31 January 2009

my bed is like a cloud

When I'm even the least bit sick I feel as though my brain is full of pillows and I would rather look up extradition in the dictionary, watch horribly disturbing BBC comedy clips with creepy foxes that people with mustaches have told me about, stare at shoes on line, stare at my shoes and try on all my high heels and dream about places to wear them, read recipes and imagine piles of blueberries or cheese or sauteed onions, change sweaters every half hour til I find the one that is most warm, comfortable, and completes the outfit the best, and read novels and novellas instead of read a five page French essay and then write a summary of it.

It's horrible to contemplate another language when your brain is pillowed.

And extrados is the outside curved surface of an arch according to my wonky dictionary. If you saw my dictionary you would understand why it's wonky.

Oh mince.
(I mean the french mince)

28 January 2009

peut-être le moment a été arrivé

At one point we unearthed the piano and for a long time I couldn't figure out why. It wasn't until twenty minutes later mon prof tapped his fingers around on the keys to explain bits of the American Songbook.

I bought a bike off a friend yesterday. I want something for winter that won't give me secret fits about rust and tire pressure. Wonder the Panasonic Tourist is working on 40 years and deserves to be coddled and cradled. I've brought him inside and wrapped him in a blanket.
This new one feels as if I've acquired a little trick bike. Ce n'est pas vrais (not true). But it's short, has hard boy seat. I want to trick it out. I'm thinking of spray painting it black and stenciling it's name on in silver: DEATH. Maybe I could even make a little scyth to ornament my handlebars, I think it'd be hilarious. We'd be a great pair, Death and I. Moi in my little knitted cap and mittens and Death with rhinestone skulls glitterig from the handles.
It's just a little funny imagining of mine.
I'm also thinking of strapping a pillow onto that death seat. I mean, that seat feels like death. Apparently boys don't sit on their bikes these days.



24 January 2009

confession 1

The thought of trying to get other people to clean up after themselves and doing everyone's laundry makes me want to remain single for the rest of my life.

but just don't wear that leather jacket

It must just be the time of year.
Led Zeppelin IS this time of year.
I turned them on ce soir and I thought, what have I been doing with the rest of my life?
They make me want to groove around, tool around, get around, wraparound, rap around a round about.

Ramble on

21 January 2009

sometimes i don't know how those pant suits happen

All those dead horses have been resting in peace for the past few weeks, in case you were following that saga.
This isn't meant to be a shameless plug, although I feel no shame, but NPR is just about the greatest thing to hit this planet since conceptual art, unbleached muslin, and gelato.
Maybe it's an integral part of the orchestration of my life because I grew up on Market Place, Car Talk, Prairie Home Companion, NPR's evening news, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, and all the essays and splices of humanity filling this station.

Recently (through the glorious advent of podcastables to my life) I discovered another NPR gem: All Songs Considered.
In the pursuit of beautiful music discussion, All Songs Considered has set up Exclusive First Listen where you can listen to selected artist's entire albums on-line. I know one person who might be reading this would be interested in hearing the new Bruce Sprinsteen album. As for me, I was a little surprised when I was listening to M. Ward's album "Hold Time." He's done a cover of Rave On, which only mon père, ma soeur, and ma mère might recognize. You know, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's beautiful little tune (and if the rest of you would like a reference point, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band did Mr. Bojangles). Anyway, M. Ward's was completely different, as it should be. I'm with-holding judgement at this point. Await la for a later day. La, la, la, la.

Rave on, it's a crazy feeling and ah, I know, you've got me reeling

Rave on to me

Rave on to me

15 January 2009

where's rexy

Other things you learn from being a nanny, especially when you nanny for a mother who is cooler than you, is to deal with an odd form of depression.

Because some days you show up and everyone has a long face. It seems that the thought of spending an afternoon in the company of you instead of a mother elicits the scream crying from the baby that sounds like bloody murder and makes your bones ache with melancholy.


13 January 2009

kippur and self irony

Sometimes, spending a lot of time with children is like swallowing every theory you've felt is decent and holy. Sometimes, to be a good child watcher, you have to swallow adulthood.

Not that I'm terribly adult.

Somedays you show up and it's just a regular day and before you've even said no to anything they're crying about something again (apparently children don't get thrills from the absurdism of life, you know, the waiting for Godot part of life). In my head (on the days when I feel the weight of these absurdist repetitions) I think, "Really? You're crying now? How bout I really give you something to cry over." But me being tired of them being tired of everything doesn't help anything. Obviously, it makes them cry more.
Most days I can remember not to be tired. Most days I have this vivid recollection of me being six sitting in the kitchen on those floral fabricked basic kitchen chairs we got from some relative and my mom suggesting things for lunch,
"There are apples."
"There's cheese. We could make cheese and crackers."
"I don't want cheese and crackers."
"Peanut butter and jelly?"
"No! Not peanut butter and jelly."
"Yogurt, then."
"I don't want yogurt."

Ok, I take a deep breath and tell myself, Ok, Smile, and start quoting Dr. Seuss.
"Would you could you in a boat?"

12 January 2009

cought in the sneed, waiting for algebra to be easier and that's my only excuse for not making sense

Have there been times in your life when you've written it all down?
The population in France has grown by three million in the last seven years. There's a lot of change going on in the big cities over there.
Par exemple, what if your favorite boulangerie with that Emily Dickinson poem went out of business and was taken over by a trendy, watered down, over priced health foods store? You have that poem memorized; Emily Dickinson's #25 (Johnson)

It troubled me as once I was-
For I was once a child-
Concluding how an Atom- Fell-
And yet the Heavens- held-

The Heavens weighed the most- by far-
Yet Blue- and solid- stood-
Without a Bolt- that I could prove-
Would Giants- understand?

Life set me larger- problems-
Some I shall keep- to solve
Till Algebra is easier-
Or simple proved- above-

Then- too- be comprehended-
What sorer- puzzled me-
Why Heaven did not break away-
And tumble- Blue- on me-

If the boulangerie (bakery) were closed, you wouldn't be able to exchange pleasantries with Albert (pronounced Albear) who worked behind the counter and can point out the freshest breads and which bagette is best for your Soupe de courge à la vanille.

But what if you have a gluten intolerant child?

I was a little thoughts filled about change as I was drinking my chocolate milk last night. I decided as long as I kept my carry-on baggage and took my trinkets out often to read them, look at them, talk about them, share them, take care of them, I would be OK if heaven, the heaviest of all, fell on my head.

08 January 2009

the unnamable, unnumerable universe (catch that one?)

You know how gmail has links on the side that are supposed to correspond with the content of your emails? Well, I got this email from a professor and....

03 January 2009

he would make me drink juice. but this isn't about that. hope it makes sense

I was going to tell you how I’m starting things out on the right foot (look closely at the picture above and then reread that last sentence). But, hmm, I heard about a friend who was struck by a certain malaise.

The French Revolution marked the fall of everything (but the food) that had controlled France: monarchy and church. No one was sure where to turn. Another king? More Christianity? A parliament? A constitution? Alfred Musset (now garbled by my horrible translation) described the generation of the time as living in between two worlds ni l’un ni l’autre (neither part of one nor the other). “When one spoke of a throne or an alter, they responded: they’re only four pieces of wood; we have nailed them and ripped the nails out again... A feeling of unspeakable sickness (malaise) has begun to ferment in the hearts of the young people” ( La confession d’un enfant du siècle p. 13-14(1836)).

I’ve been working on my New Year’s Resolution (I resolve simply. Last year it was to floss). This year I resolve to kiss more. I mean in general. Friends, families, cheeks, lips, foreheads, dreams.
And I've been straitening up the world, fortifying against the oncoming onslaught of the winter semester. Running, exfoliating while listening to Led Zeppelin, stocking up on paper towel and drain cleaners (don't you wish you had me for a roommate).

Then my BFF (I want to use that word more than ever now) stopped by for a welcome home chat and shared a story of a dear someone's malaise.
Very few times in our lives are we faced with news that leaves our brain doubting our ears.

When I was organizing my cardboard box "dresser" and my half o’ the closet, I sat in awe. Do I really own millions of thrift store finds? Do I ever match? Is it possible to get a headache just from looking at the constrastuous array in my closet-o?

This morning when I got dressed I faced myself in the mirror and thought, I didn't mean to dress like this. But it just so happens that this is what I liked and then I bought it and so I owned it and this is how I taught myself to piece it all together. Yes, a western print bandanna tucked in as an ascot peaking about my button up shirt (and acid wash jeans).

When I was younger (ages three to eighteen) I waged a personal revolution against matching. Then I got to universito and found other people had waged that war as well. Apparently we had won (at least in our eyes). But seeing so many other fellow revolutionaries, and finding overpriced "vintage" stores, made me start wondering if I had merely been waging a mutiny against Captain Queeg (the Caine Mutiny).
My heart clammed up. Where to turn?

But this year I decided to de-clam a bit and kiss. Hands, feet, noses, ears and you.

I sat thinking about this malaise for awhile this evening. President Henry B. Eyring (First Counselor of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) said, “[God] cannot grant [that joy which we once had with Him in the life before this one] to us as individuals...We must seek to qualify for it with others” (“Our Hearts Knit as One.” November 2008 Ensign).

For the last year I’ve been floating in and out of disillusionment. You know, stereotypes, mantras, and all that jazz. I ate sushi with kids who would fill your brain with saddest sort of mud. And it was “rad.”

Where to turn when I liked my corduroy on corduroy separated by soft old plaid flannel? When my spirit soared as I danced in matte black rooms and was fed by words of the Smiths?

Well, on the old comfortable Rock that I’d been toting around in a bag. I laid it down on the ground and I’ve been trying to stand on it. It works well. Because when I stand on it I’m tall enough to kiss you.