This fusion of hair-metal rebellion and hippie love-spreading helped Andrew sell some 400,000 albums and win a dedicated fan base comprising those who truly thought he was rock’s savior (mainly adolescent boys in midwestern states) and others who saw him as an awesome postmodern prank (twentysomethings on the coasts).
--David Amsden, The Let's-Just-Party-Boy (via Boyland)
It's also socks weather:


Welcome to our kitchen.


Muh'fuckin' cardigans.


I woke from disconcerting dreams with my hands covered in paper cuts I can't explain. Ballet is making me think about my body as more than just a vessel for my brain, a means of getting from point A to point B.

And it was cold today, as I'm sure you know. Winter weather, Thisanjali has said, makes you remember times when you felt warm.


Filling her compact & delicious body
with chicken páprika, she glanced at me
Fainting with interest, I hungered back
and only the fact of her husband & four other people
kept me from springing on her

or falling at her little feet and crying
'You are the hottest one for years of night
Henry's dazed eyes
have enjoyed, Brilliance.'...
--John Berryman, Dream Song 4

In 20th Century American Poetry I was asked to defend John Berryman to my classmates because I was the only person out of thirty who actually liked the guy. I remember using the word "sexy" a lot.
I do not...I don’t wish to touch hearts. I don’t even want to affect minds very much. What I really want to produce is that little sob in the spine of the artist-reader.
--Vladamir Nabokov, from here, via Why Good Writers Can be Bad Conversationalists



8. Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.

9. Censorship will be enforced. There will be no talk of shamans, of yoga classes, nutritional values, herbal teas, discovering your Boundaries, and Inner Growth.

10. Related, but more reflective, will be a reading list: if possible, read Virgil's "Georgics", read "Hemingway's "The short happy life of Francis Macomber", The Poetic Edda, translated by Lee M. Hollander (in particular the Prophecy of the Seeress), Bernal Diaz del Castillo "True History of the Conquest of New Spain".

11. Follow your vision. Form secretive Rogue Cells everywhere. At the same time, be not afraid of solitude.
--About Werner's Herzog's Rogue Film School via Chris


Martin and I had pretty strong feelings about the poster in Brennan's so we posted our 95 Theses on Why This is a Bad Painting .


On the last day of summer we hosted our first guests, then Dan and Christina introduced me to my neighbors. Drinks were made and a telescope was set up. There were kittens. There were some moons of Jupiter. I was happy.


This is from Brady. It's the best .gif I've ever seen. I like to keep this open in a tab and click back to it every once in a while--yep, still there, still waving.

Philip: seriously i am not doing any work
Philip: because i am having a conversation with this cat
Philip: he is like a therapist


Lonely people tend rather to be lonely because they decline to bear the emotional costs associated with being around other humans. They are allergic to people. People affect them too strongly. Let's call the average U.S. lonely person Joe Briefcase. Joe Briefcase just loathes the strain of the self-consciousness which so oddly seems to appear only when other real human beings are around, staring, their human sense-antennae abristle. Joe B. fears how he might appear to watchers. He sits out the stressful U.S. game of appearance poker.

--David Foster Wallace, E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction
When given the opportunity to ask me any question and receive an honest answer, he asked of what color my childhood reminded me. He helps me put on my coat. He opens doors for me. He calls me lovely. He misses me when I’m not there. He brings me tea. He shields my eyes during the violent parts of movies. He keeps me company while I wait for the mailman.

Found lots of journals from high school this weekend. In retrospect the above seems silly (how could these things possibly be enough?) but also a little sad (remember when those things were enough?).

First brodown of 09-10 took place tonight and it was an indicator of good things to come.



Lau never expected to become a fortune-cookie writer. After graduating from Columbia with degrees in engineering and business...
--Jeremy Olshan, Cookie Master



The Books played a beautiful Nick Drake cover and my favorite song--not once, but twice. Then I drove to Cincinnati, happy to be alive in a world where such sounds and sights exist.


