spinning out into cyberspace


“When I was younger – “


“Well, when I was younger, being a saint was so easy. Their stories were told to us in school, where doing what was right was always so clear, so simple, and rays of golden light would tell them what to do and they would do it.”

“What’s changed?”

“Now I see that faith and hope are so much harder than they looked. Martyrs, didn’t they have struggle? Why didn’t they show us that? ‘Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…’ There’s so much more than words.”

“What’s your point?”

“I’ve spent so long thinking that I could never become a saint because I simply wasn’t good enough. But what if I am? The harder I fought to be good, the less I did. I thought I was too complicated or too weak… Too afraid. And then I realized – I’m not enough. All I have is me, but I need someone else. Someone who can help me with the fact that life is too hard to go through alone.”

“Thy will be done, I guess.”

Waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now….

I feel like a giant wave of catharsis is coming towards me. The last 14 months have been the most eventful and influential in my life so far. Finishing my IB diploma, graduating, Italy, being three-quarters of the way through my first year of college, friends old and new entering and leaving my life, whispers of old relationships influencing new ones, new relationships teaching me things about myself, trip to the ER, parties and constant studies. My growing up is tangible (I haven’t cried in 6 months – accomplishment or tragedy?)

… but I’ve never felt more lost in my life.

What is my plan? I don’t have one. I feel this giant, invisible pressure to figure my life out already and I’m at war with myself, simultaneously panicking about my lack of direction and reassuring myself that I have so much time to do this. Part of the pressure comes from my desire to excel, to prove myself, and the other part is coming from somewhere else, a beyond feeling that whispers every so often to not let my life slip away from me.

This too shall pass. But what happens when it does pass? What next…?



I had a conversation today about hair. And not hair in general.

Boy’s hair. And not just boy’s hair in general, but

the hair of boys for whom I have loved.


Now it’s out in the open. It’s true. I notice people’s hair.

July’s hair was fair and cut short, coarse, (like the way he coarsely brushed off my feelings for him).

January’s hair was beautiful, deeply brown with gold and silky silky soft. I can almost imagine it under my fingers, but it turns out that the promise of gold was a false one. His hair is just brown, I tell myself.

March’s hair was fairly unremarkable, blonde with a little red, the way I imagined Nancy Drew’s hair to look whenever she was described as an attractive strawberry blonde. No roadster, though, just the blue blue blue of his eyes.

April’s hair has curl to it and is self-described as “puffy”. It reminds me of a dandelion, like maybe we’ll just float away… no setting down of roots, please.

August’s hair is almost femininely soft, something I tell him often. He resents it and tells me he uses Suave brand shampoo.

Hair hair hair hair hair hair there where snare bear care Zaire.


Frank McCourt believes in dreams.

I like an illustration I saw once in a volume of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, where there’s a kid sitting under a tree dangling a line into the Mississippi. He was just sitting there, doing nothing, and that’s something we need to do more of–to sit and do nothing, and dream, and to follow that dream.

I started reading Frank McCourt because I liked the way his books felt in my hands, the smooth dust covers comfortingly sepia-toned, promising at least a new color to add to the spines standing on my bookshelf.

I cried when I read in a Michigan newspaper that he had died, wondering how he could have gone and done that when I hadn’t even met him yet!

My brother is about to begin his final year of high school and is inundated with mail from different universities. When I sort the mail and my fingers slip over the glossy covers and bright words of the college viewbooks, I remember that feeling that life was so free and full of opportunity and possibilities.  Now my letter is sent in, the check deposited and it’s bittersweet. New doors are opening, but it’s frightening to feel so many closing too.

I think dreams are dangerous.

Sometimes I’m convinced that I know, I know, I know that the love shared between me and him is real, I love him. He loves me, and every breath I breathe is one moment closer to him. And then I blink into the sun and wonder where I was to think those things. I’m afraid of my dream. I’m afraid of hoping, because I will be disappointed. I’m afraid of hoping, because maybe the realization of this dream could be more frightening than leaving it unfulfilled.


entre mar y piedra

shush goes mama as her fingers fly,

needle flashing making first

a picture of three turtles, then a santa onto someone’s stocking.

I’m all grown up now mama

is what I want to say– but instead I just

keep my head down meek and low

(so as not to appear ungrateful).


hush he tells me as we sit

the present is only present for a second

so don’t think too much about

boys and dresses and things. I know


is what I want to say

but instead I keep my ears open and my heart full

for his voice– deep and low.

(Was would Pandora have done?)


Love is great and good, but

to see for once, then–


Hard to Explain

My mom’s not really a music person. When she drives her mini-van (dubbed the swagger wagon by me, the republic gunship by my brothers) she prefers to listen to sports radio in order to keep up with her favorite team, the Texas Rangers.

My dad, on the other hand, loves to turn on the surround sound and blast music whenever my mom’s not in the house. He plays a couple standards to entertain my brothers– Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and the Imperial March from the Empire Strikes Back Soundtrack (sensing a trend yet?), but his own taste veers back to his oddly-spent childhood. His year spent in England when he was 13 years old has left irreparable scars on him, causing him to listen to obscure ska bands like The Specials and constantly do a weird running-man/ski dance move which was apparently how people danced back in “the day”.

I basically grew up with no music in my childhood, unless you count the Music Man soundtrack which I still know word for word. I find this depressing, but an unavoidable fact. I wasn’t really allowed to listen to the Spice Girls or Britney or N’Sync, which I still find embarrassing when all the people in a room start singing along to a song I’ve never heard in my life but everyone else knows all the words to.

But I remember the moment when I started listening to music. It started with a mixtape burned onto a green cd, covered with the loopy scrawl of one of my best friends titled “Angela’s CD of AWESOME!!!!”, subtitled “we’re just two wild and craaaaazy guys”.

Those songs can bring me back to the kid I was four years ago. I remember distinctly hearing Reptilia by The Strokes for the first time, accompanied by their video that electrified me, nose practically pressed to the computer screen.

My own musical taste is hard for me to define, though I have no trouble criticizing other people’s. The closest I can come to defining my own musical taste, after all my phases– loving British soul/pop, folk, Top 40, Sufjan, Beach Boys, MGMT; detesting Arcade Fire and Radiohead– and many drives in the car with the windows rolled down and music at top volume, I can only say that it’s whatever I like.

I have to say, I don’t know why I like The Beach Boys and The Strokes equally as much. But I do. I guess that’s just what happens when your mom loves baseball and your dad loves ska. You grow up confused.

Pair of Ls

I almost failed the 4th grade.

It’s not a very proud fact, but I mention it here because I think I am turning into 4th-grade Angela. In 4th grade, I was the terrible combination of too-smart-for-my-own-good and bored. I spent all of my time constructing a very complicated house for a paperclip named Clippy, although it was way cooler than that godawful one from Microsoft Word, mainly because it never spoke. I remember that I built a staircase and a bathtub filled with water (complete with taps!) completely out of construction paper, which is pretty impressive. While I was doing this, the rest of the class was learning… something. I’m not really sure, as I wasn’t paying attention at all. Then we got our report cards and I failed English. We were supposed to be writing a short story, but I didn’t turn mine in because a) we were only supposed to write a page, and my story was entirely too complicated to wrap up in that space so b) my teacher told me to redo it but c) she was so focused on other students who needed more help than a little snot who thought she was too good for the assignment that d) she thought she would just make something up at the last minute but e) I never did so f) was the grade I got on my report card. Suffice to say I got in big, big trouble. My teacher had to talk with my parents, my parents were very angry and probably very confused by me. Well (spoiler) I passed the fourth grade and went to a different school that was interesting for about 7 years.

Now it’s year 8 of that school and my English teacher just emailed my parents telling them I’m in danger of failing English this semester. This would actually be a travesty because I would not get to go to university. It’s just…. I am bored. And uninterested. And this blog is becoming my construction paper house for an inanimate object. I just want to go somewhere else where I can be interested and excited by books and challenged by the things I am learning, and not by the tedium of the assignments. So I guess it’s time to write this paper.

Eh, I have 3 more days.


When I was little, I used to play this game where I would try to capture a specific moment in my mind by taking a mental picture and thinking “I will remember these moments forever”. I don’t. But I do remember what kind of moments they were. Usually it was when my entire family was collected in a room with an invisible web stretching between us. But though we’re connected (sometimes too closely) I don’t know these people at all. I’ve had lots of time to deal with my older brother growing up and away, but it’s scary to me that my little brothers aren’t just adorable and exasperating beings who look like me, but people. Real people who have thoughts and opinions and hopes and nightmares and personalities just like me.

And with the complexity of children is the added complexity of adults. My parents. Who are they? Who was my mother before she was my mother? Who was the young girl who fled Vietnam with her parents and grew up to marry a white man? Who was she before she made pot roasts and refereed fights between small children? Who was my father? Who were his high school friends? Why did he choose to go to a small, private, liberal arts school miles and miles away from his Midwest home? How did he feel when he told his parents he was marrying an Asian woman a foot shorter than him? Who was he before he began running to meetings and flossing our teeth?

I want to hold on to these moments forever, where we’re together and I know I’m more comfortable with them than anyone else, but I already feel growing pains. I’m scared. I want to go away from here, but I don’t ever want that web to disappear.


I’m bad at this.

That’s the thing that’s been going through my mind the past few days. I’m bad at this. I can’t seem to do anything right; I can’t seem to analyze poetry or write or read critically or retain information about the rise of Stalin or connect to people.

My typical c’est la vie, life goes on attitude isn’t working right now. Last night, I was just so frustrated I wanted to punch something and to be honest, today has been even worse. I know in that just three weeks I will not even remember today as being bad because I will have new challenges to face.

This isn’t the calm before the storm. This is the weird green sky before a tornado, this is the snapping sound beneath your feet before the ice cracks, this is the collective gasp of the crowd as the tightrope walker slips.

This is me, dramatically complaining about my life in a terrible blog post.

ice palace

completely lost
through shady streets
(range rovers and lexuses park on the sides)
in my pickup truck
blasting the avett brothers
(a mix from a brother, grown up)
i broke down crying in the parking lot
and how you knew
the strumming of guitars would make me cry
and hearing track number two
you know i’m smiling

don’t bulldoze the woods yet,
i’m not done running through.
look away dixieland–
already missing the freedom of denim,
just a sad southern girl

and innocent kisses freely given.

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