At Seventeen

Posted by Marie on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 in ,

I learned the truth at seventeen.

That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth.

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say, "come dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems at seventeen.

A brown eyed girl in hand-me-downs
Whose name I never could pronounce said
Pity, please, the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve
The rich-relationed home-town queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company and haven for the elderly.

Remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debentures of quality
And dubious integrity
Their small town eyes will gape at you in
Dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received at seventeen.

To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
And dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me.

We all play the game and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
That call and say, "come dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me, at seventeen.

Lyrics: Janis Ian; Artwork: Eliza Leahy

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FFP Christmas Exchange Gift Partners

Posted by Marie on Monday, November 16, 2009 in , ,
Note: I would've liked to post this info in my book club's forum but Shelfari, for all its nifty gadgets, don't even have the ability to put images & links in the post. Sheesh!

Selection process consists of going to the Random.org site and using their list randomizer program. If you doubt the randomness of their program, I suggest reading their FAQ and explanation of the science of random generation. I personally like the site because the creator (a Dr. Mads Haahr from Trinity College in Dublin) had, at one time, used a cheapo transistor radio and lots of whiskey for generating randomness. The current system phased out the whiskey bottles (reluctantly, I would think) but still have that lovely spirit of cheapness by using a probably old IBM machine with a Pentium III processor. He still uses that cheapo transistor radio though. Combined with the info that his favorite authors are Paul Auster, Haruki Murakami, Jonathan Carroll and Harlan Ellison, I think Dr. Haahr is wonderful.

Okay, back to the exchange gift thing. Here's a screencap of the generated list.
I tried to do it exactly at 12 Noon PST but I think I'm off by a few seconds.

Here's the resulting partners:
Mommy/Daddy - Baby (I know, I know, the labels are sorta embarrassing..)
1. Peter - 8. Blooey
2. Maydayeve - 18. Hannah
3. Cecille -7. Maydiwayatangnawawala
4. Marie -2. Maydayeve
5. Czar -1. Peter
6. Fantaghiro23 -3. Cecille
7. Maydiwayatangnawawala -5. Czar
8. Blooey -14. Sana
9. Islandhopper -12. Kwesifriends
10. Welski -15. Aka Shy
11. Dyoklako -19. Geze
12. Kwesifriends -10. Welski
13. Joel G. -22. Oel
14. Sana -4. Marie
15. Aka Shy -9. Islandhopper
16. Skirmish -21. Ceejay
17. Jan -6. Fantaghiro23
18. Hannah -11. Dyoklako
19. Geze -20. Iyadls
20. Iyadls -16. Skirmish
21. Ceejay -13. Joel G.
22. Oel -17. Jan

Protests? Violent reactions? Make three copies of your formal complaint in the form of a 1000-page essay, have it notarized, and send it to the Comelec. :)

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My Thoughts on a Sunday at Quarter to Midnight

Posted by Marie on Monday, November 09, 2009 in ,
During a Friday night-out, a friend told me that if I were to make a essay, it would be in bullet-point. I agreed with him; I could've also added it will also be in power-point, and with charts.

That same night, I had been in a car crash. It was one of the worst night of my life because I had never felt so useless. I will never allow anyone to bring me home again.

I am so sorry.

Just a few years ago, I liked being awake at midnight. I had felt invincible then - no amount of sleep deprivation can topple me.

I don't want to be awake during midnight nowadays, not because my body can't handle the loss of sleep. I hate midnight because it's then that melancholia tend to creep up, threatening to smother me. And often, it succeeds.

That last one sound hokey, even if it's true. I roll my eyes at myself.

I am a fraud. I am skeptical of the sanity of people who listen to my ramblings. I applaud people who are skeptical to the saneness of my ramblings.

When I was in elementary, I won a few awards in essay-writing. During the second to the last contest - the regional level - I lost. I asked one of the coaches from other schools why. She told me that I paint detailed picturesque essays, the sort that makes one imagine the scenes vividly in her mind's eye, which will then coaxes a smile or two. But there is nothing beyond the nice pictures. My pieces don't have depth, they have no soul. I don't inject myself in them. She asked me what am I afraid of.

I still don't know the answer to her question.

I need to sleep (even if I had escaped and slept most of this weekend away). I am glad to go back to my cubicle tomorrow. I don't want to think dangerous thoughts anymore.

Image is Melancholic Tulip, NY by Andre Kertesz

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