Monday, December 24, 2012

andy

I knew she loved him when I heard her call him Andy. Not Drew, like everybody else called him, or Andrew, which is the name his parents gave him, but Andy. I wondered if she was in love with his off-beat walk or his insistence on the glory of oil-based pastels, or maybe she was enamored with his blatant wholesomeness, his stark naiveté which glistened off of every wispy blonde hair on his body. "He's so good," she said to me once. "You love him," I whispered back. She thought about what I had said quietly, and then answered, "That's why I call him Andy."

The only problem was that Andy loved me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

born to be


He was staring at her oddly in a way that made his mouth look like it didn’t belong where it was, but she wasn’t looking back at him, choosing instead to finger the crevices in between the scales of the porcelain mermaid’s tail. “Where did you get this?” she asked suddenly, in response to whatever question he had just posed to her. “You aren’t listening to me,” he said. “You never listen.” She knew that that was true, but leading ladies never listened, and she was born to be a leading lady.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

mone y

Her voice is full of money, he said. I didn't think so. When I met her I thought her voice was like the way the lamp in our small living room flickers on and off again, or how I feel when I put my hands through my long dark hair and immediately wish I could cut it. Her voice was an in-between place, it was a yes and a no, it was sharp and velvety and irresponsible and saturated with something raw like bloody meat or a bar of glycerin soap all at once. Her voice isn't full of money, I finally told him on a day when it was raining intermittently and so I felt courageous. He stared at me for a while like he was flirting with the idea that I could be right, and then he said easily, flatly, perhaps not. But yours is.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

word play

I just want to talk to everyone. I just want to talk and ask why, when, and how, who made you that way and what does it feel like and do you like shortbread cookies or cinnamon ones, spring or fall, Pluto or Jupiter, men or women. Do you think Lolita is a sick, twisted account of a deranged old man or is it the greatest love story of all time? Do you want to travel to Peru and stay there for awhile and will you eat the lomo saltado or will you look at the waiter's weathered face and stammer out in squeaky English that you just don't understand. Do you understand?

I just want to talk to everyone. I want to know when their parents were married, and what her dress looked like, and why there were only seven people there. I want to know why my grandfather has clocks hidden all over his house, and I want to suggest on an afternoon that I should have bathed but didn't that perhaps he is afraid of time. I want to ask the bus driver how long she has been silent like that, and find out why my landlord won't look me in the eye. I want to tell the woman in front of me who shrugs away the two handles of vodka on the conveyor belt by saying, times are hard if you know what I mean, that I know what she means. Do you know what I mean?

I just want to talk to everyone, and tell them that I think spilled milk is funny, that I think everything is either funny or hopelessly tragic and that there is no in-between, that I believe in change and catastrophe but that chipped paint bothers me in a way that it shouldn't. I want to tell them that Hemingway is the worst and Tolstoy is the best, that nobody likes philosophy or bourbon or a run-on sentence even though I write that way.

I just want to talk to everyone because I write that way.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

kate


She was constantly after people, she hungered for them, felt that if she didn’t meet and enjoy at least six people a day then the world on that particular day had been empty. And so there were a lot of empty days, days where she found herself staring at her reflection on a computer screen that had been black for several minutes because she was so lost in thought that she hadn’t thought to use it. Suddenly she was frustrated by the mundane nature of the days, came to feel like she was literally falling into a routine, falling into the same faces and the same corner of the couch and every morning and evening she walked by the same crusted newspaper sitting on the exhausted lawn from three weeks ago. She needed to pick it up, but couldn’t figure out what the point of doing that was if it was only going to be replaced by a cleaner, crisper version of what had already been there in the first place.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

denver

Denver has lights. There are lights in the city which illuminate a warm summer sky against the buzz of people dancing to slow music and chatting over someone else's hell of a week. There are lights in the upscale apartment where my friends live downtown, where we sit on the roof in faded jean shorts and a sweatshirt looking at the lights which illuminate the sky. And there are lights in the eyes of the people who live here, who say with a white blouse and a soft smile or with tousled blonde hair and a red and gray flannel that for them, this is it, this is everything. In that moment I understand that it's not the lights of the city or the lights inside my friend's upscale apartment which captivate me, but rather it's the light in their eyes which illuminate the sky.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

be diplomatic

In a world that seems to constantly spin in the direction of the "left or right" based on an agenda of "liberals or conservatives" who are either "democratic or republican," I think we could all afford to lighten up a bit and realize the importance of diplomacy. There is a way to be tasteful in your approach, and respecting each other's beliefs, be them political or religious or anything else, is imperative if we hope to live in a way that is kind and compassionate. People who are diplomatic can see both sides of the picture, and they eventually come to embrace the world in an inviting, open way that those who are tactless and impudent often cannot. The more we incorporate diplomacy in our lives, the more we will come to understand one another, and perhaps the more cake, I mean love, there will be to go around.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the big shining golden sea

The ocean is so mesmerizing, always. But as early evening leads a warm summer day to bed, something extraordinary happens. The now yawning sunlight dances across slick, calm waters, illuminating the many folds and layers of the sea and making each ripple, each velvety movement, appear as though it has a heartbeat and is very alive and at any moment could reach out and ever so delicately take you away from everything you ever knew to be true. Footprints in the sand look like they have just been formed in melted copper, like they will stay that way forever, just like the movie stars handprints somewhere on Sunset Boulevard, somewhere off in Hollywood. I hold onto these solitary moments by the water because they are radiant with life, love and light, but mostly because just then it's only me and the big shining golden sea. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the other side


Honey I'm home, he says. Maybe he's been traveling the world, soaking in a Sri Lankan sunrise or riding camels in Morocco. He's been gone for weeks maybe, or months. Maybe he's been in New York visiting his sick brother, or maybe he's been sitting in traffic in Los Angeles. There's a chance he was just across town, needing to get away for a little while, needing some silence and peacefulness so that he could hear himself think, or maybe he's been on tour with the band who have finally made their way back where they started. Maybe he is married to her or maybe they're dating or maybe he hasn't seen her in years, maybe she doesn't know what she's going to get when she opens that door and maybe neither does he, but honey I'm home, he says, and with a quick glance at his watch he hears footsteps as she walks towards the door where the man with the cognac bag is waiting on just the other side.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

iron and wine

 
Sometimes when I listen to Iron and Wine I think I am here. Sometimes I can't believe how good Iron and Wine is. Samuel Beam is brilliant in the most subtle way, a humble artist who never ceases to amaze me with album titles like "Our Endless Numbered Days" and clever lyrics that say "We all assume the worst the best we can." Thoughtful and sincere, Iron and Wine changes everything, and makes an evening alone a pensive experience, or a drive by the coast contemplative and serene. "Sunset Soon Forgotten," "Passing Afternoon," "Belated Promise Ring," "Each Coming Night," "Flightless Bird, American Mouth," "God Made the Automobile," "Naked As We Came," "The Trapeze Swinger," and "Sodom South Georgia" are all gems. All of them. I don't care what you haters say about being put to sleep, or about being bored by the songs' interconnectedness. If you think that any of those songs are boring, listen carefully, and if you are put to sleep, drink a cup of coffee damnit.

Monday, June 11, 2012

8:27pm


It's that time in the sky when there is no sun and yet it is not completely dark. This is an in-between place where the clouds are a pale pink smeared against the gray blue sky, where the world seems very, very still and the metallic outline of the trees sway gently in the placid summer breeze. There is no sunshine to inhale and no sunset to ponder, just an in-between place of a kind of glowing darkness. In a minute, everything will grow black and the neighbor's car alarm will sound and the radio by the lemons in the kitchen just below me will hum again, but right now, in this moment, the in-between sky with its uncertain hues and uncompromising colors is the perfect, beautiful backdrop to my life.

Friday, June 1, 2012

bon iver concert review


The story behind Bon Iver is this: An intriguing bearded guy from Wisconsin locks himself in a cabin during the coldest part of winter to record some deep, reflective songs about the nature of life, death and heartbreak. American folk singer and song writer Justin Vernon did just that, and today, his music is adored by many.

Founded in 2007, the band has enjoyed immense success. Their first album release was in July of that year, and they have since released two more albums; “Blood Bank” and “Bon Iver.” In addition to Justin Vernon, Michael Noyce helps out with vocals and the guitar, Sean Carey is responsible for the drums and piano, and Mathew McCaughan takes care of the bass and drums.

The music from their first album is thoughtful, introspective, and moving. Listeners are humbled by Vernon’s barely audible voice seeping through the mellifluous flow of instruments and sounds. “Skinny Love” is one of their most acclaimed songs from the album “For Emma, Forever Ago,” and it made top charts on the radio and on iTunes when it was first released. It is a song about love lost, and it explores the meaning behind companionship and passion.

Two songs from the album “Bon Iver” that have also been extremely well received are “Blood Bank” and “Holocene.” In this album, Vernon moves from that quiet, thoughtful whisper and instead adopts a kind of vital musicality, enabling listeners to feel more inclusive and less intrusive. “Bon Iver” was a great stepping stone for the band’s career, and it has left fans excited for what’s to come.

The live experience of Bon Iver was incredible. Spreckles Theatre was an excellent choice of venue, and it demanded a casual but classy kind of attire. The elegance of the theatre alone contributed to the atmosphere of the entire concert, as it was less of a “man with a guitar singing acoustically” kind of concert and more of a group of professionals coming together to perform and enchant an excited audience.

The crowd was uniform in that it was swimming with hipsters. Fedoras, flannels, thick-rimmed glasses and skinny ties were rampant throughout. These people were just radiating a vibe of independence, counter-culture, progressive politics, and an appreciation for “underground art.” And although Bon Iver is no longer underground, these folks gathered together to celebrate his popularity not so much as fans, but as listeners who moved with him through the beginning stages of fame.

The performance was surreal. The band members were trapped in a haze of different colored lights, and most often a red or blue glow was emitted from the stage. The lights themselves constantly changed depending on the beat and rhythm of the music, making what you saw entirely parallel to what you heard. The musicians were all so talented, and in the middle of the concert a lone violinist came out on stage. The band members slowly crept off, leaving one man, one spotlight, and one violin. The feeling that he left the audience with was the perfect kind of chilling.

Vernon’s voice was the cherry on top. It is raw, real, and wounded, and you can hear his pain and triumph through his talent. The coolest part about Vernon was his ability to expose himself through his music, and listeners come to feel as though they are hearing story after story which only a few close friends are supposed to know. Vernon was inviting, funny, and human, and because of that, Bon Iver is a band that more and more people will be inclined to listen to.

So keep your eyes open for upcoming concerts and venues Bon Iver may be participating in. Or better yet, keep your ears open for music that sounds emotional, evocative, and breathtaking. Odds are it’s Bon Iver you are listening to. And odds are that you’re going to absolutely love it.



Monday, May 7, 2012

marvelous may

I've always liked the month of May. May is complacent and sing-songy, but also unpredictable, because it offers days of warmth and sunshine but not without the threat of gloom and cloudiness. Unlike December or June, May is a blank page, because it isn't defined by a holiday or by a lot of people having weddings. If a great thing happens in December, it will always be referred to as right around the holidays, and June loses itself in the midst of white gowns and everlasting promises. If something wonderful happens in May, however, it will always be just that-something wonderful happening in May. So let something good happen to you this month, because we are young, and because there will be sunshine, and because all we have is now.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

read books


The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, is worth spending time on. This national bestseller pulls readers in with its enchanting plot that revolves around the beauty of love, and what happens to it when time is running out. By the end of the novel, Niffenegger does a good job conveying her belief that despite all odds, both traditional and untraditional love can survive. 

Made famous by its major motion picture in 2009, this novel has received just as much literary attention as it has media attention. In addition to being a New York Times Besteller, a Los Angeles Times Bestseller, a Washington Post Bestseller and a Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller, it was also chosen for the Today Show Book Club, was one of People’s Top Ten Books of the Year, and was a Book Sense 76 Selection. 

In the novel, Niffenegger writes in the present tense throughout, and keeps the structure a diary format. The two main characters, Clare and Henry, go back and forth between their first person perspectives. Each diary entry has a title, such as “Married Life” or “Christmas Eve.” Some of them are more interesting, with titles like “After the End” or “A Drop of Blood in a Bowl of Milk.” This diary entry structure works well for The Time Traveler’s Wife, because it takes readers right into that moment and evokes a feeling of intimacy and closeness with the characters, rather than just one of reading about someone else’s story. 

The characterization of Clare and Henry is one of the key components that makes this story such an adored one. Clare, just a young girl when she meets time-traveling Henry, is struck with love but also is overwhelmingly innocent, and at a young age learns who she wants to be with forever. Although the story revolves around Henry’s “Chrono-Displacement Disorder,” the title says it all – this is a story about the Time Traveler’s wife, and how her love overcomes the quite literal test of time. 

In addition to strong characterization, something else that contributes to the success of The Time Traveler’s Wife is Niffenegger’s fear of the cliché. Instead of a predictable happy ending, Niffenegger intertwines her version of twists and turns, an unexpected delight that keeps the story moving forward. Although the ending is moving and incredibly romantic, it is not a typical love story. 

Lastly, the way that Clare and Henry write about each other in their diary entries is touching. As much as readers come to love Henry and Clare as individual characters, there is nothing more that readers love than the love Clare and Henry have for each other. With quotes like “I will never leave you, even though you’re always leaving me,” and “But you make me happy. It’s living up to being happy that’s the difficult part,” Niffenegger leaves us captivated. 

Of course, all of these circumstances point to an inevitably sappy end, and sappy is what we get. But it’s also a worthwhile ending, one that is heartbreaking in its implications about love and life and sacrifice. At the end of the 536 pages, readers are left not only wiping away tears but feeling appreciative in The Time Traveler’s Wife’s ability to portray that there is nothing in life more timeless than love. “It’s dark now and I am tired,” Henry writes to Clare. “I love you, always. Time is nothing.”

Friday, April 27, 2012

walkin on walkin on broken glass

Dance the night away. Dance the night away with people who give you that warm sunshine feeling when you are around them, especially if they are people who may or may not be around to dance the night away with much longer. People grow up and they move, they get married and have children and jobs and remodel and refinance and forget what it's like to forget about time. So take pictures, and be the loudest one to sing, drink copiously and spin around and around and around, because we are young, and because memories are all anybody has in the end, and because today, all we have is now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

dare you to


I dare you to move me. I dare you to write something that makes me taste the salty bitterness of my own warm tears, or to say something so evocative and poignant and thoughtful that my always talking voice for once stops talking, or to draw something so captivating that it would leave even the stars and the trees and the sky jealous, or to play something so beautifully that it would surpass the rhythmic sound of the waves softly crashing outside my window even, or to sing something so breathtaking that it would take even angels’ breath away, and I dare you to move me, and her, and him, and you, because all we have is now. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jen

Denise's entry was supposed to be the last one, or at least the last one that had anything to do with people who have changed my life. Enough with the people, I thought to myself. I've covered most of the ones I wanted to cover anyways. Enough with the people, I said, no more people please, enough enough enough. But then, well, then there's Jen.

To say that Jen deserves to be "written about" is an understatement. Jen deserves quite a bit more than to just be written about. Jen deserves a lifetime of bean and cheese burritos (with extra sour cream), and whatever new stick shift RS something or other Audi that she probably wants, and the soundtrack of Real Estate or The Drums to be the musical backdrop to her life, and more. Yes, that's right, she deserves more than all of that, even. That is because Jen is not just a phenomenal friend, but a truly unique and special person who I've thought for the past six months really deserves to know what meaning the world to someone else, what meaning the world to me, looks like. 

Jen is super smart and very funny. It is no surprise to anyone that I admire her intelligence but also her witty ability to make a joke out of anything. She is one of those girls who has great style and is very beautiful but whose personality is so worthwhile that it's easy to forget the captivating, changing hazel of her eyes or the way her hair always sits so perfectly. 

She is also extremely supportive, caring, and goes out of her way to let me know that I am important to her. We try and get lunch, dinner, or  grab some form of a meal at whatever time is possible at least a few times a week, and when we fail to do this we send sappy texts back and forth about how much we miss each other. Despite our many differences, we often see the world in a similar way, and have grown extremely close as a result of these shared perspectives. 

The best part about Jen is that she is passionate. She is passionate about the club that she founded, and she is passionate about music, and about Vail, and about Gamma Phi Beta, and travel, and about her father, but most important of all, she is passionate about people. 

Jen is passionate about people because she believes in them. She believes that people are good even when it's hard to see them that way, and she believes things will go right even if everything seems to be going wrong, and she believes in love and adventure and second chances, but the best thing about Jen is that she believes in people and she believes in me. 

Sometimes I think that Jen believes in me more than I believe in myself, and this is the reason why I am up late on a Sunday night writing a blog post that isn't being graded, that nobody has to read. I love Jen because I want to write about her, because she's that good, and because I know that at the end of the day, the best part of our friendship isn't just that she believes in me, but how much we believe in each other.