Friday, December 22, 2006
Christmas break/holiday finally started today. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for it. I even cheated last weekend by coming up to Bountiful and quilting and sleeping and going on walks with Mom. And then I had to return to Provo for finals, both taking and giving, and found myself too tired to celebrate anything. Or clean my room. But that's another post.
So today K and I set out to do some happy Christmas-ing, april style. And no, that sentence wasn't supposed to make much sense. First stop, KJ's residence to drop off Christmas presents and then run back to the car in an awkward glee. KJ wasn't there, but she called K as we were on our way to the King's English. (I am not jealous of K because K has better ringtones, so I would call K instead of me too.) We decided to meet up later for refreshment of some kind.
K and I spent the next two hours in paradise (the King's English), buying each other's Christmas presents and loads of other books. (They should put a warning on English majors.) I bought K Green Squall by Jay Hopler; she bought me six girls without pants by Paisley Rekdal. She also bought a Galway Kinnell. I didn't manage quite as much restraint: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman (Louise Plummer), Proofs and Theories (Louise Gluck), Miracle Fair (Wislawa Szymborska), little tree (e.e. cummings picture book), and The Mitten (Jan Brett picture book). For the record, the picture books were for my mom, the Gluck is for my thesis, and the Plummer is for English 333. We could have spent more time (and more money), but we were late to meet KJ and son Bennett at Paradise (Bakery and Cafe), where I guiltily ordered a chicken panini in front of the vegetarians and was charmed by Bennett and gifted a glorious cheeseball by KJ.
K and I said good-bye to KJ and son (who, by the way, are nothing like Dombey and Son), gushed at each other over how adorable son is, and made our way to Old Navy, where once again I lost the restraint contest (K: shirt; eg: shirt, shoes, pj pants). I'm really bad at that game. Really bad. K also introduced me to a great little shop of sorts called "got beauty," for which there are no words, just facial expressions. And then our evening ended at Barnes and Noble, where once again I found a book. Big surprise. But, once again, it's for my thesis: Breaking the Alabaster Jar, a collection of interviews with Li-Young Lee.
I said good-bye to K who was whisked away by her family to a steakhouse (and I felt bad for eating a chicken sandwich?), drove home singing Christmas carols along with the Barenaked Ladies, and arrived in Bountiful to be greeted by a Very Tired Family. The soporific effect overwhelmed everyone, including the dog, and I cuddled up in my bed with Kate Bjorkman and her love-hero Richard.
That is, until Marzipan decided she wasn't tired and that I couldn't be tired and attacked me with a pillow. She's little, so I let her win. (Translation: I covered my face with my hands until the hitting stopped.) We just watched some Radio Disney concert videos, and then I decided to officially announce Christmas on my blog. That, I think, brings us up to date.
With the exception of the Very Tired Schnauzer who was just dumped on my bed.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
- Finish reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
- Write twenty-five 20 10-ish 3 pages on E.L. Doctorow's The March.
- Read 630 assignment on Hayden White.
- Make salsa and buy chips for last day of 630.
- Grade twenty-three rhetorical analyses.
- Grade twenty ten short stories and any lingering poems.
- Teach four three two classes.
- Give two one finals.
- Host 519 final at my house.
- Write a (very long) paper on my poetics.
- Compile a collection of my poems to complement the paper on poetics.
- Apply to Utah.
- Apply to Houston.
- Apply to Ohio.
- Wonder why I'm not applying more places.
- Finish letter of intent.
- Clean up critical writing sample.
- Arrange creative writing sample.
- Order GRE scores. !!! (19a. Pray that I didn't order them too late to get to Utah.)
- Schedule time with Lady Jane and Virginia before they leave.
- Avoid shopping and eating out as much as possible. 21a. Forget that.
- Read Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet.
- Grade twenty-three research papers.
- Grade twenty creative writing portfolios.
- Finish quilt for Grandma.
- Clean my house.
- Clean it again, post parties.
- Make a list of books to read during Christmas break (none of which will be read, beginning with Doctorow's Book of Daniel).
Saturday, December 09, 2006
But really, can anything be more important than this?
Tonight I am submitting the following nominees to eg's pantheon of impossible men: Graham (Jude Law) and Miles (Jack Black), both from The Holiday, which is of course a chick flick in the worst way. (Please note that there should be more nominees, namely David what's-his-face of Bones and Buffy fame, Seth Green (if he isn't already there), and Sufjan Stevens, but I'm too busy drooling over tonight's candidates. Their time will come. Perhaps over the Christmas break when I have nothing better to do than drool over impossibles. Much like now. . . )
Graham (spoiler alert) is sexy and British. Which means a sexy British accent. Also, he majored in lit and is a book editor. Widowed with two adorable daughters with adorable names and adorable British accents. Honestly, by the end of the movie, he was just a little too perfect for words. To quote Virginia, "He can't be hot and sweet. He has to choose one." Agreed.
Miles, for the record, is also sexy, but unfortunately American. I felt justified when LadyJane admitted that he was adorable (although definitely not in the way the British girls were adorable. . . hmm. . . considering a change of adjective. . . ) and a great leading man. Go Jack Black. And when he busts out with both the frozen drinks and the singing of movie themes at Blockbuster, be still my heart. Even if that would kill me.
If you're looking for a review, well, you're not getting it. But I say go see it. I'll come with you. And when I sigh audibly, well, don't say I didn't warn you.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I attempted to medicate via blog surfing, which usually makes me happy. And it did make me happy, but in this very odd, nostalgic-for-the-future (if that's possible) kind of way. I'm ready for it to be next year. Or at the very least, Christmas. I want to talk to Sven and hang out with Miss K and tease Tolkien Boy. I want I want I want. . .
This is getting to be a bad habit. I need to focus. And so, to focus myself, I have installed a new avatar. This is the new representation of eg. I'm not sure if I'm editorgirl anymore. Maybe I'm egg again. You tell me.
My new remedy: get dinner with LadyJane and Virginia, grab the new Poetry, and then hit the books and the writing until Saturday, when I'll take a break for the firm Christmas party, The King's English, and hopefully some music shopping with the Jester.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Feel better, coldwise.
Firm Christmas party.
Visit The King's English over and over and over again.
See The Holiday.
Continue to discover the wit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (see post title).
Eat sushi with K.
Hang out at Gallery One Ten and admire the collective brilliance.
Start writing my thesis.
Okay, that last one isn't so much a want as a really, really, really need to, to the point of wanting to. Just like I "want" to write my article-length paper on E.L. Doctorow's The March, and apply to PhD programs. How did I reach this point in my life? I'll tell you.
I don't know.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I'm serious. The past few years, I've gone out of my way to be the grinchiest of Grinchs. I believe it brings order to the universe. But nothing says Holiday Spirit to me like a box of Christmas Tree snack cakes. I don't know if it's the vanilla cake or the vanilla frosting or those green sprinkles on top. And maybe it's just a little more than my usual dose of pathetic that I can get happy over such a small thing when Christman carols make me consider cutting off both ears (take that, Van Gogh). Christmas just isn't Christmas without them, though. And since my Macey's run last night produced the first box of the season, the season can officially begin.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I like Thanksgiving. I like turkey and family and stuffing and organized leaf jumping. But I went so willingly to Hurricane this year because I knew it was time to visit Ivins again.
Ivins is where Trent is buried. The last time I went was over a year ago, just a few months after he died. They didn't have a headstone yet or any marker and I didn't know where his grave was. I walked from plot to plot, finally stopping at the west end of the cemetery. There were things there that made me think, but I didn't know.
This year there was still no headstone, but I had directions and pictures from K. I went to the grocery store in Hurricane the night before for flowers--small pink and burgandy roses with a few alstromeria. Not bad for small town Utah. (I consciously chose the girliest wrap available.)
My dad drove me out to Ivins on Thanksgiving morning. (I don't like driving the family suburban and he needed a break from family together time.) Thirty minutes there. Dad thought I should leave a poem or something. I did leave something--just a few sentences, copied from my Christmas present from Trent. I took the flowers out of their wrapping (because it wasn't girly, just ugly), and left them at the side of the large red rock that marks his place. The note was underneath. I was only there for maybe ten minutes.
And then thirty minutes back to Hurricane and family and organized leaf jumping.
Hey Trent: I love you.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Q: And me? (Because remember, it's all about me.)
A: It is all about you.
Q: What grad programs (and young men) have you decided on?
Utah, Ohio, Houston, Michigan, plus one or two. As for the young men. . . they exist.
Q: Yeah, you owe us all some info. . . men that exist in real life???
A: A girl has to move on. Especially when Jake Gyllenhaal turns out too short.
Q: Was number seven directed towards me and recent occurrences?
A: No. Number eight.
Q: I guess I'm out of touch, but what was your brother supposed to be?
A: Well, I asked for either a sister or a dog. They came later.
Q: Did you wear your sexy Velma glasses with your dirt costume?
A: No. But I was still sexy.
Q: Did they play their patented TV theme song medley? Did I spell "medley" right?
A: Yes. Unless you meant M-A-D-L-Y.
Q: You think I trust you to decide for yourself what you're watching and feeling?
A: You don’t trust me to do anything.
Q: But surely there are exceptions?
A: There are always exceptions. Except when there aren’t.
Q: Isn't this a flavor at pudding on the rice?
A: Isn’t everything a flavor at pudding on the rice?
Q: How does one grade poetry, anyhow?
A: One closes one’s eyes and randomly marks the page.
Q: Can you bump up the release date?
A: I could, but then I’d have to kill you.
Q: What's wrong with your last post?
A: Many many things.
Q: Where did you go?
A: Where no wo/man has gone before.
Q: Did I spell "elaborate" right?
Q: Are you living in a theory world?
A: Against my will. . . I am sent to bid you come into supper.
Q: Is that Diet Nepenthe with Lime? What Hitchcock movie was it? Are you serious about the seven-yr.-crush? My heart throws itself into a garbage disposal in empathy for you. Isn't it strange how the people who are so wonderful to you and who you care so much about are the ones who make your life so crappy?
A: Is there any other kind? I hope it was Psycho. Yes. And yes.
Q: Is "treats" a Utahism?
A: Yes. And apparently so is everything else that comes out of my mouth.
A: What else is there?
Q: Do you look disapprovingly at people over the top of them?
A: Isn’t that why one wears glasses?
Q: Does this mean you're going to fob all night tonight?
A: And party every day.
Q: The real world is scary, but so what?
A: So you ignore it and read lots of things that replace the real world. Try it. You’ll like it.
Q: Did I mention you're beautiful?
A: No. Say it again, Sam.
Q: Is it a poem? For if it isn't, will you make it one?
A: It is a poem. Now. Look at me being all obedient and stuff.
Q: Can I please join your support group?
A: Email me with a statement of intent. Preferably one I can use for my grad school apps.
Q: Is that too sappy?
Q: Isn't it cute when they try to make sense of these things?
A: Cute isn’t the word I’d use to describe it.
Q: Can't you come up with better reasons than that?
A: Apparently not.
Q: And can we mention she's played by the incomparable Emma Thompson?
A: She’s played by the incomparable Emma Thompson.
Q: How exactly does one simultaneously account for an event that *did* occur and several events that could have?
A: The Fob Pantheon. That and Zizek.
My family is unusually brilliant. Take, for example, me. Or Sven, LaLa, the Jester, Marzipan. Plus the parents. Oh, and the dog. All very very smart, talented individuals. Emphasis on the very.
Tonight's subject is the Jester. He earned his nickname four-ish years ago when he played the Jester in Once Upon a Mattress. The year before that he was in the barbershop quartet in Music Man, and the year after he was Will Parker in Oklahoma! And then he was Baby John in West Side and the Genie in Aladdin. Not only is he a good actor, but the boy can sing.
For some reason, all of his talent and success has not translated to his high school musical theatre program. I know high school programs are political, but this one goes above and beyond. And after being cast in the chorus for the second year, we (the family) expected him to get a good role in the Broadway revue. Tonight I found out he pulled one small solo in a song called "It Sucks to Be Me" from Avenue Q. And while censoring annoys and frustrates the hell out of me, I don't think Avenue Q is appropriate for high school students. And that my little brother should not be required to sing "It sucks to be me." He's one who listened to the "don't swear" from our parents. He's the one who is super sensitive about language.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I thought once I decided on creative writing, the answers were there. And then once I decided on a PhD in creative writing, the answers were there. And then once I decided "the best creative writing program that will let me in," the answeres were there. But no. Each decision just gives me more decisions to make. Today's special: where to apply.
This is one list I keep thinking I have figured out. And for the most part, I do. Houston, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Virginia, NYU. . . my humility is overwhelming, I know. But there's a school that keeps hovering, one so appealing I can't help but want to apply. And yet. . .
The U has always been. . . the U. It's the "other university," the one I never even considered attending. It was too close to home, and it just wasn't BYU. And now that I've been looking at grad programs, I've been looking outside of the state, wanting to leave, wanting to experience something new. And I know Salt Lake isn't Provo. But it's still Salt Lake.
I am going to apply. The program benefits outweigh the fifteen minute drive to the Land Bountiful. Decision made.
Friday, November 10, 2006
No, I don't Care that my caps are off.
Yes. Yes I do.
You still don't know.
Think real hard.
I don't think you do.
Well, easy for me.
But most things are.
Happy BlogDay to Me!
But then again, you knew that.
This is what I found when I went out to my car this morning. (Okay, not that bad, but you get the idea.) But it was an ice cube. I attempted to open the passenger door, with absolutely no luck. After some coercing (read: kicking, swearing, digging at it with my fingernails and the cover of a library book), I got the back door on the driver's side open, found my ice pick . . . scraper . . . thing, and begin scraping. Five minutes and I could drive away without threatening myself or anyone else on the road. And then as I turned onto 800 North, I heard a pop. I freaked out, because this is what I do when a sound happens anywhere near my car.
The passenger door had finally thawed.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
- seeing professors who teach the class I plan on skipping (or skipped) that day
- taking more than a week to return papers to my students
- using one word to answer a question that deserves a paragraph (and vice versa)
- reading my friends' blogs and not leaving a comment
- being more interested in the toddler I'm holding than the presentation going on in front of me
- ignoring a friend
- asking another writer to change what they've written for not aesthetic reasons
- not finishing an assignment
- forgetting someone's name
- liking the same guy as a friend
- not blogging for an extended period of time (especially when I've decided on grad programs, been introduced to The Weepies, gone to AA's cabin, introduced and eaten lunch with a really cool poet, read a dozen good books, become obsessed with a few more TV shows, and encountered at least three young men who I enjoy looking at, and who exist in real life.)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Actually, I can guarantee that I won't pay attention. It's just a fact of life right now, limited attention span. Limited attention span, excessive sleeping, disinterest (Matthew Arnold would be so proud), aggressive roller coastering. Yesterday it was a relief to not finish my homework assignment, spend forty minutes looking for a parking spot, and dump a Jamba down my shirt because it gave me something to be upset about. Right now I'm upset about the Hollywood Ten, courtesy of Eli Wallach's guest appearance on Studio 60 (watching that on NBC rewind is really how I was avoiding doing my homework tonight). I like Eli Wallach--I didn't like him at first, for his role in How to Steal a Million, but since then--he's amazing. And he was quite good in How to Steal a Million, his character was just annoying. Something similar to my hating Fred Astaire after watching Holiday Inn. I couldn't stomach Funny Face for a while. Of course, that could be because of the rather dreadful "Bonjour Paris" number.
Like I said, limited attention span.
P.S. The picture is of Wallach comma Eli, not Barthes comma Roland.
P.P.S. Speaking of pictures, I need a new one. I love Eve, but she's just not cutting it right now. Suggestions?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Listening to Badly Drawn Boy. Last night I was at Muse Music for an unpublicized evening of rocking. . . not my words. The Cobabes, aka Rockwell, aka Electric Gravy, were opening for some group I'd never heard of. But I have heard of Cobabes/Rockwell/Gravy. We went to high school together and they are three of my favorite boys in Provo. Three of the sexiest too. Well, one of the sexiest, one of the cutest, and one of the most awkward. . . but one out of three isn't bad. Plus I can say with pride that I went to Muse last night, while I'm not so sure I can be proud of the fact that I have seen Step Up twice since it hit the dollar. Twice with Lady Jane, at that. The first time we went for the dancing and because I still think Channing Tatum is hot. The second time we went for the dancing and because Channing Tatum is hot. And guess what--he was hot both times.
In other movie news, Marie Antoinette. I have been waiting and waiting for this movie, reading reviews, buying magazines. A small part of this was that I like Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman as actors--something I know is awful to admit. But even more was the study of European, and more specifically French, history that occupied my brain during high school. I've always been fascinated by Marie Antoinette and Versailles. There was a tragic extravagence to both that held my attention. I think that was a large part of Coppola's movie, which also held my attention. It was beautiful and overwhelming and almost too caught up by the story to care about its audience, much like I think Versailles must have been. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up, but with the warning that you just might hate it. The girls I was with did. A lot.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
- I like the restraint that characterizes most of my poetry. It's often my downfall, because I don't give my reader enough to figure out the poem, but when your concern is expressing silences or absences, it makes sense to leave a lot out.
- I get giddy over a well-wrought phrase. They are few and far between, but I think some of my lines qualify.
- Speaking of lines, I find similarities in the structure of most of my poems. Odd numbers of lines in stanzas, lines standing alone, words occupying their own lines, line breaks that play with the meaning of the poem. The last is a newer development and it occupies a lot of my revision time--seeing if I can mess with the lines to do more than is already being done.
- The lack of restraint--or rather, the lack of propriety when it comes to topics. I have no problem invoking the sensual, the disturbing, the embarassing, the depressing along with invoking the muse. This is possible (I think) because I use restraint in addressing these topics. Confused yet?
- The last thing I love about my poetry (and the thing that I won't share with my class) is my muse. My muse acts as encouragement as well as inspiration.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I always line up my thoughts before I begin a post, and then find them misplaced when I sit down to type. That sounds woefully like testimony meeting, but it's true.
Other things that are true:
- My life is busy, but not too busy, not yet. Which means I am strangely contented, despite the tiredness. I finally connected with my 150 students today, courtesy of Lady Jane's brilliant lesson plan. And it didn't hurt that Zero had hyped me up via sprinting to class and attacking an elevator.
- I read Tam Lin this week. I should have been reading theory, but Tam Lin appears at least once a school year. I read it first in high school, but it reminds me of freshman year and Aislin and London. And of course it gives me the chance to swoon over Thomas Lane and feel relieved that men like him don't exist.
- Somehow the panic has gone away. Not the stress, but I thrive on stress. I can't focus without it. But things feel much more certain this year. I have a good idea of what comes next and why and I'm still letting myself write about wings. Not as many shoulders. I should return to that theme, image, whatever.
- Finally (not because it's the last thing that's true, but because I'm slowly convincing myself that sleep is not the enemy), I'm excited to go home this weekend. The Jester and Marzipan are in Aladdin as the Genie and Narrator, respectively. And then I plan to grade poetry in my pajamas during conference. Does life get any better than this? Probably. But I don't need any more right now. Not for a few days, at least.
Monday, September 25, 2006
I've spent tonight trying to figure out the two kinds of openness defined in Allan--not Harold--Bloom's "Our Virtue." In addition to the stupid title, the man doesn't make any sense, at least not that I can figure out. There are two kinds of openness defined, but I can't decide which is which. It probably doesn't help that I had Grey's Anatomy playing in the background, but usually the background noise does help. Let's define that as one type of openness--open to outside influences.
I still have 40 poems to "grade." It's not really grading--it's commenting and giving credit for having done the assignment. Add to that two lesson plans (Muhlestein is a genius for planning four weeks in advance, but how is that possible.) Tomorrow's subjects are word choice (for 218) and intros, conclusions, and APA format (for 150). 150 is easy--just a repeat of past lessons, featuring Indiana Jones and Hitch and the tech podium. The 218. . . I don't know. And I know that there is the possibility of riot if I don't have the aforementioned poems marked up and ready to go. It's 1:20 a.m. Either I pull an all-nighter or it's not going to happen. Just waiting for the Diet Coke to kick in. If it doesn't, I'm dead.
What I did do this weekend: read Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, which is what I still think college life should be like; saw World of Dance with Lady Jane (they abused the smoke machine and ended to High School Musical, but I can't really fault them on either point); met up with Saule and Tolkien Boy in Salt Lake for a final night of reveling before TB leaves us for Washington; killed my feet walking around SLC in heels; and I did read for 628 (Doctorow's The March) and most of 630. . . which returns me to the problem at hand. I still don't know what Bloom (Allan--not Harold) is talking about. Time for more DCwL, a bath, and a hi-lighter.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Before Master Fob left for the great and spacious city, and even before Melyn left for the middle-of-somewhere city (which would put us somewhere at the beginning of August), the subject of men-eg-is-interested-in came up. I rattled off the usual suspects: John Cusack, Benedick, Mr. Darcy, Bradley Cooper (who, by the way, is exhibit A). Master Fob pointed out with his usual fobby wisdom that none of the men on my list were real. And I pointed out that John Cusack and Bradley Cooper were very much real, just not. . . real real.
This exchange has been in the back of my mind since it happened and an evening of watching The Goodbye Girl with LadyJane and exclaiming over the brilliance of Elliot Garfield has made me return to the subject, but now with the tainting of late-night worry. What if I really do like my imaginary men best of all? Has all my reading and movie watching amounted to insane expectations of not just men in my life, but the man? Case in point: The selling point on the seven-year-crush (which I think might actually be an eight-year-crush now) was always that he annoyed me more than anyone living, a la Benedick or Darcy.
I attempted to create a shortlist of "real" men. Couldn't do it. Instead I added Gregory House, M.D., to the original list. How can you not love that man?
The other couple is fighting. Physical, with a piece of wood or something. And nothing will stop them. They just keep fighting, mostly in slow motion. It would look so much cooler if they were wearing pirate outfits.
Tonight I'm giving Kim my poems that I think are closed, that have snapped shut for me. The ones that when I poke around the components all line up the same way. They're the ones that logically are ready for publication or readings, but I really want Kim's nod of approval. Because closure isn't always a good thing.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
There's also the sneaking suspicion that I'm not cool enough to be a theory girl. There has to be a certain, unspoken-but-discernible air about a theory girl. The hair, the clothes, the literary preferences. . . they're all there. They all must have been initiated through deconstruction. I'm just not that.
After 630 yesterday, I was informed that I hadn't said anything. I had thought a lot of things, but those didn't count. Better to sound like a fool than to stay silent in this class.
I prefer not to play the fool.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
- The sweating continued, but I've concluded that it's the room and building, not me. At least, I hope it's not me, because then I'd have to be grossed out by my own body, which usually only happens. . . never mind. But the room is in the middle of the basement of a building with crummy ventilation, so I'm going to go with that.
- Teaching improved considerably. I have full class rolls and I actually enjoyed creative writing after the horror of Wednesday.
- I have at least 150 pages of theory to read by Monday--that's not counting what I read through today. And a short essay to write. The good news is, "work theory" predicts that I'll never actually acheive a PhD and if I do, no one will hire me.
- I wish I was kidding about the work theory.
- Lunch with cousin and her husband today. They talked houses and babies. I didn't talk. Good times.
- Hitchcock tonight. I will die happy, although without having read everything for Monday.
I suppose that somewhere on the list should include last night's soiree with high school friends. . . I wasn't told that the seven-year-crush was there or I probably would have made an excuse to not go. How many times do you have to get over someone? And is it possible? Because I know he's not the hottest guy out there. . . but when he's around, he's still the one I want. And until I really am over him, I don't know if I can open myself up to anyone else.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I'm pretty sure it was a decent class.
But all I can remember is that I was sweating. . . a lot.
Friday, August 25, 2006
I should insert a cute picture of me here, but I don't have any on my computer. So pretend me as a toddler with thick glasses--did I mention that the lenses were thicker than the frames?
I'm going to skip through the elementary years, when I was the girl with glasses to ninth grade. That was the year I convinced my parents I had to have contacts. I got them for Christmas and began to learn the art of poking myself in the eye every morning.
I left junior high and went to high school and almost no one knew that I had ever been the girl with glasses. But that was a huge part of me. It surprised me when people were surprised that I wore contacts. It still surprises me.
Before my freshman year at BYU began, I decided to get my first pair of glasses in. . . however many years. I can't do the math. Three and a half? Sure. Sounds good. Thanks to technology, my lenses had gotten thinner. I alternated my glasses and contacts that year, the next year, and then the headaches began. I thought the cause was my contacts, so I wore my glasses all the time, but the headaches didn't go away. I couldn't see the boards in classes. . . it was what most kids go through the first time they get glasses, but in reverse.
A trip to the eye doctor revealed that my perscription had changed significantly, for the better. I got new contacts and some cheap reading glasses and I was set. But my persciption kept (and keeps) jumping around, so my eye doctor advised against new glasses. Until this last trip.
Wait? Did you catch that? Do you know what that means?
Yep. Exactly. I'll be a four-eyes again. But you know what they say. . . No, not "Guys don't make passes for girls who wear glasses." What they say is. . .
Four eyes are better than two.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
And then training. . .
So was I in a good mood this term? Or did I just have awesome students? Because I just gave more A's out than I have in the past two semesters combined. And I'm actually sad to see the students go.
I'm hoping the vivid dreams continue tonight. This is where I'm going to be, if you're looking.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I've been having very vivid, very intense dreams lately. Not scary so much as, well, terrifying. Terrifying because I can't escape. And because I remember them in the morning.
Last night's was "eg goes to grad school." And yes, I know, I'm in grad school right now. But as much as I love my program and my friends and my professors, I don't feel as though anything has really changed from my undergrad. Maybe it should be "eg goes to a different grad school" or "eg finally gets out of Provo." I'll take your suggestions.
It began with the apprehension that seems to live in the pit of my stomach every time I start looking at programs. Living in a new city, in a new state, with new people, in a new culture. . . trust me to worry about something a year before it happens. But the apprehension started to disappear when I realized that three of my cousins were going to be there, along with Miss K, who in my dream already knew the ropes. And then I met a guy in the program, who told me he knew Tolkien Boy. . . which led to lunch with TB and S-Boogie and Master Fob. And the dream continued until someone informed me that I had made the soccer team and it was time to suit up.
I laughed at the dream when I woke up, relieved that I wouldn't have to play soccer. And then I attempted to forget about it, which I did quite successfully until I arrived (finally) back in Provo and found a packet of admissions info from Houston. And I really want to go. . . somewhere. But all those apprehensions in the dream? They're so real.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Death Cab concert
The Death Cab for Cutie concert was Tuesday night. The Jester came with me and we had fun mouthing along to songs from all the albums. That was probably the best part--they played some of my favorites. Sven always raved about their shows, but this was so much more than I expected. And there was the unexpected bonus of seeing Melyngoch and Ginsburg holding hands.
Death Cab: Directions
Death Cab just came out with a companion DVD to their CD Plans. It's not music videos so much as it is short films that coincide with the music. It's insane and brilliant and makes me more than happy. I get similarly excited about when I see films "coinciding" with poetry. Mixing genres, reinterpreting art. I think we're going to have a movie night to watch Directions. . . and maybe do some brainstorming about how to electrify the world in a similar fashion. (Blame Kj and Aaron).
In a moment of weakness or desperation or divine intervention, I signed up on LDS Singles. I've actually "met" some nice people. . . and some really weird people. . . and I've also given myself the chance to consider some truisms I'd always recited about myself and my situation.
This is going to seem snobbish or something, but I've always known I was smart. I didn't need guys to tell me that. What I did need was guys to tell me I'm attractive--to confirm that sneaking suspicion that I'm not a total blight on the human race. And it is nice to hear every once in a while. But once it's been said, I don't want it again and again and again. Established, move on. And I've also realized that I've reached the point where giving up on my education and career just aren't options for me. This is so important, and it's what I'm supposed to be doing. And yeah, it scares me that this will mean that I'm alone longer. . . but I wouldn't be happy any other way.
Monday, July 31, 2006
It is late and I am surprised to see him (and ten others) standing at my door, holding a single rose (with two dozen more standing in five gallon buckets in their mothers' vans for other girls).
I buy the flowers for Claire--small roses, small daisies--and ask for the ribbon to be pink. I buy the flowers for my brother to give to Claire because I want it to be in eigth grade, I want it to be opening night, I want to have the boy leave the flowers for me for good luck.
I hate the shiny wrapping leaning up against the granite. I hate the yellow and orange, the bushy heads bobbing in the wind, nodding to the angel who watches over another plot. When I die, don't leave flowers on my grave.
There are eight. Or were there nine? Not quite a dozen, more than half-a-dozen. A number that didn't make sense, even though I asked it to. White, heavy. I said no.
I walk past them in the hall, running away from something I'm not ready to handle. She is arranging the lilies in a water bottle vase; he is handing her the flowers, clumsily holding their stems. I know the flowers are for me, know that they will be filling my flat with their heavy pollen smell, but I ignore them, willing to pretend surprise when they are delivered.
I live in the house for three weeks before I realize there are roses.
I buy myself the flowers, to remember lilies without the scent. And I am willing to pretend, if you don't ask me, that they came from someone who has given me more than flowers.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I rocked APA today.
Suddenly I See
Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm
Suddenly I see
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see
Why the hell it means so much to me x2
I feel like walking the world
Like walking the world
You can hear she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
She fills up every corner like she's born in black and white
Makes you feel warmer when you're trying to remember
What you heard
She likes to leave you hanging on a word
Suddenly I see
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see
Why the hell it means so much to me x2
And she's taller than most
And she's looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see
Suddenly I see x5
Suddenly I see
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see
Why the hell it means so much to me
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
But I'm not asleep (just in case you missed that point the first time). And I'm thinking. . . against my will, I'm thinking. Exactly what I'm thinking about is none of your business, but I'm going to tell you anyway. Because maybe once it's out there, I'll be able to sleep. Or at least get some good pity points from all you good and worthy people. Or you can tell me to shut up, which may actually be more beneficial.
So yesterday was the 24th and the Jenkins' family annual "Get-together-at-Aunt-Kathy's-and-watch-the-Salt-Lake-fireworks" dinner. It's actually high on my list of family traditions. I don't know why, but I have a few valid guesses. One is the fireworks. They are set off just a few streets over, so we have great seats without having to fight the crowds. Two is my family. They're weird, but they're family. And three is my cousin E___.
Cousin E___ is a guy and before anyone makes any "kissing cousins" jokes, let me just say "Ew." Over the years E and I have become friends. We kind of had to in order to stay sane around this bunch. So good for us.
When I arrived at Aunt Kathy's, E wasn't around. He was over at the park with his siblings and his nieces and nephews and such. So instead I got to talk with E's mom, my Aunt June. And no, I don't know why June and Kathy get full names and E doesn't. Deal with it. Aunt June wanted to know what was wrong with E, since girls keep bailing on him. She thinks he's a great guy, but she's his mom, so what counsel could I offer? And I came up with the following:
Nothing. E is a great guy. And he keeps trying. He keeps asking girls out on dates. And sure he's a little shy and can be a little awkward, but he's human. He just needs to keep looking. And someday some girl will totally fall for him.
So what does this have to do with me (since I am the subject of this blog) and the title of this particular post? I jokingly make lists and I say that since I'm a grad student or since I weigh more than I want to or since I adore John Cusack, no man will ever love me. And it's nice to have that dark humor. But honestly, I'm with E and Aunt June. I have no idea what's wrong with me. And yes, I do think of it in terms of "what is wrong with me." Because I can tell you what's right and what's okay and what I hope gets cancelled out because I'm brilliant. But tonight, right now, I want an answer for why I'm awake at 2:00 in the morning with no guys anywhere, not even in my head, while other girls have husbands and boyfriends and guys at work who are a little too flirtatious. I want the reasons why no man will ever love me. At least then I'd know.
Maybe E and I should start a support group.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Watered Down Lady
My weekend actually began around 3:30 on Friday when I picked Tolkien Boy up from his place of employment. He was all sweaty and smelly. . . very masculine and all that. En route to his apartment, we decided to catch a matinee before I left the world of Provo.
I'm not sure if TB chose Lady of the Water based on schedule or M. Night's past credits, but that's where we wound up. Scary movies, well, they scare me, so I was all tense and waiting for creepiness and scariness, etc., but I'm afraid the movie lost its edge when it was revealed that the subtley-named Story was a "narf." They're Pinky and the Brain, Pinky and the Brain. One is a genius, the other's insane. There were elements that I enjoyed--some characters and several of the actors. But a "narf"? Just call her a nymph. And we'll discuss the rest when you see it. Because you know you're going to.
I got home just in time to go see the fireworks with Maryn and Dad. We were there for forty minutes before they started and then the thirty minutes that they actually had the show going. I think Dad and I were both thinking we were there for M, but about ten minutes into the works, she asked why we were there.
Kids these days.
Food, glorious food
M and I decided to check out the Bountiful Handcart Days festivities Saturday morning. It's your basic carnival set up, except this year there were no rides or games due to construction. So basically it was food and entertainment and face painting. M got a tropical sunset painted on the right side of her face--a large flower was already occupying the left side, courtesy of her trip to the carnival the day before. And then we proceeded to eat our way through the five dollars of tickets I had foolishly bought. Cotton candy (which was the only reason I was there), smoothie, fry bread, and an ice cream bar. And we just happened to be there to hear Carmen Rasmussen sing. . . I hate country. Oh, and I had a slightly-less-than-awkward run-in with a guy from high school. What made it slightly-less-awkward was the more awkward situation of explaining to a group of women in RS today that, no, that wasn't my boyfriend, that I in fact don't have a boyfriend, and the reason I don't have a boyfriend? Well. . .
I just don't think of poetry as a turn on.
So the reason I was in Bountiful in the first place occured at 2:30 p.m. My cousin's wedding luncheon. Actually, it was my mom's stepcousin's wedding luncheon. But this chick is younger than I am and we kind of grew up in the same group of "cousins," so I was invited too.
The luncheon was actually in Bountiful, which was nice. And there was a table that had three seats available (for my parents and me), which was also nice. I hate sitting through these things while sitting next to someone I don't know.
And then the guy who I sitting next to and who I assumed was another cousin raised his head and I realized I was sitting next to someone I didn't know.
The panic wore off eventually as my aunt (well, my mom's stepaunt) introduced him to me as my cousin's (mom's stepcousin's) fiance, Brian.*
Panic and introductions over, we ate our salads and then began the main course (chicken or pork) as the "program" began. I know they're a necessary evil, but I hate these programs. And as much as I love the bride and the family of, this was excessively evil. A brother from each side, a sister from each side, the parents, and then the bride and groom. Apparently none of them had ever heard the expression "Brevity is the soul of wit." It was extensive and painful. And it led to a bit of inspiration on my part. No, not a poem. But the solution to these dreadful programs: scripts. Just tell people what they're going to say. For example, I'm limiting my father to Shins lyrics at my luncheon (provided it ever occurs).
The luncheon and program finally over, we excused ourselves to the shop located next door to the reception hall. . . and found everyone else from the luncheon there, including the engaged cousin and her fiance (and parents, but they're not important to this story).
It had been briefly touched on during lunch that Cousin's Fiance enjoyed poetry. So as his significant other was shopping, I decided to pursue this topic. He, of course, likes the "classics": Walt, Emily, the Brownings, etc.
"Do you write any poetry yourself?"
Usually this questions receives some mumbled answer and the conversation is over. But Brian lit up. "That's how Callie and I got together!"
Wait. Poetry actually worked for someone? I had to hear this story (and not the "narf").
During some institute function, Brian mentioned that he dabbled in poetry. C said that she'd love to see it, so he showed her some light verse. I guess she went coocoo for poetry, because he decided he'd write a poem about "a good friend"--which was C, who was quickly becoming the girl of his dreams. He called C to tell her he had another poem for her to read. She read it, along with the dreadful dedication attached (okay, so I added the adjective, but still). And the rest is history. They started dating, and they'll be married in 32 days (his count, not mine).
*I am now the last of the "cousins" to live the single life. I should feel ashamed. Or something. Right?
Friday, July 21, 2006
I've never been one of those girls who plan out their weddings in advance. I don't think I know any of those girls and I don't want to know any of those girls. In my dream, the colors were shades of yellow, orange, and red. Maybe in a few years I'll consider this a revelation, but for now I'm thinking that my mind jumped off the deep end. But, in diving after it, I considered for a split second the possibility of such an event (which I honestly do hope happens someday) and I arrived at the following conclusions:
1. My wedding colors will not be blue, red, or black, in any combination.
2. My wedding colors will be seasonal.
3. There will be a wedding video, despite them being "Mormon" and slightly gauche.
3a. My mother will not determine any of the music. (Sister wound up with "A, you're adorable" which was over the top cutesy.)
3b. I will order all pictures chronologically and determine the appropriate music.
3c. "Out Loud" by Dispatch will be one of the songs.
I realize 3c presents a few problems. The songs for a wedding video should be ones meaningful for the couple, not just the controlling bridezilla. But I like it. A friend gave me a mix with the live version and I love the song. So my objective in any relationship becomes clear: once I have determined that this is the man I'm going to hang out with for eternity, I'll have to indoctrinate him. Of course, I can't let this become one of "our" songs until I'm completely sure so that it doesn't carry bad memories of a previous relationship.*
*Case in point: I love the song "The Book of Love," but it's connected to BF2, who currently holds first place in the People-I-Never-Want-to-See-Again contest. I've been trying to ignore that fact, but it must be acknowledged.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
After I clear these thoughts out of my head, I actually get to enjoy the rain and the grey sky, and yes, I pretend for a moment that I'm in London or that someone is waiting for me to dance in the rain with them. (I'm afraid I'm horribly romantic like that.) I should note, however, that these raindrops are Parisian raindrops, not Londoners. Pity, but Google Image wasn't excessively obliging, unlike Jenny's boyfriend.
I now have two choices: go sit all maudlin and watch the rain, or heat up a can of soup and grade papers. Decisions, decisions.
P.S. If you meet an eligible young bachelor, please ask if he likes the rain before sending him my way.
Monday, July 17, 2006
1. I get too excited when I win a game of anagrams.
2. But have you ever played against Tolkien Boy?
3. I didn't think so.
4. My married sister lives in the basement.
5. I like Rob Thomas
6. and Matchbox 20
7. and I own the CDs
8. and sing along.
9. I don't like fruit
10. except for green apples, green grapes, and orange oranges.
11. I make wishes at 11:11. If I miss it on one clock, I find a clock that's slow.
12. Soylent green is people.
13 is my favorite number.
14. I can't remember the Pledge of Allegiance in French.
15. No man can ever compete with John Cusack
16. or Diet Coke with Lime.
Monday, July 10, 2006
I hate to admit it, but I've become attached to these people. Some more than others, granted, but still. I need to know.
Television shows are bad news for people like me. I have to have things finished--I can't just leave a project alone. For this reason I read through all eight of the Work and the Glory novels in about two weeks when I was in my teens, even though I knew it was, well, the Work and the Glory. Movies are good, because that's that. End of story. Unless, of course, they decide to be stupid and leave it cliffhanging (I've heard that Pirates and I won't be friends this time around).
Lost has become the ultimate cliffhanger, so I've had to find other ways to occupy my time and my mind. I've read novels--two Lauren Weisenbergs, two Jodi Picoults, and a Sophie Kinsella. I've been to plays. And movies. And now I've found a temporary fix, courtesy of Melyngoch's influence. Yes, my name is editorgirl, and I am becoming an Alias addict. I'm halfway through the first season and my only comfort is that I'll be able to go straight into the second season when I'm done. And then the third, and then the fourth. Hopefully by that time Lady Jane will be back in Provo and school will be starting and the show will have started to be annoyingly dreadful so that I can distance myself enough to focus on what really matters--Lost.
Faking existence is hard enough, but faking nonexistence is a feat akin to scaling Y Mountain. It requires commitment and determination and hours of watching movies that most people will have forgotten by next year. But you can't always watch movies, so you read books. Not books that are going to benefit your career, but novels that will find their way onto the DI shelves sooner than later.
Feeding must take place. Fast food is a nice but weighty option, so go for simple grocery store fare: cold cereal, frozen burritos, ice cream, ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches. And one must pay for food and shelter and the occasional spree, so work must happen. But by all means, try to find jobs that require minimal contact with the outside world. Because once people start to see you often in one place, they start to suspect things. Productivity is also bad--it leaves a paper trail. If you're not going to exist, then don't exist. You can't say you're going to exist and then create things. It just doesn't work that way.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Instead of watching the parade, I slept in. Instead of a barbeque, I ate frozen burritos. I drink my Diet Coke with lime on nonholiday days, so that doesn't count as festive. And I played taxi driver for my friend who needed to buy toilet paper and milk. And I just finished (well, almost finished) doing the dishes. I got distracted by some petty annoyance that is occupying almost every waking moment.
Oddly enough, it's not a guy.
Friday, June 30, 2006
So where have I been? I'd love to give you a detailed itinerary, but I'm afraid the truth would bore you. And the truth is that I rapidly completed spring term only to be launched into summer term without any detox whatsoever, which just about killed me until I grabbed a few of what I like to think of as trashy novels and what I believe the rest of the world calls New York Times Bestsellers. I'd made my way through two paltry 300+ pagers and I still feel the need for the dollar theatre. I'm not sure what I'm teaching in, oh, five hours, except for the fact that I'm at the end of my first week and will need to see personal essays in another week. What crazy person takes a spring or summer class? It's all just much too much.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
When my aunt asked me if I wanted to use her extra ticket to see Movin' Out tonight, all I knew was that it was dancing and it was Billy Joel. Then I did a bit of research. This "rock ballet" was choreographed by Twyla Tharp and is awesome (in the proper sense of the word). Tharp's style is so patently her own (this picture from "Uptown Girl" doesn't do her justice) that it's worth it sans Billy--although that was pretty cool too.
And as I was watching, I was thinking about how Zero and I had a conversation about finding new territory to jumpstart our writing--or rather, my writing. I thought at the time I needed to road trip. But I found something tonight, something that made me feel intense and violent and powerful and all those things that theatre sets loose in my head.
To be perfectly honest, I came home and there was no one here and I crashed because I wanted someone so much that all that intensity became this need that I try to pretend I don't feel most of the time.
Cue the music.
Monday, June 19, 2006
We want Ophelia to be relevant to women of today. So maybe she wants power. . . but she doesn't want to lose her femininity. She wants to be a corporate executive, but she wants to have babies at the same time. And somewhere deep in her psyche she's tired of being the waifish hippie chick, and she wants to assert herself and she just feels like she's saying, 'Look, cut the crap, Hamlet, my biological clock is ticking and I want babies now!' It's that angst-ridden--
Reduced Shakespeare Co. The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged)
About a week ago Tolkien Boy and I were recruited to give Foxy J a much need break. Being the loyal Fobs that we are, as well as president and vice president of the S-Boogie fan club, we showed up to the Fobcave to escort S-Boogie to the summer festival going on across the street.
After the requisite trip on the merry-go-round, S-Boogie was ready for something a little more sophisticated--the boats. Small, mechanically operated boats designed to accomodate four children. We watched a group go around and around and around (as S-Boogie herself so deftly articulated) and then it was her turn. She joined a dashing young fellow she later referred to as "her boy" (I could take lessons from this chick) and Tolkien Boy and I watched her go round and round and round.
But I forgot one thing. No, not how cute S-Boogie looked in her sun hat and sunglasses, although she was a picture of maritime perfection. I forgot to mention the bells. Each boat had not one, but two bells attached in front of the seats with a convenient string attached for ringing. And with the din created, you'd think that the whole point of the ride was to ring that bell. Over and over and over as they went around and around and around.
After a few minutes of watching and listening and keeping my tongue still from voicing my thoughts, TB turned to me and with that disarming, charming smile of his, said, "Is that the sound of your biological clock?"
I think I made some clever retort, such as [insert facial expression here] and went to free S-Boogie from her boat in order to move on to the next attraction: cars that went around and around and around.
This is a fun little story to tell, but it's got me thinking. And then there was the 3-month-old son of my ward's second counselor, who I spent part of Gospel Doctrine making faces at today (I wasn't teaching).
About five years ago I had a plan. I was going to get married when I was older--say around 21--and by the time I was 23, I would have my first kid running around, driving me crazy. Instead I'm writing a term paper the night before it's due, making my way through a 12-pack of Diet Coke. And while I'm relatively satisfied with my life right now, I wonder how long that satisfaction will last before this biological alarm is more than the din of a carnival ride.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
I haven't been writing much at all. Blogging, poetry, journaling, papers. I'm working on a lit-crit for the infamous Authenticity class, due Monday, but it's like whatever switch in my brain that drives me to write has been turned off. (Odd that I'm explaining it here, in writing, isn't it?) Nothing is really clicking. All I know is that everything hurts and not even Diet Coke with Lime can fix me.
Maybe next week.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
And all I had to say was "Good night. Here's my number."
Of course, this is the real world. And in the real world, things like that don't happen.
This should be a short snappy post, but I have one final comment. Is the initial premise of Hitch true for women too? Or is it just for unattractive men who want attractive women? What happens to the unattractive women then? We're just left to rot? Or is there a woman date doctor waiting to teach us how to snag a man?
PS2. This isn't a biological time clock thing. . . at least I don't think it is.
Yeah, I know. Deal with it.
Here's the thing. Everyone keeps saying, track him down, become his friend. Which I know is an important step. But I have friends (and I love my friends). I'm really not looking for another one. What I want is someone to cuddle with (Roommate and I voted this the number one relationship perk) and to kiss and to notice when I make an effort to be attractive (the bro-in-law has this down for LaLa) and to want to listen to me. Which presents an odd problem: Do I need someone in my life who understands and appreciates my writing or is that optional?
