Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Awkward Sex Show Marches On



So we did the first show and it was tons of fun, but the audio was awful and me trying to clean up background noise did not make it better.

 But then Scene did a write up of us, and I had to make a blog and a twitter feed and a facebook page, and so then it was basically a thing.

 So we did it again, and the second time it was just as much fun with fewer people, and easier to listen to for sure, but I was really sick and people got really drunk and the conversation got away from us pretty good towards the end. I did some creative editing. Editing in the sense of taking the digital equivalent of a broadsword to the hour and 45 minutes of nonsense.

I like that this is just not a comedy show. I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I like that I'm not expected to be funny. Also it turns out I like my own voice a whole lot more than I used to when I was a kid.

 Anyway, you should go listen to it. Unless you're our parents. I cannot stress how much our parents should not listen to it.


 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New York Food I Wish I Had Right Now




Really really good iced coffee please. The kind of coffee that makes you regret having automatically put in milk and sugar without stopping to taste it first. The kind of coffee that also somewhat explains why people would like living in Park Slope, where they could walk to get this. Oh, okay, I see. But also it still doesn't excuse you wearing those really expensive black strappy heels to walk your dog.

 

This pizza please, even with the anchovies. I will only order anchovies when I'm in NYC. Let's talk for a moment about how I think Chicago style pizza is an affront to the idea of pizza, like if NYC pizza is a tart, and Cleveland pizza is a pie, then Chicago pizza is a cake made of tomato casserole and can go fuck itself.

 

We went to the famous deli and it was totally overcrowded and the walk made me super tired and the sandwiches were too expensive and the egg creams melted all over our hands in the subway, but the pastrami is definitely the best pastrami ever. The corned beef was eh though.

 

I like that every trip to NYC includes at least one moment of quintessential New York Americana. Like the year we ended up at the french piano bar where the NY Met singers were taking requests from their castmates. Or the New Years Eve I was on a rooftop in Hoboken, watching the Italian social clubs set off fireworks in the street. This time it was this dim sum place hidden on a curvy little side alley in Chinatown, where the same guy had been cooking for a 100 million years, and the little fried turnip cakes and scallion pancakes and huge soft steamed buns were all amazing and cheap. The servers were all obviously cousins. There were little plaster saints on display behind the counter. The bathroom led out to the alley. Also, the crowd will make you feel like one of the cool people, like if you were an amateur documentary filmmaker and I was a struggling dance/theater major, we would come here on date night after a film release in someone's basement.

 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Charlies of the World

I made a new friend recently, this guy in his late 20s who went to a very nice Ivy League school, and then decided to go into construction, and spend a large portion of his 20s traveling around 3rd world countries or riding around America doing odd jobs. He feels inherently guilty about the position in life he was born into, he's well read and very well educated, he's adept at most social situations but prefers ones with a lack of pretension, and he's picked up a fair amount of "life skills". Earlier this week I had a conversation with a couple I know about "manliness", and one thing mentioned was how important it was to try to fix something yourself first. Like, at least TRY to open up the dryer and see what's wrong before you pay someone to come over and do it. At least TRY to unclog the sink yourself. So this guy, he's a guy who Tries. For the purposes of this blog, he'll be known as the Prince.

When I first met him, we had a conversation about how he was really All American looking, and I said I thought he looked like he could be a WW2 fighter pilot named Charlie. It's probably related to the fact that I'm obsessed with Steinbeck's Travels with Charley this summer. I found my copy again while I was moving, and I keep reading a few pages at a time every day, like it's a supply of antibiotics and I'm stuck on a desert island.

Last night the Prince had a couchsurfer come through, a guy named Emmett (though his first name was actually Charlie) who is going on a Hobo Odyssey , which means he had his parents drop him off at a gas station with 50 bucks in his pocket, and he's traveling through 50 states in 50 weeks, hitchhiking, train hopping, panhandling, couch surfing. He's also making a movie with his little pocket ProGo camera (which I WANT now) and writing a book. We took him to Phnom Penh in Ohio City for dinner, and he interviewed a guy standing in the West Side Market parking lot wearing a Heat jersey, who refused to be on camera, but spoke passionately about how Lebron would come back to Cleveland some day if we just let him, but Gilbert had fucked that up, and then as we were leaving the Prince noted that one of the other guys standing around had a very large handgun stuffed in his pants. Oh Cleveland. After dinner, we went down to Edgewater Pier, to hang out with the fishermen. It was way after sunset, but there was a red glow coming from the horizon as if Canada was on fire. Emmett immediately started talking to people, just walked into the crowd of strangers and didn't come out for an hour. He ended up emerging with a  bag of fish, promising the guy he would cook it and eat it as part of the movie. You could tell the guy was skeptical about giving his fish away, he kept telling him to make sure he actually ate it, which honestly seems like a valid doubt, that these three young white kids on the pier "making a movie" would waste the fish, but Emmett is sincere as heck, it's a wonderful quality in him and I wonder if he had it before the trip and that's why strangers take him in, or if he's developed it these last 274 days having to rely on kindness. We watched the sailboats on the dark lake, blinking little green and red lights from the gloom. As we were leaving, the moon set heavy and red in the horizon, and I got super confused by why the moon would be setting at like 11, it had been high and bright in the sky at our arrival, and the three of us discovered together that despite our educations we had only the most primitive understanding of how the moon worked. Though later I did manage to logic out how lake effect snow worked on my own with guesswork, so I feel....no, I should have known that too. No excuses. I'm not trying hard enough to retain these basic understandings of the universe, I'm taking them for granted.

