26 April 2012

2 birth day. happy.

2 31

s got a tattoo for his 31st. it's a lyric. he had me write it out.

he and his tattoo artist are officially the only people who have ever liked- much less been able to read- the trainwreck that is my penmanship.

he sends me pictures and texts all day. that night, when i call to ask if he loves it, he says, yes. but i only just realized... this tattoo is the biggest commitment i've ever made to another person. we can now never not be friends.

25 April 2012

0 we've been laughing at this since 2006, so here it is again

mmwwwwwwwahhhhhh the french, indeed.

2 i see london, i see france

i'm reading this book about t.s. eliot, who apparently loved paris so much that he contemplated writing poetry exclusively in french.

i'm a writer. i love paris. i am taking french.

our homework this week was to write a story. here is mine:

"the little girl eats her cake with coffee. she loves cake, but prefers strawberry and raspberry to chocolate. the little girl prefers her coffee black, though she loves cold milk in tall glasses.

i prefer champagne in tall glasses with my cake. i am studying french to discuss cake.

the tall man arrives at the patisserie. he orders a lemon cake and coffee with cream.

we read magazines and gossip while the coffee brews."

OH.MY.GOD. is the suspense killing you? are you on the edge of your seat? do i need to write a sequel? do you need to know what's going to happen to our protagonists after the coffee brews?

suffice it to say, i am no t.s. eliot. neither my novels nor my biographies will be written in french.

0 tips for single women, 1938

23 April 2012

0 debo got The Pizza

and it was good.

0 problem solved 90210: "guns aren't toys... they're weapons."

“guns aren’t toys… they’re weapons.”

Admit it. you’re not ready for our friend emily valentine to go away just yet. so let’s go back to the before time. before she and brandon broke up. before she had a mental break. the days when all was sunshine and roses in beverly hills, except for the little matter of scott scanlon shooting himself.
today, we’re going to take a look at the classic season 2 90210 episode “the next 50 years,” wherein we learn a lot about bad dancing, guns, and grief management.
this is scott scanlon. just looking at that cowboy hat, you know he’s doomed, right? {continue reading}

21 April 2012

1 let's talk

my parents and i talk almost every day. over the phone, on skype, through texts, in email or in letters with a multitude of stamps. we talk a lot. in a lot of venues. yes, this is unusual and maybe kind of weird.

since my moving here we've sustained a ridiculously high level of communication that is, i'm quite certain, either a result of or a response to the familial cataclysm that occurred when i lived with donovan.

having identified that, i embrace it. we are healing. slowly. twenty conversations at a time.

my mother and i are at thai with her friends and they're talking about mothers worrying about daughters. this is when debo slyly says in that low tone southern women use when they want you to think they think they're saying something perfectly harmless, when really they know it's studded with thorns: "well, we didn't hear from caroline for two whole days last week."

immediately, like a hand clamping an electric fence, my mind pins down the precise time period to which she's referring.

the space between the agonizing conversation on saturday afternoon where our call was dropped TWELVE times (my parents have cancelled their landline and we're losing our minds!!!) and her missed call at 8:26 a.m. on monday.

in chicago, these were 43 hours in which various katies and i had a baby shower and movie night, and i did bikram, a podcast and slept.

in memphis, apparently these were 43 hours in which my parents assumed i was dead.

to an extent that my father derived comfort from the fact that my 90210 recap posted on monday, thus giving him false hope that i was alive. as debo confided to her friends in the thai restaurant, "he did not know, as i did, that she schedules her posts in advance."

this must have been the point at which she called. 8:26 a.m. on monday, when she left a message so cheery and bright that upon receiving it at work i promptly emailed her, "it sounds so sunshiney where you are!"

0 word.

19 April 2012

4 yellow shoes, RIP

(10 may 2010)
elle portait de citron

i have these yellow shoes. you know them. they've come up before. 

these yellow shoes were bought a break-up and a half ago when, during an ill-advised/croftie-condoned trip to nine west in the midst of a particularly ruinous sale, i engaged in a lamentative retail spree. 

i vividly remember holding them up for croftie's inspection- the spark in her eye, the crinkling of the tissue paper, the nod of her head and my own vast ignorance of sartorial sociology at that time. 

we were so young then. little did we know... 

there should be more scholarship on the shoes women purchase in times of emotional duress. i would argue it speaks volumes. 

