On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy. It is this largess that accounts for the presence within the city's walls of a considerable section of the population; for the residents of Manhattan are to a large extent strangers who have pulled up stakes somewhere and come to town, seeking sanctuary or fulfillment or some greater or lesser grail. The capacity to make such dubious gifts is a mysterious quality of New York. It can destroy an individual, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck. No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.
--E. B. White, Here is New York

In a few days, Matt and Ian leave us for New York. There is a possibility that I will be joining them come June. A very small possibility (this is me not getting my hopes up). Either way--I will be visiting them in January and we will have a lovely time and they will have all the success in the world. 2010, ya know? Big things are happening.


Available here.


Available here.



I think Louis Garrel looks a lot like one of my favorite professors, so watching The Dreamers was an even stranger and sexier experience than expected.


My daddy is on the phone with his former principal, the one who, when he found out that my dad had dropped out of school because he didn't have the money to buy even a bus pass, struck a deal with my dad: I buy your bus passes and open an account for you in the cafeteria, you pass your A-levels on your first try and go to college. No problem. My daddy is ending every sentence with "Sir" and learning that his former principal recently had a heart attack and is waiting to get a quadruple bypass done in the spring--a surgery that costs thousands of dollars. My daddy is sending him money to help cover the cost because sending money is how you express your love and gratitude when those you love and are grateful for live on the other side of the planet.
i miss you and hope you're having a good day. if you didn't make friday
plans (i made saturday onez) then we could do that sit and think night.

a friend of mine told me their mother, who has a bird as a pet, sometimes
takes showers with their bird on their shoulder. it's like i do that
sometime except there are things that are not birds sitting lightly on
my shoulder and they'rrre my pleasant thoughttssss.

--MK, circa last week



She had been in Iceland for several days, so the English language was hitting her at odd angles, but she finally found the word she was looking for.

"He's a bit of a submarine," she said, and grinned.

--Randy Kennedy, The Bjork-Barney Enigma Machine



Here is something that I really like: falling asleep on Brady's and Martin's couch then waking up covered in two blankets with a pillow under my head to see this:


Eres hija del mar y prima del orégano,
nadadora, tu cuerpo es de agua pura,
cocinera, tu sangre es tierra viva
y tus costumbres son floridas y terrestres.

Al agua van tus ojos y levantan las olas,
a la tierra tus manos y saltan las semillas,
en agua y tierra tienes propiedades profundas
que en ti se juntan como las leyes de la greda.

Náyade, corta tu cuerpo la turquesa
y luego resurrecto florece en la cocina
de tal modo que asumes cuanto existe

y al fin duermes rodeada por mis brazos que apartan
de la sormbra sombría, para que tú descanses,
legumbres, algas, hierbas: la espuma de tus sueños.

--Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XXXIV



Like mother, like daughter (forever the only girl in the room).

Also, facial hair.
Also, chest hair.


The fact is that we're all lonely, of course. Everyone knows this, it's almost a cliche. So yet another layer of my essential fraudulence is that I pretended to myself that my loneliness was special, that it was uniquely my fault because I was somehow especially fraudulent and hollow. It's not special at all, we've all got it. In spades.
--David Foster Wallace, Good Old Neon



In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn't cope with, and that terrible listlessness that starts to set in at about 2:55, when you know you've taken all the baths that you can usefully take that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the newspaper you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that as you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o' clock, and you will enter the long, dark teatime of the soul.
--Douglas Adams

I came home to find that Kt had exposed the sad truth about Sundays on our kitchen wall.


The questions are straightforward enough: What do we teach, and why? One might assume that in an aspiring democracy like ours the answers would be equally straightforward: We teach whatever contributes to the development of autonomous human beings; we teach, that is, in order to expand the census of knowledgeable, reasoning, independent-minded individuals both sufficiently familiar with the world outside themselves to lend their judgments compassion and breadth (and thereby contribute to the political life of the nation), and sufficiently skilled to find productive employment. In that order. Our primary function, in other words, is to teach people, not tasks; to participate in the complex and infinitely worthwhile labor of forming citizens, men and women capable of furthering what's best about us and forestalling what's worst. It is only secondarily--one might say incidentally--about producing workers.

I'm joking, of course. Education in America today is almost exclusively about the GDP.
--Mark Slouka, Dehumanized: When Math and Science Rule the School


Yesterday was long and "important."

So to celebrate when it was all over, I reneged on every plan I had made and slept for twelve hours to make the headache go away.


I will admit that the first segment of the latest Radiolab makes me want a baby more than just about anything else could. Baby brains, you know? That's some crazy awesome stuff right there.