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n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
i sat in the hot tub last night and felt good.
happy holidays, my friends. may you find break. may the found break be uncaptured or uncapturable. and may what you capture strive after what you couldn't but achieve a life of its own.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
picking at the syllables
"ha!" they say, "welcome to the real world!"
i'm slightly upside up today. and thoughtful shallow meandering.
because for me, school has always felt a little more 'real' than their 'real,' in that people here are at least trying to talk about.
so what do people mean when they say 'real'?
do they mean immune?
are they so arrogant as to claim terrain in the world of uniform experience?
or do they mean to suggest that for 2.5 years I haven't been 'really' working?
it's a little weird.
congrats to a buddy
maybe I'm ready to sit in the hot tub and chill out, according to lh
the unadmitted #4
art school doners
I have been resolving not to freak out now that I'm out of school, even though I have continued doing what I normally do when freaked out, which is pay attention to such a narrow band of life so I can fool myself that the rest won't get shaken up. I'm going home. I'll see my family. Oh sure, I'll get a job. I won't. I will. It'll all be okay.
So, for a little while, I am going to think about things. Directly. Here goes.
#1 Reason why I am glad to leave school:
The structure of authority irritates me. Sometimes, or maybe always but on different levels, it's not about intellectual discussion between equals (meaning me and the teacher and the other students), but about someone in authority passing down information, however gently, to someone resting below them. There's an automatic assumption that teachers are those who have something to teach, and students learn. Some students believe they have nothing to learn, or that they have plenty to teach, and act all arrogant and annoying in class; others look like ripped-up seaweed afloat and passive.
But I rather think everyone should be on an assumed level of equality; that instead of winning-stretches, or fights for the upper voice, we should just pass around possibles as if in a game of duck-duck-goose. Everyone gets a run around the circle.
And I don't believe anymore that my teachers should have authority over me; influence maybe, but not authority. I consider them peers in a very beautiful way. They may know more, have thought about subjects I haven't, have a more diverse knowledge of art, be published, have finished projects whereas I have not, and honed their craft to a level I aspire to, but still... the main difference when you are in school is that one person is put in a position where they have the power to have their ideas automatically paid attention to. Which makes me nervous, quite frankly - both having taught and been a student.
Now I only have to give credence to the ideas I allow to have power over me. The ones that make sense or help. The ones having to do with my survival or happiness or growth. and I mean growth also in the sense of political and social and economical etc impact. that is, i mean both Selfish and Un, in terms of ideas to look to.
#1 Reason why I am sad to leave school:
I do well having a structure set out for the pursuits that make me happiest: socializing, reading, writing, thinking, doodling, looking at art, being weird, talking about interesting subjects. I like knowing they are there, set into place by my schedule. Not out of the way, but part of the way.
So, this means I am now making a vow to do the following in the next year:
*Find a very very small writing group
*Read at no less than 3 readings
*Attend no less than 10 readings
*Find a rhythm in writing that has nothing to do with staying up until 5am
*Arrange at least 2 gatherings of friends/grads
*Develop at least 2 visual projects that are longer projects with a distinct goal
*Allow myself to read and visit the library on a regular basis
*Join a hiking group
*Send out work every other month, which means having more finished pieces than just 2
*Open myself to the possibilities out there if I decide I don't want to teach or be involved with academia
#2 reason why I am glad to be leaving school:
My life entirely revolves around work when I'm in school. My friendships, dating, family, writing, etc, is all focused in a two block center of downtown. And if, for instance, I vow not to ever date writers or anyone I'm in the program with (as I did) and struggle very very hard to keep myself to that vow, it means I live like a virtual celibate because my actions and thoughts are so centered around that place. And then when I actually get a date (such as this summer) that fits my self-imposed rules, I get too excited and freaked out because I don't know what to do anymore. I'm completely inept. And I'm inept because I've lived so rigidly for so long.
I'll be glad to spread branches.
And I hereby vow to:
Have at least one good, decent, no-expectations date with someone who doesn't swoon over me & lie through their teeth, or use me, or rush too quickly somewhere uncertain with me, or ask me for more than I can give. Just a regular little date. Something sweet, lasting no more than 3 hours, a kiss on the cheek or maybe lips afterwards. A non-intense interaction that needn't lead anywhere.
#2 Reason I'm sad to leave school:
It took me a long time with SAIC, for various reasons having to do with who I am. I mean, to trust SAIC, and to trust my position there, as a member of the community who is valued for what I offer. To stop always thinking that anyone could turn on me at any moment.
But now I trust that I have a place there. I think there are people who believe in me for real - teachers and students both - who act as though I have a part to play, just as I believe the same of them. I feel comfortable walking around the school. I even swagger sometimes.
I'll really miss that. So, now I have to again find myself a part of a world that stretches across continents. And I'll have to take root in shifting soil.
#3 reason I'm glad I'm leaving school:
When you're in school, you tend to get a little myopic in what you think is possible, because you are daily faced with what has already been done. School is the warehouse for history, which is nice and good to remember, but I think I'm ready to figure out what I can do and focus on it.
I have ideas about my writing, where it needs to go, that I haven't had time to explore. And now I do.
I had a great meeting with my adviser Matthew G. before I left and he gave me an overall sense of what he sees me doing. He pointed out that I am incredibly stubborn, and that I should continue being so. He told me that, having read my work, it's obvious I know what I'm shooting for and not just making random decisions (which... well, I'll get to that). He said basically that I'm interested in how one interaction impacts another interaction impacts another, which yes yes yes! And he also pointed out something I didn't recognize, which is how, in my work, the natural world, and objects of the natural world, act as intermediaries in this process of chaotic but particular interaction. Woah, something to think about.
Which is what I need to do. I mentioned at some point how I felt huffy about my crit, which I did. I didn't right away, because I go into them now feeling mostly just curious and open to the experience, but don't expect much. But this time around, it was rather ridiculous. I was told: that I need to explore my limitations, consider reading Virginia Woolf, find 'structure', that sometimes my stuff 'felt too smart' and thus 'a drudge and duty to read', and that the most concrete places in my writing (the places I was feeling a bit bored with) were the best.
Seriously? Virginia Woolf? Like, I haven't read tons of her stuff starting when I was in high school 15 years ago?
Anyhow, I just think what's possible gets swept into huge currents in school and that you have this path, or that path; that you're either traditional or experimental (both are bunk terms). In school, people want to find you heading in particular directions. And it's become too hard to sort out other people's agendas here. I don't know anymore who to listen to, whether I should give up trying new things (and find my limitations?), find ways to write Gothic Hemingway, or what. So, I think Matthew G is right that I need to just be stubborn and trust myself on this one...
And my own instincts are telling me to keep playing but to become more particular, experiment with details, to start fleshing-in as well as rushing forward.
And that I can do better out of school.
#3 Reason I'm sad to leave school:
The openness of all the above, whether for the pros or cons is daunting and frightening. I'm less scared of death these days, for heaven's sake, than I am of taking the risk to follow new paths even if it ends me up poor and without health insurance. It's easier to take risks in school because the consequences are buffered and the criticism easier to discard because the ante is a cross between pride and genuine hopefulness.
Now I have to take care of myself, and what I'm risking has more to do with my mental and physical well being. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise, but I will miss seeing the net below me as I walk the wire. (I know. I'm mixing my metaphors again.)
Yo'. I'm going to shower then frolic in the masses of snow we got last night and then do a little work. Ciao bellas.
Monday, December 10, 2007
something happens between the interpretations
i have finished. something. here. a degree, true, but a part.
as i am refraining from determining the next move in general, i will refrain here, and just talk a little about.
this is the neverending book i just finished. along the contours of random available topographies, it tells the tiny story of a rapunzel, how she shaved her remaining memories after all the easy ones were clipped by lovers. how she wrapped the remnants into a map that led her everywhere and then home and then everywhere. very roundy etc and hopeful i think.
I still haven't mastered even this somewhat childhood form, really. because while i was pleased with the image and annoyed by the text in the last one, in this one i revel in the text and think the image is missing something. which has to do with the dynamic between static and mobile, as one side manifests one and the opposite the other. & i haven't found the appropriate conjoining yet. not yet. but, okay.
i finished this. i finished a bounding. it is unfinished. i have learned.
overall, the box is rock-on chancity, and the main book is... an exploration of the syntax. the syntax of vision and story, as it goes for me. and as yet, it is incomplete. i've already received a few helpful observations from one adviser (Amy England) who is lovely and startles me and thinks about. her observations jived with my own instincts, which were divided in this case between packing everything in and creating a conglomerate whole from a fragmented incomplete. that is, she noticed where my book was trying to include too much just because for me everything was cognitively (but maybe not emotively) linked, but really, life needs its partitions even when you don't want to provide them and by default throw everything together and call it extra-spicy stew. 4 habaneros instead of 1.
an interesting discussion about cleverness and sincerity and formal experimentation and divisive determinations occurred in my oulipo class today, perhaps solely to mark the date for me (ha!), and i was content to listen and think about it all. sometimes with chagrin, sometimes with question.
overall, i am amazed and pleased with myself, but note the need to focus more on the writing and its capacity to match if not flow beyond vision, just for a partial solitary while. after it all, i'm longing for the pleasure of new language and story, just for. yeah. because when i fool around with compilation and interlacing for so long, i realize how much words and the voices fall towards call me to relearn them and pay them loverly attent. jealous lovers and all that.
[this music mix of my sister really is incredible the more i listen to it, really... "oh why oh why can't i... some day i wish upon... oooooo -ooooo- ooo -oooo- ooouhhhuhahahhhhhahahhuh"]
so, while i am proud. and i am proud. (i am wearing my sassy undies every day these days just to walk secretively my proudly ways, and not because i'm intending to find a cutenice girl [i've metaphorically shaved my head, actually. and not even little shavings dare to sprout]. but because i want to be wearing cute undies while finishing this thing i have been so invested in, as learning, as finishing, as contradictory motions towards whatever is next.
which i actually think is going to be something really good, if not in job, then at least in me finding a world available beyond the fronts.) and while i am proud, it carries its humility, as in: one day, i hope i really actually truly find myself good at this, this what i am doing.
anyhow. here's the box, and its contents:
a few pages from the longer book:
and from there, the world i.e. what's next. what's really next.
Friday, December 07, 2007
go to reading, drink too much
have meeting with other grads, drink too much
work on book
buy burrito and carne asada tacos
flirt (very very poorly) with someone I shouldn't flirt with
talk with lw
attend crit panel
feel huffy after thinking about crit panel
feel even huffier when lw agrees with me about crit panel
work on book
avoid working on book
become secretly addicted to Court TV
visit with lh and n
frolic in icy playground with lh and n
detach icy coating from leaves and admire the light through crystalline veins
get turkish food with lh and n
get thrown in snow by lh
throw lh in snow but get even snowier in the process
revel in my snowboots
revel in the inches of snow
work on book
work on other things
avoid reading 500-page book
discuss subletting options with c2
eat some of c2's rigi or zuzi or zizi or seesee or...
discuss job possibilities with everyone
avoid pursuing job possibilities
work on book
take book spreads to Service Bureau
make three return trips to house to collect the items I forgot
pick up drafts of spreads
suck in my breath when the drafts are $30 more than expected because someone (accidentally) misled me about the pricing difference between Premium Bond and Newsprint (the latter being $.50/page more than I was told)
hold my breath as I pull the spreads out of their wrappers
let out my breath and feel like weeping when I see them
think they are absolutely beautiful
order the rest of the copies
vow to turn in cheapy versions for my thesis, so the beautiful versions can be mine all mine
feel guilty about this vow
work on cheapy version of book
realize how much I like my friends
realize how lucky I am
realize how exhausted I am, and vow to spend entire holiday break drinking hot chocolate and relaxing
stay up to 5am almost every night
stay in bed until nearly noon every morning
forget about my responsibilities
work on book