every shoe i've bought in the last year has sported a 3"+ heel. (what better way to rise from something so flattening?) 

similarly, the yellow shoes are short-heeled, pointed, flashy and fantastically constricting. much like the dead relationship that birthed them.

and yet, unlike that relationship- which, when cast in the schematic of all my relationships, probably matters the least- the yellow shoes are terribly, terribly important. because the yellow shoes are the most abusive relationship i've ever had. 

i have never been a girl who puts up with pain for fashion. indignities and indecencies, yes. undergarment malfunctions? always. but pain, never. 

except for the yellow shoes. 

the yellow shoes break all my rules. 

because the yellow shoes are terribly, terribly important. and the yellow shoes are terribly, terribly gorgeous. and the yellow shoes hurt like the kind of hurt that could only ever exist deep deep in the deepest depths of some as yet to be imagined hell beyond hell. 

if de sade dabbled in women's footwear, these were the fruits of his labor. 

the yellow shoes make sadism look preferable. 

but how to explain the exquisite pain?

were i to set my feet on fire, tightly encase them in gasoline soaked linens, light them again, douse them with nail polish remover, dip them in a vat of sequins, light them one last time and slowly remove each melted shard of glitter from my wounds with a butter knife before submerging my feet entirely in a tub of salted lava this would perhaps approximate 1/11th of the pain created when sitting down in the yellow shoes. 

please note: sitting down.

i repeat: SITTING. DOWN.

God forbid you move. 

the yellow shoes and i have been together for four years. in three years, we will have a common-law marriage, an alarming level of commitment for something i have repeatedly tried to be rid of. 

alas, no. for the yellow shoes are a clingy bitch. 

my futile attempts at desertion have led to nothing but a series of spectacular fails. most notably, a charity donation attempt wherein i returned home from a long work day, naively blasting girl power songs and imagining myself literally footloose and fancy-free, only to find my donation gone and the yellow shoes waiting patiently on my stoop like a defiant, disappointed lover. 

even the white elephant thrift store workers had discerned that they were of the devil. 

my feet quaked in their comfy boots. 

please do remember, i am the girl who's killed couches. with a saw. i am not easily intimidated by imposing things. so what the hell? shoes should not be so difficult.

but the yellow shoes and i, we are apparently meant to be and to this i am trying to reconcile myself. 

so every spring along comes a morning, a cinematically gorgeous spring morning, when- presumably drunk on pollen- i think the yellow shoes the best idea in the world. 

because they really are very pretty. and yellow. and yellow is my favorite. and when you look at them from afar it's almost possible- when you squint really really hard without glasses and focus on the heel rather than the torture device that is the pointy toe- it is possible to think that they're worth it. 

worth the pain. the agony. the sensation that some prickled beast is being exorcised from within the arches of one's feet. 

so on these certain mornings- these sweeping, epically sunny spring mornings- i give in to the power of the yellow shoes. and in the midst of hurting the kind of hurt that could only ever exist in the deepest depths of a hell beyond hell, i could almost swear the world sparkles a bit harder. that these incandescently sweet, bright blue mornings show up for the yellow shoes. 

because the yellow shoes are terribly, terribly important. (and did i mention they're terribly, terribly pretty?) and, though i hate them and though they hurt me, i will set my feet on fire again and again and the yellow shoes and i, we will walk miles and miles for days such as these. 

because there are terribly, terribly important things that are non-negotiable for girls in the city. there are baked goods and there are bright mornings and, perhaps most importantly, there are shoes. be they yellow or otherwise, there are always, always shoes. 

3 the yellow shoes (january 2007 - april 2012)

dear yellow shoes,

we had some good times, didn't we? what am i saying? no, we didn't. in fact, on a fairly regular basis, you destroyed my feet.

memorable times. that is what we had. because though you destroyed my feet, though it hurt for my feet to be in you even when i was sitting down, i wore you All The Time.

to a singles mixer at the MCA in 2007. to meggie's wedding that summer. to meet jmills for dinner at the pasta bowl in 2008. to another wedding in 2009. to pennsylvania in the summer of 2010. to interview the step-brother in newport in august 2011. for game night in february 2012. and to fancy small group night last month.

now, i've a good memory, yellow shoes, but do you know why i remember literally every single time i have worn you? because every single time, you destroyed my feet.

and yet, i persisted in wearing you. because you were beautiful and because i really wanted this to work out. but there comes a time in every relationship when you've really got to face the facts and the fact is, try as i might, things are never going to work well between us.

your pointy toes are always going to push the bones of my feet to assume positions that are simply unstainable for periods longer than half a minute. your low heel is always going to be of a height that does not accommodate the extreme arches of my barbie feet. and your knife-like edges are always going to blister my heels in a matter of seconds.

dear yellow shoes, the price of wearing you is always going to be blood. i deserve better. i know that now.


