Sunday, December 20, 2009

Semi-rhetorical questions about the Twilight franchise.

So I'm pretty much indifferent to the whole Twilight phenomenon. I mean, it definitely gets on my nerves, but I don't especially care about it. I've never read any of the books or seen any of the movies, and I just generally attempt to ignore its existence.

A sidebar, though: The other night I had a dream that I went on a date with Edward Cullen/Robert Pattinson (he was a sort of hybrid of the character and the actor, if that makes any sense.) He went to my high school for some reason, and asked me out in the middle of class, to which my reaction was at first WTF-ery and then shrugging acceptance. This all happened in my home town, and yet I saw a Smith professor while I was waiting for our date, who was very enthusiastic about the whole thing, which was kind of weird even in the context of the dream. In any case, we had a picnic for our date and it was all quite pleasant, until I had a bloody nose and his immediate reaction was OMG CAN I EAT IT?!?!?! I was a little surprised, but allowed it. I didn't want it to go to waste, anyway. Perfectly good blood, and all.

Anyway: Twilight. I have some serious questions.

- Why is it that no one ever thinks it's maybe a bit shady that this is a group of "adopted siblings," and yet they're all coupled off? Like...they're brothers and sisters, and yet dating? Are there no eyebrows raised about that? Or the fact that their non-biological parents are, like, in their 30s? And collecting teenagers and only teenagers to turn into vampires? Just seems a bit...well, shady, to me.
- Speaking of which, are there serious orgies going on in that house? Because, seriously, they're a bunch of wildly attractive, eternally youthful teenagers who have no threat of pregnancy hanging over them. If at least some of them aren't sleeping together, I would seriously question their hormone levels.
- This is a slightly more general question, but why don't vampires, in this modern day and age, just, like, rob blood banks? I mean, that probably has less of an erotic/possessive thrill than biting someone, but if you're the sort of vampire who's all AHH I DON'T WANT TO BITE PEOPLE HUMANS ARE FRIEND NOT FOOD ANGST ANGST, wouldn't that seem like a more natural solution? Or I'm sure they could find a whole posse of morbid goth girls to help them out by donating some of their blood once in a while. Hell, I'd donate a vial of my O-neg if it would keep vampire murders down, or prevent them from eyeing their classmates like they're a pound of raw sirloin. For the good of the world, right?
- My biggest question, really - how the hell is it that no one gets suspicious of these teenagers being ETERNALLY YOUTHFUL? I mean, do they relocate every couple of years? (This may have been explained in the books, I dunno.) And if they don't, how fucking stupid must the locals be that they don't think there's something weird about these eternal high schoolers?
- Speaking of which: eternal high schoolers? For fucking serious? Holy shit, I'd have been begging for someone to stake me decades ago if that was my fate.
I also think that the way Edward behaves, what with the mind-reading and the stalking and the watching while the girl sleeps, is creepy as hell, but that's more of an observation than a question - well, other than "WTF is she thinking?" And, well, she's a teenage girl. I can say that we're not exactly known for our rational, wise decisions all the time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some awesomeness, academic and otherwise.

So, I should be writing (several!) papers right now, but I want to write about this and it might actually HELP stimulate ideas for this particular paper (we quite literally have no topic. I mean, seriously.) Trying to get the brain going. It's a bit more sluggish than usual these days. I blame the internet. And my unhealthy eating and sleeping habits. Oh, and my body, of course. It's always easy to pin the blame on one's body, especially one that is structurally unsound as mine. I think God was a little drunk that day.

(Defense mechanism back in full swing, what up.)

What I actually want to talk about right now is Chekhov. I have a serious thing for Russian writers, Tolstoy in particular (Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books, ever, for both the gorgeous language and the total trashiness that abounds through parts of it.) I've read two different translations of the book, the second of which is by my favorite! translating! team! ever!, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (whose names I know by heart because I am such a fucking nerd). My mom got me a copy of War and Peace for Christmas a couple of years ago, to which I geeked out and said, "Oh! Those are my favorite translators!" Those two also happen to be a married couple. Can you imagine the fucking awesome life they have? Cutest ever, for real.

Anyway, we're reading Chekhov in my 19th century story class - for which I am grateful, since I haven't liked much of anything we read in that class since Poe. (Oh, Poe!) Because Chekhov is great - not to mention that the book is translated by my favorite translating team. I love him for things like this, in "The Lady With the Little Dog," which I had read previously in a "love stories" anthology that I got in preparation for my own short story work, and which is way, way more depressing to read than it sounds:

"Anna Sergeevna came in. She sat in the third row, and when Gurov looked at her, his heart was wrung, and he realized clearly that there was no person closer, dearer, or more important for him in the whole world; this small woman, lost in the provincial crowd, not remarkable for anything, with a vulgar lorgnette in her hand, now filled his whole life, was his grief, his joy, the only happiness he now wished for himself; and to the sounds of the bad orchestra, with its trashy local violins, he thought of how beautiful she was. He thought and dreamed."

I mean, that shit is beautiful. There's something about the recognition of the utter ordinariness (which the story keeps getting you back to over and over again), seeing the flaws all around him and yet adoring her anyway, that I find so much more moving than a strictly idealistic or epic love. I don't know, all the people with whom I've ever fallen in love have had such obvious flaws of which I was always aware, and I think recognizing what is exceptional about a person as well as what is perfectly ordinary is just a really powerful thing. Whenever literature captures that I think that can be really beautiful. I also love that this story is never really resolved, and that things don't end really well or badly for these two - their lives just go on, and you know that they will with or without one another, but more rich for the time they've had together.

Similarly, I love this Shakespeare sonnet:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Beautiful. Kind of funny, also, and not exactly glowingly complimentary, but it's rather wonderful nevertheless. It was also used to delightfully sappy purpose in My So-Called Life:

Which is an awesome show, and also a perfect segue for me to talk about Claire Danes!

(Queen Eadie for the win!) I wish she'd go back to the red hair, though. Alas.

Truly, though, I love this girl. She manages to be Hollywood-level beautiful while maintaining a completely believable level of gawky awkwardness. I watched Shopgirl with Shannon last night (for a Film Studies paper, which ugh, I should be writing right now), and I was reminded once again of how wonderful she is. She has one of those faces that you can't take your eyes off of when she's on screen, and there's something about the way she acts that feels so effortless to me - like she perfectly inhabits the body of the character she's playing, and she says so much more with the way she moves and laughs and moves her eyes than she does with actual speech.

(I was utterly enamored with Scarlett Johansson for that same ability a few years ago, but she's decided to rest on simply being hot, which makes me sad. In any case, she was so much hotter back when she wasn't trying so hard!)

But now she's all Hollywood and bombshell and sanitized and perfect. Boo! Another before-and-after (and this is getting waaay tangential, but whatever), that also runs parallel to taking actual good roles and demonstrating lots of acting ability: Christina Ricci, before she got all skinny and "perfect":

(LOVE that movie, by the way.)

And now, for a contrast:

Not that she isn't still beautiful, but...come back to the light, Christina! Be sexy and curvy and weird again!

