Saturday, December 31, 2011

Time Like Tides

We watched the tides changing in front of us,

Like the lines of time on our face.
The Ferris wheel revolved,
Fluorescent lights blinking consistently,
Like the bouncy tunes blaring from the black speakers
In 4/4 time, or something faster.
The smell of fried dough reminded us that
We were at the pier, and not
In a candy-coated memory.

You asked me where did the years go?
All those summer soaked days,
Buying ice cream cones dipped in sprinkles
Of pink, green and orange?
Where did those hours go?
Those hours we spent swinging our kids
Between us
Lifting them off the sand?
They squealed with delight, our
Little flying angels.
Each of those hours now impressed on me,
Like tiny hand prints left in sticky cement.

You asked me so seriously,
As if I had an answer. As if I would know.
Your eyelashes curved, smooth and black,
And I thought I saw one tear,
But it could have been dust,
As we stood there amongst the carnies
And young teenage couples
Clouded with hormones and curfew.

I couldn’t answer.
I don't know where the time went and
I don't know how much we have left.
So I just stared at you, cloaked in silence.
The years kept moving around us.

Somewhat inspired by:

Still Fighting It - Ben Folds
All I Need - Matchbox Twenty 


When I drive home, I always like the song on the radio so that it ends just as I'm turning into my driveway. This OCD-tendency has caused me to do some ridiculous things. Speed up, slow down, drive around the block, run red lights (no, not that). It's turned into a game, of sorts. I've timed many of my favorite songs by hitting play in my drive-way and then making a note of which S-turn or driveway I'm near when the song finishes, but this pre-planning takes out the game aspect of my tradition.

And isn't timing everything? 
Get caught at one red light, 
the bridge runs over, and you're driving 60 in a 30 
just to make it  home before that last chord is struck. 

Years ago, my parents were thinking of buying a new house and moving to a new school district. After some searching, it just wasn't the right time. And how different my life would be had it been the right time to move. I wouldn't be in the same school, wouldn't know the same people, wouldn't have the same college plans.

And isn't timing everything? 
You watch the avocado sit on the counter for days, waiting for it to ripen. 
But you wait one day too many and you're faced with a spoiled fruit.
So much for guacamole. 

Some people are masters at timing. They know when to say the right thing, when to duck out, when to bid higher, and when to fold. Whether it's luck or just a particularly developed sense of perception, these people make it to the top. Those who wait too long to take the shot hit the rim every time. Those who sit on a deal and ponder it risk their chances of striking it rich.

And isn't timing everything?
You shop around for airline tickets but decide to put it off till tomorrow.
But by morning, the price has nearly doubled.
Should have clicked purchase a little sooner.

Unfortunately, a small gray rabbit had some poor timing tonight. He ran out unexpectedly, and I think I nicked him with my tire. I was too nervous to go back and check. (I also had this slight fear that he was running from a coyote, so no way was I getting out of my car in the dark.) Said a little prayer--hopefully Peter Cottontail made it. As I was nearing home, I slowed to nearly 25 mph so that I could hear the ending of Dosed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers before putting it in park.

And isn't timing everything?
But perfect timing doesn't have to be naturally perfect. 
In fact, we ought to bend the rules and make opportune moments for ourselves,
Run life on our own watches, so that every decision can be made at just the right time.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Words On A Page

 "If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, 
you have to find the courage to live it." 
-John Irving

Today, my way of life consisted of sleeping until noon. This evening, my way of life consisted of the smell of meat cooking on the stove (an instant reminder of why I am not a vegetarian), of the immense calming effect being in the kitchen has over me (an instant reminder that I need to cook more), of kneading pizza dough, of eating with family. 

I spent the middle part of my day writing.

It's been a while since I've had the house to myself long enough to write and read uninterrupted, for hours. So with my room smelling like coffee and incense, I went to town. 

I always start off writing cross-legged, Indian style, before that became politically incorrect. (Not sure why that's important for anyone to know, but this is a blog about my writing, so it seems worth it to include something about my writing postures.) I then switch to writing on my stomach. This only lasts fifteen minutes or until I have a burst of an idea, which requires me to sit up so I can write faster.

The John Irving quote above made me think a bit about what way of life I might love. That ended up being too much to think about. I love sleeping until noon, but I know that won't get me far. Most writers I've met start much earlier than that, and most structured professions require, well, structure. But so long as I get my occasional all-day-in-bed, I don't think I'll consider sleep patterns much when I decide what kind of life I want to live. 

Deciding that, like I said, is far too big a fish to fry, at least for now. 

I may have filled up pages today in an attempt to establish goals or guidelines for 2012, but I know better than to think that I can write the script to my own life. Tomorrow I might wake up and find my whole philosophy has flopped. Today's entries will be, then, just words on a page. But I do enjoy writing. Sometimes it makes me crazy, but at other times it's all I need. So, maybe I'll be a novelist. Start a book. Or, more impressively, finish one. Maybe I'll write my way into oblivion all day, every day, until I make a living--or at the very least a life style. 

But like Irving says, whatever I do will take courage. When you care about someone or something--writing in this case--it can be scary to jump into that dream. But failure only inhibits us if we let our fear of failure stop us from trying. Writing can be a difficult career, requiring stamina, patience and resilience. But courageous authors know that words on a page, if strung together properly, have power. Words can make us laugh, or can bring tears to our eyes. They can connect us to the past and set the standard for the future. Letters, novels, obituaries, songs and scriptures are works of art. They hold vast knowledge, and so can never be reduced so much to be considered mere words on a page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Age of Princesses and Pirate Ships

It was like listening to herself babble away in the backseat,
About nothing, and everything.
“Mommy made me wear these to, what is that thing called when
Someone dies? Yeah, a funeral, that’s it.”
I must have said something to that effect ten years ago.

It was like watching herself discover pop music for the first time,
As they listened to Taylor Swift.
“On a bandview in somedale.” “On a balcony in summer air.”
I like this song. God her songs are sad.
“Do you like this song just because it mentions the seven dwarves?”
I didn’t even notice it mentioned the seven dwarves “Yes.”

It was like reliving the innocent days,
As they talked over a cappuccino and a hot chocolate,
About how boys are gross,
Video games and kissing and all that, gross. Yeah…you. just. wait.

She gets home and half expects to see her
eight year old self in the mirror
because she’s been living in a pre-adolescent memory all afternoon.
She thinks back to the movie theater, the blue-raspberry slushie,
To the kids section of the book store,
To the song playing on the radio.
There’s a reason the song goes,
Don’t forget to look before you fall.
Not before you leap, but before you fall.
We’re all bound to. We all jump,
and we all fall. Blame it on gravity,
blame it on fate, or blame it on nothing
and embrace the impact as best you can.
Love the fall, because sometimes it will be all you've got.

Along with some nostalgia and a new-found appreciation
For the wooden toys her mother gave her (her fingers went numb
Trying to fit those silly plastic dolls in their silly rubber clothes.),
That was the take away.
Look before you fall.

She’s practically a grown-up now,
with responsibilities, with worries, with honest desires, with attainable dreams.
She knows that the Elf on the Shelf isn’t magical,
But my God, how she wishes it was.
She knows that childhood lenses shatter somewhere around adolescence,
            And she wishes she could save the young,
            Or at least prepare them for what lies ahead.

She can’t remember the day, month, or even exact year,
            When she made a devastating realization.
The world wasn’t on her side.
            No one could save her from what she’d do to herself.
Her childhood had evaporated.
            Christmas brought sadness, not presents,
            And it’d be that way for a while.

She’s in the middle of childhood naïveté
            And the vast bitterness of adulthood. 
            Neither quite here nor there.
She swears she won’t let the world get to her,
            But fears she’s beaten the world at that race.
But maybe it’s not so bad to see things for what they are--
            To recognize sadness and humor, grief and irony
            To feel disappointment is to appreciate love
            and all the rest of it just a bit more.

Besides, in one way or another, she’s still got parts of that sparkling youth.
She thinks she can do anything.
She thinks the world’s her canvas,
Because up until this point, it has been.
She’s tried and failed and healed and tried again,
And nothing’s ever stopped her.
She prays that it will always be this way,
That she can act with no regrets, forever.
That she can hit the target every shot she takes, forever.

She prays, but she still knows better.

She dreams the same way Children do.
The only difference is that she recognizes
The foolish parts.
She writes them off.
I’ll bounce back.
Or else deal with it when I’m really an adult.
But Children aren’t sophisticated enough to know
that someday the world won't be at their fingertips.
Someday they'll be hit hard, and it'll feel like
a ton of bricks, the weight of the world.
Someday they'll see more clearly, 
and someday they'll be scared of more than
just monsters under the bed.
They can't grasp the concept of growth and change,
And thank God for that.  

 And at her age,
all you have to do is reach out
and touch the world. 
At her age, it's all possible. 
It's all right there.

Weather Paradox

Fell asleep with the window wide open last night. It was too much not to listen to the rain.
The sky this morning was a shocking combination of dark, looming clouds, mixed in with pure blue fingers. It was as if it couldn't decide what to be, so it chose both.

For me, storms are sort of paradoxical. The worse they are, the more threatening the appear (by sound or sight), the more I like them. They're more exciting, more thrilling. If there's one thing I can't stand, its indecisive weather. You know what I mean, those gray, muddy days, when the air chills you, yet the thermometer says you don't need a jacket. It's hard to know what to do with weather like that.

It's lightening up now, if you're interested in a Connecticut weather report. A whole blanket of pale blue with white clouds whispering it's going to be a fine day, don't worry.

While I go out and discover something more thrilling to write about than weather, (apologies fort this, but I had to get something out.) have a listen to Dr. Dog. I have been listening to them pretty much nonstop the past three days. It's not even that they're that good. They have a few chilling lyrics, and a decent sound, and so I added all their albums to Spotify and hit replay.

Here are just a few of my favorites: Ain't It Strange (Album We All Belong); I've Just Got to Tell You (Album Takers and Leavers) ; My Friend (From the ambitiously named album Fate)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Small Town Adventures

I'm a fan of Christmas lights. I think holiday displays, when done tastefully, are gorgeous.
My town, however, has some really questionable setups.
A 10 foot fluorescent snow man, for instance, occupies one lawn. To add salt to that wound, he's holding a huge sign that says North Pole This Way.
Slightly tacky, but not as bad as the house down the street from that. That lawn is decorated with angels made of cotton balls and pink if this were Florida or something! Flamingos?

I guess we all have our own standards for style and sensibility. One house down the street has several red candy canes marking their path. Unobtrusive, quaint, the perfect decorations. I don't get vertigo driving by their house at night.

I was making my way to the post office, bank & gas station (oh, what an outing). I was rolling down a very large hill, enjoying the miracle of gravity as I watched the speedometer peek, when I saw a black Range Rover, with New York plates, of course, pulled over. Out of curiosity, I slowed down. They were pointing in anticipation across the street. A couple of chickens. They were pointing at the chickens in the field. If you really need to pull over to look at some poultry, if you find the simplicity of farm life interesting, you should think about getting out of that concrete jungle a bit more. I braked for nothing. Nothing out of the usual, that is.

I did see some very pretty pheasants however, wandering about in another field. They might be worth a slow pass, but I have seen them roaming around since October. We had a huge storm a few months ago, and the pheasant farm's pens collapsed. All the birds escaped, and we see them from time to time. I wonder why those farmers don't make more of an effort to capture the beautiful birds.

A lame adventure, I'll admit. I often get restless in this town. I often ache to leave. But this week I've been content with the calm. I've been accepting of the solitude. Sleepy Hollow may not be as bad as I make it out to be. Let's see how long this lasts..!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Every Time A Bell Rings... angel gets his wings. 

Inspiration from It's a Wonderful Life.

Baby, it's cold outside. I don't feel like moving from this deep sleep. 
Baby, it's cold outside. I need you close to me. 

She lights a candle and puts on that slow record,
the one that lulls her into sweet dreams. The moment pulls along,
like the long drag of a cigarette; like honey dripping off a spoon. 
She cracks the window and sits on the sill; she tucks her legs up to her chest. 
It's snowing outside. The moon's casting shadows across her bedroom floor.
That lonely bedroom. That lonely moon. 
Lasso it. She wishes she could lasso the moon. 
She wishes she could find someone willing
to make dreams like that come true--
wishes she could find someone worth wishing for. 
The snow sparkles on her sill like shattered panes of glass.
If only she could pull the moon down from its high palace. Then she'd have someone
to spend the night with--someone to whisper her dreams to
in the dark, black night. 

Where do those dreams go, into the darkness?
Into the night sky?
Out into the storm, to get mixed in with the snowflakes
and built into an igloo in some child's front lawn? 
I hope so. I hope they make their way in a world as
cold as this one. I hope they make it long enough
to see the ground thaw and the spring bloom. 
I hope they make it.

She wants moonbeams to shoot out of her skin. 
She wants to dance until the sun rises and makes the hillside pink. 
She wants to live in a perpetual dream, in which the record never
stops spinning and her feet never tire and her dance partner never tires.
She wants to look at her flower and watch it multiply into a garden. She wants to be 
foolish enough to believe, fully, that the real world can mesh with her dreams.
She wants beauty. She wants to be made of moonbeams.

Dream a little dream for me, 
for  all's fair in love,
isn't that what they say?
That's why she lights up
like a firefly,
that'd look so pretty in a jar on a bedstand or
on a printed postcard--
That's why she shys away
like a secret--
when you're around.

For, all's fair in love.
Her taken heart jumps just thinking
of walking with you.
All's fair in love. All's fair in love. All's fair in love
and war. Well, I don't know about war.

Baby, it's cold outside. Won't you climb in next to me?
Won't you catch that moon, ring that bell, sing that tune?
And take these fallen petals and tuck them away, for
they'll be worth something, someday. 
Let me have your vacant ear, 
let me whisper my childish dream,
though I know you'll never hear,
Baby, it's cold out, hold me close, hold me near.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday Songs

Christmas Edition!
Here're some of my top favorites during the Christmas season.
Hope you have a fantastic holiday spent with family. Christmas cookies, candy canes and stockings full of treats. Maybe some of you are lucky enough to have a white Christmas!!
Best wishes, 

Baby It's Cold Outside: Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone from Elf.
Probably my favorite Christmas-Season song. Possibly one of my favorite songs period.
I just keep playing different versions and wishing I could sing
as well as any of these ladies. 

Some sad, soul music. 
Love Charles Brown. Love this song. 

One of my absolute favorites.
Classic hits from the 40s & 50s never fail
to put me in a good, holiday mood.

Other things I keep playing over and over before the 26th arrives:

Friday, December 23, 2011

2012 Election

This is an official blog entry for the Blogging Scholarship. If selected, I'll receive $1000 towards my college expenses in 2012. This scholarship is sponsored by

As Obama's presidency comes to a close, citizens across the nation, and around the world, will be carefully observing the 2012 electoral race. Many of the topics that we focused on during the last race will continue to come up, hot topics like health care, gay rights and abortion. We might see that others, like the war on terror, will simmer down, especially with the recent end to the war in Iraq.

The main topic of contention in the upcoming race, however, will have to do with economic policy. With our current national debt at 15 trillion (48,500 per person, according to it's hard to imagine a bigger problem. But the debt itself isn't the root of it. The poison economic culture in the United States can be seen in a variety of different aspects of American life. The rising rates of obesity, the amount of waste we generate, the social and educational gaps that are apparent across towns and states, all these are products of an unstable economy.

History has shown that money affects culture more than we know. The fluctuating cost of gasoline causes families to reevaluate not just the cars they drive, but the routes they take, the schools they attend and much more. As the price of fresh foods spikes, so do the sales of cheaper meals from fast food restaurants. Poor diets, forced by low-incomes, lead to heart disease, diabetes and other health risks. When companies see drops in dollar signs, an obvious reaction can be to layoff employees, which presses even more stress on families and businesses nationwide. If we want a nation of healthy, happy individuals, we need to fix the economic standing of our entire country.

And so, we need a president who is going to lay out a plan. America needs organization. It needs a dynamic proposition that has one central target (economics), but a multitude of effects (health, environment, crime, family, business). The candidate who brings up convincing and clever solutions to strengthen our brittle economy will win. The individual who looks after the entire nation, and who does not divide us up by class nor region, will have the most success. The United States needs a president who does not see the colors red and blue, but rather someone who recognizes the interconnectedness of our nation. The best candidate will be the one who lays a groundwork for the future by proposing a plan that creates jobs, that invests in green technologies, that supports education, that brings back to life the prospects of an American dream, a dream we can achieve by getting off the couch, by getting our hands dirty, by working our own futures and by extension the future of our entire country. Our next president will realize the power of collaboration and cooperation,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Around Town

A little stark, barren and grey. 
Local congregational church with the nativity scene out front.
Just add snow, and you've got 
quintessential New England right there.

Woke up to blue skies. Warm blue skies.
Walked up to the church like I used to,
back in fifth grade,
up those two big hills,
on my way to school.
How long ago was it now,
little girls in pig tails
and blue-striped socks,
just walking to school?

Town hall's being ripped down
now, by a big bulldozer.
Gymnastics classes,
Girl Scout meetings (before I dropped out)
and Christmas parties so many
years ago now, I can't remember
the faces in the audience
at my elementary school talent show.
Poems for two. Young grasshoppers--
too young for shame,
for embarrassment.

Outside the library there's a mailbox
decorated for the holidays.
Bright red with white stripes,
the words North Pole spray painted on.
How long ago now
did I believe in such a place
of magic,
a place you could send your dreams to,
a place they'd be safe,
destined to come true? 

When did the courtyard become a mess of brambles?
Shouldn't someone take care of those weeds
outside the Kindergarten classroom?
Outside the windows of the secret passage
that connected the school to the town library.
We had to be quiet as we walked
single file
up that hall. Story time, a treasured tradition.

There's a break between songs on my ipod
and I hear the sounds of recess
coming up from the playground.
The sounds of joy,
the sounds of memories.
I'd only wear dresses on days when it rained,
because I liked the monkey bars too much.
I liked hanging upside down,
and it's not proper to wear a dress
when viewing the world from that angle.

Past the school, up another hill
and I'm in a meadow.
Several sheep penned into my right.
I've always loved those sheep,
so fluffy, so calm, so consistent--
they're always there
when I need to look at the most.
Don't know who owns them,
so I pretend its me
as I look out at the hills
as I kick a pebble down the road,
and wonder.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Mindset

When I was a child, setting up for Christmas was always such an ordeal. It seemed to take a lifetime to pull our ornaments, lights and stockings down from the attic. I'd look at each delicate bulb and decoration and put it around the house with care. My heart would flutter just thinking about the morning of the 25th. Pancakes for breakfast and a tall glass of orange juice-- not to mention dozens of gifts scattered around the living room floor.

This year, we've been rather lackadaisical in our celebrating. Between school and work and worrying about school and work, we've sort of fallen into our own worlds. It's been a challenge keeping daily life in order, so throw in a massive holiday of joy and consumerism and the red lights start flashing (and not the blinking kind on the tree). Although my path is being laid out and I'm enjoying senior year, ready for a much awaited and earned senior spring, I still feel like I'm rapidly treading to stay above water.

Where's my Christmas mindset? Where's my joy? I don't know, but I'm on a mission to find it. I haven't even had the energy to bake dozens of cookies and listen to carols in my kitchen. Maybe later tonight I'll whip out the sugar and eggs and beat some joy into a batch of gingerbread men. All I know is that right now, there are two things that sound pleasing: taking a nap (I woke up an hour ago) or three shots of espresso. Maybe I'll run out for a holiday treat at Starbucks. Or maybe I'll just fall asleep by my half-decorated Christmas tree.

Wish me luck on my mission to find spirit and joy. It's gotta be out there somewhere; I'm just too tired to see it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Saturday Songs

I was gone this Saturday,
and I'm far too tired to write anything significant right now.

So I'll make up for my missed Saturday
by leaving you with this great song by Iron & Wine--!

I recently burned it to a CD intended for night driving or grey-weather driving. The whole mix is sweet and thoughtful like this song. (Other favorites from this mix: Jackie Wants a Black Eye, Girl In The War, Your Ex-Lover is Dead)

So have a listen, and come back for some writing tomorrow. Should be a good day if my thoughts hold out and my sunburn doesn't distract me too much (I forgot how important sunscreen is, and persisted to lay in the incredibly warm sun for 6 hours on Saturday...paying for that neglect now as I douse myself in aloe. Awesome.)

Where the prayers run like weeds along the road
I saw strangers stealing kisses,
Giving only their clothes, only their clothes
-Walking Far from Home by Iron & Wine

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chips Falling & Chocolate Cake

Whether or not the carefree mantra I adopted yesterday
affected today,
I cannot say, or prove, or even try to.
But I'm glad I was a relaxed as I was.
It made the good news all the more enjoyable,
not a sigh of relief, but one of simple joy.

My entire confidence theory is just that,
a theory.
A thing I came up with in 10th grade
to try to pull myself out of a small rut.
To undistract myself,
and reravel myself
around the spool of my dreams.
And as far as I'm concerned,
it works for me. I'll keep it as a philosophy.
Confidence Kills.

So one chip down. In the right slot, as far as I'm concerned!
We all rushed out to dinner,
to clink glasses
and eat my favorite gluten-free chocolate cake.
Great night. Pleasantly stuffed.

Waking up in 5 hours to go to Florida.
I'll be spending the weekend doing the following:
3. trying to digest the fact that I just got into college...scary/awesome,
2. going to see Harry Potter-ville at Universal...just awesome
and one of the most exciting I can think of,
1. seeing my very best friend Michelle for the first time in three years...spectacular/unfathomable.

Big stuff. Need sleep.
Be back Monday!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Que Sera

Yesterday I posted about waiting and the feelings of futility and frustration that take over one as she waits by the mailbox. Or by her inbox.

Today, I'm optimistic. Enthusiastic. Hopeful. And all sorts of emotions with strong, positive associations.

Today, I have two options. (Well, we'll limit it to two) I can sit here in a pit of fear, with knots in my stomach, anxiously awaiting answers about what will be. It's risky to put yourself on the edge, to hit submit, to build yourself up in front of a person or an institution with no idea how they'll respond. I could pace the floor, mug the mailman, go insane.