18 April 2012

0 Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person: Memphis Belle

OMG, memphis belle. that poster ain't lying. it IS una adventura extraordinaria.

i will now describe this Movie You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person through a series of complicated comparisons and contrasts to other Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person but likely haven't... 

remember the outsiders? that francis ford coppola movie that was, as we discussed, pretty much the same movie as gettysburg except for the fact that it occurred in the 80s and starred charlie sheen, emilio estevez, matt dillon, tom cruise, the swayze, ralph macchio and rob lowe instead of martin sheen, tom berrenger, sam elliot and jeff daniels?  well, memphis belle is pretty much the outsiders, except it takes place in WWII germany and stars my man matthew modine, tate donovan, d.b. sweeney, billy zane, eric stoltz, sean astin, and harry connick, jr.

memphis belle is totally exactly the same as both the outsiders and gettysburg in that it's telling a story about a large group of men at war. however, it has little else in common with gettysburg, as c. thomas howell was inexplicably not cast in it (WHY was he not? because he was doing THIS? or THIS? i demand answers!). 

but it has loads to do with the outsiders in the sense that it involves a freaking ton of young actors on the cusp of successful careers. the only real difference being that the stars of the outsiders went on to have the successful careers for which they were poised while the success of the men of memphis belle is somewhat less meteoric.

sean astin, as we all know, did this and took the ring to mordor. d.b. sweeney was in the cutting edge, which was basically the gift of a lifetime to young oline, so we can't fault him for his lack of anything cinematic since. matthew modine played a starring role in my adolescent fantasies, which was great for me but maybe not so fantastic a career move for him. harry connick, jr. married a victoria's secret model and starred in hope floats. tate donovan dated jennifer anniston for much of the 90s. billy zane was, of course, in titanic AND zoolander. and he's very pretty.

eh, success of a sort. (if you want to judge their popularity based on the success of a google image search, i will tell you this: google any one of these men's names in combination with the phrase "memphis bell" and you'll get this photo of tate donovan doing thumbs up- 

do with that what you will.)

but what does that matter when they made this movie? wherein harry connick SINGS, matthew modine explodes some soup, billy zane's afraid of blood and d.b. sweeney is scared to death. 

watch it. i'm pretty sure it's absolutely nothing what war is like. but it's good. and damn, those boys are cute.

0 i.cannot.stop.watching.THIS.

someone may need to intervene.

2 oh no

my dad and an old friend have reconnected. she's a traveler and an adventuress, so he forwarded her email to me. at which point i read this sentence:

which makes me feel about 402.

2 vegas, baby

k.clen and i are going to vegas. this unfolded in wicked haste on monday, in less than 32 emails, which is- quite possibly- a personal best.

there are two kinds of trips. (1) the trip like the forthcoming one to paris with my mother, where i checked airfare literally every single day for a solid four months; and (2) the trip that comes out of nowhere on a monday morning and that's booked by lunch. 

vegas, baby. it's happening. in six months. but really all you need to know for right now is that we're going and that, when we do, we're staying at a $28/night days inn on the strip. 

3 The Pizza

my mother's coming to town this weekend with some of her girlfriends.

(fyi: we're entering a season of me spending a lot 'o time with me mum so all apologies if it's all debo, all the time for awhile- she's just so good for stories.)

they're not even here and already... DRAMEDY!

my mother is, according to my dad, "agonizing about The Pizza."

please note: "agonizing" was the precise word he used. (hyperbole is a family trait.)

i should explain.

if you've ever had the good fortune to come to chicago and we've spent any time together, you know about The Pizza. you likely dream about The Pizza. because The Pizza is THE PIZZA OF YOUR LIFE and you know that and savor it accordingly whenever you've the chance.

my mother loves The Pizza. she was there when we first discovered The Pizza and i think, in large part, she is ok with me being in chicago because she knows that whatever may befall me, i am in close proximity to The Pizza and will, therefore, ultimately be ok. The Pizza's terribly important to us as a family and it's also really damn good.

so imagine my mother's consternation then that one of her girlfriends keeps harping on about this uh-mazing pizza place where they serve the pizza to you up-side-down.

two things.

this place is not famous for its pizza. it's famous only for having the audacity to serve normal, non-chicago pizza up-side-down.

dude, no.

my mother- as she is from our family and we are a family built upon the bedrock of the belief that we know how to (a) eat and (b) have fun better than anyone else- thinks that this is the worst.idea.ever. she doesn't want to waste her calories eating pizza that is in no way commendable outside of the fact that some fool has flipped it over.

but, because she is my mother, she can't tell this to anyone outside our family. because that would be rude. and she doesn't want to create problems. AND her girlfriend is really psyched about eating some pizza up-side-down. 

instead, she's crafting an alternative way of getting precisely what she wants. and, because we eatons taking nothing more seriously than the attainment of food, i am aiding and abetting her, pleading the need for mother/daughter time solely as a means of getting her to The Pizza. if successful, this just might win me "daughter of the year."

17 April 2012

2 kicking

my current cleaning kick has revealed two things:

(1) it breaks my heart to throw away handwriting.

with books, clothes, throw pillows, the photographs of my youth- i can be ruthless, but give me a valentine received in 1995 and signed "love, gran burvil", and i will cling tenaciously to that silly thing.

never mind that it's not a letter. it's simply a card carrying sentiments written by someone else and co-signed by burvil, and yet the act of letting that go, of declaring it garbage, is my undoing.

this is, in large part, due to my only childness, my abandonment issues and my morbidity.

because i really do assume there will come a time when everyone around me will have died and i will be all alone. in that scenario (a scenario that, in my vivid imaginings, always involves a sun porch, a rocking chair and yellow curtains blowing in a gentle breeze), i imagine the letters of all my dead friends and family will be a great comfort.

if i pitch them now, whatever will i read then?

(2) i have maybe the best friends ever. 

because among all the valentines from burvil, there's an amazing array of congratulatory cards. 

partner celebrating the removal of my braces. libby writing to commemorate my moving in with donovan. kbg offering congrats on the move to chicago. lindear giving pats on the bottom when i moved to a bigger place. 

this seems maybe fairly standard until you consider that nearly all of these letters were sent during the age of email. and yet, the writer put pen to paper and a stamp on an envelope. something that probably seemed quite small at the time and which feels so big in retrospect.

0 so this is depressing

16 April 2012

0 :)

“I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stunned by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, 'Hi.' They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word.”

- Augusten Burroughs

1 elsewhere

a little musing on bridget jones's diary HERE.
why audrey hepburn is a bad-ass HERE.
my nomination for book of the year HERE.
plus, a giggly interview with a jackie biographer HERE.

0 fyi

0 problem solved 90210: "if she's not getting the message, you have to be firm."

Oh, friends. gird your hearts! (and your customized minnesota twins ’87 jerseys!) today, we’re going to be all up in brandon walsh’s dysfunctional romantical business, exploring teenage heartbreak, sexual addiction, mental illness and stalking pre-caller ID as portrayed in the classic 90210 episode “my desperate valentine.”
this comes to us (obviously) via the plaid panted emily valentine.
now, i think, by this point, we’re all familiar enough with brandon walsh’s butt to know that the butt we see here is totally not it. {continue reading}

13 April 2012

3 deep deep thoughts from the naked lady bar: seeds, awkward silences, abraham lincoln and SEX HAND

"yeah, yeah, he did a lot of public urination."

"how do you spell 'fivel'?"

"you sound like the lorax..."

"i am like the cherry tree lorax."

"i speak for the trees because no one else will."

"because those bitches in washington get them, those same seeds, right?"

"i'm a native of indiana so i say that full-throatedly."

"japan is killing me right now. their trees and their women who are marrying me."

"i am the lorax, motherfuckers."

"gif it."

"that was like true whimsy in your misreading."

"there are a lot of accents going on here."

"maybe this bar got put in a guide or something?"

"that is how you toast that- EMPTY GLASSES."

"it's like the thorn birds... with the bird."

"but i thought that fivel costumes were big in the czech republic."

"i was going to say that was a seminal moment but then i thought better of it."

"sex hand. YES."

