Welcome To My Bed

Magic morsels #13 & 14 (my lady poet head is exploding).

A quote on writing from this interview, because what would I do without a bathtub full of words every day to take a good long soak in?

Often I think it’s brutal—the blank page and my lame brain against endless looping Law and Order: SVU episodes on TV or the temptation of posting on a blog...


It's good to know there are poets as easily distracted as I am.

I found Courtney Queeney's book as an uncorrected advance proof in a used bookstore in Dover, NH yesterday afternoon (there is an extensive photo post from Spring Break: Floodwater Edition on its way). I am not kidding when I say that it is the best book of poetry I've run across in a hot minute, but then again, how could it not be with a title like "Filibuster for a Kiss"??? To crib a compliment I got a few months ago for a more appropriate context, this woman is killing me with awesome. On the jacket for the actual book, the writing is described as having "erotic dissonance", which, regardless of whether the phrase ACTUALLY means anything or not, is such a good combination of words that I yelled about it earlier.

Also, this picture is odd and delightful:

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If I hadn't already stayed up too late, it would make me want to watch Eyes Wide Shut, though on second thought, that is hardly the best chamomile tea movie to send myself off to sleep with.

Honeysuckle, she's full of poison.

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all I wanna do is play rock n roll house with you


My Amazon order list includes the complete Patti Smith from 1975-2006, and Courtney Love's diaries (found in hardcover for $0.51). My library order list is a minefield of Russian history (especially the Romanovs and the seige of Leningrad...don't ask at the moment, it will make sense later) and new feminism, with a dash of modern novel and image-heavy poems for good measure. My thesis is in absolute full swing. I cannot sleep past eight in the morning lately, and while I'd like to blame the nightmares, I know that it is more because I want to be awake and reading every second. Case in point: I bring you a nice chunky sentence from Elizabeth Wurtzel's Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women.


"I think, quite frankly, that the world does not care for the complicated girls, the ones who seem too dark, too deep, too vibrant, too opinionated, the ones who are so intriguing that new men fall in love with them every day, at every meal where there's a waiter, in every taxi and on every train they board, in any instance where someone can get to know them just a little bit, just enough to get completely gone. But most men in the end don't quite have the stomach for that much person."


AMEN, Lizzy. Amen. Now, I may have serious problems with how this book is defending itself, but that passage there just about sums up my existence with a neat and tidy plastic barrette bow. I could blame just about any of my relationship failings on being "too much" for my significant other, and I would absolutely not be wrong.

I have half a mind to send this quote to Sean as proof towards his theory about me being the crazy girl you date to learn things from, the girl you dump for some bland other person who you'll be happy with because of all that you've learned from my being difficult to handle.

I don't know how much I agree with EW or SPC, but there is definitely an argument to be made.

Everybody's Girl: The Gaga Bibliography

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if that isn't a Bowie reference, then what is?


When bored, I often troll the internet for information about my favorite ladies of the moment, be they the girl-crushes of this past summer (when I had seemingly endless time to surf, ogle, and swoon at all my favorites) or the poets I have spent the past four months resuscitating and re-imagining for Spindle. Today, as fruit of this labor, I bring you my Lady Gaga bibliography, compiled over several weeks of active gleaning and countless more of idle internet-wandering.

1. For the style hounds:

My friend Mara pointed me in the direction of this photo gallery--a year of Gaga outfits to observe, love, and if you are daring, integrate into your style inspiration boards for 2010. There is no questioning the power of this woman as a fashion icon (see White Lightning's crafternoons for representative evidence of DIY attempts), and she pursues the title with a nod to Warhol's silk screen assembly line and a bit of Mark Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, just for good measure.

2. For the make-up mavens:

Whether playing dress up with Cyndi Lauper for MAC's Viva Glam campaign or simply spitting in the face of make-up artists who remind us laypeople to never mix a bold eye with an equally bold lip, Gaga is probably best equipped to color outside the lines when it comes to cosmetology. Looking at her carefully crafted visage, I am tempted to wash my face with rhinestones every morning.

3. For the record collectors:

Though ineligible for Best New Artist at this year's Grammys (pshh, technicalities), no one can argue with the fact that Gaga has had a huge year in terms of record sales alone. 8 millions copies of The Fame sold? Check. Collectable version of The Fame: Monster replete with lock of hair and other completely ludicrous extras? Check. B-sides and remixes enough to compile a dance party playlist the likes of which most artists can only dream of? Just do a general Google search and you are inundated. Kid Cudi's already sampled a stripped down piano performance of Pokerface for his song "Make Her Say", and I'm sure that's only the beginning of such activities.



4. For the gossip queens:

It is safe to say that bloggers are absolutely obsessed with Gaga (ehem, Perez Hilton). And they are probably right to be--every time she leaves the house (typically sans pants) she looks bound for somewhere fabulous, or otherwise ends up doing something scandalous, and usually those two points of interest coincide, creating a meta-gossip-topic of epic proportions. Saucily refuting hermaphrodite rumors? Check. Treating the VMAs as a giant installation space? Check. Meeting the Queen? Check. Is there nothing she won't do?

5. And perhaps most importantly, for the feminists:

While reading her dailies in blog land, Sophia came across this gem on Jezebel, a brief feminist perspective on the Lady's shifting relationship to feminism--initially, she didn't want to call herself that, but it is clearly such a large part of what she does that it should not go unnamed. I've been wanting to write a serious (maybe even ACADEMIC) essay on this phenomenon but have yet to find the time to sit down and so. An artist whose entire life is an on-going cultivation of a persona is tough and tricky work, to say the least, and the endeavor walks a fine line between titillating and alienating (see her thought on this tension here). Some people just cannot be bothered with the spectacle. However, the characters she creates for her music videos celebrate powerful women fighting back against the commodification of their bodies within pop culture--as a performance artist, for she is clearly interested in a lot more than just writing and recording pop songs, she questions the art form she actively participates in so that it may become a more positive space for women (and young girls) it so desperately needs to continue as an industry. I run the risk of getting effusive here, so I'll reign myself in to this final observation: comparisons to Madonna are more than apt (view their SNL face-off here, if you can wade through the field of Andy Samberg's punchlines delivered via lead balloon), because sexual awareness and freedom rank high on the list of issues LG addresses with her music and performance; the celebration of pop culture within a larger critical space is where the genius of both of these women lies.

So, is it art?? Amanda Palmer's got something to say about that. The second coming of Madonna? Madge herself has a few thoughts on that. Are we hearkening back to the heyday of glam rock a la David Bowie??! We should be so lucky.



Regardless of your answers to any of the above questions, she is proving rather impossible to avoid or ignore at this point. Even my dad has opinions on her. It is clear she means something different to every person I've talked to, but what can be agreed upon is that, love her or hate her, she is never boring to watch.

Words of the Day.

Several posts about Jersey happenings still need writing, but in the meantime, here is a quote from theory on modern confessional poetry from the collection Modern Confessional Writing: New Critical Essays, from a chapter by Tracy Brain entitled "Dangerous confessions: The problem of reading Sylvia Plath biographically". I think it applies to all confessional writing and wish people would remember these kinds of questions when attending slams, or, I dunno, talking in class about Plath as the definite speaker in ALL OF HER POEMS when that is so clearly not the point.


Who provides the 'details from
life' of a supposedly confessional
writer that we then base our
reading of their poems upon?
How do we know what 'situations'
were '"real"'?  How can we ever
hope to distinguish the 'extreme
diction and address' that is
prompted by lived events
from a vividly imagined
drama that is the result
of an expertly assumed style?

Returning to roost in a new nest.

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1. Over my shoulder, you will observe some odd decor choices. This is because, for some inexplicable reason (or really just because my dad is out of town for the holiday), I am staying in the "master bedroom" while visiting home for the weekend. Ever since my mom moved into my basement bedroom, where I sleep while visiting is a strange and delicate fish that is usually not handle well; I typically end up sleeping in the attic with my sisters. It feels like the orphanage dormitory a la Madeleine, minus the nun, although my G-ma would make a pretty convincing nun. That room has so many beds in it, and I guess it makes sense, being that the three of us (myself and my sisters) used to all live up there together at some point, although I can't remember exactly when because there has been so much room shuffling within this house. Everyone has lived in the room that is now my brother's for some period of time, however large or small, and with varying degrees of success. And now that only Chrissie lives at home, it becomes the location of the seasonal sister slumber party. This slumber party is not as much fun as it sounds. My sisters (and I love them dearly in spite of this) tend to gang up on me when the three of us are all in the same location for more than two days at a time, making my stays in the attic with them contentious. There is usually at least one major argument about this during a given stay, although the parties involved change every time. But hopefully there will be no arguments this time, since I get the BIG BED to myself! Yay!!! For the time being, I am building my weekend work nest in this Sleep Number bed (unbelievably comfy!). This means a trade off: quiet time and privacy for writing versus the added distraction of eight billion cable channels, but I think I can handle that.

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2. In my hands, you will observe my weekend reading list, or at least the best and most beloved parts of it. From top to bottom: Caits Meissner's "a vessel of love/(a glass of wine.): 40 Day Vigil"; Black Warrior Review Fall/Winter 2009; Rachel McKibbens' Pink Elephant; Jade Sylvan's The Spark Singer; and Plath's Ariel: The Restored Edition, for my final paper. I have chosen to spend this large chunk of time with only ladies because I am in my final push for the new chapbook and I need good female heads to get the wheels in my own female head turning. Also, all of the books aforementioned are amazing and inspiring, each containing a different facet of what I need to write honestly, and well. I am excited to have them here while I finish this journey. Additionally, they are each a kind of comfort food, which is necessary in light of the holiday, and in light of the fact that I can only chew with one side of my mouth.

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3. Speaking of this injured mouth situation, I apparently have a wisdom tooth that's trying to sneak out as if nobody's looking. Clearly it carries all of the leftover teenage rebellion I forgot to flush from my system before I turned twenty. I told the tooth it was not allowed out, that there were reasons for the rules of my mouth, but no, it had to have its way, and now I take 500 mg amoxicillin 3 times a day and 600 mg ibuprofen 3-4 times a day and a half tablet of Vicodin whenever the pain becomes absolutely unbearable (which lately has been always, but I really just needed the prescription to be able to sleep comfortably through the night). Before I went to the campus nurse practitioner on Monday after class, I had been sleepless and grouchy, and now I feel a dull ache, but that's about it. I am sure the drugs are helping, but it also may be a side effect of the Ravi Shankar. I'm trying to chill myself out through all possible mediums being that stress can only make pain worse. By taking my mind off of this rebellious, partially exposed wisdom tooth, I won't have to think about what kind of mockery I will have to make of Thanksgiving dinner in order to eat it tomorrow. The general consensus among my friends is that it will end up being some gravy shake abomination, and it's funny, because I never imagined the reason that would keep me from turkey on Thanksgiving would be a dental emergency. I was much more inclined to imagine sudden onset veganism. Or an alternative holiday where pie is the only food present (chicken pot pie, pumpkin pie, Eskimo pie, etc.). I'm not sure I'll even be able to eat any pie, which is a travesty, because this is the first holiday where I have not been a pie virgin. I abstained from pie for my entire life until last spring when Peter and I started baking together once a week, making this my first Thanksgiving on the other side of that silly abstinence. And to go without pie now, it seems a cruel joke. I suppose it is my own fault though. Or my silly teenage tooth. So spiteful.

The boys wanna be her, the girls wanna be her.

Is it possible to OD on fabulous? I have watched this four times in rapid succession and cannot stop hitting play every time it is over.



Going to see her in January at MSG (if Ticketmaster would stop being petulant). My head might explode. Or I'll just run away and join her drag queen circus-- we'll live in a pool of diamonds and always sing along to the radio. Yes. Yes.

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."

Ten things about today.

1. I am reading a psychoanalytic perspective on Sylvia Plath's work at the reference desk called Sylvia Plath: Poetry and Existence. It is very wordy and from the seventies. I am not sure if the writer is angry at Plath for her suicide or defending her behavior in talking about her schizoid personality and its manifestations in her work. Basically nerding it out for the first time in weeks. I have a taken a turn towards the academic, a process of throwing myself back into books that I tend to restart every time I get seriously overwhelmed by the rest of the world. Case in point: last winter, from about January to early April.

