30 September 2011

0 sleeping is giving in

is it bad that i assume this will end in a psychotic break? because i do. i accept as a given that i'll one day either be in a hospital reading harry potter or in therapy for years and years.

how mortifying. to be driven to therapy by a book. it seems such a small, inconsequential thing around which to mount an emotional melodrama.

there would've been far less stigma attached to a novel. people would look at me and say, oh yes, yes, with all those characters and original thoughts running round her head, she was bound to become a loon. as a society, we celebrate the novelists who go mad.

but a biographer?

biography's just an easy peasy recanting! the story is already written! it's the simplest of simple things! even andrew morton can do it!

turns out biography isn't easy. and that fact is both the best and worst part.

there's a burden that comes with telling someone else's story. i'd like to trot out fancy metaphors about how it's just like vacuuming in pearls or carrying a badly-behaved baby while wearing stilettos or walking a red carpet in heavy ermine and lace, but it isn't. at least not for me.

i feel like a funeral director.

it's tempting to leaven the ugliness of that with a "sometimes," but i won't. because it isn't a passing sensation.  it's a feeling that sticks to the bone.

and so, most times, i feel like a funeral director. a not very good one who is always second-guessing herself, wondering whether the make-up's been done all wrong. whether a garish ghost is the result of this attempt to capture the spiritual essence of a stranger.

my memories of these past eight months unfurl like a prolonged dream sequence. which is funny because i sleep very little. so little that i am embarrassed by the lack and so, as people deduct ten pounds from any public announcement of their weight, i routinely add a generous supplement to my tally of hours slept.

this is worrisome. it is an embarrassment.

but even in that, my priorities are all wrong. it is an embarrassment because i'm concerned not by the lack of sleep but by my dishonesty regarding it.

i do wonder if i bring this upon myself. if i'm going to wind up in that hospital reading harry potter not because i'm tired but because i seek adventure as a mechanism of avoidance.

i write that already knowing the answer is yes.

1 september: a revue

"i suppose you are a tiny bit of a (much hipper, more stylish) bridget jones. just because you both keep a diary."

"and by 'around the world' i mean 'outside my wireless hotspot'."

"they are in the category of 'fiercely protective of you to the point where objectivity is sometimes lost.' this category has rings of fire on the outside, and warm-baked brownies on the inside."

"there are two exceptions: parents and loyal gay childhood friends."

"all that said, the moral is this: yes, people suck. especially all those mean republicans who got so smug after amy winehouse died."

"i don't know when i've ever had a donut that's that unafraid to taste like buttermilk."

"really, all i'm looking for in life is someone to use my groupons with."

"you need to accept that you are destined to be a sex writer."

"i am deeply concerned about your boot situation."

"it's really uncomfortable. that's why it's renegade."

"well, i know what the 'o' in oline would be."

"it's like a bar. on a bike."

"lesson learned: do not treat a cancer diagnosis like a game of telephone."

"that's what i get for assuming i'd have the ability to think in the morning- a weekend full of awkward ensembles."

"i have lost the international dream battle, but hopefully i'll win the international dream war?"

"i don't need two friends and a girl. i have my characters and my book."

"i just thought we should rejoice together- you got this awesome opportunity to further your career and get to know amazing people, and i had a good lunch."

"i am 30 years old. i am giving birth in exactly 12 weeks, i have traveled around the world. but... i have not seen a single one of your 'you aren't an adult until you've seen _____.'"

"no duh it was easier in paris."

"i seem to be the only rat in my race."

"...like, i've liked it on facebook..."

"i already want your serpent bracelet so hard."

"so, end of your winnipeg to end of your nyc."

"you need to know that for the first time in my life this weekend, i made cupcakes that didn't suck."

"have i told you about my upcoming trip to new mexico?"

"everything ended up being a drama. pants! drama! shoes! drama!"

"it only leads me down a path of jealousy and horrible, all of it my own fault and likely a figment of my imagination."

"NEVER FORGET! (by which i mean not like 'never forget 9/11', but y'know, in that lesser way like 'never forget my food allergy')"

"i am trying to stall the starve."

"it is kind of like that booth belongs to johanna. i can see why it would break."

"levi wowed all the grown-ups with his knowledge of colors."

"i don't have much to offer other than 'have you google image searched it'?"

"really, all i did was buy a box of tampons and wait 5 days, but still. VICTORY!!!"

"i’ve combined 'western' with 'maxi dress.'"
"oh no."

"tell me about blowing these girls’ minds."

"admittedly, 'i'm taking burlesque' isn't something you expect to come out of the mouth of one of your bible study leaders, but still."

"disneyland... it's like a giant chick-fil-a."

29 September 2011

3 oh father dear

i'm sitting in the back of a cab on my way home from solving myriad international crises in winnipeg when my mother mentions that my father is in great pain because eight days ago he fell while walking the dog and subsequently rolled down the hill that comprises the neighbor's front lawn and this has spiraled into a situation where he experienced arm pain so bad that, on wednesday morning, he googled to determine whether he was in cardiac arrest.

i don't even know how to begin to unpack this.

my father fell while walking? with such force that he tumbled down a hill?? my father tumbled down a hill??!  eight days ago?!?! and i'm just hearing about it now?!??!?!? on the night of the morning that he googled "am i having a heart attack?"?!?!?!!?!

my mother often seeks out anxiety. she's subscribed to the weather channel's blackberry alerts and, at least once every time i'm home, a threatening storm cloud will blow through and she'll awake the entire family in the dead of night to shove us- cats, dogs and all- into the 3 ft. x 2 ft. hall closet for fear a tornado's coming and we'll die asleep in our beds. when she dies, she wants to be alert.

the most alarming element of the aftermath of my father's rolling down the hill is my mother's lack of anxiety. she is totally nonplussed as, calmly, she tells me they've been advised to wait four days before consulting a doctor.

it takes a solid minute for the increasing panic in my voice to weasel out of her that this advice has come from web m.d.

0 i know what i need to do

because i was so eloquently quoted instructing people on how to log onto facebook ("according to oline eaton, author of jackie: the tabloid years, 'you just click on the icon to the right of your profile pic'"... omg, sentences that should NEVER exist) in the newsletter of the biographers collective of which i am now the social networking chair though i still don't really know how to twitter, i am going to new york to talk to a bunch of lady biographers about blogging.


if you were able to follow that, props to you. i've still not fully teased out the chain of events. all's i know is i'm going to new york.

and i'm pretty sure all i want to do in new york is sleep for years, eat a burger at the algonquin, hand in the levy application and then plunk down my $11 suggested donation at the met and plant in front of the temple of dendur while listening to the national's boxer and, possibly, cry.

because there is nothing so beautiful in all the world as the temple of dendur. not even paris. no, the whole city of paris- a city i love with all my heart- is not so beautiful as this egyptian temple that jackie brought us. i don't know why this is so, just that it is.

she lived across the street at 1040 fifth. when she threw parties, she'd ask the met to turn on the lights so she could see her temple. this is my favorite jackie story to tell in new york.

28 September 2011

5 Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person: Before Sunrise/Before Sunset

i'll be brief...



seriously. (though you can't really tell from the trailer.)

this is where croftie and i have a major divergence of belief. the before movies are of a genre that we'll call "conversation driven films." croftie does not love conversation driven films. i, however, do.

i love them all over. i forgive the characters all their pomposity and self-indulgence and soak in the conversational magic. my heart goes pitty-pat and i think: omg, they are really conversating. this is my dream life come true.

the before movies make me want to talk more. to anyone. even people i do not know.

27 September 2011

0 awesome.

3 done.

