Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fonts and Fonts

I woke up in the middle of the night one night last week, and couldn't fall asleep again, so I started writing out the poem by Max Ehrmann (posted below), and this is what it turned into:


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Even MORE things that I love:

Typography Prints
Cold showers after a long run on a hot day
Broccoli and Ricotta Cheese Pizza
Peacock Blue, Turquoise, and Teal
Little Houses with Big Windows and Wood Floors
Brightly-colored Dresses
Doing Crossword Puzzles with a Friend
The stillness of the yoga studio in the early morning
Slouchy Boots
Songs with Hand Claps
Red Lipstick
Long Car Trips with Christopher
Anemones in Big Bouquets
The Giant Mirrored Bean in Chicago
Flower hairbands
Raspberry and Blackberry Gummy Candy
Overstuffed Armchairs
Trader Joe's Greek-Style Honey Yogurt
Maggie's Fuzzy Leopard Print Belly
People with Deep Smile Lines
Pasta al Dente (REALLY al Dente)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Dear God," she prayed,

"Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry... have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere - be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."

Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

True Stories

I’m ambidextrous because of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Stear, who made me sit on my left hand to stop me from writing with it. I guess she wanted to save me from the pain of using scissors awkwardly later in life. Anyway, it only half-worked: I now write with my right hand, but I do nearly everything else with my left.

When I was younger, one of my relatives mentioned that some of our family came from Bohemia (as in, pre-Germany, pre-Prussia), and for years I thought that “Bohemian Rhapsody” was some freakish musical documentary of my relatives’ struggle for happiness.

I have a terrible sense of smell. Don’t ask me to identify things by smell; I’ll punch you in the head.

I’ve had a favorite Beatles song for every academic year (August – July) of my life since third grade, and I can still tell you what each one was. This year is “Carry that Weight.”

I can control nearly every single muscle in my face, including wiggling my ears and my nose and make my pupils shake, and I can curl my lip (only on one side, though) and roll my tongue up all sorts of ways and raise each eyebrow independently. I can also stick my tongue up my nose from inside my mouth. All of these life skills can be chalked up to having far too much free time as a child.

We call my mother “Marmot,” and people think that it’s because one of us couldn’t say “Momma” as a child or something, but it isn’t; I started calling her that when I was fourteen as a joke to make her mad and it totally stuck. If I ever have kids, I will absolutely make them call her “Gramarmot.”

My dad is a doctor, but I have reason to believe that he is ACTUALLY a spy. Here are the facts: He was an infectious disease specialist. He now works as a Dean at FSU’s Medical School, where he teaches classes on Bio-Terrorism. Despite the fact that I attended FSU, my dad and I almost NEVER saw each other on campus. This is because any time I would wander down to his office for things like lunch money, his secretary would greet me at the door and say something like, “Oh, your dad’s not here; he’s in Kazakhstan for the next month.” UM WHAT? He used to be in politics, was a State Representative for years, and then became the Florida Secretary of Health -- BUT -- he turned down the offers to be the U.S. Secretary of Health and head of the CDC. My guess is that they are too time-intensive, and he wouldn’t be as free to do spy-things. Oh, did I mention that he speaks German and Russian, and that I didn’t find out about the Russian thing until I was _13_???? My dad is totally a spy.

In fifth grade, we all had to join band, and the teacher gave me a trombone. Unfortunately, I was so small that I couldn’t stretch my arm out long enough to reach the notes at the bottom of the slide. I developed a technique of hooking the spit valve under my shoelace and kicking my foot out quickly any time there was a note that I couldn’t quite get. I think it’s why my right leg is longer than my left leg now. Also, I switched to trumpet the year after that.

I cannot watch the video of Paul Potts’ first “Britain’s Got Talent” audition ( without SOBBING. Like, becoming a complete mess of a person. Someone sent me a link to it online one day and I watched it at least five times and just cried and cried. Sean sat behind me, completely incredulous. Other things that make me cry: The movie Ratatouille, the song “Both Sides” by Joni Mitchell (the “older Joni” version), and that part in Transformers when Optimus Prime first transforms in the alley. Also, the scene in Dumbo where the mother elephant reaches out to Dumbo through the bars of her jail cell and he climbs up into her little trunk-swing and “Baby of Mine” plays in the background and I completely lose my mind.

I am horribly afraid that someday I’m going to have to have something amputated or go blind/deaf/mute. Seriously. It’s my number one fear in life. When I was little, for YEARS I would pray the same thing over and over again every night, and I always included following: “I pray that my eyes don’t fall out and that none of my body parts will break off.” There was also a part about praying for “the Poor, the Sick, and the People Who Smoke,” that they would “Get Richer, Get Better, and Stop Smoking.” Aww.

I’ve had four concussions, and each one is, looking back, a pretty epic and hilarious story. Two of the stories involve glass doors, one involves a snowboard and a pack of small children on skiis, and one involves a Swiss street sign.

If I don’t get a nap every afternoon, I become completely belligerent. It doesn’t even matter how long the “nap” is – I could just lay on the bed for five minutes – but I HAVE to do it or I will turn evil and destroy everything in sight.

I’ve had a crush on Adrien Brody since I was seven years-old. My whole family went to see “Angels in the Outfield” at the theater, and I made them all sit through the credits until I found out who Danny Hemmerling was. When I was in middle school, I found a picture of him in a newspaper (his mother was a photographer for the Village Voice) and I put it in a tiny heart-shaped picture frame and carried it with me EVERYWHERE.

When I was really little, I liked to sing the song “Natural Woman” to show off for people at parties, but I didn’t want to LOOK like a show-off, so I would pull my sister aside and beg her to ask me to do it in front of everyone. I have since given up on discretion (and Lani started demanding bribes).

Once, I memorized Pi to the 120th digit because I am SO EMBARRASINGLY BAD AT MATH that it was the only thing I could do to get extra credit.

I live with two British women who, while being completely opposite each other, are totally wonderful, and have unexpectedly begun to sway my speech patterns. I catch myself dragging the inflection up at the end of questions, and sometimes I even slip and say things like “bruvah” (“brother” – one is from London) or “summat” (“something” – the other is from Manchester). I’m gonna be a total linguistic nightmare when I’m released back into the wild.

I hate cooked salmon with a fierce, burning passion. I will sit at the dinner table until four in the morning. I have done it many, many times. I am not eating that shit.

I have actually had all of the following: e.Coli, Scarlet Fever, Conjuctivitus, Chicken Pox, Ascorbic Acid Deficiency (that’s SCURVY, to you laymen), GPC (the one that made me go blind for a day!), and Ebola. Okay, kidding about that last one. But really, how much of a coincidence is it that I got all these outrageous ailments, and my dad is an INFECTIOUS DISEASE specialist? He is totally testing out new strains on the Middle Kid. Thanks, dad.

I changed my major seventeen times in college. Seven of those times were in January of my freshman year alone. The woman in the Registrar’s office would see me coming in the door and scowl, then she’d pull the “Major Change Request Form” out of her drawer and just shove it across the desk without looking at me. Whatever, I still made it out in four years, and with two degrees, to boot.

I’m a terrible cook because I’m really, really impatient, but also, I generally like things to be raw/undercooked anyway. I love sushi, of course, but I mean weird things like pizza and cake. You can just give me a ball of pizza dough. It’s fine. I’ll eat it. I really like waffle batter, too. Hello, I beat e.Coli; Salmonella is a big freaking joke.

As a kid, I wanted to be the person who made sound effects for shows like Rugrats and Doug. I do an awesome clown car horn, a pretty good lasso sound, a mean water-drop, and various other noises that are totally useless in polite society.

I used to drink a lot of coffee, and so to compensate and ensure that my mouth didn’t turn black, I became totally obsessed with brushing my teeth. However, despite eighteen long, hard-earned years of being an upstanding member of the No Cavities Club, my two front teeth finally failed me during my sophomore year of college, and succumbed to the very first (and hopefully, last) cavity to enter my little post-pubescent mouth, which, according to my dentist, was caused by drinking sweet liquids through a straw. It was for this monstrosity that I underwent my first dental filling, a process which I pray I may never again be forced to endure for ever and ever amen, especially because I am afraid of shots and therefore didn't want the needle bearing anesthesia to enter my gums until I had already borne the pain of the primary drill and actually simultaneously screamed and sort of half-threw up in my mouth when the slow-moving drill was brought out. So now I floss five times a day instead of my usual three.

I love fruit. I eat way more fruit than most people. One night, I ate a pound and a half of cherries on my own while watching a movie with my family, to the horror of my parents, who explained that it was dangerous to do that because cherries contain free radicals. Of course, being around seven or eight and unable to remember the term “free radical,” I preached against the threat of cherries to all my friends who would listen at lunchtime, claiming they would give you “a rebel alliance.”

This is the meanest thing I have ever admitted: sometimes in college when I was having a bad day or feeling particularly vicious, I used to like to get out my car keys and stroll around the floors of one of the busier parking garages, ignoring the people driving one mile an hour behind me trying to get the parking spot I didn't actually have.

I got into a cappella by accident, because I went into the wrong classroom on my first day at FSU, and it turned out to be an audition. I pretended like I had planned on being there all along, and sang “Part of your World” from The Little Mermaid because it was the only thing I could think of in my complete panic. Four years and three consecutive ICCA finals appearances later, my group is now ranked #2 in the WORLD, and I’m hooked on this a cappella business for life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Working on a new painting

Started (but didn't quite finish) a new painting last week.
Sister was kind enough to document the process.

Nearly as tall as I am!

The almost finished version:

Sadly, I had to leave it behind in Florida, since I couldn't very well make the drive back to Chapel Hill with it strapped to the top of my car. Maybe next time I'm home, I'll pull it out again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann

Monday, October 13, 2008

Last Performance

Dave finally put up the videos of my last-ever concert with my college a cappella group:

All-Night Yahtzee-- Villains

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Yesterday, I dreamt that you met my mother. You offered her one of your cigarettes. The yellow stain of habit near the tips of your fingers, creases in your corners. Mostly, he is sand. I opened some floodgates, sifted my fingers through the ash to find… what? Pointed. It slipped out of my grasp.

Fox-sly. For all your cleverness, you have no subtlety (ripe though he may have been [for the harvest]). You are two purple eye sockets, more an idea of a person, a shadow of a man. All dreams and no bones, or all bones and no meat. (Shoddy craftsmanship. Baby teeth. ) Pungent smoke smog smell, the thick reek, the smoldering cloud that hangs overhead whenever you are near. Heady and biting. It was biting. Pointed incisors, gleaming teeth in white lines. Curved like a wolf. Lip in a constant sneer/scowl. Swarthy.

[[ BUT -- I salivate at the memory of his profile. Sharp angles, a pair of languid eyes. His cracked knuckles and haphazard freckles huddled together on each shoulder. And the way he approached, magnetic. A captivating (compelling) stance. Trance. His hangdog look (the longing emblazoned in my mind) : brows pushed up in the center, mouth slightly open. A beggar. Starving/Something he would die without.

Sometimes, the moon purrs whispered words at you, delivers dreams that were born somewhere else/somewhere other than the back alleys of the mind. She reached her arms out to him drunkenly, heavily. Wound themselves together. Lofty. (With no prior incentive) She lifted her shirt daringly/improvised the moves. [Sometimes, when I look at you for too long/too closely, I (feel as if I) can see your blood cells mingle. Each tiny coil that retracts – the space between each strand of hair. Penny dreams coated in a fine layer of sweat, beading and pooling in pockets of flesh. Your pores contract. Lavish.]

