Welcome To My Bed

On The Quarter-Life Crisis, or, Why Liberal Art Schools Poison Your Expectations of Adult Life

Summer is more than half over and there's been little occassion to breathe.

I have an office job now.  It isn't the best situation on earth, but it also isn't the worst, and they've recently told me they're making me a full-time employee in the fall, which means my second raise since I started in April.  What comes with salary?  Finally beginning to chip away at my student loans, which have been languishing in deferment for the past year while I got my act together.  I, by no means, regret this deferment.  I am of the mind that working a minimum wage job for my first two years in the real world gave me a very concrete understanding of the bare minimum amount of money I need to be able to survive happily.  Now that I make almost double what I was making only a few months ago, I appreciate the wiggle room more.  I can afford to take a cab home some nights if I want.  I can buy my less-flush friends drinks.  I can go to a concert on a whim.  All luxuries I may not have seen as such had I gotten a "real" job right out of college.

I've come across a lot (or at least what seems liek a lot) of commentary on a phenomenon commonly refered to as a quarter-life crisis.  Up until this point, I'd only heard such bizarro terminology in a John Mayer song.  (No, seriously, he has a lyric where he tries to justify a non-commital attitude by saying he might be having a quarter-life crisis.)  But apparently this is a thing people my age are talking about.  Let me just say right now that this concept is UTTER BULLSHIT.  Dear twenty-somethings: you have yet to live; thusly, your life cannot be in crisis.  Just because your parents have stopped paying your bills and sending you care packages and generally holding your hand through all possible hardships does not mean that your existence is awful or oppressive.  It means that you are required to take responsibility.  You know what's excellent about being our age?  How simple it is to change direction.  Don't like your job?  Quit and start fresh.  It's not like you have a decade invested.  You can survive on less money than you think.  Wait tables.  You'll make a lot of money, feel no obligation to anybody you work for or with, and can leave at any time without ruffling anybody's feathers.  Don't like your friends?  There are a million new people waiting to be spoken to in all of the places you go on a daily basis.  Don't like your hobbies?  Stop participating in them, get new ones.

All of the problems discussed in these post-college crisis acrticles miss the point.  It's not that our lives lack meaning.  It's just that we are convinced that everything we do must be meaningful.  So that we can tweet about, make a Facebook event, compose a Kickstarter to fund out dreams, tumbl-blog pictures of our awesome life where everyone is gorgeous and nonchalant and still so impossibly talented and way more interesting than anybody else that has ever existed.  How boring have we become as a society that an exciting life is one that is defined by being able to boil down what we are most passionate about into 140 characters or less?  Dear twenty-somethings: if you think your life is over already, you are the only one who sees it that way.

I'm tired of reading about college-educated young people who are apathetic about circumstances that others might find desirable.  the problem is college.  The problem is a culture of exceptionalism.  You know those awesome jobs everyone promised you could get as long as you got your four year degree and worked an awful unpaid internship and busted your ass?  They are not handed out with the diplomas.  In the work world, you have to start at the bottom, build a skill set beyond writing papers synthesizing critical theories regarding your chosen field of study (be honest--did you really think this would be useful in any arena beyond academia?), and send out resumes whenever you see something that even remotely resembles your dream job.

Here are some true facts: working for a living sucks, being a person is too expensive, and emotional connectivity in our generation is becoming more and more impossible.  Want a remedy?  Me too.  So does everyone.  The best advice I can offer is this--if there's something about your life that is eating at you, change it now before that nagging feeling of defeat becomes the norm.  If you want to make art, make time to make art.  If you want to see friends, make time to see friends.  There may be a finite number of hours in the week, but how many of those do you spend complaining about having a pretty-okay life?

I am more than guilty of ranting and raving about everything I wish could be different, if only I had the means to make change.  But I do, and so do you.

Anyway.  Speaking of twenty-somethings working hard at being awesome instead of griping about how the scholarship for getting stoned and writing poetry ran out after four years, I'm showing my paintings in public for the first time ever at this event, the official Booze Époque launch party on September 15th, as well as reading a bit of booze-themed poetry.  If you're in the Somerville/Cambridge/Boston area, you can get on the guest list by donating $20 to the cause.  Beyond that, there are exciting prizes for your support--at the $150 dollar level, you get one of ten 8"x10" panels I've been toiling over.



Here they are in the early stages.  At the gallery, I'll also have several more small paintings for sale, as well as a few 18"x24" panels.  I am beyond excited to have people see my art somewhere other than at my apartment, where typically a canvas sits on my easel for upwards of six months without much changing.  September 15th in Central Square, Cambridge.  Save the date, donate twenty dollars, drink delicious boutique cocktails with locally-sourced ingredients, and see a bunch of music and poetry performed.  Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me.  I'd love to see you there.  So I can hug you and remind you that there is no such thing as having an easy time all the time.

Today is a threshold.

The world has been a wily place lately, but as the dust settles, I can share a string of fabulous news.

Last week's poetry day was a massive success.  I've already been invited back to do another next year during poetry month.  The kids asked some tough questions, which I wasn't properly expecting, but I think we carried off the discussions well and got them to think about poems in a very different light.  A lot of the talking after our presentations centered around music--how songs are the way poetry lives in our world and touches us on a daily basis.  This obviously led to discussions of various hip hop artists and corresponding poets that might help bridge the gap for a music appreciator who's curious about where poems fit into their life.  Two girls stayed after one of the sessions to grill me about what I do to keep from deleting my first drafts and how I keep from getting discouraged when sending out submissions.  I lauded the power of the page break when making revisions (and using long-hand as a stand-by, since you can't delete when it's paper and ink), as well as sites like Duotrope, which are invaluable when it comes to finding out where your work might fit and keeping track of submissions.

All said and done, I surprised myself with how well I managed a day of teaching.  I often forget that all my performance experience translates to other kinds of speaking engagements.  Even my interviews have gotten infinitely better.  Speaking of which, I interviewed for a new job on Wednesday.  A real one this time.  It's too early to say for sure, but according to some insider info from my office spies, I did fabulously and have nothing to worry about.  Cheers to an impending change of industry!

Finally, I found an apartment.  At long last, I'm moving to Somerville on May 1st.  We found a cozy two-bedroom with massive closets and plenty of space for our epic collection of books.  Less than three weeks until the big day.  I've been shopping for the perfect dishes all morning and daydreaming about long evenings painting and writing in our workroom.  Jamie showed me an excellently curated furniture store just down the block from where we'll be moving, and knowing it's there is only adding to my frenzy over rattan lampshades and red lacquer bookcases and finding the perfect record player and a host of gems I've got coming my way from my uncle's storage unit that he needs help emptying.

There is nothing more exciting that an avalanche of positive change.  Except keeping up with writing a poem a day for National Poetry Month, and possibly winning Madonna tickets from Spotify...

What I think about when I fall out of a dream crying not-unhappy tears.

I am plagued by deja vu. I have seen so many scenes of my life before they've taken place, though thankfully, all of my favorites were originals when they happened and never got repeated in that hazy, distracting "I've been here" way. Which is what makes the dreams lately so scary. Jericha and I are becoming more and more sure that our apartment is the center for some bizarre psychic energy, a power that is not necessarily malignant, but one that is far too intense to be taken lightly. All of our dreams lately have been proof of this. Even the most outlandish, emotionally disturbing ones have been finding a way to come true. I am bitten over and over again in the ankles by snakes, and I know exactly why as their teeth are tenderly pulled out and I am returned to a lover's bed. I am the fastest runner on a country road, I am dancing on the edge of a room with no floor in the center, meeting and re-meeting all the loves that have moved through my life and they tell me things, but not whole things. Even in the broken truth, there are kernels of what is to come. This afternoon, my sleep was full of endless lines, unsatisfied people, so many happy "hello"s I forced out of my teeth mirroring my day at work. And then it shifted. Someone I am sure hates me came back as a character in a reoccurring chase. Someone I am not sure at all about was in a house along the way with some tender surprise I am still trying to make sense of. Always, there are books, animals, objects from my life that make sense but do not. I do not speak this language. I need to know how to find what is being told here. Never have I felt such an urgency upon waking to parce my own thoughts, to ask questions of those that have acted with me and on me in my subconscious, to understand what so many would write off as absolute gibberish nonsense. This is all so deeply unsettling. And of course, tomorrow is Halloween.

Happenings involving tree houses, girl power, high fives, and pinky swears.

1. My dad finally had his surgery--six bypasses in total--this Tuesday morning, and he is strong and recovering well. He may be walking around right now, a crazy thought after everything he's been through this past few months. I could not be more grateful that he's going to be okay (knock on wood), that I get to keep my dad around. My little sister insisted that he needed to be here to see all of us married, and I laughed in spite of the seriousness of the situation. At this point, he'll be around to see me get my writing published, which is the only milestone I am concerned about sharing with him. His stories made me a storyteller more than anything else. High five to the cardiac unit at Hackensack Hospital for keeping him safe and giving us the best reward possible for all of the risk.

2. Cass and I finally found an apartment, after a lot of run-around from too many people. The place we are signing for is the second story of a house in Amherst with a private porch (which is all we had dreamed of when picking a place for the summer after the poet house in Allston's porch was so delicious). It'll only be until the end of August, which makes me less panicky than the mumbo jumbo fifteen month deathtrap lease a realtor was trying to talk us into. I hate realtors. It will be our summer writer's retreat, a continuation of the tree house tradition from the Lady Poet House. Cass wants to see it before we name it. I am souped on summer, 100%. This morning, I had no place to live. Tonight, I drink to my first place on my own.

3. That being said, this year has been estrogen saturated in every way--I have never spent this much time around women, thinking about women's issues, making strides towards understanding what I want to be like when I grow up. The Lady Poet House has been such a help in feeling happy with myself even when I have a bad or lonely day. I have never had such stable relationships with my women friends. We have our own forms of bonding that are probably very particular to our specific cultural subset ("so Plath" as Sean would put it, and did the other night). For example, Cass and I make rare trips to the movies together to see such plucky cinema gems as Whip It!, which I wish I'd had in high school, and most recently,
The Runaways. We like to pretend we were these kinds of people in high school, the ones who magically find their way to something that makes them powerful (roller derby, rock and roll, etc.), but in truth, our coming-of-age that Hollywood might consume and then refashion into an indie film would have a lot more to do with first year at Hampshire and some slam poetry growing pains. Personally, I'm much more comfortable seeing Dakota Fanning in a corset than thinking about Ellen Page playing me in a movie version of my life.

Golden Gate.

I dreamt I told someone I wanted to move out to the Bay Area, but he didn't understand why.

Photobucket


And at the end of the dream, he looked at me and said, "We cannot have a life together."

That wasn't what I meant at all.

When I have no notebook.

It is the middle of October and the leaves are half-fallen and half not. Everyone keeps saying we'll be getting snow soon, but I'm not ready for that. This cold snap has all of me confused, and I haven't been sleeping well (or really at all) lately, so the disorientation is doubled. Maybe even tripled. I hallucinated that sparks were flying away from me like lightning bugs as I was walking down the stairs to my living room. I try to explain the way the world looks like shifting sand with sometimes hovering blobs and sometimes squiggles of light and no one quite knows how to respond. I am becoming increasingly more certain that my role in the Lady Poet House is as the "weird" roommate, just as my role in life (according to Sean anyway) is as the "crazy" girl. Everyone else seems much more unhinged than I am.

Sophia and I are writing a duet based on responses to the lyric "what kind of fuckery is this". I haven't written mine yet. I don't know if she's written hers. We decided to do this just a few hours ago, so she probably hasn't done it. The whole thing just makes me think of driving to the Cantab those first few months of life in New England, and Sean singing at the top of his lungs. I'm not sure how the poem will turn out. Hopefully we write about things that end up somewhat congruent.

I have to get my manuscript printed so that I can give it to my professor and stop obsessing. I brought a poem to workshop today that he was somewhat ecstatic about, and I nearly cried at the joy of that feeling of approval. Is that what I am doomed to be constantly waiting for? A room full of people to ooh and ahh at toiled-over word choices? Slam has changed so many things. I want to look better on page. That sentence could have multiple meanings. I mean it in all of them.

