Monday, December 15, 2008
2. For each subsequent question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing the game as well as the person you got the note from.
IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU FOR SPARE CHANGE, WHAT DO YOU SAY?
Star Mile, Joshua Radin
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DATE?
Have You Seen My Love?, Barenaked Ladies
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A JOB?
Easy Way Out, Elliott Smith
WHAT IS YOUR LATEST DILEMMA?
WHY DON'T YOU HAVE MORE MONEY?
Belle & Sebastian, Belle & Sebastian
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET NICKNAME?
Strange & Beautiful (I'll Put a Spell on You), Aqualung
WHERE DO YOU GO AT NIGHT?
Fighting in a Sack, The Shins
WHAT IS YOUR EMERGENCY PLAN?
Teenage Love Song, Rilo Kiley
WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR FRIENDS?
Tournament of Hearts, The Weakerthans
WHAT DO YOU DO FIRST THING IN THE MORNING?
Curbside Prophet, Jason Mraz
WHAT IS YOUR RINGTONE?
Against All Odds, The Postal Service
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN FIVE YEARS?
Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid), Sufjan Stevens
WHAT IS YOUR POLITICAL AFFILIATION?
Kissing the Lipless, The Shins
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY?
You and the Night and the Music, Frank Sinatra
WHAT CAN YOUR COUNTRY DO FOR YOU?
Put the Lights on the Tree, Sufjan Stevens
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?
WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, PAL?
Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman), Counting Crows
WHAT IS ON YOUR CHRISTMAS WISH LIST?
I've Had the Time of My Life, Dirty Dancing Soundtrack
WHAT'S THE BEST SONG TO MAKE LOVE TO?
Cemeteries of London, Coldplay
WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A KLONDIKE BAR?
The Last Unicorn, Kenny Loggins
WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE ?
If You're Gone, Matchbox Twenty
WHAT MAKES YOUR BLOOD BOIL?
Kingdom Come, Coldplay
WHAT MAKES YOUR LOINS ACHE?
Wild Pack of Family Dogs, Modest Mouse
WHAT'S THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS?
Baby Blue Sedan, Modest Mouse
WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
Giving It Away, Mae
WHO IS YOUR MORTAL ENEMY?
Painting by Chagall, The Weepies
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH YOUR LIFE?
Any Man of Mine, Shania Twain
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
Follow You Down, Gin Blossoms
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Myriad Harbour, The New Pornographers
Not tagging anyone, but everyone. (And if K and RG jumped off a cliff, I'm totally jumping too.)
Friday, December 12, 2008
by Clement Moore
Actually, it was originally called “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” but apparently that ruins the ending.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
Santa Claus is Bishop Nicholas, who lived in the 4th century A.D. He was very rich, generous, and loving toward children. Often he gave to poor children by throwing gifts in through their windows. This was a problem when the windows were closed.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
The average person gains 7 to 10 pounds during the holidays. Eat up.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
Quick survey: How many of your parents actually slept on the night before Christmas? I mean, toy assembly alone keeps them up until what? 1, 2 in the morning? And then the kids are up at 4? This is just perpetuating another vicious myth.
Where were we? Clatter. . . matter. . . flash. . . snow. . . You know all this. Mostly filler.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
Fact: Our idea of St. Nick was actually created by the Coca-Cola company. Seriously. So you can thank them for Coke, Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, and Santa Claus.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!
Two thoughts on the reindeer: One, some people argue that they replaced Pagan gods. Two, this poem is the first time they were ever named. You’d think a poet could have done better.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
Okay, assuming Santa is strictly visiting Christian children, he still has 300 million children to visit in one night. And if each child gets a 2-pound toy, then the sleigh has to carry over 321,000 tons plus Santa and his holiday weight gain. In order to get everywhere, Santa has to travel at 650 miles per second. 321,000 tons at 650 miles per second would create such enormous friction, Santa and his reindeer would burst into flames.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.
Monday, December 08, 2008
See the difference? Look closely.
Utah cold has a car. Let me say that again. Utah cold has a Car.
I suddenly find myself in desparate need of coat, gloves, scarf, a second scarf to wrap around my head, and I'm still Cold. Which leads to why I wore pants to church yesterday.
If it's cold in jeans/trousers, it's even colder in a skirt. I've invested in tights (which I hate for various and obvious reasons), but with the snow, tights and heels seemed like a really bad idea yesterday. (Case in point: the week before I nearly did the splits on my 10-minute walk to the El. Luckily it was a narrow skirt, which provided some control.) So I decided I would put on my tights, but wear pants and boots until I got to church.
I'm so clever.
Until I got to the church bathroom, claimed the large stall, reached in my bag, pulled out my heels, reached in again, and
Right before I left for church, I had decided I wanted to wear a different skirt than I orignally planned. So I took the first skirt from my bag
and never put the second skirt in.
Friday, December 05, 2008
I hope you have an awesome party tonight and a wonderful birthday tomorrow. And tell Mom to give you your birthday present from me. Now.
Seriously. Go get your present. There's nothing else here.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
M at. . . I'm not sure. But she looks awesome, as always.