“THIS,” he said. “THESE.” Curl of a cat paw. Slid his hands down over her hips, the way a sliver slides in/beneath the skin, the sigh of a wound expanding. Fleshed out in the thought/the touch > flesh made thought. The swell of his ribs against mine.

The sky was sallow-skinned and lit with anticipation, with the prickle of a week-old shave.
Tip of a pointed tongue, the flush, the embrace. Piercing star gaze. A puncture wound. A tangle of fingertips. Hands gripping flesh, sinking in teeth, dropping through the mattress, through the floorboards, through the foundation of the earth. The moon wiped the condensation off her brow and called out, “Break him down, girl.” ]]

These missiles, projecting themselves into my thoughts/my arms. You are a soul-and-belly-ache/aching heartache. A nagging affliction that makes the ridges on the roof of my mouth ripple with discontent. I find you more volcanic/volatile than ever. Each protruding hip joint was a bullet. Temptation winding my hair around his fingers, giving me a sharp tug backwards. He leaves red imprints on your jaw and shakes you up and leaves your chest cavity resonating/ringing with the force of a blow. Supersensory (& wildly out of place.) “Honey,” said my Dream-Mother, “Sometimes you just have to take your vices and run with them.” (in a Southern accent, something my mother would never say). The cigarette he offered her dangled between her fingers as if it had been there always. “And you shouldn’t trust any thing that never lost/keeps/kept its baby teeth. The better to scam us with.”

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning and decided: I can’t help you find inner peace. You were the worst dream I ever had.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Things I Love.

A few I forgot:

Rainbow Sorbet
Funky Retro High-heeled Shoes
Copper Pots and Pans and Tea Kettles
The Eggplant/Goat Cheese Sandwich at Sandwhich. OM NOM.
San Pellegrino
Stylized Bathroom Fixtures
An Abundance of Houseplants
Detailed Embroidery on Pillows and Blankets
Bear Naked Chocolate Granola
Steampunk Illustration
American Sign Language
A Rock Opera
Southern France
Glass Lanterns
Teavana Teas
Fancy Stamps
Oversized Cups and Bowls
Big Drum Lampshades
Cooking Stir-fry in a Giant Wok
The Smell of Lemons and Oranges being sliced
Rock Candy
Bay windows
Apple Products
Comparative Linguistics
Robots with Hearts/Personalities
Irish Drinking Songs

Friday, June 20, 2008

18 years ago?

omg I was so tiny.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Hard Way

Sometimes I pray for a heart of stone.
For a colder, uncaring heart. It isn't forgiveness that I'm looking for: I need something to smash my heart into a thousand pieces, so I can pick through the shards and shape the ones I want into a new, mosaic version: a heart that learns from its mistakes and never cries while driving.

A lover for your life, and nothing more/


There isn’t enough space here. [world enough/ and time]
I suffocate slowly, fingers wrapping tightly/blue veins (in vain). [[The tongue takes on the attack, the machinations begin with each blip in the brain.]] I fill your head with these notions when I can't (bring myself to) endure them (alone). I'm in the Business of Despair (which is cyclical/I cycle through/recycling)/(to put in a quarter and come out shiny and clean) & have always done everything the hard way.

There are { } regrets and there are { } Regrets. I, recurring: to learn how to learn from old mistakes. Still can’t pull my fingers away from old war wounds. I am a chronic destroyer of self. It was never enough to be half-in/half-loved/half-done. [I make myself sick with these thoughts.] Haven’t known Peace in a long time.

But still, to have regrets is not the same as to have made mistakes. To misspeak. You were not mine (but still I try to test your metal).

I loved your son for his sturdy arms/ we both learned to cradle, then live without/

You were my Mourning/Morning Glory. [is there any glory in mourning?]
We killed each other at first sight. Don’t you know? I waste away in those arms, wither in the warmth of your shadow (still retreat into this cave again). You are terrible in your magnificence (& shake me to my very core). prophesizing our own destruction, the sensational demise of an atomic romance. He is not the docile sapling I recall.

She sprouted from a seed of unknown origin, flighty and borne aloft by the slightest whim/wind. blown where the wind blows. She ripened slowly on the vine, tended to by a constant hand. (It took nearly ten gardeners just to pull back the weeds). He took his time/cultivated her slowly. Tended tenderly/Tried & True, until [ ]. (She was one autumn afternoon drive away from destruction.) Then, tried & tired, he turned from her (garden/stalk) and gave her up for all the tea in China (& she died that day).

I’m in love with my own preconceived notions. (can break myself down easily enough. never learned to read his mind, and he never needed to read mine [but we would never starve together. I’m not afraid of the famine, but I tremble at the thought of a flood].) [[If the person I was then saw the person I am now, she would just never stop throwing up.]] foaming at the mouth/not a sane thought in this skull. Dream at night of all the things you’ll leave behind, the pieces to save when you go. A box of memories to pour over, to take “just like a woman." The thought of having only your picture to look at/to look after me in my old age – you always/only break my heart.

I have been used (up) and left (out) (to dry). I feel now, more certain than ever, that it was not meant for me to have or to hold, but instead to long for and never find, for as long as I live/all the days of my life. Ours is a (violently/brutally/fiercely) tragic romance. (heartbreak follows, nips at the heels.) He was the very embodiment of Calamity. You annihilate me. All your inconsistencies, they raze me down. My lungs recoil, tight as any fist, and ready to fly. You take away my very breath, and never give it back.

(I remember the story of how he almost died in the river that day, undercurrent strong and tender as any death grip/lover’s touch). Eased into oblivion, nothingness, somethingness?

We are all the same. Nothing ever changes.

The lost stumble -- the brave survive. We do what we need to do to ensure that our hearts continue beating. I will lose you to your own battles (but) I am growing a heart as calloused as a river man – gnarled patches, rough with defiance. Teaching myself to inhale the smoke, to fight/kick my way upstream. To keep my head above water. You think it would be lying to each other if we tell those secrets we’ve hidden for so long, well, Boy, you’re gonna carry that Weight a long time.

It is quite the trick, to detach one’s self.
Should we all be so lucky as to know the hollowness of our own bodies/chests/hearts at least once every lifetime or so.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Life Motto

Print by Anthony Burrill.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I have to stop procrastinating.

Sometimes, when I stay up really late writing papers that I should have done weeks ago, I suddenly realize that I've been unconsciously inserting words and phrases in other languages because they are longer and take up more room. Just now was the fourth time I've caught myself trying to slip "rappresentazione" into my dramaturgy paper, which has sixteen letters, as opposed to "play," with its measly four. Now what used to be a eleven-page paper has been agonizingly reduced to a sorry nine, and I'm pretty sure some of the replacements I used to cover those blunders aren't actually English cognates of the French and Italian words like I think they are, and therefore those will eventually have to go, too. I'm gonna be in trouble when I finally do move to California and start using my Spanish again -- although I can't imagine trying to summon that part of my brain again under the rest of this mess. At this hour, I don't even remember where I put it.

I liken this trouble I have (writing papers alarmingly close to their deadlines) to playing Scrabble. Sean gets mad when I won't let him have "Ent" (as in the fictional, however awe-inspiring race of trees on Middle Earth), but he won't give me "beaux," and clearly that gets a nod in Harry Potter. You can't acknowledge one fantasy series and completely disregard the next! He also says that even if I were to somehow cheat and have enough tiles to spell it, he will never give me points for "Agamemnomonic." Which, as pretty much everyone knows, means "using mythological Greek heroes as a memory aid." I see no problem with that. Just like I should be allowed to find some way to use "deinstitutionalization" and "counterrevolutionaries" in this paper, since they are the two longest words I can think of that are not completely ridiculous (twenty-two letters each).

The play I am dramaturgy-ing at the moment actually has less than nothing to do with Greeks, ancient or otherwise. I did, however, just learn the word "Hellenologophobia," which has seventeen letters and means "Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology." It's a crying shame that more professors don't award points for creativity, because I would have this Magna Cum Laude thing locked. up.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I’ve got that unholy ache in between every finger, around each joint, and in the black space on the back of my eyelids. Back then I filled up on dreams and let them slosh around carelessly/lazily in too deep a well. These days each heartbeat is met with the resounding clang of a tin interior filled with too many metallic organs. That stillness, as full as the moon, settling slowly into the bottom of the stomach. (“I’m feeling restless,” she said.) Her courage curled up in a ball and surrendered. The heart retreats (a moral retreat?). Like a sink full of water, spilling over.

My ghost lover, he haunts me still.

I slip/downward spiral – how familiar you are to me. The treachery of my own soul/heart, its familiarity (longing) to the touch of those hands. I speak his language fluently. (Those warning signs still spill over lips [now colder (pressed tighter) with age]. It is well with my soul!) This phantom, he does something to the very fabric of my being/upsets the delicate inner balance. He makes the fine hairs on the back of my neck stand on end/leaves my mouth dry & tongue thick and heavy. I have a poisonous adoration for you/a reverence for your malicious ways.

You are Always mine, and Never. [[He’s never been so thin before. I whimper into your heaving frame and my cries echo, skeletal. (Such brittle bones and paper skin and the sickness of your shade. Spider threads, dripping over your arms in strings, cobwebs that no amount of sweeping could tidy. A tangible network/the path your blood takes = further evidence of the lifestyle that was loved and left behind.) ]] We set down roots in the same place, and our different seeds grew upwards in the same direction. I meditate on the length of your limbs and in these dreams, I contemplate the slender line of your back.

He is changed from The Last Time. I have to begin again, committing him to memory {to have drawn him from every angle possible, and spent a lifetime counting his marks & branding/adding new ones to the pot. (Leaving two capital As in the valleys of your clavicles)}. I sometimes ponder the ratio between Time Spent Staring Into Each Other’s Eyes versus The Rest of the Time. Those images singed/scorched into my mind – the things I was able to make out in the blackness/black hole/bleak hole into which we retreated (which grew into our own personal outer space/ a darkness beyond contemplation.) our solitary light/our solitude was the most beautiful _____.

And it’s Time, Time, Time/

It is comparable to seeing, for the first time, a person whom you’ve had pictures of all your life. The things I can’t remember tell the things I can’t forget. The thrust of your hips/Contemptuous and sensuous was our love. [The staring/Soul-searching: it gives us away (our daily bed)].

I’m afraid that I could Love you blindly or without reason. I’m afraid that I could Love you against everything I believe in. This resolute emotion that fights back, all teeth and claws. The Love that shakes itself awake, and sometimes screams (at you). Never wanted anything so much, with so much desperation, as to maintain a cataclysmic union – collapsing into bed, breathless, at night, uncertain and restless and ferociously glad to not have to be without the other. You are going to be my downfall. Hard times are ahead.

All the same:
If I have to die, at least let it be at your hand.
Take me with you when/however you go.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Things I love (in no order):

Lazy Saturday mornings spent watching movies and playing Scrabble
Telling and re-telling my favorite jokes, and adding new ones to my arsenal
The uncomplicated joy of putting a record on
Looking through stacks of old family photos
Going on Adventures/Picnics/Explorations
Running away excitedly after lighting a firework
Afternoons and Evenings at Black Dog
Grocery Shopping
Unusual Skirts and Dresses
A Cappella
Touching all of the paintbrushes in the display at the art supply store
Humpback Whales
Admiring well-crafted children’s books
Affectionately poking around Pa’s leather bound book library & Marmot’s teapot collection
Searching for The Most Wonderful Tree House in the World
Window-Shopping at Park Avenue in Orlando
Getting stopped at the top of the Ferris wheel
Singing Along/Singing Alone
Swimming very very slowly through clear water
Listening to old people recount their lives
Squeezing clay slip through loose fists
Windsor Newton Watercolor in Cobalt Blue 178
Having tea parties as often as possible
Climbing up things (furniture, trees, boulders) to get a different perspective
The tiny brass turtle with the secret compartment that sits on Marmot’s desk
The sweet stringy feeling of biting into a ripe mango or fig
Gospel Choirs
Crafting days
The way firewood looks all stacked up in a neat pile
The important feeling I get when I line up all the sushi ingredients in a row along the counter
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Favorite Episode : “A Touch of Satan”)
Eating in loud restaurants with a small group of friends
Oil paintings of ships with big sails
Watching Nature Documentaries (The Lives of Mammals series is best)
Admiring a job well-done
The gentle, dignified voice of David Attenborough
Smelling all the soaps at the Saturday morning Downtown Marketplace
Wearing silk slips
Figuring out how things work by taking them apart
Maggie crawling into my lap for snugs
Huge bushes of Blue Hydrangeas
Midnight golf course adventures with Kimmy
Touching Violin Rosin
The way sunlight looks from inside a greenhouse
People-Watching on park benches
Playing piano with all the lights turned off
Appreciating extravagant beards (The World Beard Championships)
Fall evenings playing basketball with Pa and Little Brother
The pride of finishing a painting
Picking apart hot edamame
The weight of a brand-new, unread book in my hand
Elaborate Costume Parties
Puns about fruits and vegetables
Vast stretches of wilderness
Peruvian Spanish
Spontaneous Girl Dates
Finding pets who really do look like their owners (or just watching that scene from 101 Dalmations))
Sweet potato tempura
“Abbey Road,” “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” and “The Slow Wonder” in their entirety
Giving Little Brother new albums/artists/songs to listen to
Decorating Christmas cookies
Going to the symphony on the weekends and closing my eyes
Great Danes
Winter coats with big buttons (especially when there is money in the pocket from last February!)
Kool Beanz café on Thursdays with Holly
Cleaning, re-arranging, and re-decorating the house in the middle of the night
Reciting Shel Silverstein and Edward Gorey poems aloud
Flying dreams
Inventing nicknames for family members/friends/complete strangers
Receiving CD compilations from friends
Wiggling fingers into Marmot’s big canisters of rice and beans
Discovering new fonts and lettering styles
Painting murals with huge brushes
The soft warm weight of Maggie curled up on my chest
Splurging on an entire crate of Clementines
Reading design blogs with a cup of tea early in the morning
On My Desk
Tiny picture frames
Typing out poems or love notes on my typewriter
Going on dates with Sister
The low vibration of a Cello
Women who wear big fancy hats to church
Being able to speak to someone in his/her native tongue
Owls, Crows, Sparrows, & Finches
Argyle sweaters all year-round
Jackie’s midnight pasta in our apartment’s tiny kitchen in Firenze
Ornate china teacups with gilded edges and matching saucers
Every Decemberists concert I have ever attended
Snails and slugs sprinkled liberally over the landscape after a big storm
The pangs of longing I get in Williams-Sonoma stores
Catastrophically large chandeliers
Getting letters in the mail
Sitting on bales of straw around a backyard bonfire
Fancy umbrellas that curve to a point at the top
First Friday at Railroad Square
Refrigerator magnets, including magnetic poetry, which, I admit, can keep my occupied for at least an hour at a time
Intricate Paper Cutouts
Making homemade goat cheese pizza and eating it while it’s still gooey
I’cche C’e’ C’e’
Hopping birds under park benches and on café tables
That room at Sister/Brother-in-Law’s house with all the tiny things!
Sculpture Gardens
Enormous old libraries (with spiral staircases)
Pen and Ink drawings of Bicycles
Taking whole afternoons off to go shopping by myself
Selecting the perfect produce at the Wednesday farmer’s market
Playing dress-up
The first look at a treasure trove attic as you reach the top of the stairs
The quiet humming murmurs of visitors in an art gallery
The Golden Age of Disney Animation under The Nine Old Men
Watching foreign films at the movie theater
Fancy doorknobs and drawer pulls
Goldfish prints
Playing Super Mariokart and actually getting the shortcuts
The sound the tea tin makes when I pop it open first thing in the morning
Science Friday with Ira Flato on NPR
Old Hymns
Banana Runts
Rocking chairs on porches
Watching The Air Guitar World Championships
Painting with the windows open and music playing in the background
Open Windows in General
Old maps
The smell of pipe smoke
The Grace of God
Birdhouses hanging from tree limbs
Thunderstorms and Power Outages
Reading the following books over and over and over again:
Cien Años de Soledad,
Le Petit Prince,
Everything is Illuminated,
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There) ,
The entire Harry Potter series,
A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius,
and The Time Traveler's Wife
and, of course
Making long lists and then checking things off

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dr. Zombie

Yeah, I did that whole "zombie" thing once.

Monday, December 31, 2007

I rise as no giant. This blood-thirsty heart, these tumbleweed bones. I recall with some fondness the day those beliefs fell, crumbling. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust to tiny particles inhaled with each blessed breath.

It was the year of erasing words from my vocabulary.

