Friday, February 13, 2009


I got the job! The hours are weird, I'd have to travel around NYC a lot, and it doesn't actually start until September, but at least I have a fallback option if nothing else pans out. I think I'll try to look for another part-time position because I'm not going to want to work 40 hours a week on a schedule completely opposite from other normal people.

Okay, so off to look at available apartments...*I hope Cobble Hill stays down in price for a little longer!*

weekend away

I have my first ever real job interview today! I've never had to go through this process before, so it's exciting but stressful. Not to mention I found out about it last minute, so I had to make plans to get myself to Manhattan and back. I drove down to my brother's apartment last night, and I'm staying with them until tomorrow, then I'll go see my other brother and his spawn before finally going to see John tomorrow night. And then I'll turn around and go back to Ithaca. Meh.

I hope to get some shopping in but it's seeming unlikely at this point. My interview is all the way downtown and I don't think I'll want to go back to midtown and wander around in my heels. But damn I need to go shopping - maybe I'll be able to tomorrow after seeing my brother and his family. I had my heart set on a bra fitting (the last one I had was when I was 15 probably!) at a nice place but my mother thinks I should put in my CV at some other places. My job prospects are not looking great - bad economy, just out of school with little experience - but there's a book binding shop I've had my eye on, maybe I could try there...

Anyway, I didn't realize until yesterday or so that I'll be spending Valentine's Day with the boy - it will be the first time in 4 years I'll "have a Valentine" (ew) and it's weirding me out a little.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Well. Today was sort of a strange day. It started off with Shakespeare porn, took a trip down Senior Year Physics Class Lane, and ended with a whole lot of cheese. I love cheese.

Anyway, I can never decide whether Intro to Poetry is painful in a hilarious way or just painful: there are freshman there who are so pleased with themselves that they understand the concept that POETRY USES METAPHOR. Good job, random freshman! You win! Yes, poetry is sometimes tricky because writers will USE LITERARY DEVICES. Imagine that. I never would have guessed that when Whitman said his soul was like a spider he didn't mean his soul was actually a spider!

On the other hand, yes, these are inexperienced people, and for good reason. I'm not supposed to be in that class. So we're doing Shakespearean sonnets and some of the newbies were quite horrified at finding that good old Shakes liked men. And women. And sex, a lot. And he wrote about it in vulgar manner. Dear me! My favorite person in that class, the guy with the blue, blue eyes, was not present.

I went and sent John a sonnet via Facebook. Number 138 - it deals with lovers who lie to each other, and they each know they're lying. It's planned, calculated psychological warfare to benefit oneself. I thought it appropriate.

The blue-eyed boy and I (I really should find out his name, but it's rather awkward now) discovered the astronomy chapter we didn't read dealt with all that speed/frequency/energy of light crap that was drilled into my head in high school physics. I was pretty pleased with how much I remembered, and I think we both passed the quiz.

Then. I went to my first ever therapy session. K recommended it and I trust her. I spoke to a counselor and she seemed a little puzzled by me. I am an expert dodger, and though I directly and openly answered fact-related questions, I managed to get around anything having to do with my own habits and feelings. It reminded me of a scene from a favorite TV show where an anorexic girl demonstrated the technique required to make people think you're eating while you sit holding a conversation with them. I didn't really like that the scene came into my head then. My next meeting with her is next Weds, after I see John again. We'll see.

And I had lots of bread and cheese for dinner. Between moving and freaking therapy I figured I deserved it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

little name rant

I just read a little story on a name blog: a woman's at-that-time boyfriend was living with a French-Canadian man, who had a name she was unfamiliar with. Her boyfriend didn't particularly like the man, but she thought the name had a pretty sound. Years later they wind up naming their first daughter that name, spelled how the woman heard it phonetically, Mishay.

Okay. First of all, it's weird to name your kid for an old roommate your SO didn't like. (I think the name Aurora's pretty, but knowing my roommate Aurora will turn me off using it forever!) Second, no one could be bothered to find out what this man's actual name was?!

I'm not all that familiar with the Québecois dialect, but my best guess at re-translating that phonetic spelling into French is Miché. Going a bit further, to relate it to an actual word/name, and considering it's being heard by an ear that did not speak French at all, I will guess the name was Michel. A quintessential French masculine name. If I'm right, I'd almost rather her have used the ridiculously manly Misha. French version of Michael or Russian version of Mike? At least it's disguised a bit as Mishay, I don't know.

