“I, too, dislike it”: Poetry and the Arts


She’s sitting at a public library computer, staring down at the keyboard and thinking, “This nail color isn’t working out the way it’s supposed to.” Ok, so there’s a reason I had such a hard time finding green. I’ll call it a beginner’s mistake and move on.

I like painting my nails, now. Mostly, it gives me something to look at — when I’m typing, when I’m doing dishes, when I’m walking and my hand swings just into view at the corner of my eye. But this strangely light, irritatingly metallic green sheen thing I’ve got going on — it keeps my interest, at least, but that’s less in the “oh, pretty colors” way and more the repulsed way in which I watched 80% of Santino’s presentations that season of Project Runway. I am glad he made it to the finale, though, because I thought his final collection was the best and should have won — Chloe’s put me to sleep and Daniel V. absolutely horrified me (while also putting me to sleep. Strange feeling).

And yeah, they’ve been giving PR marathons on Bravo all damn week. The fifth season starts on Wednesday, apparently — seems a little soon for me, but I’m not complaining. Auf Wiedersehen .

A Stevenson quote to start things off melodramatically. I’ve mentioned my trip last month to Baltimore a couple of times, mostly in a “yes, I’ll be writing about that sometime tomorrow” capacity. It’s because I’m actually useless a blogger. Still, I finally pried my lazy fingers off the remote long enough to log Day 1, or Part One in My Seven Part Series: Baltimore, I Went, And I Came Back. It Was Nice.

When I came home from Baltimore, guilt-stricken over the complete abandonment of my commitment to document every moment of my trip, I wrote down everything we had done by day until I could develop the list into a proper post. Then a week went by and I lost that list. I wrote another, much shorter and shame-ridden list later on.

I left Hometown on Sunday, arriving earlyish afternoon at the airport – which is outside of the city somewhere between Baltimore and DC. My sister is currently doing her part to uphold the proud family tradition of not driving until well into middle age, so her ex-boyfriend had the honor of hauling all my crap into town. The drive to Charles Village was the greatest introduction to the city as usual (last time it was a bus, a commuter train and a taxi – also a great intro to the city, for the poorer student. But we’ve moved up in the world since then, so, car). The highway was so tiny I didn’t realize we were on it. If the regular roads in Hometown looked anything like the highway just outside of Baltimore I wouldn’t have all these hangups about driving at all (she declared arrogantly). My sister and I spent some time mockingly referring to everything as quaint, which is slightly bitchy, but there’s not else you can do when presented with this out of a car window:

baltimore from a car

(That was driving past an area called Little Italy – supposedly [there’s always a healthy chance that my tour guides lied about everything I now claim to know about Baltimore]). Actually, I think it really is incredibly quaint looking, which is not a bad thing.

Here’s what my list looks like for “Sunday”:

– Sweeney Todd
– Shopping
– Nature walk (?)

By “shopping” I mean grocery – we stopped in for some basic necessities my sister had been doing without. There’s nothing like having a guest over to make you start living like a proper human being, I guess. She has one of those little neighborhood grocery stores I hear tell of – not a gas stop convenience store or a supermarket, but an honest to god grocery store, the kind owned by grocers. We even ran into someone she knew while we were there, and there was a brief and friendly conversation, which should tell you the kind of neighborhood she’s running around in.

Then we did go home and watch Sweeney Todd on video, because dammit, my sister knows how to show a good time. It actually was a great movie, and a month later I find myself listening to several of the songs in my ipod and singing “Half a minute can’t you sit – sit you down – sit! All I meant is that I haven’t seen a customer for weeks” obnoxiously over many a sink full of soapy dishes. Although I was a little disappointed with Johnny Depp’s acting in that movie. Yes, I said it! I still love the boy, but I just wasn’t taken in by his part in the movie. Of course, I’m also going to say that a lot of that was Todd’s underdeveloped character – you really never know much about him, and he doesn’t have much of a personality besides being a bit of a moralist, perhaps, and then whole “vengeance” and “mental instability” thing. He doesn’t even have a particularly obsessive personality for all that. Mrs. Lovett was by far better developed (and also – sorry Johnny, I do still love you – probably better acted). Made the movie, for sure.

We may or may not have gone for a walk down at the park. Not on Sunday I mean, but then maybe so. The point is, there’s this nature trail slash dog park slash children’s playground to which we made several visits throughout the week. It’s a fantastic mix of dangers, with severe pitfalls and potential axe-murders throughout the trail, man-eating, vicious dogs roaming the unenclosed (possibly completely impromptu) “dog park” (or possibly, football field illegally being used by the neighborhood dog owners), and children all around the playground (total swing hogs).

That was a bunny we saw not on the nature trail (which was amusingly completely devoid of life), but in the sidewalk on our way to the apartment. Because Baltimore is occasionally unbelievably quaint.

 

* This isn’t me endorsing R.L. Stevenson in any way as a poet, novelist or human being. I’d never even heard of the guy until yesterday and haven’t read any of his work. I just like the quote.

Ok, so I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. Even now, I can’t be bothered to give this post a proper name. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been oh-so-busy lately that I don’t have ten minutes to spare, but life has just been more of the same — which is probably the problem. I feel utterly uninspired. I want to write about things, but I feel completely uninspired. I want to write about my Baltimore trip because hey, fun, but ‘m just being bleh about it. I think I really need the hundreds of pictures I took for fodder, and I’m still waiting for those to come in the mail.

I could write about my on-going job hunt, but, God, that’s just depressing, innit? I mean, not quite in love with the idea of analyzing why I can’t get any work at all while the high school kids are getting picked up left and right (as my mother reminds me daily, as if this is supposed to inspire me to be brilliant at interviews or magically grant me previous experience). I should be bottled and sold in early morning paid programing – “Essence of Tuesday will repel employers for up to four months! No more worrying about excess money ever again!” and so on.

So, yeh. I predict boring posts few and far between for the time being. In an attempt to cheer myself up a bit, here’s one of my favorite poems, by A.E. Houseman (yes, again! I don’t have the patience to be diverse right now, I’m afraid):

Yonder see the morning blink:
The sun is up, and up must I,
To wash and dress and eat and drink
And look at things and talk and think
And work, and God knows why.

Oh often have I washed and dressed
And what’s to show for all my pain?
Let me lie abed and rest:
Ten thousand times I’ve done my best
And all’s to do again.

– A.E. Houseman

I love that kid – he says it all and rhymes, too.

A rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.
– Robert Frost

Something light for Saturday.

cast of Rock the Cradle

A commenter in my last post asked, “What is Rock the Cradle?” I’d like to be able to answer that using words alone, but have found that I can’t capture the horror of it fully without sound and image reinforcement.

Rock the Cradle an MTV show about aspiring musicians. It’s a competitive reality show where all the contestants sing, and each week one or two are eliminated by public vote – yes, another American Idol rip-off. Except, all of these contestants are extra-extra special, because they’re all sons and daughters of “famous” (?), established musicians already. Really, it’s just a forum for people to judge celebrities’ kids. None of the kids are particularly talented as far as I can tell, but they can be amusing to watch. I’m not going to put up any clips of them singing, because I’m not that mean, but here are the commercials for the show before they started airing (I think they say it all).

The final four:

…Yeah.

And, I know I said I wouldn’t have them sing, but how could I not show you Jesse Blaze? Actually, he’s entertaining and all but what I really wanted was a clip of poor Chloe. I’m going to root for her to win just because she is probably a bit less than sane. I say that fondly (after watching someone very nearly break down every week for howevermany weeks, how can you not be fond of them? Come on, now).

Jesse Blaze Snider, singing “Prisoner of Society” by Living End. Well, after a lot of tense pauses and the announcement of who’s going home. The clip is really too long (I would skip the first few minutes and the last few minutes), but I included it because Jessie takes his shirt off, flips (literally), ect. No, I don’t find this attractive, but watching Thursday night I kept staring at the screen incredulously. Like, seriously? But that’s, I guess, what this show is all about.

