Sunday, March 30, 2003

it's virtually snowing outside. that's not right. but glory and sunshine are fleeting, i guess. the play, c'est fini. the glory too. so much in one week! one poetry contest, three performances ... a little clot of ecstacy.

to delay the comedown, i went over to felicia's, still in pajamas and recovery from the cast party last night. we watched almost famous and i cried at beautiful kate hudson. she looks about 12. beautiful blond women in movies have this bizarre effect on me: for a while i couldn't watch shakespeare in love because it hurt too much. it's deeper than jealousy. i even wrote a poem about it once. anyway.

cast party was fun. nothing extraordinary or untoward happened. nobody is incapable of doing a foolish thing; nobody is incapable of doing a wrong thing; but nobody did anything visibly foolish or wrong last night. people drank a lot, and told stories, and in some cases rolled on the floor or belted out showtunes. all to be expected. people did reach the lovey stage. harmless, earnest declarations were as prevalent and necessary for the occasion as paper cups.
there are no words for how much i'll miss this cast and this show. it could not have turned out better than it did. at the same time it feels like something i achieved, something at first i wasn't sure i could do, and something i can only take a smidgen of the credit for. regardless, i am so glad to have been a part of it.

one of my actors demanded that i direct noises off next semester. i only know it vaguely. applause is addictive: i'm torn about trying again. pragmatically, i don't know if i'll have time. but we'll see.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

i shouldn't post now; i should wait til i'm up again. the combination of getting 9 hours of sleep total over two nights; 2 plays at which i often, watching, forget to breathe; & the arrival and departure of 5 family members has affected me. maybe the weather too. maybe i could deal if the sun came back. i don't feel like thinking or making decisions: not good: i have an appointment to get my hair chopped in an hour. when i'm depressed i overpunctuate. comma comma,, semicolon: period.

the plays have been good. the plays have been fantastic, even. last night i was as happy with it as i ever desired to be. i spent the half-hour after the show ended, dazed and glowing, collecting compliments. in addition to forgetting how funny the show is, i hadn't realized it could also be moving. but the audience got really into it. that's really the best, when the audience doesn't laugh, it makes those other group noises -- gasps! oh nos! -- as tho it isn't obvious that everything will be straightened out by the end.

... okay, totally couldn't leave the entry on that note. i didn't mean to initially, i just had to dash out and meet my family for breakfast. as i feel better now, i may as well add that. lots of good food today. at breakfast, once i finished half a belgian waffle, some scrambled eggs, and part of my little brother's bagel with lox, people finally stopped ragging me about not eating. then for lunch stef,eliz,brig and i hit up bertucci's in bryn mawr. bertucci pizza = gucci pizza.
brig and i both got short haircuts. mine's flouncy. oh it feels so light. i've been told it's flirtatious and sophisticated. that cracks me up.

Friday, March 28, 2003

it happened last night

debut = over.
my arms = full of flowers. what a dream.
still two shows to go.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

the message my brother left me this afternoon said, "i heard you got voted the coolest poet ever by a gaggle of hippies." not exactly true, sadly. i did win first prize though at the yearly swarthmore poetry contest. i'd never entered before but winning certainly made me think i should have tried. first place! $500! i've never won anything before. swat brought a poet in from the outside to judge the contest: beth ann fennely. she spoke with a cute southern accent and gave a reading for about half an hour after announcing the winners. her poetry is energetic and engaging, and even more so outloud. my class was supposed to buy her book. now i suppose i certainly should.

it was tremendously encouraging, and it meant i didn't have to be depressed going into our final dress rehearsal. the leading article in the paper about the show gets several key details wrong. nothing too awful though and nothing that would discourage people from coming (thurs - sat, 8 8 8, free!).

buoyed by my energy maybe, or just because, the dress actually went smoothly. various individuals who were sitting in laughed. you forget how crucial laughter is to a comedy when you prepare it -- in rehearsals, you don't have that luxury.

tonight, everyone looked good under the lights, no one fell off the stage ... who could ask for anything more? i gave notes and everything but really, it doesn't have to be any better than it was tonight. if we manage stasis, i'll be thrilled.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

my fingers still smell from the smoked salmon stef fed me (when vegans fall, they fall hard). she ran into me this morning as i tried to juggle hot chai and lengthy seminar papers. we did the only sensible thing, splayed on the grass in the beautiful stunshine until we decided to move on to her apt for lunch. fish, crackers, tomato soup, red wine. we are classy mofos.

rehearsal went well last night. increasingly however we're approaching the point past which there's nothing i can do about the show. it makes me very nervous. i have been existing in a state of vague nausea. it only registers a 5 on the ester scale of gastratory dysfunction, like out of 100. so not terrible, not as bad as the patch, but occasionally distracting. as in, damn, i can't finish this aluminum cup of cheesecake. i need more sleep than i'm getting. luckily i think i have enough perspective to get me through.

can't tell how ironic this article is supposed to be:
Imad Mohammed, who saw in the storm divine intervention, seemed marveled by its force. "The only time I saw a storm like this was in the American movie 'Twister' and in the words of the holy Koran," he said.
wouldn't a sandstorm affect both sides? is god's point that the violence should simply stop? i'd approve of that. i do wish god would be a little less vague though. smacking a region with a natural-enough event, even at a signficant time, frankly isn't specific enough to send an effective message. neither is putting hebrew words into the mouth of a fish in brooklyn. if the sandstorm carved out STOP FIGHTING, YOU MANIACS in rockface in both english and arabic, or a carp stood up during a white house dinner, bitchslapped george w., grabbed rumsfeld by the jowls and screamed DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND GOD WANTS YOU TO STOP, that'd be worth writing articles about. people are so starved for miracles these days.

Monday, March 24, 2003

first thoughts on the oscars ...

much more political than i expected. in a good way. no saccharine patriotism. generally i admired the way people addressed the issue from the podium (with the exception of nicole kidman. poor nicole, honey, just stick it to tom and sit down. altho the thing about russel crowe telling her not to cry was funny). michael moore went a little overboard. i may be wrong but it seemed like that woman was up there for winning too? you know, that woman who just stood there smiling while he yelled fuck you at the president instead of letting her speak?

jack nicholson looked like strom thurmond. what was up with that? his jaw hung open until three-quarters of the way through, when he remembered to close it, or daniel day-lewis reached over and shut it for him. i'm so glad adrien brody won instead.
really though the awards for the pianist should have stopped there. adapted screenplay, over adaptation? come on. half the film was just bombs dropping. it's a visual experience. it's moving, it's gripping. but adaptation is where it's at, word-wise.

nicole kidman didn't thank virginia woolf or michael cunningham. at least we got to see that hot guy from y tu mama tambien, and at least steve martin was funny. except his "gee, these women are hot!" thing -- that got old pretty quick. meryl should have won but i'm glad chicago did. gangs was shut out. it's a sign. come on, swarthmore, give me the grant, and i'll make a movie that'll blow scorcese out of the water.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

someone is drumming outside my window, repetitively. pointless! no building, no progressing. it could be trance-inducing if it weren't irritating. is that the point of drumming? of course i shouldn't ask such questions; i have several friends who are very earnest on the subject. i guess when you have a lot of drums that make a lot of sounds it's different. this fellow seems to be approaching it like dribbling a basketball. -- oh wait, no, he just changed his pace and it sounded cool for a bit. clearly there is something to be said for the instrument after all.

i'm antsy. it's lovely out again and again i'm in. writing a theater paper. i get so focused on one thing that having to deal with other things that pop up feels like a supreme nuisance. why can't i have a cadre of servants who handle trivialities for me? i think last time i requested a robot to follow me around. perhaps monkey butlers could handle both sets of responsiblities. yes, monkey butlers. that's the ticket.
i wish i were a genius. if i were a genius, i'd warrant monkey butlers, wouldn't i? or at least lots and lots of time to watch reruns of the simpsons. i wouldn't have to explain how they were inspiratory, either, because i'd be a genius, and you wouldn't understand.

this show is warping my brain. i think in lilting, british rich-speak. i say "quite." i dream of cast members. i enter trance-like states where i mumble whole scenes of dialogue (the drumming, please, make it stop, he's gone back to dribbling now). it will all be over soon and then i'll miss it. some quotes in the meanwhile (you know, to entice you):
"there is only one real tragedy in a woman's life: that her past is always her lover and her future invariably her husband"

"women represent the irrational?"
"well-dressed women do"

"other people are quite dreadful. the only possible society is oneself. to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance"

"i should make you a very bad husband"
"i don't mind bad husbands. i've had two"

"geniuses talk so much, don't they? and they're always thinking of themselves when i want them to be thinking of me."

Saturday, March 22, 2003

laundry is terrific procrastination. once it's done, though, the professional's trick is to go through old computer files and reorganize them and in the process, come across something so engrossing or funny it requires your full attention and at least twenty minutes of your time (twenty more if you decide to blog about it). really i should be reading history or working on my theater paper due monday. instead i'll exclaim over what i found:

a quote list compiled over two years. some from famous people, some from my friends. unlike other people's dreams, the things other people's friends say can be found interesting. i swear. and to prove it, here's a sampling:
rick: �when I grow up, I�ll just get people to lie on. that�ll be my bed. I�ll be wealthy; I�ll pay them�

ester: �yeah, I like this. rick is healthier than geoff.�
geoff (behind me): �thank you, ester.�

liz: �I wish you could eat landscapes without them tasting like dirt�

ari: �don�t do anything I wouldn�t do drunk�

kate, a nomad: "my mother always had trouble connecting with people"
me: "what does she do?"
kate: "she builds fences"

marc: "i'm comfortable with my sexuality. i don't know what it is, but i'm comfortable with it"

ross: �I saw her naked. the trouble was, she was only the 2nd or 3rd most beautiful thing I�d seen all day�

david: �I�m not any kind of artist. unless you count math as art�

my mother: �jesus! it�s no wonder my kids can�t form relationships�

me, to jeff, the only black kid in his skool: �was that hard for you?�
jeff: �only when things were missing"

rebecca: �I want to live in a box. with a lot of money in the box. and a j. crew.�

ben: �if eve had hair, it�d be like yours�

one pothead: �your hair matches your eyes�
the other: �what, my hair is bloodshot?�

matt rubin: "black people like me. it's white people think i'm a racist"

tamar: �it�s not multiple personalities. I�m just developing a strong relationship w/ myself�

ben: �I wish I had some money�
me: �so you could fly over here?�
ben: �so I could rent a movie�

johnny: �if anything scares me, it�s the colony of Roanoke. that and the music on the weather channel�

Friday, March 21, 2003

this cracked me up. actually it seems like a viable decision-making process. if the academy really does give the statue to that awful nicholson man again, it will be for the reasons stated there. some of the humor's crude so beware, mom.
speaking of my mother, she sent me an email today to the effect that someone stole her credit card number and to it charged several phone-sex calls, at $28 a pop.

speaking of phone sex ... no.
speaking of oscars, they're sunday! isn't it exciting? i've spent 17 hours over the past 5 days in rehearsal; more to come this weekend. i will throw myself in front of the oscars on sunday night and bask for the entirety in the mindless, spineless, petty, pretty entertainment. o i can't wait.
speaking of the oscars, it always perplexes me when i like things that aren't generally liked. it's not even a CoolDifferent thing. i feel far more left out or dorky than the bastion of enlightenment, confident in my own judgement and willing to stand by my beliefs until others rush to join me. why don't people like the hours? was the score really that bad? i didn't notice it. it certainly didn't do a hack-away-at-you job worthy of john williams. i understand why people don't agree with me about adaptation. but ... the hours! meryl streep! women! water! virginia woolf! surely those elements compensate for big eyed little children and hackneyed AIDS-ridden gay poets.

this year comes down to the battle of the sexes. chicago and the hours are estrogen-soaked weepy/exuberant 1st 2nd and 3rd wave feminist tracts about women as victims and agents. gangs and pianist are testosterone-y (rhymes with "rice-a-roni") violent/meditative wartime masculinist tracts with token female characters/sex objects. LOTR:TTT would join the latter category if it weren't preoccupied with swiping at orcs and if half the men didn't look so girly. yes that's you, leggy-lass. however, they are all good films, and i almost don't care who'll win. chicago will.

i handed in my grant proposal and ate stolen pizza for dinner. my mind is certainly not all in one place. but i think the show's going to be good. i haven't done homework in ages, or seen roomie brigid. i really need an awful lot of luck.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

swatties may have been arrested this morning for civil disobedience in philly. people are going back for more. the past few days i've felt largely too preoccupied with play stuff and grantwerk to have opinions about the war. now i wonder whether i have any opinions at all, after all. i can tell you that this scares me. who are we to think this won't matter? if america is honestly trying to protect itself and think of its own future self-interest (an understandable if morally questionable ideal) then this should matter. because the individuals who answered the survey questions that way have the potential to be as dangerous as saddam hussein. especially en masse.

i also found the letters section chilling. half of the letters mentioned israel, despite the fact that it doesn't feature in this war as a notable US ally (a select few, as papers report tirelessly, composed of britain, spain, & portugal, with australia sending troops). one posits:
America�s Allegiance:
With the same compassion that inspired the use of atom bombs on the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Americans have now threatened their latest enemy, Iraq, with a 21,000-pound bomb, known as Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or MOAB for short. In Biblical times, the Israelites, having wandered 38 years after leaving Sinai gathered in great numbers to hear the word of God through the teachings of Moses, prior to their returning to the promised land and driving others out of the land of Canaan.
And the place they gathered was called Moab. Some coincidence, or is America�s allegiances showing?
another makes reference to
the driving force in the Bush administration behind the Iraqi campaign. This elitist group, comprising mainly devout Jews and Evangelical Christians ...
another says
we are forced to realize that this war has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction and everything to do with the re-election of President Bush and appeasing the Jewish lobby in Washington to that end.
devout jews? who? he doesn't have a single jew in his administration, aside from mouthpiece ari fleischer. jewish lobby? who among the warmongers is jewish? who even in his electorate was jewish? 80% of jews go democratic. if you study jewish history, you see that people -- on the left and the right -- have blamed jews for occurances as random as the plague for centuries. those accusations are the kind neither proved nor contested until they become commonly accepted.