A local photog asked M to model for her. This is one of my favorites.
Stay tuned for more Maryn tomorrow!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Abby has learned to say my name, or a version of my name. She learned this after I moved and I feel a little cheated. Or very cheated, take your pick. That, and missing Lauren, led to “Dear Sister,” a poem of letters and what can’t be in letters. I’m thinking there are a few more of these to follow, in one form or another.
Seth is at BYU, a fully-grown freshman. When I think of him, it’s most often the shake of his head he picked up when he had long hair and still does with short hair. I know he’s just months away from being one of the most amazing missionaries, but he’s still my baby brother. All this found its way to a still-untitled poem that wasn’t about him, but all of those boys (men?) like him. And him.
During the spring and summer at home, I had Maryn stories to tell. I miss telling those stories. They were funny and sweet and just a little doting (on my part). At the end of the summer, I asked Maryn to tell me stories. She still sends me emails with her stories, which thrill me. She’s living a life that is amazing and I love hearing about her life. Those stories belong in any number of poems and books and etc, but I wonder if Maryn will be the one to write them.
Always Be My Baby
And his new single, “Light On,” which I actually like (or maybe I'm just glad that they’ve stopped making him sing “The Time of My Life”):
And, just because this is my blog and I can do what I like, David Archuleta singing “Apologize” with One Republic, which was brilliant. Charming little devil.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I have been away from Utah for six days now, and in Chicago for even longer. Well, not longer, but it feels that way. I feel as though I've been here forever and ever and ever, but not in a good way. That being said, here is a reckoning of my days:
Wednesday (September 17): I (meaning my mother) finished packing that morning. I (meaning me) flew away on an airplane with absolutely no leg room but a very nice man who helped me lift my over-regulation (shh! it's a secret) weight carryon into the overhead compartment. Another nice man helped me retrieve the stupid thing when the flight landed and the fasten seatbelt light finally turned off. And then the real fun began. After waiting for twenty minutes at the baggage carousel where the flight attendents and all signs directed me, I concluded that my baggage wasn't coming and then began a run around trying to locate my baggage. (No, I didn't think to check this blog.) Eventually I was directed to the lost and found, where a very small woman attempted to help me with my very large bags. I was tired and frantic and smelly and frizzy when Emily and Joe found me, led me to their car, and drove me to my new apartment.
Thursday (September 18): I woke up remarkably early, considering. Managed to get dressed and find my way to the El, which I love. I caught the Red Line to the Purple Line, and arrived in Evanston. I'm told Evanston is beautiful. It was hot, humid, and there were a lot of freshmen as lost and confused as I was. But I managed to find the Student Center, get my ID, and make an appearance at the Institute picnic, where, I confess, I was mostly there for the food. I did find out about the young single adult branch, and returned to Chicago, where my roommate (flatmate, really) Monica was kind enough to drive me to Target (blessed place) for a few essentials (like something to put my clothes in). That night I was a brave little trooper and walked the two blocks to marvel at the neighborhood market, featuring food in at least seven languages (and Kinder Bueno!).
Friday (September 19): The day I actually discovered that the Market sells Kinder Bueno, but still. . . Caught the El again, this time to downtown Chicago, where my classes are this term. Found the building, the classroom, the bookstore, the books. I love the books. And then I dragged my insanely heavy bag down the street to the Museum of Contemporary Art, where Ferris Bueller was not filmed, but where there are a few beautiful and interesting things to be seen. It woke me up a little, which I need in current condition of permanent dazedness. I actually drafted a new poem (!) and spent the night working on some other ideas that I've been playing around with.
Saturday (September 20): Saturday was a special day because (1) I used both the El and the Metra to make my way out to Rolling Meadows and Emily and Joe, and (2) with Emily's guidance and assistance, I finally figured out how I could make it to church on Sunday. I also realized that Northwestern's intercampus shuttle bus thing has a stop right behind the El station--and it's free! Finally something is free!
Sunday (September 21): I left my apartment at 9:15 a.m. to walk a mile to the Metra stop for what I thought was a 10:32 train (I was giving myself time to get lost and to not get too sweaty). It was actually a 10:52 train, so I waited for at least an hour. Made it to Wilmette, and was given a ride from the train station to church by a girl who is going back to school for her MBA. Church was nice and normal and the people were friendly. That, and I realized that I'll probably be able to take the El into Evanston and then get a ride from there--no more walking a mile to Church! (Although it would make a great pseudo-missionary story.)
Sunday gets two paragraphs, because after the adventure that was church, I braced myself for the adventure that was "Going to Prof's House for Creative Writing Opening Social." Although, I didn't realize what kind of adventure it would be. The Addison stop, where her house is, is right next to Wrigley Stadium, where every Cub fan in the world was celebrating. (I have been informed that to survive this experience, I too must be a Cub fan.) Long story short, I asked the wrong person for directions and found myself a mile away from where I was supposed to be, in bad shoes, and thick thick fog. I called in the calvary (go Dad!), got turned around, and made it to the Prof's house for an evening of talking with mostly fiction and creative nonfiction writers. Not that I'm biased, but. . . I am. I really wanted a poet or two to talk back and forth with.
