i made the drive back to school today and it only took an hour-ish longer than it should have -- thanksgiving weekend added on unwelcome bumper-to-bumper traffic. it was the first time i'd ever driven a long distance alone and it was surprisingly fun. just driving listening to music and being with myself was calming in some strange, unexpected way (at least for the first five hours). and then, while unpacking and listening to music in my room, i discovered a song that seems to fit perfectly.

i'm in love with massachusetts
and the neon when it's cold outside
and the highway when it's late at night
got the radio on
i'm like the roadrunner


b & bn photos

i don't have the time/energy to talk much about it, but i just got home from my second concert of the past three days -- brand new. i've loved them since junior high school and they finally came through the area. janette bought tickets for us to go see them for my birthday (side note: my birthday was in july). it was a special concert for me; seeing one of my oldest, favorite bands with one of my oldest, best friends. they were really good -- high energy, great live -- but, unfortunately, any concert in the world would have been a let down after bruce springsteen and the e street band on sunday. which brings me to the connection between the two -- photos! i have some photos from bruce (taken on my cell phone, so they're not too great) and some photos from brand new. enjoy!

bruce crowd surfing

this was right before i touched bruce springsteen
photo taken by my bro

bruce and some of the members of the e street band --
you can see clarance clemons and nils lofgren in the background
photo taken by my bro

brand new

brand new's lead singer, jesse lacey, singing "play crack the sky"
with audience members waving their lighters in response

brand new


bruce springsteen and the heart-stopping pants-dropping house-rocking earth-shaking booty-quaking viagra-taking love-making legendary e street band!

i can't sleep. i just got home from seeing bruce springsteen and the e street band close their workin' on a dream tour. after waiting in lines for close to three hours, it paid off -- our numbers were drawn, along with 496 other springsteen fans, to be given spots in the pit. basically what that means is we were second row center.

i can't even begin to form the words to explain how amazing the concert was. they played for almost four hours without pause -- something you'd be hard-pressed to find another band do. not only that, but they played their first album "greetings from asbury park, n.j." in its entirety for the first time in years. and, on top of all of that, it was little steven's (who plays both the guitar and mandolin in the band, and is also silvo dante on the sopranos) birthday. at one point they brought him out a cake emblazoned with both "the e street band" and "the sopranos" and covered in 59 candles.

the playlist, in its entirety:
Wrecking Ball (with trumpeter Curt Ramm)
The Ties That Bind
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Blinded By the Light
Growin' Up
Mary Queen of Arkansas
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
Lost in the Flood
The Angel
For You
Spirit in the Night
It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Restless Nights
Surprise, Surprise
Green Onions
Merry Christmas Baby (with Curt Ramm)
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (with Curt Ramm)
(I Don't Want to) Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes
Boom Boom
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Long Walk Home
The Rising
Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Curt Ramm)
* * *
I'll Work For Your Love
Thunder Road
American Land (with Curt Ramm)
Dancing in the Dark
Rosalita (with Curt Ramm)
Higher and Higher (with Willie Nile and Curt Ramm)
Rockin' All Over the World

every song i wanted to hear was played and, i have to admit, i cried throughout thunder road. springsteen knows how to work the crowd so well -- he crowd surf
ed at least three times and kept running around the perimeter of the pit and sticking his hands into the audience. at one point he was right in front of my brother and i and we reached right up and touched his hand. i touched bruce springsteen. i can die fulfilled and happy now.

i have, and always will have, an undying love for bruce springsteen and
the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, earth-shaking, booty-quaking, viagra-taking, love-making, legendary e street band. i only hope that the rumors aren't true and tonight wasn't their last concert. but, if it was, they went out in style.

p.s. it needs to be noted how much i adore clarence "the big man" clemons. he makes beautiful, beautiful music with that saxophone of his.



i really love mashups. there's something about taking two songs that seem completely different and making them work together in a new way that is so compelling. since i stumbled upon the song "is this digitial love" -- a mashup of bob marley's "is this love" and daft punk's "digital love" -- earlier today, i can't stop listening to it. here it is in all its glory:


welcome to autumn, fuckheads


I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal. I'm about to head up to the attic right now to find that wicker fucker, dust it off, and jam it with an insanely ornate assortment of shellacked vegetables. When my guests come over it's gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There's a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.

I may even throw some multi-colored leaves into the mix, all haphazard like a crisp October breeze just blew through and fucked that shit up. Then I'm going to get to work on making a beautiful fucking gourd necklace for myself. People are going to be like, "Aren't those gourds straining your neck?" And I'm just going to thread another gourd onto my necklace without breaking their gaze and quietly reply, "It's fall, fuckfaces. You're either ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest or you're not."

Carving orange pumpkins sounds like a pretty fitting way to ring in the season. You know what else does? Performing an all-gourd reenactment of an episode of Diff'rent Strokes—specifically the one when Arnold and Dudley experience a disturbing brush with sexual molestation. Well, this shit just got real, didn't it? Felonies and gourds have one very important commonality: they're both extremely fucking real. Sorry if that's upsetting, but I'm not doing you any favors by shielding you from this anymore.

The next thing I'm going to do is carve one of the longer gourds into a perfect replica of the Mayflower as a shout-out to our Pilgrim forefathers. Then I'm going to do lines of blow off its hull with a hooker. Why? Because it's not summer, it's not winter, and it's not spring. Grab a calendar and pull your fucking heads out of your asses; it's fall, fuckers.

Have you ever been in an Italian deli with salamis hanging from their ceiling? Well then you're going to fucking love my house. Just look where you're walking or you'll get KO'd by the gauntlet of misshapen, zucchini-descendant bastards swinging from above. And when you do, you're going to hear a very loud, very stereotypical Italian laugh coming from me. Consider yourself warned.

For now, all I plan to do is to throw on a flannel shirt, some tattered overalls, and a floppy fucking hat and stand in the middle of a cornfield for a few days. The first crow that tries to land on me is going to get his avian ass bitch-slapped all the way back to summer.

Welcome to autumn, fuckheads!

**side note: this was originally published in mcsweeney's (conveniently founded and edited by one of my favorite authors, dave eggers). i came across it re-published in one of the bathroom publications at my college. life is perfectly aligned.


i love radiohead. watch this video. creep.


whatever you like

it's time to tell a secret... i'm an avid gossip girl fan and proud of it(!). while watching this week's episode a song started playing and my reaction was woah what is that? after much searching, i discovered that it was a cover of the t.i. song "whatever you like" by singer-songwriter anya marina.

here it is; i like it so much more than the original version:


know your onion!

shut out, pimpled and angry.
i quietly tied all my guts into knots.
gave up on trying to make them,
i figured it'd take them too long to look up and besides...

it was undeniably clear to me i don't know why
when every other part of life seemed locked behind shutters
i knew what worthless dregs we've always been.

lucked out and found my favorite records
lying in wait at the birmingham mall.
the songs that i heard,
the occasional book
were the only fun i ever took.
and i got on with making myself.
the trick is just making yourself.

but when they're parking their cars on your chest
you've still got a view of the summer sky
to make it hurt twice when your restless body
caves to its whims
and suddenly struggles to take flight...

three thousand miles north east
i left all my friends at the morning bus stop shaking their heads.
"what kind of life you dream of? you're allergic to love."
yes i know but i must say in my own defense
it's been undeniably dear to me, i don't know why
when every other part of life seemed locked behind shutters
i knew the worthless dregs we are,
the selfless, loving saints we are,
the melting, sliding dice we've always been.

-- know your onion!; the shins

how i read

i get obsessed. with genres, with series, with certain book cover designs, and, mostly, with authors. the best examples: i read fight club almost three years ago and then proceeded to read everything else chuck palahniuk had ever written. last year, for my non-fiction novel class, we read what is the what: the autobiography of valentino achak deng by dave eggers and, after being told by rascal that eggers is her favorite author, i have read everything by him -- save for a few short stories and the second half of the wild things, which i'm reading now.

palahniuk has perfected the plot twist -- anyone who has seen/read/heard of fight club will agree wholeheartedly with this -- while still playing with the form his novels take. one of my favorite books by him (it's so hard for me to rank) is titled
rant: an oral biography of rant casey. the story opens with the reader discovering that the main character, buster "rant" casey, for whom the novel is named, is already deceased. from that point, various people discuss their memories of rant and present stories that serve to form and push forward the story. not only does rant provide a really great plot twist, but it also is one of the most interesting ways to form a work of fiction that i've ever read.

my eggers obsession took a bit longer to kick in. while i loved the way he wrote
what is the what: the autobiography of valentino achak deng, especially the idea of a fictionalized autobiography, i wasn't sold on him until reading you shall know our velocity!. i would recommend this book to anyone (and i have) but only if it contains the section narrated by the character hand. for some reason, not every copy of the novel contains this addition -- the first time i read you shall know our velocity!, it wasn't included. i didn't even realize what i was missing until rascal referenced it and then forced me -- thank god she did! -- to read the addition. it changed everything. without revealing too much, essentially what hand does is call into question the reliability of the novel's narrator and, therefore, undermine everything presented in the story. you'll finish reading it feeling lied to, cheated, and, i dare say, hurt -- but, also, confused because it's only a work of fiction, so why should you care?

i think what sucks me into my obsessions is the twist a novel provides. if an author can play with accepted literary norms and make me question everything i believe, then he has my heart.

also, from another of my authorial obsessions... i wish this was for me: