Welcome To My Bed

Slightly frustrated.

I hate to complain about such things (even though I am one of the more punctual people that I know), but I have been sitting on the floor outside of my committee chair's office for over an hour and I am running out of ways to entertain myself.

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It looks pretty much exactly like this.

I feel rather sick.

James promises Chinese food for dinner and a movie night. But I'm not sure I can make it past this meeting. I may or may not die in this hallway. I have been reading Infinity Blues on and off all day long and I don't think it is having positive effects on me, i.e. dredging up reasons for depression, bringing me down a bit. Also, my back has been incredibly stiff all week, and I really don't know what to do about it. I also need to go to the eye doctor, and I will probably need glasses. I have headaches recently the likes of which I haven't seen since the seventh grade, which was the last time I had glasses. I am surprised my eyes stayed corrected for this long. Or maybe they've just been awful for awhile and I got used to it or something. I have no idea.

I just want to lie down.

I had Corn Pops for breakfast this morning. I had forgotten how good they are.

I want to get this meeting over so that I have time for a nap before dinner.

Mangled.

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This doesn't do the damage justice, but you can begin to imagine. My biggest issue with this is that I just spent half my yoga class using my knees to transition from pose to pose, as you often do, and even if you can't see how gnarley the bruises are, they feel awful. They're the kind that hurt even when there's no weight on them. Awful.

I thought this was over when she said, "Vote or Die."

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Work in the library again tonight, and as per usual, nobody has any reference questions. Knowing that it would be a long slow night (things have just been dragging me down in general lately), I went to the school store and bought a magazine to keep me company. On the cover of my old stand-by (Nylon), is none other than Paris Hilton. Yes, they have sunk to a new low, but I don't mean that as a jibe at Hilton. Let me qualify that statement.

Nylon has had cover girls in the past that I have been a little miffed about. For example: Chloe Sevigny. I don't get it. She's a decent actress, but the strange obsession with her that exists in the world of hipsters and alternative fashion magazines irritates me to no end. She's not outrageously attractive, juts average. Her sense of style isn't all that astonishing, just slighty less mainstream than the rest of Hollywood. On and on and on. And then there was also Rachel Bilson. Ugh. Another person I do not understand, especially because she doesn't even have anything near Chloe's acting chops. I mean, let's be serious. The OC? Jumper? Those are great achievements in entertainment? I think not. And all she does concerning clothing is throw on a bunch of Marc Jacobs and date Adam Brody for the cameras. Honestly. That low, I am more than used to. I can handle minor head-scratching. But Paris is a completely different story.

The article takes the angle that she is misunderstood, that her dumb blonde persona is a routine she plays into because that's what the media makes her out to be, that she is really a business genius who has feelings too. That may be all well and good, and I don't know her, so I am not going to comment on her level of intelligence or what I think of her strange relationship with the media. What I will ask is, why, when doing a story on how the media pays so much negative attention to her, does the article not really care about her at all? I mean, if you're going to attempt to change the common perception on a public figure, you don't do it by talking about the public perception of them for 90% of the article. She has a movie coming out that they mention in passing, one that she has apparently gotten good critical buzz for. The writer spends less than a paragraph on that. Anything positive they could have said about her is lost in riffs on how sad it is that the world doesn't know the real Paris. You aren't helping with that Nylon. I wag my finger at your hypocrisy.

Love poem overload.

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Back in the the library again. Some thought to pass the time, since I have yet install Microsoft Word back onto my amnesiac laptop and therefore cannot work on my book.

I have spent over a year as an active audience member/sometimes slammer with HC Slam Collective. We're an awesome loving venue. We run free workshops, we get drunk with out features, we hang out with them in train stations and play with their babies. We all-around have a lot of love for each other and for poetry. I never saw this as a problem. Until very recently. I was having a conversation about one of the recent features with one of James's housemates, and the conversation turned towards the open mic. He complained that nobody can write anything but love poems anymore. And goddammit, he's right, and I am really ashamed to say I hadn't exactly noticed. Maybe because last year at this time, that's all was doing. Even though I wasn't in love. Or even remotely close. And love poems are just fine. They're just not the only ones out there. Another of his complaints was that people will talk about sex or masturbation really candidly just for the shock value. He brought up a "casual sex and casual pancakes" poem (that I am ambivalent about) by someone who just recently joined the community. I am exhausted by these as well, but also guilty of them from time to time. Poems involving some reference to sex anyway. Although I think I'm usually pretty tasteful. I hope I'm pretty tasteful.

