Land—by the Oceans passed.
Peace—by its battles told—
Love, by memorial mold—
Birds, by the snow."
Oxford/NYU student + English major. This space is for book quotes, rants, Gilmore Girls/Harry Potter/Prep appreciation, general rambling.
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I think the average guy thinks they’re pro-woman, just because they think they’re a nice guy and someone has told them that they’re awesome. But the truth is far from it. Unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations.
working on our night cheese
We went to dinner today with one of my dad’s oldest friends, who is Irish, and his two kids. They know my cousins and remind me so much of them. My cousins on my dad’s side are outgoing and funny, which I feel like I generally am, but when I’m around them I become a shy young girl.
My dad’s friends took us around his town and the surrounding area and told us so much — he’s had a rich and full life, like my dad, and chilled with McJagger and chills with Bono. He swims every day in the “snot-green sea” (a description from Ulysses about the same area — the water is actually a deep blue), where there is a large kelp forest and seals that roll around happily around it. He’s full of a lot of one-liners, and a sense of humor that matches that of my dad and uncle, whom he roomed with while at Harvard when my uncle was at MIT. (Apparently my uncle put out an ad in the newspaper asking for a roommate that wasn’t a “Social Democrat,” and Mark — my dad’s/uncle’s friend — called up and said that he was one. And my uncle said, “You’ve got the room!” Apparently my uncle was impressed that anyone knew what a Social Democrat was, and that he actually was one.)
There were lots of stories like this throughout the night and it was just lovely to feel sort of looked after by an old family friend who has videos on his phone of my cousins’ weddings and my dad’s wedding. His kids told stories about my cousins and I felt happy to be related to them; their presence is so big when you’re around them that even recalling it makes you feel warm. It made me excited to see everyone next weekend, when I’ll be in New York for my uncle’s wedding.
After he dropped us off at the station the last thing he told me was, “You have your dad’s humor.” That was probably the best compliment I could get; even when my dad and I were estranged, I regretted the possibility of never speaking to him again, because he is just objectively entertaining.
Also, Mark is super close with his ex-wife, whom we stopped by and met, and his mother-in-law (her mother), who lives in a literal fort-turned-house that was sold to her by the army after World War II, when it was no longer needed. It still has a room for ammunition (though it’s no longer there). There are also tracks near the stone walls where the cannons would rotate. Also, the “powder room” (bathroom) is literally under the powder room (where gun powder was kept).
His kids were nice and funny in a genuine way; sometimes meeting other people your age can be awkward, because even if you don’t get along you recognize the social group that the other belongs to. (Awkwardness between me and other girls usually comes from me recognizing that the girls are cooler than I am and will probably go off to a cool party later). Or maybe I’m thinking of high school, when I’d meet my parents’ friend’s kids and realize that despite our forced interaction, we were not going to be going to the same place afterwards, and that I’d go home to my computer and they’d be lucky enough to have somewhere to drink alcohol.
Should sleep now; we’re getting up early for the Cliffs of Moher.
Amelie’s mom emails me today with a picture of Amelie clutching the Polaroid I gave her of us, and says that “she’s been carrying it around all morning because she can’t wait to see you next week.” I melted.
I love this.
This is what the Olympics are about.
I love when my friends on Tumblr post Photobooth selfies (lookin at you Joanna <3) so that’s why I’m posting this one. (Ugh, gotta stop disclaiming selfies even when I’m making a point of favoring them.)
I love seeing my friends’ selfies on Tumblr for the same reason I use Snapchat. People feel less of a need to smile or perform in a selfie, and take a natural photo of how they’re feeling (in the library, bored; with friends, drunk). Also, I scrolled through my Photobooth history the other day, and it’s interesting to see how your face changes over the months or years, even though the changes at the time are imperceptible.
One thing I’m insecure about is my acne, and whenever I get a new pimple I freak out and think that it’ll form a scar and that will be permanent, and I already to begin to miss my semi-clear skin. And then it will disappear and I feel silly for having obsessed so much. And so it’s interesting to see in photo form how my face changes and breaks out and calibrates again to “clear.”
Our first stop in Dublin was a bookstore, where I spent three hours and got three books. Now I’m regretting getting one of them because I’ve started it and it’s sort of boring, though I asked the woman there to recommend her favorite “contemporary female Irish authors.” Tonight we joined people in our hostel for a pub crawl that quickly became boring, and when I realized that it was going to be more of the same I left and ordered a goat cheese salad by myself at a restaurant and read my book and talked to the people next to me, a French couple who’d moved to Dublin seven years ago. And when I came back to the hostel and saw Julia was back too I knew I’d done the right thing. I hate wasting time in groups of people; the stupid conversations that fly around just add salt to the wound of boredom.
I haven’t been in Dublin long enough to get a sense of the city - though a full reading is always impossible, even if you’re a native; there is just so much to the world - but tomorrow we’re having dinner with an old friend of my dad’s who lives outside of the city. He told me he’d take me on a “Joyceian” tour of his neighborhood and I said I’ve been especially excited to come to Dublin since reading Ulysses this winter.
I also think we’ll go to the Cliffs of Moher tomorrow since it’s sunny. We missed our initial flight to Dublin because of a strike on Italian trains that seemed not routine but not uncommon. The train got so crowded by the end of our three-and-a-half hour trip to Milan that there was almost no standing room, and Julia sat on my lap for some of it. But we sat across from a charming five-year-old girl that reminded me of Jemmie. I took a photo of her with my Polaroid and gave it to her mom, which I think she appreciated.
Julia and I talk about our hostel is too fancy for us; we’re in this room, which is probably the most girly, hilarious place I’ve ever stayed. There are funky murals all over the walls and the whole place seems like a cheesy cruise ship. Everything is like a PBteen catalogue, like something created by adults who think this is what young people would like.