So, this is my life.
And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
the less you find out as you go
i knew much more then than i do now
neon heart day-glo eyes
a city lit by fireflies
they're advertising in the skies
for people like us
and i miss you when you're not around
i'm getting ready to leave the ground....
don't look before you laugh
look ugly in a photograph
flash bulbs purple irises
the camera can't see
i've seen you walk unafraid
i've seen you in the clothes you made
can you see the beauty inside of me?
what happened to the beauty i had inside of me?
time won't leave me as i am
but time won't take the boy out of this man
oh you look so beautiful tonight
in the city of blinding lights
the more you know the less you feel
some pray for, others steal
blessings are not just for the ones who kneel... luckily
Friday, May 30, 2008
in the past two hours and fifteen minutes, i think i experienced the full range of emotions i've felt in the past four and half years. and i don't think i'm the only one.
is that sad? that a film can be so manipulative/effective? or that there are so many emotions that one slight, blunt prod can almost burst the balloon like a pin prick, or at least tear the tiniest hole in it?
so as not to spoil it for anyone, i'll say only that it was fantastic. it was lovely.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
fast forward a couple decades, and all the veggies i reluctantly eat are grown in corporate fields and then packaged and, if i'm really lucky and feeling generous with my borrowed cash, has the lie "organic" somewhere on its wrapper. and now, all of a sudden, i'm not allowed to eat anything -- ANYTHING -- without first dousing it in cool water, boiling it 'til it's dead, and spraying it with expensive supermarket "Veggie Spray," which i'm sure you have seen in the produce aisle and which i'm pretty sure is nothing but water, poured into a windex bottle and sold for $5.99.
I HATE YOU, VEGETABLES!
no, actually, i hate the guilt. the horrible corporate guilt of it all, as if failure to wash my food before eating it will be the death of me and i'll have only myself to blame.
so today as i poured some lettuce (unwashed) from a bag onto my plate, sprinkled it with carrot chunks (unwashed, but some manufacturer found the time to cut them into crinkle-cut coins, so i would hope his lazy ass could spritz them with some agua before sealing the bag), and opened a pack of broccoli sprouts, i paused. "rinse thoroughly before eating," read the sprouts packaging. innnnteresting.
now i had a choice: i could wash these sprouts, at which time all the green (and, i assume, healthy) parts would fall off into my sink, and then try to shake the water from them, but inevitably i would fail to truly "dry" the sprouts. then i would put a pile of soggy, ruined, nutrient-ridden sprouts on top of my salad, only to wet everything else on my plate. OR i could risk e.coli or samo-- salma-- ... other diseases and enjoy the crisp, dry, antioxidant-packed sprouts on my salad. i chose the latter.
i want my lean beach body by august, and i don't care if it comes from healthy eating and exercise or if it is simply what's left of me after months of malaria, dengue fever, and food poisoning.
i still hate you, vegetables!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
but a friend of mine back in pittsburgh had a serious-looking astrology book -- you know, the kind with an engraving on the cover, some emblem that makes a good christian boy feel guilty for worshipping satan by even gazing upon the binding. and in this sacred wiccan text (presumably) there were no silly ann-landers-type daily horoscopes, but rather personality profiles based upon astrological sign. i will admit that these fascinated me.
i remember reading and being amazed at how on-point the profiles were -- not only for me, but also for several of my past and present lovers. how did the author choose various personality characteristics (read: flaws) and line them up precisely with my ex boyfriends' birthdays? amazing.
today a certain roommate of mine, who shall remain nameless, was online-stalking a certain cute person of the opposite sex, who shall also remain nameless, when she decided to check out his astrological profile. as she exclaimed about how on-point the profile was, i decided to take a look for myself.
sure, some of what it had to say was slightly vague, but a lot of the words hit close to home. it sure did sound like me. but, then, does anyone really know himself? maybe you can tell me what you think about my supposed personality. here's part of my profile:
Generous and warmhearted
Creative and enthusiastic
Broad-minded and expansive
Faithful and loving
On the dark side....
Pompous and patronizing
Bossy and interfering
Dogmatic and intolerant
They are ambitious, courageous, dominant, strong willed, positive, independent, self-confident there is no such a word as doubt in their vocabularies, and they are self-controlled...
They are at their most effective when in a position of command, their personal magnetism and innate courtesy of mind bringing out the best of loyalty from subordinates.
They are uncomplicated, knowing exactly what they want and using all their energies, creativeness and resolution to get it, as well as being certain that they will get whatever they are after.
If Leos meet with set-backs they thrive on the adversity.
On the whole they are powers for good, for they are strongly idealistic, humane, and beneficent. They have powerful intelligence and are of a broad philosophical, sometimes religious, turn of mind. Those who are devout may become very obstinate in upholding traditional beliefs and will cling tenaciously, but with complete sincerity, to practices and doctrines which liberal thinkers regard as absurdly out-of-date.
Their faults can be as large in scale as their virtues, and an excessively negative Leonian can be one of the most unpleasant human beings imaginable, displaying extreme arrogance, autocratic pride, haughtiness, and excessive hastiness of temper... Self-centeredness, greed for flattery, boastfulness, and bombast, pomposity, snobbish superiority, and overbearing, and intolerant disdain of underlings; to whom they will nevertheless delegate the carrying out of minor details in their grandiose schemes, and from whom they are not above borrowing immoderately if an occasion necessitates it.
In his or her relations with others the Leo type is open, sincere, genuine and trusting. Outgoing, spontaneously warm hearted and plain spoken, though never lacking in kindliness, Leos are more disillusioned than the average if let down by those they trust. They are not good judges of character and are inclined to favoritism and an exaggerated faith in their followers which too often ends in disappointment.
Pageantry and Grandeur
Ordinary,Day to day living
Small minded people
anyway, i don't really like to talk about myself.
what about your sign?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Let me help you. Step down. Here we go!
The drum major's widow! She's worn his coat since the day he died.
The horse's head has lost an ear!
That's the florist laughing. He has crinkly eyes.
In the bakery window, lollipops. Smell that! They're giving out melon slices! Sugarplum, ice cream!
We're passing the park butcher. Ham, 79 francs. Spareribs, 45!
Now the cheese shop. Picadors are 12.90. Cabecaus 23.50.
A baby's watching a dog that's watching the chickens.
Now we're at the kiosk by the metro.
I'll leave you here. Bye!
my favorite scene. magical.
Monday, May 26, 2008
and i'm not even catholic
but i need to get it off my chest
i had an iTunes downloading spree
only one artist, though
i know. i know. just... don't say anything to anyone, okay?
also, on a completely and totally and wholly unrelated note, i'm thinking of getting a video iPod so i can watch videos of jes-- um... of... oh, yeah, episodes of the office. like... while i'm not at home. or whatever.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
life is a fast, dizzying game;
life is a parchute jump;
it's taking chances, falling over and getting up again; it's mountaineering;
it's wanting to get to the very top of yourself and to feel angry and dissatisfied when you don't manage it.
Blogging--It's Good for You
Self-medication may be the reason the blogosphere has taken off. Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits... A study in the February issue of the Oncologist reports that cancer patients who engaged in expressive writing just before treatment felt markedly better, mentally and physically, as compared with patients who did not.
Scientists now hope to explore the neurological underpinnings at play, especially considering the explosion of blogs. According to Alice Flaherty, a neuroscientist at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, the placebo theory of suffering is one window through which to view blogging. As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a “placebo for getting satisfied,” Flaherty says. Blogging about stressful experiences might work similarly.
Flaherty, who studies conditions such as hypergraphia (an uncontrollable urge to write) and writer’s block, also looks to disease models to explain the drive behind this mode of communication. For example, people with mania often talk too much. “We believe something in the brain’s limbic system is boosting their desire to communicate,” Flaherty explains. Located mainly in the midbrain, the limbic system controls our drives, whether they are related to food, sex, appetite, or problem solving. “You know that drives are involved [in blogging] because a lot of people do it compulsively,” Flaherty notes. Also, blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to stimulants like music, running and looking at art...
Some hospitals have started hosting patient-authored blogs on their Web sites as clinicians begin to recognize the therapeutic value. Unlike a bedside journal, blogging offers the added benefit of receptive readers in similar situations, Morgan explains: “Individuals are connecting to one another and witnessing each other’s expressions—the basis for forming a community.”
maybe that explains this whole blog thing.
that would take too long to write
i probably should mention
the 7 that i like
the 7 things i like about you
your hair, your eyes, your old levi's
and when we kiss, i'm hypnotized
you make me laugh, you make me cry
but i guess that's both i'll have to buy
your hand in mine
when we're intertwined everything's alright
i wanna be with the one i know
and the 7th thing i like the most that you do
you make me love you
Saturday, May 24, 2008
i thought the sun rose in your eyes
and the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
to the dark and the empty skies, my love
to the dark and the empty skies
the first time ever i kissed your mouth
and felt your heart beat close to mine
like the trembling heart of a captive bird
that was there at my command, my love
that was there at my command
and the first time ever i lay with you
i felt your heart so close to mine
and i knew our joy would fill the earth
and last till the end of time my love
it would last till the end of time my love
and there have been a lot of those moments in my life as of late. i have lost control. i can't catch my breath. i need to take a moment but don't have one to take. and it's lovely.
in a frenzy of change, i graduated law school, began studying for the bar, found a new apartment, threw a wild and crazy party (couldn't have done it without the help of my lovely friends), and -- wildest of all -- rearranged my breakfast nook. i know, right!? crazy.
the past week is a blur, but here's what i know for sure:
i am loved. and i love. i want to hug my awesome friends and squeeze each one of them until he or she drops dead from being loved too much, or suffocated in my soft, curly chest hair. haha just kidding... i trim that off. but for real: squeeze to death. love. suffocate.