Well, that's way more than enough for now. Sayonara, for now.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sometimes I can smell the hospital smell. I don't know why...certain kinds of sanitizer, I guess, or the clothes that I'm wearing, the combination of the fabric smell and whatever detergent I've been using, or psychological assocations. I could smell it a minute ago, and it gave me the shivers. Not the good ones. I hate hospitals and I've spent much more time in them than people should have to. Most of the time before I was even six years old, so I don't remember much, but it's still in there. Along with the two seizures I had as a three-month-old, I had constant respiratory infections as a kid. Croup, pneumonia, bronchitis. It was hardest on my brother, I think. My parents were old enough to understand and I was too young to understand, but he was just the right (wrong?) age for it to be kind of traumatic. He's much more squeamish about hospitals than I am, actually.

And, you know, I try to joke around about the health stuff because it makes it easier (humor is my primary defense mechanism about everything, anyway), and it's the best way to deal with it, and it puts other people at ease at the same time, which then makes me feel a little better. But I do get scared sometimes. I know that the psychogenic explanation for my seizures is the most likely one at this point, but it's not the only thing that's wrong with my body. I have constant aches and pains and fatigues and it's gotten so much worse in the last couple of years. My energy level has decreased so much. I can't live the same way I used to. I need to rest so much more often. I'm more sensitive to temperature and my joints ache all the time. I'm always dizzy and my stomach is always getting fucked up (it always has, but that's been getting worse, too.) And, you know, all this plus the seizures...I am just not convinced that the answers have been found yet. And I hate admitting it, really I do, but it does get seriously scary sometimes. Like when I couldn't see for two hours after my last one. And having the history of such an utter lack of fucking compassion with the way people dealt with it in high school - it all makes it harder to deal with now because of that in my past.

And, you know, fuck. I miss someone from the past today, really badly. I have been lately, in general, but it's worse today. Our relationship was never a healthy one and I know, intellectually, that it's probably better off for me to be apart from him. We both brought out things in one another that we probably shouldn't have been pulling out. Some things need to stay underneath, sometimes. But, God, I had never felt more extraordinary or creative or utterly understood. There was soulmate - fucking soulmate! - potential there and sometimes I really thought he had been created for me and me for him. And I don't go for shit like that. But he made me believe it, or at least want to.

I remember when I used to go to dark places just to devastate myself, just so that I could have him comforting me. I needed him all the time, not just when I was breaking down, but every day, on my ordinary everyday levels of misery, but I couldn't tell him that because I was too afraid of losing what little I had. Our relationship had already utterly fallen apart once by that point, and I couldn't lose him so completely again by pushing it too hard, getting too intense. So I let myself crumble just so that I could have him put me back together again. One of the most fucked-up, self-destructive things I've ever done. I'm lucky I didn't push it farther than I did.

And yet right now I'm feeling like I want to do it again, like I would if he were here. Push it again. Is that even love? I don't know what it is, how it qualifies, but I know that I want him in my life again, as ill-advised as that probably is. We were so perfect for each other and so terrible for each other at the same time. I have never needed anybody so much, nor ever felt so needed, but maybe that's not something I should keep pushing for. Like I said, is that even love? It's a pretty fucked up love if it is, but right now I kind of wouldn't have it any other way.

Whatever it is, I want it back. Whatever he is, I want him back.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More awesome.

I thought I'd do another post about things that are awesome, because I'm in an appreciative mood. Okay? Okay.

So I had a seizure on Monday (not the awesome part, obviously) which was the third in two and a half weeks. I went to the hospital afterwards, which I don't usually do, but both the frequency of them up until that point and the fact that I couldn't focus my eyes for, like, two hours combined seemed like it was a good idea. (My film studies professor came with me and stayed for an hour and a half until she had to pick up her kids, which WAS awesome. She kind of made me tear up a little bit. Really really moving and wonderful. Seriously.)

Another truly awesome thing was the fact that my ER nurse for real looked exactly like Project Runway's Leanne Marshall:

Seriously, they look like twins in that picture. I am pretty sure that the nurse was wearing that same exact shade of lipstick. She was totally indie-nerd-glam-hot. She seemed really witty and cool, too. Swoon. Call me, ER nurse. I clean up nice!

You know what else is awesome? Ally McBeal. Various seasons have just been released on Netflix, and my mom and I have been watching the fourth season. It is really and truly hilarious, and a bit surreal at times. Sure, Ally can seriously grate on my nerves, especially since she has the qualities that I deplore in myself (neurotic, self-absorbed, emotionally fragile, indecisive, overthinks everything, slightly unbalanced etc., etc.,) but these are minor complaints, since the show is generally fantastic. Also, the current season includes Robert Downey, Jr.:

Who is totally wonderful. Charming, smart, sexy, and troubled. And looks killer hot in glasses. When gorgeous men don glasses, I lose it. See Hugh Laurie:

I think Hugh Laurie is positively delectable all the time, but whenever he puts on glasses on House, I melt into my chair. I am such a fangirl and I don't give a crap. I love the guy.
Speaking of sexiness being enhanced by nerdy accessories:

I don't really like Olivia Wilde, and I hate her character on House, but I won't deny that she's scorching hot, especially when she puts on suspenders. Chicks in suspenders just do it for me, really:


I also dig dudes and dudettes in vests. Not sweater vests (never sweater vests, unless it is Lisa Meyers or Robert Sean Leonard as James Wilson) but buttoned-up, tailored vests.

I don't even find either of them all that hot. Just in vests. A tailored vest is even hotter on a woman, in my opinion, but those are harder to find pictures of.

Hey, you know what else are hot? Saddle shoes!

I'd love a pair of those for Christmas, along with the numbat from yesterday.

Sherilyn Fenn wore a lot of them on Twin Peaks. David Lynch called her "five feet of heaven in a ponytail":

To that I can only say: signs point to yes.

More awesomeness to come, obviously.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Weird animals!

I'm in the mood for something extremely random. It's Thanksgiving and I'm home and happy and glad to be with my cats and my mom and so forth. So I'm going to post some pictures of strange animals. Because that's how I roll.

The narwhal!

The wombat!

The Tasmanian Devil! This is one of my favorite animals, ever. I think it is all kinds of awesome.

The platypus! The weirdest thing I ever done seen!

The numbat! Anyone want to get me one of these for Christmas?

The Tasmanian Tiger! It's extinct, but it's still awesome.

The echidna! (Boy, Australian animals certainly are weird.)

The komodo dragon!

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. May your dreams be graced with bizarre animals. Hope for my good health and I will hope for yours, as well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm taking the plunge.

No, I'm not getting married. (Not that I really thought anyone would actually think that but...)

No, I've decided to do NaNoWriMo, a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month, which takes place over the course of the month of November. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel (although I'm doing short stories), not worrying about the quality, just forcing yourself to get it all down and not second-guessing yourself. Since I'm such a goddamn overthinking perfectionist that my creativity has been severely stunted for a couple of years now, this seemed like an ideal opportunity to try to counteract all that and just force myself to get it all out...not to mention that I've had this short-story collection idea in my head for years now. It's my baby, and I've hesitated to get much work done on it because I didn't want to fuck it up.

Well, fuck that. I can revise later.

I doubt I'll make it to 50,000 words, but I'm going to do my best. I signed up on the official site on everything. Now let's just hope I don't get felled by some wasting disease in the middle of it. (And even if I do, I'll try to push through it anyway.)

I'm excited, y'all. Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So, it's been like a million years since I wrote in this, right? (Or six weeks or so, but hey, close enough...)

I'm well into my semester now and overall it's going pretty well. Classes are pretty great for the most part, and my health is...well, it's been worse. There's definitely been some sick badness (nausea, stomach pains, headaches, body aches, chest pain, heart palpitations, a seizure the other day, and even some weird new shit), but hey, at least I haven't gotten the swine flu, right?

I have been really homesick this semester though, worse than it's been in awhile. I always missed my mom really badly, but never "home" so much, and it sounds silly, but honestly I think a lot of it has to do with my missing my cats. Seriously. I am having serious cat withdrawal and it's a problem.

Also, a piece of awesome awesomeness that I forgot to put into my last entry and clearly have not put in since, as I have not updated and all and blah blah blah: The day before moving all my stuff in, when my mom and my brother and I were hanging out on campus, we went for a long walk on the Smith trails. A little dog ran up to us, and as I was, you know, talking nonsense to the dogs and so forth, the dog's owner came over - who happened to be Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth fame. I looked up (way, way, way up because the dude is TALL), and there he was. With his dogs. I mean, I knew he lived in the area, but seriously, that was about the last place I would expect to run into him. Go figure. I basically squealed my face off.

But enough of this. My mom sent me some pictures of the cats and I'm gonna post them now.

Mabel in the cabinets:

Cuddling cats:

More to come, as always.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is basically "Why Cassie shouldn't listen to the Counting Crows when already in a melancholy mood."

"A Murder of One," to be specific. Beautiful song. One of my favorites, ever. And depressing as all hell.

I was thinking about things that cannot be forced, partially in connection with my own creativity. I used to write all the time. I started writing stories when I was four and could not yet even physically write, but dictated stories to my mom. From the ages of, I don't know, four until about eighteen I have notebooks upon notebooks upon notebooks filled with stories, attempted novels, poems, songs, even an aborted screenplay. And of course the vast majority of it looks obviously like it was written by a child/teenager/young adult, there's definitely some profound stuff in there and I truly don't know where that creativity went. All of those urges. I thought that once I was in college, with my creativity and intellect nourished, it would flourish more than ever, but instead it's gone downhill.

I was also inevitably thinking about love, in terms of things that can't be forced. You can wish all you like. You can manipulate, cajole, trap, seduce, rape, intimidate, demand, cripple and brainwash, you can kill someone with kindness and be selfless or appallingly selfish and in the end it will not matter, because all the yearning in the world simply will not make someone love you. It's something that can only be willingly given.

I've been in love with the same person for so long that I start to wonder sometimes if it's even him I'm still holding on to, or just the idea itself of the love. If it's just stubbornness and an unwillingness to let go of something that I've wanted for so long. I haven't seen him in so long now and there are no new memories to make. Nothing new to go over. And it'll seem like more of a longing for the past than a longing for him.

And then I'll get a sudden flash of a memory, something so sharp and potent that I can actually almost feel him next to me and I'm left gasping and reeling from it, suddenly missing him so much it's like a physical ache in my chest.

I didn't grow up dreaming of getting married. I never envisioned myself in a wedding dress, even as a little girl. I dreamed of true love, but getting married was never something I particularly cared about. I never even really understood the point of getting married. It never even seemed necessary until I met him. And then I understood why people do it. Because I wanted so much to stand up in front of all the people I cared about and profess my love, and tell the world that he was mine and I was his, and - it just all clicked into place for me then.

He's long gone and I don't know what to do with all this. I've often frightened myself a little with how deeply and quickly I fall in love. I can imagine myself with someone else, but I can't imagine how I could ever let this one go. I'm not even sure that I want to.

I miss him every day.

There was a friend I had for many years. Self-destructive, angry, careless. He treated me badly and I treated him with a ridiculous amount of kindness. And he's been through so much in the last couple of years, and I've been wondering lately if I even still care about him all that much - and even if I ever really did, or if it became about stubbornness once again. Like if I admitted that he just wasn't worth it, that there wasn't much in my heart for him anymore, it would void all the time I spent trying to help him, all the tears I shed when I didn't even know if he would live out the week.

I don't know how to answer that question, and I worry that it was just stubbornness. Because I don't know what that says about me - that I would hold on to something for so long, not to mention giving that person hope that I cared more than I really did, simply because I was unable to admit to myself that I was wrong, that my affection was misplaced.

I don't know. Things are really strange right now and I really don't know how to answer these questions. And I'm afraid of what I might see in myself if I do.

And may bunnies and cats and ferrets and washbears be had by all!

Just dropped in to wish a very happy 33rd to dear Jenny, writer, screenshot artist, heartstring-puller and procrastination assistant extraordinaire. It's been delightful chatting about all subjects important and trivial, bouncing ideas off of each other, and above all, avoiding work together. Thank you for sharing your work with all of us who read it and for being a valued friend these past couple of years. Also, I am very pleased to have been able to impart you with the terms wubby, ooky, catbear, and the exclamation "good gravy!", as well as a generous helping of of ridiculous ideas for your poor characters.

It's been a pleasure. Happy birthday and enjoy the candy!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Well, I'm back at Smith. Moved in yesterday. Classes haven't started yet but they do tomorrow and I just saw my mom off. I'm going to miss her terribly but it's much better than last year, when I was moving into a new house and had very few friends, or my first year when I was totally suspended. This year I know and love my house and I know I have friends (even though Lisa is abroad this semester and I already miss her dreadfully) and I'm fairly well settled. I know my majors, I've declared, I have a better idea of what I want to do with myself, I'm working on finding a work study job and I'm a little more confident that I know I can handle things. I'm just going to miss my mom terribly, that's all.

And the kittens! I'm going to miss them awfully, too. I spent almost all day every day with them this summer and it's going to suck not having their screaming furry little faces around all the time. They got fixed and declawed this past Monday and we got them back Wednesday (Abbey, aka Princess Bitchcat, was VERY happy with the two-day vacation she got from them), and so it was a lot of antibiotic-giving. Those two just don't know to take it easy. Poor Duncan's front paws swelled up to nearly twice their normal size because he got cat litter in them AND is apparently not smart enough not to figure out that maybe he shouldn't be jumping up and down such high surfaces. Mabel, for her part, is a little bit OCD and would not stop licking and picking at herself. I now have cat blood stains from her feet on the surface of one of my notebooks, which is just LOVELY.

Plus they're going to be going insane without the attention and affection to which they've grown accustomed. My mom joked that she'd have to get a baby sling and hold Duncan in it while she cooked and cleaned and went about her evenings.

She also says that if she does that, that's the moment that she officially becomes a crazy cat lady and I am inclined to agree. Still, I can imagine doing that myself. Duncan in particular is my baby, after all.

I also left my computer charger at home - of all the things! so my mom is going to next-day it to me and in the meantime, I'm trying to limit my computer time and I'll try to borrow a charger from someone who has the same computer. It's hard, though. What am I going to DO with my free time??