Which leads me to today, even though today is Tuesday and not yesterday (Monday). I have spent the past two days on the Chicago campus, online, trying to find a job. Because I must have one. The whole money thing, coupled with the whole Sarah-must-have-a-schedule thing. Class starts in a little over an hour and where I would usually be nervous (and mostly likely will reach that point), I just want it to start. I want to talk influences and ideas and language and poetry. Because that's why I'm here--or, at least, it's a starting point to why I'm here.
Note: This reckoning does not include the many phone calls home or the few phone calls to people in the area who are supposed to be in the know. I went easy on the anxiety, the doubt, the frustration, because. . . well. . . I'm hoping I reach a point where this move is a good memory and not a "I'm so glad that's over" memory. Right now, it's sixes which way it will go.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I have a place to live. And a roommate. And apparently a fondess for conjunctions.
Symposium on Poetics on Friday. Featuring Kim Johnson, Jay Hopler, Susan Howe, Lance Larsen, and Paisley Rekdal. In seating order, of course. And my favorite quotes. Ever.
Larsen: "All we can do is filch or fabricate [our poetics]. All lyric poems are one."
Howe: "my poetry operates cynically"
Hopler: "my poems tend to be smarter than I am"
Hopler quoting James Tate: "If you're not surprised by the poem, the reader's not surprised by the poem."
Johnson: The function of poetry is to "redeem the unrepresentable in the world".
Hopler: "the inevitable fall [down the page]"
Larsen/Johnson: The poem itself ought to be its own experience/world and follow its own rules. It casts a shadow on this world.
Hopler: Language has to be beautiful in a way the world cannot be.
Hopler: What a poem is about is the least interesting thing about a poem.
Johnson: When I start with those four words, I assume the poem is already there.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
This was my contribution: the duck quilt. There are rumors the child likes it, but I have yet to witness said affection. And no, I won't be making any more quilts.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
that's how this day feels. on repeat.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I'm really bored and trying not to think too much.
Opening Credits: "White Christmas" sung by The Drifters
Waking Up: "If You Were Coming in the Fall" by Carla Bruni
First Day at School: "Lost!" by Coldplay
Falling in Love: "Oh Lately It's So Quiet" by OKGo
Losing Virginity: "Think Awhile" by Cary Brothers
Fight Song: "Death of an Interior Decorator" by Death Cab for Cutie
Breaking Up: "Chills" by Ben Lee
Prom: "Tinfoil Hats" by Rocky Votolato
Life: "Twenty-Four" by Switchfoot
Mental Breakdown: "Keep On Running" by The Spencer Davis Group
Driving: "I Do" by 98 Degrees
Flashback: "Kissing the Lipless" by The Shins
Getting Back Together: "Everybody Knows" by Leonard Cohen
Wedding: "Young Pilgrim" by The Shins
Birth of Child: "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
Final Battle: "Have You Seen My Love?" by Barenaked Ladies
Death Scene: "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" by Al Green
Funeral: "If She Wants Me" by Belle & Sebastian
End Credits: "Piazza, New York Catcher" by Belle & Sebastian (from Juno soundtrack)
If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?
1. Open your music library.
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you’re cool...just type it in, man!
- Opening Credits: "Alone Down There" by Modest Mouse
- Waking Up: "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson
- First Day at School: "It's Good to Be in Love" by Frou Frou
- Falling in Love: "Daisy Jane" by America
- Losing Virginity: "Act of the Apostle Part 2" by Belle & Sebastian
- Fight Song: "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles
- Breaking Up: "Speed Lab" by John Vanderslice
- Prom: "Me and My 424" by John Vanderslice
- Life: "Girl Can't Help It" by Journey
- Mental Breakdown: "Jenny was a Friend of Mine" by The Killers
- Driving: "A Minor Incident" by Badly Drawn Boy
- Flashback: "The Way You Look Tonight" by Michael Buble
- Getting Back Together: "Take Control" by Weezer
- Wedding: "If You're Gone" by Matchbox Twenty
- Birth of Child: "Love is No Big Truth" by The Kings of Convenience
- Final Battle: "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi
- Death Scene: "Coney Island" by Death Cab for Cutie
- Funeral Song: "To Be Myself Completely" by Belle and Sebastian
- End Credits: "Last Call" by Mae
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
- Fidelity, Regina Spektor
- Where Does the Good Go, Tegan & Sara
- Cath. . ., Death Cab for Cutie
- Wuthering Heights, Pat Benatar
- I'm a Broken Heart, The Bird & The Bee
- Falling Slowly, Once (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)
- Die Alone, Ingrid Michaelson
- Out Loud, Dispatch
- I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Panic at the Disco
- Company Calls Epilogue, DCFC
- These Photographs, Joshua Radin
- Paperweight, Joshua Radin w/Schulyer Fisk
- Chicago, Sufjan Stevens
Lucky 13. The list I put together last night is actually 76 songs. It includes a lot (a lot) of Death Cab and the Shins--not a big surprise--and a healthy representation of the rest of my iTunes library.
Suggestions? Questions? Comments?
