2009 is gone and I feel like a part of me has died. Even writing this now, seems near transcendental. I've never attached as much sentimentality to a year as I have to this one and I miss it so much, already. It provoked more change in me than I have seen maybe in my entire life to date, some painful, some incredibly beautiful. If I could sum up the year in three words, perhaps they would be
I hope every year is like this. Please read my new blog, the link is http://phoebfurr.blogspot.com/. Write to me! I love all of you. Thank you for reading this; this blog is an exposition of my mind, heart, and soul, and I feel incredibly honored that anyone would allow me the privilege of being heard. I encourage everyone who has ever felt the urge to write to do so; do not let the fear of being judged ever touch you. Never be ashamed of your mind, your passions, your creations, or your desires. My mind will forever be set on fire by the brilliance of others, and especially, by those close to me.
Here's to 2009.
on the edge
the view is clouded,
the majesty of weather
seeps through my skin:
Another food picture today. Food is so nice-looking lately. I left my mittens in a taxi cab. They were awful mittens though, so cheaply made. I bought them standing in line at the Guggenheim because I forgot mine at the hotel and ten dollars was more than worth the relief I would get from shielding my pink and raw fingers from the bitter, biting wind. So my mittens had a lifespan of about a day and now they are in the backseat of a yellow taxicab. Maybe they were reincarnated by someone less fortunate than I although I don't think the less fortunate rides in taxi cabs. The decade will be over in less than twenty four hours and I'm waiting to feel a change in me. Today I saw Hair the musical and it was incredible and that's saying a lot because I'm not a fan of musicals or of the music in them but I was a fan of this one. One of them said he liked my nose ring he also climbed on top of me and Emily with a loin cloth on and it was fun and we went up onstage during the finale, anyone could, who wanted to, and danced around and made peace signs and lovingly touched the shoulders of the cast members but only so lovingly that they wouldn't notice we, I, were, was, touching them. The lights were so hot and bright and I was dancing on a Broadway stage and I was accomplishing a dream that I never even dreamed in the first place, it was someone else's dream. Speaking of dreams, mine are graphic, and meaningless, like one two nights ago where I had my eyes cut out of their sockets and little lines cut with a knife and outlining my mouth and my head was inflated and red, the color of a roasted pig, the kind with an apple in its mouth, except in place of an apple on my head was an ovular gash, fresh, red blood beneath, drying in the open air. One more day.
I just read my blog from the entire month of August. I think August was my favorite month of this year. Good job, August. It was my favorite because it was so emotional: every emotion, rampant in me. And it was beautiful, and warm, and the end of my summer and thus my childhood. Is that too melodramatic?
In two days I'm going to post a link to my new blog here. I don't know if it can live up to this one, I don't know if I have it in me. But I will try. Also, I would like to request a favor.
The only reason I've kept up this blog every day this year, I mean the only reason, is that people read it and (I presume) like it. I've always wanted to do this, and I'm still not so certain it isn't pretentious (what is more dangerous than being pretentious?). If you are so inclined, please let me know if you've been reading or liking My Year in Photos. Like in an email or something, or a comment, or a message, or a letter, or a smoke signal, or a telepathic brainwave (the last one might not get to me). Or anything else. And you don't really have to say anything. But I'd love love love to know what you thought of it, or what it made you think while reading it. Especially if you have never told me. Also especially if I don't even know I'm writing to you! Alright that's enough talking about myself. Oh wait, that's all I've been doing for a year.
Do you know how people remember flashes or certain incidents from the past? I remember the bear cave from the Ecotarium when my mom used to take us when we were so young. I also remember the thermos she put coffee in to bring on those trips. But I don't remember anything else about them. Today I was thinking how greatly I wish that I would know, or at least have an inclination, that what I'm about to see is something I'll remember for years into the future. How much more I would pay attention!
take me back to the two days in summer
where the metal bridge in the distance
held the promise of adventure.
the rain on the highway, drowning out my senses -
no match for the swell of music, the smell of fish in the air -
was fleeting, just like that weekend.
our swords lay peaceful those nights;
taut mesh and loving resolve
kept out the mosquitoes.
Right now I'm blogging from a hotel room in New York City, although it's not actually New York City but Jersey City, in a different state all together. But it really is, literally, close enough to count. Today in the car I wrote a poem and it was the fastest I ever wrote one. If you are wondering, Auraphice is in the works! Hopefully we will finish it by the time we go back to school, but I don't know. The waiter in the restaurant tonight said "Happy New Year" and that was the first time someone wished me Happy New Year 2009. But for 2010. But in 2009.
List of reasons that 2009 was great (not in any particular order):
- I graduated high school. And after graduation we all went to Kathryn's house and slept over. And I went outside with a couple of people at five in the morning and we found a scooter and rode it all around the street. And then sat in the car and talked and the windows fogged up and there was so little room that I was touching like three people, just by sitting there.
- I went to Florida with my family and the day after I got back, which was the last day of vacation, I went to Loren Marshall's party at her house and Jenn Naze and Leah Barwise sang and played guitar and it was so beautiful. Then Kelsey drove me home and I remember thinking that it was the first day of the year that felt truly like summer and also that Kelsey was my favorite new friend I found in a long time.
- I stopped being afraid to take pictures in public, with strangers around. I also became generally disinterested with the judgments of strangers, which is a good thing I think.
- I went to Toronto for a band trip and it was so fun and I made friends with Will, who was probably my best friend in the world, but only four days. I miss that, but like I always say, wonderful and transient friendships are so wonderful in part because they are transient.
- One time at the lake Michela rode a kayak and I held onto the edge and told her a really long story about something that hasn't even happened yet. And also that day, Liz and I sang the Rilo Kiley lyric "Somedays, they last longer than others/ but this day by the lake went too fast" while laying on top of surf boards, in the lake, in the sun.
- I skinny-dipped.
- The whole first week of college.
- In California, we stayed at a tiny inn on the coast of San Francisco that was so beautiful and that made me think of Ireland even though I'd never been to Ireland. The next day one of the cooks offered to drive us up a steep hill to the next trail head. He was twenty years old and a surfer. He reminded me of someone I met the year before.
- I kissed all my friends cause I love them.
- I had a realization of sorts when I visited Graham in Pennsylvania. The realization was in the bathroom, and it was that I could suddenly imagine myself in the position of everyone who I believed to have wronged me. If you try this, it becomes very easy to forgive. It is also very humbling. We are all people, all searching, and all deserving of finding what we are looking for.
Today I went to Boston. I hate when I miss opportunities to take good pictures, especially because potd on the fourth-to-last day of the year is this dumb green horse. Taken out of context it's kinda cool though (like why is there a green horse in my house). Anyway, I have a headache that's been plaguing me almost all day. Tomorrow I'm going to New York City with my family. We're seeing Hair, which I'm told features a lot of naked people.
Since I spent the whole day shopping, my mind is kind of blank. Do you know the feeling? So instead of writing more, here's a poem.
The Pink Flamingo State
tinted windows are my last defense against the
pink flamingo state of disillusionment
sometimes I see an armadillo resting on the sawgrass
or the wrappers from the nestlé crunch of the masses
littering the edges of the interstate
the high noon heat in the everglades melts away first my dignity,
then my empathy
two three where was i? i saw a phone number on a bench
i called it for sex but instead, I got the underbelly of a
scarred manatee, hungry and licking the dripdropdrip of a garden hose;
or was that a garden snake?
we drop old bread through the slits in the walls and see
seventy kinds of fish desperately watch it:
dissolving in air, infinitesimal in water
Today Parker put a really exciting idea in my head. He wants to go through a program that sends volunteers to organic farms anywhere in the country next summer. He said he needed someone to go with and I got so electrified and we looked online and found this amazing farm in Carmel, California. I'd only go for a couple weeks but reading the farm's web page I found myself feeling an inherent need to do this. It seems like something so pure and honest and as of late, working outside and seeing new and beautiful views of the world is what I crave. So much excitement for the future today - how motivating.
If you haven't already noticed, I attach a great deal of meaning to the ends and beginnings of years. That's why I started this blog though - I guess I wanted to chronicle the progression of the year, and of seasons, and of change in myself. I feel like I should wrap up this chronicle now, but I don't even think I can put into words the difference I feel in myself from the beginning of this year to the end. I've seen so much more, not all beautiful. I did see a lot of beauty, though, thanks for that.
Song of the day is "Calendar Girl" by Stars.
All through the winter, I'm alive
Today is Christmas and it didn't feel too unordinary for me. I went to Boston with my family to visit my twenty-three year old cousin who lives in a house in Cambridge that makes me eagerly anticipate my out-of-dorm days. She is living an awesome life. We went to the movies and saw Up in the Air - which was fantastic, I highly recommend it - and then to a Japanese restaurant where I had to cook my own food on the stove built into the table. If I were a restaurant critic, I would give this restaurant an A for chic atmosphere and charming and good-looking wait staff, but a lesser grade for my dinner, which was essentially boiled meat and vegetables. And since the boiling was up to me, it was boiled meat and extremely soggy vegetables. And two pieces of overcooked tofu. Do you know what overcooked tofu feels like? I'll tell you, it feels like something entirely inedible. Note to self: do not follow Japanese-chef-career-path.
Today I renewed a passion of mine that has been withering lately: photography. At Borders I bought a photography book that I've wanted for a long time and have never bought because it was too expensive. Today I was reading it in the store and it made me want to take pictures so badly and I remembered being really passionate about photography and wanting to learn so much more about it. For some reason, I haven't been taking many pictures at all the last few months, and I'm starting to miss it. So I finally bought the book. Because I realized that this blog has really forced me to take pictures and document this year. Next year, I need some incentive, or else something really important to me which I could possibly become really good at will start collecting dust on my bookshelf. Also today, I made Ramen noodles for the first time. Verdict: entirely too salty.
Oh yeah it's Christmas Eve! I almost forgot, mostly because today was absolutely not at all out of the ordinary. Yeah, so I guess tomorrow's like the most imortant day of the year for a lot of people. In my world, Christmas is a day of isolation and disillusionment. It feels so odd to be completely estranged from everyone besides my family. Isn't it weird how winter and winter holidays bring back so many memories? Winter is the most nostalgic time of the year; that's why it snows in winter. Nostalgia is snowy.
