Category Archives: life

anaïs nin

“Do you know what I would answer to someone who asked me for a description of myself, in a hurry? This:

?? !!

For indeed my life is a perpetual question mark–my thirst for books, my observations of people, all tend to satisfy a great, overwhelming desire to know, to understand, to find an answer to a million questions. And gradually the answers are revealed, many things are explained, and above all, many things are given names and described, and my restlessness is subdued. Then I become and exclamatory person, clapping my hands to the immense surprises the world holds for me, and falling from one ecstasy into another. I have the habit of peeping and prying and listening and seeking–passionate curiosity and expectation. But I have also the habit of being surprised, the habit of being filled with wonder and satisfaction each time I stumble on some wondrous thing. The first habit could make me a philosopher or a cynic or perhaps a humorist. But the other habit destroys all the delicate foundations, and I find each day that I am still…only a Woman!”

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my november

Friends, I am giving myself over to NaNoWriMo for the month of November. It may come to naught, but between that and writing comedy sketches, which, I hasten to add, are like academic-level hard, my frequency of posting will be intermittent at best for the next month or so. If I do it will very likely be whining about process or something like that. It promises to be quite dull.

I have not forgotten you, internet. I will be engaged in a war with some words, of which I am simultaneously the mistress and the bitch. A girl’s gotta be versatile in this day and age.

not my poem, not my words

Writ on the Eve of My 32nd Birthday, A Poem by Gregory Corso

Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg in Lee Forest’s room, Hotel de Londres, Paris, December 1957. c. Harold Chapman

Writ on the Eve of My 32nd Birthday, A Poem by Gregory Corso

a slow thoughtful spontaneous poem

I am 32 years old
and finally I look my age, if not more.

Is it a good face what’s no more a boy’s face?

It seems fatter. And my hair,
it’s stopped being curly. Is my nose big?
The lips are the same.
And the eyes, ah the eyes get better all the time.
32 and no wife, no baby; no baby hurts,
but there’s lots of time.
I don’t act silly any more.
And because of it I have to hear from so-called friends:
“You’ve changed. You used to be so crazy so great.”
They are not comfortable with me when I’m serious.
Let them go to the Radio City Music Hall.
32; saw all of Europe, met millions of people;
was great for some, terrible for others.
I remember my 31st year when I cried:
“To think I may have to go another 31 years!”
I don’t feel that way this birthday.
I feel I want to be wise with white hair in a tall library
in a deep chair by a fireplace.
Another year in which I stole nothing.
8 years now and haven’t stole a thing!
I stopped stealing!
But I still lie at times,
and still am shameless yet ashamed when it comes
to asking for money.
32 years old and four hard real funny sad bad wonderful
books of poetry
—the world owes me a million dollars.
I think I had a pretty weird 32 years.
And it weren’t up to me, none of it.
No choice of two roads; if there were,
I don’t doubt I’d have chosen both.
I like to think chance had it I play the bell.
The clue, perhaps, is in my unabashed declaration:
“I’m good example there’s such a thing as called soul.”
I love poetry because it makes me love
and presents me life.
And of all the fires that die in me,
there’s one burns like the sun;
it might not make day my personal life,
my association with people,
or my behavior toward society,
but it does tell me my soul has a shadow.

still not nick hornby

Things I want, right effing now.

1. A cigarette, recessed filter, Parliament for choice.

2. A perfectly pulled double espresso.

3. Tickets to Oaxaca for DoD things.

4. Not to have to go to campus and see people I’ve been avoiding all summer.

5. To have perhaps not eaten 2 loaves of bread in a single weekend (ow)

6. An oxygen facial (to offset smoking)

7. To somehow be paid for writing something. Anything, really.

8. For the property management to turn on the radiators.

9. To not be getting a cavity. More ow.

10. Indian pudding with Ciao Bella vanilla gelato. Or a gingersnap.

11. This dress. And the arms to go with it. (Angela Basset’s would be ideal).

12. To perhaps not think that every comment in every medium is a personal fucking attack.

oh, america

Sometimes I get this niggling urge to go live in Europe, take public transit everywhere, enjoy raw milk cheeses, and explore cities established more than a few centuries ago. I like bridges, you see, and winding streets and architecture that’s had time to crumble. If I ever get my shit together, maybe this will happen. In the meantime,  I will admit to a deep and profound love of Americana in all its forms. This love, by the way, is completely without irony. Is sincere.

