Friday, November 15, 2002
two things i like:
walt whitman's among the multitude [from leaves of grass]
among the men and women, the multitude,
i perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
acknowledging none else—not parent, wife, husband, brother, child, any nearer than I am;
some are baffled—but that one is not—that one knows me.
ah, lover and perfect equal!
i meant that you should discover me so, by my faint indirections;
and I, when I meet you, mean to discover you by the like in you.
- walt whitman
the opening to t.s. eliot's love song of j. alfred prufrock [go read the whole thing here.]
let us go then, you and I,
when the evening is spread out against the sky
like a patient etherised upon a table;
let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
the muttering retreats
of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
and sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
streets that follow like a tedious argument
of insidious intent
to lead you to an overwhelming question …
oh, do not ask, “what is it?”
let us go and make our visit.
in the room the women come and go
talking of michelangelo."
- t.s. eliot
tell me, what's your favorite poem?
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i *heart* lists ...
things i've never liked, ever, and never will:
things i never thought i'd like, but now do:
the new york accent.
things i used to like, but now can't stand:
people named chase.
things i've always liked, and always will:
the supreme court.
the one thing that i really hate:
the one thing that i really love:
the one place i'd never live:
the one place i'd move to in a heartbeat:
the one person i'd like to spend the afterlife with:
the five people i'd like to invite to a dinner:
thomas friedman, lowell bergman, ann richards, bill maher, and madeleine albright. [because, wow, what a party.]
the one celebrity i want to marry:
the one thing i'll never do at my wedding:
and the one thing i'll never tell you on this website:
who my biggest internet crush is.
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Thursday, November 14, 2002
all ails have cures ....
and here are some band-aids for mine:
1. this drink, while preparing this quiche.
2. taking a trip here, or possibly this sunny paradise, or depending on who's paying, this charming little villa in the south of france.
3. or, of course, i could stay for a few months in this little charmer in paris ...
4. or, merely, this nifty cake tin to make these scrumptious french treats.
sadly, i have none of these things. i will simply have to enjoy myself by having drinks at the scotchbonnet with an old friend tonight, and going home to my non-parisien apartment tonight.
and, a fresh pack of cigarettes. some things are always there for you.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2002
okay, grr. i wrote this nice long post on the theory of life - how happiness is achieved by balancing love, health/home, and work.
and then my IE kicked the bucket. so the post is gone.
suffice it to say, the point was: autumn makes me lonesome. it makes me rethink my whole argument presented with flair here about how i enjoy being single and running my own life, and how i'm not willing to get my undies in a twist over the myth that is "casual dating", and simply enjoy myself until the right man* comes along.
but i digress. what i'm trying to eloquently state is this:
summer makes me flirty and more likely to kiss a random boy at a party just to beat the heat.
spring makes me not even care about sex and boys - just friends and sunshine. and road trips.
autumn and winter just make me want that certain someone, whoever he is, to show up right quick so that we can wear flannel pj's and open christmas gifts on the living room floor and cook each other fantastic meals and read books together in bed. oh, and have great it's-cold-outside sex. duh.
that is all. every other witty charming thing i said evaporated into the e-ether.
*details to follow at a later date about what being the right man actually entails [hint: must be bookishly cute and love to read. actually, that's about the whole of it. dog-owner a plus], and how incredibly likely it is that this gentleman is a complete figment of my wild imagination [yes. i do have an imaginary boyfriend. his name is paul.]
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Tuesday, November 12, 2002
einstein, humanity, and the famous roman pewter spoon story.
if you're in new york - which few of my loyal owlets are - you should go to the museum of natural history, post haste. there's a fantastic exhibit of einstein's papers, explanations of his theories in laymen's terms and great photographs and demonstrative science experiments.
i know, i know. i'm a giant nerd. but the m.n.h. always rocked my face. when i was a wee owlet with large glasses, my sister* lived at 77th and columbus, right across from the southern entrance of the museum. we spent many happy summer months, my mother and i, staying with tania and pounding pavement in nyc. but what did this little owlet love to do more than anything else?
that's right. go to museums. specifically, the mnh. my mother used to drop me at the door, and i would spend four or five happy, airconditioned, brain-stimulated hours wandering from the giant blue whale to the wild cats exhibit, crouching down to read the fine print on the baole tribe of west africa ... you name it, i knew it. i was a bespectacled, frizzy-haired, diminuitive sponge for knowledge.
once, i was dragging my reluctant mother through the halls of the british history museum, or something to that effect [perhaps it was the v&a? i don't remember.] and we stopped at an exhibit on roman empire artifacts, found in great britain. and there were these little pewter spoons, which the text box claimed were found in BlahBlahShire, England. as my mother was reading the card, i tugged on her arm and told her all about the gentleman who had dug them up, and the dispute between him and the country bumpkin who lived next door about whose land it was, and the ensuing nasty property dispute. as my mother stared at me, the museum stiff who was giving a tour also came over to peer at the spoons and ask me quite snobbily how i knew all this.