(and, i swear, we had WAY more fun than this picture 
of me smirking in crazy slutty mickey ears would imply)

26 September 2011

0 god

god didn’t mean much to me until i was twelve. then, for one summer, i thought about nothing else.

this was due to a sunday school exercise wherein we were told to close our eyes, breathe deeply and visualize the creator of the as-yet-to-be-created universe sitting in the dark all alone. this was supposed to inspire awe at the beneficent wonder that from nothing, god created the world.

but when i closed my eyes and breathed deeply, all i could see was darkness and all i could think was how lonely god must be. this did not inspire awe. rather, it made me want to cry; it broke my heart.

that whole summer, i could not shake this image. god, alone in the dark.

in church, we'd been taught that thoughts like these were indicative of a belief in god and there was a whole world of rigmarole around that.

first, you were supposed to tell someone, then you were supposed to walk down the aisle and tell the whole church. THEN, you were to be baptized in the big bathtub by the altar, after which you would be a church member and, therefore, entitled to the juice and crackers the adults enjoyed on special sundays.

you would also be privy to a sense of total ecstatic wonder in the face of the unveiled glory of the lord.

there was a phrase for the radical transformation your life was supposed to undergo through this series of events. ultimately, you were to be “born again.” (that's a whole other mess of business. we'll come back to it.)

thrilling as all this may be, i was twelve, awkward and afraid of public speaking. i believed in god, yes, but walking alone down an aisle and standing in front of 200 people was a nightmare for which juice and crackers seemed a terribly small reward.

coupled with this was an intense terror of baptism.

every week, smiling children walked up the aisle, beaming ecstatically, to commit their lives to christ. they would be led into the waters, which no one ever had the forethought to warm, and the preacher would hold a cloth over their nose and dip them backwards into the frigid bath in what appeared to me little more than a poorly executed drowning.

as ministers and not lifeguards were overseeing this exercise and it was performed on children in billowing robes and bare feet, mishaps were common. dizzied by the lack of air, the children frequently lost their footing, the feet kicked up and a wave of water went cascading over the baptistry’s edge, splashing the congregants in the front row as though we were spectators at sea world rather than witnesses to a sacrament. the children emerged from the waters sobbing as though fresh from a face-to-face with the devil.

it did not make me want to follow in their footsteps. it made me very wary of being born again.

but i did believe. and i believed that belief wouldn’t be real unless i told someone and walked down an aisle and did as i'd been told i was to do. and so i did that, in spite of a host of fears, including a dread of being singled out in public and a near-certainty that i was going to drown.

i remember absolutely nothing about that walk towards the altar beyond the image of god that had haunted me all summer and the fact that i cried like a baby.

after, as beads of water dripped from my newly baptized head to forever stain the collar of my favorite floral satin dress, a woman with burgandy lipstick on her teeth said, “this is the happiest day of your life! why are you crying?”

i told her i did not know. to this day, i don't.

0 monday

25 September 2011

0 :)

“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.”
- Walt Disney

23 September 2011

0 this is meant to be good advice for travel but it seems equally applicable to life

“Take a tampon everywhere. It’s not just good for your own period, it’s a bonding experience. If you’re in a crowded train, or a hostel room, or a bus ride, and someone doesn’t have one, you just made a new friend by giving yours away. They also work well to stop blood if you scrape your knee or get a nosebleed. Really, tampons are awesome.”

0 to do

22 September 2011

0 oh summer, you're done(ish).

[6 out of 10 isn't half-bad, right?]

1 dear brad pitt,

hey, let's chat...


you have been a celebrity for like 30 years. for the last 7, you've been a member of the world's favorite tabloid triangle, the biggest thing to have happened since eddie fisher jilted debbie reynolds and ran off with liz. it has been SEVEN YEARS since you divorced and yet the tabloids still cover it as though it were yesterday. you are the eddie fisher of today. you should know better by now.

but this country's celebrity industrial complex is infinitely tricky, so i'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. i'm going to assume you maybe didn't think anyone read parade magazine anymore (a valid assumption- i didn't know they did either) so that's why you told them you were "pathetic" during your marriage to jennifer aniston.

but here's what i don't understand. in the last four days, during which this has turned into a shit storm resulting in an aniston-fan fatwa, why the hell have you been trying to correct the record?

i'm doubting you're surrounded by academics who can tell you about the ripple effects of these things but this seems like pretty rudimentary stuff. it should be in your knowledge basket by now.

you should know that there is no correcting the record. that once you've said something it has been said and, despite your best efforts, anything you say subsequently will only serve to make everything go to total shit.

this is elementary. it's celebrity studies 101. if you contend the tabloids are creating drama that doesn't exist, it appears that you are trying to conceal a drama that does exist, which will only further fuel the drama that doesn't exist.

dear brad pitt, you are being an idiot. i realize you're promoting a film and doing a press tour and you really really want an oscar for this one* but, for the love of us weekly, shut your mouth.


