31 July 2006

look, a pterodactyl!

My cat is suddenly obsessed with my laptop, specifically walking over it while I'm trying to type.

You know how in movies, usually horror movies, there will be moments when you're watching the movie and you just want to scream at the screen because the protagonist is so clearly making the wrong decision? You scream at the screen, wondering how anyone could possibly not see that the way is clear, the decision is obvious. You know exactly what the protagonist should do, and you can't believe she doesn't see it too.

I think right now, my life is that movie. The decision I should make is obvious to the audience, but somehow I don't see it, and I can't figure out how to find the audience, to figure out which option is obviously the better one.

30 July 2006

i heart newsradio

I went to Queens today to see my friends' new baby. She is completely adorable and sleeps constantly. Their other girl remembers my name now, so clearly I'm awesome. My friends listened to me talk about my job situation for well over an hour, so clearly they are awesome. They're two of my favorite people, and I respect both of them a lot. They gave me some very good advice, and I think I'm about 90% sure of what I where I want to be working. I'm really starting to get an idea of what I want to do with myself and what matters to me, which is scary and exciting. I can't figure out whether I want to take a risk right now, and I'm not even sure which option is riskier.

29 July 2006

go here

Ever wondered about the exact definition of a crusty punk? This article takes itself very seriously and is also at least 10 years behind the times with its "[the victim] was what is known in the neighborhood as a 'crusty punk.'" Like... seriously? In "the neighborhood"? Because I knew (okay, knew of and was friends with people who were friends with, if I'm even marginally cool it's by association) crusty punks in high school, and my "neighborhood" was a village in fucking Wisconsin with a population that didn't even top 1000. I mean, if that article was from a newspaper in the Central St. Croix News I don't think I would be that surprised, but it just seems weird to read to read phrases like "[victim's friend], a crusty who declined to give his last name," in an article written in 2006, published in a newspaper about the Village, and covering events in Tompkins Square Park, which is like 2 feet away from CBGBs. And yes, I've decided to focus on this instead of the fact that people are doing fucking heroin and dying from it because that's something I don't want to think about for at least thirty eight reasons.

On a lighter note, reason #154 the Internet is a weird creature--This woman is definitely someone I look to as a model of how to be a writer and how to make a living doing something you love, and ignoring the weirdness of me reading her journal, I've never once made an attempt to comment on her blog, particpate in the forums, or otherwise contact this person whose thoughts I've been reading for at least four years. I'm also mildly embarrassed that I've read neither her two books nor the numerous short stories she's had published. I also didn't watch either TV show she worked for, but in my own defense, I didn't have a TV for a really long time. Um... I lost track of why I'm linking to her website... oh yes, she is awesome and her website is a huge influence on what I want this website to one day be... maybe, possibly, if I'm super lucky.

These sites make me smile.

Quoi de neuf? Dobrý den. Jak se maš? Mám se dobře. Mám rada češtiná.

28 July 2006

in which marinatina again proves that she is a huge nerd

Politics by Hendrik Hertzberg
First of all, I'm not going to lie. This book is no longer the book that I'm technically "reading," but that doesn't mean that I finished it. It's a collection of essays from The New Yorker and The New Republic by my new favorite essayist and intellectual, Hendrik Hertzberg.

(That sounds so refined, but really I have an insane schoolgirl crush on Mr. Hertzberg. It started somewhere between six and nine months ago. The exact date eludes me, but at some point I realized that the articles I loved every week were all written by one man. That dawning realization that the leading article in The New Yorker's Talk of the Town section, the articles that made me wonder how one person could arrange his thoughts so clearly and eloquently, one man, one genius of a left-wing intellectual, was writing these articles that I.... oh holy hell, I'm just going to stop right here.)

This is a book I look forward to reading in small bits, short bursts for at least the next few months. I love reading something that so clearly elucidates an idea, a point of view, especially when I generally agree with that point of view. That sounds bad, like I'm just happy to hear my own poorly-formed opinions confirmed by someone much smarter than me, but I prefer to think of it as appreciating the accomplishments of someone who has worked hard to get where he is. Or something.

Wow, I am so good at book reports, no? I think the past three paragraphs of nonsense are a perfect explanation of why I want to save this book and come back to it often. I think this book will serve as a good model of the type of writing I can aspire to, and the type of career and influence I can only dream of achieving, at least right now. Maybe if I keep reading well-written books by people I admire, some of their talent and accomplishments will rub off on me, which will help me accomplish my grand plan of attending my ten-year high school reunion and being the most successful person in the room. Because that's what it all comes down to--showing up the people who made me feel like shit when I was 14.

27 July 2006

must love nerds

A short list of things I've been obsessing over:

(1) where I'm going to be working in a month
(2) how I'm going to pay rent if I'm not in fact working anywhere in a month
(3) the fact that I'm an eternal fatalist
(4) pragmatist?
(5) where i'm going to consolidate my private student loans
(6) also, how i'm going to make payments once the loan is consolidated
(7) rent+student loan payments+credit card payments=starvation?
(8) the fact that i don't have time to do research
(9) or read for fun
(10) or take any pictures
(11) not that it matters whether or not I have time to take pictures since I lost the USB cable for my camera (again)
(12) also lost: my new debit card, at least two shirts, some batteries
(13) my room is so fucking messy
(14) and I have not found time in the past two months to buy a damn pillow. I am dumb.
(15) my clothes are currently arranged in piles on my floor in order of relative cleanliness
(16) I need a dresser
(17) or time to go to IKEA to buy a few of these awesome stripey garment boxes that are only $3.99 and would look so awesome in my room!
(18) and would match the decor, since my room is mostly filled with unpacked boxes
(19) maybe I can pay someone to organize my room...
(20) or maybe I could do it myself instead of drinking wine and watching DVDs of cancelled TV shows every night
(21) Dead Like Me is awesome and I retroactively protest its cancellation.
(22) Wasn't this list supposed to be short?
(23) I'm going to post this anyway because at least I'm actually posting something.
(24) I remember the days when I was determined to write here everyday, or at least every week day. What a bold, carefree girl I once was...
(25) I need a damn job.
(26) A full-time job. With health benefits.
(27) How the fuck can I be expected to pay $650 a month for a fucking student loan?!? That's how much I pay for rent! Fuck!
(28) I give up on this "short list" nonsense.

24 July 2006

urine tea is my specialty

Timing, however, is not. Other things I'm good at--being dramatic, worrying about everything, and making people I barely know give me advice about everything that's going on in my life.

I got my Newsradio DVDs; I'm too lazy to use any more html tags, much less go to the effort of building a link to Amazon.com so as to encourage you to buy a copy so I can earn 4%. Someone please buy something from Amazon.com through that little search bar on the bottom left of my site or they're going to take away my Amazon.com associates account.

I am whiny and a little drunk. Life is entirely too confusing, and I can't see the end of the tunnel. I can, however, continue to believe the tunnel has an end. Somewhere. In the distance. Are you following this metaphor?

21 July 2006

lost diskettes

I don't like that I'm not only the newest person at work but also the youngest. People have two different reasons (impetii, if you will) to be condescending towards me. It doesn't bother me as much as it normally would since everyone at work is smarter than me--in a sense I can handle condescension when it's deserved--but occasionaly people go past thinking I'm young and inexperienced to thinking I'm young and completely stupid and entirely lacking in any sort of life experience. It's times like that when I'm glad I only work 2 hours on Friday. I think I'm going to home tonight (after working 12 hours, yay) and watch Office Space before I pass out from sheer exhaustion (see: today's 12 hour work day and the 38 hours worked between Monday and Thursday).

In other news, I'll be working much, much less in August than I did in July. This means that I will not have as much money, but I will have time to fly home for about a week. I'll also have time to do about 237 things I've been meaning to do all summer, including cleaning my room, finding a dresser, and getting a pedicure. Oh, and buying a bike helmet, finally. I should really ride my bike at least once before winter sets in.

I'm sorry this is so boring. I feel like I'm on the verge of having something interesting to say, but I feel like that a lot.

16 July 2006


I think in some ways I've been on autopilot since graduation. I haven't really let myself think too much about what's going on, about the idea that I have to grow up and decide what to do with my life. Graduation was a blur, and moving into my first apartment just sort of happened. I decided not to buy any cigarettes until I got a job, but I haven't bought a pack since I moved to New York, and I smoke maybe once a week if I happen to see James. I have a real job! That's completely insane to me. All of these serious things have happened, and I've avoided thinking about the implications of any of it at all costs. It's probably entirely necessary; I'm nervous enough about making rent without worrying about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

But I think that's starting to change; I think the fog is starting to lift. I know I'm starting to get a handle on work, and I'm starting to feel like I've got my life under control. I cancelled a credit card on Saturday; I think my boss is starting to trust me more. I'm absolutely happy with my research assistant job. My life is starting to calm down, and I'm starting to get into a rhythm.

And today, I went to the Cloisters, and I was happy. I was calm and happy for two hour straight, and I remembered why I'm working so hard. Every time I go to the Cloisters, I have to remind myself that I'm not in Europe. I felt like that today as soon as I got out of the subway, and everything fell into place. I'm working so hard because I want to get my student loans under control and feel stable financially so I can afford to live in Europe for a year before I go back to graduate school. I know what I want to do with my life, or at least the next few years, and it's that. I want to work as much as I can for the next two years, save a lot of money and pay off as much debt as I can. I want to teach English in Europe for at least a year and travel as much as possible. I want to go back to school after that, in Europe or in the United States. After that it's a little blurry, but I'm okay with that.

I'm not going to lie; I'm still wicked anxious about my job. But I can tell that I'm getting better, and I know now that working there is a means to an end, not in end in itself. I'm going to learn a lot and make some money doing it and hopefully come away with another good reference; but this job isn't my life. My life is... I'm not sure that I know what that is, but I feel like I'm closer to understanding that today.

In conclusion, the Cloisters and Fort Tryon park are my favorite places in the city.

awesome juxtaposition

awesome juxtaposition
Originally uploaded by marinatina.
Today, I will go to the Cloisters and take pictures with my real camera, I will come back home for lunch, and then I will go to my favorite cafe in the world and read for hours while drinking lovely iced coffee!

I don't really have anything else interesting to say as it's 9:21am. I'm not even sure that I'm actually awake, but I am sure that this picture makes me laugh. It's from a magazine rack at a newstand by the Time Warner center, which somehow makes it better.

14 July 2006

all of the thoughts in my head

Or at least all of the thoughts I can... think of? Remember long enough to write down?

That's the first title I've used that's related to the actual content of the post.

I work too much, but I get paid well, and I really love money. A lot. As of the middle of next week, I'll have two credit cards instead of four, and I could pay off the other two, except I'm going to put every cent I can scrounge up towards paying my private student loans.

Two of my four private student loans have higher interest rates than my credit cards. That is seriously fucked up.

I don't write enough, and it makes me sad. I also don't read enough.

I would really be very happy if there were eight, or possibly nine, days in the week. Also, I wish I only needed to sleep four hours a night. Or three!

I've been working on this list in my head for the past four days, but I can't remember anything I wanted to write.

I bought a bunch of stuff at Amazon.com today with the $75 gift certificate my parents gave me for my birthday. That gift certificate was the only birthday present I got, aside from free drinks from a couple different people. My birthday this year was sort of depressing; it was the first time that I've been away from my family and entirely alone, and it sucked just enough to make me decide to fly home next year.

I should mention that the three people I know who were actually in the city that weekend met me for drinks the night before my birthday, which was much appreciated. I drank Jameson on the rocks and felt very old.

My job is very confusing. I can't tell if I'm doing well or not, and I'm starting to think I should just ask someone.

I want to go back to school as soon as possible.

I love American Apparel.

I haven't bought a pack of cigarettes since I came back to New York. I steal cigarettes from Kira's boyfriend once a week or so, and whenever I see James I make him give me cigs, but I've generally cut back an insane amount.

In the past month and a half, I graduated from college, moved to New York City permanently, moved into my first apartment, got a new job, and quit smoking. It's been a busy summer.

09 July 2006

everything is cheaper in queens

At right, one of several pictures I took in Queens. If you click on the photo, you can see the rest of them too. Some of them are almost interesting.

James lives in Astoria now, so I trekked out to Queens to hang out with him last night. He was going to clean his room while I was there; instead we went to a diner, watched a lot of Chappelle's Show and drank some beer. Sam Adams Cherry Ale is surprisingly good. It tastes like Black Cherry Soda mixed with beer, but it's way better than that description sounds.

Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun doing something besides working. I definitely need to put more effort into having a life outside of work. Especially when that life involves going to Queens, because you can't beat 99 cents for magic.

08 July 2006


Originally uploaded by marinatina.
I have been at the lab for hours, and I've gotten absolutely nothing done.

I know that it's very emo of me, but I have to say that "Young Pilgrims" by The Shins matches my mood so perfectly right now, and I've been listening to it constantly.

I have a gross cut/bruise combination on my foot, and it's so very painful. It also looks really cool.

I am lonely.

I think I might take the GREs sometime this fall. I'm also thinking about taking a Spanish class at NYU this fall so I can keep my library access, and I'm almost certain that I want to work for two years, travel for one year, and then start studying for my doctorate in history. I think that I'd be very insanely happy if all three of those things happen.

Sometimes I have these weird urges to do massive amounts of coke or possibly punch myself in the face repeatedly. These urges have been increasing in frequency lately.

I really need a new bag, something I can take to work that will hold a 13 inch MacBook, a notebook, one or two books, and maybe some files or something. I'm important now; I carry files. If anyone knows of any good stores or brands or something, let me know. I can spend somewhere between $25 and $100, provided it's super awesome.

I don't have anything special to say, but I do have time to write for once, so here we are.

07 July 2006


i am a nerd

Oh, that’s right, I have a website. I wanted to work on my writing this summer… I sort of recall that desire, though it’s been so long since I took it seriously. But hey, better late than never, right?

Oh, I am starting this off well. Clichés all around.

I’m writing this on the iBook, which somehow got off-balance. It’s like an unsteady table at a café, tipping back and forth depending on what I’m typing. It’s driving me seriously insane, but I’m dreading walking up to the Genius Bar at the SoHo Apple Store and saying “My computer tips back and forth. Fix it.” Everyone who works at that store is an asshole. Now that I think about it, though, Kira went to a new Apple Store somewhere in Manhattan a couple of weeks ago, a new store that’s open 24 hours. That’s ideal for me as I work a million hours a week.

Speaking of working a million hours a week, I’ve been forgetting things lately, such as my cousin’s birthday. Jason, if you’re reading this and I know you are, happy belated birthday. Again. I sort of have money now, so if you have any present requests let me know, otherwise you’ll get a surprise. Just as soon as I pay rent.

I’m a little scared about rent actually; I gave Kira money for this months rent (paid for entirely by me with my own hard-earned money), and we have a check ready to send and everything, but we haven’t gotten a pay envelope with which to send in said check. It’s usually slipped under the door on the 1st of the month, and it’s now the 7th so I’m sort of worried that somehow it already came and the kittens stole it. Don’t laugh, they’d do it; they love chewing on paper and they really love fucking with me. At least they’ve stopped pooping in random places.

I love coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee. I need to drink more coffee. That way I’ll have energy for the billions hours of paid work every week and also the awesome, super-exciting unpaid research assistant position. I’m being entirely serious, I love being a research assistant. I met with my favorite professor in the entire world today and gave her my first research report, and she told me that my report was amazing and thorough and that she’s really glad I’m working with her. She also told me that I don’t seem like an NYU student, that I remind her more of a Smith student because I’m so intellectually engaged. Excuse me while I do a little happy dance.

In short, I love my unpaid job, and I’m creeping towards competence at my paid job. I’m actually starting to do things right and anticipate things that need to be done. I feel like sometime within the next month or two, I’ll have things generally under control, and I also feel fairly confident that I’ll be working there in a month or two or maybe possibly even ten.

Okay. Time to start on the second round of research for the coolest professor who has ever lived in the entire world. Ever.

01 July 2006

sometimes it all comes together

Originally uploaded by marinatina.
Happiness takes many forms. Sometimes it's looking out over the ocean from Lincoln Park in San Francisco. Sometimes it's paying rent and paying off one of your many credit cards and still having money left over to buy yourself something pretty.