Pop Music

Can someone tell me who sings that song where the refrain is "I wanna be on you"? Every time hear it on 95.7 The Party (great name for a Z100-like sation), I think of Anchorman, and I can't believe someone turned it into a song that we are supposed to take seriously.

I suppose this doesn't jive with my appreciation for "Love In This Club." I'm biased because I like Usher. My favorite part is when he goes, "I'm gonna give it to you non-stop, and I don't care who's WATCHING!" First of all, the words just barely fit, and secondly, do you hear that beautiful piano waterfall after "WATCHING?" The disgusting thought of having sex in a club juxtaposed with tender piano music is brilliant!


Brain Dump

Trying to keep track of all the things you want to write about without actually writing never works. And it can’t be good for you, holding on insistently to these same shreds and patches even when the feeling or the purpose is gone. Does it prevent you from making new memories to obsess about older ones over and over? It must be degenerative. Your mind makes the connections repeatedly at the expense of making others. I contemplated quitting my job this week. More than usual. Why did I take every plate I’ve ever owned with me? Everyone calls these plates the wedding china. Where are they from? Living with others I've acquired quite a collection. Blue plates, glasses with bubbles in the bottom: Raina. Tufts glass, Foreman Grill: Lauren. Mike’s pillow from a time he slept over. Derek has a lot of board games. We both have Polaroid cameras and used to have black and white shower curtains. I have a rooster costume and he has a penguin.

Unpacking has been comforting. I paused to rifle through the photo albums. This picture of us in Vermont in thrift store clothes is so ridiculous, and it makes me laugh every time I look at it. We were in Shirley. Andrea talked about how all the trips to Long Island meld into one eternal summer but there are at least some pictures or incidences to make distinctions. These pictures are from 2001, and the reason I made that educated guess was that they were in an album with other things that I know happened in 2001. There were a lot of pictures with people’s tongues hanging out, and that year Dani, Erin, and Sue loitered at 7 Eleven until a Kosovar offered to buy them Meister Brau, and those nipples are smoking! (Bob once said Long Island is where pictures go to die (the 8th grade dance photo), and maybe to retain this mystique the house itself rarely allows itself to be photographed. But here we do have evidence of what it once looked like, at least in the recipes-on-the-kitchen-wallpaper years, and the “Hi, this is me. And this is my dog, Ruff!” mirror still in the living room. There are no pictures of upstairs, though, with my favorite wallpaper in the world. And now it is gone!) It makes sense: we had no fake ids and showed determination to get beer. In 2002 I don’t know what happened except that a Polaroid was involved because there is a snapshot of drunk me and drunk Erin with my hand in her lap and I’m wearing an Australia ringer t-shirt I got from the Gap and had for a thousand years. There is one of Bob and me, and he is wearing the American Dream shirt, and his hair is long. Chronologically, that must have been the year that Raina, Brooke, Jose, Lindsay came, when Raina was scared of the prominent religious figurines, and Jose said, “That’s okay, you were just being a bitch.” But what was the year that Paul came? It wasn’t 2003. 2003 was instigated by Samantha, Hannah was there and got high-fived by Mike, Bob and I hooked up and broke the One Rule of Shirley, Mom called and asked if everything was copacetic the day after she left a howler on the answering machine, we crashed Nathan’s swingers’ party. Nancy and her sugar cookies. I’m pretty sure I was still recovering from 2003 in 2004 and don’t know if we went out. Life’s Sadness was when Hannah graduated in 2005, and teak sales taunted Erin on the four-hour drive to Montauk. We went wine tasting for the love of Lincoln in 2006, and in 2007 it seemed everyone sat around watching the Shark Week on the U.S.S. Indianapolis which I TOTALLY want to see. When I think like this I think “That’s all I’ve wanted, to walk in such a place with you, with friends…”

Now anything else I wanted to talk about is obliterated. We went camping. That equals two weeks in a row of beer and s’mores for me. It was freezing at night. Samantha makes a better teepee. In the dark I got up to pee and was freaked out to be alone. A creature stole our peanut butter and jelly. I think it was a fox.

I asked Rudy a question about books. I spoke to Rudy the very first week I was at Penn. Well, he spoke to me, because he was barking on Locust Walk to promote “No Exit.” I don’t know what he said, but he wore glasses and had some blue hair and smiled, and I went to see the play. It is a story I like to tell myself.

When JP sings sometimes it scares me because he seems to sing with this emotion I don’t normally see, like in his heart he is singing to someone else, someone better. Why should I think he is singing to me? Most of the time I’m singing for myself.

All the different ways to say how you know somebody. Yvonne was in Denver and “Tell me how you know her again?” I know her from high school theatre, and then she went to Syracuse and Jenn went to Syracuse and we e-mailed from time to time, and then I had an internship in New York and we met one day at Convent Station and then used to talk for five minutes and sleep the rest of the way, and then we both lived in New York, and we searched and searched for ice cream one night and we saw an ice cream truck drive by and then got excited when we thought we found one but it turned out to be a FedEx truck. In high school she used to wear a Circle Dress that I loved and made sure to tell her every time. Andrea used to go to OLM with Becky and they were really good friends. And then I used to visit her at Band Camp and watch field hockey games and write her postcards that I never sent. Here is one from Marseille, the Chateau d’If, and I thought she would like it because she liked the Count of Monte Cristo. Rudy told me to go to “No Exit” and introduced me to Eddie Izzard and Neil Gaiman. Rakesh introduced me to Go Fug Yourself and Project Runway, and I will always laugh when I remember how he compared the Tool Box to Brigadoon, and then later I saw him read at Tattered Cover. Hari won a bike race in a bar, and I cheered him on, because I’m a big fan.

It was a shitty two weeks at work, and every night I would get in the car and sing along: “I’m sorry I’m hard to live with, living is the problem for me.” And I suppose most people would think the song is depressing but it’s so effing good and it’s nice to sing along to that it made me feel better. Somewhere along the line I looked at a bottle of conditioner and learned that the French word for “sunflower” is “tournesol.” I think that’s perfect.

“Were you ready to see them go?”



N.J. Bishops Campaign Against Same-Sex Marriage

I don't know why this unsurprising news about New Jersey bishops campaigning against same-sex marriage should bother me more than others, but it does. Because it's my home state, and because my parents will probably get the letter signed by the Bishop of Paterson (the diocese that OLM belongs to) ...or they would have received it last weekend if they weren't out visiting me. I wonder if the issue will be addressed in churches, as suggested by the report.

How awesome is the graphic on The Advocate article, though?

Peace out, Catholic Church. And I'm taking Jesus with me.


Showtune Tuesday: Godspell

(Alas, old links are broken.)


This Weekend

I went camping!

I haven't found much time to write lately. I'll try to work on that.


I Like This Song (And I Like Olives)

And this is why you ask your friends to make you road trip CDs.


Running Commentary #1

The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer was a helpful and interesting read. The book and the training program outlined in it are geared for people who have never run a marathon before, and they emphasize that your only goal for your first marathon should be: finish it. I'm down with that. They mix a lot of realism (worry about distances rather than time; walking is not something to be ashamed of) with optimism. Each chapter talks about a psychological aspect of training, like visualizing a good run you've had or what it will be like to finish the race, or "positive self-talk." While some of these techniques seem super corny, I could see how mental preparedness will make or break you in the last miles.

Recently I've run in Denver, NYC, and Shirley. In Colorado, I notice I get dehydrated quicker and that it takes longer to get my breathing in a good place, but I think that's partially a function of getting back into running and not entirely attributable to altitude. All the runs I've done haven't had hills! The city is situated in the mountains but mostly on level ground. The biggest hill I've run was during the long training run in Central Park. By the time I ran in Shirley, I had read the marathon book, so I got to practice some of the mental techniques, even though the first two runs I did there were only 3 miles. "It's hot and I'm being attacked by mosquitos...BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER!" Ah, it helps to keep a positive attitude. I saw a cute little deer with fuzzy antlers. Dre and I explored the Mastics with a 10 mile run on Sunday morning. The lessons from that experience were: 1)the Mastics are bigger than I thought, and 2)running after a night of hard drinking sucks.

Showtune Tuesday: The Little Mermaid


(Alas, old links are broken.)


Online Reading

"A couple of people have brought non-Condé gays and we promptly blacklist those Condé employees."

"And it doesn't hurt to be good-looking. But we wouldn't necessarily not welcome unattractive gays...But it screens in a pretty well-dressed, attractive type."

Can you read my PUKERface?

Way back when, Courtney and I used to publish an e-newsletter called the Valhalla Star Ledger Intelligencer, and by far the best feature was Opposing Viewpoints Thursday. We would take a topic and in three sentences or less argue our position. What made ours better than all other similar formats out there is that we would exchange our submissions and declare a winner. The New York Times doesn't declare a winner, but I enjoyed this "Room for Debate" on pharmaceutical advertising. It's incredible how much money is SPENT, and I lol'd at:

In fact, relying upon network news pharmaceutical ads as a cultural touchstone, a recent visitor to our planet would think that when we are young our legs can’t stop moving, that we menstruate four times a year, and we are ravaged by S.T.D.’s (despite taking great measures not to get pregnant), and we are extremely depressed; when we’re middle-aged we desperately want to get pregnant but can’t, perhaps because most men can’t achieve an erection (despite the fact that many others are afflicted with four-hour “reactions”), and we are also bald, overweight and extremely depressed; and when we’re old we are arthritic, forgetful, still depressed, riddled with cancer and either can’t urinate at all or pee so much we have to wear diapers.

Does the increased importance of statistics mean my career prospects are good? And is it sexy enough to get me laid more often? What if I wear the t-shirt?

In other news, I'm trying to label posts so I can make one of those nifty tag clouds like Mike.


More Internet Props

Threadcakes is a baking contest inspired by designs on Threadless, purveyor of fun t-shirts. Check out the fantastic entry and video by someone we love (even more than poli sci courses).

Showtune Tuesday: Carousel

I hate the story of Carousel, but I love some of the songs, particularly: