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Archive for April, 2010

In one hour I will scoop up my belongings, hop on the yellow line to National, then board a tincanpacked jetplane on down to Wilmington. Tomorrow morning (after gulping in some of that sea salty-home-air) I’ll scoot in the backseat of my sister’s car between my sweet-as-pie niece (7) and my handsome-Tasmanian-devil nephew (3) for a 3 hour car ride to the Bumfuckmiddleofnowhere, SC. I will then be swarmed by 1,945,606 people who say they’re related to me and aww don’ she look jus lyke Verda (grandma)? Funerals always bring 8th cousins 12 times removed out of the woodwork who all have not seen me since I was knee high to a grasshopper (Do grasshoppers have knees? How was I so popular at that particular size?)

I will eat my fill on the vittles people “have to bring” when someone “passes on” down south: sweet potato pies, green bean casseroles, buttery biscuits, crispy fried chicken, pecan pies, banana puddin’, baked beans, deviled eggs, barbecue, potato salad, pickled beets (<3), country fried steak, black eyed peas, collard greens, fresh sliced garden tomatoes, Brunswick stew, cornbread, and fried okra, all washed down with gallon upon gallon of sweet tea thank you very much.

It just struck me that the person who made these things the best will never prepare them for me again. I will never again dip my spoon into a steaming hot bowl of fresh vegetable soup which tastes like the way her house smells… familiar, secure, serene. No more chocolate oatmeal cookies that melt as soon as they hit your tongue, slide down into your belly and have the effects of a double-dose of valium… tingling fingers and toes, not a care in the fuckin’ world contentment. I feel like half of the time she was alive she was buzzing around that kitchen, makin’ gravy from the bacon fat, drenching warm homemade biscuits with it, refilling sweet tea glasses, refusing to sit and eat with us because she just wants to add one-more-dish to the table. She always had a jar of pickled beets waiting for me when I came to visit- without fail. I’d eat half of them with my fingers in one sitting, staining my fingers a perfect plum purple that meant that that day I’d been reminded where I come from and what I stand for. I’m agnostic, but I’m terrorized by the fear that now she’s looking down on me (or walking beside me?) watching everything I do. Monitoring not only how I treat people, but how I treat myself…. THAT IS A LOT OF PRESSURE.

She obviously wasn’t into tats, but I’m about 97% sure I’m going to get one in the next couple weeks to remind me of her. It feels right.

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Sincere apologies for the emo-nstrocity that occurred yesterday. They had given my grandmother 24-48 hours and I lost her this morning at 8:30 am. She was a saint I tell ya.

I figured today I could continue the Swede saga, because dressing up and wallowing in the happiest moments of my life sounds pretty appropriate in this tough time. Let’s dip into the pensieve (Harry Potter reference for you muggles).

Chapter 2: Jag är i KÄRLEK. (I am in love.. sounds like “Yog air e share-lek”)

I went home after meeting my Swede just reeling from the encounter. However, no matter how strong you might feel a connection, it doesn’t mean the other party is jivin’ to the same tune. I had just gotten out of the shower the next morning when I got a text from him asking if I wanted to “fika” (Swedish coffee-date). It was as though someone slipped a mini-trampoline under my feet because I imagine I was scraping the ceiling I was jumping so high… running to my international buddies, carefully crafting an acceptance and planning an outfit.

I was a bit self conscious about my personal style when I came to Sweden because those fuckers SHOWSTOP. I mean it. Everyone looks like they just got done modeling for Vogue, even Swedes standing at bus stops or waiting in line at the grocery store look like they’re shooting an editorial. I used to dress a bit… plain. So I was worried that this gorgeous specimen of a man, immaculately dressed as I recalled, was going to mistake me for Sarah Plain and Tall and bolt like a colt.

My Swedish friend Lou lent me a funky scarf and a rad brown leather thrift jacket and went with me to meet up with him. We sat on the stairs of Domkyrkan (Cathedral in Lund, below) eating los godis (Swedish loose candy, delicious) and then he walked up. We locked eyes here:

Voice lost, eyes glazed, heart banging around my ribcage (can he hear that? Fuck), sweaty palms. Seeing him in the daylight, stone sober, made me realize how courageous a couple gin and tonics make me to have approached him. I felt he was so out of my league that he’d probably never call me again after this date.

We ended up opting for a drink instead of coffee, and hit the ground at a Kenyan-track runner-sprint. He was so sweet and well-spoken and interested in what I had to say. His English was immaculate and did I mention he was faint-and-pass-out handsome? I don’t even know exactly what we talked about on that first date, only that I was waiting to wake up from this dream in my tiny bed in a big slimy pool of drool with crusted eyes.

He texted again. We had a four hour lunch the next day, and it was these moments that made me realize that he was just as into me as I was into him. I could read it in his eyes.

I already told you about his kind eyes, but that’s not enough. He’s an old gentle soul. Those green irises met my blue ones and we promised to love each other until our last gasping breath. That breath would be thankful, knowing we had felt this feeling. We didn’t fall in love in a barn burnin’ frenzy, we just melted together until I couldn’t see where I ended and he began. It was just FACT. The planets and stars had lined up so that our paths would cross and we would never ever be alone again.

They say before you die your life flashes before your eyes. When we fell in love our perfect future slideshowed in my dreams. Our wedding. Our toe-head blonde kids (please have his eyes). Front porch squeaky rocking chairs. Our first kiss was the first of so many happiest moments of my life that he gave me. Our hands fit perfectly together, and found each other every waking second (and sometimes while we slept). I even realized we were unknowingly holding hands while eating dinner once. His arms circle perfectly around me, in this safe haven of his arms nothing could touch me and I felt Nirvana peace.

This love we found changed me so fundamentally that I felt like I had reached to the top of my head, grabbed a zipper, pulled it straight down the front of my body until all my clothes and skin and muscles and sinews dropped to the floor around my bone ankles, and then I stepped over into a new, more peaceful, more beautiful, pristinely undamaged pile and zipped it right up. I stopped hating myself. All my raw open tragedy sores healed shut. His love rescued me from myself

There were no games. We knew it was once in a lifetime. A month after we met I had a key to his apartment and we had flown up to Stockholm to meet his family. I felt like they were my family immediately. This fall was the happiest season of my entire life.

Song: “Case of You” by Joni Mitchell

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Disclaimer: this post is a huge downer. This blog is my run-off reservoir and today I’ve past my saturation point.

Have you ever been on the metro or stopped at a stoplight, and you look over and the person next to you is going through it. The person could be tight faced… holding it together… lonely traitorous tears making their fugitive escape despite barbed wire resolve… or they could be choking on the emotions draining out of their eyes, hands shaking, head shaking, shoulders shaking, vibrations floating out and lapping over your shoes…. a rippling grief wake threatening to tug and rip them from the dock they’ve been firm-gripping with white knuckles. A vast concrete dam with cracking seeping fissures… like if you were to touch them that dam would instantaneously avalanche-crumble and water would rush and flood and demolish and drown… Like any physical comfort would make them howl with pain. I guess when it comes down to it you never know what your neighbor is going through. Or your boss. Or your cafeteria lady.

I was going through it this morning. I’m in it. I got ushered into a long dim lit tunnel… like the one in Willy Wonka with all the terrible images projected on the walls… except instead of crawling maggots it’s us walking hand and hand down the beach collecting seashells… instead of fear I feel longing and grief and abandonment…

Is the grisly reaper mowing?
Yes! The danger must be growing
For the rowers keep on rowing.
And they’re certainly not showing
any signs that they are slowing….

It’s forced and it’s petrification. It’s me, 7, chubby and self conscious in my tight shiny elastic bathing suit, up next in the long summer line, holding a wet blue rubber mat at the towering top of a waterslide, the lifeguard demanding me to plummet, cage-scared, pushed, free-fall sliding to the inevitable rush-smack violence of the water, flailing limbs askew. Think buoyant. Dead man’s float on surface tension.

I’m about to lose one of the few anchors in this world that has pulled me back from the abyss. One of the portraits I could stare at and be reminded and resolutely certain that this world is full of pure kindness and steadfast love. Someone’s face who looks like mine, whose blood runs through me, that when I felt like I was built of faulty parts the factory should recall, I remembered that solid gold is in my family tree. She’s my iron root. I look in her eyes and see unconditional adoration, and she is pure… A pure person looks at me with pure love. As good as she is, if a drop of her is in me I am worthwhile.

They say I have her eyes.

Song: Patty Griffin “Rain”

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My Sunday was pretty much the cat’s pajamas- brunch at Acadiana was scrumtittillyumptious. Biscuits with pepper jelly and cream cheese (!) A trio of deviled eggs, ballin’ ass shrimp and grits, and took some beignets to-go. They sent our table an amuse (mushroom topped with hollandaise, lump crabmeat, and creamed spinach), and they sent us a mini dessert platter as well (dining with a concierge friend has its perks). Boundless gluttony.

Then we went to the National Mall for the climate event I plugged last week. Passion Pit had a short set (4 songs) but didn’t disappoint. They opened with “The Reeling” and by the time they got to the closer, “Sleepyhead,” the crowd was infected and dancin’ up a storm. Then I napped in the hot hot sun (how bizarre, how bizarre).

A bizarre turn to my Sunday was this text exchange (I’m the green):

He was a random lapse of judgment a few months ago, and needless to say he won’t be seeing me again. Especially after those texts. Is this round two of reverse text karma?

I’ll have to continue the Swede saga tomorrow, as I am exhausted from all the drinking and digesting and dancing I did today. Dipsetdipsetdipset

“Waltz (Better than Fine)” by Fiona Apple

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Things I’ve already accomplished today:

1. I went on safari.

(You got me. That’s just lady being a wild jungle kitty behind a house plant. I slept at Emilia and JFace’s apartment after the bar last night, because really who’s done partying at 3? Our collegiate habit of reconvening for late-night lives on.)

2. Gave an asshole the finger. Do not honk at me you fucking simpleton, this is quite clearly a cross walk, conveniently demarcated by painted stripes and a bright fucking yellow sign. AND its raining, Go fuck yourself you fucking fuck. (I get transportation rage… Driving, metro escalators, pedestrianism… blood pressure hiking).

3. Brunch at Asylum with Becca (strooong spicy bloodys, expansive vegan options)

4. Now Becca and I are at Tryst, drinking coffee with Baileys/people watching/reading/blogging… thinking of asking the cute white tee and jeans clad waiter if its an extra charge if he feeds us the grapes from our cheese platter… probably shouldn’t have shared that but I’m blessed with the reality of not giving a fuck.

Last night was… eghhhh. There isn’t a good word I think, just a long breathy sigh and a downwards glance. I got plenty-drunk and we went out in Dupont, but Becca got blackout and abandoned me early (we’re 2 of the 4 single females in our group) so it was Jface, her mate, Ludwig Von Strayhorn and her boyfriend, and me. So I’m essentially on my own, surveying the prospects. There was an excessively eager dancing dude, who lost me after the first backbreaking overzealous dip… I ditched him to talk to an honest to Jeebus Robert Pattinson look alike, and the convo went a little like this:

Me: So what do you do?

RP: I play online poker.

Me:….. ..…. for a living?

RP: Yea.

Me: OK… How old are you, exactly?

RP: 20.

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! *Pause with questioning look, eyebrows raised* Oh you’re not kidding? (Fuck)…. Bye.

The sad thing was they were the only two remotely interesting prospects in the bar, which was actually a sausage fest. Color me exasperated. I hereby pledge, as Gawd is my witness, tonight I will make up for the Womp Wommmmp that occurred last night. I feel it in mah bones. Stay tuned.

(Rihanna “Rude Boy”… been listening to this way too much)

These are a few of my favorite things

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I’m going to take a break from studying Acadiana’s online menu and planning my Sunday brunch (unlimited raw bar? .25 cent Cajun bloodys and mimosas? Be still my heart. Be still.) I was torn whether to continue my Swede saga or rave about my bomb-ass friends today. I’m slightly hungover, don’t feel like invasive introspection, so the latter will do.

Last night I was in the living room at the girls’ house (the “home base” for our group, a nucleus of five fantastic females in a house in Admo with enough couches (4.5) for the rest of us to crash on when we’re too drunk to make it to our respective residences (read: every weekend)… we also pregame there). I glanced around at the 12 other individuals lazing about, drinks in hand, jabberjawin’ about the good ol’ days… I suddenly felt the weight of a densely full heart. Everyone’s voice is unique, and everyone serves a purpose in this family unit. It’s incredible how tight we are… so much that an email saying “I miss you guys” circulated amongst us yesterday, 59 emails in the chain, with the end result of us not-quite making it to Friday to see each other. As tight as we are, I think we have some strange love-habits:

Emilia and I snuggle faces when we haven’t seen each other in a couple days. We embrace, touch cheeks, rub them back and forth against each others, and make noises like “hmmmmm, oh that’s nice, I’ve missed you, hmmmm.” This may prove awkward for on-lookers.

I love holding J-Face’s hand. I really do. We’ve held hands in multiple countries. Nice touches.

I also love J-Face’s grey cardboard cat, Lady. Lady is WILD RAWRRR (aka we move her to various parts of the apartment, so that when you notice she’s somewhere new you can say to her “Lady how did you get up there? She’s so WILD today!”) We’ve been talking to this cardboard cat for over a year now. She’s family. I’m thinking of printing out a picture of a kitten, gluing it to cardboard, naming it, and sitting it next to her so we can lecture Lady on safe sex and her reputation. And make up a fake deadbeat dad-cat to talk shit about. Poor Lady, being a single mom is so harrddddd.

We go out hard and in force. In college we would roll 20-25 deep to the bars, singing Disney songs to cops along the way. Quote from a bartender “You guys are always the drunkest people at the bar, when you GET to the bar.” Now we’re 10-15 people, but I can rely on the fact that one of us will be blackout enough to produce a really good story. Sometimes that person is me. Tonight that person might be me…. I’m thinking tonight should be a “reclaiming our youth” night (code for get more blackout than usual).

We’re into nicknames. Mine is Winks (origin: Lemmiwinks from South Park. Yes, my permanent nickname stems from a gerbil that goes into Mr. Slave’s ass and journeys through his digestive system).

I love when Gato mass texts “Good Morning,” and that the Mayor of Admo and I started sending motivational texts to get each other out of the bed, my formula is inspirational quote+nonsense. Like a Voltaire quote then “hurry your sheets are lava!!!!”

Some stories include: the night Becca robbed a guy (this was recent… and a weeknight… like took his keys and wallet)… When Andrew hooked up with Brook Hogan and got a HJ bought for him by a dude that wanted to bang him (also when our house got a male-stripper-with-a-jesus-tat and he challenged him to a strip off, and won, but accidentally exposed a testicle to a room of 20 or so ladies- I’m going to ask him to do a “guest post” soon)…. When Soulja Beth Tell Em’ sliced open her hand in a bar bathroom, and we had to trick her into getting stitches… That time I (blackout) tackled a 200 pound guy in London… Pirate vs. Ninja Capture the Flag (and when Robert (ninja) dropkicked J-Face and busted open his forehead on the coffee table on the way down) Ok there’s a 1,000 of these stories so I’ll stop but I’d like to thank all of Those Guys for accepting me as-is and making my life so fucking fun.

Franklin St…. sighhhhh

(Friends from home, you’ve got a whole ventricle to yourselves. You know my deep thirsty roots and all the environmental conditions that made me the wackadoodledoo that I am. I miss you.)

Song: “Hotel Song” by Regina Spektor. It’s one of “our songs.”

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This is more of a public service announcement than a post. On Sunday there is an Earth Day Climate Rally on the National Mall from 11am- 7pm. I’m all for comprehensive climate legislation, but I’m definitely attending this event for the FREE MUSIC.

Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Jimmy Cliff, Passion Pit, Bob Weir, Willie Colón, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Patrick Stump, Mavis Staples, Booker T, Honor Society and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

Also there will be a bunch of speakers…

I’m a junkie, I surely am. I’ll post reviews from any shows I see from here on out… since I moved to DC in November I’ve seen:

Mew/ Pixies

Of Montreal

Freelance Whales

Ani Difranco

Joanna Newsom

Patty Griffin

Florence and the Machine

Arctic Monkeys

I have to say none of these shows disappointed me, but Mew, Of Mont, and Florence were stand-out fuckin’ rad-ness… made me feel IMMORTAL and ELECTRIC. And the Arctic Monkeys drummer is superhuman.

Coming up on the docket:

Does anyone want to see The Tallest Man on Earth at Black Cat on Friday night? Usually I’d fly solo if I couldn’t find an accomplice (previously discussed: my comrades are a Top 40 crowd)… But they’ll be at Pitchfork Festival in July so I can wait.

4/27 Los Campesinos and Cymbals Eat Guitars

5/4 Sia

5/28 Erykah Badu- anyone interested?

6/3 Passion Pit if I can find a ticket- sold out like lighteningggg

6/6 The National

6/13 Warpaint

6/23 Frog Eyes (with Spencer Krug of Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade)

7/16-18 Pitchfork Festival (Including: Modest Mouse, Pavement, LCD Soundsystem, Wolf Parade (!), Robyn, Broken Social Scene, Why?, Panda Bear, The Tallest Man on Earth, St. Vincent, Beach House, Local Natives, etc.)

8/20 Crystal Castles

…. I’d also see either of the Pearl Jam shows in NYC.. not for Pearl Jam but because their openers are The Black Keys and Band of Horses.

If you’re going to any shows in the DC area, I’m probably up for it. Lemme know. I’ve also decided I should start posting the song/artist from my post titles, here’s a backlog:

3/26 “I Do” – Lisa Loeb

3/30 “Emily” – Joanna Newsom

4/7 “I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor” – Arctic Monkeys

4/9 “This Modern Love” – Bloc Party

4/13 “Window Blues” – Band of Horses

4/14 “Dimestore Diamond” – Gossip

4/15 “I’m Afraid of Americans” – Bowie (and Nine Inch Nails)

4/16 “What Is and What Should Never Be” – Led Zeppelin

4/17 “Telephone” – Gaga

4/19 “Lump” – Presidents of the United States

4/20 “The Next Episode” – Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg

4/20 “Dog Days are Over” – Florence and the Machine

4/21 “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” – Jeff Buckley

Today: “Sleepyhead” – Passion Pit

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