Archive for April, 2009

This is what I got on the subway today

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

emily

Wild Nights – Wild Nights!

Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a heart in port –
Done with the compass –
Done with the chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the sea!
Might I moor – Tonight –
In thee!

–Emily Dickinson

It was in a Poem in Pocket flier. Pretty cool, huh. I had know idea Dickinson had so much hubba-hubba.

The First 100 Days

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

images8 I’m at home, listening to President Obama’s press conference, and can I say what a relief it is to hear him? He’s smart, sensitive, politic without seeming insincere. Like, yes, many aspects of our country are in the toilet at the moment, but it is such a relief to have someone at the helm who has a brain. Just let that high-SAT-score voice wash over you. It is very relaxing. Also note, that Fred Armisen’s imitation of Obama on SNL is really not bad at all.

As for folks who miss Bush and are bah-humbugging Obama (I work with many of them), get over it. I hate this two-party system, where people are more concerned about their side winning that getting the U.S. out from under. I’m still shocked about Specter turning Democrat. Wow.

GPS

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

images7 I have never traveled with a GPS before this past vacation, and it’s an amazing invention. When it works, you don’t have to know a thing! It literally instructs you breath by breath. When we first landed, we drove 30 minutes in the wrong direction (Alajuela towards Heredia) trying to get to the Arenal volcano. Only when we had to detour right after encountering a car accident did we realize that GPS was not in sync with us so much as its own internal self. Turns out it wasn’t on! Fun!

After driving back to Alamo and having them turn on our GPS, our drive was more or less straightforward and easy…or easy-ish. Husband suggested that GPS should advertise two options 1) the straight, simplest path with most paved roads or 2) see-some-authentic-sh*t route, because ours was a mix. There is no way, from my perspective, that you can go from city to the small touristy town La Fortuna, right outside of Arenal Volcano, without a GPS — the roads are twisty-turny, none of them are marked, and the highways feature conflicting signs.

Parts of our way were on main highways, and others were over pit-marked hills with drops of 70 degrees sharp that made my stomach lurch as much as the Coney Island Cyclone. Four hours later, we made it!

The next morning, the GPS died. For the rest of trip, we relied on our slightly incorrect maps, my Spanish/charades skills, and our spidey senses. The only time we were unbearably, tortuously lost was the last night, but more on that later.

monkeys

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Here are the monkeys I encountered in Costa Rica:

Squirrel monkeys: So cute!
squirrel

Cappuccino monkeys: So adorable!
monkey

Howler monkeys: Scary as sh*t!

We actually didn’t see the howler monkeys — we heard them on an isolated trail in Arenal, which felt like the set of Lost. All of a sudden, we heard this loud barking from what sounded like the world’s largest dog. I was like, Dog? How is there a dog in the forest? Husband wanted to investigate, but I was not interested in our vacation becoming the subject of a movie of the week. We were like 10 feet away from the mysterious barking sound. Husband picked up a stick to approach, which is when I turned and fled. I just ran! I ditched Husband! I’m so bad! (Earlier, we had to negotiate our way past a poisonous snake together, so marriage stays in tact despite wilderness adventure…)

The Express

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

images5 The Express is the movie they showed on our flight to Costa Rica. It shows the story African-American football star Ernie Davis’ experience at Syracuse U. and beyond. It’s the kind of picture that seems to get produced by the dozen every year — people love that template, where a sport is the backdrop for a journey of racial enlightenment. You see the BS African Americans had to face in the 50s and 60s while they’re in a football uniforms.

I usually can’t stand these kinds of movies. It’s excruciating and painful to witness the racism people had to face. I still remember my Old English professor telling me when he grew up in Alabama, he saw cops sick dogs on black citizens and how that experience made sure he would never return. (Incidentally, I was failing Old English, which is why I got the opportunity to hear this guy’s random stories during our tutoring session, all of which helped me squeak by with a B….which a B is not squeaking by, I know.)

But you know what else is excruciating about The Express? The workouts the football team had to do. Sprints, push-ups, mountain climbers — and then after all that, they have to take turns shoving that couch-like object you see on football feels. Shudder.

style

Friday, April 17th, 2009

images4 You know, some people can just write. I read Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, I’m in a new workshop with some grad school people who can write — and what I mean is they have phenomenal style and distinctive voice. Like you can tell how creative they are from the quality of their prose.

Let me compare it to clothes for a sec, because having style in writing is sort of like style in clothes. When some people put an outfit together, they can pull together an ensemble that reveals a surprising combination of little details and they just stand there, and you know instantly they have amazing flair. At this point in life, my style (in clothing…but also writing) is that I am barely able to cover my kibbles and bits and get out the door — but you know, at I am dressed. Same goes with writing. At least I’m writing!

denial

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

images3 images21 Whenever life gets tough, I find denial is a powerful coping tool. I recommend it. Keeps me peppy.

balloon mystery solved

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

redballoon_l balloons_450x350 You know, as a kid, I always wondered where balloons went when you lost your grip on their leash. I just kept picturing them going above clouds, past airplanes, and like into outer space. It was not until yesterday, when I saw one escape from a kid’s clutches and kept watch, that I realized they actually…just pop. This realization is either sad, or like amazing that I’ve been able to preserve a childlike wonder of the world…probably just sad.

filing

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

files We’ve had file cabinets for a while, but I only started organizing my stuff last week, and it made me feel so alive…
hee hee.

Sad Simon Baker

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

simon-baker homer Last night’s episode “The Mentalist” featured a guest star delivering random monologue on the fleeting nature of happiness, which made Simon Baker’s face droop more and more, as his character fully took in the upsetting premise the character proposed. And it was so weird, but he looked exactly like Homer Simpson.

Of course, I can’t find a picture of the face anywhere. The guy is a handsome devil. There is literally no picture out there of him without his dazzingly teeth. Really? Must you smile in every picture? What secret sadness are you hiding, Simon Baker, that only comes out as Homer Simpson.