Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Swayze Fest

And you thought I forgot!

This Sunday, the scene from "Dirty Dancing" that Rachael Yamagata tried to tell her audience was from "Ghost." Good thing I was in the audience to correct her! Yeeeah. And good thing I ruined all chances of becoming Rachael's new BFF that night by A) calling her out in front of her crowd and B) trying to smile at her in the ladies' room but accidentally grimacing instead. Dammit. But I know my Swayze, and I certainly know when someone's reenacting a Johnny moment like this one. (YouTube is not letting me embed any of the videos that have this scene, and it's making me very angry. So angry that I'm forced to find another fantastic Swayze moment to cheer me up.)

Ahhh, now I feel better. Orry, I mean Swayze, is so sexy when he's angry:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

An ode to laziness

Speaking of lousy poems... I thought I'd make Vonnegut proud and be open about one of mine. I wrote this a few weeks ago when I was feeling incredibly guilty about my lack of motivation, but somehow not guilty enough to actually do anything about it.


tomorrow I will.

yes, definitely.

tomorrow I will
accomplish so much:
I'll join a gym and work out immediately
this will result in habitual exercise
and a perfect Pilates body.

next, I will write
accomplished and beautiful works
from prose to poetry, essays to screenplays,
my work will touch millions.
This will lead to my Pulitzer
and a life of luxury.

tomorrow I will
discover all the answers to my happiness
I'll know what to do, and when, and how.
My wisdom will inspire others.

yes, definitely.
tomorrow I will.

and since tomorrow
I'll be so busy,
tonight, I better rest.
I'll continue to lie (or is it lay? I'll know tomorrow)
in my bed, under this blanket,
surrounded by my cats and books.
I'll write miserable poetry
I'll watch ridiculous romantic comedies
then I'll fall asleep with the lights on
worn out with the thought
of tomorrow's busy schedule.

It's a good day for the wisdom of Vonnegut

"If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
--Kurt Vonnegut, from A Man Without a Country

While I'm waiting tables tonight with my new "I have a good attitude and am not bitter in the slightest that I'm waiting tables" mindset, I'm going to be thinking of ways to make my soul grow. I certainly write lousy poems on a regular basis. So I have that, at least. I have created something.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My love for Feministing grows...

every time I read great posts like this one, an interview with Alma Avila Pilchman.

"Access to abortion is a matter of hope, of survival, of opportunities, health, and choice!"

I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Slate’s series on grieving continues to blow me away. Meghan O’Rourke’s newest entry, “Dreaming of the Dead,” is almost eerily on point. What she writes about dreaming of her mother encapsulates many of my personal experiences. I find it incredibly comforting.

Most specifically:
“What surprises me is how comforted I feel when I wake. I am sad that the dream has ended, but it's not the depleted sadness I've felt in the past when I've woken up from a wishful dream. I feel, instead, replete, reassured, like a child who has kicked the covers off her in her sleep on a chilly night and dimly senses as her mother steals into the dark room, pulls them up over her, strokes her hair, and gives her a kiss before leaving.”

I’ll continue to love this series unless she steals my book idea.

Paulo Coelho

I finished reading Paulo Coelho’s The Valkyries last night. Although it’s most definitely my least favorite of his books so far, like with all Coelho books I’ve read, I felt inspired by his words at several points. Some of his writing tactics are quite irritating and a little narcissistic, but I think overall he has a positive purpose behind his writing. If you’ve never read Paulo Coelho, you’ve probably heard of The Alchemist, which is great, but my absolute favorite is By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

The Valkyries is different from his other books in the sense that it’s actually more like creative nonfiction than a novel. He and his wife went on a 40-day quest through the Mojave Desert to confront their pasts and gain new spiritual insights. It gets a little, well, too much for me at times, but the overall theme really struck a chord with me:

“Why do we destroy the things we love most?”

The idea fascinates me. And tying into that, one passage from the end of the book definitely stood out to me, and I hope that at the very least, I can use it as inspiration to not give up what feels like a never-ending job search. He writes:

“Our defects, our dangerous depths, our suppressed hatreds, our moments of weakness and desperation—all are unimportant. If what we want to do is heal ourselves first, so that then we can go in search of our dreams, we will never reach paradise. If, on the other hand, we accept all that is wrong about us—and despite it, believe that we are deserving of a happy life—then we will have thrown open an immense window that will allow love to enter.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Heart Peter Bjorn and John

I don’t care how many commercials they do, I will stay head over heels in love with Peter Bjorn and John. I think these Swedish pop stars know something we don’t. Sooo catchy. And judging from their website, they also have something to teach young American hipsters about weird facial hair.

I actually start bouncing up and down in my little Dodge Neon when the new single, “Nothing to Worry About” comes on.

The bizarre video for “Nothing to Worry About”… Don’t fight it. You know you want to bob your head around, at the very least:

Who else is fighting the urge to pre-order on iTunes immediately? And speaking of catchy, doesn’t Vampire Weekend have a new album out soon, too?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Do yourself a favor: Add “Towelhead” to your Netflix queue, then move it to the top of your list. It’s an adaptation of the novel by Alicia Erian. I hadn’t read the novel, but was intrigued by the preview.

It didn’t disappoint (unlike my last Netflix pick, “Brideshead Revisited”…blech). Summer Bishill, the actress who plays Jasira, is absolutely fantastic. But really, everyone in this film was incredible. Of course, Aaron Eckhart was incredible in the creepy, terrifying way that might keep me from sleeping tonight, but I guess someone had to play the pervert next door.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday, Take 2

But then again, there was one incredibly important happening today that took the grimace off my face:

"Obama Lifts Bush's Strict Limits on Stem Cell Research"

It's about EFFING time! Thank you, PRESIDENT OBAMA!


I think this accurately sums up how I feel today:

Yeah. That's pretty much it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

London, almost

Chicago felt like London this morning
just before the rain:
the damp, the slight fog
the gray blending into pavement
and the chill felt deep, but bearable
like London winter
beautiful in its ugliness
poetry for the heartbroken
for the wanderer
alone but surrounded

and though I love sunshine,
Chicago’s London fog
was so beautiful
every step took meaning
like walks in Chelsea to the tube
I feel my feet hit the pavement
moving, moving

so I keep going
even if the chill hits my bones
even when my insides burst with gray
even through an almost-London damp morning

the gray is only gloomy
if you make it that way.

A little Bukowski...

is good for everyone. Here's why:

“writing’s different, you’re floating out there in the
white air, you’re hanging from the high-wire,
you’re sitting up in a tree and they’re working at
the trunk with a power saw…”

—from “200 Years”

Moleskine notebooks

I guess it’s time for me to upgrade from my $1 Composition notebook to a Moleskine.

You know you've seen this before:

“One of the strangest side effects has been the puzzling situation whereby a white person will sit in an independent coffee shop with a Moleskine notebook resting on top of a Apple laptop. You might wonder why they need so many devices to write down thoughts? Well, if a white person has a great idea, they write it by hand, if they have a good idea, it goes into the computer.”

True. So true.