Saturday, June 10, 2006
I seem to have spent the past week at Zupas creating my version of the perfect salad: romaine lettuce, bleu cheese dressing, cucumber, egg, crispy chicken (the roasted chicken is too bland and the avocado is mushed-up, ice-cream-scooped). That leaves room for two more toppings. One vegetable, which varies. And coconut. I don't know what possessed me, but it makes me happy happy happy.
In other news, Haagen-Dazs Mayan Chocolate ice cream. Chocolate with a hint of cinammon. To quote Virgina, "Stop It."
Friday, June 09, 2006
I first heard Jejune at the Troubadour in Los Angeles back in the late ‘90s. (That wasn’t the show when I was stung by a bee at the ol’ Troube, thank goodness, although other pitfalls have come and gone) (see, the stage has this metal stripping around the edges to hold the carpet down that catches on your jeans and leaves you with a row of unstitched denim tufts along your thighs) (I tell you, I was always due for some form of self-destruction when I went to the Troubadour, sometimes mild, like thrashing my jeans, and sometimes extreme, like the time the singer for Death By Stereo crouched down on one knee, grabbed me by the hair, wrenched my face up next to his sweaty, unshaved cheek, and we screamed into a spit-saturated mic for a stanza; now that was a sore throat...alas, I digress.) Jejune was playing on a four-band bill that also included Gameface (suck city, man), Sense Field (a revelation), and Jimmy Eat World (pretty dang good, really—this was before they sold their musical souls for a hit single). Jejune performed second.
So I’m waiting for Jejune to start, and this tiny woman—Araby Harrison, I’d later discover, the band’s singer—walks up on stage and straps on a dirt-brown Fender bass that’s nearly as big as she is. By the time she put it down, I swore that I’d name one of my daughters Araby. I was totally in love, blown away, eagerly entertaining all the cliché superlatives that suddenly had new meaning in light of what I’d heard. This track, “Early Stars,” perfectly captures what I experienced—a slightly bad sound system, roaring guitars, and Araby’s pouty alto-cum-diaphragm voice plunging through the mix like an icepick into tapioca pudding. It’s what made second-wave emo so exciting when it first emerged from rock’s underbelly: oscillating dynamics, pathetic (see: pathos) vocals, two-guitar harmony—and it all flowed from this girl like lava.
When I left the Troubadour, my ride’s car was being towed down the street.
2. Counting Crows, Films About Ghosts: The Best of Counting Crows, “Angels of the Silences”
Who says that Counting Crows can’t R-A-W-K? No one, hopefully, after hearing this barn-burner. I can only imagine how many speakers they blew recording it. And, yet, it’s more than that; after all, Counting Crows is staffed by a group of very talented, trained musicians, and to merely rock would be beneath them.
Thus, we have this, a very refined stompfest. On one hand, the rhythm guitar bangs out a moderately fast, palm-muted four-chord pattern (G#5—Amaj—Emaj—B5, if you care) for most of the piece. On the other, the lead guitar solo in the middle is so incredibly musical (it even briefly hints at an oblique motion-based run toward its climax) that you know that no theory-devoid punker could have conjured it, even by accident. Add to this Adam Duritz’ voice, which—in my opinion—sounds fantastic when it’s strained, and you’ve got a winner.
3. Tom Waits, Big Bad Love (Music from the Motion Picture), “Long Way Home”
I’m no Tom Waits fanatic, but the genius of this song is self-evident. His voice—which was described in his lawsuit against Frito-Lay as “a raspy, gravelly singing voice [...] [,] like how you’d sound if you drank a quart of bourbon, smoked a pack of cigarettes and swallowed a pack of razor blades [...] [l]ate at night [...] [a]fter not sleeping for three days”—is present in all of its tainted glory. I’m not sure whether this song is inspirational—when Norah Jones later covered it, she made it infinitely more poppy, more upbeat, and I’m not if that’s correct—or not, but it is what it is, and it’s honest. Waits is no sellout, even when he writes a song for a movie, and that’s one of the biggest compliments I can give.
I’ll confess that the first time I heard Waits sing, I didn’t like it. Nope. That voice was just too much, the growling and all. But I took a deeper listen, and that voice—which previously had sounded like fingernails on a very coarse chalkboard—took on a tenderness that few vocalists achieve. For further evidence, take a look at Waits’ album Mule Variations, which is simply unbelievable in its blue-tinged notes.
An interesting anecdote: When Waits’ son asked him why he didn’t have a regular job like everyone else, he said, “In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, ‘Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at you...you're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.’ And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, ‘Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.’ So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”
Well said, sir.
4. The National, Alligator, “Abel”
ALERT! The National is now my favorite contemporary band—and this song comes very close to being the band’s shout-along anthem. You must download this song. You must. You will then not be able to get it out of your head, but that’s a good thing. You can dance to it. You can yell to/at it. You will thrill. The percussion work alone is worth a Nobel Prize.
5. The New Amsterdams, Story Like a Scar, “Turn Out the Lights”
The New Amsterdams emerged from The Get Up Kids, a lovely little indie-pop group that I must’ve seen live about half a dozen times. This is the definition of sweet melancholy, and I love it. It doesn’t depress, either, which is always a plus.
Well, I think I’ve rambled enough.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Lately the song has been "As Far as I Know" from Paul Westerberg's Folker album (courtesy of The Zero Review). I know it's been a while since I've done this, so I hope you haven't grown too used to editorgirl sans lyrics, because here it comes.
I'm in love with someone that doesn't exist
Keep looking for them everywhere I go
I'm in love with something that doesn't get kissed
It doesn't exist
As far as I know
I'm in love with a face that I've never seen
Once upon a place long time ago
I'm in love with a time that never took place
That's easy to trace
As far as I know
And I know everything that I need to sing
I know everything I'm in love with the sound that I never hear
As long as I watch your TV show
I'm in love with that girl that doesn't resist
That doesn't exist
As far as I know
As far as I know, the stars in the sky are dull
As far as I know, compared to your eyes only
As far as I know
I know everything I need to sing
I know everything
I erase the drums, that won't hurt me none
I'm in love with a dream I had as a kid
I wait up the street until you show
That dream it came true, but you never do
No you never did
As far as I know
I hope you made it through the song--it's beautiful and fantastic and you should come visit me and ask for a listen. And then I'll clarify that I'm not thinking about a girl. Promise. No lesbian inclinations here. But the rest became surprisingly accurate last night.
Because there is a boy.
Actually, I'm going to revise that with "man," but same thing.
He's someone I met last year and I never thought I'd ever see him again. But I did, last night. And he remembered me. But in this case, the theme song is all too appropriate.
[/sappy stupid girly soap-opera trash]
12:20 a.m. What this means, so I don't have to puzzle it out when my head is on straight: it means that my finding said male attractive is about as productive as my finding John Cusack attractive. And we all know how that story ends.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
I tried to explain to Lady Jane tonight that I feel like something is missing in my life. If you look at my poetry, and even my posts, it's what I spend most of my time thinking about--the gaps, the absences, the holes. I'm not complete yet and no, before someone says this, I don't ever expect to feel complete or satisfied or perfect. I don't want perfect, at least not yet. But I want to feel. . . something. (Perhaps what is missing is the ability to articulate.)
I asked the Jester tonight if he wanted to see Death Cab for Cutie with me in August. (For the newcomers, the Jester is my almost 16 year old brother.) He wasn't too excited. Wait. Let me rephrase that--he wasn't excited at all. Even when I told him I'd pay, that it would be my birthday present to him. I told him to think about it.
My family was in P-town on Monday and brought the treadmill with them. This isn't a normal occurence. In fact, it was a pain. But they left the treadmill in my front room and I've found a nice alternative to eating my weight in whatever is close at hand. Round one for Mom.
I sent my poetry off to Bat City Review. I have a few more on the list, provided I can get my printer working again. Oh, and USF (South Florida) is now at the top of my list for PhD. Jay Hopler is there. Jay Hopler is amazing. And they're in the process of designing something similar to Houston, which should be in place just in time for me to start.