I don't understand how people name their children without doing even a little research on the name. (Oo, Dima's pretty, let's name our daughter to evoke a burly Russian man! [I see it can be a feminine Arabic name, but still.]}

Or how they can decide on a name without saying the whole thing together first. I just found out my idiot of a cousin did this with his son born today, whom he named Mason frigging Carpenter. By all means, go ahead and use ugly occupational surnames for your son, but not when there's already an occupational surname in his name! *headdesk*

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

maybe related to the previous post

It's 1:18am and there is a strange periodical pounding noise that sounds like it's either on the side of our house or the door/side of our neighbor's house. I can't really tell. But somehow I feel like it has something to do with the drunks/crackheads that hang around next door...

Oh I now I'm hearing some strange moaning! Sounds like the beginnings of another weird argument in the alleyway. Ah, good times.

Monday, February 2, 2009

my neighbors the crackies

I live in a strange neighborhood. You would think, having grown up partially in New York City and spending a fair amount of time in not-so-savory areas, I would be somewhat immune to the fascinations of street dealers and their ilk. Not so.

I happen to live within the block and a half radius of this smallish upstate NY town that could be labeled as the "bad area." The house next door to ours is split into two apartments, top and bottom. I don't even know which of the people I see around all the time actually live in the bottom half, but it's safe to say at least one of the inhabitants is a crack dealer, and the others help with/work in the same business. The top apartment houses a couple (or single mother, I'm not sure) who seem to be "welfare queens," people who pop out kids to take advantage of the welfare system. Anyway, the downstairs people are the most entertaining.

Without fail, every day I see at least two unfamiliar vehicles parked outside the house next door. People get out, look around sketchily, and emerge a few minutes later. Individuals sit on the porch drinking out of bottles wrapped in paper bags, waiting to greet whomever is coming to buy whatever drugs they sell. The man who lives there is actually quite friendly and non threatening (at least in the daytime) and I usually wave or say hi when I walk by. His compatriots wander the sidewalks around our apartment at all times of the day and night, in various states of drunkenness or other sorts of inebriation.

They are not the brightest dealers I've ever encountered. The windows in my room face the alley between the two houses, and I can always hear exactly what they're saying when they're outside. You see, they are not smart enough to say, keep their voices down or work out deals inside, and instead have a fair number of arguments in places where I can plainly hear them. Most often the arguments are about money, but apparently someone who comes around is worried about the woman who lives there, often accusing her of being unpredictable, bitchy, and unreliable. I get the feeling it's related to her drug use but I don't know for sure. My favorite quote from her defending herself? "I ain't a crack whore - I deal crack!"

Every other week or so I come home to find squad cars outside our neighbors' house and often I see police talking to them on the porch. I've seen/heard at least 6 arrests there since I moved here in August; once there were 5 squad cars plus the sheriff, and they arrested 3 guys!

My roommates, who all come from pretty small towns and find this all really novel, are afraid to talk to our neighbors. The thing is, they're not really dangerous or threatening. Once a guy came to me on the sidewalk and asked for $20 - he was clearly drunk (at least) and wanted beer money. I regretfully informed him that as I was just running to the deli for some soup I had very little money on me. He was disappointed, but ventured that he had a gun in his pocket, in case that might refresh my memory. Now, he clearly didn't have a gun, but I wasn't stupid enough to point that out. I said a gun wouldn't do him much good in getting $20 if I didn't have any on me.

This conversation was all quite cheerful and friendly - much less menacing than it sounds - but I could tell that if not handled properly it could have become a bad situation. I usually think nothing of wandering around by myself at night but sometimes I actually feel safer in NYC than there. Most people would disagree on that count, I suppose, but I feel like it's harder for people to take threats seriously here. If one of my roommates had had the encounter with $20 guy here it's likely someone would have panicked and things could have gotten ugly. At least in NYC everyone expects loose cannons and are prepared - here the come at you from nowhere. That said, I've never had a real problem here. And hey, if my crackie neighbors continue to be entertaining and friendly, what do I care, really?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

music meme numero un

I recently had to restore my iTunes, so my top bands/artists are more like guesses combined with what's on my most frequent playlist on my iPod and what I've been listening to a ton lately.

Name your top 10 most played bands on iTunes (Or Last.FM):

1. Regina Spektor
2. The Beatles
3. Interpol
4. The Decemberists
5. Eric Whitacre
6. Led Zeppelin
7. Ben Folds
8. Fiona Apple
9. The Ramones
10. Myrtille

What was the first song you ever heard by 6 (Led Zeppelin)?
I was going to say "Stairway to Heaven" because, obviously, but actually I think it was "Kashmir."

What is your favorite album of 2 (The Beatles)?
Tough! The White Album or Abbey Road...hmm...Today I'm going to go with Abbey Road. But they're pretty much tied for me, I listen to them constantly.

What is your favorite lyric that 5 (Eric Whitacre) has sung?
Again difficult - mainly because as a composer he sets lyrics to music, he doesn't write them. Anyway, although I swoon over his setting of James Joyce's "She Weeps Over Rahoon" I have to say his "Five Hebrew Love Songs" have my favorite lyric (words by his wife, the wonderful poet Hila Plitmann):

“Larov,” amar gag la’shama’im,
“Hamerchak shebeyneynu hu ad;
Ach lifney zman alu lechan shna’im,
Uveyneynu nishar sentimeter echad.”

Translation: "Mostly," said the roof to the sky,/"The distance between you and I is endlessness;/But a while ago two came up here,/and only one centimeter was left between us."

How many times have you seen 4 (The Decemberists) live?
Once. They put on a fantastically fun, energetic, and interesting show, particularly in the Mariner's Revenge.

What is your favorite song by 7 (Ben Folds)?
Oh my goodness, without a doubt "The Luckiest." If I ever get married that is so very much my wedding song. Someone once asked me what song I wish was written for me and I said that one. It's just so amazingly simple, sweet, straightforward, and touching.

What is a good memory you have involving the music of 10 (Myrtille)?
It's probably the best music ever to just wander around during the spring/summertime. I like to take walks around evening or nighttime at home and one summer I would just walk for hours listening to the album Murmures on repeat.

Is there a song of 3 (Interpol) that makes you sad?
"Pioneer to the Falls" makes me sort of sad but it probably shouldn't. Their lyrics can be so weird to try to figure out but this one comes across to me as pseudo hopeful, if that makes sense. I feel like despite the reassurances he'll fall anyway.

What is your favorite lyric that 2 (The Beatles) has sung?
Haha, seriously? I could pull one from about half of their songs, but I'll go with "Living is easy with eyes closed" from "Strawberry Fields."

How did you get into 3 (Interpol)?
My best friend sent me "Specialist" and "Evil" and I loved both.

What was the first song you heard by 1 (Regina Spektor)?
"Samson," the slow version. I promptly listened to it 800 more times to transcribe it so I could play it myself.

What is your favorite song by 4 (The Decemberists)?
"The Island - Come and See/The Landlord's Daughter/You'll Not Feel the Drowning" - an amazing set and gotta love The Tempest as inspiration. Masterful transitions between the sections, love the wordplay, love the opening. I also love "We Both Go Down Together," so that was kind of hard.

How many times have you seen 9 (The Ramones) live?
Never. Have they even toured within the last 20 years?

What is a good memory you have involving 2 (The Beatles)?
One of my first moments of truly appreciating both them and the beauty of music theory - my theory teacher in 9th grade had us analyze "Let It Be" to study chord progressions. He also mentioned "Chopin-like appoggiaturas" in the vocals. I loved the simplicity of the progression and how much the melody depended on it. Then we listened while following the score and I fell in love!

Is there a song of 8 (Fiona Apple) that makes you sad?
"Never is a Promise" can make me bawl in the right mood.

What is your favorite album of 5 (Eric Whitacre)?
Uh, he doesn't really have albums, per se. I suppose "The Music of Eric Whitacre" with U of Miami Chorale and Brigham Young U Singers. The recordings on that are great but it's missing some of his best pieces.

What is your favorite lyric that 3 (Interpol) has sung?
"You make me lose my buttons"

What is your favorite song of 1 (Regina Spektor)?
Ah...I'm going to say "Samson" though I love "Aquarius."

What is your favorite song of 10 (Myrtille)?
Probably "L'ombre." The music is so deceptively upbeat for such introspective lyrics. But I love the tone of both and they actually mesh well for me.

How many times have you seen 8 (Fiona Apple) live?
Ergh...I wish!

What is your favorite album of 1 (Regina Spektor)?
Soviet Kitsch I think. It's just so innovative and overall awesome. This is despite the fact that I probably listen more to Begin to Hope.

What is a great memory you have considering 9 (The Ramones)?
Haha there are many. I had a great time playing Rockband with Nat's siblings to a bunch of Ramones songs. T and I have walked around campus on many days singing random songs, notably "Pet Sematary," "Sheena is a Punk Rocker," and "The KKK Took My Baby Away."

What was the first song you heard by 8 (Fiona Apple)?
I'm going to guess and say "Criminal."

What is your favorite cover by 2 (The Beatles)?
Ooo, by them. Once I heard a great live recording of them doing a Bob Dylan song, I don't remember what it was. Honestly I can't think of many covers they've done.