Monday, December 19, 2011
-I completed my student teaching. Woah. This was the most exhausting, exhilarating experience of my life, and boy did I love it. I never thought that I could be so frustrated and so enchanted with students. I taught Humanities, English 9, and Honors English 9. I learned so much during my few months there, but the most important was this: I am a teacher. This is what I am supposed to do. There are countless things about my instruction I'd change for my own classroom, but I still loved teaching. I did well. There were kids I struggled with and kids that were a delight. But overall, teaching was a beautiful, beautiful thing. I got brownies, hand-drawn pictures of dragons, and awesome stories every day. Definitely worth getting up at five every morning.
-I got engaged and survived a long distance relationship! I should get a medal.
-At the last minute, I bought a ticket from my friend Thom and went to the Foo Fighters concert. Best. Decision. Ever. I have no idea how I could have considered not going. Dude. Dave Grohl rocks my world harder than I could have imagined. PLUS he played the drums for opener Cage the Elephant. I died. And then screamed really loud. And then died again. And loved every second of it. Oh, Dave Grohl.
-This semester, I also tested practically every gyro available in Provo. I don't know why, but there was never a time when I didn't want a gyro. Oh, what delicious morsels.
-I became a record person. Yep. After finally getting a lovely sound system to accompany my record player, I started listening to vinyl. You guys, it's totally better.
-For the first time ever, I dyed my hair. I decided to take baby steps, and just added a few turquoise streaks. You know, something nice and subtle. I look awesome, and punk rock, and classy. All at the same time.
-I enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Gardner Village with Rosemary and Mary, some of the only girls on the planet who can make shopping an enjoyable experience. We found the strangest conglomeration or ridiculosity and awesomeness in Anastasia's Attic, and then ate delicious food. Twas a day most marvelously spent.
-Spent way too many hours dancing to "Lonely Boy" by the Black Keys. Lauren, Ashley, Annie and I went a little crazy with this song. But we totally have the dance memorized now.
-Finally caved in and watched all of Parks and Recreation. Best three days of my life. Ron Swanson forever!
-And the biggest, most ridiculous thing I've done is finish school and leave Provo.
That's right. I left Utah Valley.
Today, I packed up my final college apartment, said goodbye to my last college roommates, and drove away from BYU for the last time. Tomorrow morning I head up to Seattle, where I plan on spending at least the next two years.
This has been an intense, difficult time for me. My relationship with Provo has become more antagonistic, especially over the last year, but there are parts I love in it. It is the most crazy, messed up, ridiculous town in the US, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. I formed some forever friendships there, and I don't even believe in those things. It opened me up to some amazing opportunities. It enabled me to grow in ways I didn't think possible.
Life is not perfect, and thinking back over the past four and a half years I have spent roaming around Provo and BYU, there are so many things I would change. But I don't think I would have become the person I am today without living in Provo and going to BYU, so I am incredibly grateful for that.
The other day I was randomly listening to iTunes, and this song came up.
I hate Rod Stewart, and will never forgive him for the monstrosity that is "Maggie May," but I think that this song encapsulates my feelings perfectly. Somehow or other.
Even though I do wish I knew what I know now when I was younger, I'm still happy I had the process of learning everything. I had good times. I had great times. I had times that I wish I could forget. But each moment added up to where I am right now, and I am completely satisfied with that.
So here's to my new adventure. But more importantly, here's to you. Odds are, if you're reading this blog, you've helped shape the past four years in one way or another. So I want you to know, thank you. I've appreciated knowing you more than you could know. Whether you are family, friend, classmate, ward member, or random acquaintance, it's been wonderful knowing and learning from you. And as I start this new chapter in my life, a chapter that thrills and terrifies me, I want you to know I cherish you.
And now, I'm moving forward. Let's see how this goes.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
1. I love my boyfriend. Yep, it's blog official love.
2. I love Seattle.
I was honestly surprised at how fantastic it felt to be back in Washington. When I left, I was grateful for my time there but relieved to return to the land of mountains and sunshine. I didn't feel like my connection with the city was that deep. I appreciated Seattle, but it was a stopover, a happy footnote in the Adventures of Cat. But oh, how wrong I was. As soon as the plane dipped over the water, I was amazed. I could breathe again. My shoulders relaxed. My heart was lighter. True, a lot of that might have to do with the incredible company I had this weekend, but for the first time in a long time I felt calm. Relaxed. At peace.
I don't feel at peace in Provo. I can't feel at peace in Provo. From my first moment back in Utah Valley, my stomach tightened and my esophagus closed off. A constant tension developed between my shoulder blades, and I can't seem to shake this ever-present feeling that my being here is wrong. I'm not comfortable in my old stomping grounds. Every nook and cranny of this place holds haunting memories of last year, memories that make me full of hate and anger and nausea. Memories I would give anything to completely obliterate so they no longer infect my soul.
Don't worry. I'm working on it.
Add that personal angst to the burdens of student teaching, and the last month has been anything but a cake walk. In short, I needed this weekend. I needed it very badly. Every single moment was perfection. From my first foray into Canada, to the over abundance of delicious breakfast foods, to long walks and quiet conversation, this trip was everything I could have hoped for.
And now I have new faith. Faith that I can endure these next few months. For whenever I get soul sick, whenever the heartache and thousand natural shocks of this woeful existence start bearing down on me, I have a healthy store of memories and dreams to feast on. Memories of bridges and trees and cliff-sides. Steak tacos and jazz in the streets. Gelato and ocean views. Church meetings that lift my spirit and inspire me towards good. Lessons that preach of charity, lessons that strengthen my belief. Mysterious cemeteries with broken stones. Watching movies and finally breathing easy, finally being able to relax.
All of this was set against a background of held hands and constant love. Yes, I might whine and bemoan my sorry lot sometimes, but no longer. Now I have something to remember. How amazing this life is, a life that can be so difficult but offers such blessings in the midst of darkness.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
First off, I had been aching to go to SIFF ever since it started about two weeks ago. It was like what happens every January around Sundance--I feel this inexorable pull, this need to just see one show, to at least experience part of the artsy fartsiness. Every year I don't make it to Sundance I feel depressed, and I think having another film festival in my backyard that I wasn't taking advantage of was getting me down.
But why Norman? Well, that's when the fangirl comes out. Andrew Bird wrote two original songs and did all the scoring for the movie. I LOVE Andrew Bird. Love love love love love love love him. So yes, that was the deciding factor for me to man up and forage into the festival. And by "forage", I mean grab a cheap student ticket and sit in a half-filled theatre at one in the afternoon. Oh yes. I am living on the edge.
Norman was fairly good as far as movies go. It centered around Norman Long, a high school senior whose mother died in a car crash and whose father is dying of cancer. The film deals with themes like run-of-the-mill teen angst about not fitting in and lying to classmates, but with darker edges of self-esteem issues, suicidal impulses, and coping with responsibility. It felt a lot like last year's Easy A, if that movie had been about cancer and suicide and starred a depressed boy instead of a precocious chick. Do I think it will get picked up for distribution? Honestly, no. And if it does, it will undergo some vast changes (unfortunately, I think Bird's score would be one of the casualties). But was it a good movie? Yes. I'm going to say yes. It wasn't great, and needed some more work to tighten up some pretty wide tone shifts, etc., but overall it succeeded.
All the credit for that success goes to Dan Byrd, who played Norman. Byrd is best known for playing light, comedy roles, like the son on Cougar Town or the gay guy in Easy A. He shows off some serious acting chops in this role, making me laugh out loud and almost cry within moments of each other. He brought an intensity to Norman that had me completely caught up in his plight. Despite showing off an ability to emote with scenes of him handling near impossible loads, Byrd still brings his unique humor, with wry line delivery that makes his character surprisingly likeable. This is in addition to some other great performances, especially Richard Jenkins as his dying father and Adam Lambert as the classic profound English teacher. Oh, and the hot chick from Everwood plays a love interest. That's probably important or something.
But on to the score. I first became obsessed with Andrew Bird my freshman year of college. When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed--I completely immersed myself in his music. And I would walk around campus, his songs my own personal soundtrack, and think about how perfect and under-appreciated Andrew Bird was, and how if I ever made a movie it would have Andrew Bird songs. So I made up scenes in my head, small snippets and vignettes, and set them to his melodic voice, dreaming of a day where he would be known (well, that, and of the day that we would meet and he would fall madly in love with me. Naturally).
I think it's important to note that in my freshman imaginings all I thought of were scenes. There was never a whole movie, never a coherent storyline. Andrew Bird's music is incredible, atmospheric, and powerful. And a little much for an entire movie.
I'm willing to make concessions on this point. My love affair with Andrew Bird's music is very intense, and that, coupled with his lack of western touring of late, left me distracted every time the music swelled. The whistles, the strings, the swooping layers of sound--they were classic Bird traits, and I found myself focusing on them rather than the action in the scene.
But, all that fandom aside, there were several moments where the music didn't fit the tone. Most notable among these was a humorous scene where father and son drink some celebratory scotch, but the addition of an insistent violin chorus makes the exchange more unsettling than called for. Once again, it wasn't always that distracting. The opening credits, scored with a whistled introduction, and two new songs (credited as "Night Sky" and "Arcs and Colombs") used during romantic interludes were well-placed. And there was a standout moment with the song "Dark Matter," which was used perfectly in the film. Makes sense, since director Jonathan Segal has cited that song as his inspiration for working with Bird.
Regardless of any missteps, it was nice to spend an afternoon with Andrew Bird. I've missed him. It was also nice to have some time to indulge my inner snob. It doesn't get much more pretentious than seeing a movie at a film festival, all because your favorite indie musician did the music. All I need is a vintage scarf and a hipper-than-thou attitude and I'll be set for life.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Anyway, watching it inspired me to write. To write candidly, and with very little censor. Well, little censor for me, that is. Going from an emotionless brick wall to a wall with a small crack might not seem like much, but take what you can get.
If you've read this blog at all, you might guess that I'm a little media-obsessed. I'm an escapist in the truest sense of the word. Well, maybe escape isn't quite right. I don't seek to lose myself in the art of the day. Actually, it's the opposite--with every piece of music or TV or movie I watch, I try to use it to figure out my own existence. In fact, this trait has been exhibited several times on the ol' Angst Muffins, and even in a previous post about Reality Bites (found here). But I'm starting to wonder if this isn't the best tactic to take. Possibly, just possibly, stories by others do not carry clues to figuring out my own puzzling situations. What a blow.
That sounded a wee bit crazy. It's not as if I take everything I watch to be some great mystical Ouija Board. I don't think that I should mimic character's actions or anything. But the reason media is fascinating is because it forms connections, and I do believe that the more you examine the connections, the better any viewing/reading/consuming experience will be.
Take this Christmas Break for instance. Things you need to know about my Christmas Break: A- Fall semester was absolute Hell.
B-Over Christmas Break, I watched the series My So-Called Life in it's entirety.
I am not proud of this statement. Mostly because, all nostalgia aside, My So-Called Life is a terrible show. No, really. There is not a single likeable character in the mix.
* RANT* Except for Ricky. Ricky is pretty great. I never really understood why he hung out with Rayanne, except for the whole momma-bear 'no one will look out for her if I don't' spiel. She's a bad seed Ricky! You are better than that. *END RANT*
But back to MSCL, as the cool kids say. Really, just an irksome show. Like I said, bad characters, sophomoric, irritating dialogue ("It was, like, so totally elemental. Like my soul was, like, all, exposed or something." I don't think this is a direct quote, but it might as well be), and episodes that seemed to jump around and were over-dramatic, over-acted, and straight up annoying.
And yet I loved it. And what's more, I identified with it. Go figure.
There were times when I would finish an episode and just sit and squirm, I identified with Angela Chase so much. You see, back then, I had my Jordan Catalano, a guy I was oh-so-into, but like Jordan, all he wanted to do was make out in the high school furnace room and ignore me in front of his bandmates (not literally, that's referencing a story arc from the show for emphasis). And that Christmas, I had my Brian Krakow, the childhood friend, the boy next door who just wanted a shot, but circled my street on his bike one too many times (once again, a show reference, not reality).
And I thought, 'hey, MSCL. These can't be the only options, right?'
So I would sit a fume and vow to find the third character. An escape route. And all this time I would sit and have internal monologues that were undoubtedly in Angela's voice, and then I would get frustrated because my subconscious sounded like a fifteen year old girl. I didn't ever want that, even when I was fifteen.
See, I think that was the part that bothered me the most about finding myself in Angela Chase. She was a sophomore in high school. And I was twenty-one and finishing up college. There should not have been any comparison, right? I should not be sympathizing with the struggles of teenagers.
Sometimes I seriously worry that I have stunted growth. That is not to say that I am immature. In fact, I've usually considered myself more rational than other people my age (she said ever so smugly). That sounded condescending, and I apologize. It's not intellectually, or physically, but emotionally. I joke that I am an emotionless brick wall, but for a long time, I think that was true. I didn't start letting people in--whether it's friends or relationships or whatever--until college. So I guess it makes sense that I'm a little behind, desperately trying to catch up to the high school sophomores of the world, to figure out how interacting with others is supposed to work. I'm working on it, but sometimes progress is slow. Sometimes, I still think it's easier to just shut everything and everyone out. But alas, as I'm discovering, I'm an unexpectedly social creature, and I don't think the arms-length method of living would be worth it in the end.
So I'll progress. Slow but steady. And who knows, maybe I'll hit where I'm supposed to be one of these days.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I just went to a three hour informational business meeting. I'm so totally jazzed.
There we were, a smattering of people in nice dress, crammed into a living room with a white board set up. Not quite what I was expecting, but hey, intimate grassroots firms are all the rage, right? And then came the speaker. To be honest, his suit looked shabby and his tie seemed askew, but rest assured. This fellow was financially independent! He "retired" at thirty-five! Sure, he's still giving these meetings and making money off of them, but he's retired! Made/making six figures a year! That's the dream, and it could be ours!
At least that's what he told us. Talking straight for the first two and a half hours. Money, just ours for the taking. Finally, we can be living the high life. Finally, everything lacking in life will be corrected. We'll be successful. Confident. Able to rub our fancy falutin' lifestyle in the faces of every person who ever doubted us. I mean, I didn't ever think that there was anyone out there that doubted me or my ability to be happy, but at last I can take those people, my family and friends, and say HA HA! I am rich! Richity rich rich rich!
But wait, what exactly are we doing to make all that sweet, sweet cash (which is, after all, the only thing I want)?
The man assured us he'd get there, but first, think about what you could do with the opportunities being in The Business (that's how he said it, "The Business", an entity sacred and wholly unto itself). I mean, this economy is taking a toll on everyone, and we could be free from it. Involvement in The Business meant that you could finally take your gutter-fied, shameful excuse of a life and pick it up off the ground. It will magically turn around any and all addiction problems, save your marriage, and cure your cancer. If you already have money, this will give you some extra cash so that you can give back, helping battered women or something. That feels good, right? Charity? Yes?
And there went another half hour.
Finally, once everyone was slavering at the bit, once he'd gotten verbal confirmations from all the new meat about HOW EXCITED THEY WERE to be a part of this, finally, then he revealed how to make these millions. We would be the next Mark Zuckerberg. We'd be making more money than we could handle. And it's not sales, and it's not illegal. It's just capitalizing on a trend, making it big as a part of something that is oh-so-current and yet somehow existed in the early 80's when he got involved. Silly semantics.
Anyway, what I gleaned from those last five minutes, is that for just one investment of $150 I can buy into a plan to advertise other products. I just have to get people to buy from certain companies. And I'm practically guaranteed to make $68 dollars the first few months. Plus, if I get more people involved, I make more money. All I need is twelve people, and I could be making thousands of dollars a month! Hot diggety!
Wait a second. You don't think this is some kind of scheme, is it? Nah, it couldn't be.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Right now they have two music exhibits. One traces the career of Jimi Hendrix, and made me weak in the knees. The other was entitled "Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses," and was a more incredible and intimate portrait of the Gods of Grunge than I could even imagine. That exhibit left me speechless, and has even invaded my subconscious. Then there was the Guitar Gallery, tracing the development of that sacred instrument from its inception and blues roots through the invention of the electric and amplified rock and fuzz, which made me stand silently, staring, with tears in my eyes.
The oral histories fascinated me. The sheer spectrum of interviews they had collected was vast--they had an entire gallery called "Sound and Vision" that was filled with headphones and computers and mp3 players with files from musicians and actors and producers and authors, all sharing their experiences. These snippets of history were pure inspiration to my soul (especially the few moments where Ray Bradbury discussed the writing process. That alone was worth it). There is something different, something magical about hearing something from the source. This desire to hear stories is what first drew me to journalism in my youth, and continues to make me an enthralled observer of life. So having all those interviews at my fingertips was a rather gleeful experience.
Somewhat surprisingly, there was something I liked even more than interviews with the established and famous. In "Sound and Vision," they had a room where visitors could tape a short segment where they talked about basically anything: how you discovered a band you love, a book that changed how you think, a favorite movie, etc. Outside the room, there was a small screen set up where you could watch the interviews. This man-on-the-street collection even extended to the Nirvana exhibit, where they had a special room with an adjacent booth where fans could record their stories about how they connected with Nirvana.
I could have listened to those casual interviews for days. In fact, I am completely, 100% planning on going back and spending hours in those rooms alone. There's something about hearing other people's stories. You know, people that aren't famous or accomplished in any other way. They have more to prove, are more eager to please, and their desperation to leave their mark makes those snippets far more entertaining. In this world, everyone, and I include myself in this statement (I have a blog, don't I?) is looking to make their mark on the world. Looking for their claim to fame, as it were. And those brief interviews, where people were laying their passions and drives and obsessions on the line, left me completely transfixed. Yes, there was no reason I should listen to these people, but they were there. Telling stories. Sharing small pieces of their identity with an anonymous public.
They were me. I saw myself in them, identifying with their strange, almost compulsive need to share moments that, however trivial they seemed, were nonetheless important to the teller. I chuckled as they laughed, agreed when they credited music or movies with shaping their life. Stories. Connections. A method of bonding despite having no solid foundation, except what existed through mutual appreciation. That's what the EMP was doing--in some colossal scheme, they were creating peace through the collection of oral histories. And that is a cause I can completely support.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Yep, that's where I'm living. In the flesh. It's OK if you're jealous, I understand the feeling. As soon as I passed this little house, I was smitten. I vowed then and there that it would be mine. Oh yes, it would be mine. And now here I am, sitting in the perfect three-month lease, with the perfect little room, and a surprisingly comfortable air mattress. And I couldn't be happier to be in such a wonderful corner of the world.
But even if it was a rundown, ramshackle shack, I'd still be alright with it. That might be a bit of an overstatement (after all, I did pass on Jonny and his hotboxed house), but still. The feeling of having a room of my own, a space for me to inhabit and dwell and build upon is priceless. The past couple of weeks in Everson have been great, and wonderful, and illuminating in all the best ways, but my oh my am I ready to start this Seattle adventure.
So here I come, bus pass in hand. Goals in sight. Eager to start this part of 2011. I would not be anywhere else in the world but here tonight. Washington, I'm yours.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
My mom is the single most important influence in my life. She raised me to value language, books, education. She set me on the path of knowledge that I follow today. She taught me about the gospel, the difference between right and wrong, and how to foster intelligence while maintaining high ideals. Her example was one of love, and service, and constant dedication to family. Even when I couldn't see my own potential my mom always did, and always had faith in me to be better and to do great things. I am so proud to be her daughter.
Whenever I try to put into words what my mom has done for me, or how grateful I am, it reminds me how woefully inadequate any statement is. Nothing can summarize the role of mothers. And then, after feeling helpless for a bit, I remember the poem "The Lanyard" by Billy Collins.
The Lanyard - Billy Collins
The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
I don't think anything can ever make us even, Mom. Thank you for everything. Know that I am thinking of you. You are amazing. You are so full of love and talent and warmth. I admire you and love you so much. Once again, I'm grateful that you are my mother.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
To slow down. To breathe. To focus on what and why and how. To keep the details of school and life and choices from crushing me. To recognize hope. To ponder. To pray. To trust.
Oh, and just because all of these pictures are from the recent trip to California, I have to add one more. To always, always respect and honor this:
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It's me. I'm back from sunny California. It was an epic and interesting adventure. I'm pretty excited to return to my bed. It's a place of magic and wonder and sleepiness.
