30 July 2014

0 because my dad's random reference to steven seagal brought it all roaring back, let's pretend it's 2010 and remember this...

27 APRIL 2010

there are things that are vitally important and then there is steven seagal

who is being sued for human sex trafficking by an employee he used as a "sex toy."

thus jeopardizing his ownership of a fake new orleans deputy sheriff's badge.

(for the record, jenny mccarthy was not surprised.)

and while all the articles take great pains to mention seagal's "unique physiological reaction to sexual arousal," they do not detail it, which exponentially increases my concern for the safety of this panda.

28 July 2014

0 FJ: writing around hillary rodham clinton

it’s slowly dawning that i’m maybe going to spend my adult writing career writing around hillary rodham clinton. (as opposed to my juvenile writing career which was all about horrible poetry and civil war novels.)
by this i mean writing about a trilogy of female lives that i see as being deeply embedded in the issues HRC raised for me as a teenaged girl. so HRC is there without my actually writing about her. because i don’t want to write about her. because, this many years removed from the 1990s, hillary hurts.

24 July 2014

0 the comments in this article on pippa middleton

(HERE) bring up a very important truth:

yes. that british stereotype is true. 

22 July 2014

0 he is gone and he is missed

there are a lot of things that are off limits. still. clem snide and jack black, most especially.

ohmygod, jack black. i can't even.

jack black is like taking a bullet. seriously, watching the holiday with my parents this last christmas was a kamikaze mission. we had to pause every time jack black came onscreen so i could break-down.

but there are other things. things that fly beneath the radar and which would go totally unremembered except that somehow they float to there surface and it's all KABOOM.

i've been watching a lot of scrubs lately because netflix took dawson's creek off last week. and it's fun and light-hearted and also a reminder that EONS have passed since i used to go over to CP and mr. married's apartment in starkville to watch friends and scrubs and ER on thursday nights.

but something's felt a bit off beyond that. being the awareness that massive swaths of time have passed. in the last few days, in particular. and it just hit me what it is.

donovan was like a sponge when it came to appropriating set-pieces into his repertoire of tidbits (i obviously am too as "repertoire of tidbits" was a phrase he had himself picked up from a high school teacher and passed along to me). after seeing tenacious d in concert, he pretty much morphed into jack black. which is why i cannot bear to see jack black on screen. he used jack black to such an extent that it is impossible to watch jack black without seeing him.

but what i'd not realized what how a little dr. john dorian crept in over the years as well. not as noticeably as jack black, but it was there. and now, having realized it, it's something i cannot un-see.

today, i hung out with a friend who's going through a breakup and we agreed that breakups are worse than deaths. which isn't true at all but it's something you nod along to when someone who's going through a breakup says it because you want to be a good friend and supportive and blah bitty blah. and they are both losses, yes. but death is something altogether else.

it comes in waves. still. and it's not so much a pain anymore.

it has dulled down into the deepest absence i have ever known.

an absence which actually, somehow, hurts more than the pain. go figure.

0 mwargh.

this is the new word i've just made up. it is, you will note, somewhat derived from this:


as absolutely everything should always be. 

it's a word that describe the sensation of writing about jackie's moods whilst awaiting my next supervision and enduring britain's latest heat wave. and i know, i know, our heatwave is NOTHING compared to what most of ya'll have to deal with BUT: your cinemas have air conditioning and ours don't. so there.

during hot spells, the inside of homes in britain are routinely 20 degrees hotter than it is outside. it is a relief to go out-of-doors. just saying.

i'm writing about jackie's moods and her love of solitude.

i've been feeling (surprise!) somewhat moody and solitudinous as a result.

debo and i had a long chat last night about the connotations of the word "moody", in jackie's case and just in the general case of its application to women.

did you ever see summer magic? the old hayley mills movie where the posh orphaned cousin julia comes to live with them out in the country and hayley sings about posh orphaned cousin julia thinks she's the pink of perfection?


(people! please appreciate that i have brought you from drunk orson welles to disney sweetheart hayley mills!)

that's what i think of when i think of moody women: posh orphaned cousin julia.

btw, fun fact: young oline had major plans to perform a lip synch to "the pink of perfection" in the balmoral elementary student talent show in spring 1989. MAJOR plans. alas, debo and gary plucked up our family and off to atlanta we went. i can't decide if this was a sad loss to humanity (imagine the stories that could've come out of an elementary lip-synch!!) or an act of god which preserved my dignity for just a little longer. in truth, probably a bit of both. 

21 July 2014

0 panic city

today i realized i'd not received a reminder to file a CRUCIAL piece of paperwork that is ESSENTIAL to my staying in england. and because i'd not received the reminder to file, i'd not filed and, because i'd not filed, and because my father was asleep and not answering his phone to remind me that the tax thing we'd filed last month wasn't a tax thing but a notification of off-shore bank accounts, between 12:25 and 12:50 this afternoon, i went into a complete and total deathspiral of doom.

it's moments like this that remind that me that the fact of my being in england is underpinned by a deep and immense terror that something will force me to leave england. be that an act of god, like death of a family member, or an act of my own stupidity, like failure to file a key form. any and all uneasiness about being in england comes back to this in the end.

but some of it (most of it?) is, i realize, self-inflicted.

the dramedy today was fueled by a mistaken belief that the form was due on 30 june. turns out (i think) it wasn't. so all should be fine. and were i another person, a less uptight, perfectionistic person, this would probably be totally normal for me... turning in forms less than four months before the outcome is required.

because i am myself that is not my norm.

i've resisted the urge to email the funding guy at school and ask, "PAUL, IS EVERYTHING GOING TO BE OK?!?!?!" mostly because i couldn't figure out how to word the email without sounding like a loon. but the worry remains. i'ma shove it deep, but it'll remain.

i try to pretend like this is somehow artistically useful. as though it were an element essential to my creative process when, really, let's be real IT IS NOT. it's this, again and again and again and again, on repeat, on a loop...

19 July 2014

0 fringed

i've had an eye infection that has necessitated much staying at home and piddling around the house with a warm compress headbanded to my face. a few days of that and it gets REALLY old, let me tell you. so the other day, desperate to change things up, i grabbed a random box of hair dye i had lying round the house.

it was meant to be ruby. it turned out... interesting. like a darkish brown that, in the light, becomes red with orange streaks. it is the hair equivalent of clothing that glows in the dark. which is fine.

but, as if that weren't change enough, i also decided to tweak my fringe. "tweak"

my whole adult life, i've made fun of the bangs of the woman who played john cusack's girlfriend in high fidelity. like, this has always been the gold standard for how i would never want my bangs to be.

as surely we all know by now- as my life proves on a fortnightly basis- the one way you're guaranteed to wind up doing something is to vow to the heavens that you loathe it and will not. 

and so, guess how my fringe turned out... yup. twee city. 

which is fine. and i'm flattering myself it's actually a cross between john cusack's girlfriend in high fidelity and harper lee, which is- let's face it- twee but also kinda bad ass.

17 July 2014

0 :)

0 inevitably my earlier post led here... FJ: anniversary nostalgia trip: jfk jr and cbk

someone posted something saying it was 15 years since jfk jr and carolyn bessette and lauren bessette died. which, firstly, made me wonder WHERE HAVE THE LAST 15 YEARS GONE?!?!! WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?!?! (um… college, graduate school, work, and a phd, so not too shabby all in all…) and, secondly, sent me down a wormhole of google images, a time-suck i’m trying to justify by turning it into this post. still… 15 years. it all looks so sex & the city, non?

0 15 years

it's been 15 years since jfk jr and his wife and her sister died. which, well, DAMN that makes me feel old.

because their deaths were the first time that i can remember where all my friends saw something kennedy-related and thought of me. it was the summer before college, when we'd graduated and were still hanging out, clinging to our little group in that way that you cling when you know something is so close to ending that you hang on extra-tight. we were somewhere, outside, maybe at a bar, sipping sodas when kj said, when i heard the news, i thought of you. which seemed to me at the time somehow important enough that i remembered. like my raging private habit of kennedy biography reading and kennedy magazine consumption had gone public to some new and strange extent.

she had heard he died and thought of me.

odd that. logical but odd. to be associated that closely with people you do not know in the minds of others.

and, if anything, that just amplifies when you're a writer. so that now, because i've written on them, people think of me when they see justin timberlake or dr. quinn or macaulay culkin. i'm so often forced to think in terms of "what are jackie's referents? how are people thinking of her?" the reverse of that question is "what are mine/yours?" we all have them, famous or no...

one more thing: as it's been 15 years since jfk jr and his wife and her sister died, it's also been 15 years since my first adult decision to grow my hair long. entirely because of this:

0 i know not

how a modern man could wear pants with a crotch flap that generous and not be ashamed.

