Friday, June 9recovery
"i've been so afraid of the blank space, too preoccupied with the requirements of everyday demands to nuture the only part of me that seems to feel correctly. i've let the skill wither amidst the crutch of contentments and containments - as an unused leg tingles, my writing exists in pens and needles - a precarious rivalry of perfectionism and self-doubt. i've approached the page like my mecca, daunted by the pilgrimage, unworthy in the shadow of potential - sometimes it was easier not to write."
Daybreak - Harry Nilsson
Thursday, April 13Next semester:
International Organization (poli sci)
Intro to Creative Writing (I am sooooo intimidated)
A lot of people are killing or partially neglecting our blogs, and we all began around the same time. I wonder why.
Plan B - MuteMath
Monday, February 20"Capitalism is a mechanism for coping with cupidity, not for enhancing it."
-William F. Buckley, The National Review, June 2003
Bitches Ain't Shit - Ben Folds
Saturday, January 28Jan. 27, 1967: Apollo 1 spacecraft ignites during pre-launch tests, killing all crew members on board.
Jan. 28, 1986: The manned Challenger breaks apart 73 seconds after liftoff.
Feb. 1, 2003: Space shuttle Columbia disentigrates during re-entry
...Maybe this isn't such a great week to be going into space, eh?
Something's Missing - John Mayer Trio
Thursday, January 19Here we go again! Hopefully this time will turn out more favorably than the last...
Flaming Telepaths - Blue Oyster Cult
Sunday, January 1First of all, happy new year to everyone (though I don't believe many read this anymore). I hope you all had fun and were responsible - I don't want to come home from my vacation to hear that someone's in the hospital (or worse).
New York has been nothing less than what I expected. Obviously, I can't get as much done and seen as I would like, but I don't believe this will be my last time here. Tomorrow I make the essential pilgrimage to Central Park to visit Strawberry Fields and hopefully I'll be on a harbor tour (the one we're looking at goes, I believe, around the bottom of Manhattan and on to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty). SoHo and Chinatown are also on the list of places to see.
Laura and I returned today from DC, which was an absolutely amazing place. Her boyfriend Evan was our 'tour guide,' but he left absolutely nothing to be desired. In less than 24 hours, I saw all but two monuments and all but a couple museums. Highlights: Einstein Planetarium (at the National Air & Space Museum); the Library of Congress (absolutely beautiful); seeing the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights at the National Archive (how lame is this... I bought a pocket Constitution); the Hope Diamond (at the Natural History museum); seeing authentic Monet, Matisse, Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, Picasso, da Vinci, etc. (at the National Art Gallery); and having a sneaky adventure in the National Cathedral (where some presidents' funerals are held, including Ronald Reagan).
I saw the monuments at night, and as odd as this sounds, they're more majestic that way with the floodlights exaggerating angles and casting deeper shadows. Unfortunately, some places were under construction, but that didn't really take away from being there - my photos just won't be quite as nice. I stood at Lincoln's feet and saw exactly how big the Vietnam Memorial is.
I've also been marveling at how awesome public transit is on the East Coast. In Texas, if you don't have a car, you're kinda screwed. But here there are railway systems, subways, and we Greyhounded between NYC and DC. The cities are very accomodating for pedestrians - I joked with Laura that it seems like ped's automatically assume the right of way, they never really mind traffic signals or watch for cars very much. I would be very happy with riding the subway to work everyday. We've been missing out, guys.
New York is wonderful, but DC is where I would like to be. I have done so much on this trip than I have in the last year, probably. And there's still two days left :)
I'll be back in San Marcos on Wednesday night!
Tuesday, December 20Important lesson of the week:
You can't make something exist -- I don't mean in a physics way, or even a "Golly gee, I'm totally crushing on Tommy" kind of way. But sometimes, no matter how good something once was, there can be a time when you realize you just have to let go and get move on. I suppose this falls under the "everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime" principle. It sucks getting over a friendship that was nothing but benevolent, but sometimes it's even worse to stick around and let it live on, a one-sided shadow of a relationship that once was but can't be the same again.
Ostrich & Chirping - Elliott Smith
Sunday, December 11You know what was cool about Cyndi Lauper? She just didn't give a shit.
Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
Tuesday, November 29What a terribly hellacious day.
But at least San Marcos twinkles at night.
Friday, November 25Thanksgiving
This year's family Thanksgiving was the best attended ever and the most emotional (in my memory bank). All siblings, children and spouses were present and accounted for, 21 people in all. My whole family hasn't been together in one place for about four years, and before that it was... geez... six or seven years, at least.
Anyhow, everyone was at my grandparents' for the day. The weather was absolutely perfect, so we pushed a few tables together and ate outside. Dogs played in the yard behind us and there were three different kinds of pumpkin pies.
And do you remember a couple months ago when my older cousin Kate was married? Her husband, Stephen, is leaving for Iraq on Tuesday. We threw a small surprise "goodbye shower" for him, and each family gave him something he wouldn't find in Iraq. For his gift to Stephen, my Uncle Kevin, a Vietnam veteran, asked for ten minutes of complete calm and silence for Stephen, as this was one of the very last instances of silence he will have until he returns home. So all 21 of us, aged 4 to 77, sat at the makeshift dinner table and didn't. say. a. word.
I closed my eyes for the first couple minutes, and when I opened them I saw a plane above us. My grandparents live close to San Antonio International Airport, and I thought it odd that everything around us, even the plane above us and the dogs behind us and the trees around us, was also mute. Then I began to look around at my family. It was interesting to see how we all reacted -- whom leaned on whom, which of us closed our eyes and were lost deep in thought, the faces the kids made to each other trying to get the others to break the silence. But somehow, it was all quiet.
One thing I noticed, however, is that a couple of the older women in my family wept a little during this moment of silence. I didn't really understand. I got that we were doing this for a new family member who was about to go overseas to a war zone, not to return for a year, but there was some connection I wasn't making.
Throughout the day, I saw my grandma cry no less than four times. The last time was when Kate and Stephen pulled away to go back to Fort Hood. I put my arm around her as she waved goodbye and said, "Nana, it's all out of love." Then she turned to me, her eyes pink and plump, and replied, "No. No, it's not."
I was more confuzzled than before. She isn't crying out of love? Then what is it? Once we were back home, I told Mom about it. She said (and this is me paraphrasing), "Kelly, I'm not sure if you can fully grasp the emotional weight of this, but this is her fifth send-off. Stephen is the fifth time she's sent a family member overseas to war. You forget there's a chance he may not come back."
And, like usual, Allison the Wise is right. My grandpa left for war three different times and my Uncle Kevin once, but this was all decades before I was hatched. My entire life, I've been cognizant of the fact that the military has played a huge role on both sides of my family. Even though I'm completely against our occupation in Iraq, I will do nothing less than support the troops there. I was raised to believe serving your country is an honorable thing.
Rather than delineate my family history in the service, I'll simply say that as long as I've been alive, I've never had a family member (still) in the military. I've empathized with friends when they tell me their dad or brother or cousin is being deployed soon, but it wasn't until this evening when that hit close to home and I began to understand the heaviness of the situation.
And so now, things have changed. The family dynamic is different, but in a positive way. We have another reason to come together and be a support network. Stephen is a wonderful addition to our family, and he and Kate will be well taken care of, no matter where they are. I know this was a long-winded story to make such a small point, but it needed to be said/written. Some thoughts just need to stop bouncing around your brain and be put out there.
(By the way, I am no longer blonde.)
Middle Of the Night - The Soviettes