Thursday, January 31, 2008


I'm in the middle of writing my autobiographical essay for class tomorrow. It's riveting, obv.

I am also on the lookout for "creepy old guys;" my supervisor at work just told me that she got an email this morning from Sheila with the subject "creepy old guy" . . . apparently there has been a man coming up to girls working at the circulation desk. What my supervisor doesn't know is that I am a) highly trained in dealing with creepy old men, and b) currently in a relationship with a creepy old man, as well.

Cue stories:

a) There is a homeless man who lives in Port Jefferson whom I've had several run-ins with; his name is Anthony, and he's tried to steal or wheedle his way into getting several things from the retail store I work at. When the cops didn't show up one night I was working alone, I had to deal with him myself as he harassed customers. So yeah.
b) My friends and I were at the Statesman one night to see some bands play; we were dancing and whatever when all of a sudden, this old guy taps my friend Jim on the shoulder, says something to him, and points in my directon. He then proceeds to shake my hand and walk away. When I asked Jim what he'd said, he told me that the guy was like, "She's my girlfriend!" And so began the scandalous romance.

On the topic of creeps, I love the word 'creeper' almost as much as the word 'tool.' Which is saying a LOT.

Note to self: "rabbit, rabbit" the first person in sight tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The trouble with Joe

I've made both cups of coffee too sweet today. I can't decide what it is--if I just have a heavy hand with the sugar all of a sudden, or if feeling bitter has manifested itself in my perception of coffee's taste. Hmph.

Brazil nuts, or "the origin of women"

I have been mislead my entire life.
There are interesting mythological ideas on the origin of women. In an early part of the Mundurucd creation cycle, human beings are already present in the world. The culture hero and creator, named Karusakaibo, lived among the people with a handsome young son, named Korumtau. Despite Karusakaibo's prohibition, the women all seduced his son, leading the angry father to turn him into a tapir. Undaunted, the women copulated with the tapir until one day the men found out and killed the animal. The enraged women then marched single file to the river, where they turned into fish. The world was left without women. Later, Karusakaibo and his trickster friend, Daiiru the armadillo, found an underworld and pulled out of it the people from whom the Mundurucu are sprung. But there were only men among these human beings, and Karusakaibo proceeded to make women out of clay. The various animals of the forest copulated with the women, and the different sizes and shapes of their penises account for the differences now found in the vagina. The armadillo finished the work by smearing a bit of rotten Brazil nut on the mouth of each vagina, which is why the female organ smells the way it does today.

All those tales about being created from a rib or of evolving from monkeys . . . NOT TRUE, ladies.

Carly burst in here with her laptop before; we're both taking the same anthropology class and the above excerpt was from our reading assignment. We were both highly amused, and a mature, meaningful discussion about Brazil nuts ensued. Obv.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Just wanted to share my happiness . . . after folding my laundry, I realized that I was able to pair all my socks!

It's always the little things.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Little microphones

The ten-day forecast promises temperatures in the thirties and forties. Thank you, big G (God or global warming, take it as you will).

Do you ever wish you could tune in to people's thoughts? Not with the intent of 'reading their minds,' per se, but just to see why that girl sitting alone has that slight smirk on her face, or whether or not that guy with the stony face even has thoughts. The difference is that you wouldn't be searching for something, only satisfying your curiosity.

If you somehow found the signal of my thought waves, Van Morrison's 'I'm In Heaven (When You Smile)' would be on repeat. In case you were wondering.

Along the same lines as music in people's heads, do you ever watch the way people walk when they're listening to their iPods? I always watch the deliberateness of a person's pace and try to imagine what kind of beat they're trying to match. This kid just walked by the circulation desk--his strides were slow and calculated and exactly the same length. Totally matching a beat.

There's this passage in 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' where Oskar, the little boy who narrates most of the story, is talking about the possibility of swallowing little microphones that would play the sound of our beating hearts . . .
What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone’s heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone’s hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don’t really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn’t have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon would sound like war.

Oh, Oskar, I wish you were my little brother.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Thursday

As I told Ellen today, this blog is destined to become a circulation desk rant. Sigh. There isn't much to complain about, though . . . it's just DEAD. First 'Thirsty Thursday' of the semester does that to a library, I suppose.

So it goes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Theme of the semester? No free time.

Guess where I am.

Yes, work. It's really not bad, though. I'm only at circulation for an hour, so I didn't bring any of my books with me. I'm shelving for an hour after this, and then I have an hour to spare before calligraphy at 3:00. That's really what today is--an hour here, an hour there. I just want to sprawl out on my bed and read all evening, but I have lab from 5-7 . . . by which time I expect I'll be ready to eat my lab partner.

Buzzing in the back of my brain are the assignments I have for critical reading and creative writing; I have to write an autobiographical essay and a poem with the topic "Who Am I?" (respectively).

