Thursday, May 29, 2008

Top 5

Songs I would listen to if I were ever stoned.

5. The Beatles "Because"

4. Iron and Wine "Carousel"

3. Radiohead "Paranoid Android"

2. Modest Mouse "Dramamine"

1. Led Zeppelin "Dazed and Confused"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I was recently talking with my mom about how I usually end up with a course load that is WAY too full. For some reason she got a kick out of how I described it. You see, at the educational buffet, my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I'll start looking at courses online, and they all look so good that I think 'Oh, I have to take this lit class. Art history? Film? Sign me up!'. Before I know it, I'm left with the maximum amount of credit hours and a stomach ache. I need to work on that.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Wednesday Dig List

I've been knock out, drop dead sick for the past week, and it's tough. To survive, I have had to focus on the little things that make me happy so that the intense misery of the torso and throat don't take over and drown me. Yesterday, these things hit me left and right, so I felt inspired to make a list of what is bringing me sunshine right now. I owe these things my sanity.

1. Clean Sheets. Even though doing laundry at my apartment is a pain, I suffered through expensive and mostly faulty machines and did it today. And oh were the payoffs sweet. There is nothing better then clean sheets, unless that is clean, germ-free sheets. Along with being smooth and fresh smelling, my current sheets have the bonus of NOT being a hive of infestation. I already feel about ten times healthier, and slept better last night than I have for a week. Viva Tide! And, in keeping with the current topic,

2. Dry Jeans. The dryers at my complex are the most hit and miss things in the world. I've tried to memorize which ones work well, but their pattern is one of complete randomness. I always put my darks in with a little prayer that this time will be magical, this time they will come out appropriately dry and that I won't have to hang shirts and pants over the backs of chairs. I need the comfort that only a pair of washer-dried pants can give! Plus, that feeling when you bury your face in a steaming batch of laundry straight from the dryer is pure heaven.

3. Favorites From the Past. Because I've been too exhausted and ill to do anything energetic (or productive), I've been entertaining myself with lots and lots of movies. In selecting my films, I revisited several that I loved when they came out, but that I haven't seen in years. Watching Finding Forrester reminded me of how much Sean Connery rocks (and how creepy Anna Paquin is) and that writing is a sacred art, The Emperor's Club showed me that I view Kevin Kline in a very different, more comedic light than when I first saw it, and Peter Jackson's King Kong was still too long but lots of fun, even if Naomi Watts sad, soulful gazes do get tiring after a while.

4. Rogue Wave. Maybe I'm just missing Heroes, but I haven't been able to stop listening to their song "Eyes". With the right blend of lyric and music, nothing else has really been able to capture my mood and calm me like this. Even though it's not really what the song is about, the tone is perfectly bittersweet, and a great soundtrack to my longing for good health and a return to the norm.

5. Radiohead's In Rainbows. I have actually been addicted to this one for a while. Radiohead is almost always a top quality band, and their latest album is no exception. Thom Yorke's vocals are eerily compelling, and it's hard not to get lost in them. I'd highly, HIGHLY recommend getting the bonus disc version and then checking out "4 Minute Warning" and "Last Flowers", while my absolute favorite from the original disc is "House of Cards".

6. Essays and Poems by Emerson. R. W. Emerson has always been an inspiration to me, and going back and reading some of my favorite essays by him has been incredible. I don't know how he does it, but each and every line is packed with profound truth. His treatise on Self-Reliance is the most uplifting piece of writing on this earth, and after reading it you will never feel so confident in your life.

7. Freaks and Geeks. The internet in my apartment is even more haywire and tricky than the machines in the laundry room, but whenever I can get a signal I've been watching this sadly short-lived TV series. Set in the early eighties, this classic comedy focuses on two groups. First we have the "freaks", with ex-brainiac Lindsay Weir ingratiating herself into the presence of seasoned rock-loving stoners (none other than James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segal before they made it big). Next are the "geeks", with a trio of delightful socially awkward, Caddyshack quoting misfits who have seen Star Wars at least 27 times. I cannot even begin to describe the brilliance of this show. It has the best soundtrack ever (the theme song is "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett! Come on), and is full of moments that ARE your family, or your high school experience, but in ways where you can laugh at it. See it. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A warning about stepping outside your comfort zone

I'd like to apologize for not posting lately. Even though that's not too strange, considering that my blogging is pretty erratic, I'd like to offer an explanation. This spring I'm taking a Creative Writing class. You 'regulars' on this site know that I've struggled with reclaiming my creative spirit, and so I thought a class that forces me to write things that AREN'T analytic essays almost every day would help me in my endeavor. For the class I am required to keep a separate blog that I must post on three ... yep, a whole three... times a week. Because of that arduous task, my blogs on here will be getting less frequent, even though I will try and keep up on both. Trust me, in eight weeks that mockery of a blog will be gone and it will be Angst Muffins all the way. And as for the "other" blog, even though most of them are boring assignments, if you just can't get enough of my amazingly gifted word smithing, you can check me out at

I guess my Creative Writing class is why I wanted to write. I just suffered through my first workshop today, where my classmates read and criticized a creative non-fiction essay I wrote. For my essay I went out on a limb and tried something new: writing something very personal and important to me. I wrote about the relationship between me and my mother, how we are so alike and yet different, and about the influence she has had in making me the person I am today. I found almost poetic language pouring out of me. I used sentences with more metaphor and imagery in an attempt to convey the weight I gave this subject. When I finished, pride (the good kind, not the sinful one) filled my heart as I looked upon something I had written that I truly considered beautiful.

In workshop, people were kind, praising those three sentences I too thought were the most worthy examples of excellent writing, commenting on how much I must love my mother, and commending me for writing about something so intimate. I was full of gratitude, because I had exposed myself in this piece, done something completely new to me, and I was nervous about seeing how it would be received. Things were going well, and then tragedy struck.

As I was rifling through the essays, I came upon one with this written at the bottom.

I was crushed. Even though I had read comment after comment praising my work, of course this is the phrase that stuck with me. How could someone grade my emotions as boring? They went on to say that as a writer, I had some "fictional leeway" that I wasn't taking advantage of. Well, I'm sorry anonymous idiot, but the assignment was a creative NON-fiction essay. Next time, I'll throw in some car-crashes and maybe a subplot about a diamond thief who falls in love with his arch-enemy. And I'll use really simple words so you can understand. Nothing over four letters. So just words like this one. JERK.