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.