Monday, July 30, 2007

curious and curious-er

Okay, VT, here’s the thing …

We did move to the Big Apple for reasons other than its incredibly crispy and delicious, vegan-friendly logo. We (that is: Mom, Dad, Hud, Mad, and me) had to emigrate, if we wanted any chance of becoming more human-y-er (um, is that a word?)

We think, so far, we’re doing a pretty good job.

That is, until I meet guys like you.

Back in June, the second I saw you at the Marriot Hotel convention hall in D.C., my heart took off like a short-distance sprinter. True confession: I spent the whole rest of the afternoon hiding under the bed in the hotel room (well, I was sharing it with three other girls, there weren’t many other privacy options), and I was totally overwhelmed with the information. Which I can distill down to this sentence:


Of course, I mean, I’m not an idiot, I knew we weren’t alone in the breed, but it was the proximity, and the kind of dazzling unexpectedness of you – I guess I died a little, that day.

Which brings me to my next question … how alive are you? We Livingstones are in a tentative state -- something between what we’ve been (that is, the way we've existed for a long time … longer than I’d care to admit in this note) and what we want to be. Which is ... just like everyone else, I guess. As in, people. As in, mortals.

Vlad, I’m sorry this note is so cryptic. I’m on more solid ground when I am the ask-er, not the divulge-er. So, on that … do you sleep? Do you feed? Do you long to be less hybrid, more pure state? Do you feel alone? And, uh, do you know more of us?

Any answer will do …

In other news, not much. It’s slooowed down at the restaurant, and I’m trying to learn to play Peter and the Wolf on my clarinet, before my pal Pete’s birthday. Nerd-tastic, I know ...

Chat soon … ciao! Lex

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The V Word


Wow, Kiki sounds like a major brat. But…truth be told, I'm having a difficult time focusing on that part of our letter. See…the thing is (and I feel terrible admitting this), I very nearly deleted your email. It kinda had me freaking out in a major way. But then I went for a walk (to a secret place that I'd love to show you sometime), and I thought about it, and I realized that I can't just stop emailing you. You're my friend (not to mention seriously adorable). And, if you're my friend, then you deserve some answers.

(And it makes me feel better knowing that you might be…different…too.)

Okay, so I have a secret. And the only two people on the planet who know for sure are my Aunt Nelly and Henry, my best bud. And it seems like you really already know my secret, and might share the same secret…so why is it so hard to say that word? You know, the one that starts with a "V"?

Lex, the truth is, I'm a V….you know. And you are too, aren't you?

Wait, you have braces. Wow, good thing you're a vegetarian. LOL! They'd certainly get in the way of…well…you know. And a-ha! I THOUGHT I saw you flitting a hungry glance over at my rare cheeseburger that day in DC. ;)

So, does that mean your entire family is…like us? I really want to hear more. Kinda terrified that you seem to know about me, but…see, I have no one to talk to about this. I mean, Nelly and Henry aren't like me in that regard. So it would be great not to be alone. Assuming, of course, that I haven’t just shoved my whole foot in my mouth by very nearly admitting who…what…I am.

Write back soon. Immediately isn't soon enough.

~V (...there's that letter again...)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

loaded ? ...

Hey Vladdimus,

Ouch, sux about your sign—but friends in high places are so key. There’s a girl in my school (she’s a junior) whose Dad owns part of the Yankees and oh my god does she get away with everything. Her name’s Kiki Capidis and everyone calls her Sneaky Kiki, cuz she’s endlessly getting out of stuff, like gym, study hall, oral reports, passing in papers on time, you name it, honestly, I’m not sure why she even bothers showing up for school … I don’t think she graced us once with her presence last year to partake in the lowly ritual of our cafeteria lunch. Kiki way prefers to snarf croissants at Bonsigneur or a gourmand pasta at Café Buon Gusto. Her lunch money is more than my clothing allowance.

Last year, Kiki took this guy Dylan Easterby to a freshman mixer when he was only in seventh grade and everyone talked about it for days. But that’s how Sneaky Kiki rolls—she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and she figured out long ago she’s never really going to get in trouble for anything. The girl does not know the word Consequence.

Kiki loves to stand out and be “special” whatever that means, which I’d say is the dead opposite of my dilemma—and, I am guessing, yours, too Vlad. Not that I would win the Nancy Drew Award for my knife-sharp powers of deduction, but I sense that you and I have a twinge more in common that just Debate Club. You hit it on-the-nose (snout?!) about Pete—he’s not one hundred percent, total double-helix human DNA. Even though he has yet to full-on confess it, I do think that’s why we started hanging out back in middle school. Pete just wasn’t part of the regular pack.

And neither are you, right?

Guess you can feel me skating around the issue, it’s hard to commit personal information to a note. Once said, it can never be unsaid. But I will tell you this. I don’t eat all-raw because I love it. It’s because I need to. And unlike Madamoiselle Kiki Capidis, if I ever got caught out disobeying the rules, the repercussions would be major. For me, school is all about trying to blend in, to be counted but discounted … if someone scrutinized me too closely, I might strike them as very, very different.

Any of this strike a chord with you??

In other news, I am taking “Six Weeks to Play Clarinet Like a Pro.” I found this old, not-too-banged-up clarinet in a thrift shop, and the course is online… so far, I sound like a bullfrog with arthritis.
But I’m into it …

Write back, Cutie.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's Me Again!

Hey Lex –

Kindred spirit. Sure seems like it, huh? I hope I can get to NYC soon. It would be a blast hanging with you again. And Pete sounds great! Kind of like a...well, it sounds crazy, but your friend sure sounds like a werewolf. LOL! Funny, right? I mean, they don't exist. And wow, talk about shaving every day...

Of course, who am I to talk about what does and doesn't exist?

Actually...there's something I'm hesitant to tell you, Lex. I think you know. And what's more, I think you can totally relate. But I can't be sure. So I can't say anything more just yet...not until I'm certain. So, forgive me for sounding cryptic. I just...can't.

The Cow Crossing sign didn’t last long. My aunt made me turn it in to the cops. But Henry told Officer Thompson (an idiot, if I ever saw one) that he took it, so everything was cool. I swear, so long as your last name is MacMillan, you can get away with anything in Bathory. Anyway, I told Henry no more sign-acquiring (I hate to say "stealing"—makes me sound like such a crook), so now he's on this whole "do this or I'll tell Nelly you stole something" kick. Such a jerk. But totally my best friend.

Oh wow, you like trance too? I love the stuff! Maybe if Nelly brings me with her to her nurses' convention in a few months (did I mention it's in Brooklyn?) we could go check out one of the clubs. I've never been to one. Not like we have that kind of thing around here.

Yeah, Henry's getting a little sick of me talking about you too. But I can't help it. I really like you, Lex. J


Monday, July 16, 2007

Night Owling ...

Okay, Vlad, first of all -- major jealousy that you own a Cow Xing sign. That’s got to be a pretty sweet addition to your room décor. My room is pretty “girlie” except for my slovenly sister who seizes every opportunity to try and make it into a pigsty.

Have you always been a night owl? I keep picturing you and Henry on the move, prowling around the neighborhood in the wee hours …your Aunt sounds like a peach to let you just do mostly what you want, mostly when you want. And you’re never dealing with a built-in tattle-tale system, like my sneaky munchkin sis and bossy li’l bro. Vlad, you have no idea how lucky you are …

My Chemical Romance is huge at my school. There’s a group of us who are also into trance music, downtown here in the East Village and parts of DUMBO (stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge) has really good our-age clubs for that -- not full-on raves, just a group of us all getting together -- we usually do a sushi dinner before (though I stay away from the fishes, I am all about the bean curd soup and California roll) and my folks are pretty low-key with curfews in the summer, too. Once school starts, that’s a whole different ball of wax. But they get it that I’m more “in my own skin” late-night -- sounds like your Aunt gets that, too. Kindred spirit!

My friend Pete is also kind of an unusual specimen. Let’s just say he is very affected by the phases of the moon -- he’s always been sensitive to it, but this summer he went through a growth spurt, five inches in five months, I swear, and it’s been a little bit trickier for him (sorry if I'm being kinda enigmatic, but I think you know what I mean). His personality can shift significantly with the wax and wane; he never really knows if it’s hormones or ancestry. He’s got these wacky eyes that reflect moonlight almost to the point where they can look clear, but then in broad daylight they are Coca-cola brown.

Pete told me the dumbest joke yesterday -- we were passing by a cemetery near Grace Church School, and he said, “here we are, in the dead center of town.” So lame, but I laughed, so that’s what I’m closing my note to you with … write back, tell me what’s up! When are you going to visit NYC? My folks are getting sick of me talking about you, and I think Pete is feeling jealous -- though he’d never admit it. Mostly, he just wants to hang with you, too.

xx Lexie

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sunscreen, Armageddon, and A One-of-a-Kind Dorkfest

Hey Lex –

Oh, Vegan! Thanks for the explanation, for a minute I was wondering what they could possibly serve. I never seem to remember veggies. But how cool is it that you have a job? Me, I just mooch off of Henry and hope Nelly will hand me a few bucks now and again. Not like a person needs a lot of money to do anything in Bathory. This place sucks.

Wow, XPS? Sounds like you have serous sun issues. I use SPF 70 and it gets the job done. My dad was pretty sunburn-prone, I guess you could say, so Nelly worries that I might be too. Y'know...I'm starting to think we might have a lot more in common than I originally thought. Of course, it might be my imagination. After all...I don't think anyone's like me. Not really. Sometimes I feel like I'm just desperately looking for people like me. Y'know? Or...maybe you don't. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're nice.

Coney Island sounds so cool! About the most exciting thing Henry and I have done this summer is take a trip to the Stokerton Mall and pick up this seriously sweet new game for the PS2 called Race to Armageddon. Oh, and Henry stayed over last weekend and due to a game of Truth or Dare going horribly awry, I'm now the proud new owner of a cow-crossing sign. Plus, during the summer my aunt lets me stay up as late as I want, which is a huge plus. I'm a total night owl.

Nelly has a cat too. Her name is Amenti. Just picture an enormous ball of black fur that would probably roll if you nudged it with your toe—that's her.

As far as music goes, I'm pretty open-minded. I'm really into My Chemical Romance lately, and this new band out of Chicago, Kill Hannah. They're pretty cool. Oh! And I wanted to tell you about the stupid picnic the school held for us for winning at Regionals—major dorkfest. Principal Snelgrove wore a tie. A tie! In 90-degree, I'm-melting-in-the-Midwest heat! All the families came out and brought food. It wouldn't have been so bad (well, except for Snelgrove), but then Bill and Tom showed up. They're complete Neanderthal jerks. I said, dorkfest.

Gotta go—Nelly's already gearing up for back to school shopping. Ugh...parental figures. Write soon!


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Vladdy—(did anyone ever call you that?)

Just got back from my shift at the Candlewick Café. It’s a vegan restaurant—no dairy, no eggs, and of course no fish, chix, meat—where I am bussing tables. I smell like orange juice and onions—and that’s after my shower. words beyond gross. but the money’s good, and necessary, and I feel like my summer is an endless well of need. This week alone, I bought flip-flops—the strap on my old ones broke—plus new sunglasses, since my oversized ones made me look like a bug, more bottles of sunscreen (I use XPS, available with prescription, it’s thick as chewing gum but gets the job done) and then last week my friend Pete and I went to Coney Island, so I owe him money for that.

OMG Coney Island was so awesome. I am the opposite of scared of heights—I crave heights. Must be that ole ancient instinct. And Pete loves rides that make him dizzy. We musta hit ten apiece, sustained on cotton candy, Italian ices (cherry!), and caramel apples, plus 3 hotdogs for Pete, so we were in serious barf-mode by sundown. It was the best! That place is so retro that it’s now-tro. If you ever come visit, we’ll take you there.

Our Fourth was excellent—me, Maddy, Hud, 'rents, Pete, all watched the fireworks from the Brooklyn Bridge, which was then followed by nature’s fireworks, in the form of a run-for-cover, thunder-and-lightning storm. Our cat, Pepper, was kind of spazzed by the whole thing and hid in the hamper. Pepper is a stray and has known some tough times in her last cat-life, but now she’s retired from all that and she doesn’t like anything to rock her feline world.

How is Henry? What are you bad boys up too? Did you get some attention from winning the debate? I put the clipping on my corkboard next to my autographed lyric sheet from the great Eliot Smith. He is kind of my music hero/god. Do you have any of those? Besides your teachers, who sounds amazing...I'm hoping for one of those, a la Dead Poet's Society, next year.

Hey I think I am blathering like my Great-Aunt Spottswood. w/b…. xx L.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy Belated 4th of July!

Hey Lexie! I was just wondering if you'd really write to me like you said you would. Henry's been bugging me to email you, but really, it's not my style. You can probably guess by now that I'm kinda shy. (Not everyone can be all perfect and outgoing like Henry.) But I'm really happy to hear from you. Sorry we kicked your butts so hard at Regionals. Our debate team leader/English teacher, Mr. Craig (who's uber cool, btw—he lets us bring food into his class and always gives us a free day after tests), has really been pushing us lately. Of course, you guys kinda sucked, so it doesn't make me feel like all that studying was worth it at all. LOL!

It's so cool that you have a brother and sister. Trust me, being an only kid isn't all it's cracked up to be. Honestly, it gets pretty lonely. It would be nice to have family around all the time like that, people who know your secrets and still think you're cool. At least...that's kinda how I envision it. Henry says he can't stand his brother most of the time, but I imagine if I had one, we'd be really close. At least, I hope so. Not like it matters. Ever since my parents died (long story), it's just my Aunt Nelly and me. But hey, that just means some serious pay out around the holidays! :)

Not much was waiting for me when I got home. Well, my aunt (who's not really my aunt, she's just my legal guardian) made me a cake, but honestly, she's such a bad cook that I barely touched it. The gooey filling was tasty, though...

Peach and mango? Spring peas? *gag* How can you eat that stuff?? Humans eat the craziest stuff--yeah! Like you and your veggies! LOL! I guess you'd say I'm more of a carnivore. Give me steak any day over veggies, fruits and herbs--especially garlic. I'm allergic, big time.

Dude! I'm so checking out Facebook! A shame you won't be on there, you think you could send me a pic sometime? Y'know, just something to look at while I'm emailing you?

Hey stalker :), it wasn't easy to walk over and introduce myself, ya fact, I probably wouldn't have. But there was something about you. I dunno, it seemed familiar. Something about your smile...

Wait a second. What would your other two guesses at my name have been??

Sunday, July 1, 2007

7-01-07 Summer Salutations Vlad!

Vladimir! I just saw your picture (nice snap) and read the article in the Sunday Times Metro about Bathory taking the Eastern Regionals—so I figured ok my very first post to you should be a humungous congrats! We Debate-challenged scrubs of P.S. 42 only halfway knew what we were up against last weekend in D.C.—our team is let’s just say on the slacker side, and Mr. Winter, our half-asleep-proctor-/-half-awake history teacher hasn’t brought home the gold since 1953 … anyhow, the Baltimore v. Bathory showdown was pretty intense—I watched most of it on Google Current, but then my wingnut li'l bro Hudson (who has been on this environmental crusade, that’s another story) shorted the electricity while trying to get the tv onto a time-save device. To make a bad story short, the tv just popped. Once I realized I could find it as a podcast, the debate was over … sigh ...

Hud gets away with murder because adults just gaze into his green eyes and think he’s an angel—really he’s a little beast. I also have a sister, Maddy (think I mentioned her) who is even more of a handful. U R so lucky to be an only … Maddy shares a room with me, and she makes it like a cave, four humidifiers, clothes everywhere (except for in the hamper), has no clue how to make her bed, ugh. But both rugrats were supersweet when I came home. They even made me a peach and mango fruit salad and spring-pea smoothie for my welcome home dinner (I know, I know, that’s not your style, but seriously, not that bad to be all-raw).

Kinda nuts, Vlad, but I’ve never been away from my sibs! What an awesome experience—when Miss Gillis put my name up for a potential Away Debater, I figured that it just meant one trip to Edison, NJ like last yr. But a week in D.C. (btw I posted all the photos on Facebook. You won’t see any pics of me though, for reasons maybe you have guessed?) goes down in the halls of my memory as an experience to savor when I’m a creaky ole grandma. I’ve been telling Mad and Hud all about how I sat in on Senate session, and touched the Vietnam Memorial, and of course tried a free sample of pineapple-coconut-walnut fudge for the very first (last) time at the Georgetown Mall.

Grade: Ew. Humans eat the craziest stuff.

Of all the spectacles, I gotta say, meeting you was right up there. I remember when I spied you on the stage for the first time, you were sort of lounged back in that folding chair with your arms crossed over your chest, your chin tipped down, like you were listening to something, but maybe you were asleep, and I just knew … well, I’m not sure exactly what I knew. But I felt like something waked up inside me, and later when I started talking to your flirty friend Henry as a way to meet you (sneaky!), and then you walked up and introduced yourself, the pitch of your voice was exactly how I thought it would sound. It was like I already knew your name. I swear. As in, if somebody had asked “What’s that guy’s name?” I really think Vladimir would have been in my top 3 guesses. Because I feel like I knew you from before. Not to creep you out. Or to seem like a stalker … lol … well, now I better go, b4 this post seems too stalker-ishly long.

Write back when you get a chance!