Sunday, September 27, 2009


There's something deliciously indulgent about staying home sick. It's like an excuse to treat yourself right, and to do all the nice things you usually neglect. Apart from the coughing sneezing runny nosing headaching blugh-ness of this weekend, it's been nice eating soup and drawing and watching bad tv and listening to nice music and snuggling with my favorite blanket.
Although tonight I will probably have to start to do Actual Work because I have a lot of homework, and since I'm missing school on monday for JewThings I should probably start the frantic catch-up process a little early.

But for now, Roald Dahl and painting, hurray!

Once I feel better I think I'd like to spend a day next weekend thrift-store hunting. I'll ready my harpoon and read up on Silly Hat Calls.

S'all for now!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

two eyes, two ears, one mouth

A friend and I made a pact to stop swearing when its not necessary. it's rude, doesn't sound nice, and has no real positive impact on conversation.

Also, I wish I were more goal-oriented. I do semi-productive things (writing/painting/school work) when the feeling persuades me, but there's nothing I do with any real sense of commitment. I mean school work I guess, out of necessity. But seeing kids who are really into say music, or theater, and spend all their time in lessons and practice and shows or whatever, have aspirations and are doing something about it. My future is a big question mark that I am currently nursing with possibilities and fuzzy/unclear dreams. I'm thinking college counseling this year will help me hone my focus a bit, but meh. I just feel like the world is so big, and there are so many things I could do/would love to do/could potentially be good at, and I don't want to end up stuck with one thing. I want to explore everything and try all my options. But that means a. probably not getting very far up the ladder in any of those places, b. having to re-evaluate and change constantly c. having the ability to make said decisons and d. the possibility of never being comfortable in one place/ good or notable at anything because I never stuck with anything long enough to take root.

Basically the thought of trying to form a life of any sort or having to make any kind of major decision terrifies me.

I've been in a strange mood today, this is a strange post.
It is also a post that just ended.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

sentimental heart

I just got home from seeing 500 Days of Summer. It was phenomenal and I enjoyed it a lot more than really any of the movies I've seen in a while. There were so many little creative segues and bizarre techniques or scenes that made it positively adorable/wonderful. However, in retrospect I did feel a bit targeted. Like the writer and director were sitting around going "heh let's have them meet over the smiths. And he'll wear a cardigan to work! Know what else I bet they'd love? little animated birds. Do you think we can have the characters quote shakespeare? We should try and make indie kids poop their little skinny jeans over this movie."
Also, the soundtrack was great. But my reaction to every song that played save one or two was, "aw man I know this! And I love this! Shit, I hope this soundtrack isn't a repeat of what happened to Juno's soundtrack..."
Also, I didn't like the girl who played autumn, or the whole concept of him meeting her blah blah. If you aren't gonna have a happy ending, don't have one. Just don't half-ass it.
Still though, I really really liked the movie.

Summary: woo.

Moving on. I'd really like a pet goat. I never realized how great they were as creatures until today! I was helping out with barnyard at camp, and I went in to help one of the kids with the goats. I kneeled down to pet one, and it nuzzled me with its head and like burrowed itself in my arms. It was like a cross between a baby deer and a really really adorable dog. Which is incredible. And they were all skinny and muscley like deer. But furry and cuddly and friendly like puppies. Gah.

Summary: goats are a lot less silly than I previously considered them to be, and are in fact, quite adorable.

Gah k sleepy this is all.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Camp is over, though I might stop by once or twice this week to help out. I've never experienced week 8, and I'm a little afraid it will tarnish my idea of camp. I'm not even really sure why I think that, I just do.
I had a real nice day today. I work in my dad's office from time to time because it pays nicely and for the most part I get to invent my own hours. If I were a more work-oriented person, I would probably work there regularly, as I could make loads of money doing relatively easy work.
My dad's an art curator, kind of. Both my parents and 90% of my family are from and live in Louisiana. After katrina hit, my parents were forced to help my grandma go through her storage to see what was salvageable. They wore big hazmat suits and picked through all her bloated, water-logged stuff. However, a good portion of the stuff stayed relatively dry. Among these posessions were paintings she had collected throughout her life. She mentioned she thought she had a good amount - maybe 20 or 50 - of paintings from an artist well-known in new orleans: noel rockmore (not to be confused with rockwell!!)
They started to look through her paintings and 20 turned into 500 turned into 1000. By the time they were done, they realized she had an astonishing 1200+ pantings, in addition to hundredsof rare sketch books, letters , and correspondences with this artist. He was a very skeezy character, and he liked my grandma because she gave him money to support his drinking/painting habits and was always sweet to him.
Anyways, as they started collecting and cleaning the paintings, they started finding out more and more about his life, and collecting stories of all the people he had known and changed throughout his life. Soon they formed a huge network of people affiliated with rockmore. At first, they planned on selling all the paintings to support our family because my mom and dad had both recently lost their jobs. However, they made the decision to tackle a much more arduous but possibly more profitable project. Thus, the noel rockmore project was born. this explains more in-depth what I just described. I could have saved myself some typing. this is my parent's website.
Go to the website if you are interested in knowing more about their project I guess. Basically, they are trying to chronolog (sp?) his life/paintings and write a book/perhaps produce a movie.

ANYWAYS. What I do around the office changes, but usually it consists of me doing one of the following (WARNING, BORING THINGS AHEAD, SKIPPING THE FOLLOWING MAY PROVE USEFUL):
-re-titling photo files. they photograph my grandmother's and other's rockmore paintings and are organizing them into a giant time line. What this job consists of is looking at various photographs of prints or paintings, determining the title (often difficult based on the quality of the photo/legibility of his handwriting), the date (often VERY difficult, based on photo quality/hand writing), the owner of the painting (my dad usually helps with any questions here), the print number (usually easy as they tend to photograph this part seperately) and any other noticable differences. This gets easier as I start to remember years/titles of certain paintings, and when there are multiple photos of the same picture or multiple prints of the same drawing. That's when copy paste comes in hand! A title will generally end up looking something like this: 80.12.4 - Death on Decatur print 12/56 - FCD - close up of signature .jpg
-organizing a time line. this is where those titles come in hand. Covering every wall in the office, there are big sheets of paper, each with a date at the top (80-82, 83-85, etc.) We will print out sheets with tiny versions of all the pictures. I have to look at each thumbnail and cut them out, then tack them up under the appropriate year based on whatever that first number is in the title. This often gets mind-numbingly tedious, but my dad insists that its important to view his life not just through events but through his art as well. I guess that makes sense.
-organizing pictures. my parents are trying to organize all the best-quality photos of what they deem to be his "best work" all into one master folder. It's my job to look through these files, delete duplicates, search through the databases for clearer/different versions of the same paintings, and replace any poor-quality pictures.

So. My work today consisted of the first and last tasks only, which I was grateful for. The first task is the most fun, because it often involves creativity. For example, when works are untitled, he has me write a quick 2-4 word summary of the content of the painting. This is always fun. Plus, as was the case today, I sometimes get files with a lot of different prints from the same work. This allows me to get a good rhythm of copy/pasting and only changing a few numbers or key descriptors. It's great.
The other nice part is that he lets me bring my laptop with me. Because I don't have a functioning ipod, this is the only way to listen to music while I work. It's kind of terrible, except for when the other employees leave. When I'm by myself, or it's just my dad and I, I get to unplug my headphones and play music loudly/sing along while I work.
Also, his office is located in mashpee commons, which makes it nice to go out after work/go out to lunch.
I spent the day today listening to a really great playlist I made last night, it made me really happy.
I got to see some friends I haven't seen for awhile after work. I went out for an early-ish dinner with Katherine, then we played whatever strange breed of pictionary they had at starbucks. I wonder how many people actually utilize the board games they provide there.
I also got to see a good friend of mine and his girlfriend for a little while after, which was really nice. They are so adorable and are both such lovely people that it just makes me happy to be around them! ha.
Also, I scheduled all my driving hours today. I'm not sure who I have as an instructor yet, and I was a little disappointed that I have to wait until september to start, but it will all be alright. Also, there are 2 weeks in october where I have driving hours all morning/afternoon every day of the weekend, but it'll be worth it to get my license ASAP. Not having a car can really shit all over your life sometimes. Especially because I value independence so much, it really blows to have to rely on other people constantly to get places.
I'm really nervous to drive on the highway! I messed up rl bad driving on one the other day. I ended up getting off at the wrong exit and having to make nine thousand endless terrifying loops in order to get back. The whole prospect is very intimidating.

