Thursday, March 29, 2012

art in unexpected places

sometimes you find art in the most unexpected places.  like these words from a cotton commercial.  or this painting by andrew wyeth, which i first saw so unexpectedly as i rounded a corner in the national gallery.  took my breath away.

i'm on a huge design kick right now, busily marrying all my favorite quotes to all my favorite pictures.  if i'd have known in high school when i was all into writing notes and making up new handwriting styles and doodling all over everything that i could actually turn all that into a career, the last seven years of my life would have taken a very different direction.  maybe it's for the best.  because oh how i have loved the direction they have taken.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

have a story-worthy week:

{title of post from "The Moth" podcast.
one of the best ways to learn how to tell stories is to listen religiously to this podcast.  
if you don't know The Moth, go here and download it, or set up iTunes to download it automatically (and for free!).  it's one of my favorite listening pastimes.  
the above quote is from the Chicago GrandSlam part 1, just fyi.  
and my favorite recent episode?  
Andrew Solomon, "A Time of Hope."  
it is about music and art and all musicians and artists and those who love either of those things need to 

Monday, March 26, 2012

. . . . .

you went left
i went right
as the moon hung proud and bright

{mumford & sons}

thing that changed my life today

how long this has been a feature, i know not.  i know only that today, gmail, you've won my heart.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

teenage boy bands

i started the morning with a little aqualung, then arcade fire, and then dissatisfaction.  the aforementioned bands are my big-girl, twenty-something reluctant hipster grad student music.  and today, it just wasn't doing it for me.

then i remembered that this existed:

ladies, do you remember this?!  then, do you remember when you found out they were from england, and hence infinitum times more irresistible?  (i was by a pool in salt lake city with my brother when i found out.  yes, this is one of those few memories of my youth that i have held onto for some reason.  perhaps that's pathetic. (shoulder shrug))

all i'm saying is every now and then you just need a little 90's boy band music.  and this morning was one of those now and thens.  after bbmak, of course i listened to backstreet:

i think it's safe to say we were all there for "i want it that way," but not everyone was around for their resurgence...2005 was it?  

at any rate, all this boy-band-listening reminds me of a beautiful (truly. beautiful.) video sister camille (also truly. beautiful.) showed me when she came for the weekend.  you must watch it or you won't get how cool it is.  do it.  cast aside your snooty "i'm over teenage boy bands" attitude and embrace the joy that only five teenage boys singing and dancing and jumping around can create:


i like this video for ohsomany reasons:
1) cardigans, suspenders, maroon pants, shirts buttoned to the top button.  listen up, boys of america, this is where fashion will be in six months.  get on board.
2) pompadour.  need i say more?
3) ummmmm, is that HAMPSTEAD HEATH they're playing on?!
4) big ben big ben big ben!  (not to mention nelson's column, the national gallery of art, st. paul's cathedral, millennium bridge (aka: the harry potter bridge), big ben at night........etcetera..........)
5) buskkkkking! which thing i love for two reasons: first, because some busking-dude sang "it's now or never" to me and some friends on westminster bridge. and second because mark my words, as soon as the weather gets nice, i am going to busk!
6) another reason: how completely self-indulgent the concept of this video is: "let's get a bunch of shots of girls wanting to take their picture with us while we wander the streets of london, amassing hundreds of people as we walk!"
7) and tangentially how completely happy they are to be singing about whatever it is they're singing about (who even knows?).  i mean, these boys are seeping exuberance.
8) oh and i love that my friend andrea is in it (2:42ish)

so there you go.  still in love with teenage boy bands.

EPILOGUE, in the style of And Then There Were None's epilogue, in which several creepy things about aforementioned events are revealed:
did anyone else notice some creepy similarities between all these boy band videos?  like that One Direction talks about "climbing the walls"...which is the title of the Backstreet Boys song?  and that both BBMak and One Direction are busking in london?  and that "i want it that way" happens at an airport...which is the same thing as the train station that appears in BBMak?  (cue Hitchcock theme music)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

lovely lady {lauren}

a few photos from an unbelievably fun photo shoot this afternoon.
this girl is so beautiful (right?!) and so fun to be with.
what a great beginning to the weekend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

on being stabbed in the back {an ides of march post}

today's the ides of march, the day on which brutus stabbed julius ("et tu brute?!")

and in the last seven days, i've had several run-ins with friends--run-ins that have reminded me just what kind of friends i have--the kind i do not deserve...

the kind who want to walk in the sunshine with me, 
the kind who will only move somewhere far away if we can do it together,
the kind who quit a job and spend thousands of dollars to have summer adventures together,
the kind who come over just to spend a few hours reading on the lawn with me, 
the kind who listen and validate me when i talk to them about my problems, 
the kind who run across the street in oncoming traffic to be with me, 
the kind who call randomly after months of not talking just to check in, just to tell me they love me,
the kind who will put on crazy art shows with me,
the kind who call from chicago because they want to see how i am doing, 
the kind who ask question after question about my life as if it's the most important thing to them, 
the kind who send me feel-good songs, 
the kind who email when i miss class to tell me they missed me, 
the kind who hug me and give words of encouragement even when i was kind of a jerk, 
the kind who forgive and forgive and forgive.

to all my friends who would never stab me in the back (which really just means to all my friends): i don't deserve you.  you are wonderful people and wonderful to me.  you make me feel like this:

Monday, March 12, 2012

White Picket Fence Town, America

today i daydreamed about becoming a pharmacist and moving to a small town in the midwest, a town without walgreens and little caesars.  i'd drink pulpy orange juice in round cold tumblers and i'd breakfast on bowls of purple berries on the porch in the watery morning breeze, in the fields distilled into a breeze.  i'd walk to the pharmacy, past small green lawns and small white house and small huge elms, know all the customers by name because they're also my neighbors postmen grocers doctors.  i suppose at lunch i'd sit outside, on Quiet Main Street, probably on the bench in front of the big pharmacy store window.  

and i'm sure i'd drive to the lake|pond|dock in the evenings, i'd write in journals and bring picnics and not say anything.  

and my world would be blue and green and white.
and my world would be cerulean and emerald and white.
and spring would be canary
and summer amber,
and all mornings aquamarine.

there may be birdcages,
or better, birdfeeders.
certainly windchimes
and ebony wooden floors

i'd go to the small town because,
that's the only place i could find a job perhaps.
and maybe they need a town pharmacist.

and my friends would say why are you moving there?  aren't you going to get bored?
White Picket Fence Town doesn't have a city theatre,
White Picket Fence Town only has three restaurants--two of which serve fried chicken ifyouknowwhatimean--

what will you do with your time?

and in the first second i'd worry,
but then in seconds two through infinity, i'd realize that is the why: so that i will have time.

, so my world is big enough for me to inhabit all of it,
and for all of it to inhabit me.

(this daydream inspired by Joyce Carol Oates' "Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear," by a childhood of watching The Andy Griffiths Show, and by a recent show on NPR about a cashless and hence cash-register-less society.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

chances are i'll set sail tomorrow

6. Gather your belongings on a cloudy day. Set sail for an island off the coast of wherever you live. Give thanks to the sea for bearing you away from your heartaches and troubles. Repeat c. 35 trillion times.

(words from Ian Varley's "Nearly 100 Ways to Approach Infinity")
(post-title courtesy of montt mardie)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

notable english majors

as i spend the day writing Thesis, i take comfort knowing i'm in such handsome company.

Gregory Peck: Berkeley grad in English

James Franco: Columbia MFA grad, Yale English PhD student


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

on memory & go-carts

today, crystal was talking about a girl who got her hair ripped out playing football.
then, like remembering a dream, i remembered my dad telling me to always tie my hair up when i rode the go-cart or else it would get caught in the engine and snap my neck and i'd die.
then i remembered a black roll bar and riding fast low to the ground, past the madsen's house and back around the culdesac, past sam's house towards home.  i remember riding it with nate, from our house at sunny meadow to the big bush where eric slid his van into the ditch.

was a go-cart really a part of my childhood?

is this a fabricated memory?
if not, how has it laid dormant for so many years?
and what happened to the go-cart?

so i text nate, the keeper of my past:
me: did we at one point in our childhood have a go-cart?
him: haha yeah we had a go cart on Snead and Sunny Meadow.  for like 6 years.
me: what the!  how have i forgotten that til just now?!
him: it looked like this but was all black. yerf dawg go carts.

this whole exchange is troubling to me.
what other rather significant portions of my life have i forgotten about?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the reluctant hipster

i have a friend who is always mocking me for being hipster.


then i was at a comedy show about hipsters a few months back, and have since come across an uncanny number of articles about hipster trends (see here, here, here: they're all quite funny and you should probably read them to fully appreciate what's about to come.)  and then there's this:

it's semi-painful to hear all these hipster stereotypes and think, " they are describing me."  i wouldn't care so much except that everyone hates hipsters so much.  i mean it'd be one thing if "hipster" was what i was aiming for...but instead it's more like over the last ten years my life has somehow accumulated into being a hipster, and then i get shoved into this "we love to hate you/you're annoying" category.  sheesh, people!

so you can see just how ridiculous this is, here's what's trending in stereotypes of the hipster.  now some might think this is an "oh my, look how I'm every single one of these cool things and therefore how cool i am!" post.  it isn't.  because we all know that hipster things are the most uncool things you can currently be.  but i guess i do feel the need to justify myself in the face of such blatant hatred.  i mean people are conflating vinyl collections with hipsters and hence with annoyance and i just don't feel right about that.  vinyl can be fun!  exasperated sigh.  here we go: the stereotypes of the hipster:

1.  they have a vinyl collection (check.  i've had it since my grandpa died in high school and my grandma bequeathed me with all her old stuff.)
2.  they collect vintage teacups (when you are in london looking for a meaningful souvenir to bring back, what better than teacups?  can you blame me?!)
3.  they have a single speed bicycle ( i found it one evening in my friend's garage and she let me have it.  it was old and periwinkle purple and broken in so many ways, so i thought it would be a good summer project, to fix the thing up.  and fix it i did.  except for the speeds.  it has three-speed capability but i haven't yet gotten around to fixing the it's still single speed.)
4.  they shop at thrift stores (no comment.  other than that D.I. is my therapy after a long week.)
5.  they want to name their son "finn" (look, A Separate Peace is my favorite book.  that was when i realized books have meaning beyond just the storyline--meaning that can widen a person's thinking.  it was the book in which my brain learned how to be metacognitive, and it was cool.  ask any fake hipster what book has a main character named finn and they won't be able to tell you.)
6.  they have thick-rimmed buddy holly glasses (okay this was a deliberate move towards hipsterism, i admit it.  but when you're in london and everyone is wearing buddy holly glasses....i mean it's part of the experience.)
7.  they own fleet foxes' first album on vinyl (see this, then this, my first ever blog post)
8.  they like obscure bands, speaking of fleet foxes. (i probably don't need to say anything here.)
9.  they wear lace tights with skirts and oxfords (dang you, verbal-vomit blogger for saying exactly what i'm wearing.  i am currently wearing lace tights with a short skirt.  it's because my legs are cold and i can't wear oxfords without some form of sock and ankle socks look silly, as do mid-calf argyles, which are my two options.
10.  they call movies "films"  (don't want to talk about it.)
11.  they like films by wes anderson.  (no joke, over dinner at my non-franchised ethnic restaurant at the heart of old-school downtown, my friend and i had a rather lengthy conversation about wes anderson films.  it came up again last night at the library.)
12.  they love documentaries (ahem.  i currently have plans to watch "life in a day", "food, inc." "the artist" "man on wire" and "being elmo."  i own "life" and last year for earth day i got a bunch of people together to go see that lion movie.  maybe i just like oprah who narrates "life" (no, i don't), maybe i just like animals (this is actually true), or maybe most of all i just appreciate really beautiful cinematography and weird facts about the world around me with which i can astound (or more commonly bore) my friends, okay?!)
13.  they like to start bands (we're called "william nye and the gentlemen of science.")
14.  they also dream of working at used bookstores.  (there's this one in paris, right across from the notre dame cathedral................)
15.  they like ugly sweater parties.  (gah.  went to one last night.  NOT organized by me.  and also i feel like this could be said of every person at BYU, soooo.....)
16.  they're into being a freelance photographer, writer, and artist.  (oh dear.  these are my three career aspirations currently.  let me attempt to justify myself: i've been into these things since back when being a cheerleader or a football star was the cool thing.  remember those days?)
17.  they own diana cameras with real film.  (okay look.  because of said long-standing interest in photography, i am the lucky heir of all my grandpa's old cameras.  which happens to include a diana.  a real one though.  not an urban outfitters one.  and real film takes such better pictures than digital.  let's talk dark room for a moment as well: i took photo classes in high school, back before the whole digital thing took over.  the darkroom is one of my favorite places on earth, and i am endeared to it forever, and hence also to film.  and as for the diana,  if the universe is just bequeathing me with cool things of its own accord, i mean...whose fault is that?  i mean in high school, the cool stuff i got from my grandma included an old radio, a record player, a few old cameras, and something else that i'm not sending out into the internet cloud lest all those hipsters out there decide to go get themselves one.  all that stuff shaped what i thought was cool...sorry if it just so happens that suddenly all these hipster people think those things are cool too.  changing my tastes to not fit the hipster stereotype would be about the most hipster thing i could do.)

exasperated sigh again.

i guess i'm stuck.

and so i shall own it:
maybe the happiest (not to mention most sensible way of living (in the way of comfort, cheapness, reusing-old-things-ness) also happens to be the hip[ster]est way of living too?

put that in your hipster pipe and smoke it.

(yeah pretty sure pipes are going to be the next thing to make it big.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

a london tea party

what with the warm weather and what with it being march (aka: when i started preparing for my summer abroad last year) i've been missing london quite a bit.  i've been meaning to make this video for months now, and finally, during a five hour layover in the denver airport, i had the chance.

one afternoon in london, four of us went to hyde park because we had nothing else pressing to do...wait, that's not true.  we had a play to read by seven o'clock that evening.  none of us had read it yet.  so we went to the park to read...  of course very little of that ended up happening.  hyde park is a place so beautiful it can swallow up whole afternoons.  we passed the hours under a big tree.  

i read maybe two lines of the play that afternoon.  i don't even remember which play it was, but i do still remember the color of the grass and the smell of the dirt when i laid my face down and the rustle of the wind and the birds in the trees.

this video isn't about that afternoon, but it is about kensington gardens.  that park is one of my favorite places in the world.

(a note to preston: sorry the video thumbnail is your face.  i'm not sure if this will bug you or what but it won't let me change it with it?  as for you patrick, sorry the thumbnail of your face is blurry.  i'm sure if you had it your way, you'd be in all your full, focused glory.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

a note from the windy city

(this week i'm in chicago for a writing conference!  it's windy and big and there is art and good food around every corner.  more forthcoming...  but until then, give a little listen to this, in preparation for this.)