The finale is Thursday May 8 at ten PM East Coast time (this is barely a sentence, isn’t it?). I’ll probably be tuning in, sadly, so I guess they did something right with marketing and hypnosis or whatever they did to get me watching. I think Crosby will probably end up winning, and he’s likable and seems nice enough. But I still would prefer a Chloe win (though I think Jesse Blaze, though a ridiculous person, probably wants it just as much as her, if not more, and they both seem more invested than Crosby to me).

The drama!!1!

You can watch full episodes of this hot tranny mess on the official website.

I’ve spent the whole day watching Little House on the Prairie, eating delicious, somewhat stale cake and waiting around to see if anyone will call with a job offer. And dammit, I don’t feel guilty about any of it!

I went job hunting for the first time on Monday, but I’ll write more about that later. The only thing of note that happened today was that one of the little, hideous baby birdies fell out its nest. Stupid thing. I wanted to snap a picture or two, but that would have ventured into cold-hearted-bitch territory. I mean, I felt pretty compelled to put it back as soon as I saw it, and not find the camera. I put on gardening gloves first, thinking of that old wives’ tale about how you shouldn’t touch baby birds, and put it back in the nest (which really is getting very crowded with four growing birds. I don’t think it was very well-thought out). It’s hard to describe how fug these babies are – and I say that being extremely fond of them – they’re like a cross between a little dinosaur and a dead, ready-to-cook turkey at the supermarket. But the little beast looked really cute in my hand, probably because it’s so teeny. Things I can crush with my bare hands seem to soften my cold, dead heart (like kittens, or emo!boys).

A few hours later, another one had tumbled down (at least, I hope it was another one, or one of these little birdies is going to have brain damage). I went out to check on them because MamaBird was screeching (chirping? she makes a weird, lowish sort of groaning sound) up a storm. It appears that she has no way of getting the chicks back up the tree once they fall, which is stupid, and unfortunate, especially since she insists on attacking me every time I try to help.

Looking at the nest, I can see the problem is that it’s much too small – perhaps she didn’t anticipate four kiddies? – and, as self-appointed protector of all things BirdFamily, I’m wondering what to do about this. Maybe I shouldn’t do anything – maybe Mamabird’s shoving kids out on purpose, to make room for the others – but I kind of doubt that. I briefly considered replacing their nest with another, or a fake – a roomier one, obviously – but that would probably have some weird effect where she doesn’t recognize the babies as hers, or something. My mother wants to put something in the tree under the nest – some sort of platform so they won’t fall all the way to the ground. I’ll probably end up just put a towel on the ground under the tree – over the cement that’s there, ’cause, ouch. And yes, I’m probably spending too much time thinking about this.

Aside from that, Things I’ve Done That Are Unhealthy Today include: eating the vast majority of that cake I made the other day. Not to worry, though, it was all part of the plan – now that all the cake is gone, I can guiltlessly have a pudding cup or two while I watch Rock the Cradle tonight. Yes, I sometimes watch Rock the Cradle. Shut up.

Heh. I’m straight, I swear.

Now, a confession: I couldn’t watch all of Gossip Girl last night, though I tried. I did enjoy Trachtenberg’s scenes (and I was right about them loading up on the eye-makeup!), but the b and c plots (which, GG? You really only subplot per episode, thanks) were so eye-rollingly ridiculous I actually preferred A&E’s shameless exploitation of the drug and alcohol addicted (Intervention! Catch it Monday primetimes!).

 So, because I was switching back and forth, I’ll admit I couldn’t quite understand what was going on, so won’t try to recap for fear I’ll look a total idiot. I’ll let these people do it for me (if anyone’s interested):

Wicked Wench has a really well done recap (with link to a fuller recap) here (there’s videos and everything! Way more effort than I could put in, but pretty convenient for anyone interested).

There’s also the TelevisionWithoutPity recaplet (I flove those) here.

Someone on youtube was awesome enough to put up the scenes with Trachtenberg. So…for those of you who want to see her in action but don’t want the pain of actually watching an entire Gossip Girl episode:

And a short little video of Michelle talking about her character and the show. I like her jacket (although, I guess it isn’t really hers).

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