*t makes the best pizza ever, and because it's made with fresh ingreeds and whole-wheat crust, it is a negative-calorie food. it actually burns more calories to eat and say "mmmmm" than are contained within the food item itself. win-win.
sitting on top of my refrigerator and within it are: 5 entire bottles of vodka, incl. 1 handle, 1 belvedere, 1 skyy, 2 smirnoff regular sizes. 1 bottle malibu, 2 unopened red wines, 1 huge bottle of white wine and approx. 40 beers. if you're reading this, stand up. walk to my house immediately. knock on my door. come in. have a drink. or five of them.
i am skilled at willful blindness, mostly regarding the future. as i sit on my futon in my sunny living room, feet propped up, atticus asleep on the chair beside me, i allow myself to forget about the million and one things i have to do next week, next month, before the bar, blah blah blah. some might say this is "living in the moment," or tapping into "the power of now." that's a little different, but i'm trying to get better at that, too. in little ways. by breathing deeply. by relaxing my propped-up legs and feeling my feet tingle a little. by paying attention to the sunlight getting brighter and then disappearing as a cloud must be passing overhead.
i can be moody. irrationally moody. and i occasionally need reminders, like A telling me, "matthew, all your friends are here and everything is great. what are you upset about?" or cpgb reminding me that i'm being negative and/or allowing my ego to get the best of me. thanks for the reminders, bitches.
i need to buy enough furniture to fill a big apartment, and i neither the funds nor the time to do it. i've been thinking about not decorating. not right away. usually when i move into a new place, i can't sleep for a day or two because i won't sit down until everything is in its place, unpacked, decorated, cleaned, and organized. maybe this time can be different. maybe i can live in an empty apartment until august, when i'll have time to shop, decorate thoughtfully, and max out my credit cards. fun.
i am still the luckiest.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
i think all the cute med residents (in their sexy scrubs, no less) heading over to HUP could sense it, too. not only from me, but because there were 7 of us on the bus, all clutching the same 20-pound outline book, all with the same slightly far away look in our eyes.
the name of the game is routine. that's not so hard, is it? wake up early, go to review, work through the afternoon, have dinner, go to bed. it's really no different from the average working man's daily life, except we're not like that everyman. we've been in school for 20+ years, and surprisingly we don't do well with the same strict routine every single day.
it's only for 2 months.
it'll be fine. it'll be great. i feel nothing.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I took a step outside for some fresh air tonight. It's a beautiful, clear, and crisp Autumn evening in Australia, and all I could do was look up at the almost-full moon and stars. I said, "thank you," as I do whenever I'm moved by nature's sublime beauty. Then it dawned on me - I was praying.
Sixteen years of Catholic education drilled the standard prayers into our gourds to the detriment of a true relationship with what it's all about. While I recall that the priests and sisters who taught me would occasionally say that my relationship with God is mine alone, they'd immediately follow it up with the Lord's prayer or a request for intercession from the Virgin Mother. The relationship I was taught was formulaic and impersonal. But the prayers that work for me, both in times of awe and thanks and in times of pain and despair, are mine and mine alone with God. And they're closer to the Truth than any rule or catechism can convey.
There is a Spirit greater than me, but I am also a part of that Spirit. I am connected to It, and as much as It inspires me, my life, led well, is a gift back to It and makes It more whole, more alive, more dynamic. It strikes me that these little moments of prayer, of thanks, of wonder, of doubt, are indeed the most intimate moments of both humility and pride. The more of these moments I allow for myself, the closer to the Truth I'll arrive, and the more Truth will be lived.
from a one blog to another. from a Daily Dish reader.
Stuff White People Like #99: GRAMMAR
White people love rules. It explains why so they get upset when people cut in line, why they tip so religiously and why they become lawyers. But without a doubt, the rule system that white people love the most is grammar. It is in their blood not only to use perfect grammar but also to spend significant portions of time pointing out the errors of others.
When asking someone about their biggest annoyances in life, you might expect responses like “hunger,” “being poor,” or “getting shot.” If you ask a white person, the most common response will likely be “people who use ‘their’ when they mean ‘there.’ Maybe comma splices, I’m not sure but it’s definitely one of the two.”
* * *
Another important thing to know is that when white people read magazines and books they are always looking for grammar and spelling mistakes. In fact, one of the greatest joys a white person can experience is to catch a grammar mistake in a major publication. Finding one allows a white person to believe that they are better than the writer and the publication since they would have caught the mistake. The more respected the publication, the greater the thrill. If a white person were to catch a mistake in The New Yorker, it would be a sufficient reason for a large party.
Though they reserve the harshest judgment for professional, do not assume that white people will cast a blind eye to your grammar mistakes in email and official documents. They will judge you and make a general assessment about your intelligence after the first infraction. Fortunately, this situation can be improved if you ask a white person to proof read your work before you send it out. “Hey Jill, I’m sorry to do this, but I have a business degree and I’m a terrible writer. Can you look this over for me?” This deft maneuver will allow the white person to feel as though their liberal arts degree has a purpose and allow you to do something more interesting.
Don’t worry, it is impossible for a white person to turn down the opportunity to proofread.
dear writers of SWPL,
thank you. this means the world to me. all of my friends can vouch for this, as they roll their eyes.
i've spent the past 7 years of higher education circling typos and grammatical errors in textbooks and case briefs. i delight in the opportunity to proofread something - ANYTHING! - for a friend; but, honestly, i try to suspend judgment of their intelligence simply based upon grammatical errors... because i'm a nice person. thanks again!
(as my spanish professor called me)
A Grumpy Grammarian
Sunday, May 18, 2008
a sanctuary safe and strong
to heal the wounds from lovers past
until a new one comes along
i spoke to you in cautious tones
you answered me with no pretense
and still i feel i said too much
my silence is my self defense
Friday, May 16, 2008
over the course of about 1 page, elizabeth gilbert does the same - in her random, silly way - in eat*pray*love. her journey has led her to india, where she explores and fights against the human condition.
I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the "monkey mind" -- the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. From the distant past to the unknowable future, my mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the problem is the emotional attachment that goes along with the thinking. Happy thoughts make me happy, but - whoop! - how quickly I swing again into obsessive worry, blowing the mood; and then it's the remembrance of an angry moment and I start to get hot and pissed off all over again; and then my mind decides it might be a good time to start feeling sorry for itself, and loneliness follows promptly. You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment. It's sometimes like the habit of my dear friend Susan, who -- whenever she sees a beautiful place -- exclaims in near panic, "It's so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!" and it takes all of my persuasive powers to try to convince her that she is already here. If you're looking for union with the divine, this kind of forward/backward whirling is a problem. There's a reason they call God a presence - because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time...
* * *
"All I seem to do is argue with myself when I try to meditate."
-"That's just your ego, trying to make sure it stays in charge. This is what your ego does. It keeps you feeling separate, keeps you with a sense of duality, tries to convince you that you're flawed and broken and alone instead of whole."
"But how does that serve me?"
-"It doesn't serve you. Your ego's job isn't to serve you. It's only job is to keep itself in power. And right now, your ego's scared to death because it's about to get downsized... So your ego's fighting for its life, playing with your mind, trying to assert its authority, trying to keep you cornered off in a holding pen away from the rest of the universe. Don't listen to it."
i couldn't have said it better myself, despite my efforts to explain it to you this morning, A.
what can a person do in the 4 days left before the long haul of studying for the bar exam? i know i'm not the only one wondering that, because i've been keeping an eye on the away messages of my thousands of IM and F-book buddies, many of whom are asking, "what now?" and "ugh, raining, can't go down da shore. blah...." and "OMG what am i doing INSIDE when it's SO NICE OUT!? LOL!"
and here am i. i don't have a beach house in new jersey -- ooops, i mean "shore" house. sorry if any of you philadelphians were utterly confused when i said "beach." i have a farm house 3 hours away in the middle of pennsylvania, and my family isn't even there. my roommate's away for a week, so i'm home alone and won't even be getting any good cuddle time while watching this week's episode of The Office. my hopes to use this time to get super buff and hot have failed, as i don't feel like going up to the gym and i haven't yet joined one downtown.
oh, and i don't have a car. so even target is out of reach. don't get me started on a mall. don't even get me started.
so what now? how will i fill the day ahead?
it's 6:30 AM. (my effing bitch of a cat woke me up by basically knocking over the huge bookshelf in my room. very slight exaggeration.) i'm well-rested, though. it seems, through my windows, to be a nice rainy day outside. how relaxing. but i don't want to sleep all day... like i did yesterday. ahem.
the vast number of options can be crippling. so many possibilities, and i should decide what i'm doing while i still have motivation to do something. time to make a plan. so how does a healthy, able-bodied, young, temporarily "unemployed," FREE man fill his lazy days?
let's use hugh grant's "Units" theory from About A Boy:
each unit is 30 mins.
1. breakfast: 1 unit
as an aside, i bought egg whites in a carton because my lovely roommate, cpgb max azria, says i'm eating too many yolks; they look and taste and smell like a certain liquid that no one really wants to think about in the morning.
3. reading my new Men's Health, cover to cover: 1 unit
2. i forgot - first removing all the small paper insert special offer forms from the magazine because finding them as i read makes me want to cut someone: 1/2 unit
4. looking at (but not eating!) the chocolate on chocolate layer cake in my refrigerator: 1 unit
5. reading the long list of blogs i haven't checked for updates since last evening: 1 unit
6. mid-morning snack!!! usually string cheese!! woo! my favorite time of day: 1 unit
7. shower and dress to go see the outside world: 2 units
8. reading my new book, The Power of Now, at Starbucks: 3 units
after 3 units, i will no longer be able to sit at Starbucks and will have to rush the 1 block home because of that well-known scientific equation: coffee + my bowels + public restroom = bad.
9. dinner: 2 units
possibly referring back to this month's Men's Health and making a recipe from it... that is, only if the editors of MH were kind enough to include a dinner recipe calling for only the following ingredients:
-lean ground beef
-string cheese!!! wooo!
-extra garlic garlic garlic bad breath hummus
-frozen berries that have been in my freezer since christmas
-cvs brand clear sugar-free fizzy drink
i need to go grocery shopping again. already.
10. checking blogs for updates: 1 unit
first towleroad, then dlisted and if i'm super bored i'll hit up andrew sullivan and then perez. perez is a last resort.
11. friday night activities: the balance of units.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
anyway, the CA S.Ct. addressed that little argument as well, and i appreciated their comments:
First, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage clearly is not necessary in order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits that currently are enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples; permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage, because same-sex couples who choose to marry will be subject to the same obligations and duties that currently are imposed on married opposite-sex couples.
and another little piece, for good measure:
Finally, retaining the designation of marriage exclusively for opposite-sex couples and providing only a separate and distinct designation for same-sex couples may well have the effect of perpetuating a more general premise — now emphatically rejected by this state — that gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples. Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest.
Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.
as you can see, i've decided to celebrate after all.
at any rate, i'm not really feeling the desire to celebrate, though i am vicariously happy for californians.
such as my dear friend andrea. so i'll let her speak for californians on this monumental occasion. while her cynicism (for which we all love her) will add new and distinct tone to my blog, it's nice to hear a different voice every now and again, eh?
andrea added to the flood of celebratory emails that inundated my inbox today. seriously, i got about 20 e-mails about this one topic. to be honest, though, hers was the only one i read :-) 'cuz i'm laaaaazy.
Today is a happy day in California. The California Supreme Ct decision in the same-sex marriage case came out at 10am and it's GOOD...really good.
As most of you all know I have serious personal reservations about marriage and I do not believe that it is the right path for me or for a lot of the people that choose it. That being said, I believe VERY STRONGLY in equal rights and I do not believe that one subset of society (straight people in this case) should have the right to make the decision to marry while other groups do not have that right. Whether or not I want to marry or you want to marry, whether or not you are straight or queer or unsure, it is the right to make that decision for yourself that it so important.
Today the Supreme Court of California held that to be true as well when they struck down CA laws stating that marriage could only be between a man and a woman. They not only struck down these laws but they held them to be unconstitutional. This is a historic day for California citizens and although I don't imagine that all of you are quite as nerdy as I am sitting there clicking the refresh button on the CA court website at 9:58am waiting for the decision to come online, and then bawling through it when I realized that we had won, I do hope that you share in some of the joy that I did while reading the decision.
Whatever your thoughts on marriage, remember that there are those people out there that felt so strongly that they deserved and wanted the right to marry that they were willing to subject their personal lives and their relationships to the whims of the courts and the media in order to fight for it. As someone who stood beside couples during that fight in Washington state when the court decision was not so favorable and saw the devastation that withholding that right brought, I feel nothing but joy today and I am proud of California for recognizing the inequality that existed.
I've attached the decision. It's worth the read but if you're not into hundred plus court documents, at least skip to around page 115 and read the decision from there. And remember there is still a lot of work left in this battle. Days like today make me glad [and proud] that I'm going to be a lawyer.
* * *
i love that she wrote she learned that "we had won." in a way, we all have. not just homos and lezzies, but all of us. equality is a wonderful goal. and i guess i can feel that, all the way across the country. maybe it is worth celebrating after all.
on a more personal note, i would also like to mention that andrea is flying across the country in a few days for the sole purpose of visiting me and catching up........oh, and to graduate law school where she began the journey 3 years ago, blah blah blah nobody cares. primarily to see me. i swear. she told me. well.... she implied it.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
i'll be there for you if somebody hurts you
even if that sombody is me
sometimes i trip on how happy we could be
and so i put this on my life
nobody or nothing will ever come between us
and i promise i'll give my life, my love and my trust
if you was my boyfriend
bonnie & clyde. my favorite beyonce song eva... stuck in my head tonight.
and yes, it is a beyonce song. if u look on my iPod, it says nothing bout jay-z. NOTHING. i erased his name and put B's in the artist box instead.
now it needs to get out of my head. and i'll have to listen to/sing it all the way through in order to make that happen. excuse me while i go do that...
UPDATE: AS IF YOU CARE:
according to iTunes, B&C is not my fave B song.
rather, i've listened to In Da Club (this one actually is B covering his song) more than any other, followed by Welcome to Hollywood (about drugs, but it's hot) and Check On It (i think just because it's on my gym mix; otherwise, this baffles me).
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
i remember it like it was yesterday.
i was 12. i loved my rollerblades.
my girlfriend's name was katelyn. i may have held her hand, once or tw-- no, just once.
my favorite albums that year were The Sign and the Beaches soundtrack.
doesn't that just take you back?
from "The Neural Buddhists," by David Brooks
from NYT Opinion Pages
* * *
In 1996, Tom Wolfe wrote a brilliant essay called “Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died,” in which he captured the militant materialism of some modern scientists.
To these self-confident researchers, the idea that the spirit might exist apart from the body is just ridiculous. Instead, everything arises from atoms. Genes shape temperament. Brain chemicals shape behavior. Assemblies of neurons create consciousness. Free will is an illusion. Human beings are “hard-wired” to do this or that. Religion is an accident...
Over the past several years, the momentum has shifted away from hard-core materialism. The brain seems less like a cold machine. It does not operate like a computer. Instead, meaning, belief and consciousness seem to emerge mysteriously from idiosyncratic networks of neural firings. Those squishy things called emotions play a gigantic role in all forms of thinking. Love is vital to brain development.
Researchers now spend a lot of time trying to understand universal moral intuitions. Genes are not merely selfish, it appears. Instead, people seem to have deep instincts for fairness, empathy and attachment.
Scientists have more respect for elevated spiritual states. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania has shown that transcendent experiences can actually be identified and measured in the brain (people experience a decrease in activity in the parietal lobe, which orients us in space). The mind seems to have the ability to transcend itself and merge with a larger presence that feels more real.
This new wave of research will not seep into the public realm in the form of militant atheism. Instead it will lead to what you might call neural Buddhism...
First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is...
The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits. It’s going to come from scientists whose beliefs overlap a bit with Buddhism.
In unexpected ways, science and mysticism are joining hands and reinforcing each other. That’s bound to lead to new movements that emphasize self-transcendence but put little stock in divine law or revelation. Orthodox believers are going to have to defend particular doctrines and particular biblical teachings. They’re going to have to defend the idea of a personal God, and explain why specific theologies are true guides for behavior day to day...
Monday, May 12, 2008
and matthew says: replace "racism" and "sexism" with "homophobia" and "bigotry."
i, for one, believe that we, as a minority, are innately excellent. seriously! that probably sounds terrible, but listen... i don't know if it's in our DNA or if it's a coping/evolutionary mechanism, but many of the greatest contributors to philosophy, to science, and to art were homos, or at least alleged homos (in which cases there was usually cause for the assumption). i've read studies that show same-sex couples are excellent parents, based on the socialization, aggression, and intelligence of their children in comparison with their peers. gay men have long been known, and scientifically recognized, as being more compassionate, more sensitive, and more aesthetically inclined than other men. it's science, people. get with it.
along this vein, a wise man once said, "homosexuality is God's way of ensuring that the truly gifted aren't burdened with children." that man's name was sam austin. i have no idea who he is, and i don't have time to google him, because i'm busy not writing a paper i should be writing. but i know he is wise, because that quotation supports my thesis.
over time, the divisions of sexuality will no longer remain as strong. the homophobes of yesterday will be the colleagues and even the fans of tomorrow. the savvy businessman will be able to tell his clients about his same-sex wedding. talented artists will continue to be successful while at the same time being open about their sexuality. it's happening now, day by day. slowly, but it will continue.
the unnerving part about all this is that it requires something extra from us. it requires you to actually be excellent. to live up to your potential. to pursue your talent. to rise above oppression. to rise above repression, for that matter.
is it fair that some of us may have to try harder to get to the same place? no. but the playing field wasn't level for oprah, either. nor was succeeding in corporate america always fair for martha stewart. [editor's note: u know how i know ur gay? u read martha stewart's blog. ...oh wait, that's me. but it's such a good blog! it's in my links, over there -->] some of us will have to try harder to fit in among "the big boys." some of us will have to work more diligently to keep a squeaky-clean public image, in order to be above reproach. so these are the cards we've been dealt. let's play them.
EXCELLENCE is the best deterrent to homophobia and bigotry.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
the goal: a lean beach-ready body by august, as the yin to my previous goal of putting on weight (which i think i did fairly well with - 15 lbs from Christmas to may 1)
the punishment: no carbs, basically. well, some carbs at breakfast are ok, and fruit (which i don't really like anyway) is ok. also, increased cardio.
the preliminary results: in 8 days, i've lost 4 - maybe 5 - pounds, according to the scale at the gym. this is the same scale i've been using since december, even though my mom got me a scale for at home (a christmas gift. probably because at thanksgiving she and my brother both noted that i had "gotten a belly."). anyway, i don't use the at-home scale. it's glass, and i feel like i'm going to break it and have shards of glass in my feet. anyway...
so it's going well, right? 4 pounds lost in a week?
but no. because that wasn't really the plan. i didn't want to lose pounds, i just wanted to lose fat. and i thought that if i ate enough protein and fat, i could keep up my weight and yet somehow turn into this chiseled, muscular, big, lean machine. i was wrong. because i'm starving to death.
no matter how much i've eaten in the past week, i've remained hungry. i bet that if i'd have even one little triscuit or a crouton, i'd instantly feel satisfied. but i've tried not to do that. so here i am, wasting away to nothing.
i'm open to all advice you may have. remember the goal: beach bod, NOT skinny bod.
in a fit of not unexpected insomnia last night, i picked up Eat, Pray, Love from my nightstand and began reading. i forgot how much i love this book. have i told you? yes, i have. see about 20 of my previous entries about it.
before i knew it, i was through with italy and ready to begin india, which is the second part of the 3-part adventure. in case you forget, the book is the memoir of a woman who flees her post-divorce life and spends a year traveling in pursuit of happiness.
one of my faaaavorite parts:
He said, "Don't you know that the secret to understanding a city and its people is to learn - what is the word of the street?"
