Thursday, December 20, 2007

Je t'aime Paris, je t'aime.



I love, love, love.

I need some Europe in my life. I'm craving it.

.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hats.

I love hats. Love them. I collect vintage hats (now stored at my parents' house) and try them all on each time I go home. I have a lot of hats that I wear on a regular basis, but one thing I notice is, I often take them off at the last minute, right before I leave the house. Hats are worn so rarely now, that when someone finally does embrace the idea and wear one out of the house, they get labelled as "trying to hard." Here are two hats that I adore and want BADLY.


Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart Cloche:



Sweet and Lowdown Cap:


From Dayna Pinkham Millinery at Le Train Bleu
Reason # 4,3781 Why I Love My Job

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald




Quietly and loudly crazy and I love her.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Merry Freaking Christmas

I know that my last few posts have often mentioned David Sedaris, but when I get hooked on something, I can't stop talking about it, and that's just how I am. However, in time for the holiday season, I am reproducing a great essay by David Sedaris that was not included on his Holidays on Ice collection.

Six to Eight Black Men
by David Sedaris

I'VE NEVER BEEN MUCH for guidebooks, so when trying to get my bearings in a strange American city, I normally start by asking the cabdriver or hotel clerk some silly question regarding the latest census figures. I say silly because I don't really care how many people live in Olympia, Washington, or Columbus, Ohio. They're nice enough places, but the numbers mean nothing to me. My second question might have to do with average annual rainfall, which, again, doesn't tell me anything about the people who have chosen to call this place home.

What really interests me are the local gun laws. Can I carry a concealed weapon, and if so, under what circumstances? What's the waiting period for a tommy gun? Could I buy a Glock 17 if I were recently divorced or fired from my job? I've learned from experience that it's best to lead into this subject as delicately as possible, especially if you and the local citizen are alone and enclosed in a relatively small space. Bide your time, though, and you can walk away with some excellent stories. I've heard, for example, that the blind can legally hunt in both Texas and Michigan. They must be accompanied by a sighted companion, but still, it seems a bit risky. You wouldn't want a blind person driving a car or piloting a plane, so why hand him a rifle? What sense does that make? I ask about guns not because I want one of my own but because the answers vary so widely from state to state. In a country that's become so homogenous, I'm reassured by these last touches of regionalism.

Guns aren't really an issue in Europe, so when I'm traveling abroad, my first question usually relates to barnyard animals. "What do your roosters say?" is a good icebreaker, as every country has its own unique interpretation. In Germany, where dogs bark "vow vow" and both the frog and the duck say "quack," the rooster greets the dawn with a hearty "kik-a-ricki." Greek roosters crow "kiri-a-kee," and in France they scream "coco-rico," which sounds like one of those horrible premixed cocktails with a pirate on the label. When told that an American rooster says "cock-a-doodle-doo," my hosts look at me with disbelief and pity.

"When do you open your Christmas presents?" is another good conversation starter, as it explains a lot about national character. People who traditionally open gifts on Christmas Eve seem a bit more pious and family oriented than those who wait until Christmas morning. They go to mass, open presents, eat a late meal, return to church the following morning, and devote the rest of the day to eating another big meal. Gifts are generally reserved for children, and the parents tend not to go overboard. It's nothing I'd want for myself, but I suppose it's fine for those who prefer food and family to things of real value.

In France and Germany, gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, while in Holland the children receive presents on December 5, in celebration of Saint Nicholas Day. It sounded sort of quaint until I spoke to a man named Oscar, who filled me in on a few of the details as we walked from my hotel to the Amsterdam train station.

Unlike the jolly, obese American Santa, Saint Nicholas is painfully thin and dresses not unlike the pope, topping his robes with a tall hat resembling an embroidered tea cozy. The outfit, I was told, is a carryover from his former career, when he served as a bishop in Turkey.

