29 March 2009

Gerard Manley Hopkins -- The Candle Indoors

SOME candle clear burns somewhere I come by.
I muse at how its being puts blissful back
With yellowy moisture mild night’s blear-all black,
Or to-fro tender trambeams truckle at the eye.

By that window what task what fingers ply,

I plod wondering, a-wanting, just for lack
Of answer the eagerer a-wanting Jessy or Jack
There God to aggrándise, God to glorify.—

Come you indoors, come home; your fading fire
Mend first and vital candle in close heart’s vault:
You there are master, do your own desire;

What hinders? Are you beam-blind, yet to a fault
In a neighbour deft-handed? Are you that liar
And, cast by conscience out, spendsavour salt?

26 March 2009

Woot. Woot.

I did something today that I've been meaning to do for some time.

I put my Westmont alum license plate frame on my car.

Bought a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies after work.
I also did my laundry (incl. bed sheets!)
Ran errands for two hours
Rented two movies
Spent at least an hour browsing CalArts' theatre website
Bought lots of fruit and veggies for a yummy dinner
Sang along to a lovely jazz playlist I put together about a year and a half ago but rarely listen to

And I felt happy...

It seems to be a rarer emotion for me nowadays. I did things today. I didn't just sit around staring at the air (or random fb pages).

Did I mention that I have the house to myself this weekend? My mom and sister went to Colorado for the weekend (they are thinking about moving to Colorado -- crazy!), where they were promptly met by a blizzard. I think I feel happier because as much as I love my mom, I don't like living here. Because she still likes me to check in with her when it comes to my whereabouts. And in general I feel guilty for forgetting to take out the trash. I just need a little independence.

I like this song. It makes me want to fall in love. Or go to Paris. However, considering past experiences -- it's probably better that I go to Paris.

I'm tired. Goodnight.

25 March 2009

hmmmm

Now that we have a president in office who is more technologically literate there are interesting things happening, like a blog, YouTube vids, etc. One that has recently captured my attention is this Open For Questions business. My first reaction is that this is a really cool idea! You can ask the President questions and also vote on which questions you want to hear answers about and he'll actually answer them. Wow. Impressive, right?

Except for one thing. You have to create an account (as if I wasn't already signed up for a hundred other things that I didn't really want). Call me paranoid, but I feel like this is one more way that the government is able to keep tabs on us. A username, password, email address, zip code and IP address. Hmmm. Standard for pretty much every site.

I understand that signing up for an account with Open For Questions helps moderate the site and keeps spammers away. That's a very legit reason. And why is it that I feel a little uncertain about signing up with just my zip code and email when a couple handfuls of websites have my home address and PayPal, Amazon, eBay, Kiva and a number of other sites all have my credit card numbers? Do I even need to go into the whole debacle of the ridiculous copyright rules of posting photos on facebook or the fact that almost every college student in America probably lists their cell phone number too?

We, Americans, protect our privacy almost religiously, yet we give our information quite freely to the internet. Compare us to other countries, say the UK, where billions of pounds are spent every year on CCTV, and it doesn't seem quite as odd. The average person in the UK may be caught on camera 300 times a day.

And then we blog. Letting some of the most private thoughts out in the open, hoping that one person will comment and say "I agree with you!" as if that really justifies our existence in the world.

Strange we become when given this medium of global communication.

24 March 2009

a multiple choice final exam

A Westmont Liberal Arts education is good for:

a) Getting a job.
b) Finding a husband and/or wife.
c) Conversation at a cocktail party.
d) Going into debt.
e) Boxing with kangaroos in the Outback.

Let's hear it for the boys!

Here is a lovely article from the New York Times about the gender politics of Jane Austen fans:
...it’s useful to ponder the way our ideas of the masculinity or femininity of works of fiction can change over time. For example, I was surprised to learn a few weeks ago, while researching a story on Jane Austen monster mashups, that until fairly recently the Bardess of Basingstoke was regarded as pretty much for the boys.

“There is a pattern throughout the Victorian period and into the modern era that sees the great English statesmen and literati and gentlemen scholars manifesting their devotion to Austen by reading her novels over and over,” Deidre Lynch, a professor at the University of Toronto who has written extensively on Austen devotees, told me in an e-mail message.

Benjamin Disraeli read “Pride and Prejudice” 17 times, and Matthew Arnold and John Henry Newman read “Mansfield Park” every year. The historian Thomas Babbington Macaulay read Austen obsessively and, as a colonial administrator in India, wrote letters home comparing various colleagues to characters in “Emma” and “Pride and Prejudice.” None of them are known to have covered the books in plain brown paper.

