(pitching my unwritten posts)

februarie 15, 2010

happy new year, people! well – it’s happy new chinese year by this time, but you know what i mean.

a vicious combination of busy+ lazy+  good weather+ impending changes vibe has unfortunately prevented me from ranting on here in 2010 so far. (i ranted in my diary instead – whatever works – also, haha, with good reason: you DO NOT  want to read that). but , before the ‘see you in montreal’ day, i’m thinking of trying this:

i’ll ‘pitch’ the things i would have written about, ~ twitter-length, for whoever is interested. and i promise to develop on them in a separate post each, but only upon request. (mmm actually very transparent way of checking who the hell is still reading this blog.)

okay: my topics.

1) again, why do we write? and, what to write about? addressing the impact ‘precious’ (the movie, and the sapphire book) has made on me, and tied in with dave eggers’ „what is the what”. how do artists as relatively privileged people get away with addressing painful issues from the point of view of the pained.

2) pro and anti olympics. yes, both. guilty and entertained, righteous and exploited and joyful and proud. lining up for free concerts, mouthing the canadian anthem. arguing about shane koczyan’s poem. attending protests, and blackout poetry projects, whatever that is. cheering for gold. ogling speed skaters.

3) sweet encounters – bacon cake, donut birthday cake, new year’s leftovers, bake sale as haiti benefit, and MUFFINS. desserts from the aching perspective of someone who finds it too hard to cook and too easy to overeat. obesity, balance, and having a good heart.

4) „i don’t care” is the most hurtful sentence in the english language. discussion, with concrete illustrations, and reflection upon how i use it to hurt others. possible translations/equivalences in romanian.

5) popcorn at the movies. this one’s about routines, cultural or otherwise. but mostly personal. how i laugh at others’ small addictions but i would freak out so fast to be deprived of mine. (on a second thought, i think it’s about that primarily: seeing a stranger’s tics with an unforgiving eye. the opposite of kindness – the opposite of topic 3)).

6) new place. moving out and moving in. testing squeaky floors:). plans for a new start, from wild hopes to resignation and back to color samples and garage sales. trying to sublet sight unseen. going with insight versus trying rationality. this is an ongoing ~thing and too close for comfort, but funny.

* walking on air as the most (over)used metaphor for my own life. every step forward in a relationship is taken through a leap of assumption that the other person already likes me. if it weren’t for hubris i would never talk to anyone ever. (insert cartoon of scooby doo or whoever walking over the edge of the cliff and keeping walking, and only falling once he becomes aware.) (on a second thought, i think this really is everything i have to say on this topic.)

7) jd salinger and howard zinn and how their deaths (as a double-impact shock) affected me even if salinger was 91 and i’d never heard of zinn before. concluding again that i want to be a storyteller rather than a historian.


partying „in the pacific northwest”

ianuarie 1, 2010

– once i said „on the west coast” in reference to something vancouver/portland, then i realized i was talking to matt who’s californian and i basically have no idea about california things, i.e. where it’s sunny all the time and people really.can. not. live. without.a.car. so i stand corrected.

– the first thing to keep in mind, my parties here have all been house parties. (intelligence from matt again: in NYC no one’s space is big enough for partying haha so they have to go to bars) and i’m not counting readings as parties, even if at points people were drinking hard – a reading is a cultural event, so there. of course they were drinking. that’s the way to imbibe culture. but seriously i don’t think i’ve been in a ‘club’ in vancouver. i’ve seen line-ups on weekend nights downtown though, and weren’t they a pretty sight. i’ve also seen young people stumbling and staggering and puking all over granville and the b-line. so it must be cool.

-but wait. a party is a cultural event too. more than anything else.

-i’m writing this because i’m getting a bit anxious for the NYE party (last one at sonja’s) and i basically have 6 hrs to kill and it’s raining like crazy and i don’t feel like plucking my eyebrows, which would be the alternative right now. also because i’ve been pounded stupid w the phrase „xxx of the decade” these days, and all my facebook feed by now is full of happy new year wishes and  it’s already 2010 in romania, which makes no sense, romania is one year ahead? haha old joke. but, you know. all this stuff.

– i never know what to take to parties, except for myself and my willingness to cry and argue. it could be argued (and cried) that this willingness has served me well  to some extent…and of course, on the other hand undermined my efforts at being taken seriously, except…what were those efforts? oh.  so  i think i usually take a bottle of wine. no one will open mine anyway . i mean any party is supposed to be BYOB (‘bring your own booze – i had to google it oct ’07) but it’s not strictly so…because…it’s a party, not a workshop for drunks. i always hope someone does open my bottle, my poor generic wine bottle, randomly chosen based on name, country of origin or amount of money i have to spare – in the end…i feel a bit bad for it (~her) to abandon her in a foreign fridge. a box in a box. as lonely and befuddled as me.

