Category Archives: Smartypants

Unsolved Mysteries

Well that explains it.

It seems I have been published on The Morning News, the bastion of west coast irreverency and hipster cool.

Which is what I try to be every day, despite living in a square state with no coast and working for a corporation, which is the opposite of hipster cool.  But I do own Chuck Taylors and am often told I look like Tina Fey, so that has to count for something right?

Actually, it doesn’t even matter.  Today I was published, in a little tiny way, on one of my favorite websites.  And today, that counts for everything.

PS – Muchas gracias to Cat for solving the mystery. I can now stop cycling through creepy scenarios in which the whole world flocks to my blog and then, somehow, I end up dead in a ditch.  Or something.  Cat, you’re swell.

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Random Sample

Inspired by this, I decided to take a look at my own notebook.

Like most writers/artists/people with lots of ideas, I have a notebook.  Not a sketchbook, for that is far too limiting.  Not a writer’s notebook, specifically, as that implies that no sketching is allowed.  It’s not a journal (too many rules), it doesn’t have a designated theme or purpose.  There is only one rule: I can use it for whatever I want.

And so, for those of you who don’t have a notebook and think you might be missing out, I give you a random sampling of what is in my notebook.  And then I leave you to judge whether or not you actually need one of these, or if it’s just for crazy people.

– “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people” – Victor Borge.  Makes me think of Matt.

– An pencil drawing of a box of marshmallow peeps.

– This American Life story ideas (this page is blank)

– Bershert = the yiddish word for destiny.  Good to know.

– My friend Ashley’s address in The Gambia

– A page entitled “Mustache Ideas”

– A post-it note that says “Science Team”

– “There is so much beauty in an adventuresome spirit.” – The Mister

– “He was the man who cried Match.  How was I supposed to know he wasn’t faking it?”

– A page entitled Good First Sentences.   This page is also blank.

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In the world, or of the world?

Isn’t is strange how you can be in a huge crowd of people, and yet feel entirely alone? I realize that I am not the first person to make this (not so?) profound realization, but it wasn’t something that sank in until I was in the middle of it. At rehearsal today, I was in a hall with hundreds of people, and yet everyone was so engrossed with doing homework, listening to iPods, eating Chipotle etc… that I made no impact whatsoever on the dynamics of the room – zero. It was the strangest feeling to walk into a place and not have one single person be happy to see me, or angry to see me, or even to acknowledge my existence. I’m not saying a parade erupts and “Hail to the Chief” plays whenever I go somewhere, but to know that you have made no difference in a given space is so surreal.

I’m not holding any sort of pity party for myself. I decided long ago that music people had their own little groups and as the lone non-music major (ie, crazy person who can’t possibly understand the angst that lives in their poetic souls) that was fine with me. You can have your fermata jokes, because I don’t need them: I know a really funny Pope joke.

But it’s not just this – I realized that I have a tendency to isolate myself in life too, and not just when I don’t know people. And the strange thing about all of this, is that it doesn’t bother me. To walk into a room full of strangers and go sit in a corner alone would scare some people, and just seem weird to others, but not to me. But then, it doesn’t seem weird to me to eat dinner alone, go see a movie alone, or even just sit in my room alone, despite the fact that I live with several other people. I think it’s good to be OK with me; to be able to sit inside myself and not be afraid of the introspection that goes on. I really do like myself most of the time, and I don’t think many people have that. But do I like myself so much that I’m afraid of letting other people in? Or am I just afraid that if I let someone in, they won’t like me?

Am I destined to be alone?

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Beauty in the breakdown


I am newly obsessed with the movie “Garden State.” I watched it three times last weekend. Let’s ignore the fact that I had the time to watch a movie three times, and focus instead on the beautiful sadness of this movie. It touches on themes that resonate with everyone, no matter who they are or where they’ve come from – wanting to be happy, fear of being happy, wanting to be loved, fear of being loved, wanting to be safe and finding the person that provides that safe haven for you.

I think that emotional safety has more to do with who you’re with, and less about life situations and circumstances. There have been many times in my life when everything was spinning into pieces, but there was someone to hold me and make it better, and I think that kind of safety means more to all of us than we’d like to admit. At least that’s true for me, because as much as I always want to be strong about everything, and for everyone else, I have realized that there’s also somehing beautiful about trusting someone else to hold you when it goes to shit – there’s beauty in the breakdown.

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Ethics tangent

This ethics tangent is completely unprovoked, there is no agenda to my discussion. I guess it’s just good to remind yourself why you do what you do. This is why I do what I do, even if it’s on a very small scale right now.

I really like to believe in the power of the media, and I really like to believe that they make a difference. And I really like to believe that I too, will one day make a difference. Maybe not by being a Pulitzer Prize-winning whistle-blower, but by being the writer who told that story right, true. It might not be a lot, but it’s something.

I really like to believe that everyone is as idealistic as I am. And even I am not so naive as to think that THAT is true. But if the idealism of one can be a spark that lights the flames of many, who’s to say we can’t ignite the hearts of all by finding the truth? That has to be worth something.

I really like to believe that everyone who goes into journalism is doing it for the noblest of reasons: pursuit of passion, truth telling, passively advocating for humanity by recording our triumphs, our failures, and standing up for justice when something goes awry, even if we can only scream objectively and hope that someone can read our subtext, and know that something is wrong and desperately needs fixing. After all, journalism by its very nature is not a career of activism. It’s a career of quietly (or sometimes not so quietly) observing the comings and goings of our fellow man, and at the end of the day, knowing that something you said has given someone else a new context in which to think about the world. And that is definitely something.

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i carry your heart

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

-e.e. cummings

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