"tell me, are you a christian, child?" "ma'am i am tonight"

it's been so long since i've signed into blogger that i've completely forgotten my login information. i checked the links to your right and most everyone abandoned their blogs long ago. i'm not sure that i'm back.

my nails are painted a golden olive green today - opi's 'at your quebec and call.' it's my ode to march in boston - grey, misty, blustery, and cold. slightly more promising than the depths of 'russian navy' in january, but showing grime none the less. it'll be a good day when i can wear 'a little less conversation' with a sly grin and a raised eyebrow.


the scorecard

Columbia - accepted
University of Pennsylvania - accepted
MIT - accepted
Harvard - waitlisted (grrrr)

for the last three weeks i've been praying to the grad school gods, stalking our postman, checking my email every 20 seconds, forcing michael to stay home and stalk the postman when i couldn't... for the last week, i've been moaning how it will never be over, i'll never know if schools want me, i'll probably get rejected by the remaining ones, whine whine whine.

and now, it's over. well, mostly over. there's that pesky waitlist thing.

i can breathe, right? i've got letters in front of me, fellowship offers, plane tickets purchased for open houses, decisions to make, right?

there was a brief moment of calm yesterday, but the flurry of anxiety is back in full force today. don't get me wrong, it's a GOOD anxiety, but i'm on the cusp of so many changes, so many things i've worked hard for are in my grasp. I ACTUALLY GOT ACCEPTED TO SCHOOLS. i don't think that part has even sunk in yet.


it's all fun and games until...

it's easy to forget that i live in someone's basement.

though natural light isn't abundant (we're not talking about 8th floor north facing floor-ceiling windows anymore), there are light fixtures-a-plenty, windows that can be opened for ventilation, and a massive 11ftx30ft living space which isn't well described by 'damp, dark, or dank.' so, like i said, it's easy to forget that i live in someone's basement.

that is, until i get bit on the neck by one of the hundreds of spiders that ALSO call my basement home.


the perfect cappuccino

several year-old 4-shot espresso maker handed down from father, barely used
small frothing pitcher (ikea, $2)
coffee mug (the bigger, the better)
freshly ground espresso (enough to fill the grounds holder)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup milk

fill decanter with water
add espresso grounds as directed
begin brewing espresso as directed

pour milk into frothing pitcher
dissolve very small amount of sugar (1/4 teaspoon) into milk - this gives the froth a very subtle sweet flavor
froth milk as directed

pour espresso (ALL OF IT!) into coffee cup, dissolve remainder of sugar into espresso
using a spoon to hold back the froth, pour in unfrothed milk
top with froth
sprinkle just a DASH of cinnamon on top

repeat several times/day.


tense miles for the girls in underware

i can't stop listening to this cd (the figurines : skeleton). it's really not even that good. i mean, it's catchy, but once i wear it out, it'll join the ranks of the apples in stereo and the olivia tremor control as simply a shortlived obsession.

have had friends in town for the last week, including two separate overnight guests. i've been wonderfully out of character, going out to bars almost every night until closing, having a tremendously fun time, and still making it into work on time! there's something so wonderful about laughing until you're crying and can hardly breathe.

the figurines . ambush


heard around the house

"what would you say is the average number of pages used in these sketchbooks?"

"what would you say is the average number of times i want to punch you the face each day?"


all these love songs, and where the hell are you, my dear?

i've been reminded lately of those few people in this world that i feel an explicable, innate connection to. how do you explain it, really? there are times when you meet someone, and despite the relatively small amount of time you spend with them, you forever feel connected to them.

i lived with jessica for a summer, and she was my successor as aias president at the u of a. i guess the first time we really spent time together was in DC during the summer of 2001 - we mostly ditched the conference to spend time around DC, hanging out in the museums and meeting more interesting people than we thought we could meet at the conference (i'm perfectly aware of the irony here, don't worry). the summer after that, we lived together in clarendon, giving design advice to the city and the mayor that unknowingly presented us with homemade porn instead of movies about the once beautiful city (sam will no doubt remember this, as well, since we gave him the task of returning the film to the mayor). i remember hanging out with the boys from k-state in dc (though i can't, for the life of me, remember their names), one of them photographing her at every available opportunity, and me thinking, for the moment, how incredibly beautiful she was.

and then there's natalie. i don't really remember how my connection formed with natalie - i think she was in first year, and i was in third year, i guess as aias pres, but i can't really remember when we started talking. it was one of those weird things - one of those situations where you meet someone and you can talk about the most obscure things, reference something that happened many years ago, and they totally GET IT. you don't need words or situations or circumstances to understand each other; it's just there. i can call natalie tonight, ask her to pick me up from the airport, and she's THERE (though admittedly, it's harder from dubai than it is from fayetteville). and, last year, i was on a jury that was selecting scholarship applications, and i came across nat's, and i was reminded of how incredible she is. speaking many languages, background all over the middle east, some of the most beautiful artwork i've ever seen, and thinking, for the moment, how incredibly beautiful she is.

and then there's neil. neil was my high school sweetheart, i suppose. but like
things in high school, our relationship was mostly superficial and terse (though not in duration). and like most high school relationships, there were things about it that really stung and things about it that were really sacred. and while i can dwell on that all night (and believe me, i could), what really strikes me are the stories i've heard over time - small tidbits about interests and actions and studies and understanding that while we "grew up" during college very far apart, we really grew up together. i feel like that no matter where we are, we really aren't that far apart.

and tonight i had dinner with the mayors of jessica's adopted hometowns (portland and eugene), and i've been sending music to nat as a new resident of dubai, and i recently rediscovered neil on myspace (or he rediscovered me, whatever), and i feel so incredibly connected to them, no matter what the distance entails.

but then there are those friends who are THERE, those that maybe you "forget" to feel that innate connection to, because you talk to them every single day. they are the murrye's and the michael's of your friends - the ones you know you can forever count on.

murrye has watched me grow so tremendously over the last several years. perhaps at a distance at first, but by the time we were in 5th year, we were absolutely inseperable. i remember the very, very first day of architecture school, when laura said "take a look around, because these are the people that are going to be in your wedding." sure enough, carrie and murrye were my bridesmaids and luke was an usher in my wedding.

but murrye has evolved from a close confidant to my very best friend. during the last three years, there has been no one, and i mean no one, that has provided me with the insight, courage, and inspiration on a daily basis that murrye does. to be cliche, murrye has seen me at my very best and my very worst, and she always looks out for *me*, moreso than the situations i get myself into. and over the last 3 years, i've watched her grow tremendously. she's went from a phenomenal designer and artist (which she is) to this beautiful, confident person that knows no boundaries. it's hard being best-friends with a drop-dead beauty (which she also is), but it's much easier being best-friends with an incredibly beautiful person that will always be so, even when she stops being telegenic (though i've seen her mother, her physical looks will never disappear).

and then there's michael, the love of my life. i can't seem to talk about him without recalling cheesy thoughts of bad poetry. just a few nights ago, he wrote me an email, recalling some early love letters he wrote me (he's packing up our apartment, remember?), asking me to please not "roll my eyes" at him. that really about sums it up - anything i could tell you about our love would probably make your eyes roll. but, after 7 years, i'm still completely fascinated and intrigued by him, and the fact that we finish each other's sentences only adds to that. we have this understanding of each other that completely transcends whatever it is that we do on a daily basis, and i feel lucky to have found this person when i did.

so where does that leave us? i think it leaves me incredibly rich, with a multitude of people i can reach out to all over the world. it also leaves me a little baffled - how can you ever know the impression that you make on someone else?

"no comment"


like i said, it's a really tough life.


in a week, i will make it; i will make it forever

we're moving much sooner than expected - we thought we were going to have a month overlap (which, yes, means that we would have to pay rent twice), but, on a whim, we decided to try to find a subletter (subleasee?). within an hour of posting the apartment on craigslist, we had people offering to pay more for the apartment than we'd offered. who would want an expensive, unfurnished apartment for a month? lawyers, my friend. lawyers.

so we're moving next saturday, and, unfortunately (HA!), i'm walking out the door right now for a business trip in san francisco. not only will i not get back until friday night, but i have to stay in this awful hotel with these awful amenities. please feel sorry for me. don't feel sorry for michael at all. it's not like he has to pack EVERYTHING all by himself.

the figurines . the wonder


my favorite meditation

one foot follows after the other - a crowded dc sidewalk, but there are only shoes. icelandic dribble builds, not sure if it's instrument or voice, language or animal musings. slow, deep calculated breaths to a count of eight, markings on the sidewalk become the space between my thoughts.

sigur ros . svefn g englar


the end of an era

two weeks ago, michael and i began the bittersweet journey of leaving the first place we called home together.

moving is alot like exercising - you know you want to do it, you sort of look forward to it and dread it at the same time, you ask yourself why you would ever want to go through it while you're in the middle of it, and you feel great about it when you're done. and if you do it right, you might even be a little lighter at the end of the process.

the first step of the process: repainting the beautiful orange ceiling.


leaving for a bit...

going to los angeles for a few days, but when i get back, i promise my hiatus will be over. and i might even bring back some exciting news!


3rd time is a charm?

why do we put so much stock in "important dates?" birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, they're really just days, right? then why do we insist on attaching meaning to them? are we just setting ourselves up for disappointment?

when michael and i got married, we were too busy and too broke to go on a honeymoon. there's no way i could have fit a wedding, a college graduation, a move to DC, AND a honeymoon into a week*. three of those were enough, thank you.

for our one-year anniversary, we took a 10-day trip to costa rica. thanks to my airline miles and supreme backpacking skills honed in the hostels of europe**, we were able to do the entire trip for a little over $1000 (that's right. i'm totally bragging about this). we spent the first half hiking in the cloud forest and the second half on the beach, in a little bungalow about 40 feet from the water's edge (pictures avail at flickr). on the day of our anniversary, we decided to kayak out to an island, and, barring one layer of sunscreen and our measly swimsuits, we were naked to the sun. we paid for it by not being able to move for the remainder of the trip and comparing the size of skin sheets peeling off in the weeks to come.

anniversary #1 = SUCKED***.

fastforward a year. imagine this - we're broke again****. and we're not in costa rica. this is shaping up to be a real winner of an anniversary already, isn't it? we'd already decided not to do anything special - we went to nyc a few weeks ago and we were "counting" that as our anniversary trip*****. michael was working on this massive project for school, one that required the help of his research partners (the german and the social guy). upon my insistence, they decided to have a little "coding party" at our apartment on our anniversary. you know, so they could geek out and get some work done. cool by me, i can dig it. they're supposed to show up at 2:00. nothing. 2:30, social guy calls "i'm running a little late." 3:45, social guy shows up, still no word from the german. i decide to go for a run, my "usual" saturday 6-miler. get about 4 miles into it and i feel like i'm about to die. not from running, just hot and cold and tired and achy. get home, shower, get dressed again (the german has made his unexplained but expected fashionably late appearance), still feel like i'm about to die. running 100.0 fever. perfect. 7:00, the german is hungry. 7:30 the four of us are celebrating our second anniversary at a small italian restaurant nearby. perfect. social guy makes a sweet toast and follows it up by lamenting how difficult it is to keep the excitement in a relationship after "that long******." 9:30, back at the apartment. 9:35 THEY KEEP CODING. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? 10:00, my dad calls, wishing us a happy anniversary. i complain loudly that we're not alone. and that i'm running a fever. 11:30, after shooting many, many evil eyes******* and catching up on ALL of my old new yorkers, they leave. finally.

anniversary #2 = SUCKED.

*and rebeading my wedding dress and finishing a final, don't forget those either.
** that's technically not true. i only stayed in a hostel once, when i was on a weekend trip by myself to ravenna.
*** again, not completely true. we WERE in costa rica, and there was plenty of beer.
**** we're technically not broke. i sorta messed up something on our taxes that has placed us in a temporarily inconvenient position.
***** much in the same way michael's valentine's day ipod will also be his birthday ipod and his christmas ipod
****** i would comment here, but i'm going to take the unusual route of censoring my response to save my father an early heart attack.
******* a look michael is very familiar with. something like this:


ipod shuffle, pt 1

i recently read mary gaitskill's latest novel Veronica. it's a good book, a convincing dialog about perceptions of and struggles with beauty and friendship, but that's not really struck me about it. throughout the novel, the main character, influenced heavily by her misunderstood father, has a running soundtrack. every commentary and situation is linked back to a song, a set of lyrics. i find this happening often in my own life, certainly aided by the white headphones pumping music into my ears most of the time.

tuesday, dooce published an interesting exercise on alpha mom, an exercise which i'm about to blatantly copy.

let's explore this running soundtrack of my life, part one. here's what we're going to do: set my ipod on shuffle (i, unlike dooce, ADORE the shuffle function on my ipod) and comment on the first 10 songs that play.

but, there is a groundrule: i can skip songs that i don't want to comment on, but i have to tell you that i'm skipping them.

also: sometimes my ipod contains, uh, embarrasing music. i have guilty pleasures, ok? also, my boss regularly feeds me new music (sucks, i know), and i've got over 2,000 songs on my ipod, some of which (ok, alot of which), i haven't really listened to much. i have a feeling that the songs i skip will be as embarrasing as the songs in my collection that i consider 'embarrasing,' but for completely different reasons.

alright, let's go:

stay don't go . spoon . kill the moonlight
no comment.

3rd planet . modest mouse . the moon and antartica
this song brings me back to my days working at toys r us in college. i saw modest mouse several times in fayetteville, but it was all pre-moon and antartica. i used to drive to and from work imaging myself performing this song live. i do that alot. i wish i were a rock star. favorite lyrics:

your heart felt good it was drippin pitch and made of wood
and your hands and knees felt cold and wet on the grass to me
outside naked, shiverin looking blue, from the cold
sunlight that’s reflected off the moon

the power is on . the go! team . thunder, lightening, strike
no comment

i'm on your side . the magic magicians . girls
i picked up this cd when i was living in wicker park in chicago (before urban outfitters came) at a little music store where it was listed as a staff favorite. i never really fell in love with them, but this cd always reminds me of being in chicago. favorite lyrics:

and you said what we always kinda knew
but i don't have a clue
and you talk until your face is blue
but you don't have a clue

get gone . fiona apple . when the pawn
ahhh... one of those slightly embarrasing songs, but i really like this one. there's something jazzy and fun and empowering about it. favorite lyrics:

how many times can it escalate
'till it elevates to a place I can't breathe?
and I must decide, if you must deride
that I'm much obliged to up and go

black math . the white stripes . elephant
no comment

creme brulee . sonic youth . dirty
no comment

frank sinatra . cake . fashion nugget
another slightly embarrasing song. i think my ipod is out to get me. i bought this cd in high school, shortly after meeting some internet friends in magnolia. andy - in his green avenger - would play 'the distance' over and over again and i totally associated it with the freedom of finally having my driver's license. favorite lyrics:

an old man sits collecting stamps
in a room all filled with Chinese lamps
he saves what others throw away
he says that he'll be rich someday

hag . the breeders . last splash
no comment. other than the breeders played at the first show i ever saw at the bowery ballroom in nyc.

neighborhood #3 (power out) . the arcade fire . funeral
no comment. though i do like this song.

whaddit i done . animal collective . sung tongs
no comment. though i did meet brian's (from the band) uncle on a plane ride to savannah once.

stadiums and shrines II . sunset rubdown . shut up i am dreaming
no comment. looks like i'm commenting anyway? i just got this cd, so i haven't had time to develop any connections to it.

and then patterns . four tet . everything ecstatic
no comment

the state that i am in . belle & sebastian . tigermilk
*sigh* one of my favorite belle and sebastian songs. the lyrics are alright, mostly i just like the melody. and stuart murdoch's voice. dreamy. belle and sebastian were one of the first indie bands i really got into. i used to listen to 'if you're feeling sinister' over and over again in studio. favorite lyrics:

the priest in the booth had a photographic memory
for all he had heard
he took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called
the state I am in

hands away . interpol . turn on the bright lights
there's something about this song that's incredibly beautiful and haunting. turn on the bright lights might very well be my favorite cd of all time (i blogged about my relationship with it here), though it has some competition. this song makes me want to sit between my bed and my big sunroom window on a cold rainy night wrapped up on in a blanket. in a good way. favorite lyrics:

home spun desperation's knowing
inside your cover's always blown

tired of sex . weezer . pinkerton
*groan* this song should really be banned from my ipod. a certain-unnamed high school boyfriend of mine used to listen to this cd all the time - it's a great cd, one that i still have a fondness for. but he used to sing this damn song all the time, thinking in his head of all the girls names and how they related to girls he knew, no doubt fantasizing about all of them. then he just started doing it to annoy me. i think we spent alot of our relationship trying to annoy each other. favorite lyrics:

none. i hate this song.

riot van . arctic monkeys . whatever people say
no comment

song for myla goldberg . the decemberists . her majesty
the decemberists are relatively new to my 'most played' list, but there's something that really draws me to this song. i think it's the cheesy reference to new york. the lyrics aren't that great, but the delivery is deadpan - hurried, longing, distant. it's become a regular on my rotation. favorite lyrics:

listen in as shin-kicked Jim relates his story sad
about a boy who kicked until his shins were all but rubberbands
but now
i know New York i need New York
i know I need unique New York

across the river . lucero . that much further west
if you know lucero, you can't help but to love them. and if you know them, you probably know them live. which means you know ben nichols and his arkansas tatoo, and when you watch him sing, you wish he was singing about you. favorite lyrics:

across the river you can dance all night
a pretty little girl that I left behind
i know you're not waiting on me
look at you girl you're just skin and bones
you're breaking all the hearts of the boys back home
and I know you're not waiting on me

weight of the world . tarkio . sea songs for landlord
no comment. though i do like this song. mostly i only listen to it when my itunes goes past tapes 'n tapes and i don't notice

ready to die . the unicorns . who will cut our hair
no comment

william's alabama . shannon wright . flightsafety
few artists have resonated with me in the way that shannon wright has. from the first time i heard flightsafety, i had this indescribable attachment to her and her throaty voice. she played chicago often the summer that i lived there - always at the empty bottle, which was 21+ (i was 20). by all accounts she's incredible live, even if she hates playing live shows (she plays all of the instruments in this cd), but i never did get to see it. the first time i was in the netherlands, walking around freezing to the bone, looking for a place to stop in and warm up, i turned the corner to see the saloon sign and streetscape that graces the front of this cd. i took a picture of it, and of course lost it. damn. favorite lyrics:

he turned the light out
he turned the sun down
farewell, goodnight
the awning falls flat and the clocks are spinning
bowl the town for alcohol
you are what i need