31 December 2010


After spending approximately 11 hours cleaning my room, I finally have a chance to upload some photos of Christmastime and some of the gifts I gave and received. Last year I blogged about making gifts for loved ones, and I've done that again this year. Now that they've finally received them, I can show you what I've made. I hope you enjoy this photo post and I hope everyone has a happy New Year's Eve. Remember, take with you only happiness into the new year.

Here's  a photo of my Christmas tree at 7 a.m. Christmas morning, after I woke up my brother and my parents with my Linus plush that talks when you squeeze him.

"For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. And on earth, peace, and good will towards men. That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Above is the frame I created for Todd. Supplies: a plain undecorated frame, card-stock paper for the background, stickers, glue, a photograph. Also woodcut letters help, which is what I wrote our names with, and the top heart is also made of wood and painted. Below is the box I created for my parents. Supplies: a plain box, stickers for the lettering and top designs, ribbon for the center, and card-stock paper for the bottom. I put little envelopes on the inside with Christmas messages inside of them for both of my parents.


My dad is a master at decorating gifts. Using wrapped books and ribbon (and empty gold wrapping paper tubes), he created a Chococat sleigh out of all of my gifts. Isn't it awesome?

Todd got me a few awesome gifts; one of them was these custom Converse that he had designed to say "The Weakerthans" on them, the name of my favorite band, which I sort of introduced to him when we first started hanging out. I'm really excited to get a chance to wear them! 

The best gift of all:

30 December 2010


For me, the end of the year is a time of self-evaluation, a time when I reconsider everything in my life and hold on to the things that are worth it and get rid of the things that aren't. I love spending time with my family at Christmas, and this year it was extra special and great because Todd got to share in the celebrations with us.

(And I didn't get broken up with, like last Christmas. Not that I thought it would happen, but it's always a bonus either way!)

Now that I've got a ton of new things -- I'll have some pictures later -- it's time for stage two: cleaning. I plan to go through pretty much every single thing I own and decide to either get rid of it or find its proper place in my room. 

But it's not just my room that I have to clean. I think it's important to sort through feelings and character traits, too, and decide which are worth keeping (happiness, love, open-mindedness) and which can be tossed aside (doubt, fear, worry). With the new year quickly approaching, it's important to decide just who we want to be and how we want to live. The most important part of any endeavor, relationship or life circumstance is how we let it change us and how we learn and grow from it.

 I want to start 2011 at my maximum potential, with all of my energy correctly aligned. And from there, who knows where I can go.
"I don't need what I cannot carry on me or inside. And I don't want it. I don't want what I cannot carry with me or beside." - TreeUnion, Kiss the Moon.

13 December 2010

What An Adventure!

I love Christmas. And I especially love Christmas in New York - the tall skyscrapers (some of which are decorated with lights), the bustle of Macy's in Herald Square, and most importantly the chance to spend some quality time with my mom shopping for Christmas gifts. Here's some photos from our spree:


Here's mom in Macy's, where we looked around a lot at all of the nice decorations, but didn't really buy anything. I wanted to take a picture of the giant Smurf balloon outside, but didn't get a chance to.

In the Manhattan Mall, they had these weird reindeer made out of what seemed to be fake grass. They were really creepy, so I made my mom take a picture with one of them. Of course, then I had to take a picture too.

After shopping, we met up with my brother and my dad down at the South Street Seaport, where we saw the decorated Christmas tree (which had actually fallen a few days before). It was nice to hang out as a family, even though my brother said I was annoying because I kept trying to talk to him!

Here he is, in close up. I was sad because he didn't want to smile in his picture with me.

And lastly, the best close to the day --- tangerine glazed salmon over a bed of coconut rice with bits of pineapple and melon. As we know, I am such a foodie, so this was nearly heaven for me.

09 December 2010

My Poetry Book

I finally finished the long process of self-publishing a poetry book, and am only just starting the even longer process of trying to market it myself and get the word out there. Filled with 64 poems divided into five different sections, the book strives to tell a narrative story about the human experience. It is called "An Unfamiliar Ache."

It's only $8 on Amazon, so if you could check it out (click HERE), I would really appreciate it. And even if you can't buy a copy, please please please just tell everyone you know about it and tell them to tell everyone they know about it, and this way we can work together to make people aware of it. 

Thanks so much!

07 December 2010

04 December 2010

"Tangled" Up Together

 Yesterday, before the monthly poetry reading at Barnes & Noble, Todd and I decided to go to the movies; we'd both been anticipating the release of Disney's latest princess flick, "Tangled." The movie, an animated version of the classic Rapunzel Tale, didn't disappoint.

Although the film showed in 3D, we opted for the old-school version, and it was more than satisfactory. The plot was solid, with catchy songs. The animation resembled the classic Disney style we grew up with. The characters were funny and interesting. Todd especially liked the little green chameleon; I preferred Eugene, the sexy bad-boy-turned-hero.

My favorite scene: when Rapunzel and Eugene sit together in a boat, the water rocking softly below them, and they watch glowing lanterns fill the entire night sky. And when the movie ended, Todd and I decided to add "sit in a boat and watch floating lanterns in the sky" to our list of things to do.

 Of course, that might never actually happen. But we've decided that we're stuck with each other until we finish the list, so I'm fine with never finishing at all.

Prose Poem #2

At the top of the broken escalator, we stop to catch our breaths. While we remind our lungs how to expand and contract at a not-frenzied pace, we watch the people coming up after us. A teenage girl with long brown hair has her tongue in her boyfriend’s ear like she’s digging the last bits of ice cream out of a cone. A group of children rush up shouting, pretending the climb is a boot camp drill and their fingers are bent to form the shapes of guns. A woman follows them and her eyes dart from one scampering body to the next, never letting them out of her sight, and in the shape of her smile we could find all of the words for all of the poems we can never write. An elderly couple reaches the top; they stand just beyond the escalator mouth. Quietly, they hold each other. We look away.

02 December 2010

Prose Poem #1

after taking the subway to meet you

We have to walk up the broken escalator in Bloomingdale’s, each step taller than that of an average staircase. Our thighs ache with the effort of stretching our legs too far and our fingers cramp from gripping onto the rail. We worry about falling. We worry about slicing open the skin of our knees on the jagged metal edges of every step. We worry that it’ll start moving again while we’re still on it. If the escalator suddenly resumes its upward trek and we start tumbling downwards at the same rate of its ascent, we will be suspended in a state of perpetual motion. We will be falling and not falling at exactly the same time. I feel the warmth of your palm on my back as we approach the second floor and I think, isn’t that exactly what we’re doing now?

01 December 2010

Visual Arts Aren't Just Digital

Considering I was just posting about reading and writing and about Jonathan Safran Foer, check out this video about his newest book, "Tree of Codes," which is actually a story literally formed by cutting out sections from Bruno Shulz' "Street of Crocodiles."

Active Reading

I interviewed Tim O'Brien for an article I wrote sometime earlier this year. Most famously, he wrote "The Things they Carried," the story of a group of army grunts in Vietnam. I've read every single book he's ever written, and he's always been my favorite writer. So of course, when I interviewed him, I had to ask him about writing, and he told me to always "read like a writer," asking myself why I liked something, and how it moved me.

I just finished reading "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer. What started as an affinity for the movie "Everything is Illuminated" (mostly because Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz had a leading role), has developed into a deep respect and admiration for Safran Foer, both as a writer and as a reader. 

As a writer, I've been paying attention to the way he manipulates style to get across the voice and tone of his character. I want to try and develop my own style and voice in my own works. It makes me want to write more. As a reader, I appreciate the always-moving, ever-developing story and the way it drew me in and didn't let me go until I had finished the entire novel, almost without realizing it.

Tim O'Brien will always be my favorite author, but Jonathan Safran Foer definitely comes close, and I highly recommend reading his books. Find your own way to read it, whether it's as a reader, as a writer, or as something else, something that only you can define. 

"What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls?" 

- Jonathan Safran Foer, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close", page 1.

29 November 2010

New Design... Sort of

I know. You were filled with such anticipation when opening up my blog on your browser, unable to contain your excitement over my promised new template and design. It's okay, you can admit that you were a little bit disappointed to find that the color scheme is, well, to be honest it's basically the same. There's a new background, but it's still a lot of blacks, blues, and purples.

Although I'm sorry for letting you down, there is a reason for it, aside from the fact that those are my favorite colors. Firstly, blue and purple are the two chakras that are hardest for me to keep in balance. More on this in a later post, but suffice to say that I'm at my happiest when surrounded by blue and purple hues to increase my creativity and communication, as well as the deeper, spiritual part of the mind I'm trying to awaken.

But there's a second reason, too. I'm sure you saw (and if not, scroll down!) the picture in my Thanksgiving post, of me and my new boyfriend Todd. In our relationship, blue is always the color that represents me and purple is always the color that represents him. (More about the relationship in a later post, too). Without being naively optimistic, I think this relationship actually has the potential to go somewhere and be something, and I want to symbolically represent that here, because he makes me happier than anyone ever has before.

So yeah. Okay. I didn't change that much... but I did get it done before December 1, so do I at least get points for not making you wait for it?

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful that I have things for which to be thankful.

Expect regular posts and a blog overhaul by December 1. 
(Also, look! I have a new hairstyle... sort of!)

"And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual revolution."
- Chris McCandless / Alexander Supertramp

20 October 2010


There will be updates (or possibly a whole new redesigned blog) once I get a new laptop! Unfortunately mine has, after four years, reached the limit, and now I'm afraid to use it in fear that it might explode and take all of my files with it.

Brief updates: got a job, worked at job, had to quit job. finished a novel. editing novel. trying to self-publish a book of poetry. got a boyfriend. still have a boyfriend. (i don't know what I'm going to call him on this blog yet, but he's here: twitter.com/terminalprp. And he's awesome.)

And speaking of Twitter, I'm here: twitter.com/hungupon. Oh yeah, got a Twitter. Still have a Twitter. Benefits: You get lots of news all in one place. You find out cool things depending on who you're following. You can stalk people easily. Downsides: You read useless status updates. You don't care about what the majority of people you're following have to say, you just want followers so they'll follow you. How many people actually read your 140 character update, considering how fast some people's timelines must move? Does anyone actually search out your Twitter to read your updates? Probably not. People can stalk you more easily. (Although, that might be a good thing, if you like creepy. Which I actually do, but that's besides the point. *eyeshift* *eyeshift*). 