*[ps. on the oscar front, lainey's analysis is brill: "He wants Moneyball SO bad. So bad he even sat down for Moviefone!!! You can watch the full interview here. Put it this way - he’s taking questions from “fans”. Put it this way - this is whatTwilight people do to promote their work. Put it this way - George Clooney isn’t doing Moviefone."] 

0 mary

my canadian penpal's friend's irish friend mary just moved to berlin. when i'm overwhelmed by my own adventure, i read her blog. the other day she wrote this:

"It's a two way thing. If you don't stop and listen to the plumbing in your empty apartment, if you don't let the days echo, then you don't leave any room for the adventures that are equally eager to come to you."

it's just the latest in a long line of instances where i have read her words and wished i had written them.

21 September 2011

1 wtf

the south is a haunted house.
i moved to the midwest.

i became a biographer.
biography is a haunted house.

wherever you go, there you are.

0 Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person: Shakespeare in Love

first things first, dude. WHY HAVE YOU NOT SEEN SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE??? featuring gwyneth, tom stoppard, a finnes brother and colin firth, shakespeare in love is basically a calvacade of everyone on whom everyone had a crush in 1998.

it was also the first film i saw featuring truly erotic sex scenes. so sexy, in fact, that by the end even i- prudish, squemish young oline- was like, oh yeah, that looks like fun.

thanks to shakespeare in love i will always seek out lovers who woo me by quoting extensively from their own work and, upon having attained them, assume our love is doomed.

tee hee! ha, ha! levity. now, let's be for serious... the number one major big-time thing that shakespeare in love gives us is totally important. it's a life philosophy that it behooves all us adults to have.

i don't know what it says about me that i believe the greatest wisdom of adulthood can be captured in three lines uttered by a geoffrey rush character in response to the news that the elizabethan theaters had been closed due to plague, but here you go: "the natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. strangely enough it all works out in the end... it's a mystery."

life is shitty. it often seems shittier than it maybe even is. but in the end, even in the midst of the shittiness, there is also mystery and magic and, ultimately, the hope that all will be well. TRUTH. what more reason do you need?

oh yeah, stoppard! gwyneth! the firth! a finnes brother! watch it.

0 admin

yesterday: waxing on contrary about re-reading beloved books
please do read, re-post, like, love, tweet, tell your friends.
your oline.

3 i've always opposed the oxford comma, but this makes a valid point

20 September 2011

3 the naked lady bar: dicks, balls, the one year anniversary, an alaskan journey & the 'what's happening to my body?' book for boys

"the other surprising fact is that taxidermists do penises."

"that thing could kill me in an instant but at least i have a bigger dick."

"dicks of the animal kingdom? i would totally put my name on that."

"the stallion sex box?"

"we can specialize too- dicks of alaska... dicks of the serengeti..."

"book two from the naked lady bar: doctor's books of whatever."
"our book trailers are going to be awesome.

"it's an unjust and bad thing in general- adolescence."

"the flannel bear- it's a lesser known alaskan species. some are plaid. some are striped."

"this could be a great franchise."

"it was messed up, it was messed up. and i didn't even look at his penis."

"you don't see testicles walking around the street like you do breasts."

"i've had balls for thirty years and i didn't even know that."

"yeah, you're right, you see dog balls all the time."

"clearly there's balls beyond the human male."

"it's only been in locker rooms and hot springs in japan that i've ever seen penises in the wild."

"it's not dick, it's just head."

"that should be our group goal- someone needs to write a book that gets banned."

"black sack."

"because, again, internal genitalia, thumbs up!"

"that's legit, how they labeled that stuff."

"it wasn't even that he had the vat of soup but that he had it and it comforted him enough that he fell asleep in my class."

