Friday, December 31, 2010

Last post of 2010

I don't have much to write about today and will soon be dressing up for work (NYE at Lineage = we can wear fancy stuff as opposed to our usual uniform), but ending the year with 74 posts (when 75 is such a nicer, rounder, better number) seemed wrong.

I've already done my 2010 recap post (scroll down to check it out), so let's look ahead into 2011....the year when:

-- I will turn 30;

-- I will finish my M.F.A. in Creative Writing and complete my thesis in poetry;

-- I will possibly leave Boston (and the East Coast), if I find a job somewhere awesome like Chicago

So 2011 is shaping up to be a big year of change, hopefully for the better. And I can't wait to write about it here.
Happy New Year, everybody!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So You Think You Don't Like Poetry: St. Louis edition!

Hello readers! Today's poem was written by a poet who has largely been forgotten/overlooked: Sara Teasdale. Teasdale was born in St. Louis (!) in 1884 and published her first collection of verse in 1907. At 23, she had already published a book of poems. Bitch.

Just kidding!

Anyway, Teasdale is on my radar because of the book I'm currently reading -- The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker. It's a novel narrated by a poet struggling to write an introduction to an anthology of rhyming poems. And Teasdale is one of his favorite rhyming poets. Like me, she's into forms. And she's from my hometown. We have so much in common, except that I am hoping to not kill myself by overdosing on barbiturates at age 49 like Sara did.

This poem appears first in her 1917 collection Love Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. I think it has a refreshingly positive/hopeful message, one very appropriate for looking ahead to a new year.


Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder in a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

(Emotional) Baggage Claim

I like everything organized and in its right place. That does not make me an anal control freak. I just think everything should be neat and tidy at all times. Is that really so much to ask?
I just like to let it all hang out. I'm a little all over the place.

Ok, so maybe I'm a little on the small side. Size isn't everything! Just give me a chance. Once you go carry-on, you never go back.

I'm fucking indestructible. Hard as a rock. Impenetrable in every way. Try to hug me and you will hurt yourself so BACK OFF.

I've been used a lot and I'm worn out. And if that's a problem for you, well, fine, why don't you just get some shitty shiny thing on wheels. I don't need you anyway.

I like to blend in. Black is the new black. Maybe I'm a little boring and safe, but you know what? Actually, I don't know what. I'm a dime a dozen. Love me?

I'm so hot and sexy. Tell me how sexy I am. Really, don't you think I'm sexy? I'm sexy, right? RIGHT? Oh, and did you see my Dolce & Gabbana tag? Just making sure you noticed that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Report Card/Best and Worst of 2010

One of my favorite annual issues of
People arrived last Friday -- the Best and Worst issue, where you get to re-experience all the best photos/stories/gossip/gowns from the past year ALL OVER AGAIN. I also recently completed teaching my first year at Emerson and got to do something I've always fantasized about: grade people. And this is college, so my grades count, bitches!

In honor of these two exciting events, this blog post will be a hybrid of superficial ratings and photographic highlights of the past year. 2010 was an odd year, to be honest. Not awesome, not awful. So here we go!


Pretty much solid developments in this category. I upgraded from back-server to server at Lineage and landed a competitive teaching position. And I actually genuinely love both my jobs. I really enjoy expanding young minds and telling people what arctic char tastes like (a more delicate, flakier salmon). And I think I'm pretty good at both, though we'll see if my instructor evaluations confirm or refute this. I don't know if I'll teach another year at Emerson or not, but I think I will definitely continue to teach...somewhere and in some capacity.

Oh, and on the writing front, I picked up some freelance work from Time Out Boston. Because like 2Pac, I have "ambitionz az a ridah" [sic].


I had bronchitis for basically all of October and mysteriously contracted
strep C, which is rare in humans and common in horses (!), in June. And I gained 5 lbs. But hey, I didn't have a kidney stone and my belly button remained infection-free!


I mean, it's still a passing grade. After a significant relationship ended in February, I dabbled on and began what I thought would end up being a significant relationship, but it flamed out quickly. My feelings on this relationship are best captured in this Rosemary Clooney song:

(p.s. I want that dress big time)

The year is ending on an upswing though, with a new gentleman in the picture. For fear of jinxing it, I'll stop there. It may not be love, but for now, it's nice and that's enough for me.


Once upon a time, I actually would put some of each paycheck into a savings account. That time is...not now. I have no emergency nest egg and I'm tired of living hand-to-mouth. Being broke is cute and charming when you're 20...not so much when you're 30, as I soon will be. I need to be better at budgeting and have more discipline when it comes to eating/drinking out. And my rent eats up way too much of my income, so if I stay in Boston, I think I need to suck it up and live with roommates. Sorry, studio :(


I went to Holland and Belgium in July! Read all about it here. I also made it to St. Louis, New Haven, Chicago and New York.


I saw Peewee Herman on Broadway. Loved Black Swan, Catfish, and The Social Network. Listened to a lot of Florence + the Machine and Robyn. Saw a Puccini opera and a burlesque version of The Nutcracker involving a gigantic candy cane penis that sprayed snow. Watched some shitty reality television. Spent too much time on YouTube. Should have seen more live music.

And now, some photos of BEST moments from the past year. I don't think I will include photos of worst moments, because come on, when I'm crying and drinking alone in my apartment, who wants to take a picture? Maude can't operate a camera.

At a black-tie wedding at the Harvard Club

My first Red Sox game

With my best friend Jon in Chicago

Boarding the train to Bruges

Celebrating my Dad's 65th

On Cape Cod for Labor Day


at the Lineage holiday party

Ok, 2010....maybe you weren't so bad....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A shout-out to Emerson undergrads

After a semester of teaching the Emerson class of 2014, I have to say, I'm impressed with their creativity, humor, and resourcefulness. A while back, my alma mater Yale put out a musical admissions video. It was well-made, but kind of too slick for my taste. The Emerson equivalent, I think, is much funnier and more likely to actually appeal to potential applicants. The video has gone viral and was featured on Jezebel this week -- in case you missed it, I'm posting it below.

As a final project in the writing class I teach at Emerson, I asked my students to "take an approach" (i.e. update/subvert/twist) a classic fairytale. I gave them the freedom to use any medium they wanted and many chose to make videos of some sort. One group turned Goldilocks into a modern-day BU sorority girl blogging about her romantic conquests; another made a satirical indie film trailer that I find very amusing -- click here to watch.

We had our last class on Monday and toward the end of the period, I asked students to share their favorite memory from the semester. One student spilled the beans that at one point, they all discovered my blog and several of them were looking at it during class, unbeknownst to me. I apparently kept asking them what was so funny. I mean, I'm not at all surprised that they found my blog -- when you Google me, it's the first hit -- but I do think it's funny that they were so secretive about it (and proud of themselves for not letting on that they'd found it).

I'm looking forward to meeting a new crop of Emerson freshmen in January and hope they are as awesome as my current group. If any of them are reading this, YOU RULE and I hope you keep me posted about your performances and achievements.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmastime is here

...and my apartment is DECKED OUT. I have a lot of decorations, none of which I purchased for myself. Such is the benefit of having a holiday-obsessed mother who has sent me about three boxes worth of Christmas stuff, ranging from semi-creepy Dickensian carolers...

to vintage bottle-brush trees:

As for my tree this year, well, there's really only one way to describe it: FIERCE.

I mean, it's fucking beautiful, right? It fits perfectly between my desk and shoe rack. I bought and decorated it on Sunday, while sipping Trader Joe's chocolate-flavored eggnog. Then I watched Holiday Inn and cried at the end, like I always do.

I own three Christmas movies: Holiday Inn, White Christmas, and a very special film that I have never seen, but plan to watch this year. Christmas Evil.

It's about a serial killer who dresses up like Santa and wants to "give everyone the presents they deserve...even if that means giving the gift of MURDER!"

Very excited to watch this. I mean, I love Halloween and I love Christmas. Clearly I will love this film. Maybe even as much as I love this:

As one YouTube commenter noted, "Gotta love the Muppets for recognizing that this song is about attempted rape."

Monday, December 6, 2010

So You Think You Don't Like Poetry

I'm pretty swamped with end-of-semester odds and ends, but wanted to post a poem I was recently introduced to by my workshop instructor, Gail Mazur. This piece originally appeared back in 1999 on Slate, a zine that deserves a shout-out for posting poems and generally acknowledging the existence/cultural relevance of poetry.

I am in awe of this poem. After reading it, I immediately filed it in the "damn, I wish I had written that" file. The final simile, in the last three lines, is especially amazing.

The Round-Up
by Karen Fish

What happened--old as the hills, ancient as the ax,
the horse, water in a clay cup, dirt under the fingernails.
The river forgets the fish and the winter sun slides
beyond the far hills. All of them had mothers, and all
the mothers sang while swimming and as the women sang
the birds left the trees which ringed the water
for the clouds where the distance whispered a different dream
than the dream dreaming this

dark afternoon. The men were boys not that long ago--
delicate, confident paddling alongside their mothers
through the hot afternoons.
The water dark green with splash and shout--
summer just a whistle and gone.
Of course, the night will still hold stars,
the moon's journey, the planet's orbit. There will
always be nests, branches, the swaying and the saying.
They have names and are men exactly like you
lined up in jackets, boots and caps--
cold with the waiting.

It is unbelievable, even some of the soldiers
begin to sob. Trucked out to no-where
are doctors, lawyers, plumbers, builders, bankers.
It is winter, snow rides the collapse of clouds.
There are just shades of brown and grey,
a line of trees--a dark scribble
like markings done by a child.

As each man is shot,
whether he drops backward
or to the side
he forgets us, his own name, this place,
like the kiss
in the evening at the lit threshold
whose intent was to swear return.