It's Friday night and I'm just chilling with my Puppy who isn't mine and my laptop which is mine and my friends on Twitter who I've never met...

• While I was waiting at the doctor's office I started writing a poem in iambic pentameter. What?

• Waterproof disposable camera, Prozac, hair serum, Soy Joy bar.

• I pulled a book of Faulkner short stories off the shelf at this house because I want to read "The Bear" but it wasn't in there, so I read "A Rose for Emily" instead.

• I am definitely funnier when I'm tired.

• Puppy wakes me up before seven and she will only let me fall back asleep if I pull her into bed.

• I'm trying to spend less money on books, but there is this one anthology with this one essay that I just reread and that reminded me how much I love the essay, enough to read it over and over and over, enough times that I will go ahead and buy the book...

Things that are making me happy

Sunday comics at breakfast on Monday.

A new Postcrossing postcard.

Redheaded boys.

Girls with long braids.

Mango chutney and soy cheese sandwiches.

Presents that come for me in the mail for no reason.

The sound of wind in the treetops, because I hardly ever hear it.

An armchair big enough to nap in.

Laughing by myself, and I mean the full mad CACKLECACKLE, none of this quiet chuckle-to-self business. Especially enjoyable behind the wheel on the freeway. [Makes me feel like Cruella De Vil in the car chase scene. Except with a bag of vegan groceries instead of a fur coat.]

The woman who helped me at the post office today, because she told me to put my package in a flat-rate envelope so I could save $2. Thanks!

Tragicomedy.

For the past two weeks, I have been shuffling the same eight songs whenever I'm driving. There's always something for my mood. Delicious!

My new ponytail. It is stubby and makes my sister laugh at me.

Almost August...


House-sitting once again at Puppy's place. We're going on vacation soon to a rented beach house in Laguna Beach with the whole rest of my dad's side of the family. I can't wait for you to see pictures; the ocean and its horizon there are the biggest and most beautiful things I know.

Same dealio as when I went to Arizona: leave me a comment or send me an email [wie.ein.lied AT gmail DOT com] if you'd like me to send you a postcard while I'm there! Non-USians too.

I gave myself a haircut this morning



Next time you'll be there too

We'll both be there, together in a way that Rilke would approve of
startling for a moment in someone's headlights
barefoot on the cool pavement
walking like my rough feet and yours are a secret that we're keeping.

Pretend you can see the ocean because the wind is blowing I can smell it

From one of my favorite Mary Chapin Carpenter songs.

If you ever need some proof that time can heal your wounds, 
Just step inside my heart and walk around these rooms, where the shadows used to be,
You can feel as well as see how peace can hover

Time's been here to fix what's broken with its power 
And the love that smashed us both to bits spent its last few hours calling out your name,
And I thought, this is the kind of pain from which we don't recover

But I'm standing here now with my heart held out to you
You would have thought a miracle was all that got us through
Well baby, all I know, all I know is I'm still standing

***

Sometimes that's the best thing dear friends can do for you, tell you their story so you can see that they've been somewhere bad too, but they're not there anymore, not at all. Sometimes we need friends to be our proof that people do get better, they leave bad things behind and become who they want to be and make their lives what they want them to be. It makes it easier to hope the same for ourselves. One reason why we tell our stories.

I have a couple friends who have told me those kinds of stories when I needed them, and if they're reading this, you know who you are, you're irreplaceable in my life and I love you MUCH.

I'll say it, too, in case you need to hear it: I was so unhappy I couldn't imagine life being okay again, but it is, and I am. More than okay. We leave bad things far behind us, we get better, we change.

yours,
cuileann

And the world spins madly on



Flavors

Thursday I wake up
with a little scratch on my wrist

Friday I wake up
with a little scratch
on my little finger

Saturday I wake up
from a bad dream
I grasp my cat's paw until she runs away mad
I roll over to the letter I started last night,
write Good morning to you.

Things that are making me happy

My puppy who isn't mine

Homemade cinnamon bread

Handwashing laundry

Cozy too-long dorm sweatpants

The prospect of house-sitting some more next week

Coming up with new outfits for old clothes

Dreams of a nomadic semester [what if I...took all online courses and spent a week traveling for every three or four weeks that I spent working here?]

Japanese aesthetics [currently reading]

"Reckoner" by Radiohead [thanks, Jamie]

Days when I wake up early early without meaning to. Last time I went biking into Golden Gate Park. Today I just read some Goblet of Fire and ate aforementioned cinnamon bread.

8th & Irving

studded, I said and she said she didn't know what I meant
like your collarbone, I said
like your left collarbone
that your fingers play over and its lovely line and its line of stars, $40 a pop
and remember anchor is
another word for remember.

Saturday wanderings

We start at the ferry building farmer's market and end up at a tea lounge in the Yerba Buena Gardens. Odessa buys a poem; I buy some lavender. We drink yuppie tea beverages and eat fussy delicious little cookies, and weird our server out with how many pictures we take of said comestibles.




Odessa took these two.








What on earth we will do

I'm in a rattley mood lately. I can't find the right thing to do, or I can never find it early enough in the night. Among other things, I'm full of price quotes for plane tickets and starting to feel a little worried that I'm making the world too small too fast [arrogant thought, arrogant me].

I want my paycheck.

Am I posting too often?

I wish I could live alone for a while. I spent too much time with my family during Wedding Week and now everything they do is making me crazy.

I-5

August, southeastern Massachusetts: we ate peaches. I want to say that juice dripped off my knuckles, that they were pale and the sweetest peaches I've ever had, but I don't know if that's true. What I remember is they came in a paper bag, and their fuzz when we bit into them was a funny texture from just being rinsed under the tap. That's all.

There is also the matter of how in California, the wild grass is green in winter and yellow in summer. Did I tell you that?

Back to knuckles. You know how you count the months on your knuckles to remember which ones are shorter? I count cities that way today, on each knuckle a name: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Provo, D.C., Columbus, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, Minneapolis.

I'm wishing for my fall semester 2007 journal, which has one haiku in December that I am wanting to rewrite all of a sudden. I take pictures through the windows, through the glare, but the hills never come out looking like they do.

Linkage

 I was present in all of these stories! Arizona, cupcakes, and journal-burning. Go.

 "I'm the only conscious human in a world of sheep." Ouch, but so true to life!

 One of my all-time favorites of PinkAppleCore's photo sets.

 Em is doing this thing where you can share a secret anonymously with her. I think sometimes you need to say something and have it become part of how someone knows you, and that's what I was thinking of when I asked what you needed to get out. But there is definitely a time for anonymity too. She publishes the secrets periodically in a post with her responses to some of them.

 Sweet brilliant Maya announces a giveaway of her book of poetry, Apologies to an Apple, which I read a couple months ago and very much enjoyed. She's not the one giving it away, but she's got the details for you on her blog.

 Bethany is in England and posting some creative non-fiction in this strange striking story-chattering voice that I find terribly enchanting.

These days are too golden [stay]


What to say?

This is the only picture I took. My sister when she was getting ready. I'll give you a link when the photographer's website puts up the professional photos.

The ceremony was beautiful. It was outside, where it was over 100 degrees, so the wedding party members may have been sweating like pigs a little bit, in our non-breathing dresses and three-piece suits. But very invisibly, thanks to our genius wedding planner's supply of pressed powder.

My sister and her husband wrote their own vows, and they were my absolute favorite part of the ceremony.

The reception was so beautiful, and an absolute blast. There were strings of big lights and paper lanterns in the trees. Italian food. We young 'uns had a fabulous time dancing, around the fountain and then on the fountain and then in the fountain. I smacked my little sister upside the head for stealing my red wine. We sang "Happy Birthday" to her. [She turned seventeen today.]

I got to see a ton of old friends and family friends, which I loved. I didn't have to stay and talk too long with any of them because someone new was always calling me for a picture or a hug. Bridesmaidenly duties ftw!

I've decided I really like toasting. Love on people and wish wonderful things for them together, and savor each wish with a sip of champagne? A tradition lovely enough to justify its existence.

Now I've showered off my wedding grime and I'm utterly punchy, watching SNL with my aunt and dad and cousin, and not thinking that straight.

Hm...what else?

In the last couple days

Not enough sleep.

Bachelorette party.




Rehearsal



And rehearsal dinner.



Snapshots

• A hall full of bridesmaids in their pajamas checking rented champagne flutes for chips

• The groom is right outside this window with a leafblower jetpack thing on his back

• Bachelorette party: Bass you can feel in your throat, I'm the designated driver and the last one dancing and I wish we'd stayed until closing time, I end up with her wedding planner friend holding onto my thigh for dear life when she falls over trying to get low low low low during "Apple Bottom Jeans," we have these enormous glittering pink fake flowers in our hair which would be garish except that we're in this lunatic underwater lighting dim and where everything is sparkling anyways, everyone looks luscious when they dance full-out, I am certain that I will get hit on by a ghetto character before the night is out

• Maid of honor says she is frightened by my laugh

• I remember one of my favorite things that anyone has ever said about me, which is that there isn't always much of a difference between me sober and other people a little drunk

• Dresses hanging in front of a window like one of those shots that always gets lots of likes on Tumblr

Read in June

1. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

The apocalypse with a heavy dose of British humor. I didn't find the way the plot played out entirely satisfactory, but it's smart and funny enough that it doesn't matter too much.

2. Fall of a Kingdom, by Hilari Bell

Except for some extra ethical complexity, I kind of feel like I've read this book before. Sometimes that's why I read YA fantasy, for something familiar that I can count on, but I guess I wasn't in the mood this time.

3. How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn

One of my friends has been trying to get me to read this since last spring, and luckily for me, she gave me a copy for my birthday and left me unable to put it off any longer. It's set in a nineteenth-century Welsh coal-mining village, but it manages to avoid triteness and predictability, even when dealing with subjects like loss of innocence and labor rights movements. Bittersweet, wise coming-of-age story in simple but sometimes almost lyrical prose.

4. The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh

I didn't connect with every single chapter of this book, but the parts that did resonate with me SERIOUSLY resonated. Eminently wise. It's about eating a tangerine.

5. How To Ditch Your Fairy, by Justine Larbalestier

Definitely a beach read, but in a good way.

Last day in Iceland

I went walking in the park behind the hostel on my last full day in Iceland. It's on the edges of Reykjavik—more roads, a couple business parks, not many houses.

I think of Iceland always in these colors, thin ice and dead grass and sleeping trees and northern ocean and early winter sky. I'm glad I went at the time of year that I did.


Leaves frozen under ice on the pavement.






You can see Esjan, the beautiful, beautiful mountain that lies to the north of the city, across the water.



Commence wedding week



We're departing for Southern California yet again, this time for my older sister's wedding [EEP].

I'll be in Upland and thereabouts until Monday. Fortunately we are staying with the relatives who have wireless in their house, so I am daring to imagine that I won't go completely nuts.

I posted some pictures from where the wedding will be held a while ago.

Ciao, NorCal.

Loose ends (Reykjavik)

In Reykjavik's city centre.




The opera.


Protest.




The hostel.

Icelanders seem to like their traffic circles. There are quite a lot of them, anyways.

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