Pillow Talk

When I was younger, it was all the rage to have one of those frilly little mosquito nets over your bed. They turned an otherwise ordinary bed into this magical kingdom of fairy princess awesome-ness. I had one, the kind with the velvety white trim on the ends that I would play with obsessively (I have this weird compulsion to pet soft things… velvet, teddy bears, the blunt ends of my hair. It drives my mother insane). My bed became my own little castle on a cloud.

Even now, little has changed. Though I long ago discarded the cheap mosquito cocoon, my bed is and will forever be a sacred place.

My bed is where I spend the most free time, it’s a place that sucks me in and always makes me comfortable. It’s fluffy and familiar and pretty. When I first started moving all over the place and feeling a little more out of my element, I was struggling to find a definition for home. Was San Diego my home? Boston? New York? My laptop, which is arguably where I spend the majority of my time? I had a lot of conflicting opinions… Some people thought that home was where I grew up, some argued home was where my family is. I tended to think that home (which, it should be noted, has little or nothing to do with a physical house) was more of a concept, something I could take with me wherever I went, even if I couldn’t pack it up all neatly in one of my many boxes.

To me, home is transitory. But my bed is as close to a physical representation of home as I can get. My bed is the single thing that can make any plain room look like it’s mine. I’d like to think that I can take the connection even further… my bedding (which I change out every couple of years for a fresh “breakover”) kinda represents my personality. It’s double sided (striped on one side, flowery weirdness on the other) like my innate Gemini, and it’s all earthy, natural tones. Blue, teal, green, tan, brown… I’d like to think it’s a nice contrast to the bright bubble gum pink it was before.

The green in my bedding is the most important part. I try to surround myself with green because it makes me feel happy and because it makes me think and more thoughts=better writing. Before (with the pink), I was spastic, stressed and high-strung. And though my commitments doubled, the greenery makes me more collected and reflective. I love having a nicely made bed. No matter how cluttered my room or my life, if my bed is neat and tide and put together, then my head is too. My bed is where I do my best thinking.

As such, I should also mention that when I say my bed is a “sacred place,” I also mean that it is a chaste place. There is no hooking up in my beloved haven. You know how people tell you not to watch TV in your “sleep place” because it messes with your REM cycles and whatnot? Well, I can’t be hooking up in my “think space.” Mixing sex and thoughts never really works out; it just makes for dirty thoughts. Plus, I can’t be bothered to clean my sheets.

Insomnia Poetry

I started writing more poetry during the excruciatingly late nights in the news room. While I waited for edits, I brain barfed uncensored poetry into gmail drafts and lazily sent them off to friends and critics. Some are more eloquent than others, some more passionate than others. Some rhyme, most don’t. What I could extract from my gmail “Sent” folder is included below.

What If
Insomnia and loneliness dance through my veins,
And I let them permeate my brain, let them taint my thoughts.
I watch as my potential lives play like movies across the backs of my eyelids.
All the parallel universes that couldawouldashoulda existed… There as a reminder of everything I never did.
All the forks in the road, all the ultimatums, all the conversations I never had reclaim some remnant of reality there in my 2am brain spaz.
I carry on both sides of the conversation…
Things I wish I had the wit to come up with without forethought,

Things I hardly admit to myself,

Things I wish I had the guts to say rather than feverishly type them into a document that still exists only on my desktop and in my mind.
Words you know, but only because you know me. Words I never could say.
Because having that conversation in real life would mean relinquishing my control over the outcome.
Shouldawouldacoulda…
Here, in my half-lucid not-quite-dream world, I dance the tango with two dangerous words.
And let the possibility of what could have been color my darkened room.

Toes

I’m all wild
Red hair and leopard prints
Independence and big talkin’

I “dig” my own holes
And tread on your pretty little toes
With my garishly painted, toe-ring studded ones

Sorry if I offended you, dearest Napoleon
Sorry if you met your match
I’ll fight logic with emotions
I’ll fight your tactics with my words
And win

But winning is really losing, isn’t it
This isn’t litigating here
With you, toe to toe

I just scare you off
God forbid I not be some prim Southern belle
But mayonnaise with Jell-o?
Gross
And debutante balls?
Archaic displays of long-lost virginities
Complete with frills and baby’s breath

I’ll stick to my beer
And my outspoken, underdeveloped opinions
Sorry I scare you away, kid
But this isn’t the 1940s

I’ll let you let me be the girl that got away
But I promise you, Ace
I will not go quietly

A Taste of Fall

It’s like savoring a childhood ice cream cone,
when I watch the northern sun set.
After 72 hours of cloudy-with-afternoon-showers,
it’s a long overdue apology from Mother Nature.

“Sorry for the messed up makeup,” she says,
“the never knowing what to wear outside.
Sorry for the mud-stained boots, the chill,
the loads of wet, moldy laundry, the pneumonia.

Just sit with me a while, friend,
And enjoy your colorful consolation.
Pour some hot cocoa, pull up a seat,
and share some silent, sweet conversation.”

And I sit there, cross-legged and cold,
and stare into my her eyes a while.
I pull my Snuggie in around my goose-bumped legs,
and share a stolen moment with my new frenamie.

The conversation transitions seamlessly,
from tangerine to peach to pomegranate.
In the most delicious, sherbety goodness,
that my eyes have ever tasted.

And then she fades away too soon into the black,
the gray, the shades of winter cold.
And I’m left with a lingering fruity sweetness,
clashing with my hot-turned-luke-warm chocolate.

My Life in Lists

If I ever had the guts,
to just up and quit everything
and write a memoir,
it might not be that interesting…

Probably a female angsty
version of some Salinger story.

But I’d call it: “My Life in Lists.”
Because I have the annoying habit
of breaking everything down into
bite-sized lists.

I blame my mom.

Word documents fill my desktop…
Bucket lists, Christmas lists,
lists of boyfriends and books to read.
Ideas for a story, words I think are pretty.
Lists, lists, lists.

Somehow, writing a list feels productive,
organized, constructive…
when I know its just procrastinating,
not doing the things actually on the list.

But it looks so pretty. All the check-less boxes,
There’s so much damn potential.

Sometimes, I put things on the list
like “Wake up” and “Breathe air”
just so I can feel the satisfaction
of putting a tick in that tiny, perfect square.

If I ever die and someone gets hold of Lloyd
(that’s my laptop),
they could dissect my whole personality,
my hopes and fears and dreams,
from the contents of my desktop.

Thought Soup

Sometimes, in our instant-message society,
The words we mean to say become scrambled
Like a Denny’s breakfast (noms).
I try to fill the awkward silences with
Gilmore Girls-esque brain barf, unscensored nothings.
And my hands come alive, dancing.

I always speak with my stupid hands.

As a writer, my whole life revolves around words,
All the whos and whoms and whichs and thats.
I explain away the unexplainable,
And my head spins with song lyrics and stories.

I so seldom stop to listen to them, though.
I mean really listen.

I’m a Gemini, through and through.
There are so many different ‘Marians’:
The tomboy Marian, the writer Marian
The sister, the daughter, the scholar
The friend, the baby girl, the child.
I hardly know who I am, anymore.

I’m not comfortable sitting still and making peace with myself,
Whichever version of myself myself really is.

“I have so many problems,”
I say while sitting in a lonely newsroom at 3am,
Turning my psychological thought soup
Into sloppy, haphazard poetry.

No edits, I tell myself.
Let the stream of consciousness run its course,
Eroding away my sense of comfort.

Heck, maybe this is me:
Half finished thoughts, strung together.
All the pieces
With emotion and 3am logic.
(Whatever logic there is at 3am)

Eeaazzyy Livin’

“Summertimeee and the livin’ is eeaazzyy..”

Oh what a fantastic summer this has been. In a recent conversation with my mother, I said that my life is defined by my summers. I always have fantastic vacations, learning opportunities and personal growth. Honestly, I think oftentimes, I learn more during my free, lazy summers than I ever could in a classroom. Summers are necessary for personal health and everyone should take 3 month breaks from the rest of your life. It gives you a mini sobatical to reevaluate who you are, where you are and where you’re going.

