November 30

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


November 29

"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


November 27

God help me, I saw Twilight with my cousins today. Never has so much objectification of a male body graced a film before. There were probably less vomit-inducing lines than the first Twilight, but the movie was still overall pretty shitty. That said, I won't deny I was entertained. I might have laughed like, once. I think I tried to pass it off a mocking laugh but no one believed me.

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.


November 26 - Thanksgiving

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.


November 25

Welcome to Thanksgiving. I am at my aunt and uncle's house in D.C. (actually twenty minute from D.C., in Potomac) and swallowing anything has been excrutiatingly painful all day. The two days before that too, now that I mention it. The pain in my throat is so horrible that I'm having trouble remembering anything else about this day; it commanded all my focus. I mean I must have ridden a plane at some point. And I must have gotten dressed, because I am wearing clothes. And I must have eaten, because I'm not hungry. And I must have watched Glee, because I remember what happened on Glee tonight. And I must have shown somebody my poetry book, because it is out of my backpack and on the floor right now. And I must have danced with my sister to "Little Secrets" by Passion Pit, because this picture was taken. And I must have re-broken the ice with my eleven year old cousin, because her kissy face is now the background on my phone.

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


November 24

My picture is not loading for some reason so I will try again tomorrow. I am home for Thanksgiving break and tomorrow I get on a plane that will take me to the D.C. area and not bring me home until mid-day Saturday. I'm kind of bummed I don't get to see my friends for longer but there is very little time between this week and winter break so I know I'll be fine. Tonight Lanny and Michela got in from New York and Liz and Steve and Lauren and I joined them at Michela's house. Driving there we listened to Why? and I had the most potent deja vu from junior year... it was weird. I haven't been to any of my friends houses in months; in the summers I went so frequently. It was just a really strange feeling. Liz and I talked about how we could imagine completely forgetting about the last three months and everything just completely returning to normal.

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.


November 22

To clean my piercing, I have to soak my face in a bowl of water for five minutes, twice a day. If you can't imagine what this looks like, I will help you. It looks pathetic. And degrading. And somewhat akin to an eleven year old being bullied at summer camp. However, it feels really good. I can't really look at anything other than the bottom of the bowl, so I usually close my eyes and think about things. It's during these bi-daily five minute intervals that I now engage in deep thinking, actively overhear phone conversations, write poetry, schedule my upcoming week, wonder about what kind of drama I will enounter over Thanksgiving break, wonder why there is so much drama in Butterfield, wonder why drama connotes high school while in reality it follows the average person into their late seventies, and remember my dreams.

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.

"Emily studies history by osmosis and Stella is along for the ride"


November 18

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!


November 17

Today is Tuesday and Tuesday is the best day of the week because we have Radical Student Union meetings. Today we talked about actually I don't even want to say what we talked about but I should just say that the energy of being there makes me so ridiculously happy and optimistic. After the meeting was over Alex, Dan, Chris and I walked across campus to the dining hall and I noticed that we got there remarkably fast. All our paces were so quickened in our excitement. Our conversation was lively and we kept laughing at things that weren't in all honesty very funny. I don't know how, but RSU keeps us alive a little.

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.


November 16

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 15

Ahh man. I'm getting ready for a break. Aka Thanksgiving. Various forces are making it occasionally difficult to be here. That said, I had a really fun weekend. Tomorrow I get a replacement cell phone in the mail! Hallelujah. No cell phone = reduced contact with other humans. Depressing, but that's the way it is. I'm kind of in a melancholy mood and that's why this blog sounds like I'm really sad. I'm not that sad. Just really disillusioned.

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.

November 14


November 11

This is a note Nicole Reynolds left on my door for me this weekend. She also taped a tiny flower to the door. I put the flower on my desk shelf, next to an assortment of unrelated objects I've been collecting: a whistle in the shape of a bear, a tiny plastic dragon, a metrocard, a Magic Hat bottlecap, and three colored erasers. Today was the best day of my week so far. Alex is back! And tonight we cooked dinner and ate it in the lounge. There were just ten of us and we dressed up. I made up identities for everyone, like the teenage son with gender identity issues and the middle-aged aunt who never got married and everyone secretly knows why. Everyone started acting in character which was fun, except I could only play along so much because I was the cat. Pat did most of the cooking and he made these honeyed pears with brie cheese in the middle. Those were probably the classiest part of the night.

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

November 10

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.


November 9

Today was the most beautiful day in a very long time. I sat outside in the woods with Pat when it got dark and we just talked. It wasn't very far in the woods, just up the little hill on the side of Butterfield and back into the trees a little. It was very peaceful and beautiful back there. We were high up enough to look out and see Butterfield all lit up, and behind it, the rest of the campus and then the mountains. We talked a little bit about being lonely and how everyone feels it at college, at least on some occasions. Some people feel it more than others. Ah, lonliness. What is even worse than lonliness. Not much. But all in all, today was a really good one.

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.


November 4

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.


November 3

Before I took this picture I took one of a stink bug. But I had to delete it because I can't get the memory of crushing one to death with my body, in my bed, out of my head, and it creeps me the hell out. Today I went to the Radical Student Union meeting. It was pretty cool. I love days where the dining hall has cranberry sauce. Apparently it is Thanksgiving about once a week around here.

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."


November 2

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
10) Other

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.

nice tooth