July 29

I am too apathetic to edit this picture that I just took. Poor blog, so ugly for July 29. Today the best thing I did was probably talk to Ann in Panera for two hours. She grew up a lot. Unfortunately I will have to take another break from blogging this weekend. Tomorrow I am driving to Cape Cod to visit Liz, and then on Friday we are driving to the Newport Folk Festival. Also today I taught myself how to play two songs on the guitar: The Crane Wife and The Communist Daughter. My fingers hurt so bad I imagined little blood vessels popping inside of them. The song of the day is "Westfall" by Okkervil River, and no, I cannot play it on the guitar.

With cocoa leaves along the border
Sweetness sings from every  corner
Cars careening from the clouds
The bridges burst and twist around


July 28

Steve's lake house has become an encapsulation of my summer. I know I would absolutely love to revisit it ten years from now and let the memories wash over me like does the black lake water. Right now my hair is soft from swimming and my forearms are tan and the three first fingers on my left hand hurt from learning to play the guitar. Also my stomach hurts but that's what happens when you have too much excitement. 

I'm glad we're finally getting real summer weather. Hopefully it will last into this weekend, for everyone's sake, but especially those going to the Newport Folk Festival. The song of the day is "Against Me" by Why?.


July 27

I think I just realized what might be the saddest thought in the world. It's the thought that we've experienced every feeling we will ever feel, and with every time we feel it, it becomes more predictable. I hope this isn't true, but I won't know if it is or isn't until the end of my life.

On a happier note, today I met this little girl at Farmland who kept unknowingly trying to get me to explain reproduction to her. 

"Are there babies in those eggs?"
"Why do some eggs have babies and some don't?"
"What does 'fertilized' mean?"
"How do they get that way?"
"How does the rooster fertilize the eggs?"
"Why do I have to ask my mommy?"

She told me her name was Jenna and she was very intelligent and interesting so I talked to her for as long as I could. Her favorite part of Farmland was the chinchilla. I asked her what she would name him because he is part of our "Name the Animal" contest. She suggested "S'more," which I found remarkably creative seeing as the other four suggestions I heard today were Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy, and Blackie.

The song of the day is "Calling and Not Calling My Ex" by Okkervil River.


July 26

First of all, Emily informs me that my blogging is no longer regular and thus I am a huge disappointment. She only actually said the first part of that, but the reason I haven't blogged for a number of days is because I went to Pennsylvania with Lanny, Michela, and Jen to visit Graham. I missed blogging, not because of the routine it ropes around me, but because I have done a lot of thinking in the past few days. At first my thoughts were sporadic and unorganized, but when you think the same thought processes for extended periods of time, if all goes well, they will fall into place. So now I have things to say in this blog. 

I've always thought I had a pretty good idea of what traits in people I believe to be vices. Certain "mistakes" people make provoke my loss of respect. Very recently, maybe perhaps in the last week, I've completely reformed these ideas. Last night I took a shower in Graham's grandparents bathroom. Afterwards, while applying gel to my hair, it dawned on me that I have forgiven every mistake you made, and by you, I mean everyone I know. I stood facing the mirror, my hair wet and shiny and hanging in my face, and was completely aware of the fact that I, just like every other human, am capable of exhibiting these vices. If I am just as bad as everyone else, how can I inflate my own pride by condemning others for what I believe to be poor choices? I could have just as easily been the one who made that mistake. Suddenly I was connected to everyone else. People are good. I know this because recently I have been noticing that at the root of everyone's actions is a desperate, unwavering desire to avoid loneliness and find someone, anyone, who will return their love. We want so badly to find happiness but do not know where it lies, so we grope blindly through the darkness, hoping our decisions aren't ones we'll regret. 

Your motives are good. Your desires are not greedy but honest. I want the same things you want. I know you feel lonely sometimes and you wonder what you did to deserve such little response from the people you love so much. I feel like that too: everyone does. But I can promise you that if you feel undeserving you are wrong. You have so much good in you. If I had my way, your goodness would be recognized every single day of your life. I hope you don't feel ashamed or regretful of your mistakes, because when you look closely, they really weren't mistakes at all. 

