What are firewalls?

They protect us. From virus. From spies. From Trojans coming to burn down our houses. They protect us from saying and doing what we please. They protect us.

“…inspects network traffic passing through it, and denies or permits passage based on a set of rules.”

Firewall is walking three feet away and three feet back. Well that’s nine steps we’re off-step. That’s nine blocks of jamming cold hands in tight pockets. Nine words just on the tip of your tongue, swallowed.

“A firewall's basic task is to regulate some of the flow of traffic between computer networks of different trust levels.”

Firewalls put us in our own fishbowls. (And we all swim in bowls. Small glass ones with curved edges.)

They protect us, they say.


Acetone Grass

I spent the last week living out any earth-lovin’ hippie’s wet dream.

The first evening found me lying on a patch of soft green grass, next to grazing horses, watching the sun shimmer like a new penny behind wiry trees, listening to a language foreign to me. Could’ve been spoken poetry for all I know.

I reckoned the next day we’d hike a mountain.

Fast forward to day six, which found me at 3am sitting on the cold bathroom floor after everyone had fallen asleep, dipping each finger into a honey pot of nail polish remover. Inhaling deep to get a cosmopolitan fix. Frantically filing to round out nails used to keyboards not shovels.

I want to not mind dirt under my nails. I want to wake up, throw my hair in a ponytail and get on with a day of hoeing, cooking, child-rearing. I want to not be defined by eyeliner. [me-liner]

I reckon that ain’t me though.

I enjoy international cuisine. I enjoy heels that make my smoothed and tanned legs look a mile long. I like my love/hate relationship with subway cars. I won’t eat half the things that I saw on the farm. ‘Pig’ here refers to something that doesn’t necessarily eat from a trough and ‘working with my hands’ doesn’t require getting out of bed.

And in this sense, I feel like I’m failing to live up to some idealistic hippie image that I’ve seemed to have acquired somehow because I throw my plastic bottles in a different bin, and because, for at least some amount of time, I think about what’s happening outside my bubble.

I am no farmer’s daughter, no flower power child. My mountains are made of glass and concrete. My grass is gravel. My horse has wheels and pulleys and steam.

My heart and innards may be made of earth, of dirt. But my hands and my feet, well, they’re manicured. My eyes? defined.

Georgia on my mind

the road home is a long and winding one.


Downtown Atlanta tornado damage

Stairway to heaven... or the CNN Center. either/or.
Georgia on my mind.

The horse-drawn shuttle runs every 20 minutes.

country girl




So, today I was fired, kinda, not really.

Honestly, I giggled at the hilarity of it all. I haven’t ever been "fired." And it’s not like I did something awful and lost the company millions of dollars. I did everything right. I did everything anyone asked of me. I did it better.

It just “wasn’t in the budget.” It’s always the budget’s fault. Or at least it makes a non-personable scapegoat.

I would be way more upset if I weren’t leaving on a jet plane tomorrow.


So I walked to the Reading Terminal. The boyfriend got a coveted position. I have a place to live next year. We’re happy and we all have our health. There are always reasons to celebrate.


I walked through the terminal with cupcakes in hand and a baguette sticking out of my tote bag. I want to live this way forever- picking up food at the market, smelling it and knowing where it was grown, bringing home sweets to my Sweet, tricking myself into thinking this was how I would live if I were in the French countryside.

I walked past the butcher.

“Hey beautiful”

The man behind the counter was handsome, tall, with long dark hair pulled back into a loose bun. If I weren’t seeing someone, if I didn’t mind bloodied aprons, or tactless flirtation, I would have given him a second look. What I did give a glance to was what was in the case: shoulders, legs, wings, ribs, of things that used to run and fly.

“Can I interest you in something?”

Yeah I know he wasn’t talking about meat, at least not the kind under the glass.

