Welcome To My Bed

Things and such.

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I am trying to do too many things at once. Maybe. Or maybe it's something more like doing too little is forcing my body to collapse in on itself. I went to the doctor today and she told me the way I could tell if I had meningitis, and now every time my neck feels sore or even slightly stiff, I jump to a conclusion that is not plausible.

I am trying to distract myself by making a mix of music that defines who I am. James and I talked about this in the car not too long ago, and I keep putting it off. I also keep putting of the CDs I promised my brother I'd make him. And the drawings I said I would do for him. September is almost gone. I don't know where to. But it's nearly out the door.

I have a doctor's note to get out of class for the next two days, and I still feel guilty. I feel like I should be doing something real with my time. I am getting homework out of the way. I missed yoga this morning, but managed to pick up my birthday presents from the post office (a basket and new sheets, my mom is so practical), and also go to one hour of work before feeling like I was going to drop dead of dizziness. If that's even possible. I have had a fever for five days. Utterly ridiculous. That cannot be healthy.

I have to force myself to nap. I am restless. Maybe if I put on a movie or something I can zone out and allow myself to get the rest I need. I doubt it.

Ryan Adams is playing in New York with Oasis on December 17th, and in New Jersey on the 19th. I am so tempted to buy tickets again. I kind of want to take my sister and her boyfriend. I feel like that would be seriously awe-inspiring for all of us. Maybe I can get James to come too, and it'll be a double date, and purely adorable. I say all of this without having checked ticket prices yet. I don't care about ticket prices, I care about romance, I want the Chelsea Hotel we need to book a room we need to get money together for some kind of anniversary present. I have been with him for almost a year. This boggles my mind.

Craning necks.

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

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

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

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

Fall Essentials

red zelnik


It hasn't been time for a list in awhile. But now is definitely the time. The leaves are starting to change. It is below forty degrees outside. I am sitting at the reference desk in the library waiting for someone to ask me about something. They won't. So let's enumerate the things I deem integral to the passage of the coming months.

1 - Movies that feel like fall.

2 - Ryan Adams' Love is Hell on vinyl.

It is impossible to find. There are only rumblings of it on the internets at large. I am very distraught. I want this album, I need this album. With the highest quality sound available. I ran my mp3's of it into the ground this summer, which is not even possible. But if it was, it would've happened.

3 - Dawson's Creek.

I don't care what anyone says. My sister just sent me season four for my birthday, and I could not be more excited to watch twenty-somethings pretend they are in high school. Yessss.

4 - Mountain climbs.

5 - NYC.

I miss Maggie, and she is all the way in Brooklyn. Plus New York in the fall is my favorite, hands down. Yes, I know I live in New England and we supposedly have the best foliage ever. But to me, there's nothing like a brisk walk down Bowery when it gets frosty out. Or a sidewalk table at Virage for french sandwiches and delicious conversation.

6 - 40s of Miller High Life.

Champagne of beers. Duh.

7 - Spliffs.

8 - Writing as much as humanly possible.

9 - That burger with apple chutney at Amherst Brewing Company.

10 - Photoquests when the leaves start changing.

11 - Bicycling at night.

The wind toothing its way through even my heaviest jacket does not deter me from loving every second of the ride to and from James's house.

12 - Sex. Obviously.

13 - Reading more than my brain can handle.

14 - Tins of Bali Shag.

15 - Free piercing at Lucky's for my birthday.

16 - New tattoo.

Depending on the money situation, this one may or may not make the cut. But I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am trying to be diabolical and am hoping to save the fifty dollars my grandparents gave me for my birthday to go towards one. Because I know how against it they are. And they never have to know what their money was spent on. But I'll know. And I'll smile about it all the time.

17 - Strong coffee, chai tea.

18 - Sending and receiving snail mail.

19 - Hampshire Halloween!!

20 - Making awful choices about the things I put into my body.

Save for the multi-vitamin and fish oil I take on a daily basis, the semester so far has been nothing but bad times for my body. Ramen, various illegal substances, among other things. But mostly I just haven't been eating very much at all. The reason this is an essential, is that the food in the dining hall here is nigh inedible. Being on the full meal plan without a kitchen at my disposal is situation very different from what I got used to last semester. That is to say, deciding when I ate and what I ate. Which made me want to eat. The dining hall is a fate worse than death. So I will stick to my Trader Joe's microwaveable noodle boxes and sesame crackers in the middle of the night. I am sure I can survive the winter this way. Absolutely sure.

"Fall"ing in love.