Then he went on to explain, in a mixture of English, Italian, and hand gestures, that every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there. if you could read people's thoughts as they were passing you on the streets of any given place, you would discover that most of them are thinking the same thought. Whatever the majority thought might be -- that is the word of the city. And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don't really belong there.
"What's Rome's word?" I asked.
"SEX," he announced.
"But isn't that a stereotype about Rome?"
"But surely there are some people in Rome thinking about other things than sex?"
Giulio insisted: "No. All of them, all day, all they are thinking about is SEX."
"Even over at the Vatican?"
"That's different. The Vatican isn't part of Rome. They have a different word over there. Their word is POWER."
"You'd think it would be FAITH."
"It's POWER," he repeated. "Trust me. But the word in Rome -- It's SEX."
Now if you are to believe Giulio, that little word - SEX - cobbles the streets beneath your feet in Rome, runs through the fountains here, fills the air like traffic noise. Thinking about it, dressing for it, seeking it, considering it, refusing it, making a sport and game out of it -- that's all anybody is doing..
Giulio asked, "What's the word in New York City?"
I thought about this for a moment, then decided. "It's a verb, of course. I think it's ACHIEVE."
(Which is subtly but significantly different from the word in Los Angeles, I believe, which is also a verb: SUCCEED...)
But Giulio was already on to the next and most obvious question: "What's your word?"
last summer as we were reading this for the first time, cpg and i decided that Philadelphia's word is HISTORY. because everyone here is obsessed with it. we want to be defined by its highs, and we want to overcome its lows. the bottom rung of society is desperately trying to escape it. and possibly more than in any other city in the US, HISTORY truly is all around us in Philly.
but what's my word? that's a tougher one to answer.
and what's yours, friend?
Thursday, May 8, 2008
-from About a Boy
that's basically my life this week.
today i slept 'til noon, then took a 2-hour nap. so wrong.
in my defense, it was a late night.
watched that movie. talked to atticus.
this is temporary, though.
i just wanted a taste of lazy summer.
i think i've satiated my hunger for now.
tomorrow i'll be productive. maybe even leave the house.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.
I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about."
-Mildred Loving, plaintiff in US Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down anti-miscegenation laws (anti-miscegenation means forbidding people of different races from marrying one another. which any second-grader would know, obviously. but in US history, these laws were enforced only with regards to blacks and whites inter-marrying.).
-my tax professor when i stopped in to see her this afternoon.
she makes a good point.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
i'd like to offer you my sincere thanks for a truly fantastic show tonight. your voice is amazing, you look great, and you made us laugh so much. further, it always amazes me how many instruments you have mastered. tonight alone you played about 10 different instruments, from the fiddle to the celtic flute, or whatever that was.
as e and i drove home, we remarked that so few people truly appreciate your talent and your grandeur. people know you for those big boobs (wow, they are absolutely huge) and honky tonk personality, but they don't realize how your voice fills a performance hall. maybe we should be thankful for this, because if the general public realized how amazing you are, we couldn't have gotten 5th row tickets for only $100 each. you are a musical gift.
how is it that i am lucky enough to know your music? my ma listened to you all my life, probably even while i was floating around in her womb. i was most likely born with a taste for your smoky mountain blues and fabulous wigs, and not just because i'm a big mo. it's in my blood.
if i could offer one tiny suggestion, i would advise you just to keep the racial comments to a minimum. when you were talking about your chinese imported wigs and said "you never can trust asian hair, so thick and coarse... and once you bleach it, who knows what it's gonna do," e and i looked at one another in shock.
we had a good laugh, as did all the other white people (and the one - really, i counted - one black person) in the audience. i genuinely think you're sweet and so funny, but i wouldn't want some uppity korean to take this the wrong way. you know how uptight they can be. (no offense to any readers, of course! my best friend is asian. just kidding, she's black. just kidding, she's a dirty irish. just kidding, they're not dirty. just kidding, everyone knows they are.)
at any rate, it was an amazing show. 2 hours of non-stop laughs and tears. just like the last time i saw you in concert, "i will always love you" brought tears to my eyes. you truly have a way with music. thank you for sharing that with me, and with the rest of the world. one day they'll all appreciate you.
very truly yours,
and if it takes a lifetime, then that's how long i'll wait
'cause all i want is everything, is that too much to ask?
have romance, love and passion; find magic that will last
and i want someone to think they'll die if they can't be with me
i want to be their joy, their pride,
their dreams, the very air they breathe
i want to wake up feeling loved and go to bed the same
yes, i want to be somebody's everything, somebody's everything
and i'm gonna be somebody's everything
big ups, it's dolly day!
Friday, May 2, 2008
continuing in the spirit of constructive criticism, i've decided to give myself a performance review. i should start off by saying that, thank Universe, my life is quite pleasant. things are going really well. that said, there is always room for improvement.
1. my positive outlook
i still maintain that positive thinking is immeasurably powerful. in my life, this extends to positive music and uplifting mantras as well.
2. my new diet
given, today is only the second day, but it's still going great.
i'll admit that my soul cried when i ordered a lettuce wrap "unwich" at jimmy john's for lunch, but it turned out to be delicious. apparently, if you put 4 tablespoons of real mayonnaise on anything, it will taste like heaven. even vegetables.
3. preparing for the summer
listen dawg, it's all figured out. i bought my regalia (gayest word ever) for graduation, i paid all my bar prep program bills, i got my bar apps in on time (kinda.... $100 gets you an extension), and my summer trip is planned, y'all.
4. my romantic relationship
that's right, kids. i've taken a lover. or, as SJP would say, "a luvvah." too gay? sorry.
um, i guess all there is to say is that things are going well. i'm sublimely happy. boy seems to be happy. we have fun. i still laugh at his Borat impressions. who could possibly ask for more?
5. adventures in the gym
a few months ago i had a serious conversation with luke, my friend circle's token muscular gay, about branching out, trying new exercises, and experimenting. it's sometimes difficult for me to try a new technique, because i feel like people will watch me and judge my form. luke assured me that no one was watching me, because every buff hunk in the weight room of the gym is looking only at himself.
since that conversation, not only have i noted the proud stares and doting looks the gym hunks cast into the mirror at their own reflections, but i've overcome my anxiety about experimentation. and i feel good about it. i've even begun showering at the gym, though that's an entirely different discussion of overcoming anxiety.
1. my addiction to blogs
this one i've been trying for years to kick, and still i haven't made a dent in it, with the exception of during lent, at which time i abstained (almost) completely from the blogosphere. i will re-assert that i, myself, never accessed a celeblog. if others happened to be viewing such material on their monitors, i may have been prone to glancing in the general direction of -- YOU KNOW WHAT? i don't have to defend myself. eff you pigs!
but lately the blog viewing has gotten out of hand once again. how can i possibly study if there is the possibility that heidi and spencer were photographed in public for the 2038th time this month, and i might not have seen the latest pics? life is hard.
2. focusing on studying in general
again, life is hard. i'd rather do anything right now than study for monday's final. eff.
3. giving up beer
in the beginning of the night, i behave intelligently. i get seltzer in my drinks, rather than sugary tonic. i stick with fairly harmless vodka. then after a few of those, i get out of hand. first i order tonic, which is like sucking down an entire bottle of Sue Bee's honey.
next i'm ordering beer, because at 1 am, that's really all i want to drink, and because it's less likely to spill on the dance floor, unless i get it in a big mug and then drop it in the middle of the floor, like that time at sister's with E and T. mortifying. i can't even -- whatever.
4. teaching Atticus a little French
i feel so embarrassed sometimes by how un-cultured my only child is, so lately i've begun speaking french to him. only in small doses, because - let's be honest - my own command of the language is at about a three year old's level.
but when i say "bonjour le chat!" or "oooh, mon chat noir!" he barely responds. is it possible that Attipuss shares our nation's unwarranted disdain for the birthplace of champagne and croissant?
5. eating fruits & veggies
last week i ate a rotten banana just to prove cpg wrong, because she says i never finish the produce i buy before it goes bad. apparently frozen vegetables don't count?
cpg remains correct, despite my eating that banana, because it was so rotten that i spread it onto bread as if it were butter. and then i gagged it down. anything to prove a point. i mean, what? i didn't just admit that.
starting TODAY, i'm going to eat more fruit. well, no. that requires going to the grocery store. but i will eat more fruit-flavored trident, and when i finally make it to rittenhouse mark-up, i'll buy some fruit. and i may even eat it.
okay, that's enough criticism for now. i feel totally deflated. and you know, it's amazing that there's so much room for improvement, considering how flawless i undoubtedly appear to everyone who knows and/or encounters me.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
beside me on the floor, atticus is eating his meow mix, but not as a normal cat would do.
i watch him as he reaches his paw into the dish, grabs a handful of food, and pulls it out onto the floor. some of the food falls right beside the dish, while other chunks roll a few inches away. atticus eats only the food that falls right outside the bowl, leaving other food scattered within a foot of his dish.
thus ends the mystery of how and why cat food gets scattered throughout my apartment.
my cat is so crazy.