In any event, a couple weeks ago at one of our workshops, Sean gave us all a challenge, asking us to read The Challenge of Slam by Regie Gibson. He wanted us to identify our type and write against it. We made a list of words, phrases, and images that are currently dead or cringe-worthy now in spoken word poetry: soul/essence, cigarette, razor blade, angel, concrete, "what ever happened to good hip-hop/punk rock/etc.", flight as a freedom metaphor, body parts as food, third eye, scar, rib cage, maps, "in my veins", stars. But I think that, even if it is a little fascist, we should ban everyone from reading love poems for a little while, just to see what comes out of the woodwork. It could be incredibly interesting. I just may have to discuss this with someone.

And it's not that I don't write love poems. I just think that they have their time and place. A open mic should not be exclusively about pining away or falling for someone with a little sprinkle of sexual innuendo for good measure. That's just not interesting to me. I guess this is the hazard of being the only college in the country that's home to an NPS certified poetry venue. We have a team, we will travel. We just need to stop being so sappy.

The saga continues...

I spent four hours in the library computer lab today, and finally finished re-typing my book from a manuscript and various other sources. I printed it putting four pages on one side of a piece of paper, and it fits on sixteen piece of paper double sided in this tiny ant format. I keep emailing the file to myself, but as a result of recent events, I no longer trust technology. Everything needs to be backed up or in hard copy from now on. I don't know what I would do if for some reason the meticulous editting and revisions I did disappeared into thin air. Probably just start re-typing again.

Tomorrow I have an appointment at the Holyoke Apple store to get everything checked out. My IT people lied, and I still have two years of warranty left. I am crossing my fingers that I won't need a completely new laptop, and that they won't need to keep my computer overnight. Driving back and forth to the mall is a pain in the ass. Malls remind me so much of New Jersey...I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Probably more of the second one.

While in the computer lab, I drank a giant thermos of coffee to combat a hangover, the first one I've had in about two years. I only get hangovers when I get sick the night before. And man did I get sick last night. Thankfully, no permanent damage has been done. Except that I'm crashing from my afternoon caffeine OD. But James is making pasta. Hopefully I can distract my body by filling myself with a lot of carbs and pretending away this intense back pain that won't quit.

The epic string of mysterious illnesses really needs to leave me alone.

I am getting an external hard drive for Christmas from my dad. Thank god my family has never given me useless presents.

Creepy.

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So recently, I finally downloaded the new iTunes. And there is a new feature, besides a highly jarring view mode where you scroll through album covers instead of the grid of songs and artists everyone is pretty used to. It is called "Genius". Now, the people at Apple are pretty presumptuous, because Genius is not as high functioning as they would have you think. It can only make its "genius" playlists using knowledge it has from the iTunes store and artist comparisons made therein. It does not know what to do with the Beatles. Or anything not available for sale through Apple for that matter.

The above screenshot is what it gave me for Ryan Adams's "Nuclear". It is a decent playlist. But what if I had wanted "Nowhere Man" on it? I think that Genius needs some kind of tie-in with Pandora. Because maybe then things would work out properly. I tried to make a sleepytime playlist last night with this feature using "Alone in Kyoto" by Air, and no matter what, so much Le Tigre kept showing up. I cannot fall asleep to Le Tigre.

Read me!

A little something that James brought to my attention:

There are so many people on campus up in arms about the call for the death of hipster culture. But I have to say I am totally down. I really wish people would be sincere again. Irony is so frustrating. I miss when I could say that I enjoy Phil Collins without someone smirking in agreement because they think I'm saying it in a mocking way. Cos I really do like Phil Collins. I have ever since I can remember. There is no irony in it.

Down with Williamsburg!

Also, fuck PBR. What an awful beer.

"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.

Former-ish smoker.

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So I'm quitting smoking. It's been nearly four solid years of nicotine. But I'm doing it. I just have several complaints. Not about the quitting in general, just in relation to smoking.

1 - The Busy-bodies

Why does everyone and their mom feel the need to tell you that smoking is so horrible for your health? Do you think I am unaware? I know the statistics. I have read several studies. Sure it causes cancer. I know about that. Yes. Yes. Yes, I am aware. Thank you. Now let me find my lighter.

Just because you inform me of the health risks doesn't mean I'm not going to do it anyway until I decide to stop. Just like my mom won't wear her seatbelt. She knows it can cause injuries which can lead to death. So what. She hates seatbelts. I like smoking. No one can convince you that you should or should not do something just by their own force of will.

2 - New Jersey

I can't legally buy cigarettes here, but I can buy them anywhere else in the country? That's just not right. I'll get them anyway. You're not saving anyone.

3 - Menthols

After-dinner palate cleansers and tobacco were never meant to have a love child. Just because both can conceivably follow a dinner out does not mean they should be taken care of in one fell swoop. God...why? Chew some gum. You shouldn't be smoking if you want fresh breath. And it doesn't taste better, it tastes like something has gone horribly wrong with the sensory receptors in your mouth and you need to see a doctor.

4 - Accessory of the evil

Only villains in movies smoke. Yes, I am aware that this is because we don't want to send the message to children that super-cool superheroes smoke a pack a day, nor do we want anyone to be seen as having human habits, but come on. In the eighties, a decent amount of people smoked in movies. Even in movies about the future back then(BLADE RUNNER), there were still cigarettes, and those people were living in LA, the wacky healthy-wealthy-"wise" capital of the world. No one ever pretended they could completely blot them out of the fabric of society. But now, only low class people (Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone to give an apt example) or dangerous people (both bald men in Iron Man) are smokers in our portrayal of American culture. And that's just not true. Johnny Depp is not low class, and probably is only slightly dangerous when provoked. In like fashion, plenty of actors smoke in real life. They're the only people in Hollywood who can get away with it. Because everyone else is too busy telling each other how it is the cause of several types of horrific death. But really, smoking doesn't make you evil. Being evil could arguably make you smoke, because being a bad guy is stressful, with the good guy always getting the girl and whatnot. You need an outlet. But anyway. If we're going to show something happening at all, at least be realistic. But I guess we are talking about fictional things here. I can't be so picky.

5 - Birth control

I do not want a perforated uterus. No IUD for me. I do not want intense upper arm pain and effective sterilization as a trade in for excruciating periods. No contraceptive injections either. Cervical caps and spermicides and all that jazz creep me out to no extent. I don't want to have to put something up there to prevent something else from getting up there. I'm sure you understand the vague language. So why is it that the simplest and most commonly used form of female contraceptive discriminates against smokers? I don't pretend to understand the science of it, all I know is that smoking on the pill leads to blood clots and/or cysts in places you don't want cysts. Not that anybody ever wants cysts. But seriously. This is unfair. I am quitting smoking so that I can go on the pill, but don't think I'm not going to complain about it. Yes, I know smoking is bad for my health, I have been told countless times by various nosy people who probably don't care if I live or die anyway. I can't technically buy them where I am right now, and bumming them is almost always out of the question, because I am invariably having to choose between Parliament Lights and Newports, neither of which seems right to me. And clearly I am a super-villain from some unwritten graphic novel series that will one day be a blockbuster mega-hit. But that doesn't mean I don't deserve to have a convenient form of birth control that doesn't involve some foreign plastic/metal object being inserted into my body for whatever amount of time it takes to keep babies from happening. I don't relish sex through a plastic bag. Somebody help. Why is there no pill for smokers?? Why can't vices coexist happily, without producing life-threatening circumstances? Kidding. But I think you understand what I mean.

Sigh. None of this is going to stop me from quitting. I just thought I'd complain before I lost license to do so. And I also want to say that I really love cigarettes. I miss then already, and there's four more left in my last pack.

No rest for the broke.

There is no such thing as summer work anymore. Everything requires permanence. I am going to have to rely on the upcoming garage sale revenues of the summer to get myself to LA, and who knows if that will even be enough. This is incredibly bothersome. I picked up applications to TJ Maxx and Harmon, but I don't want a sad excuse for a part-time job. I want to get paid to interact with people, not to look dead-bored behind a register. I guess there is no such thing as pleasant work anymore? I miss Rohrs' so so so much.

Speaking of, the world is incredibly devoid of cool coffee shops. There are two in the Amherst area that I know of, which is ludicrous because there should be more just by virtue of the fact that it's a college town. With at least five college within 15 minutes. And here...well I guess it's more understandable in suburban New Jersey for there not to be independent coffee shops, but come on. Cool Beans in Oradell really isn't that cool. And the next one is across the border into New York state, somewhere in Piermont. I want Rohrs' to come back so that I have a job and a guaranteed cool place to hang out. But of course, my job choices are reduced to begging restaurants to take me or filling out my age rank and serial number and handing it over to a filing cabinet for discount wares. Neither is thrilling.

I think that it is getting to be the time where I call my art school and badger them about modeling. Yes, it is getting to the point where I will take my clothes off for money. There isn't much to draw, but hey, if I am getting paid, I am getting paid. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, not by a long shot. Liberating? Let's hope so. Lucrative? If only.

I loathe being stuck in this rut of joblessness.

Living with stupid.

I'll be the first to admit that my living situation this year has been less than normal. I started out in a dorm lounge with a roommate I had not foreseen, but we ended up really good friends. Not a month later I moved to a different dorm, the top floor of its third building where there had recently been a flood caused by a faulty sprinkler system. And quick on the heels of this move came James, and I was basically living with him from the day we met. In January a couple of his housemates officially moved out, and then we could officially move in together. And thus has been my living situation ever since.

With all the early turbulence, it seems I should have known it wouldn't be smooth sailing for all of second semester once I settled down. And it took some time, but things are getting crazy again. Right around the time James and I started seeing each other, my best friend Grace started seeing our housemate Sam. Now, Sam is a nice enough guy, or so I thought, but at the age of twenty he has the social skills of someone in middle school and an external locus of control to end all. Nothing could possibly ever be his fault, in a million years. He even finds excuses for his dirty dishes. This relationship was doomed from the start, and mentally, I have been on edge about it from day 1. However, Grace is allowed to do what she wants, as is anyone. The relationship ran its course, yada yada yada, and now Grace and Sam are no longer. Though Sam claims the break-up was mutual, I know better than that.

And all of this explaining brings us to last night, where Sam sees fit to tell me that Grace, even though she and I were friends before we even knew this house existed in the world, was not allowed to come over anymore. He claims that with her here, or even seeing her in the vicinity of the house, that it is no longer a safe space for him. Mind you, she has come over three times since they broke up about a week ago, and two out of those three were when he asked her to come over so that he could either talk to her or immaturely give her back her stuff in a cardboard box as if we all existed on a television sitcom. But of course, it's my fault that he has to see her and deal with the pain that causes him.

I naturally told him he was being ridiculous, and that since I didn't spend any time with her in the common spaces, that he should get over himself. But apparently the threat of possibly passing her in a hallway (which could really happen to him anywhere on campus anyway) was too great, and so he hit me with the zinger of finding a new place to live for the fall. By so doing, he is screwing over his best friend Cassandra, my first roommate from my first room, who was going to share a room with me in the house for next year. I doubt he consulted her. I left her a message last night and hopefully she'll have it out with him sooner rather than later. And then I called Grace, who I will be living with instead. And that guarantees Sam will come nowhere near me. Thank god. Never will I live with such children again.

On a related note, James and I spent a little while last night talking about the mental age of many people we know. Mine is 20, but sometimes 18. And he says that his is 26, but didn't have any concrete evidence to back it up, just a claim that he has the mentality of someone who has been out of college for several years. We didn't discuss Sam's, though I'm sure it would be something far beyond "mentally unavailable".

I do not live in the OC, therefore I do not relish this kind of bullshit. Someone recast my life with better actors.

Help!

Classes in liberal arts colleges are designed to give me a death-wish.  And it's not the fault of the subject matter.  I enjoy reading.  A lot.  I don't have enough time for it normally.  I wish that all my classes could be literature classes and all my professors expected me to read a book a week and tell them all about it.  They don't expect that though.  No child left behind.  Or teenager.  Or young adult.  Or anybody really.  But people are arguing about the theoretical existence of "social change police" in my Oil and the Middle Eastern Economies class.  I become exasperated.  I just want to write the songs that buzz in my jawbone when I take walks.  I can never remember them when I get to a place where I can write.  I need a tape recorder.

Fifteen minutes left.  Egyptian society.  Great opulence in the upper middle class.  Distinct need to maintain social status.  Arguments for education.  Women arguing for women's right to become literate, scary skinny kid who looks eerily like someone I accidentally saw in an amateur porn is being sexist.  It is almost ironic.  The thing about amateur porno kid anyway.  The women arguing for women's right are just stock characters.  I wish I was feminist.  I have so many more friends.  And so much more to do.  There are just so many student groups for such things.