When the sun welcomes us in
and the Earth's protective skin
falls and peels back, face to chin
then we start it all again
Today was a wasted day for all intents and purposes; this is because I spent it sitting at a desk for ten hours and answering phones for the HoneyBaked Ham Company in Framingham. Everything about my day was either depressing or funny. For example, the mass of people who came to the store to pick up their "special" HoneyBaked Hams mostly looked and acted the same. They were all middle aged to elderly, all white, all preparing for a massive celebration of materialism and excess, and all had a peculiarly strong affinity for cheesy potatoes. This was the depressing part. The funny part was Stephanie, the thirty year old black woman who answered the phone next to me, talked like she was either rather sleepy or on a heavy dose of narcotics, and routinely cursed out the manager, company, or effectually her life as a whole. Wow, that sounds incredibly depressing when I write it here, but I promise, Stephanie made me laugh a lot today. If nothing else (overlooking my paycheck), what I gained from my temporary job at HoneyBaked is a true appreciation for what education will allow me to do. That is, it will allow me to stay far, far away from the nickel-and-dime hell-hole world of indifference, mediocrity, perpetual slumber, and big ol' Christmas hams. Merry Christmas everyone!
This year will be over in a week - strange to think about. I personally don't feel like anything's ending. Quite the opposite, in fact.
In other news, I just got back from going to New York City and coming home with Lanny and Michela. It was so fun! I didn't even realize the extent that I missed my friends. I'm so glad I'm spending a month here. On the way home, we listened and screamed along to music that I can only best describe as "shit music." Shit music in the sense that we all are made extremely happy to hear any of it. Steve describes a certain form of laughing as producing tremors long after the fact. I have a few of these tremors now. For example, every time I think of Lanny's interpretation of a Jewel song. My friends!
Tomorrow I have a one-day job at a honeyed ham store. That is not a joke, as far as I know. To be honest, I can't really describe how I got this job, what I will be doing, and why I agreed to it. Actually, I will make money, something that I don't see too often these days, so I guess that's the answer to the third part. I have to wake up at five thirty. I haven't woken up before eight in four months.
....This is gonna be fun!
I still remember, fervently, the year when I kept my parka zipped to the collar, all through the day. And the walk between buildings; between days, I walked between the eyes and legs of others and no one saw me. Invisible to the naked eye, I was a microbe, orbiting, around the transitory. I remember when she whispered in my near-deaf ear that she was starving herself. They was eating her food, they were growing stronger and meaner and fatter and she was putting safety pins on the hems of her polos and pushing her hair out of her eyes. I guess I had noticed those polos, and the safety pins, and the brand names sewn onto the breast pockets but I never thought to look at the skin underneath, and to see how much was left. You told me facts and woke me up, broke me up. Between pencil sketches of the fantastic, you scribbled in cursive what you always knew as true and what took me one year, from one March to the next, to see. Walking home in the snow, feeling the corners of my world thaw and crack, I was on to something.
I'm home! It's wonderful! I have a new bed; it's queen size! This is like at least four times as good as my college bed. I've already started to make a lists of projects to do in the next month. One pertains to the mini camcorder my dad gave me for Hanukkah tonight. Oh man, so much excitement here. I love living rooms. I think what I missed most at college is living rooms. And cars. And my cat. This is the best bed I've ever felt. Today was fun. Both times I had to take an art history exam this semester I learned so much about art history. That class was so worth it. I think I was delirious on anticipation of relief even before I took my exam. Walking to Thompson, Dan and I kept singing Ruben Studdard (sp?)'s "Sorry 2004." Why anyone would release a single with a forgettable year in the title is beyond me. It makes the song completely irrelevant in any other year besdies 2004, overlooking the fact that it was already irrelevant then. Anyways, this entire concept was so incredibly hilarious to me all day, and I don't know why. I guess I don't really have a stream of coherent thoughts right now. I want to write poetry. Monday I am going to New York. I'm going to visit Mr. Tarmey! Okay I should go to bed. Tomorrow I'm going to get things done for once.
I wonder if people would like if I ever put some of my (real) writing up here.
Almost everyone around here has gone home for break. I feel like I'm the only one left in the world. There is no time. I'm staying up so late because there is no one in the world to tell me to go to sleep and no one will be affected if I wake up or not. Don't worry I know that's not true, I'm not being self-deprecating. It's just an illusion. The view outside my window is the same at nine as it is at four. I can't believe there are only a couple more hours to my semester. I just have to take one more exam and then I'm going home. I am so ready. I am so ready. My heater makes a noise that sounds like crickets. It's so peaceful.
One of the biggest regrets I have from the semester is my and seemingly everyone else here's tendency to isolate themselves from others. It seems as though we are universally suffering and yet it is somehow so much easier to retreat into ourselves, pretend to perfectly happy, pretend to be someone else. No one can know we are troubled; we have to be having more fun than everyone else. I regret this pride that quarantines us from unity with other people. I hope when we come back from break we can all stop being so selfish and focus on making other people happy, instead of desperately trying to portray ourselves as those we believe others will find most attractive. That's my biggest regret.
Song of the day is "Song of Our So-Called Friends" by Okkervil River. Tomorrow begins the end of a three month journey. How wonderful it is to be part of this crazy trip.
Don says he thinks I am good people. Somehow this means so much to me. Today I couldn't wait to go home. I can't say why, cause I don't know. I am ready for a change. I think everyone is. If you're not ready for a change, feel free to speak up. I want the way things used to feel like. But I guess I always want that.
Two down, one to go. Looks like the end to this week is going to be remarkably anticlimactic. Then one eighth of my college career will be over... weird. Today I took an anthropology test and I think I did really well on it. It was warm and it felt like spring and that was cruel.
Getting lost in routines this semester allowed me to metaphorically fall asleep, and the irregularities of this week are waking me up. Every night, Butterfield is so quiet; everyone has either left already or is studying quietly in their rooms. My next test isn't until Friday, so I didn't fit into either of those categories tonight, and as a result, I felt like the only person left in the world. It is so late. I am so tired. I don't even remember what I did for most of the day today. I'm sitting out in the hall and someone's door is banging on its hinges. I guess the draft from the heater in the hallway is enough to make that happen. There is no one alive in this building, I don't think. I hope someone comes out, just to prove me wrong. Tomorrow Laura is going home, so I have the room to myself. I will slowly pack my belongings until the room is stripped bare and then me and my extensions of self will leave and come back a month later. Oh also, today I made a winter playlist. It has like eighty songs.
Bedtime? Yes, for lack of other options.
Well, I stayed up entirely all too late tonight. Tomorrow I have a final at one thirty, then one on Tuesday at one thirty, and another on Friday. It seems to me like this week is gonna consist of way more free time than schoolwork time. Today I felt kind of bad but I feel good now. Mostly because Liz called me on the phone and we talked for two hours. I appreciate Liz so much. It's so good to know I have someone who genuinely cares about me, because sometimes I doubt I do. Lighting my menorah (pictured), perched on an empty makeup mirror box, in the drab stairwell, made me kind of sad. I wish I were celebrating Hannukkah at home with my family. I am so excited to go home and see what it does to me.
A year ago today was the day after the ice storm. I couldn't blog yesterday, but if I did, it would be ice-storm-anniversary-blog, because the ice storm was one of the most memorable times of my life. I remember exactly what I did today last year. I went to the Umass Med school to take a shower in the locker rooms. My mom showered in the shower next to me, and we both talked about how it was the best shower of our lives. Not because we hadn't showered in a long time, we had only been without power for a day, but because it was so warm. Then I worked on my Connecticut College essays in the library on the computer. One was 150 words and about Stella. And Lanny came and picked me up and we went to Panera. And we met Lauren there and she wore a big red sweater because she had no other clean, warm clothes. Panera, the Med School library, and Lanny's car, will always make me remember the ice storm.
Now I need to go to sleep and get through this week.
I just watched a movie called "Man on Wire." It's a documentary about a French man, Phillipe Petit, who tightrope walked between the Twin Towers. It was great and I heartily recommend it to anyone who wants a life wake up call. At the end of the movie, Phillipe says in his heavily-accented English, "I say live life like you are living on the edge of life." He lived like nearly no one has lived before. What am I doing to live on the edge of life? I do and see the same things every day. I am on the same path as everyone else. Sometimes, I don't even know what defines me from any other college student/ eighteen-year-old/ human. But the film gave me hope. Hope that there is so much living in front of me, and I am going to see and be part of all of it. One day, I am gonna grow wings. And so are you, whoever you are. Even if you're already like, old. You have so much life waiting for you and most likely, you're going to do what no one has ever been brave enough to attempt, ever.
Song of the day is "Breakin' the Law" by the New Pornographers. My room is ready for some kind of big holiday or something.
april is in four days and we have to prepare; the rain started last night and flooded the sides of the road; pooling sporadically, the pine needles weave themselves together and build roofs; remove those needles from the streets and from my body of water and flesh; we have to prepare for april. when driving, take special care to avoid the toads; they jump into the middle of the roads; your car will run over them and crush their bones and flatten their skins and you can’t take that; you can’t take killing, what is it now, four? four dead? when driving, avoid the bad dreams that stab at your windshield; that pool sporadically at the sides of the roads; to prepare for the oncoming month, we will remove the black water from the roads; scoop black water and pine needles and dirt and toads into the sewers. then the streets will be clean and we can finally start forgetting. bake muffins; plant bulbs; hang musty sweaters out to dry; write letters. go through motions and put your black clothes in the back of the closet; with the moths and the ants and the worms; the worms that pull their bodies into the middle of the roads and drown in black and blue water; get rid of them; get rid of the dirt and stains on your black clothes and sweaters; forget about january-march; april is in four days what if i don’t forget? this is how to sweep the streets clean; this is how to drive a car; you will want to watch the bright lights on the construction sights on exit 27 and when you drift into the other lane, this is how you go back; this is how you hide black clothes; this is how you hide black; forget forget if i can’t forget; this is how you hide old photographs (so you can find them again); last night the rain and this morning the streets; the green pushed through the black and blue and brown; the green found salvation just like our mother found salvation; this is how you sweep the foyer; this is how you sweep the bedroom; this is how you hide clothes you won’t need again until someone else dies; the green rain flooded our road and we can’t drive our car out; stay inside and hide and sweep and forget; i will never forget you; forget january-march and killing animals with your car in the dark in the rain on march 22 now april is in four days. four days 4 days when april is here i’ll forget where the worms come from
It's the last month of 2009. I can't believe I didn't blog yesterday. I didn't really have time and it didn't occur to me that it was December 1 and I forgot about all the faux-sentimentality I planned to attach onto it. I can't believe it's almost a new year and almost time to make new resolutions. I don't remember if I kept any of my resolutions I made last January. I wrote them down in a journal, but I hate looking at that journal now. I remember that one of my resolutions for 2009 was to write in a blog every day for a year. I guess I kind of kept it, even though my blog upkeep got pretty spotty since I came to college. But I'm really glad I can look back on these posts. Also, it's almost time to wrap up the year. I haven't really figured out what I'm gonna do in these last few weeks to celebrate a blog that essentially documented every mundane activity in which I partook for 12 months. And oh yeah, there are pictures. Wasn't that supposed to be the point in the first place?
Last night I stayed up really late with Alex, Dan, Liz, and Bethany. Me and Alex went upstairs to go to bed and climbing up the stairs we noticed, looking out onto the parking lot, that a light snow had dusted the tops of all the cars. It was so cool and magical, and only enhanced by the fact that seemingly NO ONE was awake and we felt like the only people in the world to witness the first snow of the year (not really but whatever). This morning it was gone and we felt like we had a secret that no one else had been lucky enough to be let in on. How fitting, that December 1 was the first snow. I don't give December enough credit. To me, it's the only month of the year in which winter's presence is not only appropriate, but beautiful and peaceful.
This is a call for submissions: If you are reading this, and you like writing, please submit to my zine, Auraphice! You will be published and you will feel awesome about it! We want the submissions to be handwritten, so send them to my mailing address (email me and ask for it, or look at the facebook event), but if your inexplicable hatred of sending mail is the only thing standing in the way of your submitting, than you can just email them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). RELEASE YOUR INHIBITIONS! LET YOUR BRILLIANCE SCREAM OUT FROM YOUR AURAPHICES! SUBMIT!
Oh yeah, song of the day is "Arms Against Atrophy" by Titus Andronicus. I smell an illegal substance.
Right now I'm sitting across Pat and Chris and they are watching a Youtube video of someone popping a zit. Pat just said "Okay. Putting that on my blog."
I wasn't going to blog tonight until I realized there was no reason not to. Tomorrow I get to sign up for classes for next semester but I can change it until add/ drop ends. Today I wrote a page long stream of consciousness. To be honest, I'm having trouble focusing on this entry because of the sounds from the video and Chris and Pat's occasional yelps of horror and oh wait, Chris just ran out of the room.
Apparently I'm optimistic. This makes sense because while everyone around me feels empty, I still feel pretty full, or at least I remember what that feels like. The song of the day is "Wake Up" by the Arcade Fire. Wake up is the tagline for Ellipsis, Butterfield's literary magazine. The release party is this weekend.
Children, wake up
Hold your mistake up
Before they turn the summer into dust
"Transitoning is weird" - Kathryn, today.
I agree. I kind of feel like I belong in neither my old world or my new world sometimes. But I'm happy. Today Lanny and Michela came by my house before I left, and we ended up talking mostly about things that happened to us during last year. You know, getting all nostalgic. Nostalgia makes you feel sweet and warm and sad all at the same time. It was one of the best parts of my break.
I'm glad to be back here. I realized today that when I came to college, I was so much more judgmental than I am now. I didn't give people a chance based solely on their looks or their facebook profiles. I'm glad I got rid of judgment. It wasn't funny and I thought it made me happy but it didn't.
You know what really makes me happy? Hiking. I miss hiking. I also miss my cat.
Oh, stop thinking of tomorrow
Don't stop thinking of today
You're not getting any younger
You've got nothing to explain
The song of the day is "Graceland" by Paul Simon. I'm going home tomorrow and I can't wait. I just want to be with my friends. All night. The last night of our lives. Or until winter break.
Happy second-most--important-holiday of Western culture. I think the coolest thing about Thanksgiving is that pretty much everyone you know is celebrating in some form or the other on that day. It kind of brings people closer. None of us really understand why we're taking this collective break from real life to eat the same, slightly abnormal combinations of food and to see relatives for whom we normally don't make time. But we all do it anyways. Oh, culture, how interesting you are.
For anthropology I have to write a mini ethnograpy on anything I do during Thanksgiving break. It's basically transcribing an interaction I wouldn't have outside of this week, which is only abnormal because of a two hundred year long tradition (contrary to popular belief, Thanksgiving has only been around since the 1800s). Traditions are crazy things. I love being here though. My aunt and uncle's house is so cool. Me and my sister are sleeping in the dance studio (!) and today I didn't have to do anything. We watched a video of my parents wedding. It was so weird to see my parents in their twenties... some of my older relatives were my age. It made me want to be alive in the eighties. Also it made me think about weddings a lot. And how I want one like my parents'. They were so cool.
The song of the day is "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens.
Last night I slept the whole night with a cough drop in my mouth. Never do that. I won't tell you why, but you really should trust me.
I hope you get a kick out of this picture cause I did.
But I feel alive I feel it in me
up and up I keep on climbing
higher and higher and higher
I would never want that to happen.
Now I have two worlds instead of just one. I act different in each but am still the same person. Spending time in each makes me appreciate the other more.
During this week, apologize to someone you hurt whether or not you meant to hurt them. Tell someone you love them if they didn't know or weren't sure. We all have those in our lives with whom we have become estranged during the past few months or years. Consider very closely if you want these once treasured relationships to continue fading or flare suddenly back to you. My piercing is almost healed.
