The Battlefield Where the Girls Say I Love You

That's just the thing: we will never tell you we love you. In fact, we're here only to hold hands across state lines and yell at the world. We're here to try to touch you across this chasm of flown things. Not even that. At most, I will teach you how to make a gin smoothie when there's nothing left in the house. Hannah can teach you several languages and what to do when your car breaks up with you. Thanks for coming out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

and just like the river, i've been running ever since

no time for a real post. booook! but mamie's yelling at me to blog abt the reason she's not blogging. right. listen, i've moved on. with stevie. we're happy. i guess it's a fair request though b/c everyone's been emailing wanting to know if she's okay. this outpouring of love and concern for her is unwarranted and annoying: she's FINE.

so i was going to list the guesses people had abt why she's on sabbatical, but i'm peevish b/c i just realized i've been teaching my classes with a hot wheels sticker stuck to my ass. anyway, the only one that i ever wind up remembering is this: is mamie getting a boob job?? it's a serious question, and the answer is, sadly or happily depending on yr point of view: no. i shudder at the idea of mamie with an enormous chest. what would become of the running, the dresses?

and yet, the reason she's not on here at the moment is equally terrifying. she's learning to fall in love with poetry again. her exact words. this idea makes me feel uneasy. sounds like an impossibly masochistic task. like, we all will love writing as much as we do at this very moment. only you, mame, would try to dredge up more love for it, or try for a love more pure when it should maybe just be left alone in its ungainly ruinous state. a physical representation of my soul today.

today, i took aaron to get another round of immunizations. we're on visit number 17 at this point b/c he came without batteries or a shot record. anyhow, he didn't scream bloody murder or cry today at all.

'you want to know why hannah?' he whispers.
'i just told myself: after this, i will not be dead.'

which is, i believe, the right way to look at just about anything.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The View: Season 9, The Brief and Terrible Reign of Hannah

It's the baffling time that comes in every marriage. I say, "I'm nothing without you." Mamie says, "I want to spend more time on my fly-fishing." Suddenly, the distance is about more than state lines. She's very calm, while I try every tactic in the book to keep her until I'm hurling myself on the ground and sobbing.

We've decided on 6 weeks. As in, you should all tune back in then. There's a REASON, Mamie, that we did a joint-blog. I'm going to be like Tom Hanks in Castaway talking to a soccer ball and performing my own dental work. Omg, and OUR PICTURE of the two of us will be THERE, on the mantle piece of our blog, looking tragic. SIX WEEKS and not a day longer. Until then, I'll continue to do what I do best: exploiting the children and covering AWParty in New York!!

I may also get as maudlin as possible to coax Mamie back into the game earlier. Talk about my feelings without a trace of irony or sarcasm. Ooo, speaking of which, the best thing my therapist (otherwise known as the person who keeps me from wandering around with a shopping cart and leash with no dog) said the other day was that sarcasm was just anger with clothes on...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


i will no longer be blogging with hannah on this magic carpet battlefield, or whatever. i'm really tempted to do the thing where the blogger acts like all three readers' lives will truly never be the same without him/'s just too easy.

hannah will be blogging for the both of us, which i'm sure will turn out something like a tightrope walking juggler news anchor. and THAT will be fun to watch.

i've had an awesome time creating this thing with hannah. we love nothing more than putting our peaceful, sound, flawless, enviable trainwreck-lives out there on the web. and i look forward to commenting like a madwoman.



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

black tuesday:

while "tevo" screams horribly-suited-lawyer-miranda-from-sex-and-the-city-2001, i was excited when my roommate (bryan) received it as a gift for christmas. last night, there was something too-fast-too-furious about the way we watched our pre-recorded no reservations. we raced through commercials, yelling things like, "take that, kohler sink fixtures." or, "e-harmony this, assholes." we finished bourdain in 46 minutes flat.

so today, the world ended ever so slightly. we will not speak of the ledger here. it's awful. his spirit, at least on screen, always reminded me of my godbrother...who seems to attract blooming flowers, deer, and (somehow) waving reeds as he walks past. as with many celeb atrocities recently, the most devastating part is that he was a parent.

also, the only stock that means anything to my family (by that i mean everything) dropped 98% in profits today. my favorite uncle, who at eighteen fled the mob in new orleans and ran to chicago...who later became an off-broadway actor...who worked with mamet...who became a lawyer at 40...who, at fifty-seven, finally decided to teach in one of the worst school districts in the south...was committed today. lost it. totally over. after months already in a hospital for physical reasons.

also, a state trooper--i'm not even kidding--came and took my car tags off the outback without coming to the door and proceeded to drive away. so, i go to the dmv. after crying. in workout clothes. they say that, while i have car insurance now and have always had it, the insurance lapsed from august 29-september 14. that's it. no speeding ticket. no DUI. the ticket for lapsed insurance? 487$ let this be a lesson to...oh, f*ck it.

okay, what makes me crazy isn't the money (by which i mean: is the money). but have you ever heard of such a thing? a HOUSE CALL for 2 weeks of no insurance several seasons ago? what is this, mayberry?

so i'm leaving the DMV, one plate in hand and one plane ticket short of vancouver, and the lady (name:lauren, fashion statement: blue eye liner on THE BOTTOM LIDS) yells, "you gotta get a new licENSE because you've had a change of address."

i'm not vain, in that i'm totally vain but didn't think twice about it. get the picture taken. wait five minutes. grab and leave. get in the car only to realize, i look the spitting image of amy winehouse post-blonde-ambition thing. seriously. hair everywhere. bloodshot eyes (the crying).

at this point, i'm supposed to go to the opening night of sweeney todd (the play). i give up, call vicky, say "can't." proceed to turn my room upside down stacey/linden from what not to wear style. we're talking yellow gloves, finally unpacking the last box from 5 months ago. i cooked for the first time in, really cooked. listened to the biggest loser: couples in the background. cried a little (about the yellow team). seriously. it's, i guess, what we do with little else to go on: turn our youth hostel, fast food lives into something we hope resembles giada's room at the W.

i'm beginning to feel normal, at this point. i dare say pulled together. i settle in to watch THE SEASON FINALE of real housewives. only, tevo begins to yell at me. "if we change the channel to 34, we will no longer be recording law and order: svu."

so, really, this tevo thing is no more than a vcr. like, you can't actually do anything else while you're recording.

i call my mother, who is in a much worse position...having been harassed in a local hardee's trying to get a biscuit for my uncle...who's been having this recurring dream that involves driving, slamming her car into a cement wall, and evil cowboys.

she says, "the family that goes crazy together stays together," proceeds to use the f-word every other second. my father yells in the background, "stop it. you've been talking to HER too long."

i call molly to say, "don't even think about calling mom. seriously." molly has locked herself in the bedroom. gavin is yelling two rooms away to the kids: "NOT. ANOTHER. WORD. ABOUT. JUICE!"

and, just now, i broke from blog to read sontag's against interpretation (which is self destructive, in that it makes me crazy). then, upon taking the trash out, dropped very last IPA onto the driveway.

and, hannah and i have developed a stutter after reading neruda's "so that you will hear me."

"it climbs the same way on damp walls.
you are to blame for this cruel sport.
they are fleeing from my dark lair.
you fill everything, you fill everything."

so that our conversations sound like:

"what's that stephen dunn poem? about androgyny? about androgyny?"

"i don't know. i don't know. who's the lady on svu? mariska what? mariska what?"

there he is:

the weekend in pictures

there are no pictures, thank god, of friday night which was soaked in champagne and cognac (never again) or of saturday's recovery, but here's the rest of the weekend--the oyster roast, the kafe haus, the lake. also, mamie, how strange you picked that poem when i have been similarly obsessed with it recently.

