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carports [29 Jan 2003|12:32am]

After reading and re-reading a majority of Raymond Carvers collection of stories, I decided "carport" was my favorite word. I romanticized the suburban implications of its sound; the astroturf and econobox house simplicity that its syllables conjured. It was as blue-collar as it was delicious.
Yet after hearing a gruff and brutish nurse insert the word into a sentence like a denture into resistent gums, "carport" momentarily lost its charm. Prior to her sandpaper rendering of the word, it carried a feeling of simultaneous detachedness and involvement. It existed for me only in the brief episodes of a Carver story, only to be glimpsed out of the corner of the minds eye while approaching the image of a bland brick house his characters would begin to exist in.
At the same time, it was not a word that had recalled ever hearing from a family member, friend, or television station and therefor was never really integrated into the "reality" of words in my world. When I passed by what would be formally considered as a "carport", i paid no notice, failing to identify it as anything more than cement adjacent to clean squares of grass. I instead chose to speak it slowly and almost indescernibly softly, enunciating the "P's" in the same jelly-voiced and chubby-tongued way that some people say "plumb".
After witnessing the effects of tongue weaponry on a word so dear to me, it obviously took a little time before I could again reattribute that suburban mysticism to "carport." To do this, I had to accept the fact that this word belonged more to this nurse, whose father probably used the word in a militaristic fashion when designating parking spaces for non-immediate family at holiday dinners, than it did to me. I imagined her as a young woman, pushing a less noticeably grizzly voice through a bone colored telephone, providing her boyfriend with a litany of instructions to allow her maximum door-to-door service when going on a date.
Smiling at the thought of her orders and the frightening intonation with which she delivered them, I almost forgot about the fact that her "P's" were as sharp as knives, severing the word into two distinct halves. It was, after all, her word to dice.
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----- [17 Dec 2002|02:22am]
the mirror was peppered with a confetti of toothpaste sputterings. i stared at the charcoal wedges beneath my eyes and piled my hair on top of my head, careful to tuck each strand of hair securely into the tie. i spread the exfoliating beads across my face, creating concentric circles and increasing the intensity with each cycle of my fingers.

when i washed my face, pieces of hair fell loosely from the ties.
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what you're talkin about is pure. [02 Dec 2002|12:23am]
"if you write so many stories, why don't you write one about me?" he asked her, to which the girl responded less passively than she would have liked and nodded her head.
but what was she to write?
"I can't write a story about you and be flattering to you at the same time, " she began. "the best portraits show blemishes. the best photographs capture people in the distortion that laughter and sadness brings. the best romances aren't built on soft kleenex and secrets."
"ok." he said.
"ok." followed the girl, acknowledging his acknowledgement.

The girl knew she could write about his neck, about the staccato patterns of coarse hair that emerged like a vast space where an ocean was beginning to appear. She knew she could write about the way his skin looked against different walls in different buildings in different parts of town, and the way she would prefer him standing near a white wall while he might fancy a blue one. These were the things her eyes realize before her mind does. These were the things that were so vaguely defined they were almost inexpressible.
"So make me. Create me on paper. " said the boy, breaking her reverie.
the girl accepted the challenge.
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pigeons [10 Nov 2002|10:11pm]
Have you ever heard the theory that the more you respect something, the more susceptible you are to become similar to that something? Or that the more you defend someone or something, the more you find yourself easing into what you realize later is their shadow?
The more time I spend in New York, the more I find an increased and almost unrealistic empathy for the homeless. I watch them, my face displaying an expression of absolute neutrality, maneuver through the peacoats and briefcases on the 4 or 5 line. They use every sensory appeal possible; desperate in their visible presentation, starved in their audible display of shaking the few pennies they have received in the hopes to gain more, and unabashedly vocalizing their need for any throw-away pocket change; you know, the stuff that you don't care if it falls through your emporio armani slacks.
the act of consistently justifying the economic destitution of the homeless actually relates to my own increasingly precarious grip on my money;
First it's the pennies and dimes and nickles that cease to matter.
Then it becomes the dollar bills.
It wasn't long before I was ocassionally handing out 5.00 bills to men with brown-bagged bottles who recited poetry.
So it's no wonder that what appears to be the biggest problem in my life relates to "money."
I have a feeling there's a deeper issue at hand, of course, but as usual I'd rather plead laziness than confront anything.
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i'd rather be a cyborg than a goddess. [04 Nov 2002|12:01am]
The gurus of product packaging all must operate under the same organization. It's so funny how every single quasi-DIY dinner (aka: "we made it, you heat it") adds, with its instructions, "enjoy", as if you are required to do so.
"Stir and enjoy!"

