Sunday, November 28, 2010

blackbird, fly

(is that song running through your head now? it is, isn't it, reader.)

so i had the apartment to myself for three days and spent almost all of that time in front of the TV. i do not regret this decision now, nor will i later. to be honest i'll take happiness in almost any form in which it chooses to present itself. especially when i am supposed to be in new england writing and instead i have to be here just to hook myself up to a source of medicine.

that said...i know i'm a time-wasting idiot. i got zero writing done and zero medicaid applying done and zero job app work done. also improved zero people's lives and made zero children smile. actually had to go to bed early on Saturday night because i had a screen headache.

still don't regret it.

in the past whenever i've felt lost and sad and could access cable, i've fallen into ANTMarathons (ANTM, dear literary friends, is America's next Top Model). it's like opening a jar of vodka and chocolate. tyra is hilarious, and andre leon talley in his giant judging robes is the best thing to ever happen to that show, ever. it's all just great.

this show does interesting things to my self-esteem and body image. i'm 28 halfway to 29 and much too old for that sort of thing. i thought. i do live in NYC, though, where we're all perpetual adolescents. also my current non-love situation (unrequited love situation? i don't know. i'm not a situation, i'm a person. so gentlemen - chill out, please. worse things could happen than me liking you. my god. also, 'the situation' is a guy on _jersey shore_. and i'm not a problem, either. i may be *causing you* a problem. but this doesn't mean you can't be kind. okay, i didn't see that nerve being struck. yikes. apologies. however, do take my point.) current state is making me think about beauty and first sight and things like that.

tyra's into picking out odd and 'funny-looking' girls and letting them know how hot they are. we can all agree that this is awesome. not just TV-awesome (although it is that too, on occasion). and i think more and more shows are getting the point that there is a difference between koinophilia, evolution, symmetry, high cheekbones etcetera., and true beauty and goodness (which is so incredibly diverse).

then i wonder if i am believing this 'point' myself for the same non-reason i believe in a benevolent universe - because, absent any real evidence, i make a blind choice to believe in something just to keep myself breathing.
because so so so many people seem to think that if you're a woman and you're ugly, or just not-beautiful by any standard, your life is pointless and you should give up on everything. intelligent educated people actually think that.
this makes me very, very sad.

i don't turn heads, ever. but i figured out that if enough of the right people think i'm beautiful, i can get by okay in this world. (it's hard to describe who the 'right' people are, but in general - unbiased people that i'm fond of.)

keep me in your prayers. i will keep you in mine too.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

reading this and crying

...god, why am i crying?

oh well.

Minnesota Thanksgiving
John Berryman

For that free Grace bringing us past great risks
& thro' great griefs surviving to this feast
sober & still, with the children unborn and born,
among brave friends, Lord, we stand again in debt
and find ourselves in the glad position: Gratitude.

We praise our ancestors who delivered us here
within warm walls all safe, aware of music,
likely toward ample & attractive meat
with whatever accompaniment
Kate in her kind ingenuity has seen fit to devise,

and we hope - across the most strange year to come -
continually to do them and You not sufficient honour
but such as we become able to devise
out of decent or joyful conscience & thanksgiving.
Bless then, as Thou wilt, this wilderness board.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

heyyyy team

i was supposed to go to the Vermont studio center because i thought retreat would help cure me, but it turns out it's going to have to be health insurance and medicine.


i realllllly wanted a change of scenery. really really badly. i guess i have to do what/s best for my health in the long run. but this sucks.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

the writing on the wall

there is writing on the wall in big giant block letters and i refuse to see it. i am holding out ridiculous hope for something that will never, ever happen. so i'm in a lot of pain, and usually this type of situation gets me in or dangerously close to the hospital. yet somehow i just won't accept the truth and move on. it's been a long time since i've wanted something this badly. and as i said - it is not possible.

if i shared the particulars with you, you'd agree. but i dont want to post it on the internet. e-mail me off the board if you can.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

so, tonight i am hosting my first benefit. i was supposed to host a secend one next week, but the location forgot and double-booked. so...plan B? let's hope.

send up prayers that i won't be preachy, that people will leave glad to be alive, and that our donations will benefit and encourage samaritans NYC, covenant house, and by extension the lonely, homeless, uninsured, sad and troubled New Yorkers (which is 99% of us).


Saturday, October 30, 2010

sweet autumn wind

dear friends,

today i am having to keep my curtains closed, although it is unreasonably beautiful. otherwise i will go outside and play. and i have more work to do than i even want to think about right now or ever. (just added 'find a reasonably priced health insurance plan so i don't have to go on disability' to the list below.) oddly, the more this work spirals around in my head, the more i do not want to do any of it.

i have faith, though. not in myself.

okay, fine, in myself.

and in God, however God manifests.


Monday, October 25, 2010

but i will always have time to come out and play

i have a thesis to finish, a shit-ton of jobs and a few fellowships to apply for, a current job to keep, a room to sublet, a room to CLEAN, a roommate to inform that i might be subletting, two (2) benefit readings to make invitations for (is it tacky to put a 'suggested donation' on the invites? do i have to make all the introductions?), an apartment to clean before my mom gets here, an unrequited crush to nurse and recover from, a therapist to negotiate with, overdue library books to read and return, a hard drive to back up in case it $^(*ing crashes again, an nyc 'exit strategy' or staying-plan to come up with, a billion other things i'm forgetting, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I'M SWAMPED.

somehow this does not preclude Treehouse nights, long walks through Chelsea, randome readings, sleep, facebook. ephemera, ephemera.

'how we live our days is how we live our lives'. fuckin' A it is.

i should feel more stressed, but i just don't.

p.s. also a soul to keep from going under. this sort of takes priority over everything else. (earning money insomuch as it allows me to maintain the lifestyle that keeps my soul from going under. et cetera.)
p.p.s. i do feel stressed. but in a weird rest-of-my-life way, not in a get-this-shit-done-by-next-week way. not in the way that is productive.

Friday, October 22, 2010

the sun fled for the evening and so too shall i

Dear friends,

my internet activity disturbs me. it's not conventionally disturbing. in terms of content it's fairly innocuous. i don't even want to tell you all the sites i've never visited.

more disturbing as a window into my mind and a window into my time spent. Francis Chan: "How we live our days is how we live our lives."

evidently i live my life on quirky indie media and following current/past unrequited loves and flight of the conchords videos.

unrelated maybe: i think we are trying the 'kitchen sink' plan with my meds because they just upped my dosage again. also in january i have to go to st. luke's. i don't mind telling you that i am scared. i'm not dying (though i kind of felt like i was last night) but i am feeling my mortality very very keenly, these days.

i prefer that to dullness, though.

for real. i think i'd rather have tomorrow be the last day of my life than have all the subsequent days be stupid and boring and unrelenting in their misery and not have anything redeeming in them. (or even just enough redeeming things to cause pain.)

that was a strange thing to say on the internet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

no, seriously

after a certain hour i couldn't talk tonight. i was just afraid of what would come out my mouth. unless i had something quite short and specific to say.

lots of pain, lots of joy. the one overshadows the other.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

those who work, those who fight, those who pray

@matthew lafferty: yes, the invitation absolutely still stands. sorry i haven't gotten back to you on that. i've been all-kinds of lazy around here.
bethany h.'s birthday was yesterday. i need to phone the higginbothams, i slept like that entire day & i forgot to do it.

you guys think i'm exaggerating the massive amounts of sleep i get. maybe i am trying to store up sleep so i'll be all bright-eyed and whatever for when my life changes, presumably in the future soon. or maybe it is *just* *that* *hard* for me to go online and do all the things i told my therapist i would do.

can you believe it's october??!? 95 theses, pumpkin ice cream, jackets and free-smelling air. i went jogging by the hudson today. dear god, may i always live near water.

i am sad i don't work at PS41 this year.


Thursday, October 7, 2010


Dear friends,

i'm going to start prefacing everything i type with a # or an @. for instance:

beautiful beautiful weather out! #reasonstobecontent

i need to spend most of this day on my computer inside #dammit

need to save money so i can go to vermont #worries

if you're single, please go out with me. you are so cute. @demetrimartin


There are worse ways to organize your thoughts, probably.


Friday, October 1, 2010

after all that

dreamed i was shopping in a more-or-less abandoned grocery store, and there was a large floor-area in front where two little girls were spending the night. one of them was in a box with a bunch of blankets. they both seemed pretty content.

someone is trying to tell me something.

shelter from the storm

Dear friends,

i have a lot of work to do. it's raining. clearly a good day to blog. and write long e-mails to everybody. and chip away at world hunger at (they have 60 levels of vocabulary. i can only handle about half of them.)

dreamed that i was part of, like, this big Old Order Amish wedding, and the patriarch corrected my biblical knowledge and then made a pass at me. then i went to the library at morningside heights and i thought it was closed, but it wasn't and i got a bunch of books. the title story in one of them was called "reek and the copycat". huh.

also, my friend bethany keeps appearing in my dreams. she was at the amish wedding (which was really more like a dance/party/ceremonial thing). there was dancing. it was awesome. so carefree, like it never is in life.

but the patriarch still creeps me out.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


my new friend: "doesn't writing for the web take time away from your own work?"
me: "your girlfriend ain't cheap."

when the sun shines we'll shine together

1)edit: that was a giant picture of me staring at a candle. i took it down. it was just weird.

2)i like rihanna

3) 'chronic city' is making me cry

4) i found a new place to look at the george washington bridge from. i should cross it sometime. go to jersey. look around at jersey and then go home.

5) i love you


Thursday, September 16, 2010

it's 7 in the morning

Dear friends,

i'm awake and piecing together last night. cried when i talked to my teacher. read a really funny review of tao lin. talked to some friends. drank with some friends. called a bunch more friends for no reason. line-edited my little sister's essay. ate a lot of vegan dumplings and was underwhelmed by a literary magazine on the way home.

in the morning i had a Harlem adventure which ended up with me going all the way down to the Hudson and getting lost. it was a beautiful day to get lost and i left the house with lots of time to spare, so, i can't complain.

leaving new york will be strange. unless i get a job (what, do you have one?) i am going somewhere. i don't know where though. massachusetts i hope.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

borderline much?


