Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where the Summer Goes

I own you an apology. Four months of silence (sans my sporadic postings on Tumblr), and suddenly it’s hi! I’m back! I could make the usual excuses: but life got in the way, but the end of the semester became shockingly busy, but my emotions ran on overload, but I focused solely on fiction, all of which would be true...none of which justify. So, I turn to a fast forwarded recap, and promises of a future rich in updates and regularity.

Since March: I finished Sophomore/Junior year of college, gathered yet more pages of convoluted literary criticism to store in a musty folder to slowly disintegrate, thread through periods of bliss and contentment with the small daily rituals of my life, and then sudden plunges of self loathing, fear and despair, clutching to sheets at 3am with tear stained cheeks pressed against sympathetic pillows. I read books, fewer than I’d have liked, and sometimes not the right ones, sometimes not finishing them. I made decisions to quit poisonous affairs and began new ones. Oh, and, I fell in love.

Which is ridiculous, unexpected, and hard (or rather impossibly easy but hard to do well) to write about. It crept up, between weekends spent in bed, conversations without end, drunken confessions at mediocre parties. It took a strange conversation from a stranger from Omegle for me to realize it (he, somehow, recognized my feelings better than I). And it took: nerve wrecking obsessive thought, countless melodramatic reimaginations of the scene of confession (always with a bleak and tragic end), thousands of words written in various journals in panicked blue or red ink, and the incredible boost to clear minded and suddenly optimistic thinking that somehow only plane rides inspire, to finally reveal it. It was terrifying, and, I learned, well worth the pain.

It was the start of summer, then, which was a desperate roller coaster of ups and downs, wavering between constant regret and moments of sudden, convinced ambition. I’m still not sure it’s reached any sort of stability--any moment, tomorrow, this afternoon, a little line from an email, an unexpected phone call could still change absolutely everything. Unlikely, of course, but the structure of my life feels like a frail thin rope, spinning according to the whim of the wind and apt to snap at any moment. This is hardly the lazy days and careless nights of last summer (I suppose nothing can quite replicate that feeling of the first summer in New York), and instead wrought with tensions and deadlines and responsibility, all topped with the constantly looming deadline of August 31: my flight to London for the next three months.

I’m torn between wanting to slow down time, erase every bad decision and instead fully soak in the atmosphere, the luxury of this, before plunging into that other world, and wanting to leave now, today, all the small frustrations and irritations tossed away with the heat and humidity of the city, to gloomy gray skies and old bookshop lined streets, Paris a weekend train ride away. I suppose it hardly matters what I feel--it’s a settled affair, and for now, so is New York.

Anyway! What you can look forward to on the blog, from now on: very likely, a site redesign, or at least clean up, songs & photos & stories & such three times a week (including a much delayed, extensive expose on NYU you may or may not have been awaiting), and my full attention on anything you’d like. Want to ask for advice? Email me: tweexcore at, and let me know if you want the question to remain anonymous (or ask on tumblr). I always adore your tips, suggestions, and comments, especially when I’m reshaping the site toward its absolutely best! As always, comment, subscribe, and recommend at will. I am nothing without you, my wonderful, wonderful readers!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Monday: Home Is Where I'm Alone with You

Edward Shape and the Magnetic Zeros - Home

What do I know about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, or this song? Not much, save that once a friend had it stuck in his head, and sitting across the table on a hot summer’s day, in the safety of the shade but still the oven of the warm air, he performed a surprisingly accurate rendition of it, in the same cracked, country twang as the real singer of the band, drumming the beat with his fingers on the table. Later I heard it played at yoga, somewhere between the strained hold of a warrior pose and the smooth transition into downward dog, and felt this clap of recognition, of pure happiness at the opening whistled melody, and these comforting voices, now no longer a strange private performance but a full song. I still could not recall the name of the band, except that reminded me vaguely of the Magnetic Fields and was overly long.

Later I heard a friend play it while lounging in his cozy Harlem apartment, and when he sang along with the same chorus, the swell of the celebratory cheer, and then trickling came the charming dialogue of the bridge, the sweet strange little narratives accompanied by foot tapping guitars and whistles, I knew that the deed had been done: I had fallen slave to the melody, the infectious good nature of the song, and I would not relent unless I tracked it down and made it my own. And once I had--I fell more and more under its spell. A love song, a two character performance, girl-boy harmonies (but this isn’t the sentiment etched sweetness of Stars or the melt in your ears strawberries & marshmallows of twee bands), country accents and playful strings, and oh, those whistles! How simple, barefoot on a summer night--yes, it’s exactly that, running through expansive & scratchy grass fields, biting into over ripe apples, laughing with linked arms, and falling deeply, deeply in love with you. Just like that.

(PS: yes, I'm absolutely reviving this blog. And back to regularly scheduled postings soon! And expect songs every Monday as well as everything else!)