Sunday, July 27, 2008

farts are always funny

one cellist each from turkey and germany, one violinist each from latvia and bosnia, one violist from canada, and two pianists from california are all sitting in a dorm room in california and it is another midnight in california, and how are we make for the passing of time? the somber cross-cultural bonding ritual manifests itself in the form of a fart-sound contest, interrupted by the occasional spanish violist who parades in for the brief demand of "party! some party we have here!"

the latvian violinist declines to participate, so the canadian violist offers to help by making a fart sound on her arm. he elucidates, "it is how my people keep each other warm in the winter."

she laughs, throwing her yellow hair forward in front of her face. "no, no! i am the judge of this contest!"

the hungarian teacher totally gutted my keyboard technique today. it will be for the better, i know, but simple five-finger patterns haven't been this hard in a very long time.

i haven't been this happy in a very long time.
this is what it means to be blessed.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

champaign-urbana tastes like a hot dog wrapped in tin foil.

my father started the song by lyle lovett over again. "god, that's such a great line. honey, put down that fly swatter, get me a glass of ice water. i have no idea what the rest of the song is about, but it just puts you somewhere. it is hot and there are bugs." every word in the last sentence is pronounced, like seven tiny ball bearings.

we were just south of rockford, and the rain was coming down like nobody's business. i put my bare feet up on the dash of the rental car and its just me and my dad and mr. lovett and sometimes mick jagger or dvorak's dumky again, which is kicking my ass. dad is reading the new translation of don quixote and i'm reading the fountainhead. we're looking at grad schools. per usual, a portion of me wants to pop out like the seed from an avocado and move to iceland where i'll set trails for the rest of my life, or something equally non-scholastic.

this entry comes to you from madison, wisconsin. to a girl who has lived most of her life in california, the taste of the word is a strange one. "wisconsin? you're in wisconsin?" said my best friend today, when i called her, sitting on a long grassy rise in the middle of campus. "what's in wisconsin?" as if, "what is that child eating?" the word itself is a statement of disbelief. a long, dubious chewing of cud.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

this, our daily bread


the fourth of july found my catholic grandmother making faces most of the family had never seen before. "wouldn't it be wonderful to be an actress?" she said to me through the lens of my father's camera. "i've always wanted to be on stage. i think i'd be very good at it. don't you think i'd be good at it?"

"you should definitely do something with that," i said.

off stage right, one of my aunts shook her head. "just when you thought you knew somebody."

and since we're on the subject of strong familial ties -- female suicide bombers whose vests are detonated by remote. hooray the nytimes.