Monday, December 17, 2007
After I'm done being Zach Braff, I'd like to become Cate Blanchett. It's impossible for me to overstate how positively mesmerizing that woman is. And possibly Emma Thompson as well. At any rate, I should be either British or Australian by the time I'm 40 (I know Blanchett is only 38 but I'm trying to be realistic here). It might be nice to be Kate Winslet and do movies like Finding Neverland and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and not even have to starve yourself for your career, but I'm not totally sold on the idea yet. I could moonlight as Kevin Spacey and run the Old Vic in London in between brilliant, empathetic movie roles (I'd secretly be really good at impersonations, too - look it up on YouTube). I'd definitely like to spend many years as Cate Blanchett, though. Then I could finally move on to become Meryl Streep for a bit, with the option of finally ending up as Peter O'Toole and/or Vanessa Redgrave, should I choose it (hard to say; though still in excellent spirits, O'Toole tends to look like he's not totally sure where he's at these days).
How could I almost forget! Of course, given the option, I must be Sam Shepard for at least a little while. The man is a Pulitzer prize winning playwright, an Oscar nominated actor, and he was a drummer in the 60's. He's won 11 Obie Awards, been nominated for two Tonys, and he went on tour with Bob Dylan for Pete's sake!** The man knew Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac! And he's been called "the thinking woman's sex symbol", which is pretty neat (do thinking men have a sex symbol, or does Jessica Alba just work for everyone?). I'd probably only depart from his very masculine writing style (fabulous reading, but I don't think we need much more man-centered art in the world) and possibly some of the more unsavory characteristics I've heard ascribed to him. Other than that, I'd happily become him. Though I'd probably better hurry up - he began his career at 19, so I'm already two years behind.
I would love to be all of these people, flowing seamlessly from one to the next, taking experiences and attributes from each and combining them altogether. Maybe I should change my name to Julie Braff-Blanchett-Spacey-Streep-O'Toole-Redgrave-Shepard. Or I suppose I could just be the first ever Me instead of the next anybody, and then someday other college seniors could procrastinate their studying for finals writing about how they want to be me when they grow up. Awwwww.
*"...Unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think." - Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
**Well actually, I think he went for his own sake; Pete probably had very little do with his decision-making process.
Bonus! Here are the lyrics to some songs I've been finding positively amazing lately:
When I Was A Boy, by Dar Williams
All Available Light, by The Paperbacks
Landlocked Blues, by Bright Eyes (fair warning: mild content issues)
The Devil Drives, by Murder by Death
Bigfoot!, by The Weakerthans
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Moments that take your breath away:
- Being punched in the diaphragm
- Getting sucked into outer space
- S.C.U.B.A. diving with empty oxygen tanks
- Someone hitting your trachea
- Asthma attacks
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
This has been the longest, most difficult process for some reason, and now I just feel this weight lifting off my shoulders as I finally leave all the angst behind. The play has officially entered its "tweaking" or "polishing" phase, meaning that from here I only need to run through and reword it. I haven't brought myself to do this just yet, but it won't take long when I get to it. I'm excited! At last I feel free to pursue other projects (beyond just jotting lines in my little notebook). Scratch that; at last I feel just plain free!
It's been nearly two full years since I first laid on a couch in Oregon, coughing incessantly and dangerously sleep-deprived, and imagined Harriet and Arlo like creatures from a waking dream. Their story has become about 12 full drafts and some 3 or 4 completely different plays (or so it seems to look at them), but I've finally settled on the one that could actually be produced. I've learned a lot in that time and I've actually had a lot of fun writing them, but as the Wood Brothers sing, "'S good to see you, but I'll be glad to see you go."
And just in time for finals, too.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
First I wrote an overdue online post for my English class about The Role of Writing in Preserving the Arts and Humanities. I didn't post it, since I didn't feel like paying for internet for a two-second discussion post, but at least I saved it and got it done. Then I pulled out the last draft of my play and re-read it, taking care to connect with the tone and pillage nice-sounding lines at will. I have NO idea why I hadn't thought to do this before. And then, tired of being stared at by some older dude who also had a laptop and maybe thought because of this that we were kindred spirits, I actually relocated to the library. For the first time in my life, I actually stayed until the library closed. I've more or less been working on rewrites and nothing but rewrites for the past 6 hours, and I must say I'm very happy about that. You would not believe how the script is improving! I can hardly believe it myself. It's really quite liberating.
