A Serious Query

We’re here to make you laugh. Get ready.

Question: What would you call a cooking show with convicts?

Answers: (courtesy of me, Michael Deck, Solomon Billinkoff, Matthew Krakaur, Talia Apkon, and Matt Leibowitz)

-The Lambshank Redemption

-Cooking with Convicts

-Don’t Drop the Croutons

-If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of Prison

-Gridiron Chef

  • -wait, isn’t that football?
  • -…damn

-Cooking Behind Bars

-Doing Time….In the Kitchen

-or, Doing Thyme

-Jailhouse Cook

-Jailhouse Crockpot

-Prison Cake

  • -what?
  • -based on Prison Break

-25 to Live Lobsters

-False Imprison-mint

-Behind Lemon Bars

-Death Roe (the sushi episode)

-Innocent Til Proven Guacamole

-Capital Nourishment

-Solitary Con Leche

-Jailbake

-Dead Men Wok-ing

-Eggs-ecution

-Mac-n-Cheese Security

-Pene-Chicken-ry

-Alcatraz-berries

-Riker’s Fry-land

-Lethal Confections

-Lockdown with Bobby Flay (nobody but Michael understands this)

-Guantanamo Fillet

“If there was a fashion show, instead of Electric Chair, I’d call it Eclectic Flair” -Matthew Krakaur

Taking a Walk

I am feeling very frustrated with WordPress text formatting in posts, it doesn’t let me indent or do anything in a normal way. But ANYWAY, here’s my assignment numbah two, “Write about taking a walk”

(PS this one’s about MS! YAY!)

 

I can’t feel my feet and I’m watching them to make sure they’re going where I want them to go (up the stairs) and I can’t feel the carpet under my feet, carpet I’ve known since I was five. Back down the stairs, then racing up again, my feet pounding against the stairs (I can see it and hear it but I can’t feel it).

 
Pacing in the aisles of trains and pacing in the Philadelphia train station and pacing in more trains and pacing in New Haven and stomping my feet against the floor of the shuttle. Up the stairs of my dorm, watching my feet still. Walk to the health center.

 

-My feet are numb.
-Have you tried warmer socks?
-It’s been a week and a half.
-Have you tried a shower?
-….It’s been a week and a half.

Walk to the hotel to meet my dad, who comes up for the MRI. Walk into the outpatient center and down the hall and they let me keep on my boots while I’m in the machine. Walk my feet in the air while the technician injects contrast material into my arm.

 
Walk back to the dorm, then back down Church again, to the neurologist’s office. Pace in the waiting room, pace around the examination room, flinch when she says I might not walk again. Keep walking. Walk far far away from her when she says my life will be severely limited. Keep walking.

 
Walk up the hill, walk back down, lie still and scream as loud as I can when they do the spinal tap (although in my head I thought I was just talking very quietly, I thought only my mom could hear). Walk back up the hill, then down again. This time they put the permanent IV in.

 
Walk around campus with a tube hanging out of the sleeve of my tshirt, my classmates stare and I explain fast and then just keep walking.

 

Walk down to Baltimore, in the aisles of trains and pacing in another waiting room and holding my mom’s hand. Walk as fast as you can, says the nurse, we want to measure your speed. Pins poke my feet but I do not feel them. My MRI on the computer screen shows faded dots that correspond to my faded feet.

 
I walk back home, up highways and then onto the smaller country roads. Pace my house for a couple days, walk through an airport and onto the plane. When the seatbelt sign goes off I pace the aisles, trying not to look out the windows.

 

Walk my feet nervously against the plane floor during landing (bumpy, as always in Seattle). Walk to my boyfriend, walk to his house, walk around the city, walk through the rain. He is bewildered too, but it’s hard to try to make him understand what I don’t either. We’re good at walking though, so we walk.
Walk around as much as I can, because they said maybe in five years I won’t be able to, maybe in ten years I won’t be able to. The new neurologist tries to hide the statistics in a wave of optimism, but I hear him. 25% chance of rain would make me bring an umbrella, should 25% chance of not being able to walk make me buy a wheelchair? I keep walking.

 

I walk to the gym, walk my feet in circles on the stationary bike, my grandmother asks

 

-Are you doing special exercises?
-No, I’m just going to the gym. Like a normal person.

 

That Awkward Moment When You Like Your Own Writing

….but actually. So I think I’m going to continue posting my short writing exercises for Techniques of Nonfiction, mainly because they’re open-ended enough that they don’t feel like assignments to me. This is assignment numbah three (I’ll probably post #2 sometime this week, but I’m feeling very into 3 right now)

The prompt (which I interpreted super loosely) is “describe any landscape”:

Barcelona is that moment at night when the sky is just beginning to turn colors and the pigeons flock to the central plaza of the city.
Barcelona is the beach at the beginning of June, on days when we leave school and take the bus and then two trains down to the Barceloneta stop and walk down the street and straight onto the beach, shedding school clothes almost as we walk, and recounting urban legends of syringes found in the sand. I keep my shoes on.

Barcelona is the maze of the old town, that first felt sinister on the day we pulled up with five people and fifteen suitcases and my dad walked up to the apartment, walked back down the stairs, and said, to my mom, “Kathryn, I don’t know if this is going to work.” Barcelona is the look she gave him in return before picking up my brothers’ bags and heading up the stairs to see for herself.

Barcelona is the hectic tapas restaurants, full of tourists trying to order in English and ex-pats looking superior, as if that hadn’t been them a year ago, or two, or five, but it was them once.

Barcelona is the night bus, where I finally turned around to the group of loud college students doing their semester abroad and gave them directions to the bar they were looking for, in English, so they’d stop yelling.

Barcelona is a bench outside a Dunkin’ Donuts (mysteriously called Dunkin’ Coffee in Spain) where my boyfriend broke up with me, and, like the overly emotional teenager that I was, I continued to sit for the next hour or so, looking at the bright orange and pink letters alone.

Barcelona is a moment at night, with a different boy, when I went swimming at night. I stepped on a fish, and it wriggled beneath my foot. Barcelona is the feeling of two lives struggling against each other, Barcelona is the glow of green lights from a bar down the beach. Barcelona is a long walk down a street you’ve never seen before, drinking orange juice and falling in love with someone.

Barcelona is the time I dropped my newly acquired Spanish cell phone down into the tracks of the metro stop closest to my school. Barcelona is the mixture of Spanish, Catalan, and English I used when I tried to explain to the metro employee what had happened. My reflection in the glass of the door to her office showed the desperation in my face, which seemed silly when she smiled, grabbed a giant pair of grabby things that looked like scissors, and calmly extracted my blue and white Nokia from the tracks.

Barcelona is the feeling of terror I got every time I walked around the city with my youngest brother, then five, a feeling that I didn’t know how to care for someone so small and fragile in such a big and dangerous place. Barcelona is the feeling of relief I got every time we arrived home safely, Barcelona is the smile on his face whenever we went somewhere new, like the chocolate museum or the zoo or the playground near the beach.

Barcelona is the first sip of mojito, unintended, and prompted by my ex-boyfriend’s snide “she doesn’t drink” when the waiter came by asking for our orders. Barcelona’s bus system that night felt new and too bright and complicated.

Barcelona is stumbling barefoot home down the Paseig de Gracia on my seventeenth birthday, singing Lily Allen and feeling too safe. Barcelona is a feeling of being untouchable, unbreakable, unshakable, young and in love and happy.

Barcelona is the first time I understood what my Spanish classmates were talking about during lunch breaks at school, and exclaimed, “oh! You’re calling him gay!” And then shut my mouth quickly but smiled, because I knew Spanish!

Barcelona is my first Spanish oral exam, a long interview with Senor Ricos. Afterward, he looked at me puzzled and said, “you were speaking about half Catalan.” And I said, “but I don’t know Catalan!” so he laughed, and replied, “well, evidently you do!”

Barcelona is the tutoring center for impoverished kids in the worst neighborhood (on the “bad side” of the Ramblas) where the kids would translate their assignment from Catalan to Spanish for me, so I could help them. And then I’d translate it from Spanish to English, formulate an answer, translate the answer back into Spanish, and feed it to them, so they could translate it to Catalan and write it down in small blue notebooks.

Barcelona is the moment after graduation when the plane took off and I looked out the window, and watched the city getting smaller beneath me, and whispered goodbyes to everyone who I had loved, everyone who had loved me. Barcelona is the word “vivir,” Spanish for “to live,” tattooed behind my ear, Barcelona will be with me forever, Barcelona te quiero, por toda mi vida.

A Very Brothersome Blog Post

 

Sorry for just spamming you really hard with lots of pictures of my adorable brothers doing adorable things. In case you couldn’t tell, I super love my brothers. So should you. They do adorable things like:

-pronounce muffin “mutha” and frog “fug”, and let themselves be tricked into saying “muffinfrog” over and over

-turn their entire room into a Rube Goldberg machine (not sure what it does yet)

-be obsessed with their cats (this is for both of them)

-demand to be allowed to name my guinea pig and then name her first John (FEMALE GUINEA PIG), then Pink Power Ranger (…), and finally Princess

-look adorable all the time

-be really gullible and get convinced (by me) that having MS makes you grow eyes in the back of your head. And then report that “fact” to their teacher

-create a bunch of blogs due to jealousy that me and mom are blogging

-be related to me (jkjk)

-never ever ever read my blog because they hate it. But I love them.

To my darling brotherbears, I can’t wait to seeeeee you guys next month so we can be all happy to see each other for like 10 seconds and then retreat back to our separate computers ❤