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It is fall. Soon. I know it. The leaves haven't quite changed yet, but that's okay. The nights are pretty brisk sometimes, sometimes it even smells like frost when I breathe a little too deeply walking home from seeing James. I know that things are getting there. We watched Sleepy Hollow last night to get in the mood for all of it: the gray days with strange burst of color, the walks in the woods, the strangest version of Christopher Walken ever put to film (and he wasn't even playing himself!). But I am not here to speak on the season that is fast approaching. I am here to tell you about a movie. But first, an anecdote.

In spite of my school status, I am stuck living in the freshman dorms. Yeah, it's kind of awful, but I have my space, and I am learning to enjoy being so secluded. About a week ago, my next door neighbor and I made a Staples run for some class necessities (the only school supply I have purchased this semester is a binder, go figure), and on the way home, I made sure to stop at Best Buy, because new movies come out on Tuesdays, and a movie very dear to my heart was set to be released this particular Tuesday. When I walk in, I make my way over to the new releases stand immediately, so excited to finally own my favorite movie of the summer. Yes, I liked it even more than The Dark Knight, and I know that puts me in a very small minority, considering how few people saw this movie when it was out and how much money (nearing $500 million last I checked, and getting a rerelease in January to remind the Oscars that it happened) Chris Nolan's masterpiece made, I really must be crazy. I loved The Dark Knight, it really blew my mind. But in terms of pure escapism (with a heart, of course), I would take Tarsem's The Fall any day. And that's what I was trying to do. However, in spite of its new release status, the DVD was not in the rack. I cursed the day that entertainment superstores started cropping up. I was forced to dig through the drama section. And on the very bottom shelf, turned sideways and completely hidden from anyone who wasn't dead set on buying it, was the movie I have waited all summer to see again. I took a whole heap of mass transit to get into New York back in June so that I could be at the independent theater on Houston at the exactly perfectly right time in the middle of an on and off rainstorm to see this movie. I got there an hour early and ate all of my popcorn while reading Jane Smiley's Ten Days in the Hills by myself on the floor outside of the particular room the film was showing in. I wanted this movie so badly. And Best Buy, in its infinite wisdom, thinks it isn't worth the time it would take to display it properly. Or even have more than one copy.

Anyway. I bought it. The one copy available for purchase at the Hampshire mall. And now, the only question I am left with is why do pieces of crap like Baby Mama get to be sold in bulk and plastered all over said store, while a piece of true art is thrown on a bottom shelf all by itself? Granted, limited release and visibility have a lot to do with it. Movies that only see the art houses of New York and Los Angeles have a tough go of it. I guess I'm ust frustrated with the treatment of the movies I love. The Fall, hidden in plain view. Fur, Nicole Kidman playing crazy again, and therefore forgotten because of more famous efforts where she is unnerving (see The Hours and Eyes Wide Shut, particularly the stoned bedroom scene). The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, a movie that got shuffled around for years before getting a release date, and outside of the festival circuit, very few people saw it. All of these tragedies, and many more, and yet, whenever Judd Apatow takes a dump, somebody wraps it in tinfoil and sells it to you as if its the most mind-blowing hash brownie ever fabricated. The only truth to that claim is that his movies have ended up only leaving me confused. As to why he is still working, because clearly his jokes (and a lot of his actors) are funny for the first maybe...eight minutes of a script? And from them on, it's just downhill. Look at Pineapple Express. What a piece of shit that was. I spit on everyone who dragged down James Franco's brilliance. I spit, especially, on Seth Rogan, who is a likable guy, and I do like him in movies. But he is NOT an actor. He just isn't. He shows up to set stoned and improvs a lot. Sparkle and fade my friends, sparkle and fade.

I am constantly wondering what will make the pop culture sum-up-my-decade show about now. Will we all look back on Apatow & company like people look back on the Brat Pack? Because they shouldn't. I think he's more of a Pauly Shore than anything. One day, we will glance over our shoulder and sigh listlessly, wondering how it was that we ever thought he was all that great in the first place. In this, I am quite confident.

Tentative scheduling.

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Providence, a little over a year ago, on the drizzly day that my older sister graduated from college.

She just got a job doing what she has always wanted, teaching high school history and working closely with students in the city she fell in love with during her four years of higher education. My dad was so excited that he called me at the bar the other night while I was working, almost in tears, just to tell me. I was literally jumping for joy, but there wasn't really anybody around to share it with. Now that the dust has settled surrounding all that, among other things, I am thinking a lot about my own future and what I want from it. James and I have been talking so much lately, about getting back together, about the seriousness of that decision. Getting older is something nobody can really prepare you for. Feeling settled is a sensation that both terrifies me and makes me content with the life that I am making for myself. I can't say that I know exactly where the next five or ten years will take me, but I have a rough idea of what I want, and that, in and of itself, is something I couldn't claim a year ago at this time. I definitely didn't foresee any of this, but the choices that I have made that caused me to arrived at this juncture of my life are sound, and I trust my instincts now.