In fact, Lynch points out, the term “Janeite” — today used somewhat derisively to refer to Austen’s besotted female fans — came into usage in the 1890s thanks to men who wore it like a badge of honor. Kipling’s 1923 story “The Janeites” was about a platoon of British soldiers who use Austen talk to distract themselves from the horror of the trenches. And here’s E. M. Forster, coming out as a “Jane Austenite” in 1924:

I am a Jane Austenite, and therefore slightly imbecile about Jane Austen. My fatuous expression, and airs of personal immunity — how ill they sit on the face, say, of a Stevensonian! But Jane Austen is so different. She is my favorite author! I read and reread, the mouth open and the mind closed. Shut up in measureless content, I greet her by the name of most kind hostess, while criticism slumbers.

On the distaff side of the library, women readers were often much less enthusiastic. Charlotte Brönte, Lynch says, bridled when George Henry Lewes (George Eliot’s paramour) kept pushing the novels on her. “Why do you like Miss Austen so very much? I am puzzled on this point.”

The heroine of “Troy Chimneys,” Margaret Kennedy’s 1953 historical novel set in the Regency, offered one possible explanation. When the male hero keeps pressing “Mansfield Park” and “Emma” on a lady he knows, she pushes back, arguing that the books, however entertaining, ended up keeping her, well, in the house. Austen’s “greatest admirers,” she says, “will always be men, I believe. For, when they have had enough of the parlor, they may walk out, you know, and we cannot.”

But by the mid-20th century, Austen had become identified as a women’s author. Lynch points to a 1947 usage cited in the O.E.D. that suggests that the question of the Janeite’s gender was starting to make people nervous:

Men as masculine as Scott and Kipling have been Janeites and have been enthralled by her sly humor and fidelity to reality.

As opposed to the awesome clothes and swoony subplots? Next time I go whaling, I’m taking Jane.

22 March 2009

Two sizes too small

I wonder...what hurts more?

Having your heart broken.

Or

Having someone who you'd trust with your life tell you that you really aren't "the closest" of friends.


Both are shocking, both hurt.
And then your heart shrinks just a little bit more.
Like the Grinch.

i heart John Galliano





19 March 2009

James and the Giant Liturgical Calendar

Solitude and community.
Faith and deeds.
Humility and wisdom.
There is none without the other.
Keeping that tongue in check.

"Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do." That's what he says. But what do I actually do? What have I done? But what have I done for my brothers and sisters?

Why does the church sacrifice one thing for another? When I was at an Episcopal church I reveled in the holy act of Communion, the spoken words of liturgy passed down for centuries, and the calming environment that actually gave my mind focus for prayer.
When I'm at an evangelical church, I love the worship songs that bang and crash against my chest and give me tears, the preaching of the gospel Jesus' blood is the sacrifice Jesus did this for you Jesus' love, and the amazing insight of the pastor into the Scripture.
Why must we sacrifice good Biblical teaching for tradition and vice versa? There is an either/or mentality I've discovered within the denominations. I want to take Communion with wine, feel convicted by a Biblical sermon, say the Nicene Creed, have more community than just a handshake and a good morning, cross myself for the Father Son and Holy Spirit, and Christus Primatum Tenens always.

But where is your faith without deeds? What are your deeds without faith? Shouldn't we take some advice from James and recognize the both/and of living a life for God?

16 March 2009

pedochlophobia

I'm not sure if that is an actual word, but I'm starting it right now.

Pedophobia: fear of children
Ochlophobia: fear of large crowds

Therefore, pedochlophobia would be a fear of large crowds of children, which might be what I have been suffering from for the past year and probably still do.

It was last year that I worked at Cold Spring School day care whilst babysitting rich Montecito children wherever I could find them just to pay my rent before I went to Israel. And it was then that I began a sort of disgust for children in general. I know that sounds harsh, but if you had to deal with the crap that I dealt with from these kids...ay, Dios mio.

Recently, I've come around. This past year, I've spent plenty of time questioning whether or not I even wanted to have children if I ever got married. But now I'm thinking that I do. I know that I can't handle having any kids any time soon, because I'm not willing to make that kind of life sacrifice yet. I'm going to grad school and I'd like a few years of theatre experience under my belt before I'd make that kind of commitment to teach another human being how to live and grow. It's the teaching soul within me that wants to instill some ideology in a young brain. Just not a classroom of young brains. I'd shoot myself in the foot before I'd attempt that. And in all likelihood, any ideology I'd instill in a young brain would eventually be rejected in favor of the newer ideas that he/she discovered while in college. At least that's what happened to me, well, mostly. But this is a multi-faceted issue. There's also a fear of completely screwing up the child. There's the fear that my possible husband would screw up my child and I would be powerless to do anything about it. There's a fear of having a child who enjoys disobedience.