One doesn't want to be too much of a cultural chauvinist, but this seemed completely wrong to me. For starters, Santa didn't use to do anything. He's not retired, and, more important, he has nothing to do with Turkey. The climate's all wrong, and people wouldn't appreciate him. When asked how he got from Turkey to the North Pole, Oscar told me with complete conviction that Saint Nicholas currently resides in Spain, which again is simply not true. While he could probably live wherever he wanted, Santa chose the North Pole specifically because it is harsh and isolated. No one can spy on him, and he doesn't have to worry about people coming to the door. Anyone can come to the door in Spain, and in that outfit, he'd most certainly be recognized. On top of that, aside from a few pleasantries, Santa doesn't speak Spanish. He knows enough to get by, but he's not fluent, and he certainly doesn't eat tapas.

While our Santa flies on a sled, Saint Nicholas arrives by boat and then transfers to a white horse. The event is televised, and great crowds gather at the waterfront to greet him. I'm not sure if there's a set date, but he generally docks in late November and spends a few weeks hanging out and asking people what they want.

"Is it just him alone?" I asked. "Or does he come with some backup?"

Oscar's English was close to perfect, but he seemed thrown by a term normally reserved for police reinforcement.

"Helpers," I said. "Does he have any elves?"

Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but I couldn't help but feel personally insulted when Oscar denounced the very idea as grotesque and unrealistic. "Elves," he said. "They're just so silly."

The words silly and unrealistic were redefined when I learned that Saint Nicholas travels with what was consistently described as "six to eight black men." I asked several Dutch people to narrow it down, but none of them could give me an exact number. It was always "six to eight," which seems strange, seeing as they've had hundreds of years to get a decent count.

The six to eight black men were characterized as personal slaves until the mid-fifties, when the political climate changed and it was decided that instead of being slaves they were just good friends. I think history has proven that something usually comes between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by cookies and quiet times beside the fire but by bloodshed and mutual hostility. They have such violence in Holland, but rather than duking it out among themselves, Santa and his former slaves decided to take it out on the public. In the early years, if a child was naughty, Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men would beat him with what Oscar described as "the small branch of a tree."

"A switch?"

"Yes," he said. "That's it. They'd kick him and beat him with a switch. Then, if the youngster was really bad, they'd put him in a sack and take him back to Spain."

"Saint Nicholas would kick you?"

"Well, not anymore," Oscar said. "Now he just pretends to kick you."

"And the six to eight black men?"

"Them, too."

He considered this to be progressive, but in a way I think it's almost more perverse than the original punishment. "I'm going to hurt you, but not really." How many times have we fallen for that line? The fake slap invariably makes contact, adding the elements of shock and betrayal to what had previously been plain, old-fashioned fear. What kind of Santa spends his time pretending to kick people before stuffing them into a canvas sack? Then, of course, you've got the six to eight former slaves who could potentially go off at any moment. This, I think, is the greatest difference between us and the Dutch. While a certain segment of our population might be perfectly happy with the arrangement, if you told the average white American that six to eight nameless black men would be sneaking into his house in the middle of the night, he would barricade the doors and arm himself with whatever he could get his hands on.

"Six to eight, did you say?"

In the years before central heating, Dutch children would leave their shoes by the fireplace, the promise being that unless they planned to beat you, kick you, or stuff you into a sack, Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men would fill your clogs with presents. Aside from the threats of violence and kidnapping, it's not much different from hanging your stockings from the mantel. Now that so few people have a working fireplace, Dutch children are instructed to leave their shoes beside the radiator, furnace, or space heater. Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men arrive on horses, which jump from the yard onto the roof. At this point, I guess, they either jump back down and use the door, or they stay put and vaporize through the pipes and electrical wires. Oscar wasn't too clear about the particulars, but, really, who can blame him? We have the same problem with our Santa. He's supposed to use the chimney, but if you don't have one, he still manages to come through. It's best not to think about it too hard.

While eight flying reindeer are a hard pill to swallow, our Christmas story remains relatively simple. Santa lives with his wife in a remote polar village and spends one night a year traveling around the world. If you're bad, he leaves you coal. If you're good and live in America, he'll give you just about anything you want. We tell our children to be good and send them off to bed, where they lie awake, anticipating their great bounty. A Dutch parent has a decidedly hairier story to relate, telling his children, "Listen, you might want to pack a few of your things together before you go to bed. The former bishop from Turkey will be coming along with six to eight black men. They might put some candy in your shoes, they might stuff you in a sack and take you to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don't know for sure, but we want you to be prepared."

