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They fling their speech

"Sometimes I feel as though I've been blessed"

3/18/09 07:09 pm

I think I might be done here.

I'm going to switch to here:


Click on over! It's been a fun time, LJ.


2/21/09 03:25 pm - when I don't want to lesson plan on Saturday, I sit and think about...

1. White jeans and how they should be worn with extreme caution. I don't care if they're in style or whatever. 5% of the population can pull this look off. Perhaps my disgust is influenced by my past experience with white jeans. (I was in a show choir where we were forced to wear them as a costume.) Since then, they pretty much equate bunchy-crotch awkwardness, with a Lindy-hop thrown in there for good, embarrassing, measure. I mean, if you're 95% confident that you can rock a pair, by all means give it a shot. I just don't recommend it.

2. Diagraming sentences and how I really think I'd enjoy taking an linguistics class. Hating linguistics was a big part of my college existence. I felt stupid in that class because I had no background knowledge, and everyone else picked it up naturally. I am not the best at developing study habits because I usually don't have to study. So I just convinced myself I hated it because I didn't understand it. But now I think I would love it.

3. Weird song lyrics like Counting Crows' line in "American Girls": "I've been going through your closet/trying on your clothes/almost every day." What the hell is that supposed to mean? Actually that whole song really creeps me out.

4. Fate, and how strange it is. I'm about to teach Oedipus, and when I really start thinking about the issue of fate that play presents my mind just turns into a slinky...I can't make it think in straight lines.

5. Which awesome power ballad I should choose first when I sing Karaoke tonight.

2/19/09 10:22 pm - Lots of small thoughts and a silly poem.

1. It has been a Ben Folds kind of day. I played it all day in my classroom. I love having the kind of job where I control the music.

(I didn't play it, like, during class...just during breaks and such.)

2. It has been a week of awkward moments. I didn't really realize how many there have been until Kel and I started trading awkward stories. I've got many. Pretty fantastic.

3. Junk Food is the devil. It sucks your soul. This whole week I've been too busy to grocery shop, or too lazy, and so I've been scavenging, and I feel as a bottom-dwelling creature of the sea must feel: kind of greenish and round.

4. I wrote this poem with my tongue stuck firmly in my cheek, so please read it knowing that. I never preface poems, but this one, well...I mean, it doesn't really represent who I'd like to be, but it does represent who I am. And it made me happy to write. You wouldn't believe the high I get when I write something and it's complete the first time. Sometimes, I write something and it tugs and tugs and smudges its way to a poem. But other times, it's like the whole thing just falls out, and be it good, bad or whatever, it is a finished thing, and it Exists. This one fits the latter category. And I like it.

Coming of Legs

I was born with wide feet
that grew too large too soon
at 10, I sat with shoes uncomfortably folded
under knees, so no one would know
I was a circus freak, a giant, an anomaly.

I got my mother’s thighs
for that, she constantly apologizes
and laughs, saying even when she
couldn’t sleep or eat
for a time in her life,
(she was 99 pounds, a fact which I think
she is secretly proud of)
Her mother-in-law told her
she looked ‘healthy’
in a two piece.
She sighs when she looks at them
‘drumsticks’ she says.

I say, half-heartly,
but we can walk.

Small consolation for our cancelled careers
as Broadway dancers and Interesting Women.

And I hate my knees.
When I had to buy knee-pads,
they didn’t fit over those dimpled
bowling balls, always white
and pudged, wrinkled like old men.

The last time
my last boyfriend
ran his hand around the hem
of my dress,
he whispered
I love your legs.

I knew, by then, the right response
was a sigh and smile, (a knowing one)
-the only proper acknowledgment.

But instead I gasped:
‘Really?” As if he’d given me a gift
or said he wasn’t leaving,
or something else great
and startling. He said,


My legs and I from this point on
walk differently.

1/25/09 09:17 pm - creation stories

It's you and only you
who can, frightened, finally
speak the worlds and words of truth.
Stutter, silent, blink and raise your eyes up
up to the hills, those hills that
have and always will hold you.
You replaced your ocean sunsets with their
more constant, stubborn subtly. Always there.
You have brought yourself here
you spoke it into being, didn't you?

It's you and only you
and you've spent so many words and syllables
tumbling, teasing, hinting at an existence of a truth
strong enough to earn a name dropping
here, tangled amid all words and wonderings
to replace pronoun with proper
to stop the mystery and stop the clamor
once and for all, to prove yourself
or prove yourself insane
or at the very least, say something.

It's you, on a stage nobody else constructed
raise, raise your eyes and open up
also your lips. It's you, you and only you
who know what and where your heart is
so speak. Speak it.

All creation began and begins with words
spoken truthfully; the words that sit
on your heart already. So read it.

1/15/09 09:16 pm

Nor do I believe
"artistic genius" is the possession
of any artist. No one has made
the art by which one makes the works
of art. Each one who speaks speaks
as a convocation. We live as councils
of ghosts. It is not "human genius"
that makes us human, but an old love,
an old intelligence of the heart
we gather to us from the world,
from the creatures, from the angels
of inspiration, from the dead--
an intelligence merely nonexistent
to those who do not have it, but
to those who have it more dear than life.

-Wendell Berry
from "Some Further Words"

1/1/09 08:05 pm - music to wash your soul off. (revised)

(rutter) pie jesu
(ollabelle) all is well
(dave matthews band) steady as we go
(sufjan) concerning the ufo sighting near highland, illinois
(radiohead) fake plastic trees
high and dry
street spirit
(chopin)prelude in e minor
(nickel creek) this side
(sinead o'connor) in this heart
(iron & wine) evening on the ground
(damien rice) dogs
rootless tree
(ben folds) landed
(ray lamontagne) be here now
can I stay
(bon iver) re: stacks

12/26/08 08:02 pm - merry christy.

In order to shake things up a bit, the family Lee booked a cabin in Yosemite. The plan: spend Christmas week hiking, biking and ah-haing surrounded by mountain meadows and flowing streams. It was going to be like opening that page in Oprah Magazine, the one with a peaceful vista covering an entire spread. Except for a week.

Three days before departure, I think everyone was getting nervous. Although nobody has said it, as the rain began to fall, the trip began to lose the "Oprah's aha moment" vibe and take on more of a I'm-freezing-my-ass-off; how-many-"Clue"-games-can-we-really-play? vibe. So, when I collapsed on my couch with a bad case of strep throat, nobody seemed very sad.

My mom didn't even complain too much about having to unpack all the gifts and food and clothes...the family cheerfully referred to my illness as a "Godsend".

I spent the first part of the week holed up on my couch, drinking soup and tea and thanking God for Penicillin, and replaying the exact moment in third period when a certain student got very close to me, allegedly to ask me a grammar question, and then coughed 5 times into my face. 5 short, staccato coughs. Cover your mouth! I barked, springing back in alarm. But it was too late.

I headed down to the homestead on Christmas eve morning, still feeling a little woozy. When I arrived my mom was holding a dvd box. She asked if I remembered the show "Christy". I did remember:

"Christy" fits into the same genre as "Little House on the Prairie". Set in 1912, it chronicles the adventures of Christy Huddleston, a feisty schoolmarm who moves to the backwoods of the Appalachians. Along the way, she meets and promptly enchants two men: a forthright young minister with high ideals and a rugged, intelligent doctor with a mysterious past.

Hello? Who wouldn't be hooked? The Lee ladies settled in around noon. Come 6:00, we looked at one another and said we supposed we should take a stab at celebrating Christmas. We fixed supper, read the Christmas story, and hung and filled stockings. Sang some carols. Around 9:30, we looked at one another. Another episode, someone said, in a joking tone. But nobody laughed.

I mean, I could, if anybody else wants to...

We were in front of the new flat screen within 5 minutes.

We're still watching. At this point, we're all talking in quaker accents. Early this morning, we skipped ahead to the final show and realized that the whole thing ends in a cliff-hanger: Christy stands between the two men, looking tortured and doe-eyed, and...freezeframe.

Apparently, there was not enough funding and support for a second season, so our heroine remains forever wild-eyed and confused.

We could be described similarly. We jumped online to figure out why the show was cancelled, but we could find nothing. No explanation. Just a few chatrooms devoted to fans of the the rugged doctor "Neil MacNeil" and the knowledge that a town in Tennessee hosts an annual "Christy-fest".

Our conversation since has been punctuated with ideas about how the show could have been saved. We blame the writers, whose unrealistic, melodramatic plots eventually choked the series.

Yet we still watch. We're putting in another one as I type.

So, lj friends, I bid you happy holidays. And, as Jenny put it, from the Lees,

Merry Christy.

12/17/08 03:45 pm - Ode to coffeeshops, where internet works.

Dear Loud talker
at the table beside me:

must you shout, must you wave your hands?
have you realized that the old man next to you
stopped listening 20 minutes ago?

Ah, don't tease me that way, picking up your
noise-reduction headphones,
as if you were going to stop talking
then waving them in the air
and continuing to flow the steady, monotone
out of your tiny slit of a mouth.

Yes, yes, put them on, go ahead.
You have been talking straight for 2 hours now
and that is enough.
Put them on.

Or give them to me.

12/10/08 08:38 pm

I found a playlist I put on Jenny's ipod called "music to wash your soul off". And it's doing just that. Pretty fantastic, the things that music can do.

11/16/08 02:23 pm

I'm sitting on my couch. Today I was supposed to run my first ever 1/2 marathon. But most of LA's surrounding area is burning. So they canceled the race. It has been the longest day. I feel like it should be at least 5:00, when it's only 2:30.

All the anticipation, months of getting up to run when I'd rather sleep, of planning my day around the hour that I would give to training...the discipline that I developed...distance running was something I never expected to enjoy, but it has become such a cool part of my life. I wasn't just looking forward to the feeling of finishing. I was actually looking forward to being there during the race. I went to bed with that Christmas-eve feeling. And woke up to an email saying there would be no race.

Also, I got really into the whole "carboload" idea. I think I consumed about a pound of spaghetti last night. I just liked the idea of eating food as actual fuel, instead of just for enjoyment. It was so fun to go out last night, order huge plates of pasta and extra bread, and talk about how awesome it was going to be.

Now I'm sitting around, waiting for the day to end. And I'm still incredibly full of bread. I never want to see pasta again. Or food, for that matter.
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