Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mitch's Death

"To keep silent about this amazing happening deepened this shock for me. It made Finny seem too unusual for—not friendship, but too unusual for rivalry. And there were few relationships among us at Devon not based on rivalry " - A Separate Peace

A friend of mine, Mitch Andelmo, died early Monday morning, late Sunday night, however you want to look at it. A story had come out earlier that evening, I had been reading about it, about a car driving through a barricade and straight into the crowd at a street festival. I, all of us, most people, didn't know that the two people in critical condition were Mitch and his girlfriend. Then the little poison tentacles of rumor started going around facebook, popping up through the cracks. Some accident, Mitch in the hospital, vague uninformative posts between friends asking others to keep them updated. Then one moment when the facebook info was sort of aligned, every one synced, waiting, a climax of tension, and a rolling down hill, the slow descent as the word started going round that he was off life support, and finally it was over. I've never witnessed a facebook death before. The experience is still haunting me. Haunting is probably a terrible choice of words here, huh?

I met Mitch for the first time at Wells' birthday party a couple of years ago. I had gone with Camilla and Christine, because I wanted to meet Wells after knowing him only on FB and twitter. That was also the first night I met Esti, Steve, and Kate. So actually, sort of an important night. Mitch was the guy in a brown corduroy blazer, with a rainbow scarf and a gold vintage rose pin. I thought he was gay. We talked about books, language, and danced to ELO and I was smitten completely.

Everybody was smitten with Mitch, he oozed a kind of playful teenage sexuality, this combination of athletic energy and popularity, but with a good dose of damage that made him real and accessible, you wanted to rescue him and aspire to him at the same time. He was beautiful, and I don't mean that in some "everyone's soul is beautiful" way. I mean, he was one of those people that are incredible to look at, and to watch. He cultivated the look of a 70s gay porn star fluffer, he retained an innocence that made him even dirtier. He was sexy in a Our Bodies Ourselves way, both weirdly healthy and filthy at the same time.

Maybe it's inappropriate to talk about how sexy a dead person was? It's impossible not to mention though, because he was so physically There all the time.  He inhabited his body with 100% presence, he used every muscle and cell like...not machines, but like he was made up of moving horses. It was amazing to watch because he also punished his body as cruelly as any Russian novelist, he poisoned it over and over again, then pushed it hard as it could go, as if daring the rest of us to even try and be as reckless and uninhibited.

 Every time he saw you, he was happy to see you, and there was so much genuine joy in the way he looked at you or hugged you, genuine interest in what you were saying. In a hipster scene full of judgment and gossips, and frankly a lot of unworthy petty people, Mitch didn't give a crap. My friend was remembering a time in his life when he spent too much time drinking in Tremont bars, and being a snarky smartass drunken jerk. He said Mitch was the guy who you never caught looking at you like you were an asshole. I understand that feeling, I collect assholes as friends too, I look over discourtesies I shouldn't if you're smart enough and interesting, because being smart and interesting is more important than being nice all the time, and Mitch was the same way with people, he just wanted you to be interesting and fun and if you were sweet and kind also then great but if not he forgave you. Because what he wanted was also forgiveness, for being as smart as he was and fucking it up. He fucked up a lot. He didn't fuck up other people, he just fucked up his own life, but he knew it. It was one of the first things he told me about himself, that very first night, what a fuck up he was. It's easy sometimes to think that sincere people are simpleminded or naive, because you can't understand their love for the world when the world is so obviously unlovable. But Mitch loved us because he needed out of his own head, to be rescued with other people's thoughts, and he was grateful for that, and that gratefulness came through in every one of his hugs.

He was so smart. He was quick witted, and tossed logic around like it was cat toy, pulled wonderful glowing ideas and phrases from his brain one right after the other. He was Phineas, you wanted to hate him for being so smart and pretty and decent, you wanted to come up with petty criticisms, to condemn him for his drinking or his silly hipster clothes, or his mustache cause you know, mustaches, whatever. You wanted to pull something out to feel superior, so that you wouldn't be aware of how little you shined next to him. You just couldn't. He transcended criticism or rivalry.  You just had to accept that you liked him immensely, despite him being smarter and prettier than you.

