03.31.04 (i)

there's more stanford-harvard lovin' out there than i'd known about - someone arranged a joint young alumni thingy on the east side tonight. i hope to bump into a) peter c., a weirdly tall actor who tried to get with my neighbor and my sister and has apparently since starred in a horror flick called the milkman, b) greg l., malevolent former roommate of my frosh boyfriend who never got the kicking i owe him, and c) keach h., the beautiful indie girl from my victorian lit class (no, i am not pretending to be bisexual; i wanted her clothes). i hope to avoid the stanford daily article in which i talked about my summer at harvard and accidentally implied that i slept with lukas. naturally his mother read it.


having spent much of my life trying to use as little energy as possible, i find it is now quite difficult to tell if i'm burning the candle at both ends. i was too drowsy and cranky to visit mari at her hotel last night, and i've been fantasizing about bed for hours already today. what does doing too much work feel like?
Yet ah! in vain, familiar with the gloom,
And sadly toiling through the tedious night,
I seek sweet slumber, while that virgin bloom,
For ever hovering, haunts my wretched sight.

Nor would the dawning day my sorrows charm:
Black midnight and the blaze of noon alike
To me appear, while with uplifted arm
Death stands prepar'd, but still delays, to strike.

manhattan doesn't waste its time with this spring business. within a day of the first warm spell, the trees across the street were covered with buds and preparing to do something zesty. better still, the plaza sprouted cafe tables - though that means that i will have to start sitting outside and getting my poetry together for grad school applications, and i'm not entirely enthusiastic about revisions. much safer to sit inside and make sweeping statements about the marvels i'll write when it's clear to go out.

writer's block notwithstanding, the season is positively obese with good news. after discontinuing his medications and declining serious doctor's visits, my granddad is back to stable health - mom reports that he's eating everything within reach and planning to vote against bush in november. with luck he'll be back to joking about making a few extra bucks at freak shows (he has two navels now, thanks to a persistent catheter) soon. i also seem to have abandoned my long-standing feud with a friend from back home (see kidchamp's inaugural post and subsequent news of being de-bridesmaided); though claiming to be done with someone and secretly pumping mutual friends for word of them passes the time, there are healthier ways to be dramatic. my vitriol thins with advancing age.

top ten kidchamp visitor search terms, feb 04:

sanitizing shit spray
redheaded midget
turnip patch photo
catfighting stories
rappers champagne
sword of archangel michael
turtle cinquains
how do you make a tesselation of an elephant


friends in publishing, indeed:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Elvis Costello, the singer-songwriter who once crooned "Everyday I Write the Book," is making good on his word.

Publisher Simon & Schuster confirmed on Thursday that the 49-year-old performer would author two books.

But don't expect inside dirt on the music industry and its characters, despite Costello's rollicking career of more than 25 years.

Costello's first book is due in fall 2005. It promises to be a work of "intimate narrative chapters taking their cue from the styles, themes and characters" found in his lyrics, the publisher said.

The second book, titled "How to Play the Guitar, Sing Loudly and Impress Girls ... or Boys," is described as a "work of comic philosophy."
picked up vienna teng's second album on saturday; joe dragged me into circuit city in union square, and lo! there she was. vienna, as most of you know and others might remember, was a fellow french house resident senior year. i've been putting off my congratulations on the big time! e-mail for years now, as i've yet to shake lingering guilt from wishing her ill when she'd play the piano one floor beneath my sunday morning hangovers. when hydrated and vertical i find her music quite pretty, and in all positions i think she's a lovely person; give her your money, if it's not too much trouble.


nothing earth-shattering to report today, yet, but we do have a captivating piece about a four-eared kitten (much cuter than the three-headed frog from awhile back). clearly we should be the ones to take her home, given our current cat ratio of 4 ears : 7 legs : 1 tail.
“We want to find Lilly the loving home she deserves. She is very kind and not a monster,” said an employee at a sanctuary caring for Lilly and her nine normal brothers and sisters.

what they don't tell you about st. patrick's day, incidentally, is that the really worrisome hooligan is the one in your own heart. my co-worker warned me quite seriously that i should stay off of the streets after about noon, so i expected utter mayhem at the parade on 5th avenue; no, that was a formidable stream of cops and a couple of old ladies in green foam hats. irish pubs in the evening, in turn, were either brightly lit and empty or charging $10 a head for the chance to hear "hey ya" and dance with still more cops. the missus and i ended up at a comparatively reasonable place around the corner from our apartment, a place that suddenly reared up, grew fangs and stole several hours and our abilities to walk straight, leaving us with four business cards from a department head at skidmore college. so there.

i balanced this with a womanly weekend of bread-baking and needlepoint. i thought that being domestic would make the days seem longer, but that wasn't true either.


paul is sick, i am sick, most of my office is sick. i blame john kerry, who clearly sapped everyone's energy so that he could go snowboarding in sun valley. damn you, john kerry!
Kerry also relaxes by strumming the guitar and making up bad poems about his passionate love of hunting. He once recited one to a reporter: "I had a talk with a deer today. We met upon the road some way. Between his frequent snorts, he asked me if I sought his pelt. 'Cause if I did, he said he felt quite out of sorts."

saving angel is a noble cause (i even signed a potentially questionable petition on its behalf) - there can never be too many vampire adventure sitcoms, and i still think joss whedon is one of the zestiest writers in network television. saving angel the guerrilla fan group, on the other hand, confuses me: we have the same goal, sure, but why should i help them earn $3000 to send protest chocolate bars to programming executives? what do the wrappers say, exactly?

old man winter is having a last dance in manhattan today. as i have leftover veggie chili, joe's flannel pajama pants, and the notorious "orgy episode" of america's next top model on tap, that's fine with me.

via meg from the yahoo gulcher list, biologists at uc davis pen songs about marine invertebrates, ex.