But I won't. And here's why.

We have this theory in my house. Maybe it's not a theory, but rather a portion of our belief system. We like to say that whatever is meant to be, will be. Some think this is false comfort, that there's no such thing as fate. We don't agree.

When I was in middle school, I used to drive past this big, beautiful high school just up the road. It had a great reputation, academics, sports and the lot. I wanted that rigor. I wanted to go there. When it came time for high school, however, I decided to go away. My year in Farmington taught me a lot, and was worth the journey, but I knew I didn't belong there. I ended up transferring to that same school I'd thought about years earlier. The past three years have given me all I've wanted, and now I believe I was meant to end up in Lakeville. At Hotchkiss. But I also believe I needed that time away to learn just how much I could withstand before breaking. (Turns out, I can handle a lot... but that's not the point here.) It all worked out on its own. I barely planned for this multi-staged educational saga, and yet it played out just as it was supposed to.

Some may say this has nothing to do with fate or things "being what they're meant to be." And that's OK. See it for what you will. But with these pieces of my past, it's difficult for me to worry and fret about the future. Maybe it's naive to trust the way of things as much as I do. Maybe I should stress a little bit more and harass the mailman for my envelope, harass some computer programmer to hack the system a day early. But would it change the results in the short term? In the long term?
It wouldn't. So I won't.

Ultimately, we'll all get the results we're meant to get. I believe that. Now, this doesn't mean we can sit around and just wait for the universe to do its thing. It doesn't mean we can stop trying. We still have to apply for our coveted positions. We still have to present ourselves and make our wants clear. But we have to relax once our work is through. We deserve that much.

So, today I'll take the second option. I'll go out for coffee with a friend. I'll burn Christmas candles. I'll organize my sock drawer and read A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I'll probably get really anxious, understandably, around 3:00, so maybe I'll go for a run then.  I'll do my best not to think about things to come. I'll let it all unfold as its supposed to. Timing is everything. Most of the things I'm aiming for right now are out of my reach; the results cannot, to an extent, be determined by anything I can do in the next day, week, or month. I find comfort in the belief that whatever happens will be good, will be right. Whatever will be, will be. Que sera, sera.

I have too much to lose, she said, if I cross that line.
Like what? I said. 
She could not think of anything that day so she said she'd get back to me. 
Since then I've been thinking what I would lose if I cross my line.
I haven't come up with anything either. 
There's always another line somewhere. 
Quote credit: StoryPeople 
Photo credit: Random Photo Website 

Monday, December 12, 2011

home sweet home

Nothing like a night by the fire, eating chips & guacamole, watching TV, and staring down my puppy to kick off the holiday break.

Done with my last set of high school finals...not that big of a deal, I suppose, but it was relieving to get out of there. Now for an evening, or three weeks rather, of warmth and relaxation.

Hope my life will be this wonderful one day, too.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Menthol and Mental Health

I've basically kept the entire cough drop industry alive this week. The cough drop industry, and the Tylenol industry. It's hard to get sleep during exams, but I've had to treat myself to 8+ hours lest I die of sickness and exhaustion.

English exam was somewhat of a mindfuck, pardon my French. I filled four blue books in two hours and used up three pencils and half a pen to do so. I have no idea if what I wrote is valuable, or just plain gibberish, but I'm not in a particularly wordy mood right now, so please excuse my lame post.

The combination of having a cold and taking exams has caused me to lose all sense of style, in addition to mental awareness. I've been walking around campus in my oversized army jacket like some kind of caffeine-junkie-hobo looking for a fix of espresso. It's not a proud look, but it's comfy, so whatever. Back to boots and scarves (and one cup of coffee a day as opposed to today's...7...8?) as soon as I get out of this place for vacation...two days? tomorrow? I can't even remember. I think its tomorrow, so long as I finish this Latin paper by the time I go to sleep. 

I've been somewhat of a Grinch this week, so I'm going to try to get into the Christmas spirit by stirring a candy cane into my coffee and turning on some holiday music. Just took a sip of the peppermint coffee. I'm officially recommending it. Way cheaper to buy a candy cane than a Starbucks signature drink (and I live in the boondocks, so there's no Starbucks around anyway).

This is slowly tapering into a stream of consciousness, which won't end up being pretty, I can guarantee. So have a good night--- wish on a star, decorate a tree, sing a carol and all that good December stuff.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday Songs (+ Poem)

I don't know what's right and what's real anymore.

I couldn't go so far as to say Lily Allen is my idol, or that I'd ever want to live by the words of this song. But it is pretty frickin good, and it got me through the lagging part of my workout today. "No I'm not a saint, but I'm not a sinner / And everything's cool as long as I'm getting thinner." Turned up the volume and I was all set. Pure poetry right there. Perfection. Or at least Allen's version of it.

Now for some real poetry...I'm currently sitting in the library, by a massive circular window. The sun is hitting just right; there's a ray sunshine lighting my notebook, warming me ever so slightly. I'm prepping for my English exam and trying to finish my analytical Latin pretty much a party. Coffee, power bars, and a Pandora mix based on Dr. Dog to keep me fueled. No Wax Tailor today. Too trippy for this kind of work.

I've been flipping through a book of Wallace Stevens poems, which my teacher pretty much considers his instruction booklet for life. I'm not sure I like his work that much, but it's keeping me awake, so I can't complain. Stevens has some pretty weird stuff, or at least weird stuff that I've found today in search of essay topics. But one in particular struck me for some reason. It doesn't relate entirely well to The Fear (song above), but since I'm in deep analytical mode, I was able to draw a parallel or two. Feel free to enjoy them separately. Or together. Or not at all, if you can't stand British pop stars or modern American poets.

