15 December 2011

holiday

glass loses reflection in the predawn
morning fog veils building peaks
and we cross the street despite
the taxis

working from darkness to darkness
venturing out into afternoon sunlight
feels like the state between dreaming
and awake

tourists impede pedestrian traffic
we twist one scarf around our necks
with hands clasped we're like two gifts
in ribbon

too quickly the lunch hour passes
there are no windows in our office
look around-- it's a solemn masoleum
of goals

bags get heavier the longer they're held
to our myopic eyes the lamplight slurs
we miss the details for shiny circles with
hazy edges

but we can see the essence of everything

09 December 2011

back into ground

they say the city is a jungle. do they mean arms and ankles and eyebrows and teeth? the colossal steel hands lift the limbs up behind the neck, up into reflections of the waves above our heads. we're all animals at the core. with the deepening of our days, we will all start to feel fur or feathers, scales or sandpaper skin. we'll grab each other and run toward the forest. little monsters trying to find our way out of a world of distorted reflections in glass. let's build our homes in the trunks of the giant redwoods. we will morph into the xylem and phloem. the up and down processes will slosh our blood around in our mouths and we'll swallow each other down for nutrients. where are the rings of age on skyscrapers? what will become of the arms and ankles and eyebrows and teeth?

06 December 2011

For What It's Worth

More often than not, I wonder what I was thinking when I decided to pursue a journalism degree. I have inner anxiety when it comes to talking to people, and I always stress about each article to try and make sure it's as perfect as it can get. But then sometimes there are interviews that really make me appreciate my decision to follow this career track; not only are they interesting, but the person on the other end is super friendly and makes you feel comfortable asking them questions. 

John K. Samson of The Weakerthans falls into that category, along with others like Stephen Kellogg and Josh Ritter. And now that I've finally interviewed the singer of my favorite band, I feel like all of my hard work has been worth it so far. Check out my interview below:




02 December 2011

Photo Post!

Lately it seems like it's always one thing after another. Thanksgiving, hanging out with friends visiting, work, more work, writing articles, and now upcoming concerts and then Christmas. Here are some photos that explain what I've been up to better than I can: 

giant plate of Thanksgiving food and a salad drenched in dressing

Union Square

chocolate pizza from Max Brenner... mm I love those marshmallows

group photo: Kayla, Sean, Jo, Beyza, me, Todd

 getting into the Christmas spirit even though he's Jewish

i love Rudolph

it makes me happy to look at this beautiful tree
 

17 November 2011

bluejay in winter

the sky looks like a polluted ocean outside the window and the writer sighs at overused metaphors. 
sheets of paper pour from the printer and the daughter can smell the ink all the way in the kitchen.
the pie on the oven has a crack down the center; she can never bake the way her mother did. 
she rests her head in an oven mitt hand and listens to the windows rattle behind their screens.
the mother's cross hangs around the writer's neck and he rubs his thumb against the golden christ.

in march the ground is snow and what isn't slush has been coated with dirt and homeless man's pee. 
the printer runs out of paper and the writer tries to recall whether he has another ream in the closet.
the daughter notices the hum has stopped and decides to help the writer find some more paper. 
but the writer has lost interest in the novel and is staring outside of the window at a bluejay.
the daughter walks to his side and tries to read over his shoulder; last time she asked, he refused.

the bluejay weaves through the air like confetti and spirals down toward a berry bush in the yard.
both writer and  daughter try not to think about the day its roots took to soil but they do anyway.
the bluejay's wings knocks against the branches that the mother pruned with scissors from the shed.
the daughter reads about a young woman with sunglasses; she guesses that it's supposed to be her.
the young woman with sunglasses is trying to escape from a block of ice but she can't get out.

the branches shake as the bluejay struggles against the gust to get back to his mate in the tall oak.
the mother's cross sways as the writer leans forward to watch the scene in the noxious sky.
the young woman with sunglasses closes her eyes and awakes twenty years later in an inferno.
landing on a tree limb the bluejay offers his mate a berry that he's caught on a twig in his beak.
the daughter coughs and puts a hand to her chest; she worries about asthma and heart attacks.

the writer knows that if he were a bluejay 
eating berries with his wife in a tree 
then he would never need words again.



