Sunday, March 30, 2008

teaching girl & party girl

i am not looking forward to tomorrow - time to say goodbye to my current students. they gave me some health food (ie chocolates) and lovely flowers on friday, and in return i took photos of them working hard.

andy's notoriously strange dress sense
("i want to be a bunny!")

hard-working students:
andi, nadine, irene (front left) - claudia, werner (front right) - martha, doro (back left) - margaret, robert, mahmoud (back right)

team-working: margaret, mahmoud, robert (aka rüdiger)

of course, on weekends respectable teachers turn into party girls ...

i had sort of accepted the fact that nothing was happening on the weekend, but then my delightfully weird friend ronnie emailed me around six on saturday to ask whether i was "going to ruth & bruno's party at andino" as he and alina (an open mic friend) were going. the obvious question was: "who are ruth and bruno?" turns out they are open mic people, and i never knew their names. to cut a long story - involving several highly philosophical digressions, discovery of ronnie's make-up problems and musings about female suicide bombers' sweet hereafter - short: we got to the party around nine, were surprised it was a wedding party (r&b had gotten married on friday) but were obviously very welcome. everyone was lovely.

we met three very dangerous italians - daniele, paolo and fabrizio, bumped into harold who is also an open-mic-er, were happy to see alina around 10.30, laughed a lot and enjoyed music by goran bregovic and such. ronnie left around midnight, and at about half past midnight, the dancing began. and boy, did we dance! it was absolutely great, and such fun! we were asked to call it a day around five or whatever time it was ... but upstairs they were still playing music, so we hung out there until after six. not that we went home at that point. instead we spent over an hour standing in the chilly morning air under a perfect blue sky, passing a bottle of red wine, eating leftover cake, taking silly photos, listening to music and almost-dancing. the police stopped to tell us not to be too noisy, and we did our best.

isn't it funny how those nights when you don't have any expectations turn out to be the best? i cannot remember the last time i came home from a party at eight in the morning! and i was not even tired until about 40 minutes later as i found myself sitting down for more than ten minutes for the first time in ages.

here are some pics - not great quality, because they were taken with my mobile, but i guess you can see we were enjoying ourselves.

crazy party people: bruno-the-groom, nicolas, paolo, daniele, and me

two very dangerous italian brothers: fabrizio and daniele

bruno & paolo


paolo - a penny for his thoughts ...

song of the day: bella ciao by goran bregovic.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

small confessions & pebbles of regret

jenna, our wonderful rubicon press editor, sent a note last night to tell alex stolis and me that our chapbook small confessions & pebbles of regret is now available! yay! it's taken a while longer than planned, but it's actually better this way, because otherwise it would have been out at the same time as my secret meanings.

you can find (and buy) the collection at rubicon press, or you can wait and get a signed copy (possibly even signed by both alex and me) from either one of us. i'll let you know when i/we have some copies. watch this space.

here are two poems from the chapbook - the first one by alex and the second by me:

Dear J_______

I want to forget you ever loved me, forget that time can stop the bleeding
and it's possible to walk again after my legs have been broken.

Let's go back to the city where we met—I'll wait in the restaurant
where you watched me make a fool of myself with that dark Rapunzel.

If it were possible to fly and watch stars waver in place, teeter on the brink
then topple down a mountain—I wouldn't want to change my name again

and again. I should know how this works—there are only so many miracles
to go around and mine have been pawed over by too many greedy hands

and now I find I have nothing. I think about waking up godless and hung-over,
waiting for ocean waves to collapse on the beach, hoping for someone

to fish me out of the sea. We are supposed to believe that death is bold—
a loud noise from behind, the roar of a train, the sharp crack of a gun

and beginnings are never sudden movements, they're soft and unobtrusive.
Last chances are smoky bar rooms overflowing with harsh consequences,

consequences that will cut you off at the knees and leave you blind.
I rearrange the faces of lost friends and lovers

until all that's left is a punch-drunk Sisyphus, stranded on a hill—
disenchanted and ordinary.

Ever yours,


* * *

Dear L_______,

Unlearning to love you is like sucking back sand through the narrow
waist of an hourglass. I already have a desert in my throat, a desert

crossed and recrossed by words that have begun to shape my mouth:
never; again; your name. Sometimes a question slips from underneath

my tongue: Did we let it die too quickly? But we both know that death
is not bold. Death grabs what he can get, strangles his victims from

the shadows between streetlights. He chooses wisely—never anything
that will put up a fight. The end was like the beginning—a moment

we missed, the way you'd miss a landmark from the window of a train
that moves too fast, eyes aimed too high, too low until you realise

you've already gone past, and you slam down the window, crane your
neck and hear the air rush in to push all words of loss and longing

up your windpipe. There is no going back, not to a morning of soft
sunshine on unfamiliar skinscapes, not to the city where we met;

it no longer exists. Its roads have moulted, the pines shed needles
like flakes of dry skin. Everything we touched, has been touched

a thousand times since. Rapunzel's hair has fallen, again and again,
like a rope, like a ladder; the streets to her tower echo with laments.


oh and the cover photo is my dad's. :)

song of the day: iieee by tori amos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

this girl is pissed off with the bloody universe

just my luck eh. i meet a guy, have the most perfectest evening in aaaaaaaages, he gets this amazingly high score on the what-michi-wants-and-needs list, and then (are you ready for the anti-climax?) - it turns out to be bad timing.

thank goodness the weather is not mocking me - snow, snow, snow, dark skies.

now if you would excuse me, i have to go and feel sorry for myself.

song of the day: same as yesterday, only more so. almost lover by a fine frenzy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

not a happy bunny

Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I'm trying not to think about you
Can't you just let me be?
So long, my luckless romance
My back is turned on you
Should've known you'd bring me heartache
Almost lovers always do

song of the day: almost lover by a fine frenzy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

milestone and dateline and lots of laughter

so. this girl slept in her bed for the first time in a few months last night! i had actually been thinking about it for a couple of days now, and yesterday it just felt right. i slept very well, too, thank you. so - the sofa is now a sofa again, and not michi's bed.

okay, now, is the correct definition of dateline a series of dates? *g* i seem to have thrown myself on the market, and i am beginning to enjoy myself. i had a date yesterday evening, with yet another facebook friend, howard, who's originally from canada. of course, me being austrian, and him canadian, we had to go to an aussie pub! it was fun. lots of music talk, and i guess most of you know that i am a sucker for that. music, er, rocks! :)

amazing, but true - four days after the weekend, my flat is still clean and tidy and i have even managed to hang up most clothes after taking them off. do i need to start worrying?

i had my first chocolate ice cream of the season at tichy's across the street last night. of course, like every year, winter made a comeback as soon as the ice cream parlour opened. today, it snowed about 27 times, in between we had sunshine, rain, a thunderstorm, and all of the above at once. not nice. this girl is all for spring!

most of my green muffins and cookies did not survive st patrick's day. my students did. ;) it's been a good week; more fun in class today. here are my two "old guys from the muppets show", aka werner and mahmoud, laughing their, um, butts off (excuse the poor quality - mobile phone, and not exactly close-ups). and just because nadine said "i am cooking him tonight". ;)

song of the day: constant craving by k d lang.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

book tag

liz did the tagging, i do the job and tag on ...

How to play:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

the fifth sentence says: "Oh, I don't know."
the next three sentences say: "Is it all right or not? - Search me. - I can't concentrate either."


the book is tom holt's you don't have to be evil to work here, but it helps.

arsenic, collin, sara k, ivy, and nathan - you're it. if you like. if you don't, you're spoilsports. or i have missed that you have already done it. ;)

second song of the day: this is the life by amy macdonald.

saturday night girl

what is this girl doing on a saturday night? partying? going on a date? watching a film? relaxing? nope.

this girl seems to be in some sort of cleaning frenzy. it started with the putting away of the wedding stuff the other weekend, and has not really stopped since: today after turning the kitchen into a green-tinted battlefield (aka baking green muffins and cookies for st patrick's day class), i did not just do the dishes and such, but scrubbed and wiped and washed etc the kitchen into this uncannily clean place.

while thus engaged, i found out why people do not clean behind fridges: it is simply too dangerous. i cut my finger quite badly and bled like the proverbial piggy. i've also got scratches on both arms to prove i have been busy, and i am not even mentioning the state of my fingernails.

yesterday evening, i repotted plants and rearranged things in the lounge room and the bedroom, which is no longer the disaster zone it used to be for about ten days (and i am even thinking of moving back in there - still camped on the sofa). i swear it has not been this clean since i moved in. *g* i am becoming more and more like my mother lately ... time for worry mode! :D

but all this cleaning - i actually think it's more some sort of CLEANSING than mere spring-cleaning. it is a throwing out of old stuff, a making room for new stuff. it's like moulting. things are definitely moving. and i think they are moving in a good direction. i haven't been this happy with my looks in ages. i am feeling bouncy for more than just a few hours at a time. and i was both surprised and pleased on wednesday when valerio said i come across as really confident. and some day, some day i am even going to write poetry again, i am sure.

what with the baking and cleaning, i completely forgot to eat - a slice of cold pizza, one greenish muffin and a couple of cookies was all i had to eat today! or yesterday, really.

but i am quite pleased now. i almost don't mind anymore that there was no-one to go out with tonight. ;)

* * * * *

and now for something completely different:

i just finished reading into the wild. have not seen the film yet, but i had to order it on dvd anyway, because i want to use it in class. the book was good enough to make me buy krakauer's into thin air straight away.

i received my two contributor copies of foursquare - looking nice, right? my poem is symmetros - upper left.

and more copies of the secret meanings of greek letters have arrived - i hope to sell some of those at the lit fest in a month's time.

i am in love with the song of the day (off the fantastic grey's anatomy soundtrack), and with this:

check out v's website. it's worth it. i guess this guy is going to have to design my someday book cover ...

song of the day: breathe by anna nalick.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

bouncy girl

this girl spent most of yesterday smiling, giggling, chuckling, laughing: first at work, with my lovely students, and then with valerio - one of my new facebook friends. yep, this girl went on a date. :) a drink, a walk, music, and lots and lots of laughter. oh, and of course, zombie talk and ice cream. pretty close to perfection. ;)

more laughter with my morning class today ... it is lovely to get paid for something that is so much fun. the afternoon class - well, they were not interested, so i gave them a chance to improve their computer skills and had some time for prep work and chatting.

song of the day: run by amy macdonald.

Monday, March 10, 2008

no more sick girl!

this girl is no longer sick. well, sure, some people would start coughing discreetly if they caught me claiming that, but they're all friends of mine, so that's alright. ;)

it was soooooo lovely to see my students' faces light up on seeing *this* girl and not a sub-girl (or guy). it was also nice to have a guest speaker in my afternoon class, which meant i could get some prep work done and actually get paid for that (and playing scrabulous *g*).

this bug-free girl went to the poetry reading on friday - it was rather quiet, some of the usual suspects were missing. i rdead, but was not too happy with my performance. maybe because i was not sure about what to read, up until the last moment. and perhaps because my mind was elsewhere, at least part of the time. ;)

this single girl didn't have such a great saturday afternoon: decided to finally put all things wedding in a box - dress, bag, cards, etc - and had a bit of a breakdown. strange mood ensued. thanks again to the wonderfully wise, witty & lovely nicole for cheering up (and on). and to v. for making me laugh. repeatedly.

this smart girl finally beat david at scrabble ... and he sooo deserved this revenge of the most scrabulous woman!

this girl was positively bouncy today. spring in the air?

and this girl has the song of the day looped in her mind (does that make me loopy?) -

song of the day - with a nod to valerio: start wearing purple by gogol bordello.

Friday, March 07, 2008

this girl

this girl is still sick. but right now she is smiling anyway. because someone made her. :)

this girl is also trying to come up with clever answers to nic sebastian's 10 questions on publication. so far, kristy bowen, reginald shepherd, carolyn guinzio and nate pritts have answered.

this girl received kristy odelius's bee spit in the mail and is looking forward to reading it.

this girl would like to congratulate suzanne frischkorn on the publication of her american flamingo!

this girl is hoping to be well enough to go to the open mic tomorrow night.

song of the day: sonnet by the verve.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

sick girl

okay. so it was NOT sensible to go to that party. alright alright. *grrr* i've been sick all week, no work (ie no money *grrr*), and not as much fun as usual. i actually really miss my students. i hope they miss me too! :)

instead of staying in bed all the time like a good girl, i am spending waaaay too much time on facebook, scrabulous and in chat - catching up with friends, and getting to know new people. this is the only thing that can keep me from sleeping these days, it seems. *s*

song of the day: wednesday by tori amos.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

party girl!

as i was not feeling too great yesterday, i slept all afternoon and then did what all sensible people would have done: i went to a party. :) hillary, one of my vienna-based poet friends, was having a flat-warming party, and i really did not want to miss it. i very nearly did not go, but then decided to drop in for a while - and ended up staying until 10 past 2!

to begin with, nathan and alina and later on ronnie, too, had a priceless conversation about pink rubber garments. all because alina was in istanbul and ... ah, never mind. *g*

then hillary and her belly-dancing group entertained us for a while, which made me want to join their classes. i guess there is nothing sexier in this world than a woman who is comfortable with her body, no matter what it looks like - and these ladies seem to be. ronnie joined the dance eventually, although he looked more like a rambo-esque suicide bomber than a dancer of the seven veils ... :) and nathan promised to dance for me after class, so this lucky girl has something to look forward to - right? right. :D

in the kitchen, there was some teacher talk, we dissed birmingham (that included the brummie colin who managed to get away to lovely vienna), and not many of us said "no, thanks" to some pot.

ronnie read us greek fragments, from sappho et al, very entertaining. and of course - being ronnie and delightfully silly - he cut out the lines with juicy bits - no sugar added from an orange juice carton and stuck them on me - good thing i was wearing a low-cut top, not! *g*

much later, when the number of guests had dwindled down to about ten, there was some dancing, but i really did not feel like that last night. ronnie and i planned a new career for yusuf islam, formerly known as cat stevens - as cat islam. we pretty much have the cd covers ready for in print in our heads, and we have renamed some of his greatest hits: matthew and cat, tomcat and kitten, wild cat, if you want to meow - meow, the first scratch is the deepest, kitty d'arbanville ...

a very drunk steve gander and i recited leonard cohen's famous blue raincoat, but then it was time to go home.

i was so glad i went - i laughed so much, had a great time, and flirted with at least three men. possibly three and a half. :)

i slept in today, then watched yesterday's episodes of grey's anatomy, gilmore girls, and men in trees, and met andreas, one of my facebook acquaintances in chat. i am running a temperature, and will return to bed after i've made me something to eat. outside - storm and rain; we've had storm warning, up to 120 km/h expected.

song of the day: girls just wanna have fun by cyndi lauper.