Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sense And Sensibility

I can't remember where I first read it, but I once came across something by Virginia Woolf in which she claimed that the ideal way of recording one's progress over an extended period of time would be to read and write a personal reaction to Hamlet once a year. I remember thinking that this was a really great idea, and that I'd get around to doing it just as soon as I could figure out what to use in place of Hamlet. Not that I have anything against it - but it just didn't really seem quite right. The chosen book would have to be something I didn't love or hate, but could appreciate, could feel some sort of emotional investment in, you know?

Right now I'm giving thought to rereading Sense and Sensibility and it is making me think of the first time I read it three summers ago, foggy and convalescing on the livingroom couch, waiting for the stitches in my hand to mend so I could get back to daydreaming about college. I liked it in the same way I like Emily Dickinson's poetry, the same way I like certain old silent films that are beautiful but make you feel a bit impatient.

Now I am older and wiser but still very impatient. What is different, though, is that back then I thought Elinor was so painfully dull and stuffy, so abnormally reserved. What is the point of a heroine who lives so internally, whose heart can break so quietly that no one else hears it?

Thinking about it all this time, I am not nearly frustrated by her ability to keep dangerous emotions out of sight; really, I just sort of envy it.

It is possible that today I will purchase it, and quite possible that I will commit to writing a personal reaction.

Also: I keep finding that I've bookmarked some awfully weird sites:


The International Cemetery Postcard Museum

???

Who Is That With Jeremy?

Ice Hotel Canada

Friday, July 29, 2005

High Score: 196!

Before moving here I never would have imagined that anyone could or would want to have so many conversations about San Diego. I'm not even sure how or why they come up but they always do, as if living here entails existing on such a different plane that it really warrants its own conversations. Do you think people in Kentucky or Ohio or New Hampshire have these kinds of discussions? I'm not even sure what there is left to say, except that I am always feeling very heartsick for snow from going up to the mountains. The funny thing is that it's been so long since I've really felt winter that I'm beginning to wonder if I'd still be any good at enjoying it.

I'm playing the This Time Last Year game a lot lately, feeling fragile/invincible at the thought of how much things can change.

On a somewhat related note, my new secret talent is underhandedly winning online scrabble games.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Art Appreciation

Nearly this time last year, I was dragging someone to the art museum to look at William Blake etchings with me. Given that the exhibit was my idea, I felt sort of ridiculous about the fact that I somehow restlessly, impatiently finished looking at the pieces too quickly, and had to wait several minutes for the person I had gone with to finish looking at them, too.

I wonder if other people have this problem, of having a genuine enthusiasm about art and being able to stare at prints in books for a long while, but sometimes feeling a strange pressure when in an art museum and in front of a painting, feeling like a certain amount of time is supposed to be spent admiring it, or a that there's a certain reaction you are obligated to have, etc. Performance is I guess the word I'm looking for.

I remember once planning a trip to the Hirshhorn with a boy who hoped to eventually be able to make a living off the strangely staged, cryptic photographs he took. Instead we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. It felt sort of scary at the time, to suddenly find myself in an art museum with an artist whose work I didn't understand, looking at pieces of artwork I didn't understand. I remember finishing looking at a particular photograph too quickly, and he smiled one of those smiles that isn't really a smile at all, and said I seemed to be having an awful time. It wasn't true, but I remember thinking, grimly, psychically, that it wasn't going to work with us, he wasn't possibly going to be able to handle me as an only friend.

The real point of this entry, though, is this, and I wonder (worry) about it maybe more than I should: Where do people go when they stop updating their journals, anyway?

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Lily Pads



I've always loved these sorts of pictures when I was younger, somber ghosts of men and women, their expressions never quite acknowledging the strangeness of full grown adults standing on top of lily pads. These photos gave me all sorts of ideas when I was a kid, but what they fail to mention in the captions is that even if you take the trouble of slogging your way through the sticky summer heat to get to the garden, you still won't be allowed to actually stand on the lily pads. Do you think there was a specific time and date when lily pad loitering was outlawed? This is the sort of stuff they never tell you.