Credits: K for intro'ing me to The Bird & The Bee, England and Lit for "Wuthering Heights," and TB for Radin's "These Photographs"
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So far I have tried taking a bath (which woke me up), reading magazines (bad idea), and listening to my iPod (really bad idea). Now there is so much in my head that I'm getting this off-kilter sense where everything has sped up around me except the voice in my head who is monologuing (and the voice isn't that great of a monologuer).
Thought one. The magazines were wedding magazines, of which I confess to owning a small stack. A stack which has increased in size since Sven announced he was engaged (except he didn't announce it--Mom told me to call him, and he told me in a very short conversation because he was at work). I've spent way too much time in these magazines, on wedding blogs, and just hearing about weddings lately. And the Wedding (Sven's, not mine) is on Thursday. This Thursday. Which just leads to another round of profanity.
Thought two. What is my brother doing, getting married? I kind of understood Lauren getting married--it was inevitable, and I like JessE (not a typo--Pixar boy's name is getting a Wall-E update). But Sven was supposed to come home from his mission and focus on school. Not focus on school and attaching himself to some chick. Which she's not just some chick. She's sharp and down-to-earth and cute and I like her. But why couldn't he stay single for a month? Two months? I mean, seriously. Seriously.
Thought three. Confession: During blog posts like this, I skip over to this post from someone I've never met. But it makes me happy and shuts down the pity party for one.
Thought four. You are invited to my pity party.
Thought five. There are a lot of things I'm ready to leave. More things I want to hold onto. But it's time. And realizing that it's time just makes me panic at the thought of not having an opportunity to leave.
Thought six. I cited Wordsworth in my statement. I don't particularly like Wordsworth.
Thought seven. I have to be awake in five hours.
In the immortal words of hmp, "Dammit."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I'm a writer. Who has no idea what she's writing about.
Here's the thing: I'm sending one last application out into the void/abyss/hellhole. Only this one is for an MFA. I can't get by on my academic charm (of which I have many). It's the poetry first and foremost, and then how I talk about the poetry. Steve Tuttle warned me of this: I have to say what it is I write.
I don't know what I write.
I write about wings, because they began to represent Trent, and then (I think) they became something bigger than that one friend. They represent the people who leave, one way or another.
I write about backs (although I don't think any back poems made it into this writing sample) because I am acutely aware of my own back, my own pain, and because the shoulder blades suggest wings.
I write at and about and around art because I wish I were a painter--even if Dickinson and O'Hara argue against it. Because there can be an entire world in a canvas--something I think my poetry suggests is that a poem can't contain the world, can barely contain a piece of it.
Kim once said I write about relationships. And I was mildly annoyed with her. But she was right: every poem is creating the space between people. The space we can't cross. The space we try to cross. There is the speaker and there is the "you." And the "you" is god or a man or all men and all women.
Jordan asked who I wrote "First and Last Looks" for, because it must be a love poem. I didn't tell him that there wasn't anyone to love like that.
In "things incommon," I propose an artist's statement of sorts: "This poem//is autobiographical mostly it is honest it lets me love you on days//which never come you know love is [. . .]" I am writing what I know, what I don't know, and (most of all) what I want. I want art and life and wings of my own. I have lived in the same state, in the same place, for over two decades--just a few years in Texas to break up the years in Utah. I want a chance to experience something new, someone new. I don't want to sit in on neighborhood gossip and suddenly be approached by the mention of Michael, who was the original "you." Which means that there was, once, someone to love like that.
That's what my poetry is about: the Other and trying to connect with the Other, trying to establish relationships. It's about remembering those who don't always want to be remembered, or who the speaker doesn't want to remember. "Memory is a verb is is an action is an abstract withdrawn functioning of function of the chair holding folding dropping and fall, fall, fall. Forget to stand I forget to walk forget to experience the morning and everything falls with him with you and you all fly away golden godlike."
But this is too honest, in my mind, for a statement of purpose: Dear Sirs and Madams of the Admissions Board: I need to leave Utah. I need new ideas to write about. I need a chance to live outside of these relationships.
And yet. . . I don't think I will ever let go, even when "you" do.
Monday, July 14, 2008
That being said,
I haven't been able to keep my head on straight today. It's full of poetries and Andrew Bird (I'm going to that concert) and self-doubts and people coming home and people not coming home.
As for home, apparently it is 5:00 and time to leave the office.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I forgot that inspiration comes from other spaces.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Created with Flickr and Mosaic Maker. . . (I borrowed this from my cousin, who borrowed it from someone else, etc.)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I've meant to post this week in response to last Friday's post and the comments it generated. Well, that post and AA's chat comment to me about my need for intellectual communities.
I didn't mean to imply that April or FOB or Poetasters were dead to me. I live for emails and blog posts and IMs and the occasional visit, like the one I just wrote about. K keeps me on my toes aesthetically; Ginsberg offers careful consideration of what I'm doing in my writing which almost always leads to stronger drafts and new poems; Anna and Brooke are two of my best cheerleaders; TB will let me bitch about how pathetic I am without making me believe it; Theric pushes me to send out my writing; etc., etc., etc. There is no end to the support I have in writing, and in my life. The only drawback is that you (collectively and individually) are not here. We don't meet once a week to discuss, in person, what we're working on. I miss that. I miss the back and forth that those writing groups allowed me. And I miss having people I can sit down with to talk about line breaks or narrative structure or. . .