– then i mingle. well no i don’t, i go straight to the buffet and sample. i remember autumn ’07, trying not to wrinkle my nose at the spectacle of two dozen kinds of dips. ok, dips still don’t make much sense to me. so on the one hand i want to see the difference. on the other hand, i keep liking the familiar for a long long time. unless it’s cumbersome. or unless the familiar was the reason that pushed me to move. mingling is harder than it seems; it involves doing your own thing in a way that keeps stuff homogenous. (cue „dip in” and all sorts of corny follow ups.) mingle. ok.

– well instead of mingling what i normally do is talk to mostly one person the whole night. or at least focus on them. it’s easier. it helps that people are polite, and in ’07 it helped that i was a bit of a rare species(i still am to some extent bc i keep meeting new people, but already vancouver seems a bit small, i dunno:) ). and it’s not that i start off as very interested in that person, but it’s just comfortable to…be following someone, to gravitate around them. back in cluj i always ended up DJ-ing…but here i’ve accepted my inferiority in matters of musical taste so there – ground ceded, that’s that.

-i sort of have a record of losing earrings on couches, which is funny and of course not as dirty as i tried to make it sound.

– i don’t think i’ve ever had to dance. oh, i danced once at the oddball – not a house party but an eastside one so not your standard club fare. i never remember anything about dancing – my memories of parties are always of talking and drinking. yes i drink at parties. it’s fun. i mean even if it’s not fun it becomes fun after 2 glasses. which is the obvious point.

– things that can happen at parties: biographies in a nutshell/having your palm read/starting a crush and getting over it by the end of the night/watching fish and stealing toys (that was the most memorable party of ’07 – i’ll come back to it over and over again)/ overdose on cheese/ mixed tapes/ listening to people reminisce/discuss their childhoods or their common background vs. yours. anger. desire. breathe in, breathe out, go out on the porch, or in the street, or on the balcony where a circle has gathered to share a joint. join in for a puff, cop the feel that you ARE joining something, that you are present. rinse, repeat.

– extra things that can happen at writers’ parties: someone starts actually detailing the subject of a book. someone asks for feedback on a specific point, and an impromptu workshop flares up for 10 mins. the dialogue jumps around very quickly because there are always people wittier than average. or young and easily bored. or both. you learn so many names and titles in the easy flow of just words that you feel maybe you should take notes. you feel the need to sting, scandalize, pull them back with you. say something sudden. you usually shrug and wait to get drunker.

– extra things that can happen at east side parties: people talk about social work all night. people bring foods that they’ve cooked or baked from scratch, everything is organic and vegan. people talk about how organic and vegan things are a great deal. at one point you are convinced you are paranoid. and mean. and uninformed and parasitical. all your good impulses are choked and conflicted. you feel like wide is narrow and all-encompassing is shallow and that you’d rather smash a bottle against a pole.

– when i look around the room and start asking myself how much every one earns a year i know it’s time to switch to juice for the night.

– knowing when to leave is essential. leaving in groups is what vancouver does, because public transport is lousy and because taking joint rides is environmental, or something. people send a text to check when the last bus is. people hunt for cabs. then they get home and add you on facebook before they forget. then they forget.


fun timeline

septembrie 9, 2009

apr 29 – hand in thesis

apr 29- may 20 – moping post-thesis/ waiting for potentially interesting guy to call. (in case you’re curious about that development: he doesn’t. end of story)

may 20- rest of summer and continuing: OMG ADAM LAMBERT

ADAAAAM

(?   !    ?  !   ? yes, i know, wtf)

july 31st – start collecting papers for extension of stay in canada (realize i could send application in same day if only i had a credit card. shrug.)

aug. 5 (ok, there was the long weekend in between) – papers collected

aug 6 – send application

aug 7- fuck! application is incomplete! have to wake up early to catch human person on phone at CIC, with instruction on how to send the missing paper; afternoon =send missing paper. breathe.

aug 10-17 – early mornings try to call CIC and find out if file is complete/when they’re dealing with it; fail to engage with humans

aug 17 – human on the phone from CIC (= immigration canada) says file will take around one more month in line, as at the moment they’re just opening files arrived first week of july. „please inquire again one month from now.” same human says she doesn’t know if a work permit would allow me to work in quebec. she says call quebec and gives me a number: it’s robots!

aug 17  – half an hour later – i give notice at my job

aug 18-30 – i tell everyone (including creepy person on the bus, AEGEE friends, random chat interlocutors, regular customers and co-op neighbours) bits of my sad story.

aug 19 – plane ticket bought for cluj

aug 19-28 – bits of random packing: bunching up clothes i want to give up; tearing papers; inventorying books. making lists.

aug 20-23 – i take online quizzes to determine my points for immigration from romania to canada/quebec (i have different scores for different quizzes. at least some of them look hopeful. i need french. i need a job offer.)

aug 27 – last day at work

aug 28- morning leave for seattle

aug 30 – arrive portland

aug 31 – email from ef. telling me work permit arrived in mail

sept 1 – i want to go back to cluj and visit; but then i want to return. this is plan A. i like it.

sept 1/2 – back in vancouver; plans A through D written down neatly. work permit turns out to be for 3 YEARS! SHIT!

sept 2 – morning – phone CIC. human voice!!! realize once i leave canada i need a visa for re-entry. complicated. but visa is formality. phone quebec. the person in quebec does not know whether i’m allowed to work in quebec or not. suggests i call CIC. i’m like, forget about it! i have fun day out, all serene and shit.

sept 2 – evening – mum agrees with anything, as long as i go home ; i say i’d have to resign from sincai, she’s like ok, whatever. then suddenly : „your father’s not very happy here” BOOM

sept 2/3/4 – argue; break for sleep; argue; break for lunch; argue; break = can’t sleep; argue; break for a nap (nightmares); argue.

sept 4/5 night: sort of an ultimatum. „flip the coin” moment. i do not flip the coin. because i do not fucking need to flip a coin. ok?

sept 5 – morning – yes, i catch another human voice at CIC. human voice says yes, an open work permit allows you to work in quebec. any other questions you had? NO! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!

sept 5 – evening – write resignation email to school/send it.

sleep

eat. sleep.

walk. eat. read women’s mags. throw torn papers. sleep.

sept 8 – got shitty job back.

the future is ours.

STAY POSITIVE

= one more week of holiday. actually staycation but who cares

= no jet lag

= cancellation of all possibly teary goodbye drinks&such : replacement with non-teary non-goodbye drinks

= sonja gets to buy me the hat! yes i hereby demand the hat. hat hat hat hat hat

= writing!! readings!! writers’ festival (i get to see richard ford !!!! <3)

= montreal ’10. wait: matt in montreal ’10 🙂


vancouver says goodbye…to summer

august 26, 2009

– 2 days at wreck beach- one swimming and suntanning with lora, the other a picnic plus hardcore gathering blackberries w/elena &sonia

– when i was the most *heartbroken* – 2-3 afternoons, straight off work – i’d just go to jericho and sit next to a log and watch the ocean and try to write. one day i had a huge coffee thermos. omg, energy drink buzzz, by the way!

– sam , on and off commercial one sunny day

– sandwiches and milkshakes with yael&co. on their ‘porch’

– salads and indigequeer shorts with lora one night – walking alone downtown at night, never fails to…impress me. it’s so alien.

– twilight. with e. and lora. and commentary by ovidiu online

– romanian dinner w/ nadia at ‘transylvania’ restaurant. haha, i couldn’t have left without it. (also, when nadia returned from europe she was *accidentally* on the same plane/almost same class w/ matt damon!! i freaked out!!)

– planning. forever smiling and planning. explaining to people that i’m not sad. except i’ll have to give a lot of books away. oh well, bygones

– following: goodbye parties (trying not to think about) aaand my last US trip for a while. what’s not to like??


(catching up and) pride

august 3, 2009

so in the middle of the big stress (OMG i’m going-to-be-sent-back-to-cluj) i’m trying to have a good time. i mean not necessarily trying, but pretty much going with the flow. and the flow these days has been:

*heatwave: i apparently tolerate heat way better than most vancouverites. i actually can’t stand AC, which helps considering neither my workplace nor my home have one haha. love the nights, love the skimpy clothing, it makes the what-to-wear dilemma irrelevant. my first real vancouver summer and gosh, it’s hotter than cluj. loving vancouver right now doesn’t help 😦

*done dog-sitting + today cat-sitting too. it was ok, which proves i can be responsible in small doses. awesome holding 2 house keys and having to decide where you spend the night, though some days it was tricky going from one place to the other…i had to regulate daytime power naps (at sonja’s) and now i’m back to a pretty sane sleeping pattern. in spite of the heat. i sleep a lot. i feel rested and healthy, hmmm. work is easy. a lot of time on the forums, but less than in june. elizabeth’s been back for like 4 days and is still jetlagged. at least i have a human in the house.

