30 January 2008

ni l'un ni l'autre

Thank you Mike for The Velvet Underground. I could almost stop feeling the need to perfectize everything I do as I listen to the dear band. Maybe I could relax more if I sounded like Nico.

Sometimes I sit in class and I'll stop trying to think in French and then billions of sounds will cascade out of mes professeurs' and my classmates' mouths and I'll just sit there and wonder, why am I doing this? Why exactly have I chosen French over other languages? It's one of those things I picked up in my head or some fiber of my being and I've been running with it ever since. Growing up periodically mon père me parlait en français and I would have to guess what he was saying. I knew "n'est-ce pas" before I knew "modicum." I am generally a happy little pearl in the francophile oyster here at uni...The other day I almost ran into someone in a hallway and I said "Désolé." Yet that's not even quite correct, I should have said, "pardonnez-moi."

In the air. Spring, step, sugar.
Sew a few sequins onto my best shirt and dance it up a little.
I really just need to pump things up.
Take risks.
Take up poker.

Pump up the jam
Pump it up*

Grab it all in my hand and throw it up to the wind and sunlight.
Float away like doves and the glitter dances down and gets caught in our eyelashes. Then the dance floor closes in and we step to the left. step to the right. snap our hips to the beat. clap our hands. spin under strobe. dream under spot light.


29 January 2008

mushy apple, mushy apple, mushy apple

I was going to take a nap.
Because I am exhausted.
As I have been since before the semester began.
But I'm too filled up with thoughts right now.
You see, in film classes they always talk about manipulation. Especially since I'm taking documentary classes right now, we talk about the effects of manipulation. But there is no way to escape the fact: no matter what you do as a filmmaker you will be manipulating your audience. Chaque jour I hear the immortal quote of John Grierson who defines documentary as the "creative treatment of actuality."
Blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah.
That's how I feel about that.
I'm taught about the manipulation and how I will be manipulating and I feel manipulated. It's not a bad thing to have an education. But when I'm tired and we talk about this subject everyday along with the mantra that to be ignorant and have an opinion is dangerous but it's even more dangerous to have read a book and have an opinion because then you think you know something. So they tell me I have to read four books on one subject to be a really ok person. But I have no time to do that. And then I watch ONE movie in class and write a paper on MY OPINION for class.
Today my teacher held up a tissue and asked us what it is. We all said tissue which he later joked was so frustrating when we answered correctly the first time. I have never called a tissue a Kleenex. And I was never aware of it until someone pointed it out in high school but I was able to promptly forget about it.
These classes leave me feeling hyper-aware of every atom of life and I want to wash it all out of my head sometimes.
I know it's cheesy to hold to quotes and I hate John Grierson's quote along with a whole list of other things that are harpooned into my brain every single film class I have, but I have one that I hold to and hope for a realization of, "Give me truths; for I am weary of the surfaces."
I want to wash out my brain.
I picked two of the liberal and artsy colleges at my university: Film and French. I have a large amount of liberal friends. I agree with lots of liberal teachings. But I don't want to agree with what I'm taught. It's like having things I've already accepted being taught to me at the same time I'm being called pretentious.
Thank you.
And the worst of the worst today, we now reached the hyper-aware mantra that we are artists and we believe art is best.
No. No no no no no no no no no no.
That's what I have to say about that.
It is most likely true.
And since I can't wash out my brain, I stay up and sometimes out late. It's the only form of rebellion I have since my professors have yet to realize that I leave my editing rough on purpose because I hate their smooth cuts and clean exits and entrances and I hate their rule of thirds and dénouement. The fuzz in my brain sometimes acts as a buffer from their hyper-aware-pretentious lectures. So instead of feeling like a deservingly criticized member of the bourgeoisie as I watch the Soviet documentary* in class I can sit there wracking my brain for the name of the Russian who pioneered the art/idea of juxtaposition in film.
Which I had to come home and google.
It was Kuleshov.

But I'm stuck, because I'm so happy when I have a camera in my hands and I love that documenting.

Frontal lobotomy?

*Man with the movie camera (1929)

28 January 2008

My Day Explained in Loose and Abstract "Haiku"

snooz button snooz button snooz button
oh never
snooz button snooz button snooz button

snooz button.

A bit windy
Al Pacino
class class class

I'm smiling at too many people
slightly batty
mushy apple

new song
fresh crusty bread
still waiting

en attendant Godot
no news art department

was it the right thing
tea and movie trailers
I quit.

olé finé.

26 January 2008

I can count to blue jersey

Last night I was doing this math in my head. I've worked at the grill for a year and a half. I'm used as a cautionary tale among my coworkers because I infamously quit and then asked for my job back a few days later. It seems like just yesterday but I counted and it's been NINE months. NINE months since I quit. NINE. So this cemented my decision to ask for a raise. I have always been a bit confused by money and wages....anyway the discussion with my boss turned into a poker game, and even though I've got a bigger raise than I expected.....and a promotion....but you see, promotions really just equal doom.
Say hello to Student Manager Bjork.

The other day I was walking past the dorms I inhabited freshman year. Not that the new urban decay theme was surprising for me, we knew as we lived as the tenement kids that they were going to start tearing that set of dorms down the next year. I also watched a mini-doc someone in my class had made showing the wrecking ball wrecking the tower where I spent a few Wednesdays and Sundays with chumps I used to get about with.
Although I generally am a sentimental person, I wasn't upset to see all of the windows broken out of the place and the broken pile of dressers and desks that I sat at mouldering in the slushy snow. I found it kind of amusing to see the stack of cheep mattresses outside.
It would have been so much better if we were in the kind of place that got graffiti-ed.

25 January 2008

Oh it's just another drip drop drop dropppppp-pah

I received one of my favorite compliments in Doc Making class on Tuesday. We presented little sequences of our latest filming ventures and opened them up for meager class discussion (it is actually open for more of a class discussion but there's always beaucoup de reticence). Mine was really only a few seconds...I always seem to be doing nothing or shoving a week's To Do list into the form of two days...anyway, it was short and sweet of a dear girl kneading bread--I wish you could have been there as I filmed, I really need to go back through the footage, she told me she was a collector of stories and so I asked her to tell me a story. It was utter magic.
One fellow student pipes up after our habitual applause, "She's a really interesting person."
can I say that again?
(Here's another of my frequent moments of idealism or something of the like) THIS IS WHY I WANT TO MAKE DOCUMENTARIES! BECAUSE I LOVE EVERY FASCINATING FIBER OF YOUR EXISTENCE! It's all I know and it's the strongest need I've ever had in my life but I HAVE GOT TO TELL YOUR STORY.
She IS interesting.

So Merci tout le monde. Thank you for being alive. And thank you for loving Onion Cutter as I do.

I've been much too serious lately. I need to staunch my bleeding heart.

22 January 2008

And I say hey-ey-ey-ey ey

World.....I'm kind of sad. No, I am sad.
Heath Ledger is dead.
My teenage heart-throb.
I outgrew hanging up pictures of celebrities by the time I reached junior high, but I kept his picture hanging up a little longer than all the others.
An icon.
I was just thinking how much I wanted to watch 10 Things I hate about you this weekend.

I have What's Up by 4 Non Blonds on repeat.

Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
for a destination
And I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
I pray every single day
For a revolution*

*4 Non Blonds

21 January 2008

a million better things to do then what you tell me to do with the threat of a fine. there are names for people like you. a poem in four parts.

You mandate
that I clean

It's a bit sorry sad student-
our pitiful pockets
spilled out
to form that table
where we sit on the floor
and eat
our dinners.

the venetian blinds
are dust mites
bunnied out and filtering
the ski weather.

the oven
a bit tinier than normal
and sits
and sits
worse than the smell in your pits.

I hate your mandate.
and I'm the clean one.

18 January 2008

that interpretive dance held no sting for me

It's so enthralling when the head of the French Department speaks to me as if I will be living in France next year.

Does the body rule the mind
or does the mind rule the body
I don't know*

I've been scattered across the planet lately. Or maybe just mentally stuck on hibernation. I can't stop thinking of hibernation and yet I've been to at least a party three nights in a row. Aren't I a hermit or something? And when I sleep I am filled with perchance dreams of wild assortments.

(in succession of least interesting to most interesting)
(I'm only sharing two with you)
I've been thinking lately about how my hair hasn't been thinned in almost a year. Having my heavy head thinned is a great joie de vivre for me. And so I dreamt I was sitting in a barber shop chair (yes barber shop). I had the impression of seats of a jade or some type of coloring darker than sea foam, eternity mirrors, celebrity powder room lights. I sat there and as I looked up a boisterous but not loud, middle-aged Italian man turned around to face me with the joyous look on his face saying he'd delight in thinning my hair, a black bushy mustache, salt n peppa hair, a comb in one hand (black) a small pair of scissors in the other (silver), with a white labcoated body and gray permanent pressed suitpants. And that's all my dream held for me. Those five instants of uncertain, dazed, will-this-be-a-good-thing-? madness.

Secondly, I had a dream that fate was against me. Not people FATE. A something that was in everything. Most especially the slots that weren't quite a gambling game, and these little tiny black specks of bugs. The black specks spread a disease, a fatal disease. Some people just fell to it, but the disease, fate, and little black bugs were searching for me. Let me tell you about this disease, intently listening audience (do you listen to the click of my keys and keyboard?). The little specks (black) caused rhubarb to grow inside your legs, growing as right as garden with "your muscle, bone, and sinew**." Death was certain, who knows the cure for rhubarb legs? But before death comes you live for a while with the stringy, starchy feeling of rhubarb irritating you all the time.

*The Smiths (my CD came!) Still Ill
The Decemberists
Red Right Ankle

14 January 2008

i shall listen o ye curious orange

I think I reached a new level at the grill today.
Coworker One had a Kanye West song stuck in her head, and although he's made an entire song out of it and probably a few dollars, really, there's only so many times you can go through, "Unh, Can't tell me nothin'!"
To save her, I started singing:

Ghetto superstar that is what you are
comin from afar reachin for a star
run away with me....*

Onion-cutter jumped in with his dance moves and singing "shake it baby."
I wish you knew Onion-cutter to know how glorious this was. He's about 5'3", has slurred speech, and believe it or not has worse hand-eye coordination than I do. He likes to tell me knock-knock jokes and then elbow me in my side. Or call me a chicken.

*Mya with some collaborators

12 January 2008

It's all hood...why thanks Snoop Dogg

Did anyone else realize you could grocery shop off of Amazon.com? I could make it through the rest of my life never worrying about a car, a membership to Costco or Sam's, and other such and suches. This world is amazing! Grocery shopping is pretty much one of my favorite things and knowing that I can now grocery-window-shop-online is indescribable.
I discovered this after I discovered that there are only four songs by The Smiths that you can buy off of iTunes. I wanted some more S
miths after having to listen to lame music for two and a half hours and listen to stories of half-mast concerts people had attended. Hoo-rah. The lead singer of that band that you love pays too much for his trendy tight t-shirt that I've seen five other people wear. What was funny is that one of the kids told this joke, "How many indie kids does it take to change a light bulb?" and the punch line is "you don't know?!" because no one ever knows any indie bands....l
ike the indie bands I like...
Whatever, I can't believe he didn't have appreciation for Lynyrd Skynyrd.

iTunes has limited selection which can be such a pain but even Amazon fails me. Where can I get some Oskar Schö
nning? It's not as if Swedish jazz is really that strange. His site is in Swedish so I wouldn't know what I was ordering. Yeah we're back to that light bulb joke again, I guess.

But there was a most excellent discovery tonight. We wandered through a Barnes and Noble and found a little pocket book dictionary of slang words. We stood around reading each other entries for a while, my favorite being the "monet" pronounced like the painters name. It's slang for someone who looks great...from far away.

(self portrait by Monet)

07 January 2008

Maybe my boyfriend was abducted by aliens: a lesson on physical science by Veronica Mars

Well I'm not sure, but I might be realizing my worst fears. I'm caring about my grades.
I am still not that person in class with the attitude I abhor: "Will this be on the test?" Bleh, what a waste of my time. I refuse to be dictated by any test. Maybe the intellectual inside of me is compromising and finally supporting the act of shoving my brain through the brick wall of academia.
I've already passed a few landmarks for myself: I've woken up early enough to eat breakfast sitting down in my apartment before I had to go anywhere THREE TIMES IN A ROW. I was even awake enough to handle some Aretha Franklin this morning.
And I've been keeping my New Years resolution of flossing.
I slightly feel amazing.
But I better be going dancing tomorrow night otherwise I'm going to feel like a disgusting over-achiever. Part of me really supports my chronic running to class late with a bagel, late night window shopping online because I can't focus, and those weeks where I just decide that homework isn't important. Why do I have to improve myself to get a scholarship? If only France wouldn't insist I take classes this spring.
Last semester I learned some invaluable things not doing homework. For instance I finally figured out that it's Pre-Raphaelite paintings that I've been loving. And some OLD Alanis Morsette lyrics are ingenious. I've also discovered the delicious combination of radishes and avacados through my perusal of cooking blogs.
Oh well, I'm fascinated by conflict. Bring it on brick wall, I'll take you down.
Hahahaha....I'm almost clever.

06 January 2008

there was a bit of green in the yellow and then the leaves were gone and now it's raining on me....?

That is for my frustration that my feet are frequently wet. Here. Winter here is wet. I'm not sure, I think I might spring for my old winter wonderlands of layers and frostbite over these wet feet.
I want to move to Norway.
Someone taught me a Norwegian phrase last night, but I've forgotten it. Which is fine because it did sound like English. Laquina has been correcto all along-o.
At this same crèpe party last night I also met a boy named Jeff that I'm supposed to call Bruce. It seems that it is to be my pet name for him. I can be fine with that. After all I got that kid I worked with to answer to the name Al because he looked like Al Pacino.
And that's all I have to say to you.
Except that I wrote another terrible poem.
So read on if you dare.

Thrum ba dum
thrum ba dum
piano and mandolin
taken in duffle along to the gym

your folk talking voice
held the eagles in hand
and I laughed and thought we could take a stand
against such arrows and Shakespeare thoughts
but we were the same as anyone else

and the revolution continues to be waged
in every heart regardless
comrade, citizen, stasi, publican
marching, marching
until I don't know what.

olé finé.

04 January 2008

Couldn't you just tie up the loose ends? no? oh...

Why haven't I written, you might be asking yourselves--I know, how do you survive without my fascinating wit? Must be tough.
Maybe because I've been as happy as a clam, or an oyster cuddling in with the pearls, and not that you're swine, but pearls aren't something you just cast about or speak of verbosely. No, you shut your little oyster shell and settle in.
Speaking of which, if I were to slice a pearl down the center would I be able to see the little bit of grit that slipped in to become pearlized?
There was a bit o' grit to the Christmas holidays, I mean how many pairs of shoes can you slip into when you are wearing three pairs of thick wool socks?
I think a classic moment from the vacay would be the carpool to church one Sunday morning. This dear little car pool is a trip of 45 minutes to and 45 from. I was sitting in the back seat with this woman seems to have a nature of not believing a word you say. She's gentle, loving, and genuine, but you will never convince her of anything in an argument.
She says to me, "So, what...you're a freshman, sophomore? How many years has it been? One...maybe it's been two......"
"Three years. I'm a junior."
"Really?" The look of doubt it creeping across her face.
A minute later, "I guess, you know, well I believe you."
I'm still not quite sure what the appropriate response to that is. Thank you? Time flies by?