I'm not sure how much longer either of us can read this post. I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate who you are and what you have been and are in my life--writing and otherwise.
P.S. Ginsberg: I'm giving myself five more years.
Friday, June 13, 2008
As I paint, I lose myself in the joy of the work. Later, I'm overcome by an old familiar feeling of faint hope, that maybe I'm capturing something there on the canvas, some essence of what's in my mind's eye. Is this what Jeffrey meant, about meeting God? God, is that you?
In the cold light of morning, of course, there's another old familiar feeling. Dread. What I imagined as a kind of questioning look is more like a primitive muddle of ugly brown paint, in the vague shape of an eyeball.
from Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him
I am always reciting James Dewey's reading quote--something about how poets are failed musicians or failed painters. I would add failed dancer. There's something validating in that thought; then again, I somehow find validation in James Dewey, the way he carried himself, the way he presented his thoughts, the way he approached what he did, does. And of course, there's the fact that you can't separate one name from the other: James Dewey.
This is not a post about James Dewey.
I was considering the similarities between the art forms, between the frustrations the art forms present the artist. I was relating with this book which will end with Mia finding herself as an artist as well as falling in love, and I suddenly won't want to believe in a fictional contemporary painting titled Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, although I writhe in envy over the title.
The poem I posted last night, and then pulled. . . I don't know what it is. I'm not sure what I'm doing anymore. I don't have the sounding boards in place anymore, not the immediacy of weekly validation and applause and critique. I guess I need to emerge from my new basement room and find a writing group. I just know how much I commit myself to those groups. We talked about how there could never be april again, and there can't. But there were Fob and Poetasters. As I write this, it's what I've been missing. I have no idea how to find one, or if there is such a thing in Bountiful.
I keep trying to explain what it is that happens for me in a writing group. I can't do it without a trip to Hallmark, so I'll leave it alone. But at least I know what I need.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
First half of the day down. I'm not sure I'll survive the rest.
And yes, I realize I went from no-caps to caps, but that's the kind of day it's been.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
P.S. Did no one notice that the old deskset was also pink? I tried to find one in a different color, but no real luck. Maybe I'll keep looking. . . but this one is so pretty. . .
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
1. In a fit of annoyance, I buy The Bell Jar, a book I have avoided up to this point in my life. Me reading a book about a depressed, suicidal writer (does not equal) anything good. I'm surprisingly taken with Plath's prose--mostly the way she doesn't signal "I'm about to enter a poetic turn of phrase to describe my madness." She just does it, moving back and forth with a straight-forwardness that defines her madness. I didn't finish it until we got home (on Saturday), but there are some interesting ideas there. That, and now I can say that I've read it.
2. My family has a thing for aquariums, and so, instead of visiting Disneyland or LegoLand, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which isn't as big as it thinks it is, but is still very very cool. Seth and I both have a thing for otters; Lauren got to introduce Abby to all sorts of creepy looking creatures; and I got some cool shots of crystal jellyfish. . . there's something really bizarre and cool and terrifying about jellyfish.
3. In a moment of family bonding, I carted Seth from the parking lot of the airport to the curb where the rest of the family (and massive amounts of luggage) were being delivered. This involved crossing a few streets, as well as the rental car lot. Quite possibly the best moment of the vacation.
4. Returned to Utah, Bountiful, and waking up at 6:15 a.m. I hate 6:15 a.m. But I'm reading Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him (which is, unfortunately, not nearly as cool as the title suggests), and bracing myself for an onslaught of theorists as my favorite professor attempts once again to teach me theory.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I have been sending out poems (!), courtesy of a job that leaves me with a little free time here and there. Today I got another rejection, but with a promising note that the editor really liked "Garden of the Musee Rodin." It makes me feel one step closer.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This past week I have made lists and more lists and bought books (and more books). I don't think I'm one step closer to where I should be. And what I have done, wasn't part of the Plan.
I taught a six/seven-year-old Primary class on Sunday. I thought I was getting four or five kids, and was crossing my fingers for only one hell-raiser--although, sans hell-raiser, it's two very dull hours.
What I got was seven kids, all of them hyper in their own (mostly) fantastic way. My favorite moment came at the beginning of the lesson when, after I had told them who my brother and sister are, one boy started a mutiny by shouting, "You can't teach us! You're just a teenager!" I explained that I wasn't a teenager, that I was (am) 25. Their response? "But you're not married! You can't teach us anything!"
My response: "Well, I guess I could go find you an old married lady who didn't bring you treats today to be your teacher."
If only all problems could be solved with token chocolate.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
- I'm avoiding Provo. Because Provo makes me feel inadequate. And gives me anxiety attacks. And yet, I miss it.
- I am deeply disappointed in myself
- but I'm not giving up yet.
- I hate talking about Sven's wedding, but I'll talk about anyone else's, and in my head, I'm planning my own.