"it was part of a short story by Roald Dahl, in his book The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar," i told her. and i was right.
"how old are you?" she asked.
my mother tells that story to everyone who'll stand still long enough to listen.
but i digress. the point is, i love museums. and to hear my feet sounding out once more through the hallowed marble halls of my beloved childhood haunt, it reminded me why. i love museums because of what their sheer existence says about human beings. we are greedy, yes. we are self-serving, yes. we are individualistic and machievellian to a fault, yes. but there's something within us, something greater than ourselves - something that splendid old einstein understood quite well - something that longs to understand, and pass on that understanding to others. millions of dollars, collaborative dollars, are spent each year to maintain, to preserve, to glorify the great, and the tragic, moments in human history. we cherish art work that opened our eyes, like van gogh - we cherish papers that changed the word, like the correspondence between einstein and fdr on the subject of using uranium to create a bomb hitherto unimaginable by the scientific community.
why? because memory is one of the few grand things we all share in common, and one of the few reasons i have faith in the perseverance of decent humankind. we have a need to look back in order to look forward with more clarity. we nurture in our society and our children the idea of public institutions that teach us who we are, what we've done, and help us answer the question of why we are.
and i love museums, because of what they signify about humanity. and because i'm still that child who wandered the halls of museums in new york, london, florence, madrid, athens, cairo - fascinated by the ceaseless canvas of narrative that the world has to offer, and wants to preserve.
*sister: okay, not really. she's an old family friend from brasil, that my gay brother married so that she could get her green card. but i was only 10 at the time, and it was explained to me as: "yeah, this is tania. luiz married her. isn't that swell?" since then, she's just been my sister, because that's easier than: ex-sister-in-law-from-marriage-of-convenience.
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you want personal? oh, i can give you personal.
recently chided by dearest sea for shying away from topic: how i'm doing here at petithiboux, i stand corrected. although you probably aren't all that interested and would wish that i would return to topic: being deliciously witty, there are a few things on my mind.
i realized today [while having tea and petit madeleines for lunch at star*ucks] that my life, essentially, hasn't changed in three months. the last time things were shifting was august. this happened, followed by this, two things that ruled in their own ways. and since then, it's been slow going in this little owl's nest. i'm starting to feel like every day is like every other day, and all those days add up to weeks that are like every other week, and pretty soon, i'll be thirty.
my whole life, i have strived to make each day count for something - find one little blip on every day's radar that makes it stand out, that will give me cause to say, ah, yes - on that day, i saw a really beautiful tree on kimball avenue and i stared at the leaves fall for an hour or on that day, i fell with my ice cream and it made me feel five years old, and so i laughed my pants off or on that day, i had the best cup of coffee with beth, and i realized what a huge influence she was on me ... you see where i'm going with this? everyone teases me for having an impeccable memory - i can remember what someone wore the first time we met, or the song playing when he broke up with me, or the last name of a friend's crush as well as their phone number. my mentor once told me that i have a mind like a steel trap. that's because i chose, actively, to remember my life as a series of new and exciting discoveries.
but lately, i go to work every day. and come home. and every day, i think that my house isn't clean enough. and every day, i hate waking up. and every day, i wonder if i'm saving enough money. and every day, i wonder if i'm doing enough with my life. and every day, i can't wait for the day to be over so that the next day can repeat itself in a worn groove of familiarity.
and then i think - where have i gone? where is my memory? where is my eye-camera, and my mind-pen? have i stopped being in awe, or just stopped noticing it? when will my sense of wonderment kick back in? when will i start looking up at the buildings again? when will i remember every single day because of something that happened?
but in times like these, it is important to keep the world in perspective, to turn the focusing ring one more time so that the truly important matters become sharp, and the endless mosquito-whine of ennui is reduced to the blur that it truly is.
so in times like these, i make lists.
the more important things:
beth and josh seem happy. they are rather poor right now, beth is rather stressed and josh is burning both ends of the candle. but through that, they are happy, and still very much in love. they have their secret language and their shared world-for-two. this always gives me hope.
sea is well. he is working. he's learning from his mistakes and his successes. he seems to be building a faith in himself that i always knew him capable of.
fall has lessened its deafening cold winds and given me a few days of balmy 70's.
tulips, white ones, are in season.
i made a fantastic quiche on sunday. fan.tast.ic.
people i don't know are actually reading this. this, perversely, makes me happy. thank you, chuckles and monkey and anna and greg. i like feeling a part of a community - and you are all very funny and interesting albeit far away, so nice to "meet" you. welcome. stay a while. have some tea.
i read an amazing book - so close to my heart - melvin's signs and wonders. so good. read it. if you know god - it will make you question him. if you don't know god - you'll wonder about the people that do.
i have a bed now. a real one. my back can stop hurting now.
did i mention my fantastic quiche? and my fantastic friends?
yeah. ennui? boredom? life-questioning? don't let the door smack your fat ass on your way out.
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