vendredi 9 mars 2012

John Mayer soothes.

Pain throws you heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

mercredi 7 mars 2012

an experiment

in positive psychology. remember that time we were five and Sesame Street, in its peculiarly simple wisdom was on and it was February and the hill in Cape Elizabeth kindergarten was oh so big to slide on and I couldn't figure out whether that turquoise napkin was blue or green? life was good then, but the power of the technique is that you can bring that happiness of that moment and apply it to this one. and I feel better already.

dimanche 19 février 2012


Went to a snowball fight on the Lawn this morning at midnight. Might have been 200-300 people there? In a way, I felt very much alive. Nothing spells "transient beauty" like snow in Charlottesville. It shall all melt tomorrow.

dimanche 12 février 2012

jeudi 2 février 2012

I'm not eavesdropping.

standing at the door of Eternity
I can hear her flywheels whine
I dare.
     I dare not.
           I dare.
                 I cannot-- knock
but I strain to ask--
what can I do, to pass the time?

no answer.
but I dare not knock.

standing at the door of Eternity
I can hear her flywheels whine

mardi 24 janvier 2012

the anagram

oh an anagram we shall build
let us think!
and pick thoughts from each other
then put them back together
.          oh young apprentice--
.          it is indeed a cold winter
.    and so the mind must surely wander
so fleeting, fleeting-- are the thoughts
that seep out of the decaying rots
.       of teeming dendrites in the rain--
.             at least we have each other.

mardi 17 janvier 2012

la silence d'hiver

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-- Robert Frost

why winter can be depressing

lundi 9 janvier 2012

je pense, donc...

I dunno. I like thinking. It may because I am human -- perhaps the Queen Bee cannot conceive any other more pleasurable existence than laying her own weight in eggs everyday -- but oh-- it is simply the laws of probability that stun me.

The Universe is over 13-15 billion years old, and I was placed into this current era as brief as a human lifespan-- and one must think-- how did it come that I be awake in /this/ era, and not say, the Middle Ages or 40,000 years ago? And then my candle will go out, I will not be able to experience any of the human history that comes after it.

I'm not complaining (okay maybe I am, a little) but it is with puzzlement and wonder that I imagine the freakiness of being alive.

lundi 28 novembre 2011

new england is new again

On the 22nd we packed the car, the five of us, and left Charlottesville at 5:30 am, and did not beat the Northern Virginia rush hour traffic...and did not beat the DC Beltway traffic either. (Deirdre you Illinois transfer student, how could you be so optimistic when the Washington metro begins its peak of the peak fare at 7:30 am.) So we talked about New York City, Chicago, Ireland, college sports, in particular lacrosse, and Southern mannerisms.

Southerners warm, northerners cold, they say. Northerners don't know what to do when Southerners chat them up at retail stores and so on and so forth. But then the next day I'm shopping with my sister in Maine and this cashier randomly transfers her conversation with her coworker to us. "I have a date with Tom tonight," she says ecstatically with a rather Carolinian smile, as though to explain her flurry of conversation; and then she and my sister strike up a conversation along that thread, interwoven with discussion of Thanksgiving and turkeys.

And then I remember-- this was always the norm; because even in Cape Elizabeth random adults would always do that sort of New England cordiality thing to you as a child and you the Singaporean would always be at loss for words and maybe it was all fake but hey they're warm memories and New England suddenly feels like home. In Virginia the store clerks almost never strike up a spontaneous conversation with you, and you can feel the wants of life badly pressing upon them; you almost took pity at their condition, as though as it was a Southern version of watching "Save the Children" except replace starving African children with minimum wage store clerks. Iowa is even worse. New England? Home? It's been a long time since I felt this unalienated.

And so I rediscover houses are all so cute close together surrounded by blankets of snow and forest-- a remarkable thing given Maine's vast abundance of land. Urban sprawl was such an utter shock to me in the beginning as a first year in Virginia, staring up that winter the endless box stores that lined Rt. 29 for miles and miles. As the years passed and my friends and I discussed various urban transportation projects to deal with the urban sprawl that I had come to perceive as the norm, the thought would come to me repeatedly. Mottainai -- what a waste! And so I must admire New England values too.

Northern Virginia is so ugly, Rina says. And she lives there. I still think it could be pretty nice to live in Northern Virginia. All those livingsocial deals on fine Indian restaurants? And the Korean supermarts. And the Washington Metro is so relaxing, even as Congressional staffers and lobbyists crowd the train during peak hours. The New York Subway puts you on edge, from the Lexington Avenue train to 7 to sometimes even the Williamsburg L-line (judged the "most romantic" subway line -- but the pretension -- the bad kind -- can really get to you). Ugh. I mean, maybe New England's newfound quaintness will run out for me sometime, but I'm leaving this afternoon. Here's to romanticising.

lundi 21 novembre 2011

I be that man on the moon

there's nothing wrong with uniqueness, says the doctor. it would be a boring world if everyone were to conform to orthodoxy. we all have that within us; everyone has it-- to an extent, it is normal. It is human; and I nod, knowing that familiar feeling oh so in touch with your mortality and human unreliability tempest in a teacup flood of neurotransmitters and flowing, flowing thought; oh wait-- what were we talking about again?

He smiles. It's soft, decidedly not medical, though the hallways outside have that faint smell of alcohol they like to rub all over their sterilised surfaces.

we can't figure it out, we can't figure out, you present a puzzling case (it doesn't fit the DSM-IV) but well, what do you mean I'm sure people have-- get that all the time wouldn't you say so, oh don't they imagine too? oh say I'm not alone

softly the muses stop speaking, and they slowly drift away.

dimanche 20 novembre 2011


that football game

in the past I've watched those who watch the games; they come in droves and drove from hundred miles of away to take our parking spots and set out their tailgates in our backyards with their Mitt Romney bumper stickers. Go Hoos Go. Wahoowa. Ray ray, ray, UVA, UVA. ugh. why is this such a big American pasttime? surely there are better ways to pass time.

and so time passed and the seasons passed and the semesters passed with them and I passed classes but not the players, they make bad passes or something; well I am sure they pass classes but pass games they do not. and remember that one time in second year when USC flew past our asses and laughed at our 7-32 margin, and some week after I was passing by the stadium and it took two hours to pass halftime and the clock kept stopping and the ball wasn't going anywhere. and so I gave the game a pass.

but not if you want to be sociable; they dress up guys in ties and girls in pearls and each home game Sunday the crowds would pass by our residences and the facebook feeds would explode with photos of friends in amazing clothes in crazy crowds of tens of thousands.

but not if you want to be sociable: be a man, man. nighttalk consists of bartalk, and bartalk either has pickup lines, or whether the Redskins will pick up that title or whether the Pats will pick up their failing dynasty and though in a bar they may go on and on and on about players' statistics, don't you go all otaku about indie film, science or art, because that would just be dorky.

in Iowa the summer sun shone high and I grew tan and the prairie grass ran yellow and the World Cup played in South Africa and someone told me they couldn't care much for [international] football, because [real] American football's like chess. oh really? I wouldn't have guessed because I play chess, and it doesn't have heavy brutes in armor and athletes in university busses behaving like there's no one else on them but as time passed I could see how you could appreciate stopped clocks and devious plays and maybe the American pasttime is some sort of celebrated chessboxing

but I could never care for the football games until around this time in November where I ate my fifth helping of mashed potatoes, chicken adobo, ginger-roasted turkey and sticky rice and we sang to four guitars and the Virginia - Florida State game was on and I cared because I liked people and I cared towards the end when we rose up to cheer ensemble or hold our hearts in our mouths collectively agape and we made that touchdown 14-13 oh with a minute to spare but oh Florida still threw devious plays of provoked fouls and incomplete passes and two field goal attempts but oh we won we won-- screaming screaming the room is crazy we hold hands and sing the Good Ole Song. Go Hoos Go. Wahoowa. Ray ray ray, UVA UVA.