My Phoronid
amalgam of bits from N. McGinn, J. Byrnes, K Hultgren, and more
(to the tune of "My Sharona")

Do you have a lophophore, lophophore?
Do you have a lophophore, my phoronid!
Only in Bodega bay, Tomales bay,
Only in Bodega bay, my phoronid!

When you gonna stabilize the sand
Smell so bad you scare away all the crabs
Make a little clam safe at home
My, my, my, my, my, woo!
My my my my Phoronid!


The arty Brooklyn band One Ring Zero, whose instruments include a power drill, had been playing events for McSweeney's, the lit-journal-cum-empire, for two years when member Michael Hearst had an idea. "I thought, Why not cash in on this connection to the literary world?" he says. Then the literary world agreed to write lyrics for the band's CD, As Smart As We Are. Here's a sampling.

"If I were a volcano I would want you to jump, jump into my yellow, jump into my hot yellow."- Dave Eggers

"Kiss me, you brat / Don't make me ask / Stars in the night sky don't ask to shine, do they?" - Rick Moody

"I've got to get out of Cincinnati or else I'll go plum, dumb, and batty." - Paul Auster

"You find us in the bathroom / You find us in the sink / You find us in the toilet, having ourselves a drink." - Jonathan Lethem

"When I was a little boy, I was very troubled / I had a bad back and an elevated testicle." - Jonathan Ames

"I'm nine feet tall and my skin is gray / All the girls scream when I come out to play." - Margaret Atwood

(new york magazine)

i hate to admit it, but the madrid bombing last week didn't shock me very much. i think it's horrific, of course, but i've become uncomfortably immune to bad news in the last year or so. i read a lot of news - both the good and the bad kinds are kind of flavorless. or maybe our most recent adventures in iraq did it.

this week's spam senders really outdid themselves with names; the grand jury prize goes to "Spooned P. Hankering" and first place to "Encore J. Leakiest." i regret that i had no use for their erectile dysfunction medications.

if you're into weird tableware (and who, honestly, isn't?), sarah cihat makes lovely 'rehabilitated' dishes. joe and i found a platter with a glazed handgun silhouette that complements our fiestaware quite nicely.


my anglophilia could be traced back to my grandfather. he was able to spend the years after retirement on trips with my grandmother; they went to britain many times, and for a particularly memorable summer they lived in the dorms at cambridge and took university courses. though i've always adored him, i loved him best when he told me long stories about that year. he was, in turn, even more excited than i was about the terms i spent at oxford.

my favorite conversation with him began the one and only time he gave me money. he knows that i want to marry joe in the garden behind the magdalen college house where we met; he has also known for a long time that he will die before that happens. while rooting through a box of odds and ends last year he found a handful of pounds and pence that he stuck in a subway token holder for me - because he would never be back in england, he said, and on my wedding day i would need to find a pub and buy myself a pint from him.

Hey, Lau...

Caroline called this afternoon and said that Grandpa had gone into fibrillation again, and now was refusing to let them use the paddles to stop it. He has also requested that they take him off all medications, heart pacers as well as antibiotics, with the exception of an anti-seizure drug. At the moment he's still in ICU, but tomorrow they will probably move him into a hospice room at the hospital. If he's stable they'll move him back to the nursing home's hospice facilities. He really wants to stop going through this, and you can't blame him after all the time that it's gone on. I had a good visit with him yesterday and more than anything else he's just tired of fighting every day, feeling sick and in pain. So, it shouldn't be much longer, hopefully not prolonged once they stop medicating except for painkillers.

I'll let you know as soon as I know anything else...take care...

Lots of love,


the best little arty farty home furnishings store in brooklyn, future perfect, now features nicholas furrow's gorgeous floor lamps - yours for only $250-$1000. while that's patently ridiculous for those of us who can't dispense precious jewels from our belly buttons, one can always dream. i'm pretty into his experimental displays with lemons and winter melon, though their practicality as long term fixtures is of course questionable.

we all knew that marc jacobs likes his ladies shy, but a fall collection inspired by meg "knows when not to drum [sic]" white? then there's liz phair's work with giorgio armani, a betrayal in the other direction. i feel cheap and itchy.


this just in: hug your girlfriend.

In the new study of 76 adults, all married or in long-term live-in relationships, partners who were happy together had significantly higher levels of oxytocin than unhappy couples, says psychologist Karen Grewen of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She reported her findings with colleague Kathleen Light at the American Psychosomatic Society meeting.

