Today is a holiday I would get excessively excited about as a child; I’d fabric-paint absurdly tacky red-white-and blue T-shirts for my entire family (and color-coordinate my outfit like I’d get killed if a single article of clothing wasn’t red, white and blue), go to the neighborhood parade and play the kazoo while throwing candy from a float (seriously), play on the firetrucks and the park where the parade ended, get facepaint and facepaint other people (including bald men’s heads), and eat so much watermelon and hot dogs I felt sick.
I was about to continue this post with a “oh look how things change, woe is America,” but damnit, fuck it. I loved that shit as a kid, and it still sounds awesome. Hell, I’d do all that again today to a tee. I love this holiday.
I remember sitting on the banks of town lake at a very young age and dancing under the fireworks as they reflected over the water. I remember years of setting off fireworks with my friends and making smores and nearly killing (okay, probably just maiming/deafening) each other repeatedly.
In high school, I vividly remember a Fourth spent at a friend’s house with our physics table group (pyromaniacs, of course; we wouldn’t pay attention, we’d melt gummy bears and toast bread)(it was disgusting and tasted like bunsen burner but we ate it, by golly) and his parents (they were from South Africa and a bit insane, but in the best way, and even worse pyromaniacs), exploding balloons with helium and other chemistry tricks and then eating watermelon (best) while listening to Eric Clapton’s greatest hits and feeling drugged out, completely sober.
Another time my boyfriend at the time pulled his shoulder playing rooftop dodgeball, and another time we spent the day at the park and made out to the fireworks and took absurd pictures because that is what intelligent-yet-young adults do.
The most recent one involved drunken fireworks-throwing and insult-slinging, to and from the roof of my apartment with neighbors I didn’t see. It was highly dangerous and absolutely fantastic.
Today, I’m flying back home from being abroad for a month and a half, seven-hour time difference. But I know I’m going to make fireworks one way or another. There are a lot of things I can’t get behind about this country, but celebrating with fireworks, delicious food, and absurd semi-destructive shenanigans (fuck you Juno for ruining this word for me, I’mma use it anyway) is both poetic and a fucklot of fun.
So go paint the town red, kiddos, like who needs an excuse? You don’t have to be American—in fact, if you’re not, even better—celebrate that you can get all the fun parts and none of the bullshit. And then blow something up.
Of course, there’s a burn ban in my city.
Sweet, a repeat offender! I love those.
14—Any weird/hidden talents I have.
The spacing on the original image of this wigs me out. It makes me want to re-typset (or really, just actually typeset) it.
Since I’m irredeemably vain, I’m not really in the habit of keeping any remotely interesting/impressive/unusual quality about myself secret. Unfortunately, I also don’t have much to offer. The thing about useless, weird, hidden talents is that you don’t really think of them until you see someone else being stupid and go, “hey, I can do that too, look!” I know someone who is queen of that stuff, but, erm … I can both fold and roll my tongue? I’m mildly ambidextrous? Portuguese was my first language and I regularly use snippets of other languages in conversation—mostly Spanish and bits of French, but now also some Italian and the rare piece of German (okay, like, two phrases). One day I will be an actual polyglot and then I will truly be impressive.
Is it considered a talent to be freakishly small? Because I am in fact that. I can read incredibly well upside down and I can see those hidden-image pictures almost immediately by just crossing my eyes a little bit. I can also cross my eyes, but not impressively well. I can do one-handed cartwheels and also roundoffs but I usually pull a leg muscle a little bit. I am very good at dancing enthusiastically and not very skillfully. Not that well hidden, but I can recognize several fonts at a glance, mostly the bad ones (Comic Sans, obviously, Papyrus, Curlz MT, etc.) but also Futura (every movie released around the same time as The Social Network, including The Social Network), Helvetica and Helvetica Ultra Light (overused in women’s makeup ads). I wrote a LOT of limericks and haiku in high school, mostly about my teachers, and I got pretty good at that. One of my ex-boyfriends spoke only in haiku for an entire day once. He also wrote an entire lab report as a rap and rhymed back and forth with another friend for, I think, two hours one time (all of these things were years after we had broken up) (promise). This is not about his weird hidden talents though, it is about me.
So! I used to be really awesome at untying knots? I intuitively use weird things for metaphors, like plankton. I am very good at run-on sentences and fragments. I know how to use semicolons. Most of my “talents” are revolving around writing, I’m noticing. I am superb at obsessively stupid self-awareness.
