Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Nod to Janet...

Yesterday was a take control day. I decided, after some gentle pressing from my colleagues that I should apply for a few jobs on the mla I did---sending them out today in fact. And Shannon and I didn't put up with any monkey business at the bar last I will not "top off" your drink. No I will not comp. your drinks because you think you deserve to drink for free all night because you once did because your wife was our guest a few months ago. Since you want to be a big shot, you will tip us accordingly. We have an autogratuity button and if you decide to splurge on 6 or more of your friends, you will have to tip on that tab as well. And yes, we got complimented on our looks and more importantly our intelligence as artists. Brains and Beauty, imagine that. The lesson learned...if you act like you own it, you already do.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Poets Bare All...

or rather, some...check out the Burlesque

Sunday, September 24, 2006

On the New Year

It's a new year, though it doesn't feel like it. Rosh Hashanah really snuck up on me---perhaps going back home to Ohio for Yom Kippur will solidify this time of year. I always end up kinda of sad, nervous, taking stock, and feeling excited about what could be in store in the upcoming year---and reflecting on how many changes have happened. This has been a big year and I think the next brings more. I've been listening a lot to my Erin Johnson cd lately---she lived next to me freshman year and was the Sarah McLaughlin of Heer Hall and I think of all of us around the piano in the dimly lit study lounge and building fires, of walking in and out and the music and how immediate it all was and now, how long the corridors of memory.

Just this week another one of my former students asked me to write his letter of rec. for a study abroad program. He wrote of how important it is for us to step outside of ourselves and become part of another culture, not just travel, but really contribute to the community in which you become a part of----his statement of purpose really touched me and made me feel part of something larger. I often wonder what it is to teach writing, if they get when we spend half of a class listing other words for red---and then naming objects and feelings associated with it, if this is a significant thing with a capital S. Last year at this time, I had decided it was time to really pursue the teaching and so I gave up the 9-5, became a bartender so I could teach more and I think that was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Soon after that I found out my first book would be coming out, and here it is and it all still seems so surreal, how far I've come from scribbling to candlelight and piano, how here I am, the same music, a cup of tea, and writing on my students' poems, thinking how much they sounded like me, almost twenty and so so alive.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Bartender Tells All

Well, not me, but some of my colleagues expound. For a while, I've thought about writing an inside the bar post---so you know what to do or not do for a while, but it looks like a few others already have! So before you tell me to make your drink strong or try to hit on me with your lame-o lines or expect me to be your sole entertainment for the night, read up sipsters!'m not bitter and haven't been turned sour by the industry, I'm just a big fan of proper etiquitte. Sometimes people don't tell you those things, like having spinach in your teeth. You should know better!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Live Like a Rockstar

Another perk of my job is that I can meet wonderful people who are with a band and sometimes even get to be on the guest list so I can see the band...So after a night of mingling and drinking a little too much (I'm a two martini girl) and selling double the amount of books I had sold (I'm up to 61 now) I got to see The Black Crows. And then last night, a wine tasting dinner at Dino in my old neighborhood. Today it's pajamas and student poems.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book Party

Sold two more books while bartending last night! Tomorrow is the book party, so come celebrate with me at Bar Rouge from 6-9 p.m.!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Weather is Fitting

Five years ago I woke up to one of my roommates screaming "Fire fire!" I thought she was talking about something in the apartment so I tried frantically grabbing my most valuable possessions. Then she told me to look at the t.v. It's somewhat ironic that I got a new shower curtain with a photograph of the Brooklyn Bride circa 1950, the Towers on the left, tall and almost out of place now. Rob began today's yoga practice asking us to dedicate this hour to someone in need, still, something lost. It is grey and the sky is holding back the rain. Sometimes I wonder how the weather seems to fit with a moment, grey and like this when I went to the concentration camps, warm summer rains on first date nights, a chill fall air to walk home with someone you just met. But getting back to today, five years ago. I was taking my poem to be copied for one of my first writer's workshops of grad school. I was thinking that everything would be back to normal, and that night I would be workshopping poems. The woman in the office told me I was in the middle of a panic attack, that my body was in shock and that it felt it had to continue with the normal routine. I remember how still the city was. I went out for Chinese for lunch since we had no food and everyone was just quiet. I remember coming back to my apartment to look at walls with nothing yet hung, thinking that I was somehow being cheated of my MFA experience. My school became a triage center and everything was off kilter and could not be righted.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Good Morning

It's funny watching GG get comfortable in the apartment. This morning he actually crawled into bed--which really isn't a surprise as he's become more sassy in his relationship with the furniture. He likes sitting on the speakers and running across the coffee table. After about 30 minutes of that I decided it was time to go to the farmer's market. My purchases: basil, pears, and cheese. I came home and made waffles with some of the pears on top. Ramona thinks she may be up for some internet dating. Robert isn't panning out and she needs someone who will be there when she calls.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wireless at the Rouge

The semester started and I think it's going to be a great one. Everyone really opened up on introduction day, so much that I barely had time to even start reading the poems with them. I'm glad that everyone was so open and I think a lot of trust was created and some walls broken down. I'm really looking forward to the photo writing assignment as it's always good to begin away from the self. We also had our famous faculty dinner and I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of such a talented and kind group of writers. I'm hoping this year we will be able to spend some time together more informally like we always say we will...but time, that crazy bird, always has us in flight. Then again, that's what I always think on Saturday---yoga, lunch, visiting the cats at the animal adoption in Dupont, and then Rouge! Though today I brought the laptop so I could blog from the bar (everyone else is playing outside). Stealthy me :) I suppose I should see what Jessery is doing. I hear something being shaken, not stirred!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I've been discovered

Last night one of Fred Pollack's former students came into the Rouge and overheard me talking to someone else that I was a professor at GW. Would that be a conflict of pass out poems and drinks? Hmmm...I make a mean Manhattan straight up, no metaphors please!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


While in Ocean City, I was able to catch up on some good beach reading. A while ago---perhaps even for college graduation, my Aunt gave me a book of essays of writers on writing. The one I really loved was Gish Jen's Inventing Life Steals Time, Living Life Begs it Back--and it was about the dichotomy a writer experiences between the real world and the fictional world and how does one find a balance between living and writing. I think that's something so many of us struggle with---for we writers could always be writing, but how much of that writing will actually be worth it. Do we sacrifice our lives for our writing or do we sacrifice our writing for our lives?

With the book coming out, I feel like I'm at some kind of cross roads, though I would like to think, I'm just walking along and finding enough time to stop and smell the roses, but also walking briskly enough. It rained all day, a fitting end to the summer as I'm getting ready for a new semester. Tomorrow is my first day teaching and I have this excited nervousness that I can't seem to shake, that always pops up at this time. I remember it from college, even when I wasn't the one in charge. It's like a new page. I love the way the air smells. It smells like college. One of my best friends from college called a few days ago to tell me some exciting news, she's pregnant and I think even though how much it seems like I'm not that far removed from that time of thinking and drinking, we've come so far from those halls of Heer.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Off to Ocean City

As if I didn't have enough vacation already!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Demo Cat

Shannon brought GG over this morning so I could try out having a cat and someone can take care of GG while she is off galavanting in Spain. So far, he spent the morning finding all the good hiding spaces in the apartment and I spent the morning editing and typing up poems written on vacation. Then, right when I was finishing up, he came out and rubbed up against my leg and the desk chair. I feel like a real poet now. Maggie Anderson has a series of Black Dog poems, but I warned Shannon that there may end up being some Black Cat poems written.