16 November, 2011

Nov 1st

I missed Unawareness Day.  I'm so disappointed in myself right now.  Totally forgot to celebrate it.

Which, in a funny kind of way, is appropriate.

15 November, 2011

Welcome to the world, my child.

The other day I went to a concert with a buddy.   And it was, as I told my somewhat bewildered companion afterwards, "a night of epiphanies."


1.  I am 21 years old.  I am a woman.  I am basically an adult (though not necessarily a grown-up).

2. It doesn't matter that I've never heard of the Pixies.  It doesn't matter that I don't know any of these indie bands.  It doesn't matter that I'm not cool.  I don't have to prop up my self-esteem up by thinking twiddly little things like, "oh, well, I probably know way more about Jane Austen than they do," because it just doesn't matter.  (And it might not be true.  Someday I might meet a person who knows more.  I won't say it's impossible, just highly unlikely.)

3. One of the benefits of being out of the loop (see above) is that I get to experience things for the first time as a fairly sentient adult.  This is super fun.

4. I'm doing the right thing, majoring in art.  Choosing a major has been a long, horrifying drama, and every once in a while I still have an angst fest about it all.  But I finally think I'm sure now.  For realz.  I can do good things for the world with this degree.  Going on the dole seems to be the career prospect that would await me if I followed any other path.  And as much as I love to say, "on the dole", doing good things for the world might be more enjoyable. 

5. I can't wait for my life to start anymore.  I can't wait to become things or see things or eat things.  Someday I will get old and won't be able to learn new tricks, flying will be too tiring and my taste buds will be dead.  I need to go now!  I can't wait to make things until after college, when I've supposedly "learned how."  I might get a piano dropped on me tomorrow!  Up! Quick! 

 I swear I listened to the music.

12 November, 2011


1.  Food prep people are not required, at least in my state, to wear gloves.  From what I understand, Subway introduced public glove-wearing to the food prep world, and many businesses have found that they must follow suit or deal with grouchy customers. Many, but not all.

2. If you think something tastes exactly like the stuff you buy from the store, it means that it probably is the stuff you buy from the store.  The only difference is that it is being served to you on a plate and costs four times as much.

3.  Food prep people may be smart outside the workplace, but something snaps in their brains and they become machines on the job. This is why deviations from the standard way of making things seem so absurdly difficult for food prep people to get.  They are.  When you have made fifty sandwiches one way, it is difficult to force your appendages to make it differently.

3b.  As a result, it is always best to chose the item you don't need to change over the one you do.  For instance, say you are trying to decide between a grilled cheese served as-is, and a burger which you will require without the onion, ketchup, lettuce, meat, and pickles.  With the grilled cheese, you have a 87.62 percent chance of having a pleasant, spit-free meal.  With the burger, however, that percentage plummets to a mere 46.52 percent chance. Take your choice.

4. There is no such thing as truly fresh.

04 November, 2011

Questions of the moment:

Okay, but what is anti-folk?

How long is too long in texting?

Why are bad words bad?  How did they get bad?

How is Yellowstone park's seismic health?  Last I read, one side of a lake was bulging ominously.

Where can I find the acrylic paint incantation that I need to be saying to make the actual painting process work?

Is there some complex facet of microevolution that I am overlooking, or is it actually as straightforward as it seems?

How do the French decide the gender of words?

What is the point of fake tanning?

Are my mechanical pencils magical?  What other explanation can there be for the whole "they never run out!" thing?

25 October, 2011

And the winner is... Uh...

So.  Remember the rather mortifying post, my dear blog, in which I listed the crushes of years past?  I added to the list when I turned 20 - but the 21 addition is long overdue.  Because I have a problem:  I don't have one this year.  I mean, I can come up with possibles, but there isn't an obvious choice - and that's the point.  I didn't even have to think when I listed the others, because when I went mad for them.  I didn't have to sit around going "I think I like so-and-so."  I just went mad.

But, here are the nominees.

1. Anthony Michael Hall, circa 1985
Appeal:  Funny. Awkward.
Problems:  He was probably shorter than me, definitely thinner, and I'm growing out of pathetic boys.  Thank heaven.

3. Adrien Brody
Appeal: Fantastic head.  I could look at his strange head all day.
Problems: He sounds like he's a method actor, which would be too weird.  What if he played a psycho murderer?  He might strangle or stab me.  And I think he might be too short.

4. Ian McShane in Sky West and Crooked.
Appeal: He was quite good-looking, and a gypsy, and (in the movie) falls in love with a nutcase, which makes my chances good.  And even though the film is way over the top, he still manages to be cool.
Problems:  Now he's, like, old.  And - this is a side question - why does he look so short now?  He seems about five foot in Pirates of the Caribbean, but normal-tall in this movie.  Did the man shrink?  Or did they just load him down with so much stuff - beads and hats and coats and things - in that last Pirates movie that it makes him look shorter than he really is?  I mean, he's gained a bit of weight (who hasn't? That's what I say), but how could it change the way you look on screen that much?

I've got a few more I could add, but it already feels like I'm stretching it here.  There's still a good many months till my 22nd birthday, but I'm getting worried.  What will I do if I don't have a defining 21-year-old crush to look back on when I'm old and drooling?

Sudden thought! Maybe I am becoming a mature, sensible, non-silly person and outgrowing film crushes!  What a strange idea.  It is going to take me some time to get used to this, I can tell you.

24 October, 2011

my glue gun lies cold

Every once in a while, I have an angst fest about the imaginary lives of other people.  In my mind, other people spend all their time making art and songs and poems, instead of (as I do in my real life) watching cruddy comedies from the seventies on Netflix.  And youtube videos.  And reading facebook profiles of such mind-numbing inanity (is that a word?) that I have to resist the urge to smash my head repeatedly against the table top.  Why do I even do Facebook?

But.  Anyways.

I feel bad that the urge to create, if I have it, is so lazy about its job. It ought to be telling me that the time wasting I indulge in is... um, a waste of time. Why is it not arresting my hand as it moves towards my laptop and turning it towards, like, yarn?  Or something, you know, with arty potential?

Urge to create, you're fired.