This is where I worked:



This is how we ate:



This is how they live:





This is Shane's first trip to the ocean:


And his first time feeling unsure about a carnival ride:




So last night was like, 100% smiles times. All of my loved ones in one place! Even walking all the way home in late summer rain felt oddly delightful. I threw my waterlogged clothes in the bathtub and woke up this morning with absurd curls, only to find that Brady's hair outshone my own:

ZAS much?


Diana and I laugh kind of a lot and kind of loud, qualities which have generally been beneficial to us (especially while traveling in China) instead of detrimental. Yesterday, however, one woman found our laughing so disgusting that she straight up left Jeni's--but not before speculating loudly as to whether we were stoned. Unfortunately, we found her comments pretty funny.

I'm refinishing a desk and feeling good about doing something with my hands.


Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
--Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky, via Heading East, via Boyland


Everyone who sees our new apartment comments on how much better it is than our old apartments, which is true, it is far far better, but come on now, the old apartment wasn't that gross was it?

I have this huge bedroom now. And not one but two closets. And a roommate who is not just a roommate but a friend. And a spacious kitchen. And friends who are also neighbors out walking their dog. And a neighborhood.

Crazy things are afoot. It will be nice, I think, when classes start so I can devote time to things like grammar and ballet instead of massive important all caps scary life-things like LOVE and RELATIONSHIPS OF ALL KINDS. If it's not one thing it's another.


The thing is, when someone decides not to go to work one day and instead puts a bullet in their head, everything else they do is a prologue to that act. So every camping trip anecdote, every story told by a trucking company co-worker about Rick’s penchant for adopting injured animals, every joke shared by a fellow volunteer at the sobriety hotline where he dedicated his time, it all leads up to what he did and that’s how you understand it. Their lives read like a suicide note. The howl Kurt Cobain produces on “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” from the Unplugged in New York album is terrifying to me, or would be if I could listen to Nirvana anymore. I picture every Wallace book I see on a shelf as being soaked in tears.
--John Moe, I Did Not Read Infinite Jest This Summer



The very definition of easy listening.
Yesterday we all lifted with our knees and car-partied with our arms, then snugsnuggled while ruining Brady's childhood.



See, I've always had this penchant for what I call kamikaze women. I call 'em kamikazes because, you know, they crash their plane, they're self-destructive, but they crash it into you, and you die along with them. And as soon as there's a challenge, as soon as there's very little chance of it working out, or no chance, or there's going to be hurdles or obstacles, something clicks into my mind. Maybe that's because I'm a writer, but some dramatic or aesthetic component becomes right and I go after that person--there's a certain dramatic ambiance, it's almost as if I fall in love with the person and fall in love with the situation in some way, and of course it has not worked out well for me, it has not been great, and um...
--Husbands and Wives


When I get lonely these days, I think: So be lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience.
--Elizabeth Gilbert, too lazy to look up the source

Upon coming back to Ohio, I have felt literally connected. Plugged in, ya know?
For someone so averse to the idea of marriage, I am way too into weddings. But really, guys. Look at this. More importantly, look at this. The last picture is just magical.

On a somewhat related note, I would love love love to be a florist. Or a collector of stories for a show similar to This American Life or Radiolab. Or the owner of a cafe/bookstore. The thing is, I also want to make the world a less crappy place, and none of these are exactly Superman or Obama-caliber activities.



Brady: ay!
Samantha: what up!
Brady: eatin!
Brady: pizza!
Brady: you!
Samantha: yum!
Samantha: chattin!
Samantha: wonderin!
Samantha: you!
Samantha: books!
Samantha: wex!
Brady: OH!
Brady: RIGHT
Brady: when!
Brady: much!
Samantha: 17th!
Samantha: tix!
Samantha: buy!
Samantha: but!
Samantha: me!
Samantha: cincinnati!
Brady: no!
Brady: yes!
Samantha: ha!
Samantha: what!
Brady: will!
Samantha: you!
Samantha: yes!
Brady: sharky!
Samantha: me!
Samantha: pay!
Samantha: KITTENS!
Brady: YAY!