16 November 2011

Seeing Both Sides on Wall Street

Like a typical Pisces, I have the tendency to look at both sides of an issue, and often can't make up my mind about which side I agree with. When it comes to the Occupy Wall Street movement, I agree in theory but not entirely in practice.

 While I agree that our economy is in shambles and our country at a low, I'm not sure that simply occupying a park will really solve any of those problems. As a college graduate looking to go to graduate school and currently working full time, I know what's it's like to have loans. To worry about your future. To believe that the 1% are running the country while the 99% slave away below the windows of the Park Ave. mansions. I agree with the sentiment of the protestors that something needs to be done and I agree with their right to protest and free speech. I believe that the protest did help raise awareness in this country about the great disparity between the wealthy and the rest of us. I believe it did spark other protests and the beginnings of a discourse in the country. I believe it does make an important point (or, several points, since many of the protestors seem to have different ideas of what's the best strategy and what the real problems are).

But these protests, I believe, should not create unsanitary or unsafe conditions in the community. These protests should not create an unnecessary burden on taxpayers, which is what it's doing. Who is ultimately going to end up paying for the police force needed to evict them or clean up the park? It's going to come out of taxpayer money. And when rumors of weapons, feces on the ground, and sexual assault come into play, the community is bound to react with complaints, and the movement will lose support.

At 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, police conducted a raid on the protestors in Zuccotti Park, awaking most with blaring klieg lights and, later, forcible eviction, according to a New York Times article. Many protestors simply picked up their belongings and left, although a core few tried to stick it out in the center of the park. Others broke into a lot belonging to Trinity Church with bolt cutters. After 2 months, the protest in the park came to and end. And although protestors have been allowed back into the park and say they won't give up the fight, a judge ruled that they couldn't camp out or bring tents or other gear into the park, which had been designed as a 24-7 recreation center for the community. At about 7 a.m. this morning, the Daily News live blog reported that only a mere 25 protestors had remained or returned to the park. 

Like most people, I know how hard it is to get involved. To stray from your daily habits and speak out. How can we break into a system already dominated by the individuals in power? How can we send a political message when we need money to influence any politicians in the system? Who is left that's not corrupt? Who is left that actually cares about democracy and equality in this country? These are tough questions to answer, and if anyone has a solution, I'd be interested to hear it. I wish I knew what we should do to take back our country, but I don't. So until there's a better alternative, I'll support the protestors in the park, because at least some protest - whatever form it takes - is better than none at all.


15 November 2011

Daily News Live Blog of OWS

I'll have a post about this soon, but for now, join me in checking out The Daily News' live blog of all the action going down at Zuccotti Park.

Song of the Day

This is one of the songs on the upcoming Los Campesinos! release, "Hello Sadness." The album marks a clear change from the interchanging male and female vocals of their past releases, and the vocals are actually sung rather than their typical speak/scream method. I can't help liking this song because it's so catchy, but I wish it had been created by some other band.




14 November 2011

In The Studio

The guy's in Friday's Nightmare have recently spent time in the studio working on a new EP of their genre-defying songs. But last night, they were in The Studio quite literally - that is, The Studio at Webster Hall! They played for about 30 minutes, and were followed by their good friends FigureHead.

Check out some photos from the show, listen to some tunes, and be sure to visit their band page for more information.

Todd on drums and glockenspiel <3

Ilya on guitar

Zim on bass



13 November 2011

a reaction to communism or possibly to sorrow

"Take a body to water, take a body to tundra
just take me with you as well." 
                                               - Los Campesinos, 'To Tundra'



the highways intersect just outside of Kópháza
and the cars zoom around a round-about
just about a mile from the house where she grew up
with chickens in the yard 

she walked a mile across town to get to school
and from school to the factory where she learned to sew
cross stitches and lace doilies
she continued making them into old age

she never told anyone about her daddy's sickness
about the lone orange she received for christmas
about the mother in law who called her princess
and spat in her face

in Kópháza, the summer sun burned hottest at noon
but it was night when she crept from her house
before the highways were ever built
and snuck across the border and escaped





26 September 2011

The Early Morning Starbucks Writer

that guy in the brown
cap and plaid shirt?
with the beeper

on his belt and going grey?
yeah, he's a writer.

i know because
i see a word document open on his laptop and what looks

like the structure of a poem, and he's staring out of the window
but not really seeing anything, and occassionally he stops to tap
his fingers on his leg, as though trying to decide what witty metaphor
to construct next, and then he'll type a word or two, and then highlight
what he's just written and read it over -- once for typos, twice to decide
whether it makes sense, and a third to realize he doesn't like it, and then

he deletes it and tries again and that's the process of writing: staring, tapping
writing and reading and deleting until finally, either out of defeat or satisfaction,
something
sticks.

22 September 2011

Weather Forecast

i watch businessmen with starbucks lattes and women in tight spandex hurrying to the gym and a police car crusing lights off - safe for now - and someone who stops in the middle of the sidewalk to sneeze and then looks up eyes catching mine as if to say how could you and i am ashamed at watching the world through windows instead of venturing outside so maybe maybe maybe tomorrow

but only if there's no more rain

20 September 2011

Photos and Goodbyes

This weekend I went down to the Williamsburg waterfront with Todd and some friends, and yesterday I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends, Beyza, because she's moving to Chicago. Here are some photos from both events:
One of my favorite pictures of Todd
And one of me, of course.
Spring rolls with pineapple sauce and pineapples that Beyza and I shared during out last meal togethe rbefore she moves.
Best Friends <3

19 September 2011

a simile for the latest heartbreak

i woke up and the snow outside had piled past the porch. i wrapped myself in one blanket, and then another, and then three more. i lay in bed and walked through mental deserts. the heat and the electricity had both failed some time during the night. dad's fish all floated face up in their tanks. we lit candles and turned on the gas stove, which we knew could burn down the house. but maybe burning fast would hurt less than freezing slow. we hadn't noticed the sudden outage around midnight, but now we all shivered and curled up and wished we could go back to sleep and pretend that everything was still okay.

it was like that.

17 September 2011

x-ray of first heartbreak

at midnight under a streetlamp i first saw your shadow
you had furry fruit bat wings and your eyes burned
like grains of salt on our tongues
i’m scraping it now just to keep it clean
i couldn’t see your arrogance, just your innocence


walked into a room and saw an aging dentist
with his hand up his patient’s skirt
our love hung upside down with its eyes closed
balancing by its very tiny feet
and we bit the insides of each other’s cheeks
so we could taste them bleed
i said, wrap around me with those wings

the wind is way too cold

at midnight under a streetlamp your heart hid
a wisdom tooth that hadn’t broken skin
we talked about bobsledding and hotel pools
i didn’t realize you knew the grammar of deceit
i couldn’t see your pessimism, just your body
swathed in tight black jeans, i can see your ribcage
heave with every thrust or laugh or sob

walked into a room with my mother and father and brother
praying and wearing pink headdresses like displaced aboriginals

from outer space i moved to kiss you but you disappeared
and left me with this ache this cavity
filled with the bones of fledgling dinosaurs
i took refusge in a room
that made me seem good and brave

14 September 2011

A Pound of Flesh, a Grain of Salt

I've never thought of myself as heavy, but absolutely no one would say I'm thin, either. Since high school, my weight climbed from 125 lbs to 137 lbs. It's not an abnormal weight gain, really, but since I'm only 5'1, it wasn't hard to tell. When I went to my doctor earlier in the summer, he told me that I needed to reduce my weight, at least to 130.

I've always viewed diets and exercise regimes with a grain of salt. I refused to give up eating junk food, or fast food, or any kind of food, and I refused to do intense exercise more than once or twice a week, and I definitely didn't want to pay $80 per month for a gym membership. But I had to lose the weight.

So I decided to actually listen to something my mom always tells me: Everything is alright in moderation. I cut my fast food eating to twice a month. And although I miss random Taco Bell runs, I do feel better because of it. I tried to keep my candy consumption down, with only one major candy binge every few weeks. I started doing a little bit of exercise every week, sometimes with my brother and sometimes on the treadmill.


It's been a few months now, and I've lost about 5 or 6 pounds. Is that a miracle? No. It hasn't been easy and it hasn't happened quickly, but I'm getting down to my target weight, one pound at a time. Sometimes, taking it slow and easing into it works better than jumping on a dietary bandwagon. If I want to keep off this weight, I have to maintain a lifestyle change, not just a temporary fix.

To calculate your own body mass index (BMI), use this calculator. The cool thing about it is that it compares you to the national averages for the U.S., which looks pretty bad to me.

12 September 2011

Weekend Roundup

It seems like Monday always comes too fast. This weekend I went to Todd's cousin's sweet 16 party and mostly just played Scrabble with him and our respective families. His sister took this photo of us with her iPhone.

In other news, this morning I realized that a hazy, indie band that I really like - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - has an album coming out pretty soon, "Hysterical." It's streaming for free right now on National Public Radio (NPR), so here's a link for your listening pleasure. Listening so far, I feel that this is their most accessible album yet, given the fact that you can actually understand at least half of the lyrics. Let me know your thoughts.

09 September 2011

News and Views

Although I've wanted to, I haven't gotten a chance to post much in the last week or so because I've been pretty busy at work and writing event listings for amNewYork. But then I thought, "Wait a minute! I should be sharing my work!" So here it is:

Check out the September issue of Tax Stringer, an online newsletter aimed at CPAs, accountants, or anyone interested in tax. I basically edited all of the stories here.


Or, check out the September issue of The Trusted Professional, a newspaper with more general stories and a focus on New York chapters, which is the part that I'm mostly involved with.

New issues of each publish on the first of every month, so stay tuned!



------------------------------------

In other news, I loved my one year anniversary celebration with Todd last Monday. We went to see HAIR on Broadway during its brief stint with the touring cast and, as always, it was wonderful. Todd enjoyed it as well. Unfortunately, we both noticed that the theatre remained strikingly empty throughout the performance, and we were both surprised that more people hadn't taken the advantage to view the show before it disappears again.

Next week is a new week, and hopefully I'll have some new posts then, too! Until then, have a great weekend, readers!

30 August 2011

Tropical Storm Irene

This weekend tropical storm Irene hit New York City; in preparation, the mayor issued an evacuation order for low-lying areas and shut down the subways. For a recap of how the hurricane affected us here in the Bronx, check out my dad's continual iReport video coverage: 

24 August 2011

When We Were Mountain Slopes

Yesterday I introduced you to Anne Waldman. Today, I've tried my hand at a similar style, relying on language to move the poem along and take it to its conclusion:


When We Were Mountain Slopes
I am
I amuse
I assume
I amass vast
            Collections of stuff
            Stuffed animals (blue bear, polar bear, puppet dragon, dragon that belonged to brother, TAC which is not a cat, Wollip which is a pillow…pet. Penguin, 10stitchesandthelistgoeson)
I go on
I go on to bigger things
I go on to smaller things
I go on top of you
Some of the time
We go on top of each other
            Through each other between each other inside each other
On the subways or
Times Square or rubble heap of World Trade Center
It will go on, on and up
We hold each other up
We prop each other up
We whisper each other up
In the waning night
I wean
I war
Whittle words
            Down to bare bones meanings
            Mean is average (if I am the mean then you are the mode, and our happiness is the median our lives are an exponential line rise, the sudden influx in shoppers at Christmas)
I live for Christmas
I live for Christ
I am Christina and I contain Christ
We contain Christ together
We bleed and ache together
I ache alone
Some of the time
We breathe on each other
            Through each other between each other inside each other
In Starbucks or through pixel
webcam screens or blackness or whiteness or multi-color
I multi-color
I color code
We color each other
Each other’s lives just by existing
I am we are I am we are I am we are
I am we are going up and up and on and on and up and on but what about
What about falling?

23 August 2011

Song of the Day

Instead of posting an actual song today, I'm going to post a link to the poetic chant "Fast Speaking Woman" by Anne Waldman. This is only an excerpt. When I read the long-form of the poem, I enjoyed the way she took a concept and continually built on it by deviating from it and then returning to it in a cyclical path. I also really admired how she went from one sentence to another by building on word sounds, using language as a means of progression and discovery. 



There are two other poems by Anne Waldman that I really like, but I can't find them on Youtube so I'm just going to type up the text here. The first is actually part two of a three-piece poem, "A Book of Events": 
 
In Her Lament 
spin
spin
the saint is a woman scorned
wash your hair
your skirts
scent your hands with myrrh 
say you will never die of love
spin
spin


-----

The second is a little bit longer, but has such a great rhythm:

GYPSY NUN
after Lorca

She wants to be weaving
imaginary flores
magnolia
sunflower
saffron
moonflower
all these for
the end of time
In a nearby kitchen
5 yellow grapefruit 
ripen
5 wounds of Christ
She doesn't cackle
she gives up her pain
- something outside -
distant - ho -
where did her youth
her sex go?
What reminds her of what?
A white dress loosens
Her heart of herbs, sugar,
of spice
isn't broken
Longitudinal pain recedes
further back
20 suns above blink on, off
on, off


She reverts tension to 
flowers, horizontal
light playing 
a game over her window
blind


magnolia
sunflower
saffron
moonflower
on, off
on
on
 




22 August 2011

On Making Choices

balancing on the cusp of a revelation
a fly hovering just above a Venus trap
scared and too cautious, i will never know
about life after death

19 August 2011

First Day Jitters

Over the summer, I've been working part-time as a Publishing Assistant for The CPA Journal, a technical journal with in-depth articles aimed at certified public accountants (CPA). The journal is run by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). Today I begin working full-time for NYSSCPA: part-time for the journal and part time as an Associate Editor of the NYSSCPA newspaper, The Trusted Professional, and e-newsletter, The Tax Stringer. Technical terms aside, it's my first real day today, and time to actually start a real job. I've put this off as long as I possibly can, but now I can't hide from it any more. Wish me luck!

17 August 2011

When Comics and Music Collide

Check out my article out in amNewYork today about some musicians, such as singer/songwriter Will Knox, who are branching out into comics:


08 August 2011

up close, the magnitude of action becomes realized

hanging between doorframe
and curtain rod, spider snaps
at looming hands and weaves
silk threads into snowflake

01 August 2011

Commu(nica)ting

Twenty minutes. Still no train.
Brother walks into the station.

Begins a book he's read five times.

Finally a whoosh and a whir. 
Train pulls up. We step in.
He lets me go first to grab a seat. 

Express and we skip stops. 
He doesn't acknowledge me.
But lets me lean on his shoulder.

And I guess that's more than enough.

31 July 2011

Weekend Roundup

It's been a busy weekend, filled with family functions (my cousin's engagement party) and writing amNewYork event listings/articles and traveling into and out of Manhattan and hanging out with friends on my porch while watching a thunderstorm and figuring out my new smartphone. And then there was the best part: hanging out with Todd.

At the end of this week, it will be our 11-month-iversary already. I'm trying to plan out a date to take him on, since he planned a really great date for me last month. I'll keep you updated on how it turns out.

Have a good week, readers! I'll update as often as I can :)



29 July 2011

ART

When I was younger, about 8 or 9 maybe, my dad and I were playing around with some foam-like clay. While I can't remember what I tried to create with the substance, I can still look to the shelf above my desk to see the miniature Christmas tree that he made for me, complete with tiny round ornaments and tinsel wrapping round its branchless trunk. And although sometimes the ornaments fall off or the tinsel starts unwinding, I always try to glue it back together because, for me, it's a symbol of all the time and energy my dad devoted to giving me a good childhood.

Click here to read my poem, "Art," about the Christmas tree on the Green Spot Blue website, where it was published today. 

20 July 2011

Exercise & Breath

Do you pay attention to the way you breathe? Do you stop, feel the breath slowly enter your mouth, slide down your throat, and fill your lungs? And then reverse?

I have to admit, I don't usually think about the way I'm breathing unless I'm trying to do yoga or calm myself down. When I'm doing any other kind of exercises, the most I do is pant in exhaustion. But this morning I read an interesting article on Live Strong, which had some useful information on different breathing techniques to remember when exercising and when's the best time to use each one. 

If you like to exercise, be sure to check it out and put it into practice. If you're lazy like me, then you should just read it over so that you can pretend you exercise during all those water cooler discussions at work.

19 July 2011

Song of the Day

Point / Counterpoint by Streetlight Manifesto

18 July 2011

A Date With Creativity

Let's spend a midnight in Paris
walking all the same streets
as the classic literary greats --
     On this side of paradise, we hold hands.
     We watch the tender night give way.
     As the sun rises we kiss and part.
     We bid a farewell to arms that kept us warm.

15 July 2011

How We Met (Aw)

I'm sure all regular followers of my blog have seen more pictures than necessary of me and my boyfriend Todd. But what you haven't seen yet is an in-depth account of how we met. And now you can read just that at HowAboutWe, a fun dating website that features a series of "First Date Stories." Make sure to check out all of the other features of the site while you're there as well.

And now, another picture of me and Todd :)