Tonight I am skipping a film screening of a movie called "Crude Awakening" for this oil class in favor of seeing a the premiere of a a TV show in which I have a bit part as a bad actress during an audition montage.  The writer and director wanted to kill me because I couldn't act poorly.  But they ended up doing a recast for one of the characters (because the girl who played her went crazy and dropped out), and now I am a regular.  I am playing a lesbian.  Even if I'm not that great at it, I feel like people will find it believable because so many people think that I'm gay to begin with.  I hate when people who claim to hate stereotypes still employ them in every day life.  Hypocrites.

Anyway, trailer for what I will spend my evening doing.  Besides getting very drunk.

Advance albums.

Every morning at my job in the library circulation office, I have to sort and stamp the newspapers, putting them on sticks to make them easier for general consumption (don't worry, I don't understand why sticks are involved either). One of the obvious perks of the job is reading reviews for various things so that I can decide what movies I'd like to look into, etc. The thing that always makes me excited about sorting the newspapers are the reviews of new albums, but not because I want to know who is releasing new albums. I just want to know what a "professional" opinion is on records I've been listening to already for what seems like (and sometimes has been) months.

For example, Moby's new album Last Night got a positively awful review in the Boston Globe this morning. It made me smile that I could argue with the assertion of the reviewer that it was impersonal and banal. Because I have had it on repeat for the past two weeks. Panic at the Disco's new album was also ripped on, but I remember making the same comment that they were clearly deriving a bit too much from the Beatles some time before spring break. And on and on.

Advance albums are making me bored with pop culture news. The music industry needs to figure itself out, because the internet changed everything at least ten years ago and they have not even begun to deal with it. I feel like life is backwards when I get to something before the media does. I am part of a coveted demographic, and all the newspapers and most major magazines I come in contact with are not only ignoring what I want to be reading about, but they are just not up to speed on what they are trying to report. I rarely see an actress on the cover of a magazine that makes me want to buy it. And I think that my peers agree. There has been a stack of magazines with Eva Mendes on the cover sitting in the campus store since we got here in August and I doubt anyone has so much as touched them.

There has been a lot of protest lately around these parts, but I am far more concerned with how out of touch the publishing world is with the people it tries so desperately to cater to.

I feel doomed to reading Nylon in bed on the weekends and sighing about how it is the only magazine I go out of my way to buy every month.

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Refute.

So I am up to #67 in the archive of Stuff White People Like. And I hate to be a pain in the butt, but I too am white, and though I have also observed that white people are less than prone to dancing at concerts, this is really only the case at many of the indie shows that white people are prone to attending. A list, to follow.

1 - Being "Unique"

I have been to many concerts of many different kinds of music. And many of them have been attended by predominantly white people. However, there is a strange strain of hipster that is so obsessed with going against the grain that for them, dancing at a concert is a must, just so they can claim to break the stereotypes associated with their whiteness and love of indie music. For example, on July 4th of 2006, I attended a free Belle and Sebastian concert in Battery Park before watching the Macy's fireworks from the FDR drive. At said concert, there were more white people dancing than at the prom I had just attended in June, on the prom I would attend the following June, or at any of the 3 proms and 2 semi-formals that I have attended in my life combined. Now, granted they were not dancing well, nor did they seem to realize that their claim to hipster individuality was going on all around them, therefore nullifying their efforts. Maybe they were just legitimately dancing. Maybe it had something to do with post #33 on marijuana. Maybe it was the fault of this album, the least depressing B&S produced grouping of songs to date.

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Or maybe they simply enjoy dancing. Gasp!

2 - Being "Old" (or Just Lame Sauce)

This September I was called home from college to attend a Genesis reunion concert with my entire nuclear family. My parents were very excited about this. I was excited too, but I was less excited than I would've been had Peter Gabriel been on the tour. I mean, I love Phil Collins as much as any white person could, but Peter Gabriel is just so strange and wonderful. Anyway, at this concert, there were many people in their 40s and beyond, the original fans of Genesis, who knew all the words. They, just like my parents, were dancing like fools in ways I thought I would never witness, as I wasn't born for most of the embarrassment of the 80s. Maybe it was because they were old and are not well-versed in the current accepted norms of white people. I think that is a combination of that, and the fact that once you reach a certain age you are lame sauce no matter what. That being said, Genesis can turn it on again anytime they want, and I will keep hoping for Peter Gabriel to join them.

3 - Being Part of a Suburban White Sub-Culture

I grew up in Bergen County New Jersey, which, if you ask anyone from my hometown is really just "basically part of Manhattan". Many of the people I was friends with listened to hardcore music or ska, or they were members of such a band. The very elite of this group listened to a band called World Inferno Friendship Society.