It really is good to be back, though. I'm a little worried about how things are going to go, but there's no doubt that this is where I'm supposed to be right now and I'm sure I'll end up having a pretty good time. I'm excited about my classes and really excited to be back in Northampton. I want to try to start working out again (which I say every time a season starts or ends, I know), if only for my energy level, which seems to be decreasing quite a lot over the past couple of years. I don't have the same level of energy that I had even a couple of years ago, at all, and I want to try to make that a little bit better if I can. And I want to try to write more again. It's something that I've missed and I have a feeling I'll feel more like myself again if I can figure out how to get that going.

Till then.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Home from the hospital!

I've actually been home a few days, but it's taken me some time to sort out my feelings about the whole thing and be able to take a bit of a step back from it all.

I only ended up being in the room itself for about 24 hours, something for which I am very grateful - it's highly unusual to be there for such a short amount of time. They were able to induce a seizure and other "events," as they called them (an aura, partial body convulsions, etc.), and no abnormalities were found on the brain monitor, which lead them to a diagnosis of non-epileptic seizures of psychosomatic origin.

Now. Those are the facts of the thing.

I don't think this diagnosis would have been so frustrating if I hadn't already spent four years having these things constantly being written off as nothing, as originated from stress, as something that I could control, as something that wasn't at all dangerous and so on and so forth - getting this opinion from "regular" people and doctors alike. The other frustration is that, while this isn't as dangerous as, say, epilepsy (no oxygen-starved brain, for instance), aside from maybe more therapy and guided meditation, there's really not a damn thing I can do about it.

Which is exactly what I had feared. That, in the end, I'd be left with really not a whole lot that I could do.

But hey, at least they didn't have to torture me for more than those 24 hours, right? Breaking veins in an attempt to give me an IV and depriving me of sleep? (The second was intentional; the first, obviously, was not. That was just my veins being totally made of fail. For real, they suck.) They tested me for Celiac's disease (gluten intolerance) for a possible explanation of my stomach problems, which I thankfully do not have. Sure it would have been nice to have an explanation, but not to the extent that I could never have bread or pasta or beer ever again. (Not that I drink much beer, but hey, the option is nice.)

A positive thing is the Mad Men-viewing my mom and I did and have continued to do in the days that followed. It really does live up to all the hype. It's one of the best and most complex TV shows I've ever seen, with wonderful and delightfully subtle characterization, compelling plot lines (though that's totally not why I watch), and sumptuous costumes. I also discovered while watching it that I have already been in academia way too long, as any episode I watched, I felt an essay forming its way into my head as I thought about it. I think in essay format now, whether it's about a book I just read or an episode of Mad Men (or far less highbrow television, for that matter.) This is leading me to believe that pop-culture criticism may actually be what I want to do, and where I really fit in. Listening to an album, looking at a fashion collection, watching a TV show, I can hear the essay formulating in my head. It's just seems to be what my brain wants to do and where it wants to be.

So that's a good thing to discover, I think. Speaking of which, I'm planning some Project Runway looks analysis (and gushing), season-by-season. It's been in the works for awhile and I'm excited. Not as excited as I am for the return of the show, but excited. It'll be more gushy than anything else, but it'll be pretty bitchin. No doubt about that.

I have conflicting feelings about going back to school, too, but for right now it's something I'd really rather not think about. I'll just try to enjoy the rest of the time I have left at home, and take it all in.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Last day of freedom!

Well, not quite. But sort of.

Yes, I ship out to the hospital tomorrow for God knows how long. I'm mostly packed up (all clothes that I can button or pull up, nothing that has to go over my head, since I'll have electrodes on my head...lucky I have so many dresses, I guess), and books and DVDs. A coworker of my mom's is lending us at least the second season of Mad Men and maybe the first (she lent it to someone else), Evie is lending me her second and third seasons of Queer as Folk. She's planning to visit me one of the days I'm there, too.

I'm really hoping that the weather will either be cold and gross, or so unbearably hot that I would be miserable being out in it anyway. Because it's actually been pretty nice out lately - for pretty much the first time all summer - and having to be inside through it will make me even more cranky than I normally would be. I have such a complex about summer time - we get so little nice, warm, sunny weather where I am that I feel like I have to take advantage of EVERY MINUTE when it's nice out (even if I don't) and I don't want that to be pissing me off while I'm in the hospital. I won't be able to go outside or even leave my room.

And of course I'll be VIDEOTAPED the whole time! (Except for in the bathroom, obviously.) That won't feel awkward AT ALL. And I also might have a roommate. (Please, God, don't let me have a roommate. Please oh please.)

I'll have wireless there, too, so I'll probably be blogging about all the crazy shit that will ensue. (In addition to taking some pictures of my electroded head - seriously, it's something to behold. I look like some kind of cracked-out, electricity-savvy Medusa.)

Exciting, exciting. It'll give me something to blog about, anyway. Not a whole let else going on in my life...which is not such a terrible thing, really. Not at all.

Sayonara, friends!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The epilepsy clinic I went to on Monday was quite a good and helpful appointment - the doctor seemed really great and was really thoughtful and thorough. He recommended I do a long-term evaluation which they ended up setting up for August 4. Basically, for about 5-10 days (unless they can induce a seizure earlier) I'll be in a wee room, with a little bathroom, only able to move within said room and not allowed to shower, with electrodes on my head. While they stress my body. Probably by depriving me of sleep and food.


The good news is, though, that if they induce a seizure they'll be able to tell, pretty conclusively, what is is: if there's something abnormal in my brain waves and, if so, where it is; and if not, they'll know pretty conclusively that it's psychogenic (or part of a metabolic disorder or something.)

Also on Monday, the hammock collapsed under me, which led to me screwing up my back and getting a bump on the back of my head. Also fun. Also joyful.

Also, strangely, for the last two nights in a row I've had dreams about people from my past - exes of a certain sort, people I haven't thought about in quite a while. It was rather unsettling...probably doesn't mean much of anything other than that I'm really, really lonely, and definitely in a romantic capacity. That's been a void that I've been longing to fill for awhile now and there are so many things that I've left unfinished, and all these people with whom I feel like I have unfinished words, unfinished actions. It's hard to let go when a clean break hasn't been made and my life doesn't really seem to lend itself to clean breaks.

In any case, on Wednesday I will officially leave my teenage years behind and THAT, my friends, is something to celebrate, to be sure. 20s, here I come.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back from New York!

Well, I actually got back on Monday night, but...whatever.

New York was still awesome, as New York is, but not quite as fabulous as usual. We arrived Wednesday evening which was, y'know, just fine and all, and we had dinner somewhere that must have been unremarkable, since I remember nothing about it. Friday, however, was when the hijinks truly began - namely, hijinks surrounding electricity.

The power went out. The shower was failing to work very well and although we had hot water, we had no idea how long it would last. The power was working in the building, just not the apartment we were staying in - which led to long and confusing interactions with the owner of the building, the person who rents the apartment, the super, etc, etc. Seeing as it was about 85 degrees that day (and my body has been running really hot lately - I can't seem to get cool enough), we had to end up staying in a hotel and Thursday basically became a wasted day. Unfortunately, said hotel was over a subway and so we didn't end up getting much sleep anyway.