He kept inviting me to parties, to bars, and I wouldn't go, I would give excuses and say "maybe". I wanted to see him every time, but I felt like I wouldn't fit in with the rest of his friends at all, and I would justify it like "it's a party, he won't even notice" and then he would text me the next day asking why I hadn't come. I feel terrible about that now, that maybe he never knew how very much I liked him, and that it was just the rest of the crowd that drove me away. And that I missed actual time with him, those minutes and hours that he kept offering me and I kept turning away because of my own insecurity.That was stupid of me.

When I heard he was in the hospital from an accident, before I knew any details, I assumed he had been on his bike drunk, without a helmet. Because the flip side of being so exuberant was the side of him that never wore a helmet, and got much too drunk, and hurt himself all the time. I wasn't the only one who thought that, a couple people had reactions of "this is why you have to wear a helmet", and while it was unfair of us, it was an easy conclusion to jump to and he would agree. What I find amazing about the way Mitch's narrative ends is that he spent so much time on a bike being irresponsible and putting himself on an absolute path towards a cautionary biker versus car tale, but in the end, even on foot, the cars got him. He was a cat who went through his nine lives, escaping and slipping away in the nick of time, only to have the enemy get him completely by chance. In a stupid, meaningless, random death. I know death will be meaningless for most of us anyway, but I'm angry because he deserved a death with meaning, even if he didn't think so.

A lot of people have been expressing condolences and telling me how sorry they are despite the fact they didn't know him. I appreciate all of that, but I was just a friend, not even a super close one. It's his family and close friends that need the support, and one way you can do that is to go send a donation to help with his funeral costs, please. http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4023733094/efblike

edit:  my heaviest condolences to the friends and family of the second man killed in the crash as well, which I didn't hear about till this morning. It's humbling to know there is an entirely separate circle of people in this city also in mourning. There is also now a medical relief fund set up for Constance, Mitch's girlfriend who is alive, but severely injured. http://www.indiegogo.com/constanceP

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sex With Ghosts

I bet ghosts have to fake it a lot, cause they're so preoccupied with how to steal your body 

He won't introduce me to any of his friends. Also sometimes he growls at me. 

I think pottery is dumb.

Ectoplasm actually tastes like just....clouds. Also it stains.

They are incapable of love or real connection, and exist only as a constant desire for affection and warmth made corporeal.

Sometimes, when I'm coming, he whispers to me "someday you're going to die". 
Which is pretty mean, right?

Monday, July 23, 2012


Day Boating

 I went out to Johnson Island with a friend, and he took us around the water in a power boat. It was the brightest late afternoon, right before the sun starts to go down, when everything sparkles the most. There was a terrified pit bull burying it's head in my skirt, and my little red shoes up on the seat legs stretched out and pointed forward, because in boats all things point forward, and he went fast as he could before the others asked him to stop. Then he showed us all how to drive the machine, and I could barely make a right turn, so terrified was I that it would overturn the boat, or flip someone off into the water, since just that week I had crashed his car, and I couldn't take it if I crashed something else he owned, my whole heart would have broken. It's fun though, to be scared on the water. 

Lake Erie is mine and I'm it's. Long after I've been away for years, swimming in larger more famous oceans, in rivers and bayous and hot springs and waterfalls, it will always be the body of water that owns me. It is definitely Lake Erie water in my veins after all, it's definitely Lake Erie in my spit and tears and cum. Glacial water full of life and dirt and organisms. My parents raised me as a Lake Person whether or not they realized it, and Lake People are the best people. North is always the Lake. Streets, maps, directions are in relation to the Lake. I get to all the good places by going along the coast, through the lush low forests and technicolor blue and green scrubby farmlands.

And so this is me on boats. I fill myself with happiness and freedom and wind, and I store it deep within my chest, tiny little packets of sun, shine, thunderstorms and waves to use for later. Maybe the Lake is the closest I'll ever get to the divine Mother or Father, to God.  I can't articulate it better than the orgasmic pain of my chest getting tight with joy when I am by it, or in it, or on it.

In the daytime, the water is still big but it is not as big. You can see things on the other shore, you can judge distance. The sun sparkles everywhere, in the middle of the bay everything is melting glass. When you drop anchor and heave yourself off into the water, the sand is soft and clear on your toes, and you're amazed by the existence of sand bars and geography, that you can be standing in water only up to your knees but the shore is a hundred feet away. I walked to the highest point on the sand bar, where you could see the seagulls walking around like tiny proud feathered Jesuses, and I lay down with my head in the little waves, only an inch or two of water that laps around my skull, up to my cheekbones. I made sand angels with my arms and legs, and felt the water and sand filling the impressions slowly and insistently around my skin, the occasional wave going entirely over me. "This is how I drown" I said to my friend, who was laying next to me. "This is how you write my obituary, Bridget Callahan, drowned in 2 inches of water. Her last words were "I just don't care."'

Night Boating

The fire has died down, there are beer cans scattered underneath the wooden picnic benches, and the remains of english muffin pizzas, smores, cheese, whatever else has migrated out from the house to the dock. Around us, the air is pitch black and smells like waves, fire, and crickets. All around the shore are house lights, and across the bay the amusement park rides are lit up in purples, golds, and greens. Earlier,  we watched the fireworks as the park closed.

Alright, he says, I think it's time for a boat ride. We are pretty tipsy. Our two friends decline, they want to stay on shore with their dog and go to sleep. He and I, we are dumbfounded by this. Who turns down a night boat ride? What kind of person, what creature is this, we cannot even begin to relate to the type of logic that leads to you NOT going on a night boat ride. The neighbor lady, who has a "moral" issue with boating at night, she can't refuse even, because it's gorgeous out. It's gorgeous, we're happy and young and we have a goddamn boat.

I sit on the bow, and at first he mosies along, chugging silently towards the brightest lights we can see, which is a large cargo ship on the other side, plowing the water with vast impenetrable patience towards the mill elevator. He pulls us as close as the channel will let us, and we watch the ship imperceptibly rotating around to position itself for docking, a slow giant monster, so large it is completely unaware of our tiny little running lights.

He turns the boat towards the now closed amusement park, all its neon lights glowing, and the flashiest one a Ferris wheel with a constantly changing computer guided light display - all nautiluses and stars and sunbursts, frenetically spinning and shining. He opens the throttle and we speed fast and rough directly towards the circus lights. I lie against the bow, leaning into the wind, watching the neon patterns spinning closer and closer. "This is a  Gatsby moment" I shout back to him through the wind. The Ferris Wheel is my green light, and I want the rest of my life to be just like this.

We turn away from the lights, and face the open water of the Lake. There is no distinguishing between water and sky, everything is the same clouded black. The boat stops, and we rock there quietly, the darkness is so thick that it feels like we are drifting into fog. In the distance, behind us, there is an faint orange glow lighting up the clouds, and that's all the light pollution from Cleveland, hours away from us, pushing into Space. The water underneath the running lights looks milky. Every once in a while we hear a fish jumping out of the water, slight sporadic splashes coming from the void. If my entire body wasn't buzzing with sensation, I would have fallen asleep and we could have floated into the blackness to never be seen again, and that would have made me insanely happy, to see what happens in the dark.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Awkward Sex Show Live at Touch, 7/24

Hey! This Tuesday 7/24, we'll be recording our next episode of the Awkward Sex Show. 
It's my last one before I move.
That's fucking crazy, I can't believe how fast this summer went.

My friends are running a kickstarter to try and fund a pilot episode of some Cleveland standup, including my lovely and talented co-host/sister. So you should give them a little money. Doesn't have to be a lot. Should be a lot. Doesn't have to be.

Also I've listened to this song 17 times this morning so far.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Universe is the Mean Guy at Open Mic

