Faded From the Winter

Let's picture the rest of the day going very well: I get home from work with a finished draft of my syllabus, call Dell and my phone actually works well in my apartment and the Dell person is very nice and helps me to fix my computer right away. Whatever is wrong with the big toe on my left foot fixes itself and I can go to the gym and feel better about myself. I drive to the city and use my VIP ticket, which I will pick up at will call with absolutely no problems, to go in and have a lengthy discussion with Ben Gibbard which results in us swapping phone numbers/e-mail addresses and we stay in close contact and he offers me a really cool job for after I graduate, and I meet all sorts of cool people through this friendship (including Colin Meloy!!!!). So, here's hoping.

I just wrote this poem/song and maybe I like it, but then again maybe I don't. I don't think I have a title yet.

that one time you gave me
an upside down umbrella
and I've been collecting
rain ever since.
I reach my hand in, so
I can always feel a pulse
and my hand's been a
shriveled prune for days now.
you take off my glasses
when you're in the driver's seat
and I'm left trying to
distinguish between all the distortions
coming through the window.

I'll read up on everything
you've ever done and
never feel better.
I'll ignore your presence
and not run very far
I'm pulled back by your tether.

You'll then leave me behind
the wheel, the speed always
increasing, though it's true
the airbag has never failed.
I try to be a boyscout, always
prepared and end up tying a
string of knots with hands
that won't stay idle.
all the time now I'm keeping
an eye onthe clouds, noting
any changes in color and shape
but I still venture out
whenever it starts to pour.

And then I suppose repeat the little chorus part if it's a song.


Bloody Ibiza

In talking to a guy from Britain on-line yesterday, I picked up some more British slang. Turns out, those fuckers can be mean. A new word to add to my global lexicon: chav, which means a variety of things, and inspired an interesting site. Though not as interesting as this one. And here I was thinking that Britons were all tea-slurping, semi-enlightened, non-Bush-voting people who had to deal with problems like having soccer as a national sport and eating terrible food. America was starting to look pretty good at this point. I mean we hate people, but our slang dictionaries don't advocate slaughtering a group of people. Then I read this. In unrelated news, I visited a porn site that had 110 categories! So, the world and the internet are filled with hate, but at least you can also get a bunch of porn filled with lots and lots of lovin'.


"I'm back baby!"

I've discovered that two weeks in a car with your mom is a very long time. And I never imagined saying this (or writing this), but it's good to be back in Dekalb. For a long time now, probably since I was in college, but maybe earlier than that still, there has been some part of my life, era, if you will, that I've felt distanced from. All the pieces, whether determined by my age, geographical location, friendships, etc. haven't all coalesced into one big ball of me in quite some time. I'd look back and at least one of these pieces didn't fit and didn't feel like it was truly a part of my identity, myself. I mention this because on Saturday, in the early evening, I was riding in the car, looking out the window, listening to Transatlanticism when we crossed the state line in a triumphant return to Illinois and all the pieces came together. It was the first time that everything in my life felt like my life in several years, and it was pretty spectacular. I also thought how glad I am to have been born and bred in various places in Illinois, especially after driving through a bunch of crazy states on a not-entirely-voluntary trip.

Some highlights from the voyage (in no particular order other than when I think of them):
1) I met Ben Gibbard!!!!!!!! I will write of this further when I will hopefully have prolonged conversation with him at the Revenge of the Bookeaters this Thursday.
2) I saw Death Cab for Cutie at the Greek Theatre at Berkeley, along with Mates of State and Spoon!!!!
3) I discovered that both Mountain and Pacific time zones follow Eastern time for most television programming (something I have always wondered about).
4) I can now say I've been to San Francisco and to City Lights bookstore.
5) I visited Hyde Street Pier and paid 25 cents to light a little white candle (see "Grace Cathedral Hill" by the Decemberists.
6) I saw Little Miss Sunshine.
7) I saw a horse's penis.
8) I drove by the studio in Sausalito where Fleetwood Mac recorded Rumours.
9) I visited John Steinbeck's hometown, Salinas.
10) I visited Sundance's hometown, Park City.
11) I learned many interesting things at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.
12) I wrote a poem.*

Highlights of being back inDekalb:
1) Seeing friends and my fella at the Annex.
2) Eating Portillo's.
3) Having I-haven't-done-anything-remotely-sexual-in-two-weeks sex.

