Sunday, March 26, 2006

this past week in chicago i saw:

awkwardly-dancing male strippers and drunk girls from omaha at cocktail, hotdawgs with gleaming red eyes, a drag queen floor show hosted by the meanest drag queen i've ever met at charlie's, assloads of impressionist paintings, the loop from the window of a brown line "el" train, statues o'plenty, tons of shops full of tons of things i can't afford, phenomenal historical buildings, snow flurries, face-photo fountains, gehry-designed architecture, the musical wicked, the opera orfeo ed eurydice, most of the first two seasons of jem and the holograms, reflections in a giant silver jellybean, the world's biggest glass mosaic ceiling, beefamato juice, leopards and old lesbians, hothouse flowers, men cleaning the walls on the tracks of the subway, mass extinction, big sweaty men, more snow flurries, and the back of several seats as i flew from ORD-DFW-BUR on air asshole/air amicable.

i consumed:

a superdawg with fries and a shake @ superdawg; a candy-bar themed pancake flight & frushi @ orange; dark chocolate mint frangos from marshall field's; tea lattes @ argo; roasted beet salad, a peach martini, poached salmon with israeli couscous, & a profiterole @ landmark; cinnamon rolls and an omlette @ ann sather; pizza @ pizzeria uno; asian fused mania @ ecce; scrumptuous red hen bread, rotolo di pesce, and loads of vino @ cala; enough greek food to sink odysseus' ship @ greek islands; crab bisque, asiago crusted chicken breast, sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, and mint frango ice cream pie @ marshall field's the walnut room; coffee @ intelligentsia; vegetarian croissant breakfast sandwich @ the bongo room; too much food at one breakfast served by angry people @ clarke's; an omlet at stella's; garrett's popcorn, pub chips, beer, and a turkey reuben @ the goose island brewery; chocolates from vosges; and more than my fill of snacks and assorted goodies from all over the place, but mostly 7-11 because it was close.

i missed (in no particular order or increment):

my coffeemaker, my flip-flops, my housemates, my own bed, my laptop, the bookmarks tab on my firefox browser, writing for LAist, the boy, my friends, the scene down at my local caffeinated watering hole, my own itunes, my growing plant collection, getting up on the earlier side, my netflix, my car, and my routine.

i had:

a really great time.

all photos are here.


Monday, March 20, 2006

pushed the button

if i was granted a do-over and could quantum leap back in time to one moment in my life, right now i would have to pick that horrible moment when i'd sat down for a spell to take the edge off the urban-walking burn whilst inside the chicago art institute and thought "now would be a great time to fuck with the settings on my camera." because then i could listen to my inner rational voice saying "don't press any buttons and fuck with the settings right now." but since i don't possess such powers, and i did indeed press the button--thinking i was telling my camera to make the file sizes smaller, thereby erasing all sixty-odd photos i'd taken up to that moment of people, superdawgs, board game playing, gay bar go go dancers, frushi, the el train, cinnamon rolls at ann sather, myself, and several pieces of impressionist art, i am now starting over with my trip photos of chicago. yeah, i'm bummed. i totally cried, sitting on that hard bench, inside the chicago art institute. so far i've tried to make up for it by retaking as many art photos as i could before my battery died (of course it would die right then) and eating a faceful of dark chocolate mint frangos. it still smarts. and i feel so stupid. most of the photos can be retaken, except the food ones. any chicagoans have photos of this week's pancake flight at orange? yeah. i thought not.


otherwise: having wonderful time. wish you were here.


Friday, March 17, 2006

straight trippin'

suddenly i find myself at friday night, at the end of a hectic and off-the-normal-schedule week, with an open suitcase full of whatever clothes i can assemble, the urge to waste time by trolling tracks on my itunes, and a seven a.m. flight bound for chicago to catch first thing in the morning. it's been quite the week. hell, it's been quite the day. not one single thing has really gone according to plan, but everything is actually quite fine. in fact, all of this week's tiny upheavals were just means to much better ends. it seems only fitting that considering today has been my first and only day off this week, it's actually been a kind of "off" day. impromptu hugs from my favorite curmudgeon, a brisk walk in the park during the last strains of daylight with my darling housemate, unexpected phone chats with some people who mean a lot to me, and a shamrock shake kind of a day. a sort of oddball day to end an oddball week. working finals week at the writing center did not, as i would have predicted, kill me. i got to experience an indulgent gratis meal at one of my favorite city dining spots last night, and despite the generous wine and cocktail pairings, awoke this morning without the expected hangover. i've been busy grading portfolios and chasing down paperwork and listening to presentations...and now it's time for a break. and so i'm off to the windy city for a week of who knows what. i'm taking my camera, but i'm leaving my laptop behind. i'm straight trippin' this time. i'll see you on the flipside of next week; it'll be just the right time to get back to whatever it is i call normal around here.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