- I come home from work ready to sleep the night away. I'm not sure at what point I wake up for the rest of the night. It's different every day.
- Apparently File Boy has attitude. It makes work more bearable.
- Did I spell that right?
- I went with Marz tonight to an improv show. When I called out Say Anything, the oldest improvers and the host were thrilled. Everyone else in the room, audience included, were confused. It was a sad day in the city of Bountiful.
- This internet connection is pretty terrible, plus my computer is jumpy, which means
- I'm signing off.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Beasley: "If a poem is a place of extremity--emotional, linguistic, spiritual--no gloss is going to assimilate its monstrous body--phoneme, syllable, image, chant, word." (Toward a Poetics of Monstrosity)
Bellen: "The way lines of poetry slip past one another. Rooms connected by elongated 'U's or zigzagging corridors and natural sounds linger in negative space--rooms we open in to. Rooms that speak a foreign language. Rooms that write a different language than they speak." (Time Travel and Poetry)
Hillman: "The spiritual life of a poet is dialectical, full of unresolved struggle that is simultaneously terrifying & pleasurable." (Seam Poetics)
If I dared, I would type out all of Hillman for you. Brilliant brilliant brilliant. I'm looking at the MFA program she teaches at. . . which leads me to part 2 of the report.
PhD prep: I'm hitting this as hard as possible this year. It's May and I'm researching schools and studying for the GRE--the general GRE. My goal is to get my verbal score off the charts. Or at least the top of the chart. (For the record, it's not that bad right now. I just want to add some sparkle.) I invested in Kaplan's vocab cards--I could make my own, but I'm too lazy. And I'm scared by some of the words I thought I knew that I just plain don't. Those are the hardest to learn, because I can't seem to erase 25 years of misguided vocab. I've now created a GRE word of the day, so that I can have it show up every time I check my blog. (Which AA tells me I need to stop doing and just get Google Reader already.)
As for the rest of your suggestions:
Movies: I downloaded the AFI 100 list. And then watched Iron Man, Transporter, National Treasure 2, and Ronin. I like my list.
Writing: Ginsberg provided a nice jumpstart back into some poetry this week with his comments. I'm reworking what was once "Litany" (it's currently untitled because titles are not my friends) and "on love." Both apparently need more plant life. . .
Hip-Hop/R&B album: In the works. Missing the Fobees and their unique input.
Magazines: Picked up Poetry and Poets & Writers. Thought about Cosmo or Glamour, but who really has time for that?
Books: Why did no one tell me Mark Strand's Man and Camel was in paperback? It's on my nightstand. And it still has the ugliest cover ever.
And I added my own idea to the list: Sleep. Which I'm about to do.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I still feel the need to toss around ideas in a no-pressure space, but at the same time, I'm tired of the constant navel-gazing deskset-for-one mode. It's beginning to read like my journal from high school--I only write when I need to emote. I'm also not at a place in my life where I want to be posting regular updates about where I am and what I'm doing. I'm in Utah working at a law firm. That covers it. No need for a daily report on what time the mail came or what Old Man Mayor said before leaving yet another message for his attorney (yesterday, when I said I would deliver the message, it was "God bless you, my angel").
What I do need right now is a place to conduct what I like to think of as "The Self-Education of Sarah Jenkins." In exile from academia, I know I'm at risk of losing that part of myself. I didn't realize how quickly it could leave me until today when I curled against the arm of the couch at work (after hours, waiting for Dad to finish up) and began reading the intro to Lyric Postmodernisms. I could feel myself processing and considering Shepard's account of the contemporary lyric, understanding his project and how this anthology proposed to present itself. This is what I want to be doing, this is what I am going to do, with or without a PhD program, with or without a syllabus guiding me. Over the next year, or however long it is, this blog is going to be a place for me to write about writing, to see what and how other poets are writing, and to make some progress in figuring out exactly what I want to do as a writer--that is a question I still haven't answered. Part of me wants to say that I'll take on Kim Johnson's final paper again and write about my poetic project. And maybe I will. Maybe now I'll finally be able to figure out what I'm trying to accomplish when I write. And I will take any and all suggestions as to reading material, writing prompts, etc. I know that there aren't many reading this blog anymore, but I trust those who are and I invite/beg you to stay with me this year. It's time for me to finally stand on my own.
And now you can make your joke about the girl who's living with her parents again.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I've tried both approaches. When L got engaged, my family assumed that I'd choose option B (B for bitching), and so I was left alone in glorious single bitterness. Now that Sven is engaged, they've somehow forgotten the lessons learned only a few years ago--keep this editorgirl away from all wedding details, and everything will work out fine. Oddly enough, my grumpiness is no longer chalked up to being single. I have to keep reminding the family (okay, my parents) that I like Sven's betrothed. Who apparently needs a 'nym. She's not Mary Poppins (sigh of relief). She's more. . . should we stick with Disney? Hmm. Actually (moment of inspiration), the girl is reportedly a fan of Audrey Hepburn, so for now she's Miss Doolittle. (There's that thrill of a very complicated inside joke there, which maybe one day I'll share.)
