31 August 2010

why do i always have uncontrollable cravings for salt?

I should be her for Halloween

Things I love
(excluding all human forms because if I included people someone is going to get upset and cry. Probably me, because I do that. A lot now. Ever since Paraguay, I cry a lot. And it's stopped bothering me. Which may or may not be progress. But there are living people out there now who have seen me cry which didn't used to be a real thing. We can call this side effect number one after having seen freshly dead people. Oh my gosh that's a horrible thing to say. Don't ever say that out loud I'll smack you. And cry.) (OK, also, I would like to note that crying a lot is a relative thing. And, don't worry, my school offered me counseling because of what happened so if it were to become a bad thing then I would just go in for counseling, OK? But really all that's happened is that where previously I would think "I could cry right now" or I would try to hide I was crying, now I just let it all happen. Out in the open. And actually I feel pretty good about it but that's another discussion.)

1. salt

2. film

These are two reoccurring things in my life. Please reference the title of this blog post. Also, reference how I was sitting in Monte Python CLASS tonight, basking in the glow of projector light, thinking to myself how blessed (pronounced bless-ed) everything is. Also, how my grasp of history post 1877 and Muybridge is a lot better than history pre moving pictures. Film makes everything make sense.

And, yes. You should be jealous that I am studying Monte Python and their influences. I'm getting back into funny.

And if we're going to get away from all things concrete, I love

3. challenges

And I have quite a few challenges on my radar. And I'm certain I'm going to divide and conquer all of them. For example, I AM going to watch (at least one ENTIRE episode of) Twin Peaks even if I want to pee my pants in terror. Because I'm not going to be stopped by fear. I'm way stronger than that. 

(Other challenges you'll have to ask me about because they're for personal conversations not for dear internet.)

29 August 2010


there is no last straw
there is no straw that broke the camel's back
there is no "i can't take it anymore"
there is no giving up

I'm not backing down from any fight.

28 August 2010

yes. all of your lady gaga, please.

I get strange satisfaction out of forwarding bills, letters from credit card and car insurance companies and otherwise unsolicited mail. One day I greatly amused myself by writing "Not at this address, return to sender" on all of the mail I received marked "To current resident."

In other words, Jbottoms, you're going to be getting a lot of mail in the next week and it has given me great delight to pass it on to you. Think of each one as a love letter from me.


oh! and the title of the blog is in reference to something I actually said tonight not to anything else, Jbottoms.


27 August 2010

despite the heat it'll be alright

On the night when I was coldest in Pedro Juan Caballero (Paraguay), I mentally willed myself to produce more body heat to fill up my sleeping bag and listened to The Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the City on my ipod.

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck gettin' dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pitty
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city...

I imagined that I was in a park with C dancing to this song. When John Sebastion says "Hot town" I would slap my knee and stamp my foot.

What a song.

listen to Summer in the City

26 August 2010

Whenever I lie in this hammock I see hawks circling in the sky above. Around they go and I wonder what they're looking for. There are two or three of them. Silent, they never have to flap. I imagine what they're preying on or that they're kites. What a place for them to be.

You see, the hammock is just a hammock again. Except when I see its coarse colored canvas and I know that I am not the same Marge who started out the summer. I am not the same Marge who left for Paraguay.

I am not supposed to be.

I think about Paraguay a lot this week, we're editing our documentary right now. I spend all day, every day immersed in footage and harp music. We sometimes muse about going back, J and I. 

There was a group of girls from Ca'aguazu that called themselves Sonidos del Alma who sing and play guitar in such a way that you can hear what their hearts are made of. We listen to their songs over and over.

Today I watched Rodrigo ham for the camera. He danced and he laughed and Bruno acted too cool some more and Jose put on his best funny voice to say en ingles, "He-llo, how are you." Each syllable clipped. Then everyone would thumbs up and pose. Someone off screen says Rodrigo was singing earlier. We try, try, try to persuade Rodrigo to sing but the ham becomes a clam. Instead, a professor from Isla Pucu, who I now can't erase from my memory because he was on that one bus with us, sings traditional Paraguayan melodies for us. I watch everything unfold, laughing at everyone's antics, and think about how I'm now seeing things as the camera sees.

Do you ever think of this as you watch films? Maybe you shouldn't, maybe sometimes you should, but do you think about the screen being only part of the whole. how there are things happening outside of that frame, worlds and events that spread out for miles but still influence what's in the tiny scope of what you're watching?

I don't think I'm funny anymore. Have I been silly at all since I came back from Paraguay? Maybe it's just today.


It's hope!

It's hope! That's why I hate getting caught up in whatever slur of muck of what I was writing about here. It is human nature to progress towards something better, no philosophy has exclusive rights to this (not that I know of any philosophy to claim that. I promise my religion doesn't, some people in my church may get confused and sometimes presume that which happens anytime you have a strong belief system) (we do believe that certain ordinances are necessary for eternal progression but this is not what I'm talking about).

No matter where you are you can fall or you can grow. I would like to always be the type of person who is there for when you fall and can delight with you when you grow.

That's all. I'm just terribly pleased with myself that I discovered/remembered this. 

24 August 2010

Sometimes when I spend all day editing I feel like writing blog posts every half hour. Because it's getting hard to focussssssssssssssssssssss.

I would wear my sweaters and curl up to watch Jaws

These mornings my heart falls over inside, as it has done almost everyday since I've returned home from Paraguay because Paraguay and a million other things that have happened this summer have pulled my heart out into the open. Where it is immediately affected by what is going on in the world. And it falls over from joy, pain, laughter, love, and surprise all the time.

But these mornings it falls over because the air is cool and I wear my sweaters and break out my oversized sweater slippers and curl up in the hammock and read like I would when I was sixteen, summer mornings lying on the couch at home with the wind blowing those long drapes.

Sunday night we had a discussion on the front porch of Hot Chocolate House. Apparently some philosopherorother proposed that women do not think in words, they (words) are a construct of men and that women have just subscribed to communicate verbally in the language of men. Because we (women) do that kind of thing, I guess (here I make a weird, inexplicable face). That's probably a simplification of what he was saying, and whatever it is, it's a simplification of something. There is something that is more than words and that's what I think in. 
But words, they go straight to my heart (that falls over all the time now).

I used to worry about having my heart in the open because I have a tendency to expend myself so much in loving everything that maybe I could get worn out and use up all my love and things wouldn't be special anymore. I stopped worrying about that a year or two ago, I've never run out of anything. But. But some words stay safe. I made the decision a long time ago that there are a few things that I will keep treasured and hidden and special for just that final one relationship that my secret romantic self hopes is in my future. I promised myself that I would never share my favorite love poems with any male outside of that...ugh...marriage. That may sound trite, if I weren't me and I were reading this I would roll my eyes and gag, but you read Neruda or Borges and tell me if you find trite dribble. You don't. That is all. I have told you what is in my secret, sacred corner of my heart that is now mostly completely open for the world.

23 August 2010

How is it that we have not all collapsed from how beautiful this time of year is? My soul is about to explode over how the late August sun shines. Makes me want to paint everything in dandelion wine, to follow the end of summer for the rest of my life, to cry. 

now taking...

...ludicrous ideas I can tell people when they ask about my post graduation plans.

Am I excited to graduate? Would you be excited to graduate if your film department loved you as much as mine seems to love me? 

People keep asking me what I'm going to do. I need to come up with some flippant answer because "I don't know" isn't getting the message across. The one I thought up today was, "Well, I've always been curious to see what it would be like to move up to northern Idaho and not pay taxes and sit on my porch with a rifle for anyone who dares trespass on my property. Maybe I'll make a documentary about it." People will think I'm joking until I get to the documentary part. Then they won't know anymore. I've played this game before, people sometimes have trouble deciphering when I'm joking. Maybe it's because I don't like to rule out any possibilities. I mean, I say tax evasion as a joke now but maybe when December comes it really will seem like a good idea. 

Gee, I hope not.

Part of me is looking for a big change. I could stay here, I've got a lot going for me here. But, ummm, I feel like I have a lot going for me anywhere. I mean that humbly, because I feel like everyone has got it made if they would only realize it. I would also like to point out I'm the baby of the family (but not for much longer). Sometimes I wonder if the other shoe will ever drop and crush my little baby toes.

Hmmm...nope, I really don't think that shoe is ever going to crush me too much. Nothing can stop me because I won't let anything stop me. I don't know what I am going to do because there is an entire world out there!! And I'm going to see it all.


18 August 2010

bury this thought deep and hidden and barely acknowledge its existence

Someday you're going to be working in your back porch office and you'll hear a little bit of rain and smell one of your favorite smells which is wet summer sidewalk and you'll decide to take a break because you barely will have had five hours of sleep anyway. You will grab your ipod and you will run out to the hammock because that seems like a glorious place to rest and feel the rain on your face.

Then you'll notice how large and empty the hammock feels.

It doesn't matter that the hammock is a particularly cuddly one that will be wrapping around you like a cocoon. You're going to be thinking of all the things that aren't anymore and all of the things you aren't saying because they seem to be fruitless things to say and this hammock will have never seemed like a dangerous place until this someday. You'll make a mental note that for the time being you should only go there when you're needing to feel sad. Once you will have finished mentally writing your mental note you'll be unsure of what to do next. Go back to work obviously, but first you will need to say something somewhere. Your blog is the regular venue for your entire parade of bursting thoughts. You'll think it's a mildly inappropriate place to let all of this out but you'll be afraid of saying things it's not fair to say so you will simply type and click the orange "PUBLISH POST" button. And it will be the way that day in your life is supposed to go.  

17 August 2010


(not a photo of my grandma but a photo of Wild Bill Hickok) 
My Grandma wrote me a letter when I was fifteen that said, "They won't let me stay at the house by myself. They don't trust me, they think I'm going to run off with Wild Bill Hickok." Thus began my adoration for Wild Bill and thus was manifested my Grandma's sense of humor that was barely masking her frustration with her children and with aging. My Mom said at this point she wasn't the mother she remembered but this is the Grandma I knew.

My Grandpa had died three years before. I would see my Grandma spinning the rings on her wedding ring finger and I would wonder if she was thinking of him.

She had spent the summer living with us and when fall came we relinquished her care to my Aunt because it was decided that our winters were too cold and lonely to keep her with us. But I had delighted in having someone who dawdled over meals like I did. And someone had the time to be delighted by me. I could amuse her by trying to balance spoons on my nose or convince her to go driving with newly permitted me by telling her it would be an adventure. Growing up 1100 miles away from all my relatives and being the same age of some of my cousins' kids meant that I'd never had those close grandparent/aunt/uncle relationships. This was my one chance.

She died when I was sixteen, my last grandparent to go. It was June, we drove down for her funeral, slept on the floor of what had been her bedroom and cleaned out her closet. I was bequeathed her beautiful fake fur coat because everyone else in the family felt I was the only one who would actually wear it. I do.

This summer my mother unearthed my Grandma's journals. She's been reading them and soaking up the writings and wit of the Mother she had known. One Sunday I was Skyping with my parents and she said, "I wish I could Skype Mom and Dad in Heaven." If I could invent that, I would. But she tells us about these journals and how she wants to pass them around to her siblings. I stared at the beautiful brown book in her hands and asked her if I could type it up first so there would be a digital copy in case anything got lost. She looked dubious, maybe that's because I am a typical university student who takes on too much. I begged her, "Mom, I love journals, this would be something I would really enjoy doing." My sister took up my case, "She does, Mom. It would work, she could type for half an hour a day, it would be relaxing for her."

I won and I'm happy. I started typing this evening and in just half an hour Grandma made twenty jokes. This is the woman in that large, old photograph who I'd stare at and think, "Now, that's classy. That's what I want to be." This is the woman who once wrote me a letter wishing she could go back to the home she and her husband had built and lived in for sixty years but could not because she could no longer take care of herself. I bet she did dream of running off with Wild Bill Hickok.

I fill your head with my inner thought process

Or the one in which my blog turns into a boring thing which I never planned to make it.

Australia's email address is faulty. I went for it this morning, I pulled the draft out of the inbox, sent the email and got the return of "faulty." I can do more digging on this and find a way to contact him but it's his old stuff I want to study and make not what populates his current Youtube channel. So many dissolves, bland music, and comic sans font. Do I really want that?

I wish there was a Craigslist for Bruges. There probably is but with my language abilities I'd find myself involved in something disagreeable.

I've had a documentary idea for a while, something sustainable that I know I could get grants for, but I've been commissioned to my eyeballs for the last couple of years. Could I spend the first six months after graduation setting it up and then going wherever I please? It's travel friendly. And where is I please?

This is the man I would give the world to talk to: Chris Marker. He just turned 89 is there any hope? Sans Soleil, my beacon, is on Netflix instaplay.... Just kidding, is NOT. But La Jetée is.
Just look at this! I belong there!

16 August 2010

15 August 2010

I warn you I'm waxing sacred again

I don't understand religion.
Which is not a good way to say anything because what does that even mean?

Sometimes I think about that South Park episode where they're all in hell and someone says, "We were all wrong! It was the Mormons who were right!" Which kind of makes me smile a little because I think it's kind of funny. Because South Park did it.

But then there are things that make me sad. Do I dare air them publicly? There's the example from my friend B of being at a funeral and people feeling so sorry for the daughter who wasn't active in the church anymore. In my brain I know their reasoning. She didn't have the gospel to comfort her and to remind her that families are forever and what if she never becomes active again and never takes part in these eternal covenants? In my brain these ideas sit. But as much as I believe that families can be sealed together for eternity I don't understand making the judgment call that others may be happier or more sad than I am. That others may be more directionless or more purposeful. I'm even shy of reading in the Bible where God's prophets talk about the consequences of King David's actions. See, I can't even be more direct than that. I like David.

It seems to me that I've been taught that God is found in everything that is good. So how do I agree with people who dream of having a world full of nice Mormon neighbors for their kids to grow up with and like to point out things that are wrong or different when they could be focusing their energies elsewhere. Or understanding people better. Or seeing new things. I don't think church is supposed to stop you from doing that. I hope it's not.

I told someone recently that I never bear my testimony in church. That's not entirely true. I only bear it in Relief Society because then it becomes discussion, a growing thing. Last Sunday--I'm a Relief Society teacher, which was a really surprising calling to me because in my head I don't see myself as a class teaching person--I taught a lesson on the organization of the Priesthood. I was pleased because that day I didn't spend the whole morning wanting to cry because I was so nervous to teach. I might have felt like that the last time. This time my lesson ended up only being ten minutes which was perfect because of lots of reasons, and it was a good thing for me. I told them I was going to do my lesson backwards, usually people bear their testimony last. That day it was first because it's all I really had to offer. I told them I struggle, I'm made of doubts, It's never long before I'm drowning in new questions. But I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ and that leads me to believe there must be a Priesthood which is the power of God. I stumbled and stuttered my way through it but then we discussed that. Which is the way I want things to be.    

14 August 2010


Is the title of this blog post which has little to do with the post of this blog. I mean, with what I am about to say.

I am helping my dear friends put on a wedding. And thanks to me there may be a Talulah Gosh song in the dance mix tonight.

Premorse was mostly just the dictionary dot com word of the day which I found mildly interesting.

12 August 2010

the beginning of a secret story

She sold poison and bread. The bread was not poisoned nor was the poison breaded but all the same, nobody would buy anything from her. So she stared out her storefront windows eating bread and drinking poison.

(There's more to this but I don't know that I will ever publish the rest to my blog. The end.)

11 August 2010

there are many more things on my mind these days but this is all that I can share at this moment

I've lived in a place I call the west for five years now and I'm still not used to it.

On this most recent trip I drove through a corner of Arizona and felt amazed by all the cacti. There were so many! Like five! In one place!

But maybe I just never get used to anything. The first time they took me to San Francisco I stared open-mouthed at everything. I apologized for being the country-bumpkin cousin. They patted me on the head, lovingly, and agreed they wouldn't have it any other way. Thank heavens because nothing has changed.

08 August 2010

lots of carole king songs

Sometimes I stay up late pretending I don't have a soul and that I don't care. It's a silly way to live.

I won't do that tonight.

In other news, thanks to my great brother-in-law I've been able to borrow an HDV camera from one of his photo buddies. Now I will stop stressing out about not being able to capture Paraguay tapes. Now I will start stressing about other things. Why am I so slow to change? 

Only solution I see in sight: Yoga tomorrow morning.

And a bike ride.


Oh, and most especially jumping into a lake.

07 August 2010

conscious stream with lilly pad edits

My mother says I've got bullets and poison darts in my ears. My father is a tightrope walker. Or maybe we just balance on train tracks together and then inspect flattened pennies.

In families where you're tied by love in ways that cannot be unwound you spend your life watching people grow and change and shift. Dynamics change and my mind is unfolding at the possibilities of what lies before us. I will not always be everyone's little rag doll girl. But I will. I will always be that girl but always as well new doors open and I burgeon and blossom into worlds that are removed from mi familia. I watched as my sister went through this process. It was strange, I thought I was watching her go and change into someone I had never known. But that was a lie, she was only getting married, and now I see more of who she is. It took my brother-in-law to bring out some magical tucks of personality ma soeur was holding in deep, dark hiddenness. We can only imagine what fantastical things I'm keeping secret from all of you.

This morning my parents made their departure from visiting us, their chillins. They drive the 1100 miles between here and there in a hearty two day trip. There was some debate about which route they should take this time.
"Have you made hotel reservations for tonight, yet?" my mother asks my father as they get into the car.
"No. I don't even know where we're going yet, dear."
"Oh...OK, well, I guess we'll call you all tonight and let you know where we are," my mom handles this new style of laissez-faire traveling amazingly well.

When I was growing up these trips were full of Nitty Gritty Dirtband, the Kingston Trio, Chick Corea. Michael Nesmith would fall to pieces. Dave Brubeck would be on time. By the end of my sub-18 years, Johnny Mathis and Carly Simon (not just the "you're so vain" years) were creeping in. And now I can never keep the refrain of "Sometimes I wish/ Often I wish/ I never knew/ Some of those secrets of yours" very far from my conscious. Thanks, Carly.

There are so many reasons to shy away from knowledge. This curiosity cat is trying to learn to hold back this summer. Don't look up where sex offenders live in your area, don't ask every question, don't watch that tape, don't make that move. No more dead curious cats. No more curious cats seeing death.

But do poke your pregnant sister's belly. And do try to be there for the birth. Do watch that sweet face that still has that stubbornness made famous in childhood. That childhood I wasn't there for but learned through pictures. I know how her face will be already, her hands on hips, and her saying, "This child is going to be born, dangit!" In just a few weeks we'll all be falling over doting on this little baby.

I just watched Jurassic Park for the first time. That's all.


04 August 2010

the totem broke

P.S. There was originally the thought of giving you more of an explanation on why I lead you into these disillusioned ideas I have about dreams but such explanations seemed paltry. Enjoy this bit of melodrama with my regards (I say that self-effacingly and it spoils the mood).

Tonight as you lay you down to sleep you have two choices. The choice to not dream was already taken away from you, some horrible part of your subconscious took that way from you a long time ago. Probably at birth. You wish you could just become entirely immersed in oblivion everytime you sleep. You wish that desperately.

No, your choices are between a good dream or a bad dream.

The kind of bad where you seem to be pulled along a course you would rather not choose but every choice you make brings you back to this same slippery course. You can't stop being evil. Guilt fills up you with your fate bound hands. You can't hold on to anything or anyone. You tried that trick where you have a good thing mentally tucked away that will surface in a nightmare and save you from the downward, trapped journey. Your good thing surfaced and was taken away by whatever it is that holds dominion in your subconscious.
 So just get this clear, it's all going to go wrong and not everyone will wake-up. Not in your head.

Or the kind of good that's full of all the things you don't dare to wish for. Every star has aligned and God smiled down and placed a crown of delicate flowers gently, lovingly on your head. Everything that needs to be said is being said by all the right people. And they won't go away anymore. No one's leaving here, they're all coming back. And then you wake up and the depression hits.

Tell me if you have to choose which one will it be?

And tell me if you're treasuring something right now almost like a good dream what do you do when you wake up?

02 August 2010

a tissue of hellenistic anecdotes

I'm in denial that all these things are ending:
1. Relationships spreading over the globe like fiber optic lines bleeping their pulses across land and sea. I look out over all this vast kingdom and think, "Oh! Hey! Gee! What a friendship smattering!"
2. University dreamland that is only marred by the occasional general class that's shoved down my throat. I'm not actually graduating this December, am I?
3. Warm, sunny weather. Despite the fact that I don't ever seem to have a wardrobe that fits these hot days and I let my fingertips dance across my piles of sweaters everytime I languish in my closet--I will soon be dying in the cold. Emotionally. My solar panel soul will begin to choke on cool white skies soon enough.

I'm not worried about what will happen. What I want to have happen will happen. Is it strange that I am always certain of that? I think the trick is that I just dream the right dreams. (I wonder what my wake-up call will be like.) The only problem is deciding which direction to go.

Sometimes traveling seems real and staying in one spot seems like a game.

Sometimes I stick pokey, glow-in-the-dark gauges in my ears. Maybe.