This is the reward for living in Holland. As a child you get to hear this sto-ry, and as an adult you get to turn around and repeat it. As an added bonus, the government has thrown in legalized drugs and prostitution--so what's not to love about being Dutch?

Oscar finished his story just as we arrived at the station. He was a polite and interesting guy--very good company--but when he offered to wait until my train arrived, I begged off, saying I had some calls to make. Sitting alone in the vast terminal, surrounded by other polite, seemingly interesting Dutch people, I couldn't help but feel second-rate. Yes, it was a small country, but it had six to eight black men and a really good bedtime story. Being a fairly competitive person, I felt jealous, then bitter, and was edging toward hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off into the Michigan forest. He might bag a deer, or he might happily shoot his sighted companion in the stomach. He may find his way back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before stumbling through your front door. We don't know for sure, but in pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American.

From Esquire.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Visual List of Stuff I Can't Get Enough of Lately

Boyfriend


Best Friends


Dancin'


David Sedaris


Ira Glass/This American Life



A Charlie Brown Christmas



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Christmas Shopping


Lots of Tea

Monday, December 3, 2007

Radio Days

I recently wrote an essay for skirt!'s "Kindred Spirits" theme for December, based on a blog entry I wrote.

Wanna read the finished product?

Visit here. If you're feeling spunky and inspired, I'd love for you to comment on the essay at the site.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Long-winded, as usual.

I know I write similar things about music over and over...phrasing and rephrasing the same kinds of thoughts. But that's just the problem. Music hits a nerve with me in a way that I can never manage to express. And it frustrates me, because I always want to find the right words for everything. I want to clearly state each fear, each point of pride, each tangible thought that runs through my mind.

Yet when music hits me (as bland as it sounds, that's exactly what it does) I find myself without words. Somehow, somewhere, there's always a musician who manages to blend note and chord and melody and harmony and word and voice and tone and breath and it hurts. It just hurts me in a way where I hold my breath and wait for a pause, a bridge, a moment when the musician is just pausing in his or her own mind, catching their own breath, readying to carry me away with another chorus.

There are songs that make me mourn my not-even-over youth and others that make me feel so naive, childish, inexperienced. I want to know the pain they sing about and yet, I feel like when they sing about joy or love, I'll never feel it as fully as they do.

Music, to me, is the ultimate hyperbole. It is this hypersensitive 2-4 minute expression of an event or emotion. Musicians create this BANG that sucks you into their world and just when you feel that you could never leave, they cut you off and leave you hanging. They change tone and voice with another song and you're left at the edge.

Think of the last time you heard a stunning song for the first time. Think about how you felt as you felt the song ending. To me, it feels like a miniature version of getting your heart broken. Like a first love, a well-written song will burn itself into your memory and each time something reminds you of it, you'll be instantly carried away to a world of nostalgia and aching, just aching, to be back where you were the first time it hit you and knowing that you'll never be the same again. You'll never be who you were at that moment and things are always changed and don't go back.

I'm listening to a song right now that, for some reason, makes me think of words and names I love:

Friday
Violet
Crimson
Antioch
Burnished
Gelding
Ethereal
Whisper
January
Why
Mouth
Languish
Autumn
Velvet
Stellar
Eyelashes

Some words have magic in them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I have this same dream.

My Dream
by Ogden Nash

Here is a dream.
It is my dream—
My own dream—
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt,
Then I dreamt that my true love
unkempt it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh, The Horror...

Have you ever read the shortest horror story in the world?

Here it is:

"The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door..."

by Fredric Brown, December 1948

Friday, November 16, 2007

Further or Farther?

Secret: I didn't know the difference between "farther" and "further" until today.

FARTHER denotes physical advancement in distance.

FURTHER denotes advancement to greater degree, as in time.



The correct answers to the above examples follow:

It is farther down the road. (For distance physically traveled.)

You read further in the book. (To a greater degree than where you are now.)

You further your education. (To a greater degree than what you have now.)

Thanks, LessonTutor.com!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Uh oh...there's more



Beirut: "Nantes"

Also...on the topic of inspiration, this group of people, LaBlogotheque, from France, records all of these musicians performing live in all sorts of random places. Sufjan Stevens in a building roof in Cincinnati or at a farm, Jose Gonzalez in an abandoned house in Marfa, Texas. Their guerilla-style filming, catching all the outtakes, the broken voices, the off-keys, just adds to the magic of the song. It takes it to a new level, altogether.





love. love. love. love. love.

Beirut: "Elephant Gun"

David Downton

His fashion illustrations are incredibly inspiring.

Also, I kept staring at his surname and reading it as "Downtown." Oops.






The bottom one, especially. It's from last season's Dior Couture show. I want to hang it at the end of a long hallway with nothing else.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Writers, Unite!

30 Rock: Ten episodes will be produced. Five episodes have aired, so there are five left.


Heroes: Twelve episodes will be produced. Seven episodes have aired, so there are five left.


Lost: Eight episodes will be produced. None have aired yet, so there are eight episodes left.


The Office: Twelve half-hour episodes will be produced. Eleven half-hour episodes have aired, so there is one half-hour episode left.


Pushing Daisies: Nine episodes will be produced. Five episodes have aired, so there are four left.


Scrubs: Twelve episodes will be produced. Three episodes have aired, so there are nine left.


Info from TVGuide.com

Here lies my only entertainment hope:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Rob Ryan





He cuts these things out of paper and has compiled them into a book, which I must have.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007

Oh, Lisa.

Lisa Loeb reinvigorated With...New Found Glory?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oh My Gosling

I



LOVE


Jet Lag by Eve Robillard

He flies over the ocean to see his girl, his Sorbonne
girl, his ginger-skinned girl waiting for him in the City

of Light. Everywhere river and almost-spring gardens,
everywhere bridges and rainy statues. Streets going

nowhere, streets going on all night. I love you my mona
my lisa, my cabbage, my gargoyle, Degas' little dancer

in dawn's ragged gown. But on the third day she
picks up her books, tells him she needs to study:

she adores this town, she's not coming home in May, she's
going to stay all summer. Lowers her morning-calm eyes.

He's all right in the cab, all right on the plane droning
him home in only three hours American-key in his lock now

his tick-tock apartment, shiver his shadow, his need
to sleep. Then with a tiredness washing over and

over him and through his raveling bones
he begins to know.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've gotten a new appreciation for Under the Blacklight.

And another thing...



I looked it up, and I was 11 years old when this song came out. I watched this video countless times, thinking that these men were possibly the sexiest beings that ever existed.

This is my message to 11-year-old me:

"What. the. hell."

If you scan forward to 2:53 into the song, they each dance in front of a silvery screen. It is one of the most bizarre moments in music video history. Why is that guy with the fur hat dancing like that? Why does Robbie Williams whip his coat off? Why in the world are they singing with rain in their faces? Why don't they go inside and have a nice cup of tea like good English boys instead of weeping in the rain together for their old girlfriends?

Quote from Wikipedia:
"On 13 February 1996, Take That announced that they were splitting. This would break the hearts of millions of fans worldwide - to an extent that hotlines were set up around the UK to cope with fans' grief."

What was wrong with us?

Hormones. I blame it all on hormones.

Even though he isn't as good an artist as me, I'll give him a shout-out.

Happy Birthday, Pablo Picasso!




"Le Guitariste," 1910

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The View from the Ravenel Bridge: An Artist's Rendering



This is what I saw looking out the window today when Margaret and I nearly died 10 times trying to bring ribbon back to the office from Mount Pleasant. Notice that the rainbow ends in the water. Unfortunately I didn't have my scuba gear so I was unable to attain the pot of gold. Maybe next time...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Put a skirt on, Colbert!



We, here at skirt! want to get the message out to Stephen Colbert that we want to get him in a skirt for skirt! magazine.

If anyone knows him, fishes with him, coaches his kids' soccer teams, or bags his groceries, if you could tell him this, we at skirt! would be extremely grateful.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sabrina and Margaret: Molding Young Minds--Mind-molding.

This is me, basically talking in circles about internships:


This is what we looked like when someone made a good point:

And this is when someone made a bad point:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Prairie Home Companion: Nostalgia, Musings

This weekend has made me think about a lot of things; namely, A Prairie Home Companion. Yes, Garrison Keillor has an odd, breathy voice and sometimes tells stories with no apparent point. But it's not about him. It's about what his voice--his show--represents to me.

As long as I can remember, from 6-8pm, A Prairie Home Companion really has been our companion. I would wake up on crisp, fall Saturdays and play outside with the boys, climbing trees, making potions, playing kickball in the circle, until I had that outdoorsy smell that little kids get, and the knees of my jeans were thoroughly stained green. But as the sun started setting, and the already crisp air got that undercurrent of pure cold, it would be time to come inside. The lamps would be turned on, and so would PHC. My dad would be in the kitchen, covered in flour as he kneaded the dough for noodles while bread baked in the oven and the sauce bubbled on the stove behind him.

I'd run upstairs and leave my pile of tomboy clothes on the floor and step into a warm bath, thoroughly girly with piles of bubbles. I'd lay in the tub with the faint murmurs of the radio show in the background. It was in that tub that I imagined my future as a famous actress, archaeologist, or writer. I would make bubble beards and bubble bikinis until the bathwater turned chilly. I'd put my warm pajamas on and run downstairs to help my dad crank the pasta machine, making piles of ribbons of dough.

When the pasta was cooked and I had finished dancing to PHC's musical guests, I sat down with my family to eat. This is where the magic happened. I'd sip milk in a wine glass and my family would talk. We'd talk and talk and talk. I think it's what solidified us. On those Saturday nights, lulled by stories of Lake Woebegone, we shared our own stories: things that happened in our days, what we dream about, what we fear.

As I got older, Saturdays became less about tree-climbing and more about shopping. My bathtub musings became focused on how my first kiss would happen, what my first love would be like, and how it felt like the process of growing up was taking FOREVER.

My family's dinners became more rushed as I inhaled food as quickly as possible, to dash outside when I saw the headlights signaling that my best friend or boyfriend had arrived to cart me off to yet another movie or show.

The irony is, I can't remember the plot to most of those movies, or the lyrics to the songs played. What I do remember, with vivid clarity, are the endless discussions around the table--of religion, of politics, of silly stories--being accompanied by PHC's house band.

In college, when weekends at home became treasured, the Saturday dinners became longer again. The pasta was still fantastic, as I remembered, but my wine glass held a nice cabernet instead of milk. The discussions got larger and lingered past PHC, into some Celtic music program until someone put on some jazz. It was at that table where I saw my parents as real people, full of quirks and history and individuality. It's where I learned to respect them and like them, and understand why they did the things they did.

These are the things I cling to; the things I want for my future family. I want to sit around a table with my childern as they tell me about their dreams over pasta, and look into their eyes and be shocked at how quickly they grow, while they sit in bathtubs filled with bubbles, wondering why growing up takes so long, and what are they going to be when they grow up (if it ever happens) and who will kiss them and what will they smell like, and what is it like to love someone so much that it actually hurts...




Side note: Last night, when my family went to see A Prairie Home Companion live, we all talked about how surreal it was. My father has been listening to this show for 26 years. His history with the show is older than his history with me. It was magical. Also magical: Mr. Nappy Brown. This talented R & B musician is 78 years old, but when he sang and danced (yes, danced) on stage, it took everything in me to not throw my panties on stage. He had that kind of presence that only the truly, utterly talented do. He is famous for writing this song:



for Ray Charles, but he's now famous to me for giving my family yet another incredible memory.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mark Ronson







I want to make babies with him.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Netflix is Crack.

Seriously.

