Monday, December 6, 2010

yearning for my guidance

today went just like this, except no snow. or black cloak. or actual response. damn.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blanche Devereaux was my idol for like, six straight years.

Memories are like a still life painted by ten different student artists: some will be blue-based; others red; some will be as stark as Picasso and others as rich as Rembrandt; some will be foreshortened and others distant. Recollections are in the eye of the beholder; no two held up side by side will ever quite match.” –Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts

“There’s nothing wrong
with holding onto a memory
Sometimes, its all we have to hold onto.”
 –Golden Girls 

This is a quote by one of my favorite authors that came to mind when I was reading the pages of ethnographic reflection on the “intimate ethnography” conducted on Waterson and Rylko-Bauer’s parents. Memories have always been a particularly interesting concept to me because I have experienced a significant amount of loss in my short 21 years. I have always found refuge in pictures to recall memories and held onto memories because its okay if they’re all you have left to hold onto. Since Mom died two years ago, I have adopted the idea that a memory is yours, and only yours. There is significance in remembering details or events “incorrectly” because to you- it’s your own truth. Only your version really matters. 
I think a historian’s job is to collect accurate details, but an ethnographer’s main concern should be of the details conveyed by the subjects or the details witnessed first hand. There really is no true subjectivity. And I agree with these authors that this is where ethnography becomes art. To some degree, I think everyone has a significant story that they can offer regarding their unique life experiences and lessons learned. I believe this is one of the reasons why blogs have become so popular. The Internet offers a venue for a person to relay their memories, stories, advice, opinion, and photos to tell whoever wishes to read with very little likelihood of a harsh critique for “truthfulness” or accuracy. Of course there are blogs where truth plays a large role- for example a blog promoting a certain product for a business or a political blog would both require scrutiny for truth. However, the majority of blogs are just average people recording their thoughts and longing for their story to be told. In this, I am just like all the other bloggers out there, seeking validation, recourse or rejection for the thoughts I have and the things that I feel.

"And I tell myself that whoever says he has finished a painting is terribly arrogant. Finished means complete, perfect, and I am working hard without moving ahead, searching, feeling my way without achieving much..."
--Claude Monet

Saturday, November 27, 2010

thank you terror, thank you disillusionment, thank you frailty, thank you consequence, thank you CLARITY

As I was driving to a friend's family's house for thanksgiving, I was thinking, "What am I really thankful for?" Well, of course I am thankful for many things. Good health, my wonderful father, my amazing friends who keep me breathing, and for all of the hundreds of ways that I am so incredibly blessed. But as these words were sung over my speakers in my car, I had a large realization. 
I am most thankful for this journey.
And if I have to, I'll listen to these songs and read and re-read these quotes every day until I actually believe their words. It's my hope that my readers in similar uncertainty, help me thrive in this "delicious ambiguity" and find encouragement in the words of others who have been right here with us, plenty of times. 
I don't have it figured out, but that's perfectly fine.
Darling, nothing ever goes exactly how you planned it
I guess I've been here long enough to see
That time can be your dearest friend
Or time can be a bandit
When tomorrow changes into history
And oh my my, honey everybody dies
But you got, you got to see
That you can live your life walking in a straight line
But it's more than just A to B
Maybe it'll find you lying peaceful under blankets
Or bleeding at the bottom of the stairs
Oh but it's not when or how you go
It's life and what you make it
It's the traveling, not the road that gets you there.
(Matt Hires, A to B)

“Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity…” –gilda radner

Fall in love or fall in hate. Get inspired or be depressed. Ace a test or flunk a class. Make babies or make art. Speak the truth or lie and cheat. Dance on the tables or sit in the corner. Life is divine chaos. Embrace it. Forgive yourself. Breathe. And enjoy the ride

happiness  is a JOURNEY, not a destination. for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. -Souza 

i beg have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. do not search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. -rilke 

I'm broke but I'm happy, I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded, 
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful, baby
I feel drunk but I'm sober, I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless, I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm free but I'm focused,
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly, baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing,
I'm brave but I'm chicken shit,
I'm sick but I'm pretty, baby
What it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
but everything is gonna be fine, fine, fine.
'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a peace sign
And what it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
And what it all comes down to, my friends, yeah
Is that everything is just fine, fine, fine.
(Alanis Morissette, Hand In My Pocket)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

well, i hardly know sir. i've changed so many times since this morning.

female. daughter. American. Georgian. Southerner. young. white. UA student. Alabama fan. Beavers fan. photographer. scrapbooker. lover. fighter. sinner. saint. bitch. night owl. sorority sister. pledge sister. Church of Christ kid. friend. roommate. Kappa Alpha Theta. motherless. only child. music lover. Dave Matthews fanatic. traveler. planner. hunter. list-maker. organizer. leader. director. actress. choreographer. stage manager. surfer. pianist. dancer. learner. dog owner. Texan. fisherman. hunter. New College student. hard worker. artist. terrible driver. drinker. writer. private school student. girlfriend. ex girlfriend. enemy. Burt Show listener. liberal. consumer. runner. Daddy's girl. prochoice. Vice President Development. Steward. research assistant. volunteer. missionary. procrastinator. wine enthusiast. Facebooker. experimenter. intern. Greek. encourager. advisor. advisee. choeffer. teacher. motivator. non-athlete. movie-goer. swimmer. judicial board representative. believer. doubter. judge. advocator. Spanish speaker. thinker. over-analyzer. negotiator. journalist. secretary. scribe. helper. achiever. DREAMER. cousin. step grand daughter. grand daughter. niece. realist. pro bull shitter. tenent. Christian. law student? lawyer? wife? ex wife? mother? grand mother?business owner? homeowner? boss? EU citizen? Hertz preferred customer? "Million Miler"?
"whooOO are YOuuUU??"
"don't you think you ought to tell me WHOOO youUu are first?"

if you were to make a list of all the things you are, have been, and will be... how many of them would contradict each other? for more on this, see my first post.

Monday, November 22, 2010

melancholy procrastination

things i miss/am craving/NEED in my life right now
cappuccino con canela (Florence, Italy)
Agua de Sevilla (T de Triana- Sevilla, Spain)
Saturday errands with my Momma (Roswell, GA)
Patricia's jelly (Florence, Italy)
my Jetta that smelled like crayons
Nokia with Snake
student directing
the IMPACT-O-MATIC (Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN)
The Burt Show
Gerber Daisies
Triolade Milka Chocolate (Europe)
Lucian P. Smith (The Boys Next Door)
Girl Scout cookies with Sparkling White Grape Juice- perfect bad day cure
exec meetings crammed in the little office on the floor
being wildly-madly-cannot-breathe-in love
Mom's beef stroganoff 
95.5 the beat
coloring books
Almduler (Vienna, Austria)
The Roxy (Times Square, New York City, NY)
those peach flavored hard candies (Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, ATL)
scuba diving mesmerized while time is completely frozen
GAC macaroni and cheese
Sangria sailboat (Lagos, Portugal)
Lizzy's Honda with the bright colored lei 
snow piled so high outside you can make a huge snow fort (Salt Lake City, Utah)
pledge parties at Dexter's
sexy motherfucker (JJ's Cathedral- Florence, Italy)
Spanish sliding off my tongue like hard candy
Royal Red shrimp
making up our own choreography to Spice Girls and boy bands
Jodi Picoult book so good- you-can't put it down
ice skating birthday parties
croquettas (Spain)
the excitement waiting for AOL to dial up and make all those weird noises
afternoons hanging out in the GAC parking lot

"we are grown, but cannot see. lost our world of make-believe. simple times now seem so far... use to be in my backyard. yeah, the world was still in my backyard. but we are okay, we are alright. we sing very loud. yeah, we're singing, we are okay. we are alright. close our eyes, close our mouth yeah, we shut our eyes though we're in doubt. and so it goes, we can never seem to find the time we lost though we try at any cost. we try...but we are okay, we are alright. " -Joshua Radin, "We Are Okay"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

wine makes you feel funny. fast.

