31 December, 2010

cheers to cheery

Oh, gosh.  This time last year I was in bed with a swollen face.  I'm glad wisdom teeth only come out once.

This morning I read in the paper that the editor of the Croatian newspaper Sata believes there is too much bad news in the world and decided to print a thursday issue (I don't know if it was last thursday or will be next thursday) made up only of good news.
Cheers to that, eh?

Five hours ago I read a post on one of my favorite blogs about how the author writes about the things she does well - she wants to give people good, inspiring things to read.  Nice idea, isn't it?

I've never been a fan of new year's resolutions - mainly, I think, because so many cartoonists do horrible, horrible jokes about them in the paper - but this year I think I am going to sort of make one.  Try to turn over a new leaf.

This year, I'd like to:
Be less negative
Enjoy idling again
Give myself a break.  When I've done my best, leave it at that.
And be a happier, more cheerful person in general.

I hope your new year is happy too.

07 December, 2010

ow my brain is escaping out my ear

When I was reading along in Descartes and came to the bit about how he can't really tell if he's awake or asleep and immediately thought "Inception!" I knew it was time to take a break.

What a nasty school semester it has been. Truly, truly unpleasant.  The only thing I felt even a teensy bit of satisfaction with was the title to one of my many, many essays.   He Loved Big Brother: W.H. Auden's "The Unknown Citizen".  I didn't actually talk about 1984, but I thought the teacher would get it.  But how pathetic is that?  That right there was the only thing I felt even remotely okay with.  Out of all the work I did.  Ugh.

I've got two more finals - horrid, horrid French and philosophy (hence Descartes).   At least I'm being forced to read important things for philosophy - it isn't just textbook.  The downside of this is that we are reading, like, Thomas Aquinas.  Which, just so you know, is murder.  It's not unintelligible - but it's so hard to plow through.   I really have to focus - my mind starts wandering and I find that I'm reading along and thinking about how I will furnish dream house.  Not retaining a thing.

 Anyways, I'm trying to cheer myself up now.  So, here are some happy things.

Oh!  Oh! If you're a Narnia fan you should know that you can get every single book, unabridged, read by magnificent people like Jeremy Northam, on itunes for - wait for it, wait for it - NINE DOLLARS.  It's fantastic.  You can bet that has cheered me.  The Narnia books were my absolute favorite books ever when I was younger.  Heck, they're some of my favorite books now.  They're a mix of all the things I love.  Harry Potter is like that too.  Magic and crazy boarding school and super close best friends and Christmas holidays at the Burrow.  It's perfect too - but less perfect than the Narnia books.  To me, at least.

Please pretend these look like the originals. Please.

I know I blather about them all the time, but those Pomplamoose people really are great.  Funny and cheerful.  Listening to cheery music is helping me right now.  Lady Danville and Buddy Holly are very cheering too. Cheery.  How many times can I say cheery?

I think this: 

Actually looks more like her, especially the hair and eyebrows. Chin is too long. But I can't get her entire head right at all.  I didn't even try with Jack Conte's head.  I can't help being a bit depressed that my drawing skills are about on a level with the average four year old's.

But back to happy things.

I'm getting used to this new laptop - whenever I try to mess with the old one, I scroll with two fingers and the page goes shooting off into nowhere, look for the close x in the left hand corner of the frame, and press alt when I mean to press command. Translation: I'm too cool for you, PC.

Hot chocolate.  We bought baby marshmallows the other day, and I put five in my cup and grin. 

Blog people.  I love the blogs I follow.  I almost never go on facebook anymore, but check my dashboard every day without fail.  Whenever I used to hear about blogs I never imagined they could be so interesting and fun to read.  I know - what a silly little idiot, right?

04 December, 2010

If I had a twitter account, or didn't want to further alienate the few friends I have on facebook, I would scream I HATE FRENCH CLASS I HATE FRENCH CLASS I HATE FRENCH CLASS on it.  Right now.  Like that.  Because I hate it.  Or at least supremely dislike it.  That's two rotten French classes now.  I think I will have to give up on this language because the people who teach it in my world are morons or something.  And the sad thing is I actually do want to learn French.

Ugh.   I had to get that out.  Now that I've cried and screamed and got it all out of me I will either go take a bath or try to find Swiss Family Robinson (I have no idea why a sudden desire to watch that movie popped into my head) and then give up searching for it and watch Bend it Like Beckham instead.  I'm in an odd mood.  Feeling an urge to paint my nails and watch teen movies.  Or very bad action movies.

By the way, I finally bought another copy of The Elements of Style and read the darn thing.  I am a bad writer.  But, anyways, it's a marvelous book.  Like Mere Christianity - it conveys so much so compactly.

Whoo.  I am calm now.  Thanks for listening, my dear blog.  Goodbye.

03 December, 2010

"Not long after I moved with my family..."

I did something mildly awesome a few weeks ago.

Yeah.  I saw Bill Bryson. That's who that is. And that grinning idiot next to him is me.

How, you might reasonably ask, did I manage to do this in Arkansas?  Well, Mr. Bryson gave a reading at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I had no idea that he was visiting.  My mom told me the saturday before that I had to get all my homework done because we were going somewhere on Monday.  I did so, and we drove for three hours.  When we got into the auditorium I was ordered to look down at the floor.  I was told afterwords that people were carrying books around for signing.  I have excellent self-control, however, and didn't see.  I didn't know what was going on until a guy got up and said, "And now, Bill Bryson." 
It was great.  Unless I sit next to an extremely voluble Emma Thompson on a very long plane flight, it was the high point of my life. 

So, that's all for now.

P.S. I am not actually that geeky looking.  The, uh, lighting was bad.  In real life I am remarkably attractive in an ugly sort of way. 

30 November, 2010

Well, I have only one vaguely interesting thing to say: I am writing this on a mac.  I'ms sure you noticed, dear blog, that my cool points have increased exponentially.  Also, typing on such an aesthetically pleasing machine has automatically made my writing better.  Obviously.

Besides the news about my newly attained cool points, I have nothing to tell.  On a whim I dyed my hair brownish while staying with Grandma and Grandpa in Ohio.  I gained 4 pounds over thanksgiving, which is disgusting.  I bought myself a thesaurus and the complete Hitchhiker's Guide book - the one that's all five books in one.  I watched movies this evening.  My life is fantastically boring right now.  I should probably be glad about this, but I'm not.  I might go take a bath. Though I've nearly taken all the baths I can justify. (Whoever among my imaginary readers gets that nerdy reference wins a prize! I mean it!)

Honestly, there was no reason for me to write this at all.  I just wanted something to do that did not involve homework.

14 November, 2010

Welcome, my brethren, to the Natural State

A couple of weeks ago, my family piled into the car and drove about three hours to a little town called Mountain View.

One of the joys of living in an apartment is that we can do this stuff, drive off on the weekends whenever we feel like it.  But anyways, we drove to Mountain View for what we thought would be a small local festival with  maybe a couple of hundred people in attendance.
We were rather surprised to find that around 50,000 people pay a visit to this event every year.
Apparently, the Bean Fest and Outhouse Races are a bigger deal than we'd thought.
Yes, you read that right.  The Mountain View Bean Fest and Outhouse Races.  It. Was. Awesome.

This gentleman kindly posed for a picture, bless him.

This guy had no choice.

The races were, without doubt the high point of the event.  Two outhouses ran at a time, with two pushers and a driver.  It actually looked pretty hard. There were multiple divisions, too.  Altogether a magnificent afternoon.  My face hurt I smiled so much. It was absolutely worth the drive.

01 November, 2010

Happy Unawareness Day!

Almost missed this momentous holiday last year. 
Please allow me the honor of wishing you and yours a very happy Unawareness Day.

God bless the idlers, every one.

21 October, 2010

Happy Thunderbolt Kid Day!

This may have been, like, a one-time thing, but in 2006 the mayor of Des Moines, Iowa declared this day "Bill Bryson,The Thunderbolt Kid, Day".  All those commas are actually in the title.  For some reason it seems excessive to me, but I can't think how you could do it otherwise.  I don't care if it was supposedly only Thunderbolt Kid Day in 2006 - I celebrate regardless.

This day we celebrate the genius of Bill Bryson.  Mr. Bryson, your books alone have extended the life spans of readerly people by ten years at least if laughing is as good for us as Prevention magazine says it is. Your efforts to save rural England and put an end to littering are equally commendable.  Thank you for everything, especially Katz. 

09 October, 2010

Boasting is fun

I am freakishly proud of myself right now!
Why, you ask?
Because, my dear Watson, I just re-strung my ukulele all by myself.  Without anyone else's assistance.  On me own.  No help.
Well, several videos on Youtube helped, but that doesn't count for some reason.  It's not like they actually took the ukulele out of my hands and did one string right as an example.  So there.
I had honestly expected that the evening would end in tears and that a second trip to Alan's (the most wonderful music shop on earth. Or at least in La Mesa, California) would be made tomorrow to beg the nice shop men for help.  I bought the strings at Alan's - Aquila, baby - and stroked the very nice ukuleles they sell while my sister bought a piece of sheet music - ten pages long! - for "Rhapsody in Blue".  It was lovely.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do with the ends of the strings. They are, at present, sticking out everywhere (and they poke me in the arm when I play) - but I coiled them up as neatly as possible and will figure out what to do someday.  I hope.  Things always seem to sort themselves out with time.  Or they don't. Life goes on.

05 October, 2010

Technically this isn't whining.

It's really rather appalling to realize how many girls actually go to college looking to get their Mrs. degree.  (Did you see the funny joke there?  Because it was hilarious, I tell you!) I mean, astonishing.  All I can think is, "jeez, that's an expensive way to meet a husband."  But you know what?  Until about eight hours ago, I never stopped to think that when I worried about the possibility of missing out on the "college experience" by living at home instead of going away to school, I was basically saying "I think it might be worth six thousand dollars a year to be forced to make friends with people who, in ordinary circumstances, I might never associate with."  Twelve thousand dollars is an awful lot to pay for friends.

Lately, I've really come to see how very, very pleasant and freeing it would be to be able to finish college debt-free, or at least owing amounts in the thousands instead of the ten, twenty and thirty thousands.  If I have student loans to pay back, I can't expect to be able to just drop everything and drive off to Montana on a whim.  And I really do want to drive off to Montana one day soon.  I also really want to move to England and   wear wellies when I go foraging in the countryside.  How will I ever do these things if I can't take risks?  If I'm tied down by that monthly payment?  I know things can't just be dropped, but isn't the disentangling and setting things down less complicated if money isn't as big an issue?  Did that even make one crumb of sense?
Whether it did or not, it really makes sense to me at the moment.

And college is what you make of it, isn't it?

I use too many commas and over-think everything, but at least... at least... (need something positive here) at least I knew like three years ago that Oxford shoes were going to come in.  I even bought ridiculously expensive men's dress shoes, trying to get that sort of Oxford-wingtip-brogue-sixties  look.  That gives me great personal satisfaction. (And gives the world a little glimpse into the reason why the people at Hillsdale didn't seem as eager as they might have to number me among their student body. I never applied, but I think I could have guessed the outcome if I had.  Good thing I don't care.)

03 October, 2010

"You know what it's like when you try and tell someone what your dream is like? It's so boring because it evaporates in the telling somehow. A novel for me is an attempt to build a kind of hermetic vessel that can contain this essence you've been dreaming about, this feeling that you don't want to evaporate. You keep it enclosed and you don't tell anyone about it until you build a vessel that can contain it and keep it at its maximum intensity and purity — that's the novel."  

Philip Pullman.  I don't know if I like him a ton, but this is spot on.

01 October, 2010



I bought the book this afternoon.  And I would like to add that this is the first book I have ever, EVER bought in hardcover the day after it came out.  EVER.  Now you see how truly important and marvelous this happening was, don't you?  I hesitated to buy sunglasses for five bucks this afternoon, but paid twenty two dollars for this book.  But it was worth it.  I like to think that Mr. and Mrs. Bryson will use the money I spent to go out to breakfast or buy a new toaster or something.

I can't think of a title because these things do not relate in any way.

Okay, quick rant.  And then I swear I won't complain anymore.

I am taking comp II this semester, and I think the class has one little flaw.  This flaw being - all we write are literary analysis papers.  Themes, themes, themes.  Theme in this, theme in that, how this contributes to the theme, how this does blah blah blah.  It's rather dull.  Right now we're just reading poems and short stories and writing dumb papers about symbolism - is it totally unreasonable of me to wish we were, I don't know, reading great examples of persuasive essays and then writing our own?  Doing different things?  Maybe that isn't what you do in comp II.  I didn't actually take comp I (transferring does have its benefits), so I really have no idea.

I use too many commas.

Anyways.  Back to the real world.

Okay blog, yes or no - would not school be infinitely more enjoyable if we all carried those leather book bags English schoolchildren had in the olden days?

Like this, for instance. 
Just a thought.  I mean, I know I'd be happier. 

Also, I think I'm a vegetarian.  It's taken me a while to realize this, though in retrospect there was a good trail of evidence that certainly pointed to the conclusion.

1.  I almost never eat meat.  I haven't had ham since 2006.  Steak since who knows when.  I've eaten chicken three times in the past six months.  Giving it up hasn't been a problem at all. 

2. Handling the meat at work grosses me out. It's slimy.  And even though Denny tells me that the juice in the bottom of the roast beef bag is not blood I still think it looks like blood. 

3. Thinking that the thing on my plate was an animal grosses me out.  The meat I eat cannot resemble an animal or part of an animal.  Even boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a stretch.  Usually, it has to be in a burrito or shaped like a dinosaur to be edible. 

4.  Also, animals are not clean.  I recently stopped drinking milk (Rice Dream, baby) because thinking "this came out of a cow" and the memories from a traumatic childhood trip to a dairy farm are too much for me.  Chickens are gross and they fight and peck each other with their dirty beaks.  Cows smell.  Pigs are pigs.
5. Even though I know most animals raised for human consumption probably live on some satanic farm in a tiny metal cage I still occasionally feel sorry that they had to die so I could eat them when black bean soup would have done just as well.

6. And, though this may not count as evidence it certainly motivates me to forgo meat - meat is expensive and I am cheap.  I do not want to pay eight dollars a styrofoam carton so I can make hamburger patties.  I can't do it.  I have a hard time buying food as it is (you always have to go get more! it's never done!) and I hate to pay that much money for something that's here today, eaten tomorrow.   I plan to grow as much of my food as possible when I live by myself.  Miserliness drives me to vegetarianism. 

My gosh.  I just went on a poetry forum/critiquing site (Eratosphere) to see what was like - jeez.  People talk about how there are too many uses of the letter w in a piece, or say that they think the enjambment is weak here, or recommend that the writer should change "limbs withering like weeds" to "limbs like weeds" because it's stronger.  Man.  And I'm happy if I can stick the right amount of syllables in and make it rhyme.  Jeez.
And you know what else?  I'm reading a book called The Ode Less Traveled by Stephen Fry (yes, that Stephen Fry.  He's a wonderful writer), and thus far it's been about writing in iambic pentameter - and my gosh.  I... it's simply amazing.  I knew what iambic pentameter was - I did not know a thing about trochees and spondaic and pyrrhic substitutions and weak endings.  It left me stammering.  I had no idea how very, very controlled great poets are; they're like mathematicians manipulating every tiny little aspect of a line to their advantage.  Incredible.  Pop in a spondee here to make the eighth syllable stand out more, then do a sort of call and response pattern with weak endings here and there.  No problemo.  Easy peasy. 

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Keats, of course.

26 September, 2010

living well is the best revenge

I'm going to say this, and then I will never make a peep about it again.

There.  I'm done. 
How on earth can people claim to enjoy doing this?  People say I'm over-thinking the whole thing, and I probably am - but, my gosh, wouldn't you try to make the best choice you possibly can when thousands of dollars you do not have are involved?  I guess that's why people can just say "oh, just choose some place and be done with it because it doesn't really matter anyways" (which, may I say, is so encouraging) - they aren't the ones committing to pay all this money back.  Money stinks. 

Honestly, blog? The main problem I'm negotiating at the moment is this:  I am not interested in anything.  Scratch that, I'm interested in everything.  I would study archaeology, art history, English, theatre, graphic design, geography, journalism, history, medieval-renaissance studies, writing, philosophy and bookmaking if I could.  What I'm not sure about are the jobs attached to those degrees.  For one thing, a liberal arts B.A. doesn't exactly have an easy-to-follow path leading from the graduation stage.  I know finding a job after college is tough for everyone, but - and who knows, I could be wrong about this - I've always thought that people who studied things like nursing have at least some idea of what to do next.  What do you do after a B.A. in Humanities?  

What the heck - who cares, right! I mean! What the heck does it matter? Who cares if I don't know what I'll do! I'll do whatever I want to, darn it! I'll work three jobs and then go live in Europe for two months.  I'll save like heck and move to New York. I'll work for a summer and then drive to Montana and sleep in the back of a truck with a camper shell on it and see all there is to see.  I'll write crap poetry my whole life, always have a dog, and play ukulele every day.  And thank God I can.

I'm feeling much better now.  Thanks for listening, blog. What a great friend you are.

16 September, 2010

keywords: rant/rave/superheroes

Peer editing is a delightful way to spend one's time, is it not?


Now that I've got that off my chest, let's talk about superheroes.  Why, you may ask, am I talking about superheroes?  Because, my dear blog, I have been wallowing in a veritable... a veritable... vat of toxic waste which the villain intends to drop the screeching heroine into with a satisfying sizzle.

Wait, that didn't make sense.

Okay, we are discussing superheroes because in the past week I have seen:
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
Spider Man
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Yep.  In fact, I watched the last three with my sister yesterday.  And the only film among these that I had seen before - eons ago - was Spider Man.  
HOW THE HECK HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN BATMAN!? You might reasonably shriek.
And I would have to answer, in a calm, collected tone of voice, that I have no idea.  But, I am an odd child that way.  I had my first pumpkin pie last year.  I can't explain it.
But, anyways, let's move back to superheroes. 


1. Batman. Is. Awesome.  He probably tops the favorite superhero list.  And, my heavens, those movies were done well. Michael Caine! Morgan Freeman!  Christian Bale!  Heath Ledger!  Oh, man.  I thought his put-on batman voice would annoy me - ended up totally cool with it.  The gadgets or whatever are believable.  Think how terribly, terribly wrong they could have gone with the bat mobile.   Granted, the Rachel switch was weird.  But still - ah! 

2. No matter how cheesy, I will still always like spider man.  I like Tobey  Maguire.  I love how awkward he is.  James Franco seems to be on the verge of tears in every movie I've ever seen him in - yet I still like him too.  The Green Goblin costume was wretched, yes.  Special effects decidedly 2002 at points.  But I still enjoyed it.  We're getting spider-man 2 from Netflix.  Alfred Molina seems to enjoy himself, doesn't he?  He chooses all these wacky roles, but performs them with such gusto that you can't think badly of him. 

3. X-Men.  X-Men.  X-Men.  
I don't even know what to say.  I am an extreme hater of leather jumpsuits or pants or anything besides modest jackets, and I still loved the movies. (And, believe me, I've hated movies for less than unfortunate pleather episodes.)  I found myself smacking Cee (my sister) about every ten minutes, shrieking quietly, "Did he kill her?  Is he going to kill her?" and "It's that thing! That blue girl is the statue of liberty." and "Tell me when to open my eyes." Oh my gosh. I am (cough) very rarely (suave brush of nails against shoulder) surprised by film plots (subtle puffing of chest) - and I didn't see some things coming in these movies.  It's terribly exciting.

I want to be a superhero. I'm dead serious.  I wish I was disgustingly rich and brilliant and slightly unprincipled and not afflicted with chronic laziness.  I wish I liked working out and getting punched in the face. I wish I lived in a major city.  I wish I had a vast collection of ridiculously expensive gadgets at my command, or could shoot string out my wrists. I wish I was a master of the one-liner. Gosh, I wish I could be a superhero.  Despised by the people I have my nose regularly bloodied to save!  Feared by small children whose mothers tell them I will come get them if they don't brush their teeth right now!  And, deep down, content in the knowledge that I am working to rid my beloved city of sweatshirted thieves and making it a better place!  I so wish I could be a superhero. Or at least be saved by one. 
I watch far too many adventure movies.  It makes me discontent, and I start ranting to my poor dad about how you can't just take a canoe and go glide down a river and camp out wherever you want to anymore.  (These subjects - superheroes and canoes - are related, I swear.  At least, they are in a rather vague way in my head. So probably they are not really related at all.  Sorry.) I fret that life is too tame, too regulated.  I start to moan to myself that I'll never get to have any adventures, conveniently forgetting that Frodo almost goes nuts and dies.  Conveniently forgetting that getting horrible scars actually hurts.  Conveniently forgetting that being a superhero would basically be awful. 

X-Men 2 arrives in three business days.

11 September, 2010


Five nice things about being almost five ten:

1.  I never have to hem pants. 

2. I can reach high shelves, open vents, and touch ceilings for the heck of it.

3. I could intimidate people if I wished - though I have yet to do so.

4. I can ride any ride at any amusement park.

5. lots of cool people are/were tall. (Also, I am a part of a big-footed sisterhood which boasts Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy as members.)

Five things I do not like about being tall-ish:

1.  I never get to cuff my pants.

2. I feel bad standing next to short guys.

3. Heels sort of make me look like a giant.

4. Heroines in books and movies are often short and small, a fact which is often commented on/admired by the hero.  I will never, ever be petit.

5. Airplane rides are a nightmare.

10 September, 2010

Have I mentioned that I love this, blog?  Because I do. Very much.

31 August, 2010

Blog, meet Charles Harper.  Like, the coolest guy ever.

28 August, 2010

School sort of stinks.  Maybe it will get better when we're not reading Plato, done with MLA quizzes and into the Revolutionary War.  I have doubts.
But drown thy sorrows in hot chocolate, music downloads and yogurt with granola, directionless youth. 
And also try to banish unhappiness by admiring clothes from American Apparel.

It didn't work.  Now I just feel sorry that I wear sweatshirts. 
I need to be a bit more cheerful to you, blog.  Not whine about boring things.  

10 August, 2010


I have some news, blog.

Did you catch that?  Once again I'd like to tell you, my dear blog (in a contrasting font, to make it even more exciting), that-

This afternoon.  And it's going to be perfect.  It's a cafe/bakery here in town that has regulars, cookies with flowers on them, and needs a gawky college student to smile and work a cash register between the hours of ten and two.  I start next week.
The reason I announced this so exuberantly, blog, is because this is technically the first job I have ever gotten where I didn't already have an in or knew the employer.  None of my relatives work there.  It was just me.  I am basically terrified, but very proud.

05 August, 2010


I have had, like, an awesome couple of days.  Wanna know why, blog?  Huh?  Do you?
1. Because Pomplamoose gets cooler by the second (that started happening yesterday, and the coolness has been increasing exponentially since then).
2. Because, via their website, Pomplamoose introduced me to Marc Johns.  I'm probably the only person on earth who didn't know about him (I tend to be the not-in-the-know person quite often) but I'm going to do some mad posting anyways.  Because how cool is this:

I mean... rad.

03 August, 2010


1.  I am slightly in love with Wade Johnston and Anthony Michael Hall (circa 1985) at the moment.  At least they're not dead.  Wade Johnston probably has a slight lead on Anthony Michael Hall.  Because he plays ukulele.  And is not twenty-two years older than me.

2. I have five Agatha Christie books left.  Five, heaven help me! Possibly four.  What the heck will I do when I've read them all?  I've re-read most of them already, so that's not a solution.  Read books  I haven't read already?  Expand my horizons?  Read books on the dumb list I've made?
Well, that's a stupid suggestion.

3. I would like to learn harmonica.

4. The only mildly illegal thing I think I have ever done is trespass.   One time, at about ten at night, the cat got out and I climbed into the neighbor's backyard to catch the bugger.   And I think I might have ridden in the back of someone's truck once.
But you know what?  I don't feel that I have not-lived because I've never done anything illegal.  I feel I've not lived because I've never been to England.  I'm quite content to abide the law.

5.  I wish I was prettier.  But there's really no point getting in a twist about it.

6.   Have you ever noticed that almost all female singers (I mean, like, people who make albums and go on tours and lead moderately successful musical lives) are good - but a huge percentage of popular male singers are not?  I wonder why bad-ness is okay with guys.  I suppose because it's just endearing.

7.  I don't like flip flops.  At all.  I know they're comfortable, but they just look silly.  On me, at least.  They rob me of the molecule of dignity I have.

8.  I am getting an English degree.  Did I probably already mention this?  It's just a strange thought.  ("major in YouTube."  That's a little quote by Wade Johnston, there.  Yeah.  Don't judge me.  I was on his channel for like half an hour today.  I love the YouTube people.   The whole little funny pack of them. Pomplamoose is on there, did you know that?  I bought one of their albums on itunes a month or so ago, and then today, wham-o! There they were singing songs with my best friend Wade!  How fun is that?  Isn't fun fun?)

9. I got two of my new textbooks the other day.  They are dull.  Why am I always disappointed, every semester, to learn this inevitable fact yet again?  Textbooks are boring, Kelsey.  They just are.  They will never not be.

10.  And, last and least, I would like to do something to my hair.  I am incapable of leaving it in it's natural state.  It is asking to be died, fried, chopped or in some other way destroyed.  Wa ha ha ha.

02 July, 2010

Okay, I already blabbed a bit about Amelie, but let's talk about it some more, okay blog?
As you may or many not remember blog, I saw it for the first time the other day (On June 25 at 8:33 PM and and 26 seconds) and since then I have watched it two more times.   After the third watch, at about three in the morning, I cut myself some short-ish bangs, even though I knew it would look terrible, to publicly display my adoration. Mostly, people have just asked if I'm feeling well.
I think I can almost call myself a fan at this point.
I love it. The color, the quirkiness - all of it.  It's a small story, really . In a lot of movies nowadays, the characters end up famous or rich, or they meet or work for or marry a famous/rich person, but Amelie is about a small circle of normal-ish people living their messy lives. 
I realized as I watched that my old room (pre-move) was almost entirely white. 

My bedding was white, the walls were white, everything was white white white.  All my (gulp, embarrassment) other blogs are white on white.  The apartment room I've got now is blah beige. I wear black and gray almost exclusively. 
Sure, white looks clean and black is nice.  But a little color isn't a bad thing, is it?  
And after watching the movie I felt very sorry that I don't do funny little things for people.
But hey! Gee whiz! I can make my life as colorful and quirky as I darn well feel like making it. And there's nothing you can do to stop me!  Wa ha ha! 
Let's make this post absurdly long, shall we? Because this is my blog and I can post if I want to (which sounds distressingly like the mix of a terrible pop song and me me me mindset) let's have a little Oh My Gosh How Fantastic party and swoon over some pictures. Let's talk about color, k?  'Cause it is like so totally like gorgeous! 
So, IMDB says that the color choices in the movie were inspired by the paintings of Juarez Machado. 

Which is pretty sweet, even if somebody just made it up. 


I guess it's the whole complimentary color thing, but the berries make it pop, don't they? And I've never seen such good casting - this kid is perfect.  It's so bothersome when kids cast as the younger version of  a character don't match the adults.  How is this movie so perfect?

The red room.  I've been googling (what a stupid word) and a ton of people have written blog posts about that red room.  (And about how they all cut their hair and started listing their likes and dislikes after they first saw the movie.)
And, my favorite:

My gosh.  I mean... gosh. 

So, there.  I've swooned yet again. I hope, blog, that you swooned too. 

01 July, 2010

Because self-centeredness is sooooooooo much fun! Lol!

 I've got a few things to whine about and then we can talk about happy things, okay blog?  Just so you know, this post will be one of unabashed narcissism.

1. I can't make this silly blog look nice and I am tired of fiddling.  Blah.

2. On the topic of blog design, I don't like the new template designer thingy.  It gives error messages all the time and is inconvenient. And I fear change.

3. I can't seem to get to bed before three these days.  What's the deal?

4.  I realized this afternoon that I don't like some of my facebook friends.  Which is terribly mean of me to say, but there it is.  And anyways I just made a rule that says I can be as mean as I want to on this blog.  So there.

Okay, that's all.  Here are some happy things.

1. Amelie.  I saw it for the first time the other day and then watched it again the next day.  And again the next day.  My gosh.

2.  Netflix.  What a terribly nice thing.  Last night, dad and I watched an episode from a lovely space documentary (How We Left Earth or something like that) on instant watch.  Rear Window came today.  On The Town (which was mildly awful but had Gene Kelly) and To Kill a Mockingbird and The Italian Job (also not the best movie ever, but certainly enjoyable.  I like heist movies.) recently went back to Netflix.  I imagine the housing place as a giant vault with bookshelves stacked with mix-matched shoe boxes of DVDs.   And guys in glasses who look like Mac from the Apple commercials bustling around chatting about the movies with one another as they send DVDs off to people. (I know it is killing traditional rental stores, but I don't feel particularly sorry for rental shops when they make me pay six bucks a movie.)

3.  Reading in the bathtub for hours and hours.  One of the many delights of summer vacation.

4.  Music.  Pomplamoose's Tribute to Famous People. Vampire Weekend.  The Beatles.  French singers in general. the soundtrack from An Education.  Sinatra and Bobby Darin and Michael whatever his name is.  Gosh, music is a wonderful thing.

5.  Sad, scary poetry.

6.  Reading books by people much, much smarter than me and then adopting their superior literary loneliness, even though I don't have the brains to be crushed by, like, Dostoevsky the way the writers are.  I can barely spell Dostoevsky.  But I enjoy walking around Super Walmart in a kind of huddled despair and wondering if I'm the only person with a soul. I bet I enjoy abandoning myself to the sorrows of these writers more than they did themselves when they actually had them.

7.  I've also enjoyed wondering if this move will become the Personal Tragedy That Fuels My Art. (Yes, in caps.) You know what I mean?  A good number of really great actors and painters and writers were either wacko or had parents who gave them drugs or something.  My theory has always been that if you want to be really great at something you either have to have talent or a personal tragedy.  You just can't make it if you're mediocre and like your parents.  I've always been sorry knowing I could never do anything great - my home life is ridiculously happy and I have no talent of any sort. (Scratch that.  I have one talent.  I can sing one or two lines from different Beatles songs one after another without pausing - like switching radio stations - for approximately nine minutes.  Although, some people I know do not call that a talent.)
 But, what have we here?  A recent and possibly scarring out-of-state move! If I play my cards right and cry a lot, this could be my tragedy.  How awesome is that?  Who cares if moving is actually not that bad - in interviews I could talk about the angst of it all and look troubled!  I've got a golden ticket, baby!

24 June, 2010

Mere Christianity

Hard to choose a quote from a book so infinitely quotable.

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

C.S. Lewis is the probably the best writer (particularly theological or philosophical) I have ever read.  I don't like when writers feel they have to dumb-down ideas when they try to explain them, and I dislike even more when they show off their superior intellect by needlessly complicating things with weird sentence structure or words that sound learned.  C.S. Lewis gives the full picture in stunningly simple terms (he makes writing clearly seem so effortless!), and yet you feel the full force of his intelligence behind it. Even in the Narnia books, it never feels like he's trying too hard.  
Now that I think about it, seeming effortlessness is my favorite literary style.  Bill Bryson writes "choke-on-your-coffee funny" books, but it never seems like he's trying too hard.  And then when I try to write something in the same style I realize how ridiculously difficult it actually is.  And then I say what the heck, toss down my pencil, pick up I'm a Stranger Here Myself and vow to leave writing to people who can actually do it.

23 June, 2010

And on we march through the reading list.  Finished The Hobbit today. I wish it had taken longer.
As all things come to an end, even this story, a day came at last when they were in sight of the country where Bilbo had been born and bred, where the shapes of the land and of the trees were as well known to him as his hands and toes. Coming to a rise he could see his own Hill in the distance, and he stopped suddenly and said:

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known. 

Gandalf looked at him. 'My dear Bilbo!' he said, 'Something is the matter with you! You are not the hobbit that you were.

It's late, I'm sleep-deprived and I'm so nervous I'm loopy. Isn't life grand?

GAAAAAAA! As Dilbert would say.
Okay, I'm sort of freaking out at the moment.
Here's the story, blog.  Or, at least, as much of the story as I'm willing to tell.
There's a certain book I adore.  I never thought I could ever, ever pin down a favorite book, but this book is it.  I love it.  It's the only book that makes me cry every time I read it - and I never cry in books.
I found out recently that this book is being made into a movie.

Now, for your consideration, a run-down of the feelings this discovery created:

"NOOOOO! I was going to make it!  ME ME ME!  POOR POOR ME!"
Bitter curiosity:
"Well who the heck are these people anyways?  Why do they get to do it?"
Grudging respect:
"Well, I guess they have money.  It might actually be made someday. And the screenwriter made disparaging remarks about Thomas Kinkade on her blog, so I guess she's okay."
Sudden panic:
Fearful victory when I found the screenwriter's email address:
"YES! Now I can send a begging email!  Er... oh dear. Now I have to send a begging email or I'll regret it forever."
"kill me."

So, basically, I'm terrified.  I've written two drafts of my begging letter, neither of them very good, and after showing it to my mum tomorrow - I'm going to send it.
Oh help.
Probably nothing will come of it, blog.  Don't get your hopes up, blog.  Be proud of me for sending the darn thing at all, because such an act of boldness is entirely out of character for me, blog.

So, that's all I have to say at the moment.
If, you (imaginary reader/dear void/blog) are the praying sort, I wouldn't mind a little "and help Kelsey to find the Chill Pills so her heart doesn't explode before she's twenty-one" prayer, if you'd be kind enough to pray it.

I wish I had someone to send a bouquet of sharpened pencils to, even though it would be out of season. But I need the someone before I can send them, and fall is just around the corner.  Goodbye, blog.  I'm off to find someone.  I've gone round the bend!  Hooray! I'd know him anywhere!

28 June:
Okay, it's been days since I said I was going to email the lady, but two minutes ago I officially did it.
I can't believe it.  I'm very proud of myself.  Usually, I'm an absolute chicken about... well, everything.  I hesitate to comment on people's blogs - think how much will it took for me to do this, blog.  Absurdly shy people of the world unite!

Okay, is it slightly strange that I actually address my thoughts to my blog?  I guess no weirder than saying "dear diary".

21 June, 2010

Okay, slightly embarrassing...

Once upon a time, during a sleepover with a friend - gosh, ages ago now - we were chatting about crushes.  Well, actually, her crushes.  I said I didn't have any, which I realize now was entirely untrue.  I was too narrow, I thought having a "crush" meant actually liking a real person.  My dear friend, I deceived you.  I've had a crush on at least one person per year since the age of ten.  And, as penance, I will list them now.

10: Robin Hood

Why: Good tempered, funny, amazing archery skills, cool hat, and he's Robin Hood

11: Donald O'Conner (in Singin' In the Rain)

Why: The man is hilarious.  And he can run up a wall and do a backflip.  And can he dance.

12: Gene Kelly (also in Singin' in the Rain)

Why: He can dance (which feels like the understatement of the century, and probably is) and sing.

13: Prince Philip

Why: There are so many reasons. He dances, he sings, he rides an awesome horse, he has a sense of humor and the best hat ever, he actually does something scary and difficult to save dumb Beauty (he fights a dragon, for heaven's sake!) and he lives in a world where the bushes are squared.  I love him the best of all. 

14: Cary Elwes (In The Princess Bride)

Why: Because he's funny, can sword fight, has a mustache and puts up with stupid buttercup so nicely.

15: Mr. Darcy - Matthew Mcfadyen (in Pride and Prejudice) like every other teenage girl on earth

Why: He has an incredible speaking voice.  Like, amazing.  Plus, he looked decidedly tall in that movie. (Who knows how tall he is in real life.  Thankfully, I seldom deal with real life.)  And around that time I'd suddenly grown about six inches, so it was convenient.

16: Morhange (Les Choristes)

Why: Can the kid sing. Plus he's French, which is cool.  And still living, which is a bonus. A little troubled, which worried me, but at the time  I didn't care.  I'm sorry to say this attachment was somewhat short-lived.  Because:

17: Gregory Peck (In Roman Holiday) came along.

Why:  Just because.  He really needs no explanation.  Probably learning that he pretended to have his hand chopped off during the mouth of truth scene to spook Audrey Hepburn started it.  Any guy who would do that is cool. 

18: Peter O'Toole (in How to Steal a Million and real life)

 Why: He's unny, funny, funny. Gorgeous, smart in real life, won't mind if you accidentally shoot him, will help you burglarize museums. 

19: Cary Grant (in everything)

Why: sense of humor, for a short period of life worked as an acrobat in the circus, accent, general wonderfulness.

And who knows what my twenties will bring.

So there you are, friend of long ago.  The truth at last.

(P.S.  I do have crushes on regular people who are alive.  I just don't advertise them.  And I always know in my heart that Philip is ten million times better than any of them, so I never like them that much anyways. No point getting silly about people when I know I'm not ready to be silly forever, is there? And besides that, they're all shorter than me.  Which is a no-no.)

23 June:
Okay, I officially figured out who the crush of my twentieth year of life will be:

Jimmy Stewart.  Yep.
That's all I have to say.