Standing on the pier, I told the Prince that I was going to refer to this little sub class of educated monied travelers that both of them belonged to as the Charlies. It makes me happy to think about all the Charlies of the last 50 years, graduating from nice schools, then setting out for the open roads of the continent and voluntary poorness and adventure. Dad did the same thing once, hopped trains and hitchhiked across the country after Brandeis, and even though he wasn't from money, I think the main requirement to be a Charlie is that you have the kind of rich kid education that teaches you these things are possible, that all you have to do is DO them, TRY. I think I got that from Hathaway Brown too, this feeling of freedom that you get from having the (sense of) money and time to think and imagine, this supportive consensus of  "of course if you want to do that, you should do it, why not?"  A lack of Can'ts. That kind of education shouldn't be just for rich kids, it isn't fair, but that's the difference of going to a really good probably expensive school. I understand why my parents thought it was so important we got those scholarships now, they knew what the difference was, what kind of perspective you would learn to face the world with. Also, I think it's helped me a lot to not be intimidated by people with more money than me. Equality, Freedom, and Curiosity, that's what the nice schools teach you if you're the right kind of person.

In the case of every Charlie I've ever known though, that also includes graduating with a lack of school debt. But that's not primary. It's not like I paid my school debt at all through out my twenties anyway. I can't use that as an excuse.

 I guess this move, this turning over the rock on my life halfway through, is the little remaining bits of Charlie in me coming out, an insistent nagging voice that says "of course you can give up this career you don't like and move somewhere by the ocean where you don't know anyone, of course you can, why wouldn't you?" Girls though, we need another word, we're almost never full on Charlies because we grow up with such a sense of danger, that it just isn't safe and we'll get raped or mugged or otherwise hacked to pieces. That's not an invalid concern, the world is more dangerous for women, but there are female Charlies out there too, wandering around. I think I will call them Carolines.  I would like someday to be a Caroline.

After the lake we went back to my house and drank on the porch, and watched the cops stop by the shady apartment building next door, and then the weirdly unmarked tractor trailers leaving the parking lot at 2am chased by other cars, the dealers standing at the end of our driveway waiting to hop in a passing car that slows down. Those guys could be Charlies too, if someone had told them they could. If there had been just enough money around their childhoods to teach them money isn't everything, and if someone had made them read really good books. The luckiness of my life is overwhelming on nights like this.


You should follow Emmett's adventure now, because it's almost over and I'm really excited to see how the Alaska/Hawaii part works out http://hobodyssey.com/

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday Night


Last night, after a day of sweltering heat, I rode my bike down the street in the dusk to the dive bar to meet up with my friend. We were going to have a few beers and help him make a list of everything that needed to get done this next week. He made a list. We checked it twice. Then he helped the bar owner do her crossword puzzle, tbars and Eli and highest mount in the Philippines. The basketball game was on, so we decided to go somewhere sporty where people might be watching that shit, and because I had tried to look cute for him, we went to ABC. I ran into the Swedish model interior designer and the glossy curled brunette from the Film Festival, and a guy named Kevin from Rocky River who was there with his brothers and they were all wearing different colored solid plain Ts which amused me to no fucking end but I was polite and didn't say anything. It rained lightly on the patio, and I could see huge flashes of lightning from the lake but the storm wouldn't break. The basketball game ended. The guy nobody likes won a championship, and then my friend was all like "well, okay, we gotta just let him have it, look at his face", which is the right and true way to treat athletes. We went out to the car to go home, and he decided it was too early, so instead we went to that jazz place for Blues Night. There was some musician there that he had taken lessons from when he was fifteen. I drank patron, and wiggled around to cover songs while he talked about existential crisis. The bass player was in a wheelchair and playing from next to the stage. I almost said things I'm not supposed to, but caught myself, like a lady. Or rather, like a good friend. We went to the 5'o'clock and got a sixpack to go, then drove to this warehouse, and I walked around the concrete floors in my bare feet, and got covered in black dust from leaning against The Best Car in the World, I named it Matilda and wrote it's name in dust on the hood. Then he put me in charge of learning to drive the scissor lift, and after about 15 minutes of "which button do I push?" "All of them" I figured it out sort of. He knew how to do it, of course, but that's a proper boy thing to do, let a girl push the buttons and sit back knowing you can step in before she does anything bad, letting her figure it out on her own. Maybe that's just a proper Bridget thing. Always let bridgets figure these things out on their own, despite their begging and cajoling.Then we went all the way up to the ceiling beams and I shrieked because I thought it might tip over if we shook it too hard. And I could hear the rain against the roof right there above my head, and the trains going by outside. He drove it back to it's rightful place, and I hung off the back steps like a hitchhiker, drinking a beer, covered in dirt, extremely happy.