23 October, 2011


DOWNSIDE: Early in your studies, the work is extremely tedious.   Presumably, projects where we actually have to use some, you know, creativity will come along.  But right now it's "make a perfect cross-section of two colors using the (perfect) 7-step value scale you did two weeks ago and have probably lost by now, you disorganized kid, you." After figuring out what on earth a cross-section of two colors is supposed to be, you actually have to paint the thing.  Basically, it was making different shades of a color match the values of a white to black grayscale.  Did that explanation actually help at all? I'm feeling doubtful.

Tip I wish I'd known 1:
When dealing with color value projects, holding your laptop precariously above your desk and using photobooth's black and white effect will save your life.   It is extremely difficult - at least, for me - to tell when you've got a yellow and a purple at the same value level.  Black and white pictures solve that problem.
The downside of using this handy tip is that it makes it clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that half your paint squares are wrong.  Which leads to the second downside.

The end result of that mess up there.  Some of it is still wrong, but I don't care. 
DOWNSIDE: Apathy.  When you, for example, use photobooth to photograph your project, you will find that at least half of it is wrong, and apathy sets in.  For a while, the desire to fix things, for perfection, will drive re-do's.  But, at a certain point, you stop caring.  Breaking into the not-caring zone is a bit of a relief, but it's also not entirely positive.

DOWNSIDE:  Even if you, by some miracle, retain your drive to attain perfection, you can never have it.  At least, not when you're working with cheap-o acrylic paint. See photo above.

DOWNSIDE:  I know that each major or field of study has it's own tricky bits.  But I think I can safely claim that art has the most potential for technical mishaps.  Meticulous execution and spotless presentation are required - in projects involving paint.  Paint.  And tape that pulls bits of paper off the surface of your illustration board after you've finished the project.

DOWNSIDE:  Your clothes get ruined.  You are never clean again.  I found paint behind my ear the other day.

DOWNSIDE:  You ingest things you should not.

Do you see the danger here?  It's unspeakably easy for your preoccupied brain to allow your hand to put a nice, painty brush into your tea cup.  Also, I tend to hold things in my mouth.  Using the old choppers to hold onto a pen is alright, but when you're sticking paintbrushes in there, things can get unpleasant very, very quickly. And grown-up paint isn't non-toxic.  If I'm dead tomorrow, Mom, this is why.  I tremble to think of the day when I start using turpentine.

DOWNSIDE:  You have to hear people rave about art that's about "the process" and "kinetic energy" and "a return to child-like enjoyment of mark-making".  If someone says to you, "oh, we should go to this show, it's all about the process of kinetic mark-making," run.  I mean, unless you like giant pages of scribbles or prints made by scraping things across wood.  Personally, I loathe that sort of art.  I think it's ridiculous.  I DON'T CARE about the artist's process.  I wasn't there when he made the silly thing.  Why does his process matter to me?  It's a cop-out, really.  Nobody judges a film or book by the process they didn't see and weren't a part of - they look at the results.   As you can see, this makes me get a little bit worked up.

But, I can't really just leave it like this.  As exhausted and grouchy as I may be now, I still have to admit that there are upsides.


UPSIDE:  You get to say you're an art student.  Even if you're to be the most boring, technical web-design person on earth, while in school you get to say you're studying art.  Which definitely ups your cool factor.

UPSIDE: You can wear weird things.  This can make up for the inconvenience of ruined clothes.  So far, my jacket, sweatshirt, black v-neck, polka-dot pajama pants and white tank top have been irreparably splattered, smeared, or spotted with paint.  But, because I can shrug and look embarrassed and say "I'm an art student" if anyone mentions it, it doesn't matter.  Though, I think the tank top is a goner.  It's got a big smear of red-violet which, now that it has dried, looks like a giant stab wound.

UPSIDE: You get to listen to your ipod in class.

UPSIDE:  I'm beginning to feel like a problem-solving god.  That's what you do, really.  Solve problems.  For example, every week for 2-D design, I have to represent the same item (one of my high-tops, to be precise) in a new way that corresponds with the things we're studying.  "How do I represent my shoe?" is a fairly simple problem I have to solve every week.  It sounds silly, but knowing I can get down to business and do a project is empowering. I feel like I can tackle almost anything.  Except taxes and flat tires.

UPSIDE: The people are weird.  Marvelously entertaining.  And you have to wonder how they decided to study ceramics or blacksmithing.

UPSDE:  You get to buy stuff at Art Outfitters (a wondrous place) instead of Textbook Brokers.

UPSIDE: In spite of the frustration, long hours (3:30 am is the current record for agonizingly late bedtimes), weeping and gnashing of teeth, it's pretty fun.

So I guess the ecstasy balances out the agony, in the end.
Bad joke.

16 September, 2011

please print name

A couple of weeks ago I asked my parents, in a nonchalant, lazy manner, "Hey, could I maybe, like, move my drawing table up to the wood room* and make it, like, maybe a craft room or something?"
Don't be fooled as my poor parents were by the offhand air this question exudes. It was a carefully calculated sentence.  To go into the intricacies of it would take far too long, but the main points I tried to get across were:
1. "could I" I was careful not to use the word "we" - thereby implying that I would do all the work.
2. A craft room.  Having a craft room has always been my mother's most heartfelt desire.  Whether my definition of "craft room" and hers were completely in alignment was a question I did not raise.

And you know what?  The poor dears agreed.  Muwah ha ha ha haaaaaaaa.

I asked, again casually, if I could put up decorations.

And again the poor dears agreed.

This particular piece of decor is actually a torture device.

I mean.  What kind of sadists are these Schaum people?  First they fill their books with hideous illustrations that are physically painful for the visually sensitive child to behold.  Then they force the already hurting children to play songs like "Penguin Polka" and "Hot Dog."  "Hot Dog" had particularly charming lyrics which, if I remember rightly, ran something like:

Frankfurter sandwich
Hot dog!
Spread on the relish
Hot Dog!
Let's have another 
Hot Dog!
Frankfurter sandwich 
Hot Dog!

My mother and sister would sing and perform an interpretive dance when I practiced this particular song.  And they honestly wonder why I quit piano.

I took a picture of this black portfolio because it is a sort of symbolic thingy, don't you know.  I paid 27 bucks for it, which for stoney broke me is a fortune, and it's the only attractive portfolio I've ever seen - and when I was contemplating the purchase I said nervously to my sister, "But if I buy it I can't change my major." I don't know why she laughed.  It's perfectly true.  Because of this black portfolio, I am stuck as an art major whether I like it or not.   You can't buy a nice portfolio and then switch majors.  It makes you a pretentious moron if you do.  And that is a lethal combination.

And here we have an enormous desk, on which is the homework I am supposed to be doing.
So.  That's that.  I spend almost all my time in here.  It's very nice.

*This is the only room in the house that has wood floors.  In a moment of mental abstraction (Miss Prism) I called it the wood room, and the name has stuck.  Gah.  It's not even very easy to say.  And I have yet to think of a better name.   I'm trying, but drawing a blank.  "The studio" sounds moronic and pretentious, nobody appreciated a sort-of Dr. Seuss/hotel/school plan to call this "room 1" and the guest bedroom "room 2", and I'm out of naming steam.

01 September, 2011

I wish I actually, like, composed posts thoughtfully instead of going me me blah blah band I like blah blah. But oh well.


So... I still like my school.  How weird is that?  So far, I've only met one moderate creeper, two weird-talkers (those people who whine about things semi-under their breath apparently to no one - and also sort of to everyone within hearing distance at the same time.  And if if you make eye contact you just know they will talk to you.  You know the type I mean?), and one foot jiggler who also makes moist noises with some part of their face. I didn't look to see which part because I didn't want to know.
But besides that - and that's not even bad at all - the people have been truly delightful.   Though, I have noticed that at least 90 percent of the guys are shorter than me.  Dash it, at least 90 percent of the men in Arkansas are shorter than me.  I'm not kidding.  The male portion of the population is just abnormally diminutive.

Citizens!  Hark! A new law has been enacted as of right now forbidding short women from marrying tall men, because then tall women have to marry short men and consequently feel like galumping giants for the rest of their lives! So! That's all!

Actually, I don't care that much.  I'm going to marry Adrien Brody, so it doesn't matter.

Anyways.  I like my French class, and considering my woeful encounters with French classes in years gone by, it feels like little short of a miracle.  My drawing class is getting better - we had to draw the negative space around a chair today, which was challenging and very good for me.  2-D design is even harder, but I worship my tattooed teacher, and am going to work my rear off.  My art history teacher is possibly the most tactful woman on earth.  The most boneheaded remarks you can possibly think of?  Not a problem! She manages to disagree without actually saying so in so many words.

I need to keep chanting, "it's okay to be a beginner" to myself every time I feel like flinging inanimate objects.  A beginner at art, a beginner at reading the Bible - just a beginner. "Ohmigosh I need to be reading, like, Augustine's Confessions and sketching magnificently every hour of the day!"  Seems to be my internal monologue on a regular basis.  And that's just not fair to my poor self.  I'm taking basic classes and I'm a newbie Christian - I've got to give myself some grace.  And I've got to get you into my lie-eef!

Well... I did my French homework, so I'm going to bed.  

* If I ever wanted to be a real art student and got the obligatory tattoo...

20 August, 2011

Good heavens.

Now I understand.

If I made movies, I hope they would look half as perfect as this one did.

18 August, 2011

the kids are alright

Okay! I have something to add to my band daydream of the other day.  I knew what I wanted to do with myself - now I know how I want myself to look, too.  I'll be a complete person before you know it.

I have been listening to an awful lot of the Who lately (I've sung la-la-la-la-la-la lies - just that bit of the song - about eight hundred times today), and then there was this editorial in vogue, and I've wanted a Vespa for forever (though mom says, "I couldn't convince my dad and you can't convince me.  We both scraped too many motorcyclists off the side of the road.") - so I have decided to become sort of a mod.
It's the exact sort of clothes I like, and I'd get to have a scooter and be scornful of people who get drunk.  It's perfect.

I just want to look like that.  That's all.

The only possible problems I can forsee are:
1. I do not have the figure for A-line or boxy clothes, and I'm not likely to get it anytime soon.
2. I do not plan to engage in the whole "recreational amphetamine use" thing.  I need sleep.  I'm trying to think up a way of changing that line from Captain America (which I have seen twice and enjoyed thoroughly both times - have I mentioned that?), "a weak man knows the value of strength" into something to do with insomniacs appreciating sleep, but I can't.  I'm too tired.  Har har, what a bad joke.
3. I don't want to get into fights or be an existentialist.

But otherwise I think it will be fantastic. It's quite convenient that The Who is sort of a mods band, because I have the feeling that I'm about to go slightly mad for them.
It's like the time when I got my ukulele.  All of a sudden, ukuleles were all over the place - in a magazine article, on youtube, at church, at school - and I took it as a sort of collective sign.   This time I bought The Who's first album, and was googling Vespas, and then I got the September Vogue and - pow! - there was a whole editorial on mods called "My Generation".   It all adds up.

11 August, 2011

the real question is, will I ever write a post that is actually about something?

Hello!  It's been a while, hasn't it?

1. Okay, this house is so distracting.  I get almost nothing done.  The apartment was so depressing that you had to get out and do things and go the library all the time for the sake of your sanity.  Now I just sit on the deck and maybe play ukulele and wham-o! All the sudden it's eleven thirty and my teeth aren't even brushed for pete's sake!

2. There are a zillion things I would like to take pictures of in the yard and house and boast about on here, but it's eleven thirty and I'm too tired.

3. Again, this house is distracting.  I don't even want to watch movies anymore.  Or, if I do, I have to wait till it's really dark or the bugs are snacking on me rather too greedily.  I want to be outside all the time.

4. However, Cee and I went and saw Captain America the other day and shrieked for a bit afterwards.  I'm taking dad to see it this weekend, hopefully.  We can't pin down exactly why it was so enjoyable.  I think because the main guy wasn't a jerk.  In a lot of other hero movies the guy has to learn to be good.  You like him in spite of yourself because he's funny, but you know he's a turd.  Captain America was a nice, honorable guy from the get-go.

5.  I don't know why, but when I see actors from, like, a Poirot TV movie or BBC mini-series on the big, big screen, I feel ridiculously proud and happy.  I whacked poor Cee in the arm twice during Captain America for Richard Armitage (the tooth-cruncher) and JJ Feild (the British guy in the bad-guy's-lair-demo-team).  I also sort of whispered in a very shrill voice, "Richard Armitage is going to be Thorin in The Hobbit! Augh! But doesn't he seem way tall?"  I know, I know, they'll make him look shorter.  But I just can't see it right now. He just is tall in my head.  JJ Feild I knew as Simon Doyle in Death on the Nile.   He was  good in that, actually.  Rather the way I always saw the character in my head.

6.  I stayed up till two watching Wives and Daughters the other night.  I am more than ever convinced that all British actors must all know each other.  I mean, just one example:  Keely Hawes (Cynthia Kirkpatrick) is married to Matthew MacFadyen.  They met through MI-5.  He played Mr. Darcy in the new Pride and Prejudice - along with Rosamund Pike and Tom Hollander, who were both in Wives and Daughters as well.  And remember that Poirot I talked about?  Well,  Barbara Flynn (Miss Browning of Wives and Daughters) was also in it with Emily Blunt, who was in The Young Victoria with Rupert Friend who dated Keira Knightley for forever.  And Keira Knightley was in Pride and Prejudice with both Rosamund Pike and Tom Hollander.  I mean!  And I've been talking about fairly obvious examples involving big-name people who do franchises and big-screen stuff.  Don't even get me started on the people who rotate through all the Masterpiece Theatre movies.  If the Masterpiece Theatre people don't exchange Christmas cards and go to each others' kids' birthday parties, I would eat a soft hat if I owned one.

7.  I am, obviously, the logic master of the world.  See #6 for proof, baby.

8. Also, I am great because I took the time to put all the movie titles in italics.

9. I need to go to bed.  Several times today I found myself trying to stuff my purse into the refrigerator.

10. Good night.

26 July, 2011

ramble ramble happy ramble

Help, help! I'm going to a group interview tomorrow! What the heck is a group interview anyways?  It seems sort of stupid to me. (But please don't tell the prospective employers I said so, because I really do want this job.  I think)  There'll be fifteen of us going round in a circle all saying the same thing.  Dad also says there will be a conversation hog who will look like a fool.  I hope I'm not the hog.  I don't really see how I could be.  Ugh.
Well, life goes on.  I will wear my bright pink jeans and try to be my charming, friendly self.   And if I don't get it I really won't be crushed.

"So," she said, with a cool toss of her well-kept head of silky blonde hair and a casual shrug of her elegant shoulders, "we are moving into the new house in... what is it? Oh, yes, two days.  I'm sure it will be fine."

Yeah.  Back to reality land.

I guess I'm getting excited.  You would too if you were moving from very small apartment with a charming prospect across dying grass to three dead, abandoned air conditioning units, glinting in the sunlight, to a comparatively spacious house with bedrooms for all and 150 feet of lake front to call it's own.  Trust me, you would be too.
Do I sound like an insufferable gloater?   Perhaps I am.  But I would like to say that this is beyond anything we ever dreamed we'd get and definitely beyond anything we deserve.  I feel guilty, sometimes, for being so happy when so much bad is happening elsewhere in the world.  But getting depressed and wallowing over things and forgetting the blessings I've got has never helped anyone, I think.  When I'm really honest - tell myself to shut up and stop stubbornly indulging in mopes - I find that every day, every moment can be completely new.  Which sounds like absolute drivel, but is actually true.   I always have a chance to get over myself and get up and do something worthwhile.  Over the past few days, nerd that I am, I've thought several times of that speech Sam gives in the Lord of the Rings movie.  You know, "...the ones that really mattered."  Giving in isn't the answer - where will the people who have suffered have to go when they eventually get out?  Doesn't make much sense, I know, but I'm doing stream of consciousness writing and being very deep and therefore you must take me very seriously.

What a soppy person I am becoming.  But oh well.  I'm happy, happy, happy.  I hope we have one of those always-open houses, with pots of people in and out all the time.  We have a room to put people up in, which is a first for us.  A new frontier, indeed.

22 July, 2011

Okay, I have to shriek for a second.

Why, why, WHY did I never go to Comic-Con when I actually LIVED in San Diego?!  WHY? I lived there for forever!  GAAAAAAAA!

Thanks for listening, blog.

Brett Helquist went to BYU
Apparently, if I want to become a great illustrator or animator, I have to go to BYU.  Because EVERYBODY went to BYU.  About half of the freakishly cool artist blogs I follow belong to people who went to or are going to BYU.  It a shame that going to BYU would be, um, rather awkward for me.   I would like to have such great drawing skills.
OH MY GOSH!  EVEN NAPOLEON CAME FROM BYU! BYU alumni are taking over the world and making it cool! Agh!

I like to say BYU and use exclamation points! I'm going to go read something now! Good night!

11 July, 2011


(This is a whine. You have been warned.)

1. Offering to teach British Lit to my poor, trusting little sister.  I've mentioned once or twice before that I am profoundly unqualified for the job.  Now that I've used up almost the entire summer watching Gaudy Night and Lady in the Water*, and am consequently scrambling to put everything together, the realization of how completely inadequate my feeble murmurs about Paradise Lost will actually be when compared to good, sound pieces of scholarship has sort of plopped on me in one large mass of despair, like the blob.   I'm telling myself that if I behave in a very confident, businesslike way, there's a good chance she won't notice that I don't actually know anything.  My college British lit teacher might have been a total moron - but he was so sure of himself, and wore such nice Oxford don hats that I accepted every word as gospel.  

2. Declaring that I will read (or at least finish) a book a day for a year. Only a true fool would do such a thing.

3. Giving up sugar and bread for a week.  I can't.  I'm addicted and I accept it, and now I would just like to get on with life and eat Nutella and toast, thank you.

4. I should never tell people I have nothing to do with myself.  Kelsey, LISTEN. DO NOT do this ever again.  When you do, people send you to ludicrously early doctor appointments and you find yourself taking care of small children.  I really don't understand why people trust me with their children or pets or anything they value.  I wear sweaters backwards on a regular basis.  This afternoon, for instance.

5. Vowing not to buy any more music until I have learned the words to all the songs I've already got - and also get very familiar with the instrumental ones as well.  This is going to be embarrassing, but:

990 - soundtracks
120 - jazz
155 - The Beatles
1,538 - everything else
Grand total: 2,803 songs

I probably know - and I mean really know - somewhere around a third of that amount.  Nobody on earth except maybe Karl Lagerfeld has an excuse not to know the music they own.  And it seems silly for even Lagerfeld to buy so much. 

5. Also vowing that I will not check out any more library books until I've read all the un-read books I own.  Why did I even buy some of this stuff?  It all looks very nice and learned on the shelves, but they must change in transit - because when I've got them off the shelves and open, they've magically become boring. 