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Now, hardcore and ska shows require their special band of dancing. But World Inferno is a different experience entirely. My friend Matt has always said that the most accurate way of classifying them, as they are unclassifiable, is as a "skorchestra", which is a word he made up. It has something to do with having elements of ska, but being closer to something like a small orchestra like band that likes cabaret and has punk ideals blah blah blah. They have a song called "Heartattack '64" that appears in several different forms throughout their discography that incites a dance known as the "Heartattack Waltz" whenever it is played live. This waltz is something like a cross between the traditional ballroom type thing we all know of, and a mosh pit. Not the safest or most comfortable dance in the world, but it is appropriate when you have just drunk two forties out of paper bags while waiting in line outside the Bowery Ballroom. This is teenage life in Northern New Jersey. We dance at concerts.

4 - Being at an 80s Night

As has been mentioned on Stuff White People Like, we white people sure do love a good dose of nostalgia, AKA an 80s night (see post #29). However, hat they fail to cite, is that, if you are lucky enough to have an 80s cover band in your area, you get to rock out like the Brat Pack to authentic 80s tunes being played live. Obviously, this is not preferable to the originals being played on vinyl. But it has been known to happen. So ha!

5 - Being on Hallucinogens

Umphrey's McGee. Moe. Jam bands. I worked in a coffee shop for a good portion of my high school years, and there were many regulars who were obsessed with jam bands. In a bad, bad way. Maybe it was their high school, I mean I wouldn't really know, because it was my rival school, and therefore all I know is that while our mascot was the Knight, theirs was the Norseman. But they seemed to have a sizable group of kids who enjoyed shrooming or dropping acid and attending jam band concerts. There were many stories of dancing. From what they could remember anyway. I am happy I was never invited to such an event. I never wanted to see these people dance. The ones I knew best were the whitest of the white.

And that rounds out the top five reasons white people would go against their better judgement and dance at a concert. Or you could just be like me and love to dance. All my hipster friends frown on it. It's becoming a problem. I'm beginning to question my ethnicity.

Start angry, end mad.

First off, time penalties aside, I could've tied for a place in the semis of the Worcester slam team tonight. But I'm glad I didn't. There's so much pressure in an existence like that. Secondly, Hampshire is more than well on its way to becoming a National Slam venue, and if that happens for real, in time for the big event in Madison, WI this August, then I am most likely grabbing an apartment in some little warm out-of-the-way place with three of my favorite guys ever. We're thinking Omaha (because it's cheap) or some nowhere beach town in NorCal that takes down their roadsigns every year because they want to stay anonymous. Something I've always wanted, to be an anonymous eighteen year old poet living in a world that breaks her heart daily but never for any reason other than the fact that it's beautiful. Never because of actual tangible love. My dry-erase board reads "Well at least it makes for a great fishing story -- thanks for letting me be the one that got away."

For all the confessional pieces that I write, I have never really had my heart broken, and even though I'm aware that I am young and have plenty of time to be fucked over in terms of relationships, I am beginning to wonder what it feels like. Granted, I have broken my own heart over things in the past, but self-inflicted pain is a very different sort than the kind that comes from what is going on outside. I wonder, more often than not what things would be like if my chapbook didn't read as "Welcome to My Bed", but "Welcome to the Laundry List of People Who I Cry Myself to Sleep Over." Whereas it is somewhat exciting to be able to write in a detached way about the people I let kiss me, it would be much more successful, visceral, honest, etc. to be able to write about the reason that I have suitcases full of lives that I don't want to talk about all that candidly. But then, maybe that's just.

I got into a tickle fight tonight about a pair of right gloves. I think my toes may have frostbite from this New England winter and the fact that I refuse to wear socks with my boots because I never think about such things as the outdoor temperature while radiator is raping my throat and I am trying to put together a set list of pieces that will score well in the qualifiers. I almost made it this time. I am so very close to being young and talented. I can taste it. It is like cigarette smoke that tastes like pizza or pizza that tastes like cigarette smoke, one of the two. Or maybe that's just my dinner and my addictions jockeying for my attention. It is fa too late at night/early in the morning to debate such things.

I have a book to sew and a paper on Tolstoy to write. Sometime it's easy to forget that I am nearing the end of my first semester of college, maybe because I go to hippie school, or maybe just because I spend the better part of my time driving around Massachusetts with my friends, raiding all the notable open mics. I should do an independent study on slam poetry. If we were to get grades here, I'm sure it would warrant an A.