“This is not my life. These are not my cobwebs. This is not the darkness I was designed for.”

-Colum McCann


On Monday night, I went out with two friends to B Line for wine and food. I had tortilla soup and half a tuna sandwich and they were amazing. And we sat and talked and commiserated for a few hours, and then wandered downtown half-tipsy to go see the cavernous space my friend is thinking of renting to show her clothing line. And we went to Congress and got more drinks and I had the best Manhattan I've had, and we wandered into the end of a concert and stood in the back, drinks in hand, lost in the music of a band I mistakenly assumed was local. It was a guy switching between guitar and keyboard and singing with a girl on a keyboard harmonizing, her bangs long in her face, and another girl with a platinum bob on the cello, and two guys on guitars and the drummer, and almost all of them sang along with the guy in front even though they didn't have mics.

And then he said, oh so casually, I'm going to invite Ingrid Michaelson onstage for this next one*. So we slipped through the very small crowd and stood eight feet from the stage, and I hugged my glass next to my face like I do, and stood with my chest full of the music, simply happy for the first time in as many days as I can remember.

*He turned out to be her husband. His name is Greg Laswell. He was awesome and we saw him for free.


a game of chess

“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. 
Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak. 
What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? 
I never know what you are thinking. Think.” 
I think we are in rats’ alley 115
Where the dead men lost their bones. 
“What is that noise?” 
                      The wind under the door. 
“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?” 
                      Nothing again nothing. 120
You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember 
        I remember 
                Those are pearls that were his eyes. 125
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?” 
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag— 
It’s so elegant 
So intelligent 130
“What shall I do now? What shall I do? 
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street 
With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow? 
What shall we ever do?” 
                          The hot water at ten. 135
And if it rains, a closed car at four. 
And we shall play a game of chess, 
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

- T. S. Eliot, excerpt from "The Wasteland: II. A Game of Chess"


the problem of audience and purpose

When I started posting in this blog in earnest, in September of 2010, I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted for it, and what I didn't. I didn't want what essentially amounts to an online journal, with litanies of day-to-day personal details that mean next to nothing except to the people you already know in real life. I didn't want it to be exclusively my poetry and/or personal essays (there isn't nearly enough of it for that), and I didn't want it exclusively a tumblr-style image collection, but I wanted room to include those if I wanted to. What I settled on was, as the title suggests, basically everything; I wanted a kind of lifestyle blog - or a blog that conveyed my personal taste - that would have a larger appeal.

Of course, what dictates what I am enjoying or ruminating on is still my own life and my own experiences. There have been many times over the years that I have posted a particular song or photo because it reminded me of someone or of a situation - small associations that probably only I would make. A blog often feels somewhat like writing into an impartial void, and what's nice about a void is that it takes whatever one says at face value, and so my internal motivations were easily still completely anonymous.

But once one becomes aware of a particular audience, one starts writing to that audience, because that's what good writing does - it orients its content and delivery to who is receiving it. Much like the observer effect in quantum physics, it is completely unavoidable, even if one wishes to suppress the tendency for one reason or another.

There are love letters on this blog. There are expressions of pain and hope and longing and anger and many other emotions. But even then, this blog, in its detached and mostly anonymous form, is an attempt to convey something about myself, not something I use as a tool to expose or hurt anyone else.

[the title of this post is actually the title of my friend's blog . . . so we'll call it an allusion, because I could not think of a more apt phrase]


amanda palmer on art

(from her twitter)
i think the intent of the Artist can and should be appreciated, and it often helps the audience think and feel MORE about the Art. BUT once a piece of Art leaves the Artist and goes out Into The World - it's not longer theirs. it belongs to the world, and people can and will interpret things however they want. the Artist has no true ownership of the interpretation of their Art...only over the act of Creating. 
[presumably after responses from her followers]
no. never. not once.


things I like this week, vol. 30

Steve McCurry, again. The entire post was beautiful, but this one was my favorite.

. . . 

Insight from Oscar Wilde:
All women become like their mothers.  That is their tragedy.  No man does.  That’s his.
- The Importance of Being Earnest 

. . . 

I have been craving tango dresses instead of shoes, lately - flowy ones. This is from INDI Apparel's recent line. There are lace insets along the sides of the skirt, too.

. . .

Allen Ginsberg's "An Eastern Ballad" is a fitting description of how I've felt the last six weeks or so, and much better than I could articulate it, even if I had tried:
I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.

I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world go wild. 

. . .

It says "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," which is from Harry Potter's Marauder's Map. It's a clever touch to do it in black light ink (although why the random purple spots in the background?).

 . . .

This line, in a post about a Black Keys concert:
The music performed a miracle. It made the seats disappear.


advice from miss golightly

"I love you, Lula Mae."

"I know you do, and that's just the trouble. It's the mistake you always made, Doc, trying to love a wild thing. You were always lugging home wild things. Once it was a hawk with a broken wing . . . and another time it was a full-grown wildcat with a broken leg. Remember?  . . . You mustn't give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they're strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky."

- Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961


things I like this week, vol. 29

Artemis (one of my favorites of the Greek goddesses). I love what the painter said in an interview: 
That atmosphere is really important for me and especially for my work. I am not interested in what will happen, but only about what’s going on directly before that—before the moment when everything is revealed, because once the audience knows, there is no need for them to think or imagine anymore. If you can capture that moment before the scene’s main event, the story can go off in any direction… From there, it’s up to the viewer’s imagination. It would be different for everyone.

. . .

On repeat.
. . . 

Ballerina project in Hawaii. The fragility of her pose and that dress against the mist sort of breaks my heart.  

. . .

These pictures of WW2 workers and servicemen are incredible. I have only ever seen black and whites from this period - the color and the detail is so crisp that they look fake.(Her freckles!)

 . . . 

The other song I've been playing on repeat the last week. She's a performance artist, and I appreciate that. And the interview she and Neil gave is awesome.  

. . . 

Some guy does tons of these. In snow. With snowshoes. Like crop circles, but cooler. (hrhr)


la fille danse

It's been a very long time since I've given a camera a genuine smile. There are at least a few in that video.

Tango = happiness, no matter how dark things seem. I strongly recommend finding a local Argentine tango class and learning.

(If you're super curious, more videos of me dancing are here and here - though keep in mind, as far as tango goes, I'm still very much a baby.)


things I like this week, vol. 28

Amanda Fucking Palmer. With a keytar. And here's a lovely write-up of what she called a "ninja gig" at a record store.

. . .

Speaks for itself.

. . . 

I refuse to pay $200 for something I could make myself if my sewing machine worked, but her designs are lovely. Michelle is wearing an outfit of hers in the video above.

. . . 

A map of the wind.

. . . 

A friend linked me to these. They would be perfect for tango shoes, if they had a leather sole (which you could actually get a cobbler to put on) and if one could afford the absurd price tag.

. . . 

It's so much better because it's in French.

. . . 

A craft. 

. . . 


. . . 

It's Stonehenge as a bouncing castle, and it's called Sacrilege.

. . .
Lines from the Princess Bride that double as comments on Freshman Composition papers. 

. . . 

I hate covers that sound just like the original. It has to innovate, somehow.

. . . 

Totally remarkable testament to the perseverance of literacy. (via my lovely aunt)

. . . 

The new Norah Jones album is fucking awesome. And the mp3 download is five bucks on Amazon.

. . . 

Also in the interest of bargains, this is a 10 year Tempranillo. It was given 90 points by Wine Advocate. It tastes like a dream. And Costco is selling it for eight bucks.