Welcome To My Bed

Hometown.


I've been in New Jersey less than 24 hours and I've seen a ska show, danced so hard to dubstep that an on-duty cop came up to my sister and I to compliment us, drove the length of Manhattan as the sky was graying with morning, and indulged in the greasy highway diner fare that simply does not properly exist in New England.  But the highlight has been the dirt.  I pulled hundreds of tiny maple seedlings from my gram's front garden.  Kneeling on ground not made of concrete.  It's been too long since I've touched growing things, though a lot of the garden has been chewed over by deer.  They ate all but three of the tulips and none of the daffodils (daffodils are poisonous).  My uncle buys special seed for the birds and squirrels.  The yard is overrun with fat red wing blackbirds, crows, cow birds, starlings, cardinals, mourning doves, blue jays.  So many things that I love I could never have in a city.  Except house music.  That new love is highly portable.


Out of love.

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"It hurts, but I didn't listen, so I learned."

I wish I could make a collage of all the happy feelings I've had here in Pittsburgh. I've had the chance to talk, to listen, to walk, to rest, to cook, and be taken care of. To be honest, all us were dreading the amount of downtime we had here. But now that the last show has arrived, it's clear none of us really want to leave for DC tomorrow afternoon. Our time here was longer than we planned, but too short for my taste. Thankfully, I've acquired a rather magical sweater, a book of daily devotionals, and a serious appreciation for Western Pennsylvania. Like Western Mass, it is highly underrated.

Get it in Pittsburgh! We'll see you tonight at the Shadow Lounge!

P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for the recordings we've been making the whole time we've been here (AKA the No More Ribcage Pittsburgh Sessions) with our friends Justin and Drayton from In The Wake of Giants. They're make their way onto the interwebs in the near future, and we promise sounds and such the likes of which you've never heard.

"I've been livin' the dream Joe. Whatever that dream may be."

Pomp (& circumstance).

I can't sleep. I haven't had to say that aloud in a long time.

So I started thinking about my hair again. It's been an obsession lately (and always). I've dyed it twice in the past two weeks, once lighter, once darker. I am satisfied with the color now, but the length is driving me nuts. Having an inch and a half of hair is difficult. With my styling options close to zero, it seems my collection of hats is growing exponentially. Not because I want to cover my hair by any means, but because I just want something interesting to be happening on my head. Oh, how I rue the day that I shaved off my mohawk! Well, not really. I've quite enjoyed this crop. But I am ready for some different extreme. These two ladies and their fabulous coifs have been spinning through my head as of late:

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Now, Rihanna is someone that can essentially do no wrong by me. Argue her talent all you want; I'm not going to tell you what opinion to have as far as pop music goes. But for the past few years, basically ever since she cut it short, her hair has been fierce as a tiger let lose on Las Vegas. If I could have even half the pompadour she's rocking at the right of that pair of pictures, I would be beyond pleased with myself.

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If you have not heard of Janelle Monae, you have been living under a boulder of epic un-coolness. This woman can sing and dance like I have not seen in years, not to mention carry a sci-fi story of Frank Herbert-proportions on her shoulders rocking wing-tips and the freshest white shirts. I love me some Gaga, but I have half a mind to smack the entertainment industry hard in the mouth for being so moony-eyed over that New York love child of Madonna and Marilyn Manson when Janelle is leaps and bounds beyond. If we wanted to have a no-holds-barred battle between high-concept pop divas, I know Monae would win, hands down. That being said, her hair, while defying all gravity, has absolutely captured my heart.

I suppose what all of this means is that I'm currently sitting at my kitchen table in the dark, meditating on ways to make my hair grow faster. After dinner tonight, I had a brief modeling session where I showed my roommate Jericha this fantastic vintage dress I picked up mid-July. In talking about how to style it, I went off on a tangent about the plans for my future hair. She told me I was only allowed to dress pin-up if my hair got larger than life. I am inclined to agree. There is nothing that makes me happier than the idea of winged eyeliner, sky-high pumps, and even higher hair.

Except maybe this last picture:

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In other, perhaps more important, news, the website for my winter tour is up and running. I have been smiling too much and doing impromptu happy dances in the crosswalk on my way to work because of it. It was designed by the badd-ass and talented William James, a man I admire for many reasons, the least of which is that his typewriter collection rivals his pearl snap shirt collection. RESPECT!

If you're in the New York area this weekend, you should come out to the inaugural tour date, my show at Sarah Lawrence's Teahaus, sponsored by their Spoken Word Collective. I will have limited edition books and lots of words and hugs and dance magic to share. Word on the street is there's going to be an epic after-party, as it's their first feature of the semester. I am honored, and absolutely beyond excited to rock New York hard. Details here. I'd love to see your smiling face in the audience!

Last, and perhaps most importantly, today is my sister's twenty-fifth birthday. Well, more like yesterday at this advanced stage of morning. I am sending her a unicorn for good luck in the coming year, her silver anniversary of living. What a wonderful lady!

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Here we are at the Flying Rhino last fall, our favorite restaurant in Worcester. I can't wait resume our tradition of monthly dinners, this time with wine.

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Did I mention it's now nine days until my 21st birthday?! SHA-ZAMMM.

Ok. I really need to go to bed now...

From here, the stars look like flashbulbs.

First, some cell phone camera remnants from the tri-county fair:

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And second, there are so many exciting nights coming up this month that I can hardly contain myself. (No, really, I've quite literally been skipping through the streets and singing to myself at the top of my lungs with such abandon that everyone in Northampton must think I'm either crazy or endlessly obnoxious.) Next week, I get to go back to my homeland for a brief stint, during which I will buy a bed frame, introduce one of my new roommates to my family for the first time, and perform my first poetry feature for a college at Sarah Lawrence (details here). The following Wednesday is my long-anticipated 21st birthday--at long last, I will drink in public without fearing legal action, and it will be at the bar where my heart lives, the Cantab. As if those two wonderfuls weren't overwhelming enough, my sister is throwing me a fantastic birthday celebration at CGH followed by drinks and a coat of red paint for the streets of Providence. Then all of my near and dears will sleep in a giant bed with me at the Marriott. And maybe, if I play my cards right, that weekend will also include my favorite falafel joint ever.

September has long been my favorite month, but this one will most definitely be the best yet. And don't worry. I'm sure there will be whiskey. And pictures. Lots of embarrassing pictures.

Stay out of the business.

I have been lazy in terms of writing lately. I am going to continue to be. My novel is due, completed (at least in some sense), this December. I am still kicking unborn scenes around. I need to buckle down. Instead, I'll show you what we looked like in St. Paul.

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Breakfast at Mickey's our first morning in St. Paul.


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Tackling Sam through a storefront window.


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Updating the exhaustive minute-by-minute travelog at dinner before our first bout.


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Anddddd I found a carrot flower in my soup. No joke. We sang.



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Anna & Mckendy talk politics. Or something.


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Way too much time at the same thai place...

Spoils for the new treehouse.

I am overwhelmed with excitement for my new place. My FIRST new place. No more couches and futons in my sister's living room, no more campus housing, no more long-winded free writes about the pros and cons of living in my car. In celebration of our impending move (a month from tomorrow!), I went shopping on my break between shifts yesterday. In light of working two back-to-back doubles this weekend, I thought it only fair to provide myself with a little TLC. Or, in this case, to acquire some preliminary kitsch for the new abode.

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I am a huge proponent of walls covered in all sorts of magic--it shows up in nearly all of the pictures I post here that my room is decorated mostly via thumbtacks, masking tape, photos, postcards, and various collections of objects--but I have surprisingly little framed anything. While browsing yesterday, I came across this photo on the cheap and immediately squealed with delight (internally). The NoHo pride parade was on Saturday, so maybe that had some influence on my decision, but truly, I was thinking more of my uncle's magnet collection on his refrigerator and his framed saying over the kitchen doorway, something about the queen being in today. Speaking of which, Mother's Day with the uncles is coming up mighty fast. Can't wait for mimosas and bagels and omelets and lots of laughter. Because of this holiday, my concept of a satisfying party is one that encompasses all three meals and all varieties of sunlight (as well as all kinds of alcohol), and lots of old stories.

