BLINK! goes Kristof

I’ve been drafted to blog on the admit website in honor of the upcoming admit weekend here, which reminded me that I should really blog here also. The advantages of having your own site are many and myriad. For example, I am not required to keep my thoughts to a short list of ProFro appropriate subjects. Also, if I got way wasted and danced on a trashcan, I could tell  you that too.

(Sorry, I didn’t get even a little wasted, and there were no trashcans.)

This weekend has been full of me saying things like “I really need to get cracking on all this reading,” reading three poems, and then taking a nap. I think this is emblematic of a Spring quarter senior. I have decided that one of my favorite parts of the day is when I get to crawl all exhausted into bed and go to sleep. It’s such a feeling of satisfaction! Also, I have this (bad?) habit of listening to a podcast while I fall asleep, and I’m really very attached to my virtual ear-mumblers. Most of the time, I end up sleeping through the last half, but hey, it’s ok. You absorb information in your sleep, right? RIGHT?

I almost went to Cafe Night (a party with wine and cheese and live music that the french house here throws) last night, but then I got terminally sleepy and had to go home to bed instead. This is what it’s like in the senior retirement home we have going here. Everyone is in bed by 12 or 1, and then we complain in the morning about how tiiiirred we are. Little do we remember the sleep deprived days of our freshman year, when we were all busy trying to be the last one up, lest we miss anything good.

I have been spending tonight alternately reading Elizabeth Bishop’s North and South and Robert Lowell’s Lord Weary’s Castle and watching Chris B. play WOW. I do not understand WOW, but I like to do dramatic readings of the little notices that pop up on the screen.

Kristof gains Kristof’s fishing.
Kristof’s fishing fades from Kristof.
Kristof gains Kristof’s fishing.
Kristof’s fishing fades from Kristof.
Kristof gains Kristof’s fishing.
Kristof’s fishing fades from Kristof.

You can see how this would be amusing.

BLINK! goes Kristof. BLINK!

Nerd games are so funny.

OK. Now. It is time for my favorite part of the day. BED.

I heart bed big time.

I went to New York with the intention of taking lots of interesting pictures. Instead, I took one picture. This picture:

photo

Not exactly inspiring, is it?

Yeah.

The trip was totally awesome, though. You just can’t see photographic evidence.

Shining Examples

In an effort to maybe someday be able to do a respectable number of “big kid” pushups, I’ve been undertaking an exercise program with a couple of my suitemates. It’s about 30 minutes long, including warm-up and cool-down and is structured in circuits. 3 minutes of strength training, two minutes of cardio, and a minute of abs, for three circuits. This sounds easy, but let me assure you that it REALLY is not. The first day, I was totally tomato red panting and sweating. I am slightly less embarrassingly sweaty now. The thing is, around day 6 or so, once the muscle soreness in my arms and legs abated, I noticed a grating little pain in my knees. It was particularly uncomfortable when climbing down stairs. In the last couple of days, it’s accellerated, and now I’m pretty sore. The obvious explanation is that the cardio, which is pretty much all jump-related, in combination with lunges and squats and things, has done something uncool.

So tonight, I was poking around my health center’s “Virtual Wellness Library” online, looking to see if they have any helpful helpful advice beyond what I’ve figured out (ie, cut out the jumping, take an asprin, and maybe consider some ice or something), when I stumbled upon their article about weight. I braced myself for the usual onslaught about calories and diets and GAH, but was rewarded instead with one of the most reasonable and non-fat-hating articles I have ever seen come out of an institutional medical facility. (To be clear: my pediatrician (what, you don’t still go to the pediatrician when you’re home?) has never been anything other than perfectly resonable, supportive, and non-awful, but I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about doctors’ advice on weight.)

Vaden says the following (from here):

Women’s Issues: Little girls are raised with Barbie dolls as role models. Her shape pushes thinness to an extreme (if Barbie were a real person, she’d have to walk on all fours to support her proportions.) And although womens’ fashion portray stick-thin models as the ideal, 99% of women could never look like that due to their genetic make-up.

Men’s Issues: Men are coming under increasing pressure to sculpt the perfect Calvin Klein slim-line body. Male models have well-defined muscles and no body fat. And although these well-buffed models are the male ideal, 99% of men could never achieve this look because of their genes.

Restrictive Diets

Many students diet to achieve an impossible weight goal. But dieting is not the solution. It is, in fact, counter-productive. Restrictive diets:

  • Don’t ultimately work. Your weight is genetically programmed. When you eat less, your metabolism (the speed and efficiency which the body burns calories for fuel) becomes sluggish. Your system fights to keep every pound as if fighting off starvation: the
    harder you diet the more your body resists losing weight. Ninety percent of all “successful” dieters soon revert to their old weight.
  • Are unhealthy. You deprive yourself of essential nutrients which are almost impossible to get on vacuous diet foods. Also, people who “yo-yo diet” (alternatively gain and lose weight) are at greater risk for health problems.
  • Are potentially dangerous. Dieting disturbs your relationship to food. It can make you afraid of eating normally. This can lead to disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binging, and compulsive over-exercising.
  • Are boring, and can make you boring. When you restrict your eating you also restrict your interests, and obsess about food and weight until that’s all you think and talk about. Are emotionally draining. They substitute an external, unattainable image of beauty for genuine self-esteem. (Emphasis added.)

Dude. Vaden. Right on, my brothers and sisters.

Valentine’s Day, the Exhaustive Review Edition

For Valentine’s Day, we headed into San Francisco for a charming event called Writers With Drinks. The basic premise is that you put a variety of writers (and an amusing MC) on stage in a bar, give them free drinks, and see what comes out. There’s a five dollar cover, and there are very few seats, so if you go, go early. It’s held once a month in the Makeout Room, which is a strange little bar in the mission. It’s cash only, and decorated entirely in shiny things.

Now, as a person who once did a science project on whether my friend’s bird preferred shiny objects or food, I can tell you that the shiny things are indeed fascinating, in an inter-species kind of way. There’s tinsel hanging from the ceiling, silver mylar balloons, a disco ball, and several large (I think plastic) deer heads that have been bedazzled with costume jewelry and cast-off bras. (I always wonder how that works–do you come to the bar equipped with extra underwear, planning to leave it on the wall? Do you go bra-less after you deposit your undergarment? Wouldn’t this by necessity limit the decoration to smaller sizes? (Not just in terms of societal and physical comfort, but let me tell you that those suckers are PRICEY.) I wonder what the size distribution of bras removed and left in public is…)

The evening was MCed by the charming and hilarious Josh Kornbluth, who was hands down the most entertaining performer of the evening. Check out his website, buy his book. He made me laugh.

The readers themselves varied pretty wildly. We kicked off the evening with a passage from Anna Furtado, the author of the Briarcrest Chronicles. The Briarcrest Chronicles are a series of vaguely medieval lesbian romances generally (I believe) set in a sort of a nunnery environment. The Briarcrest Chronicles are….how do I say this?…not good. It was like Star Trek meets Redwall with lesbians, only not as cool as that makes it sound. There is a lot of worrying about the whereabouts and sexual preferences of women with elaborate and flowery names, and planning to administer herbs of various kinds to cure their various ills. Despite a little light discussion of breasts, I wouldn’t qualify them as particularly…romantic.

Shanthi Sekaran read from The Prayer Room, a novel consisting primarily (it appears) of a lightly veiled account of her own love life. She was charming and occasionally funny, although not particularly world-shaking.

This was followed by an extremely mixed bag of fairly universally depressing poems by Laurie Glover who has a real affinity for adjectives and word like “rowed” used to mean “lined up in a row.” Also, she likes rocks. A lot.

Then there was intermission, during which I defended our seats and the seats of the nice people we were sharing the table with from marauders, and Chris obtained me a charming drink called a Zephyr. It contained unfiltered sake, lemon vodka, and grapefruit juice, and it was AWESOME. Go and have one immediately. It will fulfill all of your secret citrusey desires. Our New Friend Liza (as in Eliza), with whom we shared our booth, went to buy burritos, and Our New Friend Andrew went to get drinks and look at books. ONFE eventually returned with burritos for her and ONFA, and chips for all.

Then Lorelei Lee (a porn performer and grad student in creative writing) read a story she’d written, which was really very very good, and therefore unmockable.

The final act was a long, long, many times too long short story by Ann Cummins about a weird hypnotist who stole this woman’s belly button and then went on and on and on and ON about it. SNORE.

In retrospect, this post has made it sound really horribly boring, which is totally untrue, mostly because Josh Kornblush was so awesome. It was a really fun, casual, weird night, which was capped off by our COLD, weird, awesome experience at the Millbrae caltrain station where we discovered that the next train wasn’t coming for two hours. We eventually managed (with one barely working cell phone) to find a bus that was going where we wanted in only ONE hour, which we spent hiding in the warm greasy respite of In ‘n Out.

And then the bus smelled like pee and there were sleeping homeless ladies strapped in the wheelchair harness spots, and it stopped loudly every three inches and Chris fell asleep anyhow, and there were a lot of Mancini’s Sleepworlds on the route, the end.

A Post from the Stats

Every once in a while (as you who have been reading me faithfully for-boring-ever will remember) I like to take a look at the search engine referrals for this site. For the uninitiated, (get ready to be reminded how very very not private the internet is) basically, every website’s host stores a lot of information about the people who go there. No, don’t worry, not your name or anything, but it registers all of the IP addresses, so I can see generally where people’s internet providers are, and most interestingly, I can see the key words typed into a search engine that led someone to click over from say, google. These phrases are often hilarious.

This time, in honor of the upcoming holiday, I have decided to tackle one of these search topics, just in case this person ever returns. Ready? Here goes:

hoping to bump into crush

Ah yes , Young Love. It is very common to find yourself hoping to bump into your crush. Unfortunately, this hope will inevitably make you very awkward. Everything you say will come out in Idiot, you’ll catch yourself tripping on microscopic pebbles, and suddenly, your appearance will completely refuse to comply with your wishes.

The good news is that this reaction you are about to experience is completely normal. The best thing you can do here is to enlist help. Figure out which of your friends is least likely to mock you for your new crush, and get them to help you engineer some meetings. The key is to make it seem like you’re more comfortable than you are. If you can arrange to meet this person in some situation where you have something else to be doing, that’s ideal. Don’t make it a performance, or anything requiring a lot of concentration that you might easily mess up. Think facepaint, not brain surgery.

And then go for it. Happy Valentine’s day, my dear anonymous searcher. Also, way to be persistent, cause I’m pretty sure that cupcake nation comes up really really far down the list of results for “hoping to bump into crush.”

Workshop

This quarter I have the first creative writing workshop of my Stanford career that is led by someone OTHER than my first poetry teacher, whom I seem to have minorly stalked through all of his course offerings over the past year. This quarter, class is led by Mark Doty, who is charming and wonderful in every way, but it’s also about twice the size I’m accustomed to, and for some reason (perhaps the size, perhaps the different set of students) it’s felt a lot more uncomfortable to me.

I think part of the problem is that I keep bringing work that I already like into workshop, and things that I see as being pretty close to done, which means that I’ve set myself up already to reject whatever (usually contradictory) advice I am given. Class goes like this, with the italicized bits happening only in my head:

Student 1: I think you should make these stanzas narrower, more blocklike.

Yeah, right. I think you shouldn’t put an eagle in your fridge poem, but did you listen to me? NOOOooo.

Student 2: I agree. This looks not-so-nice on the page.

Yeah? YEAH??? YOUR NOSE LOOKS NOT SO NICE ON YOUR FACE, PUNK.

Student 3: I don’t know. I don’t really underSTAND what the poet MEANS here. I mean, this SENTENCE isn’t GRAMMATICAL.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

This makes it sound like I don’t like the class or my classmates, which really isn’t true. As a whole, the class has been great, I just find myself really frustrated by workshop, especially when I set it up against the Levinthal tutorial I’m also doing this quarter, which is basically two hours a week about how awesome I am. (I kid, but no seriously. It rocks.)

I feel like poems (by me and by other people) I genuinely really like get a lot of criticism on minor points in class and the few (very few) poems I strongly dislike get praise. I don’t know if this is due to differences in taste, or if everyone is just uncomfortable criticizing work too much and therefore compensates by complimenting weak writing rather than really digging into what’s wrong with it…I just don’t know. This quarter has been a really strange balance between feeling like I’ve found my feet and I’m writing things I genuinely am proud of and wondering if that feeling is just because I have someone who’s dedicated to helping me and only me.

My new plan is to only bring things I’m sure aren’t done into workshop. No more of this trying to impress the famous writer business. I don’t feel like giving my finished work plastic surgery, and maybe I’ll enjoy workshop more if I’m really ready to change the things I bring in. It’s a strange line to walk between trying to portray your best writer self to a room full of people you respect and a major poet you admire, and trying to actually get something out of the group experience.

I don’t think this post has an end, and since none of you (I think) are grading me on it, I’m just not going to end it, so THERE, LITERARY CRITICISM. SO THERE.

My day of SUCK

Yeah, I know. I didn’t do any of those things that I said I would do. In fact, I did so little that my stats say that none of you come here anymore, which is kind of hahahilarious to me, and also kind of sad. Although, why would you come here when there is never anything new to see? I do not know. Know, I do not.

Yesterday, I had ye olde day of suckage. It was like this:

Dear Mary,

You suck.

Love,

The world

I was grumpy, although there was no reason. I spilled things. I spilled things ON things. I didn’t write papers I should have written (and I AM writing right now, hahaprocrastination for the win). I whacked my shins on things. I lost things. I forgot things.

It was really and truly ye olde day of suckage.

The good news (why do I always mistype “good” as “god”?) is this:

After tomorrow, I have no class or school obligations of any kind until Tuesday. Yes, that’s right, I have a six day weekend, or I like to call it, the weekend of WIN.

So here’s to banishing the suckage by tomorrow.

Tasting Menu

I have plans to post here, really and truly I do. Here are some of them, coming over the next, say, week:

1. A letter I wrote to Thursday when we were both 12. I was at summer camp, and I talked about boys, canoeing, and the food. My letters today are pretty much exactly the same. I will scan, we will discuss.

2. How I somewhat miraculously did not totally flunk my last GER. And now I am done. DONE, I TELL YOU.

3. Holy crap, I’m gradumacating quite soon! When did we all get so…old?

4. Haha just kidding, we’re not old, we’re FINELY AGED. LIKE CHEESE AND WINE.

5. Haha, just kidding, we’re only kidlings.

6. Haha, no, but seriously.

7. Wanna write me a poem? I’ll tell you how. You only wish I were kidding on this one.

8. I WIN, I WIN, I WIN, I got that one thing I really wanted, I did I did I did let’s throw me a party, ok? Ok. Lauren can come too, cause she’s also a champion. In other news, she got her wisdom teeth out recently , so everyone send her happy non-puking unswelling thoughts.

9. Some more random crap from my room, because the things I refused to throw away are SO INTERESTING.

Ok, now I have to go to bed, even though nine is a random number to stop at because it is 1:05 am and I am trying to get myself back on something vaguely resembling a regular sleep schedule. See you soon!

JJ

Irons Out: The Quarterly Finals Procrastination Post

Welcome to the QFPP!

Hee. I love a good acronym, especially one that’s particularly hard to pronounce. I think we should all pronounce QFPP as “QUIFF-puh,” just because we can. The man may tell us otherwise, but we will prevail. QUIFFPUH REVOLUTION!

So, I tried to write a real post, and I couldn’t, so I’m going to do a MEME post. My very first meme! How psyched are you? SO PSYCHED!

Here goes:

The Rules

1. Put your iPod (or MP3 player) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag friends who might enjoy doing the note as well as the person you got the note from. [this I'm not doing cause, um, tagging is kind of weird, like "here, DO THIS because otherwise you're boring and not a nice person."]

IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?

One Of These Things First (Nick Drake)

Well, this one is remarkably grammatical, and yet manages to leave so many questions! What are “these things”? Which one of them will I say first?
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?

This Year’s Girl (Elvis Costello)

Ah yes, I am a seasonal flavor of girl, most appealing in my own vintage, but everyone desperately wants me, because I am the IT GIRL. Or so says Elvis Costello.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?

Long As I Can See the Light (Creedence Clearwater Revivial)

First of all, I would just like to say that it is HARSHLY unfair that it didn’t pick “Purpose” from Avenue Q, because that would be too too awesome. I briefly considered cheating and just SAYING that it picked that, but it just seemed too dishonest. That said, I don’t know. I guess that the king of iPod shuffle thinks that I should be a wanderin’ man?

Guess I’ve got that old travlin’ bone, cause this feelin’ won’t leave me alone.
But I won’t, won’t be losin’ my way, no, so
long as I can see the light.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner (Belle and Sebastian)

The future’s looking wonderful
It’s the wonder of the businessman’s conspiracy to sell you wares
No one cares
Oh, you care, I know
You care, I know
You care, I know
I forgot for a while

So I guess I’m an optimist? Except that Belle and Sebastian really isn’t very optimistic, so maybe I’m sarcastic and actually a pessimist? This is all very confusing. OH, and apparently I CARE, and that is very important. So important that it’s worth saying THREE TIMES.

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?

Be True To Your School (The Beach Boys)

They think I am loyal? And true? To my….school? Apparently? Or maybe they’re loyal to me?

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?

Before You Cry (Camera Obscura)

This song is depressing. I OBJECT, god of the iPod. I OBJECT.

WHAT IS 2+2?

My British Tour Diary (Of Montreal)

Um. No. No it isn’t. Just because I’m an English major doesn’t mean I don’t remember how to add. 2 + 2 = 4. FOUR.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?

Forever Love (Anna Nalick)

A little schmaltzy, but ok.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE

Broadway (Goo Goo Dolls)

Um. Hm.

You see you’d love to run home
But you know you ain’t got one
‘Cause you’re livin’ in a world that you’re best forgotten
And when you’re thinkin’ of a joke
And nobody’s gonna listen
To the one small point
I know they been missin’ round here

That does not sound happy.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?

Riches and Wonders (The Mountain Goats)

SCORE. I love me some Riches and Wonders!

and I am healthy, I am whole
but I have poor impulse control
and I want to go home
but I am home
we are strong, we are faithful
we are guardians of a rare thing
we pay close careful attention
to the news the morning air brings
we show great loyalty
to the hard times we’ve been through
We are filled with riches and wonders

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?

Thanks That Was Fun (Barenaked Ladies)

godPod, what is up with the depressing song picks? At least I like the song. That’s something.

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?

Green Gloves (The National)

They think that I…wear green gloves?

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?

No One’s Gonna Come (Sondre Lerche)

Hah! No one will come to my wedding! That is awesome, godPod, really, thank you.

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?

Don’t Lose Yourself (Laura Veirs)

…I’ll try not to…when I’m dead?

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?

Modern Romance (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

…….no comment.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?

All The Trees Of The Field Will Clap Their Hands (Sufjan Stevens)

It’s true! I’ve been hiding it from you all for years, but now I can tell you! The trees are ALIVE! And they’re going to start moving and clapping and crazy things!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Ella Fitzgerald)

Well, it’s nice that I want them to be merry.

WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?

Dance Hall Days (Wang Chung)

Wang Chung IS scary.

HOW WILL YOU DIE?

Three Months to Live (Christine Lavin)

Ok, now that’s just not fair. I swear I did not cheat to make this come up.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?

Eye Surgery (Thomas Newman) from the WALL-E soundtrack

Well, I haven’t HAD eye surgery, but I will try not to. Lasik is officially off the list, then.

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?

Galang (M.I.A)

True fact.

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?

The Beauty of the Rain (Dar Williams)

I’m a poet, have you heard?

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?

Rock and Roll Girl (The Icicles)

I’m guessing that’s a no? Especially with the whole no one’s coming thing.

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?

Relax, Take It Easy (MIKA)

Relaxing is terrifying! Never relax! CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?

Rain Street (The Pogues)

This flat out makes no sense.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?

Wake Up (The Arcade Fire)

I would…wake up more? Wake up less?

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?

Damn This Foolish Heart (Stellastarr*)

Aww. Not true, but Aww.

And that was my first meme. Was it as boring for you as it was for me?