There are Weights who never disappear [completely]. Some days we press our fingers to the wound, not wanting to heal, but instead, attempting to gauge its depth. I find that when I run my hardest, I am most conscious of the mad beating in my chest. Do you imagine, sometimes, in the quiet of your body, that you feel a sort of detonation? I had a sad, sickly love once, and it ached between my lungs for months.

{He was a dark, sullen boy. He lacked roots [the pair of them].
This unfinished part, this liquid soul. I lusted after a man with no mother [broke off bits], completed his thoughts. You were raised from the very core of the Earth /came to her aid. Like a heavy angel he tumbled to pieces. It was always our fate/our faith to fall [we fell].

Once, there was someone like the sea. He was an entire herd of wild horses. Trampled, lean: a fit like careworn gloves [only to weep at night over the loss of it all]. Opened her up and turned her pages (in despair). He turned around in the road and tried (to change his mind.) [[We would not mend for the want of a father's love.]] [Quant'e' bella giovinezza /Che si fugge tuttavia!] We were very brave, and in those days chose to make nothingness out of the vast somethingness we were given.

And there were others: the ones who widened the veins and raced around the bloodstream. They closed up their own boxes long ago and made no grand to-do about the departure. Gave me up for all the tea in China. (Still to dream about clove cigarettes and peaches. There are times when even the musty smell of the attic brings my stomach up to my mouth. Sticky, wet thoughts & damp with condensation. A turnstile in the mind, all mildew and/or rust.)

We held our own dead bodies, open like drawers. [sent you diseases in each letter.] This infectiousness & these felicitations / to climb your trellis. Gape heaving raw, clawing at. Relegated to deeper depths. He got under my skin/peeled apart [the ever-exploding man]. He was a little boy when he knew her, and in many ways, there remains a fleeting glimpse in every batted lash. I saw these corpses in a row and counted my blessings and fears on each. Some are even quite rational. (A small thing, a Soul.) I tend to capitalize on your superlatives. Cleverness escaped from the tips of their tongues/ it was the very guise that bound them together. Adam and Eve preferred to be naked, after all.}

This part of my life is where I remember to forget. Those few who lived in/were part of this life: I have nearly lost them [to lose trust like some careless child / mistrust like any bad archer]. You, a wooden nickel of a girl, who races for everything. Tempted to tempt the Lord thy God. I still haven't decided which shelf to place you on.

The next nest will have stronger walls/making everyone an unwelcomed guest. [Mankind, the biggest liars of creation!] What fine strands connect us to each other are sliced [as easily as ___]. I am trying to learn the difference between WANT and NEED.

Ask and ye shall receive, not what you wanted, or even what you thought you wanted, but that which you lacked the wisdom to know you needed, and that which all those vain enemies tried to keep you from knowing you could have, and that tiny, fleeting thing shall be heaped upon you with guilt, and pride, and pity, and some condescension, and thou shalt weep for the shame of getting what thou did not ask for and everyone goes home in the end.

If I were to create a self-portrait for every day of the year, I would paint closed eyes on every even day and open eyes on every odd day, and when I finished, I would flip through this blinking book of my own wondrous creation and feel very, very tired.

Reclaim thyself.

More than knowing thyself, more than loving thyself, accepting thyself, or bearing thyself. Resolve to reclaim the self we had and the self we were becoming.

I hereby re-plant myself, inside of these words and within this skin and without these walls.
I am a product of the most supernatural selection,
and I am growing into a very. mighty. oak.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007

For Holly Bees.

"I find you very a-peeling."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Christopher did a photoshoot of me!

credit: Christopher M. Diaz

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

And people wonder why I'm in such a hurry to get home these days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Sean, Tulia, Stacy, Holly, and I went to the Animal Shelter on Saturday morning to give all the hopeful babies some love. Unfortunately, we gave one of them too much love, and now she's sleeping in our bed. And using Sean's Mac.

This is Magellan, although we've sort of taken to calling her Maggie. She's been purring ever since we brought her home. As I type this, she is crawling on top of Sean, who is laying in bed, and patting his face with her tiny paws and giving him little kneading back rubs. She also likes to nuzzle our faces, and will give you a kiss if you're lucky. Sean's started calling her "Daddy's little girl." It's obscenely adorable. We're off to take her to Grandma's!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Some stars are always around; some only come out at night. I could see the moon in each pressing moment. Scars/Stars = marks on expanses of Space. [Open wound/living flesh.] The tiny things that weigh down the pockets and the brains.
Weight. Mass. The colossal burden of ourselves. Love > love (lower case L) I'll take the Pleiades, please. Open bar. Bar none. Take my tabs on the heavens. We're only made of Carbon, after all.

You've got to give Man that space in the back of his head. He'll hold himself together. (All in due time) Wouldn't you laugh if you knew the secrets he never told you! Tiny hair follicles out at the roots. Dive home. Dry heave. The dust around here came from all the different women who came before me and is indecipherable from mine. [[Skin cells/living cells. Four walls that make up atimeline/crime scene. Jail cells. Trapping histories. A laboratory and an autobiography housed in the same place.]] Your exes make me sneeze. Oh, the indecency of it all! Oh, the lovers we've swept away! [He wasn't good at cleaning before because he wasn't ready to let that past go.] Slough off. Atmospheric particles. Accumulation. Repel. Hazardous.

My planetary system:
Particles of dust orbiting the Sun, reflecting its rays. The cause of zodiacal light.
Dust in a comet tail. Interstellar dust between stars, the cosmic lint.
Wiggle your fingers. Diffuse nebulae.

Two small, too small bodies. Two atomic hearts that beat when they're told. Heavenly bodies. We orbit. Eclipse. Call it "expulsion." My aurora borealis/explode onto the scene. No one questioned the curve of Andromeda's hips. Blazes like a woman in your skies. "Ruler of Men"/immortalized in the stars. What a constellation!