So Sven and Miss Doolittle are getting married at the end of July. And I bounce back and forth between participation and annoyance. But the scales are tipping as not one, but two of my best friends from high school are also taking the marital plunge this summer. I would like to point out, these are my last two high school best (girl) friends who are single with me. And for them, I am putting on the happy face. Hell, for them, I am putting on bridal showers. But I don't know how much of this I can deal with before I crack.
I want the wedding. The wedding, which will hopefully come with a marriage, a boy, and, yes, one hell of a dress. In the meantime, I'm just going to keep watching 27 Dresses because not only is it my life, but James Marsden is adorable (if you're into smart, cynical, indoor guys--which I am). And then I'll watch a whole bunch of action films because there is nothing like a few dozen explosions to clear this wedding crap from my mind.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
And in a final guesture of love and goodwill towards all poetry, here are a few books I'm opening the wallet for in the near future (because that's always so hard for me):
Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse by Darcie Dennigan
Lyric Postmodernism: An Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries edited by Reginald Shepard
and prepare to pre-order A Metaphorical God by Kimberly Johnson.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We lean back in our
which don’t match
anything except the day
you were born, which
I hesitate to tell you
was only twenty-five
days ago, which was
the first day of summer.
You identify this
as the solstice, the
only day we can meet
which has left
your window, but you
tell me not to look
directly to its light.
You will guide me,
promise, turning me
To the right is your
first chance to know
the moon, but you are
looking for me.
Monday, April 28, 2008
It's not just the writing, although as I write that, it's all about the writing. K is coming back to Utah for summer, which is one thought that keeps me going on days like today. But at the same time, I'm facing my brother's July wedding. I like the girl, I like him, I'm happy for them. At least, I'm not unhappy for them. But it's drawing attention to the fact that I'm alone, which is another thing I'm just not dealing with well now. Coming home after work is coming home to a family that is used to life without me--I join in, but I'm not really necessary. I'm just here. I need to find whatever purpose is left for me--with or without grad school and close friends and writing.
And in writing that, I'm not sure how I'm going to do this. How I'm going to live this life.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This is what I have learned about real life and being a grown up. A grown up who's moved back in with her parents, but still. No more late night runs to Sonic (because Bountiful doesn't have one) or T-shirt shopping runs. I have to dress like a grown up. For the record, I am not a dress-pant kind of girl.
To be more explicit, I have moved home to Bountiful and begun working as a receptionist (full time, 8 to 5) at the law firm where my dad is a partner. Which is not the only reason why I got the job. My MA in English also has nothing to do with it. My MA in English has nothing to do with anything.
Speaking of advanced degrees, it looks like this year was a bust on the PhDs, despite the wait listing. Most programs had their primary offers accepted, and since I wasn't on that golden primary ticket list, I'm, well, a receptionist. And yes, right now I am feeling sorry for myself. Even though I love my job, which comes with all the Diet Coke I can drink, I want to be writing poetry and talking about poetry and basically living my life the way I thought I was going to get to live it. And there's nothing poetic about that line.
This is going to be my last spewing forth of self-pity. This does not mean the blog will die. There are many work stories to be told already. . . have I told you the therapist story?
Thursday, April 03, 2008
But last night's Top Chef was totally up my alley: choose your favorite movie and make a course inspired by that film. Apparently chefs don't watch movies. I kind of want to kick them and send over my own list. My top five?
5. Better Off Dead: Use the "French" dinner scene, where Ricky's mom gets blown up. Only real French food. No "Franch" bread, fries, or dressing.
4. Hairspray: Queen Latifah and co. sing and dance with Southern dishes.
3. Ocean's Eleven: Every time you see Brad Pitt in the film, he's eating stuff you'd buy from a street vendor. Upscale that and go.
2. The most recent As You Like It: Take a classic English dish and spin it Asian.
1. Chocolat: Hello.
My favorites from the episode were Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (pure imagination), Il Postino (rustic Italian), and A Christmas Story. The last one, neither really knew anything about the film, including the title. But they knew there was a scene where the family had duck for Christmas, and they ran with it.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
That's really not the point of this post.
Over the past few months I've been, well, wedding-happy. Flipping through wedding mags in the grocery store, surfing the web, saving pictures of announcements and dresses and rings. (And since this isn't pcaaca, no "oh my!" needed.) I was rather annoyed with myself, but when [Friend] told me she was marriage inclined, sans man, too, somehow I found my craze justified. Since then, I've amped up my obsession to colors and flowers and music (you may now say "oh my!").
I'm not ashamed. I'm annoyed. I want to think that I'm "better" than all this marriage/wedding stuff. Or, if I were to be completely honest, I'd like to continue thinking that I'm not ready for all this stuff. I've gotten used to being the older single sister--times three now that Sven and Seth are attached to girls. We're placing bets that Sven will get married before 2009. Part of me thinks "Good for him." And part of me is screaming "What the hell?!?"
There is only one cure for this: bring on the PhD. Please, somebody, let me in so I can go back to the books.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Don't answer that.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Anna and Brooke at Buca's.
Diet Pepsi. . . hmm.