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nanosecond pasta [28 Oct 2002|07:40pm]
sometimes i just wish the world could live in harmony, for just a day. an hour. even a minute. just so i could have that memory...of when things were what i thought were “right”. like if the sky was lit up with the afterglow of fireworks for just one hour. everyone would be so incredibly happy and so indescribably in love with life and everyone around them. to achieve that harmony for just a short while, to prove we are capable of attaining (although not necessarily maintaining) such equilibrium, would incite more positive thinking. more hope.
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new metal in a junkyard of rust [22 Oct 2002|05:20pm]
at random times throughout the day, my heater makes noises. if i let my imagination wander more, i'd almost think someone was ascending up the interior pipes and conduits with a hook and chains.

wishful thinking, i guess.

Well, NYC is definitely the place to be for photojournalism. Every corner I turn brings me face to face with another protester or someone pushing their agenda.

I turned in my sketchbook for my drawing class and together, my teacher and I realized that most of my drawings relate to the metro or some form of transportation. The metro is really just a morbid replacement for my own vehicle. It's obviously cheap, which is wonderful, but the arrangement of the seats and the lack of stimulating visuals provide a very dreary atmosphere; almost sinister in its dullness. When I go home some weekends, back to the Philadelphia area, I experience such mental clarity when behind the wheel of my own car. Although the roads are themselves blank slates, peppered only by tail lights alternating between soft yellow and hazard red, the straightforward visual journey itself (especially along familiar routes) incites thoughts im actually proud to have.

I guess it really all depends on the lighting and interior of a place. I mean, after all, everyone looks better standing in a garden. Very few people look attractive shopping in the dismal aisles of a dollar store.
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"His name was Basil Frankie, and there was nothing original about him." [01 Oct 2002|09:44pm]
Some people live their lives being subconsciously uncomfortable with who they are and who they want to be. These are the people who assemble books they never read by authors whose name they heard in passing on a bookshelf in the center of the room. These are the people who if you ask them if they have read anything by so and so or seen film xyz or listened to whatever record, these are the ones who will say that yes, yes they have listened. Yes they have read. Yes they have seen. No, I didn't finish it, they will say, but it was amazing. They may even assuredly use the word phenomenal so no one furthers to question their judgment.
These people are somewhat aware that more sits in their brain than they choose to take advantage of. They don't feel comfortable ignoring their natural predilection for art and the controversial, yet they do nothing to embrace it. And so they also don't feel comfortable in actively pursuing their interests, due perhaps to laziness or fickleness. Who is really to say.
These people may live their whole lives in waiting, but never knowing for what. They may have some vague idea as to what it is they want, but they choose not to discover the means to achieve it, which aren't always easy. These people are the ones that you mistake for being well-read or worldly at an authors signing or discussion on post-impressionism in a small cafe by a museum. You will never know the truth because in fact, these people assume you are just that: well-read and worldly and will avoid discussing the matters presented with you, feeling you must be well above their level of comprehension and experience.
But perhaps you too are the same. Perhaps everyone in that room is. Perhaps you all continue to occasionally sit around tables to have new books by new authors signed and by the time you are old enough to realize you have completely wasted your life, you are simply too dull to care.
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"But this is the famous nature of hindsight; to it everything is inevitable..." [15 Sep 2002|06:36pm]
so, today I found out that the slice of sky between these towering buildings that make up the view outside my window, was where the World Trade Center used to be. I should have realized it before. There are no slices of sky without a history in New York City. Especially not ones framed by wires supporting the still-standing but ruptured buildings.
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"you are like satan" i said. "no, " tim said, and then he nodded. "Yes, I am." ' [05 Sep 2002|10:15pm]
"i beheld leaves within the unfathomed blaze
into one volume bound by love, the same
that the universe holds scattered through its maze.
substance and accidents, and their modes, became
as if fused together, all in such wise
that what i speak of is one simple flame."--dante...paradiso

i suppose i am more of a creature of habit than i assumed. when i moved here, i felt, not immediately at "home" per se, but an instant sense of unity and a degree of comfortability i would expect to feel walking the streets of my neighborhood. yet there is still that grey area where i wonder if the person i was in another geographic location, can completely transfer to a new one. where i wonder if it would have been better, safer even, to have remained in philadelphia and completed my studies at temple university. it was comfortable, like a sofa you bruised yourself. and what it seems like, more and more to me, is that a lot of people just want to be comfortable. they want to settle into places where it doesnt matter if only 12 people know of their existence, because those 12 people matter a great deal. i used to think this was foolish and intentionally ignorant; to deny oneself the chance to risk who they were to become what they are; to go places and, consequently, leave places. to perhaps say as many goodbyes as they do hellos. and to have the "courage" to make mistakes, fully aware of the possibility of being wrong and having to do what seems like starting all over again.

