Monday, November 16, 2009

round and round

i wrote an entire post about how i want to take a break from academia because i feel so trapped in this vicious cycle of self-congratulatory ego-coddling rhetoric and then i realized that the entire blog post i had just written was really freakin self-congratulatory.

ugh. i really need to figure out how to blog like a normal person. [ha!]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

something to talk about

so this is the post that i was going to post last time but didn't because of a flash wave of hyper self-consciousness. not that i've suddenly given up my neurosis (a hallmark of my personality, after all) but several factors have collided this evening and worn down my inhibitions: 1) i feel guilty for my irregular blogging; 2) this blog was already basically done and prolly shouldn't go to waste and 3) i have a feeling that few people have the patience to read through to the end of these tirades anyway so there's really no need to get all diffident about its contents. anywho, here goes:


i could start this post by apologizing for how long it's been since my last post. but i'm not gonna do that. i will say that a lot has changed in the month and a half since that last post. okay, so maybe circumstantially things are pretty much the same (still in my last year at UW, still living with pops, still doing most of the same day-to-day stuff) BUT my mind has been racing and i'm just trying to keep up. hence the lack of bloggination. [okay, so maybe there are several other reasons for my lack of bloggery including but not limited to a generally lackadaisical constitution but let's just pretend that my intense existential contemplations are to blame, k?]

so last time i checked in, i let y'all know about how i was all bound and determined to go straight from undergrad to grad school but as the quarter went on and i started to look into what grad school would entail, i found that my heart just wasn't in it. i'd google it up, read what i needed to do, read about the amazing programs, think about all the amazing writing i'd get to do... and then find that i had absolutely no desire to do any of it. all that spunk and enthusiasm and excitement that once was just wasn't any longer. when i started to feel my excitement wane, i went into my characteristic "why am i doing what i'm doing and why am i thinking about thinking about how i'm doing what i'm doing when i'm doing said thinking?" meta over analysis to attempt to figure out what was going on with me. was this just a means of self-sabotage set up in order to avoid the potential rejection? was i just being straight up lazy and trying to get out of doing the work i'd need to do? could it be that i'm an imposter and that all this time i haven't been as nerdy as i thought i was? [that last theory was promptly thrown out. obviously.] though my human propensity for self-sabotage and my fear of rejection are certainly plausible factors, after much careful consideration i think i've concluded that my change of heart may actually be valid.

as an American Ethnic Studies major, i've spent a good chunk of the last two and a half years studying up on history of racial injustice in our country and its effect on our present moment. it's been incredibly empowering to be able to articulate all the angsty frustrations i've experienced first-hand and why they matter. it's also been really important to see my experiences and in essence, my life within the larger context and to put words to the unjust cultural practices that persist in our world. but in the last few weeks in particular, i've grown weary of this academic self-congratulatory speculation and i'm beginning to feel like it's all way more self-serving than it is outwardly focused. in other words, being so deeply entrenched in the academic end of things has removed me from real life and let me feel like i'm "doing" something when really all i've done is theorize about what hypothetically should be done, not to mention point the finger at all the things that have been done wrong. that's not to say that the theory and academia aren't important! the vocabulary i've gained has added depth and substance to the difficult conversations i've been having about the larger issues of injustice and i believe those conversations have been life-changing for all parties involved (especially me). though the conversation is an incredibly important first step, it is only the FIRST of many steps. and for me, i think step two means stepping away from college classes and into the public schools.

though institutional racism is a gnarly monster, education is often identified as the "silver bullet" and i think i have to agree (in theory). i'd like to put that theory into practice and try my hand at the difficult work of teaching the underserved communities of our nation. though it's certainly tempting to want to take on a michelle-pfieffer-in-dangerous-minds/hillary-swank-in-freedom-writers-esque savior mentality about this kind of pursuit, i know that i have more to learn than anyone else and that any service i'm able to engage in will ultimately change my life more drastically than anyone else's. i also know that it sounds like this brilliant cute idea right now but the reality will probably be far less glamorous. nevertheless, i just can't in good conscience continue to talk talk talk without doing something God willing, i'll get to do something sometime in the not-to-distant future.

Monday, September 21, 2009

lefty loosey

i have trouble letting go of some things. case in point: i have 4 email accounts that i use regularly including (but not limited to) an antiquated hotmail account that is daily inundated by spam mailings and the various email lists i've signed up for over the years. i rarely get any personal correspondence and the format is terribly inefficient, especially compared to the genius of gmail [one of the 4 email services i employ] and yet -- i can't bear to let go.

other things, i let go of with shocking ease. my living arrangements, for example. in my four and a half years in nashville, i lived in 7 different places. in fact, since moving home 2 years ago, this has been the longest i've lived in one place since i first moved out of my parents house post-high school in 2001. though i hate packing more than anything and though moving is a universally despised ordeal, somehow i manage to pick up and change addresses with only minimal consideration.

which brings me to my current quandary: where next? this year marks my final year as an undergraduate at the University of Washington. as we all know by now, college round 2 transformed me from reluctant slacker student to über nerd and thus graduate school is the natural next step my nerdy progression. i plan on pursuing an MFA in creative writing and in my initial googlings, i've found that the programs that appeal to me the most are on the other side of the country. i guess i should be a little more honest here: i'm finding that the programs that appeal to me the most are appealing BECAUSE they're on the other side of the country.

don't get me wrong, i LOVE seattle. i love waking up to my glorious a view of the mountains over the puget sound. i will never find another roommate who does my dishes, cooks me fresh salmon lunches, and doesn't charge me rent (thanks, dad!). the thought of trying to find a faith community as spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually engaging as Quest feels near impossible. my brothers, aunts, uncles, and most of my cousins are within 40 minutes of me at any given time. and my friends! my amazing, beautiful, supportive, hilarious, wonderful friends!

i know there are plenty of fantastic schools here in the greater seattle area that would be able to offer me an incredible education and yet -- inexplicably -- i'm still feeling the itch to move. i don't know if it's fear of settling down or love of change -- maybe a little from column a and a little from column b. maybe it's a lot from column c: my amazing east coast visit last week. my time in new york and philadelphia was shockingly life giving. shocking because i was a bit reluctant to leave for the east coast in the first place after my long 2 month european excursion. so imagine my surprise when i felt sad to come home! again, this says nothing about my love for seattle or any ostensible lack thereof. there was just a newness and freshness about the east coast -- new and fresh to ME, mind you as both cities were plenty old and plenty dirty. those of you that know me know i'm far from peak physical shape and am in no way motivated to get there AND YET i walked MILES in each city without complaint and with a spring in my step! explain THAT whydoncha? i felt like both cities both brought out my truest self and made me strive to be a better version of me. i know that's a pretty strong statement to make after just a week and a half away but there you have it.

