Sunday, February 28, 2010

indulge me.

I know, I know I say it all of the time, and probably to a creepy extent, but DANG:

hot + superintelligent + cigarette + 1970's get-up/big hair + typewriter=
dream man ^

i can even dig the facial hair.

Friday, February 26, 2010

i saw quentin tarantino today.

Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Attributed to Howard Thurman

folding john wayne's t-shirts with the swingset in his head

I would like to say a word on a subject I've been thinking about for awhile, and that I find myself thinking about tonight, after reading an exhausting amount of information about David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer.

But let me jump ahead for a moment and say this: I'm starting to think that the movie "Zodiac" is one of the most important films made in recent memory. It tackles something true and illuminated to me, and I hope to other people, something very meaningful and shocking. Although the movie shows the creepy scenes where the killer stalks and makes victims out of his targets, and though there's some good-ole detectin' goin' on at the paper and the police station, the movie primarily concentrates on the mental bug and the emotional wear-and-tear of the characters, and real people, who spent their lives trying to make sense of the killings and the phenomena, the people who tried to catch him. The obsession that takes hold of them, the paranoia that eats at them, the frustration, and, really, the horror that swallows them up is the main focus of the film. Their lives are essentially destroyed, even those who are not newsmen or detectives. They had no closeness to the actual DEATH, really, except that they fell into its grasp. They were helpless spectators that became victims just by observing-- and these characters stand in, to some extreme, for an age, for those people in San Fransisco, for those people who obsessively read the newspaper every morning, panicked about putting their children on the schoolbuses, knew what Dirty Harry was all about. Destructive behavior DESTROYS, it BREEDS destruction; the victims of murder stretch so far beyond merely the literally murdered. No one can put all of those pieces together. No other film has made this sort of statement, and the more I think about it the more the truth shines. It is an important thing-- no one really comes out clean, do they? So shouldn't we all do our best to prevent it, shouldn't we all care for oneanother, if we are all going to be effected by darkness shouldn't we do our best to shine the light?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I was procrastinating tonight, watching a movie I've been wanting to see for awhile (The Informant!), dreading when it would be over and knowing that I would have to get to my project that needs finishing tonight (way to start at 1AM...), and all of a sudden a funny little memory returned to me. When I was a little person, up until I was a teenager and going to movies all of the time, I would take such extreme delight in going to the movies. I mean, I still do, but then I would have no idea when I might be able to return to the theatre and wanted to savor every last second I spent there. Usually, whatever movie I was off to see I was already familiar with via hearing my friends talk about it or seeing commercials for it on TV (which must have been someone else's TV because we didn't have one...), and I would CLING to those pieces of information (children are so optimistic, they so want to love everything that's supposed to be fun). Then, during the movie, when I would feel the third act kick into gear, I would recall the info I knew, the snippets I had seen from commercials in order to figure out what I hadn't seen in the movie yet, and whether or not it had to be over soon. No, I had not heard Cruella DeVille say "Woof Woof, ahahaha!" thus, the movie could not be close to ending. I did not see the bad guys fall down the stairs yet, like in that trailer, so there must be aways to go yet. And of course, when the events would occur that I was looking for, a strange sort of satisfaction and anxiety would grip me-- how wonderful, just as planned, but now what's left?! it's almost at the end! The endings were unbearable. I suppose that's escapism in a nutshell, eh? I suppose that's most of America, isn't it? Even if they're not counting down the scenes, they really are dreading the moment the credits arrive, when they must leave Sandra Bullock or Avatar behind and lead their American lives again. Though I suppose for some people when the lights come up they feel invigorated, as though the fantasy they have just been a part of has given them a sense of hope. I guess that's film too, huh?

Monday, February 22, 2010

i have to stuff my head full of inertia and velocity.
-my overstressed room-mate on physics class.

on fandoms, comic books, creations.

if something exists nowadays, doesn't matter what it is, there will be freaks for it.
-my classmate, paraphrased.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

american splendor.

ordinary life is complex stuff.
--harvey pekar

Saturday, February 20, 2010

i love my mother.

my mother, who uses the graphic smiley faces that gmail offers rather than merely typing in ":)"

my mother, who sighs to convey that nothing has changed.

my mother, who got bad grades in college, except in dance and some literature classes.

my mother, who doesn't do something if she doesn't want to do it.

my mother, who sends me supplements in the mail to take because she thinks they will make me stop being sad.

my mother, who hates to watch sad movies and is continually disappointed in Hollywood because every portrayal of a Christian character, to her, is negative-- even if in the context of the film religion isn't even slightly relevant.

my mother, who used to tell me the plots of musicals and old movies i hadn't seen yet and passed them off as stories she had just come up with on the long walks from our house to the store or the houses she used to clean.

my mother, who bought me a star wars toothbrush just for fun when i was far too old for it.

my mother, who still thinks i should marry one if not all of the guy friends i have. she supports polygamy, apparently, and just because she loves them all so much for loving me, she is willing to overlook their mismatching religions.

my mom, who always did the voices just right when we read Mary Poppins or Chronicles of Narnia.

i want to make sure you're okay. i hope i can do that, and that you don't get old too quickly.

Friday, February 19, 2010

my life is becoming more and more seeped in cinema.

I love literature, I love art, I love music, I love film; the culmination OF the arts. That's not a new observation, but it's something I marvel at from time to time. It makes me sad, the business side of it, the studio side of it. I hate the business of art, though I suppose without it fewer of us would have exposure to art at all. The poor midwest. Ahaha. Joke.

Anyway. So sometimes I'm just reminded to the nth degree of how much I love this art that I have chosen that I don't think I'll ever master-- kind of like choosing a lover who won't commit to you, hello Rhianon-- how beautiful it can be or how much it can turn your thoughts and emotions and even manias to elements you were previously unaware of, thoughts collecting dust in your belfry, malignant until something sparks them. I can't count the times that a movie of some kind has inspired me to research something or go on a binge of interest over something else, or sent me on a crusade to find the music played in that 30-second scene (thus, inventing my music taste). In their search for freshness, film really does inform, or at least pique the desire for information. For me, anyway, alot of the time.

One of my freaky interests of all time, that I've been coming back to lately, is madness. Mental illness, madness, madhouses, complete insanity and the history of treatment for those "afflicted" and not so afflicted. Honestly I'm not exactly sure where this interest originated-- probably from the information as it trickled down to me about mental handicaps (much different from illness, but often dumped in the same category), but it was definitely brought to my full attention through One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a film I was at once enthralled with. Though it's actually not REALLY about madness of course insanity and treatment are the questions that it revolves around, and the setting and characters are all a part of these themes. I was very very weirdly obsessed with it at about age 15, sought the book out immediately and blazed through it. I would now say it's one of my most favorite books, and the first one that I copied passages from into my spiral-bound notebooks. I was taking homeschool biology at the time with Emily in a weekly lab class, and one of the dissections that we were required to do was that of a crawdad. I found it particularly distasteful (though not repelling or difficult-- that would be the worm or the fetal pig WTF HOMESCHOOL MOMS WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?) mostly because the crawdads had been frozen for so long or something that prevented us from cutting them open cleanly and, once we had pried them in half, we were unable to identify anything because it all looked the same. In the end, the crawdads were pretty much shredded out of searching, annoyance, and frustration, and for our illustrated lab worksheets we pretty much just made stuff up. ANYWAY, during said session I was still completely into Cuckoo's Nest and named my very cute crawdad MacMurphy, after the main character. Which really is kind of dark considering we were cutting into him (as in the story, ala lobotomy, haha). I named Emily's crawdad as well after a lobotomized character from the story and later proceeded to name a skinny, cute stammering kid in class after Bibbit, the cute stammering mental patient. No one every caught on, except Emily, to whom I explained the story (which she proudly took to heart). Later we went to see the community theatre production of the play, which was amazing, at least to a 15-year-old. I love that story, I love that story, I love that story. It's power is really overbearing to me and it draws me in even when I simply speak of it.

So Ken Kesey and MacMurphy led me into the world of psychiatry and looney bins. After I sampled it I could not get enough-- I read as much as I could about them, about famous or unsual patients of any time that were held in asylums and later hospitals, about modern loonies and their meds, about Girls, Interrupted, and hallucinations (I never Promised You A Rose Garden), prozac nations, Snake Pits, multiple personalities (I camped on that one for awhile) and savored pyschology at community college perhaps more than I had to (personality psych, it would turn out, is not a requirement in any capacity. oops) I seriously batted around the idea of being a psychologist/psychiatrist for a long time, but ultimately knew that it would not be satisfying entirely. Regardless, there is something, probably something that emerged from Nest that is still embedded in me that makes me think I am not quite done with that stuff.

