Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Plaid and the Aspens

So this post is actually inspired by a line from a TV show, which makes me feel lame. Because it demonstrates how much TV I watch, which can get into some pretty extreme numbers sometimes, I am just waiting for the day when I'll turn down a date because "mah stories" are on. I'm guessing that day will come about in approximately 1.3 years. Ok, that's a joke, because who am I kidding? I don't get asked on dates, so I wouldn't have the opportunity to turn anyone down.

Wow that sounded a lot more bitter than I intended, please forgive that, I swear I am not one of "those" girls. Honestly, I would probably just roll my eyes if most of the lovely boys of my acquaintance were foolish enough to think we were compatible.

Anyways, you are about to kill me for not telling you what the line from the show was, aren't you? It was used as a description of a character, and said "she wears her individuality like a shield." Immediately I felt like that had struck a little too close to home. I swear I looked over my shoulder to make sure someone in the room wasn't talking about me. My secret was blown!

I started to do this downward spiral of analysis: is that what everyone subconsciously thinks about me, or am I the only one that knows that I do that? And if they know, do they find it annoying? Do they think they have to be constantly muscling aside what I am trying to push into their face in order to find the real and intensely ordinary me, or do they just wave me aside as the perpetual weirdo?

And if they do wave me aside, should I be happy with that? Doesn't my behavior support that response? Am I ok with being the weirdo, or am I wearing that individuality in a desperate attempt to filter through everyone who is never going to get me no matter how much time is invested so that the few who see ME and immediately want all this big mess that put together equals Mary are easy to find?

Ok I just surpassed myself on difficult to discern sentences. I don't know if my two fans have noticed (love you, Kristen and Luke), but commenting on my grammar is my favorite way to step away from an intense paragraph.

By the way, the title of the blog comes from a promise to Melanie to have that be my next heading, since she used that concise wording to great effect in an attempt to describe my least-favorite family picture. For the record, establishing permement evidence of just how hideous and awkward and in need of orthodontia you were in fifth grade should be a federal offense. And accentuating that professionally framed monstrosity with the family in matching lumber-jack type apparel and highwater jeans with the legs tucked into sneakers should add another five years to your sentence. Also 19-year-old blond model-looking sisters shouldn't be allowed in the same frame as their 11-year-old bucktooth-rabbit frizzy-haired genetic counterparts. It's just inhumane.

So I think my name is keeping me from reaching my full potential. Not my last name--dude, it's an article of clothing but with a z, you can't get better than that--but my first name. This came to me as I was helping my roommate's boyfriend with his art history homework (a favor he probably thoroughly regrets asking for considering how nerdy I got about the whole situation and how lovingly I looked over his textbook).

During the Renaissance, all of the truly great artists of the time knew they had reached their pinnacle of fame when they became know by their first names only: i.e. Michaelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, the very best of the TMNT. In essence they were the rockstars of sixteenth century Italy--Madonna, Bono, Prince, etc.

So, based on that, I am doomed to mediocrity. Because some inconsiderate 2,000-year-old chick already stole first-name-only rights from me, and I will always need to be two-name gal for clarification. And just in case some smart-aleck tries to post a comment about my middle name, I'll just get it out there now: it's Ruth, so same basic issue. I guess I'm pretty much done then, I have reached the glass ceiling of achievements, my life will never amount to anything because I will always be a two-named gal just like the rest of you losers. How sad.

Wow, my mind just went on this amazing tangent where I was picturing people saying stuff like "Man, did you check out that depth of field in "School of Athens?" It was beyond tight, like mind blowing stuff, dude. And you still haven't seen the musculature in The Creation of Adam? It's totally wicked." Yeah, that's right. I am just that nerdy. And in my tangent the speakers were vaguely British. I couldn't tell you why.

I just realized that unlike most times when I have blogged, I have no music to put up there that I've been listening to. No wonder I feel like I have done nothing and have nothing to say, I didn't have a cool soundtrack to go along with it, so I didn't notice! I will definitely fix that, I hate when I lose track of important things and accidentally go on a music fast. Although, I did go to a Joshua Radin/Missy Higgins concert a couple weeks back and that was tight. It was a very chill evening, no basses booming so loud and low they could jumpstart my heart (which is they way I usually like my music), but their individuality and passion for what they were doing really came through in that tiny venue.

Also, I put on some Ella Fitzgerald music the other day and that was like coming home. It's really as easy and as soothing as breathing deeply for me to listen to that stuff. When Jessica came home to me chilling to "Sittin' and A Rockin'" she made the very astute observation that "this is music you listen to when you want to feel classy." And it does just that.

Plus the lyrics of those times really just knock my socks off, I don't know how people like Cole Porter, Sammy Cahn, Lorenz Hart, Iriving Berlin, and Ira Gerschwin did it. Lines like "your looks are laughable, unphotographable, yet you're my favorite work of art" and "Or will this dream of mine fade out of sight, just like that moon growing dim on the rim of the hill in the chill still of the night" make my stomach knot up in a painful joyous way.

Go ahead and compare those lyrical gems to Backstreet Boys' immortal "I Want It That Way"--my go-to example of the most meaningless lyrics ever, I'm pretty sure the "it" that is referenced in the title changes at least five times--and throw up your hands as a sign that you, too, give up on humanity. My old voice teacher Flora was right, I was born in the wrong generation, I really do belong in the 40's. I would have rocked those little hats with the veils.

I'm gathering my strength for a complete rant that I already have worked out in my head, but I'm saving up so that it can have it's own post, so I won't be silent for long.

With that I will close with a quote from the best movie in theaters at the moment, Rocknrolla:

"If someone won't do what you want, give 'em a slap. If they still won't co-operate, cut 'em or pay 'em, but keep the receipt, this ain't the mafia."

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Need For Needless Restriction

So I have all kinds of rules for my blogging.

I can't blog two nights in a row, it doesn't matter how insightful I think I am in the moment, I'll just look way too nerdy and obsessed with my blog.

But I am really nerdy and obsessed with my blog, and I should be myself and own what I am, so that isn't really a good reason. So we'll chalk it up to I'm trying a "moderation in all things except Diet Dr. Pepper," and that's why I can't blog two nights in a row.

I can't blog too extensively about what is actually going on in my life--I can spend at max two paragraphs describing a concrete experience that has happened in the past week, but other than that no go.

Which is kind of weird since storytelling is one of my favorite things to do, I don't know how many times I've girded up my pretension and scolded the person I've been talking to (or at) for interrupting the 'narrative flow.'

But yeah that's a rule because if I obsess too much over what is happening in my day I'll just get dragged down by the minutia and be yet another whiny blogger.

Also in those two paragraphs that I am allotted, I'm not allowed to talk about anything big that is bugging me. Because it probably won't bug me tomorrow and once again we've accidentally returned to the same page of my own choose-your-own-adventure book, the page that says "you're a ridiculous whiny blogger."

And if it still is bugging me the next day? Then I should have probably kept my mouth shut, because if anything affects me for more than 24 hours then that means it's an actual big deal, and blogging about it where the wrong person could read it would look accidentally passive aggressive.

Wow, accidentally passive aggressive? Has that ever been achieved before or am I just that uniquely neurotic?

Related to the limit personal experiences rule is the rule about discussing one's "feelings." This is a huge no-no.

I am allowed be incredibly passionate about an inanimate object, such as the James Dean cardboard cutout or my lovesac (or as Jordan accidentally dubbed it, the "mansac," longer funnier story that doesn't fit into my parameters of no sharing real stories), but feelings towards people or about myself? Ewww.

And I don't think that one really even needs an explanation for that rule. Except that I'll explain it anyway: Introspective feelings or reactions to people are frequently fleeting and always an unoriginal way to express oneself. It's all about showing who you are through oblique rants, not by actually telling everyone on the internets how you feel. For that would be too easy. And it would have the horrible side effect of making my posts much much shorter.

I think that's it for the rules I have, but there are a few principles that are a little sticky as well.

Such as the principle that telling everyone to read your blog is lame, but then again so is posting blogs that no one reads. That should be in every student's Intro to Philosophy textbook. We would call it the Shurtz Paradox. People could write term papers on what they think should ethically be done about it. I'll probably just give in to the need for approval and put it as my status on facebook that people should read my blog.

I am so pathetic. But at least I'm self-aware of how sad my state is. Somehow that must be better than being unaware of my social suicide. Suicide of any kind should have some real pondering behind it.

I am feeling an intense resentment toward all rock formations right now, hopefully that'll go away soon considering the landscape of Provo, UT, but if it doesn't and you hear some rumblings coming from Squaw Peak that's just Mary and her tiny fists of fury taking care of some unfinished business with those bloody mountainous masses.

Geology exams suck.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rankling Under My Skin

I've lost my words. No, really, my ability to communicate has been all over the place the last few weeks. My jokes are coming off mean, it's like I can't control my inflection any more, that muscle keeps spazzing out and putting more hostility into everything than what was intended. Also, I'm misreading everyone's intentions because they're responding to mildly emotionally retarded Mary and everything is getting garbled. Is there a verbal chiropractor that I could see that could realign the spine of my intonation so that I can stop being a social pariah?

A concurrent conversation with my blogging has made me want to throw in the random comparison me and my friend Adam came up with: taking a relationship really slow can be nice-- you don't want to rush things like a guy on crack, you want to take it slow like a guy using weed. The benefits of this approach? It allows you to really enjoy the simple small things in life that are making you happy or just blow your mind for their pure genius. In short, the relationship is more chill, contemplative, and slightly psychedelic. Yeah I should probably go to sleep more often. But this kind of relationship really does sound nice. For the record I have never actually done that, unless you count the slow relentless decay of my self esteem during an unrequited crush, but I really do think theoretically that a slow relationship would be awesome.

How come men in media can get a close-up on their face and the lines around their eyes only make them look even more distinguished and handsome and individual? I mean my genes are pretty good in the wrinkles department, I'm going to look like I'm underaged for the rest of my life and by association make my husband look like a cradle robber, but it's the principle of the thing. Women so often find guys attractive who objectively could only be called "interesting-looking." Men? Kinda picky little buggers.

I don't have an iPod. Is that at all weird? I had a little mp3 player for short trips for about three years but accidentally washed it a couple weeks ago (sorry Kristen I was pretty bummed about that) but I have totally not embraced the iPod sensation. I'm still in fact addicted to mixed CD's.

And before you think that is incredibly arcane just realize that everyone should be pretty psyched that I've even moved past mixed tapes--it was the blisters I would form from keeping my fingers primed and ready on the play/record combination that finally cured me of that one.

But I am just not responding to the whole idea of having all the music you own ready at your fingertips. My argument against it? It makes things too easy. It makes you just want to push "shuffle" and be done with it, and then you're assaulted with music from entirely opposing genres that don't settle you down at all but just wind you up tighter and tighter in emotional response confusion.

Yeah I know everyone's next point is going to be that you can make playlists on your iPod but I just don't buy it. The playlist does not exist to me the same way an overheated CD with my horrific chicken scratch handwriting on it does. I guess that makes me a rather narrow minded person if I can only comprehend things that I can literally grasp. How shallow. Ah well who really wants to be deep anyway, creepy underwater beings live in the deep dark places of the world.

I found out about a month ago that a kid that I went to school with 4th-10th grade was put in prison for attempted murder. He tried to kill his parents. We were desk buddies for three years due to the imprisonment of alphabetical seating. But I never minded sitting next to Clark. He never really paid attention to the teacher, which was mildly horrifying to my ten-year-old self, but he was always nice to me and kinda stuck up for me sometimes. But it's true that even back then you could tell he was one of the troubled kids, the ones who acted out and came to school smelling like alcohol and never sounded like he liked his parents very much. It's just so incredibly sad the way that worked out.

By the way, the picture accompaning this blog has no real meaning. Well, I mean it has meaning, it's a huge internation icon, has a rich crazy history and all of that jazz, but it doesn't really mean much in the context of this blog except that it is one of my favorite photographs. Ever. I literally just now stared at it for twenty minutes. Again, I should probably sleep more.

I get a kick out of posting my momentary obsession music, so I'm going to do it again:

You're Fit But You Know It--The Streets
As The World Falls Down--David Bowie (yes it ABSOLUTELY is from Labyrinth)
Sex and Candy--Marcy Playground
Fully Alive--Flyleaf
Helter Skelter--The Beatles
Every Rose Has It's Thorn--Poison
Satisfaction--Rolling Stones
In Bloom--Nirvana
Walk Idiot Walk--The Hives
Open Your Eyes--Snow Patrol
Romeo and Juliet--The Killers
Sour Times--Portishead
All I Want Is You--U2
Wild Horses--The Sundays
Time After Time--Quietdrive (cover)
Love of the Loveless--Eels
My Doorbell-White Stripes
The Bitch Song--Bowling For Soup
Lake of Fire--Nirvana
Fix You--Coldplay
That Day--Poe
Instiutionalized--Suicidal Tendencies
Zero--The Smashing Pumpkins

Don't read too much into what's going on there musically, I'm actually trying to get hardcore back into practicing my arias, so it's just really there for contrast from my rehearsing. I wish I hadn't slipped to the point where I suck at singing now.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dusting Out the Corners of My Mind

I think I must look really vulnerable when I'm first waking up, because it is the only time of day when Becca consistently hugs me of her own volition.

There is something incredibly trashy about white-blond hair when it has even the slightest hint of roots. No, really, once that happens start wearing the sports bra under the tank top and only buy at GenX, just embrace what you are.

When the girls that were in my first grade class use facebook as a medium to swap tips on where to pick out the cutest hair bows for their toddlers I pretty much just want to move to a nunnery to avoid the constant shock to my system. As long as this nunnery had cable I think I'd be good. Becca could come too.

Great quote from Joe Slinker today: "Hey, a gay Heath is better than no Heath at all." I'm debating whether or not I should give you the context or just let you puzzle it out. Guess which one I decided on.

I shoved a guy on the bus today. Hard. No, really, I did. He was looking me over for a while and then told me I had beautiful eyes. I awkwardly thanked him, people have said that before but I never know how to take it. But he was insistent that I understand what he meant: "No, seriously, if you put those eyes on another body . . .you'd be a knockout." Not the most mature thing for me to do but in my defense a) he's an asshole and b) I'm just incredibly sick of people deciding that I need to know how dissatisfied everyone is with my appearance. I think my scrappy spunkiness is coming back. I like it, it's been a while.

I'm pretty sure if I could get Jones Soda to accept a picture from me and put it on a bottle I would count my entire existance as a success.

Sometimes I take myself so seriously I just want to sucker-punch myself in the mouth.

Top Ten Songs I Am Currently Obsessed With: (in no particular order)

Bullet With Butterfly Wings--The Smashing Pumpkins
Love Song--The Cure
Paper Bag--Fiona Apple
Talk Dirty To Me--Poison
Good Enough--Evanescence
Build Me Up Buttercup--The Foundations
I'm So Sick--Flyleaf
I Want You (She's So Heavy)--The Beatles
Dance Karate--Chris Merritt
Take Another Little Piece of My Heart--Janis Joplin
Reign On Me--The Who
Paper Planes--M.I.A.
Something In the Way She Moves--The Beatles
ABC--Jackson Five
Different Situation--Athenaeum
Sci-Fi Wasabi--Cibo Matto
You Shook Me All Night Long--ACDC
The End is the Beginning is the End--The Smashing Pumpkins

Yeah I know that ended up being twenty instead of ten, but whatevs. Man that is a schizo list.

I really want to go grab some of my amazing cream cheese wantons from the fridge but my roommate is entertaining a gentleman caller and I really don't want to ruin the magic.

I'm pretty sure hell is going to consist of me being stuck in the friends zone with all the incredible guys I have met in this life.

I have got to lay off the intense movies for a bit--in the last week I have watched The Fall, Serpico, The Air I Breathe, The New World, Macbeth, Scent of a Woman, and Memento. And Scarface is coming tomorrow. Ohhh now my weird mood is so starting to make sense!

Monday, September 29, 2008

What Is This Quintessence of Cotton?

Do you ever get that feeling while in the middle of a massively intense and long essay-based test that you are SO in the zone and everything you're writing is brilliant? Most people do. But the extra-special Mary aftertaste is the paralyzing rush of paranoia that maybe you've just been at this so long and had so many Diet Dr. Peppers while working on it that at this point you're writing jibberish but you're too out of it to know it.

So yeah, long story short I rocked my take-home Shakespeare test. I think.

But all I could think about while doing the test was how much I wanted to blog about Al Pacino. I know, I'm insanely lame. But I felt super strongly about it! So to make myself finish the test and not blog about how much I loved Scent of a Woman I went down the street to Denny's at one in the morning and stayed there until almost five with my Shakespeare materials and was the weird girl in the corner and loving it. So now I can do what I please.

Except now I don't want to talk about Al Pacino. Although he is basically a god. Hoo-rah. Instead I want to talk about my hoodie.

This hoodie is the essence of all hoodies. It does what every hoodie aspires to do: protect and serve. I was my guardian angel and safety blanket on my way home from Afognak Island. It deserves a blog devoted to it.

I was stuck in Kodiak for a full day before my plane left at 7 pm, and I had nothing to do but wander the streets for five hours before it would even be worth it to arrive at the one-room airport. Since I was too young to even chill in the bars I was stuck on the one little tourist strip looking at all the pieces of driftwood. And it was there that I picked up my little unwanted friend. We'll call him Doped-Up Fisherman Boy.

He was a 23-year-old hard core drug user right out of rehab ("It's all good now cause I just smoke weed now") who was working the fishing boats to try and stay out of trouble for the summer. And apparently it had been a slow couple of weeks cause he had washed ashore here in Kodiak and didn't have much to do except follow me around and try to convince me to come and check out his vessel. Pretty sure there was some tricky double talk going on there.

The leering was starting to get majorly out of control, as was the accidental brush-past moves, but I really had nowhere to go or even anyone to look imploringly at since it was drizzling and I was the only shopper in most of the stores. I had already had a terrible couple of weeks and I felt like if he looked down my shirt one more time I was going to scream.

And that's when I saw my hoodie. Size XXL made for mountain men out to kill the bear and eat heap big fish, it was soft and hung down to my knees and stretched out so far on either side that the slightest hint of a curve was completely obliterated. Plus it had a nice deep hood that I could pull up so that there was no hair and hardly any face to prove I was female. It was sixty bucks, way more than I even spend on jeans, but I bought it in an instant. Doped-Up Fisherman Boy did not approve, especially when I said I didn't need a bag and just pulled it over my head.

The hoodie brought me comfort, and I think it had enough wiliness inherently in the fabric to find a pay phone and call a taxi while DUFB was getting crazy fascinated by something shiny. Yeah I was at the airport four hours early, but the hoodie made the seats comfortable enough to sleep on. Since then the hoodie has been my constant sleeping/vegging/snuggling companion, and I hope one day to submit it for display at an office for a good cause, like the Castration of All Leering Fisherman Institution.

PS I know that I'm not supposed to post during the day but since I was only allotted a two hour nap while working on the test it still feels like four a.m. so please let this slide. Al Pacino is the man.

I Am In Love With Al Pacino

More to continue in a couple hours once I make a dent in this take-home test.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Waves Are Headed In Three Directions At Once

Do you ever just lay on your hard floor, sink into your two-millimeter-thin carpet, stare at the ceiling and just blast a whole CD without doing anything else? People seem to do it all the time in the movies, but I don't think I've done it since junior high, and that listening experience was just me playing "I Knew I Loved You" by Savage Garden on repeat for a whole summer because I danced to that song with Kylen Zibetti at the end-of-year dance in seventh grade.

If questioned about this I will deny everything without a blink of an eye.

But anyways, the point is (aside from me remembering now that my carpet back then was wayyy thicker and I wish I could stand my parents just to live in such luxury again) that despite all the iconic images and the cliche nature, it really is a phenomenal way to live music.

Or maybe the point is that I'm a geek that takes herself too seriously and tries to squeeze out some meaning from a day where I barely left the apartment.

But regardless of the motivation of my musing, soaking in music like that just rocks. Listening can be a really intense experience when it isn't in your roommates car or as you're walking the halls trying to decide if you can show your face in your ethics class when you don't have the paper to turn in.

And while my roommate may think I'm absolutely insane to be doing this at three in the morning, at least it drowns out the fact that she is constantly and creepily talking to herself under her breath, even in the midst of her brushing-teeth-for-seven-minutes-straight ritual (and yes I did time that).

I highly recommend late 70's rock or out-to-prove-how-shallow-the-world-is 90's. Both have great layered melodies that can kinda blow your mind when there's nothing in there already to diminish the experience.

Also go for the late late late night listening if you aren't into illegal stimulants, I hypothesize that it's the only way people like me can really appreciate the full wonders of The Who without inhaling.

Oh, and kids, stay away from too much Dashboard. It just makes you really whiny in the morning.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Coming From A Strange Synthesizer Place

I'm musing about setting a rule for myself that I can never start blogging until after two a.m., I think it'll produce the most entertaining tidbits this way.

I've immersed myself in a huge music project--not huge in the groundbreaking, contributing to the progression of art and therefore society way, just huge in amount of time and brain matter I've squeezed into the making of one lousy "mixed tape."

Don't worry, the mix is for myself, it isn't intended for a specific audience (well, I'll force it on Becca but like that's news that she is has to endure everything that passes through my head), so I'm not about to make some awkward and stomach-turning declaration of any sort. That kind of behavior is so two months ago. I simply haven't been able to sleep for the last two nights, and this seemed at the time to be a worthwhile effort.

The fact that I have my first exam in almost two years just might have contributed to this crazed devotion to my newest burnt CD. But I will not tolerate such a speculative line of questioning.

But my past academic delinquency and unconfirmed current nerves have nothing to do with this epic music search. I have for two straight days been trying to find a copy of the song "Different Situation" by Athenaeum (for free because I am the cheapest scam artist you have the pleasure of knowing) and it has still eluded me! Bollocks. But I will not be defeated! I will find my passive indie rock song AND learn that the Ordovician period comes before the Silurian by the end of this night or pull my earring out in the attempt.

Sidenote: (new piercing+stressful times)^how little I have slept=always fiddling with it, aka getting a little shiver of pain every 2.5 seconds. Kinda feel like I have a trendy inconspicuous cilice on my person. How wristcutters of me. Or devout, take your pick.

Ha! Victory! While multi-tasking I was finally able to make a breakthrough (now that Queen song is stuck in my head) and "Different Situation" is all mine! What bliss, what a landmark achievement that is now forever recorded on the information superhighway.

Hmm maybe I should have tried to be a little more profound on my first post.