i suppose it would be unfair to say that the charm of the cities alone have injected my heart with this new jolt of wanderlust. truth be told, i was quite charmed by my friends, both new and old. i got to connect with friends i haven't seen in years, friends i haven't seen in months, and friends i met for the very first time. and though i've never been accused of shyness, don't let my gregarious exterior fool you: i've always found it difficult to open up and let myself relax with any real degree of depth. but in the short time i spent with them, i feel my friends in new york and philly split me open in the best way possible.

all aspirations aside, my fate is still more or less in the hands of the admissions officers at the schools i'll be applying to. i can daydream and whimsy all i want but if the schools don't accept me, there's not really much i can do. okay i take that back, i'm sure there's plenty i can do if i really want to move but i guess the impetus to move will be sort of deflated. but who knows? in the next few months, seattle just might re-woo me and i may end up staying on the left coast after all. que será, será...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

self-fulfilling prophesy

on my crowded and disorganized bookshelf, i have about a dozen or so mostly empty journals. each was started with the best of intentions and each began more or less the same way -- with an entry apologizing to my future self for discarding yet another journal in the vain hope that this one just might be the one i finally get through, cover to cover. but without fail [or rather, with abundant fail] i leave each new journal behind with only a few months worth of entries a piece, some forgotten circumstantially and others forgotten forcibly, discarded because of the shameful Judy-Blume-ish confessions within. looking over my past few weeks worth of blog entries, i'm quite tempted to cyber-chuck this beast altogether. despite the difference in medium, i'm finding my paper journaling habits are being unwittingly duplicated for all the world wide web to see.

in my noble attempt to return to a regular rhythm of writing, i've turned to this blog for lack of inspiration to write anything else. as a result, the past several entries have been written in moments of weakness, times when my focus has been nominal and my sense of shame dulled down by too many hours of reality television. and though i know i shouldn't make excuses, dagnabit i want to make excuses and last i checked, this was my blog. so there. [reaaaal mature, jess.] i would love to get to the point in my journaling when i don't feel the need to constantly apologize for the last thing i wrote but sadly, i can't even accomplish that in my private journals much less this public one. i blame my constant and overwhelming desire to be perfectly understood, an unattainable desire if ever there was one.

i know i nagged y'all for comments and then apologized for nagging y'all for comments so please take the following explanation with a grain of kosher salt: when i get no feedback i.e., no comments, my mind goes BANANAS! i imagine all that's being thought of me and about me and though i've managed to keep it from defining my general self-worth, it continues to effect the way that i blog. as a result, i'm plagued by the need to beat my imaginary critics to the proverbial punch so that before anyone can think to themselves, "damn, homegirl is CONFUSED!" i'm able to acknowledge and articulate my confusion at length first, not to prove any of my hypothetical naysayers wrong per se, but rather to prove me more right. granted, as i already explained the last time, i know that my lack of response is most likely my own fault and yet STILL when i sit down to write, i feel panicky and can't bring myself to write about anything other than me and my own cuckoo craziness. it's sick, i tell you -- SICK! almost as sick as the stupidly long sentences that have overwhelmed this paragraph. nevertheless, i'm hoping that by exorcising these nagging abstractions via this [*fingers crossed*] final demonstration of neuro-vomit, maybe juuuuust maybe i can one day channel my neurosis into the discussion of something other than the innards of my buzzing brain. thank you for your patience in the meantime and please, don't feel overly obligated to respond. we've all got to work together to snap me out of this mess.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

too late to 'pologize?

okay, so that last entry was probably kind of an a-hole move. the one before it kinda wasn't awesome either. how do i know this? not only were the two comments left apologies [you're forgiven, by the way] but several of my real-life blog reader friends have also made a point of apologizing to my face, not only for not commenting [you're also forgiven] but for the sad state of affairs reported in the entry before last.

i usually pride myself on limiting my public declarations of internet emo but i think i need to both humble myself in the sight of the Lord and of the computer screen. sure, i've still got the know-how to not post vaguely accusatory passive-aggressive one sentence bursts of emo all up on my FB and twitter statuses [statusii?] but let's face it: this blog is totes emo. it reeks of emo. it's all "wah-wah-WAHHHH" and "boo my feelings got hurt" and "daggumit i wish i had a boyfriend" and whatever what not. somebody really ought to wrangle up one of these dudes. it's intense.

so now it's my turn to apologize to y'all: sorry friends. i can't really blame you for not commenting when i write a veritable novella every time i sit down to has this junk out. i rarely have the patience to read anything more than 3 paragraphs long so i realize i'm asking a lot of the few readers i have as it is. it's hard enough to get through each entry, let alone muster up the brain juice to respond accordingly. and per the whole "boo-hoo i'm single" thing, if i'm honest about it, my desire for romantic companionship is mostly a desire for the convenience of having said companion. it would be really nice to have a man-friend just so that i could have one and people could get off my case. i don't know how it is for you fellas, but for us ladies any inquiries into our love life [or lack thereof] are usually followed up by recommendations for how to resolve the affliction of singleness. i would elaborate on this notion further were it not for my aforementioned resolution to be more concise with my blogging. i will just offer this closing lil nugget of comfort to those who were understandably concerned about my seemingly fragile emotional state: i'm really okay -- fantastic, in fact! i love my life, i love my friends, and not having a dude is about as tragic as not having a million dollars. both of those things would be nice to have but i'm doing more than fine without 'em.

Friday, August 21, 2009

so analytical

being the savvy techmological mind that mine is [mmhmm, you heard me] i utilize the most sophisticated modes of analyticalnessiocity to keep track of this here blizzery-blog. according to the great statistical minds over at google analytics, my blog traffic is down 18.6%. needless to say, i found this information to be both disturbing and not awesome. i happen to know that i have 3 blogger followers. not that impressive. so i hopped on over to my good friends at google reader to see how i was doing on the subscription front and they informed me that there are all of 23 of you out there subscribed to my humble cyborg-journal. this boosted my morale significantissimally. nevertheless, it's been days since my last post and i've yet to receive the satisfaction of the only currency worth cashing in here in the blogosphere -- that's right chil'ren -- the comment.

no comments! i poured out my heart [or at least my brain cells] and still nothing? i was having a bit of a carrie bradshaw moment [what with the mac laptop and all] and i couldn't help but wonder: is it me? did i say too much? did i get too emo? should i have followed my instincts and ommited all the whiny "waaaahhh i'm single" bulldookey???

and then i though -- no wayyyyy y'all! my whiny emo material is golden!!! BUT -- only after a little tweaking. and then it occurred to me -- maybe my subscribers are only getting the raw first draft! they're reading my writing in an embryonic state so maybe they just aren't reaping the spoils of the many rounds of painful whittling and adjusting that takes place in the minutes [*cough* hours *cough*] following the first publishing.

now you might be thinking to yourself -- why not just edit thoroughly BEFORE you publish? sure. i COULD do that. and in fact, i DO do that. ["do do". hee hee.] the fact of the matter is i'm a terrible proof reader of my own work and always have been. i can edit and tweak my writing within an inch of its life but even then, there will always be a typo or three that sneaks out. i know it's painful to be confronted with the reality that i am not, in fact, a flawless writer [breathe, my babies, just breathe] but it's time y'all knew the truth. and it's also time that you subscribers learned that you may be missing out on the best version of my work and it's worth checking back once or thrice for the director's cut.

and thus concludes my shameless plea for comments. feel free to indulge or deny me my sweet validation. know that i'm working on acquiring the techmology to track y'all down one by one so that soon enough, i'll be able to call you out in the STREETS! [don't think i wont, neither]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

brain brain grow a way

i've been back in 'merica for exactly two weeks now [almost to the hour] and yet i still haven't been able to collect my thoughts enough to put together any kind of coherent european reflection together. this inability to articulate my travel experience includes but isn't limited to written, verbal and indeed even internal forms of expression. this is largely due to the fact that i managed [in typical 'me' form] to fill up my schedule with a flurry of activities and obligations. time not spent actually 'doing' things is subsequently filled up with purposefully mindless drivel [i.e., reality television, internet social networking, celeblogs, etc.]. i'll top off my long list of excuses with the obligatory jet-lag card and a surprise 48-hour weekend cold [replete with residual mucus that my body is still trying to exhume -- *cough*! *hack*!]. nevertheless, i'm pressing on in hopes that the simple act of putting fingertips to keys will awaken the creative beast within.

[*cricket* *cricket*]

hmm. well, i guess for lack of more innovative means, i'll just answer the line of questioning that gets asked more than any other: are you sad to be at home? do you wish you were back? in a word, my answer to both queries is no. then again, i never really got homesick during the whole two months away. i got a little churchsick [both in that i missed my church and that i got really sick of the gaudy churches there] but for the most part, i didn't ever really feel like i wanted to be anywhere other than i was. nor do i currently wish i was anywhere other than where i am. europe is beautiful or whatever, but when the puget sound is in your backyard, it's hard to complain.

i guess one of the grad students from my program put it best when he said "i take my body with me wherever i go" [or was it "everywhere i go, i take my body with me"?]. something to that effect. the point being, i am where i am wherever i happen to be. i avoid the senselessness of the greener grass syndrome whenever possible and try my best to be at peace regardless of my circumstances. the only area of my life in which this pursuit seems near impossible is [wait for it... you guessed it guys and doods!] in regards to relationships, or rather the persistent and glaring lack thereof.

in europe, it was the ubiquitous public displays of affection [public displays of pawing, more like]. in fact, i wrote a short poem in response to one such visual assault:

this is the millionth couple i've seen making out in public.
they are swaying.
i want to die.

now that i'm back at home, it seems that in my time away, just about all of my friends have wrangled themselves up a significant other or three. who knew it was MY presence that stood in between them and a relationship? perhaps my analysis is a bit too self-involved? hmm. irregardless, i'm back home and feeling very third/fifth/seventh/odd-numbered wheel-y. it certainly doesn't help that the second most common line of questioning since i've gotten back is "so are there any dudes? any euro hookups?" and i find it very difficult not to laugh in the faces of my well-intentioned friends. particularly my well-intentioned NON-single friends who seem to be rubbing their happiness in my face [jerks].

i hate feeling this way and as my longtime readers may know, i don't particularly enjoy waxing poetic about the perils of singlehood, though it may seem otherwise at times. [it's a little too livejournal, both in its lure and cliché grossness if you catch my drift.] nevertheless, i sat down to write and lo and behold, my fingertips took me here to this well worn place once again. i have no morsels of hope to offer, no particular epiphany to pass on... just to say that blah blah blah, whine whine whine, being single feels like disease, wah wah waaaaaah. gah. i better hurry up and publish this before my sense of shame catches up with me lest i delete it all and/or vom all over my pretty laptop. *sigh*...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

reflections on rome, part 4

after two solid weeks of moving about through four different countries and attempting to navigate four different languages (only one of which i spoke more than three sentences of), i somehow find myself back in rome. this is the first time that i've spent more than three nights in any one place in over two weeks and truth be told, i'm only really beating my previous record by a night anyway. i had intended to spend two of these last nights in the famously beautiful cinque terre but i couldn't muster the energy (or justify the spending) to do so.

i guess i should backtrack a bit and at least give you a cursory review of my travels so far.

the day after my program ended, my best friend lydia and i took a train to florence. upon getting there, we found that it really wasn't that different from rome and by that point both of us were thoroughly museum-ed out so sad to say, we ran out of things to do rather early. i'm sure if either of us were more industrious travellers or if either of us were the sort of travellers who are awed by sightseeing we could've easily filled up our short weekend. however, us being us we didn't and so we switched out our train tickets so that we could spend a few extra hours back in rome with my beloved roommates before heading off to athens. i know it seems strange, switching up travel plans for just a measly couple hours with relatively new friends but that's just a testament to how incredible my friends are. though it meant lugging my ridiculously heavy backpack through nearly unbearable heat twice in that one short day, it was well worth it as far as i'm concerned. a few stolen hours, the procrastination of time apart, all for the price of an only slightly sweatier shirt that had already been soaked through anyhow. a bargain in my book.

after rome, we were off to athens to meet my other best friend, eunice. we arrived late in the night and only realized on our busride to our hostel that we didn't even know how to say 'hello' in greek, much less anything else. our kind hostel concierge gave us an abbreviated lesson in the language so that when we left to mykonos the next day, we knew how to say a proper 'thank you' for his kindness ('efharisto!'). the ferry ride to mykonos was long and really felt more like a turbulent flight than a boat trip. the payoff for our rocky travel was the sight of the beautiful island where the three of us spent our birthdays, my birthday was on july 20th and both lydia and eunice were born on the 21st. we spent a day at the beach and though i had braced myself for the topless women, i was not prepared for the trunk-less men. i was going to say the 'bottomless' men but as i found out first hand, they weren't lacking in bottoms or, umm... yeah. let's just skip on to san torini, shall we?

san torini was also quite gorgeous and unexpectedly sparce by our account. we were told that it was twice the population of mykonos but failed to take into account how easily mykonos is outdone (to give you an idea, there are only 31 taxi cabs on the entire island). the big event was our obligatory donkey ride down the poo-smattered steps. it was quite rocky, incredibly stinky, and i just about broke my hand from the death grip i kept on the saddle's metal handle. sadly none of us got to have a romantic sisterhood of the travelling pants encounter with any dashing greek men but c'est la vie i guess? but i'm getting ahead of myself. athens, london, THEN paris.

the three of us went back to athens where we made the arduous trek up the mountail to behold the famous acropolis. sadly, i think my month-long roman saturation of ruins may have tainted my experience and the slieu of sweaty tourists certainly didn't help either. the real athens highlight for me was the custom made greek sandals i got from the famous poet sandal maker on agias theklas. this little shop is world renown for it's simple designs that have been sought after by celebrity and royals alike. with the utmost care and attention, they measure the sandal to your feet, nail in the straps where they fit best, and all for the bargain price of 27 euro. the pair i got was named after john lennon, who some forty years ago got the design that became his namesake and had his feet fitted by the poet sandal maker himself, the father of the man who fitted mine.

in athens, eunice and i parted ways with lydia and headed off to london. of all the cities in my month of travelling, london was the city that i felt the most immediate affinty towards. perhaps it was the seattle-like gloomy weather, maybe it was the quaint boutiques and shops, or MAYBE it was the influx of delightfully gangly, nearly irredescent, deliciously nerdy english boys and their adorable accents. who knows? whatever it was, i felt at home.

after london, i left eunice to meet up with one of my roma roommates in paris! we did a whirlwind tour of the city in three days and hardly got to see everything there was to see. we got a good glimpse of monet, said 'waddup' to the mona lisa, and climbed up the ennumerable steps to the semi-top of the eiffel tower. we did a few other things (including but not limited to a devastating encounter with a maggot who we found AFTER we had finished two.thirds of our salad) but mostly it was just quality time spent together topped off by a tearfilled goodbye.

and now, finally, i'm back in rome. it's much lonelier here without all my program peeps to keep me company. i really think i fell in love with the group during our month together as they showed up in my dreams almost every night since i left them. it's only in the past few nights that they haven't been greeting me in my sleep and in a weird way, it only makes me miss them more. still, it's nice to be in a city i'm familiar with, free of a set agenda of things to do and see.

that's all i have the energy and time for i'm afraid. i've already kept a hostel mate waiting far too long for the computer. i'll try to muster up some more substantive reflections upon my arrival back at home in (and i can hardly believe this) just three more days.

i love you all. i miss you all. i'll see you so soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

reflections on rome, pt. 3

i can hardly believe i've only got a week left in this creative writing program! would it be cliché to say that time flies? if so, i won't. :)

last weekend we had a three-day break from our program so me and a couple friends took the train to venice! as soon as we got out of the train station, we were confronted by water, water and then some more water! it was absolutely beautiful. the downside was the fact that the streets were absolutely overrun by tourists and indeed, mostly american tourists. walking through the busy streets my ears were flooded with loud, yippy, american english save for the occasional horrific (mis)appropriations of common italian phrases. though i love my country and i love the people of my country i'm not gonna lie, i was a teensy bit ashamed of my country folk that weekend.

while beautiful, the list of things-to-do in venice was rather short. we did a lot of shopping (read: WINDOW shopping) and a whole lot of walking but that was about it. and though i know i just talked down on my fellow americans for their shameless touristinessiocity, my friends and i knew that we couldn't justify leaving venice without the obligatory gondola ride. incidentally we wrangled up the most dashing gondoleer this side of the i-dunno-where so any tourist shame was quickly appeased by the sight of his tall, dark and handsome frame (the accent didn't hurt either). despite my signature cynicism, all in all it was a lovely weekend!

while flipping through my pictures from the trip on the train ride home, i accidentally deleted all the pictures in my camera. yes, you read that right: ALL the pictures in my camera. two weeks worth of roman documentation as well as countless other photos i was too lazy to upload were POOF! gone in an instant. the strange thing is, i was immediately at peace with my foolish faux pas. okay, so maybe not immediately since i spent a good two and a half minutes in utter disbelief BUT once that 150 seconds was up i sort of shrugged my shoulders and called that that. honestly, i've never been much of a picture taker anyway and it's actually quite exciting trying to recall the things i did from memory; it feels a bit like piecing together the random details from an extremely vivid dream. i'm hoping to sit down and do a sort of written photo album sometime this summer and i'll likely share the results here. i can't guarantee 1000 words worth but knowing me, there's a good shot i'll come close.

as i mentioned, my program here in rome will be wrapping up in a week (*single tear drop*) and i purposefully left the weeks that followed a little up in the air -- partly because i love the idea of flying by the seat of my genie-pants (they're all the rage here in italy) and partly because i really hate planning things. but in case you were curious, the weeks ahead of me may or may not include the following life-shaking adventures: a possible weekend romp in florence; a week-long 26th birthday extravaganza on the beaches of Greece; three days in London (give or take); three days in Paris (give or take); a possible few days in the Cinquetera; back to Rome for a night or two and then finally (come August 5th) home sweet home! i'm sure my plans have filled your hearts with the utmost pity for my wretched existence so please, do keep me in prayer. ;)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

reflections on rome, pt. 2

so the day after i wrote my angsty last post, i got to go out to an authentic Italian dinner with my mom and roommates. being the experienced traveler that she is (she just filled up all the pages in her passport!), my mom had the know-how to look up this charming little restaurant, located random place in some back corner of some alley (of course). when we got there, there weren't any tables available so the owners literally made one, busting out a couple sawhorses and a big piece of plywood to accommodate our little posse. there were no menus and the only question our waiter asked us was 'bianco o rosso?' ['red or white' wine]. the consensus was rosso and within minutes, we had a generous bottle of their house red and the food came soon after. i'm sure you're wondering how we got food so fast since we didn't have menus; well at this particular place they do most of the deciding for you. even better, i got my last-post's wish and when we asked clarifying questions in english, the wait staff responded only in Italian, making the occasional accommodating hand-gesture or two [the non-profane kind of hand-gesture, of course]. after the main dishes were served, two large bottles of liquor came next: limoncello and grappa -- both potions strong enough to take the hair off your chest if you've got it and to put hair on your chest if you don't. we left full, happy, and a wee bit tipsy.

this past sunday, i got in a much-needed day of relaxation on the beach. my roommate ariana and i soaked in the sun and took turns taking dips in the ocean. i forgot how amazing it feels to flip make-shift fins through salt water! truly, truly fantastic. the unfortunate caveat is that i got horrendously sunburned and my skin is only now starting to feel like skin again. but i've been slathering aloe and creams in excess and i'm confident that the red landscape currently masquerading as my back will be a nice (semi)even brown in a few days time.

school continues to be quite rigorous and the pace has done anything but slow down. i've seen more tombs, sarcophagi, statues and frescos than i-don't-know-what [sorry dudes, my metaphor tank is tapped these days]. i'm starting to feel better and less debbie-downer about my time here and i'm actually even beginning to think i'll miss this place quite a bit! this is largely attributed to my aforementioned fabulous roommates about whom i'll need to expound upon at another time. the computer lab is actually being shut down right now so i'm going to have to cut this reflection relatively short [short for me, anyhow].

i love you all. i miss you all. ciao! :D

Thursday, June 25, 2009

reflections on rome, pt. 1

i know i totally half-assed that last entry and haven't really offered any real updates on my time here in rome so i'm gonna give it an honest go while i have my brain cells about me (more or less).

i can't honestly say that i've fallen in love with rome, not yet anyhow. don't get me wrong, i love travelling! i love feeling immersed in culture, overwhelmed by the unknown and surrounded by natives doing their thing, living their life. i love getting to travel around the world! and though i haven't done a lot of global gallivanting, with just about every other country i've been to (china, brazil, the motherland), i've fallen in love with almost instantly. rome, on the other hand, is proving to be a harder sell.

for one thing, rome is absolutely inundated by tourists and i feel like this city in particular has over-accommodated for its guests. in every other country i've visited, i've been forced to learn the language. though the word 'forced' carries a sort of negative connotation, for me it's a joy! my ears love to be flooded by the beautiful cadences of other languages and i love the challenge of manipulating my american tongue to follow suit. here though, i've only mastered "gratzie", "bon giuorno", "buona sera" and "prego" (which means 'please', not 'spaghetti sauce'). granted, i could've taken more initiative to learn the language before i got here but even my fellow students who studied italian have commented on how they've barely used any of it as just about every vendor and waiter immediately interjects with english. it certainly doesn't help that i'm currently enrolled in an english creative writing program in which i must think in english in order to effectively write in english. mind you, i love that i'm in this program and i appreciate the opportunity to exercise my long neglected and subsequently atrophied creative muscles. but language is a beautiful thing i really feel like this program and our writing would be well-served by some lessons in the native tongue. i think the practice of putting words to an experience, regardless of which dialect those words belong to, always ends up better serving the written art form as a whole. by not taking time to learn the language here, i really feel like we're missing out on something huge.

now i know a huge part of the appeal of rome is the access to such a depth of history. within walking distance of my apartment are the remnants of the roman forum, the infamous coliseum, the vatican... and on and on and on. and though certainly the architecture is breathtaking and it's incredible to imagine life two thousand years ago, what remains today seems tainted. raphael's tomb in the pantheon lit up by fluorescent bulbs, electrical outlets carved into ancient etruscan walls, a public restroom steps away from where caesar's ashes were scattered... it just seems strange. and i know that these modern interjections are meant to highlight and (quite literally) illuminate these incredible sites, i can't seem to get away from the stench of money and the stain of greed in the midst of it all. even the thousands year old etruscan tombs with their intricate carvings haunted me in its vanity: the rich memorializing the rich so that a couple thousand years later more rich people could come and admire it. note: i'm fully aware that i sound like a whiny, spoiled, cynical american sharting all over the incredible opportunity i've been given but i've gotta keep it real, kids. being here makes me feel like i'm being duped into buying into the eurocentrism that's at the heart of the american curriculum and me and all my cultural studies, american ethnic studies, social justice training just can't seem to buy in without pushing back, just a little. and by a little, of course i mean a lot.

with all that said, i'm hoping to let go of my angst (or at least some of it) before this trip is over so that i can really embrace rome for all that it is -- good, bad and ugly. i know that a lot of that depends on my willingness to embrace this experience so i'm working on chipping away at the gigantic chip on my weary shoulder, bit by bit. i know my whining makes it harder to believe what i'm about to say but i really am so grateful that i get to be here and that i get to travel around for the next month and a half. i don't plan on debbie-downering my trip to death and i truly am looking for the silver lining wherever i go. the good news is, even though i haven't yet fallen in love with rome, i am already deeply in love with life. i'm also falling in love with my incredible roommates who have already filled this week (and my heart) with incredible conversation and beautiful company. the other good news is i've still got three weeks left here in rome and that's plenty of time to get over myself and fall in love with this beautiful city. i hope.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

roma is amor spelled backwards

so i'm in rome and though i've been doing a lot of writing, i clearly haven't been doing a lot of blogging. it's been awhile since i've posted any poetry and indeed, awhile since i've written any poetry but since that's sort of what i'm here to do, i thought i'd take a quick minute to share one. (it's about a painting of one of the popes) :)

red velvet toesy peeks out from billowing beige silk
matching velvet cap, cape and even crushed
velvet cushion (crushed by holy ass)
in his left hand scriptures? a letter? a speech?
with his right hand a slight wave, or maybe
a shadow puppet to pass the time or
perhaps the artist said "that's it" just
as he was about to say "got your nose"
nevertheless a familiar papal pose.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

i apologize for calling miss california a douchebag

so in my last blog, i called miss california is a douchebag and i really feel the need to apologize. before you get too excited, know that i'm not apologizing for calling her a douchebag (because truth be told, i'm still kinda standing by that one); i'm apologizing because i didn't explain why i think she's a douchebag.

her pageant answer bothered me, sure. for one, it wasn't very intelligent. "opposite" marriage? for real? thank God for miss teen south carolina cuz she is about the ONLY one who could make you look good after that one. and for two, to be perfectly honest, it bothered me because i just didn't agree with what she had to say. but regardless of our differences of opinion, the way that she presented her different opinion was really ungraceful and quite polarizing. i mean i know she thought she was being real cute when she attached the "no offense" part to the end of her statement as if those two words are license to say whatever you want but tell me, if i told you, "hey, you are stinking pile of worthless shit -- no offense!" does that really get you to go, "yeah, that was a little harsh but since you don't mean any offense i guess that's alright." of course not! and though all those things were enough to get me riled up, it is absolutely NOTHING compared to how angry and hurt and upset i've been in the days that followed.

i am a pretty sensitive individual when it comes to issues of injustice be it for race, gender, class, sexuality or any combination therein. i am totally that girl who will speak up when you're talkin' crazy racialist, challenge your ideas about what is "girly", question the worth of a capitalist system that depends on exploitation and if you tell me something is "so gay" you BETTER be talking about something homosexual because i WILL call you out whether i know you or not. but when you implicate MY faith, MY church, MY Jesus in your language of denigration and inequality -- let me tell you -- you have taken my social justice rage to a whole new level and you haven't seen ANYTHING yet, my brothers and sisters.

to those of you who are applauding miss california's boldness, bravery, commitment to her faith, let me employ some biblical language: YOU BROOD OF VIPERS! [or how about a modern translation?] YOU EFFING DOUCHETARDS! what are you doing? no seriously, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? the Bible is VERY clear and gives us many examples of whose side Jesus would take in this public debacle. when it came to the battles of "sinners" vs. "the righteous", Jesus ALWAYS took the side of the underdog! in fact, Jesus got called out by the religious folk, the church-going well-behaved (presumably) heterosexual popular kids for hanging out and spending time with the hookers, the swindlers, the most marginalized.

there's a passage in Luke that to me is eerily resonant with this current situation. Jesus paints this metaphor using the story of a pharisee (a religious dude) who goes to the temple and prays loudly, thanking God for not making him like the tax collector. and rather than taking the side of the man who was living right, behaving well, and subscribing to the right religion, Jesus took the side of the tax collector who i'm sure, was probably not the best dude either and probably did his fair share of sinning. if we were to put a modern day spin on this metaphor, i feel like the pharisee [or televangelist or fox news anchor] could've just as easily been shouting, "Thank you God for not making me gay!" and what would Jesus say to that douchebag? "... all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."In other words, don't get so uppity there homeboy, you will get yours and it will NOT be cute.

there's another passage in John that's pretty famous; it's where we get the idiom about now "throwing stones". here we have a woman who was behaving in a way that scripture clearly said she shouldn't; she's an adulterer and the Bible says pretty clearly that it's not cool to be a cheating hobag. so what did the religious people do? they brought her in front of Jesus, pointed to the scriptures that proved she was a sinner [probably somewhere in the old Testament next to the homosexuality stuff, only there would probably be WAY more than the small handful of verses scattered throughout the Bible that mention homosexuality but I DIGRESS] -- the religious people point to the scripture that proves them right and what does Jesus do? He tells the proud religious folk who feel real good about their grasp on scripture, the kids who feel super awesome for NOT being a sinner like the hobag they've got in tow and Jesus effectively rips them a new one! He tells the ones who AREN'T sinners to come forward and go ahead and proceed with their scriptural indictment. Jesus does NOT condemn the adulterer the way that the religious people did. Jesus does NOT sanction these religious teachers and leaders to define and enforce the sin in her life. granted, Jesus does tell the girl to "leave her sin" at the end of the passage but note that it is between Jesus and HER what that sin is! there's a lot of ambiguity here, i mean we don't even know what Jesus wrote in the sand! Jesus doesn't say "leave your sin, you know that sin of adultery that those dudes were about to murder you for" He simply offers her love, a gentle rebuke, and now that she knows she is accepted He releases her to work out what the new life apart from sin looks like. and listen, before you jump to your keyboard to outline what you KNOW that sin is, what you KNOW the sin of others looks like, let's not forget the lesson we just learned not a few sentences ago: IT IS NOT YOUR JOB, HOMEY! until you figure out a way to stop sinning entirely, you do NOT get to puff up your chest and point your finger at other people who you do not know, who you are not in relationship with and [sorry to say] you clearly do not love.

i haven't yet mentioned the other figure at the center of this whole thing is the dude who asked the question, perez hilton. i know he's far from a saint and he has said some really terrible things in these past few days that i do not excuse or defend. but to his credit, he did one thing that was actually VERY Jesus-like of him: he invited miss california to coffee -- into a conversation, into a personal relationship. what bums me out is that so far, all she's said is "no comment". another prominent LGBT group has also invited her into a conversation and though i would hope she'd accept, call me cynical but i really doubt it. honestly, this is probably the biggest problem with us Christians right now. we are not having this conversation, we are not actually entering into relationships, we are staying at our comfortable distance and pointing our fingers from afar. we're afraid of engaging in the messy and painful dialogue because what i think we're most afraid of is that we might be wrong.

a lot of people want to say that this miss california is just a victim of religious persecution and wowee, didn't she give up so much ("boohoo, i didn't get to be miss USA!") but before you get to thinking that the Christians are the most marginalized around these parts make no mistake -- Christianity is the religion of privilege in our country. every American president has claimed Christianity and why? because there is NO WAY America would let a president be anything else -- as evidenced by all the scare propaganda (and might i add, the SUCCESSFUL scare propaganda) that claimed Obama was a Muslim. there is no way that America would elect a non-Christian president because us Christians -- no matter how much of a victim you feel like and no matter how much you want to shake off the responsibility of that privilege -- us Christians aren't the marginalized ones. in fact, we are on the forefront of those perpetrating the denigration. we are the ones patting ourselves on the back for our good behavior and winding up our good pitching arms ready to chuck stones at the easiest targets. and notice here i'm not saying "you" i'm saying "we" because i know that i am just as guilty, just as slow to change, just as comfortable with what privilege i have and just as hesitant to give it up at times. but i am calling out my brothers and sisters both out of love for you and love for my gay and lesbian friends. it is time for all of us to get over our self-righteous selves and REPENT! we are doing wrong and the consequences are a matter of life and death. if we do not teach the next generation to change, if we don't teach our kids that it is not okay to behave like the pharisees and proud religious folk, if we continue to rob anyone else of their God ordained humanity we will reap a world of unimaginable heartbreak.

i know i've said some pretty heated stuff so i won't be surprised if some of y'all feel prompted to comment [that is, if you make it to the end of this ridiculous thing] but let me warn you: this is not the miss america pageant and you don't get to say whatever you want if that something alienates or marginalizes someone else. you are welcome to say whatever you want about me but if your comment in any way degrades or denies the dignity and humanity of my gay friends (who i love not in SPITE of who they are but BECAUSE of who there are) i promise you i WILL delete your insensitive, un-Jesus-like comment. be a bigot on your own blogs, kiddos -- homey don't play that here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

i know this is a weird time to get all uppity about this, but dang it -- i just twittered about it and now i feel the need to elaborate.

miss california
is a douchebag. i know some of you thought before now that douchebag was a term to be reserved for the male gender but believe it or not, the term's etymology has its beginnings as a means to demean women and although i'm not really for demeaning women, i am for calling out douchebags who are douchebags and miss california, sorry -- you're a douchebag.

i know that my views on gay marriage are very different from most evangelical Christians. i know that my passion for what i believe to be a GROSS injustice is even different from many non-religious folk as well. and though what i believe about homosexuality and heteronormativity and heterosexism is probably much juicier and far too involved for ANY blog entry, much less this blog entry that i'm writing in lieu of doing the massive amounts of reading i should be doing for school -- i feel like the issue of gay marriage is one that i can more or less knock out pretty simply because believe it or not, it's a pretty simple issue for me.

my convictions about gay marriage changed on the first day of my intro to politcal science class. our first assignment was to read the declaration of independance and respond with a short one-page paper on your reaction to it. there was no prompting as to what that response would entail. i read over the opening paragraph, a paragraph i have practically commited to memory and not even on purpose, simply by way of its ubiquity in our educational system. they were words meant to indict an unjust colonizer but when i read them, the indictment was just as stinging although this time, the accused was America.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

there is no asterix next to the "all men" part that allows anyone to deny ANY man or woman those rights on the contingency of their moral convictions nor are there any caveats that say that the pursuit of Happiness is only allowed when that pursuit doesn't make me uncomfortable.

and before anyone busts out the classic "slippery slope" argument ["if we allow gay marriage, what's next? marriage to animals?"] let's watch ourselves and remember that gay people are PEOPLE -- they are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends... they are not animals, they are not brutes, and REGARDLESS of the hegemonic representations to the contrary (and the 3 20-something gay people you kinda know), they are not simply hypersexualized mongrels (not anymore than their heterosexual counterparts, anyhow). and if you want to continue down the hugely problematic "slippery slope" path anyway and try to be "devil's advocate" (an apt idiom, actually) and try to argue, "what if someone's 'pursuit of happiness' includes child molestation? are we supposed to make that legal?" i say to you how DARE you compare the abuse of a child to a monogomous committed relationship between consenting adults. and if you want to continue down the "slippery slope" path anyway, let me just remind you that this kind logic was applied by those who advocated for the upholding of slavery, antimicengenation, and Jim Crow laws except in place of the word "homosexual" in your argument was the word "blacks" or whichever race happened to be the subject of denigration at the time. so if you'd like to align yourself with peeps like them, be my guest.

the point is, regardless of your moral convictions about homosexuality, ALL men (and women!) are created equal and have UNALIENABLE (i.e., undenyable, untake-away-able, unjack-able) rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. even if those with religious leanings that say that homosexuality is an abomination, it still does not give you the right to deny someone equal rights! period! it boggles my mind that convicted murders can get married behind bars (ted bundy much?) and yet millions of American citizens in committed monogamous relationships can't get married simply because they're not heterosexual. and i know the big catch phrase is something about "protecting marriage" and blah blah blah but how does keeping some people from getting married protect your marriage exactly? seriously. i'd love to know. and how anyone could be so deluded as to believe that denying anyone their rights protects your own is BEYOND ME!

i hope my passion and abuse of the caps lock (oh, and that one time i called miss california a douchebag) doesn't keep anyone who might have different convictions from hearing my heart on this matter. you can feel however you feel personally convicted to feel about homosexuality (although i might argue that if you yourself aren't homosexual, you're not necessarily in the best position to have personal convictions about it BUT I DIGRESS) -- my point is that this injustice has to stop because it is dehumanizing, demoralizing, and denigrating us ALL in the process. Dr. King said it most succinctly -- injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

much too much

i don't get stressed out very easily or very often for that matter. school doesn't stress me out because i've learned not to stress out about grades -- although i should note that i no longer resent tests and my nerdiness has ballooned to such mind boggling proportions that i've actually started to enjoy tests. i know. frightening. i've learned not to let my friends stress me out because love is patient and i can't claim to love my friends if i'm not willing to be patient; this of course is mostly theoretical and it does take a good deal of effort to put into practice -- not because my friends aren't lovable but because i have a tendency to be a heinous biznatch [on the inside, at least]. my work has always been super fun and life-giving and though busy, mostly manageable. and my family, while not free of the requisite dramz, is for the most part the source of my deepest joy and fulfillment.

but these past few weeks... oi. these past few weeks have been a rough go. i have been hit from every angle and with full force. for the first time in a long time, i've felt genuinely and overwhelmingly stressed the eff out. yesterday, my pastor asked me a pretty innocuous question ["how are you?"] and i responded by bursting into tears. yeah. intense. i'd love to report that things are going to calm down and i'm going to spend the next few days and weeks chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool and all... well, i would never shoot basketball in or out of school [i'm not that coordinated] but i digress. the point is, things aren't exactly going to slow down anytime soon and to be honest, the prospect of even another hour of busyness like this makes me wanna shave off an eyebrow -- which is truly indicative of the severity of my anxiety since my grandma gave me some fantastic eyebrows and i'd have to be nutzo to wanna shave one of these babies off.

were the sneaker on the other toesy, i'd give a girl like me the advice i've doled out to countless friends and unwilling audiences alike, gems of wisdom accumulated over many, many years of Sunday school: if the weight is too much to bear, it's probably not yours to bear [Matthew 11:28]; anxiety is unproductive [Philippians 4:6]; God's strength isn't made perfect in your strength, it's perfected in your weakness [2 Corinthians 12:9]; and so on and so forth forever and ever amen. but the thing is, i'm fantastic at dispensing advice [whether it's asked for or not] but i have a hard time following advice, even when it's my own and thus i've been mostly freaking out and spontaneously crying and not so much casting my cares on Jesus, praying, and owning up to my vulnerability [save for those instances when my vulnerability manifests itself involuntarily and with copious outpourings of snot to boot].

but tonight in staff meeting the pastors graciously recommended that i take some time to do what i have to do to take care of myself and care for my soul. and since i don't find any comfort in the kinds of outlets most normal people do [i personally believe that my brain is wired in such a fashion that working out sucks up endorphins rather than releasing them] i am here doing the one thing that i know how to do, the one way that i know how to care for my soul: i'm writing about it. sure, i worry that it's a bit self-indulgent and super post-modern of me to wax poetic about the dreariness of my middle-class existence. in fact, in my preparations for my show last week, i discovered that when i write songs, i mostly write about times i'm frustrated or my feelings are hurt and as a result, about seven-eights of my songs are embarrassingly gross and emo [as are many of these blog entries] but despite my hipster shame [which, by the by, i've recently conceded to the idea that i might be a hipster since i get so offended when people call me one] where was i? oh yes... the thing is, this method seems to be working for me because in my normal day to day life [with the exception of these past couple weeks perhaps], i'm a pretty happy, amicable human being.

so pardon my emo, excuse my whining and if you can stomach my boo-hooing i commend and appreciate you. for whatever reason, this is my process and ya know what? i feel better already.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

why i worship

i realize that i don't write very often and then often times when i do write, i begin by saying i don't write very often. this is not to say that i don't think about writing here but i usually stop myself from hitting the 'publish post' button before i subject the world wide web to my self-indulgent rantings. in all honesty, this is more self-preservation than benevolence but whatchugon'do. it is.

when i do write, i find that i rarely write about my faith in more than a passive voice. God tends to be a sort of supporting character in my blogs and i'm very careful about the way that i talk about my religion. even in my school life, i don't tend to be all that vocal about my subscription to Christianity, not so much because i'm ashamed per se, but because i know that membership to a religion is empty without character, integrity, and (yes i'm about to say it) love. now my relative shyness about my faith would all be well and good were it not for the fact that i actually work for a church and as my pastor has pointed out on numerous occasions, second to him i'm the most visible person on any given Sunday; for those of you that don't know, for the past few months i've been the primary worship leader for our morning services. and though i don't have any trouble speaking to the congregation about the wonder and majesty of the God i believe in, i admit that for whatever reason, i still have trouble doing so here. my semi-noble justifications certainly don't excuse my hesitance but nevertheless, i feel compelled to proceed with caution for the benefit of those who don't prescribe to my worldview. i'm not sure if this is the "right" thing to do so please be patient with me as i attempt to navigate the contentious and sensitive topic of faith. i hope that regardless of what you do or don't believe, you can at least believe in my belief as i take a moment to share a significant revelation. this is not my attempt to show off my piety (or lack thereof) but to simply testify to the reality of the God i've come to know.

today, the family and friends of Craig Wong celebrated his abbreviated but incredible life on earth. exactly one week ago, his life was taken by an agressive brain cancer that took just 16 months to take its toll. many came forward and told stories about his friendship, his compassion, and his incredible faith in God. sadly, i only got to spend one afternoon with him a few months ago and though i envy those who knew him better, i know that those few hours impacted my life forever. a couple of the pastors and i visited Craig at his home to just spend time with him, pray with him, and to sing a few songs of worship with him. it was the first time in long time that Craig had a chance to sing praises with other believers and i was humbled to learn that he and his wife Betty talked later about how much it had blessed him. by this point, Craig's health had deteriorated significantly and he could only move around with the assistance of a wheelchair. we were there to minister and comfort him but within the first few minutes of being there, Craig began to minister to us. he talked about how despite it all, he was grateful for his family, his friends, and that he had never felt so close to God - this coming from a man who knew that soon his wife would be a widow and his kids would be without their daddy. needless to say, i was completely blown away by his enduring faith and though this left an indelable impression, it wasn't the most striking image of the day. i couldn't take my eyes off of little Kate, Craig's youngest daughter, who running around her daddy's wheelchair, giggling and pushing him inches forward then inches backward, and in the most heartbreaking moment of a heartbreaking day, sat at her daddy's feet - butt on one of the footrests of the wheelchair, tiny legs perched up on the other. there's no way she could've understood what was going on, none of us did really, but in the midst of palatable sobriety and indescribable confusion, all that Kate was concerned with was enjoying her time with her daddy.

this image stayed at the tip of my mind as we worshipped during Craig's memorial today. it stuck with me and will continue to remain a powerful metaphor for why it is i worship the God that i worship. i don't worship because i understand God; i don't worship because i get what He's up to or why He does what He does. i worship God because He loves me and because of His love for me, i'm learning what it means to love him back. His love for me is demonstrated in the blessing of every breath, my ennumerable friends and loved ones, and a peace that passes all understanding. i have lots of questions for God, i run into doubt constantly and i wrestle with what this whole faith thing means to me all the time - but i hope to one day have the kind of faith that Kate has and simply learn to enjoy the presence of God in the midst of it all. i want to sit at the feet of my Father like Kate did, like i know Craig is doing now, and just worship God because i know that He loves me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

internet epiphay

in an act of boredom, distraction, and in the endless pursuit of useless information, i joined twitter today. to be more accurate, i joined twitter last week but didn't start posting/following/whateveryoucallit until today. in my first few hours of activity, i was confronted by the age-old social networking conundrum: to deny or not to deny?

it happens to the best of us: there we are, minding our own internet business, when lo and behold we get a "friend request" [or in twitter's case, follower request] from a random person we don't know. we know enough of this person to postulate that perhaps they run in similar circles, or if you're me there's the very plausible possibility that you've in fact had extensive conversations with this person but due to a defective memory, have absolutely no recollection to confirm this hypothesis. in any case, the question of whether to internet reject or not lingers and this is no easy dilemma for those as deeply compassionate as myself [if you just LOLed, REPENT!]. in all seriousness, some people's egos are a little bit more fragile than others and one never knows whose internet feelings are being hurt in the wake of one thoughtless clicking of the mouse. however, there's also the desire to make the internet relationships at least minimally reflect the intimacy of real-life intimacy and the want for a certain amount of internet privacy as a result. and here's where the epiphany came: there is no such thing as internet privacy.

it's the ultimate of oxymorons! the whole premise of these internet blogs, miniblogs, and social networking platforms is that one would be able to publish thoughts, feelings, emotions with immediacy and to the world [wide web dot crazayzeeness dot com]. so the desire for internet privacy is kind of absurd, if you think about it. [no seriously, think about it! absurd.] so now, with this new epiphanic mantra in metaphorical tow, i am officially relinquishing my desire for privacy on the internet [or at least on the social networking internet, i'm not about to hand out my social security # or c.c. info. geesh.].

let me tell you, it already feels like a breath of fresh air. look forward to shamless tweets, transparent blogs, and probably a really crass slip-up or fivethousand in the not-too-distant future.

and now, back to my regularly scheduled homeworking.

++ edit: i have yet to get back to that homeworking. i'm too distracted by this blog and twitter. eesh! this was all a mistake. a big mistake. a big delightful waytoofun mistake.

Monday, February 23, 2009

things i'd really like to blog about at length but don't have time for right now

  • why i'm so mad at Miley Cyrus
  • the most amazing/heartwrenching Oscar speech ever
  • one of the most amazing/heartwrenching films ever
  • things that i've been wrong about for most of my life
  • my weird and irrational yet nonetheless overwhelming sense of constant failure
  • why i love school so much
  • why i love my church so much
  • that one time my heart got bruised real bad and why i'm having so much trouble getting over it
  • the relationship between singleness and assimilation, particularly as it relates to the burden of change
that's the short list. there's much much more but i'm afraid that my brain energy is almost exclusively sucked up by school and work and thus i don't have enough to spare for proper bloggery. forgive me my followers, i love you very much. one day we will all reap the benefits of the smartness being sown into my brain. okay maybe not all of us, but i certainly will.