Adam Zagajewski is in the June edition of Poetry. I'll be picking it up tomorrow, along with some decent running shoes. I've been wearing flip flops on the treadmill. Not a good idea.
Good idea: good night.
Friday, June 02, 2006
1. New Order, Singles: New Order, “Ceremony” AND Joy Division, Still, “Ceremony (Live)”
As most people wearing black Joy Division t-shirts know, New Order was formed from the ashes of Joy Division after Ian Curtis, Joy Division’s lead singer, killed himself. This song, “Ceremony,” was never recorded in a studio before Curtis’ death, although it can be heard on Joy Division’s live album, Still. The quality on that track is really awful, although it gives a glimpse into what this song was supposed to sound like, that is, before Bernard Sumner and company recorded it in the studio as New Order. Now, Bernard was a fine guitarist, a fine singer, but it’s interesting to see the two songs side by side. When Mr. Sumner sings it, it’s moody, sure, but Sumner’s voice just has a hint of muted—happiness?—to it, the same happiness you hear in songs like ”Bizarre Love Triangle” (admit it, you’ve danced to it, we all have). When Curtis sings it, though, it’s a shout in the dark, a man screaming to be heard above himself. Watching forever, indeed.
2. Onelinedrawing, Sketchy e.p. #1, “Aeroplanes”
Onelinedrawing is the name for Jonah Mantrega’s solo project after he finished up Far. I saw him play numerous times in California, and he always kept my attention—no small feat. One time at the Troubadour in L.A., I was stung by a bee in the middle of his set, right about the time when he invited a drunk guy up on stage to sing with him (“That’s the death of emo,” he quipped, and he was right). Anyway, I love the guy’s voice. Nothing more, nothing less.
3. Jimmy Eat World, Clarity, “Blister”
I’ve said a lot about Jimmy Eat World in the past, namely that I think they’re the biggest sellouts since the Beach Boys turned “Good Vibrations” into a soft-drink commercial. However, I finally figured out why their songs are so hit-and-miss: Whenever Jimmy (the guy with the center-parted hair who sings most of J.E.W.’s recent songs) writes music, the songs suck like an anteater. Whenever Tom writes the songs (he’s the guy in the background who usually plays a Gibson SG guitar), they’re awesome. You can tell who wrote which song by who sings it; it’s that simple. Tom has a deep, throaty growl that’s tailor-made for rock. Jimmy always sounds like a part of his body is being slowly pressed onto an electric stove. So, yeah, Tom wrote this song. Enough said.
4. The Sundays, Static and Silence, “Summertime”
This further proves that I’m in touch with my sensitive side. This is a bubbly, perky, reverb-drenched love song about honeymooning in a heart-shaped hotel room right before World War III strikes. Smile!
5. Elliott, False Cathedrals, “Superstitions in Travel”
After recording the pummeling post-hardcore-meets-emo record U.S. Songs, Elliott recorded this album, which sounds like the band was collectively producing—and then explosively burning—serotonin at a breakneck rate. Schizophrenia never sounded so fun. Elliott was one of the best live acts around (R.I.P.!), and I saw them once at DV8 on West Temple. Brilliant stuff, really. At a different show, a friend of mine was standing next to the guitarist—who was a maniac, believe you me—when the guitarist swung his guitar around, hit himself in the face, and completely snapped his own jawbone in half (!). There was a lot of blood, too, but the guitarist just ran up to my friend, slumped against him, and finished the song. I don’t know if he went to the hospital or not.
Friday, May 26, 2006
I visited my sister at her office today--she's a secretary on campus. We were chatting, but I was multitasking, seeing as how there was a cute boy with an empty ring finger sitting behind the front desk using the phone. I looked at him and he looked at me, which was an unusualy experience, and I thought, "Huh."
I had no sooner had this profound moment that the boy asked me if I was a friend of LaLa's. We both grinned and revealed our secret--we're sisters. And for a brief moment life as far as flirting goes looked very good. And then. . . (here ends the chapter to keep you reading). . .
And then my sister did something both wonderful and terrible. She told him about me. I teach 115 and 218. I'm a grad student. I'm brilliant. She was talking to Mom and they decided I'm a creative genius.
It was nice to hear my sister say these things.
At least for me. But with each new accomplishment/compliment, the boy withdrew from the conversation. I stuck around to attempt another round of flirting, but the chips had fallen and not in my favor.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
What does this mean? It means we're talking about men. Because Lady Jane is a more mature and thoughtful person that myself, we're going to talk. . . not physical characteristics. His hair shall be (as Melyngoch reminded me) what color it please God, but there are certain other characteristics we can't pass on (as my anonymous readers will remind me).
Rich. Jane and I can't really comment on this. We're English MAs, which means we've resigned ourselves to lives of poverty. To be quite honest, I don't care what he does as long as he loves it. I don't want to wind up listening to complaints about accounting or business.
Jane: "If he wants dough in this relationship, it's BYOM: bring your own money."
Wise. Hi. Professors. Academics. Intellectuals. And for me, I'm going to add artist (I personally think lit crit is an art, but I'll let Jane speak for herself.) It has become a problem that the gents in Provo who are around my age are My Students. Good grief, hell, and good night. Yet another reason why I must leave this town.
Jane: "This is what I think. I think that the most important thing in a marriage is that you feel the same philosophically. Does that make sense? So that way you can raise children together. There's a quote that says every child needs an exemplary father and a wise mother. So that means I need to be the wise one. And that's a problem."
Virtuous. Um, I'll let you fill in this blank.
Jane: "We were talking about this in Shakespeare actually. Chastity does not mean celibacy. So as long as we keep inside the marriage, I'm okay."
Fair. Oh wait--we already talked about this. But let me repeat: scruffy.
Jane: "I actually like my guys darker, but I'm not picky. Actually, the guy I have a crush on is like albino, so. . . " (insert brief cat fight between Jane and Virgina)
Mild. Hell no. Easy, fine. Pleasant, of course. But give me a guy with a quick wit who doesn't treat me and my intellect with kid gloves. I'm not fragile. And he shouldn't be either. (I'm realizing now that Benedick is talking about a woman and I'm talking about a man and gender stereotypes do apply.)
Jane: "Or come not near me."
Good discourse. I'm going to be honest here. I like a fight. A fight and a debate and intense times twelve. It makes me feel alive. And I like good banter. There is a certain young man starting the MA this fall who fills this role nicely. Please let him be single and up for a year of playing the peanut gallery.
Jane: "I think you have to. . . " (here Jane trails off in thought)
Jane redeems herself: "I think you have to be with someone who you want to talk to 24 hours a day."
Excellent musician. See Johnny Depp/Roux in "What Makes Him Attractive"
Jane: "Guitars are sexy."
Maybe we digressed a bit, but hey--if it makes me happy.
That being said, I need to address an important issue before tonight. Because after tonight, this post will become obselete.
I joined Lady Jane and co. last night to watch the showdown between Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee, with the understanding that I would behave myself. And I did. There are holes in my tongue to prove it. And as tonight is the finale, I need to say a few things.
I want to like Taylor. Probably because he's male and breathing, but also because he's fun, entertaining, etc. Katharine is gorgeous, but not much fun to watch. Taylor wins, hands down.
But then the situation was complicated. The TV was turned off and the brother of Lady Jane turned on sound clips. And while I commented on how if this PhD thing doesn't work out I can always go write lyrics for American Idol (has anyone else realized that AI can also stand for artificial intelligence?), I also noticed that I'd much rather listen/sing along to Katharine. Granted, I probably won't buy either CD. But if the airwaves are going to be assaulted, I'd keep the radio on for Miss McPhee.
That said, my money is still on Taylor. Damn that Simon.