dear taylor swift,

I love you. You read my teenage diary and you get it. Your entire Fearless album is my jam. Love it love it. You might be crazy, you might date people just for publicity and then complain that nobody loves you, and you might be sometimes overrated, but you’re also a genius, and I respect that. (Let’s forget that Speak Now happened, because we all do hugely awful things from time to time and we just need to get over them.)

But why, oh why, can you not keep your pronouns straight?

You have problems in tons of your songs, but let’s take your latest and most egregious, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and break it down: Continue reading

use what you’ve got

It could be the fact that the weight of the semester has been lifted off my shoulders, or it could be the dieting/exercise/near-vegetarianism, but either way, I am sleeping so much better. Even being on the depressed side of the spectrum isn’t feeling as bad. I have now lost seven pounds, and I have an exercise calendar up until I leave for Prague in July.

I also have a new diet to add: a financial diet. It starts on Monday, and it’s called Use What You’ve Got. I’m lucky enough to have a scholarship that pays my school, my rent, and a little more, and it allows me to use my paychecks to buy clothes and books and music whenever I feel like it, and I eat out way more than I should. But that’s a silly way to live, and I’m going to have to learn how to budget, because once I graduate in December, I’ll be living on grad school loans, and I don’t think those lend themselves well to online shopping.

I also have piles of crap that I don’t need. I’m going through my books and clothes and selling and donating them. I’m not going to go around spending money on things to make me less bored when I have books and my computer and cross stitch and movies and things that I already paid for a long time ago. I also have lots of homework to prepare for Rutgers and for Prague, and I have writing to do for those programs and for myself. I want to start submitting to journals and have ongoing projects, and I want to record some of my songs and put them online to see what people think. I bought The Joy of Cooking and The Vegetarian Bible, and I want to try new, healthy recipes. I have plenty to do that doesn’t require extra money.

2010 begins with my friends giving me princess tiana presents. at age 21, i have finally become a disney child.

Home from my propaganda trip to Israel and already fully immersed in the spring semester, I am trying to be positive, healthy, and good to myself. That means I must try to stave off bad habits and vices, like casual sex and booze, and instead spend my time actually doing my homework (100 pages of psych reading in one day, check), practicing my music (actually got accepted for voice lessons and will continue to have piano lessons, plus have been writing songs that I should work on more diligently), performing both of my jobs more professionally than I did last semester, and doing creative and intellectual things that will ultimately make me a happier and better person (I hope) than instant-gratification activities. This means I want to journal at least every other day, blog maybe once a week about something interesting and meaningful, and read lots of books. I have charged myself to read at least 40 books in 2010. I haven’t decided yet whether that will include books for school or not; that will depend largely on my progress. Thus far I have finished two: The Handmaid’s Tale and Very LeFreak, and I will follow that by another book I have to review, Wench, plus the two books I had already started reading before I began reading Rachel Cohn’s book to review, and then I’ll take it from there. I have an inter-library loan that I have to read before it’s due back (any way to find out ahead of time what they’d charge if you just “lost” the book? It’s incredibly out of print and will help me with my thesis, so I really just want to keep it forever), and I just ordered two books from Amazon along with a Norton anthology that I need for class. The books are ones I ordered in October which were “delivered” but never recovered. I am sick of the post office never calling me back when I complain about my idiot postman (he delivers our packages to our neighbors’ backyard repeatedly), so I spent $30 replacing things I should have read months ago.

Kvetch, kvetch. I should add more Yiddish to my daily vocabulary (as if I don’t use it enough) but do less kvetching.

I am taking a class called African/African American Psychology as my second-to-last general education course. I expected it to be more like a history class than a hard psych class, given that it’s listed under Africana Studies and not under Psychology, but it seems that it is more about the history of psychology and race and how they interact. Still interesting, though the first class was iffy. Can’t decide if the professor realizes that he is presenting cliches as fact, but I am willing to suspend my shock and assume that he has a grand plan for us all–after all, he has a PhD. Interestingly, when I walked in the room, I noticed that a very small percentage of the class is comprised of black students. There are maybe eight in a class of 35. A couple people have already made dumb remarks, but it should be an interesting class that should, if nothing else, make me think a lot and give me fodder for my writing. And I’d also like to use the class to inform some new projects for Hillel. I really want to create a cross-cultural discussion group with African American students, but so far all of the departments I’ve contacted have been pretty unresponsive. It’s something I’ve wanted to do all year, though, and this class has rekindled that interest. And it’s only been three days of school.

I’m also taking Portuguese, which is already painfully easy, but it’s good to learn how to write it, because that is the area in which you can tell that I am a faker and only pretend to be a Brazilian who can speak it. I plan on going to some of the discussion groups, because I feel that practice writing and speaking without lapsing into English or Spanish will be good for me. However, the class is called Portuguese for Spanish Speakers, so hopefully it will soon be a) less boring and b) faster moving. Everyone just needs to stop pronouncing words as if they are Spanish.

I originally began talking about my AFAS class because we have to do a group project, which I hugely resent, but I also acknowledge that psychologists work together. However, given that I was previously employed as an editor/proofreader of the writing of groups of social researchers, I know that this is not a good idea, because groups of people are worse writers than individual people, who tend to be terrible writers anyway. But, given that controversy with Bloomsbury publishing, and how they’re at it again with whitewashing their YA covers to make everyone who is dark appear white, I am more excited for this group project, because that could be an excellent topic.

More on Bloomsbury later. Now it’s time for Hillel research and an early bedtime. I have been sleepy as hell since returning home.

nice things

I just got a letter from my roommate’s friend who I’ve met just once. He moved to Seattle and wrote a letter to each girl in our house. What a guy. What a nice thing. I like letters. I used to have many penpals.

I also just wrote/edited three songs. I recently entered a song lyric contest in American Songwriter just for the hell of it, because the entry fee was included in the price to renew my subscription. It may not be my novel, and that’s going to hurt me if I want to get into this writing program this summer, but it’s a good thing because writing anything helps you work on your writing.

Jason Segel wrote a song and performed with the Swell Season.

And I have a hundred books (actually more, but close to that number in my room that I haven’t read) that I desperately want to read, but I have so much homework for the rest of the semester it’s ridiculous. And really I just want to go to sleep right now.

meh. and songs.

I keep starting entries and not finishing them, because I don’t really know what to say. The problem with having something to say is that I live my job, and then I go to school, and I don’t really do a lot of other things. I don’t remember the last time I went to a movie theatre, I haven’t seen my parents or my sister in a couple weeks,

Thank G-d for this day off tomorrow. Not that I really have the day off, since one of my jobs decided that every time I have a day off, I have a meeting at Hillel, and that made me schedule work at Safe Ride as well, since I’d already be on campus. But just the fact that I got to take a nap this afternoon and not worry about when I had to wake up was absolutely brilliant. Now for a little piano practice, and then off to an excellent party. Tonight will be a good night.

I read a compilation of interviews in a book called Song, by editors of American Songwriter. I skipped quite a few, because the book is nearly 400 pages long, and after awhile I’m not too interested in country music, but there were many of them that were just fabulous. I’ve scarcely been writing lately, but songs are something that are coming a bit easier to me now. When I look at them again, I think that they’re probably not that good, but I probably shouldn’t second guess myself. A lot of songs look like they suck if you just look at the lyrics, but somehow they work. And I may as well try them out. Next step, writing music. That’s the really hard part for me. And does anyone want to give me Garage Band lessons?