very proud of the thing though--a big manila envelope full of poems from one of my workshops. I did revised drafts for almost all of them and turned in a few other extras. One item knocked off the to-do list.

2. The last meeting of Woman & Poet took place in the Smith rare book room this afternoon. I got to listen to recordings of both Virginia Woolf reading aloud from an essay of hers and Sylvia Plath being interviewed by Peter Or on the BBC about writing. A favorite quote from Ms. Plath, on her recently discovered affinity for the novel: "I can't put toothbrushes in a poem." I kept looking over at Cassandra giddily the entire session--if I am completely honest with you, I had to resist the urge to clap my hands in sheer delight, and I also found it difficult not to interject biographical knowledge into the lecture, even though it was being done by Karen Kukil, who just so happens to have been the editor of Plath's unabridged journals. Today was a day made in heaven, that is, if it weren't for the slush storm.

3. I was precluded from driving to the Cantab tonight by virtue of the fact that someone decided it would be a good idea to heft a large bucket of slush over the Northeast. Snow is pretty to look at, sure, but I was up to the tops of my Docs in it leaving the house this morning. The only reason I am forgiving the universe for this foregone road trip is because I already have one lined up to replace it--on Friday after class, I'm driving to Providence for my sister and her roommate's Christmas party. I foresee large amounts of wine and Christmas shopping this weekend.

4. Speaking of which, I am deadly behind on Christmas gifts. I can't go into specifics here because I'm sure I'll spoil someone's surprise, so let's just say that there's lots of leg work to be done and leave it at that.

5. You may or may not have watched the video blog, but if you have, you saw that I was in the process of dying my hair. I am proud to announce that is now fully dyed (duh) and is quite seriously RED. I feel a bit like an anime character. I'm not sure if that can be in a good way, but I still like it. On the other hand, I feel like I shouldn't wear pink for a little while. Next stop, platinum blonde cotton candy hair like GaGa at the end of the "Bad Romance" video. Maybe. If I keep feeling restless and aesthetically ambitious in the same breath, I'll keep exploiting that cross-section.

Ten things about today (Tuesday edition) 11.10.

1. "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat" just came on shuffle. Today is going to be a good day.

2. I am pulling together a new chapbook, tentatively titled any number of ridiculous things, although at the moment, I'm thinking of calling it "Spindle". Thus far it is comprised of several imagined biographies of Sylvia Plath (blame my reading Rough Magic with the fervor of a woman possessed), the eyelashes poem I wrote for my sister this summer, my first stabs at persona (from the voices of EBB and ED, what can I say, I am just that nerdy), "Yes, Virginia" which previously appeared in the zine I sold at my Providence show, and an as-yet-unwritten poem called "Ted Hughes Bakes a Cake".

3. The last of the poems I have collected for this new book is a love letter to my typewriter called "Smith-Corona", which will immediately follow this epigraph, a line from a letter written by Eddie Cohen for Sylvia Plath:

And will your husband, whoever he may be,
find contentment in talking to you or making love to you
while you are banging on a typewriter?


It was too perfect. And I had already written the poem. I love the way the stars align sometimes.

4. I have a stack of library books at least the height of my leg, all of them for a final that needs to be roughly eight pages. To say that I have actively planned on going overboard is an understatement. I am horrified at myself and apprehensive that if I allow this behavior to continue on unchecked, that I will end up miserable in a graduate school library somewhere writing a dissertation on madness in the canon of women writers with a focus on the twentieth century. Or maybe that apprehension is excitement. Or maybe I've just been awake for too many hours without breakfast.

5. Tonight is Slam Collective, as is every Tuesday. Steve Subrizi is featuring. It promises to be highly amusing, with a sprinkling of quiet profundity. Tuesdays have turned into weekends-- last week, we finished my handle of bourbon, played several debauched and raucous rounds of Apples to Apples, and stayed up much later than my normal threshold. My living room is the apparent hangout spot, and now that it has been cemented, I feel a little overwhelmed by that. I am not a hostess the way I used to be a hostess. I feel all flustered and underprepared whenever such a large group of people plant themselves in my house and drink out of my glassware.

6. I am taking a course on the Bloomsbury Group. I know I mentioned this yesterday, but I am still geeking out about getting to spend classroom time with Woolf for the fourth time in my college experience. Not that I don't spend countless personal hours talking about her work, but that's just because I cannot help myself. Cass was presenting on Christina Rossetti in our Woman & Poet class yesterday and besides laughing where I knew wombats could (and should!) fit into that conversation, I also had to laugh when she brought up Coleridge's addiction to opiates because I knew that somehow we could work in her "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" tattoo if we really tried. And then a small part of me got sad that my Woolf tattoo wasn't finished (and won't be for awhile) and also will never be visible to the bulk of the population. Whenever someone sees it in its natural habit (my ribs, for those of you who don't know), it is always something of a surprise. I can't wait to get more work done on it, even if it's just for me.

7. Moz says, "most people keep their brains between their legs."

8. I am getting seriously apprehensive for next semester. I only have one major assignment left for this one - that paper I'm seriously over-researching - aside from turning in my general portfolio, and I am antsy to finish all the silly paperwork and just GET ON WITH IT ALREADY. I hate hate hate hate hate red tape.

9. After spending so much time cruising New England last week in Wendeline, I kind of miss driving. Not that I'd want a week like that again, at least not in the near future, but I am a little too happy with the open road to say I'll never do something like that again. I keep erecting dreams off in the distance - of tour next January, or a road trip at all after I graduate next December - and though they are still so far off, I know I'll get there eventually.

10. I find myself missing Providence more than ever lately, and there's really no explanation for it beyond the understandables (my sister, my summer, getting writing done like nobody's business). But in addition to all of that, there's something more, something I can't put my finger on. Maybe I just miss feeling at home. Hampshire is comfortable, especially in this unseasonable warmth we've stumbled into the past few days, but it isn't home. It's trying though.

Spring pre-registration, and wombats.

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Registration for spring classes never ends up the way I expect it to. I go into the day with a list and end up not actually taking any of the listed classes. This year, it was the advance writing seminar and a poetry workshop with a professor I really enjoy; too bad both of these courses conflict with a special class at Smith about Woolf's intellectual circle. I think I'm going to take my second class at UMass instead, some upper level class on writing experimental fiction, which is perfect for my thesis. All is well, just in a very different form that was in my mind when I woke up this morning.

The wombat above has very little to do with this, except that Cass is preparing to present on Christina Rossetti in the class we have to be at in roughly five minutes, and Christina Rossetti's pre-Raphaelite painter brother had a wombat he got through the mail. He wrote it an ode. It will be on her soon-to-exist blog. I silently pressured her into a Twitter account, and the blog is coming, I promise. I am a bad influence when it comes to technology.

Cheers from the land of academia!

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The fever pitch of the week has somewhat subsided, and now Cass and have confined ourselves to the living room (mostly because the cold is party prohibitive, or maybe we are just already spinsters) to do research for a final paper not due for another month. She is reading Christina Rossetti: A Literary Biography, and I am reading Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath. I suppose our friends don't refer to our place as the Lady Poet House for nothing.

Other than that, peppermint schnapps and hot cocoa all around, and I welcome winter-- I dare the cold to breathe on me like it's January. Just watch, Western Mass, I will defy you. I will continue wearing slip dresses under my wool coat until the bitterest of nights, and there is nothing anyone can do about it!

We are perhaps bordering on a cautionary tale: buried in library books, enthusiastically reading passages aloud to one another, making exclamations about the ways in which women of the canon were crippled by the expectations of their environments but still somehow managed the life of a writer (too frequently at the price of great personal strife), and then, on a lighter note, getting mildly delirious--

Me: "You can't italicize a picture..."
Cass: "It's not done. It's just not done, Emily."

Outdated social commentary.

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In my car stereo as we speak. I am a decade and a half too late, but I am still loving being in a time warp. I want to wear baby doll dresses and combat boots. I want to scream along to Courtney Love. (Unfortunately, or maybe thankfully?, I was too short to reach the shelf that they were keeping "Celebrity Skin" on. I plan to go back with taller shoes later this week.)

Also, Aly and I watching Queer as Folk. I love this day.

Also also, soon I'm going to buy a typewriter. The lady at the typewriter store and I had a lovely conversation this afternoon. In another two weeks, I'll pick up that blue Remington that I feel in absolute lust with. I need to go sell clothes at Plato's Closet. I feel like Marla Singer. I'm kind of terrified that soon I'll end up raiding laundromats to fund my currently non-existent pill habit. I don't want to be a book character, at least not one like that.

Narwhals

I blame this on Connor and Ian. They wrote a really serious duet about narwhals, but apparently it was inspired by this. My brother will now not stop singing the song.

Furry friend.

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Introducing Theodore T. Cat, AKA the kitten living in Clinton Hill with James and Evan. I am so jealous. I need something to distract me from doing my poetry theory readings that is warm and fuzzy and will fall asleep in my lap without thinking twice. Pets are pretty much the only creatures capable of genuine unconditional love, as humanity has proven time and again in the weeks I've been back in the wilds of Western Mass. But there have been more than a fair share of good times here at the Lady Poet house. Updates to follow, including (but not limited to) stories of my first attempt at beer pong in five years, a praise chorus for my Doc Martens, and lots of poetry business. I'm reading selections from Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook and I feel like my brain is melting out of my ear because of how dry and boring it is. Maybe I'm not cut out for this writing business?

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.

Journalists?

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I need a Patrick Fugit-type character. I turned on HBO as soon as I tumbled in the door with my suitcases and fell onto the couch more than happy to soak up Almost Famous. I just wish I could watch all of it instead of leaving for work momentarily.