September 11 has come and gone. i hope there is a beautiful afterlife for everyone who deserves it, who believes in grace.

Two years ago today i sat on the Brooklyn Borough Hall steps and watched the book festival go by and smoked a cigarette (my last until this weekend) and cried with something between loneliness and expectation, and then my brother called and said David Foster Wallace, who basically told me not to kill myself, had killed himself. Today i sat on the Brooklyn Borough Hall steps and watched the book festival go by, and cried because i miss the past and i'm frightened of the future, and DFW is still dead.

And my frontal lobe is working, so i am able to moderate panic and control my(still inexplicable) rage - directed at the wrong things! not at starvation and selfish politics and imprisonments of conscience and the disappearing environment, but at my silly grief and loneliness and laziness and the fact that it's so mother$^)(ing hot or it's raining or i am just tired of spending all this money to live in this heartless city with so many memories in it.

right now i am living vicariously through my little sister, who is at university and doing so well. seriously. i stay alive for that kid.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

it's been too long

Dear friends,
i have intermittent, unreliable internet now. it sucks. :(

the good news is...i am not in the hospital. i went to the hospital today and remembered how very, very, very fortunate and glad i am to not be there. and if i do have to go (back), it'll be okay and i'll write some stuff and it'll be fine - but when everything for the past few months has been getting worse instead of better, it is nice to let myself be thankful.

the bad news is, still, intermittent internet.

oh man.

fuck you, life. fuck you sometimes.


Monday, August 16, 2010

adulthood ?

Dear friends,
i had a fever today and a pretty bad cold. and no appetite. in a former life i would have sucked it the $^(* up and gone to class, and probably gone to work. i have been to work much sicker than this. instead i slept for about ten hours and watched a bunch of DVDs. i'll probably do the exact same thing tomorrow.

working from home is nice and not-nice at the same time.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dear friends,

Thanks for your concern. i slept for soooooooooo long. wow.

but i feel a little better.

love from CYE: "I bumped into Bernie Madoff on the street one day and he was wearing a quilted jacket with the collar up. So the next day, I went in and pulled all my money out."


Monday, August 2, 2010

this was not a good day

Dear friends,
it hasn't gotten easier and i haven't gotten stronger. The question now is, how much time do i give it.

My life is so good but i feel so $^(*ing sad.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

might not be any new posts for a while

Dear friends,
in all likelihood i will be working or sleeping. probably sleeping. leave your comments below.


Thursday, July 22, 2010


Dear friends,
i gave blood and then the escalator was broken and i drank a lot of water but it wasn't nearly enough so i am kind of out of it. i had ice cream, though. when i get it into my head that i want ice cream, that's all i can think about until my want is fulfilled. pathetic.

here is a poem my lovely friend m.w. wrote for me:


i mean who are we to say
there's any harm
in picking flowers from the Bellevue yard?
Or to say it is not beautiful or okay
to ask for things in life. Like letters
from people you love. Or candy canes in Christmas,
thank you notes and goodbyes.
This poem itself is a letter
but it is also a memory of everything
a person can bring with them, and be.
The memories that can't be tossed aside
like magazines next to a hospital bed
where one girl lies on her back
looking up at the ceiling and searching for wonder.

(postscript: i left some flowers for my roomie. she read part of _The City of Falling Angels_ to me. i never did finish that book. a.b.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

i'm stuck, i don't know what to say

Dear friends,

So i want to write to someone who has inspired me but i fall so far short of the standards she holds us to that i don't know what to say.

i could not give you a number for how many children in New York City are homeless or parentless or sick or going to bed without hugs.

Adults too, for that matter.

And it hurts to be reminded that all those times i thought my heart was breaking for myself, it needed to be breaking for others. (i have a heart strung together with duct tape at this point. That duct tape can do anything). i write a lot in this blog but i don't actually do that much.

Not sure how to face my hypocrisy head-on. i need a different life, i don't know if this is where it starts. Somehow i don't feel useful when i'm volunteering.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why did we fall from Eden?

Dear friends,

Okay so everyone knows i am a human, and thus, a bitch. i mean, i feel ENTITLED after i put in a certain amount of work and want. i want to have someone say "well-deserved. it's a great story"! i want to have 18 of the people i love tell me congratulations on facebook! i want a boyfriend!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's all. As i say my prayers for the starving children and prisoners and chronically ill and poor and sad tonight, i will of course remember myself and my record refusal to get up off my ass and serve soup at a homeless shelter or something.

love, hugs and kisses (for real, not ironic)

p.s. rewatching the fourth season of _the wire_. fuuuuuuuuck that's a good show.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Dear friends,

i'm thankful for electricity today. Aren't you?


p.s. it's too hot to blog anything substantial

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

damn computer. you're slow

Hi friends,

So i still can't post links, whatever. i really like this article.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

let me try linking to my friend's site

the first time i tried it just showed a blank space and me sheepishly saying, 'did it work?'

did it work?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

small things

Dear friends,
So i guess i'm not following anyone. i will, though. i'm just lazy.

Storyscape gave me a free t-shirt. i am just as excited by this as i would be if they published my story. You know, if i can be upset by small things, i might as well be happy with small things too. Yesterday there was a street fair on my street, and i got a cupcake with Oreos on it, and that was all i had for lunch. Next time i'll buy a mango. And go to the dentist. i know. But damn - cupcakes!

Tomorrow i'm getting my ear rinsed out again, but i am a coward and had to stop last time because i thought i was going to pass out on the table. You know that feeling you have when you give blood on an empty stomach. It was like that. Your body stops controlling itself and empties into a little reservoir with water running through it. Scary. But, i would like to be able to hear again.

i am really starting to become more apathetic and lethargic by the minute. Maybe i'll move to a house in New England and lock myself up, and only wear white dresses. That is actually not the worst plan i have ever had.


p.s. They're making a movie out of one of my favorite books, _We Need to Talk about Kevin_. i am excited for this and for Lars von Trier's last U.S.A. trilogy movie to come out. i'll probably watch it alone. (in! advisable!)a.b.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

'till we have faces' is open to contributors

Dear friends,

If i haven't contacted you, i totally meant to. write me a story. or a poem or whatever. Then i can post it and the Internet will be that much happier.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

i want some more followers

i guess i should send an e-mail or something. Once i figure out how to do links i can link to sweet youtube videos or crazy obscure articles or unbelievably amazing stories. Then i wouldn't do anything else, though. Ever.

You know what's really a great book? _Dear American Airlines_ by Jonathan Miles. Kind of stunning. You don't even have to read it in an airport.

Okay so when i ran away to Chicago that one time, it was scary as hell and maybe i'll tell you about it if you are really curious. But there was one point right before i had an interview at Northwestern (which didn't come to anything that year), when i was on campus and i went to this gelato shop, and i dont remember if i had gelato or coffee or whatever, but i think it was after my mom said she would help me move out of my parents' house and thereby basically save my life. Anyway i was readinhg a copy of "Love Story" by Eric Segal (i think that's his name) that i guess was just sitting there, and for a moment i felt elusively happy. Content.
Memories are strange things. Plastic and stretchy. So much more permeable than dreams.


Monday, June 14, 2010

infinite thing

Dear friends,

i was at my little sister's graduation party this weekend. My sister is one of the best people i know. She is just so sweet and GOOD. And pure. And patient. All kinds of good things. Only for her would i sit through far too many people taking my picture. There's a *really* unflattering pic on Facebook where i look like i'm about to pull her hair or something.

Anyways. Love you, Sarah! So proud of you. Come back and visit.

Also while i was at my parents' house i found (after some searching) the letter i wrote to DFW. "The sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing" is his phrase, not mine. It makes me think of walking through Antarctica or standing on the Golden Gate bridge or cleaning your room and taking stock of your life. What can we do to get that infinite thing back? L.M. Montgomery called it leaving fairyland and i know what she was talking about but i'm not sure how to describe it. When the boring things in life cancel out the wonderful things. When waking up is sad. You know what i mean.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

i want to play paintball with Marlo Stanfield

no other words of...anything today. l8r. xoxo

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Dear friends,

i think everyone's going to get, like, a real letter from me soon. As in, pouring my stupid little heart out. Because evidently i am making my life as a writer UNTIL SOMEBODY HIRES ME TO DO SOMETHING ELSE.

And the hiring NEEDS to happen. i am not independently wealthy. i am reliable. i work hard. i have a sense of humor and a sense of decorum (believe it or not, i know there is a time and place where 'that's what she said' is inappropriate). i like people. If i'm lucky, they like me too. i have amazing people vouching for me.

Also, i type 60 WPM. If that's useful to you.

p.s. i'm trying.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Dear friends,

My old boss was kind of an amazing man. (i mean - he still is an amazing man). He was at the museum where i worked long before i was and i think he'll be there as long as it makes him happy. More about him later. He's incredible. So were all my bosses there, actually.

And i'm seriously not kissing ass. i doubt any of them read this.

But the guy i'm talking about used to tell us that story where a man saves a starfish on the beach, and then someone comes by and says "what's the point of that, you can't make a difference for all the starfish" and the starfish-saver says "i can make a difference for that one." Aaaawww. So before our boss would send us off to play with the kids he said "Find your starfish!"

You know something else cool? i think starfish have, like, their jaws on the outside of their bodies and they devour their prey from the inside out. i don't know. Don't quote me on that one.

p.s. starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam ! that was going to be the title of my thesis before i realised it was a Prince song.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Can I add the caveat "what can you do that doesn't suck..."

Dear friends,
This is a letter i wrote to Dan Savage (of Savage Love in the Seattle Stranger) in 2005. i love this. i love that i addressed him as 'my dear mr. Savage'. it makes me smile.


My dear mr. Savage,

Forgive me if this letter is more plebeian than what you are used to,
as it doesn't involve deviant sexual practices, bizarre behaviours or
Bush-era moral precedents. Remember, as well, that I am an ardent fan
and long admirer, and at my age and station, small dilemmas loom

I am in a place in my life that's riddled with constant anxiety -
between jobs, between friends, between places to live. I'm a
23-year-old, terribly shy and not terribly attractive. (I kind
of remind myself of Enid in Ghost World, actually.) Recently I picked
up some temporary contract work through which I met a gentleman who's
everything I'm not. He's cute, confident, exuberant but cynical when
he needs to be, a nonstop flirt who always makes you feel flattered
but never uncomfortable, and very kind to everyone. He's in a band,
for heaven's sake. Of course I developed a huge crush on him. He was
indifferent, although still not unkind. Almost all of our mutual
acquaintances, whom I trust a great deal, have told me to cease and
desist and that he's not right for me. Even though wisdom should have
gained the upper hand, I kept looking at him with big baleful eyes and
saying silly things and making myself miserable. He's since gone back
to his home state, where he's pretty well established and in no need
of new friends, leaving me just as miserable and more than a little
confused. I think he's closing the chapter in his life that had me in
it, and would just as gladly never hear from me again.

So the question "Is it foolish to think that we can ever be friends?"
seems a little ridiculous. But since you have advice for all sorts of
love - physical, emotional, unrequited, misguided and all the rest -
what can you do when you can't stop thinking about someone who will
never ever like you back? A good friend told me that proximity is 90%
of infatuation, but I've proved that wrong enough times in my short
life to know that I may have to resort to more drastic measures. I
could look for a job to distract myself but, let's be honest - that
sucks. Can I add the caveat "what can you do that doesn't suck..." to
the above question? And, what the hell - can we still be friends, if I
want to?

You can be mean to me, if you want. I don't expect to ever meet you
and won't harbor any hard feelings.


Friday, June 4, 2010

in the game

Dear friends,

i've actually been watching _Six Feet Under_ lately, not, as you may have guessed from the title, _The Wire_. both earthshaking shows which you should watch in their entirety, starting right this moment.

So i am struggling a lot lately with jealousy. And anger. And other things. Painful, yes. But a good chance to practice emotional regulation skills. Coping skills. Ninja skills. Computer hacking skills.

Guys only like girls with skills.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

justice etc.

Dear friends,

i know where i live and that i should probably be out doing some awesome free stuff...but really i don't want to do anything but sit here. My new life is terrifying. i hate it. i want the old life back.

It is next to impossible not to compare myself to other people. Seriously. We all do it. We ALL do it. You too. And it's the worst thing in the world for me, but so difficult to ignore.

And yes i am worried that i spend too much time writing when i really don't have that much talent, or trying to be with my friends when i really am not that good of a friend, or climbing up the ladder of awesomeness when it was probably never meant for me. i don't know. i am sad and scared and really really trying to get healthier but it's not working. i just want to love people. And pay rent. i can't help thinking that when awful things happen to me, i get what i deserve.

Of course, the REAL problem of justice, and the evidence that there is no justice in the world, is that millions of children who haven't done ANYTHING wrong are going to bed hungry, or get horrible diseases, and good hardworking people lose their jobs and get in accidents and people my age who have tried EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS I HAVE AND PROBABLY MUCH MORE are homeless and vulnerable and getting attacked. There's a pointless war and ridiculous starvation. Kids sleep under their beds because of gunshots or bombs going off or crazy abusive parents.

i don't know how i can compare my talent and situation to someone else's when the reality is that people surrounding me are in UNBELIEVABLE pain.

Still. As long as i do what i can to help, is it okay if i try to make it as a writer? i know i'm not half as good as lots of people who will never, ever get this opportunity. Maybe in time i can help turn things around for a great talent younger than me. i hope i hope.

all right, enough.

some days i see the point

Dear friends,

Sometimes (often, lately) i just want to give up. Do you ever want to give up? Are you ever tired of trying and not seeing that many results? Even if you're not trying that hard because no matter how hard you try, it doesn't seem to affect anything?

Do you ever get jealous of people who are in love? Maybe people that you are in love with, that love someone else? Do you ever miss people so much you can't stand it?

Of course you do. Of course.

i'll keep you posted.

Until then, be as safe and well as you can. Take care of yourself more than seems reasonable.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

time time time

Dear friends,

There's a mouse in my sink. i mean, there was this morning, and i haven't seen him since. He's cute but he needs to LEAVE.

All these unsent letters and see-you-somedays and the 'Simple Explanation' episode of _House_ re-running last night have made me wonder why we don't tell people the things we love about them. Or why we wait for the right time or the right words. i don't have an excuse. i am lazy.

Dearest reader, i know we are all afraid of awkwardness, but there is no right time. Find whoever's your hero, whoever you couldn't live without, whoever maybe doesn't KNOW what good things you see inside of them, and GO TELL THEM RIGHT NOW. Call or e-mail or Blackberry or whatever. RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Why are you still here?


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Unsent Letters day

Dear guy at Western Union,
Thank you for not letting me get scammed. You saved me a world of madness. phew.

Dear every nice doctor or shrink i have ever had,
Thanks for saving my life. i really hope i can make it worth your while. i am trying. If i have ever frustrated you by my treatment resistance, my sarcasm, or my tardiness, i apologize.

Dear Michael at the bookstore,
i am so, so sorry about Saturday night. So sorry. Can we be friends? Or do you have enough friends?

Dear old landlords in Yonkers,
You were great people and i never told you that. That among other reasons is why i'm letting you keep my whole deposit. It's a mitzvah.

Dear trumpeter in the 181st street A train station,
Where have you been? Please come back.

Dear Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, John Berryman,
You've made my life so much more bearable. Berryman, you were right; life is boring. We must not say so. i'm bored out of my mind.

Dear Bethany,
i still have your Eeyore by my pillow. i think he was the best Pooh character. Did you know somebody wrote a sequel to the Hundred Acre Wood books? And not a very good one? i have a lot to talk to you about, actually, so i'll write at more length later. i love you.

Dear David Simon, David Shore and Larry David,
Guys with "David" in their name make my favorite TV.

Dear Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant,
You too. As small children say, you make me smile when i am sad. Also, whatever genius came up with Dwight Schrute. And Toby.

Dear Mr. Bornstein,
Sometimes i think i might like to catch up with you. What was your deal anyway? That was a weird fifth grade, but a good one.

Dear Tim Gunn,
You are a national treasure. Can i give you a hug?

Dear lady who was nice to me at the airport when i was crying so hard i couldn't even talk,

Dear John Darnielle,
You are a national treasure and i already gave you a hug. Thank you for making life easier.

Dear 2-313,
Here's a big hug for you guys: (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hug))))))))))))))))))))))

Dear Fall semester Intro to Creative Writing class,
i didn't deserve you guys. Go make me proud.

Dear Karen Russell,
Can we be friends? You're so cool.

Dear William Styron,
i would kind of like to talk to you right now.

Dear Katie at,
You are one of my heroes.

Dear Jonathan Franzen,
Your DFW elegy made me cry. Also, guys named Jonathan write great books.

Dear David Foster Wallace,
Thanks for writing me back and i'm sorry i never answered. You helped buy me four incredible years. Of course you are one of my heroes too and i wish we could sit on your porch and talk or something. i'd bring you some pineapple from Washington Heights. (Or mango.) Unfortunately i can't say a lot here. i love you though.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

i wish i was this awesome

Don’t eat meat. Be as passionate as you can all the time. Work for social justice. Cuddle your beloved more than seems reasonable. Write. Give money to charity as often as you can, and give a little more than you’re comfortable giving. Remember the homeless always and everywhere. Thank whatever God you worship for your inestimable good luck in being loved, and if you are not loved, love someone as best you can.

-John Darnielle from a 2004 interview

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

morphine, baby

Dear friends,

This forum isn't meant to be me whining about how bad i feel, or my character flaws or whatever. Right now i am in enough pain to want a morphine drip, even though most of it's not anywhere physical. i just want a narcotic or a sedative or whatever it would take for this feeling to stop for good. Or for now.

i am not a patient person. i don't want to give treatment time to work, or keep hammering on doors, or wait this period in my life out. And i'm lazy, so i don't want to do the work it evidently takes to feel better (which is what, by the way? i've done the meditating and long walks and good movies thing. Those all end.)

i know i'm never going to get back the life i had, in Columbus or at school here, or at Kenyon, or in Baltimore. Those were all good times and i miss them fervently. Every f$#^(*ing time i blog on here it ends up being a long insufferable aria about how i miss certain people it would take too much time to name.

Dear readers - if you are in this kind of pain, you are not alone. And you are absolutely not weak. Just know that, and take some small consolation in it.

Does somebody want to come up to the Heights? - if you don't have a morphine drip, i will also accept a few seasons of Curb your Enthusiasm on DVD.

i realise i'm incredibly open on this blog. Probably to my detriment. i am trying to learn what this kind of pain and fear and sadness has to teach me. And so i'm trying to be open to it. But i'd really prefer the morphine.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear friends,

So i woke up and have the whole island of New York to go and do birthday things in, and decided that what i *really* wanted to do was stay here in my pajamas and have another project runway marathon. (i had a counselor call this "bingeing on self-care". better than self-destruction, i guess.)

i'm on a bit of a 72-hour fast, though. maybe longer. Been doing good just because i'm a sedentary lil rock. i should go on a money fast.


p.s. i got 24 cards from second-graders. i REALLY miss them. i REALLY miss my old teachers (especially the ones who are moving away). i miss DFW. i miss Bethany.
i miss COSI.

"wow. you are a downer. we were having a pretty nice day" - jim halpert


28 - damn

Dear friends,

It's been a good year. One of the best, actually. i got moan-y and bitchy sometime towards the end, but the people in my life are quick to forgive.

Having an almost-unattended birthday thing Saturday made me cry and make a lot of crying phone calls (even tho i was in one of my favorite places in NYC and would totally have a good time there by myself). And i think i left my sweater in a cab. And i ate so much pizza that i'm fasting for an indeterminate amount of time. Low blood sugar takes your mind off sadness in your heart (god, there are so many people i miss SO MUCH right now).

i am taking myself to the American Museum of Natural History sometime this week for a late bday present. Today might be a sleep-day. And for that i am so very, very ,very, very, very grateful.

i love you,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

square one

Dear friends,

Life is so cyclical, isn't it? Do we ever make any progress? Are the changes we make in our lives really anything more than cover-ups, Band-Aids, experiments? i'm beginning to believe that transformation is possible.

My birthday's tomorrow and i'm reallllllllllllly not feeling well, so i'm wondering what i should do. i think i'll celebrate when i feel better.

But for the moment, 48-72 hours of sleep.


Friday, May 21, 2010

To Her

Hand in hand we come
Christopher Robin and I
To lay this book in your lap.
Say you're surprised?
Say you like it?
Say it's just what you wanted?
Because it's yours-
because we love you.
-A.A. Milne


we're not terrific but we're competent

Dear friends,

The refrain from Belle & Sebastian's 'This is just a modern rock song' keeps coming up on my ipod and making me cry.

i'm actually unbelievably glad my ipod works again. i'll take all the small mercies i can get right now.

My dream last night was that i had taken a giant watermelon-shaped grapefruit (maybe half as tall as i am) and cut part of it out to eat it, and then left the rest in a giant blue tub by my bed. i woke up and thought "was i *that* far gone last night?" and then i woke up for real. But friends, i cannot tell you how sad this grapefruit made me. i haven't cried in my dreams in years but something just came loose.

i was sitting by the Hudson River today, looking at bikers and joggers and Jersey, and blue-gray water (i love living near water). And i thought, i wish there was a sort of surgery someone could perform that took away my ability to love people. So i wouldn't get close to them, or miss them, or need them, or hurt. Some head injury that would make me a sociopath. i don't know.

Sounds like it could be a cool episode of _House_, too.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


Dear friends,

i didn't plan to post 2 W.S. Merwin poems in the same month. Honest. And i was waiting to post this one on my birthday, but i'm afraid i'll forget.
p.s. i'm ok you guys ! i just like this poem.

For the Anniversary of My Death
by W. S. Merwin

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Dear friends,


If you are bored at the grocery store, think about what you would get if you had $50 or $100 to create an avant-garde outfit. (even without an impeccably suited gentleman at the front saying "designers! go go go!")

p.s. i hope some real hugs happen soonish. Like before Friday morning

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

buildings (again)

Dear friends,

What do you see when you look out your window?

i'm happiest when i live in places where i can look out and see a city, a bunch of apartment buildings breaking the sky, and wonder about all the people in it. Even if my friends are far away i feel safe and at home and loved. Just by how big, how copious and big, the world is.

When i have a mediocre view, i seek happiness elsewhere. Looking out from the attic window at my parents' house makes me cry just thinking about it. There's a stop sign. And a sidewalk. We're relatively trapped.
i made a promise to myself that i wouldn't live there again. And now i'm making this promise to you. i love my family to death and back. However. Please mind that i keep this promise.

Today was not the best day. i did something really inconsiderate, and in general i've been a bad roommate and haven't cleaned. You know how that goes. And other, small things.

But still at the core i am doing ok. ok.

Pooh and Tigger (classic, not Disney) are sitting on the chair beside me. Next month i might go out to Battery Park to look through a telescope. On Friday i am thinking about going to Queens for free NY Hall of Science (wanna come?) Still working on how to balance community and solitude, how to make money.

Really the last thing is the only thing i should be working on. Instead of blogging about it.

i continue to amaze myself. and not in a good way. Do you ever find that you are amazing yourself with your negligence as well? i would like to believe that this is a human failing, and not specific to me.


Monday, May 17, 2010

nature is a language, CAN ANYBODY READ HER?

Dear friends,

Soon if not already this blog won't make sense to anyone but myself. ask me ask me ask me ask me (sorry, aaahhh it's in my head)

Let me ask you something very vague. Do you think our pleasure increases in proportion to our pain, our joy to our sorrow? Can people who have suffered more experience deeper gladness? Do bad things make good things better?

i think so but i'm not putting it very well.

Last year it was Fleet Week during my birthday and this sailor bought me a drink. That was pretty sweet. i hope people come out to commiserate this year, because it almost doesn't feel like celebration.

i was trolling around campus today and there are so many memories: first meltdown, first post-hospital smoothie, first time i thought i saw John Krasinski in WSQ park (it wasn't him), first and second and hundredth time stumbling off the train at W4th to get the same coffee from the same vendor and go to my favorite places and talk about books with some of the best people in the world.

Now i need to go to other places and do more productive things with people i hope like me.

i hate transition. so. much.

but i love you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

officially on the job market, and it's very exciting

Dear friends,

yes, i have three resumes: Professional Resume, Athletic and Special Skills Resume, and Amy Bergen trivia. ("what does it say under martial arts training? really? i'm going to have to supplement that")

but for real, i DO use capital letters properly when i'm applying for jobs. i didn't think you guys would mind. i know potential employers can see everything everywhere, but hopefully even in this market they'll be gracious and kind.

there is only so much jobhunting i can do a day. not enough, but after an hour or so of applying i get winded.

but: i can see the empire state building from my window (i think. when i'm on the opposite side of the room from the window). i think two years in New York has made me more innocent and excited about stupid little things. glad it didn't do the opposite like it was supposed to.


Friday, May 14, 2010


Dear friends,

So i just realised that if my computer dies (kenehora kenehora kenehora) how very, very fucked i will be.

i couldn't
-write (anything for sharing)
-watch DVDs
-look up places online to take my computer to get it fixed

these are almost all the things that i do. except the last one. i would have to queue up at the NYPL (yikes...ok, it's not that bad) or call on someone's mercy.

being SO dependent on a simple piece of metal scares me. for real. what percentage of your body is your brain? or your heart? in terms of total mass? or your eyes? and how much of your brain do you even use?

and if you look around at all the things you have, how easy would it be to lose keys, cellphone, wallet? these little little little ties that bind us in such extraordinary vital interdependent ways.

even if i wanted your postal address, you would have to EMAIL it to me.

oh, luddites, i envy you.

pray for technology's mercy upon me.



Dear friends,

this is from my old blog, which of course did not last. thank goodness. but here are some recommendations:

go here if you haven't been already. miranda july is joy and love.

more beautiful stuff:
the washington d.c. metro system (i can't hear "last station stop in the commonwealth of virginia" without a shiver going down my spine)
anything by iron and wine, or sam beam, for that matter
Karen Russell's fantabulous book St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
the short story "Audit", i think it was in the Paris Review book of People with Problems

look for a lovely thing, it's not far.

also: cathedral of st. john the divine in nyc. or really any church that encourages meditation.
also also: anything by breyten breytenbach, brian morton, chuck wachtel, jonathan lethem, stephen whitt, martin rock, brian trimboli, monica wendel, kurt pitzer, and now i'm just listing awesome writers and awesome people. there are a lot more but i have someplace to be. hope you guys don't mind.
you might also like p.f. kluge and david lynn.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

climbing mountains with blindfolds

Dear friends,

it's been a while since i read Dante, but i vaguely remember the punishment in Purgatory for the envious...did they have their eyes cut out? oh. god.

i can't speak for you, but i am prone to falling into my worst vices no matter how often i (or others) remember that they're my worst vices. for instance. i do want joy and beautiful things for all of my friends, not just *some* of them. i believe that my circumstances are different from other people's and i shouldn't judge myself by any standards other than my own. but still. why does life look the way it does from this angle?

in solidarity with those of us whose lives are not working out and who don't have jobs for whatever reason -

hugs, hope and heineken,

p.s. or hot chocolate if you want
p.p.s. new yorkers, something awesome - when a bunch of dancers are performing on the subway to hip-hop and they have like a six-year-old kid with them, and the kid gets up and freestyles

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Dear friends,

as you likely have figured out, i am both in transition and denial.

let me be grateful for a while longer.
because it was a good school year, probably the best ever. here are some words i learned:
hasta luego

also learned to translate into polish and commit to scene. and will hopefully absorb some espanol soon. a wonderful year, yes.

and had a small child ask me "are all amy's named after amy poehler?" yes. yes, we are.


buildings !

Dear friends,

this is so cool:
idk if the link works, just copy and paste the URL.
but it's worth it. it's very, very cool.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

life lottery

Dear friend,

after basically winning the life lottery (being born in a first-world country to a family 'smack in the middle of the middle class', pretty happy childhood, etc.) and not having fallen prey to lupus, cancer, transverse myelitis, autoimmune, Epstein-Barr or anything else they show on _House_, and spending two charmed years in an MFA program, i have no trouble being grateful

grateful is different from happy, though.

and just because you've been blessed doesn't mean you don't make a lot of mistakes.

i'm trying not to cry right now but i know things will get better. or i will get stronger. or both ?

Monday, May 10, 2010

today i walked the williamsburgh bridge

which you should do every so often, if you can.

also wanted this to be the first thing i share:
by W.S Merwin
posted Sep 18, 2007 via

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions.

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
looking up from tables we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is


Dear friends,

This is
-a way for me to write letters to you without clogging your inboxes too badly :) , so you can see them if/when you want
-reaching inward, til i feel better
-reaching outward, to help other people balancing despair and joy in every moment of their lives (aren't we all)
- going to be updated fairly regularly. so do keep checking.