Anyway, I want a time machine.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Unexplained

Itchy eyes and itchy sheets. Doing the laundry and meanwhile wearing a towel as a non electricity sucking cooling device.

No matter how inevitable it may be, it's always sort of startling to discover at 1 in the morning that there are still moments where it seems, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that time isn't moving quickly enough.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What You Can Learn From Sitting Very Still.

Having someone visit feels vaguely like being given a pop quiz. Over the course of a weekend, I will be tested on how good of a hostess I am, my ability to think on my feet and suggest fun things to do, and whether or not my knowledge of the city has improved since I've moved here.

You are sitting on the futon and I am sitting beside you and neither of us are talking. I'm facing the TV so I can't see you, I can't tell if you're watching me or the TV or neither, perhaps you're eyes are closed. I'm morbidly aware that this kind of behavior is frivolous, soon you'll be on a plane again or bus or train and it'll only be after you're gone that I'll really start to plan what I wanted to say and how I wanted to act.

It's on the way home from the station that I'll be faced with the hardest part of the quiz: attempting to solve the riddle of what is time well spent. Is it visiting enough landmarks and going to the right restaurants, or is it something more obscure and minute, sideways glances and the pressure of your hand pressing into mine and all that can be said during a long silence?

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Loss For Words

Spent today reading a collection of articles about Charlotte Corday and daydreaming about camping out in abandoned castles.

Is it like this with you, too?

Whenever I feel fine it's as if my brain slows down a bit, runs out of the right words. I'm not sure if my vocabulary for discomfort or sadness or frustration is so much stronger and more varied because of something to do with me personally, or if it's just simply that the feeling of contentment doesn't necessarily demand the kind of articulation that another state of mind might, you know?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

What To Do When There's Nothing To Do

Oh, you know you're in trouble when you catch yourself listening to "All the Umbrellas in London" on repeat.

It's both relieving and unnerving that some part of my brain has actually become convinced that if I don't write something down, in some way it's like it never happened, isn't happening.

Once early in grade school before manners and emotions had become domesticated, I walked right up to a boy who I'd been told liked me and asked if the rumor was actually true.

When was the last time I was ever quite so straightforward about matters of the heart?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

You Could Be My Evidence.

Ages ago, when I was still in grade school, I remember reading an article in the newspaper about the key to having a lasting relationship. It featured a happy couple in their 80's, real life proof that this sort of relationship could exist, that it wasn't just a figment of our imagination. The piece insisted that statistics showed that the whole opposites attract business was nothing more than a myth, and that the real secret was to find someone who was as similar to you as possible. The elderly couple boasted about having many common interests and their closeness in disposition and age. They even had birthdays only weeks apart.

At the time I could hardly have any qualms with an apporach to love that insisted on such an uncomplicated and straight forward formula. Eventually the appeal of it dwindled, but isn't it funny? Somehow that never stopped me from secretly thinking that liking or dating a boy who turned out to have a birthday in early summer must have been an awfully good sign. Every boy who's turned out wrong for me was born in late fall.

These days I'm not so judgemental toward birthdays and stars and zodiacs. I just believe in what I feel

Also, I bought a ticket to San Diego today. Afterward I positioned myself on my back down on the floor and cupped my hand over my heart to see if I could notice any difference.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Addendum

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the idea of having a period of time in your life that you consider to be the happiest or the most productive or the best. I remember being told in middle school and then in highschool and again when I was at City that this was it, this was the time I'd look back fondly on someday, these were the moments I'd want to escape into when the present got too rough. It puts such an awful pressure on you when someone says something like that, it makes you feel like you must be missing something or fucking things up if that isn't how you feel. What's funny is that once you're old enough to realize how ridiculous anyone who tells you that must be, people stop saying it to you altogether.

I've never asked anyone, but I'd sort of like to know if most people are aware that they're experiencing this sort of period while it's actually happening to them. Can they feel it inside them, do their bones whisper, Hey, this is the as good as it gets, and are they grateful for it, or is it the sort of thing that you can only spot in hindsight, something that nostalgia tacks onto a memory?

Either way, I'm trying to be on the look out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bad Art Hurts So Good

It is hot here in the brutal humid way that suffocates you slowly in your sleep like a meteorologic boa constrictor. You wake up covered in sweat, panting and thirsty and full of nightmare seeds. There have been no bike rides since I have yet to find the perfect bike. I am left to taking showers to cool myself, to balance my agitated energy with the raging spray of fresh water. And I delight in this, I do, but I miss being able to mereley and passively recline in the tub like some paralyzed dehydrated mermaid. I enjoyed the one or two baths I've had in my life.

Summer is such a crucible for me, the heat and the lushness bring out a longing and restlessness in my soul that makes it hard for me to feel level-headed. Summer makes me feel wild and reckless and inflamed with desires for constant motion and travel and adventure. The most difficult thing for me to do is stay in one place (as I am) and act like a practical adult (which I am). It is a tired metaphor, but I do feel like some kind of firecracker with a long fuse that has been ignited by this new land of excesses and it is only a matter of time before I explode. (will it be beautiful or merely loud?)

There is a site called artpad that has a flash program that lets you paint a picture and records the process of its creation. It is insanely addictive, strangely relaxing, and fun to watch the resulting movie.

View my masterpiece and then make your own.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Get Off The Internet.

The internet is there for a reason: Researching, and for me, researching. I found these at the store and immediately found Tia in my head. The internet allows us to be friends even though distance is trying to fight it.
Re-searching, finding, something?

The trouble with having a "blog" (or the internet in general?) is that it allows you to believe all sorts of people actually do exist, that it is maybe possible to step outside your front door and make friends with people who also daydream about having antique cookie jars and pet frogs and being friends with ghosts, and if you havent met them yet, that is certainly no one's fault but your own. Have you also noticed while perusing people's profiles that there seems to be an endless supply of teenaged girls with a penchant for picknicking in graveyards? It is enough to make one feel rather indignant, enough to make you want to throw up your hands and exclaim in disbelief, "Where were these people when I was in high school!" It is either a great relief or very unpleasant to find out that they have apparently, allegedly, existed all along, and to consequently be forced to remember that so much of one's interactions is dependent on these unwieldy things of timing and luck and convenience.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

The Problem With Translations

There are perfectly good recipes for treats rotting in my head; I just don't have it in me to make the things I'd like to make. I don't even have it in me to eat them. Not alone anyway, and I am quite positive that Adam won't want to. What do normal people do in these situations? Drink or smoke or fuck or cry it out of their systems? I am never quite sure what to do with myself, vices such as eating too many sandwiches and checking my many accounts every five minutes just don't really have the same affect. Intentionally or not, I'm not caring much for anything. It occured to me today that Emily Bronte did the same thing, apathy as protest, and I was so excited, until I realized that she's probably not a very good role model.
Someone offered me a hug the other day, and I was silly enough to decline. What was I thinking? Hugs don't just grow on trees, after all.

A certain event has been on my mind for the past few weeks. Everything that was ever said sounds so different now. I replay things back in my head and am suddenly aware of a secret language that I wasn't aware of before.

I don't know if it's sadness just so much as a feeling of being utterly worn out.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Woke Up With A Craving For Death and Chocolate.

I dreamt that I happened upon some book that proclaimed that there are a good many things that the reading public doesn't know about Emily Dickinson. Her tattoo, for instance.
Only after I woke up I somehow didn't realize it was a dream right away, so I've been wondering how in the world Emily Dickinson had managed to get a tattoo and where I could find some sort of rendition of it.