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I have a quiet wish to tell fortunes at carnivals for a living. Add it to the list between hair dresser and flight attendant. So this is more for studying that anything else. I have a feeling I'm going to have a difficult time remembering all of the different meanings of broken life or heart lines, but that's what the picture's for, right? Also recently added to my arsenal of fortune teller necessities is a tarot deck that I haven't had the time to sit down and memorize. Oh summer, hurry up and get here so that I can teach myself to predict the future. Not pictured, but equally important to all of this silliness is a Ouija board Cass found at the swap shop when she was in high school. Note that this list doubles as the list of things to hide if our parents visit, just so they don't jump to conclusions about us joining a cult.

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Needless to say, Grössby's favorite is the Jacques Cousteau shower curtain.

I was going to include a caution message about disregarding the foil in my hair, but it didn't make its way into any of the pictures. So. Beyond the edge of the frame in each of the preceding pictures, a portion of my hair is wrapped up in foil marinating in bleach. We'll see what happens once we kick the mohawk up a notch. Derek was giving me a hard time the other night about my wimpy efforts at badassery, which galvanized me in the decision for a little craziness. When one of my co-workers made a comment about how frequently my hair changes, I was reminded that it was time for another little drastic switch. No Elmer's just yet, but there has been tell of Manic Panic. I mean, it has been over a month. And in the words of the irritatingly catchy Sheryl Crow, "a change would do you good". Although, I much prefer her in "All I Wanna Do", simply because singing "I like a good beer buzz early in the morning" always manages to freak somebody out.

Magic morsel #24, brought to you by time: the only constant.

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This makes me think of summer.
via DETHJUNKIE*


Papa Bear's surgery got post-poned until tomorrow. Waiting only makes things harder. I have been doing laundry absolutely all night and have just started towards doing homework. Cass is watching the Disney Hercules movie over my shoulder and I want to give up on chores and reading to join her. Interviewed for a job as a spa receptionist this afternoon. I am sure to meet some characters if/when they call me back.

I want to U-Haul the bed I bought for a six pack of beer to my apartment with the beautiful hardwood floors and set up my typewriter and my drafting table and finally feel stationary, just for a second. Just so I have a home base to push off from when I hit the road running again. Too much to ask?

Spots of random, on my mind.

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I miss ballet more and more every day. If I wasn't so broke all the time, I'd look for a studio in Western Mass and start taking classes again. Maybe I'll get a second job and do it anyway. I don't move enough.

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I have had various conversations about becoming a go-go dancer (mostly with SPC and Button) this week and am of the mind that a job where I get to live in a cage and listen to music the entire time might be ideal. Mostly, I relish the idea of legitimately sweating for my paycheck, as work should feel like work.

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This is Julie Becker, an artist and tattooed lady from LA, in a feature from Inked Magazine. I was leafing through the latest issue while at Button's yesterday and getting seriously jealous of nearly every person's skin. I am itching to get tattooed again. (That was a weird sentence.) I have a litany of ideas, the first of which is one I've been planning out of love for my dad for some time now, and since all of the health tumult, that piece is at the front of my mind. But there is still quite a list that follows it.

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Maybe it will be a button. My best friend and I call each other "button" as a term of endearment.

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Or a tiger. I really like tigers. But then again, I am thinking of designing a half sleeve with a circus theme, so maybe I should save that one.

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In my waking dreams, the superapartment of my near future has a SPACECAT, which is the best kind of cat, obviously. I am sure that Cass would agree with me here.

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Or an owl. Because they are so squat and adorable.

I dunno. At this point, I am just trying to keep busy, listening to Dum Dum Girls, wanting to write a poem about singing. There is nothing more to be done. My dad goes to the cath lab today, and I'll know better by tonight what needs to happen to fix his broken heart.

Porstmouth, NH.