There are more, trust me.  But now I'm going to go do something fun.  Take a bath or read Shakespeare and the Invention of the Human.  Woof.  

(*You can probably guess which one I liked more.  I did admire Bryce Dallas Howard's blonde eyelashes, but I think I've watched Gaudy Night at least four times now.  I really am trying to give that M. Night guy a chance, but all the films I've seen have been let-downs.  I'm contemplating giving The Village a view.  The only thing is, I am a huge chicken.  To give you an idea of the level of wimpy-ness I have sunk to - I have to close my eyes when Gollum comes onscreen in Lord of the Rings. So will The Village scare me completely out of my mind? What about Signs or the Haley Joel Osment one, for that matter? It's hard to want to risk it when happier things are out and about.)

09 July, 2011

a volcanic ensemble

Moderate adoration.  Or maybe not moderate.  What can I say, the man oozes personality. 

Everybody is getting married right and left.  A friend and an acquaintance, both twenty years old, got hitched within the past couple of weeks.  (Not to each other.) What's the deal?  I didn't realize I would reach the proverbial age when all my friends would begin trotting down the aisle quite so soon.  Do people usually get married at 20?  Maybe these cider in lieu of champagne marriages are more widespread than I was aware.  21 and unmarried seems to make me practically an old maid.  

I'm trying to write my diary every day, and have also recently decided (like, as in this afternoon) to try to read a book every day, or at least finish one a day.   I think it's doable.  How is that a word?  Doable.  Is my spell check weak or something?

The internet is boring me right now.  I go online, delete emails from Teen Vogue, scan a weary eye over my Facebook page, read blogs - and then just sit there.  I feel like there's this super fun thing to do online that keeps my friends glued to it, but I don't know what it is.  I also feel like there is some secret site where all the cool people in the world go and talk about cool stuff together, and make themselves even cooler.  And it's called 

Could somebody kindly direct me to this site?  I mean, it has to be out there.   Some people I know could not be as cool as they are without some kind of outside help.  It just isn't possible.   Is it like a club?  If you people would let me join I would be very grateful and admiring and stumble over myself to write nice comments.  Or wait! Maybe I won't because that wouldn't be cool.  Aloofness is often deemed cool, from what I've observed.  This learning to be cool, studying for coolness, if you will, is certainly a tricky business. 

This actually used to bother me a lot more than it does now - but lately I've taken to embroidering "As My Whimsey Takes Me" on hankies, and it takes my mind off of it. 

No joke. Getting rather obsessed, what? Almost embarrassin', don't you know!

(Later edit: Ugh.  Is this too weird of me? No weirder than people slobbering over pictures of Johnny Depp on their blogs, right?  I'm just showing my adoration for Dorothy Sayers in a rather peculiar manner, that's all.)

I'm feeling a bit inferior right now.  Everyone is funnier and nicer and better at writing and taking pictures than I am.  But, oddly, I'm not too depressed by it.  It's an okay feeling of inferiority.  Like, I'm busy admiring the awesome people, and not so worried about myself.  I read some F. Scott Fitzgerald the other day, and even though I knew I would never be able to write like that, and the stories themselves were depressing, I didn't get mopey at all.  Felt very good, actually.  Just last year The Bell Jar was making me batty.  It's getting better all the time. I used to get mad at my school (Now I can't complain!) The teachers who taught me weren't cool...
Sorry. Lost control of myself there.  Writing singing down is almost impossible.  It just doesn't work in this (ahem!) medium.

I don't know why I expect greatness from myself.  I've never tried writing, so I don't see why I should get all depressed when I can't conjure up some fabulous poem out of the air with a flick of the wrist.  I'm quite happy being a nice ordinary egg.  

28 June, 2011

I'm sure there's some Ben Franklin quote that would just be a killer post title for this.

When I someday make my thunderous slide into financial ruin, I will at least have things to read and listen to on the way down.  And I won't have to blame something vague and confusing like the stock market. (Which hopefully means that I will never have to learn anything about the stock market.  The only reason I would do so is if I wanted to complain to people about how it did me wrong.)  I'll just point a long, bony finger to the bookcase and the ipod and the whole story will be told.  I am the most gluttonous book and music buyer I have ever met.   I never want to find out how much money I have spent on music downloads.  Never, never, never.  Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I could have had a car instead would make me feel too guilty.  I like my happy ignorance.
I don't know why I feel more guilty about buying music than I do about buying books.  If the books and music I own were sort of graphed together, it would clearly show that the music has got more use.  I guess I feel less guilty because books can theoretically make me smarter.  The music I listen to can only boost my self-esteem a bit, give me tinnitus and make my brain cells burst in tiny, multi-colored explosions.  (According to Bill Bryson, you only get one lump of brain cells - and they don't get re-made or replaced.  So I really don't have any to spare for math.  I need all the cells I can get for other things.  It's vitally important.)
I would like to say that I am making a solemn vow to knot the purse strings and be frugal from now on.   No more five dollar amazon albums for you, Kelsey! Put down that paperback!  But the honest truth is, I don't feel particularly repentant. At all.  

Wait a moment, I thought I felt... No, not a bit. 

Now that I can practically smell my own room approaching (29 days to closing), I have decided to recommend a bit of prudence to myself.  Just suggested it.  You know, avoid buying tatty paperbacks of The Complete Works of Sophocles just because I know I ought to read it, and instead go for things I know I will read for sure.  Right now my bookcase gives off a much stronger aura of well-read girl than I actually deserve - I've bought stacks of learned looking paperbacks en masse at sales and never got around to reading them.  Shameful, but there it is. 

So, when I go to the library sale this weekend, I solemnly swear that I will not to grab every book I see, nor will I purchase any of the dubious "surprise" boxes that I know, deep down, will mostly contain murderously boring old textbooks.  I swear.  Or may I be chopped up and made into soup. 

I must impose some moderation.  Otherwise it's all going to end in some sort of turn on the body in the library theme. 

06 June, 2011

books about death and crime, mostly

Hey, my dashboard changed! My hands are flapping about in a helpless manner. This feels weird. Unsettled whimperings.

I started reading Rebecca this evening - whoo boy.  Danvers has just taken her on the horrible tour of Rebecca's room.  The atmosphere is incredible.  I'm sure a lot of people probably say they relate to the main character - but I'm going to say so too.  Maybe because she's young and awkward, I just see a great deal of similarity between us.  I feel a bit desperate to please people sometimes, and I bump into things and hide from people.  Schoolgirlish, self-concious. And I'm not good about clothes and hair and things like that.
Maybe I'm in a morbid kind of mood or something, but I'm getting terribly wrapped up in the story.  I need to see the movie after this.  I think Hitchcock is almost the only person who could have got the particular feel of this book right in a film.  It sometimes seems like he's driving off fumes, if you know what I mean.   He can put a fat lot of sinister thoughts into your head with a quite remarkably tiny pinch of scary images.  (Of course, I'm saying only he could have done Rebecca right and I haven't seen it, but I'm basing this bold and completely un-researched assertion on the feel I've gotten from the Hitchcock films I have seen.  And didn't it get an academy award?  The only one he got?  Or am I making this up?)

Okay, I have an awesome life.
Last night I went to a meeting of the Orient Express book club at Barnes and Noble.  Oh yes.  On the way there, I decided that I wanted it to be either:
1. So horrible that it was funny
2. Young-ish people obviously reading scary psycho books, so I would know after getting a peek at them that I shouldn't even sit down
3. Or actually good.  Pleasantly geeky

It was the latter.  They're all at least fifty years old, and have been meeting for twelve years.  They were very friendly.  The leader lady told me that they read for pleasure - don't dissect things (yessss!).  They go to mystery dinner theatre shows.  The leader asked me if I'd read any mystery books lately, and I mentioned Dorothy Sayers.  "Oh, which version of him do you like better?" She asked me.  And - get this - I KNEW WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT!  I felt like a genius.  (To explain - when Dorothy Sayers wrote Lord Peter Wimsey, she made him a cross between Bertie Wooster and Fred Astaire and intended to do a few books and then marry him off and be done.  But, from what I've read, she got attached to him and, in the later books, made him a more complete character.  Some people like the early, more Bertie Wooster LPW more than the more human later one. I don't know which I like better.  From a pure, shallow enjoyment standpoint, the Bertie Wooster version is more fun.  But I am hugely attached to the more human version too.  So I don't know.  That's what I said to the leader lady.)

I am so going again.  I have to find a mystery book involving some sort of royal personage.  The club reads books by topic, so you don't have to buy anything.  Nice, I think.  It's a sort of title-swop, I suppose.

Also, I am reading A Short History of Nearly Everything.  You already know, dear blog, that I adore - worship - Bill Bryson.  I have dithered about how hilarious and witty he is, and how I feel well-traveled and somewhat brainier when I come away from his books.  Now, I can say (with incredulity) that he is actually capable of making me take an interest in science.  Or at least make me want to keep reading a very long book about it.  Right now I'm reading a bit about how Yellowstone park is basically one enormous volcano. (The sort that look like a champagne glass below the surface, from what I understand.  The name begins with a c and sounds like caldera or something similar.)  From the hints he is giving, I think we will probably all die if it blows.  Oh well.  At least it would be quick and exciting, what?

31 May, 2011

happy birthday to me.

I'm 21 now.  Big surprise, I feel the same.


 Yes.  That's what you think it is.  A magnificent, if petite cookie decorated by professional cookie decorator me (as a sort of birthday gift to myself) in honor of towel day.  Sadly, it did not make it to the 25th.  I ate it in an airport in Houston, because keeping it un-smashed on the plane was just too hard.  And I can't not eat cookies.

16 May, 2011

what's all this about lonely gods?

Feeling rather dithery today.  Probably been reading for too long, if that's possible.

How important is it that I investigate Doctor Who?  I have a vague feeling that I would like it if I did look into it.  The people I know who like it also list The Hitchhiker's Guide and Monty Python as favorites - both of which I happen to adore.  Plus I wouldn't feel so left out when my mates have these sort of doctor who worship fests on facebook.

What will I do after I've finished all the Lord Peter Wimsey books? I've only got two more. Read the 23 other books I checked out from the library, I suppose.  But it will be a little sad.  What a delightful couple of weeks of reading it has been, what?

Will I ever have a good French class?  So far it's been 2-0, baddies decidedly winning.  The bummer is, I really do want to learn French.  I know I'm missing clues when Poirot says things in French. Unfair, that's what I call it.

This weekend, I spent about three hours on wikipedia, looking up alcoholic beverages.  I did this, she hastily explained, because I read a lot of books where people get themselves a drink, or toddle over to the bar, or offer their guests refreshment, about every three pages.  And I never, EVER know what the drinks really are or what they're supposed to look like.  Well, I should say I never used to know - I do now.  I drew little pictures of the drinks I come across about most often (brandy, sherry, whiskey and sodas, etc. in their appropriate glasses, thank you very much!) and then painted them in appropriate colors.   I'm positively bursting with information.  Port, for instance, is just wine that comes from Portugal.  How totally understandable and logical is that?  I always thought port was something quite different than wine.  And Madeira - also wine - just has to come from the Madeira islands.  I finally get why they use a snifter - though I will never understand why they had to give the glass such a silly name. I always thought it was just affectation, holding a glass that way.

Anyways, I think I am going to make a whole set of charts about things in books.  I like to picture what I'm reading very accurately, as you can see.
So far, I've thought to look up:

Types of noses
Difficult foods.  The sort characters get at fancy restaurants, I mean.
Jane Austen attire and miscellany
The more obscure types of furniture.  I can guess what a hip bath looks like, but I'd rather know.
Possibly, if I am very brave, a less pictorial chart about levels of English nobility and all that.  It wouldn't be fun but it would be very helpful
Particular types of facial differences - ears, for instance - that detectives use when identifying people/bodies

I'm sure I'll think of more.
On the subject of obscure information, I also looked up gunshot residue the other day, and read some very interesting things.  I wanted to know if people could conceivably fake suicides these days, the way they do in Agatha Christie novels.  It seems like it would be pretty darn hard nowadays, with all the tests I'm sure the cops have at their disposal.  The only way it could work is, obviously,  if you managed to get some of residue on the dead person's hand - and the only really safe way I could think of doing that is by getting them to shoot the gun earlier in the day.  For example, pretend there's a party at a country house and Lord so and so has just bought a new gun or is slightly eccentric and makes reproduction pistols in his attic. If everybody is cajoled into shooting the thing, you would have realistic residue on your future corpse's hand.

Oh. My. Gosh.  Am I really this insane?  I'm not planning to murder anybody, I promise. I just wondered.

Er... I think I'm going to go for a walk.

