life

A Non-Update

The year’s been off to a pretty good start. Just hoping it stays that way.

Other stuff:

  • It may be a bit early to call but my roommate seems to have stopped doing all the stuff that was causing house drama last semester and it’s like a sweet dream.
  • Break summary: Hung out with a few friends, went out to a few places, wrote some poems, and played a lot of 2K17 with my little brother. Not a terrible way to spend a few weeks.
  • The Flick by Annie Baker. So. Good. My friend Maria, a killer writer and Annie Baker lover, kept telling me to read her stuff and I kept promising I would before putting it off. But no more! I already have a copy of The Vermont Plays (a collection of four of her works) from the school library and am excited to read them.
  • You should watch Sara Dietschy’s YouTube channel. Found it through an interview a few weeks ago and watched all of her Creative Spaces TV (think MTV’s Cribs but with artists) and That Creative Life videos in one morning. Since then her vlogs have been getting me through life. Nothing like watching someone else constantly working to get you to stay on top of things.
  • Read My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and I have definitely been struck by Ferrante Fever. Bought Frantumaglia a few days ago and have ordered books 2-4 from my school’s library. Shout out to Zoe Lance, whose blog about what she was reading encouraged me to start the series.
  • Can’t say enough good things about Jay Som. She toured with Mitski and her amazing album Turn Into got re-released last year. And now she’s releasing another album out March 10th :O Very hyped. (Update: she liked my tweet about her :):) )

Writer Out of Genre

^ I pray my chapbook cover is half this killer.

This semester, much of my creative energy has been going towards a chapbook I’m working on (for those who don’t know, a chapbook is a small book of poems). One could reasonably be wondering when I became a poet, and the answer would be never. I have to turn in a chapbook for my Intro to Poetry class’s final, and I want to make it as good as I can. It’ll suck since I’m not a poet, but hopefully I’ll learn a lot. I’ve been compensating for my lack of poetic talent by learning from other things, namely reading and listening to a lot of music. Fingers crossed for a decent product.

Other stuff:

  • In less than a week I’ll be eating and shopping and chilling in Chicago. Leaving two days early and taking the zeroes in the classes I’ll miss because I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sit around in class like a sucker. No idea how I’ll make it till then though.
  • Been doing a lot of internet shopping lately. Lots of artwork, a new backpack since I’m tired of using a tote bag, and some sweaters. Haven’t bought anything though since I have no money, so hopefully my parents help me out with that.
  • I got into the English Honors program 🙂
  • In other writing news, I wrote a ten minute play, Hosting With Holly, and sent it off for a few contests. It’s about this woman who has a YouTube channel where she gives tips on hosting parties, and how her first live broadcast goes horribly wrong. Hoping for a production and also need to stay on myself so I don’t get complacent and stop sending it out.
  • Spent my weekend watching vlogs, namely CatCreature’s vlogs (she goes to RISD and her life seems much more interesting than mine).
  • Finally watching Freaks and Geeks. So. Good. Also hyped about The Crown since I’m in love with period pieces (please talk to me about Downton Abbey).
  • Carmilla Movie!
  • I need a job 😦

Blooming

You know the feeling you get after a healthy dinner or an invigorating workout? I don’t, but I’ve heard these and other self-improving activities feel pretty great. Like you’re growing in real-time or something. That’s how I feel right now. Finally taking more writing classes and getting to know people in my major, have a talented writing partner who gives useful feedback, and went from knowing nothing about poetry to writing some pretty solid poems in just a few weeks (thanks to some excellent instruction). I’m even working on a chapbook (for class, but still!). And nothing is quite so beautiful as my house on a Saturday morning, when the living room is soaked in natural light and the smell of cinnamon french toast wafts through the house. This sort of luck almost makes life seem charming.

Other stuff:

  • Blonde by Frank Ocean has been on heavy rotation lately. So good. Other musical finds: nostalgia,ULTRA by Frank Ocean, Blue and Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell, and Liz Phair’s Girlysound Tapes (the demos she recorded before Exile in Guyville).
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back and I can now die happily. When I saw them on the menu the other day I literally gasped in line.
  • For a while I refused to watch anime. In middle and high school I was deep into that life, so as part of my attempts to erase that part of my background, I’ve avoided anime like the plague or calculus. But today I finished Puella Magi Madoka Magica and it’s amazing. Thankfully I remembered the most important rule of anime watching: always subbed, never dubbed. Just praying I don’t go full weeb.
  • CARMILLA SEASON 3 ACT 1 IS OUT! Dominique and I binged it on Saturday and it was definitely worth the wait. That said, if they make me wait another million years I’ll slit my throat and drink my own blood.
  • Got coffee with one of the aforementioned cool new writer friends and it was really fun 🙂 They had the farmer’s market on campus so I bought 9 churros for $3 and we split them with our drinks and talked for a few hours. Hoping we’ll hang out again.
  • If you’ve never read Eve Babitz, you need to read Eve Babitz. I’m reading Slow Days, Fast Company and she’s funny, entertaining, charming, and an excellent writer. And, like much in her life, she makes it seem so easy.

Gabery

Noun:

The feeling that, though things are good, one is somehow at risk of ruining them.

Other stuff:

  • Over the weekend, I watched Blue Is The Warmest Color, a three hour movie, with Dominique. It took us eight hours. (We keep pausing and talking)
  • My school’s bookstore is like every state school stereotype mashed into one. Over the summer they changed the layout so the part that actually sells books was moved into the back corner of the store to make way for more university apparel and high-end sunglasses.
  • Finally got internet (didn’t have any in the new house for two weeks). Two of my roommates and I also got a Netflix account and I’m already watching too much 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Please send help.
  • One roommate also has Mortal Kombat X so the fact that I’ve turned in any homework at all is a miracle.
  • The house is pretty amazing though there have been some issues. Our washer stopped working and won’t be fixed till Saturday and there’s been a lot of tension surrounding one of my roommates. On the plus side it’s made for some great jokes.
  • So ready for Danny Brown’s new album, Atrocity Exhibition (singles: When It Rain and Pneumonia). He’s one of my favorite rappers right now. MIA’s releasing AIM too which should be solid. Also Carly Rae Jepsen came out with Emotion Side B which is a banger (if you haven’t listened to it, Emotion was also excellent).
  • Got an iPhone SE :O While this might not seem like big news, for those who know me and have seen the many flip-phones that have entered in and out of my life, my finally getting a smartphone may be something of a shock.
  • Met with my new critique partner today and she was excellent 🙂

Gabe’s Malibu Dream Room

 

Though I’d love to keep a good-looking house, my budget’s not about that, so my room will never look as great as Jhumpa Lahiri’s. That’s a shame, since I’m sure with a house that lovely my Pulitzer-winning book would pop right out. If I weren’t broke, though, here’s what I’d get:

  1. A wooden desk that’s weathered but in a nice way, with enough room for a laptop, notebook, and a ton of food. The kind that fits right in at a trendy coffee shop.
  2. A quality laptop (light and powerful with a gorgeous screen) and a printer with infinite ink and paper.
  3. All the books I could want, but not on a bookshelf; instead they’d be stacked on the floor or on small tables/nightstands. The sort of ordered chaos that helps a room feel lived-in.
  4. A large, comfortable chair in which I could read all these books, alongside other tasteful and distinctive furnishings.
  5. Breathtaking artwork all along the walls for my creative edification.
  6. 30 Precise V7 black pens (the only pens I write with) stored in an empty Starbucks cup with my name on it.
  7. The perfect cream sweater and dark blue jeans, in multiples since I’ll be too busy being a creative genius to choose new outfits every day. A Burberry trench coat wouldn’t hurt either.

Other stuff:

  • Leaving in a week. Getting everything together last-minute as usual but I’m pretty excited.
  • I’m applying to work at my school’s writing center 🙂
  • Music Tip 1: taking advantage of Amazon Digital sales is a good way to build up one’s music library.
  • Music Tip 2: an even better way is taking advantage of amazing and legally free albums such as Telefone by Noname and HEAVN by Jamila Woods.
  • Today I learned that while I was wrong to think eating a vegan meal would kill me, I was right to think it would be lackluster.

The Ties That Bind

I’ve repeatedly dreamed of snapping my phone in half while my family watches, handing them the pieces, and telling them to cut the line. Complete separation, no more contact. I have two weeks left in Chicago. In the swirl of emotions that has been the past few days, one thing has been clear: a voice crying out within me, begging me to leave.

Other stuff:

  • Part of leaving involves making things ready for my arrival, so I’ve been shopping for new clothes, furnishings, etc. It’s been both exciting and exhausting.
  • I also deleted all my pirated music. Figured it isn’t great artist karma to steal the work of other artists, and since my iPod is broken it seemed  as good a time as any. Replenishing my collection will be so emotionally/financially painful though 😦 but it’s worth it.
  • Reached a new level in cooking by successfully making french toast. Won’t be on Food Network Star anytime soon but at least it’s not a sandwich.
  • Great writing tips from Alyssa Wong (her short story Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers is phenomenal).  Also, this Lithub article about the journals of famous writers was an engaging read.
  • Saw the musical Northanger Abbey at Lifeline Theatre and it was such a joy, especially as an Austen fan. It was in a small theater and I had a front-row seat, which ended up being a perfect viewing spot. Also, each seat had a blanket; it wasn’t cold but covering myself with the blanket meant that I couldn’t distract anyone with my excited hand movements. All in all, definitely worth seeing (and student tickets are only $20!).

Nothing But Other Stuff

I’m stuck in Chicago for the next month and am crazy bored/boring, hence the lack of a real post topic. I only leave my house to go to Wendy’s, Jewel-Osco, or the library, and while the life of a homebody is pretty relaxing and one I’d recommend, it doesn’t give much blog material, so move on down, nothing to read here.

Other stuff:

  • Going back to Tucson next month, thank God. (Can’t believe I just thanked God for Tucson). Being at home is suffocating. My mom says I act like I don’t have a family, which is fair, but I can’t help it. I’m ready for an evolution and that’s not happening around old people or in old places.
  • I need to live somewhere cool and rainy once I graduate; I can’t take any more heat. All suggestions are appreciated. Seattle seems pretty perfect except that it’s in a major earthquake zone 😦 Though I’d rather risk an earthquake than deal with an Arizona summer.
  • Went to Chinatown today with some very cool family friends. Gorged myself on chow mein, potstickers, and sweet and sour chicken without a lick of shame. Also learned that proper chopstick use isn’t something my muscle memory covers.
  • Nothing makes you feel like you’re putting your English degree to good use like recognizing the Mrs. Dalloway allusion at the start of a New York Times short story.
  • Have eight books out at the library plus a suitcase full of my books. Please send help.
  • Basking in The Kilroy’s 2016 List. The Kilroys are a group of playwrights and producers fighting for gender parity in theater. Every year they publish The List, a list of the best plays by female and trans playwrights, so that underrepresented work gets more exposure. The plays are always killer and it makes searching for stuff to read a lot easier. Check it out, you won’t regret it.
  • Reading Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor only reinforced her position as my favorite author. Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks was also quality. Currently reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
  • New season of Star vs. the Forces of Evil premiered Monday! (Wrote a spec script for the show in high school so I have a soft spot for it). Disney XD released the premiere on their YouTube channel for free so you can watch it here. Also Steven Universe is back on the 18th 🙂