What artifacts would you include in The Museum of Broken Relationships? I have some ideas, but so much of the actual breaking happens in the intangibles that are difficult to display--spoken and unspoken words, wandering thoughts.


Universities are meant to be producers not just of knowledge but also of (often inconvenient) doubt. They are creative and unruly places, homes to a polyphony of voices. But at this moment in our history, universities might well ask if they have in fact done enough to raise the deep and unsettling questions necessary to any society.

As the world indulged in a bubble of false prosperity and excessive materialism, should universities--in their research, teaching and writing--have made greater efforts to expose the patterns of risk and denial?...Have universities become too captive to the immediate and worldly purposes they serve?
--Drew Gilpin Faust, The University's Crisis of Purpose
There's this TV show that you might have heard of called Friday Night Lights. You might have heard that it's about about a high school football team from this tiny town in Texas that is made up of people who are really into football and God. Which sounds absolutely terrible, right? Except that it's sfg. And I mean seriously, seriously, sfg. With many hours to kill at the Philadelphia airport I made the happy mistake of watching the first episode and haven't been able to stop. I am enamored with most of the characters (except you, Lyla), everything about it reminds me of Alliance, and even football can seem epic when it's played against a backdrop of Explosions in the Sky.

One of my favorite things about this show is that it captures so well how absolutely crushing life in high school can feel. A large difference between the way I handled trying situations then and the way I do now is that I am always very aware now that things get better. It seems simple enough, but I remember feeling many times during high school (what with moving, breakups, deaths, and parental issues) that improvement was nearly impossible. So I guess that's maturity?

Anyway, the first season is the bomb dot com, and although the second season isn't nearly as good it does boast Tim Riggins buying flowers while Devendra Banhart croons (swoon swoon swoon). It's funny and sweet and poignant and perfectly summery.



Take one day at a time, everything else you can leave behind. Only one thing at a time, anything more really hurts your mind. I don't want for us to take pills anymore (not that it's bad); I don't want for us to take pills because we're stronger and we don't need them.
--Panda Bear, Take Pills


Tuesday night was a reunion with Kt, Boyland, and Jeni's. Pure joy! How am I so lucky to have the friends that I do? And Boyland is such a gracious host--you can find me each morning on his sun-drenched balcony, coffee and book in hand. On Wednesday Kt and I scoured Columbus for the perfect sofa but instead gained an A+ armchair and can I ever communicate how much I value conversations with Kt? Later, on the grass with Martin and Kt there was that quintessential Martinism of "I mean, there were good parts and then there were parts where he took more bananas than I wanted him to" and the moon gained a Monroe. Over beers at the Stube with Brady and Ian among others I got a feeling for what I had been missing all summer. And Thursday! An entire day with the lovely (and incredibly wise) Diana, what more could one want? Yesterday after a far too brief encounter with Mr. Gurkfaceallstar himself, Martin and I ate and practiced the Fit's gum dance and headed over to the christening of my favorite habibti's new home. Old friends, new friends--let me tell you, Kt and I are going to be moving into the best neighborhood in Columbus. No doubt. Everyone has migrated to this area and I'm glad we inadvertently joined.

And now. Back at Kerouac with Martin, enjoying a pineapple pizza with ranch (don't knock it till you try it) while getting reacquainted with the internet. Almost all of my sadness this summer stemmed from the lack of social interaction that is a side effect of living in the suburbs of Jersey with no means of transportation. But I'm back! And even the stresses of moving and the absurdity that is OSU during football season can't put a damper on my mood.


"There is only one sure means in life," Deasey said, "of ensuring that you are not ground into paste by disappointment, futility, and disillusion. And that is always to ensure, to the utmost of your ability, that you are doing it solely for the money."
--Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

I am really loving this book. Conversely, I really wasn't a fan of 500 Days of Summer.