So like I mentioned in the last entry, I gave notice at my job.
Without saying who I worked for, I will tell you for the last 7 years I've been handling auto insurance claims.
I have never had an auto accident myself.
Until last night.
Which is even more ironic, because I've had a car for the last 7 years, until a few months ago.
So of course it makes sense I get into a car accident not when I own a car, but when I am carless and just about to be free of the auto insurance game.
I was borrowing my friends truck, bringing it to him.
It is a very big truck.
I back out of the driveway and hit a parked car across the street.
No one saw it. I could have just left. But what kind of shithead does that? So I get out, walk up to the house the car is parked in front of.
I can't go up to the door because there is a very angry dog going nuts in the front yard.
Their front door is open, I shout and wave until I get their attention.
Finally they come out.
I tell them I hit their car. I offer them all my information. I tell them I do this sort of stuff for a living, so I would make sure they had everything they needed. I give them my license, the plate number, all the contact information. She insists we had to call the police. She calls the police. I can hear them on the phone asking if this is a hit and run. "No I'm standing right here with her. No, I want a police report. Just come out." She hangs up.
Then I give her the owner's information, and advise what kind of insurance he has.
I see a switch literally flip on in this woman's head. But not like, a lightbulb.
"Why are you driving someone else's car?"
I explain I was on my way to meet him, and that he had biked down to the beach, but now he was on his way back up here.
"Why would you be driving someone else's car? That makes no sense. Where is he?"
I explain it again.
"Where is your insurance?"
I tell her I don't have insurance, because I don't own a car, but that insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver, and so the claim will be under his truck insurance anyway.
"sure sure" she narrows her eyes at me.

We wait.
My friend comes back, puts his bike in the driveway, and walks across the street to come talk to her.
"Where did he come from?"
I tell her he just got here.
"Why is he coming from over there?"
I explain he just put his bike away.
"Well I didn't see him bike up, did you see him get here?" she asks her daughter. The daughter shakes her head no.
"I'm fast," my friend says, smiling, trying to remain friendly.
" sure sure sure. huh. huh. huh. HUH. HUH. HUH" she says dramatically squinting her eyes at us and throwing her chin back. "Well I think something's going on here. I think you were not driving," she says to me.
"Ma'am, I was driving."
"I think he was driving."
"He just got here ma'am. He was just putting his bike away."
My friend tries to talk to her, she tells him that she refuses to talk to him at all, and she will only talk to the police.

I offer to call the insurance right now with her there and get everything set up and started, since we're just standing here.
"don't you dare call yours, I'm not talking to yours, I'm calling mine, I'm calling mine right now."
I offer to speak to her insurance and give my statement.
"No, I don't want you talking to anyone, this is my insurance."
I give up.

We wait another 40 minutes for the police.
He finally comes, an older officer. She walks right up to him and asks him if he's even awake. I tell him what happened. He takes my paperwork and starts filling out the report. She walks down the street to a neighbor who's just come out of his house to see the commotion. They talk for a while. The insurance side of me realizes that this woman is trying to get this guy to say he witnessed my friend driving, not me. I tell myself that my job has made me bitter and distrusting, and to let it go. My friend gives me a cigarette even though we quit the day before. I smoke it while I'm chewing my gum.
(I start to cry. This is my first car accident, I've done everything I've supposed to, and this woman is treating me like a criminal. And I already feel horrible and bad for doing this in my friend's car to begin with. And he's being so sweet and kind, and telling me not to worry about, and just being the best sort of guy ever, which is only making me cry more, and shit now I'm the girl crying in front of the cops and in front of my friend, this guy who I don't know all that well but really really like, and I've just blown everything pretty much)
This woman takes the officer aside, and expounds her theory of drivers.
The officer tells her that if I am right there, admitting I hit the car, then it doesn't matter. She is obviously pissed off at his response, but seems slightly mollified when he asks me to sit in the back of the cop car to go over the information. He leaves the door open, but I can see her standing on the porch thinking "he should arrest that lying bitch."
I fantasize about being the type of person who leaves an accident scene.

He runs everything, it's fine, he writes me a ticket for improper backing and hands me a court date.
"Why does she think that other guy was driving?"
"I have no idea. I mean, I stopped, I found her, I admitted it was my fault. I think she's freaked out I'm not the owner, but I tried to explain to her that's not how insurance law works. She won't listen. I don't understand why."
He shrugs and doesn't ask again.
He will not give me any of her information, he tells me to get it from the report, which should be ready in two days. I asked him if maybe he could try explaining to her that if I don't give her info to our insurance, it will take longer for her? He refuses to intervene, and tells me to just wait for the report.

I go over to her daughter, who is standing at the fence watching. I tell her it's all set, and I try once again to explain that if they do not call my friend's insurance, then the insurance will not be able to reach them until they get the report, which can take weeks. I tell her to tell her mom to call in and talk to them. She shrugs. Her mother is standing inside the screen door now, glaring at me.