And this is how summer starts properly.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

That Time of the Month/Year




As a girl, you pay attention to what week of the month it is, or at least you are supposed to. After 18 years of this, I still get surprised when I wake up feeling hateful and mean for no reason, and then later that day I look at the calendar and it's like, duh, okay, of course. Stop freaking out.

 I think men assume that PMS and all the other hormonal effects of having a uterus only happen all together, one week of the month. That's not how a cycle works.

 I have three days of feeling hateful, which are usually about two weeks before the Bleed. Right after those three days I have one week of absolutely crazy making horniness. Like, the kind where you are living in a kind of electrical net, and every sensation on your skin is amazing and yet really awful cause the whole feeling is one of prolonged anticipation, and seriously that might be the worst feeling in the world after too much of it. Also, my skin tends to be bad right and I feel bloated at the moment, which is very bad planning Nature.

 The next week my skin is great, I feel great, I'm totally normal and awesome in all respects. And then the week after is the actual bleeding. Of which, the very first night is the best night in the whole month for me to have sex. During my actual period, I actually feel pretty great, happy, ect, only I'm very tired. And then the next few days after my period ends, I have zero interest in sex and I am super into talking about politics and other people's problems and I'm really pragmatic. This is the best week for me to have job interviews or get paperwork done, or edit.

 So in some sort of structure, here is what I know about my body:

  1st 3 days of the cycle - angry, intense, emotional, very good writing time, worst time to talk to significant other about anything emotional at all. 


 2nd week - basically the "in heat" week, I spend a lot of time outside, I tend to wear brighter colors, and less makeup but more lipstick (I swear that's actually true, I might as well be a baboon.) 


 3rd week - everything is totally great and I look great and people love me and I feel awesome. Someone at some point will tell me I'm too nice to people or I'm too positive and geez I see the good in everyone even complete assholes. This is the best week to give me really bad news, and also if you compliment me now, I will remember and love you for it forever. 


 4th week - I just want to read all the time, and I'm mad I can't go swimming, and I don't go out a lot, but instead get really impressed with the idea that my body can totally do this, and I get sentimental about the universe and love and death. I talk in a lot of metaphors. I change my underwear twice a day, and think I smell funny. Not bad, just different. 


 Last 4 days of cycle - I am a completely non-sexual being. I'm really into reading about science and talking about documentaries I watched, and this is usually about the time I'll complain that someone else I know just "talks about sex all the time, like whatever, there's totally more to life than girls/boys".

If you think about the sum total of these things I've learned, it's so primitive and basic as to be laughable. I mean, it reads like an astrological chart or a rudimentary map of the seasons. And this is the subject with which I should be most intimate of all, my own body, the thing I live in and feel every waking minute of, and have been in close proximity observation of for almost 33 years.

 So it's sort of humbling, to think how much our ancestors actually knew about the solstice, a thing that happens twice a year an unthinkable distance away from them, a huge step backwards in perspective from their place in the woods. Especially if I can't even put calendar dates and time to my hormonal waves, if I have to talk in generalizations in this day and age of reading DNA.

 I've been feeling a different kind of electricity the last two days, a sort of buzzing awareness, little ripplings of current in my body's water reserves. I want to cover everyone with every sort of emotion I've ever had about them, just spew it out of my mouth like a dry stage fog, and envelope them, and have really good lighting.

I think Summer is a season for the world much like my own 2nd week season, and we all tingle with heat and sensation and anticipation as a species.

 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Dog Hair





She coughed all night, a deep throated cough that came not from sickness but from something stuck in the back of her throat, she could feel it there small and embedded. Not sharp like a popcorn shard, or dull and swollen like lymphoma, but a light nonexistent barely there thing, a dog hair.

She must have swallowed it while trying to sleep on that guy's bed, unsuccessfully because he hadn't been in a cuddling mood that night, and she could see his dog staring at her from it's place in the far corner of the room, the dog's eyes bright reflective in the smattering of streetlight from the window. Which wasn't scary, she liked the dog. But now she wondered if the dog liked her. Perhaps it had been planning this, and had spent all day rolling around the bed just to make sure there was hair everywhere there could be hair.

She had spent years sleeping with animals, covered in their sheddings and spit. There were probably cat parasites in her brain from all the exposure to "love". She had felt bad that night when the coughing started, and she had apologized to him blaming the dog hair, and had forgotten to then apologize for implying it was bad that there was dog hair all over his bed, like she minded, when in fact she had not minded but now maybe in retrospect she should have been the kind of girl who had a problem with that? A cleaner girl? One who wore "outfits".

The coughing would not stop. At one point she threw up in her mouth, and had to run to the bathroom to spit. She accidentally spit up in the sink instead of the toilet, and then had to spend fifteen minutes pushing chunks of half digested french toast from the late night diner down the drain. She had been feeling badly about a crush she had on a boy all day, but now, at 2am standing naked in her bathroom, prodding at sick with her finger and coughing coughing, she realized that for the next 6 months, there was no point in her worrying about boys at all. There was no room for being concerned about other people's behaviors. It was a conclusion that had nothing to do with the coughing, but sometimes the most honest thoughts we can have happen at our most humiliating moments, and we have to take them as they come, even if seemingly random.

The dog hair was still there, even after she said fuck it and made herself empty the entirety of her stomach contents into the toilet, because she didn't want to have to do this all over later that morning. She wondered why the stomach acid hadn't loosened the hair's hold on the back of her tonsils. Upset, she crawled back into bed naked, and lay there on top of the covers letting the fan blow over and dry the unconsciously streaming tears on her face, and the melting mascara clumps. She was exhausted. She tried to slow her breathing and heart rate, tried to lull her lungs into a sense of security. Just as she was finally falling asleep, her throat finally calmed by sheer numbness, she felt the dog hair slip down her esophagus....

The hair was short and yellow. It dissolved, broke apart into the tiniest little shreds, cellular pieces. Each little chunk of DNA was Echiverry, the dog, with large round wet eyes and toy legs. Each little Echiverry jumped like a little blond muzzled calf into her bloodstream and disappeared around the corners of veins and capillaries, until they were all gone except the last one who looked around and then contently settled on the artery floor and start gnawing on it.

All through out the vast maze of her body, the little dogs chewed and pulled and scratched and dug and buried and jumped. The white cells of her body gathered panicked in their conference rooms to plan offenses and defenses, but there was no time, no pause to get ready for a great attack.

In the morning she woke up and knew two things in rapid succession, first that she was a dog, and second, she was going to run away. Her third thought was a wasteful moment to wonder if every domesticated dog in the world woke up to those same two thoughts, every morning of their lives.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Subway in New York




 If you find yourself in a room of fairly artistic, fairly educated, fairly well traveled young women, the odds are good that at least three of you will be able to say you shared the unique experience of crying on the New York Subway system. An experience that is unique not because of the crying (that is fairly standard in the life of artistic, educated young women), but because you can be sitting there in a full car, on those hard plastic seats, your nose full on Rudolph, with tears welling up in your big bright eyes, and little whimpers of snot falling down your face and NO ONE WILL EVEN LOOK AT YOU. That doesn't happen...anywhere. I've cried in Chicago and had someone ask me if I was okay. In Cleveland, jesus, you can't go more than two feet. I'll be honest, I think I prefer the ignoring. I think it's courteous.


 


I think the best part of the subway is its utter lack of concern if you make a connection with another human being or not. Coming from the bread basket of American sentimentality, where even in a city of hundreds of thousands you will reliably run into the same people over and over again who will ask you how you are, how's the boyfriend, here's a new picture of my kid, let me tell you about my promotion GOD it's nice to be truly alone while surrounded by a sea of humanity. Because I feel safe in the sea, like any good school fish I want to be one of many many many. But having to listen to all those fish make chit chat all day long, the entire length of their same old 24 hour current, it's evil, it breeds ill-deserved irrational overreactive thoughts of fiery revenge. Better to have no knowledge of your comrades, or really really deep knowledge of them, than this shallow just-enough-to-make-you-hate-them knowledge, which is a Midwest specialty.


 

The hotel we stayed at was very far away from Brooklyn, and since we are under 40, we spent most of our time in Brooklyn. So that meant not only a lot of subway riding, but a lot of subway riding from the very far away beginnings of the lines (or ends, depending on your loyalties). The lines stretched like prehistoric worm tracks burrowing deep into the city, like they had always been there and would never leave, existed as organically as our veins. They were scarier, wilder, on the outskirts. No people around to tell you if you were on the right platform. Nothing but weeds and curvy broken brick walls.

 


Then when you made it into the heart of the system, there were trains every five minutes, three minutes, two minutes. It made me feel safe and warm, that no matter if I did mess up and get on the 4 express instead of the 6 local, I could get back within a matter of minutes, be back on track instantly, just a small delay and in this city where everything took 2 hours instead of twenty minutes, what were 10 more minutes? The buses felt like traps, I could end up the middle of nowhere. But the subway represented solid safety nets. There was always a subway.

 


And while there were poets and preachers and mothers holding babies babbling in tongues with signs that asked for rent money, all screaming at me in my safe subway car full of uncaring stone faces, they were aberrations, monstrosities to be ignored in the face of such beauty, the Constant and Eternal Moving.


 

I live a good portion of my late nights needing something horribly expensive to happen to me. I live my days needing the world to pretend there is no such thing as money.



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Two things happened this week: Carey and I recorded our first episode of The Awkward Sex Show, and I made you a T-shirt. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Awkward Sex With the Callahan Sisters: We Do Not Have a Name for This Thing Yet, Do We?






Carey and I are going to do a podcast. I imagine it will be a lot like the radio shows we used to make tapes of on Dad's boombox when we were little. Though she and Nick really got way more into that, with horror shows and blood and screaming. I don't know what we're calling it yet - I've been referring to it as Awkward Sex with the Callahan Sisters. Tim Cornett called it the Disturbingly Frank & Open Discussion About Sex. I mean, they're both accurate and deeply inaccurate.

We're taping tomorrow night, Thursday 6/14, at Bonnie and Clyde's, 13603 Madison Ave, Lakewood OH. Starts at 8:30 pm. Michael Ivy and Joe Whelan will be doing some sets before us, so you will at least find them funny. We encourage you to drink a lot.

Come and hang out with us! The theme of this weeks episode is going to be First Times. Not just losing your virginity - but first kisses, first blowjobs, first times fucking in the car, first time getting a pap smear, first anal sex, first time you had to explain that gear shift bruise on your leg to your mom. We are by no means experts, but we are exceedingly curious about what you've been doing naked.

PS. I realize this post makes it seem like I fuck a lot in the car. That's...probably true.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm a Terrible Companion on Plane Rides



You know what this looks like? It looks like we're descending into the lower atmosphere of a planet where they want to harvest our livers and keep us alive as a harvestable source of dopamine. I don't want to go there, guys. I just want to stay up in here the air, where no one can pump me full of virtual sensations by putting me in a deep dark techno coma where my REM cycle is permanently extended in order to drain the chemical compounds of my emotions made visceral into white ribbed plastic tubes growing out of my spine THANKS I feel much safer up here.



Oh it's not an alien planet, you say? Well then our plane has obviously drifted through a temporal disturbance, and we've entered the future, when every volcano on Earth has erupted at the same time, probably due the failure of the Bachelor producers to throw every single one of those women into a mountain, and now the planet is covered in a thick dark poisonous cloud of frass. Wait, David told me frass is insect waste, but it's a really good approximation of pumice right, if the Earth was a giant slow moving spinning space insect. The point is, we can't land in this shit, and we are going to crash, and I've been prepared for a water landing my entire life but I heard volcanic eruptions make squid and jellyfish particularly bloodthirsty. So maybe be prepared for that. I wish I had worn leggings.



Oh, this is present day Earth, you say? You promise? Yeah whatever, I can see the time on your iPhone, aren't you supposed to have that shit turned off?

Fine, so this is my planet, my time, but this is definitely not my city. There are too many daggers of light, too many jagged wounds of major intersections and what I'm offering here is maybe the angels have taken over New York City, maybe they marched through the streets and entry level magazine jobs, killing and fucking and mutilating everything in their flaring golden path, and now the fuses, the electric veins, the antiquated generators of the leftover decade are being overloaded with all the fun shiny angel toys, the pads and the tiny little boxes and the flat glowing screens, and the Grid can't take it people, the Grid is going to explode and ooze it's radiating gleaming life blood all over the place, seeping into the ocean, coating the sewers and staircases and every single living thing in this storm covered place is going to die shiny magnetic and alone.

You and your angel iPhone, just leave me in the plane and let me take off again.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to Be An Ugly Child





I've been living back at my parents' house for 48 hours now, and the edges of my own transition are starting to become clear. I'm in a loop too see, first there's this move now, and then in a few months, the closing move. Whatever, let's talk about how I suddenly don't have cable tv, and don't know what to do on my lunch break. Let's talk about how Dad always stays up late to watch Letterman, and falls asleep on the couch, and is gone in the morning when I wake up but leaves me coffee. Let's talk about how used I was to walking around barely clothed in my own place, and all of a sudden I have to be totally dressed all the time, and wear a bra most of the day, which is fucked up and uncomfortable and I wonder if working from home has spoiled me for ever having a normal job ever again. Bras are awful.

Let's talk about how it's odd to take a shower in the same place you used to shower when you were in 8th grade and staring at your unfamiliar body in the mirror, but now my body is oh too familiar and also let's talk about how I'm now the same age my mother was when we moved into this house, and she used to look at her 33 yr old body in the same mirror I am now, and fucking A this is why you are not supposed to look into mirrors when you trip, isn't it? Cause I'm dead sober and they fuck with me enough as it is.