"maybe that's a southern thing."
"so only in the south do we have awkward silences?"
"only in the south would you consider silence as awkward."
"well, only in illinois would you think of abraham lincoln every 7 minutes."

"no, no, it's the psychic imprint."

"i swear it's a thing. just like the hawaiian tribal ghosts."

"you're registered at macy's and great america... wait... what?"
"um... crate and barrell."

"maybe someone's thinking of sex."
"every time the three of us have an awkward silence it means somebody somewhere is thinking of sex."

"if i think of sex every seven seconds and i teach a 90 minute class, how does that work?"

"i'm trying to type my middle grade witch fiction and they're two cushions over making out."

"i didn't want to move because my coffee cup was there."

"they weren't even smiling. it was like he was looking into her eyes for her lost contact."

"you should do the sex hand now."

"i mean, when i saw the movie, i didn't understand the mechanics of car sex."

"did you have some sort of traumatic backpack experience?"

"are we at a sports bar?"

"well, i mean, they are clearly americans."

"i think you could do a little bit better on your naming of the afterlife."

"i flirt with gross."

"was there menstruation?"

"because i was doing shrek with menstruation and i was confused."

"it's kind of like this elaborate werewolf metaphor for menstruation."

"it's canadian... i think that says it all."

"it's like japan has menstrual leave and a bunch of americans yell 'woo!'"

"undulating knives. that is what it is like."

"sorry again, for the 2,000 years of misogyny."

"it was really the least misogynist aspect of the ancient times... the period tent."

"you know what just occurred to me today? that male professors and male students see each others penises when they pee."

"no, you expose your genitals though and that's a little .... intimate."

"so he's there peeing and i don't know what to do and i don't know that japanese protocol."

"so they totally know what their professors penises look like?"
"well there's a silhouette."

"i will never poop in this bar."

"i thought you were going to come at my face with your vagina."

"i want to watch you one day. but not in a weird way."

"more horses, less menstrual blood, fivel."

"i don't think mice menstruate, do they?"

"i want to clarify... i did not have sleeves."

"OH. it got real! kissing in public!"

"i'm on board except for 'zillion'."

"i scared the shit out of him with my sex hand."

"you're like gabriel garcía márquezing the shit out of this. i don't know what page we're on."

"here's what i like about the word 'fucking.'"

"tamales? we're going to regret it if we don't."

"seriously, sex hand forever."

"you've got that really nice undercutting with the dog shit."

"that's the ultimate sign of weakness- i've been defeated by something pink and flowery."

"that could be a whole new thing- it doesn't count if you don't know."

"OH MY GOD- gif... but not."

"why are we imitating people who are dispassionately fucking for money?"

"they describe it the same way i would describe making an excel spreadsheet, except with passionate thrusting."

2 lately, i've been thinking about kanye a lot

i wonder what happened to his diamond teeth. 

12 April 2012

4 the ro(faux?)mance

kim kardashian and kanye. (“kimye” if you’re into portmanteau.)
this all went down last thursday. in, like, the blink of an eye. it promptly bulldozed into my google reader and has yielded an unrelenting deluge ever since so- in case you blinked or were away for easter weekend actually living your life- let’s take a look at the epicness that has been unfolding.
(sidenote: i resent the fact that i find myself wanting to write about kim kardashian and am annoyed that she keeps handing me these situations tailor-made for thoughtful undergraduate investigation in General Celebrity Studies 101. oh, and on a technical note, in the interest of brevity i’ve resisted the urge to cushion every.single.word with an “allegedly” so, though that’s absent here, know that allegedness is implicit throughout. as you were…)
game on. for real.
we know it’s for real because he has written a song about her entitled “theraflu” and in rap, fyi, references to influenza remedies = TRUE LOVE. Continue reading 

3 the synonyms for nonsense are fun

11 April 2012

0 via gary eaton

2 damn

in things that happen "off-stage," i write book reviews for money. 2-3 a month. i'm not saying this pays well, but it does pay, and sometimes that's all that matters. 

this month i thought i'd hit the big-time when my editor asked for a 700 word review. meaning it would be a feature rather than a sidebar. this seemed a great honor until i sat down to do it and realized it's a hell of a hard thing to write 700 words on a memoir comprised of essays in which a woman ponders her old family photographs. 

in handing the finished product over to my editor, i admitted that it had been "difficult"- elliding the fact that, at times, it felt like squeezing juice from a rotted lemon. 

my editor wrote back with what may be the most faintly damning praise i've ever received: "great job; it might have been better at a shorter length, but this will work well, too."