"it was the best goddam baby shower ever."

"i was thinking of the apocalypse and i was wondering if it would be good to move to the poles."

"the whole time i was like, 'i am older than this scenery.'"

"it's magnificent but everything is fucked."

"it's like -30 degrees and dark all the time but i'd still prefer it to chicago because there's no wind."

"if you look at the continental u.s., we're pretty far south, but then there's a giant ice schlong above us."

"no, no, squick. i swear to god it's a word."

"what is gatlinburg like?"
"um... gurnee."

"you just squicked me out by saying 'holy crow.'"

 "tiny-penised bears."

1 last year: the greatest hits

0 t-minus 2 years

one down, two to go.

on 20 september 2010, while riding home in a cab from midway, i decided i was going to be a biographer for real. i had a post-it and an endpoint and that is all.

this was like going to prom stag or studying at cornell for the summer. one of those adventures that is so exhilarating at the out-set but once you get into it, there's a primal sensation of "holy shit!"

this past year has been very holy shit.

i don't know what i thought would happen. all i know is that i expected none of what did, that i've no idea what's next and that i wouldn't have it any other way.

19 September 2011

4 churched

it's hard to walk out empty-handed. we almost always take some bullshit for the road.

and so my brief stint as a southern baptist fundamentalist left me a ferocious perfectionist with a proclivity for good old catholic guilt. that is why i went to church the first sunday after my parents dropped me off at college. i knew myself well enough to know the self-reproach would've been unbearable had i not gone. 

i wore my prettiest dress. i curled my hair. and i strategically sat in the left aisle middle by the window, so if any good christian boys looking for a good christian girl had been watching they would have seen how the sun streaming in through the amber stained glass comprising the hem of jesus’ robe brought out the red highlights in my hair. 

dismay is perhaps the best description of the emotion i felt when the announcement that we should all take note of the vast population of “young people” seated in the balcony made it apparent that i had, in fact, taken a seat in the very heart of the senior citizens row.

but that's not why i stopped going to church. i stopped going because, six weeks later, i sat in that same building, in a room full of white people, while a preacher told me to vote for the republican gubernatorial candidate and to recognize that "the evil falsehood of evolution" stemmed from the work of "woman scientists" and islamic fundamentalists. 

i was a woman majoring in biology who had a test on darwin the next day. i had only a rudimentary knowledge of islam but was, nonetheless, pretty certain islamic fundamentalism had nothing to do with gender parity in the sciences. 

that morning i learned that i cannot find god in white rooms. 

i stopped going to church. 

but, whether we like it or not, we take our bullshit with us. and so every sunday morning for the rest of that school year, i woke up early and got dressed. i got in my car and drove around town from eleven to noon. never mind that i had a roommate to whom such devotion was irrelevant and no friends to note my piety. i dressed as if for church, set my bible on the passenger seat and drove, because there was a hole in my sunday morning that i knew no other way to fill.

0 o young oline, camping!

[june 4, 1988 {many balloons}]

[trans: today i went camping! i slep ino tint. it was fun. tomorrow is sunday. 
{total gibberish.}]

18 September 2011

2 :)

“First of all, if you want to write, write. And second, don’t do it. It’s the loneliest, most depressing work you can do.”
-Walker Percy

16 September 2011

2 sometimes you just need to do a critical analysis of the daily mail

so, pippa middleton is really happening. we know that because of THIS daily mail report and if it's in the daily mail it must be true. let's parse!

beginning nearish to the beginning, we're treated to this startling revelation:

i would first like to clarify that this is not me. much as i love camilla & charles: whatever love means and kate & william: the lifetime movie, i swear up and down i am not inundating this poor man with requests for a pippa biopic. which raises the question: adrian munsey, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? have they no lives? 

moving along... omg:

while i often feel like i've still yet to recover from awaking at royal wedding time, it was a full five months ago. which is a really, really long time to have gone without recouping the lost sleep but a very very short time in which to have produced 32 biopics. it would almost lead one to question their quality...

