This morning, I painted my fingernails bright red. I think I’m taking my life on the wrong path. Hope I veer onto the right one soon. I use the red nail polish as an excuse. Erika always had red nails. Why can’t I? But I haven’t painted my own nails in years because whenever I do, I imagine that my fingers are suffocating. Even when I went through those brown nail polish phases. And people thought I’d painted them black. No, they were clearly brown. People say that about my hair, too. Black-haired girl. I’m so flattered; I wish my hair was naturally darker. No, it is clearly brown. My mom always says she expected to have little girls with very pale skin and very dark hair. And when I was little, I had very olive skin and very dark hair. And now I have moderately pale skin and moderately dark hair. I tell her that when I get older, I’m going to make my hair darker brown. And she asks why, my hair’s so pretty, so shiny. I don’t know. Live up to my own standards of beauty. You know why I’m pale now? We skipped a year at the beach, and after that, I avoided the sun like it was the plague. In the shower, though, today, I was thinking that I wish I was born a different race or a different nationality, or both. I have life so easy! I’m white and American! My parents are alive! I have a house to live in! Food to eat! Choice in the food that I do eat! There’s nothing desperately wrong with me. I can live with extreme social anxiety. It won’t kill me. And it’s not fair that I can live like this and other people can’t. We always look up, why can’t I live like this other person better-off than me? We should look down, why can’t this worse-off person live like me? What can I do to make it so she can live a better life? But we don’t.

So here I am listening to the National every day, sitting on my computer while wishing I’d had the chance to have a Triad reunion back in Richmond. Playing some DBZ video games or doing spontaneous things. Talking. My favourite thing about going to Richmond was being told that my ass/thigh region was smaller than before. Just kidding, that wasn’t the highlight of my trip, but it did make me happy for some odd reason. Lately, I’ve been wondering what it would be like to have a huge ass. Like, fucking huge. But I can’t picture it. I guess I’m just not an ass person. Eyebrows are more my speed. Make or break a person. They do say quite a lot about a person, though, more so than body type or whatever.

Here is what I noticed in Richmond. I am a jerk. Sometimes, I wish I could find someone in real life who genuinely and openly hates me because I find that people are mostly lukewarm about me, or they keep their dislikes on the down-low. I’d totally deserve it. Some things people say about me are actually fucking hilarious because they don’t know me at all. But I wish someone would get to know me and then hate me based on things that are completely true. Maybe it’s because I can’t hate anyone. Maybe it’s because I wish I could give myself a break because I know I’m the one who hates myself the most.

We were reading “Hamlet” in English, and my teacher was trying to get us to empathize with Hamlet. To understand him. You know, Pretend your uncle killed your dad, then hastily married your just-widowed, barely-mourning mother for lust and power, pretend that he wanted your life, maybe because you get in the way of his power, maybe because you’ve got some Oedipus Rex complex and while you’re at it, your girlfriend takes back her love for you and then you kill her father accidentally, which makes her insane, pretend that she commits suicide and her brother wants your life and teams up with your uncle to kill you and then they kill your mom with their scheme. You may or may not have feelings for your mom, but there are hints. That sort of thing. Seriously, though, to be able to get Hamlet’s reaction out of me, you’d have to delve deeper and completely alter my past. First, you’d have to build up my relationship with my father. Then you’d have to take away my capacity for empathy, and that’s just not working. If I was in Hamlet’s situation, I wouldn’t even consider killing anyone. I wouldn’t have time to be angry I’d curl up in a depressed, sad lump of flesh and tears, and then I’d stop eating. So I’m sorry, I don’t really like “Hamlet,” even if Shakespeare had to spice it up because it would be a rather boring time just watching some Prince of Denmark cry on a stage for four hours.

Oh. Friday night, Travis took off his socks. Travis has the unusual quality of having feet that smell like dryer sheets. I don’t think he’s even capable of emitting bad smells at all. Anyway, he has the most magnificent feet I’ve ever seen, save for his weird toenails, which curve with his toes. Hard to describe. This revelation–that Travis has magnificent feet–has sparked in me the desire to improve my own foot hygiene. Take better care of those phalanges. I don’t wear socks. In fact, I hate socks. My own feet are constantly bruised, scarred, FREEZING (ask Derek), and gross-smelling. I had gorgeous heels until band camp before my junior year, when I didn’t wear socks with my sneakers for one day and then I got blisters from running laps there. And they scarred. Speaking of running, I feel the need to start again regularly, but there are two problems. One, I can’t just run. I’m too self-conscious about the way my legs fly out all over the place when I run. People make fun of me and then I have to laugh it off, and sometimes I’m just not in the mood. Two, when I asked my mother if we could join a gym or something (since that’s something she constantly talked about over the summer), she rolled her eyes and made a sound of disapproval. What happened to my moderately-health-conscious mother?! I need seratonin, and I’m not gonna get it sitting on my ass in front of my computer all day, thinking about the past. I need to be productive to be happy.

I’m still getting used to these nails. I think they make my hands look so much more sophisticated than they actually are.