I should also mention that you should remember the reasons for National Mourning Day. I didn't know it existed until recently, and I wish I had known sooner.
Oh yeah and love everybody, if you can.
This weekend was so fun, mostly because Liz and Steve came to visit last night. They make me laugh so much! I forgot what it was like to spend a night with people with whom I have had more than three months to form relationships. It made me all the more excited for Thanksgiving, which I anticipate feeling extremely short-lived. I can't believe so much time has gone by since I've been here. Also, the year is almost over. Weird. I was pretty accurate in my prediction that 2009 was going to be one of the most tumultuous years of my life to date.
The song of the day is "Turtle Island" by Beach House. I have two more days until I get to go home and see our new oven, which I'm pretty sure is what my mother believes to be my incentive for going home, judging by the amount of text message alerts she's sent me concerning it. Today she sent me a picture with a caption that I thought was so funny (perhaps because of my unhealthy obsession with my cat) that I want to share it here.
I am really tired...
Observations of the day:
1) A fly takes a remarkably short time to find an empty yogurt cup.
2) Faux fur is everywhere.
3) There are only so many ways to make tofu more exciting than tofu.
4) Helena Bonham-Carter is awesome in like, every way.
5) Banks suck, especially if you live in 1930.
6) The Dewey Decimal system is first: confusing; second: fun.
7) Music can make you walk faster, depending on the count.
8) Kafka was probably gay.
9) Tea makes you feel good.
10) Don says the best reason to get a tattoo is if you've never really considered it before.
The song of the day is "Train in Vain" by the Clash. My mom emailed me a picture of my cat in a box. It's adorable. Thanks Mom!
Another good part of my day was falling in a pile of leaves and rolling over from my side to my other side with my legs extended up in the air. I have a huge paper to write for Thursday that I haven't started. But it's okay, I'm going to get an A (my cockiness has yet to fail me, but I suspect this has more to do with the fact that I go to Umass than my actual intellect). In Astronomy, I wrote a poem inspired by the Grapes of Wrath. Today while we were sitting in the lounge Pat wrote a whole blog entry about me. I've never been the focus of someone's blog entry before. It was sweet and funny. The song of the day is that new Beach House single, I forget the name.
Sometimes I get nervous I'm not passionate enough about shit.
This is the only picture I took today. Today was about ten years better than yesterday. I don't know why I feel like years is the best increment of measure there, but you know what I mean. I definitely downplayed how unhappy I was yesterday. It's really hard not to be completely vague here. Sometimes blogging feels empty. Pretty much everyone I talk to reads my blog. Anyways, in the spirit of not revealing any details whatsoever about my life today, the morning held so much promise. The sun was so strong and the breakthrough on the sparkly concrete was long overdue. I don't know though. Somethin's still missin'.
Right now I'm listening to Vassar College independent radio, courtesy of Zach. So many songs I like! Also, I just laid outside on blankets to watch the meteor shower. I only saw one big meteor, but it was so worth it. Kind of like a shooting star only it strung behind it a yellow streak of fire that singed in the sky before dissolving. It was incredible.
Me and Alex have a friend named Dean who we've only ever seen coincidentally at the dining hall on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. He might not exist outside of the dining hall. But I really enjoy having lunch with him. I got a replacement phone today. Unfortunately, I fell back into the routine of having a phone almost immediately. Someday, mark my words, I'm going to have no cell phone. And I'm going to be happier.
Song of the day is "Gigantic" by the Pixies. Pinky promises today
November's halfway over. If you're reading this and you planned to submit something to Auraphice (our zine), you should do it, if you haven't already. You should write something right now, and put it in an envelope, or put something you've already written in an envelope. And send it to me. Thank you. We really only have about fifteen more days of fall. I don't know anyone who considers December fall. Today was so warm and beautiful. It reminded me of spring, which is a cruel trick by nature. I must have seasonal depression. Winter sends me into ennui before it even starts. Time to pretend to do homework.
Song of the day is "Lullabies" by Defiance, Ohio.
Today I rescued two stink bugs. I'm sick of stink bugs. Are they going to go away once it's winter? The song of the day is "She's Losing it" by Belle and Sebastian because I played it in my room and danced around by myself. The trumpet part reminds me of Liz and Steve. My friend Lauren made an interesting analogy. I was telling her how I lost my phone and she had lost hers too recently. She said that losing your phone is kind of like being kidnapped and held by a captor. And at first you're terrified and hate your situation and think your captor is a monster but as time goes by you recognize the humanness of your captor and eventually develop an affinity for them. This struck me as a relevant yet extremely obscure comparison to losing one's phone.
Break my arms around the one I love
And be forgiven by the time my lover comes
Break my arms around my love
I meant to blog yesterday night but my internet wasn't working. Right now it's morning and someone keeps setting off the alarm. Yesterday was a really good day mostly because so many separate events occurred. Dan and I woke up early (9) and took a bus to the Smith college art Museum. We had to pick two paintings to compare for our art history paper. It was absolutely wonderful to be in a museum and I was totally unexpecting that Smith had so many paintings by extremely renowned artists, like Monet and Picasso. Then we took the bus back and were pleasantly surprised at the remarkable lack of complications the morning presented. I went to my other classes and later (oh damn, I guess this is just a "what I did today blog") went to a Radical Student Union meeting. I love this club. I can't even describe it. Each meeting usually takes a really long time to get going and when we start we don't even have anything to talk about. What makes it so good is the people. They're all so intelligent and passionate. It's good to find a club I actually feel like I belong in.
