Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Wise Words of Wilco

You could accurately tell the story of my year by splicing together lyrics from an assortment of Wilco songs, but you'd have to include this one in full - We're Just Friends.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lessons From Last Week

Writing is one addiction I cannot abnegate for life. Last week turned out to be monumental, and it would be remiss if I did not reflect on all that I learned here.
From Black Sand Journal

On Wednesday night, a radical student group called "Take Back NYU!" barricaded itself inside the cafeteria of the NYU student center with a list of 13 demands. What started out as some wholesome dancing and poster painting turned into a highly contentious debate on influence and effects of student protest by the time day broke on Thursday. Property was damaged, a security guard suffered injuries, two female sophomores walked around topless in the middle of the day and at night two males were arrested as NYPD cops and cars lined the outside of the occupied building.
From Black Sand Journal
And I got to cover it all for NYU Local, a student run blog I've been writing for since the start of the semester. My section editor had the forethought and enterprise to place himself inside the barricaded area with a camcorder and laptop to document the entire occupation from the inside, and update his coverage on the NYU Local site every few minutes. NYU students, faculty and administrators followed NYU Local to get a clue about what was going on. The rest of us ran around taking/acquiring photos, interviewing people, and publishing all the information we could with as short as a two hour turn over. We blew the "official" school news source out of the fucking water. You can read my summary of the ordeal here.
From Black Sand Journal
Of course, TBYNU! decided to gift me the most significant journalism experience of my life thus far the day before an economics midterm. I cabbed it home from the student center at 2AM - roughly 9 hours before my exam - with ice blocks for hands and a feeling of utter exhilaration. I found out later NYU Local received half a million page views over the course of the occupation and our coverage was linked by The New York Times, Gothamist, The Village Voice, Gawker and New York Magazine. It blew my fucking mind to be a part of something so exceptional - something that so many people followed.
From Black Sand Journal
I had a moment of clarity. I want to be a journalist because it makes me feel alive. I absolutely loved working with the rest of the NYU Local staff, who are a group of incredibly witty and talented writers. I was able to push all my personal tribulations to the back of my mind in order to get the story out as quickly as I could. Paradoxically, this restless journalism gave me the patience I required to properly comprehend the more unpleasant issues I'm currently facing.

I can report on the circumstances, but I cannot rectify them. I'm a much happier person for acknowledging and accepting my situation than I would be hopelessly trying to alter it. I know which causes are worth the fight, but I'm not about to needlessly barricade myself in regret.

Edit: Just wanted to add, despite the fact somebody in the comments section of my TBNYU! summary called me an "illiterate douchebag," I have never felt more at ease with who I am, as a journalist and a person.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Runaway ~ Too Late

Lately, as you may have noticed from reading my blog, I have found it difficult to synthesize my thoughts. My attempts at writing posts worth publishing leave me with a knot of loaded statements that linger for a moment longer than they are welcome.

I had a dramatic week. While in the past I have never been averse to chasing thrills, my rationale could not console me on Friday. Desperate words danced frantically through my mind and down to the tip of my tongue, but nothing could convey how I felt better than the regretful look in my eyes - something I had absolutely no control over.

So, in light of my rather humbling experience, I have decided to temporarily give up on words as medium of expression and stick to photography. Just until I stabilize.
From Black Sand Journal

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tasting Thoughts

From Black Sand Journal
Sweet: When we make pinky-promises, she has me wrapped around her little finger in more ways than one.

Bitter: Holding the Bird in my hands helped me realize my deepest fear is that I'll always be too independent.

From Black Sand Journal
Sour: Throwing out, albeit grudgingly, my five-year old pair of torn jeans will hopefully restore the morality I lacked while wearing them.

Salty: Receiving a very hands-on assessment of my looks from an absolute flamer did not leave me feeling the least bit violated.

From Black Sand Journal
Bittersweet: Waking up to his mistimed text messages on rare mornings makes me momentarily wish I was waking up next to him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Symptoms of Sorrow

From Black Sand Journal

I cannot sleep for longer than two hours at a stretch. I work out for three hours and do not feel tired. I kick trash instead of picking it up. I am more narcissistic than usual. I write people long messages, then click delete instead of send. I stay away from my phone. I do my homework between the hours of one and four in the morning. I listen to the same album on repeat, every hour of the day. I take walks at night around the areas of the city that I should probably avoid. I have the power to cheer myself up, but I am waiting in the hope someone else will.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Slow Recovery

Through monochrome eyes I stare at my perfectly made bed from across the dimly lit room. The sheets - pulled taut and tucked in tightly - are deathly still, but my unwise musical palette paints the blank canvas with strokes of life and color.

The flashbacks - triggered by anything ranging from a phrase, item of clothing, street corner, lyric, smirk or beer - unsettle me the most. I leave my current reality to relive a moment in its bittersweet entirety, and when I return I find myself disoriented and disappointed. It is the combination of those two loathsome feelings that propel the sledge hammer towards my hollowed-out heart - fantasy about what my life right now would have been if -

Which isn't at all fair to the phenomenal people still in my life today, who did not leave me and I believe never will. I see a handful of them on a weekly (or so) basis, but for others it has been months, even years. In the spirit of my "Fragments" post from earlier in the week, here are somethings that spark spells of reminiscing:

Disney's Aladdin , the 1992 BMW occasionally parked on 3rd and 17th (sadly it's gray, not green), Yatzi, the score from Grease (especially 'Summer Nights'), item no.88 on any menu, knitting stores (there are a surprising number in New York), fingerless gloves (bonus if they are striped, too), Karate (I still have your brown belt), heavy metal band t-shirts, the smell of cashew nuts, the pink Dunhill packs, Swiss Army knives, Kanye West (because you couldn't stop raving about his new album in December), badly assembled tents (oh, those aborted outdoor sleepovers), Irish pubs (that will never live up to Flanagan's), and Oxford commas (which originated from your university press).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fragments of a Week

From Black Sand Journal

New Jersey is somewhat redeemable when you see it from across the Hudson. No matter the direction I'm walking in, the snow always slaps me across the face. There is something about her presence that reminds me of Cheshire cat. Looking at a broken mirror gives the most honest reflection of myself. I will not buy a cupcake. Vile temptress of a cupcake. Yum. He top scored with 66 runs. I wonder if my mother wants to hang me for treason? If I had refilled my zippo I could have offered him a light. If I had a cigarette I could have asked him for a light. It should be illegal for tall men to wear frayed baseball caps after sunset. My foot is throbbing after kicking a lamp post on the corner of SoHo park. He cuts the right wire just before I'm about to detonate. I felt complete at midnight in Alphabet Town.