And then it got even worse: I started thinking to myself how really lovely it would be to have the same tattoo as Emily Dickinson, surely it was something very pretty and birdlike and obscure, and I could always add something to it. Perhaps a line from one of her poems.

I did a search on Google but only found some fleeting mention of a boy with a tattoo of Emily Dickinson burned into his backside, which isnt quite the same thing.

It was about twenty minutes ago that I realized I'd made the whole thing up, and I feel a little disappointed. But, now I'm wondering what other crazy things I come up with that I never end up even realizing aren't true.

The dream was no accident, though. Lately my head has been full of Emily Dickinson and Emily Bronte and Jane Austen and sometimes even Ann Frank. I am having a party and any lonesome girl with a pen in her hand is invited!

I should go shower and clear my head with beads of water.

I should really make a friend before I forget how to altogether.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Au Courant

I write and rewrite what could be my fall schedule but I just never know if I could handle it. 1030am to 0600pm. Is that too much? I'm going to submit it tomorrow morning.
I've been generally satisfied and seemingly less creative, or less creative in the usual ways. My bad jokes get a little more elaborate but not much better.

Adam is working on his class paper which happens during the evening while particularly nothing good or worth my time is on the tele.

I'm warming up some tea and orange juice and preparing to watch The Burbs.

Boring, I know. But I enjoy these moments.

PS. I'm going to the Berkeley Art Museum tomorrow. Cross your fingers for pictures.

Monday, July 4, 2005

Take One, Pass It On.


This was taken in front of a Safeway earlier today.

I think one of the most useful things that I’ve learned in the past year is that it is quite acceptable and sometimes even healthy to have regrets.

So long, of course, as it’s done in moderation

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Okay.



Will it always be like this? Wondering how people make friends with one another, just like that? It feels too much like being 13 years old and trying to figure out how sex works, knowing that it happens all the time, that it’s perfectly normal, and despite spending so much time imagining it, you can’t actually ever imagine it will happen, you can’t imagine how it would happen.

Usually I don’t pay much attention to personality tests, but the other day I took one and the results said that I was equal parts schizoid (someone who doesn’t hang around others and doesn’t want to) and avoidant (someone who doesn’t hang around others but does really want to) and I couldn’t help thinking that the two of those together is contradictory, nonsensical, and completely true.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Washington Mutual

My credit card company's website has a very long list of possible security questions to choose from, the most exciting of which is probably: What is your favorite element on the periodic table?
I am somewhat ashamed to tell you that I have never given the periodic table much thought, much less chosen a preferred element, although I very much like that this question seems to presume that maybe I have. Do such people exist? Who are they, and what are their favorite elements? I would certainly like to know.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Patience Is A Virtue, Apparently

And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren’t any other people living in the world.
Said daily, under my breath, as if attempting to memorize lines for a part in a school play or reciting a secret prayer of the Church of Disaffected Teenage Girls. Have you ever been able to feel certain lines or phrases living inside you? Ages ago I said something like this to Richard about my favorite Tennessee Williams play, but he didn’t seem to quite know what I meant.

Lately I’ve been trying not to think about the past or the future of it, and for the most part I do okay.

It’s kind of tricky though, you know? It’s hard to stay in the present, to exist in the moment when the moment is only a split second long. It’s hard to give the present meaning or direction when you’re trying not to focus on what came before and what will come after it.

I’m the sort of girl who starts novels by reading the last sentence first and makes plans for the summer in February, so I don’t suppose it will come as any surprise that the concept of just sitting around and waiting to see what happens takes so much more than just sitting or waiting.

In other news:

Somehow, either late last night or early this morning, a coke can cracked and burst from inside the refridgerator, sent the cola spilling onto any and everything inside each nook and cranny.
To add hilarity to the situation, Adam had accidentaly turned the machine off, which caused the frost in the freezer to melt. So everything was wet from melted ice, and sticky from the exploding coke can.

This morning, was a lot of laughs.