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what’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happenin’…

3 May

Have I mentioned that I stalk all things musical theatre? The title is a reference to one of my favorite jams from Jesus Christ Superstar. Anyway, Happy Friday to you, and you, and you. Following is the buzz on yours truly, what’s been happenin’ (and very entertainment-y, as you’ll see):

  • NaPoWriMo was a complete success. Woo hoo! Thanks to all who read my work, poemadaycommented, followed this blog, etc., in the month of April. I’m even more in love with poetry, if that’s humanly possible, and we’re registered at the local library if you want to get us anything. (Way to wrangle a metaphor, no?) In general, I learned that I really can write every day, if I put my mind to it. I suppose all that raucous laughter at a fellow writer who once told me he gets up at 5am every morning to write was unwarranted, huh? Sorry.
  • The summer movie season is starting and I’m trying not to drool with excitement. Beginning with this film, starring an actor that I’ve adored since antiquity (already bought my ticket for tomorrow, yeah!), I intend on fully taking advantage of this time of year. After IM3, I wait with bated breath for The Great Gatsby, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, etc., etc. Reviews will be provided, naturally. Did you know about my lifelong obsession fascination with summermoviesall things comic book, sci-fi, and general popcorn fun? Hey, I may prefer a literary adaptation or a British accent in film, but I still gets my fun on. But we never talk about that stuff on here because, well, I’d rather talk about other things. But it’s Friday, so have at it, Kitten Heel Marvel.
  • Anyone heard of Netflix? When I’m not working, or taking care of life, or eating, or sleeping, or stalking summer movies or musical theatre or Robert Downey, Jr., I’m glued to the old iPad, watching everything from Bollywood films to Murder, She Wrote as they stream on Netflix. Sigh. I would complain about the utter waste of time, but…I love it.

This last thing going on in my life is a bit beyond bullets and a quick summary. You remember this. Well, things got kind of interesting. As in the quiet, almost nonchalant way I was approaching my feelings about this individual didn’t necessarily change, but I was talking about him a lot. A lot. Talking about him turned into wondering whether he shared my feelings, which turned into he obviously shared my feelings, based on his peripheral staring of me, which turned into a much-needed intervention from my concerned best friend after listening to my ramblings about this guy. I lost my marbles a bit. Side-eyed staring (which seriously happened like two times) and other non-events are not indicators of mutual interest. In the end, I’m just grateful for the tough love dispensed by my bestie. Said tough love even inspired me to write an essay, which I submitted here for consideration. I’ll provide updates should it be published. Anyway, crushes are ok, but I want more and will hold out for just that.

Onwards, and bon weekend!

The Big Fat Bloggy Stew. Shall we?

5 Jul

Long time, huh? I wanted to acknowledge that in my last post, but decided to just stick with my thoughts on that particular topic. But yeah, it’s been forever and ever and a zillion days. Why, you wonder?

  • I don’t know. I suppose my current, diminished desire to write creatively (more on that later) affects my desire to visit the Marvel, as well. And it’s summer, it’s super hot, and I’m super blah. And hot. Really, really, hot.
  • Uh, the above captures it all in a nutshell. Only two bullets, I know. I’m obviously losing it.

So what’s been going on with me?

On Life.

Let’s see. I took a significant step in fulfilling a life goal related to my spirituality and learning a foreign language. Pretty, pretty awesome. So far, 1) all my French teachers and professors were right. I should have taken my French conversation far more seriously than I did in the past, instead of causing most of them to sigh and throw their hands up in frustration over my stubborn unwillingness to dig deeper and speak (I imagine they all got together one evening over croissants and wine to complain about me). As a result, all these years later, today, it’s a bit difficult for me to utter a complete sentence in French without throwing quite a bit English into it. But I’m giving it time. And I’m constantly learning. So it’s all good. By the way, don’t ask me why I was so stubborn back then when it came to speaking. I thrived when it came to French vocabulary, art, history, culture…but conversation? The pits. I don’t know. My attempt at school-related rebellion. Anyway… 2) I’ve met new, wonderful friends in the process. A bunch of us even traveled together. And we survived without any tales of woe or attempted murder. Good times, indeed.

What else? The fam is ok; my beloved little Bro had some health issues a few months ago (and I suppose a large part of me not posting had a lot with being worried about him and that worry taking over everything), but things have significantly improved, which is fanstastic.

On Work.

Oh, work. When things begin to run their course, you begin to look elsewhere. Actively. That is all. For now…

…Although I would like to add that–well–let’s just say that posts similar to this and this will be coming soon. Somebody help me…

On Love Shmove.

Lest you get all excited for yours truly, all is quiet on the Love Shmove front. What I do want to say, briefly, is the following (welcome back, bullets):

  • Every woman deserves to be properly wooed. I mean wooed, like courted and treated well and flowered and candied and listened to and the like.

    Yes, indeed.

    While it’s unrealistic to want what you’ve seen in any Hollywood rendering of “love”, it’s not unrealistic to want proper wooing. And I certainly don’t think the wooing should stop once you marry, either. If anything, it should grow. Spoken by someone who intends to be wooed.

  • Men are not boys. Boys are not men. There is a marked difference.
  • I will never have an open mind about brussel sprouts. (Seriously, never.) But I’m starting to understand that having an open mind when it comes to Love Shmove can be a beautiful thing. You just never know what the possibilities are and from where they will come.

On Writing.

I have my creative highs, where I write like crazy and I’m thoroughly in love with the process. I have my creative lows, where tumbleweeds roll across the vast, super dusty stretches of my creative mind. Then I have what I’m currently feeling: creative laziness weirdness. The plots are there. The characters, the middle, the ending, the everything–all there. But I cannot summon the desire to write. Where is this laziness weirdness coming from?

No, no, let’s be honest, shall we? It is laziness. I have absolutely no desire to write. And I don’t want to. I just don’t.

So what are we going to do about it? Will telling myself to write something, even if it’s one sentence, be a delusion of grandeur, destined to never come to pass because I will undoubtedly break my own promise? Perhaps. But in the research I’ve done on blocks and laziness and everything writery under the sun, the key is always: write something, anything, every day. So I will, starting next week. (We are in the middle of the week, after all.) So who will keep tabs on yours truly? Who will follow up to see if I actually follow through and write something, anything, every single day starting next week? We’ll just have to go all honor systemy, won’t we? We’ll see.

Let’s end here for now. Onwards and upwards…

Welcome back, officially, Kitten Heel Marvel.

See you tomorrow?

The Plain, Downton Truth.

9 Mar

You’ve heard of Downton Abbey. I know you have. Even more, you’ve likely watched it, and regularly, at that. Everyone is talking about Downton Abbey. Talking and watching.

Except me.

Shocking, isn’t it? Those who truly know me know about my lifelong devotion to anything Masterpiece, anything period drama, anything Brit miniseries, the whole thing. A good friend of mine, a sassy 80-something year young lady whom I love to pieces and who loves the show to pieces, was flabbergasted when I told her that no, I hadn’t watched more than 5 minutes of DA. Her mouth fell open; she scolded me; “this is right up your alley!” she kept saying. I agreed with her and promised that I would definitely go online to catch up with all the past episodes before watching the current season. She seemed satisfied with this plan.

But the truth? I have no intention of watching Downton Abbey. (Sorry, Nance!)

Why? I have my reasons…

  • I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t feel like getting into characters that would undoubtedly stay in my brain, for me to breathlessly wait for the next installment to find out what happens to them. And then when DA became a real life series with seasons and everything, I just threw my hands in the air and decided to not even start.
  • This happens from time to time. I decide against getting involved with a much-talked-about TV extravaganza experience. Oh, the hype, the hype. It sometimes pushes me away. For every Lost–I’m a Lostie, always and forever–there’s a Mad Men. Not one episode watched, despite my obsession with the swinging 60s or any bygone era, really.Weird, huh? Oh, wells.
  • I once told my sister, quite seriously, might I add, as if we were discussing quantum physics, that my packed TV schedule sometimes precludes me from getting into new shows. She laughed for maybe an hour or so. Anyway, it’s true. Sometimes, you get on the DVR sched, sometimes, you don’t. The Abbey didn’t get on there. (Well, it did, but that’s because that my handy DVR automatically records anything Masterpiece related. For the record, I would see it on the schedule and sadly delete each entry, holding on to the my odd refusal to begin a new TV relationship.)
  • I didn’t see Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen in the lineup. So…

Ignore that last bullet. Pure facetiousness. (Wink.)

I know, for a fact, that Downton Abbey is an amazing series. I can feel it. I just don’t feel like watching it.

(Someone make sure that my sassy 80-something year young pal doesn’t see this post.)

Haiku? Thank You. #4

24 Aug

There will be haikus, yes, but first, a few updates. It’s been a while, Kitten Heel Marvel.