Also we went to a Gatsby party in Van Meter (other dorm) really late at night. It was so fun! I found myself lamenting the fact that meeting so many new people yesterday was a relatively foreign experience. I'm in college. I should be meeting new people everyday. It's so easy to just get stuck in Butterfield where the community is so close-knit (this should not pose only positive connotations). Its gets pretty depressing sometimes. But I don't think it will be like this as much from now on.
Yeah, that was a play-by-play blog. Sorry. I'm not really feeling reflective since I just woke up. You know what though? Yesterday, on the bus to Smith, this girl sitting in front of me said, "Hey look an owl!" and I looked and there was just this huge owl sitting on a tree branch. So cool/weird.
Getting better is so much superior to getting worse. I'm pretty much over my sickness, which is really relieving. There are so many people here who are really sick. An absurd number of people in our dorm have swine flu. At least they don't have swan flu... yet. Oh I left my laptop charger at home, so I have to either bum off other people or just let my computer die. It's great, because I don't have a phone either, so now I can be almost completely cut off from technology and the outside world. It's like I'm doing this to myself on purpose.
I hope I do a better job figuring out alarm clocks tomorrow.
We just had a bonfire (an extremely generous term) to celebrate Guy Fox day, which we all admittedly know about only because of V for Vendetta. Brian Snell (pictured) organized it and gave a speech, which was pretty awesome.
Two important things happened to me today. First, I left my cell phone on a bus. Then I got off the bus, and the bus drove away. Bye cell phone. I found another bus and asked the driver what I would have to do to get my phone back. He told me a number to call, which I found ironic, but I didn't share this with the driver because of my general skepticism of bus-driver senses of humor. The second important thing was that I'm really sick. It came at me out of nowhere, but earlier today, by the time I made it up the hill after going to both classes, meeting with a TA and with my English advisor, I was hacking and wheezing and in grave danger of asphyxiation. I went up to my room and took a nap, after which I woke up and had a fever. "Awesome!" as I would say to trigger my sister's rather morbid enjoyment of my pain. Having a fever sucks. It makes everything seem way worse than it is. I.e. being afraid that your organs are combusting. Anyways, I took advil and now the fever is gone. If I'm not sick tomorrow I'll be convinced the whole thing was a dream.
I'm constantly trying out new scenarios in my head in which I find a solution to washing my hair. Yes, washing my hair is a problem. I don't want to do it anymore. The only solutions I've come up with so far are dreadlocks and shaving my head, neither of which I can pull off. Something interesting happened. My alarm clock has been an hour slow since the spring, when I never changed it after daylight savings time. Now, since another daylight savings has passed, the clock is right again!
Song of the day is "High and Dry" by Radiohead.
I NEED TO CLEAN MY ROOM. I just danced in the basement for like half an hour. My neck is really sore but not from dancing, from sleeping weird. I wore my new Belle and Sebastian shirt today. And I wrote a poem about my least favorite state. My English class was cancelled and Alex found a copy of the Bhagavad Gita on the ground outside Hasbrouck. I am jealous.
I guess I'm in this state where my mind can't produce anything other than unrelated sentences strung together clumsily. I am constantly bothered by the fact that if questioned to produce an interesting fact about myself, the first thing that perpetually comes to mind is my body's utter lack of capability to throw up. What a sad existence I must lead, if that is my most interesting factoid.
The song of the day is "Either Way" by Wilco. Oh also, I am sometimes called "the other phoebe."
Since I last blogged:
1) I chipped my front tooth by biting a pen
2) The sun started rising an hour earlier
3) I thought about piercing my nose but then didn't
4) I got an A on my huge art history paper
5) I received three packages in the mail
6) I wrote a rhyming poem (it's bad)
7) Halloween happened
8) I watched an awesome vampire movie called Let the Right One In
9) I saved two stink bugs
Sometimes I read my blog from when I first started blogging. Almost a year has gone by, and my life has changed so much. Last January, I was really bored. Every day was the same. It's weird to think how everything - my relationships, my interests, and even my writing - has changed in just ten months.
November is Rotten Month. The colorful optimism of fall has passed and now the leaves are brown on the ground and soon they will decompose. Winter is seeping through the corners like water surrounding a sponge. I wish I could equate winter with more than stillness, dimness, and lulls. At least there is sledding.
Why is it that whenever I try to write and produce something deliberately, I can't come up with anything? Today I bought three tiny moleskin notebooks for writing. As I sat down in the dining hall with the notebook open and my green pen in hand, I was shocked and horrified to realize that the sole poetic thought in my head was a mental image of the ducks from the duck pond, sitting on the sodden earth in an effort to escape their overflowing pond. The only time I come up with someone I'm somewhat proud of is when I'm least expecting it. I'm afraid having my moleskin notebook with me will be a subconcsious reminder that I'm not unexpecting. Oh well. I've learned that you can't force good writing.
