Sunday, September 6, 2009

Notes on Progress

This summer I decided to be a full time summerer. My friends and I made this sort of Bucket list, and actually accomplished most of the things on it. Every day we were up to something new, we went on daytrips, I made fortune cookies, we went stargazing, had a tea party, went hiking through a creek... that sort of thing. It was glorious, and I was sure I was changed by months of making my own decisions finally, of not doing things simply because other people told me to do them.

I got a second job, thinking it would make me less attached to the first. But the opposite occurred. I now realize that my first job may just be as good as "a real job" is ever gonna get. And my summer is now over, as classes start back up, I find myself bending to all the demands placed on me, without hesitation.

And I wonder, will I ever really change? In the whole scope of things, can I ever really improve? Can I ever really mess up?

I've lost 30+ pounds a year ago and kept it off, but now I look back at photos from my childhood, which I had thought was nearly defined by my weight struggles, and see a perfectly normal, even healthy girl 9 times out of 10. Even at my heaviest, I was not justified in thinking my weight was a hurdle I couldn't jump. I've always be so close. In these same two years, I've made new friends, and lost them already.

When I was deciding on a major for college, there was a time I thought I could never pick one thing and just do it for the rest of my life. How could I ever make that kind of commitment up front? But then art somehow hit me between the eyes, I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I feel in may ways like I've always sort of known art was the only thing I've ever been consistently interested in, but then, I have days when I think, am I out of my mind? Art isn't a career, it's barely a hobby. It's what children do before we are able to convince them how futile it is to try and create things carelessly. Being an adult requires incessant planning. But then I'm right back to the point of digression, the realization that all everyone else is doing is more or less futile, and at least art is enjoyable; whereas most people have come to accept that life for them is all about pointlessly doing things you don't want to do, I'm choosing, "bravely" I've been told, to pointlessly do what I want.

All this to say, somehow, a future that seemed so uncertain is forming, becoming past faster than I can process what's going on. At the time, events seemed disjointed, insignificant, and now... I can't imagine it any other way. Looking back, it's an obvious trajectory.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Christina at the cinema

Do you ever feel like your life is a movie? Someone says something that sounds pre-scripted, or you find yourself suddenly alone and you realize it's just you now, and any observation is yours alone, everything around you is a show just for you. I'm sure everyone must have moments like this, but for me, there are just so many times that I see the scene from a couple paces back, and a song starts playing in my mind, and I could just see this moment being compelling on screen. In fact, that's probably why I randomly break out into song 6-10 times on average a day. Often they're not songs I had stuck in my head, they just seem to fit the moment.

I was thinking, this might be part of the reason I'm such an optimist. It's easier to pick myself up and dust myself off when I'm the heroine I'm cheering on. It's so much more obvious that you're supposed to rise up, to embrace adversity as a necessary component to success if you can remove yourself just enough to get a better perspective.

I did a report on out of body experiences for Psych last semester, and one theory is that OBE's are evidence of a fourth "spacial" dimension (as in, not time, which is debated but often thought or referred to as the 4th dimension. String theory postulates 11 or so, and I do not think String Theorists consider time to be the 4th, so this could be the origin of time's getting knocked out of a dimension slot...) but basically, it's compared to an ant that exists in two dimensions who can only go north and south, east and west, how completely dumbfounded they would be if they inadvertently walked onto a leaf that got picked up by the wind. What would they make of the scene below? What if they were returned safely, what would the other ants think of their story? Probably exactly what we think of people who try to explain their OBE's, which typically is that we tell them it's all in their head.

Like my movie. It's in my head. But actually I brought that up to illustrate how it feels on a regular basis when I am suddenly aware of my life as something other than inescapable. Somehow, this being a movie motivates me to change what I don't like. A character in a movie has a lot of control, whereas I often feel like I don't. But really it's amazing what you can change when you try. How how your situation can stay the same, but be completely transformed when you get a new perspective. Sometimes I'm the ant that flew. And it's not that the world changed, but that it was different than we thought all along.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Googling Oneself

So today I have a lot of things to catch up on... so many little things I've let go far too long, and a full free day to tackle them.  So of course I start by hopping onto the information superhighway to discover what my cyberself looks like.

And guess what I have unearthed.  I look like nothing.  I have absolutely zero web presence, at least 30 other people have my same name in similar fields (but are not me!) and even "wonderfool" refers to like 10 different things.  And of course this has gotten me thinking:  there are just so many people in the world.

And if the powers that be are right about this "overpopulation" thing... that means there wasn't always this many people.  So there are more people, and we can connect to all of them (in that gloriously superficial electronic way.)  

But what would it be like to have fewer people in general?  Would we have accomplished as much?  Would we be on a slight delay, or would culture be changed entirely?  No traffic at rush hour... or no rush hour?  No lines at stores, or no stores, or just different stores?  Maybe fewer stores, so there'd still be lines... you just had to drive further to get to a store.  Cities would feel the way suburbs feel now, suburbs would be rural, and rural areas would be desolate.  But we wouldn't know the difference, because we would never know society as we know it now.  So essentially, it follows that we could also have MORE overpopulation, with denser metropolises, and cities expanding out so much they start meshing with other cities to create gargantuan urban regions, all houses would be apartments, everything cordoned off and disjointed, porches and backyards would join the ranks of dodo birds and wooly mammoths... but again, we wouldn't know it.  It would just be how the world is.

Okay, I guess I can't procrastinate much longer.   In a universe where I always procrastinate, I wouldn't know what it was like to complete anything and never would complete anything, so I wouldn't even worry about not doing things, and for all intensive purposes, I'd be good as done when I started.  Conversely, if I never procrastinated I'd probably be done with everything right now, thus this universe I am currently in, one of measured balance between creation and destruction, is the worse possible universe for me to be in right now because it means I haven't done it yet but will.  So only this world out of the three requires work of me at the moment.  Glad we established that. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pardon, sir, have you the time?

Timing is everything.  This, like almost every -ism, is especially true in both comedy and day-to-day living.  That's probably why good comedy is so funny.  It's so obvious.

Today was amazing, and then, you know, somehow unsatisfying.  SOOOO close.  And each individual element was great.  It's like a car that doesn't work and you take it apart and each individual part is fine.  Is perfect, it's a wonderful car.  And not broken.  And yet, turn the key in the ignition... nothing.  So I don't know.  I guess that's why it's called a "model car."

It's been too long since I painted... 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Today was one of those days that was so cold it was painful to breathe.  And it seemed like I had to just keep going outside and coming back in, going back out and coming back in.  And my nose would be so cold sometimes, I'd think about those people that try to climb Mount Everest, and they get just past the first camp ground area when a snowstorm hits and they zip themselves in those bags, but it's still too cold and frostbite sets in and even though the rescue team braved the thin air in a helicopter against the better judgement of conventional science/procedures but were successful and saved the climbers, the frostbite destroyed their noses.  And maybe a finger.

And how awful would it be to be an amputee?  Especially the face area.  Why is it that we have such a strong emotional attachment to faces.  I guess they're so visible, and all so different that we derive identity from our face in a completely unique way.  

But what is it about identity that we are so emotional, so protective about?  Would it be so awful to have the same face as someone else?  Identical twins deal with this to some extent.  I wonder if I would like having a twin.  It seems like it would be nice to have someone who saw things the way you do all the time.  But then, do twins do that?  It could be like in adaptation, when Nick Cage says to himself, "We have the exact same DNA.  How lonely is that?" because his twin is so different and they don't understand each other.

On the other hand, it would be equally awful to have someone who thought the same as you, looked and acted the same as you, was exactly like you so that even those close to you could be fooled.  It be like having a doppelganger.  Which would be horrifying.

The other thing about the constant temperature change is that my hands cannot stay moisturized!  It's got to be the a combination of the weather and the incessant hand washing I have to do between Photography and Printmaking.  Man is that a lethal combination for skin!  

The snow is rather scenic though.  Somehow in spite of all this I still kinda love the magic of it.  It sparkles, and makes it so bright outside.  I guess the roads haven't been overly treacherous in about a week, so that's probably why I can start seeing it as snow again.  When I'm fishtailing, it's a blight on the land.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Overall Silliness, or Finding That Grain of Truth

So we were supposed to write about what we thought was going on in this Triptych for art history, and of course I've heard a few different interpretations, but what's stuck with me most is just how much that last panel looks like Hollywood's outer space.  I found I could not write about this piece without mentioning the obvious, but what you must first realize is that last semester I wrote an interpretation of a cave painting involving UFO's, because I swear that's what they looked like.  She claims they are giant, people-sized baskets, but then, she also claimed there is no good interpretation of that scene.  So you tell me.

Point is, I found myself getting sadly derailed, and I wish I could paste an excerpt in here for you but it won't let me.  Which brings me to my next point of the day, computers.  Um, how long exactly have we had personal computers?  So remind me again why we haven't been able to stop them from just freezing up and doing things we don't want them to for no reason all the time?  Why do we just start putting them in everything, so now all of our appliances are up to no good without our consent.  My DVR is a VCR that is overanalyzing everything and creating problems for itself (and so for me.)  My friend's phone (iPhone!) FREEZES UP.  What?  Sorry I couldn't call you, my cell phone crashed.  Apparently Texas Instruments has little chips in all our car keys, which is brilliant, cuz calculators are a ship that's long sailed.

But all these little computers don't think like I think, so all this "thinking for me" that overwhelms them and makes them crash isn't very helpful at all.  Today I locked myself out of my car (I am always doing that) and did my keys think about how they could assist me with solving this problem?  No, of course not, they don't think.  So what I want to know is, what happens when the chip breaks?  Could I have my key, more or less intact, and it wouldn't start my car because a chip I didn't even know was in there broke?  So thanks a lot computers, you're super helpful.  Artificial Intelligence is only a step away.

All this to say, I do NOT understand what this lady has against space travel.  Where would we be without fire (which was given to us inadvertantly by the aliens that built the pyramids, who left some here, thank goodness.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And now to No One, with a weather update

Why do newspeople have to go to work on days like this?  Couldn't they give weather reports in front of a webcam and broadcast that once an hour, and the rest of the time play entertaining reruns instead of cutting to 8 different reporters who are all simply "outside"?  What could be so important that everyone has to still work today... emergency personnel, electric, police, plough trucks.  That's it.  The statement that it's snowing is hardly news, if you have a window you can figure that out.  They certainly don't need multiple people to brave the roads and wait around outside to tell us this.

Now I'm not complaining, all my stuff was cancelled.  Apparently I run in reasonable circles.  But why would any typical business person have to suffer through obviously impossible transportation... our culture needs to learn to work hard when we're working, and take breaks when we need them.

On the flip side, why do cities think that they can just not plough most streets?  All day?  The snow has now completely stopped for at least 5 hours, and we've not been ploughed even once.  The economy is no excuse... they're are plenty of things that should be cut well before street maintenance.  No one's parked on our street so that's no excuse either.  Slackers.

In short, let the reporters stay home, not the ploughmen (and women?)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Anyway, they don't know you like I do

What is it that makes Kanye's new cd so polarizing?  It seems like everyone is intent on destroying this man because... he dared venture into pop?  his "heavy use of autotone"? (really? get over yourself) we like to see our heroes fall?

Honestly I'm gonna have to go with the last one.  I must say, I like Kanye's newest set.  I LIKE his heavy use of autotone.  I like that he occasionally sings about something real, say, his feelings.  Or the cliched but ever reassuring notion that money cannot, after all, buy happiness.  And I love the track "Paranoid" so much that it's been my alarm clock song now since I bought the cd a month and a half ago.  I never, EVER keep a song longer than a week and a half.  Ever.  Think about it, if it's the first thing you hear every morning, sometimes you're hearing it in your sleep before you actually wake up, you end up singing it all day.  And who can take two full weeks of any one song?  I can.  I can take six weeks of Paranoid, and counting.

PS - If everyone hates it so bad, why is it selling so well?  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Philosophy of the Documentary

Photography has had the most peculiar effect on us: by simply, "objectively" recording reality, we are forced to reconsider exactly what truth is.  Documentaries take this concept further.  Can we really hope to ever accurately pinpoint some aspect of the world around us?

"You are a noose around the neck of this realm!"
DARKON trailer:

"Without him, we'd just be at home doing puzzles like everyone else"
Wordplay trailer:

*I particularly liked how they handled showing you the person and a digitized puzzle simultaneously when needed

"When you want your name to go down in history, you have to pay the price"
Haven't seen this yet, unfortunately
Fist Full of Quarters trailer:

The very first documentary I really remember paying attention to was a short clip about these people that worshipped colors.  Like, a rainbow.  This lady sitting in an overstuffed chair going on and on about wavelengths and energies, and her kept little husband on the armrest agreeing every time she paused for breath.  It was incredible.  It was a mocumentary, I latter came to find out, but I don't know what it's called and can't find it anymore... 

This is going to be an interesting semester.