Category Archives: Observations

It’s No Wonder Birds Inspire Poetry

“Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle,

That while you watched turned to pieces of snow,

Riding a gradient invisible

From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn’t tell,

And then they clearly flew instead of fell.”

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I adore that poem by Howard Nemerov.  It was one of the random poems UConn has plastered all over the buses or in one of the buildings, I can’t remember where I’d originally seen it.  I do remember it being so pungent that I was compelled to write it down.

There is something eternal about sparrows.  It’s like that Owl City song “Saltwater Room”…

When I feel warm with your hand in mine

When we walk along the shoreline;

I guess we’ll never know why sparrows love the snow

We’ll turn out all of the lights and set this ballroom aglow.

So tell me, darling, do you wish we’d fall in love?

Yeah, all the time, all the time.

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I’m not generally a fan of birds (I have a bad track record) but they do seem to like me.  Especially owls and sparrows.

Here’s the owl that perched right outside my bedroom window.  He’s a beauty.  Credit to my photographically talented father.

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Bloom Like An Artist

Wether you’re an artist or not, everyone can take away something from this…

Love = Selfish

It is selfish to love. People die every day.  People go to prison. People move far away.  People just disappear after awhile, somehow or other. Therefore, it is selfish to love because when we love someone, it encourages them to love us back… and we all disappear eventually.

A Box To Store My Brain, In Case I Need It Someday

You know what is fascinating?  Going through all the mix CDs people have made you over the years.  I have recently moved and in the process, re-discovered lots of things I’d forgotten were in my possession; among these discoveries were plentiful numbers of mixes of various awesomeness.  These included, but were not limited to:

– a plethora of mixes made by my good friend Andrew (I counted… there are 39)

-compilations of bands I no longer listen to

-old CDs made by some random obscure ex-boyfriend that I only like two songs off of

-etc.

In other words, it was the usual motley mixed bag.  I also came across a mix I made for myself when I was 15.  Curious, I popped it into my CD drive and downloaded it to see what on earth I enjoyed listening to in February of 2005.  It was eerie, listening to those songs; I remembered each one of them, including the reasons I’d put them on that CD.

It’s strange to be able to get inside your own head; that sounds very strange to say, but seriously… think about it.  It’s like this blog, for example: not-so-long-ago, I wrote a post on 10 reasons why I would be single forever (granted, I was mainly kidding), but lo and behold I am not single… at least at the moment.  I’m quite happy, by the way, (or I am until he finally realizes I’m not that great).

What I’m really getting at here is that there is really no way to ever be sure that we are out of our systems.

We are out of our own systems.  You heard me right.

Awhile ago, my good friend Erica (if you are reading this, woman, when the hell are we hanging out?!) asked me to expound upon an idea I presented in one of my past blogs: “In some ways, people really are just ghosts.  Our past selves are ghosts, acting the puppetier to the present and future us.  We haunt ourselves.”

I truly do believe we do this.  Haunt ourselves, I mean.  History is created every day.  EVERY DAY.  There is world history, national history, community history, what-have-you.  There is personal history.

Personal history is generally more interesting than people give it credit for.  Think about the last person you dated, for example.  Why did you date them?  What attracted you to them?  There must have been something.  But now… what’s there?  Anything left?

Fascinating.

Most of the people I’ve had in my life have been spectacular in their own ways and the majority of them have left some kind of imprint on my life.  I hope I can say the same for them, vice versa.  But then – more potently – if other people can influence your lives in such intense ways, how tangible are the ways in which we influence ourselves?  We haunt ourselves in that we constantly make decisions (sometimes tiny decisions that don’t seem to matter) and those decisions have consequences in our lives.

If you were to look at a human being – in an emotionally intimate way, not physically – there would be a few essential things that tie us together and make sure no loose ends are allowing our weaknesses to control us.  Among those traits would be our pasts.  We build ourselves up, sometimes only to break ourselves back down, but other times to continue building until we have a stronghold ready to withstand tragedy.  Then, finally, when something happens, we are prepared for it – or we aren’t.