little bits

this morning it occurred to me that i so often lose sight of those marvelous little things that have the uncanny ability of making life downright lovely. i was living inside the warp speeding cyclone of burdensome thoughts, pondering the depth and breadth of great big ideas and notions and things i generally have no answers to or for. but the sky was bright, smiling blue, and great songs were coming up on the ipod's shuffle, and i found myself thinking, hey, snap out of the dreary think-too-much mode and remember that things are pretty nice in your life. this moment is nice. this is exactly what it is. oddly enough just saying that out loud smoothed out the wrinkly lines of a nagging question mark. and so today i celebrated the fact that all my students' writing portfolios earned them passing grades in my class this quarter, and that many of them are eager to take their next english class with me after break when we all move up to big bad one-oh-one. and tonight the lovely housemates and i welcomed l.q.t.'s brand new toyota prius home with a driving excursion to get some peruvian food for a late supper, and then back home via the voice-guided navigation system--we named the nice lady nancy. i'm going to spend the rest of my week running little errands, tying up those usual end-of-the-quarter lose ends, keeping my fingers crossed that the two other members of my panel approve my thesis proposal, and trying not to kill the very first plant for my newly hatched balcony garden. i'm going to take the time to stop and smell the lemon verbena. i've got some spicy seafood leftovers, some really amazing people in my life who make me laugh, smile, and feel really super good, some i love lucy dvds fresh from their red netflix envelopes, a trip to chicago next week, students i've had a great time working with (and who all grew as writers to boot!), and all sorts of various and sundried little bits of loveliness that make everything absolutely worthwhile.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

learning curve

i'd been seeing myself in the definition of "stasis" when i realized i had more control over the state of things than i'd thought. but that was an old word, one i learned and moved away from quickly; that was when things got better with me and the distance between the measuring tape and the phone call. i could breathe again. like humans, no plant wants to sit in stale water. now i look up the genus and species; now i am changing the nature of my vocabulary. it gives me more to say, it gives me more to do. it makes the gaps between much warmer, though there are still boundless puzzles to solve. there is a varying ratio of space between our hands; i grow comfortable in moments of absolute proximity. there is a code--non-verbal, verbal--that i grapple with constantly. i take pleasure in the challenge. i take pleasure, certainly. my reward is often a bemused grin, skillful touch, a portion of absconded time. i keep notebooks, not just for posterity, but for information management. what didn't i learn before? i've asked myself time and time again. sometimes my eyes are wide open and my pen is poised. sometimes i cover my ears and babble: "la-la-la-la!" because i don't want to hear from the outside what i already know deep on the inside. i'll make concessions, deals, contracts with myself. i deal in days, in modes of communication as my bartering tools. old games, new rules. i like things now so much more than then; i like me for what i say, and i like me for knowing what not to say. there is wisdom in my cowardice to ask the questions that i did not write down with that felt tipped pen. some things are not meant for me to know. there are a few things i learned from before. i'm doing my research. i may come out empty handed, but i'm willing to keep learning. it feels so nice to ride on your learning curve.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

three, seventeen

Mock Shock
Originally uploaded by sassylittlepunkin.

three years ago today a blog was born. much like with any newborn the proud mama found herself flying without a manual for those first few days, weeks, and even months. the blog grew so darn fast, too. readers, comments, (re)designs, in and outbound links. at first the content was unregulated and almost nonsensical. it was a blog finding its voice, learning to speak in a noisy room full of others who shouted, some who whispered, and many who had tremendously interesting things to say. many of those voices became friends, even friends in the flesh with whom this blog mama shared cups of coffee, cocktails, hugs, late night instant message conversations, and lovely emails. the blog--this blog--came of age before myspace, or even friendster, had taken over as the hip form of community. the rules were ill-defined, except when they were broken; there has always been a kind of etiquette, yes? so it is, three years later, and the blog is still an unruly child at times, but still very much my creation. you have to listen a little more closely to discern what i'm saying these days; the blog (or, really, the author) has learned to speak between her own lines.


seventeen years ago in a suburban toronto hospital this amazing creature arrived. i met her just a couple of days later, and it was love at first sight. i was wearing the most obnoxious purple, red, and green benetton sweater, and her newborn eyes fixed on the bright colors. "she likes you," suggested her mother. i loved her fiercely. soon i would be a sometimes babysitter. i taught her how to do a somersault in her backyard. i roared with laughter when she piped up from her carseat once "horses, dammit! dammit, they're eating their dinner!" when she couldn't have been even three years old; it was her mom who always pointed out the horses as they drove by, and her dad, at the wheel, wasn't clued in to the routine. she still pipes in with the darndest things, and she still cracks me up with her boldness and wit. it's funny how one day i'm changing her diaper, and suddenly it's almost seventeen years later and we're tearing up together at a matinee of "brokeback mountain." how does that happen? how does that little towheaded bundle of cuteness and energy become a whip-smart, sophisticated young woman? i'm just darn lucky that she's my cousin. i'm darn lucky that even at seventeen she still lets me call her munchkin, the nickname i gave her back when she was squealing about horses and turning head over rump in her backyard. we just get each other.

happy birthday!


Friday, March 03, 2006

bad blogger, bad, bad!

my adviser in my master's program loves to introduce me to people (including a former u.s. poet laureate) by telling them gleefully, "and she has a blog!" this makes me cringe, actually, because first of all, my blog is quite possibly one of the least interesting things about me these days, i've lost at least two thirds of my readership over the past few months, i post an average of once a week, and i post about very little of interest because so many people i know read my blog and there are about a thousand things that i can't/don't want to post about for about a thousand varying reasons. so while i used to want to go around telling everyone "i'm a blogger, wahooo!" now it makes me want to hang my head in shame. there's some consolation in that my blog began when blogs were just coming into mainstream vogue (we're celebrating our third birthday here next week!), my blog led me to being published in an anthology of web writing last year, i have my own cartoon masthead thanks to secret agent jo, and i feel no need whatsoever to be on myspace.

a friend of mine suggested to me that perhaps now would be the time to pack up my card table and folding chair here at slp, since i was feeling so distant from my own little pink patch of virtual real estate, but i know that's not quite what i want to do. but those of you that still check in here have long realized that if you want the dirt on what i'm up to, it's probably better to call me up and get me out for a cup of coffee and the lowdown. and, really, a blog without comments? what's the point, and why did that happen?--i get that email a lot from folks, and i like to say that it freed me up from feeling like i was writing to get reactions, but really i was hiding from some random stranger(s)'s ugly reactions--which managed to get sent to me via email anyhow--and it was just getting too judgmental for me. who do you think you are? they'd say. i could ask the same of them. leave me alone, is the answer i don't send them. so i got quieter...and quieter still.

but i'm still here. i still cruise some of my favorite blogs, i'm still ridiculously sore that some folks that i've been reading and linking to for almost three years don't link back to me, and every now and then i'm prompted to pop in with a comment here and there. i still get invited out to bloggery gatherings, like last week's outing in honor of the fabulous kvetcher esther (where i sat shyly in the presence of tamara, hilary, joel, and others), but i'm more willing to wear my LAist pin than declare myself the "sassy little punkin." i still get called "sassy" by some, and "punkin" by others. but i'm a bad blogger, bad, bad! it's not the outlet it used to be, and i think that's due to equal parts the nature of my life lately and the evolution of the format. it's not in my nature to be anonymous, but the kinds of stuff that get people hooked are the things that often have no identification attached. we all know what sells, and while i've got plenty of that to talk about, it's just not for sale.

so i won't fill space with some meme i've stolen (since i'm not even cool enough to get tagged anymore, snort!) or something transcribed from somewhere else in my life. this is where it's at. i'm lindsay, and i have this here blog. and that's how it goes for now.


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