I saw Shutter Island last night, which is really more about gothic settings than mental illness, but it reminded me again of this weird fascination I have-- not just with madness but all that comes with it-- and a strange sympathy I have for even the criminally insane. Maybe it's even more of an empathy-- I know I'm not quite crazy, but oftentimes I suspect that I seriously straddle the border between crazy and troubled. And it's this kind of person that can help that kind of person-- just like anything, it takes one to know one, and in the case of the mentally ill it takes one that KNOWS in order to help (unless of course you're an unsuspecting Phoebe riding a carousel who simply makes everything alright with innocence, but there's not many of those). So this is what Shutter Island was making me think, even as Leonardo DiCaprio was doing his intense emoting (how I love him, ugly and serious as he is); I'm not done with this whole thing. The way some people talk about their "ministry" is how I think about it. It's not just really a fascination (though it is that) but more of a... calling? I feel as though I need to work at a mental hospital, that because I believe I'm capable I should be able to help those that aren't. I don't know what that entails yet, but it has become a clear(er) concept in my mind now. This is something that I have to pursue, somehow, even though I also know it's not what I'm supposed to DO in my life. It's something that has to be done. So I listen, and I wait. These are the people I'm supposed to help. But I'm not really sure how yet.

As said by Colin Farrell

"I think I was 8 or 9 when I had a f*cking mad thing for Marilyn Monroe. I used to leave Smarties, the Irish equivalent of M&M's, under my pillow with a little note saying, 'I know you're dead, but these are very f*cking tasty, and you should come have a few. I won't tell anyone'."

So I'm not a huge Colin Farrell fan, though after my intense appreciation for In Bruges built itself up I had a new respect for him and today decided to peruse his weird history on IMDB. I have no idea where the above quote came from but I am definitely seized with love for his Irish weirdness. Very f*cking tasty indeed, dead Marilyn Monroe. Hahahaha.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On another subject, I've been thinking about the absolutely indescribable connection of person to art. I saw this movie called A Single Man today, directed by a fashion designer of all people, and it had a profound effect on me. The film itself is pretty good-- I think it bombs its last 15 minutes, though I am a fan of the conclusion-- but there was something about its vibe and its beauty and its age and its SADNESS that I just GOT, and I cannot explain why. It's about a gay man in the early 60's whose long-time lover has died, and he's become sad and dejected and intends to end it all, quietly, one day. The whole day is his straightforward plans for suicide, but really, it is not a suicide movie at all but a movie about life. This one day is a new day because suddenly, because this guy knows he's going to be gone, he appreciates and observes everything to the 10th degree. It's all very beautiful, in slow-motion, heightened, but not in a cheesy way. He eventually comes to a conclusion about it all at the end, which is really wonderful, and I won't spoil it, but I saw it as a movie meant to encourage the intellectual who doesn't want to hear that the world is a pretty place, or the person who, as one of the characters says, feels as though living in the past is their future.

My point was, ahem, that, given the plot and my lack of relation to any of the characters (not currently suicidal, nor gay, nor middle aged, nor living in the 60's), I feel as though I really "got" the film, like it seeped through to my emotions and is now having its way with my mind and heart. I suppose it's because it does speak to an emotional truth, that of the struggle to live your life even if it feels as though its over already it's still so full of wonderful things. Even in the face of death or fading tragedy it is full of wonderful things.

There was something specifically about Julianne Moore's character, a disappointed woman and old friend/flame of George's that I really connected to, and I loved their scenes together very much. I feel that most of the philosophy of the film can be found in their conversation, with Moore as the inactive one who is just as miserable as George, but George is at least proactive. Moore is trapped in many ways, and while she could never consider killing herself like George or going back to London, she could also never see the things that George sees.

It scares and comforts me that I understand this.

i can't afford to climb aboard you- no one's got that much ego to spend.

A multitude-- that's my Irish literature professor's favorite word-- of thoughts are at the front of my mind at this moment, but first and foremost I am tired again. I'm wondering if there's something up with my health; I seem to get tired so easily now, like an old person. It's been a long time since I've been to any kind of a doctor or dentist or anything of the sort, and I feel as though I should but I can't. I really don't have the money nor the insurance to do so, nor do I have the willingness. I am that person who is just too afraid to know what might be wrong with them. I can't take it, no matter what it is, and usually I have this weird intuition about things that's almost always right. I've realized that lately... so often I fear a certain outcome, and usually that is just the outcome that occurs. Of course we could argue for me being a self-fulfilling negative prophecy, but I don't think I'm all that negative, not really. Maybe when left to my own devices, as with about 80 percent of the entries made in this blog, but when I'm in the world, no. My friend told me once that she thought I was especially good at "rallying" myself when I just don't feel fit to handle something, but really I don't think that's true. I like that she thinks so, but I know it isn't true-- I don't have to rally when I'm "on" and out there, when I'm talking about something I care about which is most of the time I open my mouth, when I'm talking to someone. I see people taken aback when they talk to me, as if they could see the light turn on behind my eyes, even when there are black circles beneath the glow. Or maybe I imagine that too. Anyway, I will admit that I'm cynical sometimes-- not in the strictly sarcastic, Enid-from-Ghost-World or hardboiled, noirish way (i wish) but more in the typical, irritating way that is just in the way of my progress. As cheesy and stupid as it sounds, what Conan O'Brien said, simply and beautifully in his last show about cynicism (don't be cynical. no one in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work hard and you're kind, good things will happen) really affected me and made me look at myself. I hate on people so much and look at the world through disappointed eyes-- and furthermore, expect the continuation of my disappointment. I am making a conscious effort, then, to focus more on the things I love and am impressed by or encouraged by in life rather than the things that have broken my perception or my heart. These are good things to think about.

Right now I am disgruntled. I suddenly feel very insecure about my writing and my purpose as a writer. I flip through my ideas, my writing, the comments from my teachers and, finally, script magazine, and I see so many, TOO many opportunities and avenues to take and pursue, and none that look cut out for me. I tend to blame that on my depression or anxiety, but the fact is that no one, including me, really cares about that and in the end I'll have a pile of wasted time and tears and words, enough to fuel a bonfire for weeks, and not a single thing worth going into the world. I've been praying over my current writing project, that I might be used to shape it into something of importance given its themes (why write about darkness if something important cannot be properly expressed through it, like No Country or There Will Be Blood or Magnolia or The Proposition????). I'm months from graduating but I don't know what's going to cut it out there and that's my fault (just like being young, Cat Stevens tells me). How strange. I've been told I'm lucky because unlike many people my age, I know what I want to do (write) specifically (write screenplays. and short stories. and novels maybe maybe). But I don't know how to do it, still, and now every test is less of an encouragement than a giant pointing finger illuminating the weakness of the bridge that I'm standing on. I'm scared.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

she's not a girl who misses much.

I've been thinking alot about the dynamics of friendship lately, and what makes a valuable one. I could discuss each one at length here, but I really am too tired at the moment. However. Yesterday was interesting for me because I had to apologize to someone I knew for something fairly petty. Not like, sorry, I didn't mean to drink your water, but an actual "I apologize" moment. It was odd and took me back a few years.

I was sitting at my desk, grumpily, with my back to my room-mate's bed. My roomie, bless her sincere little heart, has been talking on her cellphone until it dies and then switching to skype every night to talk to these two boys/men in her life. She has been torn between them and only recently made the choice to become the girlfriend of one. So she's had the drama plus the twittery addiction of early possibilities (oh to remember that. it's been three years since i knew what that was). I get it. However it's been getting to me as the girl really is a talker 24/7, and is x10 in her current state, and her stress becomes my stress, and frankly due to my own somewhat anxious nature I cannot accept that lovingly. So I was feeling generally annoyed at the constant jabber and inane cutesy talk, as well as disappointed and disgusted with myself in general, as it goes sometimes (ever since the Creepy Old Man of the summertime I have felt massively disgusted with my looks and level of attractiveness, which was never high in the first place). I was feeling this and of course the stress of knowing I must stay up until at least 5AM to finish a project. I have my headphones on, and suddenly Aly, my suitemate, appears at my side and says in that blunt way of hers "WHERE DID YOU GO?" She asks these questions out of curiousity, but the way they lunge out of her mouth always makes them sound demanding. Her question jerked me out of my "zone" and suddenly I felt generally gross and mad that anyone was allowed to be near me or to judge me and I snapped at her to knock on the god forsaken door before she comes in, ever. I could see her eyes soften at that and she trailed out of the room, mumbling. I stewed for a few more minutes, listening to my room-mate in cutesy mode, talking about how tiny her hands are and how big her new boyfriend is, and I finally joined Aly outside. "I'm sorry I snapped at you," I said. "I didn't mean it."

I feel both mature-ish and 11 again when I think about it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

from both sides now

it's almost midnight and i'm tired. i was going to try to stay up and finish my 10 page paper, but i can't do it. i'm petrified that this is the way i'm going to be this semester, and i can't allow it. what a waste. i've been sitting here for a long time in hopes of actually doing something but all i can think of is how much i would like a cigarette but how guilty i feel smoking alone. no, i can't be like this this semester. i have too much to do, too much work, too much school, 50000000 pages to write, stories to submit. my head aches.

there's this line in My Fair Lady that i love, said once Henry Higgins and Eliza are exhausted, and she's complaining, and he says, "I know, Eliza, I know your head aches." I quote that alot because i like this idea that i have about it--- he's saying he knows her head must be aching, but to me it sounds like he's saying he knows her headaches, her heartaches, her pain specifically, as though they were acquainted. of course that's very out of character for higgins but still. i love that idea. there are a few people i know whom i would say that about. i know your headaches.

oh, i'm so anxious now. so anxious about money and work, and being able to juggle it all for the next few months. i have an internship two days of the week and a job with zero hours, which means i have to find a second one. i'm already having a hard time sticking with schoolwork and even caring, because, hey, what about the big picture? this is going to be over and i won't be able to find a fucking job anyway. on the other hand, my problem is that i care too much. this is it, guys, this is the last go-round. i have to get all-A's, i have to do well at my internship, i have to lose weight so i can feel alright about myself at graduation, i have to make alot of money. i have to write some really brilliant stuff, too. i have to write an amazing thesis. although, just between you and me, cyberblog, all i feel like having right now is someone's shoulder to fall asleep on. just right now. then i could worry about all of this later, as though it actually mattered.

i've been listening to joni mitchell alot today. i went into ventura for a stint and had tea this morning at maureen's. i chose joni to accompany us, and she hasn't left me since.

my old friend is getting married this weekend, which makes me think of my mortality. more than a funeral would, actually. someone who i've seen grow up next to me, who i've spoken to ABOUT marriage, who has pondered with me about what kind of people we would end up with (i was generally pictured single, haha, though if pressed i was told i'd marry a crazy artist who did paint splatter or something), who has really gone through alot of pain, this person is taking the next step as a human being. i wonder about that. i suppose it depends on the marriage, but if it's sincere, if it's true, i wonder if that level of a commitment really is an elevation. i feel as though it is. i don't know how that justifies the perfectly mature people who remain single or the immature that stay wedded, but it seems as though understanding that bond and sealing it is the key; you are giving your life to someone else, the most significant sign that you are ready to give to humanity, really. for some of us we'll never get there, we'll still always be stuck at the "self" mark because we cannot see beyond what we feel.

oh well.
i read this really entertaining, odd book today that, thanks to wikipedia, is revealed to be a cult classic of sorts. it's called griffin and sabine, and it seems to be about the loneliness of an artist. after reading all of the immense praise for it i think it's a tad overrated, but it's still very charming. there are letters that you can TAKE OUT OF THE ENVELOPES and read, which is pretty wonderful.

i'm also listening to Slaughterhouse Five on audiobook. which is different from what i remember, but so it goes.

i'm also about halfway through The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which i never thought i would read, and i'm actually glad that i am. "pick me up" is the message of a person who keeps falling.

Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.

"For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs as heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes."

"A person who longs to leave the place where he lives is an unhappy person."

i connect with it strangely more than i expected to, though at times it is too flowery, and honestly i'm not that into his exploration of sexuality, but nevertheless. yes.

otherwise i'm reading this very interesting book called "Melmoth the Wanderer"... a gothic Irish book about the devil, written by Oscar Wilde's uncle (trivia for you). It's for my class, but i do find it interesting and i hope i can finish the whole thing properly.

i will be glad to see my mom this weekend. i want a great hug.

i want this anxiety to cease.

.... post-script: something nice to look at.

Monday, February 1, 2010

my "creative" intern blurb.

KATRINA BARNETT is a college student at Loyola Marymount University where she is one semester away from obtaining her degree in Screenwriting. She hails from Ventura California and Texas sometimes, and once drove from one state to the other with a stuffed beaver strapped to the roof of her car. Though pursuing a career in film she also is a voracious writer of short stories, and recently recieved her first paid publishing credit. She is most disgruntled at the popularity of owls and owlets in indie-fashion, as she adored them long before they were hip, and, speaking of hip, she met Wes Anderson once. Though homeschooled up to her highschool graduation, she has been told that she's relatively well-adjusted.