Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Labelled Eggs and Too Much Writing

I bought eggs for the first time the other day.  I doubt I'll ever eat them since I'm a cereal fiend, but I opened them up to see this:


I don't know what the "58" is for, and I have no clue why there's a comma between Dec and 19, but I thought that was worth sharing.  Probably wasn't, but you're still reading so the joke's on you.

So last Wednesday I went out with Nishan, Brad, Reed, Natalie, and some girl I had never seen before in my life (I didn't get her name.  She seemed kinda, you know, boring).  Anyways we were downtown trying to go do trivia at Clery's.  It seems like the cool thing to do, since I've heard lots of people talking about it and the place was packed.  We answered the first question right and then split because there was an hour wait for a table and we weren't about to wait that long to eat.  So we looked a few other places and finally ended up at The Rattlesnake.  It looked pretty classy, and the menu was kinda "exotic," but i kinda figured we were gonna pay for the atmosphere more than the food.  I was right.  Nishan and I figured we'd never go back, so he got duck tacos and I got quail tacos.  Excuse me, Vermont quail stuffed with figs and asiago with truffle risoto, swiss chard, and pumpkin salsa.  Yeah, I wrote it down.  Sue me.  Verdict:  it sucked.  The quail tasted alright, but pumpkin salsa was pretty nasty.  But I threw down like $12 for three not-so-big tacos, so I ate them all.  I'll probably never go back, BUT there was a burger on the menu called the Poe burger.  Get this:  Kobe beef burger with lobster, foie gras, black truffles, house-cured whiskey bacon, avocado, and Irish porter cheese on brioche.  Holy crap that sounds amazing.  Or it could be disgusting.  Either way, if I'm feeling rich (it's $18) I'm heading there.  Lobster burger.  Boo ya.

Friday I hung out with Lisa and Sophie.  First Lisa took us to Zaftig's, the Jewish deli restaurant on Harvard Street (between her house and mine).  I ordered the Jack & Marion's sandwich: Hot corned beef, beef tongue, pastrami, Zaftig mustard on cissel.  It was really good, the fries were excellent, and I got half a pickle instead of a quarter pickle like most places.  Approved.  After dinner we headed to Trader Joe's where we bought hot chocolate and brownie mix and then headed back to Lisa's for a movie.  It was way fun, and I hadn't really hung out with Lisa with just a few people around.  My poetry mates are the best.

Random picture from the postcard exhibit at the Boston Public Library
(Sophie, Dan, Dan's roommate Keith, and I went there last Saturday)

Yay for random pictures to keep reader interest.  Love it.  So a week or three ago we got an email from Caroline (she works in the creative writing office and she's great) with a few advertisements for upcoming submission requests, etc.  Gold Line Press sent one advertising a chapbook contest.  For those of you who don't know what a chapbook is, it's essentially half a poetry collection (20-30 pages as opposed to 45-70+ pages).  Gold Line asked for at least twenty pages, so I made twenty two pages.  It was most of everything that I had somewhat polished, but I quickly learned that what I wrote six months ago is no longer polished.  So I spent 11 hours revising it on Saturday, 5 on Sunday, and 4 on Monday before turning it in a few hours before the deadline.  Saturday Sophie was at the library, and she and I organized my chapbook (she had turned hers in on Friday).  We went up into the talking room in the library and laid every one of them out on some foot rests.  I knew I wanted "Le Metro" to come last, so we went backwards looking for themes, motifs, blah blah blah.  We eventually got them into some sort of order.  I still write poetry about random, unconnected subjects, so we kind of just went with it.  I learned that I write a lot about water and a lot about alcohol, which is funny because I've never had alcohol.  Anyhew, I put "Second Life" first, followed by "Toast" (which is a reworked poem from my admissions portfolio that got me in here), with "Away From Me, Toward Water" coming in third, because Sophie and I agreed that the third poem should be an anchor, and "Away" is the best poem I've ever written.  So then it began.  I got a lot done and I am SO sick of writing, but I got a lot out of it and it is really cool to have a collected body of work that I feel good about, even if it's only 22 pages long.  I love my homework.

That was a huge paragraph.  This past Monday we had a substitute teacher for Robert's workshop.  His name is Dan Chiasson (pronounced "chase-in") and he teaches at Wellesley.  He's a younger guy (mid to late 30s maybe, I dunno) and some of us met him at a reading he gave a few nights before class.  There are rumors that they may hire him here for a while, since Louise got a fellowship at Stanford for next year, and we know Robert really likes him.  The workshop was pretty good, but not as good as we were expecting.  Dan talked a lot more than he needed to, and had us read each poem out loud three times instead of twice.  So it was cool to have a break and nice to get a third opinion, but I prefer Robert Pinsky.  Makes sense, since he's the accomplished one.

And then last night was the first night of the Writers at the Black Box series, which is a monthly reading by writers from here at BU.  Morgan read part of a short story called "Mongolian Death Worm," then Maggie Dietz (one of Robert's assistants who is getting up there herself and who we love) read some poems, followed by one of the playwrights who read the intro to his newest play, followed by our very own Lisa Hiton.  All of the pieces were really good, but Maggie's poem she wrote to her daughter before her daughter even existed was the best.  I don't remember the name, but it was beautiful, and Maggie now has two kids, who are adorable.  Then I went to basketball where I hit two game winners and only lost twice all night.  Gotta love having Brad on your team.

Welp, that's way more than I wanted to write.  Time to wait for a certain someone to call me and then go to bed and wake up to a Shakespeare paper and a full weekend.  I love my life.



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