Imma gonna talk about my trip tomorrow. Be excited. Be very excited. Be so excited you will pee yourself. PS, Lauren is dictating right now. Continue Lauren. She started out as reading, but soon her brilliant ideas just made their way on to the page. More thoughts from Lauren should be on this blog. Considering Lauren doesn't post on her own blog. Dangit, spell my name right. So yeah, Lauren's awesome. And pretty much the best roommate I've ever had. Make me a sandwich and go to bed. OBEY MY COMMANDS.
Half done Lauren. Half done indeed. The going to bed part. HAHA, SUCKER.
Uh-oh. She knows where I sleep at night.
Sleep afraid. Sleep very afraid. And dream about how your spelling has deteriorated.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
So here I am, in California, holed up in Starbucks with a raspberry hot chocolate and my computer.
I'm having a really, really good time.
Yesterday I saw a lot of Rodin, including the original Thinking Man. It pleased me greatly. I also pondered on the manner of going home, of visiting places without regressing to the person you used to be there.
I like California so far.
I bet I'll like it even better tomorrow. MAGIC MOUNTAIN, Y'ALL.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Gear up the Zeppelin and the Mamas and the Papas*, cause here I come.
True, I might have killed myself working round the clock this week, getting stuff done days ahead of time so I could go. But worth it? You betcha.
I'm tired. But excited.
*"Going to California" and "California Dreamin'," respectively.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I love my topic. I love it so much I am nigh unto obsessed with it. Using TV and movies in the classroom? Sign me up! The research process has rocked. If I could do nothing but sit and read articles about television, I would be the happiest girl in the whole wide world. All my findings have organized themselves neatly into a cohesive paper, with my outline practically writing itself and just waiting to burst from my typing fingers. And I'm oh-so-very eager and excited to share my findings and rub the glory of pop culture into snobby elitist faces.
The world of academia, actually, the world in general, never really progresses past playground fights, does it?
Anyway, this paper should be the easiest thing I've written in my college career. Yet here I sit, swigging from a two-liter of Cherry Coke and whining about how I don't wanna do it.
Oh, and procrastinating by salivating over things at outofprintclothing.com. I want them all!
Here are the best, with the selection based less on appearance (though that's a factor) and more on what books I've read. I don't believe in false advertising, and I will not wear a shirt of something I don't support.
This is my favorite, the one I dream about at night:
These are all equally delightful, and I want them:
Out of the those, I'd have to say my top three shirts are Fahrenheit 451, The Song of Solomon, and The Lord of the Flies (or To Kill a Mockingbird). Fitting, since those are a few of my favorite books.
I should really just write a hierarchy of my preference in literary shirts. Can I get a Nerd Alert?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In happier news, I survived today! And you know why? Because of the Flaming Lips. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the Flaming Lips saved my life. Not only did they save my life, but they enriched it. I must have listened to "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1" about six times in the past twelve hours. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Come on! It's incredibly infectious music.
I think this comic from Questionable Content sums it up pretty well:
It's true! You just have to be happy when listening to the Flaming Lips.
To go on yet another small tangent, I had a throwback today. I had to complete a seventh grade writing assignment as if I were a seventh grader. In reality, I completed it like I was a fifth or sixth grader, but I think it evened out, as I was an incredibly advanced writer. Of course. Smarmy smarmy smarmy.
But honestly, it was fun to remember those days. Back then, I was destined to be an author. Writing was my passion, and I thought I was the bee's knees. But my stories were riddled with cliches and crutches. They all involved two girls as the main characters, and their names always started with 'K' and 'C', because my name started with 'C' and my best friend's name started with 'K'. One girl (me) was always a sassy tomboy, and the other would be nervous and shy. And I swear, every story alluded to the main character having a crush on a boy whose name started with 'M' and who played soccer.
Man I was subtle as a kid.
It was fun to relive those days. To turn off my brain and just write as over-the-top and exaggerated as I could. I had talent, I tell ya, pure talent! Or I just read way too much. Sigh. Those were the days.
Monday, March 21, 2011
No, really. I love it.
It's always an adventure. Like today, for instance, where I spent an hour getting eaten by a couch for a short stop-motion photo project. Yep, you read that right. I got eaten by a couch.
And no lying, it was the highlight of my day. I think I might have a talent for making barely perceptible motions very slowly, resulting in some awesome flip-book-tastic photos. I wish Lauren had the movie ready already, so I could post it here, but it's not to be. Just believe me when I say that there are some pretty incredible flailing leg actions going on that I am quite proud of. I'm 100% positive that I completely captured the trauma and physical motions that would occur if a couch were to spontaneously eat the occupant.
Also, painstakingly propping up cushions with Xbox games and books was pretty enjoyable, as was manipulating orange ribbon to act as the couch's grabbing arms/tongue. Sometimes I wish I hadn't dedicated myself to being a teacher at such a young age (ten or eleven, to be exact). Who knows, maybe I could have had a lucrative career in film, either as an actor, or director, or props manager, or my secret ambition, a screenwriter.
That last one is actually serious. I still sometimes fantasize about moving to New York or LA and writing for some second-rate sitcom, all while harboring secret dreams and working on a screenplay that would be my magnum opus, something combining the dry wit and drama of the Coens with the indie sensibilities of Wes Anderson, but much more accessible and meaningful.
Honestly, I'm just shooting for Tina Fey here. That's kind of my only ambition in life.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Imma gonna go pass out now. SLEEP.
I am a sleep zombie.
And so it comes full circle
Saturday, March 19, 2011
So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put those sweet things to good use.
Mm Mm Good.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Drank some delicious hot chocolate, and then wandered over here:
Where I read this:
Which I decided I absolutely, definitely want to teach in my classroom someday. That probably won't fly in Utah (murmur murmur stinkin' censorship murmur), but I've already come up with a few ways that it would TOTALLY work to teach different concepts. Gordy's description of how to read books? The altercation with Mr. P that talks about living up to potential? The wonderful Vince Lombardi quote and the moments with the Coach--applicable not just to sports, but to life. The integration of comic and the interview with the cartoonist at the back? Golden, I say, golden!
This is all my way of saying I have had an absolutely perfect Friday.
I'm a very, very lucky person, when all things are considered.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Luckily, this girl happened to love journalism, and was returning to the school newspaper (despite being HORRIBLY slighted the editor-in-chief position) (not that she's bitter) (she's still a little bitter).
Despite the connections I made, there is one group that holds a special soft spot in my heart, and that is my Junior Boys. The Junior Boys are exactly what they sound like--a group of guys a grade younger than me. But these boys were intelligent, passionate, and most importantly, fun to be around. They challenged my thinking and pushed me to expand my intelligence. They helped build both my knowledge of politics and my resume (thank you, JSA). They introduced me to Scrubs and sat with me through countless Office parties. They helped make my senior year unforgettable.
Tonight I hung out with Kyle and Andy, the two main guys from the Junior Boys. I'm lucky enough to see Andy fairly regularly, and really, he's one of my very best friends and in my top favorite people in the world. But I rarely see Kyle, since he got all pretentious and went to Yale. Hey, you don't want to get made fun of for that, don't get all East Coast. Anyway.
But tonight wasn't about any of that. It was the group, just chilling and talking and enjoying being around each other. I've heard people talk about old times, and kind of understood the phrase, but tonight really felt like that. It felt like old times, a reliving of glory days. And you know what? I don't even care that those glory days involve sitting around a computer, listening to music and mocking each other. The three of us, together again? Magical.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
This picture of Rashida Jones in Freaks and Geeks gives you a basic idea of what it looks like. The sleeves are a bit tighter, and I look quite a bit more awesome in it, but the basics are the same.
A Journey shirt day is a distinct and special sort of day. The Journey shirt is comfortable, but only worn sparingly. If I'm wearing the shirt, it's a symbol that I was not fully awake and did not feel like facing a brand new day.
Sometimes the shirt is a comfort, as I revel in it's ability to make me look deliciously hobo-esque, and I strut around all day like an aging rock star. Or like I actually am on Freaks and Geeks, just trying to survive another day with a devil-may-care attitude.
Other times the shirt is an ill omen, a harbinger of bad luck. On those days, I wallow in the shirt, letting it's baggy folds envelop me, hiding in the fabric until I disappear completely. On those days, the shirt serves as protection from the harshness of reality.
Today is the latter type of day. Sigh. I'm so ready to be done with school. Wake me up when it's over.
PS- Can I just say I am really annoyed at the show Glee? I feel like they've commandeered all usage of the song "Don't Stop Believin'" and now I can't use it for anything. I had a struggle naming this post that, but it worked so perfectly thematically I couldn't resist. And what can I say! Some people are just Journey fans! It doesn't mean we are subscribing to a certain over-hyped television sensation! Ugh. Glee needs to die.
Monday, March 14, 2011
It's time for me to wax eloquent about The West Wing. However, due to the fact that I don't blog until late and I almost always would rather go to bed than do this, I will probably not do it the justice that it so richly deserves.
Let's boil it down to a few main talking points, upon which I might elaborate at a future date.
1. I love Aaron Sorkin. I think his writing is beyond brilliant. The way he creates the most complex, and truly human characters is admirable. Sorkin also manages to mold situations and plot in a way that never, ever ceases to be magical. I just finished the second season, and I am still getting chills from the writing. The fact that I often just stare at the screen, dumbstruck, only able to whisper "this is the most well-written production" should attest to his genius. Also, have I mentioned that the man has an Oscar? Because he does. Aaron Sorkin now has an Oscar. And I have never supported and fully endorsed any win as much as I have his. Aaron, I am genuinely full of joy for you.
2. It has the perfect cast. I never thought I would like Martin Sheen, let alone be so loyal to his fictional president. I would vote for President Bartlet in a second, because (according to his character) he is a good man, with an excellent and supportive staff. He is the kind of president I would be proud of. He has to make the tough calls, but at his core he is a bleeding heart who truly wants the best for every single American. And that's just my opinion of the president! I haven't even started talking the rest of the spectacular cast. Like CJ, the amazingly incredible press secretary, or Toby, whose speeches make me shiver and inspire me, or Sam's idealistic heart of gold, or Charlie's sheer dedication to the president, or Josh. Sigh. Josh. Josh and his fantastic cockiness, his magnificent air of surety and his brusque, yet caring manner. I'm a little bit (a whole lotta little bit) in love with that man.
Basically, awesome cast. I could wax on and on, but I should probably stop before the sheer fandom makes my computer explode.
But what's magical about The West Wing is how it makes you genuinely care about the world. It makes you realized the importance behind those people who work tirelessly at the White House. Are their jobs easy? Not at all. Do they always get what they want? Far from it. But it shows a staff with dedication, with heart and hope and a sense of humor. It inspires me. If they can make those tough decisions, and have their hearts broken time after time after time, and yet still carry on with a modicum of hope, with some deep-ingrained belief that they can make this world better, then so can I. I won't let life break me. I will remain full of passion and inspiration and a desire to do good.
The gospel of Aaron Sorkin. One convert at a time. Join me, brethren.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
So bring it blog. Considered yourself conquered for one day more. You make take our will, but you will never take our FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!
Zombies tonight. Be excited.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I SAW A DOUBLE RAINBOW.
Please ignore the poor photo quality, my phone was not intended for serious pictures. Also, I know you can't really see the second one (it's to the left), but it was there! I promise! And it was incredible.
Life is complete.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Quick shout out to Mary and her fantastic presentation today. I've never been so interested in the Riot Grrrl movement in my life. Punk! Anarchy! Legitimate art form in zines! I loved it.
You know what else I love? INVADER ZIM. Why has no one shown me this glorious, glorious cartoon before now? It just makes sense that it should be in my life. We complete each other. I haven't laughed so hard in a while. Victory for Zim!
I also stole (ish) a Trogdor sweatshirt today. Life is good.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I've been a little out of it all day. This morning was the worst-- I couldn't keep my eyes open. I sat in my three-hour practicum class, hating life, being completely apathetic to all subject matter, and desperately wishing I could be home in bed. You know when your eyelids really ARE heavy, and even the physical act of keeping them open aches? That's how I felt. Which would have been fine, if I was able to go home and sleep after class. But no, I had to drive to Alta High afterward to drop off some graded essays.
I don't think I've ever been so afraid of a drive. I was so completely exhausted that I was sure I would fall asleep, or turn incorrectly, or make some other ridiculous mistake and end up in a horrific car crash. In an attempt to stave off sleep, I knew I would have to play some crazy upbeat music.
Enter Seve vs Evan.
Oh Seve. How you perfectly embody 2006-2008. Listening to them brought back the oddest of memories. People I used to see all the time, and yet hadn't thought of for years. Things I used to do. Dances I used to dance. The shallowest of feelings and emotions, yet knowing that at the time they were so important. Man I was deep back then. Or something.
But mostly, all I could think about was how INCREDIBLY FUN Seve vs Evan concerts were. I don't think I've danced like that since. Is it good music? That's arguable. But is it dance-your-pants-off amazing? Most definitely. The entire car ride to Alta, I danced that car dance, wiggling in my seat and throwing out air punches. The second I got home, I blasted "Destination Tokyo" and "Once Upon a Sailor" and started skanking with my roommate in the kitchen. Burning carbs! Smiling like a villain! Completely and utterly enjoying life!
It was delightful. I should have throwbacks like that more often.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The part about cravats is not at all true. They make me think of Jane Austen, and if there's one thing that IS true, it's my undying, burning dislike of Jane Austen and her works. But I do like alliteration.
I also like TV, eclairs, and the odd mix of coke bottles, salsa, floss and paint thinner that is currently adorning my kitchen table. I have some great people in my life.
Today has been pretty uneventful. It's the kind of day that just rolls on by, big and bright and comfortable. No real moments of revelation. Just pure, unadulterated existence.
This picture is one of the many on my bedroom wall:
Paris Street; Rainy Day, by Gustave Caillebotte. I don't know what it is about this painting, but it calms me. That's what I want my life to be like. Muted colors and shining cobblestones. Sharp company and a blurred world. Seeing life through rain-flecked glasses, head turned outwards while everyone else looks down.
I don't know. It's appealing.
Just like today. Sometimes, you need the gloriously mundane. Then again, there's still several hours left in the day for everything to get shot to Hell. Hopefully I didn't jinx myself.
But it doesn't feel like that will happen. Even if it does, I think I'd just shut my eyes and let today roll on, smooth and unhurried.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
But right as I logged in to write it, I got a call from my brother John. I love hearing from John, as he is my closest sibling age-wise and I feel like I'm very close to him and his wife. After a few minutes of lighthearted conversation, we started to talk about his brand new, incredibly beautiful baby girl. The baby girl that he and his wife just found out has moderate permanent hearing loss.
It's hard for me to handle hearing the sharp edge of hidden pain in a person's voice. The hint at a sadness that I can do nothing to alleviate. To hear about this beautiful child, who though perfect, still has a problem that has completely altered the world of my brother and his family.
This was heaped upon a pretty odd few days, where I've seen and heard of more people who are secretly suffering, bearing through pain in silence. And it's difficult to want to help, to want to take action, but to be unable to do anything but sit back and pray with all your soul.
So that's what I'm going to do. And just know, everyone out there who is going through trials and hardships, you are not alone. There are people who care about you more than you know. And they will always, always be there for you.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of facial hair on the opposite sex. If there's one sure way to make me swoon, it's having a beard. I love them. I think they are the epitome of manliness and awesomeness and happiness.
List of cool people who have beards:
-Sam Beam (of Iron & Wine)
-Bonnie "Prince" Billy (bonus points for ginger beard!)
-Gerard Butler in 300
-All of my brothers
-All of the Beatles (at some point or another. I think Paul's was the best)
Basically, I love, nay, I respect a good beard.
What don't I respect? Mustaches. They are the red-headed stepchild of facial hair. They're that annoying cousin that no one likes but can't seem to get rid of. It's like a caterpillar died on someone's upper lip, and not the cute cuddly kind of caterpillar. No, the evil poisonous kind that lives in South America and eats babies for lunch. That's what a mustache is. A pure, baby-killing fiend.
Note: There are two exceptions to the evil mustache rule. 1) The incomparable Tom Selleck, and 2) Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid. Because he just plain rocks that.
But overall, mustaches are super, SUPER creepy. Which is why they should not be tolerated. Which is why I was livid when my boyfriend got suckered into participating in Mustache March last night, and showed up today with that thing on his upper lip. I hate it when people have integrity, and won't back out of a promise they've made. Not really, integrity is great and all, but I dislike when it works against my favor.
The past 24 hours have been spent in an epic battle for the downfall of the mustache, and I am proud to say that I emerged the victor. True, it came at the cost of said boyfriend's awesome beard, but it was a sacrifice I had to make. Besides, the beard had already been sacrificed to the evils deities of Mustache March. And you know, sometimes in life you just have to make the tough calls. I'm proud to say that I made them (sort of). I would probably be a great general, if it wasn't for the fact that I have zero strategic ability.
I guess that's one job option I'll put on the back burner for now.
Anyway, I'm just going to post twice today, and one will count as last night, and everything will be right in the world. You hear? Everything. Hunger and genocide and all that jazz.
Last night, I made plans for the future. They are big, and they are scary. But I've also never been more excited in my life. This is going to be a great year. Even if my plans don't pan out, 2011 is my year. And to that, I say Lachaim! Here's to life.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The abundance of markers and plaques engraved with names and paper flowers made me remember the gravity of this place, but I didn't grasp the magnitude. I encountered it with the proper solemn demeanor, and yet there was no way I could have appreciated what happened. It had a fascination, but the meaning eluded me.
I think I'll never be able to completely understand what happened in Normandy, but my respect can continually grow. And tonight, I'll admit it, after watching Saving Private Ryan and recognizing landmarks, seeing the gore and grit in places that were so familiar, it hit closer to home.
I am a pacifist to the core. An idealized world is utterly appealing to me, but don't fret. I'm still a realist, and I acknowledge that war is often necessary. The beaches of Normandy were needed. The sacrifices made there were meaningful. And I will constantly feel pride and appreciation for a country and a people who could make those difficult choices, who could face fear and death for a cause that is bigger than themselves.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
But I treasure these moments. The cathartic release that comes from going and going and giving and giving all day. The spontaneous dance parties and random pancake days and occasional bickering and constant appreciation of JEFF BRIDGES. Seriously. He is The Dude, after all.
Still, it's usually just quiet. Music wavering in the background (tonight it's Andrew Bird. Obviously, I got to the speakers first). Separate couches. Too lazy to turn on all the lights, so semi-darkness enfolds us as we sit, lone spots in the haze as computers screens fill our faces with a phosphorescent glow.
It's peaceful. That communal, comfortable feeling of resting, but not being alone.
That, and sharing the occasional gem. I'll play a music video or read some snarky commentary on pop culture, and Lauren will share some Threadless gems. Like this little beauty:
If you don't want that on a shirt, you have no soul.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
-Lindsey, from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.
I have this habit when I'm with people and get bored or restless. I'll turn to the nearest person, and say "tell me a story."
The success rate of this tactic is less than 0%.
People can't just come up with stories on the spot. They inevitably stare, stutter and ask what the story should be about. How should I know? If I knew what story I wanted, I wouldn't be asking you. I'd be thinking of my own story. But I know all my stories, and just want you to entertain me. Dance, monkey, dance!
See, that's my problem. I can't force people to tell me stories. I can't force something with a plot, with exposition and rising action and climax and a fitting resolution, to just flow forth from people. I mean, I can barely make those connections in my own mind, so what right do I have to expect them from others? Note to Self: the world does not exist merely for my own amusement. Take note. Adjust outlook accordingly.
I've recently decided that the ability to make connections is a sign of real intelligence. Truly and honestly. Taking principles from one area and transferring them to another is what geniuses do. They merely look at the world as a series of interconnected thoughts, and don't let things like subject area or other labels tie them down. Perhaps I made a mistake pigeon-holing myself into English. I totally should have been a mathematician.
Yeah, that would have worked awesomely. Math and I are two separate entities, and never the twain shall meet.
Back to the point. As the opening quote says (basically):
Making connections= Stories= A fulfillment of a basic human desire.
Making connections means that the world makes sense. For a brief, shining moment, everything is clear. Or if not, at least it's more interesting, with brand new possibilities and avenues of thought available. And interesting is really all I ask for.
Tell me a story?