And heeeere come the bullets…

  • So there was an earthquake on the East Coast yesterday. Yes, the preceding sentence was typed. An earthquake. On the East Coast. I happened to be at work, went through utter confusion and a few nervous breakdowns when it happened, and ran like the wind to get out of the building. Yes, the preceding sentence was typed. I ran. Like the wind. Later, much later, I learned that I should have stayed in the building and gotten under a desk. Somehow, getting out seemed natural. Anyway, following said earthquake, enter bedlam. It took me THREE HOURS to get home on the Metro and I learned the following: it’s not always Metro’s fault when chaos and/or mild disaster strikes. There are a lot of stubborn, unlistening, priggish, immature, ridiculous people out there. And most of them rode the Metro yesterday. Ugh.
  • I got a new ‘do. And I loves it. It gave me a much-needed boost. Quite honestly, I’d been looking a bit like a wild-haired zombie lately. This happens. Going through the motions, stressed out, kinda blue—all of which do not inspire new hairdos and updating the looks. So I’m happy for the boost. I’m happy to be forced to maintain an actual style and removing the option of throwing on a headband and being done with it. So yay for little changes. And yay for a new stylist who listened to me, made some awesome suggestions, and gave me a great overall experience.
  • Got to visit the bestie this past week for a nice respite and vacation. Tons of fun, lots of vacation eating, good, grand times. More updates on the trip itself will come on The Lonely Passport. I just have to say, if I haven’t said it before: I just adore the bestie. There’s really nothing like a good friend.
  • Fall is in the air. Fall is in the air! I can feel it. The boots are coming…
  • I’m writing. A lot. This is a good thing. I’m a weirdo, so I won’t elaborate on the plotting and characters and all that. Suffice it to say: I’m writing…
  • I saw this movie:
  • And cried like a baby. It was moving, touching, hilarious, thought-provoking, and dignified the book version. Absolutely wonderful.
  • I also saw this movie:
  • And loved it. Well done and thrilling popcorn fare. And Andy Serkis, the guy who does all the motion capture stuff for these movies, deserves more accolades for his work. Excellent.

Bullets end here. Just a tiny update on what’s been going on. Now, without further ado, a haiku (intentional rhyming). In honor of yesterday’s event:


is that an earthquake?
feet failed me before, not now–
the new Flash Gordon.

The Old College Try.

24 May

So I found a number of my old college essays the other day, most of them from my senior year. (During that semester, I had five–count ’em, FIVE–English courses, all of which were essay and novel-strong. It’s no surprise that I had a nervous breakdown one evening on my mother’s kitchen floor. But I made it through! Not without a bleeding ulcer, of course. But I made it nonetheless!)

It was a bit surreal–reading those words, seeing what was going through my head, noticing that many of my analytical and thought-processing ways are still relatively the same.

As a result, a few things struck me about the college experience as a whole. Here come the beloved bullets:

  • I worked hard. I did my homework, I did my assignments, I went to class (um, for the most part), I did what I was supposed to. I may have been on autopilot here and there (other than the usual heavy course load, I was also holding down two jobs most of the time. Yeah, occasional autopilot and the afore-mentioned nervous breakdown seem apropos, don’t they?), but I took care of biznaz. Reflecting on that gives me a great feeling, especially when, as a full-fledged adult, laziness rears its sleepy head more often than not. I earned my degree.
  • I don’t regret my major. I can honestly say that despite the general ups and downs, I absolutely adored being an English major, mainly because it was a choice inspired by a love for words and wanting to pursue that love. Of course, my beloved pops would have preferred that I chose something a bit more practical (“you want to write BOOKS? What about finance, something you can actually USE?”) and sometimes I tend to agree with him. But in the end, nah, no regrets. Although my checking account weeps every two weeks when my paycheck is deposited. I think it would have appreciated that finance major (and the subsequent job with a higher pay scale).
  • I love teachers! I’ve discussed my appreciation for certain highly adored teachers in the past. There were so, so many more inspiring ones in college. Teachers who forced me to challenge myself, who forced me to stop resting on my laurels and push myself, who inspired me, who helped me to fulfill my Math credit (that one deserves a statue erected in his image for seeing that feat through). *Teachers, simply, are wonderful.*
  • I’ll never do it again. Quite the paradox, isn’t it? It was an extremely fulfilling and educational experience, yes, but once was enough. No Master’s degree, no back to college. I’ll take a class, I’ll take supplementary courses here and there, but a four-year stint back to university? Nope. (They tried to make me go back to school and I said no, no, no…) Maybe it’s the school loan I’ll be paying back until the END OF TIME. Regardless of the various reasons, you won’t catch me on the quad anytime soon.

Nevertheless, everything being said, it was nice looking back and reminiscing…

*Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity to inspire a student one day…because I’m thinking about becoming a teacher! More on that later. And I’ve already looked into it: I won’t have to do a four-year prison sentence! Yay! It’ll be a year, at the most. My heart can take a year. Something brewing on the horizon, for sure…*

Let’s Sip on this Maddening and Marvelous Cocktail, Shall We?

9 Mar

I am a Metro commuter.

They should have meetings and/or support groups for our little subculture (well, hardly little), for the sole purpose of me standing up in the middle of a room and making that statement, followed by people who nod and say, “yes, YES.”

Anyway, as a Metro commuter, I have moments where I scratch my head out of the confusion and frustration of it all, and I have moments when I smile at seeing the most intriguing and interesting slices of life and the human experience. As a rider, it can be thoroughly stinky. As a writer, it can be completely inspiring. A veritable cocktail of madness and marvel.

The Madness

  • Unfortunately, riding on the Metro has proven something I sadly knew but didn’t want to see evidenced almost every day: chivalry is, indeed, largely dead. Never have I seen more men lacking in courtesy to women, especially those with special circumstances, such as pregnant women or the elderly. I once watched, horrified, as a hugely pregnant woman stood and lurched backward and forward with each movement of the train while men sat all around her. (Once a seat became available, I nearly pushed her into it, I was so desperate to see her off her feet. There is no way, anywhere, that a pregnant woman should be mashed between people on a train.) Anyway, I’m not generalizing, by any means. It’s not all men, but some. Nonetheless, scenes smiliar to the above happen more often than not, and I find it incredibly sad and infurating. And utterly maddening.
  • Let’s be equal opportunity here: I’ve seen some women show their discourtesy to other riders, as well. Blind individuals; people with special needs; OTHER pregnant women; the elderly—the list goes on and on. What’s worse is when they’re sitting in the seats reserved for those with special needs and then someone walks onto the train and requires those seats…and they pretend to be oblivious.
  • The Metro doors are monstrous. They aren’t like elevator doors with sensors. No, if you wave your arm between Metro doors to keep them open, bid farewell to that precious arm. The doors will close. Everyone who rides the Metro is aware of this. Even tourists pick up on it fairly quickly. That said, I cannot understand, for the life of me, why people race to those doors to try to beat them. I don’t get it. I don’t get potentially risking your limbs to get on the train. The doors will not release their hold on the Jansport bag belonging to Mr./Ms. I Don’t Care About My Limbs, which is stuck between the doors. (I’ve seen an entire group of people trying to help one person remove their object from the doors. Quite a sight.) Some doors will malfunction completely, causing an off-boarding (removing all of us from the now defunct train) and trapping us at a station until the next train comes, which invalidates the crazy attempt to get on the train in the first place. Ugh. Ugh!
  • Um, stinkiness. Enough said.
  •  At times cramped, uncomfortable, having to look up at the ceiling to avoid staring at the person standing inches, micro inches, from your face…
  • Public displays of affection from plenty of amorous couples. Unfortunately, escape is impossible, so my eyes return back toward the ceiling…
  • The Metro is by no means the library. Silence is not a requirement. However, the morning commute is traditionally not loud. People are reading their newspapers, still trying to wake up (yours truly), etc. So a raucous conversation with your friend about the crazy night you had the night before…it’s just not cool.

But…sometimes, amid all of the above, we have…

The Marvelous

  • Alternatively, people do help each other. People give up their seats. People steady other riders who nearly fall over. People attempt to hold the door for mothers with strollers or others who need to get on the train, despite the danger and risk. People stand aside and clear a path for those coming off the train. When the Metro endured a terrible collision last year, I read about the most beautiful acts of heroism and just pure decency. So it exists.
  • I watch families smile and laugh with one another. I watch loving, non-crazy PDA couples (thank you) tend to each other; whisper and hold hands; and generally behave in a manner that kind of touches my little cynical heart.
  • The men/women in fatigues and camouflage? On their way to the Pentagon? They stand on the train like armed guards. I feel protected.
  • Lots of people do say “thank you” and “excuse me.”
  • I have a part-time job as a people-watcher. The Metro is a grand employer, as far as that’s concerned. I see all kinds of gems and fascinating moments in human nature, all of which can be creative perks.
  • When we’re above ground, I sometimes see the traffic on the street, where a million cars snail towards their respective destinations…and I’m super grateful. By and large, we keeps it moving on the Metro.
  • Once in a while, despite all those strangers, someone I actually know sits next to me! Totally and completely awesome when that happens. It’s definitely nice to share the ride with a friend.

Smiles or frowns, such is life. And such is life as a Metro commuter.

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.

18 Feb

I read a pretty dismal article in the newspaper this morning. Borders Books has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will close about 30 percent of its more than 600 stores. Apparently, they were late in joining the Internet/ebook/iPad revolution and have significantly suffered (more than $1 billion in debt) as a result.

That royally stinks.

I have a special place in my heart for Borders Books. Not only because I suspect I’m part of the rapidly diminishing number of people who actually love the feel of an actual book in their hands (not on a computer screen, not being tweeted, not Kindled); not only because stepping into a bookstore fills me with the kind of giddy anticipation that I can’t fully describe (but oh, what a feeling!); but mainly for reasons quite close to my heart.

For three years, ages 19-21, I was a bonafide Borders bookseller (never cashier; always bookseller, they told us on the first day). It remains—despite growing up and “real” jobs and all that—one of the most interesting and eye-opening places I’ve ever worked. Why? Make way for my beloved bullets:

  • Desire of a Book Nerd Fulfilled: it was the best environment for a happy English major and her obsession with books. I worked at Borders during college and I relished it. I literally cried when they hired me. Next to wanting to work in a library, it was my dream job.
  • Of Like Mind: I was working alongside people with whom I had a lot in common, which meant something at age 19. (These days, forget commonality. Give me a paycheck and send me home at 5pm.) Fellow writers, avid readers, just plain awesome people.
  • Um…: a fellow bookseller, pure infatuation, but it felt like love. A wonderful, wonderful him. I think about him still, from time to time. ANYway, that’s entirely another Kitten Heel discussion, after I’ve had a few drinks and am quite ready to sink a few ships with my loose lips. Ok–currently inundated with memories, moving on.
  • A Little Learning, For Sure: I got to see and learn about the merchandising/business-y side of the book selling game. Pretty interesting.
  • Oprah, Power, Still Blows my Mind: She released a book on her show. MINUTES after the airing of this show, a gaggle of women raced into the store and asked for the book. It hadn’t even been released yet. Their disappointment (“But Oprah recommended it. Why don’t you HAVE it?”) was utterly comical. That scenario happened more than once. Yeah. Power.
  • Java Girley: most booksellers work all over the store. The front check-out area, the music desk, the information desk, and the café. During my stints in the café, I really took to making the cappuccinos and the mochas and the other coffee drinks (because of my deep, abiding love for caffeine? maybe?). I still remember how make those drinks, many moons later…

End of my beloved bullets. A few memories from that sweet, kind of incredible time in my young life.

I find the situation with Borders undeniably sad and disconcerting, beyond my personal memories. Universally, it would be a terrible loss if these stores disappeared. That giddy bookstore feeling really can’t be beat.

A Piece of that Sweet, Miscellaneous Pie. Yummy.

29 Dec

A few misc. things swirling around in my mind…in bullet form, of course.

  • This isn’t a forum for Hollywood-y, entertainment-y things, but I have to get the following off my chest: in what universe did the Oscar producers think that choosing James Franco and Anne Hathaway as next year’s hosts was a good idea? Huh? I get that they want to make the Oscars “younger,” or whatever, but come on. Where was Billy Crystal? Call Billy Crystal! I don’t know. Something about appealing to the younger set takes away (for me, anyway) the old Hollywood feel away from the Academy Awards, which is kind of sad. In a world driven by every new thing, it’s still nice to tune in and get that old Hollywood glamour feel from that show. Which, believe it or not, I did. Currently releasing a confused sigh.
  • It snowed in Somewheres, VA, over the weekend. One measly inch, was gone by mid-afternoon. (Yeah, I wanted snow. I wanted a big, fat storm, the kind that would keep me in the house and under the covers. Which can only mean that this might be a precursor to some sort of mental illness.). However, the Northeast, particularly New York, received a billion feet of snow. New York always gets the fun stuff.
  • It’s almost 2011. 2011! Where are the flying cars? The robot maids? Elroy?
  • I’m getting that longing for live theater again. I’ve seen two excellent shows in the past few months: The Light in the Piazza (absolutely gorgeous) and Sabrina Fair (witty, smart, and equally gorgeous). I want more. Time to stalk and scour this place and this one and that one.
  • So, I’ve been reading this blog. It has been become a brand new, fresh, crazy obsession. Seriously! Ree Drummond is a mother of four, a chef, a wonderful writer, lives on a farm. She chronicles said aspects of her life on her blog, and I cannot get enough of it. I spent most of the day reading about how she met and married her real life cowboy husband, nicknamed Marlboro Man. Addictive and super awesome.
  • Did they lose Billy Crystal’s phone number? Call him!
  • More misc. later.
  • Promise.


Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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