As promised, the highlight of my spring break AKA a day trip to the city that was once home to a notorious red light district, a place that has been a breath of fresh air every time I've visited. Cass and I spent the day with our shoulders bare to the sun and big fat smiles on our faces. I've been thinking about the Friendly Toast (one of the best breakfasts in America according to Esquire) and wharf walks and what a good time we had making fun of the people celebrating St. Paddy's in lieu of letting myself sit too long with hospital things on the brain. It seems to help.

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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.

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

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

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

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She's so magic, her scarf is invisible!


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

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

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

You can take the Jersey girl out of the mall...

1. After my final visit to the Cantab of 2009 and a brief layover in Boston, I am back in Providence. I drove directly to meet Kaitlin at work, where I fiddled around in my journal for a bit and talked to her students about the Bodies Revealed exhibit (I still haven't gone; maybe I'll stop at Foxwoods on my way to Jersey...). Post-Met (and crab rangoons, and chicken soup with lots of celery, and the obligatory Gaga sing-along), we went to the mall for some Christmas-type things and a quick browse through Nordstrom.

2. I have never been a huge proponent of high-end retailers. It cannot possibly cost what they charge for what they are selling you. And in spite of the questionable music choices and Twilight quotes frosted onto the dressing room mirrors (SERIOUSLY??!), Nordstrom somehow managed to pleasantly surprise me. Even if it was in the juniors department. And the surprises came in between me picking up various articles to remark on either their level of heinous or the fact that I could produce the same quality item by myself with my modest sewing machine and some fancy zippers. Clearly this realization calls for a fashion show, and since you could not be there, I bring you dressing room cellphone pictures:

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This is my favorite of the bunch, and I may just have to go back to the mall tomorrow and buy it because I cannot for the life of me locate it on the website. Kait convinced me not to buy it A) because I am nearly too broke to function and need to be able to pay for gas to get back to Jersey next week, and B) because the top was slightly uneven. Now that I'm home from the store, I am second-guessing this decision. I may have to go back to the mall in the morning and buy it anyway, against my better judgment. And behold, my hair is red. And not under a hat. But this only happens while indoors, considering the literally-below-freezing temperatures currently besieging the Northeast.

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Don't ask why Nordstrom is selling summer dresses in the dead of December. I have no explanation for you. Kait frowned at this one but also said, "That is totally you," a remark that roughly translates to, "I would never try that on in a million years, but you look great in it."

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Is it wrong to want to stomp around in combat boots and party dresses at all times? Am I committing some terrible fashion crime by accessorizing every pantsless ensemble I attempt with tights that have holes the size of Nigeria? I hope not. I love both of those things supremely and above all other fashion-related things. Jade complimented my boots last night and I got giddy about it--I justified buying them by telling myself they would be for snow, but I have been wearing them almost relentlessly since August and silently hoping for them to segue into my wardrobe as a staple equally beloved by myself and the world at large; now I have conversational proof that at least one other person can sympathize.

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And then there was this disaster. Key West couch fabric in slinky polyester--oh, someone restrain me-circa-2005. Thankfully I have semi-outgrown my adoration of hideous-upholstery-patterned dresses. There had to be one thumbs-down, and I picked this sucker up as a joke, so I'm glad it took the title.

3. Another highlight of our mall trip was an abundance of creepy dolls. Check it:

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Kait recognized the second doll from the left--we definitely have her hiding in some dark attic crawlspace corner, waiting to fall out and scare an innocent bystander half to death. Why they have this terrifying picture framed in the Nordstrom dressing room is beyond me.

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This otherwise visually awesome window display of cardboard cut-outs assembled collage-style around the actual merchandise contained a strange doll-like girl. She was waving in a way that made me feel guilty for not stopping into the store for a half-second. Like she thought I was walking past her only because I needed to buy her a lollipop from somewhere just across the way, and I'd be right back, absolute promise. I guess being a writer, it makes sense that inanimate objects instantly have backstory as soon as I look at them, but when cardboard little girls make me feel guilty, I might be edging into dangerous territory.

And an honorable mention for the mannequin with completely useless movable toes.

