30 September 2009

I lenting climbed over that hill three times

photo by mon père

I feel I'm good at keeping an open mind about all of the seasons. Twas not always this way, I grew up in a very chilly winter-ish place, I dare you to dream about how cold it an get. In this place, it pretty much had all four seasons, but mainly two: Summerish and Extra Long Winter. Summerish is frequently known by the name Construction Season because the Winter is so taxing on every building that it all wears out and must be fixed all the time.
In my growing up years, these Winters were very difficult to face (because they were Winters with a capital "W"). I could tell you stories of that one time I walked out in a blizzard. I stood with my face to the wind, the little flakes of blowing snow stung my cheeks and when I went back inside my hair was frozen straight back. You don't forget things like that. Or how about the number of socks it always seems necessary to wear. Or how about that one winter when the breaks on our family car kept freezing and it was first discovered by me as I was backing out of our driveway. Thank heavens there is not traffic there. How about how some mornings the radio tells you how long it will take until your fingers get frost bit and have to be sawed off. And every car drives around with some sand, candy, blankets, candles and other some suches. Winter Survival Kits. I learned from toddler age that if you get stranded in a car in a blizzard you must crack the windows (we were all smart toddlers, the driving age is very young there).

The point being of all of this: Winter was depressing. It was long and unbearable cold. But I've been living away from home for five years now. Very much separated from these netherworld Winters. I go home every other Christmas, and it was my second Christmas back, this was almost two years ago (I was actually in the middle of my year of existential crisis), and I realized, this WINTER is actually an amazing thing. I grew up with frozen hair and sandbags and wind chills and midwest and fiberous people. We layered to beat until we were lumpy old things and that's actually a fantastic thing. If things get tough you deal with it. Isn't that amazing? In our age of leisure, if things get tough you should get the letter H out and find something easier, n'est-ce pas ? Pas.

Anyway, despite the fact that I came home from that Christmas being more depressed than ever to be back here, I decided that all seasons were delightful. And I can revel in Greek mythologies of Persephone.

But this year, it's killing me. Fall has leapt upon us and this year I'm not relishing the colors and the crispiness. I'm suffocating with the closed-up windows and the darkening of the skies. Monday morning my roommate's and my alarm clocks went off at the same time.
"Roommate E, it can't be 7 a.m. can it? It's soo dark," I whined.

But it was seven.


When things get tough I guess I will l'arch de triomphe and sing songs for Persephone.

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I hope to have a little last day of summer treat.

29 September 2009

ode angit

Well, Henry Blessing, it's your birthday. Or it was your birthday, it's now One A.M. as I write this and I don't know if you're of the school that draws the line at midnight or not.
Wait, what am I talking about, I know you, your birthday doesn't end, we just go to sleep.

You just turned 29 for the second year in a row, that's a pretty impressive feat. I'm glad that we're getting closer to the same age. And even though I'm more mature than you (ha) you've been beating me at everything my whole life (you were born first, you got to experience the grunge years firsthand, I could never scare you as well as you could scare me, you would nicely clean-up and bandaid my wounds then slap them, you won the cleanest room award that one time) but you're finally starting to slow down and now maybe someday we'll both be 29.

Hey, did you know you're pretty much the best companion for studying bookshelves and squating down in the aisles to taste test a few pages of books.

You're also talented at alliteration.

I don't want to get sappy or anything, but you're my favorite person to share a joke with, to tell stories to, to surmise about the feats of the completely nonfictional Sherlock Holmes, to listen to Miley Cyrus, watch weird movies with Michael Crawford late at night, to name-drop with, to judo chop my back, to sit quietly with, or even to scare me.

So vive la souer ! Many happy wishes to you.


P.S. Remember how our closets were connected and we could slip papers to each other through that crack and it wasn't necessary in the least to be sneaky but it was so irresistable? Well, for me it was.

24 September 2009

the ward-drobe of the fascinating woman

I was going to start out by complaining about the someone (whose name starts with a B) who seems to feel like the vocations I'm considering (KJ-i or mischievous ghost) are subpar (although, I will point out, being a mischievous ghost would be pretty childish and sassy). And I was going to point out that this someone (B) should maybe shove-it because he's just on the rebound anyway....
But apparently he's not alone in his disparages. And one cannot ignore Laquina's remonstrance that she wouldn't be able to tackle me if I were a poltergeist. Because I love getting wrestled to the ground. But hey, remember how I got you so good when you visited a month ago? Maybe it was just once, but I'm treasuring it.
Point being:
I guess I'll have to stick with being a documentartian.
So good thing I realized today that I am
irrevocably in love with documentary. It's a true love. It grows more and more each day, with each passing hour. Greg Kinnear once said, "I--can't help my self.*" I wish I could serve that to you with notations of his intonations, but let that suffice.
I can't help myself.
Sometimes as I'm sitting in [documentary production] class and we've just finished a discussion on post modernism vs. modernism vs. what that anthropologist said that has nothing to do with what we're actually supposed to be studying in class , and then we listen to a clip of someone's audio documentary and I get butterflies in my stomach and I can't stop smiling, I can't stop being in love. Somehow at some point, God made my soul out of documentary, I'm sure of it.

Also, I'm obsessed with saltine crackers lately and I think someone slipped me weed this evening because I have got the munchies.

And I want you to fully appreciate my phone's terrible vocabulary:
In the last week, text predictor has not recognized "ouch", "cougar(s)", "mascott", or "bastard." Just a note for my parents, that last one was most definitely in the appropriate bastard connotation of having unmarried parents and was not offensive whatsoever.

fridge pants.

*You've Got Mail

21 September 2009

tonight I lived a moment and that's a cheesy thing to say

I've been making a list of pros and cons comparing my chosen professions. There's no clear winner yet (remember the debate is between poltergeist and Kim Jong-il). If you have any opinions on the matter feel free to comment.

(obviously not from the house show, but the closest we come to a photo of me dancing)
(And I think that's actually from three years ago but anyway...)

I might smell like alcohol right now. I went to a house show tonight and I ignored the part where there was a communal beer being passed around (well, really I thought, "hey, that's the kind I bought nervously at the store to take home to make bread" and "hey, herpes") and I'm also ignoring what I think I heard someone say, and if they said what I think they said they were most definitely a groupie. Point being, I went to a house show. It was the kind of show that's got the beat that gets you every time. You stand there thinking, "I'm really a wise, world weary person, so I'm not going to dance." But then the drum kicks start ticking off the years and all of the sudden you realize you're only 22 and that's a great age to be. Old age? That's never going to happen. You're there there there and you're young and it's one moment and you're suddenly aware that you're tapping your feet knocking your knees twist and shouting and it's just grand.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that it's not enough to be ageless, sometimes I should be my age.

20 September 2009

what do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be a poltergeist. It might be more fun than being Kim Jong-il.

Yesterday I walked on salt. It was white, it was grey, it was pink (or more Milly mauve), it was shimmery, soft, and crystalled hard. My feet came away with a better than sugar shine.

An amazing thing has happened. With the advent of this house with clean roommates and lovely rooms, I have rediscovered my interest in cooking. I am repicking up the New York Times on Wednesdays so I can savor their dining section. I am redevouring all of my cook books and thinking of the fun twists to tie and tweaking this pretzel recipe to a practice bagel recipe and substituting this flour for that flour etceteras.
I've found a new waffle recipe I've been playing with, it's supposed to be a sour cream thing and while I'm sure that's delightful, I never actually buy sour cream. I cannot recall if I have ever bought it before in my life. So I made something up.
My friend also taught me a neat trick with a final dashing of cheese. One of the tragedies of moving from home is no longer having access to our fine, large, cast iron waffler. The surest way to have great waffles is to have a magically fantastic waffler. In university, we seem to only have mini-weaklings. Read on if you care about the life-saving trick.

My Yogurt Waffles
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 TBsp sugar (though next time I'm trying it without)
1 TBsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil (at most) (note here: I'm a very loose measurer)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt
3 large eggs
a squeeze or so of a lemon

THE SECRET INGREDIENT (well the lemon is key as well): shredded cheese

CAVEAT: If you have a mini-weakster waffler, you MUST start heating your iron well before, at least 15 minutes, otherwise you're sunk in my book.

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger bowl mix the wet ingredients. Combine, and start pouring into the waffler. But WAIT! Before you shut the waffler, generously cover the top of batter with shredded cheese. The fine grate is better and I've been using Swiss. The cheese creates a great crispy outer shell and adds a little rich flavorish twang.

The syrup I've been making recently is a lemon simple syrup. It's especially delightful to balance the cheese flavor. Simple syrups are two cups sugar dissolved in once cup boiling water, then with a half teaspoon of whatever flavoring you want.

There, I have divulged some of my waffle magic for you.

17 September 2009

that leitmotif just fell from that branch that was not even autumned!

I frequently feel that there are a lot of things out there that we could all be laughing at but somehow no one else has noticed the irony. But I suppose that is what irony is derived from. No one noticing it.

But then again, are we reveling so much in our dry wits that they've become kindle, caught a light, and burned this house down in an irreverent and despicable huddle?

Though sometimes I feel like Irony is the one spitting me with her/his pitchfork.

I'm supposed to be studying the Song of Roland right now, and instead of that, today, I have plugged up every spider hole in my wall (hopefully), tried to wrestle my bed frame into shape (failed and now mourning my too soon deconstruction of my nice bed frame), washed the venetian blinds in my bedroom (why those blinds? they're so cheap looking in our vintage windows! Gah, some people's total lack of aesthetics), had dinner, surfed TV, tried to fix the zipper on that great orange 1970's non-dress (second failure of the night), read blogs and found a new band to like for a minute. Point being, apparently I'm going to waste a lot of time before I meet my Roland.

Roland and I are not getting along. I'm too tired to figure out where he's coming from.

I can concentrate, I CAN concentrate. I can.

15 September 2009

I walked a lung out

This is not happening.
I just had two sleepless weeks and now I'm sick, who knew I could be full of my weight in snot, and now I'm not sleeping tonight.
And, oh great, here come the dead horses stalking up the path to the door. They look as gaunt and grey as ever, and still self-satisfied.
"Well, Marge, what did you expect? You should open up a ranch, we come back so often..."
"No, maybe I should take up shooting. If I put you all out, then I can be at peace."
"You know it doesn't work like that."
"Well, you and I now know that you're not visiting for the reasons we originally thought."
"What do we do about that?"
"Open up a ranch."

I conducted a science experiment. Here are my findings:
There were once a set of electrons. Lets say there were six billion of them. Some electrons were shaped like the letter M, some were shaped like the letter F. Every year electrons M paired up with electrons F and found their own neutron to circle stable-ly together. Usually when M's and F's were single, they were happy, but they felt like there was a little something missing. They felt it would be more natural to find a counterpart. There was one little F, though, (her friends described her as emotionally healthy so that must count for something) who always felt more stable when she was just an F. She sometimes found an intriguing M, but that's when she started to feel wibbled and wobbled and stretched. However wibbled this little F felt, she maintained firmly that maybe it didn't need to feel stable at the get go. Maybe it was only part of the truth that coupling up was a stable thing.

At this, one dead horse leans back and crosses his fore legs over his chest putting his hooves up on my nightstand. "You're that little F aren't you?"
"That's rather rude, don't you think?"
"I'm dead, what do you think I care about politeness?"
"Well, I'm not F. I'm not that little letter F, electron F. Don't be-"
"-YOU really are going to have to build that ranch because nothing is going to stay stable."
At this, one of the other dead horses snorted, "Except for us, HA! Get it? We're going to stay stabled!"
There were some subsequent snorts, winnies, neighs, and demands for hay. Horse humor is rather tiring, just not tiring enough, apparently. Tomorrow I'm looking for a travel agency that will book trips for a few ghastly/ghostly horses.

I will not be burdened by serendipitous nicknacks

All I want out of life are work, creative outlets, people to love, my bicycle, and a shower on the south side of my house with a little window in it so I can take showers with the sunset shining in at the end of a long summer day.

I know I'm going to have a life like that.

Are you going to have the life you want?

13 September 2009

naps in meetings

I miss my nannykins. Today M. One showed me the volcano, lava, and tornadoes he'd drawn on the sidewalk.


If anyone new asks, I'm not claiming creative direction of this documentary. It's been over a year and I feel nervous as the letter H. Especially since we show the College who's commissioned me the rough cut of our documentary on Friday.
I'm going to be very ill on Friday.

Very, very ill.

And I've lost every other good word of thought I had.

08 September 2009

well, it was like hearing my mom say "meanwhile back at the ranch"

I did the best thing a kid could do on Sunday. I gave my five year old Monstruo Uno my razor scooter.

I bought it as a freshman at uni. Think back. It's way back (it's a flashback within a flashback within a flashback) because I'm a super senior now (maybe just barely but I feel cool like I'm super or have super powers or I'm savvy saying it). Remember how we'd all ride it around my dorm room floor and how the O.G. of G.O.G. would sometimes borrow it to get around this little city?
Then remember that Christmas break Sophomore year where I was stuck in said little city in that little crappy apartment and I was home alone all day and I got bored as the letter H so I put on some Ashley Simpson and rode around the kitchen table for an hour. Yeah, that happened. And even more yeah, I probably know all the lyrics to that A.S. album. But you know you enjoy my talent of being able to belt out a million ridiculous songs. And I sing them with feeling. Plus I came up with the greatest twist on lyrics the other day for Roommate E.
Junior year an old co-worker bought a razor scooter as well and we would ride around the streets. She would do sweet tricks like no hands scootering and I would fall over because I have no balance or talent. After she graduated and got a real job five states away, I haven't found an excuse to scooter, nor have I been able to properly run.
Senior year, Razor lay inactive.

The point is, this scooter was not meant for me.

I brought it Sunday to family dinner and Monstruo Uno has never been more delighted. Much more successful than the harmonica at Christmas. I guess he doesn't want to be Bob Dylan. He wouldn't stop scootering, we went over half the neighborhood playing his new invention "Scooter tag." It consists of him scootering and I run after trying to catch him. End result: I can't catch him.

But it's fun to try.

Coming Attractions: Rotatoes and my dear J.

07 September 2009

could I make a podcast of your coughs?

Whenever anything calls for unsalted, I don't unsalt. Maybe this means I'll be your grandmother with hardened arteries (and maybe soul and neck and ear wax too) and then the heart disease that reigns in my family will spike me for a glorious end laughing at all of my fruits and vegetables and olive oil, but dear (or che or cher. Cher?), I will have eaten salt. And that is terribly important. Although, the other day I was sitting there trying to decide if I was tasting my food or if I was tasting salt.


I would like to draw your attention to the large chair in your dining room. It's an odious seat, it feathers not the cap of your eating salon and you should dispose of it. Immediately. And irrevokably.

Do you remember how I've never made sense for you? Tonight I'll take a step aside in honor of Labor Day. This blog was born on labor day two years ago. I don't remember clicking through the set up portion of events, you know selecting the layout and colors etc., but I do remember the cream colored table I sat at as I started writing. It's impressed upon my memory because my roommates of the time did not appreciate the clean lines of that table and they threatened to place fake flowers around the living room. Ghastly. Well, you need not fear, Universe, I will not put fake flowers around your living room. Anyway, what I'm saying is, thanks Blog. You've been a gem. Together we were able to decide that it was not a question of being boring or not, it was a question of being us. And we were and are and ever will be us. In other words, we are happy.

Oh gee, this wasn't much of anything, but I'm tired tonight, and I need to take advantage of that.

The Pivotal Labor Day Post

03 September 2009

There is polyester in your film.

I do my tae-bo to ambiance tunes. highly ineffective.

[middle of the woods]

[Knock, knock, knock]
[rickety wooden door opens. but silently]

"Yeesss?" The Sandyman peered out of crow's feet eyes.
"Mr. Sandman?" I said.
"I'm tired," I said.
"But I'm not falling asleep again. And I'm having horrendous dreams again."

[He's got a puckered soft face of flappy old skin]

"How can I fall asleep?"

[He blinks]

[He shuts the door]

02 September 2009

my back to school back pack is packed with an insomnia pack and it's on my back

Again, later than I should be up under the "I will wake up early and do yoga" goal. Especially with four-ish hours of sleep last night. But tonight, after a nice little WomenTalkWomen discussion night, I was thinking about how important it has been for me to write my love letters to the abyssful/wonder-packed universe and so I knew I'd have to revel in that self-conflict çe soir.

Also, I can't sleep again.

Maybe it's because I just spent four months in a bored malaise of trying to finish this never ending documentary. The only mental stimulation I've been able to muster is the occasional stumper of a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Well, Chekhov's The Black Monk was really good, too.
I don't normally fall into bored stupors. And now it's back to school, or l'école as some would say. It's a joy. Let me tell you:

Dear Film History,

My heart flutters at thy call.


All this talk about what affects film and how film affects the world. La, la, la, lovely. All I could think about for the rest of the day was Val Lewton. Typically, or maybe I should say generically, a series of films are classed by who directed the films, there are only two obvious exceptions that come to my mind, though I'm not the expert. (In fact, you should probably have stopped reading a long time ago to avoid my erroneous information.) One you certainly know: Episodes 4-6 of Star Wars were produced by George Lucas (NOT directed by GL which changed with Episodes 1-3 and you can judge for yourself the result of that. I personally choose to ignore they exist. And at the same time I feel guilty so diatribing the films because more and more I feel connected to those people who worked so very hard...) (all six were written by George Lucas and some others). My personal favorites, though, are the films Val Lewton produced: Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People, The Seventh Victim, I walked with a Zombie and lots a bit more. I'll tell you all about dear Val the next time we're in conversation.
And if you like silent films, we watched a great one today, at least I found it fantastic, but maybe that's because I'm at an impressionable age (mine never ends). Il s'appelle : The Crowd (1928).

01 September 2009

a sleepless assassination of character

It's rare now (as opposed to times in the past when it wasn't so rare) for me to have a plague of insomnia. Maybe 1:31 a.m. shouldn't be concidered abnormal for a 22 year old college child, but can I submit to the jury that I have had mono twice? I'd hate to revisit it a thrice. Bleh.

The purpose of our conglomerating this evening is to discuss a million and one things. Or two. I first would like to complain about my further brain decay. I am losing all spelling ability. It is not for any lack of writing, nor am I any longer studying french, nor do I anymore have to spray extremely strong spider killing sprays (as I have moved into a new and lovely home). But the fact of the mater remains that I started off by spelling first "furst" and am consistently forgetting the letter "i" when it follows a "t" in any word that I write. It might be bad karma from complaining so much about the vocabulary of my phone. It is a particularly handy phone, I should just be thankful.

Next I would like to apologize because I swore after my Music Civ class today that I would make my next blog post less pretentious. I got bored as the letter H after listening to high-fallutin' honors students analyzing three paintings of the Virgin Mary and subsequently some music samples. I can't leave off, though, because I seem to believe that words should be played with and utilized not dragged about to explicate soddy...stuff. Even though I will be highly trained in analyzations of every sort of literature, piece of art, work of film, play, etc etc by the time I graduate from this university, it still sometimes makes me gag and I steadily hold firm to what I just read in my documentary class reading tonight: "The late philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote that story telling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.*" Therefore we must conclude that my studies are erroneous.

Thirdly, you should all invest in purchasing me some sleeping pills so that you never have to read such dribble again.

Fourthly, I am rather excited that I am listening to a live recording of a Chopin Sonata on Pandora and I know this because I heard someone cough. They just coughed again. I think that person is one of my favorite people in the whole world. Because you know what their tickly throat does? It enlarges the mind, it paints a picture that leads to a world. Not just the world of the cougher, but the world of the stage and whoever is on the stage playing the piano and whoever it was that adjusted the piano before the preformer walked out and how many people must delight in the touch and feel of that piano and where they must be and and whether there's an ambiance and what happened to give that person a cold so that they keep coughing. Those are things I like thinking about. I also like dreaming about the Yamaha piano that was in our recital hall back at home. And that one blessed day of the every other yearly Chamber Music Festival where I played a dissonant saltarello with the violinist and the cellist and how those entire eleven years were worth it, if for nothing else but for that day, those three minutes.

My eleven years of piano lessons were great for more that just that, though. I remember sitting through recitals watching my dad tap his fingers on his knee to the melody of whatever song was playing. It was also great to be driven down to Saturday morning theory sessions and rehearsals in our 1980 something Plymouth Reliant to be instructed on correct stage presence. I still feel like the world is going to implode everytime someone holds down the damper pedal after they set their hands in their lap at the end of a song.

I should end sometime soon before I write the next great American novel in one blog post.

*Karen Everett, Squeezing Reality into Three Acts: What Documentary Storytellers can learn from screen writers. Release Print magazine March/April 2006