It's been a really full, busy summer. Bonnaroo (amazing!!!), theater camp (slightly less amazing but still great!), drivers ed (surprisingly enjoyable!) and CIT-ing (tiring but phenomenal!!), but now I have to start focusing on doing the reading/studying for AP US History (APUSH just looks silly as an acronym), and cross country pre-season is mere weeks away. The nights are coming on sooner and colder, and summer is dwindling away. Nothing happened as I expected it, but then I didn't really know what to expect. Anyways, I'm happy.

Gah! I should get to bed early if I'm waking up for camp tomorrow.

but here's that update I kept promising! ha.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I would probably update this more if I thought I had something interesting to say.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Super busy summer rararaaaaa updates soon, promise!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

an oasis of comfort and happiness

A friend of mine sent me this link today. He tends to send bizarre but very interesting things.

This is the most frightening and ridiculous looking invention ever. Click every part of the website there is to click, it's all hysterical/unsettling.
The best part is how happy everyone looks! *shudder*

this website has since been changed. it is still a silly concept but they no longer have actual video recordings of people talking about/using the washlet.
It had real pictures of bums with smiley faces on them before!!!!!

Today marked the first day of summer for me! Wish the weather had been nicer.

You meet a lot of incredible people throughout your life, but most of the time you never find out what ends up happening to them or what had happened. Also, you never know what's going on in someone's life on any given day. Yeah, some people are just assholes. But some people have more going on than you could guess. With that in mind, my advice to myself and those who choose to take it is to be kind even when it feels like you shouldn't, or when you feel too tired to be upbeat. Because it does make a difference, it really really does.
And I'm aware how cliche that sounds, but it is true.

8 days till bonnaroo. :)

(Sorry for the short post)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

He was a good squirrel

Today, I was driving down 28, and a small squirrel ran into my path. Usually, when birds or the occasional tiny mammal does this, I slow down as much as is not dangerous, and honk the horn to hurry it up. But I was going 45, and this little guy ran out at just the wrong time. He stopped, looke up at me, baffled, and just kept looking. It was like he knew he was going to die and was looking to me as some supreme god to show him mercy. I decided his fate. I only had enough time to let out a sharp gasp and try to move the wheels enough so he was between them, and not so much as to go into the next lane of traffic. However, I guess when under the car he panicked, or maybe my perception of where my wheels are was wrong, but I heard a horrible thud and had to pull over. I guess people do this all the time, but apart from insects, and maybe fish, I can't say I've ever been directly responsible for the death of another living thing. Plus, squirrels are so human-like. I think we find human qualities in them adorable because it appears to be this cute fuzzy thing imitating its human superiors. But in actuality, the similar behaivor we have is most likely instinctive stuff that all mammals do, and we just have big egos. I'm not sure if that idea is going to make sense to other people, I'm kind of tired.
Anyways, I was pretty close to tears. I guess with television and the constant barrage of gore, I've sort of taken for granted how serious killing something is. I mean, it didn't even have a name.

Something I constantly wonder about is if people are born with a certain personality and set of morals etc., or if it is a product of our society and the way we were raised. Nature vs. nurture. My advisor was telling me about a study in which a bunch of high school students were shown images while scientists monitored their brain activity. Some of the kids' pleasure receptors went off when they saw images of people beating other people, violent acts, or pictures of people suffering (not quite sure how one would photograph that). That means though, that it is so far down into these kids nerves that they like seeing others hurt. Is that just a product of society? I don't know much about the human brain (though I guess not everything is known about it anyways) but it seems doubtful that nerve reactions could be created as a result of someone's upbringing. I guess people with really negative experiences to certain objects or foods or people could get a memory trigger that would do something similar (along the lines of a contact high, but the opposite).

I'm too tired to produce something more.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

you're gonna be my bruise

About two weeks ago, I was up in boston. While waiting at the subway station there was a guy that appeared to be talking loudly to himself. I couldn't quite hear what he was saying so I figured he was just a kook or something. I got on three or four stops before lechemere, so it was a nice ride above-ground on a brilliantly sunny day. The car wasn't too crowded, and the guy was sitting about 4 or 5 empty seats away. I realized he was singing bodyguard by Paul Simon, really belting it out. He had an incredible voice too. He looked towards me, so I smiled because I appreciated the lovely, if not out of place music. He didn't smile back, or even seem to register that anybody else was on the train. It was like watching a musical character when everyone else on stage is frozen. A few other passengers tapped their feet along or smiled at him, but most of the 10 or 15 people just pretended they couldnt hear. He wasn't singing for anybody but himself, it was really strange. And it was sort of awkward when he got to the end of the song, because he couldn't just stop singing, so he ad libbed a little and returned to the first verse. We ended up getting off on the same stop, and he walked down the road in the opposite direction, singing loudly for himself.
I went out with a friend and her family last night, and the family is fairly well-off so we went to a very nice restaurant. Because I'm used to people-watching and observing around hyannis and in bus stations, where people are all relatively comfortable if not blind to their surroundings. So it was really interesting to watch the other tables in a place where everyone is very very conscious of how they are acting and who is watching them. Because of the spacing of the tables, I couldn't hear anybody, so it was more fun because all my curiosity and judgements were based on body language and expressions.
Then, as a birthday present, my friend took me to see Spring Awakening. It was incredible, very very powerful, genuine, and raw. As cliche as it is for me, as a teenager, to adore a play about teen angst, I couldn't help it. And I realized I would never want to be a critic, because when you start to analyze every part of a play or a show or a movie, trying to find flaws, trying to think rationally and judge everything, you are very distinctly watching from the outside. When you go to a show to experience it, and allow yourself to get sucked in and fall in love regardless of the quality, it becomes a much more memorable and pleasant experience for you. That being said, it was a fantastic show even despite my complete absorbation. The acting, singing, and choreography was incredible.
Part of my problem with watching a good musical, though, is that there are so many things to be aware of and appreciate, especially as someone who participates in musical theater regularly. You want to appreciate the orchestra and actual music, you want to appreciate the harmonies, you want to appreciate each actors individual voice, you want to appreciate the words and plot and meaning and subtext of each song, you want to appreciate the lights and actual stage-work, you want to appreciate all the different aspects of the choreography as a whole and not just watch each individual dancing, and you want to appreciate the acting and the expressions of the actors. I find it very overwhelming, especially because with theater, you only see it once. Even if you see it again, chances are the next time you see that show will be with different choreography, a different cast, etc. I feel the same way about books and movies and songs, listening once for plot or tune or what have you, and then many times for all the other elements, but with those you can watch or hear it over and over again. I think I just want to absorb the best aspects of everything, all at once, and my mind can't keep up.
Another interesting thing was that the music and content of the play was fairly raunchy (including a song titled "you're fucked" and a ballad about sexual abuse), and the first act ended with the most intense moment: two of the main characters having sex on stage. It was immediately apparent that the abrupt end had a lot of people very uncomfortable. In a play or movie, even if the content would make you uncomfortable in your current surroundings, at least it is dark and everybody is looking and focusing straight ahead, and not on eachother. However, when the action stops abruplty, you don't have time to regain your senses for where you are and the social interactions you'll have to make. The two elderly women in front of me let out huge breaths of air, like tires getting slashed, and after a few moments, one said "Well, that was unexpected."
When walking out into the lobby the personal space bubble between strangers was nearly 3 times its normal size.
The second act was more about emotion and sadness, and less about being shocking, and the personal space boundaries were back to normal after the cathartic release.

More later!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On every square foot of our planet, something has died. And in most of those square feet, something dead is breaking down, or something dead was buried. People get the creeps walking in graveyards, because you're walking on dead bodies, but it's no different anywhere else. It's just how recently dead things are. Most of it is already decomposed, or well along in the process. It's also interesting to think about how most of the natural-growing plants and grass is fed by death, and rotting materials. That or waste products. It isn't creepy, it's just a natural part of life. But it's weird to think about.
Along the lines of what's going on beneath the surface, people are much more strange to watch if you think about all the muscles at work in every movement, and the bones supporting all of it. Especially interesting is thinking about all the muscles in the face when watching someone's changing facial expressions.
Also strange to think about, is how everyone you know now will die. And how probably at least half of those people will die before you. If at the end of their life, one were to tally up all the people they have known that have died, I feel like it would be an astonishingly large number. It seems smaller because we don't hear about most of the deaths. That's another odd thing to think about. How your regular clerks at dunkin donuts, or the gas station, or the man you always see at the grocery store, will all die and you will probably never know about it.
Anyways, on to less morbid topics!
I planned to write in this at least 3 times a week when I created it, but with finals, thesis papers, and generally large work loads, I forgot about it in the past month or so. But with my thesis paper nearing completion, and april break a mere 24 hours away, I'll probably be able to update with more regularity.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow?

On a sort of continued note from the last blog, think about all the language you encounter in a day. In our day-to-day lives, we are barraged with information almost constantly, that we have no choice but to read. We can't look at wording on signs, labels, book spines, or products without reading them, it's the natural instinct as our eyes flick over their surface. It seems interesting to me that we have adapted in such a way that reading is so instinctive and crucial to functioning. I wonder how different the world looks to those who are illiterate. The only comparable experience I can think of would be imagining oneself in a place that uses an unfamiliar alphabet. I guess thats the reason symbols and colors are such intregal parts of society. Most road signs or fixtures render it nearly unneccessary to read. I guess thats because colors, shapes, and images are easier and quicker to comprehend than text for most people.
I guess sound is the same as that, but a thousand fold. It is nearly impossible to ignore sound without the assistance of another sound, or something plugging up your ears. I wonder if deaf people are generally calmer, without the anxiety of constant noise being pumped into their consciousness.
There have been a few things that have stuck with me a lot in the past month, one of them being the poem that is the namesake for this blog (search:'my sweet old etcetera' by e.e. cummings.) I don't know why, just something about the spacing and the syntax of the poem, the rhythm and surprising occasional rhyme. It just gets me. Also, the songs "Hide and Seek" and "Let Go" have been really mesmerizing to me lately. I can listen to either on repeat for extended periods of time before needing to change the song. I think the unifying theme of these songs and that poem is the sort of deep, almost instinctive, internal thump or sway or whatever you'll call it, the feeling that seizes you and settles in, becoming part of you. I feel the same way when I finish the poem again, or when the song ends: a sort of arythmic surprise and hollowness, not realizing how attatched you'd become to the thing until you sense its absence. I think that's how some of the best people operate, subtly and quietly remaining, never acknowledged until one day, they're missing.

I wonder if escaped helium balloons ever meet, high above and out of sight. I'd like to think they do.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've been talking with various friends a lot about communication, as ironic as that is. Although I guess internet blogging about talking about communication furthers the absurdity.
That aside, communication in itself is ridiculous. Other animals do it to a lesser extent, a more natural one. They make noises when they feel certain things, and then recognize those noises in other beings, and connect them with the sentiments. Mating calls are more deliberate, making a targeted call in the hopes of attracting another. Then there are the basic physical signals and rituals (asserting dominance, and the like.) But the extent to which we've taken it is mind-boggling. Harnessing sound into language is impressive enough, but then having thousands of different languages with thousands and thousands of different words, tenses, and rules, and having all the people in one region be able to communicate to the level that we do is astonishing. And furthermore, having this language translated into symbols and characters that can be widely recognized and understood, having a written language, it's all just insane to comprehend. When you take something as basic as language and marvel at how crazy it is, think about everything else we, as a society, have done and it becomes nearly impossible to comprehend. Walking into any store is a ridiculous experience when you think of each item as a product of the civilization of man.
.....but then you come across a product like 'baconnaise' or the furby, and humanity loses a little of it's credit.
Also, along the lines of communication, I was talking with a friend of mine who is a musician. He said he could only communicate with other musicians through music, and the people who he played music with were just that. It was only rarely that he connected with those people any other way. And it got me thinking about the way people do that with all the people they relate to. You form categories in your mind, if only subconsciously, of certain people with whom you communicate certain ways. Your relationship with your coworker is different from that with a sister, a bandmate, an old friend, a store clerk. The people I consider closest to me are the people who transcend most categories and that I can relate to on multiple levels. But that's still a category within itself. Also, the place you meet someone, or what you are doing when you meet that person, often become a focal point for the beginning, if not the rest, of your relationship with that person. If you meet someone at school, or even more specifically, in a biology class, you will talk about biology with that person and have that as a definite mutual connecting point. Even if the relationship blooms from there, the first series of interactions you have with that person will, most likely, be about biology. If you meet someone at a show, your next interactions with probably be about that band, and if there is a next interaction after the day of the show, it will probably relate to going to a show or something about that specific band.

Something to think about in your own relationships.