They asked each couple to talk privately for five minutes about a situation that brought them closer, then to view a romantic video and hug each other. During these warm exchanges, women's bodies reacted differently from men's, regardless of how happy they were with partners: Their oxytocin levels rose significantly more than men's and their blood pressure dropped. Women's surge in oxytocin also correlated with lower levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine. Oxytocin may trigger changes that protect women's hearts, Grewen says.

(usa today 03.08.04)

as it's reported all over the place that long term relationships do good things to your life spans, boys, it only seems fair. also our hair smells nice.

since jacob was too mortified to remember which song was playing when he danced shirtless at a gay bar last week, i'll happily revise history: it was "what's up pussycat." what's that you say? he was in pennsylvania and i was in new york? oh, hush.


To His Journal

Find a tender archivist.
Bury yourself in the driest air,
the kindest light; steer clear
of auctions and jealous wives.

Fall open on flattering days.
Flaunt his finest lines;
offer context for his faults.
Recall his music.

Brace yourself for change.
Accommodate workshops; he'll settle
somewhere comfortable. Begrudge
him entries in transit.

Remember and forgive me
when we meet as strangers.


i've met maybe five or six cab drivers who say that they work grueling hours because they haven't found a good woman. the one who drove me back here last night insisted on getting out of the car and opening my door, so i gave him a hug.

on an electronic stroll through the marvelous portrait gallery at spiraling.com, i found lauren/proleptic!

perspective! there is comfort in knowing that my mood couldn't possibly be blacker than martha stewart's. my other boss, a former white house press guru, swears up and down that she's going to jail; i suspect she'll pay a staggering fine, but i know little about her judge's sentencing history. i confess that i'm utterly fascinated by the concept of a martha stewart prison shank. popular opinion holds that it would be purple and pink.

in more personally affecting news, i hope that the cerberus frog discovered by british schoolchildren will be fed fat houseflies and fanned with a cadbury wrapper rather than dissected and pickled for Science. he certainly didn't act on any stock tips.


today is an inexplicably weepy day, the sort when, say, watching friends could be enough to start the snot festival. bleh.
'Heartbroken' cat makes the long journey home

Hong Kong - A homesick cat walked a hundred kilometres back home after being given away by its Beijing owner, a news report said on Thursday.

The three-year-old cat ran away from its new home and spent 40 days finding its way back to its old owner in the Chinese capital, according to the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily.

The female owner, who had given the cat away to a friend outside the city, was stunned when the cat turned up on her doorstep on Tuesday, the newspaper said.

The cat had shed 2,5kg and weighed just 800g when it arrived home. The owner told the newspaper she would never let the cat go again.


this is a lie. amusingly misanthropic, but a lie!
YOUR FUCKING FABULOUS-ASS FRIENDS: Shit, your friends are cool. They're all adventure travel, well-paying jobs, know the DJ/been the DJ, great-sex-with-attractive-strangers cool. And you love them, really, you do. They're fun and like to drink and knowing them means you have the most exciting life a lazy, social-phobic person such as yourself should ever be allowed to have. Problem is, around them you start playing a hipster version of "keeping up with the Joneses." Their easy wit and impossibly styled hair will prompt you to spend your rent money on lost weekends in Spain, your grocery money on authentic old-school Pumas and your "really important operation" money on a picture phone with which to document their fabulous asses. On the plus side, should you have to move back in with your parents, they'll supply you with all the sympathy drugs you'll need to kill the pain of living on the wrong side of the river. B- -- Carissa B.

(as usual, from the black table)

current events with walter cronkite (from today's san francisco chronicle):
the nipple brooch. "About that Janet Jackson story," Walter Cronkite intoned in San Francisco the other day, "I was terribly disappointed." Dramatic pause. "I was really disappointed because I was out making popcorn. I spent a lot of time in the next couple days hoping to see a replay. And then in the replays I didn't see anything at all of interest."

iraq. "Our arrogant stand in nearly all our diplomatic approaches to the rest of the world with this administration has been such as to deeply embarrass the United States," declared Cronkite. His sarcasm was quietly withering. "Of course it's nice to know that Hussein is in jail," he noted. "I sit there and nod agreement when the president frequently mentions that. ... And then of course when poor Secretary of State Powell had to go before the U.N. and make that plea with intelligence we now know, at the most generous, as inaccurate - - that doesn't help at all."

adam and steve. Just before railing against the Christian right's objection to gay marriage -- "That's about as obnoxious a thing as has ever happened" -- Cronkite was asked at the Ritz to what he attributed the longevity of his own marriage to Betsy.
"I do think one of the factors was we were of different sexes." He looked delighted as the laughter billowed around the room. "That doesn't mean I wouldn't have been happy to be married to several friends I had of the same sex," he followed. "It just never came up in our particular relations."

i dig you, walter.


oh fine, so i'm no oscar psychic. the rumor that sean penn improvised a really spectacular scene in mystic river makes me feel better about bill murray's losing bid - and i'll stand behind my call with sofia coppola. angelina jolie made a spectacular showing in that white satin number, but she's in her own stratosphere most of the time. she gets an honorary award to recognize a career of wardrobe achievement.