Monday, August 30, 2010


I woke up with the top half of my head disconnected from its southern counterpart, which, too, was disjointed from the rest of my body. My head hurts and the bright, shiny orange capsules I've been swallowing since I woke up have done nothing in the way of destroying the millions of angry little germs swarming around inside of me.

On the bright side, I do feel that getting sick now is so much more preferable to coming down with a cold during my first few weeks at school. I want my roommates to like me, not avoid me like the plague.

The song of the day is "That Home" by Cinematic Orchestra.

Where the windows are breathing in the light,
Where the rooms are a collection of our lives,
This is a place where I don't feel alone.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Natural Selection

Today was my second-to-last day of work at the EcoTarium. It was bittersweet, I suppose, mostly only because of how used to its regularity I have become. Also I admit that I have grown quite attached to Penelope, our African Pygmy Hedgehog, and she has finally grown comfortable with and trusting of me. It is a relationship that I spent a long time building, and one I do not really want to give up. My boss, Tricia, is luckily allowing me to work vacations, which will probably equal out to visiting the museum about once or twice every few months. Still, it will be tough waking up on Saturday and Sunday mornings and not driving into Worcester for a few hours of sometimeschaos and sometimespeace.

I sound like an idiot for complaining. As a freshman at Mount Holyoke, I am required to work in the dining halls (no library jobs for me...yes, I looked, and yes, I found some, but no, apply for them I cannot). This is neither a coveted nor excitable job. But it helps pay tuition and at least my dorm has a dining hall conveniently located on the first floor, so there really isn't anything to gripe about. A job is a job and at least I have one. It is just going to be different. There will still be human interaction, but on a less educational and less exhilarating level. And the likelihood of someone busting out a cornsnake or a chinchilla or boa constrictor is slim to none.

I like animals. I always have, but this job has made that fact an extraordinarily acute one. I find myself spewing out facts about all sorts of creatures, whether inquired about them or not. I excitedly discovered last night that A.P. hedgehogs have a high tolerance for toxins, which allows them to eat things like scorpions and venomous snakes, and in a torrent of elation I whipped up an e-mail to my wildlife boss informing her of this discovery. Hours before that, I had painstakingly converted millimeters into a rough approximation of inches so that the children I talked with would have a better understanding of a hedgehog's body size. So, too, did I transpose kilometers per hour into miles per hour, proudly stating to my sister, who I am sure was slightly bored with so many hedgehog facts, that Penelope has the capability to run ten miles per hour.

And this from an animal with legs barely half of an inch long.

As part of my summer reading for orientation, I had to read a section of Temple Grandin's novel Animals in Translation. I devoured the book. I loved it. Temple Grandin is brilliant. She is autistic and although her brain does not function the same way that mine or yours does, it does have the ability to notice the tiniest, slightest of details, in the same way as many animals--their brains also, for the most part, less developed than our own--do, and in a way that normal human brains never will.

I do not possess Temple Grandin's astounding insight. I probably will never even come near to possessing it. But I would like to think, and a small part of me does think, that my eleven months spent working in such close contact with a variety of animals has expanded my opinion of the world in which I live. I am physically large but I am mentally tiny. I am tiny. The animals I have held and fed are tinier than me in size, but in so many ways they are larger than me, and greater than me as well.

They notice things that every day pass by my eyes without conjuring a blink or second glance. They are living in the world--they are living in their world, in this world--in the moment. Every second they experience to a staggering degree, because every second in their life is worth more than even a minute of my own.

Evolutionists may argue this is the product of intellectual superiority, or a higher order and a higher class and a higher species. We are smarter, so we live longer, and we notice the bigger things because we have the time, the lifespan with which to do so. The details matter but often inconsequentially so.

These are assertions I have heard and I have read.
But even Charles Darwin had a fascination with animals that verged on the religious.

We have much to learn and so little time in which to absorb it all.

Friday, August 27, 2010


my strengths
lie only in my ability
to hide

-from "Yellow Dirigo"
12:39 AM - 7.5.10

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Proofreading clearly at its best.

Wachusett Mountain ski rental form. 2009.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red Line

Why does every experience have to be a double-edged sword?

Yesterday I took the train down to Duxbury to visit some of my old friends. Anticipation mixed with apprehension as the minutes grew closer to each interaction, but of course the blood pumping frantically throughout my veins was merely overreaction for what ultimately were delightful exchanges. The problem, then, was not in the reconnection, as I had initially feared, but in leaving.

The problem is always in leaving.

Were I to create a pie chart breaking down how often I cry by the various causes of said tears, leaving and being left behind would comprise at least half of the circle. This all, once again, goes back to my inability to accept change quietly and without fuss. My departure from Duxbury was tainted by the knowledge that, though physically I was the one walking away, my friends were metaphorically leaving me behind. Boarding the T in Braintree was a manifestation of this solemnity: my entire car remained empty for the majority of my ride into Boston.

Am I going to spend the first few months of college wandering around, be it literally or otherwise, on my own and without others whom I can call real friends? Will it take months of sitting alone on a cold, hard seat in a subway car until I am surrounded by fellow passengers all heading in the same direction as me? And when, during my journey toward South Station, on my way to better and greater things, will those who take a seat beside me turn and strike up conversation? Will I ever exit through the jerky metal doors and emerge at the station with companions? Or will my footsteps echo singularly throughout the cement and tiled walls of the underground?

I miss people already, even those who have yet to leave me behind.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Packing absolutely sucks.

I belong to the hurricane.

The song of the day is "Hurricane Drunk" by Florence + The Machine, from the album Lungs. I absolutely love Florence Welch's voice, which reminds me of a punchier version of Feist's.

I hope that you see me
'cause I'm staring at you.
But when you look over,
you look right through.
Then you lean and kiss her on the head.
And I never felt so alive and so dead.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Because even at eighteen, every now and then 
I like to pretend I'm something I'm not.

Dinosaur sweatshirt-- E. Doolittle original

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Disenchanted Enchantment

The song of the day is "Shadow On the Wall" by Brandi Carlile. Meghan first introduced me to her music and the more I listen to it, the more I love it. Her vocals for this song are haunting in a quiet way that leaves me simultaneously pleased as a listener and saddened as an observer. 

"How I long to be
a shadow on the wall.
I will make no sound at all.
And when the sun goes down
the shadow on the wall
cannot be seen at all."

Monday, August 16, 2010

English Variations

It is a damp seventy-two degrees outside, with a grey, abstract hood encapsulating everything below it, surrounding the desperate trees and defeated earth and surrounding me existing somewhere between the two. Grey is a beautiful color but for some reason the hue only seems beautiful in an upbeat way when spelled with an "a" instead. This sky insists on an "e" and within it I reach for the same vowel.

Around me this grey bubble tinges my skin grey, and my thoughts, too, absorb the somber dye that leaks through.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Floating Fast

I wrote this back in July and just stumbled upon it again. I think I still feel the way I did when I wrote this, if not more so now that the days until I leave for college are dwindling in number.

So today's the day we pack up and leave our humble Cape abode for the real world again. Leaving is always my least favorite part of a vacation, but I guess most people would agree with me on that. There is something unsettling about having to pick up and ship off, especially following a vacation, which is so short. You've barely established normalcy in your "new" (or current) home, and just as things are starting to become comfortable, and feel "right," you have to uproot and move on once more. I feel like this is the same with my life right now. I moved here last year, withdrawing myself from a home that had taken me 5 years to mold and craft into something I loved and within which I fit. The past year and a half, I have come to live within a new life, one I love more deeply than my old lives, and one that, quite frankly, I'm not yet ready to leave. I hear all the time that the friends you meet in college are the friends that stay with you for the rest of your life. But what about my high school friends? Laura, Leanne, Katie--the three of them are my closest, best friends and I hate the idea that college is going to "replace" them with newer and better people. The same goes with so many other people here. I want my friends, both new and old, to peacefully coexist within my world. So few of my friends from Duxbury survived the physical distance that came between us, and the few friends that remain I'm even more scared of losing--because my connection to them, within just a few short months, will be doubly removed, if that makes any sense.

I guess what this all boils down to is the fact that I am not good with change. I say I like it, and I do, but I also hate the chaos it causes internally, the frantic searching that ensues to rediscover myself in the latest form of me, Sam. I am excited for the fall, excited to meet new girls from all over the world. I've been talking enthusiastically with girls from Sri Lanka, Japan, England, all of whom seem so anticipatory and so ready to get on with this next part of their lives. I want to be just as ready as them, but I feel like the next chapter of my life will be incomplete-- incomplete because I will have no guy friends within it, incomplete because not all of my friends will be with me every step of the way to share it, incomplete because every time I have to start from scratch, I feel like I always leave something out, and I'm never quite sure what it is, if I really did forget something.

There's a beautiful quote from the song "Hummingbird," by Wilco.

Remember to remember me,
standing still in your past,
floating fast like a hummingbird.

It is childish to admit, but I wish we could all be hummingbirds, suspending ourselves within each other's pasts so that we can always come back to this part of our lives, so that we never have to leave it all behind for good.

Does this make any sense? Sometimes I feel delusional.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I can't think.

The song of the day is "Intuition" by Feist.

A destination known 
only by the one
who's fate is overgrown.
Piecemeal could break your home in half.
A love is not complete with only heat.

And did I, did I
miss out on you?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Last Night

I slunk into my bed, a smile on my face.
A sad smile,
but still
a smile.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Dvorak smothers us both as the wiry bulbs catch fire, lighting up and into each other, whirring around the circular dome in an impassioned display. I am small within this bubble and you are no bigger than I. The constellations overhead taunt our meager forms in the dark, each illuminated speck throbbing, and I am humbled by the sheer enormity of this fake sky.

Humans are no match for what lingers above.

Monday, August 2, 2010

10:28 PM

I cannot tell if you are ignoring me, or if you simply just do not care enough to talk to me anymore. The worst part is that I almost wish it were the former, because then, at least, I can tell myself you are thinking of me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I think my biggest fear is that, surrounded by 2,000 other students, I will feel unbelievably alone.