15 July 2014

0 FJ: a brief, exceptionally shallow historicization of smizing in “gone with the wind”

riddle me this… in gone with the wind: the novel, when scarlett o’hara goes to visit rhett in the yankee horse jail to prostitute herself in order to get the money to pay the taxes on tara (btw, READ THIS BOOK), mitchell writes of o’hara (or hamilton, as i guess she was then) that she was “smiling at him from tip-tilted eyes”:
which, well, WHAT?! Continue reading 

0 cannot. get. this. out. of. my. head

14 July 2014

0 as always, burvil saves the day

i've been at the TS eliot summer school for the last nine days. before that, MK was most delightfully in town. before that, i was at the celebrity conference. before that, there was the upgrade and the fortnight of three conferences and two symposia. and- before that- i was racing round a circuit from memphis to boston to new york over two weeks.

all of which to say, my flat is WRECKED.

my father noted this when we skyped the other evening. he said, whoa. dartar, you're looking a little squalid. eatonspeak for: CLEAN YOUR ROOM. which is what today's for.

which is fortunate as last night i had a panic dream that i'd arranged to have two people from airbnb stay in my flat whilst steven was also visiting, one of whom was catsitting for a friend. fortunately, in the panic, i discovered a portal to a room from burvil's 1980s house which had been secretly grafted onto my flat here in england, so ultimately all was well.

11 July 2014

1 some thoughts on british men

the thing about british men is they look you in the eye.

i realized this yesterday when i had three separate conversations with three different men at the ts eliot school and for a moment with each one of them, i had to look away. because it felt like they were undressing my eyeball. it's intense, this eye contact. and distinctly different from the eye contact of america, i think, though i've always taken that so for granted that i do not remember what that means. there's a slight chance this is limited to the eliot crowd. maybe they're an array of especially intense peerers. but i've noticed it in the last year or so, and it always strikes me as an essentially british trait. i know no other men who look into my eyes that intently when i'm talking about deeply mundane things.

another sweeping generalization... british men walk sooooooooooooo fast. were it not for the intensity of their eye contact, you might think they're trying to get away from you. and i say this as someone who walk at an exceptionally brisk pace as well, so the fact that i have to hurry here speaks to how very quickly they go. perhaps it's because the position of walking is uncomfortable, conflicting as it does with their national need for intense eye contact (hard to stare into the depths of someone's eyeball when they're bobbing along at your side). but it's odd. and happens enough that i'm tempted to make this broad generalization here of oh all british men do that. 

which isn't to suggest that we americans are a nation of eye contact evading saunterers. though we maybe are?! there must be a reason i always suggest long walks for early dates...

09 July 2014

2 soured

i love whiskey sours. 

whiskey sours are a very american thing. 

because my one attempt to order a shirley temple way back in 2013 was so arduous, i've never attempted the whiskey sour in england til last night. 

i felt like we were f. scott fitzgerald in 1920s paris trying to explain a whiskey sour to the barmaid, i said after we used MK's mixologist app to explain to the waitress what it was i wanted. 

then we looked to our immediate left and realized we could've just pointed to the sign beside us- big as day- and said it's like that but with whiskey.

08 July 2014

0 FJ: totally random gossip nostalgia trip: angelina + billy bob edition

i was recently talking to someone (and if this was you, forgive me… there’ve been so many conversations in the last two months, i can’t remember which one was with who!) about the generational problem of selling a book. for example, jackie’s onassis years are vividly remembered by people who were alive then though they’ve subsequently fallen out of the biographical record. there’s a parallel to be drawn here, between jackie’s greek past and angelina jolie’s marriage to billy bob thornton. in the sense that they are both something that was vividly experienced by the people who were alive and watching then, and yet also stories that will be entirely rewritten in retrospect.
jolie’s shift towards humanitarianism is now the key point, not the fact that she was once married to a man a wore a vial of his blood.
people born after 2000 may not even know that detail and it’s unlikely they’ll remember her for it. whilst for people of my generation, we remember. so, in the interest of NEVER FORGETing, let’s take a walk down nostalgia’s lane…

0 wherein i pay £25 for my own dirty clothes

when we were in new york and i was trying to cram all of my crap back into the carry-on i'd brought, a few things had to be bailed out and left with debo. namely a pair of dirty burgundy pants and a romper i had purchased believing it to be a dress.