15 May, 2011

new men

The day before Easter, I became a Christian for realz.
So there you go. Yahoo.

I feel like dear old Lord Peter (yes, I am obsessed at the moment), minus the exceedingly good brains, tendency to reckless driving and endless wealth.  He's says he's not such a fool as he looks - I hope I'm more serious than I seem.  I tend to laugh at myself all the time, and consequently have trouble taking, or presenting myself seriously. Even telling my parents about this was a difficult, stammering affair. (Though, why I was so nervous I don't know.  They were dears about it, and I didn't get a bit embarrassed.)  But I am rather serious about this, though bursting with happiness at the same time.  It's a different kind of laughter.


I've been one of those sad little "cultural Christians" for years.  Going to church, singing songs and feeling like a sham all the time.  I'm glad I'm done with all that. I look back in my diary and see the old me, a big blob of hopelessness and self-obsession.  I'm sorry I lived like that for so long.  If a person had really looked at me and said, "she is a Christian", Christianity would not have looked very nice or satisfying.

It seemed strange, when I first really started trying to turn my focus towards God, trying and praying that I could begin to die to myself, that life suddenly became much simpler and less stressful.  Though, now I think about why it's less stressful, it makes sense. I worry less about finding the ideal job (which, deep down, I know doesn't exist) because I know - and I mean know - that if my purpose is to glorify God, it doesn't matter much where I am so long as I'm doing it the best I can.  Finding the best way, or the place that will best facilitate living out that purpose is the question. I suppose it's one of the questions Christians should never stop asking themselves.  Certainly, I'd like and I ought to try to find a job I enjoy where I can use the talents I've been given - but if I became a paraplegic tomorrow, my purpose wouldn't change.  My life would not be ruined.
I am very satisfied.  Weirdly, exhilaratingly so.
I know saying I must, " die to myself" is very easy, and doing it is very hard.  But I also know I will waste my life if I don't try.

One thing's for sure - when writers talk about how, after you become a Christian and really try to buckle down and live like one, you begin to realize fully how messed up you are.  At least, it has happened to me.  Trying to be good has shown me how grouchy, snappish, gossipy and spiteful I really am.  It's heartbreaking.  I get into the most terrible fusses over the most ridiculous things.  Something breaks or is ruined or I gain two pounds, and I go around like a thundercloud, not only making myself more and more unhappy, but trying to make those around me uncomfortable too.  I fell that people ought to be much more sorry for me than they are.  I hate being passed over or forgotten.
I still turn into a monster when little things upset me.  But I'm recognizing it much more quickly, and apologizing when I hurt people.  I'm trying, though I know I need to try harder.

C.S. Lewis is marvelous.
"I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond.  One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke."

06 May, 2011

broadway always wears a smile

It's been a while, has not it?  It feels so good to stretch my narcissistic blog muscles again.

SO! I turned 18 during Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or whatever that monstrosity was called - guess what I will be watching when I turn 21?  (Puts on posh British accent while doing foofy hand-motions) The American Ballet Theatre performing Giselle.  Yes!  How infinitely chic-er can you get? (I must be very tired, because I almost made some very, very bad, pun-laden jokes about the leap - see? - from bad movie to good ballet.)  We are going to New York and Boston for an actual, real vacation.  We NEVER go on vacation.  We always go to something - a speech tournament, Aunt Nancy's birthday - and pretend that it is a vacation.   I have to pretend pretty hard sometimes.

Anyways, I'm dreadfully excited.  In Boston we are going to see John Williams directing the Boston Pops.  My dear sister almost pees her pants when she thinks about it.  She wants to make movie music for a living, and he's her favorite composer.  When I think about Boston, I also get very excited because after three years of waiting, I will finally be able to buy a sweatshirt with Harvard on it, spelled phonetically.

In New York we are also going to see (triumphant horn blow!) How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  Well, Dad and I are going to see How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - Mom and Cee are going to see Daniel Radcliffe.

Because I must burn off this excitement or I will never go to sleep, here is a small pictorial representation of what this trip will be:


I like New York very much.

Okay, right now I am going to think of every song I can... um... think of that mentions New York.

"New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!"
"Autumn in New York, something something ah something..."
"NYC, just got here this morning! Three buck, two bags, one me!"
"I guess the Lord must be in New York City..."

Oh dear. This is bad.  One of the songs is from Annie, for crying out loud! Think, Kelsey!
Do songs like "the Lady is a Tramp" and "Uptown Girl" and that rap that says something about Tribeca count?  New York is implied...

Oh! oh! on a side note, I've read like five Dorothy Sayers novels this week.  Lord Peter Wimsey's piffle is just so delightful, I can't seem to stop.

I read somewhere that Christopher Paolini is digging a hobbit house in his backyard.  I would almost - almost - write and ask if that's true.  Because that's just great.

On the subject of hobbits, the guy who played Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie is going to be perfect as Bilbo.  The man can say, "I need a cuppa tea" with such believable passion... he's going to be a dead cert.

These side notes were meant to distract the reader away from the fact that I know four measly songs off the top of my head that directly mention New York.  Pathetic.

10 April, 2011


I can't go to sleep.  I wish I did something productive when I'm up like this.  Apparently the Owl City guy started making his music at night when he couldn't sleep, and now he's probably a zillionaire.  I've got to find something.  Music is, unfortunately, not an option.  Hmm.

We saw Hanna this afternoon and I keep expecting to find Tom Hollander in a lilac track suit waiting menacingly behind the bathroom door.  I liked it.  I think.  I know I liked her hair, if nothing else.  How shallow of me.

By the way, I went to school for an advising appointment and met the head of the art dept. the other day.  Nice old chap.  Doubt you're interested, but I'd like to mention that this fall they're starting a BFA program in studio art.  Yeah.  I'm pretty jazzed about that.  Seems like, I don't know, PERFECT TIMING?  Yesssss.

Well, I'm going to bed now.  Goodnight moon.

29 March, 2011


Facebook is very boring to me right now.  The internet in general is not filling my heart with joy these days.  (Though it is worth pointing out that the internet has never filled my heart with joy.  The internet has sucked away many hours of my life in a happy, mindless blur is a more accurate description.)

Had a very feminine chat at work with the boss about weight and how much we'd like to loose and how she wishes she looked like me and I wish I looked like her.  I felt very normal and girly for a bit there.  I never have those sort of chats, you know.

Feeling drab.  Although I must say, I actually like my hair right now.  Finally I think I have a semi-flattering cut.  Wouldn't it be nice if, at the age of 20, I got my grooming act together?  I'd like to be somewhat in control of my appearance by the time I turn 21. Which is in May.  Gah.

I feel like the year whizzed by.  Really.  Like I was just whining about turning twenty, and here I am on the brink of true, alcoholic adulthood.  It's all very distressing. I was somewhat consoled yesterday when a guy in my history class said, "You're like 17, aren't you?" He might have been exaggerating or fibbing or misled by my naive behavior and general clumbsiness or something, but it still made me feel better.  Why I should be glad not to look my age is a question I honestly can't answer.  I don't feel old enough to be twenty - I guess I'm just glad I don't look it either.

So! Here's something good and solid - I am going in for an advising appointment at my soon to be uni on monday.  Big-time planning of my future will, I think, be on the agenda.
You, my dear blog, know as much as anybody how I've struggled over choosing a major.  You've lent a weary ear many a time to my whining on the subject.  My knickers, to use a slightly vulgar but completely appropriate phrase, have been in a twist over it for about five years.  I don't want to get all pomp and ceremony about this, but I think I finally know what I'm going to do.  Art - illustration emphasis probably. Might double major in English because I practically have the degree already and want to take English classes anyways.  A French minor is under consideration.
So... yep. That's the plan.


18 March, 2011

These trees are everywhere here in old Ar-Kansas. They were much lovelier in real life than they look here.  If only I wanted to learn how to use cameras.  I'm sorry to say that lenses and f-stops do no interest me in the least.

This is our first Arkansas spring.  Lovely, so far.  I think I like seasons very much.  

A lot of things are swirling around in my head right now, good and bad.  I want to whine and blather, but have decided to consider the pear trees instead.  

12 March, 2011


"When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping, and the mask falls, so that the real person appears."

07 March, 2011

I want to be here:

That's all, really.  I'm dying to go to an evening Latin lesson or take a ukulele class.  Why, why, why was I not born in England?

06 March, 2011

My sister is going to be a movie star or something.  
This is her formal dress and - can you believe this? - my mom sewed it.  In these rather crummy pics, she was trying it on for the first time.  You should have seen it when it was finished and pressed.

How classy is this kid?  16, and she wants a dress like this. The formal has a hollywood theme, and Cee decided she wanted to do a sort of Audrey Hepburn dress.  She drew a picture and they found a pattern that matched.  The white part is actually the top of dress E from the pattern, the black is dress C. Mom figured out how to mix the two together.  You should see it up close - it looks like a piece of couture.  The lining is incredible.  I am so in awe of her sweet sewing skills.  She's made some awesome halloween costumes for us - but this goes way, way beyond my Annie dress and Cee's Sandy suit.

I'm wickedly excited to see what my sister is like in about five years.  She's about a million times classier and smarter than I was at her age.  Darn cool is she.  Cooler shall she become.  (I wrote that in a Yoda voice, by the way.  I'm sort of appalled that "Yoda" doesn't bother my spell check, but "Beatles" does.)
I'm lucky to be her sister.  Plus, if she becomes a movie star, I can be a hanger-on in her entourage and attain one of my old career dreams.  Yessss.

04 March, 2011

Buddy Holly

Why: He had a charming head, and wrote lots of very catchy songs like, "Everyday."  He also was a big influence for the young Beatles.  That's a solid reason to be grateful that someone existed right there.

I would like to emulate this famous person's creativity and style.  I like the funny way he sings.  I also like his teeth, though I already emulate him in that area. 

A rather painful confession. This is going to be a lot of talking.

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."  C.S. Lewis

I've been reading Mere Christianity these past couple of days.  I could dither happily about a hundred different things I got out of it, but right now I'd like to talk about ME.  Because I never, ever talk about MYSELF on here.

I promise not to whine about once a week on here, to no avail.  Every once in a while, I go through and delete a lot of sulky, meaningless posts that I've written. I do not enjoy the whiny side of my character.  I don't want to see the self-centred part.  But it is still very much there.

 I worry about what others think of me.  I worry that I am not interesting or original.  C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, says that vanity, always looking for the approval of others is rather pathetic, but that at least the vain person still retains some humanity because they still care about what other people think of them (as opposed to a prideful person who finds himself so fine that he doesn't care what others think).  I agree, but I'm not sure that I fall into this "humble fault" category anymore.

I compare myself to others obsessively.  It's ruining my life.  I get all despondent - "Oh, I'll never be any good at this" - and decide not to even try.  I get all worked up about how I'm stuck in a rut and don't actually move anywhere as a result.  Worry does nothing good for me.

So, I am seriously, SERIOUSLY going to try (praying like mad) to change this particular part of my character.  If anything will pull me down in life, this is it.

This is rather minor, but I think one way I can take a step in the right direction is by using this blog as a place to talk about things I enjoy.  Things outside myself, as opposed to imagined inferiorities within.  I would much rather read a blog about music or books or crazy things that happen at somebody's job (it's like a soap opera, I'm telling you) than the rather greasy whining of some lower-middle-class American who is being held back by nothing but her own timidity.

The other day, at a church thingy, a lovely, lovely woman told me (in her adorable broken English), "My son, he worked at an oil refinery.  He would come home just covered... black.  But one day, his boss saw him and told him to come talk at his office.  So my son goes.  And they say they will pay for him to go to college.  He was forty years old.  Now he train the new workers." Then she asked me how old I was.  She looked at me, and held out a hand. "Twenty? You have the world in the palm of your hand. You don't worry about what will happen.  You get wherever you are meant to go."

03 March, 2011

famous people I am fond of

Have recently been doodling pictures of people I admire.  I'm igeneration, I will share.  I'm also going to say why I like the person.

William Shakespeare

Why:  He wrote stuff like "two star-cross'd lovers, take their life" "Oh brave new world" and other similarly famous and pleasant things.  He wrote characters like King Lear and Hamlet that are difficult and interesting. He wrote plays, like Twelfth Night, which are funny.  Also, reading his work is rather challenging, which makes it more fun when you get it.  Also, when you get it, you can feel very superior and mock actors who obviously don't understand what they're saying.

I would like to emulate this famous person's writing skills.  I would like to be able to understand the human mind as well as he seemed to do.  I would also like to be good at poetry.