Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Last night I watched New York's Eyewitness news at five, and I like never watch the television news (except for the Jim Lehrer news hour, to please my high school history teacher). And it was crazy! For those of you who have read Francesca Lia Block (omg), it gave new meaning to the whole trope of Witch Baby pasting horrible pictures from the newspaper to her bedroom walls. The newscasters didn't seem fazed at all, although they made the appropriate tragic murmur sounds. A family was burned in a fire, mother huddled over kids. Some girls were forced to get into a minivan by some guys, and were raped. Best of all, a New Jersey lab technician violated a 93-year-old woman's corpse--they left that story to the end, but hinted at it before every commercial break.

This isn't supposed to be an indictment of like, sensationalistic television news media whatever, I just legitimately forgot that the whole "violent contemporary world" thing wasn't just a part of the nineties, and my childhood. I've talked about this with people before--that intensified period of parental worry about abduction and sexual abuse in the early-mid nineties. On the news last night they also had a story about an upstate New York town instating a 7:30pm curfew for trick-or-treaters. I keep thinking about Francesca Lia Block, and how a lot of her books must have been responding to how totally scary L.A. is. That's what Joan Didion is famous for talking about, too. I mean, I know we're all supposed to be scared all the time and everything's horrible, blah blah, but it seems like kind of a passe topic at this point. I think the newscasters are parodying it a little bit, even. Well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Mercy and the Butterfly visit London, get bowlcuts, meet fashion photographers:

Picture from

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


There's this thing called The Cleanse or something, which my co-worker is currently pursuing, where you eat only lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper (mixed together) for ten days straight. My sister used to talk about detox and shit like that when she was younger. Weird! I can't even imagine. Thoughts, homeopaths?


Today on the subway I started reading Crime and Punishment. My mother bought me the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction for my birthday (only because I asked for it), and I haven't read a lot of the stories, especially stuff like "The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson, and "Heart of Darkness." According to Owen, I haven't read the classics. Over the summer I worked for an English professor, and I realized that I'm very good at faking my way through conversations about music and literature. I'd never thought I was faking it, before.

Over the weekend I saw The Darjeeling Limited, which like all Wes Anderson movies produces this weird, only momentarily satisfying sense of fullness. The way he has people handle objects in his movies is the kind of cinematic trick that totally does it for me every time. It's like, Natalie Portman brushes her teeth! And it looks great. And obviously this must be the universally appealing thing about his movies, and why white people of a certain leaning like them so much. I also think this is something about Cigarettes and Movies, and really I'm just talking about smoking in movies and how much I am persuaded by it. I'm so impressionable.

Monday, October 15, 2007


In her really weird and often totally pointless diaries, Anais Nin talks a lot about her need to take care of people, particularly boys. When men come to her hungry, she bakes. She's a really self-aggrandizing diarist, so although she "berates" herself for her lapses into anti-feminism, it's clear that she enjoys giving her fucked-up Parisian artist friends money when they run out of it.

I've been thinking about the perversity of this pleasure a lot. I like it too. I just made coffee for my boyfriend and one of my best male friends while they did some shit on the computer. I make dinner for my boyfriend all the time. But there is a difference between the way I like feeding boys and the way my grandmother does: for her, it's totally normal and self-evident. For me, it's always seemed like an indulgence, a novelty, and a gesture at the kind of thing people do when they're grown up. Except that I am grown-up. I live with a twenty-two-year-old boy, and I am twenty-three.

Anais always treats it like a romantic novelty, too. You picture her sitting there in her poorly insulated room in Paris, alone, writing erotica to make ends meet (though she really finds it vulgar, ordinary), and then there's a knock on the door. It's Jacques, her destitute artist friend, and his clothes are full of holes. She sits him down, brews him coffee, and then darns his socks while he sits there. And of course the conversation is scintillating--they're intellectual equals!--but she is definitely the one darning his socks.

My appreciation for history is damaging in this way. You want me to mend that hole in your pants? Sure! I can only imagine how charming I'll look doing it. I will put the glass of wine on the table, pick up the pants, pull through the needle.