let your eyes linger here for a moment, because this one's a toughie. it's going to take some teasing out:

this statement is probably the most elegant articulation of pippa's contribution that we will ever see. because, as we all know, in this instance, "tour de force" is a euphemism for hot ass. and while i don't want to undermine the importance of being able to look after small children, the small children are being used here to detract from the fact that there's a contingency of people who have actively lobbied for a film to be made about this woman on the sole basis of her having a hot ass.

i now give you the greatest fallacy of our time:

um... NO.

i don't know about the rest of you and i would never dare speak on behalf of all womankind, BUT. i, for one, do not want to the beautiful girl-next-door. whether she is played by pippa or anyone else for that matter. i want to be the girl with rhoda morgenstern's wit, michaela quinn's medical know-how, mary richard's apartment (seasons 1-5), donna martin's friend group and barbie's peaches 'n cream ballgown.

that seems far more interesting, hot ass or no.

3 hyde parked

it's our maphaversarie. (yes, i not only remember the date of everything we did two summers ago but also everything else that has ever happened. creepy times ten.)

in light of this, it was only fitting that i'd make the pilgrimage down to hyde park for the first time since the philosopher and i went to a philosophical party on a famous philosopher's rooftop in june 2009.

i remember maph as a prolonged dream sequence and returning to hyde park all these years later is much the same. it's not twenty miles away still it's like entering another world. i'm dogged by a sense of not belonging and of never ever going back.

walking past the place where barack obama and i got our hair cut, i'm struck that it is exactly the same. this is the troubling thing about hyde park.

obama is president. i'm a biographer. the metra train now costs a whopping 50 cents more. but there's the light hitting the sidewalk outside 57th street books just as it did when i walked home from writing arts reviews listening to interpol on my discman way back in september 2003.

everything in life changes but HP always looks the same. it is the dorian gray of small towns.

i wonder how different maph would've been if we'd all had blogs back then. i imagine either more real or just more confusing. as it was, we only had university-provided dial-up and friendster accounts. i swear, we're not nearly as old as that makes us sound.

15 September 2011

3 right-o

when i met with yusha this last time, he looked me in the eye and said, she would have liked you. she would have liked that you're doing this. 

i tabled this in my head. it's an endorsement that will take time to process. sometimes i don't even like that i'm doing this. i can't imagine how jackie could.

i've been doing whatever you want to call my whole jackie thing for the last 17 years. that's not an exaggeration. it's been that slow of a burn.

after all that time, i'm pretty certain i know what i'm doing and i'm pretty certain i'm right. i'm pretty certain she was a feminist figure who, through her sense of adventure, quietly pushed the limits of what it was acceptable for nice women to do.

but there's still just enough doubt lingering there to necessitate the word "pretty," and that little "pretty" goes a long way in rendering all my certainty null.

if the jackie tapes are going to give me anything, it is the confirmation that she was, in fact, the woman i have come to know. the woman i have written about.

on tuesday night, caroline kennedy told diane sawyer that the main lesson her mother would have wanted people to draw from her story was that life is an adventure, always. when she said this- thus, giving credence to everything i've ever written on a hunch- i felt a wave of the cockiness that must've compelled babe ruth to call his shot.

the "pretty" is dead. i know i'm right. someday, even if it's a day still 17 years away, just you wait. i am going to knock one out of the park.


14 September 2011

2 dear 8 person family @ navy pier last night,

thank you, thank you, thank you for walking over to the random crazy girls sitting on the park bench and giving them the two ferris wheel rides remaining on your 10 person family pass. it made their night.

(crazy girl #2)

1 today, in memorable milestones:

i have been rejected by the new york times.

8 i cannot write this book.

i know i'm happy because i'm not biting my nails. there should be more tangible proof but this is what i've got.

i cannot write this book because writing this book requires a dislocation so profound that writing is the only way to breathe.

the book i need to write cannot be written here.

i realized this on friday and it came as more of a relief than a shock.

it's something i don't know what to do with it, but it is good to know.

