Tuesday, November 27, 2012

on my skin

My life has been a lovely cloud of nondescript moodiness and underutilized creativity lately, so what's a better way to procrastinate than through drawing self-imposed ballpoint pen tattoos!!!**†

**Actually, I can write this one off as "helpful diversion," because it made me realize a lot of important things about my psyche. Turns out that the prospect of getting ink'd focuses your mind on what matters most.

† Excuse my recent obnoxiously wordy tendencies. Aaand there I go again.

"Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me."
-Broken Social Scene, Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl

This here tattoo is "don't forget it in people" on my forearm. It's a variation on the Broken Social Scene album title "You Forgot it in People." I was listening to my iPod on shuffle, and Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl came on--the album title seemed to suddenly strike a chord with me. I too often try to find the worst in people as a way to protect myself from getting hurt. I'm too slow to trust, even with something as simple as being my actual self around somebody else. I feel like I often come off as detached because of this. I need to always remember the good in people. How amazing the sun of friendship is. And that it's worth the fall to let them in.

"The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.”
 -Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

This one's a pieced-togther sun and moon crescent on my upper wrist. The classic image of the sun has consistently appeared in my dreams since I was a child. Also, it represents the two contrasting aspects of my personality--I'm boisterously silly, optimistic, and spontaneous. I'm simultaneously introverted, self-conscious, and a rabidly deep thinker. My life is a constant battle between these two extremes. I'm often taken too seriously, or not seriously enough. I write both tragedies and comedies. This tattoo is a reminder that the two sides of myself can coexist, and that they are both equally necessary for me to be myself. I need to remember that they help, not hinder each other.

"Sometimes I think that I'm bigger than the sound, I think that I'm bigger than the sound, I think that I'm bigger than the sound, I THINK THAT I'M BIGGER THAN THE SOUND *sexy guitar riff* "
-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Cheated Hearts

This one, I messed up. But it's supposed to be Karen O's lips dripping in black on my lower forearm. First of all, Karen O just rocks. I admire her creativity, style, and general badass-ness. I love how she balances toughness with femininity, and how her singing is so raw. I love that she has a sense of humor about herself and her music, but it doesn't take away from its honesty. I also feel a connection to her because she was born in the same town as me. It all basically just inspires me to take on the world.

Chances are that I'll never actually get any of these tattoos, and maybe that's for the best--everything about me is so transient, I could never commit to any of them for my entire life. And I don't need to. But as long as there's a Papermate around, I can be an office-supply-store certified badass.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

and so this is college

Oh, Ali. Oh my gosh Ali. You have no idea what you're about to accomplish. You have no idea who you're about to become.

You have no idea what you're capable of.

Every fiber of your being that has strung you along since you were a child has culminated into this.

And I'm talking to my younger self, by the way, because I can't believe how much has changed, how much I've changed, since I last posted. During my last post, I was chained to my mint gingham chair by the unbreakable links of pneumonia, watching Arrested Development, The Office, Donnie Darko--all of the things I should have watched years ago. I was a breath away from college, and changing already.

And now I'm here.

Sitting on the top bunk bed, my top bunk bed, in my dorm. To my left is a pattern of stick-on mirrors, a pink-and-green Modest Mouse poster, a Garden State movie poster, a Hello Kitty calendar, a blue-and-pink Keane poster, a long Coldplay poster to stare at as I drift to sleep, and a picture of my brother and I as badass kids, wearing leather jackets and standing next to our first puppy-love, Jazz.

And I'm delicately drowning in joy and hope.

My time at Fordham hasn't been without doubt, pain, and pitfalls, but it's been wonderful in ways I never even knew were possible. And it's exactly what I need.

I've accomplished so much. For sanity's sake, I'll only talk about this weekend.

On Friday, I saw the alt-rock band Cheers Elephant play at Rodrigues, Fordham's magical coffee house. I wore a kickass dusty-rose-pink skull crop top, a striped black-and-white blazer, jeans, and charcoal cotton heels. I danced crazily with my friends, and sang along to all of the words, even though I didn't know a single one. I pushed myself to the front of the crowd with my friend, and we both won a free CD because were undoubtedly the best dancers in the room. I made silly faces at the lead singer and he smiled at me.

After, the crowd clung together outside, and I saw some old friends and attempted to make new ones. I left with my other friend, and we said we were going to the bar, but each step took us further from that plan. We watched Tiny Furniture and music videos while eating Pugsley's pizza instead.

On Saturday, my friend and I went to the Columbia University Media Conference, where we rubbed elbows and ate sandwiches with writers/editors from the likes of the New York Times, Gawker, and Slate. I hung onto every word they said. Columbia is a utopia, I swear, and the path to get there was immeasurably beautiful. We went through Morningside Park and climbed a million stairs Rocky-style to get to there. New York City is unreal.

Today, on Sunday, I slept through my morning plans. But after hours of unprecedented concentration and isolation, I finished my article for the Fordham newspaper, in which I interviewed Tony Hawk and Stacy Peralta, two of skateboarding's most massive stars.

And here I am. My name hasn't changed. But everything else has. I feel powerful and strong, but I have so, so far to go. But I know I can get there.

"Goodnight, and good luck."-Edward Murrow, a new inspiration of mine. One of many. Many to come.

    Edward Murrow, badass extraordinaire 

       Ali G, badass extraordinaire (in training)

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Officially counting down to college. Not to fantasies, not to applications, not to exams, but to the actual thing. At this point, I believe in time travel more than the fact that I'll be attending a university in less than a week. Which is the fault of 2 parts denial, 1 part Donnie Darko.

Monday, August 13, 2012

love letter to a city unknown

New York City fucking scares me, but it makes me feel alive.

I don't know much of anything. I often feel as if I'm regressing, fading into an oblivion negative enough to depolarize my every atom. I don't know why. I don't.

Yet whenever I'm in the City, I feel a physical shift. Something palpable. Something real. There is consequence to every step. Dreams are at an arm's reach. So are the demons. So are you. But at least you can finally see them.

I have never before felt so insignificant. So absolutely present. So powerful. The suburbs shower you with the moldy grandeur of significance since birth, an empty baptism. You are special. Sing the gospel. Write your goals in the blanks provided.

Significance is a separation. Postulation, not protein.

To be insignificant is to be a part of something. Whatever it is, you're in.


The City and the person take turns playing canvas.

And everyone, every one, separate from path or sphere or goal or flesh, is always in motion. The spirit of the city is that we try. We all try.

We recognize the power of the City and ourselves. And we underestimate neither.

I've been trying to find a way to keep that feeling, for me to invoke it at will, so that I may go about my days with a sense of power.

I've tried snapping twice at inspiration, hoping to thread the senses.

Maybe there are no threads. Maybe they're everywhere.

Maybe that's the same. Maybe that's beautiful.

Monday, June 25, 2012

this is your brain on nighttime

"versatile" may just be my new favorite euphemism for "lost."

you are the dark place in my mind
the corner I revert to when my synapses sink in time
crush me and caution me and garnish me with your care
planning dyed hair is a strange affair
an affair that's never a thought, but a symptom
pull the knife out of your back while I play the victim
are you tracing your feelings, reasons, meanings with a blade?
miles of Niles in your system left to untangle in the shade
of a chemical, hereditary, primary reaction-function
truths dripping from the salty-sweet eyedropper venom
of your eyes veins eyes veins eyes veins eyes
lies brain wise brain tries brain, synthesized
Synth is a religion and nightclub floors are the pews
bass is the gospel and flashing lights are the hues
that currently color in the skeletons of blueprints
you drew for your dreams, defined old reality with
tongues in others' lungs doesn't make for an answer
but I hear your prayer, girl, and I echo your seance
bodies twisting in rhythm with anyone who will feel us
people sweat and Ciroc are all liquids, what's the difference
searching for a Fountain of Amnesia to heal us

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

checking in once more

I should really, really, really, really be sleeping right now. And I should really not be straightening my hair and painting my nails glitter pink instead of finishing my homework. And I should really not be using electronic devices next to my bathroom sink.

I should also really, really, really be getting a job.

I'm on it, I swear.

Anyway, there's a few thoughts I want to jot before I continue my strange nocturnal crusade.

I have really big dreams. But I wouldn't call them "dreams" as much as magnetic needs to achieve certain goals. Really, I have no choice in the matter. I need my dreams like my stomach needs food. It's just another natural chemical reaction.

Be right back, I'm going to make a mud mask. I really, really shouldn't be doing that.

And I'm back, looking like an odd female euphemism of Bear Grylls. Sweet, can't wait to look like the sexiest zombie alive (dead? hah) tomorrow morning.

Okay, back to dreams. I'm a super driven person, and I question everything I see. I strive for answers, and I strive to be a creator. I strive to be an illuminator and a helper.

Case-in-point: in college, I hope that I will have the resources and the skills to begin to answer some of the questions that safely inhabit my mind. I've noticed that depending on which means of writing I choose, my writing, style, and thoughts are different. Blogger is different from Tumblr, and my school notebook is different from my journal, and a hotel napkin is different from my hand. As means of writing changed throughout the ages and through technological innovation, has it shaped writing style and thoughts? Much like  "newspeak" affected peoples' thoughts in Orwell's 1984, does the means of writing itself shape our thought process? How does audience (as with websites blogs, public areas) play a part? I hope to do a psychological study on this one day in college.

This is all I can manage now without falling asleep with my oh-so-attractive earth clay mask cemented to my face. Goodnight world. Eagerly awaiting everything, struggling to savor everything.

checking in

Doing a project about Rastafari (it's not an -isim, mind you) shirtless at 3AM, listening to Strangeland and sipping my now lukewarm jasmine oolong. It's a strange but quite nice place to be. Microcosmic.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

finishing that symphony

Bangs are a good look for me

Don't ask why, ask why not

Hey, it's Ali again. A day later (a record?)

Anyway, it is my duty as a faithful person and blogger to say exactly what's on my mind, both the good and the bad.

Honestly, right now, I'm scared to death.

I visited Fordham today, and I really, really liked it. I could picture myself there. I could identify with the students I talked to, and I finally, finally, finally became excited about a school. And yet, I feel like I drank a bottle of condensed shadows. Not delish, I regret to announce.

All of my fears are emerging, which I guess is the natural reaction when one comes close to making a serious decision. What if it's just like high school since a lot of my classmates are likely to go there? What if I can't gain the freedom to establish my identity? What if it's too close to home? What if I can't make it in New York City?

So many questions, so little answers. So many fears, and so little ground for stability. So many insecurities bubbling to the surface again.

Part of being 18-year-old Ali is learning to move on and call it a day, knowing that each new sunrise brings a new mindset, new opportunities, and a completely new world. We are constantly born again; memory is a device that should be taken with a grain of salt, to help, not hinder, the being.

I am Alexandra Catherine "Ali" "Ali G" "Alex" "Kiki" "Zeliah" fucking G. And I got this.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

unfinished symphony

That was a day of quintessential YOLO

In my basement. Listening to the live stream of SBTRKT at Coachella. Legs bare emerging from last year's jean shorts, last Hanukkah's blanket covering my hunched back. Orange-painted fingers typing silver laptop keys. You are here. This is exactly where the peeling red-dot sticker on the mall map is. If you were wondering, this is where my body is. Now for my head.

This has been an amazing, transformative spring break so far. Hell, there's only one day left, but I'm saying "so far." If there's anything I've learned in the past week, it's that literally every moment exists. I can taste the small eternities again. I used to stare at the clock, challenging it to move to the next minute. I became skilled at that staring-contest game. I would stare, and I would always win. Winning is losing. I would always lose.

I spent today relaxing. Not sleeping, but feeling. Not in a self-induced coma, blocking everything out, but next to a shattered window, letting everything in. Breathing. Ready to take on the world again.

I'm visiting Fordham tomorrow. Did you know that Poe played cards with the Jesuits there? I'm getting great vibes, but we'll see. I'm excited. I'm the one sending out the decision letters now. Suck it suited snarkies.

I'm 18 now. It actually feels different. I feel like I'm only beginning to come into my own. But it's happening. I dyed the inside of my hair purple fading into pink. I went on a shopping spree with my brother and primarily bought clothes that would get me kicked out of school. Crop tops and short shorts. Patterned shades and wispy dresses.

I got my bellybutton pierced. Went with my friend, signed all the legal forms myself. No cosigners. No regrets. Beautiful milestone.

This week gave me the chance to be the person I want to be again. The gift that keeps on giving. The gift that will never end. In another life, I may have said "despite it all, this was a good birthday." In this life, my life, I say that this was an amazing birthday. Kickass birthday. And now it's time to do work, as Big Black would say. I can't help but smile, because that's all I ever wanted.

And now I will fall asleep to Radiohead. Sweeter than a thunderstorm.

Monday, March 19, 2012

hey, it's ali

Well, it's happened again. And again. And again; I'm pulling an all-nighter. The term itself makes me nauseous, not just because of the laundry-list of terrible associations I can pull from my recent memory, but really, "pull an all-nighter?" Really? It just sounds so dated, and completely removed from the complex reality of the activity. At least in my case. Actually, probably only in my case.

Anyway, it's 5AM; do you know where your mind is? Mine's dodging at Nascar speeds between accounting homework, a poetry essay, how I'm ruining everyone's lives, and how I'm wasting my life away (and not even in the cool acid-and-vodka way). I wish that I had senioritis. I am actually quite pathetic.

Late hours mixed with school stress mixed with social anxiety creates a very interestingly-colored explosion. And by explosion, I mean a mess of a 17-year-old girl who spends hours basically chained to her laptop, watching the sun rise and set out the window as she eats her fifth bag of Goldfish and loosens the drawstring on her sweatpants.

Okay, that's a little melodramatic. But it's actually closer to reality than I enjoy admitting. That's where I am right now, and as per habit, I landed upon this blog whilst evading everything, and realized that it's been a little while since we last spoke. So here are some updates and musings.

  • I got into college. So I will definitely be going somewhere (yay!) So far, I got into St. Joseph's with Honors, Marist, UDel, and Emerson. I'm still slightly bitter from Fordham deferring me, and I'm still quite elated from Brown deferring me. So I guess that the universe balances itself out quite nicely.
  • I passed the editor-in-chief torch. I never imagined that I would be editor-in-chief of anything, let alone the one that helps decide the next generation of chief. It was super surreal going through the process, and I can honestly say that it was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. It was great working with both of them this year, and I feel beyond ecstatic that I will leave the paper in the hands of such great writers. And people.
  • Maybe I will try modeling? hahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahah hahahhahahha. Ha. Well. Really, I'm not conceited. I am overly self-deprecating and quite self-conscious. But after the umpteenth time my parents have mentioned it (you were born with dem legs! You can be a smart model) and random various comments from random various people, I've come to the realization that it may be an okay idea, for random various reasons. 1) It will force me to actually take care of myself 2) I want to write about it. What it's like to try, what the people are like. I want to write a fucking expose . 3) I'm doing my late poetry essay, and I discovered that Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath did it. They also committed suicide, but let's conveniently forget about that part for now.
  • I really, really, a million times really miss dance. Seriously, it's becoming a certifiable problem. I randomly burst out into dance. Recently, while writing an essay in my kitchen, I started playing "Gucci, Gucci" by Kreayshawn and dancing in front of my microwave. It's becoming difficult to control. I never realized how much dance is a part of me until it dissolved from my life this year. Baby, come back to me.
There's a lot more I could say, but I am far too behind and sleep deprived and pathetic to defer my time any longer. I will try to be more faithful (and coherent) with updates, and hopefully the next post will find me in a better overall state of being.