Wallace Stevens

What should we be without the sexual myth,
The human revery or poem of death?

Castratos of moon-mash--Life consists
Of propositions about life. The human

Revery is a solitude in which 
We compose these propositions, torn by dreams,

By the terrible incantations of defeats
And by the fear that defeats and dreams are one.

The whole race is a poet that writes down
The eccentric propositions of its fate.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Real Life

This can't be real life...
Sitting in my room at 8:20 on a Friday night eating gluten-free ginger snaps and pulling my eyelids open to stay awake.
Oh that's right, it's not real life. It's exam week.
That's why my affinity for cookies is so high, and my energy is so depleted. (Fell asleep twice in the library today. How diligent of me.)

Not to mention the massive shift in my OCD tendencies...
My room has never looked worse; My scheduling, never better.
The compulsions shift this week. Socks on the floor. Silverware on the floor. Random tests and quizzes...on the floor.

Four more days. Four more days till I'm at home decorating my Christmas tree.

Gazing Up

Walking home, she puts her fingers up to the sky
three inches between that full, glazed moon moon 

and that tiny, flickering star.
Three inches, might as well be nothing.
Then she remembers
Thousands of miles away,

the moon and star are.
Appear so close to one another,

but are actually quite far. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


She reassesses everything.
Breaks it all down into chewable pieces.
Bites small enough to swallow.

Are we in this game for some bigger reason,
or is it all about personal gain?
Are we responsible for outcomes
that aren't directly related to our own lives?
Should we worry
if our decisions effect the rest of the world,
or should we fight merely for ourselves
and for those we love?

Should we act in ways that make us feel good,
feel right, feel powerful,
or should we live as if we are walking on egg shells?

She reassesses and decides,
what's the worse that could happen
if I break one measly egg? 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Two Walks Back

She walks home alone
with nothing but the sound of her heels
clicking impatiently on the pavement.
The confidence shooting out of her feet.
her fingers. her eyes.
Like a live wire,
jittering in the moonlight.
Happy to be alive. 


She walks home alone,
with no one but the moon,
iridescently casting shadows on her skin.
Her bare feet grateful for the cool
dark pavement they're embracing.
A natural craving she satisfies from time to time.
In these moments of contentment
she looks turns around with her head staring straight
up into the deep black sky
and whispers,
how lucky I am 
to be alive.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Notecard Nonsense

Because I cannot focus on a night like this, after a particularly demanding week, I've taken out a stack of old note cards and have been shifting through for the past...who knows how many  minutes.
Not wanting to shake up                                    Something to hide?
this particular board

  Always like this, but why?
You there. Me there. Different theres.
Spare me. 

The were on the same page,
just in different books.

 My feet have never been colder. Legs never more like jello.
When you're alone, there's no pretending.
       Only being.    And that in itself is beautiful.

                                          So disillusioned to think that beauty like that could survive.

Elliptical motion. 
Looking out on the gym from across the street.
Cat Stevens. 
Got off that damned machine
and started to breathe again.

all these things
these pieces
they don't define her.
she doesn't let them.
Even if
they are truly
parts of who
she is.
She's in control
she writes the
She defines the words,
the elements,
they don't define her.

Retreating to some more writing now. Something longer. Something more sustainable than tidbits of thoughts. Power bar like thoughts get me through the afternoon, but it's about time for a dinner-sized piece, don't you think?

Saturday Songs

New obsession: Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward. She & Him. Cutsey, girly music which I know my mother and brother abhor. But whatever, they don't have to listen.
They have a new Christmas album, which I've been meaning to check out on Spotify, because who doesn't love carols?

In addition to her music, she's on  fabulous show,  New Girl, which just started up. Not sure if I've mentioned it before on here or not, apologies if I have, but it's laugh-out-loud funny. Her innocent, naive character is almost shocking at times. She's oblivious to her oddities, or else she embraces them full on. Definitely worth watching on a rainy, or snowy, day. I'm saving up episodes to watch once break starts--After a two week sprint to the finish, I plan to sit on my couch and eat gluten free mac & cheese (score..!) and watch sitcoms for a good day and a half.

BUT, until then, business as usual. 
Hope your weekend is more relaxing than the one I have planned. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

What good

But what good is love, anyway? Seems its always coming or going, a wave crashing on the shore, forming sparkling puddles; puddles that last only until the next swell rises and sweeps them away—puddles lost at sea, lost in me. You can only sit on a bench with someone for so long before you realize that you’ve got a train to catch, a plane to catch, a cold to catch, someplace to be other than that green bench; because anything is better than the tsunami, or worse, the drought, that will become your relationship if you let it go too far. 

Slightly cynical, I know. I'm not that cryptic, truly, I'm not. But it's been a rough week, and I so I keep convincing myself that alone time is just what I need.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Decision Making

Trying not to let lots of things interfere.

It's easier that way. There's less muddle. Less complications.

She may be in the business for a lot of things,
but wasting her time,
wasting her precious energy,
she's not in the business for that.

Growing smarter every day
as they slowly decide what things to keep
and what things aren't worth the dust they gather
sitting on the back burner. Or the top shelf.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting By

Acetaphetamine, caffeine, and Hershey kisses will surely be the only way I make it through this week. The heat isn't on in my room, so my fingertips are little ice blocks and I sleep in layers. The work's piling on in an exponential way. Christmas can't come soon enough. Why I'm up when the big light outside (that'd be the sun) hasn't risen yet is a mystery. I'm convinced some weird switch in my brain caused this mishap.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Decided today that I want to live a bohemian lifestyle--
I'm moving to Milan to make a living as a writer.
I'll sit around all day and eat fresh fruit and write poems in wine on cigarette papers.
No sun will rise nor set without my witness. I'll drive to the sea
frequently to swim freely. As the sea swells, so life to will be.