10 April 2012

2 projections

jean and lucy have brought uncle bill's projector and two rolls of 8 mm home movies that are believed to have been taken during the childhood of my dead first cousin twice removed. 

fyi- that is maybe one of the most southern sentences you'll ever read. 

joe is trying to work the projector. gary is helping by soliciting advice from online forums. they are both dreadful afraid of breaking the priceless family film. 

it takes the first two hours of ABC's airing of the ten commandments (including commercials) for them to get the projector working.
burvil makes popcorn.

debo dims the lights. 

jean's wedding is 27 seconds long. the halloween party of my dead first cousin twice removed, then seven, lasts a solid minute and a half. 

after those 117 seconds, we five sit there in the dark, the whir of the projector the only noise until the slap of the film reel's end.
and burvil says quietly, "the popcorn may not have been necessary."

3 the after life

as you no doubt recall, mimi- the cat responsible for the word "poo-pocalypse" entering our family lexicon- has died.

as you may also remember, my mother was no fan of mimi. this is understandable as mimi was always my father's cat and my mother has spent much of the last ten years a helpless bystander as mimi's bowels systematically exploded in every room of her house.

so, while i wouldn't say that my mother actively rooted for mimi's demise, she has- over the last year especially- been quietly promoting the notion that it was, perhaps, mimi's time to die.

now, mimi is dead. it's a whole new world. my parent's house is poo-free. EVERY DAY. and the excremental decade fades into the near-distance like a half-remembered dream.

almost. but not quite.

after mimi's death, my mother- being the loving, concerned, social media savvy wife that she is- took to facebook to announce to the world that my father's cat had ascended (or descended, be that as it may) to the afterlife, as though all 500+ of her friends had been on tenterhooks awaiting news of the feline's fate. my mother did this through an elegantly simple status update.

imagine my mother's surprise then when a significant percentage of her 500+ friends sallied forth to express- through comments, direct messages and, heaven help us, poems- their sorrow over HER tragic loss.

her status update had evidently tapped into a stream of long-standing, unexpressed grief, as people she had not spoken to since childhood, surfaced to reminisce about their own pets, of whom they had been reminded by my mother's precious mimi's sudden, sad death.

given his facebook silence on the matter, no attention whatsoever has been paid to my father's grief, to his loss of an animal for whom he pursued years of expensive medical care. a cat with whom he played an elaborate game of shit-and-seek every single morning of their life together. a beast whom he loved unconditionally, though she destroyed five mechanical liter boxes with the sheer force of her pee.

the torrent of condolences have been directed solely toward my mother. weeks after the euthanization of a cat she barely tolerated, people at church still approach her to ask, in hushed tones, how she's "holding up."

this has been a source of great awkwardness for my mother. and, after receipt of her eleven thousandth condolence, she finally confessed to a friend that mimi was neither her cat nor an animal she particularly loved. but this did little to alleviate the prevailing public sentiment that my mother had sustained a grievous loss and it in no way altered the situation beyond guaranteeing that, whenever my mother is approached by anyone offering sympathy, there's now a sector of her audience doubled up in laughter because they know the truth.

with the coming of easter weekend and the passage of a month, my parents held out hope that things were beginning to calm. then it came.

a sympathy card telling how, even in heaven, a pet remembers it's owner's love. it came from the veterinarian who euthanized my dad's cat. it was addressed to my mom.

09 April 2012

7 j'apprends à parler le français

i'm taking french. every wednesday. it's a real enough class that there's homework, a fact that i am trying (and failing) to embrace. and so i've reverted to habits i never had in high school- doing the assignment in the hour before class and frantically memorizing conjugations on the way there. 

as evidenced by the "HELLO! my name is... how are you?" conversation my mother and i now have every single time we speak, it's coming along, albeit very slowly. but i am building an arsenal of words. for instance:

hello, my name is oline. i am a writer. how are you? coffee, please. i am very well, but fatigued. i need the cake. my father is tall. my mother is pretty. my grandmother is short and my grandfather is a woodworker. vieve... she is my cat! i am sarcastic. i have many glasses of champagne and am excited about my exciting travels. i will see you tomorrow. goodbye. 

you see what that boils down to, right? WORST.FIRST.DATE.EVER.