Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On the Powerless

When They talk about the irreplaceable exchange of fluids
And belief, They are right.
And I hate it.
They omit the second chances.
Some might call them Repetition, Repetition, Repetition…
Some might call them Redemption.
(It's alright cuz I love you, baby,

I saw some old friends Sunday night.
We talked about the strangeness of
Measuring our memories in decades,
The links between music and road trips,
Synonyms and seminars,
Remembering parties that we should not have attended,
People we should not have kissed.
I’ll admit—
We also discussed the people we would kiss again.

We did not, however, mention several things.
Like. The way. We ended.
And how it was all my fault.
(It's alright cuz I love you, baby,

I am thinking of these interactions because they seem to repeat themselves.
Finding myself in these Vonnegut moments...
These collections of people having the same conversations,
Doing the same things.
Each déjà vu shakes me
(Implies a corrective)
But then I check,
And here we are,
Leaning against these walls as if there were some way to stop this.
(It's alright cuz I love you, baby,

You and I are repeating things
Constructing an imaginary
Singing faith into each other’s lives
Like breathing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Translating Suffering

My dear E! is working on a project about which I am totally excited. Excited, honestly, to the point, that I just called her to tell her that I want to write something with her about it. Basically, it's a study of concentration camp museums, specifically Buchenwald, and how the shapes/forms/presentation of the products associated with that museum tell a story about the past.

To that end, she just received a booklet from the museum, in which the participants and artists describe their projects in light of History and Nation and Ethnicity. She, being brilliant, is translating the German into English. Pretty awesome, yes?

That is not the point of this post, though. The point of this post is relation--as I talk to dear E!, I am in the middle of bureaucratic, form-filing nightmare, tenure-track paperwork. And I am feeling sorry for myself because I HATE it.

Then, she sends me a phrase: "hautbespannte Kochenwesen":--used by one of the museum artists to describe the former prisoners of the camp. She tells me that it can be translated literally, as "skin-tightly-stretched knuckle-beings."

And my eyes water.

And I am not so sorry for myself anymore.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Best. Day. Evar.

SO... I am writing this entry for my mother:

1) because she wants me to write more
2) because, she says, although she likes the last entry, it is sad, and she wants me to write something happy.
3) because she is awesome and deserves to get things she wants.

Here you are, dear mother, my first, fiercest, and favorite audience.

Friday, my dear friend, Josh, was in town. Why was he in town?, you may ask. Well, I’ll tell ya—he is working on a public speaking book that will defy the boring odds of public speaking texts, and he was signing the contract. So Hooray for that! And Hooray for the students and teachers who will get to use a non-run-of-the-mill textbook for public speaking!

We met up for lunch, and it was good to see his face. Then, a friend of his (from grad school, I think) showed up. Naida lives in Brooklyn, teaches in Manhattan, and is delicious all around. The three of us went for a walk around the lower part of the island. Saw some crazy bobo interior decorating store, walked the High Line, ate at this AWESOME place that serves all sorts of chocolate* bits. Ahhh, desultory wandering and decadence.

As we were walking, Naida told us about some options for the night—one of which was a Goth/Industrial dance party. Yes. I was not dressed appropriately—jeans, low top white converse sneakers and a white tank top. My smart-ass cousin recommended that I stop somewhere and pick up a cardigan to complete the look. Dear cousin, your concern for my sartorial welfare is touching.**

With that plan in mind (not the cardigan, but the dancing) the three of us parted, to rest, eat some snacks, and find clothes. Then we met up again at Penn Station; they approved my shoes (patent leather peep toes, if you must know. They are my favorite). We proceeded downtown to see some of our debaters at their favorite, shady Irish pub. Then the three of us went dancing with some very serious club patrons somewhere near Canal St.

I like that music. Love and Rockets, especially. Josh, if you’re reading this, you wanna send me some recs? Because I need a departure from the Prince/Greg Laswell/Owl City over which I’ve been obsessing for days now.

Now. You may think that this is the end of the adventure, but Oh Ho! there is more.

The trains back to Bayside run fairly infrequently after midnight. With that in mind, I left Josh and Naida so I could catch the 1:19—did not want to be caught in that deathly TWO HOUR wait between the 1:19 and the 3:19. That is, like the opposite of fun, just by the way.***

As I am walking down the stairs to catch the train—another friend calls. He and some of his buddies are downtown and want to see if I will meet them. As I pause to chat with him, the doors to the train close... And I’m like, “Well, I have a couple hours to kill. So. Yes.”

And then there was dancing. And Irish car bombs. And love advice dispensed. And sauntering. And flirting. And discussion of the lameness of one of the deadbeat friends. And praise for my shoes. And a rose in the hair. And more dancing. And a stroll home in the gradually lightening dawn.

I ended up catching the 5:19 train.
That’s right, Mom. Your girl can hang.

*{I had the Red Heart—which is a warm, chocolate cake filled with raspberry and dark chocolate filling. It is served on a plate that also contains… wait for it… raspberry yogurt, vanilla ice cream with some chocolate sauce on top, and a tiny little bottle of dark chocolate sauce to pour over everything. I ate that cake like someone was gonna snatch it away from me. And, then, because I clearly enjoyed it so much, Naida ordered one for herself. And gave me a bite.}

** {I think cardigans are cool, but I am not an imbecile.}

***{Super Good for People Watching, though. You would not believe the sights, sounds, and shoes that come through that place. Well. Maybe you would. Dirty.}

Friday, August 7, 2009

Music and Parties

There are parts of our story that still make me cry.
I did not realize that there was still an
Our story,
Until I got the message last night—
The one you never sent—
The one about
Vampire cosmology.
Wedding receptions.
Rehashed apologies.
I remember when you and I were yelling at each other
In the living room of my parents' house...
It was an inopportune moment—at the very beginning
Of the slide toward all sorts of death
And irrevocability,
And we knew each other well enough to deal
The crushingest blows.
I remember wondering where you had gone—
Who this new strange angry person was,
This person with the bloodied face
And the weak hands.

You tried so hard.
I know it—I know you did try.
With your sweet bloody face
And your weak hands.
And now I still cry
For us,
Despite myself
And all the plans I make
To end our story.

Once, when I was driving back to you,
I felt a moment of doubt…
Should I just keep driving to the coast?
If I keep driving,
I thought,
I may just
Get around the inevitable endings promised by
But I was weak.
I missed your face—
You had made spaghetti,
Opened wine and bought roses.
So I kept driving,
To where you were
Because that was the only place I knew how to be,
And I kissed your face
Because yours was the only face I recognized.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Threats and Liquid Smoke

Let me tell you a little something about liquid smoke. I do not like it; it is weird to me. Generally, I am a fan of artifice--in many of its delicious varieties and forms. I love masks and costumes, word-play and badinage, clever lies and earnest endearments--I live for that shit.

But a body must have its categories--and I admit that I do have some. Mostly they have to do with zombies, rhetorics of history/expertise, and varying degrees of friendship (performative and constructive) which I will be more than happy to tell you about (possibly honestly, possibly artificially) at some later date. Right now, though, I want to tell you a little something about my categories of flavor.

I have spent the last few days in Manhattan, meeting up with dear friends. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at MOMA with this hot Israeli and a young Gordon Gekko. That was an intriguing combination of people in and of itself, but the main goal of this story is to set up the smoke-flavor-screen: On Friday nights, MOMA lets people in for free. And I mean aLOT of people. I am not the biggest fan of crowds, but I must say that it warmed my heart to see so many different faces leaning in to study the paint scrapes of our Abstract expressionists and the tintinnabulations of our Surrealist buddies. It was overwhelming, and I must go back when there are not so many folks leaning. Anyway, back to "Artifice: Good/Bad/Indifferent?"

On the sixth floor is a special exhibit by this crazy Belgian named James Ensor. Dude. You need to go see it. He starts out with some poxy images of ponds and rainbows, but then he gets into some really awesome stuff. Weird satires and super-unsettling masques, sharp political critiques and shady-looking skeletons leaning up against credenzas. It was luscious. And just my kind of artifice. Over the top, obvious, and critical--without being bossy or sneaky. He uses the artifical to call attention to the false--not the other way around--which leads me to LIQUID SMOKE and THURSDAY NIGHT AT DALLAS BBQ* IN TIMES SQUARE.

Talk about crowds. Sheesh. My Long Island friend and I went into the city Thursday night to drink martinis and catch up. We met at the Apartment in Grand Central--verrrrry swanky. Lawyers abounded. Then, after some conversation with a fellow Episcopalian (who went to Sewannee and Duke! Will wonders never cease?), we were hungry, so we made our way to Dallas BBQ--the 42nd St. location. And there was liquid smoke. All in the sauce. The chicken was alright (I got the dark meat because that is inevitably juicier). And the Texas-sized pina colada was, indeed, ridiculously large--so, thumbs up, there. But The Sauce! And The Gigantic Neon Sign That Kept Flashing! And The Crowds of Tourists Who Are Most Likely From the South So They Should Know Better!

