burnt offering

June 30, 2013

so
i have
pretty bad anxiety.

for the most part,
it’s not too big a deal.
i’m 28 years old now (ugh),
so i’ve had a lot of practice dealing with it

sometimes,
the only thing i need
is to withdraw from the world.
though, that’s become less effective since i became a phd student
as i have work to do literally all of the time,
and getting down with my inner hermit
mostly just makes me feel guilty.

another thing that makes me feel better
is doing something small but special,
bring a little beauty into my life,
ya know?

fresh flowers
the expensive ice cream
going to the movies

things i used to take for granted when someone else was paying.
or things from previous iterations of my life that i miss.
like the iced coffee veronica used to make
when we were roomies in pittsburgh.

which is what i decided to make.
tina bought me some wicked good coffee during my visit,
i can make simple syrup, and cream is easily acquired at any hour.
this would be the perfect way to start my day tomorrow
when i have a dreaded deadline
and my first stand-alone.

as i lay in bed
my unmentionables tumbling away in the wash,
(going commando is not an option for the first day of class)
i opened my windows to let in the summer air
and willed the chemicals in my brain
to level the fuck. out.

then i got this little whiff of something,
something that smelled kinda like cotton candy.
i thought that a bit odd but kept watching netflix.
a few minutes later, a whiff of toasted marshmallow.
that’s what it was! a neighbor must have been toasting marshmallows!

the smell of “toasting”
quickly turned to “burning”
and in that moment i remembered
the simple syrup i put on the stove
maybe fifteen to twenty minutes earlier.

this is the result.
20130630-231925.jpgthat’s right.
i put something on the stove,
went to my room, and immediately forgot about it.

this is why i can’t have nice things.
and why i’ll be going to starbucks in the morning.

1cogq

#finalsweek

omelette

May 2, 2013

in keeping with things related to dogs that make me happy . . .

i firmly believe that all my happiness originates from the my mailbox.
recently, i’ve received a few things in the mail that have made me happy, but today’s arrival takes the proverbial cake.
IMG_8880this postcard art was made by jen cooney.
jen is, what i would call, a bar friend,
one of those people you see at the bar
and run into each other at all the same events
because you travel in the same, small, queer circle of people
though, for whatever reason, you’ve never really hung out
and your interactions have been largely limited to complimenting one another on the fabulosity of our outfits. believe you me,
you have not lived until you have seen jen cooney
in space face.

she put up a notice on facebook that she was doing mail art
and if anyone wanted one, to just send her their address.
i was a little reticent since, as i’ve said,
we weren’t very close back in the burgh
and i’ve been gone now for two years now.
but my love of mail prevailed and i sent my address.

best. decision. ever.

i tell you what,
this postcard makes me miss the queer community in pittsburgh.
whereas many people loathe the bubble-like insularity of such a small city, i miss those moments in the streets (or whole foods) of chance encounter throughout the city, that nod of acknowledgment that, yes,
we were both shaking a tail feather last night in the same place
and i may have been a hot mess but at least i looked fabulous.

there’s nothing like that here.

somehow, this image perfectly captures the essence of my life
and provided exactly the smile i needed to finish out finals week.

thanks jen!

up late

April 23, 2013

can’t sleep.
here’s a video.

love her.

paris 2013

April 13, 2013

the worst part about traveling, is coming home,
not just because you must return to your real life,
but because everyone feels entitled to a detailed account.

it begins with their eyes lighting up,
their voice switching into a higher register
and, on the verge of orgasm, they ask,
“how was paris?”

i smile,
of course,
and have my canned response at the ready.
but, on the inside, it’s more. . .
bw fuck off

comme ça.

i’m not sure why it annoys me, really.
part of it is that it seems so phony, that
people are not interested in what my time was like
as much as they are trying to live vicariously through my experience.
which points to, what is likely, the bigger reason it annoys me;
maybe i just don’t want to share my exeperience!
maybe i just want to keep it to myself and treasure it!
why are you entitled to information about my life
just because you asked?

this response has led to many a confrontation between my mother and i since she feels it’s basic courtesy to express curiosity in the lives of the people you care about, whereas i feel if i wanted to share something, i would bring it up. i fully recognize that my response to people’s inquires is completely not normal though so is most of how i live my life.
why should this be any different?

still,
i feel some obligation to blog about paris,
though i completely forgot to go to the one yarn store i wanted to see
so there’s no knitting content.
and no, i won’t tell you why i forgot,
though i promise, it was well worth it!

and so, je vous donne:

paris 2013 – a photo essay
20130413-160859.jpg20130413-160917.jpg20130413-161057.jpg20130413-161006.jpg20130413-161855.jpg20130413-161119.jpg20130413-161137.jpg20130413-161156.jpg20130413-161222.jpg20130413-161249.jpg20130413-161318.jpg20130413-161339.jpg20130413-161401.jpg20130413-161422.jpg20130413-161440.jpgDPP_1398DPP_1402DPP_1403DPP_1413DPP_1417DPP_1423DPP_1429DPP_1430DPP_1430aDPP_1430bDPP_1430cDPP_1430dDPP_1431DPP_1437DPP_1438DPP_1438aDPP_1438bDPP_1439DPP_1442DPP_1442aDPP_1442bDPP_1442cDPP_1449DPP_1450DPP_1452

1. first propeller plane ride – yyz to cdg
2. view from mon appartement
3. first moments in paris or a few of my favorite things
4. sparklers in our dessert? why not?!
5. pg ‘guys with iphones’ shot
6. friends. . .
7. and colleagues
8. grandma’s sunglasses in paris
9. quasimodo the duck
10. best representation of marriage i’ve ever seen
11. notre dame’s fine behind
12. late-night snack
13. chocolate cat
14. blasphemy
15. best lunch with fellow only, place de la contrascarpe
16. tango in paris
17. & 18. square jehan-rictus, montmartre
19. aimer c’est du désordre . . . alors aimons!
20. arlette denis, la chanteuse de montmartre
21. first timer
22. she was playing yann tiersen
23. view from la basilique du sacré coeur de montmartre
24. view of la basilique du sacré coeur de montmartre
25. mo’s distant cousin
26. only child tourists
27. historic immeuble (supposedly) the first built specifically for artists
28. fetus street art
29. parisian parenting outside saint-sulpice
30. cute boy, cute shoes
31. miyazakiesque
32. piano man à côté de la fontaine saint-michel
33. cole haan, swollen feet in the rue de l’hirondelle
34. view from pont royal
35. accidentally got off at wrong métro top to this view
36. quickly took a tourist shot before the light show ended
37. then we froze our asses off on the tower itself
38. first timer
39. last morning
40. ready to go
41. ma porte

a debt to adrienne martini

October 29, 2012

when one is feeling particularly stressed
it is best to have some healthy coping mechanisms.
for what use would it be to shoot up heroine every time you had a deadline?
i mean
sure
it’d feel awesome.
but then there’s the whole addiction thing to contend with.
and besides,
heroine chic is so over.

when i am particularly stressed,
as i am and will be until wednesday,
i turn to my old standbys:
1) do work – actually being productive does a lot to alleviate stress.
2) clean my bathroom sink – you don’t realize how dirty it really is.
3) eat – less healthy, but sometimes i need some extra carbs.
4) snuggle mo – mitigates my guilt at his being alone so often.
5) caffeine intake – it’s a legal drug that feels good and aides #1.
6) xanax – cheap, legal, and proof that western medicine is awesome.

but you can’t always turn to your standbys,
because perhaps you’re in the wrong mood
or you’ve used one and it wasn’t enough.
in these moments,
i did deep
and try to recall something i saw on the internet that made me happy.
this video does that for me.

(4:42 is particularly good)

i don’t know why, exactly.
i only know i owe a debt to adrienne martini for bringing it to my attention.

thanks adrienne.

also,

i think i just discovered there’s a mouse in my apartment.

*sigh*

edit: just noticed this was my 300th post. go me.

dear dog owners,

October 5, 2012

just popping in to ask my fellow dog owners for advice:
i’m thinking of getting mr. mo a friend for christmas,
but i’m too nervous to commit.

here are my thoughts:

pros
mo would be alone less
there are a lot of dogs who need a home
i am an animal lover in general

cons
cost
extra work
but my real reservation is that it’s been just me and mo for four years now. somehow, i worry i’ll play favorites or won’t love the new addition as much. i’m sure there’s also the ever-present general fear of change in there as well. but i’m an only child so i have absolutely no concept of how a parent can love two kids equally. it just doesnt compute in my brain. and while i know it’s not the same because these are dogs, it’s the closest comparison that i can think of.

maybe i can just bully my mom into getting convince my mom she needs a dog so mo can have play dates when he visits his grandparents?
thoughts?

i was going to write one of my typical posts,
but i just found out that one of my heroines, chavela vargas, died today.
somehow my swatch just doesn’t seem that important anymore.

i’m having a lot of trouble articulating why i feel what i feel. it seems rather absurd, really, that upon reading of her death, i burst into tears. it makes no sense that one of mexico’s most beloved (and controversial) singers would be a hero to a white dude from michigan who doesn’t even speak spanish. but there’s just something about her life and music that . . . *sigh* i don’t know. she was a person who lived a hard, beautiful life and i admired her for it. for whatever reason, she meant something to me.

if you listen to paloma negra, and you don’t feel anything, i could never hope explain it to you. that’s the only way i can think to put it.

chavela vargas was one of the 20th century’s bravest, most important lesbians, and i worry history will forget that.
at least i won’t.

white recluse

July 25, 2012

if any of you out there are only children,
you may agree with me that we are prone to solitude.
it isn’t that we don’t like people, or being with people.
we aren’t antisocial per se, it’s just. . .

we had a lot of alone time during our formative years
and we need to occasionally revisit that feeling of aloneness.

or maybe i’m just projecting my weirdness onto you people. sorry.

regardless! that’s what my prolonged silence has been about;
a bit of isolation in these last quiet months before ‘year two’ begins.

for a good chunk of the time,
i’ve been here, in the bed of my adolescence,
in the house that’s been my home since i was fresh out the womb.

my grandfather was living with my parents for a brief period,
but he’s happily moved out into the old folks home.
luckily, from what i can tell,
‘happily’ is exactly the right word
his unassuming charm (and lack of dementia)
have made him quite the popular chap, apparently.

and so it’s just the three of us,
mom, dad, and i, just as in old times,
bickering, laughing, observing wildlife,
playing pinochle and canasta like fiends.

i never sleep better than when i’m here.

in this room, i’m surrounded by childhood mementos that recall times i know i lived but can barely imagine. i look at photos and certificates and medals and boxes of comics and books and stuffed animals and it’s like i’ve lived three lives already. no wonder i feel old.

i realize just how lucky i am, at 27, to still have a place to come home to, where i’m fed and loved and can wear yesterdays clothes without judgement. the only thing that’s changed is my mom knocks and then
waits for a response before barging into my room.

mostly.

but you don’t really care about my sappy thoughts.
you want at least some fiber content.
unfortunately, i haven’t been all that fibery.
i did, however, do my own personal tour de fleece.
compared with people like helloyarn, david of southern cross fibres, the harlot or frankly anyone else who participated, i am the rankest of amateurs. the fact of the matter is, i’m a slow spinner with very little instruction. the fact that i can make yarn at all is a victory.

i had one simple goal: finish spinning my rhinebeck fiber.
i started it back in april and made a lovely skein.
during my tdf, i made two more.
(mo is serving you french bulldog realness!)

that’s 8oz of corriedale top from …into the whirled in the ‘rendition’ colorway. the skein in the back is the original. the subsequent two are much more fingering-sport weight whereas the original is a sport-dk.
i’m still happy.

you may have also noticed a little mini skein hanging out there with it’s big brothers. that is my real tdf victory. by some miracle, i spun the exact same length of single on each bobbin for the second skein; no leftovers. (i did plying dance of joy that featured some very inappropriate movements) for the final skein, i split my remaining fiber in half, spun my singles, and had quite a bit left over on one bobbin after plying (wtf?). since i only had 8oz to begin with and i wanted to maximize yardage, i decided to navajo ply the remaining single and i’d use it for the cast on or something. after all, this is tdf! i should end with a challenge. (did i mention i’ve never navajo plied?)

now, in knitting, i can pretty much pull of any technique of which i know the theory. in spinning, this is not the case (see above comment about rank amateurity). i’m telling you, bitches, if you had seen the scene of me navajo plying…..not my most graceful moment.

somehow though, i pulled it off. there’s way too much twist in it and my ‘loop lengths’ are in no way regular, but a good soak and one serious thwacking later and i’ve got some decent yarn.

go me.

but just when i feel pretty darn smug about clearing out 70% of my spinning stash, this arrivesthis box contains one special alpaca fleece (thanks sally!)

i have no idea how i’m going to clean, card, or spin this,
but how hard can it be?

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