I haven't slept at Hampshire for a solid weekend since September. This bed doesn't belong to me. I hate the idea of sleeping on a mattress that has been fucked on by more people than I've slept with.

This weekend, there will be many parties. Maybe I will go out. Probably not.

I keep having off-color dreams that feel like falling down stairs when I wake up out of them. In them, there are always lots of hands, but I rarely remember anything else.

Bookmaking, in the trenches.

Photobucket


I won't lie. I haven't been much for world commentary, frivolous or otherwise lately. But I can promise, it is for a very valid (and maybe even exciting) reason. In the background of my mad rush to figure out college requirements and defy logic by passing out of anything and everything as early as humanly possible, I have had a project brewing. This project has been gestating for nearly three hundred poems and will not be fully formed until it is close to four hundred. To give you some concrete point of reference, this is a somewhat simplified version of what my computer desktop has looked like for most of today:

Photobucket


The long and short of it is that, somewhat at the behest of one of my poetry professors, I am putting together a manuscript of the poems I've been writing, one per day, during 2009. It is a hefty piece of editing. I feel a bit overwhelmed, but I managed to plow through 100 of them this weekend. The whole thing has to be finished in the next week or so and given to the aforementioned professor. I'm probably going to get it printed and bound at the duplications department just so that he doesn't have to deal with how inadequate staples are going to be for this particular stack of pages. Already 86. We're not even halfway.

Itchy feet.

Photobucket


Last week Kait and I went to a truly wonderful dinner party in Narragansett hosted by a few of her friends who are visiting for the summer from France. Karen and Patrick living in Paris for most of the year but take long holidays every summer, and I was so happy to meet them after hearing so many wonderful things from my sister. Kait is going to visit them next April (which I am insanely jealous of - silly senior year...), a trip I'm sure she's been longing for ever since she left Paris after her last visit way back in high school.

Several glasses of wine and lots of delicious little appetizers got me to a warm and fuzzy state that allowed for some serious considerations, some of which I'll share with you now. Patrick and I spoke a great deal about traveling, how important it is to travel while you're still young and excited about learning everything you can get your hands on. I've always been a huge proponent of travel, but talking about it with this level of seriousness really got me revved for some world traveling. I figure that I should start on the smaller side, and lately I've been leaning heavily towards a North American road trip next September. If I'm in Rhode Island and working all summer just like I was this year, I'll be able to save up enough money to make it happen, and I've always wanted the open road and all that it has to offer. And I have seen far too little of this country to be able to call it my own. So there's that plan. And then there's my maybe-reachable pipe dream of a European tour including Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Berlin and whatever I can get my hands on in between. As much as I'd love to go to London and Paris, I'm more interested in the more northern oddities to be found. And there's always my off-in-the-distance longing for Asia - backpacking through India, bar hopping in Japan. The world seems so big, and the only foreign things I have any grasp of at this point are foods from places I have never seen. I feel ashamed of that, but I know that I have more than enough gusto to get on a plane, even if it's alone, and undertake some adventures.

Come this May, I have no idea where my feet will take me, but I'm very excited to follow them.

Barnes & Noble camp out.

Photobucket


Yesterday was my day off, so I made the hike up to Allston for some quality poet time with chapbooks in hand and quarters for the parking meters. Georgie and I visited Cass at work and then squatted in the second story poetry section for awhile while I read aloud to him from my new friend Lara Bozabalian's book Free that I'd picked up at her Got Poetry Live feature in Providence the night before. He was as blown away as I was when I saw her perform (and luckily she turned up at the Cantab later on for a spotlight feature).

We found a particularly comfy nook across from the cookbooks and read for awhile, talking on and off about life and love, exchanging stories that mostly circled around Slam Collective and its many dramas. As much as we are crazy (comes with the territory of "poet" I suppose), I can't wait to be back in that space of love and support again. That's the thing I am looking forward to most about September - that and facilitating a closer and more exciting writing community on campus, but that's going to take some doing. For now, I have the surrogate Cantab family and my visits to Chester Street to keep me feeling part of things.