July 25

When we saw this family, Michela said she wanted to be part of it. Song of the day: "Time to Pretend" by MGMT.

July 24

Song of the day: "We Are Nowhere" and it's Now by Bright Eyes.

Real Song of the day: "Vindicated" by Dashboard Confessional.


July 22

This summer has been maybe the best of my life, but that doesn't mean it hasn't had it's lows for me. I'm feeling terribly in limbo right now, especially because college is rapidly approaching. I desperately want to be completely at peace before the end of the summer; with myself and with my relationships with other people. To feel that way however, I need for time to stop moving so damn fast. Then I will have time to collect my thoughts and sleep in and write everyone in my life a long letter. That's what I think I will do. 

I will end this post with a beautiful piece of writing from someone very close to me. It is anonymous because it is a rather deep look into this person's soul.

When you miss someone desperately, hopelessly, and endlessly, you miss so much that eventually you use up all of the missing you have in you and then you realize there's none left and you don't miss anymore; it's all gone. That's when you're free and it's the only way to get there. Go straight through the pain and missing and heartbreak and come out on the other side alive. Alive. Alive.


July 21

Today I watched babysat and watched Spongebob for three hours. It really made me laugh at times, and every time I laughed I was subsequently puzzled. It rained all day and I think that this is one of those days that stands out clearly to me as a day I will never remember and that didn't serve any purpose at all in the long run of my life. Tonight I hung out with Liz and Lanny and Jack. We walked around WPI campus in the mist and the water and the lights looked surreal. What a surreal time I've been having. 

The song of the day is "It Kills Me" by Jason Mraz.


July 20

I am very sorry for not blogging yesterday but it was out of my control. My memory card every so often deems itself "corrupted" and I lose all my pictures from that day. I didn't have much to say anyways, since yesterday and today were mostly taken up by Farmland. Today I left early and when I came home I felt so incredibly tired that I had to take a three hour nap. I think there are two kinds of being tired. One is being sleep deprived. The other is when your body is physically tired and an enormous amount of energy is required to do otherwise simple things like walk and stand. Today I felt both of these kinds of tired. Tonight will be fun and tomorrow is my day off. Except for that I am babysitting... but I kind of overlook that. Well at least I am money makin'!

The song of the day is "To Wild Homes" by the New Pornographers.


July 18

Today mostly all I did from morning until I hung out with people at night was read the seventh Harry Potter for the third time. So as you can imagine there's not really much for me to say right now. Lanny came home tonight and I was happy to see him. Jeff's visit was too short. I can't wait to go to the Newport Folk Festival. When Parker and I drove to Lanny's house, the score from the first Harry Potter movie came on and Parker remarked that "this is the perfect music to be greeting Lanny to." I don't really have a clue as to what prompted Parker to say that. I work at Farmland tomorrow with my friends for the first time this summer!


July 17

I keep going to bed later and later every night. For no reason. The song of the day is "Human of the Year" by Regina Spektor. Today I went into a dark room and I was super alert and scared something was going to jump out at me. Then I started thinking about what I was afraid was going to do that. I settled on something black and mostly shapeless, but with limbs and white eyes. So I guess that is what I am most afraid of in this life.

Lightning, however, excites me.


July 16

I've worked two consecutive full days at Farmland and now I'm exhausted. That job is hard work, but it is nice to be making money again. I just saw Harry Potter 6 and it was great great great great I loved it. Today during my break I sat with three people I didn't really know very well. The girl sitting next to me's name was Megan and I liked her the most. We talked about Harry Potter and then the girl and boy across the table from us both shared the fact that they had ceased reading the series after the third book, because after that "they started getting big." This explanation was followed by laughs and scoffing, because they were too dumb to put into words "My attention span, even for children's books, is three hundred pages max." The point is, Harry Potter is awesome. I'm happy I don't have to work tomorrow. The song of the day is "Lisztomania" by Phoenix.

Maybe tomorrow I'll take a picture of something not in my kitchen!


July 15

finally, home.

July 14

Airport. Airplane. All day. Teen Vogue. Dave Eggers. Turkey & Havarti. What time is it. I have to go to the bathroom don't eat my chocolate watch my bag. Can you get me ELLE? I like your hair mine is pathetic I feel sick don't let me forget I put my iPod in this pocket. I told you the time three minutes ago. This is a sad one. It was really funny at first but now it's sad. Miranda July I want the middle we'll switch all the way through we didn't switch. Sylvie! The girls with that hair. Sprite, please, if you have it. Yes Sierra Mist is okay. I love watching goodbyes and I hate watching them. Six hours nine hours we're home.

July 13

I cannot begin to describe what I feel about Berkeley, California: maybe simply that I wish I was born there. This cafe was my favorite part of the day. Some twelve-year-olds were making a film on the staircase and the cashier reminded me of William from Almost Famous. Then the whole city reminded me of Almost Famous. Everybody here is cooler than me.

July 12

We hike back to the car and complete the six hour drive to Berkeley. Once arrived, we revel in restaurant-cooked meals and soft white sheets.

July 11

We hike all day with forty pound packs. Actually mine is most likely a lot lighter than that. Upon arriving at the camp we pitch our tents on a cliff overlooking the river. We run out of propane and eat chicken sausage, crunchy rice, and graham crackers for dinner. Before going to sleep I lay on my back on the rock and watch more and more stars clutter the blackness above me. It smells good and I can hear the waterfall and I am not afraid and not alone. I read You Shall Know our Velocity before sleeping and when I put it down, my mind can't settle for much longer.

Why are you scared to dream of God
If it's salvation that you want?
You see stars that clear have been dead for years,
But the idea still lives on.

July 10

Yosemite is beautiful. Still no bear attacks, but I did find a crushed m&m on the floor of the car - narrow escape from death.

July 9

Arriving at Yosemite: the rangers tell us to lock up our chapstick or the bears will find us in the middle of the night. I leave my camera in the cafeteria where we eat dinner, and it is brought back to me by a maybe-thirteen year-old boy with skinny jeans and skate shoes. In the middle of the night, a crow sounds to me, in my sleepy paranoia, exactly like a bear. It isn't.


July 8

I didn't really take any pictures today; that's why the picture of the day was taken after my hike was over. I also don't really know what to say right now. Hiking for three days from Rodeo Beach, to Muir Beach, to Stinson Beach showed me so much beauty. I don't want to describe it though; I want to let my pictures describe it. Maybe, if I can, when I get home I will string them all together and people can look at them quickly, so they don't get too boring. But I want someone to see them.

It's hard to believe I still have a week left in California. My dad says that we just saw (on our hikes) a lot of land that many people in San Francisco will never see. That's a shame. If you lived ten minutes away from a thick and dark forest that you could walk through and see the ocean on the other side, wouldn't you spend as much time as possible walking through it again and again? The Pacific Ocean is too cold to swim in. It is perfect and crystalline and when you touch it with your thin skin it shows you how weak you are and numbs you until you have to retract your defenseless shell. So you just look at it and admire its impenetrable countenance, one of pride but not too much pride, or rather pride that is well-deserved. I went to California but did not swim in the ocean. I respect sublimity to the point that sometimes, I have to stay away. I haven't touched a horse since I stopped riding three years ago. But maybe I'm making excuses; I'm just afraid.

Song of the day is "Upon Viewing Brueghel's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus."
God sent me a vision of the future

July 7

Song of the day: "King of Carrot Flowers Part 1" by Neutral Milk Hotel. Sorry there are two pictures. I couldn't decide which one, could you have? They're both of such beautiful things but are also so different. I am so lucky to have seen such different things in just one day.
When you were young you were the king of carrot flowers
And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all 'round your feet

July 6

Song of the day: "She's A Jar" by Wilco. I should mention that this is the last time I will be blogging for a while, unfortunately. I am driving to Yosemite tomorrow and will be camping/ backpacking there until Sunday. Then Berkeley on Monday, where I still most likely won't have access to a computer. It is very sad to me that I will miss close to a week of blogging; this is the longest break I will have all year. Oh well, bye!