4. Cassandra and I, being the best (and I guess worst) roommates ever, just had a 45 minute phone conference lamenting that we are in different states for the second day running, a condition that will not subside until after the last calendar page drops. Unless New Year's in New York is actually going to happen, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my mouth shut about that business so as not to jinx it. At any rate, one of the topics of conversation was what our super powers would be if we were just super versions of ourselves. Basing these powers on facts (and stereotypes) from our home states, hers was super strength (because she is from New Hampshire, home to granite, among mountain-y things) and mine was being able to locate malls from any location. I argued that my shopping sense was too lame to be a primary power but couldn't come up with another desirable power based on Jersey besides being resistant to toxic waste. Maybe my super self was the victim of a HAZMAT incident, transforming her into...into...well, shit. I really am at a loss here. When we iron out the kinks, we're going to try to rope Sophia into participating in this project and then make a comic/zine together. Stay tuned for further adventures of the Lady Poets!

5. In closing, I saw a pair of acid green mini cowboy boots in the Nordstrom shoe department and nearly had an stroke. Not that I don't already have seven pairs of boots. And then walking past H&M, I saw they were having a 70% off sale on outwear and there was a fabulous faux fur coat that I am sure I would have left with if Kait hadn't dragged me kicking and screaming away from the store. And the gold sequin mini-skirt on the mannequin by the door.

But seriously. I think I may have a problem. Hi, my name is Emily and I am window-shop-a-holic? Do they have a group for that??

She wore western style boots, foreshadowing things to come.

I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight.

Here are some pictures of Cassandra and I exploring the graveyard of the Blauvelt family around the block from my house in Jersey. Some of the headstones date back to the 1600s and most of the families that married into the Blauvelt line have streets or entire towns named after them nearby. Although, oddly enough, the town named after the Blauvelts is across the state line in New York. Long story short, there is really no rhyme or reason to how things are organized where I grew up.

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I'm going to go do laundry now. Maybe. And pretend that it's not already morning. Daniel Johnston helps with this.

FX make-up, layer by layer.

If you took a gander at the video blog in the last post, you know that Cassandra and I spent the better part of last night looking at least slightly terrifying. Or awesome. Or terrifyingly awesome. At any rate, as promised, I've got pictures of the making-up as it happens. And whenever Maggie uploads them, I'll be sure to share our more professional shots (which were replete with in-character groaning and limping) which were an absolute blast to take. I need to remember to follow whims more frequently. Enjoy!



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Maggie starts in with the nose putty

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the finished facial wound, replete with exposed cheekbone

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"it looks like somebody beat the shit out of you" was the night's refrain

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halfway to undead

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fully undead

Unwind like kite string.

The other day I had particularly busy day at work (which wasn't without a serious stack of tips, but I end up exhausted regardless of the money) that I needed to punctuate with some serious R & R. Kaitlin and I had planned on whipping up a real dinner since so much of what we eat is either yogurt or in take out box from the restaurant, but it was far too hot to be using the stove or the oven and hoping to remain living. So we went out, bought thai peanut noodle boxes at Trader Joe's, ran some errands, and when we finally got home to eat, I made cherry mojitos. It was really lovely after such a long day. And by lovely, I guess I mean to say that I fell asleep on the couch in a ball of warmth and happiness that remained uninterrupted until about 6 AM.

Target had some strange incarnations of regular household items that I couldn't help snapping cell phone pictures of.

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Funfetti bath puff?

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What do date rape drugs and garbage bags have in common? A name, apparently.

Towards the end of our errands, Kait and I ended up at Shaw's trolling for an ice cream cake, a search which resulted in a very hysterical interaction with the check out guy and very satisfying dessert.

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This is our cake before we got serious. I'm not going to post an after picture, although I can assure you that there is some left over in the freezer. Though not for long. I'm feeling peckish and work has been canceled for the day, so that means I'll be continuing to work my way through my reading list on the couch unless someone drags me out into the rainy world. And most likely having some cake.

Right to visitation.

It's next to impossible not to be bored with today after the events of yesterday.

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This is how I've taken to entertaining myself instead of orchestrating a much-needed haircut or reading one of the many lonely novels I carted to Providence when I moved in or maybe even working on my novella. No, I would rather menace the cats. Perhaps because I am still recovering from the most full day I've had in awhile, or maybe I'm just losing track of how many spilling-over-the-brim-and-soaking-the-table days I've had in such a short span of time.

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Recipe for a perfect Allston afternoon:

lychee juice boxes from the Asian grocery store down the block,
99 cent carton of strawberries, each dipped lovingly in Nutella,
Marty McConnell chapbook, Ramen noodles, lemon water
& warm sun finding its way onto a shady front porch.

This is how I spent my yesterday. It is a saga that started Tuesday afternoon. Cassandra and I were both in crisis and decided I would come to Boston on Wednesday so that we could be escape artists and pretend the rest of the world didn't exist for at least a few hours. The night before I was set to depart, I was at Got Poetry Live on Thayer where I got talking with the featured poet (Write Bloody's own Ryler Dustin - take a look at his amazing book Heavy Lead Birdsong here) and some other news friends and realized they needed a lift to Boston. So we all made a driving date for Wednesday morning and when the time came, we hopped on the highway with some Dylan and some James Tate to keep us company.

After letting off my passengers on a particularly leafy green street and saying all the see-you-laters that entailed (Ryler was featuring that night at the Cantab, where I would be headed at the end of the day), I meandered my way over to Allston and settled in for a wonderfully detoxifying lazy day. Catching up with the bulk of my Slam Collective buddies was very necessary - somehow, even with Boston only an hour away, I managed to put off any kind of visit until this point in the summer, and next week is the NPS send-off for everybody. This summer is flying out of my hands like sand in the wind.

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The porch of the Allston poet house glowed brighter than I imagine the pearly gates would, and had I known work was going to be canceled today (rain, again) I would have just stayed for as long as possible. Cass and Sophia kept remarking that it felt so right for me to be there, as if I had been living with them all along. I was overwhelmed with happiness for the day, a condition only intensified by the trip to the Cantab (my first since May) followed by a trip to IHOP followed by more time on that now-beloved porch.

I got to catch up with so many people I've been missing sorely, and I hope not to be so scarce for the rest of the summer. April told me she was planning a book discussion for To The Lighthouse and would love for me to be around for it. Even having not read as much as I planned this summer, my heart literally skipped a beat at the prospect of getting to spend substantial time with Virginia again. If my work schedule allows, I'll be back in Boston again on Tuesday night for a poetry show, and maybe Wednesday again for the Cantab team send-off.

And I leave you with the following image, a completely heinous jumpsuit Cass found when we were browsing around Urban Renewals (where we both ended up finding perfect black cowboy boots).

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New Jersey is excessive.

Besides finding that fabulous cruise portrait of my grandparents while visiting the homestead, I got a lot of important things accomplished while I was in New Jersey. First off, I was able to assess the recent freak tornado damage firsthand.

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It doesn't look like much from the street, but most of the gutters are askew and a good deal of shingling has been torn from the roof as the result of a rogue falling tree. The living room ceiling is actually cracked from the force of the falling branches, something that unnerved me quite a bit, and I wasn't even around when it happened. I guess natural disasters and the effect they have on their victims got stuck in my head (along with a lot of chain saw buzzing from around the neighbor), because I ended up writing a poem using them as a motif for the different ways people devastate you without realizing it. Sometimes just one smile could knock a house down, although more often than not, it just sidelines me from intelligent conversation or any kind of coherent attempts at judging a situation for what it is. But I digress.

The main reason I made the trip was not assess damages, but rather to reclaim my beloved Oldsmobile Wendeline from the possession of my little sister. To celebrate the occasion, I resurrected a set of Valentine's Day-themed fuzzy dice I've had lying around probably since middle school (I did not then and do not now have any understanding of why I buy the things that I buy, but sometimes these odd impulse purchases come in handy) and hung them from the rear-view mirror.

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The reason I was able to reclaim Wendy was because my little sister just bought herself her first real car. It's a Saturn, but she got it from a GM dealership and while she was signing the papers with my mother, I got to sit and ogle Corvettes.

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All the while, I couldn't help thinking that older model Corvettes were much more attractive cars.