Eyes and a faucet frame
(though I've painted over dust before.) Goose neck down wrap wrath dip deep dig. Buy Jupiter! Nothing so sweet goes in (or out). Scour it all. I seep into the cracks. I am of good humor, but then, there are only four. [Sanguine.] We fall feverish. I'm just doing my time. Biding. Abiding by. He has to remind me to wipe things down first. Bits of me & bits of you swirled together on the floor. It's a little bit frightening, and not entirely sanitary.
"Don't do it." "You, too." Well, you've got an apparent magnitude.
Collect what you need to. I'll bring the mop.

Your mouth hangs open and sometimes I want to put things in it. Things fly into it. And out.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mic died yesterday morning.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

I wanted to tell you about so many things that are not what I am about to tell you about, but I try and try and the words won't come even though this is so important to me and I don't want to forget it.

I have been to a lot of places and I have seen so many different people. Sometimes I have been careless. But: sometimes I am a sponge, and I collect everything and everyone in my heart to save them or protect them or at least remember them so they are never lost. Three days ago I was in a plane and it flew directly over Ground Zero and I looked down into a big empty hole and I didn't feel anything and I wasn't even sad or moved and that scared me so much that started to wonder if maybe I was a big empty hole, too, but there were other people on the plane and they were talking and laughing and nobody bothered to pull up their window shade and look down at the city and nobody cried or said a prayer for anyone else and it seemed so wrong to me that we were such a plane load of big empty holes and I wondered if I was right to think that way.

But: yesterday I was at the airport and I went into the little bookstore to find something to read and there was a big girl who was probably my age and she had big sad eyes and she sat on the floor in her uniform, surrounded by a mountain of books she was already tired of sorting and I looked at her and looked at her and she caught my eyes with her big wet sad ones and anybody could see that she wanted to go home, she needed a break, she needed a friend so badly and I wanted to be it but I turned and pretended to flip through a book and I started to cry I felt so awful and guilty and why does it have to be so hard sometimes? Why didn't I try to talk to her or even smile at her or even better, wrap my arms around her and hug her tighter than she had probably ever been hugged in her life? It isn't easy to be a good person and it's even harder to be the best person and I haven't been feeling like either lately. The big empty hole gets filled in sometimes and those tears weren't even for me but for a complete stranger who I had never seen before and will never see again and it's been three days and I still think about not having smiled at her and it makes me weep. Last week a bent old woman passed me on the street and she grabbed my arm and asked in a frantic voice and very broken English if I spoke Spanish and I was so startled that I said "no" and I walked away quickly and her face was so crestfallen I remember it I remember now and what if she was having an emergency and I didn't try to help or worse maybe I didn't even care because I DO speak Spanish or at least enough of it to have tried and I used to teach Spanish for God's sake and I am sorry I am sorry I am so sorry that I didn't even try. It rained all that afternoon and it even though I had known that it would I felt like God was crying too for that awful thing I did or did not try to do. And I feel so good about myself when I tell a cashier that they gave me too much back, but I was not courageous enough to turn around and run after a crippled old woman who needed my help because it's just like Bukowski said and people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other. I have arms and legs that work and I have a brain and I have a heart and most of all I have Time that precious commodity but I am selfish and I can hardly take good care of my own friends let alone strangers in need but I am trying and I am making a conscious effort and I will call you and I will make time for you and I will help you when you need it and I will remember to turn back around next time and I will

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

[Quote by Brian Andreas]

Thursday, February 8, 2007

ICCA Quarterfinals
You should probably check us out right now.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

We Love Each Other

Monday, January 29, 2007

I lay awake for hours at a time, trying to [be less] rest less. Those sheep won’t come to be counted; you’ve got to work with what you know. I list off digits of Pi. invent new words and tell (myself) stories that make the room seem smaller and the world that much bigger. Everybody wanted shelter, and they wailed like the world was ending. We’ve got an apocalyptic kind of friendship, you and I [never met, but knew each other inside and out.] & I am a sister to the synapses in your brain (but such a reliable liar)! She could be depended upon to shake things up/ rattle and roll. it’s all in the wrist.

your trivia/what’s trivial. ((try to be less trite.)) I like that shade of humility; it suits you. Suit/clothe yourself. with it. Take (it)[what’s yours. what’s yours?] and leave (the rest). alone. Nobody really wants to believe they’re alone, and I can’t figure out why there are so many atheists. It’s a long drop for the angels and a short life for the rest of us. I wonder if some of them secretly believe they are too good to come [down (here) from on high]; (and do angels have ages? shot down in their prime, do they still retain the shell shape they left behind?) I’d probably keep my mouth shut, too. The Fall of Men (but just the beginning of it.): Sure I love God, she says with a wink. It’s the devil that I get hung up on.

Still, you’ve got to live like you believe it, and I feel like every day should be a birthday (so I’m 7,115, give or take). I cup my hands over my heart and feel it thump-thump-thumping dependably inside my chest. *Remember to thank Him daily for that steady beat. Like the way it felt to sift through your mother’s big tin of rice and beans: push our fingers down (we are lifted up!) the memories chase [us]: surround & comfort. Death keeps popping into view [morbidity of life like a punishment / the cross we bear.] What will you become when you die? Do you think about things like that? Did the angels? Do the stars? Plan for the future, brace yourself for the present. We’re all just waiting for the last big supernova. ((I was afraid of dying, but I’m not anymore, and I wear those constellations like I was born into their number.)) That’s all you can ask to have said of you, in the end: "She walks towards the sunlight. treads like a lion." That final Bang will come any day now.

Men are too rough with their hearts/dreams. I know a boy who waxes dramatic (gets down on himself about things that haven’t happened/not happened yet) You’ve got to admire the pathos of it. [[effortlessly /less effort. Exert & extol. run like streams across your tongue]] You’ve got virtues they ain’t even heard of yet! (it’s those lines on your face: they give it / you away.)

Know your neurons. I can list them off one by one on my fingers, and this girl and I? (we) make our own dreams come true. You want to talk about fairy tales and the way the tides slide and shine /slice through the fabric of the earth. but it’s [a sin to tell] a lie and we all know you’re building a house too close to the shore. Read your parables. Brush up on those old wives tales, because when the time comes, you’re gonna mix up your babies in the dishwater.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday, December 7, 2006

[The Prayer of the Self-Righteous is that their sins will not be discovered.] Ten (of us) for One (of you) and you’re worth (it) < nothing [to me.] If you plan to bite the bullet, bite it hard. {I always was one of those “lukewarm” kind of disciples.} We’ll probably just discard you in a few years / once the wear and tear starts to show. [shook you in a dream, once (sounded like something rattling around in there).]

Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué.
(selling parts of ourselves)/(selling parts off our shelves)/(shelving what sells/selling our shells) “HERE I AM/I RIP YOU UP” in magnets on the fridge. (I laugh a lot more these days.) [not cut out for this life (fabric of flesh wrapped around unfeeling stone.)] Burn off the excess from around your life/don’t flinch when you feel the pinch. [[Hearts – human hearts – are/our Clocks: we live by their time. (If you stand real still, you can feel it turning/ticking/twisting the thread around its fingers.) Tick-tock-tick = [it passes] slowly and we fade.]] When your limbs disintegrate, buy new ones. People are always asking me to stand still! Trying harder to hem yourself in > loose bits that flap off until we become an untidy garment, not fit for wear. [[don’t fit, won’t try]] You were always (going to become) someone’s favorite (old) dress.

Jesus wept. O my God, I know.
“This is My body,”
He said, “Take it, and may you never have a day’s luck with it.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brick bones/we've got cement in our lungs.
Take big breaths of nothing at all.
we are made of stronger faster braver stuff than (what?) anyone is willing to believe. [[Less like a leaf and more like the tree itself = YOU ARE SOLID.
Fists never broke through bark so tough. Don't you go breaking down on me, too.]]

Ours is a delicate balance of color (and now we're frantic) [based on violence and (lies she has to tell to cover up the fact that nobody trusts her.)] escalating slowly and it pops. CRISIS.
Our bubbles burst every twenty years [minutes] or so.

They built her out of scrap metal,
and the glint of possibility reflected off her teeth (shards/shrapnel)

Turn up the heat in the oven [[and the whole world goes black.]];
Economics of the status quo, our social structure is (propriety &)
big smiles on faces aching from the burden of the sadness behind it. You're the Panic of my Life, but not the Depression. Nobody breaks windows over someone like you.

He looks just like my ex-Lover in the dark and I jump out of my skin, but for different reasons. (Oh no, don't you cry. Don't you hang your head.) can't get close enough, i tell him, and claw at the seams of his neck and shoulders. i've got to get in! Don't you want to know? Don't you feel like it's your right?
Curiosity didn't kill anything but ignorance.

But she doesn't talk about it and you won't get anywhere looking for it in her dreams/her eyes. Actions speak [[louder than louder than louder than]] and we listen: LISTEN! Points/appointments/disappointments = nobody ever keeps track of the score because there isn't one. He wasn't a fast reader, but he always understood the lessons.

"It's my job to fix you, since I helped created you," he said, as he pulled out his hammer. Men repair women by breaking them to bits.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sound Advice

"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then-- to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."

The Once and Future King
T.H. White

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ieri sera non potevo dormire

Riceviamo dei cambiamenti
e riceviamo delle opportunitè e questo è il mio sogno per te.

(Sei abbastanza.)
Non c'è un altro per me.

E le gambe bastano
e le braccia bastano
ed il bisogno basta
e la luna è piena
ed i nostri occhi sono larghi
ed i nostri ventri sono vuoti e pieni di questi sogni.

Io sogno i sogni di sei-numero
di ragazzi con i violoncelli
e ragazze con i capelli ricci.

Io sogno delle case vicino al mare,
la musica galleggiando in e fuori di ogni stanza come la marea,
la casa vecchia di O'Brien con le sue persiane scricchiolante
ed i assi del pavimento allentanti dove nascondiamo i nostri tesori
ed i nostri tesori nascondono il loro.

Io sogno di bambini innominati, pezzi di un enigma che non possiamo manipolare.
E quando dormo, ti sento (la risa nei miei orecchi)
e vedo che loro ci considerano con i tuoi occhi
ed il mio sorriso ed Oh! Il mare è cosí verde!

[E stendiamo le nostri mani
e teniamo saldamente a queste immagini che creiamo insieme,
le immagini di scale spirale e tette appuntite tendendo per miglia nel cielo.

Immaginiamo le facce di l'un l'altro quando apriremmo i libri ed i coltelli
(e l'amore è la sorpresa più grande di tutti.)]

Tu, tu, tu basti.
Caro mio, tesoro, piccolino!

Adesso me metto giù per dormire
nelle tue braccia
nei tuoi occhi
sul tuo cuore
e quando sogni, per favore permetta che sono sogni di noi
e di questo
e dei segreti che nascondiamo insieme
nelle stanze sconosciute, ma finora,

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh...

Vieni al letto.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

[Mixed Media on stock paper, 4' x 3'6"]

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Words of Wisdom

"Those were the good old days,
when I didn't compromise my manhood by doing things I liked."
-My fourteen year-old brother, just now.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sunday, January 1, 2006


My resolution this year, like every year, is to be taller.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Saturday, November 5, 2005

[6.5"H x 5"w x 3.5"d Low-fire Terra Cotta clay & gloss glaze.]