(parenthesis for the most insane bad moments of july: i quit trying to diet and almost instantly bloated up; i fell on my face, scraped my knees/almost sprained my elbow; i discovered i SHOULD/could have applied for extension like, sometime in may :((; my boss and his wife had an insane feud for over 1 week, which meant i worked 7-8 hrs for like ten days with no day off; gyuri almost chewed up a hole in himself and was going practically insane with the heat; i dunno what else: rejection letters? writing not happening much? feeling 29+ and neglected by the VERY 2-3 people who should talk to me, and they know who they are? yes.)

*4 day weekend yay. yesterday i went shopping and spent money i practically had planned for something else, but i don’t care, because if i end up in cluj in autumn who the hell cares? so there. all i can certainly say is that i did NOT need another glitter scarf. but maybe i needed the green nail polish. yes i did. the other stuff, we’ll see in time.

* uh oh : frieda abtan:

http://www.myspace.com/freidaabtan

at the vivo center on friday night, with sonia z. and elena. i met freida in montreal, and was warned that she might be a genius :). i loved the show, and the space, and that night, so much. weirdly enough, now i associate it with montreal instead of vancouver though.

*PRIDE: i’ll try to make it short bc i’m sunburnt and exhausted and apparently going to a pride party soon. so i met lora downtown, i was just trying to not be at the parade alone, not that i couldn’t have, but i knew it would basically be just either a) standing rooted to a spot in the crowd, watching things go by; or b) walking through the crowd alongside the parade, since i’m too restless to be in one place for long – and getting bored. wow, so: lora was „playing” the clave (really!) in this marching band. and she just handed me a cowbell and i was in too. how cool is this, for my 1st pride!?!?

so we walked for 2 hrs+, long long route all through west end, to sunset beach. my face and shoulders are quite a sight now, even if people on the sidewalks were squirting water at us. so great. color and excess and fun, and this is where i can relate to GLBT, truly: [i want to tell this to someone in particular] being loud when loudness is not the useful option maybe. unable to conform or fly under the radar. not because i’m an activist/outspoken and shit, but because i’m „like that”[am i proud of it? not in the obvious way in which some people quote ‘honesty’ as their greatest fault. but maybe i am proud. maybe it is lack of control but you can’t deny there’s something extra there. the smudge outside of the outline. the thing that will stop me from prospering, or from  being all grown-up. yes for one afternoon i belonged  at Pride.]

the band (*our* band) played ‘funky town’ and ‘hung up’ and ‘tequila’ and 2-3 others. enormous drag queen dressed up in purple sequins was the act right behind us. (therefore, i might end up on TV or smth, because  that seemed quite popular). i saw just 2 people i recognized, but still. huge crowd. not sure if it’s the biggest pride in canada, probably not?, but sure is mainstream. people wished one another „happy gay christmas”, that’s funny. oh so afterwards i went with lora to the beach and we hung out with april and some of their friends, and i swam topless. one of my shoulders is tanned with two straps, one from the bra thing the other from the bag. hmmm. my green nails still look almost perfect though. and i have sparkly beads. and on main people were smiling at me in the „ooow you were at pride” way. maybe just smiling at my natural glow. shut up and go to the party carmen. (can you tell i’m sick worried?)


life could be like this

mai 12, 2009

– wfuv.org – alternate side (from yael).

http://www.wfuv.org/audio/stream.html

new songs on rotation, so after 4 days i already know some of them, but they’re good, and it all sounds so new and awesome, and it’s so easy to make me happy. really.

– finally, a free weekend day (sunday). it shouldn’t be such a big deal, i mean every day is just 5 hrs. work, and then a sprawling of obscenely spare time. but it was a big deal. at 8:30 i went into ‘cuppa joe’and read a globe&mail at the window, in the sun. so different. this week, i’ll have a sunday+monday free – victoria day – and i don’t mind it one bit.

– the sun. sometimes. it’s mid-may, alright? and still cold. and rainy. but then sometimes, like an afterthought, it gets sunny for a couple of minutes, just enough to keep me hoping. (the asshole boyfriend comparison, once it’s sprung to mind, will never go away 😦 )

– reading „the world is what it is” – v.s. naipaul’s biography. i want to keep reading but i want to not finish it, so i’ve been clinging to the last freaking pages, but i think it’s time to let go :). there will be other good books :). except, maybe i see people’s point about non-fiction, i.e. „this is real, this really happened.” extra reasons to be totally entrapped in the book: the immigrant status; how someone becomes a writer; how relationships are shaped by the fact that one of the partners is a big writer and probably necessarily a big asshole.

