Welcome To My Bed

Magic morsel #48, private Idaho's.

This song came on four or so times yesterday at work. (This means someone put the 80's playlist on shuffle and then promptly forgot all about it.)



And then my mind wandered away from me (I was working in the dressing rooms and had two customers over a six hour span of time) and got really sad because this scene just kept playing over and over behind my eyes.



Thanks a lot, Gus. Now the B-52's make me cry.

Magic morsel #46, or, post-hardcore on Paper Street.



Remember when Fight Club was a cultural phenomenon and you watched it twice a night in your best friend's basement, quoting the lines with one of you as Tyler and the other as Cornelius? Kind of like how you used to divide up the singing parts in TBS songs into "Adam" and "John" and each sing one set of lyrics? No?!

...I mean, I guess growing up in Jersey, I assumed everybody listened to the Long Island bands and wanted to beat the crap out of their imaginary friends. My bad.

"Do I offend?"

Mid-afternoon sanity break, after I realized that this was how I looked, curled up in the corner of the kitchen, poring over drafts with a correction pen:

Photobucket


The need to reign in my excitement is generally overcome by the need to keep trucking. I hope the world at large understands.

Magic morsel #34, or, ways to effectively numb the mind.

I have found, in my endless hours of struggling through novel-writing, that the best music for literary achievement is not my favorite ambient noise, nor soft strings, nor instrumental film scores or any such nonsense. Not in the slightest. My writing music is mindless--and I really mean liquid-brained--pop music, preferably with autotune and lyrics that are a big fat middle finger at any self-respecting poet. Yes, I enjoy being offended while at my typewriter. By making playlists of blatantly awful music, I ensure that I will not be distracted into singing along. Cos honestly, who sings along to shit like this:



I am saving my rockabilly for the triumphant after party, sometime around December 10th.

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.

Amanda Palmer's voice is mildly disagreeable to The Buns.

Photobucket


In lieu of chilling with this adorable guy all day (and we all know what a cutefest THAT would be), I am doing something I have not done since high school. I am going to a Starbucks to write. I know, I know, terrible. But there are only chain coffee shops in suburbia. Today I must

+ deposit this week's spoils at the bank
+ restock the house with grilled cheese supplies
+ write a seven page Serenity story with a secret
+ collect my yoga mat, my husband pillow, and various books
+ drive back to the cave/treehouse

Did I mention that I made a cave within what Cass and I refer to as our treehouse? It is made of furniture, so it's not a proper cave, but it is the perfect enclosed space to crawl into and cook up wacky ideas for my thesis. I will get around to posting about it soon, most likely sometime after I post about dinner in Worcester, which at this point took place over a week ago. But I promise you, it was wonderful. And you will know all about it as soon as I see fit to tell you. As a preview, there were plush rhinos, five courses, and sore abs from laughing. My kind of night.


*from now on, anytime I refer to Serenity, I am talking about the story cycle that is the main part of my thesis project
**I may abhor Starbucks enough to go to the one indie coffee shop I know of around here, known as Cool Beans, and thus abhorrent in an entirely different set of ways.
***I can't believe my little sister texted me from class at Ramapo to make sure we had sufficient cheese for her purposes. I mean, it's not like she's ME or something.

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?!)

Photobucket


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.

Photobucket
introducing Owen to the Beastie Boys




Photobucket


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.

Put your words in my mouth.

1. I have lots of things to say today, but none of them are my own. I am recording an audio anthology of poems for my father's Christmas present. He told me today that he missed reading poetry and I smiled and said nothing. He has been half blind since before I was born. He has been one cloudy detached retina and no depth perception and I want to give him back some of what he has missed, something that will also help him see me more clearly. I hope desperately that this project will be that clarity. It's a strange sensation, reading the words of my friends and other poets I admire to record them for someone who has met only one or two of the writers. It's like introducing him to a room full of people that I love, but all of those people are speaking in my voice. I wonder if he'll be able to pick my own poems out of the crowd.

2. I am back in New Jersey and feel strange, as I have come to expect. My dad listens to Rush Limbaugh every day at lunch and tries to incite me to political argument. I agree with him in oblique ways (that the government is doing things wrong--beyond that, we tend to diverge) and try to only focus on those points of intersection. I told him about a Jared Paul piece I saw this summer about being arrested for rioting when not actually rioting and he said he'd like to shake Jared's hand. I laughed internally, because I'm sure if my dad actually spoke to Jared Paul, he wouldn't have the same kind of opinion. It amazes me that we can transform people simply be speaking about them in certain ways; by withholding certain details and playing up others, the real person can be distorted into absolutely anything. That kind of power is scary and awing.

3. I am buried in spoken word mp3s. All I want to do is be among writers again. Driving across the Tappan Zee late last night, I could feel my chest tightening at the suburbia on the other side. I had to stop for cigarettes. I sat in the 7-11 parking lot almost shaking. I haven't been so overwhelmed in a long time. The feeling was especially strong because of how calming Providence is for me; every time I rediscover that city, I feel more at home. The other night Meg and I read poems to each other for hours. It was blissful. There is no one from my real life in this house. I feel like there are two different halves to the way that I function--the mask I wear in this childhood house, the straight, quirky, Catholic daughter/sister who washes dishes that aren't hers; and then there is the person I am everywhere else, that messy thing with a litany of epithets and definitions, none of which fit completely. Lady Gaga came up at breakfast (I find ways to work her into conversation at least once a day) and I was surprised to hear my father saying things about performance art and empowering women, but what was more shocking is that when speaking about the queer community, it almost fell out of my mouth that I am a member. I cartoonishly clapped a hand over my mouth before the secret fell out and ruined the perfectly normal (okay, maybe that's debatable) conversation we were having and promptly changed the subject to Rihanna and domestic violence so I could deal with an opinion I'd already scripted for myself. It seems I only shop the supermarkets that sell cans of worms.

HELP!



Why am I always so overwhelmingly happy every time I see this commercial?

VLOG # 3



Cassandra and I may or may not be running out of ways to put off our end of the semester work.

Five things (11.17).

1. I gave myself a haircut today. I keep getting indecisive about whether or not I want to venture growing the stuff out, but the scissors are always triumphant.

2. I have a headache that will not quit. I am not happy about this. I have to drive to New Haven to retrieve Sean from the train (somehow, this train station business sees fit to plague me on a semi-regular basis) and I'm not looking forward to it. I must keep the gas money in mind.

3. Ticketmaster has to be one of the worst and most disorganized companies EVER, and here's why: after selling my sister our Lady Gaga tickets not without much strife and page-reloading (I won't even go into the ludicrous pre-sale issues we faced and eventually gave up on), they contacted her several days later to notify her that they had accidentally given us handicapped seats and thus had to cancel the sale, and sadly could not provide replacement tickets because the show was now sold out. Now, besides being sloppy and aggravating, they were basically lying. TicketsNow, a resale company that they own, is still selling tickets (although the "cheap" seats are upwards of $130). Now, I don't care how much red tape they'd be sidestepping, if we made a big enough fuss, we could probably have tickets. But who wants to sit on hold for hours at a time only to be told by multiple representatives that no one is at fault. UMMM EXCUSE ME: if your computerized ticket-choosing system gives us tickets you cannot technically sell us, then I'm pretty sure it's your fault. No wonder they have lawsuits on their hands. So much for scalping being illegal. FAIL, Ticketmaster. EPIC FAIL.

4. After deciding to go home to Jersey this weekend for happy, carefree reasons (getting writing done, spending time with my family, etc.), I found out yesterday morning that a family member passed away and now the weekend will be spent in funerary ways. On top of the already awful impact that had on me, I also had to grapple with the fact that no one even told me he was sick, and his death wasn't exactly sudden. I'm getting very tired of my family try to "protect" me by withholding things. It's amazing-- sometimes I feel like I absorbed all the emotional sensitivity in the house, so that I can be sad enough for ten people, whereas the rest of them act like robots and don't discuss anything that isn't Jesus or dinner menu. I was really looking forward to a little R & R, and now I'm dreading this trip; I'm probably going to spend the whole weekend biting my tongue to keep from reprimanding my parents.

5. In happier news, I just had an aimless meeting with my committee member about community service, concert tickets, writing process, and slam poetry. I never thought I would be discussing the aforementioned Lady Gaga disaster with one of my writing professors, but I'm just so frazzled today that that's where the conversation ended up, besides discussing Bob Dylan and scamming seats at a Cream show in Albany back in the day. The conversation eventually turned to our final meeting for me Div 2 (this whole thesis thing is basically happening NOW), and then we realized she'd be free to be in Boston on Wednesday night for once (she lives in the city and commutes west for little chunks of the week to work at Hampshire). Just so happens, that particular Wednesday is the Cantab semi-final for season champ, which I could potentially end up competing in (if I EVER win a Cantab slam, that is). Regardless of whether I end up slamming then or not, it'll still be exciting to introduce one of my professors to my unofficial writing classroom, especially because many Hampshire poets love her dearly. And there I go, talking about her as if she's some retired old fogey. She isn't. She's really rad. She has a framed picture of Joe Strummer above her desk in her office and a doctoral degree in anthropology. Sometimes she makes me seriously consider what my life would be like if I became an academic. But shh, don't tell anybody.

This day is shark bait.

Lots to buzz about. A one Jack McCarthy is storming the Northeast, and I had the exquisite pleasure of seeing him perform on two consecutive evenings, once in my own Hampshire backyard (for an hour! for free!!!) and then for the second time on my weekly excursion to Cambridge. I also gave Sam a pretty decent haircut. On the way back from Boston, I sang at the top of my lungs almost the entire way, and it was amazing. I even made the weird Alanis noises that Alanis makes in her songs. My throat felt very 90s afterwards. Katie and I laughed at my need to make such ludicrous noises, but we also decided that one of the main factors predisposing us to feminism was our childhood love/unhealthy obsession with Alanis. Yay Canada!

In "real life", one of my poetry professors told me that I am too "emotionally hard" on myself after reading selections from the manuscript of my 365 project. This impromptu meeting about the manuscript cut into the first twenty minutes of a class where I was meant to be discussing the poetry of Emily Brontë, but beyond that, it probably made me be even more hard on myself for being hard on myself in the first place.

And I got semi-lost driving to North Station, which is stupid, because North Station has signs for it everywhere. Google Maps, you are thoroughly inadequate when it comes to navigating Boston. I propose that someone create some sort of exhaustive GPS designed only for navigating Boston, one that actually recognizes what road you are on, and tells you to turn down streets that aren't one ways headed in the opposite direction. Yeah! Hop to it, Somebody!

I am using exclamation points a lot more frequently than I normally would. This can probably be attributed to the fact that I am over-tired in a way that is generally unacceptable for the level at which I must function on a given Thursday. I just want to curl up in bed with my shark and take a long long nap while someone else does my laundry, fixes me a hot dinner that isn't leftover pizza rewarmed in the toaster oven, and then maybe crawls in bed next to me. We all know how likely that is to happen.

Workshop in my an hour, with two of my poems on the chopping block. I will reiterate here for effect, I just want to crawl into bed with Grössby.

Photobucket

Sounds of moving.

Photobucket
Pardon my moustache.


The following are highlights from Kait cleaning out her desk. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. The above photo is a concession so that we are both embarrassed equally, or least close to equally. In actuality, I think I got the short end of the stick here.

"How many cable splitters does one person need?"

"The rubber band around these index cars is so old that it just snapped in half..."

"Oh look. Another cable splitter."

"My grandma bought them for me - engraved pens I got for my birthday that cost about eight dollars."

"I have a keychain flashlight!!"

"I think I can throw out these letters from [insert Kait's ex's name here] now."

"Mini screwdriver set..." "Lemme see that." "It's mine!"

"Do you want some Sticky-Tack?"

"Kyle, this is from when you gave me that gay-ass Guinness Society card?" "Where did you even get this from?" "You made them!"

"I have paperclips from when I was in the sixth grade."

"Want some sparklers?"

"Don't worry guys, I have my Pogs."

Yes, these are my relatives.

Gem of a portriat found on my family's computer while checking my email and running other internet errands:

Photobucket


A few important questions:

Why do grandparents always have to be so awkward?

What is with their prom pose?

Why is my grandma wearing a tank top with a flamingo embroidered on it?

And why did they have their portrait taken while on a cruise? Did everyone do this?

None of which will ever be answered to my satisfaction. I guess this is what happens when I visit New Jersey - more points of confusion than I can negotiate. I'm going to ignore said confusion and take a nap in preparation for my meet-up later with SLZ and Matty in Hoboken for a slice of actual pizza. New England has brainwashed me into believing that Papa Johns is somehow acceptably termed as a member of the 'za family. Not so my friends, not so.

Photographic time capsule.

I just woke up from the deepest sleep I could have imagined, following a double's worth of work down at the beach. And I have a lot less money to show for it than I should. Kait made more than me on one shift than I did on my two combined, which is unacceptable. But I guess I just have to take things as they happen. Speaking of which, I've been going through old photos and came upon a funny thing. There are pictures of me on the internet from around this time for the past few summers and looking back to the oldest one, I look like I have reverted back to that person. Maybe because the summer before I left for college was the summer I was most myself - no boyfriend, no overpowering friendships, nothing to prove except to myself. It's funny to look back on that time as one when I was most sure of myself, especially because I felt so indisputably unsure of everything else. But anyway, here is the timeline of the past few years.

Photobucket
Sandy Hook, NJ July 06

Photobucket
Emerald Isle, NC July 07

Photobucket
Northampton, MA September 07

Photobucket
Amherst, MA October 07


Photobucket
Amherst, MA April 08

Photobucket
Emerald Isle, NC July 08

Photobucket
Amherst, MA September 08

Photobucket
Amherst, MA December 08

Photobucket
Philadelphia, PA March 09

Photobucket
Providence, RI right now 09


The thing that gets me the most is how much the length of my hair has fluctuated in three years: shaved head twice, too many different kinds of bangs, neon wigs, more bobby pins and texturizer than I care to lay down here. I feel a lot like the girl in the second picture, sitting on the couch waiting for something of great magnitude to happen to me. But unlike that girl, who was very timid and scared, I am much more likely to get up off the couch and grab my important experiences before they pass me by. If that is the only thing that ever changes about me over time, I'll be more than happy living in this skin.