There is talk now of The Hotel Chelsea at Christmastime, of being together for the long run. Conversations about wanting to have known each other longer give way to a kind of happiness I can't really describe. I love the idea of not worrying about our knowledge of each other being younger than this picture. We have all the time in the world to know each other, to be in love, and to quit apologizing for being imperfect. Because there is someone who wants me just the way I am. Always on the same wavelength. All of this is coming up on its first birthday, not long after I finally turn nineteen. There is so much left to discover, but having someone to discover it with makes it at the more exciting to me.

Something gray and beautiful.

New York on Sunday for the AIDS walk, and I'm sure that's what cemented my decision to stay put for the summer. I've been detached from my city for far too long. I need it back in my life. I need a Chinatown shopping day or something. Some time on my own in a place that is just busy and wonderful.

So without Providence looming over my head, I have started slowly unpacking, attempting to situate myself in the most comfortable way possible. This will be a summer of purging. I have so many thing I have outgrown, so many books and clothes and shoes and bullshit that doesn't seem like mine and can only weigh me down. My mom is incredibly reluctant to sell my American Girl doll and all her trimmings because she wants to keep it for when I have a daughter. Lately I've been telling her that I don't want any kids, but she isn't having any of that. I'm too far away from all of that to even begin to consider it realistically. But if I do ever have a daughter, I would want to draw with her on long sunny afternoons, and I would want to take her shopping at street fairs and read her really amazing books when she was falling asleep. In the past couple weeks I've really been dwelling on engagements and marriages (it's the fault of my job and all the soap operas that are always on in this house), and the more I see them, the more I wish I was just a little bit older and in a place where getting engaged just makes sense.

All the rain and clouds seem appropriate. I feel like I am waiting for something big to happen. I kind of wish I could visit James. If I had a car, I would be there in a heartbeat.

Alonely.

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I am hiding out in my room with a lamp that looks a lot like an umbrella.

James is in Springfield, so I am home writing music, unable to get through Walk the Line because I got a weird lyric stuck in my head and can't not write it down. And once I write it down, it turns into a whole bunch of lyrics, and then once that happens I jump on Garageband and simply must record. It's an awful vicious cycle. I am amused by it, but nothing will ever come from me fiddling around with voice recording and hand claps. I miss writing legitimate poetry. All these rhyming things are just silliness.

Recently I have realized that Gloria Naylor is really just a lesser version of Toni Morrison. It's sad that she admits it too.

I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to live next year when this little slice of wedded bliss changes shape, and around every corner I am stepping on toes. All I want is to keep sleeping on my mattress on the floor right in this room with my books and my James. Relationships make me so weird. I think I have a terrifying tendency to nest. But more importantly, when you live with your significant other, your love life turns into something scheduled. For example, sex happens at the most convenient time and loses its spontaneity, typically occurring between the nightly movie and the TV show we put on to fall asleep. That doesn't make it bad, not in the slightest, it just seems silly to have a schedule for certain things. Then there is the strangeness of being the same room but not interacting. We will be doing work and I always feel compelled to say something, but I know this must be annoying when he's trying to get anything accomplished. My mind wanders.

I need to have a yard sale. When it gets warmer out, I'm going to lay all the clothes I don't wear out on blankets in front of my house, and people will buy them, and then I will feel better about having so much stuff. Because it will have made me money.

Being bored in Massachusetts is nothing like being bored in New Jersey or New York. I miss my city. I haven't been there (except in passing) since...I don't even know when. My body aches because of it. The people here are too much like the cows here. They wouldn't know excitement if it beat them over the head. And I'm beginning to think I like the cows better.

I should do something exciting with my time, like bake bread.

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A kiss is a question.

I am constantly reminding him not to make promises he cannot keep.

Forever is a promise. New York is a promise. Los Angeles is a promise. Next winter is a promise. Holding me is a promise. And telling me that he's never felt this way before is the best and worst promise there is. Every second is loaded with intent, the intent that will determine how hard I fall for him, but every kiss is an exception. Every time he kisses me, it is tentative, as if he's waiting for me to break my promises as well.

We're in love in a way that's getting there. There are no words to describe intermediate perfection. All I know to do is smile and hold my breath.

I'm really hoping he keeps his promises.