Aside from the moleskin notebooks, I bought an umbrella today, and Barack Obama gave me seven hundred and fifty dollars. Don't ask me to explain why. Also, the conjunctivitis has traveled into my other eye. Somebody asked me if I had been crying, and someone else asked if I was high. No to both of those, but thank you for the concern. While I waited in the waiting room of University Health Services (for an hour and a half, but now is not the time for complaints) a nurse walked by and told me she liked my rainboots. She had a pretty face and her eyebrows were meticulously groomed. She wore a cylindrical hat with colorful fake jewels on it. From underneath the hat peered out grey fuzzy hairs. They looked so soft; I imagine they felt like baby hair. They weren't grey because she was old, but because all the color had faded away and the grey was all that was left.
Today I got two poems in the mail from Erin O'Donnell, for my zine. Any day you recieve free poetry in the mail from Erin O'Donnell is a good day. They are wonderful.
I'm sick of hearing myself complain about my writing
I have conjunctivitis. It's awful and people keep asking me what's wrong with my eye. The worst part about it is I know how it feels when someone around you has something wrong with their eye. You just wonder how it got like that and you want to ask them. One time in seventh grade Mr. Matys came back from a three day absence with one really bloodshot eye. Like, there was really something wrong with it. On the same day he wore an orange spotted tie with a brown plaid shirt. And I remember Amanda Jonaitis whispering to me, "I wonder if his eye is blind so now he can't match his clothes."
I am so much happier at college now than I was a month ago. And I never would have expected it then. I feel like ever since we made "The List," I am feeling so much more fulfilled. I'm not even doing it on purpose, but so much stuff on the list has already been checked off. My Indie Publishing book says that you should publisize your book on your internet blog, so I will publicize my zine here. It's called Auraphice and it's going to be released in December, hopefully. Pretty much everyone who reads this zine was invited to submit via facebook, unless they don't have a facebook. Alex and I both got so electrified with excitement as soon as we started putting this thing into action. Alex designed the cover and I wrote the "manifesto" (title in the works) for the insert. We already got a submisson. It's from Nicole Reynolds, she lives down the hall from me, and it's a beautiful poem. I just want to make zines my whole life. Write and collect other people's writing.
I can understand why one would hate Umass. There is not too much going on here. However, there is as Alex put it "so much potential energy." It is really easy to make something happen, the resources are all here. And I'm starting to think I would so much rather be the driving force behind a movement rather than just participate in one. So much more rewarding. So that's why I love Umass, and why I feel like great things are coming my way. Starting with Auraphice! Submit!
Oh yeah and this week I'm trying to have an adventure every day. Sunday we went to Northampton. Every time I go to Northampton my mood gets enhanced. Yesterday we started working on the zine. Today was bad for the most part because I had conjunctivitis and then I missed the LGBT meeting and it was raining and my room smells weird. But then it got much better because I stayed up till two talking to my friends, and I realize I appreciate them so much and talking to them has made me learn more than all my classes have so far. Well, in different ways I guess. But anyways, that's my adventure for the day, even though it's kind of a cheap excuse for an adventure. Tomorrow is packed with adventures. First of all, I'm going to eat breakfast at the dining hall. And have tea. Speaking of breakfast, today I had a cinnabon that tasted like whiskey. Then I might go to the career center and try to get a job for next summer. And then I might (I keep in the might to guard myself from falling short of expectations) go to Salvation Army. So that's like THREE adventures!
Song of the day is "Jacksonville" by Sufjan Stevens cause I heard someone playing it really loud inside the People's Market after the doors were shut and locked.
All that said, I can't wait to see all of you again. You know who you are.
This picture wasn't intended to be crooked but I kind of like it this way. I'm always amazed when I see the geese and ducks in the pond because isn't the water so cold? Especially because they're naked. But it wasn't so cold today. It was arguably the perfect temperature. Uh oh I'm segwaying into weather talk that's boring. Oh well, anyways, today it was like low sixties, and I was thinking if it was August that temperature would be an outrage, way too cold, fall is coming too early this year, etc. Today it was wonderful. My room smells really good right now cause I left the window open all day and the nature got in. I shouldn't say that, it reminds me of the bug. The bug. Ueehhh.
I'm happy today. We spiced up the monotony of our weekdays by studying for our huge art history midterm in a coffee shop aproximately ten minutes from our dorm. It made studying legitimately fun. I just went outside to watch the meteor shower. I didn't see any meteors.
This shoe is picture of the day cause it's the best shoe ever and I bought it off my sister. She bought it at the thrift store for two dollars and fifty cents and I'm paying her forty dollars for it. Hm. For some reason I drew circles all over the palm side of my hand with purple pen and I keep looking down at it and thinking I have boils. Today we had started a Butterfield Radical Reading Circle. There's only seven of us, not including our RA, and we decided on three short stories for next week. It's kind of cool because it's an excuse to force your friends to read your favorite books/ stories. Afterwards, Alex Dan Pat and I decided we wanted to start our own club for radical thoughts. There weren't any concrete objectives for the club and every time we tried to verbally explain it it was a different thing. The best I can do now is that we will decide on a mission statement, and have a series of very vague goals. We wanted it to be an exclusive club but that opened up a whole new can of worms. I just want my mind to be constantly probed by other people. Then we wrote a list of things we wanted to do and it was three pages long. Here are some random samples from the compiled list: