My friend Carl is moving to New Zealand for the next two months. Last night we went to his going-away party. Today I'm dreaming of travel - train cars and flimsy fold-down trays and those cheesy in-flight movies, bags of peanuts and roadside attractions...
Where would you go if you could go anywhere? Today, right now, it's Budapest. Or maybe some other Eastern European country. Somewhere I could wear a fur cap and coat without feeling terrible about myself.
After posting about Chat Roulette yesterday I decided to give the site a go for the first time. Mom, if you're reading this, please do not click that link. I'm dead serious on that one. Just don't.
Walking the streets of Chicago today reminds me of riding a giant Slip-n-Slide the length of the entire city. Snow has melted to slush, then slicked with rain. I feel like I should be scooting around on my butt, not foolishly trying to keep my feet under me.
Since we don't have cable yet, I've seen exactly 0% of the winter Olympics. I hear we won the hockey game against Canada though, so....yay?
Woke up to noises that sounded like someone doing incredibly inept construction work in our apartment
Discovered those noises were being made by a robbery in progress, and that the robber had a knife
Was threatened with said knife
Had my phone stolen, along with Ben's phone, laptop and money from his wallet
Filed a police report
Played host to evidence technicians and landlords traipsing through the house
Fielded a series of increasingly concerned emails from my parents
Found out I got into grad school with a partial scholarship
Obviously, it's been a strange day. Both Ben and I are okay, and I think we interrupted the guy before he could take too much. Clearly he wasn't expecting anyone to be around at 11:20 - one of the benefits (??) of unemployment is that we were both here to stop him.
So far I've blocked most of my emotions from happening, sublimating them, focusing instead on the excitement and curiosity about police proceedings. I've read too much Sherlock Holmes not to get worked up about fingerprinting and footprinting, describing the suspect's features, retracing his path through our house, putting myself in his shoes.
But beneath the surface, everything's in flux. I'll see something he didn't take and feel immense relief to still have it. Standing in our bedroom door, overcome by a tidal wave of panic remembering him standing in the same place. In our bedroom. With a knife. Anger, annoyance, frustration, this kind of grim humor, all flicker past. Most embarrassingly, the urge to post updates to facebook and blog, even while our landlord is fitting our windows for burglary bars.
Maybe tomorrow I'll allow myself to celebrate grad school. Today it's just a little too much.
I'm starting to post weekly on The Apiary Corp.'s blog (check out my blogroll for a link - don't know why it doesn't auto-update like the others). Our posts focus on upcoming writing events in Philadelphia as well as questions of inspiration and creativity. Soon I'll start posting events from Chicago too. I just have to find them first!
Today's post features a quotation from Jim Jarmusch about source material. Each of us in our creative lives have borrowed or even outright stolen ideas, quips or plot devices from other artists. How do you justify these creative pilferings?
Personally, I decided a long time ago that sampling from others was inevitable. Judicious use of others' work actually makes my writing stronger. It lends my ideas focus and creates links between my projects and the larger artistic community. Apiary's blog (and accompanying literally magazine) is trying to do just that: forge an ecstatic, humming hive mind of creative thinkers and doers. Personally, I'd love to see Apiary contributors borrowing from each other frequently, riffing on ideas and taking them to surprising, illuminating places.
What do you think about authenticity and originality? What do you think about community and art? How have past experiences influenced the way you fit yourself into creative communities? Who are the thinkers, poets, dreamers, filmmakers that resonate with you, and whose worldviews weasel their way into your own work? I'd love to hear your comments below, but I'd also love to see some of these thoughts start popping up on the Apiary blog. Help our fledgling literary magazine find its wings!
This is clearly the best billboard in all creation. Fact. And no doubt this is a necessary PSA. You just can't argue with free HIV testing or condoms.
But seriously, St. John's? Seriously? 'Da Gonorrhea Breaker'? 'Da Chlamydia Crusher'? These epithets will stick with these kids for LIFE. People will be snickering under their breath about that stuff well past their retirement parties.
Also, by assigning such specific labels to each one it sort of insinuates that those are the STDs each one currently suffers from. I can't help but wonder if the ringleader of this gang, Don Condom Father or whatever, made this billboard with MS Paint in the middle of the night, then put it up without anyone's permission.
Actually, you know what? That's probably exactly what he did.
I've got a few posts planned to tell about our packing, trucking and arrival here in Chicago. This morning, however, a full week (!!!) after our move, I find myself still in the midst of move-related chores. I promise some day soon I'll start taking my duties as blog owner seriously!
In the meantime, a picture of my new favorite restaurant, Mr. Taco. According to the paintings on the wall, Mr. Taco is a lascivious anthropomorphic taco man who spends his days wooing a slimy-looking taco lady by a cool green guacamole pool. Do your thing, Mr. Taco.