Intrepid Girl Reporter

Sunday, 12/27: nothing you confess could make me love you less
December 28, 2009, 1:49 am
Filed under: IGR Recommends

One of the perks of having a blog that gets double-digit daily readership* is the ability to spread the word about things you (where “you” is “the blogger”) believe should have more exposure. I have a lot of ground to cover, however. So, in no particular order: capsule reviews, where I’ve been, a fresh edition of IGR Recommends, meditations on sentimentality, et cetera.


Discretion requires that I don’t write about work, which is a pity, because it’s definitely the funniest part of my day, if not the funnest. (Heh.) I will share these stories eventually, probably, just not when I’m employed at this position.



The aliens all looked like they had spent their summer following a String Cheese Incident tour. Also, the fluctuation of the main character’s accent bothered me, and the acting was pretty uniformly terrible. On the upside, I finally know what it would be like to explore FernGully.

The Ocarina

Miguk Little Brother received one for Christmas. His enthusiasm for the instrument has the effect of making me feel as though I am constantly on some sort of Andean quest.


Miguk Apa felt the need to transfer some old videos to DVD, over Miguk LB’s vigorous protests. I actually totally get why he did not want to revisit it – remembering how deeply uncomfortable I felt in my own skin for much of my childhood, it’s not something to which it’s easy to return. I think the hardest part for me and him both is when my father deliberately teases us about how adorable we were then and how sad he is that we are no longer children living with him – which would be ordinary and in good fun for some people, maybe, but because our family a) is v. tightly knit and b) is all sort of neurotic, esp. where guilt is concerned, this makes us feel sort of legitimately bad, even though it’s an unavoidable (and, quite frankly, healthy) part of growing up.

On that DVD there was an old science video of myself and two people who were once very good friends of mine – although this was in high school, and it is fair to say that none of us are in high school anymore. One of my old high school classmates (who is not in this video) is now a relatively famous player in the NBA, and I’ve been thinking about what, if anything, this means – what common points we have/would have, were we ever to meet (because it’s not like we ever hung out back then). How much shared experience you need to have it mean something. But with these two – and we’re all very different people now – it almost doesn’t matter that they’re not in my life anymore; they were once, and that is enough. Weirdly enough, this sort of helps me consider my relationships now with some sanity.

Also, I am at home for another week while my car gets fixed, as I am more or less stranded here. It works out fairly well, I suppose – more time to finish the last of the grad school apps, recover from a rather unpleasant cold, etc. I got Miguk Momma’s old iPod, which is larger and in better shape than mine, and I have been reorganizing all of my music and sorting it by genre. It’s satisfying in a sick sort of way. Maybe this is a small step towards being a grown-up. Or, uh, maybe not.


This is my new favorite song, and for a song so pretty, it’s inexplicably unavailable anywhere except, uh, via purchase. Even the lyrics required extensive Googling, which is unusual for an album that is readily available from iTunes. It’s such a lovely and sad song, almost uncomfortably so; an artist like Elliott Smith, for example, can get so despairing that he seems almost distant – IGRB used to say that whenever he felt like being sad he just let Elliott Smith do it for him. This is a much more relatable kind of downtrodden aesthetic. But the way it soars, it almost doesn’t matter. There are some reviews describing it as “lazy” and/or “breezy,” but those reviews are wrong, and those people clearly haven’t read the lyrics.

The Court and Spark – We Were All Uptown Rulers

IGR also recommends the filesharing service used for that file, Droplr. It is very convenient, especially for Mac users. IGR does NOT recommend the beer referenced in the abovementioned song, however. A bartender in DC once tried to tell IGR that it was, quote, “a flat beer.” Whatever, it was gross.

Continuing on with the recommendations, IGR has fallen in love all over again with the following song, which is not the best Pretenders song ever but is certainly a good one. I suspect that there is very little Chrissie Hynde could do to remove herself from the top of my list of Coolest Musicians Ever.

I think that’s all I’ve got. I’ll try to return here with more frequency.

*thanks Google searches


Monday, 12/7: no translating
December 7, 2009, 8:52 pm
Filed under: poetry

Generally, when I find a poem that I like – especially if it is a) by someone famous and b) about some sort of neurotic female figure – what I learn is that it has already been discovered a thousand times before, its pithiest quotes appropriated by girls for their LiveJournal headings in 2002.

As the woman who is probably my favorite author forever once said:

I know now that almost everyone wonders something like that, sooner or later and no matter what he or she is doing, but one of the mixed blessings of being twenty and twenty-one and even twenty-three is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before.

Remarkably, however, a Google search for the complete text of Anne Sexton’s “Love Song” reveals only two pages of results – this amid the fact that Madonna (Madonna!) apparently cribbed from it for a poem she “wrote” for her bodyguard. (Despite that, I still like it.)

Here is my attempt to add one more source to the mix.


I was
the girl of the chain letter,
the girl full of talk of coffins and keyholes,
the one of the telephone bills,
the wrinkled photo and the lost connections,
the one who kept saying–
Listen! Listen!
We must never! We must never!

and all those things…

the one
with her eyes half under her coat,
with her large gun-metal blue eyes,
with the thin vein at the bend of her neck
that hummed like a tuning fork,
with her shoulders as bare as a building,
with her thin foot and her thin toes,
with an old red hook in her mouth,
the mouth that kept bleeding
in the terrible fields of her soul…

the one
who kept dropping off to sleep,
as old as a stone she was,
each hand like a piece of cement,
for hours and hours
and then she’d wake,
after the small death,
and then she’d be as soft as,
as delicate as…

as soft and delicate as
an excess of light,
with nothing dangerous at all,
like a beggar who eats
or a mouse on a rooftop
with no trap doors,
with nothing more honest
than your hand in her hand–
with nobody, nobody but you!
and all those things.
nobody, nobody but you!
Oh! There is no translating
that ocean,
that music,
that theater,
that field of ponies.

– Anne Sexton

Thursday, 12/3: probably the best work moment I will ever have
December 3, 2009, 11:05 pm
Filed under: actual transcripts

Like, for the rest of my life.

(in the hall, during school)

FOUR-YEAR-OLD Ms. IGR! You look pretty!

(one hour later, in the hall)

FOUR-YEAR-OLD Look! Ms. IGR still looks pretty!