Thursday, July 31, 2008

second muxtape

I made another muxtape. It makes me miss being able to make a real mix tape. I remember getting really into them in high school. My friend James would make me one every time he can to see me. My car was filled with them and we would just drive around suburbia switching from one tape to the next. I remember making him a tape and spending hours picking out the perfect songs. I wanted to tell him that I liked him so badly, but it has just never been something I am good at. I remember putting a Rancid song on there. And "Punk Rock Love" by the Casualties. And some Saves the Day. He told me he always loved my mix tapes, and I think it has always been one of those things that I'm at good at. It has also been my way of telling boys I like them for a very long time.

I ended up telling James I liked him, and he said he couldn't, that he didn't want to ruin the friendship. But, two or three years later, he said he wanted to try something, but it was much too late. I think I saw that he is married now. I think about him a lot, but I doubt a friendship could even work.

I also made a mix for a guy I liked that worked at a coffee shop I went to a lot. I put at Camera Obscura song on there and a really sexy Mirah song, probably "Engine Heart" or "Gone Sugaring," but I don't really remember what else. I wonder if he ever got the hint.

I think it would be interesting to make a zine about mixtapes people have made for other people, then have a tape with a song from each person's mixtape. But I'm sure someone has already made that or something.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The comics of Laura Park and Kate Beaton have been making me so happy lately. I want to draw my own, but I don't own a scanner, which I think you might need for internet comics.


My roommate read some math book and told me two facts. 1) If you could fold a piece of paper 50 times, it would reach the moon and 2)We should expect the unexpected, because mathematically speaking, we are more likely to have coincidences than not. Say, for instance, you averaged out how many times you take a train, and your friend takes that same train, because you live in the same area, there is probably actually a pretty high probability that you'd be on the same train at some point.

Someone also told me there is gas around Jupiter that looks like a smiley face. This was less interesting to me, and I was disappointed in the information they shared.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


there is a lot of stuff you can do with a brown paper bag.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

hold on, holden

I went the the Museum of Natural History today, but couldn't find the area Holden walks through with the kids. I asked where the Egyptians were, and no one seemed to know. We were told to check out the Mammoth mummy on the fourth floor. Maybe Holden was looking at the mummified poultry. I also saw the squid and the whale, from the movie. I felt intimidated, and I think the little kid next to me did as well. He made odd sounds, an almost creaking frog-like noise. At least that is how I remember it now. I was more scared of the wolves. I used to have a lot of dreams about wolves and there is one I still remember very well. I was out in the country at night and there were wolves out, and my dad had to save me. He was always saving me from wolves. They were everywhere. In the trees and on the ground. The diorama gave me the same feeling I used to get waking up from those dreams. My legs felt numb and warm, as if I were walking after lying still for a very long time.

I bought this today. It is extremely well written. I love Mary Ruefle and Lydia Davis a lot right now. I feel inspired after reading these books, which I haven't felt for awhile. I was worried about writing. I was worried about poetry, mostly. I also watched Fanny and Alexander. It made sense to me and I regret my decision not to go see it when it was at the IFC. I might try to write a review about it soon. I just feel like I should. I feel like it is one of those films you watch, and you love, but a few months pass, and you don't really remember why. It reminded me of Henry James' Turn of the Screw, but less Oedipal. Maybe I should write about that.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


There is someone outside of my window sifting through my trash and all I can really wonder is if they can see me through the fan or not.


I have been thinking about Kalamazoo a lot, and I still miss so many people. I miss how quiet things would get, and I remember moments (night bike rides and walks, mostly) because they don't happen here like they did there. But, the city is a great place to be. It was a 30 minute bus ride to the beach today and then a friend drove us back through all the southern neighborhoods I never get to see. I am sunburned. We walked slowly into the apartment and I wished we were at the beach again. If I didn't have to go to work tomorrow, I would go back. My mouth is salty and I can feel the waves. I can hear them, too. I never really think of them so much as a crash, but as a fizzle between the rocks. All those bubbles! And a million dead jelly fish parts. I found a few shells. Tonight is a full moon. I am feeling many different things and finished a book and have the nervous excitement of picking out my next book to read. Change has started. Falling into the seasons, the gradual shift from heat to breeze to snow to breeze to heat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I remember driving around listening to Sufjan Stevens, and there would be a lot of people in my back seat. We felt really excited and listened to the same few songs over and over again. "Casimir Pulaski Day" always makes me remember doing this. It was my favorite song and I loved it when he would say "cancer of the bone."

We stopped doing it after my friend took a bunch of Valium and was really quiet in the back seat, except when he would say, "I don't think it is working."

In the morning through the window shade with the light pressed up against your shoulder blade I could see what you were reading
"Yeah, her face is sort of clean and bright, in that way that only people with money have a clean and bright face."

Meredith was eating cereal with a soup spoon. She looked at Rachel with a wide-eyed expression.

"Huh." She choked a little and looked at the back of the box of Fruity Pebbles. After a bit, she decided to swallow what she had just spit up.

"Yeah, but, I would like to think her money doesn't make her a bad person. Same for her face. Maybe I'm an optimist."

"I wasn't saying that. Not at all. I don't know. You know what I mean. I was just making a comment about her face. And, no, you're not an optimist."

Rachel messed around with the magnets on the fridge, and then opened it and stared intently at the back of the fridge. There was a very old bottle of cheap white wine, which she grabbed and took a swig of. She swished it around in her mouth for a bit and then spit it right back into the bottle.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I should make a mumblecore movie (subtitle: I could be productive too.)

"Can I borrow that?"

She sort of bends and points across the room.

"Borrow what?"

He looks over towards his shelf and all of his things, his keys, a few books, pencils, and coins.

"Borrow WHAT?"

"The thing there. The flutey-thing. Just hand it to me, okay?"

He hands over the small recorder. "It's a recorder, Ellen."

She mumbles and starts to play "Hot Cross Buns."

Ben sits on the floor of his room and thumbs through some old papers and rips up a bill he already paid online. He looks at Ellen and she continues to play the same notes, only holding some longer than she is supposed to.

She says, "It is for dramatic effect."

"Good job. It sounds really nice when you play it that way. You should write an opera, but all the songs are 'Hot Cross Buns'."

"Yeah, I probably should."

"I don't see why you wouldn't."

"Me either."

She continues to play while Ben just stares at her ankles. He thinks of the time his mother made pancakes, and one fell on the floor, and his dog ate the entire pancake. It made him really happy because the dog wouldn't have gotten the pancake otherwise. But, now, looking back, he figured the moment was kind of sad. The fact that the only reason the dog was allowed one of his Mother's banana pancakes was because it fell to the floor, and wouldn't have been good enough for anyone else anyway.


I have been feeling annoyed with poetry and have hardly read any this summer. I tried reading a Keith Waldrop book I bought and felt really annoyed by the pictures next to it, and the way he chose to break up his poem on the page. I re-read a Mary Ruefle poem I still like a lot, and one I didn't. I also read some stuff from and old "No" I have around. There is still one poem (the really long one) I want to work on but I feel like it has been too long, or something. I need an anger I have a hard time finding access to. I've been finding a lot more inspiration in stories, movies, and life, because life is similar to these things, or these things are similar to life. I have things I need to be responsible about tomorrow, like student loan stuff and figuring out some legal crap. I want life to be like it is in "Funny Ha Ha" and just be a temp and feel okay with being confused. I really liked the part where she "milks" the creamer. There is an interview from the film festival about "Baghead", and I haven't watched it yet, because I watched one about "Funny Ha Ha" instead. I wonder about the way people influence us, too. I think a lot of people think alike. I got a free slide projector and I want to use it for stories and poems. I feel really happy about it. If you have old slides, please tell me.
I made a muxtape.

I am listening to it right now. I feel really good about my choice in music. I've been wanting to hear some new music lately. My friend introduced me to "The Ex" recently, and I'd say they are a band I like a lot right now. I am also going to a show Wednesday, and it has been awhile since I have gone to one. Sometimes I push music out of my life, because I feel it easier to, or something, and just listen to a lot of one band. But then I pull out my other records after I get bored, and I realize that I need some new ones.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I made this

you can read the story I mentioned about the cowboy here

Saturday night my coworker pointed to a cab and said "I would like to think that cab goes somewhere, even when I'm not around." He pointed at a church too, and said "I like to think the church still exists, even when I'm at home. You need hope you know. I'm just not sure I can handle a subjective reality." I just really liked looking at the church, and I just thought of the church now, how it was when I saw it, and I hope it is there, too. And it might be. Or might not be. Either way, there is hope. And that is something to have.

In an interview Lydia Davis says, "I'm tempted to say we're all very uncomfortable existentially or something in this life." And that makes a lot of sense to me. I guess that is why her characters make sense to me, and why I miss the people that I miss, because they are willing to talk about that sort of thing, and sometimes find it hard to talk about anything else.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I rode the Q train home and read a book. I looked up and saw a girl reading "Glamor" and thought to myself, "I am glad I don't read things like Glamor, or Vogue." Not that I think I am better than anyone who reads those magazines. I'm sure fine people read those magazines. I am sure people I like, maybe one of my friends, reads one of those magazines. I am just really glad I don't. No judgment. I was just very pleased to be me for a little bit.

I'm reading short stories by Lydia Davis right now. I really liked the one about wanting to marry a cowboy. I bought herbal anxiety medicine for my cat today. Society is weird. It is weird that I can buy herbal anxiety medicine for my cat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I will be Godard

I created a Youtube account and plan on doing stuff like this until either a) I get bored or b) People get annoyed by me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

michigan & links

I found out that you can turn your garden into a wildlife preserve.

I went back to Michigan last week and sat in Kalamazoo's Bronson Park and just smiled. I have always felt that Kalamazoo is at its best in the summer. I walked to the co-op and the library and saw some friends. It is easy to find friends there, if you just know where to walk to. A lot is changing there, as it always is, I think that's just how college towns work. My friend Bradley was having an art show that night at someone's house on Oak Street, and I was unable to make it, but I heard it was filled with lots of young kids. That's exciting. I talked to my friend James at Rocket Star, and he said that it seems like a lot of negative stuff was happening, but that there were a lot of new faces looking to make change. I just hope they don't get discouraged. Kalamazoo has such a history and I would like to see it get to the point that it sounds like it was at in the late 80's and early 90's.

I also drove through South Bend with my dad. I didn't even know about the riots that happened there, but I think people should know. My dad was proud to note that there was a strip of new stores, a coffee shop, an art gallery. He said they were trying to "turn it around" and it certainly needed something, but I wondered what would happen to the people already living there in the boarded up houses when those houses were bought and then remodeled and they could no longer live there. It was almost like a ghost town. My friend Joseph wants to move to a ghost town. I can see why. But then I worried about, what if he moved there, and then they did something like what they're doing to South Bend? I'm not sure how I feel about it, but Michigan seems to have been "hit hard" by a lot of things, and it also seemed to be sort of sad. But it always did. I think that's why Kalamazoo only ever felt good when it was summertime.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

good work

My friends are so good.

Joseph made a song using a poem of Tao's and then Tao made a video for the song. I really like the start of this video.