Saturday, August 31, 2002


today marks the commencement of my role as fledgling bostonian. since yesterday was my last day of work (i love you, ibm!), and the remotest semblance of school (or a free meal) does not start in a week, i have seven blissful days in which to frolic, focus, and frame my precious time here in the town-of-tea through touristy sorts of activities and lots of uncharted explorations. therefore, i will hit the ubiquitously bostonian 'hot-spots' (careful, don't burn yourself!) and finally traverse the freedom trail like every sane boston tourist has-- with cushy shoes and historical-savvy aplomb. quite sad that most harvard students don't have the time or the gumption to break out of the campus bubble during the school year to truly appreciate our posh geographics. bunker hill! the common! the jfk musuem! haymarket! lovely things such as these aren't on the list of priorities, ungracefully bumped to lower status by the pressing demands of problem sets or residual sleep. an absolute shame... a little fruit never hurt anybody.

speaking of which, i went to haymarket this morning, my first time on a saturday (usually i go early on friday morns, when piles of fruit are still being set for display, rising slowly in synchrony along with the sleepy sun). with $4.75 from my pocket, i managed to garner four pink grapefruit, a box of blackberries (i had to exchange the first box because it was moldy in spots; i had to physically point out the mold [look, it's here] before the guy allowed me to pick out another box, which was ripe to the point of blackberry juice but i ate them yummily one hour later, barely skimming their timely expiration), a small bin of figs (black, if it so matters), four new zealand apples, and six pluots (a.k.a. dinosaur eggs). what a fructosutopian steal. mmm, that'll last me for... three days. :) saturday definitely boasted a lot more vendors and more selection, i suppose, but in comparison with fresh fridays the fruit looked a bit downtrodden and people were absolutely cutthroat. the market does have its moments: i tried to look away when a woman accidentally dropped a huge bundle of basil on the i-dont-want-to-think-how-germy-it-is ground, and then hastily replaced it back on the table. don't look, keep moving. huge papayas, one dollar each? upon closer inspection, they're studded with huge, gaping black holes of revolting rottenness. lookawaylookaway. however, as you turn the corner, the pink cactus pears and the monstrous strung garlic and the shiny red peppers catch your attention, and all you can do is fish out a dollar, hand it over, and beam as you leave with your plastic-bagged treasure. balance has been restored.

over-priced dream of the moment: spinning on two of these, fading between bjork and tosca, looping bonobo with hooverphonic sprinkled on top. skritchy skritchy scraa... plaid meets squarepusher! oO^_^Oo

since it was gorgeous weather, and i had some free moments after replying about a thousand emails and doing my laundry (such glamourous weekend activities!), i decided to take a little stroll down charles street, taking in the sights (and snobberies) of prim beacon hill. my mom had told me repeatedly about a charming grocery called deluca's, and i was curious to see block after block of beautiful home decor stores, shoe + handbag boutiques, and exquisite florists. i got off the T at charles/mgh and promptly embarked along the seductive curve of the cobbled charles. asian antiques, specialty grocers, candles and stationery... i delved deeper into the pit of affluence and frivolous female expenditure, wildly window-shopping at kate spade clutches, handcrafted translucent papers, and $450 kitten heels. it was maddening to think that people actually bought these luxuries, with a nonchalant lipsticked air i imagine, waving their slim nokia in one hand and toting a furry terrier in the other. i was browsing moxie, an adorable yet intimidatingly expensive boutique, when i overheard a conversation between two women. one said, 'you know, it's strange, with all the bags i own i don't have a basic black bag.' the other shrieked, 'OMG! you DONT have a BLACK BAG???' like she just came out of the jungle and didn't know how to regulate her own volume. trying to pretend i didn't hear that banshee-esque outburst lambasting a fashion faux pas, i carefully examined a $200 bag decorated with a tacky crossword puzzle and high-tailed it out of there. pink pink pink... the picture you see embedded in this paragraph was taken of a mannequin on the street dressed in a most texturally satisfying outfit of feathers and lace. a third texture, cobblestone, ebbs angelically in the background, subtly mocking this immaculately artistic construction of pseudo-original style. (hee!)

miraculously, i made it alive to the end of the street and into the common. three amazing stores that receive liu approval are black ink, full of spectactularly random objects that you soon realize you cannot live without; koo de kir, a funky modern decor store; and cocoon, a lush expanse of svelte vases, framed vitra chair miniatures, and swoon-worthy table settings. let it be known that a gift bought from any of these fascinating marvels would be perfect, anytime, anyplace. :)

tomorrow's plan is a 4-hour, ~15 mile, bike ride through the emerald necklace. luscious green parks and fundamental landscape architecture? i'm there. it'll feel so good to bike around a city again...

farewell, as the petals fade from mauve to blush, the tea stains drip dry, and the light reflects round, white, stroke. crinkle. peel. disappear.

excuse me, sir... the figs over here... is there any difference between the black ones and green ones?

nup, naw. 'eyre the same... a fig is jus' a fig!

so it is, indeed.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

bon anniversaire � moi.

yes, today, yours truly renounced her teenage years and gracefully entered her 20's. precisely one score ago i was still in my mommy's tummy, tumbling about and swimming in a pink womb. now, i am a pre-yuppie, a university naivet�e who loves browsing the ikea catalog and shopping at diesel. i pace the cobblestoned sidewalks of cambridge, messenger bag (black, zippered and trendily textured) slung across my shoulder, moving briskly to catch the bus, or stopping for chai at peet's, or people-watching outside au bon pain. legs swinging, eyes blinking, mind blazing, i am not merely 20, but also 4, 9, and 17 in simultaneous synchrony. savoring the spiciest noodles in chinatown, swooning from brahms' piano quintets, blissfully inhaling summer's bright blooms, this is who i have become. i play with pixels, consume green tea intravaneously, and paint my nails with iridescence. and yet sometimes i still cry, irrationally, uncontrollably, passionately, as if i were six again and my ice-cream has fallen upon the asphalt. no matter how many years pass me by, i will always be very new to this world.

the city is roaringly empty this week, dashing off to vacation or new york or home in the cornfields before school starts; therefore, i didn't make grand plans for a birthday bash. if people were around i'd consider throwing a costume party... i could appear dressed as a daikon, or perhaps a unicorn. but since that unfortunately did not pan out, i believe i will go with a friend to see mostly martha, one of those food + sex movies (always an entertaining combination, n'est-ce pas?). i've been wanting to see this film since it opened last weekend, so i should expect it to be appropriately tasty!

no cake or candles today. however, i did treat my tastebuds to a chocolate-chip finagle bagel from starmarket, a mighty, gooey-studded torus of love that appeased my achingly empty stomach at 4:30pm. that concentric carbohydrate creation probably sat in that sad plastic bin the whole day, watching (with tired, semi-sweet eyes) the market shoppers who passed, hesitated, and continued in their selfishly modern haste. i bought a little fruit, some plums and nectarines, to just tide me over for a day or so before i fill up the fridge tomorrow with fructose goodness from the haymarket sellers. it shocked me that two little orange orbs cost one dollar as they traversed through checkout. how sad that fruit are stickered and labeled and priced and consumed... how can you place a value on an object that embodies true nature and beauty as we know it? smooth skin, tender flesh, delicate confidence. what we consider tradeable commodities, these pieces of fruit, are essentially plants' tangible product of love and energy. it shouldn't be so brusque, so cheapened, to invite fruit into our lives by scanning it and exchanging some cold cash. they should belong to those who deserve them, one who understands and empathizes with the fruit. we should sing to them, or caress them just so, giving them incentive to nourish us. we should earn their trust. otherwise, what's stopping us from shellacking price stickers on our own tender flesh?

thank you to everyone who has communicated to me today in some form of another their birthday wishes. thank heavens for technology.

an anonymous angel has registered and for me! i have droolingly had my eyes on these domains for the longest time, but never had the gumption to go ahead and snatch them. now, as luck has it, i have them wrapped with ribbon and placed in my lap for pure geekgirly pleasure! thankyouthankyou, to my benefactor out there. now, only time will tell how and when sleekpixel will transform the world... have any ideas? a digital art gallery? a 'zine? christine's freelance design studio? a miracle startup that will actually prove profitable? (ha ha.) email me your suggestions, i will consider all.

confidential to bok choy: were those color sticks? the plums sort of resemble a hypercube! merci avec tout mon coeur... je l'adore.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

i had eggs sunny-side up this morning. it reminded me of home... liquid yolk, salty, absorb, savor.

Friday, August 23, 2002

amazing. i discovered that pandora (my computer's name; get it?) currently harbors more than 11 gigs of mp3s. wow. how did i amass such a collection? (and that's not even including my robust set of cds...) tonight i downloaded some fabulous new stuff: remixed jazz, cool-headed emo, kronos quartet, indie rock. i anticipate test-driving all this very soon. :)

tonight in my quiet little single suite (!!!), i took the opportunity to whip out my viola and practice in preparation for my orchestra reaudition in the fall. the silver folding music stand -- clink! -- assembled itself proudly in the middle of the common room, a fuzzy rug under its pokey rubber-tipped legs. i arranged vaughan williams' romance for viola and piano neatly on the ledge and began to play. low, tenuous melody. climaxes of resonant, high-ranging double-stops. light and dark in one sweet movement. a perfect piece.

sometimes, all you wish to do is close your eyes, and play.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

four tet. boards of canada. ivy. jazzanova.

yes. flow...

today (as was yesterday and the day before that) has been an odd day. one of those days where you're trapped in some sort of fuzzy permeation of time, consciously able to realize and define past and future and all moments in between, yet finding yourself lost and uncharted in the very spot you are standing. the eye of a hurricane. the spool of a turntable. three tons of ice pressed against the balls of your feet. your fingers grasp, your hair glides, and you run in the snow, silent thighs smooth as pistons. directionless, breathless, and ceaseless. this is the scenario. this is what it is like.

i have a tendency to obsess, especially with sensory images. i play a scene, a clip of my waking consciousness, a shadow of a memory, in my mind again and again. cameras pan, angles change, and the director keeps calling for more cuts. i wrestle with this image, folding the piece over and over until a permanent crease mars its surface. it's a combination of fantasy and of reality, a stirring of soup whose ingredients boil to surface: hope, despair, ecstasy, fear, impulse, jealousy, gratitude, sorrow. beauty and death reunite in a fantastic performance behind closed eyelids and sealed lips. like a broken record or a bowl of milk, the scene refuses to dissolve. i am awake, yet i keep dreaming. where the memory ends and the fantasy begins, i cannot say. rewind, repeat, rewind.

she will never tire of it.

yesterday held one of those moments where i revived my penchant for textures. one of those, 'thank God that i have this fifth sense, wondrous skin, beautiful nerves, to touch and feel and understand because of it' moments. smooth, wispy, coarse, soft, bumpy, darmp, warm. it almost gets to the point when it's not just your finger that traces the surface, but an invisible, membraneous extension of your physical self which vibrates with each new tangible stimulus. just as proust's madeleine + tea sent him on a mental acela back to his fragrant childhood, one simple touch can send me spinning into a previously hidden dimension. i relish, shiver; and then it's over.

kiwis of the world, unite. abandon your skin, all you juicy green flesh glistening in the sun. discover your seeds. embrace tartiness. glow.

Friday, August 16, 2002

late signs pink a bike.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

i'm still trying to decide... is my blog just a written version of me, my essence pared down to mere meanderings and poetic utterances, an elegant purification of the senses, a visual medium to process my intangibility into an entity of substance? or, perhaps, it's a intricate project constructed (strategically, selfishly, surreptitiously) as a cmliu.v.2.0 for the audience - the viewers, the familiars and guests alike-- to mentally assemble a girl that only exists in the tap-tap-tap of my obedient fingers and a web of fantasy darting madly through my consciousness. is this me? or is this you trying to find me? or perhaps this is me trying to find me? maybe, in the art of losing ourselves, we fail to notice that we've already been found.

there's been a lot going on that i haven't been diligent about waxing dramatic on here. (yes, lucky you.) but if i get the chance later i'll try to recount all that i dare remember. the weekends in boston since coming back from my trip have been fantastic, with thanks to many who have facilitated my jubilant laughs, beautiful memories, and pure silliness. i have been to a made-for-tv-movie-worthy get-together and clambake at a friend's cape cod summer house; i have experienced irreverent performance art and copious amounts of toilet paper at blue man group; i have experienced nothing less of the twilight zone at alewife and have rediscovered the fascination of chinese supermarkets. great times, and even better recoveries. :)

as i was describing to a friend, sleeping on a loft has its own inevitable curse and blessing complex. last night i entered slumber at around 4:30am, with the alarm set for 7am, my sleep spirits energized and optimistic but knowing full well what would be felt the next day. so with a loft, when your eyelids burst open with the beep-beep-beep interruption of your alarm, you have two laden choices: remain, or descend. once you climb down, you are down for good (the blood is pumping, your feet are moving, you're diagnostically awake), but then again, if you choose to stay in bed, you're stuck. with each increasing breath, the glue gels and thickens to some unspeakably viscous consistency. but oh, to relish those last sweet moments under the sheets, feeling the softness underneath you, to postpone that climb down to tangible earth... you're suspended in time, a transparent existence.


Saturday, August 03, 2002

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.

(me too, kermit.)