It's good to be home.

*We Ride the Clouds

With handfuls each of
Montana and Washington
you're looking out to
the horizon for a mushroom cloud,
confusedly asking me
about a man called Grimes.
I reply: I can't tell you
when it's happy hour in Bangkok;
I'll always let you know the
whereverweare time.
the thought spoken aloud,
the rest jostling around
up there to be put to
paper for you:
I should be having sex right now.
I need to read more Thompson.
I have only enough money to
be a partial completist.
I think it's too early to say
certain words, but I kind of want to
and am not sure if that makes
me feel worried or wonderful.

with an unrecognized quote
and an unfinished hangman,
I had a little hope, a possible drizzle
ending two years of draught
(after three months of raindancing).
If only the gods had responded earlier,
you think; we would've had more time
and I wonder if it's a meritless concern,
if we'll have time enough.
In dreams, in night and day,
I don't stray, pass up offers
wished for so intensely and
I think that you have made
the bitter of bittersweet
retreat to the dusty corners of
the attic on my shoulders.
the thoughts not yet uttered
but repeated in this echo chamber:
I want you here.
This place would shine bright in my view
if only you were in the vicinity.

With thoughts twirling and feet stumbling,
I am attempting to fit the pieces together
even though I've lost the top of the box
with the picture. And maybe the thought
comes that I'm doing this blind
but you'll be guiding my hand
and it's put to paper, but quickly targeted
as overdone. I realize it's always been
a gut feeling and my ruminations,
spoken aloud or not, today, tomorrow, or never,
written in a vaguely cryptic manner,
will never all reach you the traffic's bad
from synapse to synapse to mouth.
Instead I'll kiss you and tell you
how you remind me of those
two that are at the top, you
know the ones I mean.


Yellow Butterfly

An album refers to a collection of songs, not a medium!!!!!! Aaarrrgghhh!! I forgot about this one when listing my pet peeves, but this is a big one for me. I absolutely hate it when people lament the death of an album (and they're actually talking about records rather than the state of music today). An album can be on a record, or an 8-track, or a cassette, or a CD, etc. Albums have been around for quite some time, are around today, and will continue to be around in the future (unless you listen to the doomsayers who predict that mp3s will effectively kill the music industry as we know it today, and c'mon those people are just bored and wishing to predict disaster). The term album is not a synonym for record or vinyl. There are very many baby boomers who cannot make this distinction, who pretend to know what they're talking about when it comes to the '60s and that era's music, and yet cannot tell the difference between common terms used to describe collections of music. I used to think that I was born in the wrong generation, I should've lived through that era, etc. Then I realized that it would basically be the same as living in this generation except with a better soundtrack. Some people like to refer to me as a hippie. I am not. Because, my god, most hippies were absolutely fucking idiots. Okay, enough ranting. And not that this has to do with anything, really, but a very good Simpsons quote that has been going around in my head while writing: "It's one of those campy '70s throwbacks that appeals to Generation Xers." "We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little." So maybe W was just catching up on his Simpsons.


Country House

I went to the bookstore today to write down the books I'll need to look up online for better prices. And I checked to see if the book I ordered for my students was in. It was, and the little tag underneath had my name under the Professor space! I thought it was pretty cool. It'll cost them $52.65. Sorry students. I really need to get around to making a syllabus for my classes so that I can make that book worth the fifty bucks. As per a conversation last night, I've been thinking about the little things that make me happy (it really doesn't take much at all), and I've decided to compile a short list of the things I can think of right now that make me grin, and most likely cause me to jump up and down a bit.

Things that make Jill happy:
1. Discovering the identity of a good song
2. Great America (okay, not so little a thing, but it does make me ridiculously happy)
3. Free samples
4. Waving to people, especially when they wave back
5. Coming home at 5am, turning on the TV, and Bosom Buddies is on.
6. Leaves walking with me
7. When the count for the number of great songs featured in the preview for Little Miss Sunshine reaches 3 (!)
8. The preview for Little Miss Sunshine