OUT magazine issue – links to AL interview

noiembrie 17, 2009

best and at the same time most tl;dr interview i’ve ever!!! i mean, proportionally, i feel like it’s a bit like obama’s last march speech on the race issue, no disrespect to obama or to the race issue or to the gay issue or …whatever. it explained things to me, and articulated things about discrimination, barriers, evolving mentalities…and framed the personality of the ‘speaker’ in a very good manner. i do wish he would shut up sometimes, but then again, why?  i want to know what he’s got to say – and if it involves TMI, huh. okay, i am overwhelmed and have no original thoughts at this hour. but seriously! seriouslyyyyy!

part 1: http://www.out.com/detail.asp?id=26191

part 2: http://www.out.com/detail.asp?page=3&id=26192


septembrie 9, 2009

i am cold and bored, so this will be sketchy. plus it’s so long ago. but just some bits:

– seattle =/= bellevue. i spent most of my seattle time in bellevue. lovely microsoft suburb, home of rich safe international population, i.e lots of romanians and indians (= „from india”. yes there is still confusion as to what i mean when i say ‘indian’. blame karl may.)

– bellevue has lovely high-rise buildings. all sprouted within this past year. fills you with hope for humanity. i’m thinking of toning the sarcasm down otherwise i won’t be able to finish this post. ok: high-rises are not bad. one of them even looked cute. the dark glassy look.

– bellevue also has a nordstrom. i mean, lots of stores in that mall, but nordstrom is from seattle.

– bellevue has an awesome cinema. biggest i’ve seen, which is not much (= bigger than tinseltown. oh well) – but i saw „inglorious basterds” there!!! am i not the epitomy of cool?

moving on to seattle: what i saw:

– pike place market/waterfront. yes better than granville island. it’s so big. and colorful. it’s the equivalent of turning water street into a maketplace. flower pots/arrangements hanging from poles. all the usual stuff. eating places//honey and bluberries//souvenirs//totem poles//people lying on the grass//horribly big pigeons tearing apart mcdonald’s paper bags. you know. oh – lovely kids with weird hairdos. overall, big fun. pity there’s a highway between the market and the water.

– SAM – the art museum. isn’t it just awesome that they call it sam? we wanted to see all the old collections, and the exotic ones. seriously, almost all native american art in there was salish – wut is this. they must have good PR. wait, i had some nuggets from the museum visit. yes: * andrew wyeth memorial (i think) exhibition – i knew his helga but not much else. like it!!! so perfect and contained. * laurie anderson’s voice on an audio tape for one of the collections – who cared about the artifacts any more? i was listening to laurie anderson!!! * i contributed a piece of paper to an yoko ono ‘thing’ i.e. collaborative object. fun! * „mannerism is the postmodernism of renaissance”. true or false, art ppl??? * african golden rings and the meanings of the motifs – wow – there was a ‘bird looking back’ one, and a peanut one * in aboriginal cultures the period of mourning after a close person’s death is called „sorry business”.

– space needle. there was an indian wedding at the restaurant below us. we ate hagen daasz on deck. haha we maybe spent half an hour there after half an hour in line. whatever: touristic objective – check.

– amazing futuristic looking building of ‘experience music’- well it was closed when we got there. have pictures of the outside walls though. epic.

– alki beach. this must be where photo people go to take pictures for the standard seattle postcard. in retrospect, i fail to understand how we could laugh for ~ an hour at a poor ‘china shipping line’ ship, full of chinese merchandise obviously spelling doom for america. but we did. we followed it come into the harbor, escorted by a small (customs?) boat. we made up scenarios with thousands tiny people hiding in all those boxes. etc. not very original? it was funny ok

– candied apples in chocolate with all sorts of caramel strawberries et co. adornments. hell expensive, but once in a lifetime –

– i will never drive in north america if i can help it. given my temper and scatterbrain, it would be hell.

finally montreal (4)

iunie 23, 2009

day 8 (june 9)- starts around midnight really, when my new roomie e. bursts into the room and wakes me up, and then we have a like 3 hr chat about our respective backstories. she’s from new hampshire, back from a…sojourn, y/y? in quebec city and stopped for the night bc she realized she didn’t have her passport on her so…yah. crossing the border suddenly iffy. she’s one of those annoying ppl who look mid-late 30s at 45, and is doing a M.Ed. in teaching creative writing. i mean ok, it’s a bit of a weird coincidence, but not THAT weird, considering that 70% of the people i know right now do some form of writing. anyway. more interestingly, she was doing local journalism covering the primaries last year, and got to see all the candidates at pretty close range. now that i find fascinating:). so in the morning we again wake up 8-ish and get out of room past 10, she wants to go to her consulate, i desperately want to check ontd_ai at this point, for my adam fix, and then catch a free jewish movie at the segal center on a street i’ve no idea how to get to. (yes, it is on the map yay). also, it’s fucking rainy and cold, and i would basically sell this day  for hot tea and blankets and girly t.v. but, a minor karma gift, when i check the net the ‘rolling stone’ interview bits have been leaked. definite mood improvement.

the segal center turns out easy to find and e. said she’d join me at some point during/after film. so i chat with an endearing old jewish lady, totally fierce, who scolds me for not speaking french and spanish even if i have a spanish name (o_o, she gave me her email, when i start contacting these ppl, no way i’m leaving her out) anyway. movie time. e. shows up, and then we embark in her car (full of holiday recycle, but with awesome stickers) and go in search of good place to have lunch. ‘rumi’ – close to fairmont – hah, had actually been recommended to me before. so it’s moroccan cuisine, which means some chicken with nuts, and rice, in some form, and almond-flavored pudding and actually the hot tea of my previous request. all through this it keeps raining, but then not so much, so we take a walk around the block and in a corner there’s some filming being done for a t.v. show. and then e. leaves, and that’s it.

dinner at rj’s. actually, at his ex-bf’s place upstairs. and under the same pretext of, uuuh, it’s cold and rainy and i need comfort, i gorge myself on tea+cookies and everything that is offered, basically. and sit back and pet the cat. and it does occur to me that this day went by effortlessly, naturally, as if i were already living in montreal. though i did get lost again, in the rain, walking the wrong direction from the pl. st. henri stop – there’s something about that neighbourhood that simply confuses me.

day 9 (june 10) i try to check my duties off the list, like a good kid that i am. i need to eat souvlaki, so i go and have souvlaki for lunch. finally on st. laurent//laval. outside, to make the most of the sun again. the deal somehow includes soup, and coffee and cake, which puzzles me a bit. and the place is empty, except for a girl who’s  – on her own – celebrating herself on her birthday (and she lives in montreal!) and so 4 people of the staff sit down next to us outside for their own lunch. so much fun.

and in the evening i finally do the free tour of the contemp. art museum. yay. i’m going to link to the presentation of robert polidori’s expo, because i don’t know how to talk about otherwise. so, yes, go check it.http://www.macm.org/en/expositions/59.html

day 10 (june 11) i will take a paragraph to mention the ridiculous sandwich i had at ‘santropol’, where sonia z. sent me and i do see why: brown-brown bread, with cheese + honey + peanut butter + nuts and raisins and banana bit, aaand a lettuce leaf and maybe avocado? and on the outside of the arrangement: freash cucumber slice, pickled cucumber slice, melon slice, quarter of orange, carrots and hot pepper. it did look fabulous. and it’s just one on a list of like 15 weird combos (ham/mint jelly, cheese /chives /pineapple), and that’s just the sandwiches. i hear soups are also fantastic. and desserts – though, how was my sandwich NOT a desert? also the place looks good – interior backyardy terrace with a little fountain and mexican-ish decor. oh well to that – but overall pretty cool.

apart from this – shopping spree. seriously, all the cheap enough bits on sale at ‘simons’ and GAP and all the ridiculous small afterthoughts and cards and blah. with one mention that i need to make: do you guys know how much self-control it took me in order to not buy silvery sandals, silvery bag, all-glittered black top, huge rings with colored stones, silver tights, gloves with cut-out fingers, the works? it’s not even funny. f. said at one point „i want to have stuff again”. whatever the exterior reason, and the other pent-up things at work there, i want to have my things again. and style again. so yes i have to dissuade myself from purchasing 14 y.o.- appropriate tidbits from time to time. all in the service of the greater good of getting settled, and starting to build up.

