Sunday, June 12, 2011

glittering cities

go enter this wonder-lovely contest: bridge across the ocean. eat st. marcelin & macarons & drink brouilly on the isle de la cite. swoon. then repeat. (i also recommend writing love-letter-paper-boats & sailing them off into the seine).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

blue, heart-shaped rain

it has been pouring in upstate new york for weeks.* if i had a fabulous umbrella (other than the beautiful one from our wedding that i'm afraid to break!) i'd be even more thrilled with all these puddle-jumping & rubber-booted days. in any case, i have to admit: the smell of all the wet grass & newly tarred roadways--amazing. welcome to summer.

*along with pretty much everywhere else i've been!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

making headlines.

Z & i were in our local newspaper this morning for braving a wind-advisory to be out on an iced-over beach in upstate. it was 50-degrees (though much colder by the water) & wildly difficult to walk around. such beautiful/violent weather. the best part of the photographer finding us out there (alone) was that she was able to snap a polaroid of us together, which pretty much never happens.

sorry i've been all silence-radio on here lately. there's so much teaching, grading, writing, it's hard to find as much time to write elsewhere. i'm between continuing here & starting a poetry blog elsewhere. but it's been quite nice to have a secret-ish identity on this blog. so we'll see. until then, cheers to the new year. to possibilities of a spring. to the hot chocolate we consume in the meantime.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

sappy holidays.

i'm not usually a sappy music person. but this cover, used in the current john lewis christmas ads, is really stark in its beauty (& fits my criteria for stunning cover songs). the video makes me miss england, deeply. hope everyone is hanging in--stringing their lives with lights & enjoying the beginning of december's snowglobing.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

exchanging traditions

since Z & i come from different religious backgrounds, our holidays have been an amazing exchanging of traditions.* at the moment, amidst one of the most stressful semesters yet, Z has been feeling particularly separated from his family & culture. so, we're trying to plan a rendezvous, a trip to this exhibit sometime before march, & we've been on the lookout for a menorah. it's important to Z to find one that is fitting to us--not something that feels like a going-through-the-motions. for the past few weeks i've been on the hunt for a kind of Z&C heirloom. this morning i found the perfect match--vintage-modern & tied to our love of peacock feathers. what wonder! jonathan adler designed this for the jewish museum & it's perfection. though we know we'll use it for a lifetime, at the moment it's a bit out of our budget. time to start saving pennies.

*i grew up catholic (though my family is not particularly religious) and Z is jewish.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

how do you like them apples

scanner connected. polaroids uploaded. apples suspended.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

stamps & fishes & words, oh my!

a surprise package containing: the most gorgeous chinese stamps, the perfect-sized pages for recording lines of poetry, a polaroid of the sun & ocean (a polaroid folks!)*, a tiny spoon which will soon be covered in honey, the sparkler of a new book (which looks fantastically fragmented), & the feathered lines of a calligraphy notebook!

oh how the glittering contents were well worth the wait.** it truly amazes me how we come to be connected with strangers (who then become unstrangered), through this virtual space of blogging. and isn't it equally amazing how we can physically connect with people through something so simple as the post? this shimmering package swooped me up into full sunlight in the middle of a dreary and stressful fall. thanks jenna! you are, yourself, quite the light-filled wonder!

*no one has ever gifted me a polaroid. & this one made me a little teary. i love the idea of the bleached sun & salty air that someone else has experienced.

**i get that it is masochistic to receive something in the mail and force yourself not to open it, but a gal needs a carrot sometimes to get through her grading.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

valentined mail

while i was away in mythaca this weekend (where i attended a poetry reading, caught up & drank bourbon with this amazing lady) a little package arrived for me. a package sent from my valentine! & though i promised myself no opening until after grading (3 papers left, one 2-hour class to go) i can hardly contain myself. soon soon soon. & then i will post some peaks!

(image via here}

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

swamp things.

anyone who tells you that your first semester teaching a new class is going to be "fine" should probably be kicked in the shins. numerous times. i'm closing down on week 6 of the quarter. & i'm a complete swamp--sticky with essays & an apartment exposed to the tornado (& subsequent debris) of no-time-to-deal. Z has been a rockstar with cooking & cleaning & i have been...a swamp thing. (albeit a functional teacher swamp!). because we're commuting this semester (Z lives in ithaca three days a week, where he's a student) everything seems so much harder to focus on. when you don't see your man all that often, what is a clean bathroom anyway?! the truth is, next quarter will be better. easier. less numbingly fast! & i will be a better writer. will find less snags to my must-write-more-than-one-night-a-week plans. will remember that there is nothing like the feeling of finishing a piece. not even the feeling of that piece getting accepted. (though they are close! & i have had a sweet streak of acceptances in the past month). our scanner should be up and running soon(ly). then there will be wild apple polaroids & apartment snapshots. i swear. for now, a sneak-peak.

p.s. this shot is not photoshopped.

Monday, September 27, 2010

no alarms no surprises

with a new landslide of papers to grade, manuscript contests to send off to, & fellowship deadlines, i've been looking for music which is little more calming. this cover, one of my favorite songs in its original form, crushes me in the best way. for me, a killer cover must be executed well enough to sound like it could have been written by the covering artist. regina does this one spare. cooled down. beautiful. it's a perfect september weather song--all drizzle & chill. not so much a glooming feeling as it is a slowing down of the whole body. a heartsleep.

i promise an actual post soon, complete with wild apple polaroids. and sun. shine.

p.s. all the proceeds from purchasing this song on itunes go to doctors without borders emergency relief fund.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

nova scotia dreaming

Z & i often listen to this song when we're missing nova scotia. or thinking about a slower, quieter life. plus the video is fantastic--i'm a total sucker for whimsy. this week i've been rediscovering older music in my collection & having small fits of something akin to nostalgia. for instance, this morning i drove to give my 8am lecture blasting sleater-kinney. it was better than cake for breakfast. seriously.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

eating books

i don't know what has come over me these past few weeks. while it is not unusual at all for me to be reading voraciously, eating books, obessing through & through. it is unusual for me to spend all my time (and i mean every free moment) inside of pages. maybe it's something about the chill of september. about being a commuter couple. about needing to read other, more important things than those i use to prep or teach. maybe it's about remembering what language is, does, can do. i admit, i post single books in the "what i'm reading" sidebar. but the reality is, by the time i remember to change them, i've often read two or three other books. or was always reading them all at once. (for the secret record, i am too scared to post titles of super young contemporary poets i am reading, for fear they will google themselves and find the blog. i write this anonymously, as i don't always want my shoes choices up for grabs amidst my writer peers. the writing blog will come. slow. slow as an author page). today i finished this. what a whirlwinding. a life change. a sea change. a sea. i already loved her language. her world view. her microscope lens. but now, now, now. i find myself listening to the futures. to how things have been, will be, become.
language. my god, what language can do.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

year of the paper

Z & i were just-moved-back-from-london poor when our one-year rolled around. so, taking into consideration that the first anniversary material is paper, we made a few explicit rules: neither of us was allowed to spend more than 5 dollars on our gifts & it had, in some way, to be homemade (i admit i broke the cost rule--Z forgave me because the expensive part was technically a preservation technique). over the course of our year in london, i saved every ticket we used to travel--into the city & out, to other countries & back, even the receipts for things like riding the thames clipper to greenwich. since every ticket is paper, and every city/travel method had a distinct color & quality, it seemed perfect for my present. with some rocktastic help from my sister & her husband, i took all the tickets & designed a sort of mosaic/quilting of our travels, pasted all of them individually onto black foam board & then put the board into a 25'' by 37'' frame (it really is a boatload of tickets!). this collecting, this papered timeline, was my way of celebrating & preserving our first year of marriage. (i particularly love the date/time stamps, saying where we were when). amidst a lot of difficult far-awayness that we felt last year, we survived! so here's to first years!

p.s. if you click on the second photo you can see details. & please excuse the terrible glare/bad photos--i swear the frame is level on the wall, i was just standing on something to take the shot!

Monday, September 13, 2010

first weeks

my first week as an adjunct professor: survived. second week: started. we spent this weekend at a wedding in ohio, so i already feel a little behind. the northeast weather is fully falling, cooler. the air smells like chilled grass, the wet peels of potatoes. a wind is constantly tangling my hair. it's a perfect kind of dreary. all this rain & a sudden urge for tights. beds. boots & hikes through slow-turning leaves, their colors flickering on like florescent bulbs. it's hard to imagine that a little over a week ago it was 98, blazing. i am dreaming of apples, cinnamon, mugs of hot drinks for warming one's hands.

{picture from our rooftop. can you believe the trees? the moody light? yes, we live in the city.}

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

stop. hammer time.

first morning of teaching. in fact, by the time this goes up i'll already be half way through class one (oh yes, it's sunshine classes at 8am). let's hope my day goes a little like this: unexpected hammer dance in shiny-gold hammer pants? hell. yes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

the last day of summer

dear summer,
you were much too short for me--between moving & job hunting & then scrambling to prepare a syllabus. i forgive you, of course. because there will be another one of you next year. & at that, hopefully one where Z & i are elatedly celebrating heading off to yet a new place, but this time for a more permanent time. meaning, there will be extra room for camping & bike riding & lazing about on rooftops. for letter-writing & poetry. in the end, i admit that you were a bit hot for my taste. this was a year where i was forced into shorts & a bathing suit. a little unwillingly. (though i really adore swimming, so thanks). i'll admit i'm super glad it's sleeve weather again. i love sleeves. & layerings. & not having to sweat to death every time i open a window. also, the grey skies make me feel cozy. i'm an eastcoaster, summer. & i actually like snow. don't worry though, i'm sure i'll miss you come march. but, by then, you'll already be on your way back.

{image via slate}

Thursday, September 2, 2010

horses of course

me & these pony prix tights need each other. unfortunately, i just don't know if i can pull these off as teaching attire. & teaching attire is all that's in the tiny budget these days. yesterday, while searching for my classrooms after a department meeting, someone asked me if i was a freshman. yikes! i've been trying to figure out how to feel professionally dressed while still looking like myself (not like some weirdo in business clothes). apparently, even all gussied up i look like a student when i'm lost (which is sad, again, for the pony tights & their youthfulness).* it was easier to feel like i could get away with dressy dark jeans at cornell since i was hired to teach after being a grad student there. not so much with the new job. so people--any suggestions?!

* i once jumped off a very high bridge to avoid being called a "skirt"--obviously there's nothing worse to a tomboy than being called a lady! if my fifteen-year-old self could have seen me coveting tights & with a closet-full of 50s party dresses, she would surely have fainted.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

renewing our vow(el)s

after five months of careful setting aside, we finally replaced my lost wedding band. on sunday night we sat down to look through the wedding photos & imagine the day over. & when we were filled up by, brimming over with, on the edges of all that light all over again, we went to the rooftop of our new place & performed a small ritual for the ring renewal. we exchanged vows & made new promises to each other; we blessed our first year & the years to come. while it kills me a little that at the end of our lives Z's ring will have the wear of a full marriage & i will be minus a year--really, it's the kick ass marriage that matters.

the vows we exchanged & exchanged again:

I am committed to this joining together of two as two—to the complex connection of tissue and light, which comes with a marriage. I am committed to maintaining the intense, vast, & sometimes-secret universes that we found in each other when we met. I am committed to protecting your solitude in order for our passions to be fulfilled & particularly to protecting the ambition that sparked us into ignition. I am committed to you in moments of disrepair & sorrow, stress & sickness, but especially to making sure there is even more laughter and light in these moments. I am committed to the delicacy & lacing of your heart and its many-leveled chambers. I am committed to loving you through these bright cells of our beginning & into the brighter cells of our growing old together. I am committed to you as memory, as now, & as an unfolding lifetime. I am committed to your more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

bullfighter jacket

can't get enough of this poppy tune. seriously. how can you not dig these lines: "you've got your bullfighter's jacket on, with nothing beneath. i had to take my mask off to kiss you in the street"? for me, there's nothing like bizarre love songs.

(every semester i assign my students the task of writing a bizzare/odd love poem. it's a great way to get them using more interesting metaphors. as in, no you cannot describe someone's eyes as being like the sky. unless it's another planet's sky? then maybe.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

teen angst

occasionally i feel a bit sad that i didn't meet Z sooner (my parents met at 19 & 21 and my sister & her husband met at 19& 20). i wonder if we would have hit it off as more immature versions of ourselves? here were are, both around 17 or 18. keep in mind, i actually have sort of strawberry dirty blonde curly hair (oh 90s straightening fads). whereas Z's hair is naturally that jet black. (lucky guy--he never had a bad-goth-dye moment). the photo of me was taken just before prom. my friend gloria made the dress & i'm wearing elbow-length white gloves. over my shoulder you can see my high school boyfriend's little brother. the photo of Z was taken while he was recovering from a wild mugging where he was punched while holding a sheet pizza (long story). he ducked under the first swing and was hit by the second. the doctors had to put two metal plates in his face. (his girlfriend at the time didn't visit him in the hospital. which crushes me. obviously, my louis brooks self would have brought him silent films & cookies). on the positive side--while recovering those long hours in bed, Z taught himself sleight of hand magic tricks. like how to pull an egg from his future wife's ear.

not quite back into my computer yet. thought it's becoming long sleeve weather. as soon as i'm done syllabusting, i may have time for normal people things--like phone calls & blogging.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

patio games

backyard scrabble = genius. also, did you know tonight there is this? get to your rooftops. watch.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

bench marks

i have a real thing for brightly painted old wood. & vintage buoys. i mean, who doesn't love a word which simultaneously means a warning or navigational mark & to keep things afloat, a mood lifted. i don't know why, but outside of niece/sister/husband/general people-related goodness, the last couple of days sucked. seriously. stress + heat + unpacking books + having no place to unpack books has meant a lot of crankiness. so we bit the bullet & purchased a blue vintage bench we spotted a few weeks ago. it's not only rocktastic but 100 inches of book-holding (on & under) goodness. i'd buy a buoy to buoy, but that is just not in the budget. (maybe as future book ends?!).

soon there will be pictures of the new apartment & our wedding & some more regular postings. but for now--it's summer. & summer is not for computers on your off time when yourwork time is also for the computers. computers are not for the birds.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

oh august

the perfect hot august-afternoon tune. (& can you believe it's august? yow.)
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