Categories
Blather Islands Nature Observations

Things I Have Learned Tonight Through Experimentation and Observation

1. There is a family of skunks living in my yard. I kinda knew that already though– there always has been in this yard.

2. Skunks like chicken food. They don’t care if it’s dark yet, they want the CHICKEN FOOD!!!

3. Baby skunks are cute but stupid, apparently deaf, and easily alarmed (in a potentially stinky way).

4. The clapping thing works– on adult skunks. Mama ran away like a bat out of hell after one clap. The babies? Not so much. They either flip around and raise their tails at you, or they don’t react at all & just keep on eating chicken food.

5. Stupid us, for feeding our chickens by the front porch, where we can watch them and laugh at how weird and stupid and funny they are. All the while, the skunks are laughing at us.

6. I think it’s official. The skunk phobia is gone. I’m not stupid enough to stop being wary, but I’m not gonna lock myself in someone’s car for twenty minutes because I’m too afraid of what’s between me and the door. Yes, I did that once. I also almost got run over by a huge buck deer because I was convinced the rustling in the bushes was a mammoth skunk that was gonna practically kill me and I froze stiff in my tracks. That deer almost put my eye out. Was I afraid of deer after that?? No.

Sorry. Tangent.

7. I much prefer the wild chickens, iguanas, lizards, and even the stray dogs of my other islands to skunks, harmless though they may be. They’re obnoxious. Craig Kingsbury (the guy who brought them here and let them loose) was an asshole. He pulled the perfect senior prank on his own island.

Categories
Blather Family Friendship Observations People Pointless Narcissism Rant

Dear Mercury: Fuck You.

So apparently Mercury went into retrograde yesterday. Yeah… That fits.

Yesterday morning I had another of a series of bizarre dreams in which I’m cooped up in a small space with a bunch of crazy and annoying people I don’t know. I’m attributing these dreams to:
a) The fact that I’ve been hanging out with a guy that I really like, but cannot figure out… and
b) The fact that it’s August. Slow walkers, hordes of prosti-tots, loud Jersey women, pretentious dicks with black AmEx cards and the world’s worst drivers have all convened on Martha’s Vineyard for a free-for-all. Every local I know is either practicing “zen parking,” seething with road (and sidewalk) rage, or hiding in the woods with their cell phone off.

Yesterday was also the day that I woke up in a frenzy of anxious productivity and started slaying the Unpleasant List like a champ. I got all of my errands and unpleasant phone calls done, deep-cleaned the bar like a crazed maniac (think Monica from Friends) without being asked to, and stayed up until 4:30 a.m. brainstorming on how to fix the Biggest Problem In My Life.

A friend who owed me money that I wasn’t chasing came through with the best timing in the world and paid me in full at a moment when I was grasping at every possible source of cash (see: Biggest Problem. Note: Biggest Problem needs lots of money I don’t have to be thrown at it).

Two of my best girlfriends have had MAJOR SHIT happen in the past couple of days, and I’m not talking good shit. My niece, who I love more than anything in the world, is spinning around frantically in her own particular orbit, trying to figure out what to do with her life, and there have been facebook posts that indicate that Mercury has SNAFUed her SNAFU even more. My best guy friend, who’s 44, is apparently dating a 21-year-old with awful tattoos–and he’s a tattoo officionado. There’s a stranger on my couch, and the cat is completely out of his mind. I can’t stop sneezing, but I don’t feel sick. It’s August, and I’m tempted to put socks on because my toes are cold.

And the boy, as usual, texted just when I’d given up on hearing from him and shifted into “another one bites the dust” mode. Go figure.

Mercury, you’re winning. I don’t know which way is up, and I hate you for it… but I’m thankful for the good surprises. I’m not accustomed to many of those.

Take it easy on me this weekend, though. I need it to be a good one.

Categories
Blather Faraway Places Pointless Narcissism

Did You Miss Me?

So I’ve been without reliable Internet since the end of February. (You didn’t think I’d split for that long on purpose, did you??) But I just discovered that–of course!– my blog server has an app for iPhone. God, I’m disgusted with myself for even saying it.

But there it is. How 21st century of me: I’m writing my blog from my phone.

I’m back. And for the next year-plus at least, you’re stuck with me. Me, and my niece’s Manx cat, who is such a completely insane animal that you’re sure to read about him frequently. He’s half-rabbit and 100% out of his mind.

His name is Osho. He sees ghosts.

Osho can have more fun chasing a plastic portion cup across the floor than Charlie Sheen could have in the biggest little whorehouse in Vegas. And, like Charlie, he leaves a disproportionate trail of destruction in his wake. Anything that isn’t glued down is in imminent peril.

3 a.m. most nights, Osho and I are the only ones awake in the neighborhood. I talk to him more than I ought to. I also find myself hysterically laughing… alone. I’m convinced that the cat is the reincarnation of someone who did a LOT of drugs: Timothy Leary, maybe, or Hunter Thompson. I’d say Keith Richards, but Keith–miraculously and yet unsurprisingly–is still alive.

Perhaps this cat’s antics will entice me to really learn how to use the “videocamera” feature on my fancy phone. YouTube, here we come.

Aside from the cat, I’ve felt compelled recently to write about music, and art, and food. Also, I started writing a book while I was in Puerto Rico this spring– I might share some of that, too. Then again, I might not.

Either way, I’ve found a way to continue sharing my narcissistic wee-hours blather with the interwebs. So I’ll write something legitimate soon. I hope.

Happy Summer,
SG

Categories
Blather Insomnia Observations Pointless Narcissism

We Are The Knights Who Say… Dude.

I’ve become quite accustomed to five o’clock in the morning. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve been to bed before four in a full week. I’d like to say that this is due to a string of truly epic parties—but that would be a lie. Only the first of those seven nights, my last night in Puerto Rico, even comes close to qualifying. One other was due to a tangential conversation with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time, but sadly, the rest can be attributed entirely to LOST and Guitar Hero.

Yesterday, my roommate and I left my house for a total of twenty minutes, to get “supplies” (read: cigarettes, food and shampoo). The other fifteen hours and forty minutes we were awake, we sat in the living room in our pajamas, watching LOST. The highlight of my day was when the checkout girl at the liquor store told me I could have the plastic disco-ball Absolut bottle I spotted on a table (sparkly!). The lowlight was that at the end of the night, I was almost out of weed.

It’s official. I’m becoming Seth Rogen.

Categories
Blather Friendship Islands My Heart Hurts People Pointless Narcissism Think

Not The Blog You Were Looking For

The other night, while I was drunk and very upset, a friend told me that perhaps if the Vineyard is a place I continually feel the need to run away from that it’s not the place I’m supposed to be. And I told him, the truth is I want to run away from everywhere. No place feels like home. I want to run away because I want something internal to be different, but I know that physical movement is not the key to making anything feel better.

Still, the conversation got me thinking. I have been planning for months to stay here on the island year round and return to Emerson in January as a commuter student (two days of classes, stay on a friend’s couch). I have spent the winter and the spring healing in the presence of some of my closest friends–friends who are so important to me that they have taken the place of the family I no longer have.

I came home because I needed to survive the most devastating loss of my life, and it was the only way I knew how. But now I’ve come back to the old familiar restlessness, the urge to get away that’s so strong and so constant that each time I return from a little vacation I begin counting the days until the next time I can leave.

The truth is, when I think about it, commuting is a ridiculous idea. And when I was in Boston, the reason I was miserable was because I was overloaded, overwhelmed and terribly worried. And then I was gutted and broken, and not even the close friends I’d made over the several years I’d been there could console me. That was a job that only the lifers could manage. I knew that around my lifelong friends from the island, I could be a sloppy crying mess and it wouldn’t make a difference. I knew that I’d feel like being around them even when I didn’t feel like being around myself–and I was right. I wouldn’t have made it through the winter without all of them. It was a quiet winter, the best it could have been under the circumstances.