why would a jewish lobby want war? iraq didn't retaliate against the continental u.s. during persian gulf war I. it retaliated against israel because that's what it could reach. this becomes a fact of life for people in the region suffering the collateral damage of pgw II.
that hasn't happened yet. bombs, meanwhile, are falling in baghdad already. lana linked to a baghdadi blog.
i have to stop -- it's been hours and i have work to do. if i don't post about politics in the next week, it's not because i'm callous or because i don't care. i guess to sum up the attitude i'll have through next saturday, i'll quote skot:
Well, we're at war.

(Pause while washed by wave of despair.)

Yeah, fuck that. Let's make fun of things.
swing down, swing up, but at least presently we're on a swing up. don't talk to me about politics. this isn't about politics. this is about hats. a lovely one that has been on many heads has landed on mine, where i must say it looks best. perhaps i will even get to keep it.

the set is near complete and it's gorgeous. there is something extraordinary about seeing ideas you discussed six months ago materialize in ultra-lifesize form. rehearsal this evening lived up to its surroundings and despite today's shakiness and queasiness i'm buoyant now. running into cheerful sarah kelly in the library helped. we have a date tomorrow, to keep us cheerful, to watch an episode of My So-Called Life.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

everybody's talking about the goddamned war. if you're not, well, as my father's friend trotsky once said, "you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." where i am the anger is palpable. -- & speaking of anger, i happened across this mesmerizing list of the 50 worst people of 2002. some of its bombast is funny, some of it just takes your breath away. but some of his points are particularly well-made.

not that i'm the kind of person who'll hate someone else just cause i'm told to. and i won't agree to go to war or stand for peace just cause i'm told to either. unless of course, it's funny, like the tractor standoff:
Watson said he is acting alone. Asked why he decided to protest this week, Watson said: "I just played it by ear. The Lord told me to do it. He said, 'Time is running out, Jack.'"
i mean, i don't want to like this guy. he's a tobacco farmer and clearly a nut-job. but he is against the war and hey, maybe this is the kind of effective political action the peace movement needs.

i'm not sure why the anger hasn't hit me. because i accidentally slept thru cowboy bush' s 13 minute call to action? because i'm too stressed with more immediate personal issues? (ha -- that makes it sound so serious. i don't really have issues. i have perfectly reasonable things to deal with, things i brought on myself.) because i'm suspicious of melodrama? because people are worrying about the future and i think, what's the point? the future hasn't even happened yet!
my bad mood lifted last night thanks to a moonlit rendez-vous with ross in the ampitheater. before that, tho, i was sincerely anxious: if i was breaking down and it was only MONDAY, what kind of quivering pastel mess would i be by friday? thank god i've stepped back from the brink. now perhaps the world will too.

Monday, March 17, 2003

to wit:
I will be a stout
and blissful seventy,
with a stomach like a cushion
for my breasts

sturdy legs to walk me
round and round the zoo,
with one hand on some man
for support

which man, with luck, will
make me laugh across tables
accompany me to cinemas
or mountains

and with me watch retreating snow
reveal mirrors, and birds dislodge
shards of songs
from their throats

maybe, by the time I�m old,
science will have found a way
for women to give birth
to grandkids

so I can have some
They�ll bake cookies to feed me
and frame the poems I
write for them

some of which may be famous
if I am, in certain circles
I�ll remember when people
envied me

told me I changed their conception
of beauty, or slept with me
to spurt urgent, sour words
on my sheets

I�ll tell stories, when I�m 70,
of my affair with the president,
who had me write on him with
fountain pens

and had to explain
to the president of Cameroon
why �fleetingly fascinating�
circled his wrist

and I�ll grow faint and wistful
telling stories: at 70, stories
are what�s left, and more than
half fiction.
stressed and frazzled. which is to say, i'm caught up with everyone else at last. at dawn, ben and i fought over the words to the tiny toons theme song. he finds out about the watson (the fellowship where they pay you to stay out of the u.s. for a full year. they should give w. an honorary one ...). such things are always nerve-wracking. no excuse, however, to get up at dawn.

it's st pat's day. who has time to drink beer and reinforce stereotypes? although the closest i come to irish is present assocations with a couple cute catholics, and past strong attachment to scarlett o'hara. presently i'm listening to billy bragg, worker's playtime. accidental but appropriate.

i'm stressed, so oversensitive. frazzled, so frizzy. i have to write a poem in quatrains. shit. -- er, shamrocks.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

sometimes waking up to the internet can be oddly discouraging. it's a representative chunk of the huger, general abyss, and staring into your computer screen makes you realize what a molecule-like part you play.