A brief summary of my past few summers…

2005: Hiked the Grand Canyon, learned field hockey, started high school

2006: Read a record number of books

2007: Spent the summer at Brown University, began to establish my opinions and political views, decided I wanted to be a writer

2008: Went to Cancun, bonded with family, saw baby turtles

2009: graduated high school, experimented with religions, learned love

And then there’s this glorious summer. I had even more time this year to play around and learn the ins and outs of myself. But regardless of the extra time, every moment was important and served me.

This wonderful summer, I finished my first year of college, I dragged myself around Europe and fell in love with Paris. I grew closer with my mother and father on two separate, but equally wonderful trips. This summer, I turned 18 and walked on 1600 degree hot coals. I realized that sometimes the heart doesn’t break because its stronger than I am. This wonderful summer, I embarked on a commited love affair with myself and learned the empowerment that can come from honoring that relationship. This summer, I literally tackled fears and weaknesses and taught my baby brother a little about what I call “crazy love.” I watched my writing get bashed on public blogs and had bylines butchered (which sucked). However, I also was reminded of just how powerful words are when mine, however brutal, made an international celebrity throw a hissy fit. This summer, I realized that I have a huge family and that “home” is a concept that I can carry with me, rather than a physical place. I wrote tons of letters and dared to wonder “what if…” This summer, I chopped some bangs and created a new, polished look for myself. I set my sights on law school and have renewed my commitment to myself.

Thank goodness for summers and for the lessons they teach us. And here’s to a wonderful sophomore year. Already, my schedule is filling up with Kappa recruitment, newspaper budget meetings (I’m inside editor!) and jobs in the Journalism lab. There are clubs and commitments and fun and festivities and I’m so thrilled to back in the mess. No one ever crooned that fall semester livin’ is “eeaazzyy,” but its sure to be a stress-and-fun filled 3 months. Can’t wait!

Random Observation… Email Etiquette

Ever noticed that in email conversations, the responder tends to mimic the style of the initial email? They take note of whether the address was to a full name (i.e. Ms. Daniells) or first, they mimic the language and conversation style, they even often copy the salutation at the bottom of the email (i.e. Sincerely, Best, Loyally, etc.).

I guess in this hyper-connected internet age, that’s the responder’s way of picking up on ‘body language.’ Only, instead of observing one’s physical body, they study the body of an email.

Like I said, random observation…

Ventfest: Which Came First?

As a person between the ages of 16 and 24, the question, “What are you studying?” is a given in almost any conversation. Though I’m proud to relay my commitment to journalism, I often have to deal with subsequent (unsolicited) opinions about how the media is ruining our society.

And maybe it is.

I mean, whether it’s on cable TV, video games, written articles or news broadcasts, it’s undeniable that there is an increase in violence, sexuality, drug use, leftish values, even vampires.

It’s there. And my outwardly opinionated counterparts seem to think that that misogynistic, violent material is corrupting the impressionable, innocent minds of our nation’s youth.

But ponder this: Which came first, the range-free, organic chicken or the hormone-“enriched” egg?

The world is ch-ch-ch-changin’. The chicken, the eggs, the increased earthquakes throughout the San Andreas fault… Most of all, values are changing. People no longer court lovers or drink iced tea on their front porches. Instead, young lovers escape to make out behind the bleachers or hook up in the back seat of the movie theater.

It’s a different world, nowadays.

And venting aside, my (implied) question remains: Which came first, the crazed out media or the crazed out media consumers?

Note that I speak mostly for print journalism…

But regardless, “the media” is first and foremost a business. And as such, it needs circulation and advertisements and readership. In order to attain that, it needs readers.

Short and sweet, media needs readers to survive. So, naturally, they cater to what they feel the consumers want and demand.

So again…which came first, the crazed out media or the consumers demand for crazed out media?

Who’s corrupting whom?

My grandmother, though she knows I’m a writer, insists on bashing mainstream media as a left-wing corruptive evil. Instead she reads the local Catholic publication (which readily informs readers that birth control is the new soma and is turning society’s young women into overweight baby killers with hormonal imbalances and unfixable PMS. Whatever).

And my grandpa (her husband) recently criticized our local paper because he didn’t deem any of the A1 stories “front page-worthy.” He was of the opinion that the front page be war news and world issues and death. Instead, the editor had interspersed those stories throughout the A section and included more “fluffy, human interest” pieces on the front page.

