In Her Shell
Monday, November 27, 2006
  For Pete
"Dirge Without Music"
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind.
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go, but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,--but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter,
the love,--
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in
the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
  That Time Of Year

Could be the fact that I've already started wrapping presents
The white lights strung up around town
Or that I'm listening to Deb Talan

But I am already f*ing depressed.
Friday, November 24, 2006
  Black Friday Blues
I just spent the last three hours shopping online. Before I go completely cross-eyed, I thought I'd share (read: hawk) some of my favorite, less-consumery places to buy holiday stuffs.

Uncommon Goods
They have nifty, unusual stuff from individual artisans, plus you can tell them to give a portion of your order price to one of several non-profit organizations.

Proletarian Threads
The name says it all. "C'est pour toi que tu fais la revolution."* -Daniel and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit

Ten Thousand Villages
"Fairly traded handicrafts from around the world." Damn cool stuff.

Supports individual artists in and around Olympia, WA. This is where I got my "Reading Is Sexy" t-shirt and messenger bag. Need I say more?

Long-advertised on my sidebar. Design your own threads, bags, etc. I made my "Nerd Alert" hoodie here. Are you sensing a pattern?

Powell's City of Books
The largest independent bookstore in the country, to my knowledge. Amazon can bite me.

Hope that's enough to get you started. Please let me know about anything I've missed!

*"It is for yourself that you make the revolution."
Monday, November 20, 2006
  Crushes, Part One
When I was 4 I was in my cousin's wedding. I stood at the church door in my little white dress and imagined that the ring-bearer was my husband. At 5 I had a crush on a boy named Anthony, because he was the boy in school that all the kindergarten girls had a crush on. In 3rd grade I was deeply infatuated with Kurt, and even wrote lengthy fantastical diary entries about our secret love.

In 4th grade Rob pressed a dollar into my hand at the laser light show, and insisted I use it to buy myself a snack, buying himself my undying affection for the next 4 years. It waned when I sat behind him in German class, and, being a vain boy, he compulsively ran his hands through his feathered hair. Tiny flakes fluttered down across the "Milli Vanilli" grafitti on my desk.

For the rest of 8th grade and through the first months of high school, it was Ryan. He was popular but not unkind, which nourished my hopes. He had none, and ended his life in the fall of that year.

Joe sat in front of me in Freshman English, and had clear blue eyes. He talked to me from time to time in a friendly way. I stared at the back of his neck a lot. He did not have dandruff.

In 10th grade I was in love with Jim, a man 10 years my senior, whom I had met through a local theatre group. Luckily for me, he did not take any physical advantage. Unluckily, he did allow me to become seriously, unhealthily, attached.

In 11th grade I pined for another Jim, one closer to my age. He picked up dropped books and opened doors. All of my friends adored him, but he hated himself and would never come out bowling or anywhere else, with anyone.

Senior year it was Dennis, the first one to love me back. Unfortunately, we were both too shy and awkward to do anything about it beyond a few stilted miniature golf outings with another couple. A few times in the dark outside my house he looked like he might kiss me. Terrified, I ran inside and didn't return his calls.

Now it's my turn to start a game! I tag Lulu, Hapabukbuk, Coaster Punchman, Megan, and Dale to write about their first crushes....
Sunday, November 12, 2006
  A Piece Of A Poem
For the Democratic wins in Congress.

from "A Ritual to Read to Each Other" by William Stafford is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no--or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Someone once explained my brain to me as a big room with filing cabinets. This person said that everything that has ever happened to me is in there somewhere. Learning is filing things away, or creating new drawers. The synapses are what tell me where to find the thing I am looking for. Memory is knowing where to keep it.

My roommate and I went to the hospital to visit our student. She has had two surgeries since her brain aneurysm two weeks ago. Part of her skull is still off, since the swelling has not gone down. Neither has her fever, and the other women in the room--all moms--joked about wanting her cooling blanket to help with their menopause.

The room is decorated with posters, cards and well wishes from her many, many friends and admirers. This was a sweet and vivacious girl; my roommate coached her as a cheerleader until she decided that she would rather pursue her talents in singing and acting. She was a student in my Advanced literature class.

She curls her arm; her leg twitches. The Internet has helpfully explained to me that her condition cannot be considered a coma, since her eyes are open. She is still too dependent upon medications to be moved to a rehabilitation facility. I realize that we were there for her mother, not for her.

Her friends have been told only very basic information, in a very encouraging way. They do not know what is happening. They are not allowed to visit her.

I hope she regains consciousness. But what if she doesn't? Which category will her friends use to describe their relationship to her? In which file does she go? And what has happened to her files? Are they all still there, inaccessible? What has happened to the person she was? Will she exist only in our files now?

What a terrible way to be reminded that anything can happen, anytime. There's something in there about saying what's important to say, and appreciating the little things. I'm struggling for the peace described in this poem, but it's on my mind.

"The Orange"
by Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange--
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave--
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It's new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I'm glad I exist.
Monday, November 06, 2006
  Resigning Myself To The Playground Of Blogging
Dale says everyone should play on this one. It will be difficult since I am extremely self-involved and talk incessantly, but OK...

Five Things You Don't Know About Me

1. I am a messy eater. I get crumbs everywhere, no matter what I'm eating. Even soup.

2. I've done stand-up comedy. On my 21st birthday, in a London comedy club, as the final exam for a course I was taking. It was one of my cooler moments.

3. When I was 2, the only thing I would listen to was a one-eyed sock puppet named Muppet. If Muppet didn't tell me to do something, the answer was no. My parents were terrified of losing him. I still have Muppet, just in case.

4. I was actually pretty politically apathetic before George W. in the White House. I suppose I have him to credit for my righteous anger, activism, and sheer terror.

5. I secretly suspect that the people who like me just haven't found me out yet. That at any moment they are going to discover the truth. Margaret Atwood said, "This goes along with another theory of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise."

Tags: HB, Megan, JAG, you haven't played along yet...
Sunday, November 05, 2006
  I Am Mad At Blogger
Two days ago I wrote a post. I thought a lot about this post. It seemed to publish; I hit "Refresh" on Mozilla and there it was--my new post. Today I thought, "Hm, I know I don't have a huge readership but I would think SOMEBODY would have commented on this one." So I go and look at my blog and wouldn't you know it? That post is gone! It's not even saved as a Draft!

What the heck, Blogger?
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
  The Reason My Students Won't Get Their Papers Back Tomorrow
CP and Melinda June belong in different neighborhoods. I was jealous of them, but now I feel cool. Even though when I did live in The City, I lived in Queens. But these quiz writers clearly sensed that it was a bad fit.

You Belong in the East Village

A little bit arty, a little bit punk - you seem to set trends that many people follow.
It's likely that you're an academic of sorts, even if it's just on the weekends.
Where Should Your Inner New Yorker Live?
  The Sacrificial Tuna
Some of you may be well acquainted with my deep and abiding love of Food, and many share it, as aptly chronicled by Megan recently. That's what makes this evening's events so noteworthy.

Lurking around the sushi counter at Whole Foods, where they have recently instituted the annoying practice of keeping some of the rolls inside an inaccessible plastic case, I was joined by a mother and her two squirrelly children, around 7 or 8 years old.

The sushi man came to the counter. The mom and I looked at each other. I had been eyeing up a tasty-looking salmon roll, and was opening my mouth to ask for it when the smaller of the two children pointed excitedly at it. The other began hopping up and down. The first reached for the salmon roll, bending her fingers back against the plastic case in a gesture of ecstatic longing. The other held her back, still hopping.

There were only two salmon rolls in the case, and three of us: me, twitchy, and hoppy. Sushi guy looked from the mom to me and back again. Mom gestured to me in a go-ahead sort of way, and smiled.

Me (uneasily, to mom): I was going to get one of those...
Mom (smiles and kind of rolls her eyes): That's OK. You were here first.
Me: Uh, are you sure?
Twitchy (whining desperately): That one. Thaaaat ooooonnnnne....
Hoppy (hopping)
Mom: They can share.
Me: I don't know...
Sushi guy (inwardly): What the fuck.
Me (to sushi guy): I'll take the tuna.
Hoppy (hopping faster)
Mom (relieved): Thank you!

As I walked away with tuna in hand, I felt disappointed but oddly proud. Overly proud, some might say. Tuna has a lot of mercury in it. On the other hand, I had helped nurture the burgeoning sushi love of two small children, and maybe prevented a scene. I left the store feeling noble and self-sacrificing. I really felt I had paid it forward.

Then I thought about what I had given up, a $4.99 container of supermarket sushi. What the fuck. Seriously.


My Photo

In a move that seems to amuse only me, I pull lines from the blogs I hit on the Next Blog button, and arrange them into found poem form.

April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / August 2010 / April 2011 /

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