I was an ugly child. Maybe not ugly. Weird looking. I was a weird looking child. I mean, I'm still weird looking I think, but there was a pretty huge period of growing into my face. And here there are photos of me looking awkward and weird everywhere I turn, I am confronted by the discomfort of childhood everywhere. Visual evidence of it. So I thought maybe we could talk about that too.



This is a school portrait of me from 1st grade. I was adorable up until 1st grade. I love this photo because I'm wearing some huge gold necklace I used to play dress up with, and even though the evidence that I will have a weird smile is showing, 1st graders can't help but have cute smiles because their faces are so small.

The other photo is one of our first house on 54th when Mom and Dad took it over, before they renovated the whole yard and house and planted apple trees and shit. I love that it's a specific moment from their lives they share that we the children are not part of at all, there's not much photographic evidence of those days.



So this photo then would be from 2nd or 3rd grade. Carey is of course the most photogenic ever. I am starting to look like an old woman in a small body. I'm already super uncomfortable with how I look, yet unable to take any control over my hair or how I hold my hands or my face. Nick is the cutest thing. That's my teddy bear Sarah, which my grandfather gave me when I was born, who I never met because he died like a year later from emphysema and that's why I feel so super guilty smoking around my Dad.



I think this must have been from sometime around 8th grade. 8th grade graduation maybe? I remember this because Dad took this photo, and he was trying to demonstrate to me how to hold my face in photos. We have very similar faces, but he gets to hide his round jawline with a beard. So I remember he was telling me to hold my chin up a bit, and to the side. Also, you can see I've already figured out that little half smile I have in all my facebook profiles now. It's what you do when you have fat cheeks. Ironically, it's also what you do when you have bad teeth, but I have wonderful teeth.

I want to go back in time and burn that blouse. I also wish I could see what that pin I was wearing is.



This is either from 7th or 8th grade. The ages in this collection are all fucked up. This is a classic example of me not knowing how to take a photo. I've got my hands on my hips and I'm scowling and I look about 35, so classic 8th grade. I hate this photo more than any other one in this whole house. But look how adorable the rest of my family is.



This is a portrait my friend Felicia took of me for her photography class in high school, either junior or senior year. I like it cause I'm not wearing glasses, though technically I had only taken them off for the shoot, because I didn't get contacts till my early 20s. I think my hair was also tinted that red purplish color everyone had in the 90s. I'm wearing classic high school Bridget - weird necklaces and hippie shirts, dark lipstick. I look sweet and hapless, which is high school all over.




This is me at high school graduation. At our high school, the graduating class all wore white dresses. Mom took me to a tailor to get mine made, and I remember I was so upset when the woman didn't make the sleeves right, and we had to make it sleeveless at the bitter end. But looking back, I think I would be happier with it if I hadn't been wearing that stupid fucking bag of witch charms around my neck with the gawdawful silver pentagram bullshit Carey is of course WAY TOO PHOTOGENIC TO BEAR.



Alright, now we're starting to get into the good days - after school, before going to Kent, living in my first apartment with Allison in Tremont. I am...19? My hair is still red, but slowly getting shorter and shorter. I still have a glass hemp necklace choker, but I've ditched the pentagram bullshit and have finally discovered my atheism and disdain for new agey spiritualism. I wore that sweater constantly, always. It was oversized and my bra showed through it, but I loved it. I also wore a lot of brown bronzed lipstick. But man, I got laid a lot. And I wrote so much poetry. And drank at Edison's like every night.




Look how adorable I am, smoking in the car. I found a bunch of photos all taken from the same night of me and Allison and Corrigan, because this was all before everyone had a cellphone, and way before everyone had a camera on their cell, so the only party photos you can find are if someone actually randomly had a camera on them, and then thought to develop the photos. Remember when sometimes you would buy those disposable cameras just for a party or a weekend trip?




This is a miniature wallet photo I found in one of the upstairs bedrooms, I remember Mom also had this photo on her desk at work so I think it must be from her wallet as well. Carey is at OSU during this, or right after, maybe Marshall, Nick is at Case, and I am 24 or 25. I remember that tank top, it was super soft but wasn't as low cut as I preferred. My hair is finally short. It's never been long again, only iterations of this since then. Maybe almost to my shoulders if I had a period of being really poor and not being able to afford a real haircut, as per the photo below. I had that one taken by a guy who was an actual photographer in Akron, he was nice enough to do a whole shoot for me, though I'm pretty sure he was also trying to see if I wanted to have a threesome with him and his wife.  The one below is from 26 or 27? At least I finally figured my makeup out. I think I was living about Capsule, the bar on Madison, at the time, and S. was bringing me daffodils from client's yards and we would order burritos and watch movies, then lay on my terrible futon mattress and talk. And Tara and I were driving up to Thursdays to go dancing all the time. And I got my first real grown up job the next summer.

One thing that's odd about taking photos of photos of yourself, is you can't help but insert present day self into it, just through the reflection alone.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Venus in Transit


 
Seven men of Venus came traveling, and with them came a box....

