Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I prefer hopeless to strong.
I prefer lighting myself on fire to anything at all.
I'd rather disappear into ashes than into solitude.
This is something you need to know about me.
Most times I'd rather drown than breathe.
But not in a way that means I'd rather give up.

maybe this is what happens when a tornado meets a volcano

Saturday, October 16, 2010

1. SLC farmer's market

[definitely not Argentina's best]
[SLC bike collective bike valet]

2. SLC gallery stroll [my purchase]

3. Board game night

4. Hostel [?!] a few blocks from my apartment

5. Fire in Waterton Canyon [during my weekend home]

6. Early morning SLC rain

7. Our alligator! [That Romy planted in our "yard"]

Friday, October 1, 2010

A few things.

1. Starfucker at Kilby Court was amazing but so loud I couldn't hear for 4 hours.

2. The opening band for Starfucker was a local SLC band called Young Yet Brilliant Sleuths. They were great and are opening for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin in November.

3. I saw Band of Horses on Tuesday. And I love them.

4. This state has some sort of weird obsession with Cool Whip. No joke, everything you see in this photo from Smith's grocery store is a bucket of Cool Whip.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In the distance, I hear a few cars and a booming voice, like a preacher, shouting sounds I can't make out. Maybe it's music...? Maybe at Kilby Court.

Last night, sitting on my balcony, I suddenly heard fireworks. And looked south and there was a massive fireworks show.

I've been seeing a lot of movies lately. Netflix and the local cinema, Broadway Centre. I've seen:
Children of Invention
New York, I love You
Humboldt County
Get Low
The Kids Are Alright
Life During Wartime

My favorite of these is Get Low with Robert Duvall. Incredibly sad but wonderful. All of these movies are sad in a cheating on your spouse, killing yourself, abandoning your children, killing others, lonely kind of way. I'm not too good at picking out things uplifting.

The soundtrack to my days is Arcade Fire's The Suburbs.

Monday, August 30, 2010

As we drove out to Utah last week, we came around a big curve, out of the mountains, finally, and suddenly a wind farm appeared, scaring the crap out of me:

There's something about gigantic pure white metal machines that look like oversized weapons juxtaposed with nature and sunsets and beauty that really does NOT appeal to me. [But kind of does... appeal to me].

I've been here for almost two weeks now, living at the airport hotel. My apartment, my lovely brand new apartment, is too brand new. So brand new that it is not finished. Living at an airport hotel is by far one of the more depressing things I've ever done. Add to that my best friend leaving after the move, homesickness, and the fact that I literally do not know a single person and Salt Lake City and, well... that's where I'm at right now. But trying to make the best of it and spend my days away from the hotel. This is downtown:
This is what I was reading downtown, in the park outside the library:
And this is a portion of the library [though not a very library-y portion]:

Utah has a grad student reading series and Paisley here is introducing the beginning of that series, held last Friday night at the Art Barn in Reservoir Park just off campus. The reading was incredible. I feel very proud and grateful to be working in the presence of these amazing writers.

Mondays, I get out of class at 7:30pm. Today I learned that, since the mountains are in the East here, as opposed to my Western Colorado mountains, the sun shines directly on them as it sets. And my campus is directly on those Eastern mountains. It's very beautiful.

At least the sky here is similar to home.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Underground Music Showcase in Denver last weekend:

My weekend lineup consisted of: Porlolo, two Dust on the Breakers shows, the Centennials, Houses, The Rouge, the Lumineers, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, The Raven and the Writing Desk, and Gregory Alan Isakov. I missed the last day of the showcase due to exhaustion and a refusal to drive all the way back downtown for the fourth day in a row. Yes, it is a looooong drive.

Highlights for me were the Centennials [the Meese family, brother, wife, and brother] who performed their first show, Houses who are always even more amazing than I remember, and the Lumineers, my new favorite Denver band.

Salt Lake City, you have some very big shoes to fill. Denver is the new Austin. You just wait.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I would like for photos to accompany this post, but I got a new MacBook Pro and got far too stressed out while attempting to transfer Picasa from one computer to another. Not a pretty picture. So for now, no photos. I was going to post a beautiful photo from the website of my apartment building, but it seems they've replaced it.

My apartment building.
It's located in an industrial area a few blocks from downtown SLC, surrounded by warehouse looking buildings and old auto repair shops. There are a few coffee shops scattered within walking distance that look very out of place, yet somehow still give off an inviting neighborhood type feeling. It's an environmentally friendly building with solar panels in the parking lot. It even has a bike wash for us bike people. [I say "us" because I am buying a bike to replace the one I sold two years ago.]

My apartment.
I opted for a place in a not so interesting/pretty/has any people in it area because the apartment itself is so beautiful. Hardwood floors. Balcony. Lots of windows for lots of light. Energy saving appliances. Washer and dryer in my apartment. Granite countertops. It's everything I've ever wanted in an apartment. And since a one bedroom is really just a convertible studio, and since rent is cheap in SLC [at least compared to the other places I spend a lot of time i.e. Denver, Manhattan, Los Angeles], I am renting a two bedroom, which is really like a one bedroom. This way, I can use the extra living space, which would otherwise be a very small second bedroom, as an office. I have always wanted an office that is basically just a room with a desk and a ton of bookshelves and books. And a big comfy chair in the corner for reading.

That is really all the news I have at this point. I realize that, since Argentina, I've kind of turned this into more of a real blog and less of a this-is-a-place-where-I-just-post-random-photos-and-words. That's probably going to stop soon as I much prefer the latter form.

I will say one last thing and that is:

The Lumineers EP - the Lumineers

Monday, June 21, 2010

I am in Los Angeles and have been since the beginning of June. Here's a very small bit of what I've been up to.

This city is my paradise because, when I come here, I am always on vacation. I have the city and the beach and the sun and people I love. It has been a nice way to spend the first half of my summer before I go start my new life in Utah.

I just finished Death with Interruptions and am starting Julio Cortázar's Rayuelas. It's actually called Hopscotch, but I first heard about it from my beautiful friend Tayla when we met in Buenos Aires and she referred to it by its original language title. It appears to be the most unique book I will have read since maybe House of Leaves in terms of its narrative structure, so I am very excited.

Speaking of narrative, I am finally registered for grad school classes at the U of Utah and, in case I haven't already posted them on here, they are:
1.Genealogies of Narrative
2.Narrative Theory & Practice
3.Intro to Lit Theory
The first two are sort of one class, though in different time slots and taught by different professors. It is an overall study of narrative in the contemporary sense as well as an exploration of narrative through history and its roots. I've only heard from the professor of the second class thus far and he has provided me with our reading list. First up, Joyce's Ulysses. Given the bredth and density of the reading list for just that one class, I will be starting my reading early. Eep! But given that my BA honors thesis and desired critical concentration is in narrative theory, I am excited, to say the least. I mean, my favorite non-fiction book is Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics by Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan [who I recently embarrassingly learned is a woman, not a man, thanks to a certain vice chair of the UCLA English grad admissions committee].

I can't wait to buy all my books and arrange them on my bookshelf with all my notebooks and supplies. I've always loved school supplies. Shocker. I also can't wait to chronicle my time in SLC with iPhone photos that I post here, much like I did during my time living in Denver.

Other things I am excited about re: [what I am now calling] my new life in SLC: yoga, studying more Spanish, spending more time outside [buying a new bike to replace the one I sold two years ago], and hopefully getting some sort of [non-paying] job working at U of U's lit journal. Though that might be a tough fight given that I am not a creative writing student. We shall see. Oh and I should probably also get some kind of paying job, you know, because my bank account is literally almost non-existent. Whoops.

Friday, June 18, 2010

José Saramago died this morning. I am 2 thirds of the way through his novel, Death with Interruptions. I started it when he was alive and I will have finished it after he has died. I think he would find this incredibly appropriate.

“In the end we discover the only condition for living is to die.” - José Saramago

I also find this appropriate, but cannot believe that he will never release more of his genius into the world. I literally looked up a quick fact on his wikipedia page last night, which used the present tense "is" and which immediately, preceding the publication of his obituary, changed to past tense "was."

In other book news, Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk have released new novels this month. And I could care less. [Ok I care a little...]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I am home. Which is currently Littleton, Colorado. It has been high 70's and green since my return and it smells perfectly like summer. It's a different summer than I'm used to because my friends are spread across the country/world and not here, driving from house to house or park to park with me. I used to sit on my driveway at night listening to folk music, smoking clove cigarettes, and watching the stars, but they banned clove cigarettes last fall, which takes something out of the whole experience. I'm still spending the days reading, going back and forth from shade to sun. My car's broken, so I feel a little like I did eight years ago, pre-friends, pre-car, pre-small clove cigarette habit. Except this time my summer ends with me moving to Salt Lake City, Utah to establish, for the first time, a life in a new place. And graduate school. I've never even seen SLC.

As for the mean time, I'm going to Los Angeles for a few weeks to sleep on the beach, read at the pool, eat fresh fish, dance, laugh, and hang out with people I love. After that, SLC to find an apartment. And then maybe one more trip to somewhere, anywhere, before I return to Littleton for a final time to pack my things and drive West. Or North. Or both.

I miss Buenos Aires an incredible amount. I truly believe that my time spent there was life-changing. And my family there will be with me always. It has become a new goal in my travels to not only see as many amazing places as possible, but to reconnect with these amazing people in new locations and new situations. And of course, they are always welcome wherever I happen to be living.

Anyway, here's a little snapshot of my life right now:

I am me. I live in Littleton, Colorado. I graduated college last May and have been working/traveling since. In August I start a masters program in English Literature at the University if Utah. 1) I never want to stop traveling. 2) I want a PhD in English Literature and to become a professor of English after finishing my PhD. Every one of my days is spent planning/working towards one or both of these things.

Also, I have these amazing friends that are constantly doing amazing things and completely blowing me away. They motivate me to want more, to do more, to be better. You can see all the things they do if you click on the links to the right of here. In particular, there is my best friend, who is learning how to save the world in India. Her words and photos are always outstanding, and you can find that out for yourself here: www.iwantmythunder.com

This post feels very incomplete without photos because photos just make everything more interesting. So here's a photo of my cat, Navidson, playing a part in some Shakespeare production in the living room of my old apartment.

Monday, May 24, 2010

While I am waiting another THREE GODDAMN HOURS for Lost to download over this horrendously slow internet connection, I will tell you a story.

Yesterday was a rather boring and gray day and I figured I would spend it in bed, catching up on my missed episodes of Grey's Anatomy. Which is a show that I have come to dislike for its soap opera-esque plot and character development [if you could call it character development]. But I've been watching it for six years and am not willing to just walk away from all those hours I've invested in these fictional people. In the middle of streaming an episode, our lovely friend and restaurant manager, Morris, told us all he was going to open Cilantro's just for us, and make us coffee.

So six of us and Morris headed downstairs, turned on the lights, and pulled down some chairs. Right then, the sky exploded and dumped rain all over the city. Morris made us coffee and we all sat and drank and listened to the rain and Peruvian folk music [not to be confused with Peruvian flute bands]. It was incredibly peaceful and the perfect thing to do on a rainy Sunday.

Morris then offered to cook us all dinner. Which required that two of us go to the store, in the pouring rain, and get the ingredients. So Paula and I volunteered. And ventured outside in our pants and tank tops, running on the slippery Argentinian sidewalks [they use some strange tile type material to pave their sidewalks here] to Coto. It was the most hilariously awesome experience. Until we had to run back home, this time carrying bags of food. It was the most fun I've had since I arrived here and I was wet for several hours.

We ate upstairs, like a tiny family, from Israel and the U.S. and Colombia and Chile and England and Switzerland. Not a single person from the same place as another person at the table.

I ended up finishing the night with the remaining episodes in the Grey's Anatomy season. Which was maybe not the best idea given that it was a shooting, shot almost documentary style, and freaked me out more than any episode of television or movie ever has. And I thought, well at least I can watch LOST first thing tomorrow morning...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One of my favorite things about my trip to BsAs has been my morning [which is really 1 in the afternoon] ritual. I wake up, shower, and go downstairs to Cilantro's for breakfast. I get one of three things for breakfast: yogurt bowl with granola and fruit, omelet with salsa with toast and jam and cream cheese, or croissants and toast with jam and cream cheese. All are served with fresh squeezed orange juice and café con leche. I sit at one of two tables, depending on which is taken. And I take out my book, which has been either Blindness or Americana. I say hi to my wonderful breakfast waitress who loves me, and I read while I wait for my food. Once my food arrives, I put my book away and take out my phone. Check my email and other applications and then open the New York Times and read all the articles in my tiny iPhone version of the paper while I eat. Then I pay my 20 pesos [$5.19], and start my day. I am always excited to go to sleep because I am always excited to wake up for breakfast. Except Saturdays. Cause Cilantro's is closed Sunday until 7pm. In which case I eat an entire box of honey something cereal with my hands that I buy at Coto.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don DeLillo, I am sorry for saying I don't want to read Americana. Of course I want to read Americana. Every sentence has been so unbearably astute I can hardly breathe.

Buenos Aires, why don't you sell any good books in English?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two albums and a novel:

1. Blindness, José Saramago
I don’t know how Saramago managed to write such a horrifyingly disgusting book that is so beautiful. I guess that’s why he wins the Nobel prize. But all I can really say is, this book was amazing enough to make me call into question my undying devotion to contemporary American literature. After I finished his novel, I thought about Don DeLillo and Bret Easton Ellis and the authors whose work I am so frequently defending to those peers and critics who refuse to see their merit, and I thought, my god I don’t want to read one of those books after this. And yet I have begun to read Americana. But only because I cannot find a single English copy of Seeing anywhere in this city.

2. Dear The National, why is High Violet so depressing? And what happened to your lyrics like “I can hear the sound of your laugh through the wall” and “this river’s full of lost sharks?” I am by no means attempting to provide any kind of review for this album. Just explaining my reaction to an album I’ve been anticipating for almost two years. Don’t get me wrong. I think this album is amazing, is totally beautiful, but don’t go out there in interviews and tell music writers that this is your best album yet. I hate when bands do that. Because it makes me lose faith in their ability to judge their own music. But then I’m thinking while walking “home” up Anchorena last Wednesday, this is your best album. I’m still struggling with that opinion though, especially because there are no songs as crazy as “Abel” or as breathtaking as “Ada” on High Violet. But I did get that full to the brim heart ready to explode with tears and laughter feeling when I listened to “Terrible Love” for the first time. And “all the very best of us string ourselves up for love” definitely competes with your older lyrics. But they’re about all the lyrics that do on this album. Dear The National, I’m sorry this doesn’t make any sense and that some of my sentences in this giant paragraph very obviously do not like each other. But you won’t read this. And anyway, this isn’t my Best Paragraph.

3. Infinite Arms, Band of Horses
I remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Funeral.” And though I will always remember exactly where I was when I first heard this new album, it’s only because I happen to be in Buenos Aires, which is not normal, and which therefore makes everything I absorb/consume/experience here memorable, even when it is not memorable in its own right. Remember “Is There a Ghost?” Common! That song was completely disarming. There is nothing disarming about Infinite Arms. It is pleasant and very enjoyable, but no where near as memorable as Band of Horses’ previous two albums. The only exception is the final track, “Neighbor,” which sounds a little Fleet Foxes-y, and is epically beautiful. And the first track might appeal to me more if I hadn’t listened to the so similar sounding “At Any Moment” by Shane Bartell so many times before.

Ok, that’s all. Take all of the above as reflections and not judgments, because I feel no where near engaged enough with what I am currently saying to have anyone take it seriously. These are just three of the things that have been occupying my time in the last week as I’ve made my way through neighborhoods and chilly nights. Still haven’t gotten around to listening to the new Black Keys or Dead Weather albums. Or LCD Soundsystem, but I'm hesitant to purchase that after Port O'Brien's emphatic [and seemingly negative] one line review of it on twitter ["LCD SOUNDSYSTEM I DONT GET IT"]. And I am still searching for the elusive English bookstore.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

1. Cilantro's. The coaster will tell you generally what I somehow cannot explain specifically.

2. Real asado, Argentinian style.
[Note: I ate pasta. I'll drink and I'll smoke here but I will not eat half of a cow anywhere.]

3. Our subte station. Agüero.

4. San Telmo.
~"Lose your addiction to Gravity"


6. Tiny secret things on the sidewalk.

7. Jardín Japonés in Palermo

8. In addition, there are numerous conversations, small moments, hours on the roof under southern hemisphere stars which, though undocumented in photos, have been the true heart of my trip. I keep them to myself because words could never do them justice. If you really want to know, ask me someday.

Tomorrow we are taking a day trip to el Tigre. And tonight I will cook my ramen noodles and drink my whiskey and spend time with these amazing people.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

1. Saturday was the giant metal flower in Recoleta and some wandering of the surrounding parks.

2. This is our Freddo. Best. Ice cream. Ever.

3. El Ateneo. The most beautiful book store I've ever seen. And read in. While drinking cafe con leche. Mmmm.

4. We went to Chinatown for dumplings. Instead, I got pollo picante flavored cup of noodles. I did NOT eat these chicken's feet. CHICKEN'S FEET!

[Time out on update because we just performed a rescue mission with Zac, the cat, who somehow got himself stuck on the glass roof and who has been crying for two hours. Rescue mission = successful]

5. 6 Peso pizza. One large cheese pizza here from this lovely "restaurant" on our corner will cost you 6 pesos. Which is approximately $1.60 in USD. You might be thinking, but if it's only 6 pesos it must be horrible!!! You would be wrong. And if you don't take my word for it, trust the two hours wait worth of people [porteños no less] sitting on the floor waiting for their order from open till close.

5 1/2. This is our street. Anchorena. It is very busy at random times and very quiet at other... random times.

6. Palermo.

Coming soon... Colonia. When I get around to going there. Also planning: a tour of la casa rosada, the modern art museum in La Boca, the Evita museum, a visit to Once, and more wandering around Palermo [in the day time].