December 16, 2011
i’m no buddhist.
by which i mean,
i thoroughly enjoy
and revel in
i desire desire,
in all its many forms:
an unfortunate combination of events meant i would not be able to do anything fun to honor my epic 27th birthday.
(it has special meaning for me)
my longing was all the more poignant because
veronica, my best friend in all the world
and former bitches get stitches model,
would be in new york city,
and had been pleading
with me to come too.
it wasn’t going to happen.
instead, my birthday would entail
a half-bottle of whiskey and blog post
enumerating the many things i want to have,
from extravagant designer leather goods
to a smile from the cute phd student
in the college of ______.
(i need some secrets)
languishing in pre-birthday despair,
i looked at all the $700 flights to nyc,
wishing somehow i would find a grand
tucked in my the crannies of my couch.
then, a miracle. the heavens opened up,
and the expedia.com gods’ light shone down
on poor, wayward graduate student, steven a.,
offering me a round trip flight to nyc for $160.
to any of my peeps in the nyc,
my stay there will be brief.
so let’s coordinate a time
for us to meet up so you
can give me my presents.
happy birthday to me, bitches!
September 5, 2011
a daylight search found mo trapped on our property. he is a little guy after all, and country life can be perilous for a city pup. when i came upon him, he was just lying there calmly, waiting to be rescued. when he saw me, he gave me eyes that said, “ok you’re here now. take me home.” after a few rounds around the house at lightning speed, he is now sleeping happily at my feet.
thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.
not only did it provide extreme comfort when i felt alone,
i have to believe that somehow they brought us back together.
i’ve moved around quite a bit in my adult life,
and i’ve found the most important thing to do
is immediately set out into the world
and find some places to call you own.
having done my undergrad at michigan state,
i already have a couple places where i feel comfortable,
places that make me forget for a few hours that
school starts in less than three weeks.
in less than three weeks,
i will be teaching,
shaping the minds of american youth.
this gives me less than three weeks to get all the nervous vomiting out of my system. (pray for my esophagus).
the other day,
to counteract my nausea,
i thought it best to suck in some yarn fumes,
and maybe see what the weaving class schedule was like at woven art.
there are a few other yarn stores in the lansing area,
most of which are closer to me than woven art.
i’ve scoped them out in prior visits,
felt their vibes and,
for all kinds of reasons,
it’s clear this is my new lys.
of course i wasn’t really prepared for the fact that they “know me from the blog”, and nancy welcomed me back to the area with a hug.
i’m very fragile right now, and that kind of gesture meant a lot.
it’s nice a nice feeling to be immediately welcomed,
to know someone wants you to be here.
thanks nancy (and meg!)
then nancy really shocked me by asking me if i’d like to teach.
you have to be kidding me!
of course i wanted to teach!
and so very shortly i’ll be offering classes at woven art,
easing myself in with some beginning knitting until i get my bearings.
why look at that!
my nausea is back.
August 6, 2011
a long time ago,
a mason from ireland left
and came to the united states.
he briefly settled in brooklyn, married
a woman who’s name has been lost,
and upon having a son, john,
finally settled in corktown,
detroit’s oldest neighborhood.
this man was named stephen martin,
my great great great grandfather.
upon my birth,
my mother decided to give me his name,
tying me forever to a man without whom
i would never have made it here.
but in what can only be called the metaphor of my existence,
she misspelled it.
and so my ancestor’s name,
already anglicized from the irish,
had now been americanized
in a city once owned by the french.
i’ve often heard that there’s a lot of power in a name.
and this misspelling, i now feel, was a kind of curse.
nothing i seem to do ever follows a proper path;
everything must have an accidental twist,
one based on false certainty.
what this has meant for me is that,
while my life won’t ever be what one’s should,
it has been one that i wouldn’t change anything about.
not one thing.
would i trade finding the “knock” my family left behind in county kerry,
or petting a panda bear while he at an apple in chengdu,
or walking the early morning streets of paris at christmastime,
or burning in the himalayan sunshine outside the potala palace,
or a shockingly thorough olive oil massage from a burly greek woman on the coast of santorini for
a wedding ring?
i can’t say as i would.
but i have often wondered
if marching to the beat of my own disco
means i won’t get the chance to pass along a name,
misspelled or otherwise, if,
in twenty years time,
i’d regret not
sometimes i wonder if passing on a name is important to me,
or important enough to me.
i’m not sure, but
in what can only be considered the craziest of signs,
it turns out that my name will live on,
just not in the usual form.
that email was a solar flare during a starless moment for me.
you’re timing couldn’t have been more impeccable.
i’m allergic to alpacas.
this is my life.
August 4, 2011
the movers are coming today,
and it’s all i can do to keep from collapsing.
leaving you, pittsburgh, . . . it feels like
. . .i’m dying in a way.
i feel like i do at funerals,
like my legs could buckle at any moment,
like my heart needs to be closer to the earth.
i’ve never been in love before and
it’s crazy that my first time would be you,
a city, the steel city.
you made me laugh constantly,
shared with me all your secrets,
tucked me in on so many nights
with a smooch and a smile.
you were nothing but good to me.
i can never repay all your kindnesses.
at the same time,
it wasn’t enough.
or not fast enough
for me to realize
this is it!
you were the one.
it’s my fault
we didn’t work out.
i should’ve done more
to maintain your affections.
by the time i knew it was you
i wanted, you’d stiffened,
and i was being pulled away.
i could’ve done more to be with you, but i didn’t.
i was disloyal
leaving is the only choice i have left.
so i didn’t recognize the signs.
you and yours snuck up on me,
and my only wish is that i could stay
i know we’ll always be friends,
that i’ll see you now and then,
that this isn’t a forever goodbye.
but i’ll never have you like i did before.
we’ll never be as close as we once were.
nothing has ever hurt me more than that.
i love you, buddy.
i’ll miss you.
you were my home.
June 16, 2011
with my hospital bills all paid (i hope),
and electronic ink still drying on my lansing lease,
i should be squeezing my pennies like a scotsman.
so the first thing i do,
when assessing my funds?
i decide to make a purchase.
it was eight and four months ago,
when i learned to treadle steady,
and witnessed the power of twist.
i was hooked.
it was magic
worked by my fingers.
there was no going back.
it changed me.
a year is a long time to want something
wanting a thing for that long means
i make it my business to have it.
you can’t always get what you want, they say,
no matter how deep the desire.
this i can make mine.
and i will have it.
June 2, 2011
i try to keep entries that don’t involve knitting to minimum
since it’s kind of the point of my blog.
but because brooke insists,
“the holiday weekend is over.. we want the scoop on the “mild debauchery” – dish dude, dish.. we want the nitty gritty of your weekend.. don’t hold back..”
just to keep things legal,
here’s some knitting.
i’m testing knitting this little ditty for my friend andrea.
when it grows up, it will be a kimono-style sweater.
when it has a name, and is available to the world,
i’ll give you more details.
but back to my weekend.
i’m afraid brooke is going to be disappointed.
when you’re traveling with four old married ladies
there’s only so much debauchery that can happen.
let’s not forget i did say mild.
i mean, there was everything you’d expect of five dudes at a rustic cabin in rural pennsylvania:
walking in the nature,
artistic expression of the inner self,
cigar/ettes and beer and campfires,
the grilling of meats,
a best friend,
buying of junk,
and excessive blurry photography.
there was also stuff the camera didn’t capture like nude sunbathing (i was not present for that), nighttime nebbing in trailer parks, tons of wildlife (beavers, deer, an opossum, a toads, a baby rabbit, rednecks, loons, and many many porcupines), and peeing anywhere that wasn’t inside.
if that’s not enough, i did make a bottle of whiskey disappear.
that’s pretty debaucherous.
really, though, trips like this
are about getting away from our lives,
no matter how good or bad we think they are,
and just being a less complicated version of yourself.
at least that’s how it was for me.
i got some quality thinking time in,
and left some of my highly traumatic couple months back behind with the flies.
hope your memorial day weekend was a good as mine,
i doubt it.
May 1, 2011
right before i went into the hospital,
everything was all set for my summer romp in new york;
i was ready to apartment hunt, and add my body to hordes.
then i got sick.
then there were surgeries.
then i almost died a couple of times.
and the proverbial wrench was thrown into the works.
my internship in new york didn’t disappear.
i just had to wait till my picc line was pulled,
and the doctors said they were done with me.
as of yesterday,
they’re done with me.
now it was up to me to decide if i’m well enough,
strong enough, to take on the big apple.
no pressure or anything.
the truth is,
i am still healing.
i’m weak, and even with big time drugs,
i’m in a lot of pain.
since the day i got out,
the question has been,
how badly do i want this?
is my desire for a summer of fun greater than my need to heal?
finding the answer has been all i could think about for weeks.
and as if my family hasn’t been through enough,
my father flipped his suv friday night and is in the hospital.
(note: whoever decided that waiting all night to notify my mother that my father was in the hospital so she had to wait up for hours wondering where her husband was, fuck you. you should be fired.)
or as fine as possible.
the pressure has been unbearable.
finally, i just had to ask myself, what do you want?
and the answer came right out of my mouth.
so listen up, bitches.
i have made my decision.
i’m giving up my internship.
shocking i know.
i simply don’t have it in me right now.
i just need to have a relaxing summer.
i want to spend time with my family,
with the people i love.
i need to heal.
soon enough, i’ll be thrown back to the wolves,
to ruthless maw of michigan state’s english department.
don’t get me wrong, i’m totally stoked that i’m going there.
getting my phd has been a goal i’ve worked toward for years now,
and there’s no better place to do the work i want to do than at msu.
but taking this summer means i can really prepare,
that i can take my time to get ready for the next five years of my life.
i always knew i might have to choose between the two opportunities,
that they would end up conflicting with each other.
in any event,
this is what i want,
which i suppose is all the reason i need.
now all i need to figure out is
where the hell i’m going to live this summer.
in other news, i fully recognize that there is only so much life drama you dear readers are willing to put up with before you get bored.
fiber is your drug of choice.
tomorrow there will be a post.
and i promise, it is completely
and totally knitting related.
cross my heart.
March 27, 2011
hey there bitches!
how’re things with you?
how am i doing?
well i’m feeling a little . . . odd tonight.
i think it’s this house sitting gig i’ve got.
all this alone time in a big old house,
no one to talk to but some cats,
and the tivo,
my god! the tivo!
i think it’s making me a little stir crazy.
i feel the cabin fever descending.
since all i’m working on is some super secret knitting,
i have nothing at all fibery to share with you all tonight.
but i still feel the need to keep you entertained.
let’s go to the bathroom shall we?
a photo shoot in the shower is just the ticket.
let’s have some fun with facial hair!
i can’t show the last pic.
a naked-face pic is just going to far,
even for me.
i’m a lady.
February 24, 2011
i’ve been on my man period pretty hard lately.
i don’t know if there is any science backing up the theory that men do in fact have periods. since we don’t bleed out once a month, i’m sure there’s been little interest. however,
at least speaking for myself,
i have one.
i remember my mom had really bad pms when i was a lad,
the “batten down the hatches” kind of pms.
my dad and i would brace ourselves,
make ourselves scarce,
and clean something.
this is apparently yet another trait i seem to have inherited from mom. (i’ll forgive her since she also gave me my killer good looks)
my man period usually involves the following:
insane emotions and mood swings
fear the world sees these crazy emotions
analysis of my complicated love life (such as it is)
insomnia and seclusion in my room
a desire to cast on many new projects
consuming unhealthy amounts of red meat
an increase in booty calls/sexting (sorry mom)*
a mad desire to start smoking again (sorry mom)
and the inevitable hunt for the ever illusive xanax bottle.
for christ’s sake i ate peanut butter and loved it!
(ok so only my parents can understand just how not “me” that is,
but trust me, that is some twilight zone shit!)
today was the first day in about ten
when i woke up pretty much even-keeled.
but instead of my brain being back in balance,
i think it’s world that has just changed to fit my mood.
you see, tonight, a few friends are coming over to celebrate my birth.
i was born in december.
veronica feels that,
even though i had a whirlwind trip to nyc to commemorate my birth,
it was necessary to have a celebration in pittsburgh.
so a few peeps who missed out are coming over,
and veronica is making me a butter pecan cake.
i wonder if there will be presents?
i’ve gotten some good ones this year.
a skein of handspun from tina
a skein of handspun from tammy
a lovely skein and pattern from kim
some lovely body butter for my ashy skin from cheryl
socks from lisa b
socks from weirdypants jenn
a hat/needle organizer from the lovely yvonne
a lovely batt from my boss
(i really think she’s just trying to tempt me into buying a wheel)
two, count ‘em two stephen west stripy neck accessories from anna
and the emotional support i need, whenever i need it,
from my sister/aunt kelli.
i got groped on my birthday by a hot stranger in new york,
and smooches from a guy i like before we even got there.
the closest thing i have to a sister,
is having a party in honor of my birthday
in the middle of february.
not too shabby
i’d say a(n extreme) chemical imbalance in my system once a month
is totally worth it for this life i’m living.
* just to clarify, i don’t do the booty calling. it happens to me. i’m a lady. (sorry mom)