 I tried to read about the astrological significance of Venus crossing against the path of the Sun yesterday. It was unreadable - a bunch of ridiculous babble and then a few broad sweeping statements about the power of women awakening and the new feminine revolution. Transits of Venus happen in pairs, the last one was in 2004, so I'm doubly confused now because wouldn't that have meant that the last 8 years should have been the revolution? Or was the first Transit responsible for the recent onslaught against womens' rights, and now the pair is closed and some people are going to pay for their oppressions? Now the Seven are coming to wreak revenge on the male hierarchy? If one believes in the Seven, then one knows they come not bearing solutions but strife and contortion.

I'm just making the Seven up you know, it's stuck in my head. I'll work on that later.

At times like this, it's best to remember that this is an important special event not because of any weirdo fate garblings, but because it's fucking cool. It's a reminder that we are small and the universe is large, and huge bodies of rock are out there floating around in synchronous orchestration. And tons of other people on the planet are all being reminded of that at the same time. Why do we need a meaning beyond that? That seems pretty heavy on it's own.

Carey and I went to Edgewater to watch the transit. There was a huge wonderful crowd there, hundreds and hundreds of dyed in wool dorks full of smiling enthusiasm, with their insanely expensive telescopes and goodwill towards mankind. It was as if every scientific santa claus from my childhood had been gathered at one place - the bearded men who explained candlemaking at Hale Farms, the father of a kid in school who ran the rock department at the museum, the other father who organized our Young Astronauts field trips, the history teacher who gave a lecture on every meaning hidden in American Pie, the woman who led bird watching tours at Rocky River with her sensible sneakers. Every really dorky, smart, kind of socially awkward but generous and warmhearted adult I ever looked up to as a child. Someone took all their essences and distilled it into this crowd, peering through their welders glass and NASA provided cardboard filters, at a planet crossing in front of a star. At sunset, as the last bit of gold dipped below the water line, the entire crowd clapped. As we were leaving, walking across the field where people were flying giant kites, the speakers were playing James Taylor, and neither of us could stop smiling. 

Then today Ray Bradbury died. He was 91, which is a respectable age for anyone, let alone a writer. I am sad but full of gratitude. So here are some photos of the best people in Cleveland, and here are some quotes from a very talented man.

 

 
“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” 

   
 “Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action?”

   
“There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.”

 

“The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by deathwatch beetles, and thrive the centuries. They were the men with the leather-ribbon whips who sweated up the Pyramids seasoning it with other people's salt and other people's cracked hearts. They coursed Europe on the White Horses of the Plague. They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale. Some must have been lazing clowns, foot props for emperors, princes, and epileptic popes. Then out on the road, Gypsies in time, their populations grew as the world grew, spread, and there was more delicious variety of pain to thrive on. The train put wheels under them and here they run down the log road out of the Gothic and baroque; look at their wagons and coaches, the carving like medieval shrines, all of it stuff once drawn by horses, mules, or, maybe, men.”

   
“When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor. He was also a very kind man who had a lot of love to give the world, and he helped clean up the slum in our town; and he made toys for us and he did a million things in his lifetime; he was always busy with his hands. And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn't crying for him at all, but for all the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I've never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He DID things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.”

 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Move, Moving, Moved

Saturday night I worked till 5:30, and then stayed up till 5am putting everything I was not taking with me in garbage bags. I drank three 5 hour energy shots. I went through all my clothes, and picked out only the things I was definitely going to wear this summer. I burned 100 of my CDS and threw them out. I packed up 2 boxes of books I can't live without. I started a miscellaneous box, and threw everything of really important sentimental value in there - Sarah the bear, a music box my mother got me when I was 11, a night light my sister got me of the same angel image I had hanging on a little wooden plaque by my bed when I was a baby, and also poster I have hanging in my hallway. It's the only religious image I really love, because I think the guardian angel is a great monster who's either protecting the two stupid little lost children, or leading them to his cave to hold them hostage. I love how gender neutral angels are, like classic rock guitarists from the 80s. And it's just pretty. Very much like the illustrations in my Red Fairy Book. The plaque also went in the box. The poster went in the trash. 2 should be enough to protect me. Don't want people I hook up with to come into my future little garret and think I'm catching God.


Sunday morning I woke up at 8am, and start throwing stuff away again. I pretty much had all the stuff I was taking packed, but I had told people to come over at 3pm to take books, and the price for free books was taking something down to the trash, so I wanted the house to be at least presentable. S. came at 10:30 and moved the couches for me, as well as took down every garbage bag I had waiting to go. Sliced open my finger trying to take these mirrors off the wall that I silly puttied up there 3 years ago. My dad showed up at 12 and got the wardrobe and a bench. Austin came at 1:30 and helped me take down the rest of the furniture. Then he made me go to lunch, because I had pretty much only had two 5 hour energy shots and I was starting to feel like I was dead. After lunch, Tara and Trevor showed up and took a bunch of books, and then helped me load my boxes into Carey's car. The pile of crap on the tree lawn was epic - all my furniture, 28 garbage bags, boxes and boxes, a table, mattresses. Every time we put something new on the lawn, immediately a car would pull up and some guy or woman would start going through everything for metal scrap. They were like seagulls. After Tara and Trevor left I started throwing out everything in the kitchen. All my million opened jars of pickles from the fridge. The metric ton of plastic bags saved in the cabinet under the counter. Katie came over and took books. Jeff and his daughter Robyn came and took more books, but there was hardly anything left to throw out at that point. Shannon showed up, took more books, took some pictures of the apartment to show her friend. I loaded up the rest of the car, and took it over to my parents' house. Discovered on my way out that someone had slit open the mattress to take the springs, and left the innards floating around the front yard. Cleaned it up and left. It was around 8. I took THE BEST SHOWER EVER, and laid in bed reading till I passed out at 11.I decided that every paragraph in Steinbeck's Travels with Charley is my favorite paragraph ever. Deliriously texted a few people garbled half asleep nonsense about traveling and fucking.

I woke up today at 7am with my foot completely lame, but crawled/hobbled out of bed to go pick up Carey at the megabus stop downtown. Didn't see her, but saw the bus come and go. Drove around public square looking for her at a bus stop maybe? Finally left. Went to the store, bought kitty litter and got my birth control. Got to the apartment, when she called me to tell me she was there. Turned out her bus rolled in at 9:30. Drove downtown again, got her, dropped her off at the parents' house where she passed out on the couch. Went back to the apartment - freaked out that the garbage guys hadn't picked up all the crap I left out there. They came back later and did it though, thank god. Vacuumed on my hands and knees with the industrial tub vacuum till 1:20, ran to the doctor's so they could read my TB shot and tell me I was dying of tuberculosis and sign my school forms. Ran back over to the house to get Carey. She was still sleeping. Took an hour to eat some lunch and dick around on facebook, then woke her up. Took Chris's vacuum back over to him, after cleaning out 16 gallons worth of cat hair from it (not an exaggeration). Decided that the vacuum's name is Thelma and I'm in love with it. Took Carey to the apartment, grabbed my bike, the computers, and the cat. Held Eddie on my lap as Carey drove back the house, she was purring and freaked out and looking all around with her big green eyes. Got to the house, unloaded my stuff, left Eddie in the car so she could go home with Carey to Akron. Cried a little. Spent an hour at the house waiting for Dad to get home so I could take his car back over to the apartment to clean. Got back to the apartment at 7:30. Paul and Jimmy came over - took a ton more books, and a stereo. I took an energy pill, turned up the Belle and Sebastian, and cleaned like a maniac for hours. I cleaned the tub, the bathroom shelves, the sink, the toilet, washed the floor, cleaned the stove, the refrigerator, the counter tops, bagged up 6 bags of clothes to go to goodwill. Found 5 vintage pieces that no longer fit me, but I can't bear to throw out, so they came back with me and they will just have to fit me by the end of the summer. 11:45pm, decided to go home. Set up my work computer so I'll be good to start work again tomorrow from the dining room table.

So there you go...still left: I've got one laundry basket of stuff to bring over here still, and a printer, and a box of CDs I didn't get a chance to burn yet. Carey is coming up Wednesday to take bookshelves and my desk. I also have to take the clothes to Goodwill and donate the remaining books somewhere. AND THAT'S IT. I AM FUCKING DONE. I DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN. Now I just need to find a job, an apartment, register for classes, make sure my loans are set, my med forms are in, plan my birthday party, and save every bit of money I can for two months. All while only using a bike for transportation and not having any cats to sleep with. BUT I DON'T HAVE TO PICK UP HEAVY BOXES.

I honestly don't think I've gotten more done in 72 hours ever, in my entire lifetime. Like, EXERCISE wise. I did not think I was going to make it. But now it's over.

The only thing is, they always tell you the point of working hard is the sense of accomplishment and pride you will feel at the end. I never feel that. Working really hard at something only ever makes me feel like "oh, okay, that's over". Like, I'm just relieved I can stop working so hard. That's the only emotion I ever have about it. Where did that response go wrong do you think?

But despite having no proper sense of reward for hard work, which comes as a surprise to absolutely no one who really knows me, I did learn two things about myself this weekend. 1) I am not a clean enough person to be allowed to own a cat ever again. 2) I am not allowed to live in a large place all by myself, because I will end up owning way more shit than I ever want to again. I need to be cloistered in one room, always. Oh and 3) I am really really sentimental about everything, and I hate that part of myself the most and I'm going to kill it dead I swear. There will never again be a point in my life where I can't throw everything I care about in one car and take off.