Friday was a Met day, which was amazing as ever - my mom and I did the Francis Bacon exhibition with headphones, which was seriously freaking awesome. It was one of those great things we just wandered into but ended up being so incredible. We also went to the Models as Muses exhibit (the actual reason I really wanted to go to the Met, if we're being perfectly honest here), which was also incredible, but crowded and loud. The sets around the clothes, the photographs, and the music was all stunningly chosen - the 60s mod era had "My Generation" playing, the late-80s-early-90s-supermodel era had George Michael's "Freedom" video playing, the grunge era had "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and so forth.

I think I need some pictures of models here now.

Miss Christy Turlington, who appears in the "Freedom" video, among others:

Ms. Lauren Hutton:

Miss Twiggy, of course. Sweet Jesus, look at those eyes.

Miss Kate Moss. I love her and don't care what anyone says.


My brother also came in Friday night and was there till Sunday (and he'll be here again tomorrow! yay!) Saturday I saw Allison and Lianna (yay again!) and that evening hung out in the Meatpacking District, one of the few Manhattan neighborhoods I haven't spent a lot of time in, and I LOVED it.

And Sunday was, of course, Pride. We went to Midtown to watch it and, well, holy shit. Just amazing. The combination of the 40 years after Stonewall floats and the Michael Jackson music playing out of them actually got me a little bit teary-eyed over both. And I saw Miss Jaslene Gonzalez again, this time on top of a float, proving that I am fated to run into her every time I'm in New York. Work it, ChaCha Diva.

Monday was our last day, so we didn't do a whole lot. Overall, it wasn't the greatest trip. My body was seriously uncooperative, which led to some frustrated crying jags because damn it, I was in New York and it was summer and I wanted to get the most out of it so bad, but I just couldn't get there. (Monday is my epilepsy clinic appointment, so maybe I'll at least START to get some answers.) And while the electricity mostly cooperated, it was in and out, which made the whole thing kind of stressful.

Still, it was New York Fucking City. Hard for it NOT to be awesome.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Veronica Mars

This is something I've wanted to write about in here for quite a long time - one of my absolute favorite TV shows, Veronica Mars. Is this a review? An endorsement? A ridiculous ramble? Yes. Yes to all.

No doubt my rank of "favorite TV shows" has some serious competition. Sex and the City gives me the most pleasure. Queer as Folk gets me the most engrossed and draws the most tears. Twin Peaks is the most fascinating and stunningly constructed, Arrested Development makes me laugh the most, and House...well, my feelings about that show need a whole series of posts of their own. But this show unquestionably has my heart.

The show is about teen PI Veronica Mars, played to perfection by Kristen Bell. While the ensemble cast is, at least up until the third season, uniformly great, the entire show hinges on Veronica in a way I've only ever seen on House. All the humor, heartbreak, drama, thrills, heart, and soul - and there is a great deal of all - is tied up in Veronica. Veronica herself has been through hells that few teenagers, let alone the kinds TV shows are made about, can imagine. In the year before the show starts, her best friend was brutally murdered; her dad, the sheriff, accused her wealthy and powerful father of the murder, making Veronica into the social pariah to end all social pariahs and getting her father eventually kicked out of office. Her mother abandons the family, and after attending a party, Pretty in Pink style, "to show them they haven't broken me," Veronica is raped, to which the local law enforcement does nothing.

Here is Bell as Veronica.

The really fascinating thing about Veronica, though, is how little that previous paragraph actually sums up about her character. Veronica is bitter, whip-smart, savvy, sexy, and a perky, petite, blonde, straight-A student who dresses like a West Coast preppy girl. She has a cutting quip for every single situation and she will ruin your life if you cross her. She is intensely, fiercely loyal, hilarious, and utterly adorable.

Another interesting thing is how, over the course of the first two seasons, we see just how many allies Veronica does have, and how she brings other loners into her life. Her compassionate, protective dad with whom she is allied against the world; Wallace, the laid-back, basketball genius new kid, who quickly becomes her best friend; a hot-and-cold ex-boyfriend, Duncan, who would obviously still do anything in the world for her; Mac, a funky, deadpan computer geek and fellow outsider; Meg, one of the few popular rich girls who still treats Veronica like a human being; Leo, a sweet rookie cop who adores her; Eli "Weevil" Navarro, the motorcycle gang leader and juvenile delinquent who loves his grandma and has some of the funniest, wittiest lines of the show; and, increasingly, Logan Echolls, the troubled, destructive rich kid who lives and breathes for Veronica.

I have a great deal more to say about Logan (and the other characters, but Logan especially), but that'll have to wait. This is Veronica's moment.

Bell with Enrico Colantoni, who plays her father, Keith Mars:

(They're not always this sickeningly adorable together, but they often are.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The kittens have officially been named: Duncan and Mabel. Huzzah! Not very exciting names - I do kinda still wish we'd ended up going with themed ones - but they seem to fit the little critters really well and I'm just glad we settled on SOMETHING, finally.

(Because I know y'all were totally wondering.)

The health stuff hasn't been great - I threw up at work yesterday - but all my tests were normal and nothing drastic or terrible has taken place, so I guess it's been pretty consistently not-bad. I don't even know what the hell the nausea is all about. My mom and I hypothesized lactose intolerance, maybe, since dairy has been making me queasy more and more for the past few years, but who the hell knows. My digestive system has never worked particularly well, and lately less than ever.

The weather has been fantastic, though - 70s and sunny, mostly, not too hot (a good thing for my delicate little flower constitution, right?) Wow, I'm actually writing about the weather on my blog. How boring is my life?

In other, happier news, I got the Sims 3. Huzzah! Those of you who know me well know what a simming addict I am - I've been playing it since the first one came out, when I was 10 or so - so this is an exciting prospect in my life. :) It's...kind of strange, and definitely different, but hey, it's a shiny new toy and I'm really enjoying being super-absorbed in something again. It's been a while.

Going to New York next week and I can't freaking wait. I'll get to see my brother since he's coming up for the weekend, which is always fabulous, AND I'll get to be there for Pride which will be SERIOUSLY F'ING FABULOUS. I've actually never been to a Pride parade before (what a bad hag am I), and New York City pride, of all the things, will be amazing, I'm sure. So that will be exciting, and something to blog about as well.

Till next time!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Well, it's Friday, and at the risk of sounding corny, thank God for that. This week wasn't nearly as disastrous health-wise as last week, but it was still LONG, what with the chest pain and fatigue and nausea that are still very much present. Had an MRI on Monday (which was confirmed to be fine - apparently I have no tumors, lesions, aneurysms or any other such things on my brain - hooray for that), and an echocardiogram, the results for which I am still waiting...along with the results from my heart monitor that I had on for 24 hours last week.

So, yeah. I'm tired. And a little bit cranky, to be perfectly honest. There is nothing I want more right now than to be curled up in my bed, asleep.

The kittens are still awesomely kitteny and kitteningly awesome. We still haven't named them definitively, although it looks like the girl will be named Mabel (the frontrunning name from Day 1), and we're leaning towards Duncan for the boy at the moment. It was harder to get a handle on what he should be named...the girl just seemed like a Mabel from the very beginning. Boy kitty (Duncan?) is the neediest, most affection-desperate little critter I've ever seen, and we have a history of VERY codependent animals at my home. He sometimes runs after me screaming as though his little cat heart has been broken, holding up his arms to be picked up - and then immediately starts nuzzling my face and licking my nose once I do. Mabel is very needy as well, although not as bad as her brother.

They are also RAVENOUS EATERS and will eat everything in sight. Here is what they have stolen off my plate so far:
Whole grain pasta
Red beans
Ranch dressing
Milk, half & half, etc.
Apple juice

FREAKING RIDICULOUS. What kind of cats go crazy over eating FRUITS AND VEGETABLES? They are CRAZY.

My mother and I have also discovered that we seriously need a hobby. I can't work out until my chest inflammation business gets better - even walking up stairs can be really painful right now - so that's out. We don't do crafts or make stuff, and reading can get tiresome and antisocial if we do it all the time. So we kind of don't know what to do with ourselves for awhile. As for writing...yeah, well, my muse has flown the coop the past few months. She's off in the distance laughing at me somewhere.

Suggestions of hobbies for non-crafty, somewhat inactive people?

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Now with MOAR PICSHURS. Taken with photobooth on the computer. (Please ignore me in these pictures, as I look positively HEINOUS in them.)

The kitty known, for now, only as "boy kitty":

He was squirming away from the computer at this point:

"Girl kitty":

They're as adorable and crazy and needy as ever. Love them.

More pictures to come, I'm sure! (Oh, and new blog title! It was my senior quote, heh.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh, health.

Oh, my health.

What a piece of crap my body is.

I had a seizure at work the other day, which was awful, of course, although that's kind of only the start of all this business. My blood pressure was absurdly low when they first took it: 90/45, although it went up again soon after. Was in the hospital for about 4 hours (bloodwork and so forth) and got a CT since I haven't had one in 4 years and the clinic I'm going to in July is asking for as up-to-date information as possible. They didn't find anything (of course) except for a seemingly completely random UTI, for which I am now on antibiotics. Antibiotics that make me so nauseated that almost any movement leaves me nearly vomiting up my lunch.

I had a doctor's appointment today just so that my doctor could order and schedule another MRI, but while my mom and I were there, we got a lot of other stuff taken care of. Had a neurological workup, which was fine (of course) and discovered that I have inflammation in the wall of my chest, which is accounting for the chest pain I've been having the past few months. They also found a heart murmur. (Awesome.) Did an EKG, which was normal, but put me on a 24-hour heart monitor, currently hooked up to my chest.

If only I had House. HE WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THE CONNECTIONS. And on top of all this, the ol' piece-of-crap knee has been killing me the past few days.

Still, though, I am handling this with my usual brand of stoicism and self-deprecating humor because, y'know, I'm just used to this crap by now. It's just the way it goes with me.

The kittens are fantastic, albeit unbelievably needy. My mom and I still can't decide what to name them - right now they're going by "boy kitty" and "girl kitty," and/or whatever name we feel like calling them that moment. But yeah, the kittens and I get a whole lot of quality time together. It's awesome.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Well, I finished up the week, and my mom and I have been bouncing around a fair amount these last couple of days (for us, anyway.) Yesterday I left work early - I was supposed to be working from 8:30-4, but I was feeling really queasy and achy and generally weird, so I left at noon instead - and went home and slept till 4. We went to go and get a mattress, which took far longer and ended up being far more complicated than it needed to be. Today I got a haircut (thrilling, I know.) Nothing dramatic - I'm still trying to grow it out, but it had reached an awkward mullet-y length that needed to be remedied IMMEDIATELY. I never should have cut it so damned short in the first place, but it was a spur-of-the-moment thing - much like the red hair last year, although that worked out much better.

I also discovered, when trying on a fabulous retro yellow dress with black polka dots in this bizarre middle-of-nowhere vintage-y boutique run by a straight, heavily pierced & tattooed guy with a PASSION FOR FASHION, that I have an awkwardly long waist. I knew it before, but it continues to be an annoyance. I'm not a particularly tall person, just very long-limbed.

Yeah, I know all of this is terribly exciting. So I'm going to put up some pictures of pretty ladies, because that's how I roll.

Natalie Portman, a perennial favorite:

Natalia Vodianova. I once read someone describe her as "poetry in pictures":

Lauren Bacall, back in the day:

Linda Evangelista, who I believe is in the dictionary under "fierce," no?

Promoting unreasonable standards of beauty? Sure, why not!

Nonetheless, it's fun and I just love looking at pretty. Pretty people, pretty clothes, pretty anything. I'm feeling particularly shallow today, I think. Maybe I'll do an entry with mens next time, although I find women more aesthetically interesting.

Monday, May 18, 2009

At work, taking surveys...

Stole this one from Bella's blog.

001. Real name – CASSANDRA.
002. Nickname(s)-- Cassie, casserole, Cassie-cat...others, probably
004. Male or female -- I'm a grrrrrl.
005. Elementary – Uh, Little Falls.
006. Middle School -- HCS!
007. High School -- HCS!
008. Hair color -- very dark brown
009. Short or long -- Um, it's short. I want it to be longer, though.
010. Loud or Quiet -- Quiet, most of the time.
011. Sweats or Jeans -- Jeans!
012. Phone or Camera -- Both?
013. Health freak – Kind of. Does being a hypochondriac count?
014. Drink or Smoke? – only occasionally, and no.
015. Do you have a crush on someone? - HAHAHA always.
016. Eat or Drink -- Both, I guess.
017. Piercing -- None. :(
018. Tattoos – Also none.

019. Been in an airplane -- Yes
020. Been in a relationship -- ...Sort of
021. Been in a car accident -- No
022. Been in a fist fight -- ...Sort of

023. First piercing -- Earlobes
024. First best friend – brother, I guess.
025. First award – I have no idea.
026. First crush – Frankie Allman. Kindergarten.
028. First big vacation – Prince Edward Island at five, I guess? That's the first one I remember, anyway.

029. Last person you talked to -- Denise.
030. Last person you texted -- Lisa
031. Last person you watched a movie with – My mamma
032. Last food you ate – Triscuits
033. Last movie you watched – Gimme Shelter, the Rolling Stones documentary
034. Last song you listened to – No idea.
035. Last thing you bought – juice?
036. Last person you hugged – My mamma

037. Food – Enh.
038. Drinks – Apple juice, coke
039. Clothing – Lots and lots of things.
040. Flower – Enh, flowers.
042. Colors – Black, red, deep blue, purple
043. Movies – Pulp Fiction! Also, Annie Hall, Donnie Darko, lots and lots of others.
044. Subjects – English, American Studies (my majors!), art history

In 2008, I...:
046. [x] celebrated Halloween
047. [x] had your heart broken
048. [x] went over the minutes/texts on your cell phone
049. [x] someone questioned your sexual orientation
050. [x} came out of the closet
051. [ ] gotten pregnant
052. [ ] had an abortion
053. [x] done something you've regretted
054. [x] broke a promise
055. [x] hid a secret
056. [x] pretended to be happy
057. [x] met someone who changed your life )
058. [x] pretended to be sick
059. [x] left the country
060. [x] tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it
061. [x] cried over the silliest thing
062. [ ] ran a mile
063. [ ] went to the beach with your friend(s)
064. [x] got into an argument with your friends
065. [x] hated someone
066. [x] stayed single the whole year

067. Eating – Nothing
068. Drinking – Nothing
069. I'm about to – Enh.
070. Listening to -- Nothing
071. Plans for today – Eats, finish work, maybe chat with Jenny over her lunch break?
072. Waiting for -- 4:00 so I can leave this freezing cold office.