enough about abysses! it's a beautiful spring morning. at least i think it is. roomie brigid has cracked the window to let the soft blue air float in. i'm back at swarthmore, got back at noon yesterday having being deposited by a loving father on his way to new jersey. we talked iraq nearly the whole time, as we did the night before at the dinner table when we weren't talking about whether or not polanski should be able to return to the u.s. without [fear of] punishment.
his argument: it's been 20 years; he probably was on drugs back then; he's harmless now; what good will it do, either him or society, to lock him up?
mine: [expletive deleted]
no, really, i was much more eloquent. as always i could see where my father was coming from; but come on. our justice system isn't based on principles of "what good will it do?" roman polanski, in case you're too lazy to read gailey's account above, stands accused of posing as a photographer to get access to a 13 year old girl, taking pictures of her with her shirt off, driving her to jack nicholson's house on mulholland drive, giving her drugs and alcohol and then raping her. instead of facing any of these charges, polanski fled to france. that country of truth and virtue refused to extradite him. now he's made a marvelous movie that's up for an academy award. in the plainest of plain cliched english, that doesn't put him above the law. we shouldn't pardon him b/c, unlike millions of other arrested americans, he had the means to flee this country and live happily in the hypocricy of another.

back on campus, i talked less and did more. my stage manager and costume designer have been working since tuesday and they greeted my late entry into the windowless basement room of Getting The Play Ready rather coolly. we open on the 27th: come! i can say that safely since i haven't had to think [panic] about AIH since before break, and i had break to relax and buy soothing things. despite workworkwork yesterday i'm still in soothed mode. it'll be fine! come see the show: it's free!

brigid walks in from taking a shower and says, "my auntie em was married to this guy rick and then they got divorced. she said, 'you know, i thought he was into jazz. but no, he was into cocaine.'" o, the tribulationish future we women face.

Friday, March 14, 2003

ideal day in bethesda, yuppie overeducated capital of the midatlantic:

begin at mustard seed. you remember this 2nd-and paradise from back when it was dinky and window-less, supported by a cult following willing to seek it out in that ugly shopping mall next to Honeybaked Ham and Iran Books. it stands proudly on its own on wisconsin avenue, with mannequins for eyes, now, and it bustles. say hi to the owner, a strange midly-bitter woman who knows you by name and who has made casual reference to a past pockmarked with an eating disorder and a present that features a cat. she once expressed jealousy at your closeness to your friends. they also shop there compulsively.
they're not there today, however. you try things on and decide to take a shiny skirt that could be considered pink and a terrific vintage ketchup-colored dress. at the register, the girl ringing you up grins and hollers to the owner, "see?" turning back to you:

she: [the owner] didn't want to take this. but i think it's great. it's, like, scandinavian.
you: hey, maybe that's why i like it. i thought it looked like a tripped out alice in wonderland.
she: no it doesn't. no. ... it looks scandinavian.

owner smiles thinly at you as you leave, folding up your coat because the sun makes it unneccessary and tucking it in the bag next to the acid alice piece. walk to bethesda row, choke slightly at paying the $9, and buy a ticket for habla con ella. buy a diet coke at the new giant and hide it in your bag before the show starts. mmmm, the show. cry. ignore the old people whispering plot details loudly to each other. feel slightly creeped out by the ending and want to talk about it with someone.

last, hop over to secondstory books and zero immediately in on a vhs copy of wonder boys. pick up a cheap white noise while you're at it, reading the back impatiently, perfunctorily, before walking it to the register. return to the sunlight and stand, head high, waiting for your chariot to appear.
the last few days have been more relaxing than exciting, and then there was my little driving error coming home from visiting my friend nomi in college park. 20 minute trip ballooned, swelled, boiled over, volcanoed into a 2 hour long wheel-gripping rain-and-rush-hour highway navigational excursion involving new carrolton metro station, a gas station swarming with cops, my father, route 50, no cell phone, and one near-death experience that luckily resulted in no injury to the car, myself, or anyone involved outside of my imagination.

in an unrelated but pulse-quickening incident, a spider appeared on my ceiling later that night, after i'd taken out my contacts, so i had to squint to get more than a vague impression of many-legged-brownness scurrying around above me. finally i called lil bro in to kill it. i haven't been keeping track of femme points recently but these two episodes combined must add about +30 to my total.

apart from that, though, it's just been mild weather, lots of work on my grant proposal, crossword puzzles, chatting w/ friends, and several movies, including my lil bro's pirated version of jay and silent bob strike back at last. whatever you can say about j.a.s.b.s.b.* you have to acknowledge it's funny as shit. i watched it by myself and i still laughed. something about mary did not pass that test.