The Holidays Have Ruined Themselves

Every year, Hannukkah begins on a different day of December and continues on for eight days.  This year, Hannukkah starts early – December 1st, tomorrow.  The UConn Hillel keeps inviting me to Hannukkah celebrations, including such things like wine tastings, latke cook-offs and candle lightings.  Many of these things sound fun to me – especially the flyer I got promoting a legit ball in the ballroom – but I perused the activities without considering actually going to any.  Why?  I have no time.

Trust me, if I wasn’t so busy, I’d certainly be going to the ball this Thursday; I love to dance, and already have a dress I could wear.  Also, while I don’t have any interest in attending a wine tasting, a latke cook-off sounds pretty awesome.

I think it is events like these that make me appreciate Hannukkah so much more than Christmas (see “5 Reasons Christmas Sucks” in that little sidebar thingie).  It’s not all about religion – despite that many would make it so – it’s more about thankfulness and the social aspects of Judaism.  In fact, the holiday Hannukkah is supremely irrelevant to the entire religion, being only a minor holiday at best, despite that it’s the one both Jews and non-Jews alike talk about most.  Really, if you want to look at it religiously, Passover, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are all way more important and/or significant.

Relevant or not, Hannukkah is a time of year I absolutely love to celebrate because of all the culture there is to see.  Traditional food dishes are some of my favorites, too!  Falafel, latkes, matzah ball soup, and who could forget gelt?  (Though I generally pass on those little gefilte fish trifle things… yuck).  I also love the traditions; candle lightings are so beautiful.  The only thing I think is beautiful about Christmas is the Christmas tree – this is mainly because I once was able to go to New York City for the tree lighting at Cernegie Hall.  All the lights, snow and cheerfulness were intoxicating.

In the past few years however, December has become the most hellish month of the year for me, which is really a huge shame considering how much I love celebrating Hannukkah or doing winter sports like ice skating or skiing.  I don’t even mind being cold that much because it’s a wonderful excuse to cuddle up with someone you love, or make an extra-big mug of hot cocoa.

I think the worst part about December (for me) isn’t that I get overworked, overwrought, overtired and lots of other bad things that start with the word ‘over’.  The thing I miss most during the last month of the year – besides my sanity – is my friends.  Between my two retail jobs and school, I become a zombie during this month, pretty much annually.  You’d think I’d get used to it, but trust me, I never do.  It doesn’t matter that last three weeks of school always seem to be creeping around surreptitiously, reminding me that I still have 2 huge papers to write, 2 big projects to complete, 1 homework assignment to do, 2 books to read and 4 exams to study for.

It just seems a shame to me that holidays have, well… ruined the holidays.  I might be fine if it were just school plus my regular hours at my regular job – I’d still have something like a life.  But every year, there is this need for masses of people to buy things for others, spending far too much money and wasting far too much of my time.  All I want to do is be able to celebrate in peace, but if you work in retail, you aren’t allowed to uphold traditions during this month.  Basically, that means that the only the uber-religious people are able to celebrate because they’re the only ones that are zealous enough to request the time off…

It makes me wonder when this is all going to pop?  Seriously.  You can’t go on forever just inflating something to the extent that people have over-inflated Christmas and Hannukkah.  It isn’t all about presents.

Useless Drivel

Mithridate [noun]: a confection believed to cure every poison known to man.”

It is my earnest belief that love exists in some of the strangest places – but no matter where you find it, love is kind of your mithridate to life.  Let’s face it, life has its ups and downs – some people have more of one than the other, but everyone at the very least, has their fair share of downs.  It’s these downsides that are our poisons, running like ice through our veins, freezing us from the inside.  A little cold is good for us – can you imagine if we were all hot-blooded? – but there comes a point where you start to wonder if your blood hasn’t actually become viscous and translucent… and it’s almost worth pricking your finger just to make sure it isn’t actually ice or poison in there.

Then… suddenly, you realize you care for someone deeply, immensely.  Is it love?  Who knows.  Is it worth the risk of getting hurt in the end?  Probably not.  But it just feels so damn good, sucking all the poison from your blood and making you feel alive, loved and wanted in ways that you aren’t used to.

A lot of my past blog posts have been about love, which seems to be a recurring theme with me – perhaps that’s lame, or maybe not.  Maybe it’s just human nature to love, even when we know there’s a chance that we might get hurt; there’s something innate in us (maybe not all of us, but I’d wager a vast majority) that makes us willing to take the risk.

In the past couple weeks I have finally come to the conclusion that I give my heart away far too easily.  I never learn from past mistakes about jumping in headfirst.  I have what Jessie has coined a “Taylor Swift Complex” – when you’re too romantic for your own good.  I don’t like perpetual cold – I don’t like the poison that makes me that way.  It’s part of what makes pessimism and indecision (two things I’m just terrible with) so much worse.

There is a phrase, “love never fails” that makes me wonder at the stupidity of people.  Love fails all the time, which is why people hurt each other so frequently and deeply.  It’s why wars are fought and why people break up or get divorced, or shake their babies until they cause permanent brain damage.  Love fails constantly. It reminds me of that movie, “Love & Other Drugs” with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, which I never saw because it looked lame (Jakey-poo isn’t exactly the best actor… just nice to look at, especially in Prince of Persia).  Love is a drug… a terrible drug capable of ruining your life, or at the very least, causing immense sorrow… but it’s also a cure – it heals, though it takes time.  There is nothing else like it in the world and it’s amazing.

“You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”  –Sam Keen

Mixed-Up Sensory Perceptions With A Touch Of Idiocy

I love the library at school, especially when it’s cold out.  For some reason, about half the student populous isn’t aware of – or doesn’t care – about level A (technically underground, but above level B) of the library.  They have many assorted types of chairs on that floor as if they put all the random ones that haven’t been destroyed over the years by spilled margaritas someone snuck in inside a water bottle, or some distracted kid studying for finals and missing his mouth while eating Indian food from Wings Express.

My absolute favorite chair is a big, red armchair, the color of a deep glass of Merlot.  The chair is situated in a little nook between colonial governing policies and colon cancer… so not many people know it’s there because no one really cares enough about those topics to read about them in outdated books that smell like socks.

The best thing about it though, is that it directly catches the heat from the vent in the ceiling.  I once fell asleep there while in the library studying for December finals.  I woke up because I’d had a dream that someone was strangling me with a pair of pantyhose – and when you finally die in a dream, you tend to wake up (didn’t you see Inception?!  No I’m kidding).

I think my senses are messed up.  When I woke up, I wasn’t gasping for breath, as would have been the average response; instead my ears were wide open.  Ears.  I heard everything.  Sniffles from across the room…. I tell you, I could have heard a pin drop.

It’s something I’ve been wondering about for awhile now – I don’t see with my eyes, I touch.  I don’t hear with my ears, I see instead.  Smell… taste.  It can be unnerving.

Do you know what history tastes like?  I do.  I can taste it in the air in some places.  Do you know what snow sounds like?  I do.  I can hear it when it falls.  And when it falls under non-florescent street lamps, it looks like flakes of gold falling from the sky and I can almost smell the metal that’s raining on us all.

My lips get warm when I argue.  When my heart races, I can almost physically feel my blood flowing quicker.  The air is dense and kind of lavender-purple or deep crimson around a piano being played.  My skin is numb when I see something I dislike, or when I’m frightened.  I have favorite noises but not favorite smells.

Am I normal?  Am I weird?  Do I really care?  Should I care?

The only thing I haven’t been able to teach myself is how to stop caring about people.

How do you teach your heart

It’s a crime to fall in love again?

Matters of the heart have always, for some reason escaped me.  No matter how hard I try to pull back on the reins, to stop myself from rushing in headfirst, I continue to jump in without looking – or worse… looking, knowing I’m going to get hurt, and jumping anyway.

In some ways, people really are just ghosts.  Our past selves are ghosts, acting the puppetier to the present and future us.  We haunt ourselves.