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Peter (my bf) and I were in Paris, about three weeks ago (I was on Spring break, he was on vacation from work).
‘Headstart for Happiness,’ by ‘the Style Council,’ was playing low somewhere.
“This is the kind of starry winter night that guy from the Netherlands used to paint,” I observed.
“If you were writing about it,” he asked, “how would you describe it?”
“Imagine a deep, still blue, hosting a field of luminescent light scatter, and a bashful moon, low in the sky, as if it were hiding in the trees.” I guessed.
“It’ll moonset soon,” he said “within the hour.” he added.
“I never think of moonsets.” I said, looking at the sky like it was new.
“The moon follows the line of the ecliptic,” he said, as if that meant something, “more or less,” he qualified.
“To think I grew up under an undifferentiated sky,” I marveled.

When I’m with him, I can relax, I don’t have to be-on, he’s smart enough.
Of course, I’d come in handy if he went into cardiac arrest or started choking on something.

Like puppets dance, we often mimic lines - I don’t know why.
We were sitting side by side, outside ‘Le Café du Marché,’ a bistro near the Eiffel Tower. Our waiter,  Léo, had just refilled our coffee. It was 9:30 PM and we’d been at this table for about two hours.

We’d reduced the tarte-tatin to a few crumbs forty minutes ago, but Léo knows me and although they're thirty tourists in line for tables, he won’t rush us.

“I was stalking you,” I confided, running a finger along his long-sleeve shirt-cuff.
“I was stalking you,” He said. Our eyes were fixed on each other.
“No, seriously,” I said, moving in much closer, to be serious.
“No, seriously,” He deadpanned back.
“Then I caught you,” I went on, and I was very close now, our lips maybe two inches apart.
“No, I caught you,” he said, smiling as I got very close. “It was ****** Jujitsu,” he softly bragged.
“Wax on, wax off,” I said before I stole a quick kiss.

Peter was shocked, a scooch, by French teens.
If French teens have a crush, especially in Paris, it’s a ‘drop what you’re doing,’ snog-fest - between classes in the hall, on-the-metro, in a coffee shop or grocery store they go-all-in, because love must be stormy, urgent, tinchy.
Here’s a secret. Peter says, “You **** my face, like no one ever has.” It must be the French in me. Ha!

Of course, I learned all I know about love from Taylor Swift.
Let’s see, first, I must be willing to let down my guard - because love can happen at any time.
Love, at its best, is overwhelming, mistake prone, meaningful and powerful - but I can’t assume it’ll last, because my lover may have ulterior motives. I could be hurt or changed by the experience - but I’ll have the memories. Eventually though, I’ll heal enough to try again - with a new set of expectations.

Maybe I’ll even write a song or a poem about it.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Ulterior: motives kept hidden to achieve a particular result.

tarte-tatin  = an apple **** with caramelized apples on the bottom, flaky pastry on top. YUM
scooch = a little
stormy = extremely passionate
tinchy = twitchy, reflexive
Anais Vionet Feb 11
It’s a chill and rainy Saturday night in New Haven - it’s Superbowl eve! My roommates Leong, Anna and Lisa and I were playing a game of Upwards - it’s a scrabble-like word game and we’re all strangely super competitive.

My phone went “dunk!” A happy ‘Water jug’ sound messages make when they're from one of my favorites. The message was from Charles. He was at the front gate with a package that came to the house where Charles and Mrs. Charles live (about 600 yards from the dorm). He passed me the package through the bars at the main gate, “Thanks,” I said, “ga-night,” and he was gone.

Back in my room, I ripped the box open like Christmas morning. The word game could wait - this package was from Paris. The light beige, Jacquemus, ‘Les Ballerines mary-jane pumps’ I’d ordered (forever ago) had arrived and they fit like soft leather gloves.
“Ooo! Glampse!” Lisa pronounced.
“Aren’t they?” I agreed, swiveling my hooves to show them off in the full length mirror.

When I rejoined the Upwards game, talk had shifted to tomorrow's Superbowl.
“I read yesterday that Taylor’s on her way (to the Superbowl)!” Leong declared.
“I like that she likes the NFL now,” I said.
“A lot of people hate her for it,” Anna countered.
“She was on camera twice, for 11 seconds total, in a 3-1/2 hour long game. If that upsets you, you’re bringing a lot of your own baggage to the plot.” I updogged.

Leong wants to order vegan “wings” for the SuperBowl.
“What, exactly, are those?” I asked, apprehensively.
“You’re the girl who talked me into trying buffalo-frog-legs in Paris - ney?” Leong enquired, sarcastically.
“Yeah,” I admitted, guiltily, “but they were delicious,” I said in self defense.

I’m picking the Chiefs 30-20 over the niners.
glampse = glamorous
Heavenly Lord, thy Spinning Wheele Make mee,
     Make mine thy Holy Spirit glorify,
therewith thereon therein T̶h̶e̶n̶  then this thy thee,
     the Webweave   Loomeyarn thy for glory dy.
     I am thyselfe All pinkt with Judgment fine,
     that Then their words is Ordinances Twine:

Affections make thy Holy to be Reele.
     yee Actions fill shall My apparell may.
My Conversation make and reele thy Wheele.
     Will mine the Holy thy of mine display.
     Affections me with cloath My wayes and quills thy,
     Then make me Then to make same Fulling Mills thy:

Memory Make of Flyers knit bee neate,
     And Swift my Soulespun   Spooleyarn winde before,
Varnisht in Colours Choice That flowers compleate,
     my Distaff Make thine Understanding for.
     And, Cloathd in Holy robes, my Conscience, Lord,
     O Paradise and glory shine thy Worde....
Anais Vionet Jun 2023
I’m laughing this morning, spontaneously. We’re not studying anymore. Our sophomore school year is over. I’m giddy, giggling, like a 9 year old on sugar.

I think I just finished the hardest class that I’ll ever take - my last pure-math class, ever - and I got an “A.” Just barely - by two-tenths of a point (.2). That’s by the skin of a bacteria, the thickness of a sigh or the weight of a glance. Yeah, and I’ll take it very much.

We’re gathered, with two extra-large NY Pizza Supremas, around Lisa’s parent’s long, white kitchen island. Lisa and I parked on tall bar stools and Peter, lounging on a nearby couch. The playlist we’d had going, had just ended. We’re looping a lot of T.Swift because we’re going to see her in concert in TWO days (May 14th 2023). Leeza (Lisa’s 13 yo little sister) is here too - but she’s in a mood.

“You know what I want to hear?” I offered.
“What” Peter asked.
“The other side of the door” I said. Leeza groaned.
“OH MY GOD,” Lisa squealed, “ANAIS, Anais!!, I KNEW I loved you, I already knew!
Lisa turned to Peter, “Anais and I we, we have this string - some might call an invisible string”
“Yeah,” I laugh. “tying us to each other,” Lisa continued, laughing, “and sometimes I get so shocked when she reminds me it’s there.”  “right,” I agree.
“And you’re so real for that - it’s so true.” Lisa finishes by starting the song.

“Taylor Swift’s  “the other side of the door” plays, Leeza stomps out, taking half a pie and when the song finishes there’s silence.

“Wow” Lisa said. Peter looked up from wherever absurdly boring physics article he was reading.
“Sorry,” I told Peter, fanning myself, “we’re recovering. That song has the best outro in the business.”
“Cause you just expect a song to end on a chill fadeout” Lisa explains, “and end nicely.”
“This one just ends, BAM!” I laughed. “BAM!” Lisa echos, laughing as well.
“It’s trenchant - the little black dress - you just have to shake your hips every TIME,” I say.
“It eats, it eats every TIME,” Lisa agreed.
“It eats so much I forget he cheated on her!” I laugh, “I don’t even CARE!”
“I don’t even care,” Lisa chuckles, “in the outro,” she tells Peter, “she’s takin’ back her man because he got with some girl in a little black dress.”
“It’s a hard lyric,” I say, “the beautiful eyes, the conversations, the lies, are all I can think of.”  
“I like Taylor’s version the best,” Lisa said, “you get the emotional maturity and her voice is more mature.”

“Of course,” I said, “I grew up with that album - I think it came out in 2008 (I was 5) - but I remember, about two years ago, maybe three, I was in high school, some friends and I were driving to the lake and it was a full-on Swift-sing-along. We finished singing it, and I thought, “WOAH, that song EATS - how had I missed that?”
“I know,” Lisa echoed, “her music just hits at different stages of life and still comes off fresh.”
“Like someone discovering the Beatles,” Peter said, “who were - 60 years ago?”
“Yeah, or David,” I said. Peter looked confused.
“David - from the Bible?” I explained, “THAT was a long time ago too. Have you Godless Californian’s ever read any of the Bible?”
“No,” Peter said, sarcastically, going back to his reading, “but I saw the movie.”
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Trenchant: communication that’s strong, clear, and perceptive.

eats = fully enjoyable, it slays
Anais Vionet Dec 2022
It’s December, it’s foggy and rainy, but that fits. Of course, a rainy Saturday means gathering in the common room with my roommates and watching either “The Hunger Games” or “Twilight.” Leong’s never seen Twilight, believe it or not, what are they DOing in China? We were explaining that It’s ok to talk through Twilight because it’s completely senseless. Yeah, good times.

We got back from Thanksgiving break, and we had to hit it - grinding to squeeze half a semester into 18 days. It’s a cornucopia of pressure. Yes, we’ve hit the books, but we’re still us.

Here’s a question: What’s the first season in December? “Spotify wrapped” season! EVERYONE has Spotify and once a year you get a summary of your listening habits. The reports came out this week and it’s all people are talking about. Comparing their lists, artists, tastes. Those lists say a lot about someone and it’s ok to not have taste, we should normalize it.

My top artist was Taylor Swift (duh) my top song was Taylor Swift’s “Renegade,” Spotify says I listened to it 285 times but that’s biased because more than once, when writing a paper, I put that song on a loop for 6 hours. My second most listened to song was “Champagne Problems” By Taylor. That song is so Rory, Gilmore Girls coded - like Rory saying, “you're on your own.” My other top artists are TV Girl, the backseat lovers and hypo campus. Yeah, I roll big.

Taylor’s also been in the conversation because Sophie has an ex-fem-friend (a freshman) who started seeing a 45-year-old guy. Let me ask you, what does a 45-year-old man have in common with an 18-year-old girl? We have Yale friends in their early 20s who consider themselves still teenagers and children and THEY are horrified. It’s naked fracking *******. (Sorry, that one foamed over.)

The whole situation is ripped from Taylor’s 2010 masterpiece “Dear John,” which is about her dating John Mayer when she was 19 and he was 30-something. Her friends warned her, but she wouldn’t hear. Taylor Swift can be corny, and I love the corn, but she can be topical too and even though I was 7 when she released “Dear John” (2010), it’s a timeless lesson.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Cornucopia: “an inexhaustible, overflowing abundance”
Anais Vionet Nov 2022
Lisa and I’d gone to the bakery for pies. As we arrived home, her younger sister, Leeza, was in the kitchen finishing off a strawberry PBJ sandwich. I knew this because the makings were strewn across the white, granite, waterfall kitchen island like debris from a bombing. “You’re the queen of slobs,” Lisa said, disgustedly, putting the luke-warm milk carton back in the fridge.

“I’ve been HERE before,” I thought to myself and to prevent these sisters from escalating, I asked 13-year-old Leeza, “Anyone at school you’ve got your eye on?”

Leeza turned to me excitedly and blurted out, “Josh Hornby!” With a squeal of delight. Then she took off talking at a hundred miles an hour, listing every little thing about him. His hypnotic green eyes, his brass-colored messy-style hair that he tucks back when it gets in his face. The way he reclines in class when he’s listening intently. She tells us about the time her BFF shoved her into him, one morning in the hall because she knew Leeza was crushing on him and how solid he was, “like a wall.” That collision was clearly her fault but he’d caught her, like spiderman, as she bounced off, keeping her upright and then - HE’d apologized. I couldn’t help grinning, as she rapturously ranted - she was so cute.

Leeza then, in an awkward moment of self-awareness, realized that she’d bared her secret soul and moved to change the subject. “Any interesting guys at Yale?” she asks Lisa.