“Hmm,” I said. “You know, I don’t eat meat. Have a nice day”



RANT: Hip Hop, Please Stop

I’m in love with Jay Smooth and his vlog the other day about the hip hop industry and their moral stance on the Spitzer chick’s record deal. And I gave Jay a virtual high five and then went on with my day. La la la.

And then I took a book out from the library entitled Packaging Girlhood: Saving Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes. I grabbed it from the shelf because I’m all about chicks being media literate and, ironically, I’m in marketing. I read a chapter and returned it because I couldn’t help but feel like the author’s messages sounded a lot like my mother’s whining about rap music. Blah blah blah.

And this is all well and good until today when I’m peeping on Hype Machine , and I hear the following three 6 mafia lyrics:

“See ho I don't dance
In the city where I'm from I wear the pants
These bitches think they cool
I got the dick so I make the rules
I got a big ol cock
I love a bitch with a big ol bra
She love suckin up cum
I think I'mma give her some”

Now I damn near inhale my mocha-choca latte. I’m not even really sure what to say about this. Yeah I’ve been told that rap is urban poetry. Hip hop is the voice of the people. It’s empowering. It’s an art form.

I’ve seen the Virgin Mary sculpted out of elephant shit and that was more appalling to me than this. There are days when I can harness the inner-feminazi and just enjoy a good rhyme, but darling, that day was not today.

I mean let’s break it down, line by line:

See ho I don't dance— I’m not down with ho, but we can let it slide, for art.
In the city where I'm from I wear the pants—sometimes I wear the pants, ok
These bitches think they cool -- yep
I got the dick so I make the rules -- uh. No. No, you don’t make the rules.
I got a big ol cock – men who brag about their dick usually aren’t good in bed, but I desist.
I love a bitch with a big ol bra – ehh. Ok. Yay for boobies!
She love suckin up cum -- …
I think I'mma give her some -- …

And right there. That’s where I flat-line.

Next time you see three 6 mafia, wipe your ass with their CD. Or better yet, skeet skeet skeet on it.


The Dumbest Band Name

but their song "Glue Girls" is fab.

Why the funny name, guys? Oh, you're from Wisconsin? OH.

Other funny names on my playlist now:

Fuck Buttons

Blitzen Trapper

Gil Mantera's Party Dream

Be Your Own Pet


RANT: Cosgrove's Nip Slip

Virginia Delegate John Cosgrove is more than a Gerald Rivera look-like. He’s today’s cockasaurus rex.

Back in 2005, he proposed a bill requiring women who miscarry to report it to local law enforcement or face 12 months in prison for ‘failure to report a death.’ Let’s consider that 15-20% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Quick! What’s the first thing you want to do when you lose a child? Oh, haul yourself to the police station to turn yourself in wasn’t your first thought? That’s weird.

Online activism shut down that shit quick. Thank. God.

The newest bit of Cosgrove-proposed legislation? Strippers should be required to wear pasties. I’m not sure how I feel about the stripping profession in general, but I do know that they’re called “topless dancers” for a reason. If I were a stripper (which I am not), I surely wouldn’t want some Virginia-version Rivera telling me what to wear on my rack. That’s fo’sho.

Is anyone else creeped out that this dude is passing laws about nipple-covers? Are sparkly (and they will be sparkly) nip-stickers really any less “obscene”? Is anyone else having a wtf moment knowing that this man was *elected*? These are your tax dollars, America.

In this world, right now, in our backyard, there is genocide, murder, famine, epidemics of every sort, religious oppression, global warming, dwindling natural resources, extreme poverty, human trafficking, forced sterilization, hate crimes, lynching, political corruption, expedited loss of biodiversity, animal cruelty, slavery, racism, sexism and every other kind of –ism. The god damn black plague still exists!

But Cosgrove will save you from seeing nip.


Horse-talk for Marscarpone

When the bosses are away, Jamie will take very long lunch breaks and wander aimlessly for a sunny stoop to read on.

Instead of walking towards Northern Liberties, I walked west, past the Baby Factory, down Buttonwood (where I definitely should not have been alone).

This Buttonwood is not so dissimilar from Button Woods, which was haunted when I was a kid. Haunted by bored stoners who threw rocks and yelled. Allie and I definitely shouldn’t have been there alone. But if we had to run she could just jump on the pegs and I would pedal fast towards Nik’s house, where we were safe from ghosts, but then had to deal with the wrath of Macedonians, and baby doll heads, and Virgin Marys. (which are all very similar, by the way)

I was getting hungry and a left would have taken me to the usual bustle of Reading Terminal, towards sweet potato salad and cupcakes. I went right, intrigued by a big empty building whose windows were smashed in. A Color Factory.

Under a trestle: “If you ever change your mind about leaving, leaving me behind, oh, bring it to me. Bring me your sweet love. Bring it on home to me. Yeah.”

Along an empty street glittering with the American Dream (or shards of glass), I saw a plain sign that said ‘CafĂ©.’ So I had some smoked salmon and mascarpone among some strange painted faces. I mean stranger than mine, which was firmly planted in “Tuck Everlasting,” wondering if I would have sipped from the spring, wondering if I would have run away with the beautiful Jesse with his lean brown hands and mop of brown curls, noting how the Tuck house isn’t so different from his house. Paper snowflakes and treasures piled everywhere. His mother is no Mae and his father is no Angus, but

I am a Winnie.

When I was done with my coffee, I overpaid the bill and walked back eastwards, making sure to take the side streets- Nectarine, Nobel, Wood and Pearl. And then on Buttonwood I found a most peculiar thing. A horse.A big brown speckled horse with long tan eyelashes.

Untied and unattended.
No saddle, no bridle.

Now if you told me this morning that it was going to be beautiful day, that I’d find a new favorite song and that I would find a horse in an alley in North Philadelphia… I would have jumped up and skipped the shower altogether.I looked at horse for a moment, sensing it was a trap. Little girls are often intrigued by horses and kittens and ducklings. I walked up slowly checking for kidnappers. Childhood grabbed my hand and led it to the horse’s nose.

“Hi Horse. What the fuck are you doing here?”
It probably would have asked me the same.
“Hey at least I’m brown,” it would have said.
“True. I should get back to the other side of the Baby Factory,” I would have said.

If it were a kind horse, it would have given me a lift, but after eating so much salmon, I thought it would be impolite to ask. Besides, I wouldn’t carry random smaller strangers on my back either.

It smelled like bygone meadows.
My phone rang.
I drooled and hit silence.
I touched its mane, its cheek, its shoulders.
I bid it farewell. I think it sneezed.

Or maybe it was just horse-talk for ‘ciao.’


How to Get a Facebook Date (a 12-Step Process)

Step 1: loosen up your prospect with a drink to their ‘Happy Hour’ application

Step 2: drop some game anonymously in their Honesty Box

Step 3: Poke, but not more than twice

Step 4: Rank them high on their “Am I Hot?” application

Step 5: Message “wat u up 2”

Step 6: comment their profile pictures with such phrases as “this picture makes the word ‘damn’ a two syllable word”-or-“SEXAY!”

Step 7: check their events and conveniently show up at the same house party

Step 8: greet prospect with “hey, Facebook right? oh, you look so much hotter IRL”

Step 9: next day, request official Facebook friendship (do NOT mark ‘we hooked up’ as how you know this person, even though you did.)

Step 10: wait one week

Step 11: cease and desist

Step 12: browse singles; repeat.


Careful Handling

Our lives are endless foreplay.
We fuse, we kiss, we roll in sweat
We’re fuzzy-brained and swollen-lipped
We’re rounded shoulders and rounded hips

We pant, we
breathe, we
churn, we

We ache for something greater.
We ache to meet our (love)Maker.

… and sometimes we need to use our own hands

To get to where we think we’re going,
To get to where we think we’re coming.