(more and more i feel it’s a choice between family/balance and writing. especially for a woman. i’m not saying it’s fair. i’m probably saying if i keep writing i’ll be alone. how did this core of bitter creep into my lovely nicey post? i’m saying one has to believe in what one does if that thing, and that person, are to stand a chance. not be equally diffident and apologetic about it, which is what i am at the moment. naipaul says : „the world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.” and somehow i want to both gloss over and point to the blatant – but oh so natural in his time/circumstances – use of the word „men”.)

– one-day trip to s & k’s „land” on the island, finally. awesome boat ride, views, deer and seals, coating logs, and the pretty solid feeling, for an afternoon, that, yes, these things can be reached, ‘life could be like this’. yes, and then it rained.


my 2008 through songs (2)

decembrie 15, 2008

(continued) i am too pissed to figure out now exactly why my links won’t link, or why the font of my post changes midway through the text…i might fix that later, i might not. i would bet on the ‘not’. but moving on,

18. HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR – BLIND

19. HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR – IRIS

i was on the plane back from romania, across the atlantic. imagine listening to this in flight. with your eyes closed. or/and, imagine: „today is a day for someone else/ this moment is yours and you can give it to someone else.”

20. A SILVER MT ZION – SIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THREE GALLOPING DOGS

this is from matt, close to his birthday, but before i started working. i was settling in the new place, taking walks by the ocean and exploring the surroundings of main. sunny september mornings, good times. also, from about the same days:

21. – BARRY LOUIS POLISAR – ALL I WANT IS YOU

22. KIMYA DAWSON – TIRE SWING

obviously, juno soundtrack. but they’ll also remind me forever of my day painting the walls at elena’s, right after david foster wallace died. how can that happen? well. memory is a very complicated thing.

23. SILVER JEWS – SUFFERING JUKEBOX

i was writing with yael at prado, on a friday afternoon:). i had no idea who the band were or what song. so i asked.

and in the following, you’ll see what one gets when one moves in with a musician: a bunch of good songs to be obsessed with:

24. PALYA BEA – ZOLD AZ ERDO (elizabeth calls it the gypsy anthem. it’s from tony gatliff’s ‘transylvania’.)

25. LHASA – LA CONFESSION – bad youtube version; but oh how i love french!!!

26. ART BERGMANN – CRAWL WITH ME

27. ROBERT WYATT – AT LAST I AM FREE

28. GANG OF FOUR – DAMAGED GOODS (possibly song of the season. no comment needed.)

29. WILCO – HOW TO FIGHT LONELINESS

not sure what put me onto my short wilco stage; could be yael’s doing…anyway yael, you’ll be happy (maybe not) to find out that wilco (based in chicago :)) are rahm’s favourite band. not that i knew this at that time.

30. THE ORGAN – I AM NOT SURPRISED

hmmm, how can you tell that in sept-october i used to spend all my thursdays and spare afternoons at prado, hearing various songs and then looking them up on youtube? yep. ‘the organ’ is a vancouver band (local pride yay).

31. LYKKE LI – I’M GOOD I’M GONE

minimalism is amazing. (and this is a facebook + prado song).

32. THE NATIONAL – MR. NOVEMBER

not only a victory song; though i admit, this is what it primarily was to me. i do see, though, that the text is ambiguous – that it shows the character on edge, and not necessarily cocky. he is damn frightened, but/and making a commitment. that’s what i think everytime i hear the lyrics. (and he fucks things over too, probably; i wish i knew really who the song was written about.)

33. THE NATIONAL – MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS

here we go – the dark, fumbling part of my autumn, a.k.a ‘the fall’. brilliant song, no?

and then, for a split second, i fell in love:

34. THE INHABITANTS

35. THE FLOBOTS – HANDLEBARS

on the record: i do believe that seeing a friend take a different path from yours and knowing there’s nothing you can do about it is the best excuse for ending the world in a holocaust.

36. THE DRIVER QUARTET – RAHM EMANUEL

because i’m not the only one, obviously :). i hope he gets and keeps a huge following, so the band can do a nice video/recording.

37. KEVIN DEVINE – NO TIME FLAT

as i was saying – political songs are hard to get right, but when you strike a chord, keep striking it.

38. MARY MARGARET O’HARA – BODY’S IN TROUBLE.

uh-oh.

and, really, really, really, you should hear this. but you can’t, yet, cause the album’s only coming out in april.

39. ELIZABETH FISCHER – SOMEBODY

(„there’s a new day coming/i can feel it in my bones/but what that day brings/i prefer to leave unknown”- or smth.) scary good stuff.