My happy face.
I am devastated today. I am a born and raised Massachusetts native, and grew up outside Boston. I am grieving for my city today, as we all are. But I feel hope today, too.
Patriots’ Day is a special day in Boston. It’s the day I’m always most homesick for my hometown. It’s a state holiday - schools are closed and banks close early. There is no mail delivery. This is so engrained in the local culture that when I moved to New York after college I was confused when we did not have the day off from work. I guess I always thought Patriots’ Day was a national thing.
On this day, there is an early morning reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. At some point in your youth your school will probably make you attend this, or your mom. It’s painful to rise at 5AM when you’re twelve to go see people retrace Paul Revere’s ride, but it’s a Massachusetts right of passage I’m grateful for.
The Red Sox have their first home game of the year on this day. The game is in the morning and signals the start of spring in Boston, like one giant daffodil popping out of the Green Monster. Once again, you’re filled with hope of a renewed Red Sox line up that might not fail you this year. Everything is fresh and new again, but routed in the history and tradition that makes the city and the team so great (even when they’re losing).
But most importantly, it’s Marathon Monday. There is truly nothing that captures the spirit of Boston and Massachusetts more than the marathon. It runs right through my town, and the whole world shows up to watch. Everyone knows a billion people running; each year my mom would cheer for her old OBGYN who delivered me when I was born. It’s fun and festive - people run in ridiculous costumes that seem impossible to sustain for 26.2 miles. But it is also downright emotional - a large group of wheelchair runners are the first to appear along the route, as well as able-bodied runners pushing participants in wheelchairs, like the much beloved father-son Team Hoyt. Everyone cheers, everyone cries. It’s an international event, but is incredibly local and true to the spirt of Boston: people persevering over an incredible challenge, with fervent, wild support all around.
Patriots’ Day is Boston’s best day; it’s happiest and most hopeful. There are parties everywhere, especially in Boston along the marathon route, celebrating the race and these wonderful moments that make the city so unique and special. And so, because someone chose to hurt the city on this of all days, I am especially saddened and devastated. I want people who aren’t from Boston to know how magical Patriots’ Day is, how it was my favorite day growing up and how it captures everything good about being a resident of Massachusetts. I’m confident that nothing will damper the spirit of this day, and that next year the state and the city will celebrate (and remember and honor those injured and lost today) even stronger. Nothing can keep the Commonwealth down. They don’t call us Massholes for nothing.
The strength of the human spirit encounters too many unfair tests.
— Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
or Funemployment: Asia’s Guide to Get Poor or Die Pouring (2013)
Excellent Portishead cover.
Glory Box - John Martyn
Two important things you should know about me:
1) I take pride in my intelligence.
2) I fucking love pizza.
Someone once recommended I dumb myself down when flirting with boys. Another told me I was intimidating because my tendency in conversation is to make the other person feel stupid. In both cases, intelligence has been villainized in the search for love—or just a guy willing to sooner call me his gal than his bro.
I’m not saying I’m a genius. Trust me, I look at blank sudoku squares and feel like smoke is about to burst from my ears. I just had to Google ‘Mensa’ to figure out a way to appropriately mention it in this post. I’m by no means an idiot, but I’m also not a brainiac who uses words like apropos or ergo in every day language (though I do prefer to use words like coitus and egads, but I’m pretty sure that makes me more robotic than genius).
Rather than bring the notches of my intelligence down, I’ve always preferred to not define it as high in the first place. Don’t be pretentious, but don’t fabricate cluelessness either. I certainly don’t purposely act like an idiot when flirting—trust, my sheer inability to flirt helps being an idiot come quite naturally. Never purposely dumb yourself down for a boy—or for anyone, really—because why belittle yourself like that anyway? The brain is a terrible thing to waste in a compromise with the heart. Or so I’ve always told myself.
And then pizza came into play. Pizza, that saucy minx. Pizza, that beautiful pie that still forgives you even if you need to finish it cold and chewy the next day. It’s a real gem, that pizza.
My love for both my intelligence and pizza have been two defining qualities of my being. And while they still ring true, they were unfortunately once at war. It is with a heavy heart that I must confess: I once dumbed myself down for an entire pizza. A frozen pizza.
We were in his room and I foolishly hadn’t eaten. My stomach was growling and all etiquette was thrown at the window. As in, I saw a giant bag of chips somewhere in his room, asked to have some while already reaching for it, and said, “Doesn’t matter, I’m eating some” as he politely told me to help myself. Yes it happened. I’m not proud of it. I ate about 4 minibags of chips and tapped out of conversation quick.
He offers a pizza. Tells me to cook it, explaining where it is in the freezer and everything. I head to the kitchen to preheat the oven. Suddenly it hits me: I’m lazy. And this is his apartment, I’m the guest, why am I baking the pizza? Granted it’s a pizza for me. Nevertheless, what gives? So I walk back to his room, lean against the wall shyly and say, “I don’t know how to bake a pizza. Can you come with me and do it?”
I couldn’t even take offense with the look he gave me. For a split second, nevertheless a detectable one that I’m not used to seeing, I’m certain he thought I was dumb. He got up from his chair, sighed but smiled a “I’ll take care of you, love” grin and lead me into the kitchen. In a sense, I should be offended he believed I couldn’t make an oven baked frozen pizza. The instructions are in the title of the damn object. Oven baked. But boys love playing the hero, and there I was, letting him do it. Asking him. Pretending he needed to.
He half-assed some instructions on how to bake a frozen pizza. Take out of box. Put onto tray. Put tray into oven. Wait. Damn my stomach and its inability to find satisfaction in the chips from his bedroom.
Now, I still got my pizza. And it was de-li-cious. Yet, an ache in my gut came and it wasn’t from the 450 calories I had just ingested. It was that compromise, and seeing how easily it worked. From his smug smile to the way he repeated how he couldn’t believe I didn’t know how to bake a pizza, my intelligence couldn’t even stomach offense. I had asked for this.
It was like I was eating a blood pizza. The way it was served to me felt so immoral and consequently undeserving of enjoyable consumption. Granted I still ate it—I was feeling guilty, not less hungry!
But that night taught me that anything that could make a pizza unenjoyable is not good for the soul.
After giving it a shot, I can say with utter confidence that dumbing yourself down is not worth the guilt that could make even an entire pizza pie taste bitter. Acting dumb isn’t worth being looked at like you actually are dumb. No slice is worth the compromise.
- Bought a gym membership: Scared shitless, I don’t belong there.
- Received a call from the devil: Set up a consultation appointment with the doctor to remove my wisdom teeth.
- Hosted a small wine & dine dinner party: Successfully cooked lasagna from scratch, Unsuccessfully tried shotgunning a bottle of beer in the house and spilled it all over my shirt and hair.
- Can’t stop listening to Young the Giant: One day I will sing all of ‘Cough Syrup’ without using the word “carrot” in the first line.
- Hatched a new dragon on DragonVale
- Really just testing this new look Tumblr has for its posts: Don’t really like it. Wordpress is looking mighty better now.
at The Grand in SoMa.
Missed hanging out with my girls! A much needed break from these final essays weighing me down.
Welcome back to America, indeed.
After going through three different time zones, a confusing layover in NY, sudden tears, 6 hours of poop cramps, lots of drooling, and yearning for a return to England…
I’m back, Bay Area. Let’s reintroduce ourselves.Determined not to waste the great start to 2013.
“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.”— Don Miguel Ruiz (via ballerrina)
eglouis asked: Hi Mister Gaiman! I'm a young, 22 year old writer currently working on a novel that I intend to feature a strong, female lead; however, as a male, I often find myself out of my element. I was wondering if you had any suggestions--are there any books/authors you might recommend that you feel write strong females rather well? Preferably in the sci-fi and/or fantasy genres. Thanks!
I don’t know how to answer this, other than, go and talk to women. There are lots of books you can read with strong women characters but ten minutes...