some days i can’t wait – to move, to move on. some other days i get to the awakward point of acknowledging (same as with the desire for silver bags) that this is OBVIOUSLY just a stage. and what if mtl won’t rise up to the hype? well, what then? something else will. *sigh*. and i’ve always thought of myself as constant, loyal. predictable.

feeling good

mai 26, 2009

because it’s sunny, which is all i need to get by, and because i’m obviously way more focused on adam lambert’s career than on my own these days. because, duh. but ok, let’s try again.

i’m 16, so i think adam is awesome. but hah, officially i’m older than he is (and bit ashamed of that) so i’m gonna want to rationalize. and apart from the reality show/competition/ ‘american’ factors, and apart from the whole gay brouhaha, which i think is way inflated – it’s there alright, but everyone’s exaggerating – what got me interested in him is the ‘feeling good’ thing.

i love adam because he’s all i am not. maybe. but the idea of just doing your best, putting on a show, knowing what you’re doing and what you’re after the whole time – being open, pretty funny, friendly, non-angsty AND drawing a clear, professional line btw your personal life and performance. gotta love him.

i was always rooting for him, but in a non-involved way. the spark happened the finale night when he said he was happy for kris, that all that had mattered to him was to be on the show as much as poss. and it made sense. and i believed him, i believed there was no hypocrisy there, no fake-rationalization on his part. ok, i’m 16. but the lesson stands. I KNOW it’s common-sense to just do your best. some people just are superstars because they make the common-sense look/feel like an insight, and everything seem easy.

and, it’s trite to say ‘i’m inspired’, but i am, inspired, by him. whatever works, i guess:)

my change

mai 22, 2009

‘american idol’: me – huge , obvious adam lambert fan. (sucker for confidence and drama. and for fuckin talent.) so today i’m sad, which i could have told you before. even if i know it doesn’t mean much. but now i freakin have to WAIT (oh noez) for him to get a record out and be successful QUICK please! when otherwise i would’ve been satisfied with a 1st place ribbon.

also: he got to sing „my change is gonna come”. best moment of the night.

prelude to montreal is postscript to limbo

mai 7, 2009

this is the story of how i first heard of a band called „of montreal”, late 2007. well it’s not much of a story, and some of you already know it. they were playing in a club in athens, georgia, one night end of october. someone told me about that. i obviously looked the band up, right? back then i was planning to visit montreal as soon as school was over, i.e. dec. 07.

why montreal, back then? it was a place to go. mostly it was about leonard cohen if i well remember.obviously. but then, all of a sudden,

„of montreal[2] is an American indie pop band formed in Athens, Georgia. Fronted by Kevin Barnes, it was among the second wave of groups to emerge from The Elephant 6 Recording Company.The band was created by Kevin Barnes and named after a failed romance with a woman from Montreal, though the story changes in various interviews” (wiki)

as much as people (sonja) don’t like to accept it as a serious reason, THAT is the main reason for people to get excited and make things. well one of the main ones anyway. isn’t it??

alright, off to a good start: we’ve got a sad ages old infatuation with an old man, plus a pathetic online stalkerish interest in a band named after the place of a failed romance. what could NOT work in the relationship between montreal and me?

as for how i personally feel about „of montreal”, the band: hmmm, i like the music but don’t love it. i think they have some of the best titles of songs ever („the past is a grotesque animal” et co.), i love their official videos almost with no exception, i think kevin barnes is obviously crazy, which is good because it gives you/me the option of not taking him seriously ever, while at the same time listening and possibly enjoying whatever you/i can out of that cocktail of madness.

which sort of defines life right now, through my vaselined lenses. wait:

love, c

no reprieve

martie 10, 2009

1) i’m supposed to house-sit this (i.e. coming) week, i.e. approx. ‘move’ to commercial drive. ok, so it feels pretty odd. last night i was trying hard to fall asleep, and (of all things!) missing my bed back in cluj  (not the bed per se, probably; the  unique, single-minded, proprietorial?? dunno – way that i used to curl in there, under the covers, in my ‘dias  del mes maya’  t-shirt), feeling the sky loom very close. you know, just the idea that that is gone.  that is gone. then  today it snowed. then it got better, but still freakin cold. the sun glinting through windows, onto the walls, at 7 p.m. feet flailing in the air in the yoga studio place across the street from sonja’s.

2) i’m supposed to graduate in may. i’ll say it again: i need a new title. ok, that’s not all i need. i need to rewrite parts of the damn thing. but, bottom line, i am allowed to graduate, and so it shall be done.so it’s over – you know? – over; and time for the „so what will you do next?”; i mean, i can’t even be angry when i get asked that.

3)i’m writing a story about new york. it’s an odd thing. my past and my future and what i want out of places, and how expectations confront…well, observations. i’m pretty sure everyone who’s listened to me speak on the topic has an idea bout what i mean (which is probably better and more luminous than the story will turn out, IN CASE the damn story turns out at all). anyway, i want to mention miranda july, the DNC, the 9/11 commemoration tiles, brooklyn social, the red hook waterfront, maybe even the hungarian pastry shop – i mean, why the hell not. anyway, this is what i’m occupying my mind with in order to distract myself from…you know, the other things.

4) the other things.

president obama,

ianuarie 21, 2009

may the disenchantment be not quick, not deep, not tragic.

things i did/saw in san francisco

ianuarie 1, 2009

k, here’s for a short list of SF niceties, to celebrate the end of this wishy-washy year:
– sunlight: i was simply standing with my eyes closed and my face turned up, absorbing the sun. of course, magnolias and lemon trees and bushes of anonymous colorful plants, and palms all come with the territory. i do see the point now of people having their winter holidays in warm places!!! i called it ‘recharge’.

– city lights bookstore: i was expecting something much more flashy and crowded with tourists. not that it wasn’t flashy, but it kept a degree of decency well. and the jk alley.

– chinatown at night. absolutely ridiculous. even nicer when you realize that ‘night’ is only 6 p.m., so all the stores are still open and crawling with tourists.

– a homeless-looking person approaches me after dark on columbus, and i probably flinch, or smth. though i don’t mean to, duh. and he says, „clueless! you’re wearing a stupid hat and a stupid bag and you are clueless!” i laugh and say, „you have no idea how right you are”. and i take my hat off. and the following days (i have a fever all through) i walk hatless. and i buy a new bag.

– the beanbags at my hostel, the theater (our receptionist recommended ‘sicko’ as being the lightest docummentary they had in stock – and he was so right), the lounge (reading fareed zakharia – i knooow! – and a ‘paper’ ‘onion’; the breakfasts- esp. waking up before the cream cheese was out. top bunk. there! (feeling very young on account of ‘living’ in a hostel?)

– sales on clothes – apart for the madness, i found a new favourite : crossroads trading. i actually checked, and they have stores in seattle and portland too, so, extra reason to visit seattle. i half-mean it!

– gallery sightseeing. i’m not good at it, not being artsy, but for god’s sake i was staying on a street full of them: you went out of the hostel and towards union square, you’d pass by about 20 galleries. same at the fisherman’s wharf.

-SFMOMA: seen from the yerba buena gardens, and then the top floors, yay. story: a palestinian artist asked other palestinians who live in various places in the world but are forbidden to go ‘home’: „if i could do anything for you in palestine, what would it be?” – and then went and did those things, and put together a project showing it. ok, i’ve got more stories like this one.

– yoshimoto nara postcards. just because.

– running downhill, laughing like crazy. multiple times.

-the graffitti on valencia – more than those in haight, probably. (hmmm, i still have to come to terms with the haight that i saw. dunno.)

– on market street, there’s a wall with a slogan which i used to see every time i passed, from the bus: half of it says „love will solve all your problems”, the other, upside down as a reflection of the first half, says „love will always let you down”. the day before leaving i realized it was the last time i was seeing that wall, that slogan. that i was missing san francisco already.

– berkeley – the endearing lukas-eliot-ness of it, on a very very warm, t-shirt weather, morning.

– music in the street: a couple of kids under 10, i guess, playing drums at the corner of market&6th; a dreadlocked guy playing/singing an obama song on bottles and cans, corner of union square. guitar players practically everywhere.

– there is a post office in macy’s basement!!! macy’s is an absolutely self-sufficient fortress. HOW??

– sunday market at the civic center

– sitting (unexpectedly, duh) through the first 10 minutes of mass on sunday 28 at st patrick’s cathedral. i even sang kyrie eleison or smth. man, those people can not handle their latin, even when they read the responses. i had kind of wondered how that went…not well.

– ‘san francisco’ t-shirts at 1.88 dollars each. they should really pay people to take them!:) and, a pier 39 store called ‘making history’ – i am not kidding – full of obama merchandise. in the shop window, a lifesize cardboard obama wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘i ❤ michelle obama’! (should i mention that i never NEVER talked about obama on this trip?! never.)

– people approaching me with „you must be european. and this is a compliment”.

– the guy at valencia 826 found a way around a cliche: „good morning! and how are you today, on a scale of 1 to 10?”

i was an 8.5.

greyhound, southbound, on christmas night

decembrie 31, 2008

the trip was supposed to last 26 hours. it ended up lasting 45. and it was pretty much what i had wanted, even if with the timing a bit off. in retrospect, i am trying to come to terms with the fact that few people would take the greyhound on such weather, and no one on my bus would have unless they wanted to reunite with their families for christmas or some such. i was the one person in that group who was there on holiday – and  was expected by no one at the end of the road.

there was snow, ice and hail. they put chains on the wheels.the first night in seattle, with the station locked, we slept on buses with the door half-open, the overhead lights off and the heat going off every hour. and it was snowing: i watched the snow coming down in the bad light by the station entrance. it was morbid. going through washington the next morning we passed by an accident on the road. on the second night we were caught in traffic outside salem, OR, and crawled at about a mile an hour for what seemed like ages. at midnight we must’ve been around woodburn, OR – „literally in the middle of nowhere” the driver put it – and we cheered and clapped and wished eachother merry christmas, and people were talking in their cellphones to other people and saying i love you very very often. we stopped at foodmarts and i drank hot chocolate from a supersized cup, but by medford, OR i already had a throatache.

the drivers were heroes. we had four of them – but especially john (jon?), the guy who took us portland-medford and who was with us on christmas eve, was great. he’d just been the same route the night before, and was totally beat. when he took the chains off,past salem, he quoted something from the bible about ‘…deliver us from bondage’, and we all clapped. also, by that time somehow the bus was full because it had collected all the misfits from tacoma WA on, everyone delayed. i fell asleep as we were crossing the mountains, and woke up around 5 am at redding. the new driver was telling jokes about greyhound drivers. in a couple of hours the sun rose, and we saw it was going to be warm.

i slept ok, even on the first night. i had hot chocolate at night and bagels the rest of the meals. i called my hostel from portland on 24th the afternoon to tell them i wouldn’t make it that night – they cooed over my misfortune and changed my reservation. and as everyone should know, while one travels one’s free. it’s beyond my powers to influence the way the bus goes. i don’t mind if it’s delayed. i am there, by the window, my coat against the pushed-back chair, reading ‘middlesex’. i love being in transit. any kind of transit, where movement is involved while i actually sit and read.

i talked to all sorts of people. people who had been waiting for 2 days in vancouver or seattle while the airports and stations were closed. people meeting their parents, children, partners at different points along the way. in the van-seattle night, one girl was talking to her brother on the seats behind me; an intimate talk between two people catching up with eachother. he was telling her about a friend of his who had decided to go to india, and who had said ‘i don’t have any expectations’ – and he had replied ‘that’s wrong – you always expect something, whether you know it or not’. i listened and smiled, because that conversation,in the dark, made so much sense. (do you know what i mean? i wish you did.)

and the second morning, the sun shone over us all, and i told myself well i made it , although it hadn’t been me who had made it. also, because of the warmth and beauty, part of me said it wasn’t fair. but it was, all the way. it was the classical yarn of reaching paradise after going through storms etc. (the funniest questions i was asked on the way: „what’s your favourite fast-food place?” – girl, 18, travelling to salem to spend christmas with her boyfriend; and „how normal is what you’re doing?” – officer at the border, after i exposed to him the circumstances of my journey.)