Saturday, January 29, 2011

ok, so, allow me to "hahaha" for a moment.

looking over my blog stats for the first time in a long time, i notice that two people found my blog by searching with the phrase: "weird eyebrow men"


yes. yes, cyberworld, that is what defines me. enjoy.
"You see, it is so hard for these creatures to persevere." -Uncle Screwtape on the nature of men in The Screwtape Letters

Friday, January 28, 2011

all my little plans and schemes

Today I've been obsessed with the simplicity of this beautiful song. Recorded at Lennon's home on some tapes, this song was rerecorded, but never finished. I like it especially because of Lennon's somewhat subdued, limited voice. He was never a really great singer, I don't think, but his voice here is so honest I want to cry.

Lennon is a real source of fascination for me, and one of those fleeting celebrities that I like to tell myself I understand somehow. That's not true, of course, there is no understanding a celebrity because they are always too far away from us. It is a silly idea. However, I think alot of people feel that way about many celebrities, and especially Lennon, maybe, because much of his songwriting was so honest. He did sort of keep his heart on his sleeve and underwent his "phases" very publicly, as embarrassing as many of them were. Lennon never really shut his mouth, even when he should have. Anyway, I guess that's why I like this song so much-- not only is it honest, but thanks to Lennon's very widely known sad young life, the song takes on a deeper level of meaning. I don't usually like to know very much about the personal lives of musicians, but as always a member of the Beatles seems to trump all.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


When one is by oneself in Los Angeles, one has the potential to encounter anything. My contrasting interactions:

While walking from the pier in Santa Monica to the beach below, an older man walked up from the beach. He was not creepy or crazy looking, just older, and all of a sudden he says to me: "You just need to know you have the most gorgeous hair on planet earth. Just beautiful!!" I, startled and full of smug false-modesty, thanked him. My hair is longish now and thick in spite of the fact that I've lost alot of it. It has a bit of a natural wave when it's long, and the red that it has faded into since my fire-engine red dye job around Christmas (think Lola Rennt) is fairly natural looking. As it was about sunset, I can imagine it looked big and fairly spectacular. I have always been complimented on my hair, so it is some matter of strange pride. Interesting how the things about oneself that others enjoy become the things about ourselves that we value. Does something have value if you give it value, or do you only recognize the value that it has always had?

Encounter 2:
Me, waiting to cross the street to the museum. Weird dude [not homeless-seeming, but definitely odd and down-on-his-luck looking with weird eyes] comes up behind me, I'm not sure of his nationality/ethinicity, he had an accent and English was clearly not his first language.
Weird dude: "You going to cross? You want to cross? You want to cross now, with me?"
Me: "Um, no, I want to wait for the light to come on."
Weird Dude: "Come on, cross with me now, you want to cross?"
Me: "No... I'd rather wait with everyone else."
Weird dude: "I'm not being suicidal or anything, just saying!"
Me: "Um, no."
Weird Dude: "Are you Jewish?"
Me: "No..."
Weird Dude: "What are you, then?"
[light comes on, we start crossing the street]
Me: "Um, I don't know..." (there is a Hacidic Jewish community nearby. I could not tell if he meant heritage or religion. I'm not sure of my heritage at all, but I'm fairly certain there's not much Jew in there. if there were I'd be psyched as I am obsessed with Jewish men. Anyway I wasn't about to think about it too seriously)
Weird Dude: "Naaaah I bet you're Jewish and you're HIDING IT!!"
Me: "No, definitely not. I'm pretty sure I'm not Jewish..."
Weird Dude: "I BET YOU ARE. What else would you be?"
Me: "Ummmm Polish?"
Weird Dude: "Ahhh Polish people *mumbles something that Polish people do*. WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO?"
Me: [walking very quickly to get through the crowd and away].

always remember that there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.

With knowing that change is on the horizon, a sense of peace passes over a person. Knowing that with any hope I will be out of here eventually has led me to be very at-ease and generally happy for these past few days. I've been thinking a good deal about life and how sublimely, frighteningly LARGE it is. Almost to the existential moment where I wonder if things like writing could ever do any good-- life is too short and too big for something like that. Why try to capture any of it? In the end that's foolish thinking, I know, but in moments of awe they are inescapable.

This weekend I made a little trip for myself. I had to go to this furnishings show in Santa Monica for my job on Friday. It was actually very interesting-- huge-- a massive hub of vendors marketing their products to businesses. My employers bought a candle line and bath & body stuff to add to their store. I was interested to see how all that works, and to just browse all of the goodies there. My favorite vendor was a recycled-paper one that made cool wallets, post-its, and journals. Anyway, once I was done with all that I went to see my friend Aly at LMU, which was quite nearby, and I became seized with the desire to go to the Santa Monica Pier. I have never been on it before, except possibly when I was little. The one time I went to 3rd street with intent the pier was closed, so I walked on the beach instead. Anyway, we took my friend's dog with us and had a nice time watching the sun go down. I also got to see dolphins for the first time in a long time-- a whole little group of them-- a school? a pod?-- popped up very near the pier as if they were saying helloooo to me.

Anyway, the next day my friend went back to school and I got up and made a beeline for downtown LA. For a long time I've been wanting to go to LA's possibly most famous art museum, LACMA, and I decided to finally just go. I got there early and hung out around the Tar Pits, right next door (one of my favorite spots when I was little). I wrote in my new Alice-themed journal. Wallowed in the sun. Once they finally opened I was overwhelmed by the selection- 7 or 8 huge buildings stuffed full of beautiful things, from modern art to ancient. I was there for 5 hours and I didn't even get to see everything. I did get to see Magritte's famous "Not A Pipe" which I had the opportunity to explain to a security person at the museum. They were just getting off work and walking by, and saw me intently studying. "It says 'this is not a pipe'," the guard said, "whatever that means. 'Cause it obviously IS a pipe." Me [with roguish grin]: "Ah, but it's not. It's a painting of a pipe, isn't it?" Guard: "OHHHHHHH. THANK YOU. I get it now." Completely sans sarcasm.

Anyway. I got to see many Warhols (and his contemporaries and followers). The famous can of soup was present as was one of his most interesting works, Black and White Tragedy (or something like that). I like his repeated-print work (I don't know exactly what they're called) on big canvasses. Unlike his other things which are more like amusing STATEMENTS about art, pictures like B&WT reveal an interesting perspective. It's the same picture repeated again and again, but each stamping highlights a different aspect. I can look at that for a long time. Anyway. The modern art was interesting and funny (to me) as usual. Again, I get statements, and I'm sure my reaction is part of that, but really. A blow-up balloon centipede taped to a step-stool. Hahaha.

Anyhoo. I got to see Magritte, Chagall, Warhol, Picasso, and a million million others. I was especially fascinated by a special exhibition they were doing about India's once art-capital, the British-occupied Lucknow. The art was Indian but with European influence, immaculately detailed, story-oriented and TINY. I LOVE detail and India is mysterious and fascinating to me, so I enjoyed that very much. I also found the Japanese art (namely their collection of scrolls created by Buddhist Monks spanning many many years) very beautiful and educational. I liked the stories that matched them, especially if information on the scroll's artist was available. I especially took to one (pictureless) which read something like "if the student speaks, they get hit with the master's staff. if the student does not speak, they get hit with the master's staff!" the top part of the scroll had a huge ink spot that drove the point home, kind of like the "BAM! POW!" bubbles in comic books. The implication was that the master teacher would not only correct what was incorrect, but also push his students to do and learn more even when they were doing the right. I thought that was great. I also liked this famous story that one of the scrolls etched-- a cold buddhist monk burns wooden statues of Buddha one day to keep warm. When his superiors find out, they're not happy, and they ask him why he burned the Buddha's. He says so he could collect Buddha's holy ashes, and they basically respond with wtf, man, this is a wooden statue you're talking about. To which the monk responds, why are you so upset about it, then? I think respect of one's (and other's) religious symbols is valuable, however in the end we must remember that symbols are all that they are.

Anywayanyway, my favorite section of the day was German expressionism. They had most of the work of an artist named George Grosz which I found very powerful. I also formed a weird attachment to the very ugly Picasso painting "Weeping Woman With Handerchief." Something about her reminded me of me.

I capped the day off by a drive down Sunset and up to the Griffith Park Observatory, which I had never been to. I got there at about sunset, and I was floored by its beauty, and by the view of LA at dusk. The building itself is a work of art; once the road curves and the observatory comes into view it's almost breath-taking. I looked through the telescope and bought postcards and said hello to James Dean, I reviewed a little bit about the solar system in the planetarium (something I'll have to do more of for my Pluto script), and then just sat for about an hour, looking over LA. It was nice. I'm still not sure how I feel about doing these things by myself-- I suppose for the most part I like it because I can do everything at my own pace. And I can simply think. And simply thinking atop one of the highest vantage points in urban California (perhaps where James Dean once thought about things, even) is a glorious experience.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And you could have it all, my empire of dirt.

Today... was a disappointing day. I came all the way to coffee bean and left my money at home. Lame. I was really looking forward to an ice-blended sugary drink-- all the better, I suppose. Anyway, I did not accomplish any writing on my script. I should probably go home and try my hand there, but I know I will merely switch into netflix mode the minute I get there. Sigh, to be, or not to be. This is not much of a question.

I did do some writing today, thankfully, just story-writing. After I was done doing so, I went through some of my other completed stories, and some of my other half-thought-out ones. I was struck, as I sometimes am, with the nice feeling that I am a good writer. Or a pretty good one. I like that feeling, it happens rarely but it does happen. Usually I go through whatever I'm in the midst of writing and mentally trash it all, this is dreadful, this needs work, this is hopeless, etc, and when I'm in the middle of revisions of any kind I feel like I'm actually a very bad writer, but one who managed to get decent grades in school and who likes movies and literature so much that she has deluded herself into feeling special. Very, very often I fear that that is me: self-deluded. Assuring myself that I have so much to offer when in fact my writing and my writing ethic is simply... not even really there. Not special at all (and I suppose that's even worse than being bad at something you love).

But then I have moments like I did today, when I think to myself, aha. Good job. Pretty damn good job.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Also, I have now seen True Grit 4 times. It's tremendously inspiring for me. What a gorgeous movie. What brilliant dialogue. My God, I love good cinema. I don't really want to watch movies on the small screen anymore-- I'm realizing I don't feel the need to pay as much attention as I do when I see them in the theatre. I need to be awed, I think. We both deserve that for our money-- me and the movies.

This is a hammer, this is a hill.

My goodness, I was in a fairly good mood when I wrote my Christmas post there, and I still came across as whiney, ungrateful, and bitchy. That's just no good. Sometimes I take a step back and I realize that my actions and a good deal of the things I say do not and should not reflect who I must be-- but of course they do. Anyway, sometimes I look back on things I've said and I hear them with a little too much clarity.

All this is to say, I made it sound like I wasn't enjoying myself in Texas or that I had had a terrible party. Both are falsehoods. The party I now look back on with a smugness that I, I pulled off such a smashing business. Cocktails! Dresses! Faux-elegant conversation and cigarette holders! Well, no one had a cigarette holder. But I pretended. Also, Christmas was nice and warm and fuzzy, and weird and occasionally sad as my parents can be, I love them. I miss my mom so much, so much of the time. She really is a great friend of mine and I like going home and having her basically take care of me. It's rotten to be back home now and to feel like no one's looking out for me.

Strange how I can't figure out if I'm solitary or dependent. Maybe none of us are strictly one type. I certainly don't like living with people but when my safety net of people I love is removed I get crazy. I almost feel like it's pointless at the moment to abide in Ventura because there's no one here anymore. Everyone's gone home or back to school. I don't do well without support. Then again, that scary feeling always reminds me of that brilliant Mother Teresa quote, "If we feel alone, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to one another." I always find that inspiring and convicting. Of course you're going to feel sad and alone and broken if you wallow in your confinement. All of your problems will become huge, stifling, evil. They will crush you. And there's something to be said for thinking about yourself and confronting your issues, but often there's only so far you can go with that until you begin to become too absorbed in your own mind. At some point I think you need to take on the problems of others. Not only is it distracting but it's sorting and resolving of your own problems. We belong to each other. That's something some Jesuit speaker talked about during my Welcome Week at LMU, and I still value it, even if I haven't quite figured out how to practice it yet, how to serve people. I feel like I pay attention to others, and I listen, and I appreciate most people for what they have to offer, but I'm not sure how to be a part of them yet or how to help them. I am so continually disgusted by myself and then the world and then myself again that I get so frustrated and anxious, but I hardly ever do anything to improve matters. Usually because I feel like I just freaking can't, but that's a lie. A lie that is probably the result of being too much in my head, a result of forgetting that we belong to one another.

That's a good thing to keep in mind, I think, with the new year and all. I made some resolutions the first weekend of the month and wrote them in the copy of Ulysess that I'm still wading, sloshing, trekking through (a literary swamp, if you will). They are as follows, though of course I don't expect to keep to them attentively, I hope to give all of them my best shot.

"Things I will conquer this year:
. This book.
. Burning 500 Calories a day (best to be specific, I suppose)
. Improving my German.
. Paying off very much debt. (IE be thrifty.)
. Eating healthily and really learning how to cook.
. Learning 11 songs on the guitar.
. Write every day possible. Finish 3 scripts at least.
. Make Short movies.
. Get Fucking Published.
. Get certified to teach English.
. Brush teeth twice a day.
. Internship. Some cool internship.
. Shop scripts.
. Volunteer.
. Acquire driving/subtitle-reading glasses, argh.
. Go to the beach once a week. How stupid to not appreciate what we have.
. Volunteer. Even if it's just a little bit.
. Finally, chase God. We need to talk more. I need to read more about Him. We gotta connect more, because I keep lazily passing Him up, avoiding Him like eye contact with someone whom I know is waiting for me to speak. I would also like to study more about the differences between Protestant denominations, for at present I am nondenominational and attending a Presbyterian church. I dig the Presbies, however the whole predestination thing is something I cannot believe. Research this.
. Read (at least) these books: (i list a few of them, more to be added)"

Above all, my character resolution is to simply improve my dedication to service. I do want to be better, and I want to be better joyously. I want to get better at loving people.

My semi-plan for this year is, basically, to stay put. I am not going to go to school. I am not going to go to Europe. I can't, I have to stay here and make some money and save at least a little bit. It'd be nice to keep a job for a bit, too, just for the sake of building an impressive resume. Ever since I went to school I'd start a job and drop it quickly because I'd refocus on school (actually I'd just get depressed and refuse to do anything, ahm..), so it'd be good to stick with what at least appears to be a writing job for a year/nearly a year. However I do plan on looking for other jobs. I sincerely need something with benefits, or at least some extra cash coming in. As it is there is a mountain of debt in front of me and it's a little frightening. I'm also too scared to just tally up what I owe. Ugh. ANYWAY. I plan on staying here and paying up, saving up. However. As I'm abandoning Europe until January of next year (I think I'll au pair and then attend school, perhaps in Ireland), I am going to attempt to see the states. I want to spend at least a little time in as many states as I possibly can. I'll start small-- Greyhound is the way to go. I'll travel by night bus and get off in the mornings to explore. Anyway, I'll take those trips whenever I can and write as I go. All of this will culminate in the fall when I plan on finally, finally, finally seeing NYC.

After that, in the words of Mary Bailey, who cares!