how i wish you could see the potential,
the potential of you. and me.
its like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read.
you gotta spend some time, love. 
you gotta spend some time with me.
and i know that you'll find: LOVE.
i will possess your heart.
-death cab for cutie

Friday, November 19, 2010

mirror, mirror on the wall...

should a-/ would a-/ could a....
in light of seeing 'Arry PoTTer, I'd like to request some magic. Yes. I WOULD like a crystal ball. and i WOULD like to pick up a journal that I so religiously recorded thoughts, drama, events, feelings, tears, frustrations, love, emotions and other randomness that I simply needed to see on paper in order to breathe, sleep and function and be able to hold it and magically flip to the page I am in need of reading OR, better yet, read pages that have not yet been written. Hermione, GET ON IT. You and your cute little British accent, figure it out. I picked up a journal from the summer off the shelf and read nothing that made me feel better, just things that made me feel worse. Funny The Way It Is. Since I saw Parachute live, this one particular line has been unbelievably glued to my soul from The Mess I Made, "i SHOULD have proudly claimed that all my head's to blame for all my heart's mistakes." I have no regrets, though, right? Isn't that what we always tell ourselves to make those "should a/would a/could a" thoughts to go away?
If anyone knows where to place the order for a crystal ball, that would be great. Then again if I were a King, if I had everything, if I had you and I could give you your dreams, if I were giant sized, on top of it all, then tell me what in the world would I go on for? If I had it all? Sometimes I feel lost, as a I pull you out like strings of memories wish I could weave them into you then I could figure the whole damn puzzle out. Then again... if I had it all, you know, I'd fuck it up.

Requesting some enlightenment, COULD I have been anyone other than me? Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes, but I work it out. I am WHO i AM, WHO am I??
What's the use in worrying? What's the use in hurrying...?

What's wrong with a Friday night staying in with a glass of wine, my to-do list and my six pound dog? This. Contemplation. But, lots of good music to back it all up. 
Alright unwritten unknown that lies ahead, I am one step closer. And I am excited to see what is coming next regardless of what is behind and what I am carrying with me on that journey, even if I don't know who or what that is just yet. Crystal-schmystal.

Words in blue are song titles I strongly recommend you looking into and italics are lyrics themselves.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

it's with a mischievous grin...

Sometimes I feel like I'm falling
Fall back again, fall back again,
Fall back again, fall back again 
Oh, life it seems a struggle between
What we see and what we do
I'm not going to change my ways
Just to please you or appease you
Hey, look at this crowd, five billion proud
Willing to punch it out
Right, wrong, weak, strong
Ashes to ashes all fall down
Oh, look around about this round
About this merry-go-round around
If at all God's gaze upon us falls
its with a mischievous grin, look at Him 
Forget about the reasons and
The treasons we are seeking
Forget about the notion that
Our emotions can be kept at bay
Forget about being guilty,
We are innocent instead
For soon we will all find our lives swept away
Oh, look at me in my fancy car
And my bank account
Oh, how I wish I could take it all down
to my grave
God knows I'd save and save
Take a look again, take a look again, 
the things you have collected
well in the end it all piles up to one big nothing
 one big nothing at all
Forget about the reasons and
The treasons we are seeking
Forget about the notion that your emotions can be
swept away, kept at bay
Forget about being guilty, we are innocent instead
For soon we will all find our lives swept away
You know how it is...
You seek up an emotion
your cup is overflowing
You seek up an emotion,
Sometimes your well is dry
You're looking for a monster
For him to fight your wars for you
But when he finds his way to you,
The devil's not going--ha, ha
Late at night a TV's hungry child
his belly swells
Well, for a price of a coke or a smoke
I could keep alive those hungry eyes
Take a look again, take a look again
Oh everyday things change but basically they stay the same
You seek up an emotion
your cup is overflowing
You seek up an emotion,
Sometimes your well is dry
You're looking for a monster
For him to fight your wars for you
But when he finds his way to you,
The devil's not going--ha ha haha

 In honor of my new plans to see Dave Matthews Band in a series of exciting spontaneous events, I would post some of my favorite and most thought-provoking lyrics. They mean something strong and profound to me, what do they mean to you?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

thanks for nothing python/rattlesnake stilettos

as i am sitting here bitching about my wrist hurting, kicking myself for letting something happen to my RIGHT hand in the first place (like Johnny Tremain) I decide to watch TV. 

Reasons why I love Discovery Health:
5. It's better than almost all the other crap on TV
4. I actually learn things like that hundreds of years ago there was a boy born with two heads who lived til he was four and died from a snake bite. And it stretches my mind, because i can't imagine being in these situations.
3. I see amazing people that save lives, undergo such hardships, are truly brilliant (I cant imagine passing chemistry much less doing brain surgery, so I really cannot imagine being the chief of neurosurgery at UCLA that performs a parasite twin operation) 
2. I am reminded of how blessed I am.
But most importantly, 
It forces me to shut up and be thankful.

So, take an hour or two out of your day to watch Discovery Health.
For more information on Manar- who inspired this particular post- go here: Manar video and here. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

uh, Dr I'm going to need a stronger painkiller. i wouldn't quite say this lortab is working.

MEDIOCRE is becoming a new favorite word.
i need more time staying at my apt. at least being here is less eventful.
i am thinking i may be on the borderline of a new phase before the "next" phase i was expecting in May. not certain about this, but i am excited, anxious, and open minded. 
so for all the drama, confusion, uncertainty and chaos of right now... i will let the fear in for five seconds then let it be gone. i will not run for the door. i have been an expert in both. but this time, i might like Kate say, "of course i will." after all, i'm not running now.
now if I can just find Jack Shephard to lead the herd in a chant of "live together, die alone."
watch the whole thing, but the good part is at the end.

fear is an odd thing.


sometimes things have to go wrong in order for you to gain appreciation for how perfectly it worked before.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

we should be rioting in the streets!

First, I'd like to begin with the exception that lies in the great program of New College, which I love very much and visibly see a difference in combating and recovering against many of the issues I am about to discuss.
Quotes are taken from the introduction and chapters 7 and 8 of Beer And Circus, found here. While inspiration has come from numerous discussions over the past two years in classes I've taken.

"This place is a four year party-- one long tailgater--with an $18,000 annual cover charge." -Junior at a large university

Reasons why my undergraduate degree is bullshit:
1. The Good Researcher = The Good Teacher Myth
Due to the notoriety, PR, and money that can be found in research for large universities, universities are seeking good researchers. Not good teachers. "Scholarly productivity and instructional effectiveness have less than 2 percent... in common." If all the professors are putting their energy and time into doing research... where do they do it? Because it sure as hell isn't in their offices.
2. The Sheer Numbers
Thanks to increasing capitalism, the growing number of students going TO college now, the gigantic class size and the diminishing teacher to student ratio the universities are attempting new methods of instruction. The lecture style of teaching is research-proven completely ineffective for the average student. Less than 25% of classes are actually taught by the tenured faculty members due to help from teachers that barely speak English, graduate assistants and "gypsies" who are nomadic professors who only hang around a particular university for a limited amount of time. This leads to essentially zero teacher-student interaction. "In a 1980 study, the Carnegie Foundation determined that at research universities, only 9 percent of the faculty spent more than eleven hours a week teaching undergraduates, whereas 65% logged less than ten hours a week in this endeavor, and 26% spent ZERO hours on undergraduate teaching (two decades later, there is even less classroom contact between faculty and undergraduates, particularly between faculty and nonhonors students)."
The college education is becoming less about the things students are learning and more about the "experience behind it all" such as the...
3. Beer And Circus: "many universities, because of their research and graduate programs, and because of their inability to provide quality undergraduate education to most of their students, spend increasing amounts of money on their athletic departments, and use big-time college sports--commercial entertainment around which many undergraduates organize their hyperactive social lives--to keep their students happy and distracted and the tuition dollars rolling in." The beer and circus is the party life associated with the sports (namely, football) that students perpetuate IS college.
4. Grade Inflation- the nonsense of a gpa, the teacher/ta discretion, and the pressure put on professors that not too many students can fail nor can a certain amount of students receive A's
5. Apathy- clearly caused by both students and faculty- the uninformed don't care, the informed either do care but feel powerless or don't care either.
6. Degree = "Hula Hoop"  jump through this one, get onto the next one. Now, a graduate degree is what the undergrad degree use to be, and a high school diploma is commonplace. Thank you two years of prerequisites for nothing. Thank you, two years of classes that have meant something to my future, maybe. ish.

So, what DOES the University value? Well, the flow. This working cycle. the influx. The students are still enrolling, the parents are pleased enough to pay the bill, the alumni are sending in checks, the locals are tailgating, and the PR is making it all look plain and dandy on the surface. the value comes in that its all working just fine.

I'd like to expand on some of the points above, and keep rambling about this new-found soapbox of mine while simultaneously advocating for small liberal arts programs such as New College, but I really need to get ready for my sorority cocktail party tonight... I have to do my hair, my makeup. But first, make a drink.
Time to switch to indie music and put on some rap to start the prega....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

shiny new public toilets.

Dad called me today to say that he had an article he wanted me to read from the LA Times about one of my top ten places in the entire world. A tradition, so close to my heart that has been in my family for roughly the past 18 years is lost forever.

This made me very, very sad. I am so incredibly thankful for all the great meals I had at Tavern On the Green and especially for these last ones, almost a year ago. And the last in 2007 with my Mom. 
Crazy how things change.
I cannot believe it is a food court now. 
As in, I literally cannot wrap my mind around it.
The economy certainly plays a role here, but I would really like to point a finger at that city park commissioner for this.
What a true loss. 
Look out Benepe when I am in NYC next, I am coming for you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

save ourselves and start again.

"california, california
know i love you california..." 
ahhh! finally a decision. one decision down 2990 more to go. but plane tickets are booked. ill be in the great LA for nine days. anddddd i just want it to be december 21. all things are suppose to be good in their time, but i really just want to be in california. meanwhile, i'll be drowning here in the south, in indecision and anticipation.
so california, won't you save a place for me?

Monday, November 8, 2010

what does sex really have to do with it?

"We're bound to wait all night. she's bound to run amuck. invested enough in it anyhow, to each his own... i don't know if I'm dead or not to anyone
come on and get the minimum, before you open up your eyes.
this army has so many heads to analyze
come on and get your overdose, collect it at the borderline...
cause they know and so do i
the high road is hard to find.
the detour in your new life
tell all of your friends goodbye.
the dawn to end all nights that's all we hoped it was.
a break from the warfare in your house  to each his own
and i don't know if the dead can talk to anyone...
its too late to change your mind. you let LOSS be your guide."
-The High Road, Broken Bells  
Well, this may not make any sense at all, but here it goes regardless. this is a post about fleeting relationships. I was asking a friend about his relationship with his sister and he said based off his life experience and moving around as a child something along the lines of "family is more significant than friends because no matter what, family has been there all along and seen you through every stage of your life. Unlike friends who will always come and go." I stared back blankly thinking, well, based on MY life experiences, EVERYONE comes and goes. 
I don't have this epic family with siblings who have seen my through my darkest days and my brightest. I had a lovely family.  And I have adjusted well, and I'm very proud of that. The loss I've experienced is not what the point is, but it is important in understanding why I so gravely grieve the loss of friends. Not returning phone calls, not making any effort to maintain a friendship that has seen so many memories and last years, complete apathy for something that means the world to me. 
Though I am far from perfect, and I understand that I have crazy stories, way too much drama surrounding me and perhaps ask for support that is not always easy to give, I have always given whole heartedly to all my friendships and for as long as I can. I am thinking all this boils down to categories perhaps "putting up with me" should be the title of one group- those who things are "good with" who I interact with regularly even if its on a volatile basis. Where "estranged"- those who have abandoned me or whom I have chosen to abandon, would be in another group. If they don't need me, why do I feel like I so badly need them?
At what point is new friendship normal, at what point is the old rhyme we were told, "make new friends but keep the old..." turn into tell the old goodbye, and you're sick of dealing with their bullshit? It's never suppose to be easy. But you're suppose to have silver AND gold. 
In the drama that has consumed a good portion of this year, I have realized that though I returned to this life and why I left the one I created in Spain was to return to these friendships I had spent four years building. I have been so disappointed. I have experienced similar disappointment every year in college and supposedly, you experience such pain to learn and grow in response. Clearly, I have learned little. I am confused.

It's a complicated web I have woven for myself. And I am sick of navigating all the cultural worlds and being X for person X and watching what I say about sensitive subject Y for person Y. An ex boyfriend that still knows how to make me feel worthless and wrong about everything I have stood for the last 15 years. I am tired of feeling alone, then claustrophobic, then dissatisfied then like I screwed it up, then like I am doing a great job. All these thoughts of relationships I am juggling, missing, enduring, giving to, wishing I still had, longing for to miraculously come along- it is exhausting.
A detour to "the high road" would be awesome about now.
So I finish this rant listening to, "Pull My Heart Away" by Jack Penate because "its not like my feet are stuck to the floor." and i just can't wait to get the hell out of this phase and move onto the next one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

identity crisis.

I wrote this in response to the question "Is Identity real?" after a series of discussions on identity, power, cultural capital, character and agency.
“Alex thought of all the parties she’d ever gone to where the first question she was asked was What do you do? as if that was enough to define you. Nobody ever asked you who you really were, because that changed. You might be a judge or a mother or a dreamer. You might be a loner or a visionary or a pessimist. You might be the victim, and you might be the bully. You could be the parent, and also the child. You might wound one day and heal the next.” –Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
            This is a quote I have saved in a growing document of favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors. What you do, who you know, what you like, etc IS enough to define you, but that doesn’t mean it should be.
I have decided that Identity is like a Subway sandwich. There is no “real” subway sandwich. Let’s say that your Subway sandwich favorite is the meatball sub. But in reality, every single Subway meatball sub is going to be different. It might be the same ingredients, but the person who made it is different, the Subway you bought it at is different, the ingredients were prepared differently or may even come from somewhere different.
            I made a laundry list of all the nouns and adjectives that I have ever been, am currently and could possibly be. I was surprised to see how many of those nouns directly contradicted themselves- a believer and a doubter, a student and a teacher, a girlfriend and an ex-girlfriend, an advice-giver and advice-receiver.
Identity is relative. Identity is evolving and changing. Identity is contextual. In part, your identity is your mold. The perception of your identity is more powerful than your performance because you are always either living up to it or trying to escape it. The nouns in my identity that I was, for example, a private school student, are just as important to my identity as the nouns I am currently and the nouns I will become. In one sense, I will no longer have “student” in my line as employment, but I will always be a learner and someone will always be teaching me. Perhaps the portions of my identity from my past are more relevant than the portions in my present… they both play significant roles in where my identity is going to be in the future.
Some of the words I wrote down I realized were arguable depending on who saw the list. For example, to someone who doesn’t drink, is a former alcoholic or is against drinking- I could be considered a borderline alcoholic. To most college students, I don’t drink enough. Does that mean I am a borderline alcoholic or a college student? I wrote down “drinker” just to settle my internal dispute. In this sense, identity is extremely sensitive to perception and opinion in terms of the degree. This makes the importance of the perception that much more powerful.
This laundry list I created coexists simultaneously meaning something different in each different context and time, meaning something different to everyone who knows you, including yourself. So yes, its “real,” but its abstract, fleeting, and constantly changing.