In thinking back on the summer and how my writing has begun to speak for me a bit, I'm getting more and more excited. When Ryk booked me for my GPL feature, I thought he was just being nice, but having seen the kinds of people he books roll through Providence, people like Lara and Ryler and Simone Beaubien (the awe-inspiring slam master at the Cantab reading), people I really respect, I feel completely humbled and honored at once. But it isn't just that. I've had Lara and Ryler and Simone and lots of other people approach me after open mics and such with great things to say about their response to my work. Just last night, Tom Daley, a Cantab staple who runs writing workshops in Cambridge, came up to me to ask for a copy of the poem I performed. I would have been floored if it had ended there, but to his request he added that it was the best piece he'd heard at the Cantab in months. I couldn't quit smiling after that.

All these things happening in my writing career have me more and more confident in my decision to submit to Write Bloody this January. It's going to take a lot of work and preparation and I'm trying to be very realistic about my chances of anything serious coming from it, but I know it can't hurt to try.

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.




Exxxxx-hausted.

Photobucket


Today I am literally back in high school, sitting at Kaitlin's desk in her classroom trying to do work but getting hopelessly distracted by the internet and how seriously sleep-deprived I am. Yesterday I woke up at 7, went to work, came home to pack for the weekend, had two classes (one of which is a joke and has been all semester, the other where I was a group leader for a presentation on Beloved and had to pretend to be awake enough to function), and rushed to Amherst to catch the first bus of the day. That bus took me to Springfield. In Springfield, I had to wait for too long for my second bus (to Providence). During most of the traveling, I did homework. My eyes got incredibly tired of reading. When I got to Providence, I had to take a third bus to Cranston, where my sister's apartment (soon to be mine as well) is. And then I finally got to sit down on something that wasn't traversing large stretch of highway. After eating two helpings of chicken pot pie, I passed out on the love seat. The cats would not leave me a alone all night.

I had a strange dream about the summer - Carlos was competing in Florida, and I guess I didn't end up on the Hampshire team (highly likely as it stands now) because in the dream I was sitting on my futon reading something dense like Tolstoy when I got the phone call. Probably because I have War and Peace waiting on my shelf for me in Jersey. He called me to let me know how his bout went. It was completely unlike him to have a straightforward, fact-based conversation without being prompted. I woke up feeling like we had actually had the conversation, probably because I had been asleep in the place where I'd be in August anyway, maybe because I haven't actually spoken to him in a long time.

I need to get folding screens together to fully establish myself as a Broad Street resident. I am really only living in a living room, but I am going to pretend as vehemently as possible that it is a real bedroom that just doesn't have proper walls. In a few weeks, everything old will be new again. As for right now, I could really use a nap.

Teen idol.

Photobucket


When I was 11 or 12, I thought Shirley Manson was the most bad-ass person ever, and I wanted to be the lead singer in a band and write really creepy/sexy songs. Not that I really knew what that meant, but I wanted it anyway. And I kind of still do, cos she's still really bad-ass. But the only time I was ever the lead singer in a band, it didn't last long, because the guy who asked me to be in the band was just trying to get close to me. Reason why I should start an all-girl band #593.

Lots of words.

So I'm participating in this crazy thing, and I'm not even sure I'm going to accomplish it fully because it's early yet, but I wanted to share it with you guys anyway. So now that I made it sound all serious...ehem. Along with a bunch of poets I know (and some I don't) who frequent the Cantab Lounge on Wednesday nights, I am part of a blog that's goal is for each of the participants to post a new poem every day. I've done this for solid months before, so if I don't give the time frame you could end that sentence however you want. But I'm going to end it for you and blow all of our minds. 365 poems in as many days. Yes, a full year of poetry. This is the latest torture device I have invented for myself. Although so far, it hasn't been all that torturous. Maybe inspiring even? Getting to read what everybody else is thinking, along with what everyone is thinking when they read my work is a really helpful thing for me. But anyway, to get around to what I was going to say initially, I don't typically post my poetry to this blog. I don't know why, I guess I'm a little self-conscious about my work. But with the good news about my first feature at a venue (more about that later) and the looming CUPSI qualifier tomorrow night, I have decided it's more than time to get over this fear of people being exposed to things that I write. So without further ado, I'm going to post a poem I wrote last night for 365/365. It's called "Aspirations". I hope you like it.