* k. smith should write, not direct. k. smith needs a good editor. the movie itself needed to be shorter by about a quarter. ass jokes are overdone. miramax jokes, however, never lose their flavor.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

at dinner tonight, my mother made salmon and i took a piece. and ate it. no forked lightning, no applause, no symphonic sentiment swelling in the background -- phillip glass, i assume, being otherwise engaged. the 9 months since i'd last eaten fish withered to nothing inthegrandschemeofthings. i didn't gag. i'm still a vegetarian, just one who eats fish. or who has recently eaten salmon. which -- and this upset my mother disproportionally -- was a little dry.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

serendipity! the book i picked up in northshire, near randomly -- on sale, looked appealing -- deborah eisenberg's short stories so far contains one of my all-time favorite stories that i read once years ago in a class; then lost; then couldn't remember either (a) the name of or (b) the name of its author. "days"! it's thrilling and somehow very satisfying. and, i should note, it is precisely as good as i remembered.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

back from the relatively unfrozen north. jonah , who may chronicle the journey on his grandfather's webtv, drove sarah, with whom, before this series of coincidences interlaced our paths, i had never seriously spoken and who, moreover, does not believe in blogs, ben and me up to my grandparents' house in the green mountains. we celebrated skool finally letting out by stopping in nyc for dinner, dessert, and actually-funny improv in chelsea before dropping in on a much startled crowd in ben's dad's house. half the assembly stared at us fuzzily in matching bathrobes, then threw up their hands and let us have our way. marauding college kids, high on adrenaline and comedy! they knew they didn't stand a chance.

we calmed down once we made it to the serenity of manchester, vt. the calm, i think, had a calming effect. we slept and made popcorn, rented 5 movies for $5 and watched three (not bad) (reefer madness -- camp: hilariously unbelievable; sleeper -- funny for fifteen minutes and then same-old woody allen claptrap; and women on the verge of a nervous breakdown, vintage almodovar). we ate a lot of sugar. all day saturday we skiied: in the morning we [read: ben] taught sarah to ski on the bunny slope and then ben and i hit the squares. we're so hardcore. sarah acrued an impressive collection of bruises to go with her knee socks and we totally earned the shitty overpriced hot ski lodge lunch food, not to mention the yummy mexican dinner and ben&jerry's.

sarah distributed fake tattoos that made us all look like we'd been mauled. they pleased us much. eventually, sadly, we had to pack up clean up and go, after a stop at my favorite bookstore in the world. jonah drove us safely back to ny and this morning ben squired me into the city to meet my mother and grandmother for lunch. they'd popped up for a Good Cause Auction and i got to take the train back to dc with them. phew. travelling done, at least for the moment, i'm going to sleep deeply -- when i'm done with this conversation w/ sarah kelly about the INCREDIBLE PARTY WE'RE GOING TO THROW:

WHAT'S YOUR LUV WORTH-STOCK: coming to you this spring!! probably april. a couples only olympics: prove your luv in games like "heart hickey giving" and "co-dependent [aka, 3-legged] racing", the exhibitionism treasure hunt and name that luv-tune! you know you want to, so if you're not in luv, give that good friend a second glace or get going on that elusive crush. more details to follow soon.

Friday, March 07, 2003

periodically yesterday i felt so overcome by exhaustion that i managed to stay awake less by sheer force of will than by punching myself periodically in the kidney.

philly. one date made out of two (i still don't know what happened to the first): dinner with the lovely miz becca, which began with 4 free cookies, hot from the oven, handed to us by a disgruntled employee of a closing store. the best cookies in the city, supposedly, but i think any cookies handed to me under those circumstances would taste like chocolate chip heaven.

today i need to pack and make lists and remember everything. it's relatively beautiful out so i don't know why i'm sad; hopefully it'll go away. meanwhile i found this hilarious:
"This is going to make millions of women very happy," Mr. Detroyer said. "As happy as paper plates may make them, this is going to make them happier."
o postmodernism. the only exposure i had to the sponge until this article was that episode of seinfeld. (also, paper plates?)

happy spring break everyone. or to whomever it applies.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

i've been offered an intership at the abrams artists agency in new york this summer. casting! casting! that's what i want to do. well, if writing doesn't pan out, or while i wait for writing to pan out, or you know. !! isn't it exciting? unpaid, of course, and the chances of me meeting anyone important are of course slim. but oh good -- it's something. my first relatively concrete something for the summer.