Anyways, time to shelve.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Laptop desk, I haven't missed you much

First day of classes. I'm working at the library's laptop desk, and it's fairly quiet. I'm being nice to everyone. Things are good. It's strange, having a 'first day' in the middle of the winter, as I've always equated early fall as a time for new beginnings. I like the change; I feel like the new year will be more significant from now on because now there's opportunity to start fresh instead of just getting a week off and going back to the same high school inanity you left. This semester is far more relaxed than last, which I know will make it easier for me to do well. I love being back.

It's snowing, if you were wondering.

There's an older man speaking with someone over at the writing center who sounds just like Kermit the Frog. I want to go shake his hand. What do you call frog appendages? I know that all four are legs, so do they just have four feet? I guess that's it. Google, what do you have to say?

Okay, so they can be called arms. Which means that if the guy was, in fact, Kermit, I could technically go shake his hand.

That was a stupid train of thought. I've hit the ground running this semester, obv. Le sigh.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Something old, something new

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.

Shakespeare is the man. The last couplet of that sonnet (76) came to mind as I was trying to figure out what this semester felt like thus far; things here really are new and old. I feel new and old. I don't know. The biggest difference, I think, is the realization that this is my life. And my job. And I need to remember that.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Plane Talk

All hesitance to leave home has vanished by sitting on this flight; I wish I could express just how the sky feels, because it’s more than just seeing it. You feel it. Waiting for takeoff, I could see the Manhattan skyline outside my window, breaking the horizon line of palest blue that deepened as your eyes traveled skyward like one of those tie-dyed tee shirts you had when you were younger. Or still have now.

The man sitting in front of me almost had a heart attack when the personal televisions weren’t turned on as soon as we boarded. I rolled my eyes and lamented the vapidity of people until I inched up in my seat a few minutes later to see what he was so eager to watch. Yes, the Patriots game. Every television visible from my seat being operated by a guy is tuned in. There are a few women watching as well, but generally speaking. I’m surrounded by the hum of play-by-plays and shrilly whistles. Oh, football.

But back to the sky. It’s as if the world below us is underwater, submerged beneath a sea transparent like breath on a bitterly cold day, which we simply sail upon level with the floating clouds. I imagine this is what Atlantis would look like from above water. It’s surreal.

We’re at a fairly low altitude because the distance isn’t terribly far (as far as flights go, at least), so the ground is still perfectly visible. About five minutes ago, the topography made a clean break from earthy brown to powdery white. Eesh. The moon is just above the horizon, its circle blurred slightly towards the left . . . there’ll be a full moon within days. Did you read Highlights magazine when you were in elementary school? The only thing I remember reading in it was that you could always tell whether the moon was waxing or waning based on what side of the moon was dark. Imagine a vertical line where the moon’s outline is blurred, and if it creates a lowercase ‘b,’ it’s a ‘baby’ moon and is waxing. A lowercase ‘d,’ on the other hand, represents a ‘dying’ moon and is waning. So there’s your first astronomy lesson from a future student of the stars.

The flight attendant is telling me to power down; Geneseo, I’m almost there.

dear tortoise, a question:

oh, cozy tortoise,
carrying the shelled concept
of home on your back

but tortoise, does it
weigh you down (knowing you can't
ever be away),

since you will never
know the warmth of coming home
to a place you've missed?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cement Feet

I am avoiding packing. I don't know why it hasn't bothered me like this before, but I feel like I just don't want my family to continue functioning without me. Or is it the other way around? It's hard to explain, but the point is that I'm going to miss them differently than I did last semester. Jess and I discussed this a few weeks ago, how it's almost harder to leave now than it was at the beginning of fall semester because being apart from people has reminded us what we love about them. So I suppose that, in this case, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"In the sexually euphemestic sense, of course!"

I was just clicking through dinosaur comics (probably my favorite internet pastime) and stumbled across this one; I thought it fit in quite nicely with yesterday's mention of UrbanDictionary. Had to share.

Here's the link to the website; there's usually a new one up every day, but most times I just click through the archives, which you can also do by clicking the text link of random phrases right underneath the green "DINOSAUR COMICS" on the top of the page: dinosaur comics

Thursday, January 17, 2008


"Well, I think it’s more difficult to be clear than to be obscure."

Oh, Billy Collins, why must you say everything that needs to be said? I was lamenting the fact that everything I write ends up being either vapid and pointless or far too close to home to be anything I'd ever show anyone when I found that quote. You'd think that just saying what needs to be said would be much easier than beating around the bush, but I think that embellishing stories of any kind (be it adding eight inches to the length of the fish you caught or losing the point of a poem to flowery adjectives) is just what we do--if we have the pluck to say anything in the first place. We're storytellers by nature, and while it's mostly a good thing, sometimes I just want to slap people (myself included) and tell them to be straight up. In a nice way, of course.

Anyways. Enough senseless chatter, but to continue on the topic of being clear . . . a toast for clarity goes to UrbanDictionary, everyone's favorite resource for finding the meaning of terms we're all too sheepish to ask about! Seriously, though. I think it was in tenth grade; people started throwing around the term 'spooning' and I had no clue what anyone was talking about. Thank you, UrbanDictionary, for introducing me to the gentle art of horizontal hugging. Who would've thought that the name was indicative of the definition? Psh.

Funny cat story of the day: I woke up this morning (er, afternoon) and shuffled into the bathroom to brush my teeth; as I was doing so, Ginny bounded onto the countertop and then onto my back, clinging onto my sweatshirt with her nails. I bent my back at this point just so she wouldn't fall, and she proceeded to climb onto my shoulders and, from there, she perched herself atop my head. As I was brushing my teeth. Good morning to you, too, Ginny dear.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Coming and Going

No snow day today; there was a dusting of what looked like powdered sugar on the lawn when I woke up. It's moments like that when I feel happiest to be out of high school.

So after I woke up, I walked into the bathroom to find Ginny curled up on her bed next to a giant nest of shredded toilet paper that she unfurled from the roller . . . I was wondering how long it'd take her to figure that one out. I'm still not completely used to having a cat; I think she prefers Erin because Erin isn't afraid to get clawed or bitten. I, on the other hand, just want her to curl up next to me and allow me to pet her. If I were a cat, that's what I'd do, but no. She'd rather bounce off the walls like a small child with ADD. Oh, Ginny.

I'm starting to itch to get back to Geneseo. Dynamics at home are starting to change again . . . I felt really out of place when I got home because all of a sudden, my mom and Erin had more of the buddy relationship that used to define myself and my mom, so I felt a bit displaced. Now that I've been home, though, it's starting to shift back which means that there's more bickering and general craziness. So yeah.

I'm meeting a few friends later on; Caitlin is going back to school tomorrow so we're going to say goodbye. It's likely we won't see each other until the semester ends in May, which is more than a little depressing. I'm usually fine with having to say goodbye, though, if I know when I'll see a person again. It's the uncertainty of indefinite partings that really gets to me. Too bad I can't take everyone I love and make them pocket-sized like Mike Teevee in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, that way I'd never be without them.


While walking down 8th

All at once, I understand why grown men walk around New York with stereos like Atlas’s globe because for all of our insistence on creating personal bubbles, on wearing sunglasses and earphones and becoming silent vessels of our thoughts and fears,

Isn’t all we ever want just to be heard?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Old Wives' Tales

It's a bit after six and I am under the covers with my pajamas on. Heh. Erin and Keira are finishing homework . . . there's talk of a snow day tomorrow, and even though it doesn't affect me anymore, I can't help but feel a bit of anticipation. Silly, I know, but at least my pajamas aren't inside out. Do you remember the old wives' tales that always went along with an impending snow day? I always wore my pajamas inside out, and I might've done a snow dance or two. Some kids would put spoons under their pillows . . . never understood that one. Because my methods made so much more sense, of course.

What about the superstition that when your ears ring, someone's talking about you? Obviously it's untrue, but whenever it happens I can't help but imagine who'd be talking about me, whether or not I'd want to hear what they're saying, etc. Then I think about celebrities, and the severe tinnitus they each must suffer from. Poor Britney.

Sometimes I think about people I've had obscure run-ins with; it's weird, because attaching specific thought to an unknown person somewhere just makes the world seem so much larger. Like yesterday, my mom and I were in Orlando and we took a bicycle taxi from the convention center to a restaurant . . . the driver (pedaler?) was this guy in his twenties who was finishing his last semester as an accounting major and had an obvious interest in BMX biking . . . attaching a life and goals to this random guy meant he was no longer just a static person, and when you think of how many people you interact with on a daily basis, you can't help but realize how many people are living their lives at the same time.

Now I'm googling (is that an acceptable verb?) old wives' tales . . . there's a bunch about sneezing:
'A little death' (in places where it is believed the soul momentarily leaves the body with the sneeze). We still use the expression 'Bless you' (short for 'God Bless You'). This stems from the times when a sneeze could mean the plague, viz. 'Coughs and sneezes spread diseases'.

Sneeze 'once for a wish, twice for a kiss, three for a letter, four for something better'. In Scotland, a newborn child is said to remain under 'the fairy spells' until it has sneezed for the first time. It was also believed that an idiot could not sneeze, so that a child's first sneeze was important. If you sneeze when talking you are telling the truth (America); three sneezes before breakfast means you will receive a present during the day (Germany); any sneeze is an indication that someone, somewhere, is saying nice things about you (Japan). It is very lucky to sneeze at exactly the same time as someone else you are with.

I take great interest in that, as anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I can't sneeze just once . . . or twice . . . or six times . . . I usually average about eight. I should go to Germany and have countless gifts bestowed upon me.

And speaking of putting on items of clothing inside-out:
It is lucky to put on an item of clothing inside out, although you must not change it until the time you would normally take it off, for the luck to hold. William of Normandy inadvertently put on his shirt of mail back to front just before the Battle of Hastings; when his courtiers pointed out his mistake and said it was a bad omen, quick-thinking William assured them it was not and was in fact a sign that he was about to be changed from a duke into a king.

But enough of those. Thai tea is softly (but insistently) calling me to the kitchen, and the unbent spine of The Kite Runner is playing on my guilt for not having read more this month.