OK, this is probably just a phase.
My future as a corporate lawyer looks pretty promising. I do enjoy a good argument. and pencil skirts and stilettos. Screw Milan.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Day in November

It used to be my least favorite day of the year...the day before school starts up again after the Thanksgiving hiatus. For the past three years, I felt sicker than sick. Worse than the last day of summer vacation, or March vacation, even Christmas vacation. I loathe the next two weeks. They're anything but jolly, and tonight marks the beginning.

I'm not sure why this day, specifically, made me so angry and upset. Could be the impending midterms, but I'm one of those strange kids who actually likes studying for exams. Maybe it was the realization that mashed potatoes couldn't solve all my problems, nor would they be readily available once I got back to school. Maybe it dates back to my days in Farmington, when I didn't want to return to my roommate, my prison sentence at an all-girls academy. But why did that distress transfer? Wasn't I happy to be here, at Hotchkiss?

On this very night last year, I wrote a whole piece trying to talk myself down from the ledge. I was really on edge then. Junior year stress ate away at me like nothing I've ever experienced. I was  convinced that none of this was going anywhere. I droned on and on about how I wanted a real life, and how school somehow wasn't real life, (which I suppose I still don't believe it is).

Reading back through this piece is quite depressing. My whole schedule sits typed out. My whole existence put into a list of items, separated by semi-colons. I wanted so much more than a list of courses and grades, and yet I surrendered to timetables and sleepless nights. I was back to lists and count-downs, something I hadn't made since Farmington. I scheduled out every minute of every day, and it was only then that I could swallow easily and manage my stress. I vividly remember sitting in my room last year, my head face-planted into my desk, probably on a stack of note cards, just wondering how I would find the energy to move. I wanted to run, duck, hide, cry. Looking back, I probably did cry. Went to bed at a friend's house and woke up at 5:30 to go to the gym. Sprinted out my [depression, stress, disgust for the end of Thanksgiving break?] before the sun rose, and got on with my  least favorite day of the year.

Parts of me are sad looking back at this. I shouldn't have tortured myself like I did. I should have watched more sit-coms. I should have eaten more chocolate. I should have done something to sedate that miserable person inside. But that misery is in the past. I may still be a bit obsessive compulsive, a bit neurotic, but I'm not dreading tomorrow as I once did. My room's clean, my tea's hot, my college apps are in, and there's not much left on my plate. I can focus on whatever I want from this point forward. The next two weeks are important; they're still a sprint I have to partake in. But the despondency's gone, which should make this race a bit easier to take.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Songs

My best advice,
listen to this song by the Strokes,
then go shop local to counteract yesterday's celebration of a corporation run society. 

"Childhood's end can be so competitive
Oh the sky's not the limit
and you're never gonna guess what is..."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cherry on Top

Went through this phase of despondency once...or twice. Thrice? Well, don't we all? I questioned just about everything. It was tragic, to a degree. Well, those days are in the past now. But I found this sample of writing from back then. I was overlooking a lake, listening quite contentedly to my Ipod. I took the first line from each song that played, and built from there. This one's from Lazlo Bane's Superman,  yes, the theme song for Scrubs.

You've crossed the finish line. Won the race, but lost your mind. 
Was it worth it after all?

I've quite decided that it doesn't matter how much you puke after the roller coaster; those milkshakes made your day,
and the exhilaration of the ride topped it off. 
The maraschino cherry. Oh no, did that spark another upheaval?
Why would you want to limit your intake of joy or excitement, 
just out of fear that you'd be queasy afterward? 
Stomach's settle. Acid reflux heals. But you rarely get the chance
to relive that 3,000 foot drop, 
that feeling of suspension as your internal organs slosh around,
your mouth opening into a frightening scream,
your hair getting messy, carelessly.

If you thought about the possibilities before jumping on that coaster,
you may have limited yourself seriously.
If we all hold onto regrets,
and use them to judge our
future decisions,
well then none of us will ever live to the fullest.

If we become calculation machines,
designed for a lifestyle of risk management,
well then,
amusement parks will go out of business.
No one will drink milk shakes.
And what kind of world would that be?

What I'm trying to say here is that even if this all made me sick, 
I will always be glad I got on line. 
It was worth the wait, 
worth the terror,
the anxiety and the nerves.
When I order a milkshake, 
don't spare me the stomach ache
I want the whole deal,
cherry and all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Realizing the vast importance of
warm food
warm clothes
and a table to sit around
on days like Today.
A table of family--
of friends.
A lifestyle to enjoy--
Simple things that qualify as home

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Angels and Bears

She walked back alone that night—unused too strolling alone, in the dark—she began to think of her bear dream. Terror had run through her fingertips as the image of a 500 pound black bear tumbled into her mind. She wondered, quite seriously, if things in our lives, the things that make us smile or cringe or laugh or break down--fresh fruit gone bad in the fridge--babies being lifted onto tall shoulders--were placed there fore a reason. Did fate exist? What pain was that in her chest? He pushed her to the ground, out of the bear's path, into a new kind of nightmare. What kind of magic was  at work there, toiling that messy ball of yarn into a massive knot that sank to the pits of her stomach? 

She slowed her pace from a brisk walk to a walk to a drag to a staccato arrangement of semi-steps. At points, she stood frighteningly still. The dream took over. She was fierce enough to ask for what she wanted. To demand it. To act on it. Why couldn’t that virulence succeed in daily life? Why did she drag her legs so sunkenly behind her body, walking back, alone? She couldn't die without knowing what it was like.

