15 December 2008

i love Christmas this year

Please enjoy this video of my amazing friend Linda singing at the annual agency Christmas party. Enjoy it even though it's sideways.

09 December 2008


i found myself going downtown tonight to see a friend visiting from Brooklyn. the day's rain was turning into snow and holiday lights were everywhere. we ate and talked and talked and talked. she brought me NY bagels and human interaction. bliss.

on my way home, i seriously considered eating fresh snow from the top of a garbage can. i had almost decided not to when i bumped (almost physically) into Ethan, looking happy and healthy and heading towards Annie's. he'd been on my mind for weeks now, which had me suspecting i'd see him around somewhere. but i'd let my guard down, what with all the winter all around me. why do people always say "we should hang out"? and why do i always say "of course"? he still makes me sad, even w/ all this time between us. and now i will hang out and be even sadder, after months and months of happy. frustration.

20 November 2008

people, places, things

when the seasons change, my body doesn't want to eat anything. so, i've just been pick-pick-picking at things all week. today i had a little chili for breakfast, then a zuccinni muffin later on, then some apples and bread. for dinner i had a sort of lebanese cookie stuffed w/ walnunts, along w/ half of a delicata squash. it's these between times that my body is able to say exactly what it wants and how much. it's these between times that i am most myself. i sleep when i'm tired, i smile into mirrors and into the sun, i wink more.

so, i haven't posted in a million years, as friends keep reminding me. i've moved, gotten a fish
and an internet connection, been to korea and back... a lot to report on. reporting is always daunting to me, as it's best done on the spot, which is never a spot where i have a computer/pen/appropriate audio device. i am forever trying to remember to write this or that down, to tell this or that to so and so. it never happens. i offer a blanket apology for that, here and now.

korea was (truly) amazing. blazing fall colors on copious mountain tops. a total inability to communicate verbally. abundant kindness. food that takes adjusting. and darling friends, new and old. that didn't really tell you anything, did it? go look at some pictures (www.flickr.com/hilarykleinmarshall). temples, kimchi, faces.

upon my return, i was first thankful for the opportunity to see such a faraway place. then, almost immediately following my joyful graditude, i felt oppressed by my self-imposed burden of stuff (dishes, couch, dresses...) that keeps me tied to chicago. travelling, i felt so light. see, for years i have been unable to decide what really comes next for me (whatever that means), so i do temporarily interesting things and wait for something "real," while acrewing countless worldly, useless possessions. i briefly felt smothered. but then i went back to work, which i realized i had missed immensely, and chicago didn't seem so burdensome. and then the jet lag wore off, and with it went the euphoria of having experienced "something new." the coziness of "something the same" settled back onto me. i'm really very happy wherever i am, doing whatever it is i do, something i'm only just starting to understand about myself. even trapped in chicago under my mountain of things, i'm somehow satisfied. i'm struggling to understand if that's complacency or happiness. or just rambling.

06 July 2008

off day

i'm sitting across from Ben Sisario, music critic for the NY Times, right now. for some reason, he's covering StoryCorps today and i'm fairly certain i'm boring the man to tears, prattling on. see, i'm having one of my many off days, where i can't manage to shut up, but also can't seem to say anything of significance. i forgot JD Salinger's name (seriously?); i've used only three adjectives (great, special, amazing) in the last hour, over and over. he's not quite interviewing me, but also not quite NOT interviewing me... i guess everything is "on the record." well, shit.

what a day for an off day.

03 July 2008


today i'm turning 25. i got this adorable lava-cake arrangement from StoryCorps' partner station's liason, June (from North Country Public Radio). she is just about the sweetest southern lady you'll ever meet! i'm so thankful for her nice-ness, because everyone keeps telling me birthdays away from home are supposed to be sad, and i don't want THAT. so far, things are a-okay... i did a great interview this morning with a guy with Parkinson's Disease who did my favorite thing that SO many participants do (more than i ever expected) - he sang! that was gift enough.

23 June 2008

Grown Up Land

[randomly and apropos of nothing...]

I'm daily amazed by what my slow, awkward march towards adulthood yields. As a child, I was terrified at the thought of "growing up." It seemed to involve more
yelling and check writing than I imagined myself capable of. Oh, to live in the bosom of ignorance and innocent naval gazing forever, accompanied by the tiny treasures only a child could love (strawberry scented erasers, etc). I was forced into worrying and getting a job much earlier than I'd hoped (pre-pubescent early) and got on the conveyor belt to Grown Up Land, ill-equipped and putting on a brave face, with no real idea what I was intended to do, other than constant damage control. I've lived for years like this, part adult/part child, with no understanding of how to actually become one and leave the other behind gracefully.

Slowly, and with so much goodness, God (or something) has fed me tiny scraps of adult knowledge. Recently, and later than anyone else but at just the right time, I have learned how to quietly look away from the thoughts that can undo me (the idea of aloneness, for example). Simple self-preservation has crept into my arsenal of survival techniques, winning out (when it needs to) over giving-my-all or telling-the-whole-truth, which have long masqueraded as the highest virtues.

The 20's are amazing in their gut-wrenching beauty and constant, ridiculous epiphanies. I live in a new kind of bosom, complete with a new kind of self-absorbtion: learning to understand me. And I've got a new set of tiny treasures, fit for grown-up ladies... found objects tucked into pockets, bits of string for future projects, and a kernel of hope that everything will be okay.

P.S. many thanks to the friends who came out to party on Sunday... I was reminded (right when I needed it) just how blessed I am, how safe in all your arms.

P.P.S. maybe this blog isn't so random... i'm moving into my own grown-up, one bedroom apt this weekend. see green living room above (now sadly white, thanks to the boring mngmt company).

18 May 2008

party pooper

I rode home from a wedding in a cramped car last night, my body stretched across the back seat, across the laps of my best friend, my favorite gay man, and my ex. My head banged against the window every few seconds, but I was still drunk enough not to care. Today, I have a sizable bruise, kind of a goose egg and quite painful.

Weddings always make me aggressive, which I hate. I want to celebrate joy in the lives of people I love, but somehow that's just not possible for me. I have a hundred different theories as to why, but today the most compelling is that weddings represent how irrelevant I've become to whomever's getting married. The ceremony is a very real moment after which there is no doubt that I'm not the most important person in these people's lives... I'm not even in the top five. (Clearly I struggle with narscicism.) That thought gets me to thinking about the un-married people in my life and I realize I'm not that important to them either.

At a certain point, as a single person in her mid-20s, I come up against the changing nature of all my friendships. I'm not that important to anyone and no one is that important to me. This is not to say I don't value relationships, but I'm not in daily contact with anyone these days (anyone who's not a cat). Things just aren't what they used to be, like back in those four glorious years known as college.

I had a very meaningful conversation with my friend T(2) several months ago... we were talking about art and making art and how none of it is effortless. I wondered how he'd been able to survive as an artist against all odds, and he told me having a partner was probably the most significant factor. Well, shit. I guess that just gives me another reason to hate married people.

P.S. It must be said that the wedding itself was amazing/beautiful/fun-filled; the bride was stunning, the food was quite tasty, and the booze was free.