2. I am concerned that all of this reading about Plath is going to make me psychoanalyze my own writing. I don't think I'm ready for that, but I'm also pretty sure I wouldn't even know how to go about it in the first place. David Holbrook, in the aforementioned text, has thus far talked a good deal about Plath's reliance on an interior world to support her when her articulations were not understood by their intended audience. To be plain, she retreated inside of herself looking for answers when no one else had any for her, because no one understood her questions. He argues that her answer was the wrong one, quite passionately, saying a bunch about the glorification of modernist literature in the current (1970s) school system being responsible for rampant narcissism and nihilism.

3. The facsimile of the original manuscript for Ariel is one of the required texts for the class I'm doing all this research reading for. We haven't gotten to it in discussion yet, but we will soon, and I have to do a presentation. All the included scans of her type-written final drafts (in the order that she originally intended!!!) live at one of the Smith libraries. I suspect that I will soon make a pilgrimage, so that I may cry, and swoon, and wonder aloud what has changed about Smith since she went there on scholarship forever ago.

4. My aunt sent me a Halloween card from West Palm Beach. I never get mail, and I was definitely not expecting any from her. It had birthday money in it, which made me wonder why she didn't just send a birthday card.

5. I skipped work this morning because the pile-up of exhaustion from the events of the past week proved too crippling for me to get out of bed. I literally opened my laptop, which was next to my face, wrote a two-line email to my supervisor about feeling "under the weather" and hit send, promptly falling back asleep with my hand still on the keyboard. I did not write anything while asleep, but I kind of wish I had.

6. Every Thursday we end up talking about some aspect of space in our poetry workshop. I mostly blame Charley for this. Today's space topic was the space program during the Cold War. Sophia whispered to me that "cosmonaut" is one of her favorite-sounding words, much better than "astronaut". I would probably agree that "cosmonaut" sounds better to me, but that's probably only because I am less familiar with it.

7. I am getting very tired of my vocabulary. I need to read a book translated from another language so that I can think about sentence constructions differently. This method usually yields great results-- last semester, my seminar on the contemporary European novel drastically altered my writing. I produced some of the cleanest prose I ever have as an indirect result of the reading I did over those few months. I think I'll email the professor and ask for some suggestions, although she'll probably just recommend that I read more Sebald, and then I'll get terribly depressed and have World War nightmares that only subtly hint at what is truly going on in the background.

8. Kat Mott is sitting in my living room waiting for me to leave work. I feel like an over-acheiving employee for staying ten minutes past the end of my shift, especially because there's no one here to even see if I show up or not.

9. Cassandra bought groceries, the (arguable) best of which is my current favorite snack: Ruffles and Philadelphia cream cheese. Esme and I discussed the delightfulness of chips and cream cheese today, and it seems like we three have stumbled onto a goldmine of simple yet delicious snack food. Although Cass keeps buying fat free cream cheese, which sometimes creeps me out if I think about it too hard.

10. I have to do a presentation on the origins of microfiction tomorrow afternoon and have not done a lick of work for it. Time to slave over some photocopies of Baudelaire.

Dress-up box, and the historical girl-crushes of the week.

Playboy U named Hampshire # 21 on the list of top party schools in the country this year and while I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate (I mean, since when does a predisposition to decriminalized smokables a party school make?), our biggest party of the year is tonight, and I still have no idea what to wear.

Halloween is an event I change my mind about until the very last possible moment. But here's what I'm thinking at this sleepless moment:

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Edie Sedgwick is what most biographers would call one of the Silver Factory's first "superstars". I am more likely to call her one of Warhol's many casualties. Regardless, she seems an appropriate costume, being that I've been living in my fur hooded coat and black tights lately. The only thing left to accomplish is the silvery hair and the eye make-up, and man, did she know how to do up her eyes. Yes, yes, this is who I am dressing up as tonight. I just wish I had a leopard-skin pillbox hat.

