Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nap Publicly

This sounds like a weird one.

The bus home to Boston is not exactly the most comfortable ride on the planet. Last time I somehow managed to pick the row of seats that must be made specifically for children as I was forced to sit with my knees to my chest for four hours next to a particularly snoozy backpacker.

Who could blame him? Here's a guy who clearly lives the transient life, taking pictures of small towns and cities alike, wearing those boots and hefting that ENORMOUS backpack all travelers must own to look legitimately transient-y. He's out in the world, wandering, adventuring, eating oysters and drinking sake (I don't know, to me that signifies adventure), and he needed a GD nap, GD tiny seats be damned! GD IT!

Between tiny cat stretches, I started thinking about the strange feeling growing in my chest (besides claustrophobia...har har): jealousy. Not only could this man sleep (something I find impossible to do under the most comfortable of circumstances), but he was sleeping completely balls-out in front of a bus full of strangers.


(Disclaimer: I sleep with my mouth wide open. It's for breathing, guys.)

And so, taking the bus from NY to Boston, in a bus that was-admittedly-nearly empty, I decided it was time to take the plunge. First I rested my head against the window. IMMENSE VIBRATION OF THE WORST KIND. Next, I tried to curl up in a ball with my knees on the seat in front of me. SLIPPING AH SLIPPING GOODBYE I'M IN THE HOLE. Finally, the genius in me battled the VIBRATION OF THE WORST KIND by brandishing my coat as a mediator between the window and myself.

Something about sleeping in public with my mouth hanging open like Bachelor Brad's thinking face (went there) makes me feel like a dust-covered, muscular, adventurous young person.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I love this poem. I think it's very on topic.

Your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
-C.Bukowski "the laughing heart."

Monday, February 14, 2011


"If we don't find something nice, at least we'll find something new."

This is a good motto for trying new everything.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stranger Than Fiction

"With every awkward strum, Harold Crick became stronger in who he was, what he wanted, and why he was alive. Harold no longer ate alone. He no longer counted brush strokes. He no longer wore neckties, and therefore, no longer worried about the time it took to put them on. He no longer counted steps to the bus stop. Instead, Harold did that which had terrified him before, that which had eluded him Monday through Friday for so many years, that which the unrelenting lyrics of numerous punk-rock songs told him to do: Harold Crick lived his life." -Stranger Than Fiction

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grad School Ate My Blog

...but it's baaaaack.

Many things have happened in the last few months, including but not limited to:

-My first semester (more on that later);
-Veganism (more on that later);
-Marathon FAIL (more on that later);
-Several personal triumphs over being afraid of everything, like: subway grates, my dog not loving me, debt, Indian food, and Joe Biden's horrifying face.

Now I'm moving on to the scariest thing I've done in quite awhile. "In quite awhile" even includes speaking up in a class where, after telling the professor the things I'm interested in academically (" know, I'm really into what comes after postmodernism, so like, the, uh, post-postmodern as I called it in my undergraduate thes-"), he hooted and replied, as if I had told him I was interested in how unicorns mate or what fairy blood tastes like (wait for it):

"Well, that's. Not. Real." [italics and drama all author's note].

Anyway, the scariest thing I've done in a very long time?

I officially have a pipe dream. Yes. I have a dream that only happens in fairy tales and stories with puppies and rainbows and the thought of it coming true feels like what I imagine completing Halo 3 on expert would feel like to a thirteen-year-old boy.

Here it is:

I want to be an STA World Traveler Intern for the year 2011. Yes I do.

Notice my video isn't up (yet). Why? Because pipe dreams are frigging (note: inclusion of the "g" on the ending for emphasis) terrifying. The odds are failure are immense, but your stupid soul is basically tripping on imaginary acid inside of you at the thought of it coming true: Yes, I know it can't happen but oh goodness Emily, what if it! WHAT IF IT DID! Tra la la dreams hope happiness kittens clouds! And you're all, Come on soul, seriously, I'm trying to watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion and you're ruining it (...again), I'm not joking. So it leaves you alone for an hour, but then you find yourself day dreaming about Turkish bathhouses and climbing mountains in New Zealand COMPLETELY without your conscious consent while you blow dry your hair.

Pipe dreams are terrifying even beyond their acknowledged level of potential failure though, and for an interesting, very postmodern (REAL. IT'S REAL, PROFESSOR MILLER) reason: the inclusion of hope to the equation. Hope, having real hope for something you desperately want to happen actually come true, is something that is often spit on now: it's corny, it's desperate, and really, it's not very cool. It's just not. In fact, it's downright uncool, it's awkward even. Which, the more I think about it, is incredibly sad. What's going to happen if we're all too cool to be genuine, or earnest, or vulnerable? Like I enjoy Skins as much as the next person, but I'm ready to not be afraid of having a pipe dream, or having hope, or being ready to fail. It may not be eloquent, or even more original than a cool magnet saying or something girls post on their stupid Tumblrs all the time next to pictures of Audrey Hepburn, but I think I'm (a little begrudgingly) ready to be lumped into those categories...if just to keep vulnerability, sincerity, and earnest hope alive. At least for me.

Vote for me for STA World Traveler Intern 2011. Here we go nerdy dreams.

More to come.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Yesterday I couldn't bring myself to do anything remotely frightening except walk on some grates on the street. If walking on grates on the street doesn't terrify you, you have a death wish and that is to plunge to your death, fall on electrified train tracks, and then get hit by a subway car and have your pulpy remains eaten by rats. You would be like Anna Karenina but less tragic and no one would write any books about you.

Moral of the story is you can't face things if you're hungover. So you are forced to do daredevil things like step on street grates.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I fell asleep with a Suze Orman book on my face last night.

I read this article a few weeks ago and was so inspired:

The New York Times: But Will It Make You Happy?

I made it its own paragraph is how much I'd recommend it. I'm very easily swayed by this type of argument against stuff: oh, I will throw out all my spoons (silver, get it, an allusion) and live a romantic bohemian lifestyle where all I need are my friends and my dog and my love and water when I go to bars and then I will kayak and hike mountains and pay off my bajillion dollar student loans in two years and live in New Zealand.

So, in those golden, hazy, few weeks ago when the world was new and I was young and New York was alive, I threw out a lot of stuff.

Then you start grad school (day two counts, okay). Then you just get all Curious George about the state of your affairs which is honestly a very stupid thing to do and go through your credit cards, your bank accounts, your student loans, and the money your wonderful parents loaned you for rent but has disappeared into groceries because you have to start a fridge all over, a metrocard, cab fares from places that look fine in the daytime but get Law and Order-y at night, laundry, a sweater, bus tickets, dog food for your beloved dog you would never regret for all the loan-debt forgiveness in the world, window blinds, notebooks, a haircut for the hair equivalent of a snaggle-tooth you keep on your head daily and textbooks, and you're like oh shit. This city has eaten all my money. There is no money.


Then you climb up to your mini-loft you use for storage for all that unnecessary stuff you threw away and have a little quiet anxiety attack.

I, and is everyone on the planet so at least we have something in common, am absolutely panic-stricken at the thought of being poor. Like beyond poor actually because you owe the Department of Education about a third of a large house. BUT. Butbutbut. I'm inviting you along on my attempt to not have hyperventilating freak outs in an empty bathtub or dusty loft (or the cold, hard, empty place of your choosing) when you have to face the fact that you have absolutely no money. And that you live in a city where "you can have anything all the time" and "it never sleeps" and "is the best city in the world" (thanks, I get it, rub it in).

This inevitably leads to the facing of other fears that subsequently are no longer scary because you are desperate, including:

-selling your beloved books you've amassed through a buyback service online for pennies on the dollar, and subsequently selling your main safety blanket for your intelligence (i.e. LOOK AT ALL MY BOOKS, I'VE READ THEM).
-not getting enough sleep in order to churn out those charming freelance articles which are your only source of income, which could logically lead to worse anxiety about everything and probably will (see the cycle there, I do).

Those are the main two. But still. At the same time, I'm not going to lie: my list-making and brain-storming has lead to a lot of -ing-ings, and generally, ing-ings (which could, I guess, be calling "being smart and doing valuable things with your life instead of mindlessly buying things and saying you owe it to yourself to not go more in debt") feel kind of satisfying.