there and back again

Silliness for pre-plane ride jitters.
June 26, 2008, 11:56 am
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I tried to give you rhymes and iambs,
To set our rocking, our intoxicating
Licoriceblack rhythm to a meter,
Recognizable and true, and then
You stomped it neatly into pieces
And swept them underneath the bed.

You aren’t so pretty, neither am I
Recognizable in our relations—
Sticky comfortable in sodden August.
Maybe it’s okay to be irrelevant
With you; irreverently we toss away
Full, sweet-smelling cartons of tradition. 

I’m not yet worried we don’t versify;
We’ve stockpiled charm enough for two.


Packing up my stuff and leaving town.
June 26, 2008, 8:54 am
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Plane at seven tonight to London and then in Cambridge by Saturday afternoon.  At this particular point in time I can’t imagine anywhere I want to be less than the UK, but that’s the way it goes.  It’s been a rough week or so and I haven’t posted anything for fear of sounding exceptionally whiny.  I think once I’m actually settled down and unpacked I’ll be able to feel more positive about the whole experience.  At the moment I miss everyone too much.

Sadly the people I’m missing already aren’t my family; I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m having to confront that the fact that as much as I love my family (and I do, we’re all pretty close), I may not love them as much as I love my friends.  It’s a strange feeling, to realize that you’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon people who suit you so well, who you love more than you can possibly express, and then to feel a little guilty about it.  I think maybe it’s an age thing.  In another five years I’ll swing back and feel more balanced.  But for now it’s painful to think about how long I’m going without the things in life that make me truly happy.

Leaving for a few days then, and I’ll give you a picture to tide you over.  About two weeks ago I went to the MET and saw one of the photography exhibits they’ve got on right now.  Of all the offensively British pictures in the exhibit, this one takes the cake.  A long time ago, my family went to Wales for a few weeks and I spent all my time climbing on ruined cathedrals.  They didn’t look like this one; they were more rugged, older and somehow more authentic, but it’s a nice picture anyway.

Rievaulx Abbey, 1854 – Roger Fenton

Sound of summer right now.
June 17, 2008, 11:58 pm
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Just a Friend – Biz Markie

baby you got what I need  

In other news, I really need a new shade of nail polish.
June 16, 2008, 11:14 pm
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I’ve been thinking a lot about how people who have been friends forever tend to perceive each other.  We put each other into little boxes—not out of cruelty but because it’s easier, it’s part of human nature.  We like that we’ve got such comfortable routines, that we have a shared history.  

I’ve always had this terrible habit of bitting my fingernails; it started as a nervous habit that I just couldn’t break.  But I’ve been trying to get rid of it this summer and one of the ways I’ve tried to stop is by always keeping my nails painted.  This isn’t something I normally do; in general, I tend to be pretty low maintenance about little things like that, make-up and such.  But I’m liking having red nails this summer.

On the other hand, my friends are totally perplexed.  Did you ever have one of those days when you wore something a little fancy or different and everyone you saw made a huge deal about it?  They’d smile at you and ask what the special occasion was or who you were trying to impress and I really hated it.  As I get older, I spend more time thinking about how I look and what I like to wear; it’s less about vanity and more about that fact that as I get more mature I like taking bigger risks with what I wear, I like experimenting with how I look and how others see me.  I didn’t really ever rock the boat, sartorially speaking, in high school.  So now if I ever show up wearing something a little different, or with painted nails, I have to have the whole “special occasion” conversation.  So we have the conversation and I have to defend why I’m wearing a dress or why I’m wearing heels and it gets awkward.  I start to feel less confident in what I’m wearing and my friend then has to backtrack.  You look nice, they’ll say, just different from usual.

I wish that sometimes we gave people a little more leeway for personal expression.  I’m not perfect, I’ve definitely asked people why they’ve chosen what they’re wearing day to day.  But isn’t fashion really just another form of personal expression?  I don’t ask people why they listen to the music they like, or why they chose to get that particular haircut.  It’d be nice if we could give everyone a little more room to experiment with who they are.  

Sometimes I really wish people would just smile and say, “Hey, you look nice.” 

In which I fail to discuss anything of interest.
June 15, 2008, 10:34 pm
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Perhaps my most personal blog post yet!  And about brushing teeth!  Read on!

So, I just spent about ten minutes cleaning my teeth.  I’ve got an appointment next week and sadly I am playing catch up on my dental hygiene in order to escape the wrath of my dentist.  Brushing teeth is one of those weird things that if you get really fixated about it, you can spend literally as much time as you want on the process and still never be satisfied.  I don’t get really fanatic about my teeth; I brush them twice a day yeah, but I’m mad lazy about flossing or buying mouth wash if I’ve run out.  Basically I clean my teeth best when I’m about to be shamed and humiliated.  But now my mouth feels both slightly sore and really, really tingly.


More political musings. (Written by other people.)
June 14, 2008, 11:59 pm
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A lot of the time I rely on other people to write eloquently on subjects which I care about and interest me.  I feel like I’ve always got this tangled mush of thoughts in my head that I’m totally unable to express in the way that I want.  I can start to tell people what I believe, but so rarely is what I’m saying the same as what I’m thinking.  There’s a horrible disconnect that I can’t overcome.  I’m hoping that it’s the sort of gap that closes with maturity and practice. 

Thankfully, I’ve got Frank Rich to say exactly what I think, in the sort of stunningly elegant language that I’m incapable of producing.  Thanks for the help, Frankie. 

Angry Clinton Women ♥ McCain?  Nope, it’s just that the media is really fucking dumb

Oh sweet sleep is coming.
June 13, 2008, 10:50 pm
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I tend to think of myself as a pretty smart person.  I am not bragging, particularly, and the snobbish tendencies I possess are mostly related to books, movies, music, etc.  But when it comes to common sense, to following directions and critical thinking, I like to think I’m ahead of the curve.  

So why did I spend the last two days sweating buckets and holding back tears in an effort to assemble a desk and a chest of drawers?  I really thought that I had the whole moving thing figured out.  I didn’t go to IKEA to buy my stuff, for that place is evil.  Everything is so stylish and cute, but that smug feeling of good taste disappears when you attempt to assemble a bunk bed using only pictograms.  So I went to good old Target.  And yet, I suffered.  Frankly, I had faith in Target, but it’s gone now.  I loved how nice Target seemed, how simply stylish and yet unpretentious.  I even really liked in when Target bought all the ad space in that one issue of The New Yorker and gave it over to cool graphic designers.  I didn’t flinch when Target enthusiasts called the store “Tar-zhay.”  Well, fuck that.  No more!

Now, I look like I’ve been in the wars and I’ve got sore muscles in places I was pretty sure contained only fat, skin, and bones.  But my room in Baltimore is set up, damnit.  And I’m too tired to write anymore.  Sorry for being boring.  Tomorrow I’m off to laze about in the park and see Vampire Weekend along with the entire hipster population of the eastern seaboard.


Target, you cruel ungrateful bastard.