Why midnight? 'Cause that's when I turn into a pumpkin. Pumpkins can't write, 'cause they don't have arms, and that's where I come in. The pumpkin speaks, and I am the vessel of his words. The pumpkin has been gutted, it needs me. The pumpkin is always a he. It's not sexist or anything, I don't believe in men or gender at all necessarily, just words. I believe in a whole lot of different ways to be alive. So many ways to be boys and girls and men and women that really, the binary's as old-fashioned as cholera.
Rose & Olive's nerve photo blog is my favorite. I discovered nerve photo blogs while working there. I was interning during Hurricane Katrina and Siege took a break from his usual subjects to photograph New Orleans, his hometown. His family is there, and so on. It was devastating, the photographs are incredible. My brother, who also lives in NO, said: "I'm fine, I'm at my friend's country club in Atlanta drinking beer. Worry about the people who can't leave." Have I mentioned that even though he was born after me, he somehow got older? I must have.
Also during the Autumn of my Internship, Kate & Camilla launched their photo blog. Lo and I went to their launch party in Faraway, Brooklyn. We emerged from the subway and dashed across the wet street and I screamed "Go! Now! Go!" and she said, "This isn't My So-Called Life!" But it was! It was my so-called life. The party was fun, we laughed at everyone. About a year later, I went to a Kate & Camilla gallery opening party with Stephanie, who'd modeled for them. Maybe a year after that, on the subway, I ran into the designers who's clothes Steph had modeled in Kate & Camilla's photographs -- they recognized me and were adorable, snapped me out of the mindset of whatever gross place I was traveling to.
See: life brings itself back around, you just have to stay awake.
Anyhow, Kate & Camilla don't have a photo blog anymore, which brings me back to Rose & Olive. I usually get uncomfortable looking at photos where people aren't wearing all their clothes, but somehow the nudity they employ isn't so much "look at me I'm sexy" as it is, "we were all naked in the womb, what's the big deal." Which also makes me uncomfortable, but life is supposed to be uncomfortable, right? So, they take good photo.
I only look at nerve photoblogs after midnight. Not 'cause I'm killing time but 'cause there's no time to kill. Time is not a pumpkin or a bunny, obviously. Time is a stapler. If time was applying for a temp job, it would list "collating" as a skill.
The photos I've got up here today, all taken from Rose & Olive, look like the houses I imagine sleeping in during that mythical/future part of life between sunrise and the rest of it when Alex and I will be in a car listening to loud heavy sweet popcorn music and the sun'll beat like beating and we'll be driving to California. Except actually some of the houses are more like houses I imagine I'll want to live in, in Eugene or Missoula, when I see how cheap/inexpensive the rent is everywhere but here and say "Pull over." ("If they say in the car that I am insane, I will take over the wheel." - Thomas McGuane, 92 in the Shade) (my "quote" in the senior yearbook) I'll make a CD for the car and name it "California." This'll be the playlist:
Hotel California - The Eagles
Southern California Wants to Be Western New York - Dar Williams
California Uber Allies: Dead Kennedys
Goodnight, California: Kathleen Edwards
California Girls: The Beach Boys
Going to California: Led Zepplin
California Sky: Unwritten Law
California: Rogue Wave
California: Rufus Wainwright
Dani California: Red Hot Chili Peppers
California Dreamin': The Mamas and the Papaps
California Stars: Billy Bragg & Wilco
California Love: Tupac
California Sun: The Ramones
Quote: "I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was -- I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that's why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon." (Jack Kerouac, On the Road)
1) Thank you, Rebecca Traister, for this: Female Writers, Emily Gould, Sex and the City, The New York Times: Another Pretty Face of a Generation @salon.com: "It's been a nasty couple of weeks for New York's writing women, both real and imaginary." (Also, cheers to the Elizabeth Wurtzel related graphic.) Here's some snippets:
"What provokes such fury, over Carrie Bradshaw, and -- for a flash -- over Gould (barring a book deal and TV show that will turn her meanderings into cultural furniture) is that in a media landscape in which there are a severely limited number of spaces for women's writing voices, the ones that get tapped become necessarily, and deeply inaccurately, emblematic -- of their gender, their generation, their profession. More annoying -- and twisted -- is that those meager spots for women are consistently filled by those willing to expose themselves, visually and emotionally. And not accidentally, by those willing to expose themselves in a way that is comfortable, and often alluring, to many of the men who control the media, and to many of the women who consume it."2) The latest show: "They all feel the constant, mind-numbing urge to remind us of just how crazy and dramatic and hardcore their lush lesbian lives are." Boobs, Elbows and Asses: Lesbians Get Another 'Reality' Check with 'Gimme Sugar' (@nypress):
"We have to remember: There is nothing wrong with women writing about themselves, their youth, their indiscretions, their habits and values and personal development. Men have been writing about this stuff for thousands of years; they call it the canon."
3) My hero Sam Anderson reviews Robert Olen Butler's The Sex Lives of Others (@nymag)
4) Seriously, I thought this was my secret trick, and if other people start being clever in their cover letters than I'm back to where I started from, which's "no marketable skills." 'Cause clearly it's worked so well for me thus far ... um.: "It's No Act, I Need a Job" (@the nytimes)
5) I just discovered this blog today; she's gay, is trying to start her own indpendent bookstore in Brooklyn and has an incredible link list/blogroll. (@written nerd)
6) Let's talk about SATC forevs and evs!! Patricia Field on Her Favorite 'Sex' Outfits and SJP's Crazy Hat, (@nymag), Sex Writers on "Sex and the City" (@salon.com), and @entertainment weekly; a 100% SATC issue.
7) Do You Hear the People Sing? The Modern American High School Musical (@the simon magazine)
8) "Thanks to Eggers’ own books, McSweeney’s can continue to bankroll what it wants to publish. " Renewing the Faith: McSweeny's Goes Back to Basics, Making Publishing Fun Again. (@laweekly)
9) In Which Women Are Changing the Sex Industry from Inside. (@this recording)
10) Ian McEwan says that "prophets of the apocalypse have become a new and very real danger": The Day of Judgment. (@the guardian uk)
To paint my music like, like I saw it best.
And she says I grew up well. Well, well I grew up strong,
Cause no one's got my back. No one's gonna write me my songs.
I've been tired for days and days."
-Tegan & Sara, "Days and Days"