Someone I was briefly acquainted with died today. A poet named Jack Wiler. He worked with an organization I was involved with at Pace at the end of my Junior year. I only spent a handful of evenings with him leading up to his performance. He was wildly interesting. Funny and a little abrasive, but filled with this really strong spirit that wouldn't quit. Living with AIDS, writing about AIDS, making fun of his disease but being openly scared of it. Still embracing it. Really inspiring to meet someone so talented and so humble, really living his life. I was always surprised at what seemed to be this eternal optimism for life, even if sometimes masked in sarcasm and cynicism. Only my impressions, of course. It was only a week.

I don't want to pretend that I knew him very well, or even at all. I knew what his poetry told me and the conversations we had. I knew he was good. Genuinely good. But still, even knowing just those things, it's a tough loss. Especially knowing that it's, oh, only a trillion times more tough for the people who really knew him and loved him and spent their time with him. His parents, his family, his partner. It's hard not to feel selfish when someone dies, feeling like you shouldn't be upset because you only knew them for a week. But really, every person who enters our lives, even if very briefly, makes some impact. So we can mourn the loss of a memory, I suppose. And emphasize for those who lost much more than that.

I just want to remember him and what I knew of him. And for a poet, it's just that much easier to keep that memory alive. Thankfully, we still have his own words.

I think every day I wake up that it's a blessing
I have today.
A blessing.
- From Jack Wiler's poem "The Poem Where I Say Thank You"

More of his work can be found on his website:



Tales of Inappropriate Dinner Fail

As detailed in my last entry, I was off to make a really awful for me dinner: peanut butter, fluff, and nutella sandwich.

2 slices of bread left. Just enough fluff left. Peanut butter, and what I thought was the only jar of nutella in the apartment...

Did you know that nutella can go bad? Because it can.

We have apparently been harboring a fugitive jar of nutella since before October 2008. Because that was the expiration date I found when I checked after tasting/smelling the curious hazelnut spread. We also have a new, good jar in the other cupboard. If only I'd gone there.

Last of the fluff gone, bread gone, dinner ruined. Stomach queasy. (Not helped by my eating 2 spoonfuls of fluff before throwing away the jar).

Maybe it was the universe telling me that an insane amount of sugar does not a dinner make.

So... what do I do for dinner now?

(Oh, by the way, click on the ads below this post).



In the past month or so, I've become completely addicted to the Food Network. Which is weird for a number of reasons. One, I used to despise the very thought of even hearing it in the background. My dad used to watch it for hours to find new recipes, and I always remember thinking how awful a whole channel about cooking sounded.

It's not awful.

Two, I can't cook. I just can't. I don't know what flavors would ever compliment each other or how to tell if water is boiling. I mean... is it when it starts bubbling? Does it have to start spattering everywhere before it's at a full boil? And why do I always get burnt? Do you have to wear long sleeves when cooking?

Three, cooking shows without live audiences freak me out. Just the thought of this random person cooking dinner for themselves and talking aloud the recipe without anyone being there to hear them. It's weird.

None of this matters anymore. On the weekdays I have off from work (Mondays and Fridays), I watch the Food Network from the time I wake up until Mike gets home. Unless, of course, I have plans. But that never happens. So I watch the Food Network, Mike gets home, I threaten to eat his arm.

Here lies the problem with my obsession with the Food Network: it doesn't make me want to cook, it doesn't make me want to learn about cooking. It just makes me hungry. Ravenous. Hungry for foods I don't even like. Foods I've never heard of. STARVING. As if I haven't eaten in years. (When really, it's just I haven't eaten anything but peanut butter and fluff all day.)

Luckily I've ended up with a dashing boyfriend who happens to be a whiz in the kitchen. Thankfully. I don't really remember what I ate in college - though I do often have flashbacks of our sophomore year dorm freezer filled from top to bottom with Hot Pockets. (I quickly suppress this memory, because now the very thought of Hot Pockets makes me sick.)

Well, anyway, Mike is out of town from now until Sunday night. So I'm watching Top Chef (not the Food Network, but might as well be) and getting ready to make a peanut butter, fluff, and nutella sandwich. And then maybe some ramen.

Mike goes away and I regress to an 18 year old.

I am no good at being alone. I used to be really good at it. I used to prefer it. But now that I've spent 2 1/2 years with this incredible person who is near me whenever I need and want him to be (which is always), it's hard to sit here alone and be content. I'll definitely be sleeping on the couch tonight with the TV on.

I'm taking offers for people to sleep on my couch so that I'm not in an empty apartment. Just tonight and tomorrow night. Conversation would be nice too, but mostly I'm just looking for someone to take on any burglars or ghosts. Or vampires. (They're not hot teenagers, guys, they're horrible creatures that SUCK YOUR BLOOD. Jesus.)

PB&J&F&N time.

(end long rambling post)

"This amazing charater lives within an extraordinary context and he asks the questions we all ask: Why are we here? Who are w? Where do we go from here? And what is the point of it all?"
- Jude Law, Playbill Interview
"A couple of thoughts spring to mind about the meaning of the play. One is that one must suffer in order to gain wisdom, the second is that life is a journey, and it is the journey itself that matters, not arriving at your destination."
- Jude Law, Telegraph Interview

I saw Hamlet two nights ago. I've woken up the past two mornings still thinking about it. Tossing the play around in my head, remembering Michael Grandage's direction, loving Ophelia's madness. Mostly, however, hearing, observing, obsessing over Jude Law's Hamlet.

And, in coming to this gushing entry, it's important to preface that I was never Jude Law's poster girl before. Besides thinking he's dayum sexy (and not to mention fertile as hell), imagining him as Ewan McGregor's roommate, and loving movies like The Holiday. I haven't even seen his two Oscar nominated roles. I was excited to see him live admittedly only because of his status as a celebrity. There have been other cases of this: Julia Roberts, Daniel Radcliffe. In both cases I left the theater no more of a fan than I was before (And maybe in the Julia Roberts case, less of a fan). I left Hamlet in a crazy eye widening, mouth dropping rapture.

I do believe that Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's greatest works. If not the greatest. It's the most psychological of his plays, looking really deep into the human condition. And it is really difficult to play Hamlet as something more than an angsty boy. It's true. But Law's Hamlet was something more. Yes, he was completely capable of putting the angst of a son home from college to find his world turned completely upside down. It isn't real without that emotion. His love of his father was palpable, and the need for revenge. The feigned lunacy was funny and riveting all at the same time - he knew how to play with the audience to keep them with him, engaged and entertained. It was distinctly clear when his facade of being mad became real. It's so easy to turn against Hamlet, but he had me from beginning to end.

I really can't imagine what it must be like to take on a role so iconic, and at a status where everyone will be watching for slip ups, and comparing to greater actors. What I loved the most is how unafraid he was to be fully unattractive. To put every emotion out there, even hideous and horrifying. Unattractiveness is a hard thing to fully embrace on stage in front of hundreds of people. His posture was slumped, his eyes wide, upset and destroyed and motivated. (I'm fully aware that this may not be making any sense.)

The set has been criticized, but I found it just simple enough to showcase the story and the acting. The ensemble is so strong, challenging and supporting Law throughout the 3 hours.

It was really, really good.


I can't gush anymore.

See it.

(Most abrupt ending ever.)


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