!!

I got an email about a week ago wishing me a Happy Anniversary with¬†WordPress, so I thought I’d check it out again ūüôā I haven’t looked at this blog since class ended last spring, but funny enough, I’m actually in a creative writing class this semester. ¬†I adore it. ¬†I’ve only had class for two weeks but it’s just so enjoyable so far – we all sit in a big circle and read and discuss poetry, and it’s lovely. ¬†I’m so happy to finally be in a place where I can truly embrace and grow my creativity (college!!!). ¬†So much has changed this past school year. ¬†Never before have I been so interested and truly passionate about all of my classes – being an art student is so great, and even though I practically live in the studio, it’s worth it because for the first time in my life I’m working at things I love and really want to excel at. ¬†Anyway, with that sappy tangent out of the way… we’ve already had to write 5 poems for creative writing (over 2 weeks! ¬†a lot!) and this one is my favorite.

\\\

we arrive at the park, early

the sky just barely tangerine

warming bare shoulders

casting gold light on canvas tents,

and catching in the hair of the city

as we walk in silence

 

I feast on the easy beauty of the market

honey stacked tall in jars

tomato patchwork

kids splashing in the fountain.

she always taught me to appreciate quiet

but smiles as i ramble on about the things

I find beautiful

 

the sun is higher now and our bag swells full

we stop for popsicles,

our favorite stand from when I didn’t even reach her knees

cantaloupe and strawberry today

we enjoy them in silence

 

now i’m exactly 365.9 miles away

I strain my voice

to tell her about the beauty in my day,

the pink of the strawberries and the golden honey

but silence over the phone

is never the same.

///

ok that is all. i don’t think anyone follows me anymore that will even see this but that’s ok i really just wanted to write this lil thing out just for me because i’m feeling extra thankful today and i’ve also never written a poem that i’ve genuinely liked before ~

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connie converse

Songs by Connie Converse occasionally find their way onto my girlpool or Frankie Cosmos spotify radio. ¬†Her voice is unlike anything else I really listen to – I thought that it sounded¬†old. ¬†Not old as in outdated exactly, but old as in like the inflection of her voice. ¬†You know how when you’re listening to clips of radio or television from the mid-20th century and the people just sound totally different than they do now? ¬†Not necessarily in their word choice but just in the quality of their voices? ¬†That’s how Connie Converse sounded. ¬†Which I thought was interesting because I just assumed that she was some current musician that just happened to have this awesome, “old voice”.
But then last night she popped up on a playlist of one of the artists I follow, and I decided to look this lady up.  And wow, her story is way more interesting than I was expecting it to be.
It turns out that her music WAS from the mid-20th century – which explains why it sounds so “old”. ¬†The only records of her music is an album, “How Sad, How Lovely” recorded in Gene Deitch’s kitchen in the 1950’s. ¬†All of her songs are personal and kind of haunting; all about a woman scorned in one way or another. ¬†It didn’t attract any record labels and she really never had any public performances aside from appearing on The Morning Show once. Being very introverted, she mostly just played for friends and at small, intimate gatherings, and she never made music her career.
She eventually moved to Michigan where she was the Managing Editor for a journal. ¬†However, once that journal left Michigan and moved to Yale, Connie was depressed and burnt out. ¬†She told family and friends that she wanted to make a new life somewhere else. ¬†One of her letters to family/friends read, “Let me go. Let me be if I can. Let me not be if I can‚Äôt. […] Human society fascinates me & awes me & fills me with grief & joy; I just can’t find my place to plug into it.”
In the August of 1974, she packed up her Volkswagen Beetle and drove away, never to be seen again.
Wow. ¬†Crazy ending to that story, isn’t it? ¬†The family hired a private investigator but they’ve never discovered where she went. ¬†They suspect that she took her own life, but honestly, who knows? ¬†She could still be around today, at age 91. ¬†I wonder if she is? ¬†Maybe she’s one of those rare cases of¬†Dissociative fugue and is living a totally new life under a new identity. ¬†Maybe she left the USA and is living in some obscure country.
Whatever ended up happening, she certainly left behind a great legacy of music as possibly the very first artist of the singer-songwriter genre.

ps: listen to it

mothers day

My mom is the coolest person I know. ¬†Honestly, if I could be 1/2 as cool as she is one day I would be¬†happy. ¬†She’s just had some really interesting experiences.
At 17, she left her small Pennsylvania town and spent 6 months in India as an exchange student and then another 6 months traveling solo throughout the middle east and Europe – traveling alone as a woman is basically guarenteed to be dangerous and sketchy (sad right?) but she managed to work her way out of every bad situation. Back in the states, as soon as she graduated high school, she hitched a ride down to California to live with a boy she met at a hostel in italy. ¬†Together with him and one of his friends, they road tripped through central america for 3 months, all the way to panama and back. ¬†They mostly stayed on the coast so that the guys could surf, and my mom would read on the beach. ¬†Once they were back in California my mom only stayed with him for about another year before realizing he was a jerk and breaking up with him. ¬†She was also tired of shitty jobs in restaurants and factories and whatnot, so she went to UC Davis and got her degree in horticulture, as well as meeting my dad. ¬† She proposed to him and they went backpacking in yosemite for their honeymoon. ¬†She’s worked as a chef on a sailboat, as a beekeeper, and designed gardens for the davis botanical garden. ¬†She’s a feminist that doesn’t give a fuck about what other people think and she’s been a great role model for me growing up (still is). ¬†Basically she’s a badass, free-spirited independent lady who’s done some super cool things in her day and I aspire to be more like her. ¬†Happy mothers day.

going to college as a hot mess

Honestly so confused about this whole college thing. ¬†I feel like I need to take a whole day off and just dedicate it to getting my shit together about what the heck is going to happen this fall. ¬†I think that I’m already supposed to be signed up for orientation but I haven’t and apparently all the dates are full and my Miami account isn’t working sooo not entirely sure what to do. ¬†They have to let me into an orientation, right? ¬†I mean, how could they be full…??? ¬†All of the freshman HAVE to go so they really should’ve made enough space for everyone? ¬†I guess I’ll just call them on monday and figure that out.

And roommates. Now that whole situation is the worst. ¬†Kind of. ¬†Since I committed to Miami 2 days before the option to request a certain person as a roommate was closed, I didn’t find someone to room with. ¬†So I’m going random. ¬†Which I was a little worried/upset about at first, but now I’m actually pretty excited (/slightly terrified). ¬†I’ll be living in the arts dorms so at least there’s a pretty good chance that my roomie and I will be at least a little similar, right? ¬†As long as they don’t talk to much or try to kill me in my sleep, I’m sure we’ll get along great. ¬†Except I won’t know who I’ll be living with until LATE JULY. ¬†Dear god. ¬†I can’t wait that long.

Also what does one even bring to college?  Do I need a lamp?  Are community showers gross enough to need flip flops for?  Do I have too many sweaters?  The only thing I have for my dorm so far is some really cute lil things to hang on the wall and a couple of mugs.

That is all.  Just tryna get my shit together.

satire

I accidentally made this really long, so sorry about that.  there were just so many things to sass about

Every morning Bruce’s alarm goes off at 5:30 sharp, waking him for his secretarial job at the big ad agency downtown.  A competitive position, Bruce considered himself lucky to have snagged it, and although he’d like to think that his college degree had some play in the decision, he knows that most of it was his physical appearance Рafter all, no powerful woman in this city would be seen with an ugly secretary; that’s just plain embarrassing.  
And so Bruce wakes up bright and early each morning, giving himself enough time to primp and prepare himself for a long day of subordinance at the office.  His face routine probably takes the most time, involving a regimen of anti-aging, anti-wrinkle creams that he applies liberally to his 25 year old skin (because it’s never too early to start fighting the aging process, as his father would say), followed by an expensive foundation to try and hide the fact that he, like every other human, has pores and the occasional imperfection.  After that he spends a solid 15 minutes painstakingly contouring his face in an attempt to gain cheekbones like Kyle Kardashian, and then of course he fills in his perfectly manicured brows, trying to achieve the popular silhouette that all the successful men seem to have.  Finally looking somewhat presentable, Bruce moves on to his closet where his self-confidence takes its daily nose dive.  
None of his expensive tailored suits seem to fit quite right… These pants don’t fit like they used to, he worries; and this shirt makes me look so fat, what is wrong with me?? He tries on outfits and then promptly removes them after staring critically at himself in the mirror, tearing his body apart for all of its flaws.  Ever since he was a little boy the idealized man was all he ever saw in the media… those perfectly-thin-yet-muscled men with airbrushed skin and long legs; the kind of men that were in every movie and in every single commercial, using their sexuality to try and sell things like beer and sports cars to the women.  The worst of all were the Victor’s Secret models, marching across that runway with their perfect bodies in their scandy little silk boxers.  Women expected men to look like that, but in reality, very few men had bodies like the photoshopped Victor’s Secret models.  But that’s something that the women just wouldn’t accept, shaming men for their realistic body types, driving some to extreme diets, over-exercising, and even eating disorders.  

Finally dressed and made up, Bruce grabs a handful of almonds and some lemon water and heads off to work. ¬†As usual, even though it‚Äôs not yet 9 am, he‚Äôs met with the persistent cat calls and crude comments of women huddled at street corners, some of them even getting aggressive when he ignores them. ¬†He feels much safer once he‚Äôs at the office, but that‚Äôs because he knows to avoid the receptionist woman who always tries to take a swipe at his ass and calls him ‚Äúsweetcheeks‚ÄĚ. ¬†He tried to file a sexual harassment complaint once to the HR lady, but she just told him that ‚Äúgirls will be girls‚ÄĚ and left it at that.

Bruce spends his day filing, answering calls, and running errands for his boss, Lindsey. ¬†Lindsey likes Bruce, but she laughed in his face when he came to her asking for a raise so that he would get paid just as much as his coworker, Alice. ¬†Afterall, they do the same exact things under the same job title, but ‚Äúshe‚Äôs a woman so obviously she deserves to be paid more‚ÄĚ. ¬†¬†However, Bruce secretly dreams that one day he could be on the creative team and making decisions and truly contributing instead of just being on the sidelines, but he knows that that‚Äôs unlikely to happen, being a man in a woman‚Äôs world.
At the end of the day Bruce walks home, his finger resting on the trigger of his mace spray just in case. ¬†It‚Äôs dangerous to walk the city streets as a man once the sun sets – there are always women just waiting to prey on a man with his guard down, taking their bodies for themselve. ¬†Rape is far too common, but Bruce doesn‚Äôt even see the point in reporting it if it was to happen to him, because he knows that he‚Äôll just be blamed for dressing too promiscuously and ‚Äúasking for it‚ÄĚ. ¬†So he chooses to walk fast and hold his mace at the ready.
Once he’s home Bruce likes to work out and eat a small spinach salad to keep his figure in check.  He enjoys television, but it annoys him that women always have the leading roles.  It seems like the men are only there half the time for brief comic relief or to look sexy, but oh well, that’s how the world is.  However, there’s an election coming up so he enjoys watching the debates, especially since the first male candidate is running this year!  Bruce and many other men around the country, especially his fellow meninists, are strong supporters of Henry Cables, who preaches that he’ll finally give men an equal voice, close the wage gap, and try to bring more gender equality to a female-dominated society.  Henry is leading the nomination for the democratic ticket, but Bruce worries that his republican competitor, the brash Danika Trump, will end up winning the election.  Danika has the support of many of the women in the country, especially the white conservative ones who fear losing their power to any minority group.  Bruce hates Danika Рespecially the way she objectifies men and torments other candidates on the appearances of their husbands.
Bruce hopes that Henry will win and make history as the first male president of the USA. ¬†Growing up, Bruce was always disheartened when the majority of people he learned about in history were women. ¬†The president‚Äôs song the 5th grade class had to memorize and perform? ¬†All women. ¬†The report on an influential scientist in the 20th century? ¬†All women. ¬†However, there was a small 3-page excerpt with a tiny photograph and everything in his American History textbook about the men‚Äôs suffrage movement, so that was nice at least. ¬†Bruce went to college with hopes that he could one day make history and elevate men to the level of women, but despite all of his hard work and efforts in class, the women still got most of the professor’s attention. ¬†And even with graduating in the top of his class, Bruce was unable to compete with women with lesser academic success when looking for a job, so he had to settle with being a secretary. ¬†At least he came out of school with an education – many of his friends went to college simply searching for a ‚ÄúMr. Degree‚ÄĚ, and usually dropped out to get married to some rich woman and raise the kids when she continued on in the workforce. ¬†
Bruce flips off the TV once ‚ÄúKeeping up with the Kardashians‚ÄĚ comes on. ¬†He‚Äôs not up to seeing what new fashion or dieting trend Kyle is promoting. ¬†Instead, he goes to bed, praying that one day his future sons will have the same rights as his future daughters. ¬†

04/29/16

Today I had the awesome opportunity to attend the first annual Saint Louis Women’s Leadership Conference, held at the Edward Jones building. ¬†Myself, three friends, and a ton of other girls from high schools around Saint louis all gathered to listen to a¬†bunch of inspiring,¬†powerful female entrepreneurs, from the founder of Build A Bear to the owner of Saint Louis Surge to a video from Ellie Kemper… it was amazing. ¬†Not gonna lie, I was a bit apprehensive before attending this because I thought it was going to be a series of near-identical cheesy “girl power” speeches, but it was nothing like that (well maybe a little but not in a bad way). ¬†All of these women were so unique and distinct in their backgrounds and experience and in the message they preached. ¬†Overall the whole day, starting at 7:30 and ending at 1:30, was enlightening and inspiring, but a few points stuck out in particular.
Khalia Collier was probably my favorite speaker of the day. ¬†At 28, she solely owns and manages the Saint Louis Surge basketball team, a job in a primarily male industry. ¬†My favorite thing she talked about was persistence in reaching for what you desire. ¬†She said that “No means maybe and maybe means yes”. ¬†If someone tells you no, you can’t just give up. ¬†Be persistent – obviously not annoying, but keep on following up and putting yourself out there until hopefully the no turns into a maybe and therefore a yes.
I also really liked what Maxine Clark had to say about powerful leaders Рthat they have a vision for the future that other people also want to reach; that other people will want to work towards.  Being a leader is really a collective effort, involving lots of collaboration with everyone involved in a business or movement or whatever it may be.
But anyways this is going to get boring and rambly so this is just a lil synopsis of what I’m taking away from this day..
You don’t have to be a people pleaser/doormat. ¬†Take on things that you’re actually passionate about and have time for. ¬†Don’t fear saying no/not pleasing everyone. ¬†Don’t compare yourself to others. ¬†You don’t have to do everything. ¬†Do what you decide to do well, though. ¬†Don’t half-ass anything, but don’t shoot for perfection because that doesn’t exist. ¬†And have some confidence in yourself because you’re a badass woman that will definitely¬†make mistakes but that’s OK because you’re not going to go anywhere without some mistakes. If confidence isn’t coming naturally to you, recognize that and then fake it. ¬†It’ll come in time. ¬†Do what you love. ¬†Be unapologetically¬†genuine.¬†¬†Recognize and own your errors. ¬†Go listen to some beyonce.

well shoot

So I just committed to college (almost). ¬†I haven’t technically submitted my deposit because I don’t remember my student ID number… but I’m almost there.

I’m going to Miami University in Oxford Ohio. ¬†No, it’s definitely not my dream school and it’s been extraordinarily hard giving up on my dreams of attending Loyola in Chicago… Still not over the fact that I’ll be surrounded by cornfields instead of the city, but that’s OK, I’ll figure it out eventually I guess.

I should be more excited to attend such a good school that I know I’m extremely lucky to even get to go to. ¬†When I visited back in November, I WAS super excited – the campus was beautiful, they have an iceskating rink, the food was good (because that’s what really matters, right? lol), but after seeing Loyola and falling in love with it’s urban, modern setting, it’s really difficult for me to think positively about Miami. ¬†I’ve been reading up on it all this evening and I’m a little worried that it’s going to be just like West County, filled with a bunch of conservatives that wear exclusively vineyard vines and lulu lemon and support Donald Trump and believe in things like meninism. ¬†While the logical side of me realizes that obviously the whole school won’t be like that, probably not even the majority, the illogical, panic-prone side of myself is taking over and freaking out that I’ll hate it there.

Which I won’t. ¬†Right? ¬†I’m sure I’ll grow to like it and have fun. ¬†I’ll find my group of people and I think that I’m going to pair my marketing major with an fine arts major, so at least I’ll have some fun artsy people to befriend. ¬†And I can join the equestrian team which will be amazing. ¬†And I can’t wait to study abroad in Luxembourg. And there’s a really good bagel shop “downtown”… so I guess I”ll be OK.

This was the most entitled, bitchy little rant I’ve ever written/read. Gosh I just need to be so thankful to be going to college at all. ¬†I’ll live in Chicago someday.