June 24, 2008

I'm in Amherst! Site of the beautiful Amherst College, dasher of hopes, rejector of senior-in-high-school me. I walked around campus in the drizzle yesterday, admiring the view of the Berkshires (or some other mountains) and mostly still wishing I could go there, like, now, starting this fall, as a freshman, all over again. I don't know what it is about it, but somehow

Amherst : me
chocolate cake : Bruce Bogtrotter

I'm staying at UMass, though, for Juniper. It's basically Camp Nerd--each evening's reading is held in this lecture hall in the chemistry building. They decorated with beakers filled with jewel-toned water, and goggles with bright green straps, and overheads projecting folky flowers and illustrations of whatever day of the week it is.

This afternoon Charles D'Ambrosio and I ate hummus and watermelon and rehashed my workshop. The whole thing was surreal. I offered him a piece of gum afterwards, and he said yes please.

Today in class he said, "You can't just write a sad story. There's gotta be more than that. Whenever you're sad, remember there are a billion Chinese who don't give a shit."

June 18, 2008

I got a new camera for my birthday!


*note the air conditioner

June 12, 2008

So much to tell you and so little time! Boss is at lunch. Breakdown:

Friday: Big day. Friends coming. Air-conditioner coming. All in synch. Got home to find a big box from Sears in my entry way, thought, My air-conditioner!! and then buggered off to do some laundry. Later, when Leah got home, we went down to get the giant box and I said, Wait, let's take it out of the box to carry it upstairs, might be less awkward to hold. So I tore off the tape and opened the box and inside was a LAWN MOWER. A stupid, useless, cherry-red, sodding, bleeding, good-for-nothing, flippin' LAWN MOWER where my precious air-conditioner should have been.

Hell was raised.

Saturday: Hot. Lots and lots of hot. Hot friends, hot pizza, hot seats in Yankees stadium in the hot sun, hot dresses worn to the (lovely and cool) movies, then to drinks, and great things were said, and much fun was had, foolish phone calls were made, late-night taxis were taken, but we were sweating the entire time. (Guys, I'm still so sorry about that.)

Sunday: Still hot. Cold showers. Mediocre brunch that mirrored our deflated moods. Came back to an empty apartment and felt lonelier than I have since January when my parents went to Florida and I had one-sided conversations with Maggie for a whole week. It's like we stretched it out and when I got home it didn't fit me anymore.

Monday: Woke up and found my makeup had melted over night. Said, FUCK THIS, and went home to central air-conditioning for two days.

Wednesday: Still no sign of an A-C. Made a smoothie for dinner, slept with my windows wide open.

Thursday: All my fingers and toes are crossed that it will be sitting on top of that fucking lawn mower in my entry way when I get home tonight. But first, birthday cheesecake at Junior's with friends disguised as co-workers.

June 5, 2008

Every morning I walk up the steps from the subway at the base of the Flatiron Building, and it smells like piss, and I think, Someone peed down these steps last night. It's as routine as my cup of tea.

One of my dad's favorite sayings is, If you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler. He usually recites this with a note of triumph in his voice when I complain of being tired the morning after "kicking the gong around" (another of my dad's faves). Tuesday night I saw Rilo Kiley, and I've been paying that Sheriff of Nottingham of a fiddler ever since.

I think this was the first concert that I felt like an Adult, with a capital A. Alyssa and I found a spot in the balcony quite close to the stage where shrimpy me could see. It was full of 21-and-overs, and much less dancier than down on the floor. Gold star nonetheless: pretty sure Blake was drunk, Pierre's daughter (who looked to be about 8 and was sitting directly opposite me in the other balcony) sang the "ow, ow, ow" part in "Moneymaker" with great gusto, and Jenny wore a calico onesy with cowboy boots. (As Alyssa pointed out, her outfit probably had snaps in the crotch so she could pee without completely undressing. Easy access.) I will never get tired of RK.

Last night I was supposed to see David Sedaris read, but when I got there, 75 minutes early, I had to stand at the back of a long, long line for standing room. I was standing on line to stand. So I said, F this! and I went home and made a cozy dinner of eggs and toast and flicked on The Daily Show rerun, and who was on, but David Sedaris! I felt vindicated.

Tonight: I will attempt to get an elliptical at the gym.

Tomorrow: Visitors for viztin'!

June 1, 2008

I just ordered an air conditioner, and not a moment too soon. I think I've gone through three trays of ice cubes singly handedly in the last two days. My excuse for today is that I got lost in Central Park trying to find a nice reading spot in the shade. Anytime I go in there I get completely disoriented by all the dogs and joggers and bodies of water, and somehow I always end up on Central Park West across the street from the Museum of Natural History, feeling spit-out and overheated. Happened again today, and so I walked the long way--the perimeter, where there's street numbers and straight sidewalks--back to my subway stop where I collapsed on a bench.

Now I'm lying on the couch under the ceiling fan, drinking ice water and reading The Monsters of Templeton, which I never want to end.
Exactly one year ago I was walking my feet off in London, lonely and sick and topping up my mobile every other day because I was calling home so often. Even now, though, I wish I could do it all over again. New York is in a class by itself, but to me, it will never be as magical as London. I've no idea why.