you have no idea!

martie 30, 2008

” You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you’re anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you’re with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of other people, which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another’s interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that – well, lucky you.”

(philip roth, „american pastoral”)

Reclame

mornings ’08

martie 25, 2008

this is a thank-you list, in order of preference, for/of the blogs i read, that make up the most constant, and invariably satisfying, part of my every day. (yesterday i was almost disappointed, sooo few posts, what the hell…then i cut them some slack when i realized it was easter 🙂 ).

1. daily kos (markos moulitsas, and about 15-20 other frontpagers, who are extraordinary political animals; bloggers whose jobs are not in the media, people who are students, office cubicle ppl, writers, teachers, lawyers, historians; yes some are politicians running for office…occasional ones include john kerry, keith olbermann – that i’ve seen – and yes barack obama has 2 posts at daily kos. they are getting to be kindofa progressive outpost …well.)

2. talking points memo (josh marshall) – getting there! this is an established platform, and will be more balanced than DKos, probably more accurate in analysis as well, but it’s 2-3 main voices instead of dozens. (developing the comparison, what i love most about DKos is the reports from the ground and the personal diaries…lots of lateral, superinteresting trivia.)

3. the field@ rural votes (al giordano – crazy wonderful man, whom i imagine perpetually drunk; latest trickiest info from underhand sources; my ideal of true/real journalism)

4. wonkette (sara k. smith: pretty funny. annoyingly keeps referring to Our Candidate as barry o, which on the other hand has a refreshing way of re-waking me up to the fact that he’s just a person.)

5. atlantic. com (andrew sullivan/marc ambinder/matt yglesias: sullivan is a gay religious obamican, which is interesting if only as case study; ambinder is the impersonation of objectivity, and m. ygl. lives in a DC flat with about 4 other cool media bloggers, which makes this whole thing sound pretty exciting.)

7. politico (ben smith, who is marginally pro-hillary, but always has the latest polls)

8. huff post (ariana huffington: pretty mainstream, therefore the place to go with a statement. this is where obama posted his race speech, hillary her education platform, various other hotshots their endorsements etc.)

9. the caucus (NYT – i hate, since they half-assedly endorsed hillary c, but katherine seelye does a pretty ok job)

10. news groper – fake blogs by celebrities and politicians – funny for those who have the info beforehand; and late night political jokes (jon stewart, mostly; and colbert. leno is ok-ish…conan and letterman yuck)

overwhelmed yet??? i sure am.


feel-good

martie 25, 2008

ok, first of all i’m about 3 entries (and a lot of other more important things) behind, but that’s because i’m supposed to be pretty busy (it’s not materializing as yet, but we hope it will) and also because at some point between saturday night and tonight i had some sort of a breakdown of some kind…this concept is (i know) a) totally un-hopeful and whimsical, b) totally uncanadian, c) totally useless since i’ve got no one here to discuss it with, and, weirdly d) totally out of tune, i discover, with the tone of this blog. actually, this blog was not started as antidepressant or smth, therefore i have no idea how i’m just coming to the conclusion that – without parsing/consciously repressing any stuff/news – i kinda manage to come across in these posts as someone who’s not doing badly in this world. really strange.

ah, so it’s passed. the thing. the breakdown. actually, it was just a push-button moment, correlated on the edges with cold+rain+ me being busy, i guess. and the subject-matters of my current writing. but just some little (really tiny things) that are worthier to mention than it:

1) lucia, my prodigy child, sent me a song because she keeps seeing my display images on messenger – it was ani di franco’s „hello birmingham” – i was crying when she talked to me, i kept crying after, but with the direction a bit reversed.

2) i keep going/staying for rehearsals, because it’s gorgeous to see how normal ppl can spend so many hours (like, 15 so far) on staging smth written by me. i’m getting to learn my own re-scripted play by heart ( cue eye-roll). but today i stayed bc. john cooper (the directing prof) was there, and he’s making it +++ worthwhile. of course maya and the girls look up to him like whoa, well now me too – except i’m stuck for words even with him and i feel stupid, but that’s normal. bryan (my stage prof), he’s nice too, but milder. john will call you up on bullshit everytime (and i guess in directing he needs to). i saw my piece stirring in front of my eyes, from fake-acting to ‘oooohhh…i get it now’; i got my own piece: in case you couldn’t have suspected, it’s all about control…:)…and of course, through replays, i’m trying to write totally different stuff, but can’t help taking notes from john. it gives a clearer-than-normal picture of real life patterns too, and here’s some quotes:

– qs you approach a situation with : „what do i want? how much do i want it? what stands in my way? how do i feel about it?”(these are actually used to build-up avoidant behaviour as much as aggressive, so there giulia! but all of us know this, no??? what i’m trying to say is, to see them applied in a constructed situation is chilling.)

– how to handle controlling behavior – all teachers know this as well: „save your shit. you don’t want to come out yelling, because then there’s nowhere to go”(imagine a scene made beat-by-beat, just out of push-button stuff and reactions. i’ve been told my piece is made mostly out of pauses and subtext. hell, they haven’t seen my fiction!!!.)

well as a result, i’m kinda still ashamed of the text of the play (it’s 10 pages only, ppl!), but stuff is being done with it, so yea.

3) some girls from new shoots emailed me their poems for the magazine. they’re all super smart kids, but one of the girls, i love her. she’s indian and lived in london uk for a while…i actually got totally jazzed up by the poems she sent me…go girl! the kind of quiet, fatty kid who suddenly raises her chin and smacks you down with one sentence. at the havana readings she almost didn’t read, she would ‘ve been the only one who hadn’t, and held back, but part of her wanted to be reading so bad – but then me and another cool kid – (it’s not me who’s the cool kid, they are) – almost shooed her onto the stage at the last call, and i’m not saying it to show how i’ve done a good deed, on the contrary it was my weakness, seeing myself in this girl – only she’s much tougher than i was at 18 for sure. again: i’m proud of rumnique. 

4) i’m actually reading this fantastic book, i’m not a huge fan of roth, though he’s somewhat…monumental or smth, larger-than-life obsession-wise, and jew stuff-wise :). but „american pastoral” is like a hammer to my head, in the good sense: here, take this, and this. after looolllliiiing through kevin baker’s 800-pager for weeeeeeks on end, this one mothafucka proves to me over and over again that there’s books, and then there’s BOOKS. ow shit. in this MFA environment it’s always good to keep reading BIG writers. in  a choice between  petty+ depressing (‘everyone, anyone can be a writer here’) and great+depressing (‘i’ll never write like this’) i fucking know which one i’ll take, as a reader.


test (failed!)

martie 22, 2008

418250125_f10f4e766f1.jpg(i.e. what i am doing instead of writing poetry – specifically at 2:34 a.m, on people’s good friday/saturday: comparing haircuts!!!!)

in my defense: this really is an attempt at learning how to make my blog prettier. good start, obama picture – no? i did kind of botch my previous post, by putting up a HUGE photo of myself, with all pores and zits visible, so in order for that not to happen again – after deleting and reposting the whole text 😦 – , i resolved to:

1) start up by starting up a new post, hence this.

2) start up with an obama picture, the haircut that was supposed to be the point included – because, as everybody knows, obama is so non-earthly that he doesn’t even have pores, so…at least it won’t look bad. after which, parallel said obama picture with one of myself sporting similar haircut more or less, and very nonsimilar charisma. anyway.

…after half an hour of struggle, i give up: i know what i did wrong, but have no idea how to right it (as per usual with me). today has made me a more…old and useless person, and perhaps much smarter in the internets + ebay (the latter due to matthew t. sarnecki) – but i’m still unable to share my lack of hair with the world in blog context. sniffle. so unless everybody goes to facebook, sorry folks. just keep staring at barack for now.


number one

martie 22, 2008

i had my head almost shaved. on st. patrick’s, no less. actually, i guess it IS technically shaved, because the woman used a shaving machine, so there. and yeah people did say stuff like “oh, you shaved your head!”, now that i think about it. (before pictures hit you, use this mental image: my hair’s a bit shorter than obama’s right now, and no, i don’t care to explain why the comparison. just trust me, i’ve looked close into this aspect. by which i don’t mean i told the hairdresser to take obama as  reference!!…oh, whatever…*update: nope, it isn’t shorter – i guess his is a nb 1 too – but he’s got more hair than me anyway, that’s what i meant) thing is: i love it. i didn’t expect to like it so much, or for it to actually look good, i was doing it mostly out of spite. but hey, spectacular! though, i did know i had the right shape of skull for this kind of extravaganzza – pity so small a head in combo with such huge thighs, but , eh. i’m not going to stop eating, sleeping or obsessing just because of …THAT, whatever that is.also: i, of course, wore my green dress to school/town on march 17, in combination with all the orange+white clothes i could find (it was adequately rainy&cold!!!). i got pretty favorable response, i.e. was asked if i was going to a dance or something – amazing how much canadians do associate the irish with dancing – aaaand, i had the chance to put some ppl right about the irish flag, cuchulainn, bloomsday…yep, that’s all.and yo, speaking of costumes: now, in the lair-iness of my basement, i am wearing a children’s (probably) ‘emily’ T-shirt with an “under- achiever” slogan; goes well with the hair. (no, on a second thought, i’m not cutting my legs off either!). i have to write a short story, a play and 14 poems over the following…RIGHT NOW in fact, instead of which i am banging my head against the desk/keyboards…on account of rain, racism, ebay, nancy class, taxes forms, the whole of canada of course, etc. (only highlight: galloway still puts up with me, but for how long, cruel world? – eh?)** update 2: richardson endorsed obama, and i was on daily kos when it broke. currently i must be one of about 100 people on earth who know/care. i did a little dance here : it’s 1:20 a.m, and 4:20 EST. i wonder if they even woke barack up to tell him he’s been endorsed, or smth:). god, i just can’t help myself.


of new pride and sadness

martie 19, 2008

barack obama today, quoting faulkner: „the past isn’t dead and buried – it isn’t even past.”

avand in vedere ca m-am trezit la 5 a.m. pt speech-ul asta (si ca sa scriu poezia pt poetry, pe care pana la urma n-am mai scris-o), a meritat din toate punctele de vedere. imi pasa din ce in ce mai putin daca ‘obama castiga’, in sensul fotbalistic al chestiei. de facut istorie, oh my god, he’s just making it. daca nu-l aleg acuma, or sa-l roage peste 8 ani sa candideze din nou…whatever – atata timp cat nu-l impusca careva, e in regula. (am bagat un pic de isterie stand pe mess cu cris, ca intarzia sa apara pt speech; de fapt stai, e mai bine sa fii paranoica c-or sa-l impuste decat sa te stresezi ca n-or sa-l aleaga??? probabil nu.)

oricum, ce vreau sa se retina de-aici e, uitati-va la ceas: 18. 03. 2008, „a more perfect union”, by barack obama, philadelphia. and, he wrote it himself.

* silly update: you guys know that 1) i cry easily, 2) i think the world of matt sarnecki, and would never presume to pester him with my political obsessions if i can help it. but hell, he – without me prodding him – went and made me cry for the 2nd time today. and we are people, we are as different as it gets, we are both freaking smart, we are real:

the time is now
let’s hope this man wins

matt


highlights of a crappy week

martie 17, 2008

the week is/was crappy, pentru ca sunt racita, ingrasata, isterica si fara ceva dintre ‘opere’ rezolvat(a) cumsecade. (si am luat un 15/20, perfect meritat, la market research. pentru general sloppiness, ceea ce va spune clar de ce nu voi reusi in viata, indiferent in ce domeniu. ca parca nu stiati.) de asemenea ploua ca dracu, de vro 2 zile, etc. incep cu politica, asa ca nu faceti (si voi) crize – daca vreti barfe, treceti direct la partea 2:

politica: 1.kevin baker likes obama. nu conteaza cine-i kevin baker (un scriitor din new york, la care tocmai ii citesc un roman istoric, si care a fost invitatul UBC – sau ceva – sapt asta, si galloway l-a tarat la noi in clasa sa ne tina un speech). ideea e ca noi puneam pariu cat o sa se abtina careva (meaning, not me, ca eu era clar ca voi tacea) fara sa zica ceva politic. baker a fost onorabil, in afara de un slight „don’t worry, barack is gonna win” in mijlocul unei fraze (despre care nu stiu cum ar putea cineva sa sustina ca a fost accidental – well…) s-a abtinut de la deviatii. a trebuit sa intrebe chong „so, what about the elections?”, adica, in traducere, „noi stim deja ca tii cu obama, te rugam sa le spui si masteranzilor nostri asta”. de fapt si noi stiam deja. hm. de fapt am impresia ca exista o clauza la granita, nu ii lasa pe americani sa intre in canada decat daca se declara pro-obama. anyway.