July 5

I took so many pictures today that I can't wait to show other people. I am so glad I make a hobby out of taking pictures because it really adds a lot to my vacations. Today my uncle took me and my sister to learn to drive his stick-shift Porsche sports car. Driving down the street approaching seventy miles an hour, it occured to me, while sitting in the passenger seat, that I had not only never driven a sports car but never ridden in one. Learning how to drive a stick-shift is like learning how to ride a pony for the first time. And if it's a sports car, then it's like having your first riding lesson on an untamed black stallion. Needless to say, I am not a natural at manual transmissions. I will keep on trying however.

Today we went to a vineyard which reminded me of both The Grapes of Wrath and Sideways, but more of Sideways. They are two of my favorites in their respective mediums. We had lunch and then we drove to Sausalito. It is a really beautiful town and we had to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to get in. I kind of expected to be more aroused by the Golden Gate Bridge. I guess it didn't help that I was sitting in the third row of a minivan so I couldn't really see anything any window except the one behind me, and that one is marked by black lines of whose purpose I am unaware. But we are spending the next three days hiking in the Golden Gate Bridge recreational area, so I will have plenty of time to soak up the landmark. Anyways, in Sausalito, my sister and I waited in line at an ice cream shop, then went across the street to another one because we thought it might have better, but it turned out to be an unwise gamble and we went back to the first. Then we went to a store called "Games People Play" and my dad bought a kite and a frisbee. I got two bracelets: one is beaded with a plastic butterfly that reminds me of my childhood, and the other is a rope one I found under a sign that read "Changes Colors in Sunlight." The bracelet did change in the sunlight, but only turned pink, and then back to white when taken back into the shade. My mother's explanation for this phenomenon is that it must be a nuclear bracelet. I saw a man carrying a stuffed rabbit in a shoulder bag and I shuddered. I think I am going back to having a song of the day. I'm not wishy-washy though, somebody told me today that song of the day on my blog has introduced them to new bands they otherwise never would have known they liked. If I can make even just one person slightly happier by keeping this element to my blog, then I will most definitely keep it up for the rest of the year. That said, song of the day is obviously "Sausalito" by Conor Oberst.

I won't be blogging again until Wednesday night until something unexpected happens. I can't wait to be out in nature. Hope everyone has a nice couple of days!


July 4- Independence Day

Day two in California: Directly above is my official picture of the day, but I took about three hundred photos today and it would be a shame if all but one went unshared. So in addition to picture of the day, I'm posting my favorite "people" pictures in this entry. This morning my sister and I rose early due to jet lag (is it jet lag if it makes you feel awake?) and went to go get coffee and talk with my uncle Frank. He is actually my great uncle, so he could be my grandfather, and because he lives in California, we've really only seen him a couple of times in our lives. He told us about his son-in-law Lalo, who came to America as an illegal immigrant completely without a knowlege of English and pretty much grabbed the American Dream by the balls. After breakfast we took the Bart (subway) into San Francisco. I am attempting to comprehend the geography and climate of northern California but to no avail. So far all I understand that San Francisco is twenty degrees cooler than everywhere around it, and that it is usually shrouded by a very life-like fog. When we arrived in the city we caught a cable car which was fun and also probably the second most touristy thing to do in San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge is number one). Then that old Fray song was stuck in my head for approximately an hour.

We also went to Fisherman's Wharf and saw Alcatraz from a distance. We took a cab at the end of the day to return to the train station, and it was definitely the most tumultuous part of my day. The cabbie could have released the accelerator maybe three times. He wove through crowds of pedestrians and passed cars who were in the act of passing other cars. Because the hills of San Francisco meet the horizontal ground at a near-ninety degree angle, the cab ride bore strong resemblence to a mild yet still exciting rollar coaster. Man, and I thought Abby Sushchyk's driving was thrilling. This was a rush! Bring on the near-death experiences! Also, bring on the Ben & Jerry's. There are signs for it anywhere.

Hooray for having a fourth of July in which the only patriotism I encountered all day was two guys screaming out of the sun roof of their car, while speeding down a busy street, "GO TEAM! AMERICA IS THE BEST COUNTRY!" and frantically waving little cloth flags.

It's too bad I abolished song of the day yesterday, because "Turn Into Something" by Animal Collective has been in my head nonstop since I woke up this morning, save for that difficult hour of The Fray.


July 3

Day One of California trip. Mostly I just rode a plane today, for six hours. The hours during which I was watching Top Chef or reading my trashy magazine went by faster than the ones where I was attempting to sleep while resting the weight of my head on my oddly positioned wrist. All in all however, the flight was not bad. In the San Francisco airport I had my first celebrity encounter. Too bad it was the kind I can't boast about without revealing one of my guiltiest secrets. The secret is, that from time to time, if I'm really bored, and there's nothing else on, and no one wants to hang out, and my family is doing something else, and just because I want to make fun of the awful writing, and the awful acting, and the awful Christian overtones, I watch The Secret Life of the American Teenager. There I said it, it's out. Anyways, "Ricky" from the Secret Life walked past me in the airport, and simply out of shock for having somehow seen a complete stranger's face before, I may have gaped open-mouthed a little. And he smiled at me. It's not often that you so well recognize someone who cannot recognize you. Later Emily insisted that my dad take a picture of us with Ricky, who turned out to actually be Daren. Upon approaching the celebrity, whose halfway-buttoned plaid shirt revealed the skin of his celebrity torso and whose tan celebrity face beat my own by about five shades, my dad said, while pointing at us, "I don't know you. But they really do!"

Now I will ignore the self-consciousness I feel for having spent so long describing my encounter with a celebrity whose fan base is mostly made up of sexually repressed thirteen year-olds and move on to the rest of my day. Out of the airport, we drove through San Fransisco and into San Ramone. My great aunt and uncle live here and we are staying at their house. The weather is absolutely perfect. The temperature is about seventy five degrees with a slight wind. The sky is cloudless, and it has been so apparently since March. Tomorrow we are going to try to see as many noteworthy San Fransisco things as possible. The fourth of July will be a little bit of a hindrance. Today we ate dinner and drank wine on the back patio of the house. My uncle Frank initiated a conversation about Twitter, and "what the Sam hill is that for," and it led to the topic of technology and how it is taking over everything like a monster. And then that somehow led to the topic of Sarah Palin and how she is both scary and embarassing. Then my aunt Harlene said to me across the table, "Do you know about black..... eyed..... peas.....?"

So far, I love California!

We will always be a light
You can see it from the surface
See it?


July 2

Today I visited Jeff in Providence with Steve and Liz. It was so fun! I love them. I like Providence. Maybe it's a little too "hip," but at least it's clean. 

I am not mentally ready to go to California for two weeks. My family goes on a trip every summer, and our last was the happiest time of my life. The next two weeks has a lot to live up to.

I have an idea, and the idea is postcards. I want to send everyone a postcard. So listen up, and write your address in a comment if you want one, and then check your mail. This is the first time I've communicated directly with my readers. 

Sometimes I wish I could blog about really personal matters. I dislike the term "shout out," but if I could, I would give one of these arbitrary recognitions right now.

Also, I don't think I'm going to do a song of the day anymore. Now that everyone has a song of the day I don't really like declaring mine because I've usually already read someone else's blog and they've proclaimed something else song of the day. Instead I'll just italicize lyrics!

Till next time, which may or not be tomorrow. Either way, my next blog will be from sunny California! 

Will someone please call a surgeon? 


July 1

I didn't realize it was July until I typed the title to this post. This has happened before. What a bad way to enter into July. It rained all day and was barely sixty degrees. My blog is half finished, six months to go! I didn't hang out with anyone today. Tomorrow if all goes well Liz and Steve and I will visit Jeff in Providence. I'm excited because I haven't seen Liz or Jeff in a really long time. Actually it was really only a week. It frightens me how long a week seems these days. This Friday I will leave for California bitches. I don't think I am mentally ready to document the beauty I will encounter.

The song of the day is "Parallel or Together" by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists because I am on a Ted Leo kick as of the past two days. He is a fantastic lyricist. When I go to California I don't know how often I am going to be able to blog. I'm hoping it's at least a couple days. I really like the idea of a travel blog. 

Now I'm walking on downtown
In a town that is not my home
And shopping for breakfast
To be eaten all alone
And dreaming of houses
None of them that I own
But that's not my province
That's not for what I'm known
So gather around me
All the little pieces of a song
And fit them where they belong