And then, there is that business of the Dead Poets Slam, which throws a kink into everything. I made it to the finals as Denise Levertov (a feat that flabbergasted my poetry professor, who said he was sure that Levertov would never work in a slam; however, I was one of the high scorers of the night) and so I have to show up in the library gallery looking decidedly un-"superstar":

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Even if they may have both been stars in their various cosmos around the same time, that's about the end of the similarities between my two chosen Halloween personas. Incidentally, they are also my girl-crushes of the week (but really of forever: my eternal style icon and my first favorite poet of college who made me fall in love with sharks all over again).

Anyway, I'm off to turn in my thesis proposal and then do some serious writing for my last class of the week, which frustratingly absorbs the bulk of a much needed afternoon -- Georgie wants a haircut, Charley wants me to take him shopping for costume supplies, and then there's this whole business of the slam that I have to prepare for. A few extra hours in the day would probably be nice, but wait a second, isn't Daylight Savings Time this weekend? Oh wait, it's the bad version. Fuck.

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.




Presidential Poet.

I know I just posted a little while ago, but Obama had a poetry party at the White House. Why I was I not aware of this sooner? And is the "Joshua Brandon Bennet" they mention the Josh Bennet who is on the U Penn slam team? All things I must know, ASAP.

EDIT:

I just checked Facebook, and apparently the Josh Bennet I know from this year's CUPSI-winning U Penn slam team is the same Josh Bennet that performed at Obama's jam. Wow. The world is smaller than I thought.

Sheep and people.

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photo from National Geographic


Finishing up reading Damon Galgut's The Quarry for a class tonight, and though half my book is already underlined because of how beautiful and unexpected his descriptions are, this one on page 129 stood out to me particularly:

He saw a fence made of barbed wire and sheep following each other like people and the train passed howling through a settlement of tin shacks between which were men women children standing staring or running after the train and the wind of its passage made their fire lean backward and sparks flew up on the air.

Sigh. I really love books.

Current reading.

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So I'm taking this course on the contemporary European novel, and how the genre is shaping the collective idea of Europe, and for our first full text we're reading The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald. He took some getting used to, but after reading the first and last chapters of The Rings of Saturn and learning quite a bit about Sir Thomas Browne (who I had run into last semester in studying Virginia Woolf) and silk production in the process, I found him much easier to digest. It's reading with a very polished facade - all the information is precisely placed and comes together too conveniently at times, and the effect is this perfect little universe of tightly packaged truths.

Born in 1944, Sebald grew up in Germany in the aftermath of the second World War, a place that hid from its history. He wasn't even aware the Holocaust had occurred until he was seventeen. I think that this shock to his reality has left scars evident in his writing; the compulsion to create these self-contained universes of stable clusters of knowledge must stem from the trauma of having his world view shattered as an adolescent. I wish I could ask him. He died so recently that it seems almost possible. He writes about memory and mortality with a reverence that I really connect to, but I am trying to remain skeptical of him, because everything is just too neat to remain unquestioned. And maybe that's exactly what he's getting at.

Super secret show.

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The most clandestine of concerts occur in the back of a cab. Ryan Adams and Neal Casal perform " Sink Ships" from Cardinology while taking a drive over at Black Cab Sessions, fighting car sickness and degenerative hearing loss. Probably one of my favorite songs from the new album, just for the "coming up the rickety stairs" line. Although currently, I am listening to "Fuck the Universe" from Exile on Franklin Street, which will probably only make me more angry at the thick sheet of ice that's on top of everything on campus right now. Good thing my classes today are literally two doors down from my house.

Truth said in jest?

Ken Arkind was at Hampshire Slam Collective performing with the Spilljoy Ensemble about two or so weeks ago. He's a performance poet from Denver, and I've seen a lot of people do slam well, but he is by far one of the people who has impressed me most in my nearly two years of getting to see the best of the best roll through FPH. I feel spoiled. I don't know how I'll get my spoken word after they hand me my diploma. I guess it depends on where I end up, but anyway, I digress. I bought his chapbook, but I can't share that with everybody who reads this, since I don't even know everybody who reads this. So here's one of his poems, one of my favorites.

