Wednesday, September 8, 2010

no limits.

“When f(x) = 2x, use the value….”

“Ask the ‘No Limit Solider!” he flashed his dashing smile, while taking a break from playing tetris on his T2 scientific calculator he borrowed from his teammate.

Ms. Nettles, like always, stopped her lesson, to engage in his attention-seeking explosions. “Well….maybe I should…” She slowly turned her heavy-set statue, and shifted over to the file cabinet where the tiny, green toy soldier had been placed on Friday afternoon before the pep rally. As she moved across the classroom, a waft of 1977 (maybe 1978) flowery perfume spread through the air. I will never forget that raunchy smell. I turned my head from my book and smiled at my boyfriend. How does he do it? His smile back to me begged me for my participation. I knew the look, and accepted the bet. We always competed…who could push it the furthest, and we both secretly got off to playing the game. Game on.

“Now, I believe he says that when f(x) = 2x….,” she slowly began…

“---wait! do you hear that?!” I interrupted, stepping up to the plate. “No Limit Soldier is actually is saying that we should have pizza delivered to our classroom.”  It was a bold move, but one, if politicized correctly, would send my boyfriend into defeat. I got this. I got this. Despite the appropriate laughs from the class, as well as Ms. Nettles, from a typical jokester outburst, I began stating my case in the most serious and convincing tone in my arsenal. In the midst of comparing why ordering pizza could relate to our math lesson, I turned to my boyfriend (mostly for approval, but also to mock him, knowing that I was going to pull this off) who was shaking his head and smiling. He had put the ‘No Limit Soldier’ toy (conjured up from a rap song, and a lesson on numerical approaches to limits- Nettles, of course, only knew the connection between the toy’s name and the latter of the two derivatives…..pun intended) on the file cabinet, staring right in my direction a week before. He said it was to remind me that he controls the classroom. If I weren’t the Sagittarius that I am, we would have ended right then and there. However, I adored our playful nature, and we pushed one another constantly while seeking laughs.

* I drove up to my old high school the morning before my flight back to New York. It was the first time I set foot in the place since graduation…8 years ago. Confidently walking into the teachers lounge with a good friend, I pulled up a chair and began the tedious process of explaining what I had been doing, where I had been, praising the structural changes of the high school, noting how young the students look nowadays…blah, blah, blah. I turned to my left where she had just sat down. “So, do you remember me?” I asked, knowing there was a very slim chance Ms. Nettles, well into her 60s would recognize me.

“Now,” she began in her creaky, high-pitched voice, “how on earth could I forget the only student in my 35 years of teaching that convinced me to order pizza and have it delivered to our classroom? Tell me. What are you doing with your life?”

“I actually was inspired by you, and ended up becoming a mathematician.”

I texted him before I got on my plane back to New York to let him know I got her last. Before I could even sit back and enjoy my victory, he challenged my play. With the same politicized attitude, he promptly informed me that flat out lying to the woman doesn’t count. Until next time- Here’s to “The Game.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

music find.

these are my two favorite cocorosie songs right now. i just got their new album, "grey oceans" a few weeks ago, and it hasn't left my cd player in my car. i don't really know how to critique an album musically, but i know what i like and what i don't, and i like their sound very much. highly recommended- go buy it. the second video, featuring the song "lemonade" from their new album, is one of those tunes that i just keep repeating over and over again once it ends. i love songs that are able to capture that much of my attention to where i get super excited once i start my car, knowing i get to listen to music that moves me in some form or fashion. the video is pretty amazing, too. hope you enjoy!

note: at 2:55....i really want to be this woman when i am older. fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

USMNT- oh. my. god.

today was epic in the soccer world. i am speechless. i have just been smiling all day. if you saw our boys go to battle against algeria then you know what i am talking about. landon donovan scored the game winning goal in stoppage time in the 91st minute of the match, advancing the usmnt to the second round (a round of 16 teams). for as long as i can remember landon donovan has been a key player, if not the best player, on this team- today he gave american soccer fans such joy through his leadership, tears, and words. what a humble, hardworking athlete! i am so proud of usa in this tournament. not only have they battled through two matches with their heads held high despite disallowed goals, they continue to portray such class on and off the field. this is the usmnt's first world cup group title since 1930, and they will face ghana (easier than germany) this saturday. i guarantee you that clint dempsey will put one in the net. there is no question in my mind. go usa! thank you for the passion and the reminder that there is just so much beauty in the game of soccer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"merman, pop. merman."

i wanted to write a little about the coney island mermaid parade i checked out last weekend. i wish i had taken more pictures, but i was just mesmerized by the sights and sounds of a world so foreign to me that i kept completely present. growing up in tennessee and then spending several years in south carolina, i wouldn't say i have been too exposed to drag king/queen titans, glittered covered women dressed as sea creatures, and all the spontaneity the coney island boardwalk has to offer including beach bums, carnival rides, blasting music, and your typical crazy here and there shouting about the world coming to an end. with one glance i saw little kiddies eating corn dogs the size of their heads, holding their parents hands while trying to pull away to chase seagulls. right next to this family- a man in dreads drumming away to his own beat on a set of makeshift bongos. i felt like i was in some kind of pee-wee herman movie where every turn leads to vibrant colors and carnival characters. i felt alive. whenever i feel like i'm in a pee-wee herman flick or an indiana jones movie, i know i am on the right path in life. two women on stilts dressed as mermaids with long, blue hair came sweeping past me on either side, and i felt like a six year old who lost her parents, but wanted to keep exploring on the crowded boardwalk. the parade is held annually to celebrate the "sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression." mission accomplished. there was this little section off the boardwalk where a crowd had gathered. so, of course, i had to make my way in and see what the excitement was all about. "Shoot the Freak." what? in a small quad down below the boardwalk, a man sprinted from barrier to barrier trying not to get hit by two loud hicks (i'll say it) who were rolling with laughter, shooting paintball guns at the "freak." don't get me wrong, i love paintball, but something about this just didn't sit right with me. i mean, the game itself seems fun, but i guess i didn't care for the title of the game. does this condone ignorance? "hey this person is different, a freak, let us shoot him." i know the title is silly and everyone was having a good time, but part of me over analyzed the whole thing. we are all freaks. maybe the point of the title was to embrace our inner freak and make light of the fact that society tends to 'target' the 'freaks.' i like that, if so. that's why i like lady gaga, she is a self-proclaimed freak. i wouldn't shoot paintballs at her though. or would i? anyways, the entire day was amazing. i am so grateful that i got to experience the coney island boardwalk and all its glory on such a beautiful, summer day.

i need coffee before making coffee.

my college roommates shook their heads in dismay when i walked back into our apartment after visiting another friend next door. "are you serious, kaylan?" uh oh. what did i do? hmm...i got nothing. then i noticed my grilled chee- excuse me, my charcoaled, burnt to a crisp grilled cheese sandwich stuck to the pan, smoke everywhere.

30 minutes earlier: kaylan was hungy and started making a grilled cheese sandwich. kaylan ran next door to talk to her friend, allie, for what was suppose to only take a minute, so she could hurry back and flip her sandwich. kaylan totally forgot about her grilled cheese. oops. note: no alcohol was involved in this situation, unfortunately.

i preface this post with my grilled cheese story only to emphasize that i have moronic behavior. i embrace it, but it does make life a little messy. i simply get distracted with things. i woke up this morning and started my routine. first on the list, walk to the coffee pot and get it started. yes, i have the auto button, but making coffee in the morning at least gets me moving, plus i don't like to commit to making coffee in case i want to go somewhere else in the morning for some. who knows how i will feel when i wake up- i sure don't. so here we go. water. check. filter. check. coffee (caffe sanora organic antioxidant dark roast coffee- shout out because it's so good). check. switch the on button. check. back in my comfy bed to read my morning meditation passage. needless to say, all was well, despite the unusual sound of the coffee maker. eh. a few moments go by and while reading i got distracted (shocking) and happened to glance over to where my coffee maker was only to notice that my coffee pot was sitting about a foot away from where it should have been. fuck. coffee was steaming all over my counter and dripping down onto the floor. oh, simple tasks in life. i'm going to say that the moral of the story, the lesson i am taking anyways, is about....don't be an idiot and make sure your pot is clean and in position. ha.

another note: the grilled cheese event happened twice...within the same month. yep. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

where oh where is carter lavin? squids like 'the sex.'

well good afternoon, lovelies. i'm taking a minute to sip on some coffee, black, of course. my father started me off on black coffee near the end of high school, confirming, "you have to start off this way. it's the only way." and that was that. i found this amazing coffee mug in a thrift store (gross, right? ha.) in philadelphia one day that is baby blue and says "i stayed awake during carter lavin's bar mitzvah 10-13-01." i thought it was hilarious for some reason, and find it even more rewarding to test my company when they wake up for a morning cup of coffee. "here you go." not everyone passes the test. those who find it awkward and hilarious ultimately win my heart. i added to my bucket list- find this carter lavin kid. i would love to just show up in front of him, drinking from this mug. maybe i should embrace our worlds greatest tool that is facebook (obviously) and do a quick search. for some reason, i want to find him organically though- through fate. i'm somewhat impractical like that, even though i try and trick myself that i am not. i was in the shower last night and used the soap you gave me. for some reason the last coin-sized amount gave off the strongest fragrance. i didn't want it to end. there were a few bits too small to use for "practical" reasons, so i coldly kicked them down the drain before i realized it was gone completely. after staring at the drain for a few seconds with some flashbacks, i happened to notice a small, golden chunk of karma hidden behind the conditioner. i gently picked it up, and placed it high on the shower shelf where it wouldn't drown, and can always live on. practical? i'm a dichotomy to myself most days- forcefully preaching practical versus impractical, pretending emotion doesn't fall into the mix. i opened up a box of irish spring soap and placed it in the shower...for practical reasons.

i had one of those nights last night where i couldn't sleep. i stayed up researching the most random things. one question just kept leading to the other. colbert turned into 'what is the story behind waterboarding?' which led to 'where is george w. now?' which led to 'youtube's bush's best bloopers' (excluding his entire presidential reign) which then turned into an episode of cops, googling guitar chords, reading about BP, and then ultimately how lady gaga grew up. yeah...there were more embarrassing google and wikipedia searches, but you get the point. i finally fell asleep when the birds started singing me a tune, and woke nearly two hours later. hence, the continuous act of drinking black coffee. despite the lack of sleep, i'm feeling great today. i think it has something to do with learning that squids have sex all day long for two weeks! and...good day to you!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


dear little one, exactly one year ago on this day i got a call about you. on the other side of the line- tears, roars of pain. you had been inside your mommy for 8 months. today, you were gone. no sense reminiscing about the loss and struggle. you wouldn't want that. i know. so, instead, i just wanted to say i love you. i love you because you brought us all such joy in a short amount of time. i love you, because you knew my voice, and would kick and dance in the womb whenever i sang the indiana jones theme song. obviously, you have the best taste. i love you for watching over your family, especially your little sister. your handprints are so tiny, scrap booked and cherished. tiny baby nike shoes still line the closet. i won't lie, it's been very difficult for your mom and dad. nobody has any words of comfort even though we wish we could spit out every eloquent sentence that ever existed in order to make them happy. but, the truth is, they just miss you and wish you were here to celebrate your first birthday. are you celebrating? are you dancing? laughing? i hope so. today, i promise you i will dance- i will dance in your honor. i love you sweet boy.

almost like a pre-game tradition. zoning out, blackberry in hand, focused on what needs to get accomplished. no emotion. eyes on road. driving 85 mph, the cop just sheepishly asks her to slow down after he sees the look of sisterly duty in her authoritative eyes. she called her boss, got out of work, and then called my mother, who didn't pick up. she was...busy.

i remember the doctors and the look on my mother's face when they told her. i felt like i had done something wrong. but, i just needed to go- it's hard to explain. i know it's cliche to say "it's complicated," but it is, and i am sorry for that. but i do promise you one day, you will understand what i mean.

she ran her shuttle back and forth from my uncle's house to the hospital to the airport. constant motion, constant to-do list. she couldn't stop, because she didn't want to feel the immense pain that was on the horizon, growing closer. calls to friends and family- she made them. booking hotels- she made the reservations. all of a sudden the tasks were complete, and she could no longer run.

i remember when my aunt came into the hospital room to see my mother. my body was still inside my mommy, but i was watching from another place. my mother looked like a child, scared, needing comfort. what comfort could you give? she looked at the dark circles under her eyes and her sweet face that had been glowing for 8 months that now seemed colorless. she sat down and slipped her hand into hers. every possible arrangement of words that came to her mind seemed disgustingly stupid. she wanted to be there for my mother for once. my mother has always looked after my aunt- endless advice, constant support and love. time froze as they stared at one another. the hand grip got tighter and tighter. "i don't know," with a head shake, tears forming in her eyes. "it will be okay," comforted my mother.

soul food

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