My friend and his friends take me to the bar and I get trashed and later get into a philosophical argument with my friend where at one point I'm crying again about his perception of the value of art, and I'm telling him he's judgmental and classist, and then I'm apologizing more, and I go to bed feeling like the absolute worst human being that has ever existed because this guy has been so nice to me and such a good friend, and I'm lashing out at him AFTER I CRASH HIS CAR because maybe I am a terrible person and I deserved for that woman to treat me that way.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

A List of Words the Corporate World has Ruined for Me

I gave my notice at work the other day. It felt incredibly momentous. Like, fuck, even if something totally random or awful happens and I never move to NC (which is for sure going to happen, but IF) even then I would need to find a new job and reinvent my life.

 So it's really worrisome and stressful, but then the other deeper part of me is jumping up and down in glee, worked up like a mid 90s Canadian pop music video, because the corporate world isn't just "not for me", it's poison to "everyone." No matter how they try to humanize it, and this company I'm leaving tried a lot they really did, but boxes are still boxes. Inside for 12 hours is still inside for 12 hours. Social pressure is still social pressure. So my body is slowly becoming aware that the immediate stress of being worried about money is nothing in comparison the weight of long term stress I didn't even know was there till it started melting. I have a dying glacier on my chest it turns out. I was so concerned about the sharp little rocks at the terminus, and I completely forgot about the heft of the snow, and now it turns out I have all these grooves and channels cut into me permanently. So, to continue this laborious metaphor towards it's awkward end - the only way I'm going to heal from this job is to find a way to fill those cuts in with - lakes? Yeah, okay, lakes.

  A List of Words I Have Learned to Hate, and an Attempt to Rescue Them for Future Use:

CHOICE: There is something insidious about offering someone a choice. A choice is a jewel toned snake on an apple tree branch.  It's a very serious sacred thing, a split second conflict that can change a whole story's direction. The levels of import are infinite. It's biologically stressful. Is there really any physical difference between choosing between the colors of a dress, and choosing whether or not to file the missiles at the oncoming enemy spaceship? Condemnation and superiority are almost inherent, especially when it's someone actually presenting you with a choice, asking you a question. So how awful then when I have to take such a beautiful dangerous concept as a choice, and reduce it to a line I have to legally say to each customer 500 times a day or the state will fine us?

 See also: OPTION

COMPLIANCE: The quality of bending to another's will, of being willing, entirely subject and passive, but yet with this thin overtone of "I'm barely tolerating this for reasons I may or may not tell you." With-Pliable Body and Mind. It's kinda hot, right? Compliance is a sexy fucking word. It becomes significantly less sexy after 7 years of webinar meetings about it.

FOCUS: I wonder if it is even possible to pay close attention to a task without massive amounts of coffee? I bet it will be, once it's something I actually have emotion invested in. Cause thinking of a brain focusing, narrowing it's gaze like a camera or a telescope or a laser, that's super exciting and mystical. But if the object being focused on is whatever tiny inconsequential word changes they made to last years presentation on customer service expectations so they could make it seem like a brand new initiative this year, well that kind of focus for sure gives you brain cancer. Maybe eye cancer first, and then brain cancer.

QUALITY: This is a super evil crazy corporate word because it fails in two ways. First, here are the things that one should think of when we think quality: paintings, art, autos, furniture, houses, standards of living, air and water, food, girls and boys. Good healthy life affirming things. Chances are though that if you work for a corporation, no matter what their product is, it isn't true quality. It's probably only middling. Their sheer size alone will prevent them from having quality, and yet they will TALK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME like it already exists, like it is their god given trait, sent from on high to fulfill their destiny. Every company is the Best At What They Do when they are talking to their employees.

Second, especially in a customer service based job like mine, oftentimes you are mostly judging your own quality, as an employee and therefore a person, because to the company your job performance is directly linked to your quality as an sentient individual. And your quality is based on a set of virtues determined by some team of communication majors in some far away department, and then approved by several other departments, and edited until all the meat is gone and only the bones and faint fog of flavor remains of what once might NOT have been a complete piece of HR horse shit. To have someone extorting you to judge your own quality in this environment seems abusive and malignant, like there's no way you could fight against those self esteem issues forever, eventually they would leach out into the rest of your real life, and you would find yourself actually thinking of yourself and your children in terms of attendance or team spirit.

