Happy Birthday Popsy Wopsy

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Today my dad turns 52. In those years he has seen and done more than ten average people put together. He has saved countless lives and seen countless lost. He has traveled the world and helped victims of tyranny and injustice from Mongolia to Afghanistan and back.

My dad’s favorite thing is his adorable (SIKE) dog Morgan. So in honor of my over-the-hill father, here are some photos of the poutiest bulldog around (always under foot, that dog…)

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Happy birthday dad! We love you.

Things I Like Thursdays

It’s been a while, dear world, since I have shared with you anything that I am liking these days. I even got a new blog since the last time this happened (almost a year ago, I think). Exciting stuff.

So here are ten things I like this Thursday.

1. This podcast.

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“ A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale. ”

Because I think it may be brainwashing me.

 

2. The reintroduction of cheese into my diet.

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Because cheese is magical and whoever invented it deserves a Nobel prize. Or two.

(My besties ((yes, that’s right, my besties)) and I had this amazing picnic at my favorite place in Raleigh. We ate lots of fruit and cheese and crackers and played out my imaginary wedding ((I thought we agreed on no judging.)) It was one of the most beautiful summer evenings of all times- the kind that has the ethereal, humid glow of lightning bugs and riverbeds.)

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My Brain is Small and Death

Sampson Starkweather is my spirit animal.  His truly sad, but also a little bit funny type of poetry seems to run in a long line of truly sad but also a little bit morbidly funny poetry about death, with mascots like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, whose lines betray their obsession with their own mortality.  Dickinson, though often touted as the quintessential manically depressed agoraphobic, understood that the world inside her brain was perhaps even more vast and complex than that outside. The funeral procession in, “I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” is complete with drum beats and coffin, but purely contrived by her vivid, though perhaps unstable, brain. Similarly, Starkweather’s poem from LA LA LA focuses on the chaos of the internal world as the lines between it and the external world blur, stunted only by the shortened lines. 

Though both poems end in assured destruction, the multitude of Mourners in Dickinson’s poem lay in stark contrast to the singular I and you in Starkweather’s. Whereas Starkweather’s poem begins in the first person singular, moves to the second person singular, and then on to the first person plural, grouping speaker and reader together in a sort of miserable last stand, Dickinson, in true Romantic form, sends the speaker off alone to face the forms or whatever world lays beyond this one.

This idea of death as being intimately tied to the immense world inside our minds is something that I find both confusing and amazing, as though the guarantee of death actually awakens this private, isolated universe that can only be experienced by the one whose mind imagines it.  Thoughts?

I am small
but make
big music
if you could look
into my brain
it would look like
the sound of the emergency
broadcast system

-Starkweather

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,

A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –
-Dickinson