you see, to me, square 1 is a dreaded concept. the idea of retreating back to the place i was, even yesterday, frightens me a great deal. to go backwards and forget what i learned, or at least conclude it was invalid, and to have to search through not just five or six, but hundreds and thousands of ideas to find out which one best conforms to my "needs." of course, nothing can be totally discarded. ever. (unless of course you fall victim to any of the brain eroding illnesses where you truly, by a flaw in design, cannot remember) still though, everything leaves it mark. if not on your mind, then on your skin. or on your mothers skin. or on the paint on the walls of your bedroom. or in your choice of a spouse, a dog, the way you cook your porkchop.

but there are so many ideas and theories that you cant avoid hearing, and sometimes cant avoid being influenced by, that is, unless you have already developed your own theories to protect yourself from being easily waivered, in which case, you might actually end up being closeminded. i cant decide whats better: to be closeminded and content (in your intentional ignorance) or to be so open minded that you temporarily adopt all theories your encounter and feel it only fair to devote a great amount of time to examining and evaluating each. in this case, you just become a plethora of ideas; a floating mass of other peoples words that could have even been words said in a state of disillusion and then retracted later. but you see, you haven't reached the later yet in this scenario, and maybe you never will, because by adopting so many ideas and forcing each one to create a home inside your brain, you then no longer even know what is dictating each action. perhaps we need to develop filtered minds, where we recognize what might prove to be valuable and discard what might prove to be either detrimental or space and time consuming.

you see, it's all one terribly confusing cycle, or circle, i don't know which. i am being optimistic when i refer to it as a cycle, because there it would seem would be more room for change or a chance to break away. dont ask me whats better, because i sure as hell don't know. i have unfortunately taken socrates theory of knowing only that you know nothing, into excess. i feel compelled to question every bit of information or even every feeling from inside *me* (or what i think is me.) sometimes i think it would be much easier to fall gracefully back into the way things used to be and live by the sea. but i know i would feel like something is missing.

what i have concluded, actually, is that i need to take risks. i don't mean risks in the sense of intentionally entering life threatening situations or involving myself with married men etc. i mean the really great risks. the ones where i confront my worst fears and accept them. the ones where i have to say goodbye to some to say hello to others. maybe even hello to me.
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ding dong [14 Aug 2002|06:54pm]
hehehe these are from the first time i went skydiving like late june. skydiving pictures won't be the most flattering things, as your face is distorted by the rapid speed at which you descend to the earth (i.e. my ear is almost flipping back to afghanistan) YAYAYya836759487589446

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[14 Aug 2002|06:39pm]
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She knows shes more than just a little misunderstood, she has trouble actin normal when shes nervous [30 Jul 2002|10:44am]
there is that place.

that soft and muddy place where everything is safely covered with moss and vines and dim patches of sunlight only illuminate the positive.that place we run back to when we want an excuse, something to justify the way we are today.

that place for me was the place where i was not only capable, but willing to make mistakes. to fall in between someone's shoulderblades and not care if that was the only view i'd see for the rest of my life.

it's so easy to go back to that place and convince yourself it was the happiest you've ever been. it's so easy to say that those safe people were the best people to surround yourself with, because ghosts don't take up much space and can't be too hurtful as they allow themselves to be criticized and extinguished whenever their creator wishes.
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"we're just trying to be free of our bodies. our stomach's full of liquer, our lungs full of water" [23 Jun 2002|05:04pm]
Parts of Hong Kong are westernized, most of it is fast-paced, and much of it is hypermodern. yet some of it has little pockets with treasures inside that america would have either demolished, renovated, or turned into a money-making tourist attraction.

i went on a 4 mile hike, straight up the steepest incline you could possibly imagine. besides a man absolutely drenched in sweat who didn't speak a world of english, i was, as far as i knew, the only person on the entire island. i suppose i didn't entirely consider the potential danger of hiking up the devils backbone without a bottle of water, a map, or a knife...but then again, the book that recommended the hike said it would take only 40 minutes.

After hitting the emergency button when i came to the dreadful realization that i had no water and no idea if the mysterious and scenic beach that was supposedly at the end of the trail even existed, i mustered up enough strength to complete the hike. along the way, i stepped over hundreds of crickets and crossed paths with cows and a few raging bulls that left me petrified.

and then i found it--something that made this torturous journey worth the exhaustion. a village; some in mediocre condition, other parts just ruins with electrical wires running amuck and family photos buried beneath dark waxy leaves.

these people build villages the way the lost clouds settle down in an otherwise empty sky.

there were two starving kittens and their standoffish owner selling cans of soda and various sandwiches. there was an ancient looking deaf man with heavy silver eyebrows, sitting in front of a faded violet house.

when i finally reached the glorified empty beach itself, i suddenly had enough humor to laugh at the long-burning bonfire sending smoke signals, next to the enormous letters spelling "HELP" scrawled across the beach.
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elevatorationphant. [19 Jun 2002|08:43am]
be not concerned withthe possibility that the ink of your pen will run dry when it hangs precariously from your fingers. worry more about the consequences of replacing its cap and resting it beyond arms reach on the table.
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not for all the tea in china PART 1 [13 Jun 2002|01:52am]
airports have a way about them. something about the architecture, the cold gray pillars, the seats of the chairs, the wires of the tables; something about their texture, or the way the components are interwoven, make for a grand optical illusion. your eyes search for a second trying to find the center of the object, any “center” of it, and if you’re lucky enough to find it, it’s nearly impossible to focus.
i had such time to dissect the enigmatic aesthetics of an airport while i was waiting 8 hours for my flight to japan. i examined this particular airport thoroughly. it was being revamped. there was scaffolding dripping from the ceilings and women’s arms dripping with kate spade bags. i admired (in a somewhat stone-cold manner), the white denture-like palates of light projecting themselves like fractions through the windows. the foamy blue lines separating the square tiles like toothpaste down a toothbrush. the identical silver chairs constructed of lines so fine they blended into the parallelograms of the hovering “decorations”.
all of my airport epiphanies came when i went to the upper level, after being bored to tears on the lower level. i sat in the empty food court and felt surprisingly better. somehow the elevation assured me the remaining five hours was not lone of a time to wait. the man behind the counter at mcdonald’s stared at me. he had eyes like musk, a half-asleep slurred purto-rican accent, and a stucco beard. the white men were all in black suits and were impatiently waiting for the lights of the hash brown machine to ignite.
the plane ride to tokyo was smooth but i was agitated at my lack of sleep and unjustifiably early drop off at the airport which caused me to miss two nights of sleep. i had made three cd's to listen to on the plane and ended up leaving them untouched for the majority of the trip there. they were far too consistent in their quietness. it was then that i realized i had most people pegged all wrong. no one was really always the sad and lonely songs i thought they were. neither was i. it took an amplified guitar and someones pained but hopeful voice to make me realize that i had selected the wrong soundtrack for myself and for most everyone else. still, i knew this music wouldn't sound half as hollow in hong kong.
i also tried to make cd's composed of mainly musicians who are still alive because dead musicians make me lonely. while they may have lived through this, they are no longer living through it. but then again, we're all living through it. and all it really is, is that the unpredictability of human beings many times deters us from involving ourselves in a situation, that like all situations, is liable to change. it's fear and it's the risk that some people take to confront that fear, and the dress of denial that others sink back into instead. for me, the biggest risk wasn't going to a continent alone where i knew no one and wasn't at all versed in the language, but the plane ride there. the idea that if my plane did happen to go down (an all too realistic fear) ten what was the point of my life? of every photograph i ever took, or every one i never took? every negative i never developed, or every word i never said. when people ask you if you have secrets, you probably say no. or you probably say "yes, one" and tell them. no. everyone has secrets. they are the things we don't even think about until it's too late. real secrets are secrets we keep from ourselves.
i'll update more later. i'm still terribly jetlagged. xoxo
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election day [22 May 2002|12:00am]

i was driving to the art museum when i noticed a passing car's radio playing the infamous 80's song that A-ha struck gold with.
The boy from Las Vegas immediately came to mind. I remembered being at Shampoo with him and watching his body fluctuate under the lights when that song came on, his movements like a fluid scarecrow (!)
i remember i felt sad watching that, because I knew that everytime I heard that song, from that day on, I'd think about him in that room at that club on that night. Sad because both of us knew we weren't forever (or even close to it) but two kids who liked to take road trips and ended up arguing a lot. Sad because I hated being the one left when other people leave.
But when he did leave, or rather, right before, I think I maybe cried for a split second and then my friend handed me a bottle of rum. i realized i didn't even need to drink a quarter of it to forget what it felt like to sleep next to him.
when i hear that song, i think of him on the west coast in the arms of the girl he talked about too much for me to feel comfortable with.

and then i thought about how thirsty I was, and the miles of traffic ahead of me on the highway that I was about to shake hands with.
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i tried 9 times to save your soul but 7 out of 8 you just wanted a banana! [16 May 2002|01:55pm]
i went out to eat dinner with my parents at a restaurant where the waiters and hostesses, like most waiters and hostesses, are more concerned with "hello-ing" prospective stomachs, than "goodbying" those who just forked over their money. i won't use awkward as the word to describe the experience at the dinner table, sitting diagonal from my father, but there was an increasingly prevalent tension. they asked me questions about what i've been doing in my spare time, and i asked them about their gas mileage (no, really) and outings with their co-workers. when i directed questions or statements of interest at my father, i had to divert my eyes before i completed the sentence, and immediately snapped my jaws down on the spinal cord of my iceberg lettuce.
when we left, the sky was a crayon blue and the moon, a sliver. yet even when there's only a sliver, the shadow of the existing whole that the exposed part compliments, never disappears.
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oh oh. [15 May 2002|05:20pm]
when you enter my garage from the inside of the house, you can look toward the two dark square blocks that make up each garage door, and see an linear orange glow peeking out from each side. like two tubes of either unnatural radiance, or something mysterious and heavenly. i still haven't figured out where it comes from, because they disappear when the doors are raised. to my great dissatisfaction, i must assume that there is unfortunately...an entirely logical explanation.
when the man came fix the garage doors last week, he dropped something metal, and it hit the ground like marbles do, which was strange being that it was an awkard and heavy object he dropped. he bent over in front of one square door to pick it up, and i saw that he was one who's skin immediately flushed at the slightest change of position. his entire head turned a watery rose color, and coupled with the tubes of orange light, he may as well have been a painting.
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a memory from the past is a reiteration [14 May 2002|10:18pm]
The only times i can remember really yelling, were the times i yelled at my own father. i felt like counteracting his furious shouting, with my own equally startling vocalizations, was the only way to defend myself. i suppose that's normal. i just hate(d) being yelled at. and it was over something *so* petty, although i think his anger was the result of a lot of pent up rage over a variety of things, primarily the condition of my room. i'm messy. i always have been, and i guess it's one of those things that i have just accepted as normal for myself, and don't really stop to consider how it may appear to other people ( including, but not limited to my immediate famiy)
when i get upset with my parents..actually, just my father really, it snowballs into this huge mass of the past and everything he ever did to upset me/hurt my feelings. and then i develop the idea that i can't stay here anymore, and then i'm smacked w/ the realization that if i upset him further, he won't pay for my college education. and right now, he covers so many of my expenditures. i'm totally dependent on him. and then i feel horribly guilty for even thinking the things i think about him.
i'm too old to wish to be born into a different family. i don't know whether it was a good thing or a bad thing to be raised by such ardently religious parents.i can see benefits in the way it has affected me, but i am also experiencing what feels like an endless slew of negative effects.
i feel like whatever connection my father and i had, is gone. ever since i basically denounced his beliefs, although not nearly as hostile as it sounds. growing more skeptical, it seems, meant growing away from him. he tells me it's fine, that it doesn't matter if im an athiest or a jew or whatever, so long as im not bowing down to a man in front of a pentogram. i said i didn't see much chance in that ever happening.
yet i know it bothers him. the person i was talking to about this today says it sounds like the only time i was warmly received by my father was when i was in union with one of his convictions, and when i expressed that unison with clean-cut, well-educated sounding arguments.
i haven't felt that way in a long time.
if this is true than i see the toll it has taken on my relationships with members of the opposite sex. for a long, long time, my dad was basically the only man i had in my life. and then i got older and learned what it felt like to kiss someone other than your parents, and hold someones hand other than your mothers.
i feel like this is so reprehensible of me. to write about familial digression in a somewhat public forum. isn't livejournal just exhibitionistic? or is it just honest? i told myself it was silly to limit ones entries to the noteworthy events of the previous weekend, but maybe that's the smart thing to do. i wish i felt like talking about that shit.
but i don't.
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