"on a more serious note, governor: let's talk barbeque"

oh my god. mark sanford was on the colbert report tonight. it's a tragedy i can't find it on youtube. perhaps by the time the, you know, four of you read will be available.

i will preface by saying i'm eternally grateful to the state, the gov, etc. the fabulous school that employs me is, well, you know. that being said...

some highlights from colbert:

"where do you find the courage to go mustard, in the face of people's love of vinegar?"

"in 2005, TIME named you one of the five most boring governors. did that sting?"

"you are a manila envelope glued to a beige wall. you are a walking, talking ambien."

"tell me about the mark sanford no one cares about."

okay, and now i'm going to do that thing that makes hannah insanely uncomfortable. im going to reach from some place that resembles sincerity and say: bah!!! i've been reading and re-reading herberto helder's chapbook, as movement touches clay (translated from the portuguese by alexis levitin). it's like some contemporary rilke. i'm obsessed.

an excerpt:

someone opens an orange in silence

someone opens an orange in silence, at the entrance
to fabled nights.
he plunges his thumbs down to where the orange
is rapidly thinking, where it grows, annihilates itself, and then
is born again. someone is pealing a pear, eating
a bunch of grapes, devoting himself
to fruit. and i fashion a sharp-witted song
so as to understand.
i lean over busy hands, mouths,
tongues that devour their way through attention.
i would like to know how the fable of the nights
grows like this. how silence
swells, or is transformed with things. i write
a song in order to be intelligent about fruit
on the tongue, through subtle channels, unto
a dark emotion.

for love also gathers rinds
and the movement of the fingers
and the suspension of the mouth over the confusing
taste. love also places itself at the gates
of ferocious nights
and tries to understand how they imagine
its alien power.
to annihilate fruit in order to know, against
the passion of taste, that the earth works its
solitude--is to devote oneself,
sucking dry the loved one so as to see how love
works in its madness.

a song of now will say that love approaches
eternity, or that taste
reveals unending rhythms, the secrets
of the dark,
for it is with names that someone knows
where a body is
through an idea, that a thought
can take the place of a tongue.
--it is with voices that silence wins.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

two things. maybe three.

I. question: what's that sitcom (i think from the eighties) where the main character can stop time and turn to speak directly to the audience? i need it for an essay. think, people.

II. oddly, this afternoon my ex found my debit card on the floor at moe's, 10 miles away from either of our houses. i didn't even know i'd lost it. strange that he'd be right behind me to step out for an overachiever on a soft shell at 3 in the afternoon.

III. always dubbed as the abusive one, i'll have you know that hannah has said all of the following over the telephone today:

* it's 3 am. you better be hurt or dying.
* i curse you with this chant: you will always be angry, you will always be angry, you will always be angry.
* it's like you're just yelling 27 DRESSES!!! at me.

it's fine, though. we ended our last conversation singing the moldy peaches to one another.

IV. overheard at starbuck's this morning: one republican father says to his grown republican son: it's hard to know who to vote for. THEY'RE ALL SUCH GOOD CANDIDATES. i like the way fred thompson thinks, but i'll probably end up backing mccain. hhhmmmm.

V. hannah and i are going on vacation this summer but can't decide where to go. anyone? anyone? i already asked the niece and she suggested the gaffney outlet stores.

i'm sorry. we'll write a real post soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

and now, a selection from funk & wagnalls

sim and i have begun reading the encyclopedia to each other at night. in addition, that is, to the other 1000 books we already read aloud to each other several nights a week. it's very romantic actually. we curl up, sometimes under one blanket, drink wine, eat chocolate and read aloud anthologies of brazilian poets. and then we massage each other with hot oils. kidding!!! gross.

ok, the idea with the encyclopedia must have been to be uplifted by facts about lakes, motivated to create by learning the eating habits of a giant moth. whatever. it was a stupid idea. sim got stuff like the river Aare and architect Aalto, while i got... the aardvark.

i had no idea that this was perhaps the world's most singularly hapless animal. reading about it made me feel uneasy, vaguely distressed. the whole definition starts off badly with "also known as 'earth pig'" and sort of plummets from there. the aardvark is 'fleshy' and is in possession of a toast-colored snout, long, coarse hair, and flat shovel-like claws. upon birth, the aardvark is 'timid' and so shuffles off to dig a burrow where it huddles down and abashedly slurps up ants and termites.

when it cannot burrow to safety it flops on its back, raises its mane, and WAVES ITS CLAWS ABOUT FRANTICALLY. omg, i was totally relating to it in a bad way at this point, but then!! i saw that it also emits a foul-smelling fluid from its anal gland.

and here's the kicker. the money trait. this dubious creature has 20 cylindrical teeth which are ROOTLESS AND GROW CONTINUOUSLY THROUGHOUT ITS LIFETIME.

jesus christ!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We can't stop here. This is bat country!

Every day, I get letters from Kan. More often than not, they are written on several sheets of paper which have been taped together to form a Kerouacish scroll. These are generally delivered to my bedside at 5 a.m.--about as long as she can wait, since the child wakes up brimming with feeling at about 3 a.m. and must write it all down.

This is a problem I currently wish I had, given that I had to push my deadline with my agent back yet another 6 months because when I sit down to write there all these itty bitty explosions all through my brain and I have to stop immediately and eat some cheese.

When Kan brings me the letters, she doesn't wake me exactly. She puts her face an inch away from mine and stares. I know she's there. I always know she's there. And if she's there, Aaron's there, because children move in packs. All the better to hunt. It then becomes my goal to look SO asleep she'll just go away. This, of course, never happens. And do you have any idea how creepy it is to have a child or children silently staring at you? Do you?? Because it makes me feel like my house is not really a house, but the mind of Guillermo del Toro. I close the fridge door at dusk, there they are. RIGHT THERE. Silently staring. Eventually whispering: Water, please... I'm thirsty.

Anyhow, this is the latest letter from Kan:

Dear Hannah Aaron had been shouting at me and shouting. And He said I will not play with you and when you tell him not to do that he goes up stairs and I he says Thise things I will never play with you, you Hate me. thos thing. to hannah, love kan

Monday, January 14, 2008

a small person after my own heart:

I. i check in with my mother on sunday. she says, "big news at your sister's house." which clearly means pregnant, dying, marriage, divorce. so i call their house. little morgan answers (somehow having conquered literacy and caller ID).

"hello, aunt mamie."

me: morg, heard y'all have got big news.

morgan: yeah. i lost my first tooth.

me: sweet. did you leave it under the pillow for the tooth fairy?

her: no. see, i wanted the tooth and the money both. so i wrote a letter to the tooth fairy and explained that to him. it worked out fine, like, i got the dollar and still have the tooth on a little blue pillow on my night table.

she made it seem more practical, less cake-and-eat-it. she made it seem, well, obvious that only crazies would give up their teeth for money.

II. i thought i'd kept a good eye on huckabee. as in, no dumb-ass-mr.-rogers-quote could get by me. at the gym sunday, i watched his entire speech to a prayer breakfast. something about not being anti-abortion, but being pro-life. as if the two have zero relationship with one another.

but my student, tori, says today: huckabee was asked about his plans for immigration. you know what he said? "two words: chuck norris."

III. my boss e-mailed me this article:

people out there, like, editing self magazine, seem to think the whole compilation mix tape/cd thing is new. i dare say cutting edge. what i will say is: in no other life-genre (working out) can you get away with listening to shitty music.


1. george
2. usher...yeah
3. belle & sebastian...expectations
4. billy joel...we didn't start the fire
5. sinead oconner...nothing compares to you
6. u2...still haven't found what i'm looking for
7. springsteen...thunder road
8. dixie chicks...there's your trouble
9. nina simone...sinnerman
10. spoon...the way we get by
11. modest mouse...gravity rides everything
12. billy idol...dancing with myself
13. jay-z, mary j. blige...can't knock the hustle
14. cyndi lauper...girls just want to have fun
15. paul simon...graceland
16. do you want it

* i also recommend cooling down with "girl from impanema" and "anyone else but you," the moldy peaches. oh, and "love the world you find," by flaming lips.

Friday, January 11, 2008

listen to this!!!

i want to be best friends with them. here's glen hansard and marketa irglova covering into the mystic. for more of their music, check out the once soundtrack. hansard is also in the frames and swell season.

so... she was football?

have i talked to you about the insomnia? i don't know, because i haven't slept in two weeks. this yields a certain disorder to my thoughts, a sort of vulnerability, a lapse of sensibly. i am in lunesta withdrawal. i don't want to be; found a dependency on prescription sleep aids a pleasant vacation from worrying. but like all vacations, it was rather rudely cut short--why else, but because of money. without insurance, lunesta will run me $300 a month. it's sort of like when i wanted to stay in south africa an extra few decades, but realized i had about $10 left in my bank account.

i don't know what mamie's excuse is. the other day, she goes: i can't even commit to a grocery store. i'd been talking to her for what must have been several hours, distantly noting the whoosh of new grocery store doors in the background.

she called a second ago, out of breath. gym? i ask. no, she gasps, i was just jogging through the parking lot to my car.

mamie can't commit to a grocery store, but she can commit to speed-walking through one of those stores pumping gallon jugs of milk. doing lunges with cantaloupes.

we're both lost. mamie almost hit someone on a highway the other day and, you know her superstitiousness, every time she drives by this ghost of an accident she's overwhelmed, routinely haunted by what almost happened. a death, she says. i think, a ding, but don't say anything.

i was telling her about this cousin i have, how she got pregnant at 14. i'm whispering the story from the library where i am curled on the floor behind a stack of magazines, my eyes bloodshot and wide. she drives by this spot on the road and vanishes from the world--i can feel her horror pulsing over the line. she was fourteen, i repeat. masterfully, mame returns to the conversation says: so... she was football?

i think of that card with some cheesy sixties house-wife photo in digicolor: i am becoming the man i wanted to marry.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

autobiography of memoir:

conveniently, hannah's phone just died in the middle of us yellwhispering at each other... she's learned this from me--akin, i suppose, to wild dogs who teach their offspring how to kill only to have the kid turn on them during those harsh winter months.

anyhoo, she calls yellwhispering from what i can only assume is some archival excavation with johnny depp in the basement of the UNCW library. blog! blog! blog!

it's like any marriage, really. the moment my aggression/bossiness/sarcasm subsides, here comes hannah swinging. and when she begins to yell, for no particular reason, "NO GOD" at me, i'm walking toward the hot air balloon holding cotton candy and dressed in one of those baby-t's that reads, "heck is where people go who don't believe in gosh." here's the pendulum: we are always either christopher hitchens or tepanga from boy meets world. just swinging back and forth like crazy people.

clearly, the craziest people in the world are the most seemingly balanced. nothing creeps me out more than sedated crazies with some vacant amanda bynes smile quivering on their faces...just one protein shake away from a tandem bike ride with kermit and piggy off a cliff. i kind of felt this numbness (no pun...jesus) last week and said to hannah, "i'm feeling--i don't know--very audrina from the hills today."

but here's where we consistently disagree: i hate therapy in a totally tom cruise sort of way.

case in point: hannah's therapist tells her to stop reading the newspaper (fine: therapist says hannah doesn't process news properly. just like that: "you know, some people don't process the news properly." as if, in some way, it might be the fault of hannah's condition.


marine, eight months pregnant, disappears from base before she is to testify in court.
rwandan genocide moves into the congo.
bush predicts peace treaty.
iran releases video of warship incident.
gisele bundchen carries coconut around rio de janeiro.
mangled pit bulls thrown in trash.
4 tots tossed from bridge by spiteful father.
james gandolfini: engaged!
heidi montag talks about life after calling off the wedding.
u.s. border control going through hiring boom.
anthony kiedis names son "everly bear."
what is a caucus?
consumers dissatisfied with light bulb that saves 70% of energy say it makes their skin look "ghastly."

okay, i just don't see how this has anything to do with how we PROCESS information. i mean, if we read the news at all, we're going against the grain. but just because we pretend the bomb-throwing-dressed-in-drag elephant isn't there, isn't screaming "that's fierce!" or "agents of change" or "iran started it," doesn't mean it's not there in all it's drunken glory.

the converse of this form of "therapy:" dr. H, my shrink for five years before i got the hell outta there, served in nam, smoked pot every day for twenty years, and had one of those faux waterfalls to the right of his office door. each week until my sophomore year in college, i waited until the couple from my church left marriage counseling so i could pretend not to know them and go in. he asked things like:

why do you find it necessary to turn the volume dial/tuner only up on your car stereo? why do you listen to the voice that says, "if you wear brown eyeliner today instead of black, you will die?"

the answer is simple. as my student once said with a shrug while lining up her pens, "because if i didn't the world would end."

i mean, i could say anything (how 'bout them steelers? who knew stankonia would be such a hit?) and he'd immediately be on my case about not communicating enough with my family.

hell, i just like that in my family, if i call crying, my dad will answer with, "so how bad are you? on a scale of 1 to molly?" it's really that simple.

sorry. hannah says i have to end on a light note. see, there was this whole story about my best friend from high school getting her stomach pumped, but han thought that might send our 3 readers spiraling in the wrong come-lie-on-my-manipulation-couch direction.

we all take some comfort in being slightly less crazy than whoever's around us, and the way we communicate that makes the people around us inch even closer to the oven.

like, hannah will say, "i don't feel i'm in control of my own thoughts," and i'll say, "go buy a cantaloupe from the open market! get on that long jog through your gorgeous neighborhood!"

or, when one of us is broke, the other begins spouting off recent purchases, as if taken hostage by the tourette's: CAMPER BOOTS!

or, i feel totally normal going into the gym yesterday. i see carlyle's car in the parking lot but then never see him inside. later, he calls and says, humorlessly, "i was in yoga class. wanna have lunch in the park?"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

he does his little turn on the catwalk

thanks, eric. i'm sending this off to the mickey mouse club. cha-ching.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hannah and Mamie's Last 48 Hours: Check out the timeline!!!

What I want to talk about, suddenly, is my holiday and how it was perfect if we can agree that a perfect holiday is defined as a bleak and lengthy stay on your living room couch while wolves dressed as children break ceiling pipes via paper-towel stuffed toilets on christmas morning and ALL the stores in town do not expect garden herb triscuits until FEBRUARY because, as the stock boy tells the girl in sweats tailed by snarling beasts, we can't get them, there has been a failure somewhere, a break, a line down, and there is without a doubt not a box of them left in this town.

If we can agree that this is indeed a perfect holiday, I'll move on. Grudgingly, and post what Mamie wants me to post. Which is possibly the most riveting series of events you could watch unfold.

Friday 1030pm

Mame came to keep me from bathing with my hair dryer, so we met up with Paul and Sal at Tayste. The server, who took this picture, would deliver items with a 'here you are, gorgeous.' And when he took the photo, at the last moment, he screamed, 'DIAMONDS!!!!!" at us, which possibly explains something. Maybe not why we look like tourists, but something.

Saturday 1245am

Saturday 1246 am

Saturday, 1 am

E-rock shoves off after watching the kids, refusing any part of an extra-large pizza order by saying unforgivably twittish things about eating at 1. At which point, he was no longer thanked for sitting, but chased out with a broom.

Saturday, 11 a.m.

We brunched with the children at the CAM. Everyone loved us. I mean, we look like there's another on the way from Laos or something.

Ehhh,actually, Haaaannah, I had a dream that we met a parrot.

Saturday 9 pm
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She looks like a condom. We're dead sober. The night is falling apart. Tom is looking at his watch.

PARTY. Not captured is Mamie feverishly looking up a not-quite-ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend online because she is convinced that this girl is hotter and more successful. Which of course she knows in her soul can't be possible, but she just needs evidence.

Given this photo, you might not think that when I put Sally on the plane and Mamie in her car that I went home and stared wistfully at Sal's wine glass and Mamie's altoids, also her Capri ultra-slims with a lucky cigarette turned up, but I did.

*What there are no pictures of: Mamie and I weeping in Juno. And more to the point, Mamie and I weeping through the preview of La Misma Luna.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day 1 of the Rest of Your Life!

hannah's soul is the overweight man in old navy wearing both a blue tooth and a gray t-shirt that reads UP YOURS.

yesterday, after yelling at each other from our respective target stores a state apart, hannah says, "i just think it's a flimsy construct is all."

she's talking about the new year, specifically the group of us (in the millions) who turn over new leaves! close the doors on that shoddy 2007! her hatred of this american-pick-yourself-up-by-the-boot-straps-ritual has debilitated her. it's not the promise to do better; rather, the idea that we all do it at once on some arbitrary day.

meanwhile, i'm searching for the PERFECT NEW DAY PLANNER at target. i'm hitting up my list of things to do in the NEW YEAR. i've joined a gym. i've got a trainer. this year, no doubt about it, i'm going to become the most famous DJ in the states. samantha ronson is somewhere shivering. carmen from the L word is rolling over in her late night cable grave. bubba sparxx meets rilo kiley! the shins into common! also, my chest is going to magically develop without surgery or nothin'. i spend much of yesterday daydreaming about the stack of books that, by this time next year, will be conquered: don quixote, the brothers karamazov, sunday houses the sunday house, black boy... hell, by this time next year, i'll know french fluently and be able to play the guitar with my toes.

"listen," she says, "i think you're getting too many endorphins."

me: i think we just need things to look forward to!

her: no, seriously, i think you've been running too much or something. you're not on drugs. are you eating okay? i just think you need to cut some things out of your life. it's like you're some sort of kenyan mail delivery person.

me: isn't there anything that will make you feel better?


calls back.

her: maybe travel?

me, clapping hands: ooohhh! yea!

her: like iceland. or nepal?

silence. it's clear we will be traveling on separate trips.

my euphoria is unwavering. her scroogishness, also, is going nowhere. i don't get it, though, with all the goodness going on around. the biggest loser: couples! t minus 4 days until a new season of the L word!

let's be honest. we are a failure of a people. i, for one, rang in the new year waitressing. specifically, i waited on 20 FIFTEEN YEAR OLD'S who gave exact change, speparate checks. also, because we were overbooked, they made up a table for ten where we normally check coats. upstairs. watched my boyfriend drink more and more at the bar while i all but scrubbed floors, while drunks blew noise makers in my ear and spilled cheap cook's champagne down the back of my pants. somewhere else, too close by, the avett brothers were playing. also, widespread. also, sound tribe sector 9. this is why we write--to make things lovely again, to make even the worst heartbreak/embarrassment/financial tragedy/death into something else, something funny perhaps, something shape it with our own hands and hold it, still, inside of them. when everything else is slipping away. so why not give the millions of us a break if, for a day or a month or so, we think we are becoming better?

because it's bullshit, hannah says.

okay, so if our new year souls were on a game of family feud, it'd be like this:

TEAM HANNAH: salman rushdie, edgar allen poe, jeff tweedy, stephen colbert, janeane garofalo, keifer sutherland

TEAM MAMIE: jem and the holograms, star brite, kirsten dunst, the guys from ween in the "buddy holly" video, lisa kudrow

the epigraph to one of my student's final portfolio this semester is from bob hass:

"it's the moment when the burden of another person's life seems insupportable. we want to be reborn incessantly but actually doing it begins--have you noticed? to seem redundant."