Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Happy Happy Happy

You know what I love? I love when I get in one of those moods where I'm just happy. About the dumbest things.

Last night I could not stop giggling. You know why? Because the internet is a beautiful place, that's why. It gives me gems like this:

Enlarge your screen zoom to read this if you must because it is hilarious.

Anyway, I wanted to enter a contest, but I needed a twitter account to do so. I have always been adamantly against Twitter on the grounds of it-sounds-like-the-most-self-centered-thing-ever. (Yet I get upset whenever anyone thinks they are "too good" for facebook. Really, people? Anyway, yeah, I was a hypocrite.) So I got a Twitter. Why did I miss the beauty of this invention? Why didn't I get on there in its hey-day? I get to read what Andrew Garfield and Joss Whedon and John Green are thinking in 140 characters or less.

This put me into a terribly giddy mood. Seriously, my roommate was pouring hot wax onto my lip and I could not stop laughing. Because life is great, isn't it?

While I was typing this, I started to wonder what got me started on this crazed-happy kick. I think it's because I'm trying to be healthy. Exercise and endorphins go together, right?

Tumblr. Pinterest. Youtube. Twitter. *sigh* The internet is a marvelous adventure if you look in the right places.

But go exercise to balance that screen time.

Actually, just do what makes you happy. Like, really happy. Even if you think it should be something that is deeper than a gif-set. Just for today... laugh at yourself. Okay, pumpkin?

Surprise...this is what I'm really like... plot twist.... every human is weird. Okay that's all. Bye.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Modern Rape of Europa

For all of my life I have wanted to go to Europe. I have wanted to walk down cobblestone streets and eat waffles and gaze up at buildings and hear accordion music and feel my skirt swish. I have this thing where I picture a perfect moment. I picture what I'm wearing and where I am and what I'll do. I orchestrate major life moments so they look like I want them to look.

So yes, I romanticized Europe. I dreamed of gelato and Vermeer and attractive European men. Mostly I dreamed of the cities.

And then I lived my dream. The cobblestones and waffles and buildings and accordions and skirts. All that.

Please don't misunderstand, I love Europe. I've eaten heaven-worthy gelato and stood in awe in front of a Vermeer and gaped at many-a European man. I wish I could see all of the cities again and again and again. But I want to tell you... the famous cities are not what you think they are.

I wrote this while in Prague: "These beautiful cities that I've dreamed about, they're just that. They are dreams. Facades. And if I turn my face to the sky, they'll stay that way. The gaudy buildings seductively embrace the clouds. 'Look,' they whisper 'I'm beautiful.' But if I look straight forward and at eye level, I see the truth. The people are exploiting the city. The Rape of Europa comes from within. They are glutting themselves by gutting their own cities. Cheap souvenirs and foreign food choke the streets. Take a back road and you'll see the hastily--but methodically--covered up truth. The graffiti of the Forgotten mars the ancient buildings.  There is no love for their city because their city is not for them. Their city courts the people who crave pizza and french fries and cheap guided tours. The city has grown old and forgotten its own name."

I guess I realized that some cities have ceased to be genuine. The main streets are geared towards selling cheap gifts or expensive clothes to tourists.

And then there is Dresden. Dresden who takes the graffiti and turns it into art. Who doesn't hide its apprehensive inhabitants... it hails them. It hands them aerosol cans and empty walls and pleads "Make me beautiful." It hasn't forgotten its past, but it isn't fleeing its future.

If given the chance, I would go back to Rome or Prague in a heartbeat. But I would live in Dresden.

My romanticized vision of Europe burst like and ethereal bubble.

The genuine truth is much better.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Snippets From My Drafts That Ended Up Not Deserving A Full Blog Post (But, Nevertheless, I Am Proud Of):
      *Note: These date back to over a year ago. They are mainly about three different people.

But you were this beautiful being. You gave me back my words and filled up my page margins with scribbles because my mind could not stop coming up with ways to explain you. How could I keep quiet?

Paper rings don't mean much, but that post-it note on my left ring-finger might as well have been a pearl to me.

But time creates a distance. Distance creates a distance. Lack of communication creates a difference. Now, you're a memory that I used to know by heart. You're a photograph looked at too often. The sun that glowed from you has hurt my eyes, my dear. You are blurred now.

My poems don't rhyme.
And I think that's alright, because you think I'm clever anyway.
I don't think they can even be called poems, really.
But they are words that embody emotion
and that's poem enough for me.

I think I'll write my feelings in coal-black ink. I'll spell them out in cursive letters and finish each sentence with a thick period. Then I'll rip that piece of paper exactly one hundred times. I'll take each little scrap and put it in my mouth. I'll eat my words.

Because hidden somewhere in the Terms and Conditions that I never read was the truth about you.

She's a Nowhere Girl with empty, white breath and unstretched legs.

Maybe the words come best when we're sad because that's when we fall out ourselves and give up all the pretenses of being wise. When we admit that we know nothing, have nothing, are nothing, that's when we can admire the universe.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lessons from a Fruit Stand Man

The fruit-stand-man and I are friends. He picks out his best fruit for me and I smile in an endearing, I-don't-speak-Russian kind of way. Yesterday, he handed me his best watermelon and I said "спасибо." Startled, he responded with "Sank you verrry much."

"Talking" with fruit-stand-man is often one of my favorite parts of my day.

Because that's what it's all about, really. At its core, this trip is about being excited to meet people like the fruit-stand-man.

"Here, girls, take these cookies for the bus ride. And come back to Greece to visit us!"

"Keeeemberly! Come! Keeemberrly!"

"Пока, Ola!" *tiny wave from Ola*

"I love you very much. I don't want to go home. I love you!"

"Picture? Here, come stand here. With me. Good picture."

"You guys are just...so cool! I made you friendship bracelets."


"Zumba, zumba. Hakuna Matata. My name is Chicky Chicky. I am from Senegal."

"We got remarried in Vegas so we could get a free limo ride up the Strip."

I love empty places. I love empty airports and stadiums and auditoriums. I love seeing all the empty chairs lined up in rows. But I think I love their emptiness because they are filled to the brim with stories. How many people have sat in one place? Why were they there? What made them happy?

As I meet these people, I understand more and less about myself and the world. But I always  learn more about God. Because I get to see His face in His children he lets me encounter. To love another person is truly to see the face of God. And I think that's what He wants. He wants us to try to see and understand his never-ending love for every single person.

It's funny, because it's easy to feel small when you are crammed into a metro car and you feel like you don't matter at all in the scheme of things. And you don't. Not to the world, at least. But I have never met one person that didn't matter to God. And if they matter to God, then the matter to me.