I just looked at my Netflix queue. 182 movies. Yes, a lot of them are BBC series with 6 DVDs, so it's not that bad. Right? Right? I am becoming an escape artist. I can hop from a modern-day comic situation (Knocked Up, which is HILARIOUS) to 1860s London in just a few hours (or days). From the looks of my queue, I spend more time in English period pieces than present-day poop joke comedies, but still, everyone needs a cheap laugh.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Things I Probably Say Too Much.

* Are you drunk? (The person I'm asking is generally not drunk.)
* I'm drunk. (I am generally not drunk while saying this, but I have made an error of some sort.)
* If ____________ (place, thing) had a peepee I would marry it.
* ...like...
* ...well...
* I found this kitty on Craigslist, and...
* Seriously. Seriously? Seriously!
* You want to hear something crazy?
* Sonofabitch.
* Fantastic.

More words phrases TK, probably/possibly.

Monday, October 15, 2007



What the eff is this travesty? If I could reach through the computer screen and slap them, I would.

How Did I Miss This?

First, read this:

Impossible is Nothing Wikipedia

then watch this:

Impossible is Nothing Video

and then watch this:

Impossible is the Opposite of Possible

A Belated Birthday Wish

I missed something HUGE yesterday. It was someone very important's birthday.


I carry your heart with me(i carry it in

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(I carry it in my heart)

Thank you, ee cummings, for putting words together in a way that makes my heart sing. If only people like you existed today.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Things I've Loved This Week

Pushing Daisies

I've given it two episodes and it still seems fantastic to me. It has all of the great visual effects of Amelie, and the female lead says "son of a bitch" when things go wrong, and it's really funny.

Michael Sowa


Speaking of Amelie, you may recognize this painting as being one from Amelie's apartment. Michael Sowa, a German painter, uses a color palette and animals in humorously serious poses and situations that make me smile whenever I see one of his works.

So cute. I love them all.

My Even Newer Pair of New Shoes

These shoes are so high and so freaking sexy.

Harry Potter

I always said that once all the books were out, I'd read the whole series. The time has come. Plus, it serves as a great distraction from the other book I'm reading: If I am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus. It's a memoir of a woman who analyzes her own abusive relationship history after her sister is murdered by her boyfriend. Whew. Heavy stuff.

I can't wait to see what new loves this week brings me.

Also, hopefully this will be a future love, because I already love the trailer:

Journal Entry from February 17, 2004

There is a sort of beautiful desperation in a singer when he is on stage, eyes closed, voice hoarse, singing to the person he sees in his head. He sings for no one else on stage, no one in the room, but someone far away and broken. With his eyes shut tightly, he imagines them in the back of the room, near the door, watching quietly with the biggest eyes he's ever seen. And suddenly, everything else disappears. His lyrics become a plea; a plea to stay, a plea to change, a plea to forgive. He keeps his eyes closed for the entire song, because the moment he sees the smoky crowd staring, the spell will be broken and the internal magic of the song lost. So he buries himself in his vision, leaning over the piano, stroking the keys with such delicacy and deliberation that it seems almost sensual. He is lost, lost forever in music, sound enveloping, emotion building as he cries out, head far back, lights blazing on his sallow cheeks, and his pleas to the heavens, to the angels, to Her, are heard. His baptism is complete and the sweat on his brow mixes with the tears on his cheeks. He is purified until tomorrow night on a different stage. A temporary musical crucifixion of the soul, of the spirit of music. The pain is worth the pleasure, day after day. This is his ritual until the ache is gone. Whether the ache ever leaves is unimportant--what matters is the emotion it evokes. People can linger forever on the words, on the melody, on the heartbreaking harmony of the lowest keys. They copy the lyrics in notebooks, trying to decipher the meaning of this mystery, this golden boy of broken hearts, playing his piano under the spotlight.
Always with his eyes closed.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Day in the Life of Sab and Marge

Today Margaret and I spoke to the Creative Writing class at Charlestowne Academy's high school. It was pretty great.

Essentially, while we talked, the boys took pictures of us on their cell phones and the girls asked us questions like:

"Do you have a boyfriend?" (Wow. So much to say but this classroom is neither the time nor place to say it.)
and
"What's a cervix?" (At this point, Margaret is laughing so hard, she isn't breathing. Her body is just shaking and tears are coming out of her eyes. These girls obviously read her blog today. Go to skirt.com and read her blog to find out why.)

We essentially sat in 2 grandad chairs at the front of the class for over an hour while trying to find SOMETHING to say to these kids.

"Does anyone in this class like to read?" (One hand goes up.)
"Does anyone like to write ficiton?" (Same hand goes up.)
"Does anyone want to be a writer in any form when they grow up?" (Same hand.)
"Does anyone here write poetry?" (For some reason, three-fourths of the class raised their hand. I asked one girl why she likes writing poetry and she said, "I like to rhyme."

That's a good enough reason for me.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience.

I say, and I know Margaret would agree:

Thumbs Up!


Then, on the way back to the office, we had an INTENSE moment with a driver on I-26. You'll have to visit Craigslist and go to their "Missed Connections" to find out more.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Extra-terrestrials

Sufjan Stevens: "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois"



The flashing at night, the sirens grow and grow...

Who knew songs about aliens could be so beautiful?

Also see:

The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers: "Concerning Lessons Learned from the Aliens"

Also, why are both these songs "concerning"? I might be on to something here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Speaking of songs...

Can you live in a song?



I like when she goes to the ocean.

A poem:

Into My Own
by Robert Frost

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew--
Only more sure of all I thought was true.


A line of another poem from Robert Frost:

"One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Night Map

Sometime between 3:42 and 5:17 this morning, I had the strangest nightmare. My dad and I were driving down the street and we saw all of these people running. Apparently we were used to this, and my dad parked the car behind a building and we ran across the street into a concrete parking deck where others were hiding. We had to crouch behind concrete walls so that we wouldn't be spotted by the searchlight. Then they started shooting missile-like fire things through the parking deck. I'm pretty sure I woke up before I got hit by one, or the machine gun-fire. (Isn't there an urban legend that says that if you die in a dream then you die in real life?)

Anyway, the even funnier thing is that dream was more comforting than the things I was thinking in all the times during the night when I was awake.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thank you, AC's.

Tonight was my first experience at AC's on King Street. It was fun, with one exception: the female bartender. I was hoping that the times she ignored my drink requests and allowed guys to shove beside me and take up all of my personal space in order to talk to her were not reflections on her personal attitude, but, instead, minor details that she didn't notice. However, I was mistaken. Her character came out even further in the women's restroom. I was standing in line for one of the two stalls, and the stall nearest to the door opened. I was just about to grab the stall door when the main restroom door opened. The female bartender breezed into the stall. I said, "Excuse me, but I was in line." At this point she responded with, "Fuck you. I work here." I stood there, stunned. The girl washing her hands was like, "Wow. She is not even worth it." At this point, the other stall opened and I went in. I'm still completely shocked. I wish I weren't so passive-aggressive and weak. Otherwise, she would still be experiencing the taste of my knuckles in her mouth. Thank you for teaching me a lesson, Ms. Female Bartender in a Black Halter Top Typical Stereotype.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

watching Teee Veee

I know that I love television far too much, but now that I've watched all of the Weeds DVDs, and since I don't have Showtime, I have to wait until Season 3 comes out on DVD, I needed a new fix.

Yesterday, while my blinding, splitting, nauseating migraine was ebbing, my new fix hit me. Pain was replaced with laughter in the form of:

30 Rock


Goodbye to: ANTM, Top Chef, Grey's Anatomy (unless I'm bored and then maybe I'll watch online)

Hello to: 30 Rock, Weeds, Pushing Daisies (which I'm very intrigued by, but this could disappoint...)

Either way. With my new love for 30 Rock, I think Thursday is going to be my new favorite day of the week.

30 Rock + The Office = Pure Heaven

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's in these moments where my fingers--my body--misses the piano. To feel the smooth keys, solid, singing darkly under my fingertips. To quiet the voices in my head. To quiet the aches in my heart. To sit alone, surrounded by familiar notes and chords, enveloping me.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reading

Here are some books that changed my life as a kid: