Does Anyone Else Get An Anxiety Attack Over What To Buy Their Parents?

My parents are impossible to shop for, because they are the kind of people who pride themselves on their cunning ability to survive on bare basics. Out of pure choice. A little bit of background info: my parents are from Communist Russia. They know what it’s like to take a shit outside in a hole for the world to see, and they used to live in an apartment with like, ten other families. When they moved to America, they bought  a Chevy for 500 bucks and my mom worked at Pizza Hut before she got her certificate or license in computer programming. My dad went from naval engineering to mechanical engineering to owning a dry cleaning business in downtown Minneapolis. My parents are devoted Toyota Camry drivers. If they go out to eat (which is rare), they split a mushroom burger. My dad’s favorite thing in the world is his pair of hiking pants that have twenty different pockets of all sizes. They are practical, he says, and have a glorious amount of pockets. He wears them every day.

Once, I bought my dad a really fancy ping pong paddle for his birthday. He’s an avid ping-pong player and we always have intense ping pong matches in my uncle’s backyard. When he opened his present, he looked confused and asked me why I would ever gift him with this contraption.

“Uhh..your paddle you use now is starting to peel and get all floppy? Doesn’t that affect the aerodynamics or whatever of ping pong?”

“Aero-SHTO?! (what) Take it back to store. I don’t need it.”

So I did. And instead, I bought him a pair of Puma socks from TJ Maxx my mom said he really prefers over his other socks. My mom is the same way. She’s been wearing the same perfume for over 40 years (Gloria Vanderbilt. It’s getting kind of hard tracking it down these days; I have to go to at least three pharmacies). She rotates five different shirts and they all have some kind of grayish green leopard or paisley print.

Anyway. It’s my dad’s birthday next week, and it’s mother’s day the week after. I found this at the Encinitas street fair: a painting of the highway a few miles away from my parent’s house in Carlsbad, the road he takes to get my uncle’s house. Where he competitively plays ping pong. Recently, I have discovered that if I get my dad a little painting, he actually keeps it and tacks to his wall in his office. I’ve already bought a sketch of Johnny Cash, and an important ship.

photo

One present down, one more to go.

Ideas, anyone?

xo,

Gina

Thoughts after two cups of coffee & no motivation to write form+theory paper

cupcakes

 

1. YOU try transporting two cupcakes (one in each hand) from campus to car to apartment without completely obliterating them and getting your carseat/hands/jeans smothered in chocolate ganache. Seriously though, it’s hard. Above is an “after” picture. No “before” because I didn’t think that far ahead.

2. On the subject of cupcakes. I love cupcakes. I think they’re adorable, versatile, and delicious. I absolutely will disagree with anyone who claims “cake” is better than a cupcake. Like, they’re both comprised of the exact same thing, cupcakes are just more transportable and marketable because of their individuality. Usually these said cupcake haters are just people who hate trends. They refuse to get frozen yogurt and stick to Coldstone. They have Androids, not iPhones. Okay, I’m getting a little bit ridiculous here. Point is…don’t hate the cupcake. Do not.

3. I’m so tired and it’s getting to the point where I look like a fucking mess every time I leave my apartment because any spare minute I get, I am resting my head on a pillow. So I come into class, walk into the grocery store, what have you, with smeared eyeliner that makes me look like I’ve been punched in the face or maybe sobbing. There are maybe ten bags under my eyes. I’m usually wearing a striped sweater that’s super comfy and conveniently located on the floor by my bed so when I wake up in the morning I don’t have to shuffle around my closet. Around 4 I try to come up with some kind of caffeine supplement, so you’ll see me chugging a Red Bull or warming my palms on a Starbucks cup. This is when I get super wacky and have fast conversations with friends and professors and start planning on going to the gym later and blogging and tweeting something hilarious and caffeine-induced, and editing a poem and making dinner that involves quinoa and kale. But then I come home at 8 or 9 or 10 and I put on my sweatpants and pass out watching someone getting murdered on Game of Thrones.

 

Sneak Peek: Alex Dimitrov’s BEGGING FOR IT via The Rumpus

In “Sensualism,” Dimitrov writes, “A mosquito presses into my skin / with such cruelty I mistake it for love.” The poem explores the craving for wanting something intricately whole; this need intensifies and the speaker metaphorically allows the mosquito to use his body for fodder. He compares life to a film in pre-production. The poem “Bloodletting” explores the realness of violence and feeling; Dimitrov passionately argues that our actions possess viewership and consequences, and that we must allow ourselves to bleed, to let live: “If you can’t show red, why bother filming? / The scene where the boys undress / and color the river with sex / is useless, like bloodletting”

The full review will be up May 29th!

Is anyone here an Amy Gerstler fan? Let me know if you are, because I’m writing an essay on her life’s work. Amy’s great. At first I loved her. And then I became disenchanted because her poems were so enchanting and I wasn’t sure I liked the concepts of her later work, but then I read Bitter Angel and it was so, so good, so now I’m in love with her again and am willing to tango with her supernatural/mythic vibes.

Other good books I’ve read lately:

Megan Falley- After the Witch Hunt
Lauren Zuniga- The Smell of Good Mud
Karyna McGlynn-I Have to go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl

And as far as fiction goes, I’m almost done with American Gods. And I’m super ambivalent about it. Because really, it was my vacation read. And once that vacation turned more into a stresscation and gradepaperscation, I abandoned it and then returned to it out of empathy with a very blank protagonist, and now I’m like 600 pages deep with 100 to go. What can I say. I hate not finishing books.

What’s on my to-read list:

Stevie Edwards-Good Grief
Allison Benis White-Small Porcelain Head
Maria Semple-Where’d You Go Bernadette
William David-Wheat Belly
 (AS IF I need anything else to inform me that everything I have eaten my entire life is poison! )
We Have Always Lived in the Castle-Shirley Jackson
Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar-Kelly Oxford

And well, basically A TON more, which you can check out on my Goodreads. Are we Goodreads friends yet? Why not. Let’s be.

Other news..

I’m going to be Poetry International’s assistant social media coordinator, which is great, because I’m a social media junkie.

I’M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED IN PANK MAGAZINE IN JULY. Um, this is probably the greatest accomplishment I’ve had with my poetry thus far besides getting into a Masters program. PANK is an AMAZING magazine. I am so honored. And HAPPY.

I have “re-decorated” my blog. Because I felt like it.

I am turning 23 in less than two months.

I recently discovered I like pistachios a lot.

I really hate these list-y things.

That’s probably it.

xo,
Gina

Hey.

So, I realize I’ve been absolutely terrible about blogging lately. I swear I just have a lot on my plate right now and as soon as I’m through with school this semester, things will go back to normal.

As a side note, does anyone know of any graphic/web designers who want some work? I’m thinking about creating a professional website and need someone to help me create it. I’ll totally pay in you in American dollars and virtual hugs. E-mail me at gina.vaynshteyn@gmail.com or comment below! Thanks.

p.s. if anyone wants to talk about The Walking Dead and Shameless finales, I am here. For you. For us. Let’s get into it.

xo,

Gina

Psst.

If you haven’t read my book review on Sierra DeMulder’s newest collection of poems, New Shoes on a Dead Horse, then do yourself a favor by reading it here. Seriously. That girl is one talented poet.

Two years ago, one of my best friends gave this to me:

Just thought I’d share. Awesome, no?

From My Homework To Your Home

“Quoof”

by Paul Muldoon

How often have I carried our family word
for the hot water bottle
to a strange bed,
as my father would juggle a red-hot half-brick
in an old sock
to his childhood settle.
I have taken it to so many lovely heads
or laid it between us like a sword.

A hotel room in New York City
with a girl who spoke hardly any English,
my hand on her breast
like the smoldering one-off spoor of the yeti
or some other shy beast
that has yet to enter the language

 

What Happens When Walgreens Destroys Your Roll Of Film

I just discovered Netflix is streaming all six seasons of Dawson’s Creek, but before I start indulging in the best thing to come out of the 90’s (besides Ace of Base, obviously), I’m going to post some photographs I had developed a few days ago. These are some photos taken with a dated professional camera and they were originally meant to be black and white. We took them to Walgreens because of the alluring “1 Hour Photo” campaign. Which, by the way, doesn’t exist anywhere else! Surprisingly. Anyway, true to their word, our film was developed in an hour. And this is what we got:

menbigboy

The iconic BigBoy..straight out of the horror film: BigBoy Seeks Revenge

creepyhorse

Straight from the horror film, “Blood Horse”

grapefruit

I was going for fruity and cute, but I guess now it’s just Instagram gone wrong

Lesson learned: never have your black and white film developed at Walgreens. They seemed to have  knowledge of color film down to a tee, though.

43940008

The untouched “Gangnam Style” covered by my nephew and his friend

Other news:

My first official article as a HelloGiggles writer went up two days ago. I wrote about my fabulous Russian upbringing, how could I not? Read about my trials and tribulations here.

I’m SUPER excited to be writing for HelloGiggles and for the opportunities it may bring. Viva 2013!