RESOURCE: My resources are NOT my teammates or the horribly designed web page of guidelines. Resources are things like wind and water, and also maybe magic golden eggs which when you break them open produce things like tiny mice dressed in doublets who can go steal that necklace from the witch's bed table. THAT'S a resource. A feather that allows you to ride the North Wind, THAT'S a resource. A database is more like, a trap.

NETWORK: There is probably no way to save this word. We can only hold it as an example of what we're trying to save all these other words from. I am bitter about network. I feel like it could have been so cool if we had just kept it to ourselves.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Word for the 33rd Year of Bridget Callahan is....

                "We assume Skylab is on the Planet Earth, somewhere" - Charles Harlan, mission controller

I am not what one would call particularly patriotic. Like any intelligent person I despair of any government being good for the people ever, I rail against the inadequacies of democracy and capitalism and consumerism. I feel oddly conflicted about the military industrial complex - like I hate it, and yet also understand it, and understand the reasons. I shop at Target sometimes. I choose convenience over discomfort a lot of the time. At the 4th of July concert, the orchestra played a medley of the different theme songs of the armed forces branches, and even though I recognized all the songs, I had no idea which one went with which branch. So that seems pretty American. I feel pretty American. 

And the thing is, on state holidays, I appreciate the experience of feeling the same feeling as a crowd, the surge of communal emotion. I would never go to a huge event expecting to actually enjoy the event. But I enjoy being around so many people with the same purpose. That's the sort of stimulation you have to seek out, and sometimes it's a big inconvenience because of parking and walking, beer prices and whatever else. But it's worth seeking out, it gives me a sort of restorative surge of hope. The Prince and I were talking this morning about his theory about art and artists, a spectrum where at one end are the people with a fundamental belief, a fixed point in their moral universe, that all of their work builds out from. And then on the other end are the nihilists and relativists, and then somewhere in the middle are the thirds, in a general purgatory of trying to gain a foothold on the slippery slope of perspective. I was working on my first drink of the day, and in my mind the spectrum is also heaven and hell, or also a macrocosmic view of the universe, versus the microcosmic snapshots, and then in the middle are the people like me, crawling back and forth, unable to reconcile the idea of a universal truth, but needing something more structured like a narrative. The people who want to believe in myth but can't believe in god. So what I'm saying is that events flooded with humanity gathered all together in one spot, that swings me back towards the fundamental belief end of the spectrum, and that side is definitely happier if not as realistically feasible.  Which is a convoluted way of saying I get off on crowds. Being in a city public square where there is no room to walk  or even sit on the street because of all people people people, and then everyone is facing the same direction and looking up at the sky intently, that's an insane kinetic directive, you can't help yourself, and then just like being carried out with a tide, you look back at everyone around you, and it feel illicit, swimming against the tide, and that's just as fun. 

The year I was born, 1979, is my favorite year. I feel sentimental loyalty just as much as the next average joe you know, I'm just as prone to irrational attachment as any super lucky, super prosperous, well educated white girl at the exact middle of her life. I have room in my life to think of sentiment. In 1979 Skylab was falling to Earth, and no one knew where, and it became a thing, to  think of yourself as the special one who might get killed by a piece of falling space junk. Because those were the days when things falling from space was a big deal, because there wasn't that much up there to begin with. Now we think its commonplace, this idea of the miles of debris floating up there, all our cell satellites, and tv, and gps, and google. Now it doesn't freak us out, the idea of orbit. But then, that year, space was full of fear. Its not that we understand it anymore today, but we've become more complacent, we've learned it doesn't matter if we care or not, that the trash from space will just fall and life will go one, and we need that trash up there cause that's how I'm able to check facebook from my phone, so if some guy in China gets knocked on the head by a piece of flotsam traveling faster than a jet place down from the cold purgatory of the upper atmosphere into the safe warm gravity field of the home planet, well then who cares? No one ever gets knocked on the head anyway. 