Hope all is well with everyone who possibly looks at this, and hope to be back and peruse your blogs again very soon. (Mac or Windows laptop? Any preferences?)

23 September 2010


Plea Before the World Ends
i slipped my hand into yours
and you smiled wide, so why
can't people live like this
all of the time?

dear old writing habit
where have you been?
you got deep within
my muscle memory
but it isn't enough
and i miss you,
let's catch up

by the light of the harvest moon
i'll lead you back to that 
secluded beach halfway between
an island and a landfill and we'll
sit on a rock that we don't really
fit on and we'll be falling and catching

each other all of the time
we'll let our feet dangle the foam-flecked
waves will lick our toes tickling and then
we'll feed ourselves to the sea 
in bits
first our skin peeling off like a lemon rind
stinging from the inside out and then 
our organs the liver the intestines the
brain and the hearts pounding wild jolting
and then comes the hard part we'll release
all pre and mis conceptions doubts and fear
our souls will float like jellyfish or
stingrays and we'll watch ourselves drift
salty and dissolved illuminated red 
we'll wish on the moon fat and huge
for no more than what we need 
and in that place where i knew
i would love you
we'll put each other back together
i know
you know
we're already everything 
each other will ever need

22 September 2010

reconstructing the universe

my body is a bursting
supernova wrapped in
the galaxy of freckles

on your arms, our love
a bottomless black hole
endlessly sucking us

deeper and deeper
into infinity.

16 September 2010

poems (too busy to write more, lately)

the things we mean the most are always the hardest to say
(or, i love you).

it hovers. it grows larger with every scratch
i claw into the skin of your back. it stretches
out our lungs, like a pocket of unspoken air. it aches.
it coagulates in the membranes like sticky mucus,
like promises we hope we’ll somehow keep.
it teases our tastebuds. we roll it like a pebble
under our tongues. we try to stop it with moans
and whispers. with mouths to skin. with fear.
but finally it bursts.
and it surges, like a river behind a rising floodgate.
or a storm. it rumbles up our throats and washes
out of our pores. we touch each other in the most
intimate of places, the soles of our feet, the earlobe
and the hip bone. our sweat-slick bodies shiver.
our molecules tremble. we become parts of each other.
finally, we are most fully ourselves.

04 September 2010

central park after dusk


the street lamps shone like fat full moons but we picked
the darkest path to follow its winding course led us past
boys playing basketball without a hoop and a small dog
that scurried out from under a bench i almost screamed but
i knew you’d protect me if it came too close and so i just
gulped down my fear and clenched it deep inside my knuckles

we sat on a hill that was more rocks and twigs than grass
and you crouched down and i wanted to say come here
but i didn’t we squinted in the dim moonlight to read poetry
we had written and we both knew that it was really about you
and it was really about me it was just one of those things
we could feel aching and sloshing around in our blisters

we lay in the dirt and felt prickly bug legs skittering over
our backs and under the hems of our jeans we let our shoulders
tilt into each other like it didn’t matter but we both tasted
the fire on our tongues from words we wanted to say i can write
a hundred poems abut you but they can’t spark the burn
under our ribcages the way those words would if we let them go.

01 September 2010

Dear Little Bird On a Branch

you are a thing with feathers
grey blue with a golden sheen
and i’m watching your beak
the way it stretches so wide, gaping
like a wave. about to crash to shore.
a mouth hungry for particles.
and i’m listening to your song
and i’m hoping it’s about me
even though i am not a bird
and i cannot fly.
you see,
i am thing with skin, stretchy and pockmarked
and not very glamorous.
my lifespan is long enough for regrets.
my babies are not born in an egg;
i won’t feed them any worms
and i can't sing. 
at least, not very well.
but if you give me a chance
i can climb up there next to you
slowly. and I might slip. more than once,
but I’ll do it for you, if you chirp for me.
and we can watch the world
from our perch
and let the sun paint us golden red
as its rising rays make us squint
and look away. it’s only in the peripherals
that we can ever really see each other;
when we can’t distinguish the details
that make us different, we can transform
into anything we want.

25 August 2010


some stuff i wrote this morning on the train:

Bad Luck
it's that flower you received on the best day you ever had.

you pressed it into a book to try and savor the memory but
it sweetened and became rotten.

it's the way you lay on your stomach in the grass, playing
with little dandelions and making wishes on seeds, until
a colony of ants started crawling along your spine.

it's the folded-down corners and creased spine of a book
you've read so many times, but no matter how often 
you peruse it's pages, the fairytale never comes true.

fuck it. luck is just another word for choices and consequences, 
for reasons and regrets, and hey kid,you've got to take risks
sometimes, otherwise how can you really say you're alive?

Promise To a Lost Cause

early morning, rattling train
another gray and rainy day
stuck in a castle tower and
unable to say what i want to say

all i've got is this labored breath
and this terrifying intensity
if you need more than honest feeling
i'm not sure what it could be

can't bring the drawbridge down
can't turn ocean into ground

all i can really offer is: 
if you want me, i'll stick around.

15 August 2010

The Barbies Are Back!

One of my close friends (let's call her Curls) and I 
made a movie with Barbies and string five years ago. Yesterday at a sleepover, we lugged down all of my old dolls from my attic and decided we were going to make a sequel to our first movie. All I want to say is, it was hilarious, and a lot of fun, and I'm really glad that Curls and I will never forget how to just be kids and laugh at ourselves. I hope you always remember, too.

(Me and Curls)


13 August 2010


Firstly, I want to mention that I have been published in the online version of The Prose Poem Project (page 75, but I'm there, please check it out) and will be in the print version when it comes out later in the Fall! So exciting, my first shot at publication of any of my poems... well, my first successful shot, haha.
Secondly, something new:

Don't let it fool you, the tide is tease
I want to stand exactly at the spot

where the sea meets the shore
but every time I think I'm there
it's just a little farther away.

Thirdly, another new one:

when i sat on a secluded beach and
watched city island from afar

the quiet is broken only by a gull's shriek
and the sand is littered with little shells,
speckled pebbles, and a plastic spoon.
and a sailboat's mast toppled to the ground
and mossing over. everything finds its way
back to nature sometime. the waves
wash against the shore like tiny mouths,
aching with hunger, always wanting
just a little more. the ocean salt
stings the throat. the air reeks with the sour
fishy stench of a beach left unkempt.
an old man reels in his catch and says
he likes my sneakers because he had
the same ones when he was seventeen
and he didn't know they still made them.
from here, city island looks like i could hold it
in my palm. maybe i won't even cross
the bridge and enter. i'll just keep resting
on this uneven rock and leave the land
lying in the distance like a postcard scene,
inviting and perfect and untouchable.
that's how i should have left you, too.

04 August 2010

Remembering the Joys of Rollerblading

It's been a long time since I felt the bumps in the pavement under my feet as I sailed down the hilly, badly cracked bike path near my house. Last summer I got so caught up with having a boyfriend who didn't really like to be outside in the heat that I forgot about doing the outdoorsy things that make me happy, like rollarblading (aka inline skating). 

I bladed four miles today; and was it a workout! It was harder than I remembered, but I also pushed myself further than I normally used to. I like to feel things and do things to their extremes, so I bladed until I was panting and my water bottle was empty. 

I'm finally pulling back all of the loose strands in my life. I'm working on a new novel, which is about halfway through, and I'm going to try to write some more poetry soon. I'm applying for jobs and I'm reading voraciously. And now I'm blading again. I vow not to forget about it, for as long as the weather's warm enough to blade.

... I don't think my aching thighs would let me forget it now, even if I wanted to. Ow.

26 July 2010

When You're Broke, You've Got to Get Creative

I have 47 pairs of earrings, which is a lot by my mother's standards, but probably not too many if you ask other women my age. For a while I had them hanging on some strips of cardboard taped to the side of my dresser, but the humidity made the tape peel, which made everything fall to the ground.

I wanted something to hang my earrings on, but I'm just about dead broke. So the only thing to do was make an earring board myself. It doesn't require much, just a piece of thin canvas and a thumb-tac to make holes with. It helps if you have these things around the house, I guess.

Then I used some stickers and decorations that I had stored in my closet (I'm big on making things for holidays. Last Valentine's Day, I made a really nice book/collage for my ex-boyfriend. I want that back now!) to make it look pretty, and then hung my earrings on it, and then I was done, for relatively little or no cost!

21 July 2010

Tired of Plain Ol' Spaghetti? Try Hungarian Spaghetti!

I am going to share with you the very simple recipe for Hungarian spaghetti (which is really more like lasagna, but very delicious). If you try to cook it, let me know how it turns out!

INGREDIENTS: oil, chopped meat, a box of spaghetti pasta, black pepper, paprika, salt, laurel (bay) leaves, sour cream, cheese.

1. Boil water and cook the spaghetti noodles.
2. While that’s cooking, pour oil into a pan and sautee the onions until they start to be translucent.
3. Put the meat into the same pan and cook for about five minutes
4. Put in four laurel leaves and let the flavor cook into the meat
5. Cook the meat until brown
6. Sprinkle black pepper, salt, and paprika onto the meat. Put as much or little as you want. I put a lot of paprika, a medium amount of black pepper, and just a little salt, but it depends on your taste preferences.  If it seems too dry, add a little bit of water to the pan, but not too much, because you don’t want to turn it into a sauce. If there’s a sauce or ’juice’, you’ve used too much water and should pour some out before doing the following steps.
7. When the meet is cooked, get a baking pan, preferably rectangular shaped but really, anything will do, as long as you can perform the following steps.
8. Completely cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of noodles. This should be about half of the noodles you’ve cooked.
9. Completely cover that with a layer of meat. This should use up all of the meat you’ve cooked.
10. Cover that with another layer of noodles, finishing up your noodles. Spread sour cream on top of the noodles. I like to put a lot, so that the noodles are completely covered.
11. Sprinkle cheese on top of the sour cream. Again, you can put as much as you want, but I usually put a lot of cheese, so that the sour cream is totally covered. As for type of cheese, I use a mixture of mozarella and cheddar.
12. Bake until the cheese gets melty (or even until it starts getting those baked brown spots, that’s good), but don’t burn it.
13. Cut like lasagna and sprinkle more paprika on top of your piece if necessary (I always do this). 


Trip Journal: DAY EIGHT --- 31 May 2010

2:08 p.m.

            Yesterday we went to András’ grandma’s for lunch and had delicious goulash soup with nokedli – I ate two plates! I can’t believe week one is nearly over already. Tomorrow we go to Budapest already. My Hungarian speaking skills are improving and I’m trying to speak more. After lunch we came back here and played some indoor hackeysack and watched HAIR (in English with Hungarian subtitles) and then went over to visit Attila again. We hung upstairs for a bit and Melivn taught me some guitar. It was actually a lot of fun and I want to buy a blue guitar now. Maybe I’ll get one once I have some money, so probably not for a while haha.
            Then we went outside and played hackeysack for a while, but when it started getting dark we just sat at the pinic table and talked. Attila got Melvin pretty drunk and me and András just watched them talking to each other. Melvin talks a lot when he’s drunk, and me and András laughed because we’d heard the same stories like three times now, every time he drank a fair amount. It wasn’t bad, though, we didn’t mind, and I think it was helping András’ English anyway. At one point Melvin and Attila went behind the shed to talk and András and I were just like ’Um... ok...’
            Oh, and funny stuff, the other night András asked Melvin if he’d ever see the Golden Gate, and Melvin thought he meant the bridge (I did, too, hearing the conversation from the bathroom where I was drying off after a shower), but it turns out he meant a Hungarian porn site!

11:55 p.m.

            Today we went to the city center and Melvin bought an acoustic/electric guitar and we met András’ friend. Then we came here and cooked spaghetti, but it was more like lasagna. I’ll put the recipe here in case anyone wants to make it. Then we went bowling and András won, twice. That’s about it. Tomorrow – Budapest.


20 July 2010

A Separate Peace

I first read John Knowles' A Separate Peace in high school, and the book immediately drew me in with it's stark, yet still poetic, descriptions and colorful characters, with the tension between Gene and Finny, the way kept questioning what happened up in that tree. 

After more than four years, I've decided to re-read it, more deeply and thoroughly than before, with the eyes of a writer, as Tim O'Brien once advised during an interview I conducted with him for amNewYork. I need to do all I can to advance myself as a reader and as a writer, as a writer who reads, as a reader who lives to write. 

And I've been thinking that the tension between Gene and the  tree, the way it makes him uneasy, is the same as what I feel towards (don't laugh) Twitter. Whenever I hear about Twitter, I get this very bad feeling that technology is spiraling in a very useless, mindless direction, where everything we need is at our fingertips, but we've forgotten that the important part is the journey. 

That said, I am trying to make peace with my tension, and give Twitter another go, as my friend Paul F (also on Twitter)advised me to do, even though the first time failed miserably. One Tweet was all I managed. But Paul is one of the people I listen to when he gives advice, so here goes.

So, follow me on Twitter here or just search hungupon! Start a feed, and I'll gladly follow you, too!

The Guild Season 4 Episode 2!

 If you looked at my last post about "The Guild," a show about a group of WOW gamers in a guild, focusing mainly on a nerdy, awkward chick named Codex (and featuring a super hot - but young - kid named Bladezz), then I have good news -- there's a new episode!! Not only that, but a new episode will be released every Tuesday at midnight until the season is complete!!!

So check it out here. Love it.

14 July 2010

'The Guild' Is My New Guilty Pleasure

I'm a sucker for anything sci-fi fantasy, and I'm also quite the nerd. Although I'm not a serious gamer myself (I don't have the patience to sit there making a little person run around fighting things to level up), I do enjoy some video games and I enjoy the gamer culture. 
That's why my newest favorite show is "The Guild," a three-season (so far) series of mini webisodes about the members of a World of Warcraft guild called "The Knights of Good." But when the members decide to meet in person, things start going downhill and the guild is faced with possible disbandment. It's quirky, silly, and engaging, especially if you get the gamer jokes and nerd references (I do; my brother's a gamer). 
So, check it out. You can find the past three seasons here and you can find the first bit of season four (so good!) on Bing or MSN.

12 July 2010

The Start of My Second Poetry Collection

when the line blurs between reality and writing

it takes me three hours to drink a Venti
shaken black tea lemonade
two pumps sweetened and
when i'm done i've lived three lives
and knew how to drive
spoke in tongues and 
saw you, found love
that shifted the energy of the cosmos
from spirals to star-shapes
i lost a little menace
gained a little mirth --
          Look, the novel's finished but
          i've still got this picture of you
          so it doesn't matter if the cup 
          is half empty or half full or
          never really existed at all


ancient love potion

i swear that i will make you mine:
           blow on every dandelion i can find
         call you to me under a harvest moon
         wrap feathers in your hair and shove
         semi-precious stones into your stomach

... if all that fails, i might actually have to talk to you
          but i'm hoping that isn't the case.


i need you but you're stuck on a horizontal staircase

you can only stumble sideways into empty space
where you see the nothing, you don't pretend there's something
in the shadows, your face glows like the moon, and i'm learning
some ancient magic that will turn me into a fruit bat and then i'll
spread my wings and bear my tiny teeth and hear you from so very
far away.

