-Do my homework. All of it. Yes, ALL OF IT. -Catch up on my email. Yes, ALL OF IT. -Deal with the guitar stuff. -Go see a movie in a theater. -Go to the Getty Museum. -Go to the library. -Sleep more than seven hours in a night. -Eat a yummy meal. -Finish the pictures section of the site.
It's a lot. But as goals go -
Watch this entry as I cross things off. Perhaps we will make progress.
So, the first week of school has ended (no Friday classes! yessss....), and I've survived pretty well. Some updates:
-This morning, I went to bed at 1:30 and slept fitfully until 9:30. Given that for the past week, my body has been waking me up at ungodly hours and then NOT LETTING ME GET BACK TO SLEEP, this was positively refreshing. Roomie thinks that my big giant spider dreams of late (which have woken me up on one occasion, at least) have been about anxiety. I think they're about big giant spiders. Which are freakin' SCARY.
(We're talking six feet or more when we talk about big giant spiders. With the pincers and the EIGHT EYES. I couldn't watch advertising or trailers for Eight-Legged Freaks, I'm so disturbed by them - even the posters threw me off. And as I understand it, The Two Towers isn't going to be a lot of fun for me at parts. Or Harry Potter, for that matter.)
-I'm wearing my Area2 shirt and cool jeans because I have to go to a guitar store today, and hence need to look cool. I've been putting more effort into the way I dress recently. Yesterday, I was skater-punk-y. Bandana and braids and my beat-up Sketchers.
And then we had to get our pictures taken for Entertainment Industry Seminar. Yeah, I planned that well.
-This is the coolest thing I have learned all week - my professor's theory about why TV has a more immediate, intense impact on our lives is, partly, because while films evolved as an art form from the theater and vaudeville, TV is a stepchild of radio, which is in turn a direct descendent of newspapers.
So, because of this lineage, we instinctively trust TV, because we assume it to be true and relevant and REAL. Even when Buffy slays the vampires.
There are exceptions and levels of wrongness and certainly we're not all going to agree. But it's still a cool idea. And for me, at least, it makes a certain amount of sense.
It's also intimate and the screens are smaller and we watch it in our living rooms and bedrooms. Intimate. That's a great word for what TV is.
-I have thoughts on other things. But right now, this is what my brain can manage. Describing the past. And, the future!
Well, Mr. iBook is a bit cranky tonight, and I have a long day tomorrow, so it's early to bed I go. But before I do:
Thursday: -Nature of Scientific Inquiry Wherein the Lizlet stops to get some espresso first.
-Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar Wherein the Lizlet bruises her legs up while hauling a large guitar around campus.
-Entertainment Industry Seminar Wherein the Lizlet feels snooty and superior while 'SC pretends to prepare her for life in the real world.
Big project for tomorrow - finally putting together the Pictures section, which I'm setting up as a semi-serious portfolio. It's funny, going through the files, realizing that I've done more than I remember. Which is always the case. *g*
Wednesday: -Episodic Drama Wherein the Lizlet writes an episodic drama
And then the Lizlet gets to go home and do other things. Which is nice.
Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned the First Day of School: -I can, indeed, fit a quick Salute to the Sun routine into my morning schedule. -More than five hours of sleep and/or more than a cup of coffee is necessary for me to understand science (or, really, ANYTHING) at 9:30 AM. -Sorority girls are freakin' INSANE. -Just because a professor can make a Oscar-winning documentary doesn't make him a good lecturer. -No professor I ever have will ever want to see me write the Bobbie Collins screenplay, and will only ask about the half-baked plotless mush of an idea I mention casually. -If I do not get away from the computer now, I will be late for class.
No Vegas trip this weekend - one of our adventurous three decided she was feeling too poorly to go. No, it wasn't me. And it's okay. I have stuff to do here, and while I would have enjoyed the experience, I'm sure I'll get another chance.
Outside, in the apartment building next door, a man and woman are arguing - she's smoking, and he's pissed, because he wants her to show "your boyfriend" some respect, and she has to keep explaining that it's her job to bum a cigarette off the guys and show them a good time, because they're paying her for a good time, and so what if she steps out and has a smoke with the girls also sometimes? And he wants her to call him when she gets to the club, and she doesn't mind, but he has to understand that she has a job to do, and she can't have him interfering. All that drama, over a cigarette.
I love Hitchcock's Rear Window so much sometimes, if only because it GETS how it feels, to live in such a confined space where voices carry. How you end up living other peoples' lives with them, even though you don't know anything, really.
GFB's going quiet for the weekend as I descend into the murky depths of Vegas - I'll be back on Sunday, glitzed and glamoured out. Hoo hah!
How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?
And why didn't anyone tell me that The Grapes of Wrath would break my heart? 90 pages in and I'm a bit teary.
Steinbeck comes part and parcel with a California public education, along with entire history units on the Gold Rush and Spanish missions and Junipero Serra and maybe, if you're lucky, a little bit of Cesar Chavez. We did Of Mice and Men my freshman year of high school, and East of Eden my junior year, along with a field trip to Salinas and the John Steinbeck museum. But I never got around to reading Grapes of Wrath, even though I like Steinbeck - his simple, powerful use of the language, his characters who feel like real people he met and talked to once upon a time, the sense that these worlds are real, lived in, dusty and dirty and full of their own small joys and sorrows.
The first part, so far, feels like the destruction of the world, a farmer's apocalypse, which I suppose it is. I wish that my teachers had assigned this book at the same time we studied the Depression, because I know what happened, but I don't feel like I ever really grasped how horrible it all was. How desperate the people were, how eager the car dealers and the second-hand buyers were to take advantage of their plight. Everything so far is so horribly human, and I want to marvel and say "It's amazing, how real he made it seem" and I have to keep reminding myself that it WAS real, that things like this really do happen.
And every time the word California is mentioned, it hurts all the more, because I don't know how this story ends - but I do know what those from the dust bowl found when they arrived. My California public education didn't scrimp there. I think Steinbeck knows this, and he's not overplaying it. Damn good writer.
I haven't been this affected by a book in a long time. It's truly remarkable, this feeling, and what's sad is that I hadn't even realized that I missed it.
A dark day for American Idol, and I am not Possessed
The American people are stupid. Poor Tamyra. God save the Queen.
In other news, I saw Possession today and wasn't overwhelmed - there are some moments I found horribly clicheed, and Paltrow was very flat and dull at times, and there really should have been more of the crazy Victorian love.
But GOD - England! Round green hills and street signs of vivid blue and yellow; gray rainy streets with zigzag traffic lines keeping everything in order; old huge buildings that reek of times before; museums and old papers and telephones that sound funny. I still love it, still yearn for it at times, my gray gloomy England. I like LA, but the weather lacks character.
Speaking of character, umm, Aaron Eckhart, yes please. But mainly because of the Peter Krause vibes (who, in turn, has a bit of that Ben Browder twinkle). I actually think Peter Krause could have pulled off the role with a bit more subtlety. But Aaron Eckhart did just fine, though I'm never sure what to think about him. This is the first time I've actually been charmed by him, and it's disconcerting, because I'm not sure I actually LIKE him, either as an actor or a person (hard to get through In the Company of Men and feel any different). He was great in Erin Brockovich, and I may end up seeing The Core for no good reason. But I'm still not sure. And Peter Krause may be cuter. And I'm the shallowest human being to walk the Earth, in case you wondered.
Also, I'm still hung up on WHITED OUT FOR SPOILER REASONS the hair thing. He lets her hair down and goes "Why Dr. Bailey, you're beautiful!" and I nearly retch into the seat in front of me. I haven't been assaulted by anything that non-subtle in a long, long time. And I can usually forgive these things!
It was the cliche in combination with the falling anvil, I think. Made the impact all the worse.
And now, to write the things that need writing. Or: to watch The Daily Show, which needs watching. Either/or. *g*
-I am borrowing my father's guitar for the next semester (and it's weird, because I can say the word guitar normally, but when I write it out I have the inexplicable urge to scream out "GEE-TAR!" like the little redneck I coulda been), for I am taking a beginning guitar class. And on Sunday, I was bored, so I started surfing online for beginning guitar tips, and ended up hunched over the laptop with Big Poppa (that seems like a good name for a GEE-TAR, though I'm still deliberating). Since then, I've been playing just a little bit each day, until my index finger gets sore, and I can currently manage a very bad single-string rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
My common-law uncle G. said something profound when I was in Sacramento - a guitar can be your friend for life. I've only been at it for a few days, so I can't say for sure - but I do know that I get a lot of peace from it. It's new and interesting and a challenge and I'll probably never be a rock star. But it's fun trying.
-Except for the GEE-TAR fiddling, I've been very low-energy these past few days, which is hellaciously annoying. It seems, though, that I may be coming down with something, as I'm feeling a bit woozy and blechh - hopefully, a gallon of orange juice and sleep will kill this cold dead before VEGAS, BABY, VEGAS.
-My trip to Vegas is pretty much confirmed - we (roommate, other friend, and any other people who tag along) will be driving up on Friday and coming back Sunday, leaving us three days and two nights of delight and debauchery. I plan on spending a dollar in quarters on the slots, visiting the Star Trek Experience (WHEEE!), and ordering one of those big drinks with dry ice in Quark's Bar. Wackiness will ensue.
-And then, heaven help us - we all go back to school next week. My first day is Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to it. This, I expect, will last for about 12.2 seconds once the first class actually begins, but it beats dreading it.
-This week, I am cutting superheroes out of comic books and making a collage out of them. This is unbelievably fun.
-It is cool and cloudy in LA, and I am glad about that.
-I owe everybody on the planet email, and I am sad about that.
I'm feeling tired, but I have to leave the house soon and deal with campus payment plan people. And then watch American Idol.
It is Wednesday, and you are dancing like there's no tomorrow as Moby jams onstage. And you laugh at the funny bald man's jokes and your eyes go wide as the lights rise and fall and BLARE with the syncopated beats that make you twist your ankle and strain your knees as you dance and dance and dance on the grassy sloped lawn of Shoreline Amphitheater...
It is Sunday, and you are trying not to go insane as the road stretches before you, an endless six hour drive that has never seemed so tedious before. You reach Gilroy, rolling down your windows to enjoy the garlic roasting smell, but the air feels empty. In the end, the only thing that keeps you sane is Microserfs on audio tape, and the usual dream of shaping it into a film, of making that last scene come alive on screen.
It is Friday, and you are wincing as the Pirate King in a community theater production of The Pirates of Penzance goes off-key again. But you still applaud heartily for your cousin, a pirate in the first act and a policeman in the second. Afterwards, he mentions that his friend, the Major General, wants to make connections in LA, and can he have your email address? And you want to say, "Dude, I'm really nobody" - but you write it down on a scrap of paper and think optimistic thoughts for the Major General, who was always on key.
It is Thursday, and you are winning yet another game of dominoes. You play your last tile and your grandma and brother glare at you as they calculate their new scores. But you just smile modestly, knowing your luck is going to run out eventually, and watch out for your grandmother's next move.
It is Tuesday, and you are eating a veggie burger at a local burger joint with your mother. You joke and talk and debate, and there's something worth savoring in that moment when you both explode into laughter.
It is Friday, and you are laughing as you spin your oldest cousin's one-year-old daughter in your arms, watching her face light up at the sensation, light up when she sees your smile. You watch her play with blankets and toys and water bottles; you help feed and bathe her, and it strikes you that most people wouldn't think to themselves, "This is so amazing..."
It is Monday, and you are walking through downtown Palo Alto with your dad, talking about the movie you have just seen. And you can't help smiling, because there was a joke about Sue Mengers in The Kid Stays In The Picture, and while there aren't many other people who know who Sue Mengers is, your dad is one of them.
It is Thursday, and you are singing along to Barenaked Ladies and REM with your brother, whose voice is deeper than yours, and always sure of the words. But you can more than keep up when the verses to End of the World as We Know It kick into high gear, and you both grin at the effort as the highway signs whizzing past begin to say Sacramento.
It is Saturday, and you are driving back to Los Angeles, munching on almonds and searching for a radio station that can permeate the mountains surrounding the Pacheco Pass. You find an pop song from your high school years, struggling to overcome the static, that you still remember fondly, and you half-listen as you lean into the curves of the road, thinking to yourself...
That's the term, I believe, for when submarines go out of contact. It feels like my mind's gone quiet, submerged into a inky black abyss known as...
I've lost the ability to think critically, I think. Certainly the ability to write about interesting things. I meant for this blog to be interesting, I really did, but recently all I seem capable of doing is... hanging out. And it sucks, and I'm sick of it, and I want to start doing things again.
Perhaps I'm exaggerating. I'm writing, at least, a bit every day, and it's not a lot, but I feel all right with what's being produced. And hopefully school won't swallow me alive - because while this summer has been largely one of sloth, I feel like I've learned important things along the way - how nice a long walk, eating fresh veggies on my balcony, sitting and laughing with friends can really be.
Writing out problems - not being afraid to face them. Trying new things - yoga and Arizona and working as a PA and going places by myself. Taking trips for the sake of taking them. Enjoying the moment.
It hasn't been a bed of roses, but it has been nice at times. And I'm sitting here at home, my laundry cooling in the dryer, and I feel content.
I cleaned out my closet yesterday, putting things in order, digging through relics of my past. (And, holy Christ, what a geek I used to be. *g*) Found a note that a teacher had written me a long time ago: You are an amazing thinker... Your style is so focused...
I forget too often that people thought the high school me could write, and write well. Always felt like second best, and it gnawed at me, and even today, I'm never confident in my abilities, especially when measured up to my peers. But every once in a while, I have to remember, I am judged simply as the person I am, and heralded for it.
It's good to remember that. It's good to remember the praise, for once. It makes it easier to stop being quiet. To speak up.
I'll try and write more often - not over the next couple of days, because I'll be at Area 2 and visiting my grandmother and will probably be quite busy. But after then, a semester full of possibilites arise.
So I feel like I haven't updated in forever, and perhaps that's because I really haven't. The thing is, so you know, IKEA bookcases are very heavy, and I am very weak and flabby, and I am easily prone to straining muscles that shouldn't be strained. Hence, it is hard to do things like sit at a computer and type. My rather sore wrist (too much mouse time, goddamn it!) isn't helping matters.
But today, I am in NoCal, and it is good to be here. Enjoying the company of my family and all - will be doing much bonding and so forth over the next few days.
However, the drive up was not as fun as it usually is. I was horribly bored and the hours seemed to drag by - not to mention the fact that I managed to run into crazy Sunday traffic. (I have a fervent belief about traffic on Sundays - it shouldn't exist.) Usually I'm all right - today, it just wasn't any good. I don't feel like doing any more driving for a while now.
My brother has a new computer. It is very, VERY pretty. And so fast!
I really must sleep now. I'm less sore today, and tomorrow I'll be even better, undoubtedly, and I'll be posting twelve times a day before you know it!
The last two come from an essay I wrote comparing All About Eve to Showgirls. Nice to know it's paid off in hits. *g*
In other news, my new bookcase is set up, and it is MAGNIFICENT. I am very happy with it, and I can't wait to go home and get more of my books. I love my books so much. I used to sort them by subject, but now they're all alphabetical by author. It's so fun to see things like a book on the Coen brothers, All the President's Men, and an Enid Blyton book Caz sent me mashed together. Almost as good as David Foster Wallace, Joss Whedon, and The Idiot's Guide to Being Vegetarian. *g*
The entirety of my room feels different as a result of the bookcase. Now, I have a place for my library books - they were cluttering up the floor around my bed before - and my old bookcase, which is made up of strips of wood, can be used for display purposes. I'm going bag and board all of my comics, too - I don't have a lot, and I want to keep them in good condition. Need to figure out where I can get them super-cheap, though... (The bags and boards, that is.)
Plus! I've finally gotten inspired on a couple of art projects I've wanted to do - a collage of superheros (need to pick up some cheap books I can cut apart) and another collage involving all of my old ticket stubs and this empty film can I "liberated" from a dumpster once. I need paint, though - spray paint or otherwise. Where can I get cheap paint? And glue?
Those'll be things I'll work on in the week before school starts.
Plan B is living cheaply for the next few weeks, but going home for several days (including getting to see Area2 at my favorite venue ever!) and possibly even going to see my grandma up in Sacramento, if she'll have me.
And then I come back to LA, and I see what temp work is available, and I possibly even save enough pennies for a short trip to Vegas before school starts. And then, as class rolls on, I continue the quest for a steady part-time job, because I know I'll have the time, and I know I'll want the money.
And it isn't the end of the world, and in the end, everything works out just fine.
So few words can so accurately capture a mood, I firmly believe, like the awe-inspiring power of "Blah." Especially since there's no better way to describe the way I feel.
Nothing bad's happened. I'm just rooted in second gear, after having an extremely quiet and peaceful evening (read, made dinner, watched a DVD of Scrubs episodes and Miss Evers' Boys on HBO).
Of course, it's worth pointing out that I am kinda-sorta quitting my temp assignment tomorrow. It's nothing I or the company did - it's just that the person I was temping for returned to work today, meaning that instead of spending six hours alone in an office doing work and reading my library book, I spent six hours conversing with a complete stranger and feeling useless. And she was very nice, and we had an all right time...
But this isn't right, and I need to leave this job anyways because of school starting up soon, and I'm annoyed that I wasn't told beforehand that she would be coming back. I'm also annoyed that my co-worker was so desperate for company that she guilted me into staying the entire day. There isn't enough work for ONE person, let alone two. And, sure, I bring a book into work for the slow spells, but I can't sit around idly, wasting my employer's money, when there's already someone there.
I really can't abide being redundant.
So I'm waking up early tomorrow and calling my employers to explain the situation, and then I'm probably going to go back to bed.
After that, I plan to pray that I get this internship. I'm supposed to hear something this week.