Chicago is sort of great simply because of its mid-century signage — oh, terminus of Route 66, how I appreciate your existence. Nostalgia for the west, the closing in of the prairie. It’s so spectacularly beautiful, even now. Totally the best thing about the Northwestern suburbs. Remember, guys, this used to to be the fucking frontier!

Now, while I do not love the back-and-forth trek to Kentucky– and please, no comments on Indiana as the great corn-growing crossroads of America, because while I like a tenderloin sandwich and GNR as much as the next girl–

It is still a fucking balls-ache of a state that takes HOURS to traverse in any direction, assaulting your senses with bad country music stations, billboards encouraging you to reverse your vasectomy and remember that you’ll meet Jesus after you die, and also the relentless smell of cow shit. And corn fields stretching to the horizon, industrial farming that makes me weep for the loss of the yeoman farmer (shut up, I’m allowed to romanticize just a wee bit here), and profoundly sad about the reach of agribusiness and the thumbhold of King Corn.

Last trip back, though, I did make a spectacular purchase at a truck stop. Possibly ironic, but it pleases me immensely.

WOLVES ON A DREAMCATCHER, people. It is no three-wolf moon shirt, I grant you, but it is my new writing talisman and I CHERISH IT.

a journey of self-discovery OR soul death?

National unemployment is still kicking my ass, as is the fact that, despite having almost no skill set (no, snark and an autistic-like ability to recite stretches of dialogue from 80s movies are apparently not in demand with the corporate set, who knew), I am vastly “overqualified” for all positions out there.

It’s to the point where I am considering lying outright and telling potential employers that I’ve been backpacking around Southeast Asia or living in an ashram just so I don’t have to go through the rigmarole of explaining that, no, you really can’t have a job when you’re enrolled in a full-time doctoral program, and yes, if something better comes along than this nine dollar an hour data entry soul-killing horrendousness,  I will, in fact, quit. I mean, people are into that Eat, Pray, Love shit, aren’t they? Maybe they will think I am noble rather than someone who keeps aggressively pursuing higher education for no other reason than it seems to be a bastion of marginally sane secularism in our increasingly batshit country.

So that’s fun. Except for how it, you know, totally isn’t.

Also fun? Cover letters, the genre of quiet fucking desperation and self-aggrandizement.

Part-time marketing work also provides me with words that make me think academic jargon is pretty, by comparison:

  • Leverage
  • Learnings
  • Webinar
  • Build out
  • Incentivize
  • Advertorial
  • Game-changer
  • Impactful

Good times can be had with this corporate buzzword generator.

*****

A playlist to stave off suicidal thoughts brought on by pleading job apps and marketing twats

Hedwig and the Angry Itch — Midnight Radio

David Bowie – Rock and Roll Suicide

Boston — Peace of Mind

Eliot Smith — Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud?

Supertramp — Breakfast in America

Wilco — Shot in the Arm

The Verve — Bittersweet Symphony

Tribe Called Quest — Rap Promoter

Beastie Boys — Super Disco Breakin’

Frank Black — Headache (listen to this last one at least six times running.)

listing

Things I like

Country roads + 5th gear + Boston.

Everyman actors who can carry a sitcom.

Physical comedy.

Texas Red Chili.

Physicists.

Fro-yo. Pinkberry and all its imitators.

Interracial couples (esp. with children).

Carbon & Carbide Building.

Melodic hooks.

Things I do not like

When classic rock DJs decide to “improve” a song by adding running commentary to it.

Times New Roman.

Racism masquerading as patriotism.

Litter.

People who think reading is elitist practice.

Needlessly expository dialogue.

Shoe boots with toe cut-outs. WHY?

Upselling.

Philosophy majors, for the most part.

Watching sex scenes with parents. Still horrible.

Proselyting in any way, shape, form.

Job applications only accepted in hard copy. In 2010.

Pic from the ever-awesome Allie Brosh, who’s got fashion posts at The Gloss here.