Monthly Archives: December 2009

Winter is the inspiration behind melancholic ballads and heavyhearted lyrics. I’m a sucker for wintery emo songs sung by crooning sensitive white boys. As much as I love Caetano Veloso, Rufus Thomas, and the Dream, I have to give a little internet high five to my fair-skinned brothas.

White Flight – Augustine
Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
Jeremy Jay – Winter Wonder
Japan – Ghosts

and by the biggest white boy crooner of all time: my fave, poet Mr. Richard Howard


Manners of this time this place
moderate me.
Weather grows accustomed, space
more or less free
To take whatever shape you left
in the soft air,
Memories of the eyeball fixed
but not forced there.

It is an anyhow world
I wander, run
Now to such days, corroding, cold
for the season
But never too white for spring.


A.P. + R.D.

Lately, conversations between me and my friends obsessively circle around the always popular and heady topic of romance. Of course, this theme encapsulates everything from breaking up, making up, to making out, PER USUAL. I’m reminded of the sleepover- and jungle gym- discussions from my youth, only slightly more x-rated. Just slightly. Right. Could it be that the winter season with its crisp air, face-numbing winds, and movie-cheese (got to re-live Father of the Bride last week), jump-starts those reckless emotions that we pass off as PMS? Or are we suddenly in our mid-twenties, and questioning all matters of the heart? Then there are the Facebook updates about engagements, marriages, and former jump-ropin homies getting preggers. Has it really been 7 years since I graduated high school? And while people are making life-altering commitments, I’m still planning the finite details of my romantic trajectory. By planning, I’m really using a “process of elimination” to narrow down what exactly it is I’m looking for, romantically. So far, the experience has been enlightening. As I emotionally, mentally, and physically connect and clash with different people, I also slowly understand what it is I DON’T want, or abhor. And this is so much easier than starting off with an unrealistic and therefore, impenetrable checklist. Man of my dreams does not have to be well-versed in Swiss typography, but he certainly cannot be socially retarded. The M.O.M.D. doesn’t have to don APC head to toe, but he can’t be self-involved. And the non-list goes on. And with the new year ahead, I demand that all of my friends try this new technique of finding love- which more or less has to do with finding yourself first.

And with that- for those of you with a nerd fetish, the above photo courtesy of-

Relocation Rule #1 : Do not acquire more than what you plan to discard.

I’ve moved over a dozen times in my life. That’s dragging mislabeled boxes up nondescript flights of stairs at least once every two years, for the last twenty. Mom and I have endured pipe leaks, popcorn ceilings, garish pink carpets, and uncooperative garage doors. We’ve also experienced the wealth of every fruit tree imaginable – lemons, avocados, jujubes. I was a lucky kid because there was always a new back yard to explore, a new fruit to discover, and new trees to carve my name into. But sometimes I grew up too quickly: after one particular move, my Ringling Brothers’ circus of stuffed companions mysteriously disappeared, lost in a move somewhere. I had to become an adult that day.

Naturally, mom and I became expert movers, picking up unexpected skills while trying to navigate life’s haphazard design. I learned to juggle plates and cups like a Chinese acrobat; mom unhinged doors with her eyes closed. (We used enough bubble wrap to enrobe the Great Wall.) All the while a dizzying number of hermetically-sealed boxes filled with our lives, that filled our lives, would stare at us sympathetically like onlookers at a public stoning. And no, there was never any time for feelings. This was a fast-paced gypsy life minus the tunics and caravans. Gap fleeces and a dilapidated Jeep Cherokee suited us just fine.

And as the story goes – I’m moving again, this time to New York City – a portal to those idyllic postcards of taxi cabs, pizza, hot dogs, brick stoops, and Times Square. When they called and told me I got the job,  all I could think was bubble wrap, boxes, newspaper, repeat. Survival mode can become a bad habit that’s hard to break, I suppose.

Those early morning tape gun rituals will not prepare me for this impending goodbye. I feel guilty for abandoning mom and our cardboard- and Pine-sol-infused memories. And like clockwork, she’s moving again, too. We’ll soon be mechanically and stoically packing away useless kitchen gadgets (the Magic Bullet, anyone?), hosiery, and more evidence of our living selves. This time though, we won’t be high-fiving each other at the top of some unfamiliar staircase after successfully lugging up a box of “Diane’s office supplies” (actually filled with dinner plates). We won’t be debating the legitimacy of bathroom feng shui while chowing down take-out. We won’t be hugging out our exasperation and disappointment over the fairytale life we never had, and the nomadic one we fell into. Instead, I’ll be perched on a stoop in New York, amid bright lights, car horns blaring, with my cell phone in hand, listening to stories about mom’s new home and telling her all about mine.