Salmon Friday Mix

"Peace Like a River” – Spoon

“Naked As We Came” – Iron and Wine

“Straight to Hell” – Clash

“Friday I’m In Love” – The Cure

“Werewolf” - Cocorosie

“When Water Comes to Life” – Cloud Cult

“Elephant Gun” - Beirut

“Kids” – MGMT

“Cape Cod Kwessa Kwessa” – Vampire Weekend

“Umbrella” (Rhianna cover) - Tegan and Sara


Eighty Miles Per Hour

Lillian was my grandmother’s roommate during hip replacement therapy. The “Hip Club” they called it. Grandma was sad to announce the disbandment of the Hip Club during my last visit because two died, one moved away and a Hip Club of two sounds silly.

‘How silly,’ I thought. “A secret club of two is just what I’m looking for.”

It seems oddly convenient that old ladies often need hips replaced and that old ladies also love talking about their health issues. Twas a match made in joint-replacement heaven.

So Lillian is about 250 pounds and about 5 feet tall.

Lillian used to live in Staten Island and has one of the most revered accents in all the land. She wears fire-engine-red lipstick, on lips and teeth.

She also has a glass eye. The left one. When she and her husband visit my grandparents in South Jersey, she drives, because he can’t see once it gets dark.

“So I’ll see you in two hours.”
“Oh, make it an hour and a half”

See, because of her glass eye, Lillian only drives in the fast lane, blind husband in tote.


//Electric Tangerine//

Eyes like flowers
A green ocean fire
Oil slicked

And hips like cursive
Catholic school
Thee Our Father
Knuckles bruised

Veins on my wrist
Flow like rivers
“Down the stream,
Not across the street”

Yeah I got ice cream tits
Indian summer
Kiss them darling,
Make them better.

Silly girl
With silly rhymes
Silly girl, careful
Threaded eyes

Lips sealed tight
Blue buttons loose
Tell me stories
Mother? Mother? Mother Goose.

{Like girl Gwendolyn, we’re
thinning gin, We’re
singing sin. We’ll
spin around
And again}



I’m all about the following things:


-not eating them

-creative ads

-awareness campaigns

This is not what I’m down with:

Tits and Teets

Blowing KFC

Caging Babes

Selling Meat to Not Sell Meat

Taking the meat off the plate and keeping it in the kitchen. What the fuck, PETA.

Prehistoric Creatures/Earthworms

MEMORY: Prehistoric Creature
I’m four and my grandparents are taking me on rides at the Jersey shore boardwalk. The beach is right there so we walk out to the water to see if there are any dolphins. Grandma doesn’t like getting her feet wet, or sandy, or walking on the beach in general, so she sits in a hole that someone must have dug earlier. She’s pretty content to sit on the sidelines while my grandfather and I walk out into the ocean knee-high, which on me is not that far at all.

Grandma gives in and comes near the water to let us know that it’s just about dinner time. This is how it went for the vast amount of my childhood: Pop and I doing something fun, Grandma calling us in for dinner, making sure we scrubbed our hands good, with warm water *and* soap. We walk towards the boardwalk, but stop at the hole. My grandfather kneels down and examines where my grandmother had just been resting.

“Jame, come look! What do you think made such an imprint?”

Obviously Grandma’s dupah, I thought, looking at the wide-sphered indents.

“A prehistoric creature!”

This is my grandfather’s humor. He got smacked for this one. And 16 years later, he got smacked again for bringing it up again at the dinner table.



I don’t think I believe in heaven though.

What do you mean?

Well I don’t think anyone deserves an eternity in hell, especially if humans are designed with inherent flaws. So if there is no hell, conversely, there must not be a heaven, not in the conventional sense. No angels with harps, Francis at the gate... I believe in earthworms.

(visual disapproval from Grandma)

Oh Ja-mie!

Well that’s who I’ll surrender my body to one day. And my soul usually follows my body so might as well make friends with earth now.

I think you’ve got too much education. Gotta believe in somethin’ greater.

Well I believe in decomposition, and earthworms, and dirt. Those are pretty great I think.