What else? Last night, Derek called spontaneously and told me about these videos he saw with cats being tortured. Depressing material. And I wondered at first why he was telling me, but duh–who else would empathize? It’s a shame that you know, seeing a chicken or a cow or a pig or some foreign animal being tortured is just normal by some people’s standards, almost acceptable, if a little sad, but because it’s distant, it’s okay. But then seeing some household animal, a pet, being tortured, that’s what sparks an interest in animal rights. Save the cats and dogs! How could people eat cats and dogs? I live with cats and dogs. My question to you is how can people eat pigs, chickens, cows, fish? I’m not implying that about Derek. It’s just something I’ve noticed. I am confident that he is as noble as a person can be. What really touched me was that he was afraid of that happening to Little Ding, his cat (who is seriously, I swear, only a cat when he’s sleeping–otherwise, he’s somethin’ else). It’s a strange situation. I run into these videos from time to time and they provide motivation, they provide anger and sadness and some of the strongest emotions I’ve ever felt. Frustration. How could a person do that to an animal? How did that person grow up? What led her to become this way? And how could anyone look into an animal’s eyes and kill him or eat him? How do hunters do it? How can people eat it? I’m still somewhat of a hypocrite for not being vegan, and I’m afraid I’ll always be a hypocrite no matter what by taking what society gives me and living, breathing, buying. But I want to cut down on the damage. These emotions, though, I don’t–I can’t–share them with friends. I shelter them. I’ve seen it so you don’t have to. I’m going to make my point by being vegetarian and you don’t need to ask questions that’ll make us both feel uncomfortable and guilty. Me, I don’t want to make you feel bad, to push my strongest beliefs on you. The ones that make up the essence of my life. But my personal choice is not to live that way.

I have a few songs that you’ve already heard. They’re for you.

Vampire Weekend

Walcott | Vampire Weekend

I’ve been thinking about making a Vampire Weekend bag lately, just because I think it would be insanely cool. This here song makes me want to move my body aimlessly in a room filled with other people moving their bodies aimlessly. We could all be tiny atoms! In a giant room! Together! Just listen to the song, appreciate the voice that’s from another decade, the orchestra, the intensity, the nostalgia. It makes me think of A Separate Peace, something I’ve never experienced, the decade I wish I grew up in, a beautiful mindset I can’t attain. Sophistication. These red fingernails that couldn’t possibly be mine. They must be yours.

Nantes | Beirut

Zach Condon’s voice reminds me of Andrew Bird’s voice in some aspect. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but it’s classy and I love it. Being in love, drinking coffee on a sunny late-winter afternoon. Touching someone’s hair. Trying to tickle them. The sun’s coming in the windows, in your eyes. You don’t mind. Everything’s parfait. I guess it could also fit that one time I drove home late at night over the summer in my car and couldn’t stop crying. There was a red light and the person in the next lane over stared at me uncomfortably and I had to calm down on Broad Street. When I got back, I parked in front of the house and had to calm down for a few minutes before I could go in.

Ferraby Lionheart

Small Planet | Ferraby Lionheart

His style reminds me somewhat of Jens Lekman, maybe just in this song, maybe not, but I always like piano/orchestra pop-ish music. You know, unconventional instruments to hear in music with lyrics. Added bonus? Why, yes! Webquest time! Go to his website’s Biography section and just read it. Might I mention that he’s another Silver Laker? Like Rilo Kiley! This song reminds me of the Turkey Trot every year, early in the morning, crunchy leaves, screaming children, and then the fulfilling tiredness that sets in after.

Rufus Wainwright

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk | Rufus Wainwright

If anyone in the world reminds me of Andrew Bird, it would HAVE to be this man. He may not be a professional whistler or violinist, but his voice is impressive. You hear about Rufus Wainwright all over the place, but it wasn’t until friends mentioned him recently (and referred to him on a first-name basis, “Rufus) that I opened my ears up and started to listen. I’m glad I did. The song is simpler times, like when I used to French braid my American Girl Doll’s hair (Samantha, of course). Tea parties on the front lawn. Summer days when Rachael and I used to take our Barbie dolls out to the pool in the back yard. Sticking Sailor Moon’s hands in the crab apples in the yard. Good times.

Andrew Bird

Measuring Cups | Andrew Bird

What can I say? Andrew Bird owns. He taught Jay how to whistle better, he made me love xylophone, he makes me want to sing. And then I remember that it’s not particularly pretty, me singing. But I sing plainly regardless. His songs motivate me to look things up, references, and I learn things. Maybe not things that are particularly applicable to any regular conversations, like the ancient story behind “Sovay” or love theories from “Imitosis,” but gaddamn. It was love at first listen. Once I heard his voice once, I was thirsty for more. I asked for a CD for Christmas and I remember sitting up on the floor of my old room, just listening for however long on Christmas day and repeating “Sovay” over and over and over again. It was magical. Doors opened. Enlightenment.


12 Comments so far
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You know, it’s primarily (only?) because of your “why do some animal get more pity?” logic that I’ll eat any kind of meat now. I didn’t use to eat pigs. There’s plenty others that I didn’t and still don’t, but it’s only from lack of trying. When the opportunity presents itself I’ll be sure to take advantage of it. Because bias is wrong, yeah?

Comment by wut?!

i have so much to say on this post, and i will recomment later after i finish outlining ch 25.6 & 25.7 for physics, which will be done shortly, i just don’t want to write a not quite as thoughtful as it could be type comment on this.

and jay…i don’t even know what to say to you except that it’s your choice not mine. but if somehow the ethical standpoint doesn’t get to you, at least consider how (and this is true) animal protein is the leading cause of cancer.

Comment by divya

I’m aware of that.

While on the topic of cancer, did you know that staying up late causes cancer?

Comment by wut?!


no way. for real?…crap.

Comment by divya

About your wanting to be born in a different country…

Today I decided, definitely, that when I graduate college I’m moving to a foreign country. I want to spend as much time in other parts of the world as possibe so I don’t remain an ignorant American and actually become cultured and worldly. If my plan goes accordingly, I will fall in love with a foreign man and have cute little half foreign/half American babies in another country as well. And if my plans works out even further, I’ll have like, four kids, each in a seperate country (but with the same man of course). They’ll all be multi-lingual and experienced and cultured and everything.

But then I decided that they’ll also have to spend time in the US as well, because if they don’t, they’ll just grow up wishing they were from the United States just like I wished I was from say…France. I think kids from all over the world feel this way, wishing they were from someplace different than what they grew up knowing.

Also, I so know what you mean about Travis’ toenails growing with the curve of his toes. Aren’t they weird?? My dad’s are the same. Luckily, the weird-toenail gene was not passed down to me!

By the way, I’m Travis’ sister if you hadn’t figured it out by now :)

Comment by Sara

So some band called Headlights is coming to my college in April, and I thought I had read some mention of them by you, and I was just wondering if this was actually something for me to get excited about (since the bands that come to my college haven’t been so good thus far, in my experience.)

Comment by Kate

I am arguably worldly, and if that by any means affects my culture, well then I’ve got that down, too. It hasn’t changed me, though. I’m still an asshole. Oh, and people don’t always wish they were from some other place. I really don’t care where I live, because it’s all the same.

Omg, my toenails follow my toes, too. I can’t really speak for everyone, but it’s not genetic. My shoes physically bent my nails.

Comment by wut?!

I think you would really like the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It made me really understand why you are so passionate about animal rights in addition to reaffirming many of my outlooks on the world. Also, I understand completly what you mean about not sharing your passion about animal rights with other people; I’m exactly the same way about saving the environment.

Comment by holly

you’re absolutely beautiful, but if it makes you happy, go ahead and dye your hair and i’m sure it will look fantastic.
i agree completely, “We always look up, why can’t I live like this other person better-off than me? We should look down, why can’t this worse-off person live like me? What can I do to make it so she can live a better life? But we don’t.” but i think that sometimes what it is that bars us from thinking this way is that while, say, you and me have the food and shelter and material possessions that are not like over the top or anything but are still not necessarily needed for a healthy life, we also have normal day to day problems, or maybe not so normal problems. (example- really bad relations between people you have to deal with all the time like family or depression or anxiety disorder or whatever it may be). sometimes i would give anything to be someone else, ANYONE ELSE, and i really mean anyone else, to not have to deal with some of that stuff, especially the bad relations with people and depression and shit. but i mean still, we should definitely do all we can to make sure we can help lessen the load of other people’s lives and stuff. and give to the poor or volunteer or save trees or whales or such.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA ohhhhhhhhmyyyyyygawwwwd. why do you want a giant ass? btw today is my old 5th grade teacher’s mazillionth birthday. the ass thing just reminded me of her. and then i remembered it’s her birthday. but hey, trust me, you do NOT want an ass the size of hers. she couldn’t fit through doorways some times. i felt really bad for her. but i hated her so i didn’t feel THAT bad. ;)
lmao we read macbeth not too long ago and i felt like while old shakey did a good job making it longer than necessary and all that crap, the storyline really did entertain me. but the movie is godawful. we watched the roman polanski version, or part of it anyway and i hated it.
feet are weird but strangely interesting..?
i know exactly what you mean, my nails when painted help make my hands look nicer than they really are too. mmmmmmmhhhmmmmmmmm.
aaaaaaaawwwww. that is actually really sweet of derek. but i found a shirt at the website you linked on here….

i have so much to tell you when we talk tomorrow!

Comment by divya

yeah i saw a site where they are gonna kill and eat their household cats it is on and they are gonna eat them on midsummers unless we vote for them to eat something else

Comment by swansong

i dunno how i stumbled upon this page, but im glad i did. ive read quiet a lot of what you write its really interesting, not really what your talking about (no offense) but your general perspective of things, interests, and what nots…

whats the general link to get back to here? id like to visit again!

Comment by Desiree

Hahaha, none taken. It’s

Comment by indiechouette

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