read: high priority fashions.

as a "surprise", debo decided to send these two items to me in england, hoping they would reach me in time for my birthday (for which i would want to wear a romper??). which was lovely and kind and thoughtful and amazing. though it might've been more so had debo not taken it upon herself to make this her first time mailing me a package in england.

see, in the breakdown of family duties, as anyone will know who has ever received a package from him, garebear is the family mailer. debo does tele-com. i do all things relating my being in england.

so debo went rogue and did her own mailing. again, lovely and kind and thoughtful and amazing, except for the tiny detail of customs. a tiny detail she didn't fill out quite right.

because instead of establishing that she was sending me a package containing my own clothes, something in the way she filled out the form implied these were new clothes. clothes, therefore, entitled to being taxed.

you can imagine my surprise when this surprise box first entered my life via a terribly threatening notice from her majesty's royal mail's customs bureau, informing me that because some delinquent had sent a package with insufficient postage, i was now being forced to cough up £25 (ie. $42.84).

quickly, i called my parents to ascertain this was, in fact, likely the "surprise" they'd been promising for over a month and about whose whereabouts they had been wondering. and also that it contained a dirty pair of pants and a dress that was, sadly, in reality, a piece of clothing about which i've derisively written for the last five years.

pouting over the injustice of having to pay £25 (my weekly grocery budget) for my own clothes, i failed to do so for a solid two weeks. finally, i did and finally i went to pick them up.

the more exciting surprise wound up being the desk chair sitting abandoned outside the post office, which i snapped up and hauled home and which has wound up being amazingly fabulous and absolutely worth the £25 i paid her majesty to get my clothes out of hock.

perspective, perspective, people. it is key. also filling out customs forms right...

07 July 2014

0 i would simply like to direct your attention

to THIS. (god knows how joshua gamson got me here.)

as the convo went between lindear and i...

o: WHAT is this? 
l: !!!!! Is this man going to kill oprah next January??? 
o: he's going to birthday her to death!!
l: “And you will be sad and your life will be very strange until one day you will reach back you hand and say think I can love you too you know yes yes yes I can then I will embrace you and love you to no end and that goes for my lover family and friend” 
o: i mean, given the title is "Oprah Winfrey 61st Surprise Party January 29th 2015: Happy Birthday To Oprah We Love you Honey (The Amazing Life of Our Earth Angel Oprah)" is the quality of the prose a surprise? DID YOU LOOK INSIDE??? i highly suggest you look inside. a 57£ ebook written entirely in capital letters.

0 well

today i explicated a poem for the first time in ten years and emailed jackie's companion's current girlfriend to see if she could hook me up for a chat.

if only i didn't need to read four books by bedtime, that would feel like i accomplished a lot.

oh and i really really need to re-learn to make toast...

03 July 2014

0 randoms

MK's in town. we climbed the monument yesterday and OUCH my calves.

it's full on british summer. sort of. in the mid-70s. which means we're all running around in sundresses pretending like it's actually 99° then shivering at nightfall.

dawson's creek is on netflix for only ten more days. it has become my new life goal to finish the three available seasons in that time.

also, OMG. speaking to the power of writing to make dreams come true, after i wrote that post on li.lo's play yesterday, a friend VOLUNTEERED to accompany me to see it. which saved me from having to beg and/or go alone. so now we have tickets and we're going and i'm praying nightly that it doesn't open and bomb and close before we see the whole spectacle on october 10. fingers crossed.

lastly, thanks to some volunteering i do and because i'm not entirely sure where to put them, there are currently 8 sexual health packets lying on the floor of my flat. which equates to roughly 80 condoms. it's my great fear that i'm going to die without being able to explain the reasons behind this condom collection to my mother and she will, upon arriving in england to cart my corpse back to america, think that, rather than writing, i spent all my time organizing selections of flavored and textured condoms into pink, lightly scented sachets.

01 July 2014

0 jackie onassis @ grand central (emotions via britney spears)

75 JO grand cent 634x970and i realized i’ve just totally glossed over the father leonard letters as though they never happened, but they bring up all manner of biographical/historical/ethical brouhaha so i’ma pretend just a little longer like that’s not a pressing thing we need to discuss.
hey, instead, let’s talk about how grand central is recognizing jackie. and let’s use britney to get in touch with our emotions. Continue reading