Christmas pageant.

I just got back from my little brother's middle school Christmas concert, and I have knitted half a scarf in addition to realizing that the nativity story is really depressing. Mary was knocked up before she got married, which made her worthy of stoning back in the day; Jesus was born in a stable; the only place they had to sleep was a pile of dead grass; and on top of all that, their reason for traveling was to pay taxes. What a shitty way to enter the world.

Anyway, in trying to take my mind off of things, I have come up with a sorely belated but pretty necessary Christmas wish list. Here goes, further inroads to what I cannot get enough of. Incidentally, every single thing on this list is a book.

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Is it obvious that I'm obsessed with Marilyn Manson today? If it isn't, maybe you haven't been paying attention. I spent a large portion of this morning watching him in various interviews and music videos, and not only is he incredibly articulate, but it's intelligence presented in a very confident and self-possessed manner. I was reading the first few pages of this book on Amazon this morning, which I didn't even know existed until today, and the way he talks translates beautifully onto paper. And it doesn't hurt that he starts his memoirs with the story of discovering his grandpa's collection of porn. I need to know more, immediately.

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I always used to feel cheated when reading translation (Tolstoy being my only exception, because there are so many translations to choose from), just because a good writer chooses language so carefully and trying to force that careful selection through the filter of a completely different vocabulary seems vulgar. However. I read the first thirty or so pages of this book for my fiction workshop this semester and nearly died from how delicious it was, even translated from French. It made me appreciate the artistry of re-imagining a story to fit the words someone's brain thinks in. I couldn't tell you if that was the translator's doing or the sometimes-cerebral content of the book. This is an item on the list I know I'm getting for sure, in spite of its being out of print in America, and I cannot wait to devour it and then go back to savor each word individually, thinking about all the ways the sentences could be translated back into French.

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We know very little about Bob Dylan's real life, probably because of what a fabulous liar he is. He lies and we just eat it up, not caring whether or not there is any grain of truth to be had. But honestly, I'm curious. Maybe his former girlfriend could shed some light on the man, because I think the myth and the legend are pretty clear.

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I am a grandma already, but then, I have been this way since the age of 11 when I first learned to knit. I am just now learning to appreciate the skill, but I have zero time and fluctuating patience. Therefore, I need a steady primer of projects that will only take me one ball of yarn. That way, I finish them before I get frustrated or lose interest. Genius.

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I may or may not have written about this book at some point. It matters not. I love Polaroids. I take plenty of them. My walls at school are plastered with them. But what I really love is how personal they seem, and what I really want is to see the pictures other people take when they only have an instant to do it. There's a livejournal community for this, I'm sure, but I want to be a selective voyeur I suppose. Sadly, I can't justify buying a coffee table book when I have no coffee table to put it on. I should have kept this philosophy in mind when I bought a vase at the hospital thrift store this afternoon, but I digress. I need to know the intimate moments of strangers, it is a weird compulsion I have. It's why I love Post Secret, it's why I love the movies, it's why I love blogs. I like reading people from a distance. If this is a weird thing to like, I apologize, but I'm really just being honest.


And with the holiday nearly at hand, there is so much left to do. I still haven't finished wrapping gifts, how could I possibly have the audacity to blog so much today? I guess the suburbs are really getting to me. Oh, and I ordered the second pair of frames a couple hours ago, just in case anybody needed an update.

Fear.

It's funny who gets labeled as the cause for violence. We won't talk about Michael Moore, but Marilyn Manson is absolutely awesome.

Slumdog Millionaire.

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I understand now. The Oscar buzz better come to fruition. Because I just got back from the movie theater (I know, I know, the art house two nights in a row, I really need to lay off the sauce), and that film was brilliant. Danny Boyle never ceases to amaze me.

I don't even think I can articulate what I liked, I just want everyone I know and everyone I don't know to go see this movie. As soon as possible.

This is England and now this, all in one week. Blowing my mind. American filmmakers better step their game up before my heart expatriates.

Noir weekend, among other things.

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(What a great movie, I really wish I had a copy lying around that I could watch.)

So in my recent table read for the Black 29 Production Go Ask Alex, I met this guy Ed who is absolutely amazing. At the reading, he asked if any of the female actresses would be interested in being in a short film noir piece, and I couldn't say no. When I was a senior in high school, I had a phase where all I watched was noir. There was this guy, Derek, who came into my job at the coffee shop every day, and he had the most epic movie collection of all time. He lent me such classics as the Humphrey Bogart awesome-fest pictured above, Chinatown (which I have since acquired, thank god), A Touch of Evil, and Double Indemnity. I ate it up. So when Ed said he was having trouble finding female actresses, I gave him my email.

And tomorrow, we shoot, starting at 8 AM. I am beyond excited. I really wish that the script file wasn't saved as a .docx file, because I want to read it over and over again. Anyway, I think I'm going to have to put a rush on that paper I need to write by Tuesday, because tonight I was planning on going to see Sam and Steve's first tour stop in Northampton. So, this gives me the afternoon to make all of this happen. And to mentally get into the mindset of a femme fatale.

In other news, I saw Kenneth Branagh's screen adaptation of Henry V for the first time last night, my first experience with that play at all. I went into it knowing that Branagh was the youngest person in the Royal Shakespeare Company to ever play Henry, and obviously respecting that, but good god, he was beyond amazing. I am worried about what James will think of the Shakespeare I chose for a our weekend of the Bard: the Ethan Hawke Hamlet. Lots of people hate it, and nothing can follow Kenneth Branagh. When I found out he was directing Thor, I got beyond excited. Especially because too many people know him only as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter, which is criminal, even though he gave that role exactly what it needed.

Ok, just one more thing and then I promise I will stop ranting and raving about movies. But this is really important. I just saw a trailer for the new Darren Aronofsky project that is one of the only bright spots in this year's movie minefield (oh writers' strike, only know are we truly realizing your effects), called The Wrestler. Mickey Rourke looks to be the stuff of Best Actor nominations, and I do not say that lightly. And Aronofsky has this reputation of making films that drip sadness all over your life, but this one seems inspiring, uplifting even. Not without its sad moments of course, but a different kind of sad. Apparently it was at Cannes and it all anybody's been talking about since then. I am too excited for it. Watch the trailer here, and get excited too.

Alright, just like I promised, I'm going to get my paper done and leave you all alone now.

Red scare.

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I feel like a crimson Cossack Q-tip right now. Try saying that five times fast...nope knew you wouldn't be able to. This hat is too warm. I have my fingers crossed for some snow soon. I can feel all of the moisture evaporating from my skin every time I go outside, and I want it back. In the form of big fat flakes the size of the kind in Raisin Bran.

My hair is growing so fast I don't know what to do with myself.

I have a Div 2 committee finally, which means that I can move forward with phase two of my college learning experience. I had a really inspiring conversation tonight when walking to James' house after my writing workshop (which was highly productive; I have too many ideas for my book...I can't even begin to write) with a new friend of mine, a French exchange student. I asked him what he was studying and he said he didn't know, in spite of being in his third year. So I asked him where he went to school in Paris, and he told me the Institute of Political Science, but that he couldn't pick what he wanted to learn about, so he had decided that he was going to spend his life learning about everything. He said that next year he'd probably settle down in journalism, and use that as a way to find out about anything and everything he wants to know about. I was fascinated. I am fascinated. I mean, I want to keep learning for my entire life, but I guess I never thought of having that be my sole goal, something to achieve by any means necessary. I have adopted it, keeping the idea very close to my heart. Strangely enough, the conversation somehow came out of talking about snow; apparently he's never seen Paris completely blanketed in snow. Just brown slush in the streets. I can't imagine a life without at least one snow globe day. And for the next year or so, his family is living in Qatar, so there won't be many blizzards when he visits his parents.

I can't remember a winter where there wasn't at least one serious snow. I am heavily looking forward to it. I want to do this hat justice by any means necessary.

P.S. Guillermo del Toro is a certified genius. Anyone who hasn't realized this yet missed the boat a long time ago. (I just watched Hellboy II: The Golden Army on blu-ray, and good lord was it breath-taking.)

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