Welcome To My Bed

The first leg.

Greetings from Ortonville, Michigan. The Lady Poets are taking a day of rest before continuing on our way to world domination (fingers crossed), and that day of rest is turning out to be glorious. First off, check out this good looking breakfast:


It goes quite well with the good looking morning we woke up to in a bed that felt like a cloud, a mattress so soft that I slept like a rock. Not that that makes much sense. Anyway. Sunshine so perfect you get drunk just looking at it:


And now, a selection of entries from the road trip log thus far, a minute-by-minute record of the strange things said, done and seen on our way to Nationals.

9:28 AM

Bumper sticker: "Nashua belongs to Jesus Christ." Sweet life, Trashua. I thought you were the meth capital of New England...

1:40 PM

First Amish sighting. "Are they even allowed to wear bright blue?"

2:14 PM

Who parks this beauty at a Pennsylvania McDonalds??


2:28 PM

"Are we still in Pennsylvania?"
"Yes, Pennsylvania has child-bearing hips."

5:08 PM

Ohio. Also, "No Scrubs".

7:19 PM

Speeding ticket.

7:34 PM

Ohio: where the cops are all assholes and the gas stations are too far away.

8:12 PM

My first nuclear power plant.

9:44 PM

Big Beaver Rd
Exit 69 A-B
I-75 N
Fo realz.

And because I just said Pennsylvania way too many times, here's a song about it:

What I think about on an empty stomach and an overflowing head.

How is it that July is colder than June? I fell asleep in long sleeves and pants last night, under a comforter no less. I snuggled with a cat. July is not allowed to allow this. I have been writing letters on the backs of "damaged item" tags while working the dressing rooms. They aren't meant for envelopes. They are letters to future poems I know will get written eventually , love letters that say, "I know you are awesome a few weeks from now." I don't have quite the heart to sit down and make these poems (or stories, or chapters of my novel) yet. I am buried in rain. No one ever knocks on the front door, they just walk into my apartment, or yell, "Helloooo?!" in a very confused voice, as if they are coming over unannounced. As of yet, no one has actually come over unannounced. We leave for Minnesota in about a week. I leave for Boston tomorrow night after work. I want lots of vacations, breaks from all of this tornado warning. There was thunder so loud two days ago that I screamed and dropped my phone. The sky turned muddy water. There was no one in the house with me to hear it. Just like there is no food here to eat. A little boy came up to me today and the sidewalk sale and his sister stood in front of him and said, "He has something to tell you." But he just stood behind her and shook his head, tucking his chin into his neck and wouldn't say anything. And then she blurted out, "He really likes your hair." And he nodded, and looked embarrassed. And she looked at me and smiled, said, "Look, she's blushing," and they both laughed and walked away. It was a happy laugh though, much better than the we-only-complimented-you-to-see-the-look-on-your-face-afterwards kind of smile. Lately there are so many things to think about and so little time to do any of the thinking. I cut my hair off again to get closer to the thinking, to let myself know I was still brave enough. I don't feel as brave as I used to when the wind was this close to my scalp. Maybe the razor loses a little bit of its magic every time. I sing a lot of David Bowie to myself when the car radio should be playing. I've taken up praying in French again.

The weekend, in brief.

Kidnapped Cassandra. Got BK. Hydroplaned coming off the bridge in NoHo. Rear-ended some French Canadians. Drove home anyway. Watched Drop Dead Gorgeous. Passed out in the living room. Slept through the entire morning. Watched Entourage. Ate mozzarella sticks for brunch. Went on a thrifting adventure. Scored driving gloves, more tops that facilitate super sock-wearing, quality time. Delicious assembled frozen dinner. Project Runway and Deadly Women on Lifetime until exhausted. Slept for 13 hours. Diner lunch mid-afternoon. Cigarettes for under six bucks. Typewriter quest. Read aloud from my high school life. Walk around the block/finger-freeze time. Chex Mix. Work out playlist while silently coexisting, unmoving. This is Jersey.

City sights and sounds.

As much as New York will always be like home to me, spending the weekend in Boston proved to me that it's possible to fall in love with another city as more than a vacation spot. In all seriousness, I will be living there this summer, I don't care what kind of craziness it takes. But anyway, I wanted to take you through all of the little details that dragged me in and converted me into more of a New Englander than I ever thought I could be.


I arrived at South Station on Friday afternoon. The weather was crisp but not too cold and I was ready for anything. When Carlos, a friend of mine from the Emerson slam team, picked me up, we decided to go for a walk on the waterfront, which ended up being a reoccurring activity for the weekend, one that I was more than down with. It reminded me of Hoboken, but cleaner and on a grander scale. But then, everything kind of reminds me of Jersey anyway, so who am I kidding.

We walked to the North End, where his apartment is. Right smack in the middle of Little Italy, amazing food at every turn. I ate so well this weekend, being back at Hampshire is depressing me even more. I want to be able to walk to so many delicious places. Friday we had Vietnamese sandwiches and went to an arts benefit night at Emerson that Carlos had to perform at.


For a night of good home fun time, we got a couple of forties of the Champagne of Beers and watched several episodes of King of the Hill, a show I have recently fallen in love with all over again. Many laughs were had, especially my own giggling at how easily the hall window re-closes itself while I am trying to have a cigarette.

Saturday we ate breakfast (bacon, eggs, and onion all fried in the same pan, then eaten over rice), and I went to a laundromat for the first time (exciting, I know). Later we went on a long walk around the city, ending up along the water again and making our way to Newbury Street for Japanese noodle soup that can only be eaten with chopsticks. I had seaweed salad for the first time. We told origin stories and talked a lot about family and what we want to do with our time this summer. A couple beers down by the water every now and again is definitely on my list of things to do. And picnics in the park with a bottle of wine, for sure.

We then wandered through Beacon Hill, where even the 7-11 sign looks posh, and picked up a bag of Haribu Coca-Cola candies, which I had never tried before. We ate and walked some more, watched the sunset light all the buildings of the financial district up. There were moments when it was absolutely breath-taking. Back in the North End, we had Scarlett O'Hara's (cranberry juice and SoCo) and watched more King of the Hill.

Yesterday, knowing I had to leave the afternoon, a lot was left to be accomplished. I had never had a cannoli before, so the first order of business was to find a bakery that wasn't swimming in people and rectify that situation. We ate pastry while waiting for the T to Alston so that I could have Thai food for the first time. Many first this weekend.


Lunch blew my mind, and in a food coma, we climbed the biggest city hill I've seen since San Francisco and chatted about the view at the top until we decided it was time to head back so I could pack and wait for my ride back to Amherst. I really thought my legs would be sore today from all the wandering and adventures of the weekend, but I feel great. In spite of a mysterious head cold, I am delighted in how I've been spending my time. If I didn't have so much homework on my plate for this week, in spite of reading two books over break and struggling to crack open a third. As I observed while home in Jersey, there is never enough time for anything I need to get done.

Not going home.

This city (Boston) has been good to me this weekend, and I am not looking forward to cows and other such staples of the boonies. Give me another week of spring break and I'll get back to you.

Winter solstice.

Last night I finally got to see Maggie for the first time since I've been home, and we had such a good time, painting until nearly three o'clock in the morning and listening to the stranger stations on satellite radio. Our favorite was definitely 50's on 5. There was this ridiculous and amazing song about the Garden of Eden, and could you leave a beautiful woman there. I still hold to the belief that it was about resisting the temptation for pre-marital sex. We had a lot of laughs at the things that came on.

I got 75% done with a brand new painting last night, but I can't post it because it's a gift for someone and I'm pretty sure they read this. But I will show you after they've received it (and after it's completely done). I will, however, post a picture of a painting I'm working on for one of my sisters for Christmas. Gifts are making me kind of insane. I have to finish wrapping, then I have some drawings I want to do, and in addition to that, there are stocking stuffers I am putting together for my parents. So much to do! I never thought Christmas would be stressful, but apparently I am getting older, and things in general are just getting more worrisome. Anyway, here's that painting in progress.


Also, fashion inspiration for eternity -

Are those Yves booties? I have no idea, but they remind me of an Amy Ryan spread I saw recently. Lykke Li is too awesome.

Publicity and such.

Sorry for the extended hiatus, but vacation turned into a unexpected hospital stay for my baby brother. However, he is now home again and doing just fine, leaving me time to take up the blog again and bring you random bits of the life I have collected and save in a box.

One of my dearest friends, and the leader of the Hampshire Slam Collective, Sean Conlon, is always up to no good. And I love him for it. Currently he's living in Massachusetts with the rest of the Hampshire Slam Nationals team, helping them hone their skills, and also (I'm absolutely sure of this) doing many many ridiculous things. I stumbled across this video the other day on my Livejournal friends page, and I had to share. Because I was equally horrified at Katy Perry. But sometimes catchy overrides political thought. But don't take my word for it, just watch and consider.

That is all for today. One of my best friends had a six hour tattoo sitting yesterday that I must investigate. Also, I worked a twelve hour shift yesterday and I kind of feel like death.

Project of Betterment.

My calendar has never abided by the normal Julian (is it Julian?) calendar that is accepted pretty much throughout the world as we know it. My calendar operates by school, at least in terms of the changing of what year it is. Months seem longer or shorter depending on how much school they contain, or at least they used to when school was a more regulated and odious thing. College has changed all of this. Summer vacation seems interminable now. Even day to day things seem so far from one another. I have so much more time to sleep and eat and do all the things I had to squeeze in if I managed them at all, like reading for pleasure, talking to my parents and siblings about things I actually care about, etc. The amount of time, even after subtracting for work and sleep, is overwhelming. And so I have decided I need resolutions. I have passed Division I and am moving on to phase II of my III phase education. So begins a new year, at least by the way I calculate things. So here is my list of things to do to sponge up time that is spilling into everything and creating a great deal of boredom.

1 - Read at least three books a month.

This is something I am willing to be flexible about, but I have already reread White Oleander, read Ten Days in the Hills, and am working on House of Leaves. That last one is going to take some time, being that it is very dense. The goal is something I don't expect to meet, but I expect to try. On the reading the list to follow are War and Peace (I need my Tolstoy), a collection of Kafka short stories, some Margaret Atwood, some Toni Morrison, some Dave Eggers, Neil LaBute, Zadie Smith, and various teach-yourself-French books. All of this is part of a larger effort to take care of the lack of time I had for myself this past year, and also the lack of time I will have for myself come September. I am trying to fit as many books into this summer as humanly possible. Anything in the house or on Amazon is fair game. Not even my sister's library of Sedaris will be safe. I want it all in my brain as soon as possible; I'll cram it in to whatever space I have for it.

2 - Watch at least three movies a week.

This is something that is not at all hard. This week I have watched Hard Candy already, and have a Friday plans with my dad to watch I'm Not There. Wednesday night Chrissie and I want to watch Wristcutters, the latest from Netflix. And in a day or so, Teeth should arrive from them as well. I want to return to school with a head full of movie, so that there will be at least five movies I have seen that James hasn't. I am a competitive person. And he is living in LA. This is as close as I can get. (On a side-note, I have yet to see The Incredible Hulk, and this weekend both Wall-e and Wanted come out. I have been summer movie slacking.)

3 - Dance for at least three hours a week.

Today I called my ballet teacher of I don't know how many years to ask about the summer schedule for adult classes. I haven't taken a class in about a year, but my body aches to dance. I did barre exercises and a bit of center work along with a bunch of jazz and hip-hop for about forty-five minutes earlier, and my body was literally screaming in happiness. My muscles have been so bored. And also, I go to the beach in about two weeks for the dreaded annual family reunion (how I got dragged into it when I swore it wouldn't happen is beyond me) so I would like to lose five to ten pounds if at all possible. I'm pretty sure I need to start eating breakfast if this is going to happen. It is the most important meal of the day, and I always skip it. Anyway, even if I don't start taking class again, dancing makes me so happy, and even if it's just me being silly in my room, it feels good to move again.

4 - Send James at least one piece of mail a week.

Now that I finally have assurance that he is not living on the streets of Compton, I plan on bombarding his mailbox. We talk on the phone about once a week for however long it takes for us to say what we need to in order to catch up. But I like the idea of being able to mail him things. It's very romantic. And when I'm in North Carolina, I plan on writing him a postcard every day, or at least every other day. I think that it will be fun to give him an idea of the day to day antics of my wacky family. And receiving mail is something that brightens anybody's day. Unless it's junk. I get more junk mail than I should be getting. And all of it is from my Amherst bank. Ugh.

5 - Write something down every day.

I haven't been keeping up with my paper journal with the usual vigilance. I feel guilty. To change that, I am letting it just be a memo book for me. Anything I want to remember past the next five minutes will go in it, and this will make for an interesting record of the summer.

In other news, I bought my plane ticket to LA the other day and am currently trying to restrain my brain from doing mental window shopping. I have never even been to the city and already I envision myself shopping far too much to be allowed to have money when I get there. Anyway, I am going to get back to reading, and hopefully get to bed at a reasonable hour. I am praying that I make decent tips tomorrow at lunch. At least at work I get paid to be bored, instead of being bored at home, where my fidgeting and sudoku puzzles are all for naught.