Three people not posing. Thanks Cutchins.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Grad apps are killing me. I live for the mail. I keep every letter, even the NOs. And there have been NOs. And you have to write NO in all caps, just so you can feel the pain of NO.
Still thinking about grad apps. And moving. As in: leaving Provo. As in: leaving Utah. As in: am I really going to do this? I hate that my future is in the hands of strangers. Even more, I hate that voice in my head laughing every time I think about moving. In one month, I'll be 25. Wait. That should get its own 'graph.
I'll be 25. Not the biggest of milestones, but a milestone all the same. I know I'm still a baby, but honestly, I thought I would have lived more by 25. Or at least kissed more. Instead I have two degrees and an apartment full of books. Don't get me wrong--I love my books--but there must be other ways to live.
Okay, a few link-thoughts for you:
David Cook and Carly Smithson are the only reason to even think about American Idol this season. And AI is a million times less exciting when you're YouTubing the aftermath.
I'm not sure why I didn't get around to seeing Dan in Real Life in theaters, but it's definitely worth renting. And I heart the soundtrack. Sondre Lerche. Must buy. When I someday have money again.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Friday started on Thursday night with me reciting all possible questions and all possible answers for the morning's defense. The result was a very blurry 6:45 wake up call for the actual defense.
Which went well. Not the wake up call. The defense. I'd even say very well. I passed. I passed! (Class, why would an author use repetition?)
And then, after an hour with L and Baby, I returned to campus for the Billy Collins reading. I was sitting in the JSB auditorium (which was filled by noon) and Jon Ogden stopped by to tell me that James Dewey was on campus. James Dewey! I confess, I was more excited about that than Billy Collins.
Billy read. I laughed. Because that's what you're supposed to do when Billy reads. And then I finally found out "what happened to James Dewey." In the past two years he's become a mythical figure.
And then, Lance asked if I would like to take an open seat at the lunch with Billy Collins. Very cool. Very good food.
L and I ended the day with Enchantment, which L hadn't seen yet. It's still cute. Funny, etc. Plus, I like popcorn and diet coke for dinner.
Thank you to everyone who was cheering for me. It helped. A lot.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
1. Why does the thesis format have to be so ugly? Can't I employ my skills typesetting to make it look pretty and readable? Thus masking all its flaws? Instead it's a double-spaced Times New Roman nightmare, complete with chapter titles in ALL CAPS. Ick ick ick.
2. After hauling a box of books (and then some) to the library on Monday, I discovered the library was claiming that four had not been returned. Admitting my messy standard of living (creative chaos. . . ), I double checked my apartment, although I was positive that the books were not here. And they weren't. A trip back to the library found them exactly where they were supposed to be--on the shelves.
3. I knew the thesis wasn't done, but I can't seem to find the energy to give the conclusion whatever enthusiasm it needs. What do I want to read at the end of my thesis? Nothing. Or perhaps I should write that "NOTHING."
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I have no problem getting rid of clothes. Pillows. Random food storage. But CDs, movies, magazines, and books--it's as if I've decided to chuck my friends into a plastic bag. There's no way I can take them all with me. Maybe the CDs and DVDs in media folders. Maybe. But the books. . .
I stumbled over a solution tonight: selling books to a used bookstore in Salt Lake. They won't be subjected to the shame of DI, but still. . . am I doing the right thing?
Friday, February 22, 2008
Unfortunately, these schools will not accept the editorgirl poll along with my transcripts and writing samples, so I guess we'll just have to wait for those envelopes to come in the mail. Drumroll please. . .
Cornell said no.
Utah said waitlisted.
Stay tuned as six other schools weigh in on my academic future.
- - -
In other news, my thesis defense will take place one week from today at 8:00 a.m. The gods must be crazy
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
And now I can't sleep. My brain won't turn off. Except what am I supposed to think about now? Other than sleep? And what revisions Chair will make me make in the morning? It is the morning. Maybe I should revise now. Except I can't. I might start screaming and that would wake the Abby Baby. Who is sleeping in Bountiful tonight.
So here's the plan: 8:00 a.m. Chair flips his way through the thesis. 9:00 a.m. I meet with Chair and listen obediently to what changes must be made before I send this thing on to committee. I'm hoping to be done with it by noon, or slightly after noon. And then I wait for them to tell me I can schedule my defense, which has to be done by Feburary 22. In the meantime. . .
Szymborska's "4 o'clock in the morning" suggests that what saves us from that awful hour is 5:00 a.m. But 5:00 a.m. is just as awful. Trust me. I have experienced it too many times.
Okay, meantime. I am planning a party. I'm not sure what day, but it will be after the defense. It will be a "Pass" party and if I can swing it, it will also be my 25th birthday party. I've wanted to be 25 for forever. Not sure why. But 25 is one I'm going to celebrate. I'm not sure what day (TB and K, this might be subject by any Utah-ward plans you have), but I know the schedule. 7:00 to 8:00: music and drinks. 8:00 to 9:00-ish: poetry reading/open-mic. Hey, it's an editorgirl party and the whole point is the poetry. And then the rest of the night will dissolve into conversation and celebration and more drinks and more music. Maybe cake. Maybe cupcakes.
Because you have to celebrate with cupcakes.