I’m really grasping at straws, here (not another talent), so I suppose I’ll give up and admit that there is no really cool secret hidden thing about me.
I mean, except that I have magic powers and I can fly, but that’s why they call me Tinkerbell (no one calls me Tinkerbell) (well someone did once but I don’t remember who it was).
What luck! I like you & your taste in female singers.
Is there a way to reply to replies (thus creating a thread) on tumblr, or are they just totally against having any sort of dialogue with your followers?
I mean, I have disqus, but none of you lazy fuckers use that, so.
I like you. You should look into the unfortunate matter of your apostrophe being turned the wrong way in your headline, however. Try ‘
8—My favorite food (but only bread).
Bread is great. I like stale bread especially when it is about 2 or 3 a.m. and I am suddenly hungry but too lazy to search actively for or construct a meal. That is precisely what I am about to do right now.
Now that I am back, let me tell you about other types of bread that are good. For breakfast nearly every morning in Italy (I think it is also a requirement now that I mention that I was in Italy in every one of these answers)(except, oops, I forgot to do that in the previous one, I am so sorry), I had what they call a brioche and the french and everyone else call croissants with delicious chocolate inside it. That was pretty sweet (pun intended because I am being lame and silly). Unfortunately I got a bit tired of bread and starches in general while I was there.
However, bread is very important for the perfect food, which is sandwiches (do not challenge me on this).
Do you know how sanwiches were invented? The Duke of Sandwich was playing cards. UNFORTUNATELY, he got incredibly hungry, but he couldn’t leave his card game! Whatever to do? In a flash of brilliance, he ordered his servant to put some meat and cheese in between two slices of bread. Voila, the food that bears his name was born. I learned about this in a book I had as a child (it also taught me the origin of pizza, which had something to do with frisbees).
So you see, if you have the wrong bread for your sandwich, all is lost. You can probably figure out for yourself how bread can ruin a sandwich; it can be too heavy, too slight, too overpowering, SO MANY THINGS CAN GO WRONG. It has to complement the other ingredients in the sandwich. There’s of course also the subjective element of taste. Oroweat’s Honey Nut (but in a pinch Oat Nut will do) is my favorite bread because it is nutty (obviously) and just slightly sweet, which goes wonderfully with salami and ham, my meats of choice. It also toasts really beautifully and tastes great even just as hot toast laden with butter.
Now I’m really hungry and homesick, though this nice, stale piece of sesame bread is doing the trick for the former.
Curiosity is great!
2—The age I normally get mistaken for
It’s no secret I look young, particularly because of my tiny size. I’ve been told the glasses ameliorate that, if only a touch.
My range has the youngest being 15, by a manicurist, and the oldest 40, by a teenager on the internet when I was 16 (to be fair, he had not seen me; he was only reacting to my perhaps-unwise habit of using elevated vocabulary and proper grammatical structure in a chat room).
A couple of times I’ve been carded for rated-R movies; a lot of times (okay, nearly every time) I’ve been carded for drinks. Teenagers past 16 usually assume I’m the same age they are. Most people assume I’m in high school. I think the average is 17 years old. People usually move that up when I speak, though, and there have been people who have thought I was 25, 26, so…that’s good, I suppose.
Oh, for the record/those who don’t know me, I’m 22. I know, I don’t believe it either.
6—My biggest insecurity.
Oh, girl, you had to go there, huh? It’s hard to say—I was going to continue that with “I have so many,” and to an extent that’s true, but I’ve also gotten a lot better about that kind of thing and I really couldn’t rattle ‘em off like I used to. There was a time where this would have engendered a very long, involved blog fraught with run-ons and histrionics.
If I pinpointed it right now, I think my biggest insecurity would be that I have a threshold of design ability (or really, ability in general: artistic, intellectual, whatever) that I can’t surpass, and at some point I will no longer be able to improve and will be doomed to a position squarely in (the upper levels, when I’m being nice to myself) of mediocrity. I have a very deep dread of mediocrity.
That’s it in a nutshell, I think.
I also have moderate amounts of anxiety about pinpointing an actual identity. I feel somewhat uncomfortably in flux right now; I may be experiencing a belated adolescent shifting, to go with the age I (apparently) appear.
I’m going to end this answer here lest I fall into a self-absorbed and deeply involved rundown of my fears, as forewarned.
Woah, you have a tumblr?! Right then.
My favorite food.
This is going to be terribly boring for you, I’m afraid, but I suppose all of these questions have to be answered. It’s hard to pick a favorite, and oh, I love food. My standard answer has always been “feijoada,” the traditional Brazilian dish made with meat and black beans, specifically made by my mother, usually accompanied by “churrasco,” which is basically just tons of choice meat, grilled on the spot, seasoned most of the time with only salt (but done so to perfection). It’s still a pretty good answer. Just writing about it has made me pretty hungry.
As I subsisted in Italy on a diet of pizza, pasta, brioche, and cappuccinos, however, there are two things in particular that I’ve been craving immensely from home: Torchy’s tacos (a local place that started as a food cart), specifically their green chile pork tacos with chips+queso and avocado. My other favorite taco place is Arandas, where I went for lunch every day when I attended community college down south; they have one of the most perfect monterrey+chorizo tacos ever made, and fantastic tacos al pastor. The second is a sandwich Avenue B, my favorite sandwich place only two blocks from my home (where I have my own sandwich, the quail: honey oat bread with salami, ham, garlic habañero mayo, provolone, and olives). They make their sandwiches with awesome, fresh ingredients and my favorite brand of bread, Oroweat.
No, you’re not allowed to make fun of me for having a favorite brand of bread. Don’t tell me you don’t.
If your aim was to make me both hungry and miss home, boy, you have succeeded. Grumble grumble (that was my stomach).
Of course, particularly since A. I know you and B. you’re the first to ask.
Someone I miss, and why (11); someone I love, and why (12) —
Because you don’t know this person, let me just tell you the why.
I miss 11 because I have been away for almost a month and a half. My best friend. And that’s the obvious answer. I miss 11 because the things I loved in Paris: the gardens, the ateliers; the things I loved and was inspired by in Italy: the studio visits, the stories, the architecture; the things I’m loving in Munich: motorcycling past fields of grain to a lake, the surfers in the English garden—all these things, were 11 with me, would be doubly appreciated as they deserve to be, and thus doubly appreciated by 11 and I as we shared perspectives. The things I felt I didn’t appreciate enough and the things I missed—the French language, wandering around Paris, mockups of Leonardo’s drawings and locomotives and etc. at the science museum, tiny details of things that I know I didn’t see that 11 would. Part of my missing is the feeling that I am only half-seeing; we have different modes of seeing, and so together, see so much more. Absorbing culture and intellectualizing about your space and your place is all well and good, but there is also when you can have an immense amount of fun wandering through Wal*Mart. Imagine what you can do to France, Italy, Germany (ha).
I had my friends in Italy, of course, who were tons of fun as well, and who also pushed me to do things I perhaps normally wouldn’t (and I miss them too) but new friends pale beside best friends, as the saying goes (Raquel, there is no saying like that —ed.), and now I’m once again on my own. (That sounds much more dramatic than it is; I’m having a great time! Great times are just even greater with friends.)
And I don’t only miss 11 because I am in an exciting place and want the input 11 would give me so I can more fully enjoy the things I’m doing; I would miss 11 if I were sitting at home watching movies and eating an entire tub of ice cream, if only because 11 would prevent that I get a monstrous stomachache later. Much like Doctor Who (had to slip that one in there), I am a person who does best with a companion…even if sometimes the best, closest companion available to me is a book or a computer.
12 is difficult, because time can change so many things. Did you know that in Venice, lovers will declare their love for each other over a lock, attach it to a bridge, and throw the key in the canals? It’s a beautiful story. I believe in some loves and not others.
Love is true in moments, in passing. Love messes with our heads. Love has so many meanings and exponential interpretations. Love is a particle and a wave. The locks on the bridge in Venice are time capsules, these moments in time in which lovers truly believed in this other person, in their devotion to this other person. Love is about giving your all in those locks, and searching for or believing the lock you’re in is the most beautiful, the most strong. Love is about doing without fully understanding, because understanding is pain or beyond us. Love is stuck in the time-space continuum.
You see how I just go down a rabbit hole.
So just reread 11.
Now, doesn’t that sound like a love letter?
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, former governor of Illinois, after being convicted of 17 counts in a corruption case.
I think this man is my favorite person.