073. Want kids? -- Maaaaaybe.
074. Want to get married? – Enh. If it happens, it happens.
075. Careers in mind – Writer, artist, curator, archivist, fashion merchandising, music or film reviewer...anything in music, art, fashion, literature, or film, basically.

076. Lips or eyes -- Both.
077. Shorter or taller?-- Taller, or same height.
078. Romantic or spontaneous -- Don't those two usually go together pretty well?
079. Nice stomach or nice arms -- Well both, hopefully.
080. Sensitive or loud -- Both.
081. Hook-up or relationship -- Both.
082. Trouble-maker or hesitant – Both. (Boy, I sure do demand a lot.)

083. Lost glasses/contacts -- Yes.
084. Snuck out of your house -- Um...maybe.
085. Held a gun/knife for self defense -- No. Well, sort of, but not really necessarily, more because I am crazy.
086. Killed somebody -- Noooo.
087. Broken someone's heart -- I hope not.
088. Been arrested -- No. Almost.
089. Cried when someone died -- Yes.

090. Yourself -- Sometimes
091. Miracles -- Not really
092. Love at first sight -- Enh. Not really.
093. Heaven – Don't think so.
094. Santa Clause -- Um, no.
095. Sex on the first date -- No. Not that I particularly care if other people do it.
096. Kiss on the first date -- Sure, why not.

097. Is there one person you want to be with right now? -- Always.
098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life? – Not particularly. It's not bad, though.

Friday, May 15, 2009



I also got home on Saturday, but more importantly: KITTENS!

Someone who works with my mom had them borned at her house, and needs to get rid of them. Five of them were brought into work today (I spent quite some time playing with them), and we went home with two - a brother and sister.

My cat Abbey is pretty pissed, as I knew she would be...she's VERY territorial and I'm sure is not taking at all kindly to this addition. But she'll deal. My mom and I figured that the two of them can entertain each other and so I can still devote time to her. They are so.freaking.cute.

So now I'm trying to figure out what to name them. Here's what we've come up with so far:
Bonnie and Clyde
Quentin or Benjy and Caddy (Allison's suggestion)
Sid and Nancy
Kurt and Courtney
Audrey and Mickey
Mabel and Malcolm

I also like Dante, Edgar, or Chase for the boy, and Lulu, Veronica, and especially Mabel for the girl. The boy is smarter and more alert than his sister, who is much more quiet and chill.

But I don't know. Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Well, I am very nearly done. Had my English Literary Tradition final paper due Monday, did my Modern American Writing final paper for Tuesday, History of Rock take home final for Wednesday, took my Modern American Writing final last evening, and took my English Lit final this evening. Now I just have my American Studies final to take tomorrow morning.

*Huffs and puffs*

Yeah, it's been a Week. Caffeine is not a suitable substitute for sleep, and my right arm is in terrible cramping pain because of the ridiculous amount of time I have spent typing and writing this week. But, yeah. Finals week. Finals week just always sucks; it's the rule. After finishing the final tomorrow I just want to crawl into a nice warm dark hole somewhere, sleep for a week, and never analyze anything ever again.

We'll see how that works out.

I'm really looking forward to going home, although I'll miss Smith and Northampton. Home is just so incredibly goddamned boring, and I can't drive which makes it even worse, and I'll be seeing so many doctors over the course of the summer...which is, of course, completely necessary, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant. I have no doubt that I'll be hospitalized while they do freaky shit to my brain at some point this summer.

Stay tuned for THAT. (Especially you, Jenny! The things I put myself through to help your RESEARCH! ;) )

And I'll miss my friends, obviously - especially Lisa, especially given that she's going to Prague next semester. Ugh. And Hannah won't be here, and Leah might not be here either...not that there won't still be awesome friends kicking around, just that there are people I'll really miss next fall.

But I'll be home very soon. Packing up with my mommy tomorrow, leaving on Saturday. There will be lots of resting, and lots of reading, and a part-time Colgate job. Not exciting, but what I need.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Serve the Servants

Because I just came to this one in my listening and it's my absolute all-time favorite Nirvana song. Sigh.

Teenage angst has paid off well
Now I'm bored and old
Self-appointed judges judge
More than they have sold

If she floats than she is not
A Witch what we have thought
A downpayment on another
One at Salem's lot

Serve the Servants - oh no
Serve the Servants - oh no
Serve the Servants - oh no
Serve the Servants
That legendary divorce is such a bore

As my bones grew they did hurt
They hurt really bad
I tried hard to have a father
But instead I had a dad

I just want you to know that I
Don't hate you anymore
There is nothing I could say
That I haven't thought before

Serve the Servants - oh no
Serve the Servants - oh no
Serve the Servants - oh no
Serve the Servants
That legendary divorce is such a bore

This blog really needs a "Nirvana" and/or "Kurt Cobain" tag at this point, don't you think?
I have recently been informed that I overuse parentheses and hyphens in my writing, not that this is news to me, particularly. I wonder if it's because I like to imagine myself giving an elaborate speech with a mildly ironic tone as I write.

Dear God.

It's cooled down outside, for which I am supremely grateful. By the time it gets really hot again I'll be home, and I have central air at home. Another thing for which I am supremely grateful.

I have one more class left of my sophomore year of college - Modern American Writing, which I have tomorrow morning. And then I'll be left - with my two papers, my take-home final, and my three regular finals. Which is flipping ridiculous, especially seeing as I'm only taking four classes. Why, why, why do so many professors find it totally acceptable to assign a long-ass paper due and then think it totally acceptable to expect you to take a final the following day? It ought to be a final paper OR a final exam (or some combination thereof, in the case of the take-home final.) Not both. No. Not at all.

At which point, I'll be halfway done with college. (Assuming, of course, that I pass all my classes - not that I'm really concerned with that.)

I had my final History of Rock class today (snff) and it just brought me back around to Nirvana again. Things I thought I had grown out of. Angers and passions that I thought I had moved on from. But we were watching the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video and all of a sudden I was fourteen again, watching those cheerleaders with the anarchy signs emblazoned on their uniforms, my blood boiling and heart pounding, and Kurt Cobain was this blond, scrawny, bratty, utterly ingenious form of Second Coming. An annoyed, smirking, reluctant superstar, tragic in his hilarity.

I thought I'd grown out of all that, but there are still these moments - and apparently today was one of them - where I'm back there again, back again in a place where I was discovering grunge and where Soundgarden and Hole and Pearl Jam and Nirvana - especially, especially Nirvana - were my new saviors. Only I was discovering it a good thirteen years or so after everybody else, and so it was already over - and I was clinging to something that was long gone. I knew how the story would end.

When I was about twelve or so, I asked my mother what grunge was. She cocked her head and thought about it, and after a moment she responded, "It's something like...listless punk." I nodded, further intrigued about this phenomenon.

She has absolutely no memory of this exchange, and is still rather in awe that she produced such an evocative and fairly accurate (not 100%, but still pretty spot-on) definition. It's worth noting that my mother is a few months younger than Kurt Cobain.

So I'm listening to my whole collection of Nirvana - which is not nearly as comprehensive as I would like, or as lengthy as my obsession with the band and the lore of the period would suggest - just the three studio albums and a couple of B-sides and live tracks. But I'm listening to it all, in chronological order, and, well, it's still great. And it turns out the Kurt's ghost is still kind of around for me.

Go figure.

Monday, April 27, 2009

When I see pictures like this I think I must be living in an alternate reality.

I bet Hell, if it exists, is a lot like our world. Only more dull, soul-sucking, and absurd. I've often thought of hell having frustrating, but essentially mundane, things - like having to sneeze for all eternity and never being able to. Or an annoying, shrill ring tone that never, ever, ever stops. Ever.

I really don't know why I think about these things. I haven't had class since Thursday - I normally only have one class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and that professor is currently in Europe - and I think it's starting to make me a little bit weird. Although to be fair, I've been thinking about these kinds of things for years, so maybe that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

I think it's the hot weather, too. I'm not overheated right now, but it seeps into my bones and makes me sick and crazy. It's supposed to be 93 degrees tomorrow. I'm concerned. Hopefully I can hole up in air-conditioned rooms all day, but I know the room where I have History of Rock isn't air-conditioned and that could get bad. Very bad. Heatstroke/seizure/dehydration bad.

I hate this hot weather, but like I said, I also like it. It connects me to things I can't usually tap into. Not for years now, not since I started sleeping again and stopped writing so veraciously and things evened out for me. Not that I'm sorry that happened - I'm a hell of a lot more stable than I was then - but there are things about that time that I miss.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm hotsick and so this is what I'm putting here.

My friend assures me, "It's all or nothing."
I am not worried
I am not overly concerned
My friend implores me, "For one time only,
make an exception." I am not worried
Wrap her up in a package of lies
Send her off to a coconut island
I am not worried I am not overly concerned
with the status of my emotions
"Oh," she says, "you're changing."
But we're always changing

It does not bother me to say this isn't love
Because if you don't want to talk about it then it isn't love
And I guess I'm going to have to live with that
But I'm sure there's something in a shade of grey,
Something in between,
And I can always change my name
If that's what you mean

My friend assures me, "It's all or nothing."
But I am not really worried I am not overly concerned
You try to tell yourself the things you try to tell yourself
To make yourself forget I am not worried
"If it's love," she said, "then we're going to have to think about the consequences."
She can't stop shaking
I can't stop touching her and...

This time when kindness falls like rain
It washes her away and Anna begins to change her mind
"These seconds when I'm shaking leave me shuddering for days," she says
And I'm not ready for this sort of thing

But I'm not going to break and I'm not going to worry about it anymore
I'm not going to bend, and I'm not going to break and I'm not going to worry about it anymore
It seems like I should say, "As long as this is love..."
But it's not all that easy so maybe I should
Snap her up in a butterfly net Pin her down on a photograph album
I am not worried I've done this sort of thing before
But then I start to think about the consequences
Because I don't get no sleep in a quiet room and...

The time when k indness falls like rain
It washes me away and Anna begin s to change my mind
And eve rytime she sneezes I believe it's love and
Oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing

She's talking in her sleep
It's keeping me awake and Anna begins to toss and turn
And every word is nonsense but I understand and
Oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing

Her kindness bangs a gong
It's moving me along and Anna begins to fade away
It's chasing me away
She disappears and
Oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing

(That's "Anna Begins" by the Counting Crows. I didn't write it. I wish I had.)

Aubrey Beardsley drew this for the cover of Oscar Wilde's play Salome. I'm putting it here because I like it.

I also like this. The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli:

Not much of a blog post, really, but hey, it's things that give me pleasure and inspiration and those things are important. And noteworthy, especially for this particular blog. Whatever that might be.

It's really hot and although I hate hot weather, it makes me sick in a way that gives me so much closer access to thoughts and memories that would otherwise be inaccessible. It tends to put me in a more not-asleep, not-awake state than usual and it makes the world seem more mystical and it makes my memories collapse in a strange way that makes time and place seem immaterial and difficult to differentiate. Reality feels far away, but everything else feels close, and it's a moment of transcendence that I can hold onto for a little while longer than usual.

It's also putting me in a place where I miss him so much that it's making me feel sicker. But maybe I want that too, just a little. To be able to tap into it. Torture myself in order to make my existence a little more interesting. Not healthy, but it's something I do.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I've been so verklempt and generally out-of-commission mentally and emotionally lately that I totally spaced on the 15-year anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death this week. I seriously can't believe that I forgot this year.

Two years ago I had a radio show scheduled on the day of his death, so I got my rotations all out of the way early on in the show and then played nothing but Nirvana, no breaks, no commentary, for the next 30 or 40 minutes, or however long it ended up being. I think my follow-up hosts were a little late that day, for which I was grateful, since I got to play even more.

I think the ten-year anniversary was the day I wore all black to school. I got some strange looks, since it's not something I usually did. When I explained, a lot of my classmates didn't even know who Kurt Cobain was, which kind of made me want to tear my hair out, to be honest.

I guess it just goes to show how far removed from him I've gotten that I didn't even remember his death this year - it wasn't till I was on the phone with my mom earlier and she told me about hearing it on the radio (and talking about the "27 club" in conjunction with that), that I remembered. Back in my really, really dark days, he was this weird symbol to me that held stronger significance than I've ever been able to explain or even understand. It was more than the music, more than the icon - something about him struck something in my young, depressed, anxiety-ridden, severely sleep-deprived self that felt a personal connection and held on tight.

I still have that, to some degree. There aren't many people in my generation who have such a closeness with him, which gives me a kind of protectiveness and possessiveness about him, a kind of appropriation of him as my own. My mom and I were watching something on the greatest hard rock songs of all time (why, I'm not sure; it was probably a lazy Sunday night or something), and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was, of course, #2 or #3 or something. And all these 80s hair-metal guys were talking about how great Kurt was, and all I could think was, "You know what, fuck you. He couldn't stand you, and you couldn't stand him right back." And who could blame them? This bratty, scrawny little upstart who invalidated everything on which they had made their fortunes and had been playing all these years?

The truth is that there are so many facets to the image and icon that is Kurt Cobain, and the truth is that I don't just love the one of the tortured artist. I love the bratty snot-nosed punk that he was, too, with the childish lyrics he wrote early on and his obsession with bodily functions (seriously, it's kind of creepy.) The husband and father that he struggled to be in his past years, the scared and uncertain kid that he was early on. And the part of him that was conscious of all the fabrication and reveled in creating it; the part that wanted to be famous, god damn it, and the part that hated it. I connected with all of it, and I still do. Even though I don't need him anymore. Not the way I used to.