Perhaps the most exciting (or useless, depending on your perspective) thing I did while in Jersey was go to a mall I haven't been two in over a year under the pretense of taking my brother sneaker shopping. He only likes slip-ons and my mother invariably buys him weird dorky shoes from L.L. Bean that have bungee cords or look like they were manufactured for the kinds of people who only look like they're having fun in catalog-land. So I bought him a pair of Vans that happened to have skulls on them, which precipitated a ludicrous argument with my mother and grandmother (not the one in the picture previously posted) about how I was encouraging him to don "symbols of the occult". Right. Anyway, while on this mall visit, I finally got myself a new watch to replace the Target watch that broke at the beginning of the summer. In honor of this new watch, I decided to pull out my box of costume jewelry (most of which was purchased at various thrift stores, antique shops, and gem shows throughout my high school career) and color coordinated all of my wristwear.

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The pink mother of pearl is one of my daily bracelets, but the rest were stacked on simply for the joy of being heavily accessorized. I used to be one of those hundred rubber bracelet kids (come to think of it, I had a skull cuff I wore all through middle and high school that my mother and Gram frowned upon heavily back in the day), a phase that was analogous to my love of Power Beads and my collection of large plastic bangles, so I guess it makes sense that I feel the need to pile on bracelets again every once in awhile. A watch has been a mainstay in my life, and I guess I just get scared that it will be lonely, or that my wrists are in some way strange if not encumbered by various points of interest. I'm probably just overly-obsessed with jewelry, judging by the cookie tins of necklaces, fingers full of rings, and various extra holes in my head. Everyone from Jersey has their own particular brand of excess - I'm just glad mine does not involve hairspray.

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.

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Sandy Hook, NJ July 06

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Emerald Isle, NC July 07

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Northampton, MA September 07

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Amherst, MA October 07


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Amherst, MA April 08

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Emerald Isle, NC July 08

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Amherst, MA September 08

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Amherst, MA December 08

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Philadelphia, PA March 09

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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.

Metro-area visitation, in pictures (Part Un).

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My brother Owen, the lounge lizard I miss terribly living so far from New Jersey. He is literally glowing with awesomeness.

In spite of not missing much else besides family, I had a surprisingly good visit this week when I trekked home for my sister's graduation. The main event was tedious, as graduations typically are, but the rest of things were wonderful. There's not much to write by way of description of events, so I'm going to let the cell phone pictures do the talking.

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I missed this room, and the lady it belongs (Galen, member of the Rohrs' posse from way back in the day) was having a birthday, so naturally, we had to celebrate. For us, celebration meant driving into Brooklyn after midnight to do some Bedford bar hopping.

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The array at our first stop, The Gibson, where we did tequila shots with lemon wedges (which I actually liked better than the traditional lime), had beer adventures, were chatted up by strange men twice our age, did whiskey shots with said strange men. I performed a few poems on the sidewalk out front for Galen's friend Jesse who was drunk before we'd even gotten started on our journey. He told me that my writing was very violent, and though I'd never thought of it that way before, I now feel inclined to agree with him.

The bartender was adorable and hysterical and I feel awful because in the whirlwind of hysterics and storytelling, I forgot to leave him a tip. Ugh. In a happier (or perhaps stranger) vein, there was a three legged dog present, which made everything more special. We then moved on to the Abbey, where we were pleasantly surprised by $3 IPAs and the perfect atmosphere. SLZ and I had many an illuminating conversation over our beers.

By the time we started heading home, the sun was coming up over the FDR drive and the early bird morning commuters were speeding along on the other side. I can't remember the last time I was out so late. As a result of a combination need to pee and a desire to absorb the night from a pretty vantage point, we pulled off 9W for a pit stop at one of the many scenic overlooks.

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SLZ, Galen, and Jeff checking out Yonkers from the wall


I'm not sure if I've ever been drunk upon the sun coming up, but I couldn't help thinking that it would be impossible to wake up later that afternoon with a hangover if my "night" ended like this:

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Right now, I leave you with the view, and will return with (Part Deux) later today.