Welcome To My Bed

Scattered to the wind.

1. I am all over the place lately. I mean that quite literally. Last Friday (I'm not sure how it's already been a week), Cass and I made a whim-trip to New Hampshire. Though things didn't go according to plan, we spent a fantastic chunk of time in the Red Arrow eating our way through mountains of fried food and gallons of coffee. College life is not really life, if only because Amherst has no authentic 24 hour diners. And because we refused to give up on the adventure in light of a plan-hiccup, we drove to Durham and spent the night in the de Alba family house. We got cranberry waffles out of the deal in the morning, picked up Liza (who is now probably in Cameroon) and then slowly migrated through the slush to Portsmouth and The Friendly Toast.

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I clearly need to take up residence in this particular pile of kitsch. But not simply for the decor.

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They also make a mean grilled cheese. There was bacon baked into that bread. And the onion rings are battered in Guinness. So much delicious.

2. So I'm doing this thing where I'm trying to get another job. I'm not sure how well it's working out. I think I have a fairly serious lead, but I could just be deluding myself. Yesterday I sat in the place for the better part of an afternoon doing work and wishing the manager had been in to interview me. Good thing they have adorable metal pots of tea that stay hot for hours. Good thing they let serious people write retrospective essays on their scarred wooden tables.

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Is this the face of a girl who hates homework? Well. Not exactly.

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Is this the face of a one Charley Pope trying to distract me from said essay? I think yes. Good thing I've written nearly twenty pages and get to turn the damn thing in today with a binder of other serious writing, most of it on feminism in literature or a man cut in half and also playing golf. Free at last! In four hours! YES!

3. I have to make a dance party megamix today, and the only thing I want to put on it is Amanda Blank. She has been rocking my world lately, even if I have been getting better about listening to rock albums again. I'm still having to ease myself out of the pop zone. I think the main issue is that, to crib a line from a Nicole Terez poem, I am a 140 proof superpony. In non-poet-speak, that means I want to dance. I just can't help it.



Cartoon confetti! High school football-style war paint! Also, she sometimes chills down with these guys:



4. I can't write poems lately. I think it might have something to do with my brain and heart being divided between too many locations. I fall in love with buildings. This is becoming an issue.

Coasting.

1. Saw this video today around lunch time on MTVU while making myself a salad (ground turkey cooked in Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, sliced strawberries, cheddar cheese, lettuce, bacon ranch dressing; it sounds wacky but tasted heavenly) and decided to adopt it as my new theme song since all I'm doing lately is coasting from city to city, departing and arriving whenever it feels right.



2. This tendency towards drifting has taken me from Amherst to Boston and then down to Providence over the past three days. Those three cities seem to be the triangle of home base, rotating in and out of favor at random intervals. I sat talking with Erick at Coffee Exchange for the better part of this afternoon about the triangle, making plans for art and living spaces, talking shop about poetry and sculpture, discussing the best trees we've met and so on. I've come to realize that what the triangle cities have in common are the types of people that live in them--the kinds I stay up until four in the morning talking to, ones who let me live on their couches or nest in their guest beds whenever need be. Fitz and I spent Wednesday trading stories about beloved books; my sister, her roommate Leanne, and I went to Kartabar on Thayer street for dinner last night and laughed raucously while recounting our New Year's Eves; and then today Erick and I had our afternoon of caffeine and a bunch of pizza at Nice Slice. I feel very good about this triumvirate of beloved locations. Home has turned into a state of happiness that can exist in lots of places, and that's a comfort, especially since I've been concerned about belonging somewhere specific for the past few months. Maybe I can just belong everywhere and have that be alright.

3. I am taking a mini blogging hiatus (probably two or three days-worth) in favor of organizing a few things (read: searching for a new/supplementary form of income, making a reading list, traveling to visit friends, etc.). Thanks in advance for the breathing room. I promise to return well-rested and with oxygen-induced euphoria.

Chore-charted waters & the nag of distant academia.

Whenever I have a day off from work, I always get very overwhelmed by the space of it. This usually results in me spending at least half of said day in bed, either asleep or pretending to be. But today I resolved to fill every free moment with something that needed to get done, and I'm pretty sure I succeeded. I did three loads of laundry, mailed the first check I've ever written, wrote three poems (much overdue - I was close to losing my lead on the 365 project!), washed a million dishes, cleaned out the refrigerator, changed my sheets, basically got serious about chore time. And I feel great because of it.

This man -

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- has been staring at me all day. I guess it's not a typical occurrence for anyone to be home with him all day long, so he must be at least slightly confused. I've been trying to catch him to snuggle for the better part of the night, but in spite of being fat, he is a lot faster than he seems.

Off in academia (yeah, I forgot I was a part of such blustering too...), my schedule for the semester keeps getting turned on its ear, and then its nose, and then its elbow, and so on. A few days ago, one of the professors I'm close with emailed me to invite me to TA a first-year tutorial on inclusive fiction (what a wonderful phrase), and I obviously got very excited. As a close second to writing, I love assisting others in their own writing above most other things. Besides bacon, long highway drives, and finishing novels of course. In corresponding with her about the course and what my responsibilities would be, she inquired about my intentions for scheduling, specifically if I was planning on taking the Div III creative writing research seminar in the fall. I immediately pulled up my iCal and made the according alterations. So much for this being a relaxing last year. Although I'm fairly certain that if I got back to Hampshire and suddenly wasn't busting my ass, I would become very disoriented, if not outright despondent. So I am mentally preparing myself for some serious juggling. I would be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled about this.

Tomorrow is "Day Off: Part 2", and I'm not entirely sure how to spend it after running all of my errands today. The summer is quickly winding down (soon the juggling will commence!), and I'm not sure where exactly it got to. Thankfully, I went swimming for the second time of the season (criminal!!) Wednesday night after Kait and I finished breaking down from a wine tasting we worked together. We bring bathing suits in the car with us always, so we decided that as a remedy to the unbearable humidity we were just going to jump in the ocean. Nevermind that we did not have towels. Such formality has never concerned us before. And that swim was one of the best choices I've ever made. I don't think I've ever felt more refreshed in my life. It was the perfect cap to an otherwise perfect day (I sat in the Gansett laundromat and wrote for hours before work, and one of the owners of the restaurant told me that I had a job there indefinitely if I wanted it). I am a happy camper, to say the least. Now all I need is a giant cup of White Electric coffee and some non-neurotic to snuggle with occasionally and I will be the happiest I could possibly be.

I leave you with the soundtrack to this happiness, my Last.fm Top Ten from the past week.

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Happy Friday!

Reading Plath doesn't have to mean you're depressed.

I have woken up twice today. The first time was because the cats were jumping on me and the living room window was letting in way too much cold air for me to keep sleeping with only summer-weight blankets on. I ended up staying awake reading and writing for about three hours, then attempting sleep for a second time. The second time I woke up with a hangover I didn't have upon initial waking. I am not happy about this. The culprit:

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My bar tab was $6.50, but this wonderous Rhode Island native is about as cheap as PBR and far better tasting. I ordered four and shared about the equivalent of one full beer with a friend over the course of the night, so I basically drank a 40 at Tazza last night. Forties used to be a cake-walk for me. I feel old.

In spite of the resultant headache etc. it caused, yesterday was probably the best day I've had in recent memory. I woke up around noon, listened to Florence almost a dozen times on repeat while trying to find appropriate going-out clothes that wouldn't make me seem ludicrous during the daytime excursions that were to lead into the nighttime ones. Then I took the bus downtown to White Electric, a spare and clean coffee shop on the West side that is my new love for wasting away afternoons, getting caught in the rain for the second time in so many days. On Tuesday night, I was so drenched that the man who runs the convenience store near my city line bus stop ran out with a plastic bag he had cut a hole in so that I would have some semblance of a raincoat, but I was already past helping. Yesterday I was better off, as the brunt of the flash flood took place while I was safely on the bus and I only had to walk two blocks in a drizzle to get to my caffeine. I camped out with a heavenly soup bowl-sized dark roast and The Bell Jar, reading for an hour and half at least. I haven't had that kind of uninterrupted quiet to myself in too long with all the craziness of running back and forth to South County for work and my sister's turbulent love life.

Afterwards Erick and I met up and went to Coffee Exchange on the East side, which was open much later and is one of his favorite spots. We talked for a solid two hours at least and had a wonderful time doing so. Just when I get concerned that maybe I'm not as well settled here as I want to be, I have a day like yesterday and everything makes me grin uncontrollably again.

The show at Tazza was wonderful, as I knew it would be. The place was more packed than I've seen it on a Wednesday before, which was exciting. It was so satisfying to have all of my friends in one place, doing what they do best and loving every minute of it. I keep saying that I need to get a guitar so that I'm not the only non-musician, and I say that because they all inspire me with how diverse their sounds are and how much joy they seem to get from what they do.

So here I am, many Gansetts later and under the weather but still basking in the afterglow.

Over the shoulder.

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In a wave of nostalgia that has suddenly overtaken me in the last half hour or so, I decided to go and dig up some things I remember fondly. Like Rohrs'. I am of the firm belief that everyone who claims to write should at some point in their lives work in a non-chain coffee shop. This belief is becoming more and more difficult for other people to execute because of the Starbucks-on-every-corner, or, in the case of New England, the Dunkin-Donuts-on-every-corner syndrome. However, I filled my requirement back in high school. I call it a requirement for two reasons - 1) because you meet tons of interesting people, and you can pick their brains and steal their quirks for future characters, and 2) because every writer should have a very healthy relationship with caffeine.

Rohrs' closed about two years ago for good, although there is still a location or two in Manhattan. This picture makes me think of it as fondly as I think of Clerks; and being from Jersey, the love/hate relationship with my job was a strong one even before I knew who Kevin Smith was. There were plenty of days when I wasn't even supposed to come in, but I usually came in anyway. Cos it meant a five hour shift with free coffee and company that was note-worthy, if nothing else.

I miss the Millenium French roast so badly. I could conceivably order it online, but I miss grinding the beans myself.