So it seems that when the paper decided to feature stories that highlighted the good of the public, rather than the death tolls, my grandfather objected. He wanted the numbers and tolls to be the front page focus, rather than human interest.

So which came first?

Ultimately, no media source is completely rid of bias. Decisions must be made, stories must be cut.

And I might even argue that no consumer is completely void of interest in the CSI-esque world that the media provides is. It’s a give-and-take relationship.

Ultimately, the media isn’t perfect. It can’t be. By nature of the fact that it’s a business and is run my mere mortals, no such organization exists. Papers are leftist (or, in some cases, severely misinformed and conservative) and that’s basically just an assumed fact.

But so what?

The media informs the country as a business. It makes no claims (that I know of) to be 100% truthful. The burden to find the truth instead lies in the hands of our consumerist public. Pick up a paper, read, and challenge. Plleeeeasseee challenge it. Think critically. And then go online, go to the source, do your own research. And figure it out for yourself.

Our nation’s media may be biased. But our society is ignorant.

Which came first? I don’t know and I honestly don’t care. Both need fixing.

Ventfest: Bad Editing

Please, fellow journalists, don’t take on the job of editor if you’re going to re-word my stuff and leave sentences incomplete.

Especially when we were SUPPOSED to split the byline since I don’t actually live in Boston, so how could I interview students?

Thanks for crediting me with your crappy syntax and grammar. Oy!

…[still, a fun article to research. Particularly because I don’t agree with polyamory. But hey, to each their own. Live and let live, right?]

http://huntnewsnu.com/2010/07/a-whole-lotta-love/

Ideas for writing: Road trips

You may have noticed from my Bucket List post that I’m a little behind on my driving… stuff. Technically, I was taught to drive by a boyfriend when I was 14. But I never really got around to getting my license (for a variety of reasons, all somewhere rooted in lack of communication with my parents). Now that I’ve been driving a little bit more, I love the freedom. The car is probably one of the only places in the world (except maybe a rock concert) where I can’t hear my own thoughts. And that’s really a blessing. I’m schizophrenic sometimes (all the time), I swear. There’s always some music playing. Oftentimes, two different songs in different ears. I have full fledged conversations with myself. I’m psycho.. I know.

Moving on, driving is a wonderful feeling and lately I’ve been feeling the urge to steal my daddy’s car and take off on a road trip with a girlfriend. Turns out Sears auto center is actually hosting a program where they select 20-something teams to go on 9 predetermined routes all over the U.S. and write/record/photograph their experiences.

In some cruel twist of fate, I don’t qualify for the competition. But my mom does, and she’s auditioning with an old colleague to drive any of the nine routes. I’d be very envious if she got the opportunity but excited, too. Here’s the link to Sears’ site: http://www.exploringmyamerica.com/

Great opportunity, right?

A little (more) background on me… I initially wanted to be a travel writer ala Elizabeth Gilbert. Don’t know how practical that is now, but the love of travel still stuck with me. And while there are thousands of places across the globe that I want to see in my lifetime, I’ve only ever visited about 30 of the states. How cool would it be for some winter vacation to just pack up a sleeping bag, Christmas money and all of Taylor Swift’s music and just jet off on an adventure? My head would finally be quiet for a whole week 🙂

Poem: Ode to my morning paper

Here’s to you, old friend.
Here’s to our mornings together
	Latte in hand, feet propped, reading.
Here’s to my black-stained hands, my saliva fingers,
	Evidence of our daily love affair.
Here’s to the quick, finite snip of scissors,
	My sad, hopeless attempt to keep you with me a little while longer,
	Or to shyly share you with others.
	You don’t mind, do you?
Here’s to your limp, lifeless form.
	Your words, so timely when I read them, are never timeless
	And they yellow and fade with age.
	Only archives can save you now.
Oh, you.
	You bring life to the dead and left-wing truth to the people.
Biased you!
	I read between your lines.
	I made you.
	I know.
But I don't mind,
	Like it even.
        We look at each other and share knowing smirks.
Here’s to us, good friend,
And our happy future together.