Archive for June, 2005

The Austin Skyline


The Austin Skyline
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1 day, 6 hours, 45 minutes

Said she needed to clear her mind
He figured she’d gone back to Austin
‘Cause she talked about it all the time
–Blake Shelton

Tomorrow evening, I’ll be on a plane heading for Austin. I still have to pack. That was the goal for yesterday night, but after my second load of laundry I said, “I’ll just lay down for a second.” And next thing I knew it was this morning and there was a load of wet clothes still in the washing machine. Packing is so hard. I don’t want to have just exactly enough outfits to get me through. I want to be able to just wake up on a certain day and feel like wearing something and have it be there. Still, the goal is one suitcase, a backpack, and a small boat and tote for my carry-on, because it stows nicely under the seat in front of me. If you haven’t discovered the joys of the boat and tote, ladies, I highly recommend them. —I have one in every size, including the mini one they did special for Valentines Day.

Here’s some of the things I have planned so far.

July 2–See Cory Morrow at Sunset Pier
July 3–possible BBQ at Mark’s (the one that writes the great movie reviews, see link to left) This is still unconfirmed.
July 4–Austin has a great celebration and fireworks in town. Stoked!
July 5–Hear Bruce Campbell speak and see screening of his new movie
July 6-7–Galveston with my brother
July 9–BBQ that Ana and I organized to get all my scattered Austin friends together. It’s going to be so great!!

Woo hoo! I always start with good blogging intentions, but if I don’t post frequently, don’t forget about me. I need the attention. 🙂

Here’s something I wrote about Austin last time I was there. I posted it before, but here it is again:

Austin
In the airplane I see sun glinting on the skyline. A thrum starts within me and beats in synchronicity with the massive engine obscuring my view. Touch down, then walking. I spread my body on concrete the same temperature as my insides. Palms spread to feel the rise and fall, ear to the ground and the heartbeat is there underneath like always. I slow my breathing to match. I let the city fill me. Let it make me comfortable in this body again. My skin fits better here, I am the same out as in.

A woman walks three bulldogs. A cowboy eats dinner beside two women in business suits. The people glow here. They walk with a love of the ground beneath them. A woman rocks a baby on her front porch at sunset, singing a lullaby in time with the beat always rising from the earth. A street musician carries her tune to where he plays for change. The city orchestrates our movements, our sounds. Like blood we flow through her streets in an unending flow, pushed to our destinations by the strong heart within her.

P.S. I’m pretty sure that a more recent picture of the skyline would include a HUGE new skyscraper. I like it better this way, although it is a pretty building.

Please! Do not, like, let us corrupt you!

I have always been impressed by multi-lingual people. In especial, one thing I have always admired about European people (look out for a sweeping generalization here) is that many of them fluently speak English (and probably other tongues), as well as their first language. The fact that they can appear on an American television or radio program and sound well-versed and intelligent is much more than I, or many other Americans, could do in English, say nothing about in a second language.

But let me warn you: do not mimic us! We are not the gold standard, trust me. I bring this up because I was listening to National Public Radio last night. They have a program in the evenings called “The World” which is a co-production with Public Radio International and the BBC. They had a really interesting interview, which you can listen to here (look for the June 27, 2005 edition), about people using “video letters” to reunite friends who had lost each other during the wars in the former Yugoslavia. The two people involved, I can’t remember their names, were really trying to do something on a individual level to heal that area. They conducted the interview in English,without a translator, and did marvelously well…until…

I was shocked to hear one gentleman describing dialog (quotes are approximate):
“So I was like ‘did you want to make a video letter?'”
“And he goes like ‘video letter?'”

Arrrrgh! No! We did that to you? We made you think that was right? I talk like that, in casual speech, I know I do, but it’s not right. I’m sorry to see others picking up our informal speech patterns without realizing they are just that, informal and incorrect.

I encourage you to listen to the interview, though. It’s small gestures like the above which will, I think, ultimately do the healing of this world. Grand gestures like Live 8 will be forgotten by most concert goers as soon as their hangover wears off.

Well…since you didn’t ask…

I’m drawing a blank when it comes to something interesting to post on, so I thought I’d answer a few questions that none of you asked from my mailbag that doesn’t exist:

1. Song I absoultely can’t listen to without thinking of a specific moment in my life:

Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls–I danced with my date (who thought of me as a little sister when I didn’t think of him that way at all) to my college’s senior formal to this song. That entire evening he made me feel so incredibly special. During this song he grabbed my hand, folded it up in his, put it over his heart and danced the rest of the song with it that way. I think it’s possibly the most romantic gesture anyone has ever paid me. And the words seemed to fit perfectly with what I was feeling at that moment.

2. Most perfect moment with friends

This has a song to go with it also, actually. It was the summer of my sophmore year in collge. My best friend was dating a guy who had a Jeep. We spent a lot of time in his jeep with the top down that summer, sometimes more clothed than others. However, this particular time we were driving to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, on a perfect summer day. We were listening to Mint Car by the Cure. We were laughing and talking and it was one of those rare times where you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world but where you are right that moment. Later that day I dropped my disposable camera in the ladies’ toilet, so a few of the pictures from that day came out a bit blurry…I wonder what happened to them.

3. Time (post childhood) when I felt the most safe

I think this issue of feeling safe is more of a girl thing. Or perhaps just a neurosis of mine. But anyway. A guy friend was visiting me. It was kind of a friends with benefits situation. For some reason, he really wanted me to watch this movie, Kull. I was more than willing to watch, but it just wasn’t my thing. I remember falling asleep wrapped in a blanket, sitting on his lap with that sound of warriors in battle ringing in my ears.

4. Thing I’ve done that I bet none of you have.

When I was in sixth grade I was chosen (by some mysterious and undemocratic process) to be “Acting Hilltown Township Supervisor” along with one other classmate and a few kids from other schools in the district. We went to the Township Building for a real town meeting at which we got to pretend we were the supervisors and I got to bang the gavel. I’m not sure why, but I got a plaque (is that how you spell plaque? Or is that only the goo on your teeth?) for accomplishing this feat.

5. Favorite Simon and Garfunkel Song

Cecilia.

You are *so* funny

I’m not much up for a deep and meaningful post today. And you probably don’t care that this weekend I’m going to be dogsitting, etc. So I thought I’d just tell you a funny I made, of which I was particularly proud. I’m sure it won’t get 13 comments like my last post. I think that was a record for me, although I probalby shouldn’t count my own comments.

Anyway…

I was out to eat with two of my friends, who happen to be married to each other. We were all on the salad course. They had Caesar salad and I had a regular house salad. “MMMM,” I exclaimed. “These are the best croutons I’ve ever had, they must make them here.”

Whereupon friend 1 proceeded to take all the croutons off his Caesar salad and put them on mine. “Don’t do that, you can’t eat a Caesar salad without croutons!” said I.

“Why?” asked friend 1.

Drumroll please…

“Because you have to render unto Caesar that which is Caesars!”

Thanks! Thank you. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

Now You’ve Done It

I was home last night. Doing nothing. My roommate went out with her friend. I ate goldfish crackers for dinner and watched the first season of Sex and the City on DVD (again). So that’s pretty lame, yeah? Just wait.

I wandered over to the computer and prepared to bear the glacier-slow dial-up in order to finally order DSL. (Oh, the thrill.) Somehow I end up on Craigslist looking at the men seeking women ads. Oh they were awful. They either used IM speak: “if ur hot, email me ur pic.” Or just plain didn’t bother to read over what they wrote before they posted. Is it bad that this is a pet peeve of mine? I’m absolutely not claiming that I never make mistakes in what I post, but when you are specifically setting out to impress someone… I noticed this when I was using the online dating services too. If they used the wrong “your” or the wrong “too” I pretty much eliminated them. Hey, we all have our things, right? Take some time, take a little care, that’s all I’m asking. Is gauging someone’s overall intelligence by their grammar so much worse than a guy looking at my picture and making judgments about me because I’m overweight?

Anyway, that’s really beside the point. I got fed up. Fed up with not going out, fed up with my expectations, fed up with crappy personal ads. Just fed up. So I decided to post an ad of my own, mainly just to vent. Here it is:

The Truth

The truth is, it’s hard to read these ads in which people do not know the difference between “your” and “you’re”; these ads in which people trying to find someone attractive, intelligent, and funny do not even bother checking the spelling of their post.

So I thought I’d post instead. I’m 5’6; I have beautiful green eyes.