Trip Journal: DAY SEVEN - 30 May 2010

            Yesterday we went to the store, bought some juice and cheese and sour cherries (oops – should I have fridged those?) and we came back and made dough for lángos. Melvin filmed the actual dough-making. We were just being silly and dancing around a lot while András gave us directions on what to do. Then we left for grandpa’s sister’s house, where we saw Jóska and his son and then ate chicken (why are we eating so much chicken? I eat too much chicken as it is at home!) and french fries. So Hungarian, I know. Then we had a creme pastry dessert and just talked. Or, should I say, Jóska talked. And talked. And talked. About his coral collection, which was pretty interesting, and about how he once camped out in a car parking lot and about the renovations they were doing on the house. Finally we left, and in the car we all breathed sighs of relief and broke out into nearly hystserical laughter. We laughed, also, because Jóska’s pretty old and he couldn’t remember Melvin’s name, so in order to explain it to him, András would say ’mell’ (which means breasts in Hungarian) and point to his chest) plus vin, but Jóska always only remembered the breasts half after that.
            Then we listened to music. Melvin learned ’Burning Bridges’ by Chris Pureka (I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t ever listened to her) and we sang for a bit. Then we helped András with the rest of the dough and made a fruit cake. We were all just being silly and I love that, that we’re all so willing to laugh at ourselves and make fools of ourselves together. I could easily see the three of us living together and having a blast nearly every night.  It’s a lot of fun. Then later I taught Melvin to skank and two-step and we started frying the lángos. Then we ate them with garlic and sour cream and lots of cheese – delicious. We laughed a lot – about how much cheese Melvin had grated because I really wanted cheese, and about my attempts to eat a third lángos, which I did, but barely. It was a moment I wanted to bottle up and keep forever, to peek into whenever I’m sad or lonely so that it can cheer me up. It was such a small moment, but it really made me feel grateful to be here in Hungary. It’s the simple moments that always mean the most.
            After eating we played more cards but then we were too tired and went to sleep. Oh, but before that, Melvin and I had a nice heart-to-heart about John and other things. I’m really glad he came with me to Hungary. He’s a really good friend, and I think this has made our friendship stronger.


11 July 2010


     As anyone who follows this blog knows, I'm a huge fan of romantic comedies. Last night I watched one called "Timer," which my friend Jo recommended to me. It was really good, with an interesting plot and good set of characters and actors. The main theme of the movie was that everyone could get a timer on their wrist, which would countdown to the day they met their one true love. If your timer was blank, it meant your true love didn't have a timer. 

     I've been thinking about the timer idea since yesterday night, when I watched the film, and the more I think about it, the more vehemently I disbelieve it (or want to, anyway). If I had the chance to get a timer, I'd refuse. Sure, it would be convenient and relieving to know that I have a true love out there, to even know exactly when we're going to meet. But don't you think that would be a little boring? I think half the excitement of true love would be feeling that jolt when stumbling upon it. I think half the point of love is believing that it's true without having to be told. How can there be mystery or unbridled passion if you're told how long you have to wait till you find your "one"?

    Of course, all of this operates on the premise that there is a "one," and if we disprove the premise, we disprove the idea of the timer (thank you, ConLaw). I haven't decided if I think there's a "one" or not. I guess only time will tell. What does anyone else think about it?

Trip Journal: DAY FIVE -- 28 May 2010

            Shaved and showered this morning while Melvin slept on. Finally I had to wake him up and we ate and then went to the ceremony with András grandmother, where we put flowers on the grave. Then we went to see Mariska and cousin Attila and the baby, Levente. I’m a fan of the name. Lunch was soup, chicken, rice, pastries. Played some hackey sack out back for a bit, even though I was wearing a skirt, then went to a bar where I didn’t drink (because I don’t drink), but my cousins gave Melvin Unicum, a strong drink similar to absinthe. It was super funny. We went back inside later, Melvin played some guitar, and then we came back here, where we listened to music and danced a bit, and now I’m not sure what we’re doing. I texted Garrett for the first time today and said I missed him.


04 July 2010

Trip Journal: DAY FOUR -- 27 May 2010

10:15 a.m.

We played some weird version of Rummy last night. I don’t think András knows how to play Rummy. I didn’t win but I didn’t lose either. Oh, got to run. More later.


11:25 p.m.

     Anyway, in his weird version of Rummy, you count card numbers and used jokers and could only take one card from the discard pile if you needed it. We showed András some music, like Dethklok, which I have to really be in the mood to listen to because they’re pretty heavy metal. Then we slept.
     This morning I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and got ready. I thought were going to swim in Héviz, this radioactive lake that’s filled with sulfur and other minerals and actually is thought to have healing properties. (I swam in it last time I visited Hungary and it smelled terrible! And stained my bathing suit! But was a cool experience, in and of itself). But we never got around to it, I think because rain loomed in the sky above the entire time.
     While driving there, we saw a house in the middle of a tiny lake, with no way in or out but by rowboat or swimming, and I thought that I would possibly like to have a house like that. Yes, it would be inconvenient if my boat capsized and my makeup got ruined, or if my house got a little flooded. But mostly it would be pretty awesome to know that no one could get to my house unless they had a boat or decided to swim, and that either way I’d probably hear them coming before they got there. It speaks to a sense of privacy that you don’t really ever find in a city like New York. Not to mention that the little lake was then surrounded by vast, breath-taking countryside, filled with trees and crops and red flowers whose name I don’t know, and marred only by the two-lane road on which we drove.
     Then we visited András' sister and saw Héviz lake and the surrounding town, which was nice but more modern, filled with larger houses with newer designs, lots of glass, and reminiscent of the place my grandparents live in Florida. There was a blue church, and a bunch of touristy shops where we got ice cream and put our hands in this big block of stone that was supposed to tell one’s fortune. Although I’ve lost the paper since then, I did write down that it gave me the most stars for love and life and the least stars for luck and health, with a satisfactory amount of stars for sex. It also said that I would become entangled in a morally reprehensible act, probably because of my vanity, but that I would have one of those rare, beautiful marriages (whatever that means, and, considering I’m not even sure I believe in marriage…)
     I liked the town, but if I live in Hungary, I’d either want it to be right in Budapest or in a legitimate little house in a legitimate little town. At András' sister’s place, she offered Melvin some wine, and András pushed her to give it to him. When she seemed unsure, he said, all you have to do is put it in front of him, and Melvin will drink it. We all got a good laugh at that, because it was pretty true. Melvin even admits it’s true. Also, she kept calling him “Kelvin” instead of “Melvin,” no matter how many times we corrected her. It was pretty hilarious, at the time.
     The day was warm, and I wore the dress my cousin got me as a graduation gift. András wore these tight leather pants with ties up the sides of both legs, which Melvin and I got a kick out of (and still laugh about). At one point I asked him, wasn’t he warm? And he said that yes, he’d already pretty much fried his balls off. Despite this, he wore the pants a bunch more times before we left. I imagine he thought he looked bad-ass and cool in them.
      Later, we drove to Sümeg Castle and walked up the hill to the castle. Melvin ran ahead off of the path and András wanted me to go with him so he could take a photo. I didn’t really want to, but I decided that you have to sometimes do things you don’t want to do. So Melvin helped me up but it was steep and really high and I was wearing Converse, so I screamed the entire way up and down. We slid near the bottom and almost fell but András caught me. The castle was closed when we got there, but we took pictures and looked out at the stunning view of little towns, landscape, and one long road that András said went all the way back to Szombathely, and that on clear days you could see Szombathely from that vantage point.
     On the drive home, Melvin fell asleep as András and I spoke about cars. He said he’d drive everywhere if he could, with no cars on the road, at dusk. I said it’d be nice, but that cars aren’t very good for the planet, considering how much pollution they spew. I tried to explain in Hungarian why I didn’t think there should be more roads in Hungary, but I don’t think I really got the point across. The best I could say was, In New York there are many roads. See this countryside? In New York, there is no countryside because there are so many roads. All András replied was, So? I gave up after that.
     12:20 a.m. now. It took me an hour to write this. Bassza meg (practicing my curse words)!


03 July 2010

Trip Journal: DAY THREE -- 26 May 201

            I forgot to mention yesterday that András made us eat at like eleven at night. It was so late! It was good, but I wasn’t really hungry. I think I’m going to try to avoid eating breakfast now, because I’m still not hungry. In other news, my thigh hurts. I think I pulled a muscle playing hackey sack the other day. But on the plus side, I think I’ve already adapted to the time change and don’t feel jet-lagged. If anything, I feel more energized and healthy, more mentally stable and less stressed. It’s a good feeling. It’s something about the air and the energy and the aura of the place itself, and the calm pace of the people here, my family included. There’s an old feeling to the energy, something ancient and primal that touches a deep part of me and my past, something nostalgic and magical.
            Yesterday András said he didn’t like patriotic Hungary songs, or the idea of being overly patriotic about one’s country, especially about Hungary because it’s such a small country that’s relatively powerless. But I like the idea of patriotism, of celebrating one’s culture and heritage. Not to the point of bigotry or racism, of course, but I like the notion of being proud of who you are and where you’re from. And besides, the Magyars were pretty powerful, according to legend. And Hungary lost most of its land. I think the Magyars can be restored to their former glory.


6:10 p.m.

            Today we visited Mariska and the family there. It was a decent time, although I still can’t understand a word she says when she talks to me. She just mumbles and jumbles all of her words together, like she’s slurring. Later on we visited Tetta and that was better. She speaks faster, but much more clearly. She made cabbage noodles (delicious) and chicken cutlet and mashed potato. It was good; she’s not a bad cook. Then we brought some stuff back here and went to meet with András friend Zsofi. She seemed nice but I didn’t talk. You know how I feel about most girls. There was ice cream but we just ate lunch so I really wasn’t hungry right then. Then we drove to Köszeg but it was raining on the way there, pouring so hard that you couldn’t see out of the windows. So we pulled over on the side of the road and just sat in the car while the rain poured down around us. I wouldn’t mind sitting like that for a good while, just talking or writing with a good group of people or alone. When it subsided we walked around the city a bit, but then my camera died so we just came back home and now I think we’re going to play cards.


30 June 2010

Trip Journal: DAY TWO -- 25 May 2010

10 a.m. Hungary

Luckily we found András without problems at the airport yesterday. It was so good to see him again! We were worried at first that we wouldn’t be able to find him, because the airport seemed large and menacing, but then we realized there was an arrivals gate where he would be waiting for us. After getting our luggage, Melvin stood against a pillar while I embarked on search of András. I saw him right away, with those big black unlaced boots and his long, scraggly thin hair. I just walked up beside him and stood there for a minute until he noticed me. He looks the same as I remember, if a little older. There’s more whites and greys in his stubble and a few more lines around his eyes. When he did, he hugged me excitedly, but when I tried to grab his hand and pull him towards Melvin, he groaned and motioned for me to go slower. I wasn’t sure why, but now I know it’s because his back has been giving him trouble.
The drive to András’ place was a little bit awkward and uncomfortable, because I was scared to talk very much, and when I did make attempts at conversation, he only replied with one word answers, and seemed pretty crabby overall. It’s because he spent the last three days at a festival in Budapest and didn’t really get any sleep, so I guess I forgive him. When we got back to András’ place, we listened to music in his room and ate pizza (pineapple for me, yay!) and took pictures (funny stuff) and tried to converse some. We’re understanding each other much better than last time, already. I speak faster and in more complete sentences, and he knows more English. Nighttime came quickly, because we were all incredibly tired. I shared a bed with Melvin, which was alright aside from his snoring.
Not sure what we’re doing today so I’ll write more later.

11:20 p.m.

Today was eventful and really fun. First, Melvin and I awoke around 8 a.m. and got ready while András slept on. Then, when he woke up, we sat in his room some more and listened to music, jazzy stuff. We took more pictures and went for a walk around the lake, which was nice. I remember it from last time, when we rented a boat and András rowed me around in it, and we talked about his health and going to the doctor and smoking and the fact that he worked on a vineyard. Clearly, my Hungarian wasn’t too great then, because I now know that he doesn’t – and probably hasn’t ever – worked on a vineyard, so I’m not sure where I got that from. I remember how we would take my dictionary everywhere with us, and have to look up words to get across what we wanted to say. This time we don’t have to do that, and it’s such a relief. There are still a lot of words I don’t know or recognize quickly enough, but I’m fluent enough to ask him what they mean and to understand when he explains it to me in a simplified way.
It was warm out today, and the breeze was soft on the skin. We were walking to the main square of Szombathely when we ran into Jóska and his wife in their car, and they gave us a ride. Melvin filmed during the car ride, which was pretty funny because I really can’t understand a word that Jóska says. But luckily András helps translate things for me when he sees I have no idea what’s going on.
In the main square we exchanged some money, not too much, and walked around seeing the sights. We visited the big church that I still don’t know the name of and took some pictures and Melvin filmed a bit. (Right now he’s just bobbing along to music while I write this.) Walking around was a little bit awkward, though, because we were walking super slowly because of András back pains while trying to make conversation. I’m not too flustered when we talk because András has a very calming presence, and when I start flailing my arms around in consternation, he just tells me to calm down. I often tell him to wait, and he responds, I didn’t say anything, I’m not saying a word.
Then we stopped at a café and I had an apple juice and Melvin had water. András and I talked about girls. He believes all girls are jealous, and he doesn’t want a girlfriend because then he couldn’t be alone or go to concerts or parties that he wants to go to. And also, a girlfriend wouldn’t like that all of his other friends are female. That part, I said, is very true. They wouldn’t like that. But there are girls out there, I think, who aren’t extremely jealous and actually like to have some space and distance in a relationship. I like to think I’m one of them. We also brought up the subject of him coming to New York, and he said he might be able to get the money to come and stay for a while, which would be pretty cool. Then we helped Melvin with some Hungarian, and András commented on how he was so dedicated to learning, which was admirable.
Afterwards we came back to András place, where we ate lunch (yummy chicken and rice, lathered in paprika, of course). Actually, Melvin asked if there was paprika on it, which was kind of funny. I think he knew there was though, and it was more just an attempt at conversation. I’m glad Melvin’s trying to make conversation; it makes things easier and also more fun. It’d be boring if he wasn’t enthusiastic about trying to talk even if he’s not sure what he’s saying is right. I need to be more like that; I’m too much of a perfectionist, though.
After eating, Melvin and I played MAGIC: THE GATHERING while András watched. We tried to explain it to András but I don’t know how much he actually comprehended. After that we listened to more music, some Hungarian stuff, some Spanish ska stuff called SKA-P, which I have to remember to download. Later, we bought juice and tea at the supermarket and then played hackey sack outside for quite a long time. Melvin filmed it. It was really funny; I’m pretty terrible. András was a little better than me, but not super great, and Melvin was pretty good. Then we went into a bar and András and Melvin drank beer (András pretty much forced Melvin to) and I had a soda and we talked some more. I like being able to hang out with people around whom you don’t really have to do much to have a good time, but can do things like play hackey sack and just talk, and still have a blast. It helps when that talking is a challenge because it’s in another language, but I think the basic concept is the same.


28 June 2010

Trip Journal: DAY ONE --- 24 May 2010

            The Lufthansa yellow and grey theme colors aren’t very appealing to me. I’ve been sitting on a plane for about six hours, now. I studied some Hungarian earlier and then spent five hours trying to fall asleep. What a failure. If I slept at all, it was only for one of those hours. I don’t understand why airplane seats are so uncomfortable. Then again, it coould be my own fault. I’m reluctant to push my seat back into the reclining position because I don’t want to cramp the person behind me, because I don’t like when jerks in front of me push their seats back as far as possible, and then I don’t have any room for my laptop or other paraphernalia that I probably won’t use but like to keep around on flights just in case.
            I would have written sooner, but it was so dark here that I didn’t want to be the only asshole with the light blaring from the ceiling. Melvin and I have about an hour and a half left to fly, and thankfully it’s been a smooth journey so far. Hopefully everything will go alright with our connecting flight and when we get to Vienna, we’ll find András in the airport without a hitch.
            Tea time!