(i have to get one of the two grants for which i'm applying or the Scholars thing; and/or eliz needs to get the jp money & chase internship for me to live in new york at all. so many elements, it's hard to keep them straight, and in the attempt i'm eating far too much sugar. i need a personal assistant. or an organizational skillz class. or a little robot to follow me everywhere reminding me of due dates and lunch dates and keeping my papers nicely filed in his electronic briefcase, as opposed to just piled precariously on my floor/bed.)

a package arrived from my parents today, containing a whole winter's supply of ski clothes. since we're only expecting to spend a day or two on the slopes, i got that warm "oh, mommy" feeling in my heart. also the key to the house in vermont, a very important article that i WILL not forget. i am very excited. veryveryvery. now that i'm done with my pre-break work, i'm focused on rehearsals, people, and this trip. i am also enamored of the post-its danny got me; i don't know how i ever managed without them.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

my brother and his intelligent musings on war:
Bush's efforts to make his rhetoric jive with Reagan's created a continuity in American foreign policy between the Cold War and the post-Cold War that should not exist. The "Evil Empire" and "Axis of Evil" have combined to form the "Revolving Door of Evil," whereby America installs a government and then treats it like a jar of mayonnaise: "Keep contained after opening. Best if deposed in 20 years."
appropriate for a day like today. what strikes me as particularly great about the whole standing for peace thing is that it is:
(a) a swattie response to an international day of activism that is well-reasoned and intellectual and self-satisfied and so, so swattie (other skools organized walkouts, but as one fella in my poetry class revealed to me, we value education too highly)
(b) a swattie response to an international day of activism that is inspired by the pope -- you know, the catholic one? in rome?
(c) a swattie response to an international day of activism that is inspired by the pope in rome and set on today of all days cuz today is Ash Wednesday.
(d) activism that is inherently inactive. but in a good way. i mean, at least they're not blocking traffic (except for that one guy in my poetry class who left early to go into philly for that purpose)

i found the contrast between observant catholics walking around today with ash-crosses on their foreheads and people wearing the Stand for Peace t-shirts really interesting. i didn't notice anyone of color in either category. but as i only had one class today and it was small, i didn't get too much exposure to the range that was out there. in poetry class, the boys wearing the shirts decided that if we all as a class "consensed" that we were against the war and stood together for a minute, they could sit the rest of the time. so we did: stood, then sat again. that was my contribution to this worthy cause.

(note: i do not [entirely] mean to be ironic and caustic. that's almost as bad as being cynical, which is what people used to call me. i swear i'm not. i really am anti-war and pro-people doing whatever they feel they need to or what will make them feel useful/engaged. this is just my natural edge and if it offends you, you should realize i don't mean it and i probably love you and by me, anything you do is right.)
i'm beginning to wonder whether being vegetarian is like havine dated someone for 4 months -- you're getting antsy and you realize you either have to move on to the next stage of committment (i love you / veganism) or break up (bacon).

or maybe being vegetarian is like listening to ani difranco -- something respectable people only do in high skool.

i'm metaphor hungry. i'm also just-plain-noexcuses hungry. (but for what?) i do fine, vegetarian. the only thing i miss, occasionally, is fish, particularly on holidays. that's why fish was the last thing to go. go it did. i don't feel better about myself as a human being. in sushi restaurants in particular, i feel like an idiot. so why not eat fish?

why not eat fish? better with guidelines? it's headache inducing. the admonishments; the alternatives? (mom, don't look).

speaking of mom, i know it would make her happy if i went back to eating fish. there's a reason i can feel unconflicted about.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

chocolate + diet coke propelled me through the writing of my seminar paper, but now that i'm done, it's past midnight and no atom of my body has any intention of going to sleep. so i offer this, dave barry's take on LOTR. the funniest i've seen him be in a while.

Monday, March 03, 2003

timmy: golly, problematic man! you look down. what's the matter?
problematic man: well, timmy, i've just gotten back from a Problematic situation.
timmy: really? what happened?
problematic man: cleverly disguised as a swarthmore student, i was reading some lacan in the kohlberg coffee bar when i got a distress call from a nearby classroom. i swooped over to see what was happening. a young well-dressed asian woman with an acoustic guitar had moved to the front to present her comic dialogue, as, over the past couple weeks, so many of her classmates had done. alarm bells rang immediately as she began, "inspired by the Vagina Monologues as performed recently by several very talented actresses, i thought i'd write my own monologue," and then proceeded to play the intro the dave matthew's "crash."
timmy: why didn't you stop her, problematic man?
problematic man: well, as the assignment was to write a comic piece, i thought perhaps the ensuing monologue would be an ironic sendup of the monologues. i let her proceed. she put down her guitar and, in a stereotypical representation of a poor-white southern accent, intoned, "i loves my guitar. my guitar is alls i got going in this world. my mama, she don't like me to play my guitar ..."
timmy: holy classism and more-than-likely racism, problematic man!
pm: precisely, little timmy. but she didn't stop there. she continued to tell the story of how her mama found her one day playing her guitar and threatened her, screaming curses ("you little crackwhore bitch girl") and expletives before wrenching the guitar from her poor daughter's grasp and smashing it against the wall. when her father came home later, she explained, he verbally and sexually abused the girl's mother, and as he had once played in a band that explained the mother's aversion to the daughter's guitar.
t: how did the class react to this cliched, melodramatic, manipulative potboiler?
pm: that's the funny thing, little timmy. people seemed to react as though it was a legitimate piece of drama. when i couldn't stand it anymore, i assumed my typical role of a sensitive swarthmore student and i raised the issue that the dialect made me uncomfortable. but just then, my arch nemesis, dr. ditz, spoke up.
t: not dr. ditz!
pm: i'm afraid so. "but like the dialect made it like so much more interesting," she said, "because like i don't get to hear that kind of talking so often, you know? it's like really exciting, cause it's different." i turned my ExoticizingTheOther laser gun at her but before i could pull the trigger, the professor stepped in and made the point for me.
t: so you didn't exactly save the day, didja, Problematic Man?
pm: no, timmy. i wish Consciousness Raising Girl had been there with me. but i did the best i could.
t: don't worry, Problematic Man. there's still every other class you've ever taken or ever will take here in which a travesty like that could never take place.
pm: you're right, it's true ... all the same, do you think i should destroy the Vagina Monologues before they tempt others to follow this young woman's lead and create other offensive stories that essentialize females-as-victims?
t: gee, you know, i haven't actually seen them so i'm not sure. [turning to the camera] what do you think?

Sunday, March 02, 2003

tonight i'm afraid is when my monthly reality check gets delivered. fitting as is first of month. welcome [back], my lovely, to the addictive world of blogging.

a chai in the company of sarah c. and my spirits are back up. i have a kickass [idea for a] first paragraph for my history seminar paper that illustrates the thesis i will present through the example of ariel, the little mermaid; and a kickass title ("intercoarse: changing social and sexual habits in recent americans." harkens back to WISSHH.) in between stretches of dutiful, fruitful labor, we discussed how co|motion has positively influenced our lives, both at this college and in general. it's like a consciousness raising group circa 1972 ("good old 1972 ...")
exhausted. as we went around the table at the dinner comotion meeting tonight, it seemed clear that everyone feels the same way. it's relevant, of course, that it's the last week before break. also that we have too many things we have to do. (swatties.) but without regard for that or other logic, i want to shave my head, take several showers, and sleep for three weeks, possibly not in that order.

screw this weekend (a swattie ritual in which roommates set each other up on blind dates, and each person & their date have to meet through some implausible set of all-in-good-fun publically humiliating events) went fine. ben&i as a couple were screwed to jonah&sarah as a couple, which suited my purposes: we 4 shared an ambivalent attitude toward the dance and forsook it for beer and birthday cake, teenage mutant ninja turtles and simpsons, and pizza. over break, which can't get here fast enough, we're camping out in my grandparents' house in vermont. o that will be wonderful. o undisturbed tv watching, and frolicking, and bliss. o skiing, the only sport i've ever vaguely enjoyed, tho it scared me to go too fast or on the advanced slopes.

there is much to get through before then. i'm steeled for it. good luck with your endeavors and your dramas, your sicknesses and stressors. and happy happy birthday to dearlana, even if it feels less than buoyant now.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

between rehashings and fallout from tuesday's seminar drama and other unforeseen events, i didn't get the clean break from discussing judaism/israel that i expected. which is not to say it was all bad. maybe it makes more sense that it lasted a week, that it was a theme for a week even. now it's done.
last night eliz and stef invited a group over (including danny who made post-its appear in fairy godmother style) to their apartment for majority-goyish shabbes. cheerfully adorably domestic, they proferred hummus and drinks ("coke or water?"), let us lounge and watch lock, stock. the only difficult point came at the celebration. expectantly, everyone looked my way. at the end of a different week, blessing unkosher candles might not have made me so uncomfortable: but i couldn't do it. before it could become too awkward, we moved on, one hostess blessing the kosher, lovely challah that the two of them had made by hand. although it was huge, it circled the group again and again until nothing remained.

i could have probably been chiller about the candles thing also if i hadn't grown up taking shabbes seriously. friday nights are a ritual unto themselves in my family. either we join my grandparents at their apartment or they join us. i set everything up in the dining room, leaving the blinds open. hebrew from start to finish, sung, standing. my mother hovers over tarnished candlesticks. someone prays and we drink manischewitz from old silver cups. my grandfather blesses his homemade challah and distributes it. salt, and it's over. one by one we kiss each other, murmuring good shabbes.

it's -- it's, what can i say, tradition. facing squat encased candles from pier one, i had no confidence that i'd remember the words.

on a lighter but also religious note, this is wonderful:
The altered ruling will take effect in the nine western states of the 9th Circuit on March 10 unless opponents win a court order blocking it. It would ban teacher-led recitation of the pledge by 9.6 million schoolchildren in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.