But I think it might be time for the lost little girl to go back out into the world and live a louder life again. Quiet was necessary, quiet was good, but I miss the noise. I miss the insomniac city, where I wasn’t the only one awake at 3 a.m., and if I was bored I could jump on the train and in half an hour I would no longer be bored. I had the urge to run there, too–but most of the time running to Allston or Harvard or the North End–or jumping in the car with Alana and going to Nantasket–turned out to be a far enough jaunt to make it subside.

So what now? The quiet island, with my nearest and dearest friends and the possibility of re-establishing my life where it first begun, or the city, a stepping stone to wherever it is that I’m really supposed to end up? Perhaps the answer is simple: summer on Martha’s Vineyard, where I can smell the salt air and go swimming whenever I want, and in the winter the only place I’ve known where winter just may be the best season of the year.

If I stayed here until the end of October, I could finish out the season in a seasonal restaurant, and spend some less stressful time with my island friends, and I’d have enough time to readjust to the city and find a job before returning to school.

It makes sense. Now I just have to figure out if it’s what I want. Once again, it comes down to the question that I’ve never been able to confidently answer: Where do I want to be? It has never been a problem of possibility–I can make a life and get a job and make friends almost anywhere–but always one of desire. Fickle, fickle desire.

Categories
Blather Making Fun Of People Music Observations Pointless Narcissism Pop Culture Rant School Think

“Molly’s Lips” Are Still Sweeter Than Dave’s “Halo.”

…or, A Big Fat Raspberry For Dave Grohl, And Other Irrelevant Thoughts.

I’ve just finished a thirty page project in which I had to write about people writing about music. For my magazine publishing class (from last semester, I’m that far behind), we each had to choose a magazine to do a final project on, and since Rolling Stone was not one of the acceptable choices, I chose SPIN. I’ve read SPIN from time to time since I was a teenager, and have enjoyed it, albeit less than I’ve enjoyed Rolling Stone. Doing this project made me realize several things:

1) I hate SPIN magazine. The articles are too short, the subjects are too mainstream, and the writing is unexciting. And the design is absolutely atrocious. Having done my research, I know that this is because there was a major overhaul in 2006, when the magazine was sold. If I knew where Nion McEvoy (the buyer) lived, I’d slap him in the face for ruining a good magazine.

2) I love music (this is not something I’d forgotten, but it was reinforced). While working on this project, I thought it would only be right to listen to music I hadn’t listened to in a long time, thereby resurrecting the music in my own collection the way I wished that Bob Guccione Jr., or someone else who cared, would resurrect SPIN. Because the project took longer than I anticipated, I rediscovered Nirvana’s Incesticide, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Mother’s Milk, Frank Zappa’s Lather, The Pixies’ Doolittle, Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell, Helmet’s Meantime, Black Sabbath’s We Sold Our Soul For Rock N’ Roll, The Ramones’ The Ramones, and about a dozen others. In addition, I also listened to a CD from a friend of mine’s band, Counter Clockwise, as I would listen if I were a critic–I played it at least six times during the time I spent on this project–and it turns out I quite like it (big shocker there). I also pulled out one of the two Foo Fighters albums I’ve owned for some time but never listened to. It’s on my stereo right now. I haven’t thrown it across the room yet, but I’ll get back to you after I’ve heard the whole thing.

3) I love writing about music. In picking apart the articles I was reading about the music, I found myself weighing in on it, tearing apart the writers’ assertions or areas of neglect while filling in my own opinions and trying to back them up enough so that they were interesting to other people. One of the most satisfying blog pieces I’ve ever written was a post called “Saving Grace,” and writing for this project made me nostalgic for [[I have to interrupt here to say that song #2 on the Foo Fighters album is tempting me to chuck it at the double door]] the feeling I got while writing that post. I can’t put my finger on exactly what that feeling was–I guess the idea that I had something to say about that particular album that other people might be interested in reading.

4) I can’t wait to get back to writing for my own reasons. Although what I’m doing right now is technically “writing for my own reasons,” it’s something I rarely have time to do, and I’m doing it now only because I’m too inspired not to. I miss the freedom of not having schoolwork hanging over my head, telling me that I have higher priorities than babbling on and on about the petty little things I give a shit about, like why Grace is an album that every human being with a heart should listen to at least once all the way through, and why I just might snap a CD I paid for in half in about two minutes.

5) I want to have my own radio show. It’s something I’ve thought about before, but the desire has been cemented by spending the better part of a month closely reading successive issues of a music magazine and realizing that I care about music enough to want to spend the time and energy to expose other people to the music that I love. In coming up with ideas for potential stories for SPIN as part of the project, I started thinking about the demise of radio, and how much I actually care whether or not independent radio–and the possibility of learning about new music from listening to the radio–survives. I care a lot, and I want to be part of it.

6) I really wish Dave Grohl would go back to reaping the profits from the untimely death of the creative powerhouse behind the band that made him famous. Or maybe fire his entire band and start over from scratch–as the drummer. Having now listened to four songs off of the aforementioned neglected Foo Fighters album, I’m ashamed to admit that I paid four dollars for it in 2003. Yes, it was a clearance sale at my college’s bookstore, and yes I got the CD, brand new and sealed, for only four bucks, but I still want to hide my face in embarrassment because it’s garbage and I should have known that before shucking out my hard-earned $4 for it. Boo, Dave. Boo. I think I might have to listen to Incesticide again just to rid my head of the catchy but obnoxious melody of song #2.

Categories
Blather My Heart Hurts Pointless Narcissism

The Lonely That Refuses To Leave Me Alone

I go away when I feel trapped. I can never afford it, but I do it anyway. Unfailingly, however, the few days I spend in another place, particularly a familiar, friendly place, makes me feel more trapped in whatever place I’m supposed to be than I already did.

I move, and as certain as there will be 24 hours in every day, the moment I leave somewhere, something happens that I wish I were there for. Whatever town I leave behind comes alive in my absence, or perhaps I miss meeting the people I should have met, or witnessing the events I wish I’d been there for. As soon as my exit is complete, I start wishing I’d never decided to leave–but of course if I had stayed, I would have continued to feel trapped, and none of the things that happened upon my departure would have occurred.

I am the queen of terrible timing.

I long too much, perhaps, for the carefree days of my youth. I miss the liberty of having no bills, and no creditors, and no obligations, and no possessions. I am tempted every day to either put my belongings in storage or throw them away, and take what money I have and keep going until it’s gone. I am in my old home, and I want to stay here until I feel like leaving, rather than getting on a plane before I’m ready to go. From here, I don’t want to return to the Vineyard, or to Boston, but to keep going from place to place until I feel I’m somewhat whole again.

But will I be whole again? Will running make any of it any better? Do I feel trapped only because I am battling this epic loneliness called grief, or because I’m truly disenchanted with my surroundings?

I forget what it feels like to have a goal; to want something the way I once wanted this expensive education I’ve put so much time into. Right now, all I want is to feel less lonely, less stranded–and because I’m still possessing of my capacity for logic, I know that lonely goes away only when it’s ready and not a moment before. I can go to school or not go to school, I can move or not move, and the ache will stay until it’s done with me.

This realization does not make me dread getting back on the plane any less. I wish it did.

Yesterday, for a few moments or hours, I was not lonely or sad. I want that feeling back.

Categories
Blather Pointless Narcissism Travel

Recreational Ferry-Riding

Yesterday, I realized that my credit card bills were due… today. Which means that the only way to pay them was to go off-island to the Bank of America branch in Woods Hole and pay them in cash. Rather than simply riding across on the boat (which would have cost 11 dollars round trip), paying my bills and riding back, I decided to give the boat riding a wider purpose. So I invited my sister to accompany me for ferry-riding and chinese food, at Peking Palace in Falmouth (a rare treat for those of us who live on the island, where the Chinese restaurant is nicknamed the “Gaggin’ Dragon”).

After some brief discussion about the weather and the cost of taxis, we decided to bring the car. It would cost about the same anyway, right?

Wrong.

Because with the car, there came the possibility of shopping. Specifically the possibility of buying things that were too large to carry on the boat by hand. I spent enough money to get to California and back.

A rough inventory:

Bamboo rug for my kitchen
Four pairs of pants, two of which are a bit goofy
A gigundo thing of toilet paper
A ruffly shirt the color of a cartoon mango (yes, I said ruffly)

…and here’s where the evidence of island fever begins to show…

Two “mystery” Matchbox cars (the packaging is opaque black plastic)
Two boxes of Barbie miniature fairies, one of which looks like a less attractive Maleficent
Two whoppingly huge bags of Cadbury mini-eggs
Plaid shoes
Orange-flavored body wash/shampoo/bubble bath
Heart-shaped Everlasting Gobstoppers
A time-wasting card game that I used to play back in the stoner days of high school
A battery-powered sparkly lava lamp night light
Two boxes of dice
A partridge in a pear tree

Okay, so I was kidding about that last one. But you get the picture.

Thankfully, we didn’t make it to the Christmas Tree Shop. I might have come home with several garden gnomes, a dozen stained glass window doohickeys, Spiderman flip-flops, a stuffed jellyfish and a stray child or two.

Categories
Blather Daddy Insomnia My Heart Hurts Nostalgia

Letter To Be Launched Into The Ether (#1)

Dear Dad,

It snowed Sunday night, and Monday morning it looked like the island had been coated with sugar. I almost picked up the phone to call you, and tell you how beautiful it was. Of course, I’d have eventually started complaining about the fact that it would all be slush in a matter of hours. Today it rained–miserable, graceless weather, spitting cold from the sky like bullets. It was fitting, I suppose, as I haven’t felt this bad in months. Too much wine and an hours-long crying jag do not make for a pleasant morning after (big surprise).

I’ve started playing Milles Bornes again. I found a set at the Edgartown Thrift Shop for two dollars; it was the old style with the ugly box, but the cards inside were practically brand new. Games make the winter go a little bit smoother–something to do other than watch television. I miss playing Scrabble with you, even though you did accuse me of cheating when I finally beat you a few Christmases back. On some subconscious level, it feels sometimes like you’re just sitting in your little house in West Wareham, building a model truck, talking to the cat, waiting for the weather to break so you can go out and work in your shop; waiting for me to come visit so we can play Scrabble or stay up until two in the morning talking about trips we’re going to take someday.

I don’t know what to do with your house, or your shop, or your truck. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel alright about any decision I make. In order to rent the house I need to fix it up, but if I change anything, it won’t feel like you’re there anymore. I’m afraid to rent the shop with all of your tools in it because I don’t want anyone to damage them up or hurt themselves, but I know if I sell the tools, I’m going against your wishes, and I don’t want to do that. Really, I don’t want to do anything to any of it. I want to crawl up into the sleeper of the truck with a blanket and a pillow and go to sleep until you come back.

I was thinking this afternoon about the ugly yellow chair in the living room of the house we lived in at the boat yard when I was a kid, and how sometimes when I felt lonely or sad I’d bring my blankets out into the living room and sleep in that hideous recliner so that I was close enough to hear you snore, because for some reason it made me feel better. I remember sitting sideways in the chair to watch TV, with my legs thrown over the arms of it, and how every once in a while if I sat in the chair and held onto the antenna of the TV, Fox would come in clearly and I could watch Beverly Hills, 90210. You’d be sitting up in bed reading, and every once in a while you’d mock one of the characters, or throw a jelly bean at me, and tell me how ridiculous I looked sitting there with my hand up in the air, not moving for fear of losing the signal.

I was remembering, too, the day I went to foster care off-island, and the look of hurt in your eyes when you watched me walk up the ramp of the boat. How badly I wanted to run down the ramp and get back in your little truck and go home. But there was no going home, not for a while. All of that time spent in limbo, not knowing where I belonged–and for nothing. Because of worriers and busybodies who thought for some reason that it would be a good idea to take a motherless, confused teenager away from the person who loved her most in the world, and send her to live with strangers. I didn’t belong with strangers, I belonged with you.

My world doesn’t make sense without you in it. Some days I feel like I failed you–like if I’d badgered the doctors a little bit more, or gone to live with you and take care of you, or left work sooner that terrible Friday… but I know it’s just the emptiness making me feel that way. It’s a lot easier to reconcile something like heartbreak or death if you can convince yourself there was a reason, or that someone is to blame. It just doesn’t make any sense to think that the forces that be decided to take you so quickly, and so young, for no reason at all.

I think the hardest part of this is that you’re the person I always used to call when I felt this lonely or sad. Just hearing your voice would make me feel better, and there’s no hug in the world that could heal the way yours could. I remember how I buried my head in your chest when mom died, and sobbed until I was exhausted enough to sleep. I wish I could do that now. I feel like someone has tied an anvil to my ribs and dropped it off of a bridge.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I miss you. And it hurts. I finally feel it, and it fucking hurts.

Categories
Blather Daddy Family My Heart Hurts Nostalgia People

The Heavy Heavy Hurt

It’s never the things that you think will make you cry that actually bring the tears. It’s always something stupid like broken plans, or a parking ticket. For the past month and a half, I have been carrying around a load of hurt so heavy that I feel like if I try to put it down, it will crush me. I don’t often cry these days; in fact I think I cry less than I did before. And when I do cry, it’s not about that heavy, heavy hurt. It’s about the disappointment of not being able to move into my new place early, or a stupid comment from a coworker. Once the tears start coming, though, it’s all about Dad, and it comes from somewhere so deep in my guts that it actually feels like it’s being yanked out of me.

This week, there’s been a little of mom, too. Tonight I was recounting to a friend one of my favorite memories of my mother. We were driving in her old black MG (red leather interior), and she had on a flowy head scarf and big sunglasses–the same ones she was wearing in the one picture I have of my parents happy together. We were on a dirt road in Edgartown, going to visit Jim Blaine, her boyfriend at the time, who lived out in the boonies and looked a lot like my dad. It was hot summer, and I was five or so and probably barefoot, and the radio was on loud playing Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer,” and my mom was singing along. I don’t know what we did after we got there, and I don’t think it much matters, because the drive itself was obviously more memorable.

I didn’t realize at first that Wednesday was my mother’s anniversary. I woke up that day in a funk, something more than what I’ve been feeling. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. My best friend was in a funk, too, and she couldn’t explain it either. We laid on the floor in her basement apartment and didn’t really talk to each other for an hour. Then we bought pets to cheer ourselves up, but it didn’t last long. I had hoped to hang out with another friend that evening, but they had other plans, and when I snapped my phone shut from reading the message, I burst into tears. The first four or five tears were probably about disappointment, but the rest were about, to quote an old poem, the empty spot that’s so big I should give it a name, and address, an area code. I should have my mail forwarded there.

The next morning I was having coffee with my sister, who it turned out had had an equally horrible Wednesday. At one point, she turned to me in the car and said, “You know what yesterday was, don’t you?” And then the heavy icky feeling and the sensitivity and the piles of tears made sense. On some subconscious level, I think I had known. And for the first time, I was feeling the loss of them both–at the same time.

I cried today, too. This time it started with a mild case of the cold shoulder, and ended with a crying jag in my best friend’s shop that lasted half an hour and somehow ended with me designing a T-shirt in memory of my father and laughing about how funny he would have found it. After I let the big guns out, I didn’t care so much about the brushoff anymore. It was like I’d somehow been recalibrated. I almost wanted to thank the offender for helping me to cry. I’m tempted to contract people to hurt my feelings in some small way once a day, so I can get this heavy hurt off my back faster.

I haven’t felt like myself the past few days. I’ve felt completely uncomfortable in my body, and in my life. Not unhappy with either, just uncomfortable, like shoes that haven’t been broken in yet. I need to break in my new life. I need to take pictures with my new camera and cook dinner in my new apartment, and bring home the first paycheck from one of my two new jobs. I need to remind myself that if something won’t matter a week from now, it’s probably not worth getting upset about now. I need to speak at my father’s memorial service if I can hold it together long enough, and I need to go through his closet and find an old sweatshirt that I can wear when I’m down and keep until it falls apart from wear. I need to start believing that he’s gone. And I need to cry about it.