Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It Sets In

I saw Matt's status today, that his phone is out of commission, so I purposefully checked Jamie's Facebook allusions. "Rome is calling, dare I answer?"

When I applied for the program, I entertained the thought of posting a status, " going to Italy." or some such sentiment. Still, my fear of embarrassment held off until I was actually accepted into the program, prompting a more excited, "IS GOING TO ITALY!!!!" There were multiple exclamation points.

I really am glad to be in the GVal this summer. I learned how to talk to people and not be intimidated while I was away, so I'm going to have my life on better terms and with good people. It'll even be a little more wild to try to make up for not being away, but ultimately just another suburban summer.

I won't drink. I won't wear make up every day. I won't get my hair cut short. I won't fuck strangers. I won't go to a nude beach and feel glamorous. I won't try new food. I won't have traveled to Europe. I won't have been responsible for myself in a foreign city. I won't have cried in public over the majesty of human achievement. I won't be scared, though likely still lonely. I won't buy fresh food from a market. I won't cook my own meals. I won't visit my Dutch family. I won't travel by sleeper train. I won't have dealt with jet lag. I won't be aware of cultural differences. I won't sketch and paint a gorgeous city. I won't see important monuments. I won't see famous art. I won't stay in a hostel. I won't be any more exotic at the end of this. I probably won't even get that tan.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Chew slowly and sing often. Be silly. Be honest. Be kind. Don't judge a person based on the opinions of somebody else. Find things to laugh about. Make art and think clearly. Dim lighting is really attractive. Listen, listen, listen. Watch and observe. Talk to artists, musicians, small children and the elderly, philosophers who see the humor in their title, people who write well, and your family. Read non-fiction and sci-fi with some regularity then think about what you read. Say yes to invitations, especially ones that make you uncomfortable. Dance without alcohol. It's okay to talk to strangers. Call your friends. Hand write a letter every now and then. Drink lots of water. Go barefoot in the grass. Keep at least one plant on hand at all times. Spend some time in a hammock. Skinny dip at least once. Stargaze. Sneak out while you still have a chance. Don't wear a lot of make up. "Use sunscreen." Marvel at the fact your body is still going sometimes; there are some pretty complex systems going on that don't take a lot to stop working properly. Swim. Go to bonfires. At least make attempts to learn another language. Give and receive hugs. Kiss some nice people. Find volunteer work that means something to you. Experience laundry dried on the line. Wash dishes by hand for a period. Jump off a rope swing into a river.

It's okay to not remember these things all the time, except for the one about being kind, but it happens sometimes, so use at as a lesson for the next time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The American Middle Class

The ampersand and the semicolon are tools to distance myself from the lower rungs of middle America.

Judgy judgy judgy. That's me at the Marcus Hook carnival, despite the fact I'd likely find a more honest reception at Chi than GV. They lost power. I saw nothing but rust and R-clips. Every ride was a scaled down and less trustworthy version of my prototype childhood carnival. Maybe it is only a change in perspective coming from age. Katie did my make up to go out. I find much more comfort wearing make up in places nobody knows me. It's like dressing up, except they don't know I'm in costume. I loved it. I felt so cute. I could've flirted with any of the tattoo'd ride operators, but instead spent my time not riding rides to observe the people around me. A little girl left her newly won goldfish on the platform of an especially loud and rattly machine. Parents and small children were prone to yelling. While the carnival is usually a summer attraction, the jail-bait in shorts did not consider that it is still very much spring time and the nights get chilly. A mom and I discussed that while waiting for our parties enjoying the Berry-Go-Round. The power outage left the "coconut shrimp" stand without power but persevering in serving cold corn dogs. Alex made an interesting investment with the "egg custard" snow cone. It wasn't bad. The night was a success.