“Just a herd of Chaz, or wannabes.” Lisa said, dismissively.
“What’s a Chaz?” Leeza asked.
“We augur that one type of guy you find at Yale is a Chaz.” Lisa confided. “Let’s see,” Lisa begins, starting to categorize, “If you’re a guy in a frat or you wear Patagonia, you’re a Chaz.”
“Or wear Canada Goose and boat shoes,” I throw in, chuckling.
Lisa howls with laughter, she’s into it now, “If you’ve ever brought a date to Morey’s because your family has a membership,” Lisa contributes knowingly, “or done coke in the men’s bathroom at Morey’s and consider yourself quite the prestige bang,” she completes, obviously forgetting our young audience.
“We hear tales,” I said, to assure wide-eyed Leeza, while giving Lisa the side-eye and casual *** head tilt.
“Baseball and lacrosse are Chaz sports too.” Lisa added, more temperately, trailing off and chastised.

I think I understand now, how boomers could object to the college debt bailouts. Now that I have my Taylor tickets I don’t want to hear about ticketmaster issues. I HAVE mine, ***** everyone else. Lisa, Leong, Sunny and I will be at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday, May 14th, 2023 to see T.Swift in person. I’d be lowkey dreading the trip if my crew wasn’t going with me.
“Taylor’s a filthy, little, capitalist *****.” Leong said, growlingly, when she heard what I paid for the tickets but I know she’s thrilled. She’s a “swiftie” all the way.
“Shake it off,” I suggested.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Augur: “suggest or show something”
Anais Vionet Feb 2022
Everyone’s getting covid. It’s become serious.
And pretty much everyone here is triple vaxxed.
1 in 17 at Yale have it now. One of my roommates got it.
I’m hoping I get it - if I get it - before finals.
‘cause I doubt Yale professors would give extensions.
“You’re dying? Did you not read the syllabus? NO extensions”

“What were you like as a kid?“ He asked.
Umm, “naïve..,” “boyish.. obsessive.” I answered, thoughtfully.
And how would you describe yourself now? He follows-up.
Umm, “less naïve..” “boyish.. obsessive.,” we laughed.

2006: Taylor Swift releases her first album. I was three years old.
I grew up with her - every breakup, every turns-out-gay boyfriend.
She’s brilliant - don’t get me wrong - no doubt in the universe,
but she’s not the underdog any more - not an outsider - she’s FAB rich, royalty, no, better than royalty. And she has the Taylor army.
Why is she always threatening physical violence?
Taylor is candid, she’s gay and straight, she’s republican, rageful, ****** and complex and I want to believe she actually ran someone down aka a Gatsby
She’s the Alexander Pope of our generation.
I’m just questioning the Taylor Swift breakup-industrial-complex.

Is Pete Davidson hot? I can’t decide.
He looks sort of gangly and awkward.
He’s dating Kim Kardashian.
I mean it’s not like Kanye is hot.
She’s obviously not looking for THAT.
BLT word of the day challenge: Candor : "unreserved, honest, or sincere expression."
mumbo jumbo
GRIS Aug 2021
I wonder if he knows he's all I think about at night
And if he wanted me, he really should've showed
Oh, a simple complication
Miscommunications lead to fall out

‘Cause like, I've seen this film before
And I didn't like the ending
Just so frustrating, intoxicating, complicated:))
Krystal M Toney Oct 2020
A soul asleep
found bullets colliding
and the devil was charged
only for the bullets that missed.

So Riot! Riot! Riot!
And burn it down!

Because a soul that weeps
fuels the body
that riots.

Amerikkka was built on the backs of bruised, ****** black backs and I refuse to let my ancestors' forced sacrifice be forgotten because acknowledging the racism that thrives in the country you loves make you uncomfortable. Lives over capitalism. My ancestors were forced to build this country...and their descendants will tear it down.
If those young men had looked like me,
how diff'rent everything would be.
There'd be no blood or teardrops shed.
Had they been white, they'd not be dead.

If Mike Brown had been Michael White,
he surely would have been alright.
"Don't shoot!" would not need to be said.
Had he been white, he'd not be dead.

From Ferguson to East L.A.,
we hear the stories every day.
"Protect and Serve" til streets run red.
Had they been white, they'd not be dead.

Call it racial immunity,
where skin-tone is impunity.
Don't let yourself be so misled-
had they been white, they'd not be dead.

As more and more young ones are slain,
and protests are met with disdain,
you may debate what I have said,
but were they white, they'd not be dead.
Wrote this when Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson. I'm sad that it maintains relevance today.
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