Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A digging up of old treasures.

Too much information?

Because it is spring time again, and to be honest, I am looking to apply to things, and I forgot or I never learned how to sell myself, I went looking for my old applications. The rusty old things that reveal what we find most important about ourselves. It is a bit interesting. I think I have written things in my applications I would never write to a professor or a friend or a family member. Its anyonmous, for gosh sake, and even if I wanted to know what people thought about it I sure as hell will never find out.

I was listending to NPR morning edition yesterday and there was a blip on what happens in college acceptance debates, what people are looking for when they read that icky 2d repersentation of your heart and soul, or at least what you'd think they'd want to see as your heart soul. Can't I just say, listen, people count on me. I follow through. I think, for the most part, I am fun and easy to work with? Its hard that I know my best writing is when I believe in myself, but what if I am struggling to find that? How can I cover it up in fancey words and curious syntax?

so, a teaser for the treasure trunk: what I wrote to get into college. To be perfectly clear, I read this now and I am AMAZED I got accepted. Here's to taking risks.

Sometimes in the early spring, when the sun still sets too soon and the air is cold enough to see your breath in, you will find a pocket of people in this city’s park. It will be at dusk, right as the trees tuck the sun to bed, that you will find us huddled together in the dip of the park, the tummy of these hills, the bowl the earth created that keeps our secrets from spilling. From over there they do look awfully like a lump, clump, lump, no definite head protruding, no lanky arms extended, but one bubbling cell breathing chilled northern air. And here, hidden in that cell, that singular life form, is my family sharing our meals together, that substance that keeps us moving, the nuts and bolts of our life.
This family is not my mother, nor my father, nor my twenty-two year old, very insightful, politically prodding, dearly loved brother. No, this is a family of another kind, one we have put together ourselves, built from the foundation of late night conversations, “The question was, would a conditional or an unconditional god better serve a capitalistic world?” They’ve been batting this question around for four hours now, and I giggle sometimes when they try to define what they are saying in words they used to use lightly and now are trying to toss impolitely on to my dinner plate. Sometimes when the air demands to hear our voices that will be the turn family dinners take, diving us into conversations that clearly have no end and all of us barking in with ideas we’ve only had half the time to think about; pretending that if we just sat here long enough we might come to some conclusion about the world, a world that is so big I could never wrap my head around it on my own.
Other nights, like the night we huddled in the park, when we congealed into one being, we do not sit and chatter, but we fit ourselves, our still growing bodies, close together and make cheese sandwiches on grainy bread, whispering telephone messages that consist of “pass the butter knife” or perhaps “androids prefer French fried potatoes to fries” We’ll reminisce about the last picnic, in the late afternoon, when we met Brother Anthony. This is typical, I’d say, typical that I’d offer our food to a stranger. (How else are you supposed to meet the millions of people that each of us pass, over, by, under, face to face everyday?) Innocently I offered some ninja-fat filled, Elf cookies to this mostly monk-ish appearing man and ended up spending over an hour discussing the church and their stance on homosexuality. My family sat near, under the dripping pine needles, straining themselves from just skipping away, but here was an opportunity! No constraining classroom walls! No polishing of our words for parents! Just our voices and his quietly challenging the things we held as true.  I do not think my patience has ever fought a better battle, but in the end, I walked away unscathed and with a tiny little bit more perspective on the people that fill our world, those people who deserve to be heard no matter how much every inch of me is tingling with disagreement. Therefore, I will continue to offer food to the interesting and the average, as long as there is a solid, old, trust worthy baseball bat lying around and a few good friends who know how to swing in case this monk was really no monk at all.
            These friends, this family, though, will keep on digging into the soil here and eating together our organic foods and sharing them with our neighbors. This food that comes from nearby earth, that has been born from the world we are walking on. It does not always matter what we talked about, or what board games we played, who won at Scrabble, or even what strangers we have meet that particular night, but rather, it is the idea that we shared something between us. We shared substance, not only for our bodies but for our minds. We shared that singular moment, the moment we realized that this park was our kitchen table, that the grass will always be there beneath our feet and that the ground is running below our city and beyond into the million colored seas.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

heres some gossip.

yesterday someone read me my horoscope. It made the next two weeks sound really grand. i am not sure how that will pan out, but today was surprisingly nice, as in, unexpected. I am really fascinated with this uncertainity of when things will click, of waiting for the moment for something to make sense, to be able to move on, or fall head over heals for something. maybe it is the sun or the spring or the making of travel plans, but I feel really secure right now. Its funny, I am not going to lie, I have been watching a lot of gossip girl on the internet over the last month or so and I am totally enthralled. Something about it complexes me. On one hand it is absolutely trashey tv and they do all sorts of things many of us would find unforgivable. But there are two strange things that really seem to hold true, one, give people a second chance, two, always accept your friends for who they are, mistakes included, and believe it or not, have a good sound track. All of this is mixed with social class hierarchry, trashy almost/sex scenes, and problems only found in the lives of the rich and famous, but some how i found it enduring and a total break for academic work and learning croatian but I am concerned I may be feeding a dangerous addiction and rotting away my brain via girls who love gucci and ride in limos.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It rained all day long.
I carried a yellow umbrella and didn't think about it at all. 
It was a nice rain, smelled fresh, pushing the blooms out of the spring trees, sprinkling the sidewalks with petals. 
I bought some delicuously soft green apples at the market. The fruit and vegetables glistened, getting washed by the rain. It was nice to walk to school, to my office, dodging umbrellas, watching children in snow boots not even avoiding puddles.
The rain makes me content to sit inside all day and read and bake cookies and drink milk. It was strange, I drank two entire glasses of milk today. I never drink milk.


Sunday, March 27, 2011


the end of a weekend. spring has arrived and you can see it in the streets. The weekend was spent wandering around outside and observing the strange effect spring has on croatians. It seems as if no one works. I met with some friends for our new tradition...friday afternoon lunch. We sat outside munching on pizzas and salads and every table around us was full and bustling. all of sudden people seemed to actually live in this city. we wandered off next for ice cream (I had two scopes! one lemon, one blueberry...) and coffee. I could get used to this. As we wondered about though we noticed every cafe was full, and let me say on any given street there could be as many 6 cafes. We joked about how it was a sign of weak economy, no one with jobs to be at. But hey, at least everyone looked happy.

Saturday I hung out with Mare and Marko and then tagged along to a family weekend home up on a hill in the countryside for an Aunt's birthday party. We pulled up to a giant yard full of kids kicking a ball around, an old wooden table covered in yummy dishes, like boiled potatoes and onions, and people lounging on blankets. We went for a long walk and Hrvoje and I spoke of graduate schools. Once again I got thinking about the academic life, the possibility of 6, yes 6, more years of school. This year has seemed so unreal I cant hardley think about the future in any logistical kind of way. But peering down on the houses from where I was and breathing in the summer air-it seemed like academia has only brought me good things in my life.

Saturday night there was a party at the contemporary musuem for the closing of an exhibit of young croatian artists. There was lots of schmoozing and "oh dahlings" and kisses on the cheeks. Not to mention free drinks and everyone lingered around getting loose-lips in the process. After plenty of giggles, and conversations about art and artists and gossip we headed out to the used-to-be squat that now hosts aleternative parties, workshops, and other community-fun orientated gatherings. With a couple of glasses of wine my Croatian sounded great and we danced a bit and then took quite a walk home. The best part about spring is walking is nice. even late at night the air is cool and refreshing, not a terrible ice-box to be avoided at all costs.

Sunday rolled around and I had lunch with my roommate then met a friend to actually go check out the art at the musuem before the change the show. the work covered a variety of stuff and for the most part was interesting, not everything was top notch but a few pieces stand out. Mostly I really appreciated the sense of play in all the works. A lot of works invited you to play with them, which is always funny because then it is always the game of should i touch this? what about this? what can i make this do?

After a good dose of art we strolled around novi zagreb, an entirely different feel than the city center. We sat for a coffee before deciding to walk back into town from the suburbs. along the way was a miniture carnival, for no good reason we stopped and literally turned our world upside down. I never knew carnival rides that seem a bit janky and scary cure a hang over-who would of thought?

Then more dinner plans of mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, pork and onions, salad and soy fritters. needless to say I am feeling great and now I am just preping myself for the work that is awaiting me all day tomorrow-oh to the working week!