The truth: I’m slightly to the left side of thin, but I can still shop at the Gap. I’m an editor, so speaking and writing well are important to me. I’m funny in a bitter, I’m-an-optimist-who-tries-so-hard-to-be-cynical kind of way. I like to read real books. I like to listen to music. I like to travel and go hiking. I have a blog, but I won’t write about you unless you want me to.

The truth is that I want to find a guy who will laugh with me. I want a guy who takes the time to see all that I have to offer. I want a guy who will, above everything else that we are to each other, be my best friend.

The truth is, I realize that the above is usually considered a fairy tale. But what the heck, I’ve been waiting this long.

(After all that, I better make damn sure I didn’t make any mistakes, huh.)

Notice I didn’t say “email me if you are interested.” I didn’t say “your pic gets mine.” I did, snobbily, say that grammar is important. Oh and the whole “real books” thing, was quite elitist, don’t you think?

That was at around 9pm last night. I’ve gotten 22 responses so far. A couple called me on my punctuation. They said I should have put a question mark after huh. I actually thought about that, but made the call to go with the period because in my head it was less of a question than a small noise at the end of the sentence. They might be right. One said that if I’m 28 and still shop at the Gap my taste in clothes is as bad as the grammar I despise, or something like that. I wonder where he shops? Some were blah, some were quirky or witty, or have a bit of possibility. But now what do I do? It feels wrong to just ignore them all, but this morning…I’m just not sure if I’m up for all that.

Get Up There!!!

**First I’d like to warn you all that I’ve been reading Henry James. Hence sentences like the ones from the previous post: “Because it isn’t, joyously, me anymore.” and “Oh, it’s nothing horrible; but it does, I hope, prove that I’ve come a long way in the past four years of my life.”

Now, I think this post might be related, in a sense, to my previous post. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had be people in my life that I just wanted to devour. I want to live inside them. There’s just something about them that makes them amazing. Strenth or savvy, grace or eloquence. Rung by rung they climb my ladder and are placed on my pedestal (which, for whatever reason, I have always pictured more as a Corinthian column). And once they are up there, there they are stuck.

That’s a lot for a normal human being to live up to. And, because they are human, they inevitably fall down…usually on my head.

The first person up there was probably my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Lord. (Yes, Mrs. Lord.) She was so smart, and she knew all these songs. Then one day, she was probably having a bad day, and she yelled at me for not being able to find a letter “L” (for Lori) to stand on on the alphabet rug. I cried for hours. The fact that I still remember this so clearly says something.

Then there was “Moose” from the program You Can’t Do that On Television. Oh, I just thought she was so cool. She was older, she could probably even drive. I wrote her a letter. By the time I got an answer (from some intern, probably), she wasn’t even on the show anymore and was in college for film. Haven’t seen her in anything, either. HA!

Fast forward to high school and my French teacher, Ms. Cowles. I still think she’s amazing. I used to write her notes during my study hall. She read all my horrible teenage poetry and found things in it to praise. She took us all to France. One day in high school, I brought her my journal and asked her to write something in it, and she wrote a lovely note to me. I wanted to be her. I wanted to consume her. How she must have wanted to shake me sometimes. We actually ended up being friends, after I graduated. I went to the same college as she did, partly because she had gone there. We would go out to dinner or watch a movie occasionally. She was high on the pedestal, but I could actually hang out with her. She still sends me Christmas and Easter cards, but she doesn’t write back to letters anymore. She’s married now and very happy…I went to her wedding (yes, as an invited guest).

There are more, but you get the point, and are probably getting the straight jacket.

This Corinthian monstrosity is, I am sure, part of my problem with the men in my life, or lack thereof. They get halfway up the ladder, realize where they are and what it means, and take a flying leap off as fast as they can. I need to somehow show people what I have to give, to allow myself to be on equal footing with them, and to not automatically assume they are superior to me. I do not need a boyfriend to be a father figure, just because I don’t have a father anymore. I do not need a boyfriend to be a teacher. (Or a preacher…ha, now that George Michael song will be stuck in your head all day!) It’s strange, sometimes I see myself so clearly. I can see the things that draw people to me and the things that push people away. Other times, I have a really hard time seeing what would make someone want to be around me. Those times, I think, are when the pedestal comes out.


Lori

A blog about my life and other stuff.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)