I figured out that my main problems with the Dallas BBQ at Times Square center mostly on liquid smoke, and I will tell you why:

A) It's apparently pretty bad for you because it is MADE FROM SMOKE.
B) I am a good Southerner. I have never been crazy for barbecue, but I recognize good barbecue when I taste it. Because I am an East Coast girl, I prefer sauces (sorry, dear Texas), but I won't kick a good dry rub out of bed for lack of juice. :) Liquid smoke contains a false-ness, a pretense, of smoking procedures that just fits nowhere in my categories of the good. It does not taste like barbecue, it tastes like sauce disguised.
C) Neon makes food taste weird. It is the visual equivalent of liquid smoke. And it. is. everywhere. at that place.
D) If barbecue does not taste de-damn-licious after one martini and two glasses of wine, then I don't know what to tell you. That can't be a good sign.

*An addendum--I am not a hater. I have had good barbecue in New York at a place called Rub BBQ. Good title, good brisket, not-so-good-fried-green-tomatoes... but you gotta love em for trying. And I so do.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

70 Degree Day

These are for you, Stringer.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Words for Monsters

The monsters that were here last night
That’s not the only word for it—
I can think of so many other words for what it is that monsters do.
They hulk,
Breathless and Taloned
Between the panes of the window
And the screen to the porch.
They crouch,
Insidious whisperers,
In all the corners of our conversations.
They bleed,
Calling to mind the Ghosts of HeartBreaks Past
And the Shadows of Those To Come…

The monsters that were here last night
Are surprised.
I can tell.
They believe you.
When you say their names aloud,
When you gaze into their hiding spaces
Perhaps they are no match for you,
Because you know all the languages they speak.
You switch from interrogator to interlocutor
You tell me that you are here for me—
That these monsters are no match for you.
And when I laugh,
And tell you that I am used to them,
And I don’t need your help
And I am unimpressed with your heroics,
You remind me
That everyone needs rescuing once in a while.

The monsters that were here last night
Are weakened
But they are not erased.
The monsters that were here last night
Are students of the Abyss,
They study the cracks in our façade.
They taste our strengths like acids
And test our fears like lemon drops.
They are waiting for you to slip.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I may have to write something about zombies. I talk about them all the time. And Steve is, I think, just the slightest bit sick of hearing it (as are, I imagine, any of the people with whom I come into contact on any sort of regular basis). There are lots of folks talking about zombies right now. There's that new book about Elizabeth Bennett battling them. There's the neoconservatives' worst nightmare. There are discussions about higher education funding (disenfranchised bitches that they are) for zombies. And there are several zombie movies rumored to be in the works (which I can't remember right now because it's late and I am percolating but they were in Entertainment Weekly, if you'd like to check for yourself. Yes. I read Entertainment Weekly. You would too if you had this big a crush on Lisa Schwarzbaum).

Anyway. Something neat-o may or may not be going on here. All these bloodless copies, just sort of wandering around... lusting for replication, craving originary flesh, destructive in their longing. It's kinda intriguing, in a percolating sort of way. I hesitate to start seriously thinking about this project for a few reasons:
1) I am supposed to be writing something else with dear Jason. It is my foray into poli-comm--a consideration of Clintonian globalization and rhetorical tectonics, and he will murder me if I get any more distracted.
2) It would mean that I would be studying something that I love, and that makes me nervous. Sometimes, when I make what I love into work, it starts to suck. And what would I do without my "Dawn of the Dead" writer's block fallback?
3) Zombies are the term a la mode. And fads go fast.
4) There would be more talking about zombies, and I might lose friends.

On the other hand, there are also some reasons that this might be a good idea:
1) Dude. They're everywhere.
2) I mean, they might even be right BEHIND YOU.
3) Sorry. Settle down.
4) The bloodless copy, mythologized and pop culturized, rapidly replicating through book, movie, and website? Producing and living off of fear-of-fear/comedy-of-fear/fear-as-comedy/comedy-as-fear... It's almost like a virus, mutating and mutable and addictive... Um. I seem to recall some one or other talking about links between the fascination, the product, and the viral.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Tragic heroes always moan when the gods take an interest in them, but it's the people the gods ignore who get the really tough deals" (Terry Pratchett Mort 5).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dogs of Snow

Dear weather.com,

Well-played, friend. I may or may not have thrown down the gauntlet to you yesterday. And, in response, you may or may not have taken that gauntlet up. With a vengeance. Now, we are being told to expect 6-10 inches of accumulation today.

Just one quick note, weather.com: it's March. You know... March--the beginning of spring, the blooming of brave flowers, the easing of temperatures, the gorgeous promise of sun-kissed summer days and mild, long summer dusks? I mean, there's no judgment here or anything. Just trying to help you out. Help me help you, weather.com. Help me help you.

Tell you what. I'll make you a deal... If you see fit to call off your dogs of snow, I promise I will be much less flippant in my future addresses to you. Let's be friends again, weather.com. Friends who listen to "Endless Love" in the dark and don't send snowy smackdowns to each other just because we can.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ominous weather reports

Lurk around every page on the web. I am sitting at home, watching "Pride and Prejudice," eating Oreos, recovering from whatever long-lasting mystery illness this is that I have, and thinking about snow in MARCH.

I was talking to a friend earlier today, who said that he is amused by my choice to blame weather.com for the meteorological ills visited upon this city. And, I'll admit, it is maybe a strange way to direct my anger. I mean, I went to Ash Wednesday service and got all ashed up (because I do so love that service--it is a good moment in the Christian calendar, filled with redemption and grace and earthiness and re-memory). I sit (because I like the Buddhist idea of practicing things--practicing debate by doing debate, practicing sweeping by doing sweeping, practicing forgiveness by doing forgiveness, practicing practice by doing practice). I talk to the Goddess (because I think she is angry at being almost-erased, and I think she answers many questions the traditional christian church would otherwise like to ignore).

Along those same lines, I blame weather.com for the weather. If we are talking post-structuralist physics here (and, really people, when it comes to weather, we are), I might as well look to the web-site as the site-of-invention. They say we'll have snow, and maybe we will. They say the groundhog saw his shadow, and maybe he did. They say spring is a distant, forgotten future, and perhaps it is. But here's the thing--we buy it. We grant them the burden of proof... and they are more than willing to carry it. So, along with all the neat-o graphics and the various color-coded cloud schemes and the Local Alerts for Bayside, we grant them the power to shape our tomorrow morning. And, to me, that's faith.

So here's to you, weather.com. Bring it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Like I mentioned a little while ago, my friend is doing this neat podcast thing called "People You Don't Know." And last night, I was one of the People You Don't Know--and I talk really, really, really fast. You can listen here to the absolutely insane speed at which I speak.

And, if you do listen, spare a moment for my dear students who must hear that SPEED during class all the time. They are troopers, they are.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Things that have been happening that I may or may not have noticed

1) My dear friend was really sick and was in the hospital and I didn't even know it until today. He is at home now, getting better, and I am glad.

2) Got roller skates and went roller skating outdoors twice with another friend. I need to get wrist-guards.

3) Went to a debate tournament last weekend in Cornell with St John's Debate Society. Two teams got to quarter finals and one made it to semis. Nationals are in a month!!! (But I will not be there because I will be at the beach with E!)

4) Am fixin to start beginning the process of thinking about packing for my upcoming move. Yech.

5) My little stone elephant that Amy got me for a birthday years ago fell off her perch at school and now she (the elephant, not the Amy) has no nose. :(

6) Am going to DC today to visit with my favorite cousin, Lily. Also, am looking forward to seeing her dear parents.

7) It is much colder today than I thought it would be. I wish I had worn tights.

8) Oh My God with the grading.

9) Made reservations at a swank hotel for my dear E!'s bachelorette party in May. There will be champagne, oh yes.

10) Am going to be interviewed for PYDK, a podcast instigated and maintained by another E I know. I guess the interview will be posted sometime next week?

Monday, February 16, 2009

As of Today,

This blog is 2 years old. Hooray, Birth Days!

I know that I came to this blogging thing late--as can be seen in the turn, recently, among some of my blog-eagues (forgive me the ridiculous neo-logism--it won't happen again). There is a turn, it seems, to stop blogging, in favor of facebook status updates and Twitter and, um, other things that I am too much of a late adopter to name. But I like it. And I'm gonna keep doing it.

Well. As long as it's fun. And it doesn't start to feel like work. And there are things I want to tell you. And nothing else distracts me... Because then I might stop.

No promises here, really.

But I did want to note the Birth Day. So. As of Today, this Blog is putting on her Business Socks... and you know when she's down to her socks what time it is.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two Debaters, Second Life, Copies All Around

Here are two of our debaters discussing the recent Second Life debate (watch here, if you'd like)--

Welcome to the 21st century, Academia. And, for the love of Pete, put some pants on!

Monday, February 9, 2009

It Breaks My Heart

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

I got this from my dear friend's blog, Gathering Stones. I'm not gonna lie. It kinda does break my heart.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Almost Birthday, SimulateThis!

This blog was born on February 16, 2006. In honor of that event, here is a rundown of the last year. It is a list of the first sentence of the first entry at the beginning of each new month, starting with...

March 2008
"I just got back from a trip to northern Virginia—where my cousin lives with his wife and their daughter."

April 2008
"And this is my new favorite adventure."

May 2008
"These are the shoes I will wear to my doctoral graduation, and it will be hot."

June 2008
"I woke up this morning to a warm, summer breeze on my face and a soft kitty cuddled up beside me."

July 2008
"And I am sitting in my apartment, watching Ghostbusters and eating Maggie Moo's ice cream right out of the container."

August 2008
"Or are you just glad to see me?"

September 2008
"Meet the SoHo Hos"

October 2008
"Sometimes, when people ask me what I study, I want to answer: Temptation."

November 2008
"One of my dear friends just asked me if I've given up on blogging."

December 2008
"And then, when I am sitting in my office, thinking about all of the things that I have put off, I get sort of sweaty and hyperventilate-y and nervous and heart-beating-too-fast-ish."

January 2009
"This list was inspired by DH and is dedicated to E! who has been waiting very patiently for some sort of simulated entry."

February 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Something about Dancing

So. I think I may have taken on more than I thought I had this semester. I am teaching three classes (Public Speaking, Persuasion, Sophistic Rhetoric-which is an independent study), and sort of sitting in on a fourth one (Feminist Rhetoric). The first two are regular classes I have taught before, so they're not anymore work than they normally would be. Persuasion is a little bit heavy on the writing and feedback, but it's nothing compared to what some of my peeps in Composition do, so you'll hear no complaints from me.

The fourth one is a small seminar, taught by a colleague, heavy on reading (especially since I am, like, the opposite of informed on several of the theorists and theories we'll be reading). It's great fun--especially hearing the comments and questions from the sharp students in there. But, again, sort of outside of the grain demanding.

Finally, the third one, the independent study, is a whole nother kind of adventure... for two reasons.

1_That guy does not miss a THING. Like, one professor/one student is hard-core, people. And one student who is, like, on the game? With questions? And sometimes calls me out for talking like a hipster? Hard Core. [Sidenote--I do not think that I can be a hipster. I am too old. I think there is an age range for hipsters, and 33-a-month-and-a-half-away-from-34 is not in it. But I am sure the student will disagree.]

2_I don't know about you, but I became adept, in grad school, at what I like to call "Judicious Skimming." I attended to the things I read in an order ranging from Hey! That Is Awesome I Will Read All About That to Um, This Is Something Dr. Knows-Some-Stuff Really Digs, So I Will Check for the Parts that Say "In Sum" and "My main propositions, therefore, are..." That careful appropriation of time and attention which worked so well in school is not going to cut it when there's just you and one Very Clever Student staring at you.

That said: I read a lot--because I like it and because it's part of the job. During the day, it's work things, and at night, I try to read things that are not as clearly related to work. Right now, it's "Dance Dance Dance" by Haruki Marukami. The Universe often demonstrates that these practical divisions I attempt to make -- day-work, night-leisure; theory-work, stories-leisure; practice-work, contemplation-leisure -- are neither hard nor fast. They are movable objects, and to do this game well, I gotta be good at movin em. With that in mind, here's some sage advice from Marukami's Sheep Man.

"Dance," said the Sheep Man. "Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays. Yougottadance. Don'teventhinkwhy. Starttothink, yourfeetstop. Yourfeetstop, wegetstuck. Wegetstuck, you'restuck. Sodon't paynomind, nomatterhowdumb. Yougottakeepthestep. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyouboltdown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou'retired, tiredandscared. Happenstoeveryone, okay? Justdon'tletyourfeetstop."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hackers in Area! Adore

Thanks to AWS for the rec. You are awesome.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Philosophy of Auntie Mame

1) The Seeming and the Being are Not As Far Apart as People Like to Think
Yesterday, in class, we talked about the hyperreal. I have become the simulation lady, and my students, poor poor things, are all sort of strapped in for an adventurous ride through imaginary land. The thing that we have to talk about, of course, is how these Disneyland adventures have material consequences. The fun house is not always so much fun, but, by damn, it is never boring.

2) Good Songs Speak the Truth
This is my new favorite song: I'm Just Lookin' For a Good Time by a band called Lady Antebellum. Seriously.

3) F Scott Fitzgerald is More than the Sum of His Desires
Although he often gets dismissed/caricatured as that sniveling poor boy at the rich kid party, FSF had alot of soul. You don't see NYT claiming that "Old Man and the Sea" is a perfect novel. Plus, without FSF , there would be no John Hughes movies, no Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler," no Slumdog Millionaire, no Corey Feldman, and no Gossip Girls. The form of desire, the absolute personification of unrequited love, performed and presented by that desolated man--that is the stuff of dreams. And pop culture.

4) When in Doubt, Use a Word Associated with Food to Get Your Point Across
Some possibles: morsel, tasty, shiny, salty, voluptuous, sumptuous, sharp, buttery, moist, rich, delicious.

5) The Moral Majority Wishes They Were as Delicious as We Are
So, go ahead. Have another sidecar.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Alias Actually Is Capt. Jean Luc Picard

Hey, Honey, I'm Home

So, How's things? Good? School started yesterday = Awesome. I am teaching three classes this year--public speaking, persuasion, and an independent study about the sophists. And my good friend and colleague is teaching an independent study about feminist rhetoric, which I have asked to sit in on, from time to time. It promises to be an adventurous semester.

Totally unrelated (perhaps, perhaps not), I found an old CD the other day: "Cool on the Inside" by a band called farmer that I think no longer exists. We stumbled, literally and figuratively, upon this band in our hazy days at the U of Alabama. As I remember it--and people are free to correct/embellish--it was the afternoon. Most likely, I was skipping class. And so we went to drink at one of the bars on the strip. This band was playing, and, for some reason, we just totally dug them. So, I bought a CD--and proceeded to listen to it over and over again for a short period of time. And then I put it away.

Listening to it again, for the first time in, like, um, 13 years? 12 years? Was a powerful memory-pull--almost physical. I regret that this is one of the only CD's I still have from that time. The disappearance of favorite college bands is a sad, honest truism. Some other disappeared favorites: PLAID, The Refreshments, Pain, Follow For Now, Vova Nova. I'm sure there are many that I am forgetting.

I looked for some clips from farmer on youtube. No dice. Still, I did find some stuff from Follow For Now. Therefore, in the spirit of re-memory and re-vision, here's to unattended geography classes and bourbon-soaked discovery. Go ahead and mosh around your office/cubicle/living room. You're gonna want to... and nobody's watching. Promise.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I love you best of all, The Wire.

But, even in the most loving of relationships, there are bumpy times. Right now is one of them. I am currently watching Season 5, and honestly, The Wire, I am sort of angry with you for several reasons which I have thoughtfully listed below.

-I do not like Marlo, and I fear that he will win.
-I do not like McNulty, and I fear that he will win.
-I gotta baaaaaaaaaaaad feelin about Omar, my favorite avenging angel.
-The end is coming. I can feel it, and I generally frown upon things that end.
-You are making me have creepy drug culture, police home invasion nightmares. Seriously, I am awake right now because I woke up convinced that marauders were in my house looking for some sort of stash.
-I miss Stringer.
-I could not figure out a way to incorporate Season 4 into my Persuasion class this semester, and that pisses me off.

Oh, The Wire, I sound more angry than I am... you know that. But still. Why you gotta go and be finite?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dear Martin

Below is the last post in a failed attempt at long-distance book clubs. Still, though, it's a pretty neat-O dream:

Last night, I dreamed that I was making out with Sigmund Freud in a subway station. We were waiting for the S Train (which I am not sure exists), and he was wearing a vinyl overcoat... kinda like an Austrian Neo. In the corner of the station was a rowdy group of historians and construction workers (I don't know why we knew this, we just did). They were very loud, and we kept looking disapprovingly over at them to try to get them to shut up.

The End

Friday, January 16, 2009


You lean well.
I like the stretch of your long arms
And the slant of your shoulders as you lean--
Up against a car door,
Across the dark wood of a bar,
Over an expanse of warm, flushed skin.
We began in conversation,
Accidental and unplanned.
You expounded upon the development of noise rock,
The link between politics and art.
I talked to you about kairos.
You argued with me,
And I liked that you argued with me.
Sometimes, it seems, people are not so eager to engage.
But you, leaning like lightning,
Got angry with me,
Detailing the limits of education
And questioning the value of certain long-held truths.

I did not notice, at first,
That I had begun to lean like you.
That I was eager (more than eager) to practice
Such shoulders-taut positions.
I did not notice how much ground I had given.
I forgot my distance,
My diplomacy face,
And I fell into those long arms,
Seduced by ambling arguments and
Languid laughter.

This sentence is false.
I knew it all along.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dear weather.com,

Thank you for the snow. You can have it back now.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

I drove from Alabama to New York

In a little white pick up truck, and it was fun! I had forgotten how much I enjoy driving. Honestly, the time sort of flew by--until I reached the George Washington Bridge on the second day. It was snowing, and I don't really know my way around these parts. So. That was an adventure.

But I made it back. And have spent most of today alternating episodes of "The Wire" with episodes of cleaning.

I've got two things for you:
1) Thoughts on our Small, Symbolic Universe -- It is the New Year. Last year was the Year of the Rat (and oh how ratty were some of the things that occurred!!!) This is going to be the Year of the Ox. The thing to keep in mind here, people, is that these yearly descriptions are all about attitude. Interestingly enough, 2007 was Year of the Pig--which coincides with the end of the financial bubbles--and leads right into the panic some might feel in Rat years. The Year of the Ox is all about fortitude--so the East is not telling us that things are going to get all better, all sudden-like. But there is some hope. And we can see that in the upcoming festivities planned for our delicious President-Elect.

2) Thoughts on the Holiday -- My favorite Christmas song has always been "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." My reasons, however, for loving that song have changed. When I was younger, I liked the song because I liked the sincerity and bravado. Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Neil Diamond, with those throaty, careworn voices, bravely putting forth a good front for the lost and the lonely. But I didn't get it. I romanticized the sorrow in those words, and I imagined that the singers were only in a rough spot. For me, that song was all about a moment--a quick thought, a short memory, a brief reference--and then Hooray! Look at all the shiny presents and the twinkly lights!

Now, I still love to hear Frankie murmuring "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". But nowadays my love is tempered by a more solid grasp of that song's soul. It is not a temporary moment of sad; it lingers. It is an adjusting song, an acknowledgment of the ephemeral, and a paean to the very thing that such ephemerality makes possible: Joy. Holidays are all about the Wabi Sabi, baby. And, I think, for that reason, it's a damn good thing they only come around every once in a while.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

new year's meme

This list was inspired by DH and is dedicated to E! who has been waiting very patiently for some sort of simulated entry.

1. what did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Went to Tokyo. Walked in a doctoral graduation. Got bitten by a dog. Made out with a fireman.

2. did you keep your 2008 resolutions, and will you make more this year?
No. And Yes.

3. did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. Hooray for Drew! Hooray!

4. did anyone close to you die?

5. what countries did you visit?
Japan. The Bronx.

6. what would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Places to swim.

7. what was your biggest achievement of the year?
Reconnecting with several old friends.

8. what was your biggest failure?
Not kicking that fucking dog over the fence.

9. did you suffer illness or injury?
Well, there was a dog, and he got a bit bitey.

10. what was the best thing you bought?
Graduation gift for E!

11. whose behavior merited celebration?
Jay Smooth.

12. whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
People who voted in favor of Proposition 8.

13. where did most of your money go?
Books, Shoes, Airplanes. Not necessarily in that order.

14. compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Happier (The job and the shoes help).
b) About the same (maybe a little bit thinner from the walking).
c) Poorer. Definitely poorer.

15. what do you wish you'd done more of?
Swimming. Writing.

16. what do you wish you'd done less of?

17. did you fall in love in 2008?

18. what was the best new book you read?
It's a tie. "Erotic Mentoring" or "Wanderlust, A History of Walking"

19. what was your favorite film of the year?
"Tropic Thunder" = Awesome.

20. what kept you sane?
My mom. Strategically placed martinis. E!. Hobbits.

21. tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Everybody gay once in a while.