I wonder what would scare us these days. I remember when CERN was scheduled to start, everyone flipped out about the idea that it would create black holes, that the search for the "god" particle would lead to the destruction of mankind. That happens anytime scientific advancement gets any media attention, the world is now over obviously, the apes have reached too high. Nevermind we live with tiny black holes everywhere, all the time. I don't know if that's actually true, but I remember it from somewhere, and it rings true to me, to my vaguely mythic idea of how the universal fabric works, so I believe it. 

This July 4th, the anniversary of the War of 1812 too though no one gives a shit about that, the LHC discovered a new particle. It might be the Higgs Boson, it might not. I think if I were actually in any field affected by that, I would hope like crazy it wasn't, that it was something entirely new and unexpected, that would blow the Standard Model to bits, because fuck anything called the Standard Model, it stinks of leeches and flies spontaneously created from meat. 

The Prince and I sat around for hours, trying to figure out exactly what a Higgs field was. It involved a lot of youtube videos, and us trying to create crazily inaccurate metaphors for it in an attempt for our staunchly literary minds to understand math and theory. The problem was that every explanation only led to more questions, things we should have known from high school physics class, but had since forgotten. And the forgotten stuff bugged me most, the ideas that teetered right on the edge of my memory, but I couldn't quite grab them and bring them to the present, they remained in the fog, just shadows of a general concept of the Big Bang. So then I had to go back to remember how electrons reacted, and then what the Standard Model was, and finally, all the way back to the beginning, trying to remember what Mass as a word actually meant, Mass versus Matter versus Energy. 

Because in my mind, what we think of empty space is actually like the entire universe is suspended in a type of low tide jelly, when I move my arms around me, I am moving dimensions around, I am creating currents and waves of particles. 

Because space isn't space at all. It's full. Everything is full and thick and if I could just sense the activity of those particles, if I could tap into the subatomic dance of the universe, I would never feel alone. I would instead feel too crowded, to much in touch with everything around me, like actually touching it. So I'm okay with knowing this and yet still maintaining the illusion that I can be in an empty wide open space, all by myself, with the wind and sun. 

So I've been thinking a lot about space this year, personal space in crowds, the cold beautiful Space above our heads (and where I obviously come from, since duh, of course I'm a child of Skylab, of course I'm a child coagulated of alien spores and asteroid dust and all those ten thousand possible alien remnants) and then finally the space that doesn't exist, the space in between all our particles. The jelly we don't understand. It's a lot of reason to keep looking up and out. 

But I'm 33 now, it's my Jesus birthday, and against all the logic of age and time, I feel now I've got all the time in the world to think. Probably cause I'm not concerned with sex anymore, at least not as much. The universe is my boyfriend. 

I was trying to think of a new tattoo to get this year, a word of course, cause that's an established thing now, I will get a new word for each new year. And I thought about how last year when I thought of brave, it was partially because so many people were calling me brave for the urban exploration stuff, which isn't really bravery, actually. That's just me doing something you could to. But this year especially I've had wonderful people telling me I'm brilliant. Which is also not true. But like, I wish it were true. So that seems like a good aspiration for the start of an academic career, brilliance. I'll get it right below Brave. It will sort of suck that I seem to be on some alliterative kick, but we'll just make sure next year's word starts with an S or U or something. 

So this year We (me and my brain and my imagination, the holy trinity). we are going to be brilliant. We are going to take off like rockets. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

We're in the middle of some stuff here, folks

So I know the blog entries have been sparse lately, but I swore I would publish this book before I moved to North Carolina, so between looking for housing, applying to jobs, haggling with the college admin, and working on the book, I have no time for you. I'm sorry. I still generally like you. But I would like you more if you'd like to be my personal assistant for free. I mean, I can pay you, but it will be in hugs and compliments.

I swear, going back to college may turn out to be the most adult thing I've ever endeavored. In terms of paperwork at least.

The third episode of the podcast is up. We'll be doing a live episode at Touch on Tuesday next week, on my birthday, woohoo! So I'll announce the theme for later. I can't decide if admitting I do this podcast is a liability to future roommates or not....so we're just gonna roll with it. At some point in your life, you have to just switch your blog to your actual name, and admit that this is what you do, and it's pretty awesome.

I wish I was at the beach right now.