Everything in this world could be taken. Won. Earned. Deserved. This was true. She had hoped that upon waking, the shambles she’d created would be miraculously fixed. That some angel, with big bushy wings and tufts of golden hair, who spoke in a mixed tongue of charms and melodies, would slip through her window at night and take over her helpless body.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Songs (on Steroids)

The Kooks have been on my top played list for the past several years. I've looked for tickets, but was disappointed to find that the majority of their shows are in other countries. Well, lucky for me...and every other fan...they are doing a US tour this Fall. I got tickets to the House of Blues for a decent price!!

Headed to Boston tonight--making a grand (read: well-earned) exit from school and headed there in  a few hours. To say that I'm stoked would be an understatement.

From their first album Inside In / Inside Out

Friday, November 18, 2011

Waking Dream.

"I'm not an actor on your personal screen,
I'm a practical person.

You might be surfing in the wake of a dream
I'm not fast, but I'm certain. "
-Senator and the New Republic, Call My Mechanic

I think the whole world is filled with signs, but if there's no laughter, I know they're not for me.

Her existence is in question. 
The ridiculousness of all this. 
Oy. For another day. Another time. 

Time's not your friend. Time won't stand on its hands. It won't bolt back to the house, like your muddy dog ready for dinner and a bath. Its spent. Every minute of it. Money given to the ice cream man. Never to be seen again. So who are you this time? Are you the girl from swampland adventures? From late night walks around town? The girl laughing out loud, writing songs about lemonade & gossiping? 

Are you the girl trapped in a memory--a dream shattered--shards of glass sparkling with feigned beauty in the sun. That damned setting sun. 

Are you the girl who marks time with letters, holding the pieces. Acting like glue. You have more to contain now than that pink house could ever hold. God forbid you let the moments go. God forbid you let go.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Wax Tailor kind of day.
I'm sure I've posted them on here before.
They mix clips from old movies, shows and songs, and mash them into fantastical musical creations.
Strange kind of sound. Waxy indeed. But it's keepin me sane, so I'll stick with it. 
Feels like radio meditation. Or a mental ward. Why I would want to be in either, I cannot know.
Back to work.

Hypnotizing. The only thing I can listen to while trying to hash out a research paper due before vacation starts. 

"I've got the key in hand. Now, all I've got to find is the lock." 
-Que Sera

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Rice and beans for dinner.

Listening to Italian Jazz on Spotify (Edith Piaf).

Studying the life of Christ in chronological order.

Avoiding a stomach bug. I do not want to be sick.

Things are pretty bland right now. Clearly.

Making sense of it all before my test tomorrow. 
Better get to work. 

On my list of things to study is the Temptation mentioned in the Bible.
If you want to know how to deal with temptations in your life, check out this helpful site
to learn how to ignore the snarling self within you. 
I, on the other hand, enjoy my indulgences,
and would rather be left my own devices . . .

Monday, November 14, 2011


slowly she's getting used to that ditch
the one on the side of the road
where tires go
when they blow out --
scrap metal from car wrecks
scrapped up emotions,
from wrecks of another sort.

she don't mind it so much
as long as no one looks inside.
but she's hoping to get a ladder
or a rope of some kind
a hand reaching in to pull her out
drag her back to shore
she's sure she's not meant to rot
among these ditches.
she's got bigger plans than that.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ayn Rand on Love

A  description of what it means to love, 
and what our duties are to those whom we love.
I can't say I fully agree with the woman.
She's smart, but
she's got some pretty twisted perspectives.
Too competitive, blunt, and cold,
even by my tastes.
(Not that I consider myself cold....)

And a classic photo to melt Rand's frost

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why I Look Up

To see a dense, petrifying fog roll in from the West;
To see the moon, almost full, peering its way through this blanket of grey mist;
To experience perfect timing, as the sky cleared completely,
in a tiny patch,
as a  bullet of a star
struck across the sky
and faded--
exploded beauty--
an unexpected wish--
on an exceptionally warm November night.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Burden of Proof

She wants proof that the weight she carries will be worth it in the end. She believes it will. She confidently tells herself she's taken the right motions, swung and hit every time. Time will tell, will provide that proof. 

Been thinking a lot lately about social pressures, weights, things we deal with on a daily basis that never really reveal themselves until some huge news steps into play. How do we deal when we feel silenced? How does it feel to carry a heavier load than your body is equipped for? I don't know. But I do know that this picture I found of Mount Everest tells, pretty accurately, what I'm thinking.

The peaks are there, in plain sight. The sun's peaking its head out from behind the dark crags of the summit. It's a little distant, but surely there's something to be said for making it to the top.

From National Geographic- Himalayas

This is a giant block of whatever is most difficult for you to carry & trust me on this, you'll carry it more times than you can count until you decide that's exactly what you want to do most & then it won't weigh a thing anymore.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Morbid Sunday

 The haziness of Sunday morning.
When you wake up in the middle of a dream
and realize that it's only 7 am,
but you're never going to fall back asleep.
So you start work. Regretfully.

Brewing coffee.
Getting on with the day.
Some musings I found in a stack of note cards.


She's got her bricks laid,
all set to build up an impenetrable wall.
She scrutinizes each foot step,
determined not to slip, or fall.

If she protects her interests,
and keeps that guard solid and tight,
it will all pay off one day
She'll feel the warmth, see the light.


Letting fear drip from her finger tips
out of tiny pin pricks
Holes not big enough to deflate her ambitions
dreams and desires.
Just big enough to let ot the bad stuff,
to create a proper balance, a proper pressure.
She can't keep it all in,
or surely she'd burst.
She needs the little vents to release that
horrid air,
so that she can breathe more easily.
so that she can sustain.
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