But a fear of large crowds of children. That is still there. I will never willingly step foot onto an elementary school campus for many many years. I like kids when there's just one or two of them because they are cute that way. But anything more than that and I want to run away. Maybe like a fear of responsibility?

In other news: Kelly Clarkson's new album is FANTASTIC. Ryan Tedder co-wrote a couple songs with her (like my favorite "Already Gone") and produced a good chunk of the album. I am in love with Ryan Tedder's music, so it makes me very very happy. Katy Perry also wrote two of the songs on the album. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but they are pretty catchy tunes, like most of her stuff.

09 March 2009

that which we call red by any other name


I often like to ask people what their favorite alcoholic drinks are. I think it says something about the person. I don't know what it says, but it's more like an intuitive knowledge about a person.

I have two favorites: Pinot Noir and Sour Apple Martinis.

I like Appletinis because they taste so good and they are so sweet. And there's an emotional tie because it was the first drink my sister bought for me as a 21 year old.

I like Pinot Noir because...because it's smooth. It's not overly tangy like some reds. It has more fruit flavors to savor, especially in comparison to Cabernet. The good Pinots are simply fantastic beyond comprehension.

What's your favorite?

07 March 2009

get a clue

Clueless is on TV right now and I feel inspired to post on it.



Clueless is a 1990's modern take on Jane Austen's novel, Emma. Being an avid Jane Austen fan, you would think that upon hearing that Emma was being turned into a story about a snobby girl from Beverly Hills who has a revolving closet and says "like" more an encyclopedia of similes, that I would be completely horrified. Yet, I'm not. In fact, I think that this particular movie adaptation of an Austen novel is probably one of the better ones out there. Why?

What Clueless does that other Jane Austen movie do not always succeed at:
  • It does not severely deviate away from the basic plot and characters
  • It keeps with the spirit of the story
  • It remembers to not take itself too seriously. Jane Austen is FUNNY
  • The screenplay is actually well-written
I have no idea how accurate this movie is to the experience of a 16-year-old girl from Beverly Hills. To me, this movie seems like an exaggeration of the experience, mostly for humorous purposes. I think the comparison between Cher and Emma works very well though. Emma is a very rich 21-year-old woman who has nothing better to do but meddle in everyone else's business. Similarly, Cher meddles in her friends' and teachers' lives. She is used to getting her way simply because she's got money and cute face, which means people rarely deny her what she wants. Cher and Emma also have a simply character arc where they are humbled by someone pointing out their flaws. That recognition that they aren't perfect and they don't have an answer to everything is what makes their story irresistible, because there are times when you seriously can't stand them at the beginning.

03 March 2009

Love is all you need

Love, love, love. All you need is love.

I'm having trouble writing the opening monologue to Ace II in Love Me Dead. The opening monologue to Act I is all about love and Shakespeare and the multiplicity of it. How it's basically just everywhere. And I need an opener to Act II because it will help the flow of the play.

So I decided to read my journals from last year as research. I don't think I can read them anymore tonight. There's too much pain.

I feel like I have only really truly loved once in my life. And that is because I really loved him, not a love from afar, or an illusion. I knew him and I loved him. Like a river, calm, deep and peaceful. But I kept going in further til the current got too strong and pulled me under. If I hadn't been trying to stand in the middle on my own, I would've stayed upright. It seems my lot in life is to find myself in over my head without someone next to me, to hold to tight and we keep each other afloat.

The pain isn't about lost love, it's lost Lynne. Lost love I've dealt with, I've healed. But there was so much shit that I went through after it. I feel lost after so many months of not dealing with my shit because I didn't know how.

So here I am world. Bitter, jaded, and wholly pessimistic about the goodness of the human spirit. Guess what, dad? The rejection I feel from you won tonight.

So when James says: "I really don’t think you should spend time with her. She’s the kind of girl who manipulates others just for the fun of it. She’ll sink her claws into you if you let her. You don’t know how she can get inside your head." --I actually know someone who treated me like that.

And that's me when Roxy says: "Fine, walk away. That’s all men are good for. Running away when the pressure’s on."

And it's really Lynne when Phoebe says "It happens to every relationship. Someone doesn’t live up to the other’s expectations. You fight about stupid things til you can’t stand each other and you break up, leaving more wounded than when you started. "

Looks like I broke my promise. I thought this blog might be something more than just a venue for my emotional shit. I promised myself to write vague sounding poetry instead.

Poetry: 3
Emotional shit: 1

So I guess I'm winning, even though I broke it?