13 September 2011

6 dear metra rail, hey! let's be friends.

the primary side-effect of my taking the train to paris for the day is that i now have no problem taking metra trains.

and by "no problem" i mean i'll do it. i'm not implying that it's an endeavor without angst. i'm still so intimidated by the prospect of purchasing tickets that i conduct this transaction with an actual person rather than a machine because i doubt my own instinct to catch the metra going the right way. and i still worry about the indiscrimate signage, assume i'm standing on the wrong platform and then second-guess that the stop heralded as "next stop: "wmweriohaipdrnaaaaa" really is, in fact, mine.

but now i just deal with it. and this has opened up a whole new world.

a magical new world that the people who live there call "chicago" and which we chicagoans refer to as "the suburbs."

suddenly a host of exotic destinations are within reach. winnetka? totally. elmhurst? hell yeah!

0 amazing things said on 90210

12 September 2011

9 fundamentals

as a kid, i spent three years in a church best described as southern baptist fundamentalist. this seemed normal at the time. it's all very waco in retrospect.

i first heard of abortion in church. from the pulpit, abortion and the election of bill clinton were hailed as the twin proofs that the beast slouching toward bethlehem had already arrived. poverty and hunger excited few to advocacy but, upon the announcement of impending pro-choice legislation, an army of god's people arose, eager to march.

the youth ministers organized a "young people's rally." the phrase "non-violent" was repeated often. videos of protests taking place outside abortion clinics were shown. in the footage, a man spat in a woman's face.

i was eleven. i'd not gotten my period. i could not yet bear a child. i didn't know what the word "abortion" meant, but i was sitting on the floor of a trailer beside a church outside atlanta, scrawling admonishments to would-be aborters on placards in mr. sketch scented watercolor pens.

by then i was watching geraldo rivera live every morning before school and, accordingly, had a highly developed sense of right and wrong. geraldo had just done a special on the ku klux klan and- sitting in that trailer, seeing that video, watching that man spit in that woman's face- i recalled that episode and every fiber of my being knew that what we were doing was wrong.

i knew i was complicit in an act of violence that i did not understand.

more and more, i realize most all my distrust of christians and church stems from that moment, in that trailer, where i scrawled admonishments to would-be aborters on placards in mr. sketch scented watercolor pens.

before that, i'd never seen real cruelty. i had not known that there are people who, in their eagerness to dole out god's wrath and judgment, ignore the command to love.

0 in frivolities, the fug girls analysis of la lohan's appearance at the cynthia rowley show during NYFW is PRICELESS.

"[...] right before the lights went down, a platinum-and-orange waif in tiny trousers, massive shades, and hypnotically puffy lips burst forth from backstage, hustling to a front-row seat with ruthless efficiency (and several security guards). For one glorious, confusing moment, we — and, we later learned, everyone in the rows around us — thought this walking creamsicle had to be Donatella Versace. Then, the entire room full of journalists sat ramrod straight and let out excited, disbelieving, four-letter expletives as we all realized this was actually Lindsay Freaking Lohan.

We then simultaneously commenced trying to figure out if she was wearing pants. (They were shorts. Small ones. Very, very small ones.) The take-home here for Lindsay should be that we all initially mistook her for somebody much crispier who is thirty years her senior, but we suspect instead she will mentally gloss over that part and focus only on how fast the crowd of blasé, already-burned-out fashionistas whipped out their smartphones and overloaded AT&T service. One photographer even went so far as to walk down onto the runway — which we’d been expressly forbidden to do, given that it was mirrored — and get in her face to take a photo, prompting event organizers to confiscate both his camera (which looked more expensive than her extensions) and his credentials, which they ripped from his neck with soap-operatic verve.

The room applauded, led by Lindsay herself, as she settled into her seat between a shell-shocked-seeming Leigh Lezark — we feel you, Leigh — and Lindsay’s companion, who is either a Johnny Depp superfan or an actual pirate. Seriously, he had the long hair and the scruff and the vest flapping over a mostly-open shirt… all he was missing was a parrot and an eye-patch, although we’d bet Lindsay has a couple of those floating around her hotel room somewhere."

3 young oline and good feulings

[march 20, 1988]

trans.: Today is Sunday. I like sunday.
it givs you a good feulings!

09 September 2011

2 in a trial run for a possible future something, i'm reading the what's happening to my body book for boys. highlights/HORRORS:

0 excitement.

the jackie tapes are coming. 
you should read this.
they're going to be good. 
8 1/2 hour long listening party?

6 hot.

the check-out guy at trader joe's is flirting with me. i flirt back because i can.

as i walk down diversy carrying a bag he has declared "too heavy," he watches me through the glass.

i catch his eye at the precise moment that, unfurling my sunglasses, i stick the left temple up my nose.

08 September 2011

9 Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person: Elizabethtown

the thing about elizabethtown is you're either going to love it or you're going to hate it with the fire of a million suns. which is why you need to see it if you want to consider yourself a grown person- because, as a grown person, it's important to know where you stand.

i love elizabethtown because it is the great longing of my heart for someone to make me a mix tape and companion coffee table book and, according to elizabethtown, there are people who do this. fictional people, but people nonetheless.

elizabethtown is of a genre that i'll call "southern living lite." it's not the greatest movie ever made nor is it the greatest film set in the south, but it captures a bit of the southern essence. when drew baylor gets out of the car in kentucky, you can hear the bugs and feel the heat. such details are key. but elizabethtown is also mainstream enough that it can be understood by people who are not from the south and maybe even by people who've never been.

the contrast would be robert altman's masterpiece cookie's fortune, a stunning film i would encourage everyone living to watch were it not for the fact that it's of such sublimely acute southern humor that for it to be even remotely comprehensible you have to have lived in mississippi for a minimum of eight months.

i saw cookie's fortune before college and wondered, "what the hell is this mess?" seeing it after graduation, my response was, "oh, that is LIFE."

so my argument for elizabethtown is that you should see it because you can't handle cookie's fortune, which is, admittedly, shoddy logic (that might, dare i hope, have the side-effect of getting you to watch both?!?!).

in it's favor, elizabethtown co-stars alec baldwin. and contains the oft-cited catch-phrases "the substitute people" and "chuck and cindy: The Wedding" and "if it wasn't this, it'd be something else." so watch it. it's two and a half hours of your life you'll never get back and you'll either love it or hate it with the fire of a million suns, but at least you'll know where you stand. (and did i mention cookie's fortune? MASTERPIECE!!!)

06 September 2011

4 the only available response is fuck

i'm "oline" because i once dated "ovan."

we're over five years in here and somehow i've not yet mentioned this.

donovan and caroline. we lived together in memphis. after he dumped me during a rogue wave concert so he could go out with a waitress, i fled to chicago.

because he drunk-dialed me for months after, we didn't speak for years.

donovan is very sick. he calls from the hospital.

i'm doing laundry. i sit on the floor and lean against the dryer.

donovan is very sick and there is no one to share this news with. no one who will get it. it's hard enough to explain a relationship to someone who is not in it. it's even harder to explain the relationship that develops after the relationship ends.

we didn't speak again, donovan and i, until that awful winter before last, when partner was so sick and my grandfather was in the hospital and everything was all wrong.

i wasn't sleeping or eating and had watched bright star every evening after work for five nights in a row. donovan was moving from denver to mississippi, driving the whole way.

he asked if he could call. over the course of eight emails, we established that he could and that, when he did, i would answer. 

it's funny, how relationships change. how the details that once seemed so important slip away and what you're left with is a handful of conversations on a few winter nights. 

he said, "hi oline" and i said, "hi, ovan," though i had not called him that in years.

there are people who are a part of us always. they are fundamental.

i am oline in this city because of him.

3 here's why i'm not happy

(and neither is mozart)

the neighbor's boyfriend sings emo at high volume. i thought this couldn't get worse then it did. 

over the weekend a flutist moved into my building. a flutist who has no social life to speak of given that he/she is playing the flute freaking every waking moment of the day. 

he/she plays the flute. the boy next door "sings." and vieve and i sit in my lovely apartment, our ears assaulted by amadeus as performed by deathcab for cutie.

it will be a long year.  

4 score!

leopard print cape.
because, you know, that's something i totally need.