2. my grandma likes obama. din motive sexiste, clar, adica a fost crescuta intr-un asemenea hal de societate patriarhala incat considera ca doamnei clinton „nu i se sta” sa candideze (din cat am inteles din frazarea maica-mii; s-ar putea sa fie de fapt sexism la patrat, desi jur ca nuti e total apatica politic). in orice caz. voi considera o victorie personala daca in august, by denver time, mama iee poate spune „barack obama”. deocamdata e la stadiul de „negrutu’ acela”.

3. i support barack obama 100%, as of…yesterday, i guess. it just got clearer and clearer. din momentul asta nu mai aveti ce discuta cu mine – i’m brainwashed. nu mai am nici un dubiu ca omul merita nominalizarea, si presedintia, si increderea mea (a noastra, what the hell) in el. intr-un moment in care e atacat in mod nasol, el se mobilizeaza atat de brusc si decisiv, merge instant la televiziuni si ziare – un slam-dunk! si intr-o singura zi e explicat, clarificat, non-apologetic, in cel mai admirabil mod cu putinta. once again, i-am-smitten. efectiv, nimeni dintre noi, chibitii, nu are ce sfaturi sa-i dea omului astuia. e fantastic, si sunt mandra de el indiferent daca castiga sau nu din momentul asta. din punctul meu de vedere a castigat deja.

partea2. piesa: intre timp kim si-a dat demisia (nici nu o sa ma apuc sa comentez asta) si maya a gasit o noua actrita – marissa- pt un switch. am fost la repetitia cu noua distributie azi (cu tot cu ochii si burta mea distruse, si cu nasul curgator), nu e grozav dar poate iesi ok, si tocmai caut pe youtube cantece …vag revolutionare romanesti (de fapt nu prea stiu ce caut. cred ca cristina ar sti mai bine ca mine dar din nenorocire eu am scris piesa si acuma tre sa platesc :). oricum am dat peste „noi in anul 2000”, si alte nazbatii, dar sunt frustrata ca astia nu au „cravata rosie cu tricolor” sau „tot inainte” – abia am gasit fostul imn.god!

iui! insights de la maya. vi le expun, unele sunt mai vechi, see what you make of them:

a) in viata vietii mele nu o sa pot sa-i pronunt numele – shaghayeh – fiindca nu pot scoate sunetele alea de ‘h’. in orice caz, inainte sa plece din iran, ea si sora ei au hotarat sa gaseasca un nume alternativ, pronuntabil de catre non-iranieni, prin urmatoarea metoda: maya a scos o carte din biblioteca la nimereala: era o carte de mayakovski: recte, maya. daca asta nu o sa ajunga intr-o short story one day, sa nu-mi ziceti ca nu v-am prevenit.

b) parintii mayei sunt veri primari. (inca nu am verificat daca in romania e legal, nu stiu de ce eram convinsa ca nu, dar s-ar putea sa ma insel); am ridicat problema, la modul absolut general, la cursul de stage play, si colegul nostru david care e avocat a stiut sa-mi spuna instant ca in canada e legal din 1972, si numele legii respective (going on with the association thread, in france it is illegal to call any pastry not made with butter „croissant”).

c) venind vorba despre nadia (in context de gossip, noi comparand-o pe actrita noastra, hanna (11) cu o gimnasta care lucra 8 ore/zi plus merge la concursuri) aflu cu stupoare ca, desi mama mayei e o mare fana nadia comaneci, familia mohammadali la ei acasa in teheran erau convinsi ca nadia e rusoaica – by all means, ca doar cine-i bun la gimnastica? rusii! (am facut o fatuca de victima si am zis ceva de genul „te rog sa rectifici aceasta eroare” :))

partea3 am fost ieri la un potluck la yael, in beehive. daca as sta si as scrie in noaptea asta non-stop (ceea ce nu am chef sa fac) n-as putea acoperi toata nebunia de-acolo. desi feng shuiul mi s-a parut mai pozitiv ca data trecuta, in mod clar datorita absentei lui miguel+tasha+solena (intre timp am aflat ca copila are numa 4 ani, deci nu e iesit din tot comunul sa fie inca alaptata. dar e la limita. e fix pe limita, ce mai.)anyway. un alt copil al casei e ilan, ai carui parinti cred ca-s francezi, dar pe tata nu l-am putut identifica (pe mama a fost relativ simplu: femeia de la care sugea copilu – i leave it at that, ca daca ma indoiesc si de aia, innebunesc); sexul copilului l-am identificat, la propriu, in momentul schimbarii de scutece, mutrita angelica, galagia bilingva si parul blond de zana nefiind indicii either way. in orice caz, imediat ce ilan s-a prins ca-s o bleaga, s-a agatat de mine insistand sa-l hutut si sa dansez cu el, de se uita lumea la noi…ciudat…ma rog, noi ne distram, cel putin copilul. mai erau si 3 caini pe-acolo – ypsi si confratii ei marcie si charlie. spre sfarsitul serii yael a oferit un moment de dresaj, cu o lingura de lemn (drept prop, nu pt batut!) si pesmeciori si fluierice. in afara de copil si catei urmatorul fun item erau lesbienele si respectiv conversatia lor (au fost vro 12 oameni all in all pe-acolo, dintre care doar 2 cupluri de lesbiene, dar intrucat proportia era mai mare decat cea general intalnita in societate, pt mine era the elephant in the room. nu ca se pupau sau ceva, dar nu sunt eu obisnuita, na! brigitta, sotia lui yael, e tacuta ca orice norvegiana respectabila, dar i-am acordat bulina rosie initiala si nu i-o iau inapoi – e ok). stai, da inca lesbienele ar fi cum ar fi, dar in combinatie cu o tipa de profesie ‘midwife’ conversatia post-dinner a devenit atat de interesanta, incat ma tineam de masa ca sa nu intervin – femeia le explica CE anume face, si astea salivau si aprobau – all about pap smears and the woman-friendly si woman-empowering methods of testing and delivery, and about examining the beauty and mystery of one’s own vagina. yes with a mirror, duuuh. am vazut un episod din ‘sex and the city’ in care se vorbea asa timp de vro 30” si am crezut ca era prea de tot. nope, turns out not. no ma rog. s-a vorbit si despre polyamory dar lumea era in general impotriva, sau cel putin neconvinsa ca ar merge in cazul lor, si oricum deja eram ridicata de la masa aia ca altfel nu stiu zau. astfel (= plecand dintr-un grup in care era sa fac scandal) am cunoscut o noua sonia (apparently sonia is the new iulia to me???), colega cu yael la SFU, o americanca (middle-aged, heterosexual and married thanks god) aclimatizata, who made my day. trebuie sa fie femeia cu cel mai sanatos ras pe care l-am auzit, ever, and i mean it; rasul meu fara chitait. molipsitor, open and good-hearted. am stat de vorba cu ea, cred ca la un moment dat i was stalking her through the party, ca altfel innebuneam acolo, si am stat cu ea in bucatarie band resturi de vin in timp ce ceilalti cantau in living, la multiple chitari+ banjo+ instrumente de scuturat; pe urma sonia a plecat si am stat sa ascult ceva cantece (cat stevens, ‘me&bobby mcgee’, niste neil young, un pic de cohen si beatles; olivia, una din the lez couple, stia ok la chitara si cred ca avea si niste cantece proprii; si yael are o voce surprinzator de buna). pe urma am plecat fiindca era noapte si vaaaaant, si frig, si aveam o ora + pana acasa. ( biata yael: „i’m sorry you’re the only one who lives so far west” – eu, smartass:”yea, i know, that’s what my friends in romania tell me all the time.”)