31 March 2012

a smidgeon is fine, naturally occurring neon orange fine

I can't say I've ever been particularly comfortable with driving but now, when I drive on the interstate, I can't help but imagine how close everyone is. How it's only a matter of time before parallel paths are disrupted, the car in the left lane and the car in the right collide at high speeds.

Can a car trip? Stumble and fly out of control? What is it, two feet of road separating you from hurtling into the ditch? How do we not get sucked into all of those semi wheels?

When I glance in my rear view mirror then look forward again I find myself mildly amazed that I'm still in my lane, that I didn't veer off and get jack knifed on that sign post.

It's my overactive imagination, I've had it all my life so I'm quite practiced at stretching it to create a variety of scenarios in order to balance out the wildly worst ones. This undercuts the fear, leaves me with just a smidgeon of stress. I don't worry about forcing any change, I accept I'm going to think this way sometimes: don't worry, don't dwell. It's just a quiet current that tugs a little bit here and there.

I am sitting here contemplating not telling you about this––what I have just actually already told you. But. I went to a lecture by a psychologist last weekend and she was talking about this: the overactive imagination. And she recommends just the same thing for her clients. Think of it like a menu, she tells them. So you created the worst case scenario, now what's the out of this world dream scenario? What are some in-betweens that can happen? Now you see, the whole situation has become a lot less overwhelming.

It's 12:30 a.m. but sometimes I still hear flocks of geese in the sky.

The snow is (currently) all gone but I still wanted to post these two, their drab with bright splashes of color, natural or otherwise. Taken just a few weeks ago.

29 March 2012

Yesterday I heard introvert defined as someone who prefers lower stimulus environments and I thought, Oh! That explains just about everything!

27 March 2012

tree dance

Sometimes Batman Begins(2005) is playing on TV and I stay at the gym a bit longer than I had planned. And when I see Katie Holmes looking out for a little boy after the mass chaos of evil has started ensuing all over Gotham and I realize my inner critical theoretician is about to start analyzing archetypes and subliminal messages I mostly stop. Because I just want to enjoy and not think too hard about the perpetuation and exaggeration of rigid gender roles. And I'm trying to forget the part where Liam mentions economics. 

But I will say two things:
1.  Liam Neeson in this movie is like a super twisted Old Testament angel. OK, OT's already got some twisted stuff, but Liam dear has his extremely dark purging the earth stuff. Also, I still get really sad for him every time I think about how his real life wife is dead. And Taken(2008) is the worst movie every made. And I really hope IMDB is lying when it says there's a Taken 2 in post-production.
2. Batman flying with his bat cape wings? Extremely, undeniably, 100% awesome. That Christian Bale...

Then on the way home from the gym it is too beautiful, I must detour by a gravel road to catch some stormy spring.

25 March 2012

I have this overwhelming urge to skip town and take a trip to Loch Ness.

23 March 2012

22 March 2012


21 March 2012

every animation I've ever loved plays on constant repeat in my head

Have you ever found something that had previously not been interesting become a thing you must do? Something that was not important now must be a part of your life? Have you ever measured out the wee steps that take you to where you are? Is where you are significant to you? These are not rhetorical questions.

Gesso has, at some point in the last two days, been everywhere. In my hair, my right eyebrow, my knee, on my floor, on that old National Geographic magazine, a shoulder pad that is no longer part of a jacket. But thankfully the gesso has mostly come to rest on the little wooden slats laid out like long rows of ribs in a cardboard box in my room.

Those two paragraphs are most likely not related. Quit reading.

never go anywhere without paper

or, I am never without a pen

20 March 2012

fun with words

19 March 2012

dos y doe

18 March 2012


17 March 2012

Howard Hughes, underwire bras, and DDT in your crotch

I'm definitely going for shock factor here.

Today I found myself with six hours to kill in a midwest town I didn't know well. So I wandered out of no-sidewalk business section, up and down a hilly couple of miles to old downtown where I found a museum with an exhibit on the history of underwear.

I learned some things, the most striking of which is that Howard Hughes had an underwire bra specifically designed to highlight Jane Russell's cleavage as she lay in the hay in The Outlaw (1943). (What's that Laura Mulvey?) 

AND, that during WWII the US army was concerned with servicemen getting lice so they experimented with making briefs with DDT infused into the fabric.

I have been searching out independent verification for both of these things, though who knows if it's any more reputable. The internet is...a special place 

Hughes is definitely not the first to highlight the female form with metal. Marie Tucek is probably the first to break away from the corset and into the metal cupping business, patenting her Breast Supporter in 1893. The growing popularity of underwires did happen after The Outlaw, but that is probably because WWII being over, metal could be used for domestic use.

Sources so far: Museum in Sioux Falls, wikipedia - underwire bra, the breast site - bra history, The Mad Science Museum - the lice infested underwear experiment

10 March 2012

other worlds created

09 March 2012

You know how every NPR station ever plays jazz after 9pm? Well, sometimes it turns the 60 mile drive home into an early 90s girl-with-frizzy-hair-and-over-sized-blazer-and-brown-leather-shoulder-bag-hoping-to-be-a-writer-on-the-east-coast movie that slowly shifts into Rocky.

And that's OK.

documentary recommendations for naomi

Have I recommended Sad Song of Yellow Skin (1970), yet? It's a poetic and human look rather than an activist look at things going on in Vietnam.  You can watch it for free at the National Film Board of Canada's website by clicking this link, or you know, I'll just embed it here:

Incidentally, if you're looking for alternative media of short to feature lengths the NFB is a great place to go (nfb.ca). They've got fiction, documentary, experimental, animation, and a really great section of interactive media. Highrise is a really cool interactive documentary project with pictures, film, and interviews from people who live in highrise apartment buildings all over the world. I would also like to direct you to this. You will never think of stuttering in the same way.

And check out The Gleaners and I (2000) by Agnes Varda (my old french prof would like us to note that her first name is not pronounced Agnes but Ah-nyes. He kept correcting me and it took me a while before I stopped wondering why he kept saying "yes" to everything I was saying).

Or have I already recommended The Parking Lot Movie (2010), Grey Gardens (1975), or Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)? (Apparently the 70s were good for documentary?)

Recently a friend told me about seeing Ordet for the first time (not a documentary, but still really really really really really really really really really great) and how there was Before Ordet and After Ordet, as though it created a new epoch in his life. For me, there is Before Sans Soleil and After Sans Soleil. Made in 1983 by Chris Marker it's a compilation of the footage he's filmed over his lifetime traveling the world with thoughts he's had about the things he's seen and learned presented in a letter written by an alter-ego, Sandor Krasna. 

This is my quick list for you, I hope you find something interesting.

OH! WHAT AM I THINKING?! Naomi, you would love Born into Brothels (2004). Have you seen it?

Do you have some good documentary recommendations, my dears?

08 March 2012

it is easy to gain respect if you are willing to eat spicy food

I wanted to share with you a clip from an animation I saw tonight, I'm so proud of you the second in a trilogy by Don Hertzfeldt. But it's not online.


Imagine you're at a bus stop and a man comes along with a leaf blower, herding his leaves along the way. One leaf falls behind. Leaf blower man spends a few minutes blasting this one leaf–not even bothering to change angles–until it finally gives way and joins the pile of leaves again. The leaf blower and his herd slowly exit frame.

07 March 2012

always watch faces

Come over and we'll go to the ice cream parlor, sit on an ugly couch and listen to local musical talent. The fractal professor will be there, as well as a blind man drinking coffee, and a couple of farmers and/or arts council members. All of us in twenty or so square feet of space. Do you need anymore convincing? If we're lucky maybe the 12 string guitar man will come back or the Italian from New York who writes the funniest songs about extinct SUVs and pooping dogs.

In the meantime:

Maybe I'll get really lucky one of these Wednesdays and a blue grass group will materialize.

06 March 2012

05 March 2012

one banal thing a day #1: through the streaky glass

There are streaks on my mirror that I can see because the sun is shining beautifully today. You should not care about the streaks on my bedroom mirror but maybe you would enjoy this:

Have you thought about this before? (For those who didn't listen to the song: museums as public mausoleums, "masterpieces are serving maximum sentences.") My sister had a sculpture colleague who created an installation you were supposed to walk through and touch but people were hesitant. Where was the mark on the floor signaling do not get close? Where was the museum guard ready at hand to say, "Ma'am. Ma'am. Ma'am, you need to step back."

Preservation is important. Maybe I'm even interested in it as a career? (Don't count on that, don't count on anything I say until I turn 35.) This is perhaps why I am drawn to documentary/documenting. How amazing it is to see young faces after they have grown up, to see old faces after they have gone, to hear voices–––I found a tape the other day of an interview my dad had done with my grandfather. Now there was a voice I haven't heard in almost 20 years. Have you had an experience like that? We say people will never be gone because they'll always be in our hearts but what about in our ears, our eyes?

Sometimes preservation is difficult or scary. Have you heard murmurs over Google's new privacy policies or Facebook's never deleting? You can read a piece by Robert Krulwich here about how some countries have a 'Right to be forgotten' law. I kind of hate this blog because it's preserved some things I've thought and done that now embarrass me and, if nothing else, it reminds me that anyone can read and know. Or, really, I am what I am and people preserve their memories and impressions of me. I can't take that back.

But what about the things that have never been preserved, that are there, not noticed, and then are gone. Streaks on glass, scuff of dirt on a hem, wrinkled page in a book, one pebble among many, lichen on a broken off branch. Quiet, anonymous irregularities going on always, everywhere, that we'll never see and if we do, what do we do with it?

Maybe it's ok to let some rowboats get away?  

ADDENDUM: I take it back. I love this blog. I'm really glad I've kept it for almost four years. I just indulged in some time reading these archives. And, well. This blog has been good for me.

01 March 2012

Alan Lomax saved the world

I don't ever want to forget this: