Tag Archives: harvard

THANKS FOR NOTHING HARVARD (jenn)

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Some park by our house, Seattle

Time: 11:40pm
Setting: In car outside public library, stealing free wireless
Mood: Brr

When someone says: you’re slacking on the blog, I like to take it as a compliment, as in, wow Hee, you are so gifted and dynamic, I wish you would blog every day!

Yes! Then I shall try to blog every day!

Then another someone might say: shiiit girl, I’m totally behind, your shit is just so fucking heavy, you and Ryan, it’s not like I can skim your words.

Yes! Then I shall not blog every day!

Occasionally a “friend” calls to catch up, and hypothetically asks about my Christmas. After I answer, said person says in shocked manner: you went to Amsterdam?!! Dumbass, I respond, don’t you read my motherfucking blog? I may feel very insulted because I think all my friends ought to be as interested in me as I am. If you had a blog, I could say, I would read it religiously. In other words, if you had a blog, it’d be really boring, and that’s why you don’t have one. Your comeback might be: at least I can afford a sailboat with my oodles of moola, and I might say, who the fuck says oodles of moola? You, friend, might say I would never say that–you, Hee, make other people sound like douchebags in your blog to make yourself look smarter, and I might ask, did it work?, and you’d concede: yes, good game.

I haven’t not been blogging because I resolved to never use the a-word again in my last entry, but because I’ve been trying to write pieces that will hopefully one day end up in MONEY, since all of you freeloaders read me for free. I didn’t get the ‘zines with homeless teens job at the YWCA–THANKS FOR NOTHING HARVARD–and every time I open the Sunday classifieds or browse Craigslist for hours, nothing sends my heart even slightly a’twitter. This world of employment is just not for me! I need to freelance. It’s the only job that has the word free in it, which subliminally is very satisfying. Right now, our life is perfect. Ryan and I wake up, write pieces that have cute orange end buoys bobbing on the horizon, scribble down parts of Big Pieces, compose absurd and brilliant songs, eat in, use Mati as an excuse to go to Marymoor dog park and laugh at dogs and their people, walk down to Chinatown, drive to the Seattle café of the day, park outside the library and use the free wireless, read our brains out, make fucking awesome videos using the simplest Mac software imaginable, and try to see how little money we can spend going out while having the best time ever.

Sample weekend, last:

Thursday Night—Chinatown karaoke with Big Will—definitely best time ever, but money was spent.

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Friday Night—Ryan falls asleep at 7, mid-Breach, both of us sideways on our free loveseat made for one normal sized person. I spend the rest of the night making love to my computer screen, and by making love, I mean writing. A cheap date if I ever saw one!

Saturday Night—Dancing to 80s classics such as “Beat It,” with Ellen and Jordan at Buddha Bar. Ryan does a brilliant impromptu duet dance with an equally insane white woman of advanced age who was either a mom with a mission, the wife of a biker-man, or my fourth grade teacher. It was hard to pinpoint her personality based on her grand jetés. She grabs Ryan’s balls and gives him the come hither finger all night. Ryan tries to pretend he’s with me so she’ll stop groping him. Nice try, stranger.

Best time ever!!!

Sunday NightComedy Underground to watch Paul Ogata. We pretend we’re his crew and since we’re Asian the scenario is plausible and this gets us in for free. I laugh so hard I snort brain matter out of my nose. Best time ever!!!

In conclusion, we had three best nights ever for the price of one.

Reduce, Reuse, Reblog

I wrote the following piece in my old website/blog, but since way more new people read this blog, especially now that Ryan’s ass is heavily featured, I am re-posting it, mainly in the hopes that someone will send it to someone who will send it to someone, and it will become chain blog-mail. In a week it will come back to me, telling me I have to send it to 7 people in order to have my wish come true, which was to have this letter turn into chain mail, therefore it will have already become true, thus breaking the wish-cycle of chain letters. And somewhere out there will be that special person who opens me, a one-of-a-kind unbirthday present for all occasions, only to say: oh, she’s perfect! Here’s $100,000 a year to do just that!

P.S. I can be reached at: jennmeleana@mac.com

Cover Letter, My Ideal Job

Dear Future Employer:

(Which ideally would be me.)

Dear Self:

If I were to take all my experiences and mesh them into one occupational position–it would be to create an alternative treatment center for emotionally-disturbed private school-educated orphans of gypsy descent. There, I would teach them avant-garde writing in the form of stick figure portraiture, Surrealist photography in the form of aggressive napping, cardio kickboxing, imperfect veganism, and proper contraception implementation. I would treat them from their addictions to god, to family obligation, to morality as a washboard for our animal instincts, to guilt/blame, to ego, to refined sugars, to Myspace. This center would be in a former Communist nation where there would still only be two types of cheese–yellow and white. I’d recycle my diploma into toilet paper. Ivy League 2-ply.

The lesson of the day: degrees are for assholes.

Each morning, we would climb the metaphorical walls of our flimsy defenses before settling into our line-less Moleskins. Blank pages–we could go any way. After loosening the figure 8 knots of our old convictions, we’d rappel into philosophical caves, rooms of our own, walls padded with the insulation of our old bullshit, writing character sketches for our self of the day. At recess, we’d have a pep rally, cheering on our own genius ideas.

“G-E-N-I-U-S! Gooooo Genius!!!”

At lunch, we’d photograph trees, bury first drafts in self-destructing time capsules, invent ten new ways to eat pumpkin, stuff kaleidoscopes with fortune cookie fortunes, laugh at the distortions, the possibilities, laugh at our pasts which we’ve pulled from our mind like a loose shirt thread and re-woven into a quilt large enough to cover our cold feet. At night, we’d reclaim constellations, snip every imaginary line connecting memories to fear, expectation to fear, preservation to fear. Cassiopeia into The Persistence of Memory. The Big Dipper into Guernica. We’d praise the sky as a figment of our gorgeous imaginations. We’d be as endless as we wanted to be. We’d take our fears, write them on gold origami paper, folding each into 1,000 cranes, into one crane in the shape of a kite, and fly our fears past the point of control, and let them go, let them all go.

And then we’d be free for the first time in our lives.

FINIS

I mean, c’mon already. I am awesome. Hire me.

My most productive hours are between the hours of 12 and 4 am, I need really good health insurance, a company car or bike would be SO COOL, can my dog come?, I cook a mean pumpkin bread, do I really have to be present physically every day?, I think having the option to work from a park or cafe or hey, my living room– would be fantastic, and gym membership as a corporate benefit, hey, I’ll take it!

jennmeleana@mac.com

In the meantime, enjoy our latest photos from the lovely Pacific Northwest!

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in fall bloom at the pottery barn. (jenn)

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(damp from thunderstorm walk to dinner, too full, cleveland motel with a king-sized bed for the whole family, finally warm)

hi friends!

yes, we were in maryland for a whole week. who knew maryland was the best place on earth? we were at my cousins’ house that i named “the pottery barn” in the most loving way possible. it’s the homiest of homey at the pottery barn. the pottery barn also has every kitchen appliance known to mankind, including the ferrari of hand held mixers. so indeed, we struggled to say good-bye to the chocolate macadamia kona coffee every morning, free wireless, a yard of mati’s own, and the gorgeous mini-lake down the street (we left both the ducks AND geese alone). how can you leave the cousins who are forgiving of my shameless mooching, everyday crazies, and boyfriend’s tendency to scream turrets-style non-sequiturs such as–“Giving birth is the cruelest thing you could do to a non-person!” of course it’s hard to drive away from the loving embrace of the people who have known you since birth.

it’s also hard to hate on suburbia. that shit’s comfortable.

oh, maryland.

we finally left this morning, feeling the itch to get further away from the cold/philly. our next desired stop is milwaukee, to see my beloved peace corps commiserators–harmonie and chad. we are currently in cleveland, for no apparent reason. i’m sure it’s a lovely city but we’ve been content to whole up, nap, write, and watch heroes.

today’s non-plan plan: we’re thinking about moving to canada.

every day i give ryan a dirty look when i roll out of bed at 9 and he’s been up since 5:30am writing. i usually say, “fuck you, prolific motherfucker.” (if you can’t tell by the banal tone of this blog–i’m a bit blocked.) today he finally asked me what prolific meant. which brings me to…

Road Trip Conversation Snippets as Processed by Me:

#1:

Ryan: “Was New Hampshire in Connecticut?”

The End

#2:

Our Day in DC

Jenn: Do you want to walk to the Lincoln Memorial?

Ryan: Okay.

[Halfway between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial–about 15 more minutes to walk.]

Ryan: This is close enough.

Jenn: You lazy fuck.

Ryan: What? You think it’s going to be any more interesting if we get closer?

The End!

i love ryan motts because he lets me make fun of his intelligence when he really is the smartest person i’ve ever met. ever.

i feel like i have so much to write about that i don’t know where to begin, and instead end up making lists of all the things i will blog about as soon as i finish listing all the things i will blog about. maybe if i make an outline of four pieces i should finish this week i will stick to it:

*ex-boyfriend quilting- poem/piece stitching together all the things i’ve learned from my previous relationships

*my last time at harvard- blog about the last time i visited harvard, and how it changed my everything

*a barfy shmarfy ryan-jenn have been together for a year poem!

*more about where we’ve been and where we’re going

it’s 3:00am. i’m falling asleep at the keyboard. the prolific motherfucker is snoring his face off. mati is balled up next to my chair. i miss the pottery barn.

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THANKS FOR BEING THE BEST COUSINS EVER!

“Two Ongs make us write.” -Ryan

love,

jenn

mati goes to harvard.

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you can’t throw away the ramen! (jenn)

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driving dazed from our last week in philly, for seven hours i am lulled by the neon GPS screen–we are driving in a video game, dark surrounds the windows, our route is highlighted in pink. ryan says he’s played this one before. the dips, the bridges.

(the GPS has already improved our relationship 5,000-fold. now if i cold only cut the wire between emotion and logic everything would be perfect! and i would be a sociopath!)

(i haven’t given up yet.)

we arrived in cambridge after midnight. first stop, new womb–melissa matsubara’s apartment.

melissa, my beloved friend from iolani–the girl who cooked my family full meals including mini-vase-and-flower adornments after my father had a stroke; who first braved NYC with me, 18 years old and from hawaii kai, we were so trusting; who drifted with me, down north shore streams, side-by-side through massachusetts college days, drifted apart eventually, melissa in turkey, italy, australia, chile. i’m always somewhere else. we don’t keep in touch well; there’s no guilt nesting beneath our friendship. we know who we are to each other, and to me, melissa will always have the same rank in my heart, even if we don’t speak for years. melissa, the girl who sent me her warmest sweater to survive my bulgarian winters. effortlessly thoughtful. she knows what matters, what doesn’t. i don’t deserve the people who love me.

so: when i see melissa, i know everything will be okay. melissa–the girl who gives us her bed. fully-clothed in our jeans and sweaters, we crawl into white feathered down heaven. finally somewhere. but mati–impossibly restless in this new room, without her place, having spent seven hours on my lap, front seat crammed, bags under my feet, $85 ergonomic pillow at my knees, books and ramen scattered across the dashboard. all this exhaustion, but mati can’t sleep, wants to jump out melissa’s high windows, burrows under her bed, pants, whines, yelps and shakes and i consider slipping an ambien up her ass because i am just that tired.

favorite frantic leaving scene:

realize most of our possessions will not fit in the car.

trash blankets, clothes, towels, food.

on the street, give away the television. the microwave. the printer. we are strangers’ new best friends.

after much deliberation, my spice collection goes to the mailman.

then, i throw away the ramen.

enter ryan:

“YOU CAN’T THROW AWAY THE RAMEN?!! Are you crazy?”

finally, here at melissa’s, mati calms, and we all drift. a handful of hours later, up again from our catatonic half-sleep, ryan, mati and i walk from lechmere to harvard along the charles river, discussing the best way to embrace our inner retard (answer: give it a helmet). there is something perfect about cold sun and leaves singing with yellow, sailboats and brick bridges. everything is always so much more beautiful than it used to be.

(ryan: “sometimes your writing is so writery and gay.”
jenn: “get out of my blog, asshole!”)

i share with ryan the joy of pinocchio’s subs in a sunny corner of steps across from weidner library.harvard students seem like children to me now, zigzagging on asphalt paths, class to library to dorm.i remembered when i thought i mattered too. i never thought i’d come back this way, with a bulgarian street dog and hawaiianryan in tow, homeless, getting closer and closer to centered as i get further and further away from everyone else’s map.

i am thankful for it all. it is november, and i am still warm.

hot sauce and thongs! (jenn)

your boyfriend loses the job he would’ve quit before he started, if only walking away from paychecks was as easy as eating bacon. so you take your nissan murano with its hit-and-run dents to remember asshole philly drivers by—and pack it with your life possessions, your mugshots mugs, your mutt from the mean streets of bulgaria, your 1,000 bottles of Tabasco sauce and Beaver for Britney thongs from businesses that didn’t work—but hey—at least you got hot sauce and thongs to barter with for shelter and maybe a hot meal. you make sure to leave enough room for your dreams to sit bitch, ‘cause you called shotgun, you, you with your wide slanty-eyes, sensitive skin,

your hit-and-run mind.

before you go, you learn to write all over again ‘cause you’ve been comatose, paralyzed, a catatonic veggie girl dreaming she was a volunteer, dreaming of orphans in post-communist countries, dreaming of grey. that was yesterday. today it’s ?-to-? writer’s rehab, no insurance, a physical therapist who rips you from your white bed, white room, white clothes yelling–there’s no island! you have run. you have to write. write until your thumbs lock up because of last night’s one-climb-too-many. write and giggle when ryan says—you bastard—why do you get to be saffran foer, and i have to be the wannabe wife? write during grey’s anatomy commercials, after phone conversations with your mother, after e-mailing your old harvard roommate words of writer’s encouragement, even though she’s a dirty whore who has a full-time job as a film producer and manages to write a novel in her free time. (you begin to understand all time is free, but losing value by the minute.) write feeling the countdown of days, about to exchange the comfort of an address for stories you’ll laugh about later. write until it’s 3 am and you’re nauseous with exhaustion, afraid to stop, because it might not come back tomorrow, these words and possibilities. you might relapse. you might sleep forever.

in the meantime, you buy a tent and 0 degree sleeping bags and wonder if that’s enough to keep your family warm. fill your radio event-sponsored free duffle bags with 1,000 Places to See in the US and Canada Before you Die of Hypothermia in Fargo, campground books, AAA maps, writer’s market books, neuroscience books, old comfort novels, unread novels, the photo book ryan made your for your 28th birthday. you make sure to backup your files, your photos, your dreams just in case of a crash.

belongings clutter the hallway, and you laugh in that god-i-love-us way, cleaning out the best apartment you’ve ever had. you laugh because you never bought a bed or dishes–only necessities like a $500 movie projector, a massive iMac, a Macbook, an iPhone (still un-activated), two iPods, a food processor, and a whole lot of tea.

you wish you could take this apartment with you–the stained glass, the old eye doctor sign out front, the windows for walls, the blue-orange-green corner, the view of trees out every window, the swing set graveyard out back, the massive manayunk yard that was walled-in, but not high enough for mati: the ever-resourceful wonderbitch.

you never wanted to live in philly–philly never made your top… 50 cities… but you fell in love, lost and found your license there. left and returned from your bulgarian adventure, drawing a neat circle in your life, if neat circles can include bulgaria without sounding ridiculous. you’ll miss the wissahickon park down the street with its endless trails—every now and again feeling as though you were in bulgaria, alone on a narrow trail, dodging branches, minding footing, when—holy shit–you’re in america, running with fellow americans who run too!, running down kelly drive along the schuylkill river to the art museum, flashing back to the charles, to harvard and watching crew boats slice the still water, gliding under underwater bridges, making you wonder which reflection is real. and how you can ever know for sure. here, you made ryan drive you everywhere for months, too afraid to drive after three years of walking and bulgarian public transportation. when half a year later you do drive, you realize it was nothing. it was just driving. it’s all just driving. and the climbing gym that you spent all year putting off joining, and finally you did at the beginning of october, paid three months, found a fabulous climbing buddy, and just as a crimpy 5.8 becomes climbable again, just as your back, your arms, your hands feel powerful again–you need to go. typical. we’ll miss ardmore—the suburb we re-dubbed, “you make my life HARDmore” because of the thousands spent at nissan HARDmore trying to repair a car that stubbornly refused to let go of its “totally shitty” identity. and the manayunk scene you watched from afar, walking your dog at 1:00am on friday nights in your sweats, watching the yuppie-somethings do whatever they do in bars, talking about whatever they talk about, thinking it all matters, this shit we do. loving the food, god, oh god the food, sitting outside at our every favorite restaurant on main street. that country western bar you went to in the middle of nowhere quakertown to try something new, which meant lying on the bar and letting strangers take shots of your stomach, someone shouting, “she went to harvard!!” and cheering. you were sober; you wanted to get on your boyfriend’s good side. montage clips picking up speed: laff house on south street, ryan emceeing. more good nights than bad. your mom visiting, driving to amish country. you as stage mom every thursday at the wired studio–ryan recording the weeksauce, you as audience laughter, with chocolate and high fives. driving to new york for john mayer. to jersey for john mayer. to long island for bill maher. seeing jon stewart, justin timberlake, ozomatli. ryan attempting charity–emceeing the most amazing high school talent show you had ever seen. the sad revelation that white girls really, really can’t dance. broad street run, philly 1/2 marathon, every friend you love coming to visit you, in philly, a ten month parentheses in time with everything you never expected.

you hit the restart button on your relationship, because for the first time your boyfriend is free. the man you love who can talk for hours on neurophilosophy, who had to squeeze, squeeze himself down into five second punchlines, no pulp, just 10% funny from concentrate that left a fake taste in his mouth. for the first time you are a team, fighting for the same life, saturday morning writing fest ’07 baby–we’re ready to do it all, and say we did.

we’re ready. ready to burn the vision board for fire kindling in montana, ready to start over in california, or hawaii, or sri lanka, or anywhere with a little more sun.

(well, except for africa.)

10 more days. you don’t want to see life as just a series of countdowns. years until degrees received. months until christmas. days until next paycheck. just minutes until dinner. i want to count up, eyes open, to 100,000 and yell into space, warning the adventures hiding off every highway exit–ready or not, here we come.