Photobucket


Where do you go
to find a broken piano?
Do you buy one
and break it yourself,
or is there a graveyard somewhere
to scavenge at?

I want to age backwards,
put things on fast forward
until I reach five
then pause -
remember everything I know now -
and grow up different,
into a pile of levers
and strings, hammers
and gap teeth.

I want to be a broken piano
when I grow up
so that people will say
that I made beautiful noise
once.
But I need to figure out
my return address
before I enact any plan
that would mean committing
to the holes in my smile
and only humming
the feeling from someone else's fingertips.



* * *



So anyway, about my first feature. It's a long way off, but I will be performing in Northampton at the First Thursday reading series that takes place on Union Street once a month. Someone is giving me a chunk of time to wow people, and I'm worried about living up to it all. I have until April 2nd to prepare, but still. The other person featuring is Shira Erlichman. Member of the Spilljoy Ensemble, which if you can recall, I was speaking very highly of the other day. I am nervous. I haven't been doing this thing for very long. Well, that's not entirely true. I've been writing all my life. I've only been performing a little over a year, maybe two if we were to stretch the numbers. We'll see if the offers continue. Maybe if I make CUPSI, we'll have a spotlight feature somewhere and I can practice falling flat on my face in a room of my peers. If not, my bedroom is going to be subjected to a lot of reading aloud for the next few months. And regardless of anything else, I'm going to be posting a lot more poetry on Edible Words, so you're welcome to come check it out if you're into the bits and pieces you're reading here.

At last.

I procrastinate. It's just in me. But when I get going on something, it is difficult to stop me. Take tonight for instance. Caroline Harvey's feature blew my mind like it hasn't be blown since the first time I saw James Caroline perform. I wrote half a new poem during the feature, drove around with Sam after the diner for at least two hours, and then I came home with two other poems in my head. So I wrote them. And then a third. And then I decided it was time for a chapbook.

Now, I have been talking about such things since last fall when I first started writing poetry seriously. Maggie tells me that if I get famous one day, I will have a more heavily recorded life than Buckminster Fuller on the day that I die, and she's probably right. I journal every day without fail. Sam reminded me tonight that as the most prolific poet he knows, I had the material for a whole library of chapbooks, and that it would be best to get underway before it became too difficult to start. And so I did, because tonight (of all nights) I have adopted some of James' recent insomnia. My brain is too full for me to stop.

Here it is, in all its glory:

Photobucket


It's called Welcome To My Bed, after this old blog, because Grace always used to tease me last year that if I ever had a chapbook, it would be called that. I adopted the insult and made it my own, which makes me proud. If you look closely, you can see that the cover photo is the header photo (a little different) from the top of this page. Oddly enough, I don't think I've ever posted any of the poems in it here. Anyway, table of contents:

Someone Else's Driveway
Crystal Methadone
Kentucky
Mermaid
Drive Me Home
Tight Jeans
Bali Shag
Quiet All Talk
Epilogue (or, Someone Else's Driveway Pt. II)

Most of the poems were slammed at various locations over the course of last year. I know for a fact that most people in New England have heard Someone Else's Driveway and got sick of hearing it, because it was the one piece I had that was almost guaranteed to score well no matter where I was competing. Epilogue is a bookend for it, a little closure for the thought I started in writing the first piece at all. And the rest have their own stories.

James always says that it's impossible for me to write anything that doesn't come from a place of love, and I think that this book contains the poems that made me realize that. Next project, making more than ten copies of this thing. I desktop published using Word and my now-sleepy Canon Pixma, so I had to limit myself. After I make more copies, I will assemble my next effort, which was actually in the works since before this one, entitled Name Without a Place, which is mostly comprised of pieces from last spring through this summer and early fall, although the mental line-up I have for it changes almost daily, especially with all the new stuff I wrote today.

I don't know how I'm ever going to get to bed. I cannot wind down from this day.

True Romance, fo sho.

Photobucket


Too bad phone booths don't exist anymore.

I want a purple Cadillac. And Clarence.

Also, Gary Oldman is ridiculous.

Ready...break.

A new hard drive is coming my way. But really, I mean two new hard drives. One for free, from Apple. The other for an early Christmas present, because my dad is terrified that I'm going to lose my files again and destroy my chances of becoming a published author. Yesss.

Slam Collective keeps doing wacky scheduling things, and as a result, I have yet to compete in a slam this season. The IWPS qualifier is happening on a Monday to avoid a scheduling conflict with election day. Which is fair enough I guess. But I have class on Monday night. I don't even care about qualifying for IWPS. I just want to compete again.

I had a dream last night that a cat-sized cougar was attacking my family. I tried to battle it. I think my mattress is to hard for my back.

There are random pictures throughout the Virginia Woolf biography I'm reading. Some of them are really hysterical, but I feel guilty laughing.

Craning necks.

I have been getting too nostalgic too often lately. Even though there are a lot of reasons why growing up in New Jersey should not be so memorable, I find myself reminiscing about my emo period of roughly five or six years, where all I did was listen to bands from Long Island and/or Everclear and write truly awful poetry on a daily basis. In a way, it is still weird for me to be spending the bulk of my time in Western Massachusetts. I guess I've been thinking about this more heavily recently because I have been going through the process of registering to vote.

I have never participated in an election, an important one, ever. Yes, there were school elections. I usually pocketed my ballot and ignored them. And once, my dad tried to get me to impersonate my sister on election day because she had forgotten to request an absentee ballot, and he wanted another red drop in the bucket for our always-blue state. I refused. And now, it is down to the wire, and I filled out a registration card today. For Massachusetts. Needless to say, it is surreal. Otherwise I wouldn't be talking about it. For now, this is where I live. Four years from now, I have no idea where I'll be in terms of residency (or otherwise really). There are far-off, grandiose plans for an apartment in the New York area with Maggie, a place where we will paint and write and get our goldfish stoned (she had a very vivid dream concerning this aspect in July), and if that happens, maybe I'll try to get a job in publishing. But otherwise, who has any idea? It could be Boston. It could be back to Jersey and the basement for awhile. It will most certainly not be Los Angeles. But at this point, anything is fair game. This declaration of permanence, even if it's only a claim that I will be in this area on election day, and for the majority of the year, just freaks me out.

But really, I just miss the diners, the ones with food that I actually like. Every time I go to eat at the diner on Route 9, I get so excited because in my brain, I see the menus of all the diners in Bergen County. And then I get there, and there is nothing on the menu that I ever want to eat. Massachusetts has nothing on the Happy Waitress Special. Or the strawberry cheesecake we ate in spite of its questionable freshness.

P.S. There's a really awesome article over on the Tamur blog about the music industry's slow reaction to the forever-decline of CD sales. They link is in the sidebar, and you should check it out!

Late-night internet browsing.

Photobucket

"I hate trying to put my desire into words when my body knows exactly what to say. Come home."

I have never fallen in love with a web comic. Until now. I found A Softer World by accident last night when I was awake long past my bedtime. I had weird dreams because of all the strange things that go on in it. I dreamt I was running up a pyramid that had been covered in snow until just recently. And my mom had to get four new tires. Someone attacked me with spray paint and ruined a skirt I really liked. My brain is weird when I go to sleep while still awake. Or at least with an awake brain. To get professional again, the link can now be found in the sidebar.

Also, listen to Optiganally Yours. I don't know how to descirbe them, their music is an oddity you have to experience for yourself. I recommend "Donut".

And finally, a Ryan Adams update: his current preoccupation with the Leah Hayes graphic novel Funeral of the Heart, coupled with my current urge to only read things that occur in cells, has prompted me to buy a new book. Some of the first mail I will get at school for the year (disregarding the DVD copy of High Fidelity I ordered a couple days ago), and I cannot wait. Who knows if there will actually be time to read it. I am hoping to squeeze it in some time between writing until my hands fall off and studying French with all of my waking hours.