Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things that go "bump" in the night got nothing on things that go "click" on the internet.

And I swore I wouldn't write about Facebook.
Because I don't have one and enough people have said how awful and artificial it is, and I don't want to feel redundant.
But boy, did I give myself a scare tonight.
So I was on Facebook. What? Why? You hypocrite! I know, I know. But I needed a few pictures and, well, I knew just where to find them. I asked nicely and not only did someone with a Facebook page get me the pictures, they gave me their e-mail and password so that I could log on to get those pictures when it was conveinient for me. Whoa. And I wanted the pictures for totally okay reasons too, just print them out, show off my work, and hopefully impress the hell out of people.
Anyway. I'm on Facebook for the second time in my life, and the first time alone. (The other time a friend of mind was showing me pictures of her and her friends being wasted goofballs.) My mouse can click any face I want it to. I can open the door to anyone's life. If only my computer weren't so old, so slow. I want others' souls and I want them now!
It really is addictive. You just keep clicking and seeing more and more faces you recognize from the hallways or from years passed and click some more and get trapped in this vicious cycle and before you know it the 10-minute task of getting a few simple, relatively easily located pictures, has become a 60-minute endeavor, an engrossing journey to the lives of others. I get why people do it. I really do. I tease them and think of myself as just a little better than them (though I know I'm not, I know that too), but I get it. And that getting it, that enjoyment of looking at the beautiful, funny, frozen-in-time faces of people I know (who are even more beautiful and funny in reality), is what scares me. I'm no better than anyone, I seldom think I am (well, sometimes, but only at quantifiable things like knitting tight, proper stitches or ice skating). Tonight I experienced just how tempting Facebooks are and I promptly had to remind myself rether severely why they are a waste of time and life. ...says the girl ferverishly typing away at a blog no one reads, because no one knows it exists, a blog that invariably chronicles life and thoughts, just like a Facebook page. Like I said, I'm a filthy hypocrite sometimes.
All that said, the internet is a scary place, vast and beautiful and dangerous. A place where the pleasure in the instantaneous shatters morals and seduces weary lovers of pen and ink.
And I really must get rid of that nice boy's log in info. I never want a repeat of tonight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

You're waiting for the day.

If You were Brian Wilson, I would be a most wonderful muse.
You would write songs about alternately loving me and hating me.
…about heartache and high school.
…about emotion and dreams.
…about how everything might be terrible, but you are still able to sing in lovely harmony.

But You aren’t Brian Wilson.
And while You do write music, so far as I know it isn’t about the above topics and certainly isn’t about me.
So nothing productive comes of all the pain I cause.
There are no beautiful, sad songs and there are no songs about you being happy with me every once in a while. There is no dream poetry. No “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” It all stays inside and hurts You, and then usually hurts me, too, eventually and in a guilty sort of way.

For this I can only say what I have said too many times: I'm sorry.
And, really, darling, be more meaningful with your disappointment.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A night of extremes in an excess of phosphorescence OR Your aim is true; my aim is shaky.

I looked good yesterday. I don’t know why especially, but the mix of the winter standby equation for dress (jeans + t-shirt + sweater =?) came out to a lovely result. It’s a shame I didn’t leave the house until 9 pm. Just one of those days.

But when I did leave, boy, was it worth it. This weekend’s menu is thoroughly excellent. Every once in a while those Neos just assemble a real winner. In cases like these, I become aware of it in the middle-ish of the show and know it at the end. The audience also called the show exceptionally well, if I may say so myself (though I actually did very little calling - maybe only 40% of the time, tops. I was just too gobstruck by what I was watching on stage, I guess). The audience would call a more sad, poignant play and then a funnier, crazier one. And I felt practically bipolar. I almost cried at least a dozen times. I wanted to, you know. I wanted to bawl. Right there at the end of the second row, middle section, stage right, next to the man who would have forgotten his scarf had I not seen it, who smelled faintly of cigarettes, his scent intermittently wafting over that of my patchouli scented hands. I wanted to stand up during that one play, the fourth one called, I think, number 8. I wanted to, I could have, it wouldn’t have been a lie. I’m not afraid. I’m just thinking. Not sure. Am I qualified? I don’t know anything.

And then it was over. I wanted to be there forever. Not just in the theatre, forever on that second floor, with wonderful people. Or alone. Whichever.

But I didn’t stay forever. I left. “Alison” was playing. I didn’t like that song at all until just then. I walked out the door and made a phone call and pretended (but not really) to smoke the last candy cigarette in the pack of “Lucky Strikes.” I’d eaten half the pack before I read the ingredients and found that gelatin was one of the few. Aw well. I’m usually pretty good about that too.

So where were You then?
Flying back from Portland?
Were You on an airplane? Chatting?
Or writing a college application essay?
Or reading Othello?
I finished Othello yesterday. What a waste of my time and Billy Shakes’ wit. Really dude, you’ve had better plots and characters (…I mean Iago was cool, but everybody else were puppets). Fuck you “greatest Shakespearian tragedy.” Fuck you AP Lit. I for sure cannot WAIT to dissect this play for a month; find all of its symbols. Ha.

My hands still smell like patchouli.
I think I’ll wear the exact same outfit tomorrow (which is really today). Complete with the “HELLO MY NAME IS: Dancing Angel” nametag.

Friday, February 13, 2009

for what it's worth.

well i did it.
i just finished all of my college applications.
so there's that.
and i'm feeling just as confused as when i started this whole thing.
thanks for nothing, high school counselors.
thanks for very little, high school.
now on to bigger and badder and less creative forms.
thanks for tears and stress and anger, convoluted college application process.
you can all bite me and see if i care.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Upon The Completion Of A Large 24-Piece USofA Map Puzzle With A 2-and-a-half-year-old

Where are we?
That's right.

Where am I right now?
Where is he right now?
Where do I want to be?
Where will I be in September?
Where will everyone be in September?
Where will I be in the end?

Yeah, that's corn in Illinois.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

We are beautiful when we are dancing.

Yesterday I was an oddity. Yesterday I was downtown in fashion class again. Yesterday I was a giddy little girl (ironically, the oldest in the group) on my lunch break, walking in a pack with four other kids each a year my junior, all of them taller than me. A boy and three girls. The boy dressed in stylishly normal attire, and each of the girls wearing tights and three-inch heels and mini skirts and glamorous fitted jackets. And then there's me, wearing the bland fleece jacket covered in cat hair and dirt, and the jeans patched in one knee and torn in the other, and the muddy sneakers with the pinky toes all eaten through. My shoes and the calves are just beginning to dry after getting soaking wet from riding my bike through large puddles of melting snow on the lakefront bike trail, but I can still feel water and grains of dirt squishing between my toes in my left shoe with each step, because my left foot was to the east and the wind was blowing the water east. I am at the back and grinning like an idiot because I think they are all so beautiful and I am just glad they asked if I wanted to go with them, even though no one is talking, and it is such a fucking gorgeous day, and for some reason being downtown makes me giddy and angry at the same time.

And then it is the evening. And I am still an oddity. I am the only girl in a car with two boys. They are silent in the front seats while I sit in the center in the back giggling to myself because being in cars with music on just a little too loud with people my age makes me giddy.

And then we arrive. And the first band takes the stage and my friends and I start dancing. And for most of the band's set I am the only girl dancing. And all I think about for some reason, while I am running into young men and the smell of their deodorant, is that part in West Side Story when the Jets are teasing Anybodys, saying she wants to be in the gang because "how else will she get a guy to touch her?" And while this is totally not my motivation, it is all I can hear in my head, and I guess I must be wondering what other people are thinking. And really, I don't care, and not a crowd full of closed-minded indie rock boys could have taunted me into standing to the side, but I suppose some little part of my brain takes joy in finding myself different and wondering how others see me. When the second band takes the stage, the new scent of hairspray joins the old one of sweat, and more girls are now dancing too. Some half-heartedly, others just barely, others totally in it. And everything is disjointed and okay. And I wish I had some sort of wise statement to end this with, but alls I know is that I'm achy and tired of looking at flashing cursors.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lonely Rationalization

Wednesday I went to the first day of this paid arts apprenticeship program in Downtown Chicago. I tried out to get into the Fashion program and well, I got in.
So I’m there. Downtown, with kids my age. Kids who either are well dressed or think they are well dressed and are all already friends with one another. The instructors make comments on the last session of this class and what are apparently inside jokes abound. Wow – you guys are hilarious, wait I don’t get it. And all of the sudden I have no idea what I’m doing.
I love to sew. I love to make things that no one else can. I don’t work in teams. I am unaccustomed to large groups of friendly people and great amounts of laughter. The only place I find these things nearly comfortable is in the school’s theatre, when I am with others working (or not working) on whatever show we’re producing.
But then it started to get deeper. Why am I here? I wondered more frantically. I am different. And I know that every fashion designer will say that they see things differently and whatever, but I mean that I am different than these kids and not in the fashion designer way. In a way I can’t describe. Maybe I was just nervous. Aren’t we all a little nervous heading into the unknown? But I wasn’t nervous before I got there. Not at all. When someone asked me “Are you excited [for class]?” I would reply, “I suppose.” Because “Yes” would have been a lie. Class simply was. A future thing.
The class later went to a fashion library type of room with all the books and magazines and movies of runway shows one could ever want. We watched runway shows of big designers who I had heard of. I sat there in the dark with eighteen other students. While they were engrossed in videotaped parade, my mind struggled with the question of why any of this fashion stuff matters. I did not come to any decisive conclusions.
“It’s art.” I said over and over. “It’s art that, instead of using a canvas and hanging on a wall or filling a space, uses the human form and adorns a woman’s body.” That thinking helped a bit. Color choice and texture is still essential and celebrated. Designers go through phases, just like artists. Placement on the canvas or in a room becomes placement and fit on a body. Fashion is no different from the fine arts except in the way it is presented: on humans, made to accommodate human movement.
I think we’ve lost sight of that. It’s just another art. So my own guilt and confusion must stem from my own superficial and societal view of it. There’s the controversy surrounding models (which I personally think is a waste of breath); there’s the fact that clothing and accessories are just the status symbols most obvious in a daily way; there’s the obvious and renowned bitchiness in the fashion industry which may or may not be equivalent to the bitchiness in the fine arts world; there’s the fact that televisions shows are made about fashion and nominated for Emmys, while I don’t think there are any shows about creating paintings (currently on air, I do remember watching The Joy of Painting with my parents when I was young).
I guess what all this leads to is: I hate the fashion industry but I love fashion. I love to make things and see other people make things and appreciate crafts(wo)manship and learn new ways to increase my power over making what was just a picture in my head into something to wear on my body.
I wish I could say that I don’t care what I wear. Some days I don’t. But of course I do. Even if I don’t care what I look like on a particular day or week or month, I did at one point because I bought the clothes I am wearing. I sifted through hundreds of similarly colored old second hand sweaters (in an array of shapes and smells) to find the one I’m wearing today even if I pulled it out of my closet or off my floor with nearly no thought.
So can it be okay that I take fashion classes? Can it be okay that I sneakily page through Vogues every now and then? Can it be okay that my enjoyment of Project Runway almost always conquers the intense guilt I feel for turning on the television the one night per week it is on? Some days I think it can, some days I’m not so sure.

Just another art. Just another art. Just another art.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

here goes very little.

because i want to feel bigger than i am.
because i want to feel smaller than i am.
because i am a filthy hypocrite.
because i can.
because you are reading this.
because i fall in love and have my heart broken half a dozen times some days.
because no one has my eyes.
because i guess the internet can almost be okay sometimes.
because i have stories and you have stories.
because i love You but i can't say it with my voice.
because some days i want to feel heard and avoid all people.
because life is lived in moments of existence and shared with words.
because i don't always seize the moment.
because i am a secret attention whore.

why all this?
because this first post was a hurdle and i had to get over it some how.