It's times like these when I remember that I actually do enjoy writing - the process of writing, not just the finished product. In fact, I think I enjoy the process better than the finished product. Maybe that's why I get so angsty when I feel like my process is blocked, as it has been for the past, oh, year. But now, oh! I wasn't sure about this when I decided to really get back into it, because for some reason I thought it wasn't good that I "lose" hours and hours when I'm really writing. A six-hour writing binge (or would it be a writing purge?) is not all that uncommon for me when I'm really working on something. And I think I was afraid of something I can't define. But I was sitting in my Doctrine & Covenants class on Monday, thinking about my future and next Summer, and I swear it just popped into my mind that I needed to write. Now. And now that I have my power cord back and I'm not in complete shock over my dad's health issues, I understand that that was a very wise impression I had. I'm happy about it.
Quick update on last post: they discovered today that most of my dad's intense symptoms were in fact caused by a virus inhabiting the tissue around his heart (who knew you could even get those?) - or rather, that he did have a minor heart attack and some issues causing it, but that the virus was intensifying them. Which alerted them to the heart problems, allowing him to get a needed angioplasty before any major damage was done. One of those "blessing in disguise" situations. So he went home from the hospital yesterday, very tired but well on the road to recovery. He should spend the next week or so sleeping and doing puzzles, and then he'll slowly return to normal. Hurray!
And now, the day-dawn has risen and it's back to work!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The weird thing about this though is how it really wasn't a big deal to me until, like, 10 minutes ago. My mom explained everything to me this afternoon in this kind of breezy, matter-of-fact way, casually mentioning letters grouped in 3 like EKG and ICU, and I guess she just made it sound like something so everyday that I didn't treat it like anything that far out of the ordinary.* It occurred to me to send him a Get Well card, mostly because I had one hanging around (a little while ago a good friend broke his leg and when I bought his card I found this other one I thought was too cute to pass up), so I got my sister and brother-in-law to sign it and I wrote a sarcastic message I hoped would make him laugh**. We drew some pictures to go along with it (a broccoli labeled "your best friend" and a tub of lard labeled "hates you") and I sent it off. My sister was so normal about the whole thing, too. It was like, "A get well card - oh, that's nice." Sometimes I don't know if my family really knows how to freak out. I'm not sure if I want them to learn.
So I was going about my day as if nothing strange had happened at all, and then suddenly it's 10 minutes ago and I'm alone in my room and I'm listening to Cat Stevens' "Father and Son" and I look over at this funny note I got from my dad with the package that arrived today and maybe I'm just a sucker for a moment, but I think it hit me. But it's strange. I never feel the easy way that people describe other people feeling at these kinds of times. Not sad or scared or anything, just...significantly weirded out. I mean, it's not that I thought he was invincible, though I think in a way fathers are always invincible, but certainly he was unstoppable. And now he's in a hospital room, which is wildly different from a hotel room, and what is the world coming to? And I realized I'm not going to be able to get any rewrites done tonight. The play is so inextricably linked to my father, though not in the obvious ways most people will think it is, and I just don't know how to rewrite when he's not what I wrote right now. Does that make sense? There's a certain helplessness to that, because the rewrites have been expected for so long, and I didn't get anything done over Thanksgiving break, and I didn't get anything done when I got back to Provo because I left my computer's power cord in Oregon and there's my whole life on this thing (I got the cord back in the package today). And now I just don't know if I'll ever get this damn thing done.*** Certainly not in time for it to be staged in February as planned, unless I have some sudden flash of genius. I just hate that.
I came to this realization, and I stumbled blindly onto MySpace, where I found I'd been contacted by some boys I thought I'd never even think about again. These "Hey, remember me?" messages just sitting there. And when all the rest of your world is a little off-kilter, something like that seems absolutely bizarre. Instead of, "Oh, him! I remember him!" I'm thinking, "Is the whole WORLD not what I thought it was?!?" I wandered into the living room to get my bearings (my bedroom is far too chaotic for sense-making), looked into a mirror, and realized my nose was bleeding. I believe that was the point at which I began swearing aloud. Luckily no one heard (don't you judge me, Provo!). It's just that it's all coming at the end of such a strange day, what with my laptop being dead right when I needed it (I had to actually call two stage managers because I couldn't get to my email - and I hate calling people!), and then we really had the single strangest performance of King Lear to date today. I was crying onstage, then laughing so hard I couldn't move backstage, then everyone was just off and doing these weird things they'd never done with their characters before, and at one point I honestly thought the backdrop was going to fall on my head... I can't begin to explain the strangeness of the day. I just finished all my sugar-free chocolate and I still don't feel like life is normal again.
It's times like these when finishing my homework seems just unfathomable. But I guess that's life. A girl from my old playwriting class once said, "You still have to pay the bills the day your mom dies." That's one of my favorite things I've heard.
*Lots of people think I get my acting talents from my dad, because he's loud like me and likes to perform. But judging from the way my mother calmly ended our phone conversation during my dad's first problems last night, most of it's got to be coming from her. Mom: "Oh, hey, I'm sorry but your father's kind of sick and I've got to take him to the doctor now. Sorry to have to end the conversation early." Me: "Oh...OK then. Tell him to get better, alright?" Mom: "I will. And I hope you can finish the rest of your play alright." Me: "Oh, I'll be fine." Mom: "Okay. Bye then. Love you." Me: "See you." And my father was standing there with his chest and his arm hurting like crazy, having trouble breathing. My mom's talking to me and getting her things together at the same time; she didn't sound stressed at all. I'm telling you - I'm pretty good at what I do, but my mom's a freaking genius.
**Much of my childhood was spent keeping my parents suitably entertained so they wouldn't notice that I wasn't actually helping out around the house, so I've got a pretty good read on my dad's sense of humor.
***Mormon readers: feel free to pretend I just said "darn". "I just don't know if I'll ever get this darn thing done." Or flim-flammin', or whatever you prefer.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Words are hard. I seem to be wording the mixing up the. I swear I'm not high. Was that two hours ago? Or stoned. I'm not stoned. Just some low blood-sugar. Can't stop adding extra d's to every wordd. Good thing I've got a delete button.d My head kind of hurts. I'd been dso good. And then there they were. I put one in the microwave and then it just tasted so good. And now. And now. And now...I'm tired. I'm never writing when I'm like this again.
And yet I just really want another donut...
Sunday, November 04, 2007
As I was watching BYU's production of The Seagull last night (which was incredible by the way, and I officially heap praise upon all involved), I had a most interesting epiphany. Ever have that feeling like you don't know where you've been lately? It occurred to me that aside from a few notable incidents, I haven't really been where I was for most of this semester. I don't know where I've been going, but it's someplace else entirely. And now I think it's time to come back.
I have the most peculiar feeling, like I'm waking up even though I haven't really been asleep. I'm sitting here in my room, listening to an odd-yet-natural combination of Bright Eyes and Johnny Cash (the hopeful ends of both), and I think I might even be able to get back to really writing again. Which is good, because it turns out Eric is expecting those rewrites after all so he can hold auditions. And here I'd assumed we could both just forget about it and it'd be like the writer's block never happened. Shows what I know.
I suspect that my swearing habit is returning. This is slightly troubling, as my friend base is predominately comprised of conservative Mormons who I believe have a reasonable expectation not to hear unsavory language from the people they care about. I try to censor myself, but in order to do it faithfully (meaning you don't use substitute words when you really mean the real word) you have to reword entire sentences so that the bad words don't have a place anymore. And that's hard to do when you're really upset! On a related note, I wish more people used cool replacement expletives like "flim-flammin'," "consarn it," and "Laws!" How much more awesome would that be? "Zouterkins!" is so much cooler than "Darn!"
Salty language aside, November is already looking better than October. In the first two days I got to hang out with a really cool friend at a grocery store and then fulfill a life-long (okay, weeks-long) dream of playing the Beast from Beauty and the Beast in my stage combat class. Sword fighting + Beast growls + Ryan's Gaston voice = soooo sweet. AND I think the number of people from church who actually know that I exist is rapidly growing. This is good news, because for all that I've always said I'd choose invisibility for my super power, it turns out being invisible is not that great of a feeling. Oh! Oh! And after over two months in my care, I've finally given my Betta fish a name! I now call him Roger Dorsey, and if you know where I got that name from you're officially cool.
Here's a picture of him. He looks very little like the Roger Dorsey he's named after, but I like it anyway. I think it suits him. After cleaning his tank today, I've decided that I'm going to buy him an algae eater. He could do with a friend who'll clean up after him; a Felix Unger of his very own, if you like (I'm just full of extra textual references today!).
So, so far my grand awakening has led me to quote more Bright Eyes; swear a little less even though I want to swear a little more; impersonate a large, hairy man-beast; and give my fish a name. If that's not progress, then I don't know what is!
Update from the last post: I still haven't figured out how to draw Brenda, nor do I know how Chester will evolve from a cow, but I did draw some sweet-looking leaves with my oil pastels so I feel a little satisfied for now at least.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Her name is Brenda, and I can't figure out if she has blonde hair, red hair, or light brown hair. She has large eyes and she's very adventurous. She comes with a dragon named Chester. Chester presents another problem in that I don't really know how to draw a dragon. Especially not one like him. I think he will be modeled roughly after a cow. A Jersey cow, I think. Maybe a Durham Red. I shall have to do much cow research. But he is soft and sort of leathery-feeling, very friendly and I think of him whenever I see those reddish-purple leaves that all the bushes around here are showing off. Brenda and Chester have been friends since they were tiny children. They live in a cave high up on a forested mountain and they go flying together every day. They're strange because even though I know they have a story (eventually they'll save the prince), they just refuse to be written. I think after I've drawn them a couple of times something will start to come out.
Does anyone know how to use pastels? I've really only ever used graphite sticks and charcoals before, but I feel like I need more color. Maybe after I've played with them for a while it'll get easier.
And as for my huge paper due tomorrow? Um...we'll see.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm not going to do that thing where you repost all the lyrics of a song in your blog. If you want to read the lyrics, you can just click here - and I suggest that you do.
On Sunday evening I was hangin' with some friends (my posse, if you will) when we started discussing "perfect" songs. Not objectively perfect songs, because I don't think such a thing exists, but songs that are or have been perfect for you, your mood, your life, etc. You know those moments when you listen to a song and you feel like you're writing it instead of hearing it? That's what I call the perfect song. It's interesting how much you can tell about a person from their list of perfect songs. For one thing, it tells you what kind of music is really their favorite - and it usually isn't "everything" like everyone says (I think we all listen to a little bit of "everything" these days - but that doesn't make everything your favorite). This particular discussion also reminded me about how no one I hang out with seems to listen to the same things I do. Interesting. Incidentally, the list of perfect songs I came up with on Sunday can be found in the appendix to this blog post (or in other words, in the small print at the bottom).
The very next day I was walking to class with my usual headphones on and the above-mentioned song, "Utilities," by The Weakerthans, came on. And for the first time, that song was perfect. Personally it'd never been my favorite song from their new album - I fell in love with the acoustic version a while ago and this one had just never done it for me - but for some reason on Monday morning this version of this song was just...perfect. I swear I almost started crying on my way to class at like 9 o' clock in the morning, which is either a very good sign or a very bad one. The sound, the voice, the oddly hopeful musical interlude contrasting with the melancholy lyrics; everything just came together under that refrain of "make me something somebody can use." I won't go into a lot of details right now, but I've been through some things lately and somehow that song just fit amazingly. It was like John K. Samson came to me, took everything I was going through, and created out of it 4 minutes and 35 seconds of total connectivity. Which he might've - and I couldn't blame him, because who wouldn't jump at the chance to encapsulate my feelings? Anyway, it was the perfect illustration of what it means to have a perfect song.
So thank you, John K. Samson. You've reminded me again how the perfect song on the suckiest day may not make everything better, but it does make it seem a lot more meaningful. (And sometimes you kind of feel like you're in a movie, which is fun.)
Julie's Impromptu List of Perfect Songs (as compiled Sunday, 8/21):
"None of the Above" - The Weakerthans
"Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure" - The Weakerthans
"Left and Leaving" - The Weakerthans
"I Suffer This Like a Dream" - The Paperbacks
"Books as Furniture" - The Paperbacks
"The Devil Drives" - Murder By Death
"Further North" - Jets to Brazil
"Empty" - Ray LaMontagne
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love" - Barry White
At this point I stopped listing, I think because the conversation changed (nothing derails a conversation like the casual mention of Barry White). Could've gone on for a long time though...maybe someday I'll try to list them all, because that sounds like a fun exercise.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Things I started out saying as a joke that have now become a part of my regular vocabulary, making it so that every time I open my mouth I just want to mock myself:
- "Sup?" and "Whattup?"
- "Cello" in place of "Hello" in phrases such as "cello, you got a bass"*
- "So totally" or its more pernicious variant, "Like, so totally."
- "Samwich" instead of "Sandwich."
- Shakespearean-sounding words and phrases such as "Verily," "Doth," "Hath," "Quoth," "Whilst," and the like.***
- "Ain't" and its close friend "ain't no."
- "More better," "More bigger," "Biggerer," and other inappropriate uses of the suffix -er.
- Comebacks involving "your mom" and "your face."
- Non sequitur
- Hyperbole (or Hyperbolic)
- Dogs in clothes
- Pink things
- 4-inch Heels
- Sword fighting
- Cheesy teen romantic comedies
- Justin Timberlake and others of his ilk
- Spice Girls
- Spider-Man comic books
- Video games
- America's Next Top Model
- "Modern" Art, including Abstract Art
- Taking pictures of myself
*Watch School of Rock. Just do it.
**But it was in like 5th grade so by now it's an inextricable part of my vocabulary.
***A while back someone knocked on my door and I actually shouted, "Hark, who calls? - er, I mean, who's there?" Very embarrassing.
****Okay, so this one doesn't make me sound pretentious so much as give me away as a Will Ferrell fan.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
In other news, I'm trying out Netflix** and have just discovered that I can watch all the seasons of "The Office" (US version) on my laptop anytime I feel like it. So you might not see me for a while, that's what I'm trying to say. Woo-hoo!
*What does that even mean?!
**And they didn't even pay me to link to their site...yet. Anyone from Netflix out there reading?
Monday, October 08, 2007
Jeans, button-up shirt, boots, borrowed hat. Slap on a bandanna and some pigtail braids for extra measure. Inspiration: Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, some girl country singers.
Cons: Sweaty guys in cowboy hats who think you're easy (why do so many people think that costumes and making out go together??)
Leggings, long shirts, huge belts, boots, ginormous hair, crazy makeup. 80's is fun, fun, fun! Plus it's apparently back in style now. There are a few basic directions to go with 80's: punk, mainstream, or aerobics instructor. All are fun, and though the differences between them are subtle, it's best if you choose one. Inspiration: Debbie Harry, Cindy Lauper, Molly Ringwald, Suzanne Somers, Madonna.
Pros: Easy (Goodwill and DI are your friends), plus the night comes with a built-in soundtrack.
Cons: Hugely overdone.
Piercings, hair wax, temporary color, black eyeshadow, ripped up clothes, safety pins, fishnets, boots, leather. The problem with punk is you kind of have to choose a particular era in the music's history. Personally I recommend going back to the roots rather than trying to emulate the punks of today, especially if you aren't really in touch with current punk trends. You want to dress like a punk, not a poser (actually, dressing like a poser could be fun idea, but it requires very delicate work). Inspiration: The Sex Pistols, The Ramones. If you want to head in a more general "rocker chick" direction, look at Siouxsie Sioux, Stevie Nicks, or the like.
Pros: SO much fun.
Cons: Lots of people won't get it.
Wear anything you want and then just throw some animal ears over it. You can look as much like or different from the chosen animal as you'd like. Animals are one of the easiest routes to take if you're wanting to go in the "Sexy _____" direction. For example, on our right here we have the Sexy Cat, Sexy Bunny, and Sexy Mouse costumes from Mean Girls.
Pros: Easy, Flexible, Adaptable
Cons: At best, it looks silly. At worst, slutty.
It's a delicate balance with Halloween costumes - too obscure and nobody gets it, but too generic and nobody cares. Hopefully I'll have a good idea by the 31st, but until then these basic cliches should make a good start. And if I don't feel like putting in more thought this year after all, they could form a fine ending point as well...
Personally, I just can't wait for November 1st so I can really kick off my Christmas celebrations in earnest. Only 77 days until Santa comes!
Monday, October 01, 2007
I wish I learned as much from my success as I do from my mistakes. Maybe then I could have more cool stuff and be a better person.
Hanging out with friends really can make everything magically better - at least for a while.
My favorite part about making cookies is giving them away. I can't eat cookies anymore because I'm hypoglycemic, but I still like to make them because then you can give them to people and for a tiny second you'll see what their eyes looked like when they were just some 5-year-old kid who loved cookies.
I really want to learn Gaelic. Did you know that Irish Gaelic is the oldest written language still spoken in Western Europe? There's at least one instance in which Ireland beats Luxembourg.
I love to perform for children because of the way they allow themselves to affect you. I love the way they demand a shared experience instead of just sitting back and making you do all the work. However, I love to perform for adults because they realize that you're a regular person just like them and try to keep quiet even when they're bored. I suppose the ideal audience would be comprised of polite, communal man-children. Or woman-children.
Just once in my life I'd like to say, "That's sweet of you dear, but I really don't have time for you to sweep me off my feet right now" and not be making a pun. On a related note, I recently discovered that my bedroom window is ideally situated for nighttime serenading. I'll be waiting expectantly come Valentine's Day this year.
"Wow, that doesn't look nearly as bad as I thought it would" is still a compliment, even if it's one I have mixed feelings about.
King Lear is great. Performing in the Nelke is great. Knowing my friends are in the audience at a show is great. If you could all come see King Lear before we close our on-campus run this coming Friday night, then that would also be great. Tickets are still on sale at the HFAC ticket office.
I LOVE birthdays. Anyone's birthdays.
I hate Physical Science. Any Physical Science class. I especially hate my Physical Science class.
I don't like to sweat. I find it gross.
Once when I was in London on study abroad I had a chocolate emergency. I decided I just HAD to have some. So I grabbed some cash and set off down the street to the little mini-mart store thing. There was always this guy sitting right outside of this store, and I always just ignored him. I tend to ignore all strange men I see on the street actually, especially when I'm having a chocolate emergency. Anyway, I walked into the store and spent all my money on chocolate - probably like 5 or 10 pounds (that's British for "dollars") that I really couldn't afford to spend frivolously. When I walked out of the store, there was that guy. And then I remembered that he was homeless and had basically nothing, while I was wasting all of my money on chocolate because I was having some kind of "emergency." I didn't know what to do because I had nothing to give him but candy, which seemed somehow inappropriate; I finally just walked past him and went home. The chocolate did little to assuage my guilt. It tasted really, really good though.
Really big earrings make me happy.
I hate going to computer stores alone. This is largely because of a few too many bad experiences involving store attendants wearing "hate cologne"* who stand way too close to you and follow you around the store even after you tell them you don't need help. I'm never sure if it's because they think I'm pretty or because they enjoy knowing more about computers than I do. Either way it makes me uncomfortable. I know that the vast majority of computer store employees are probably very nice people who would never dream of invading your personal space, but those are my prejudices and I don't aim to change them very soon.
Eye contact is confrontational to almost every animal except for humans. Some would argue that eye contact is confrontational for humans, as well. I tend to disagree with those people, though it is interesting how direct eye contact can become really unnerving if it's held for too long. Interestingly, if you want to tell a dog to calm down, you should avert your eyes, yawn, and turn your body away from her/him. If you want to annoy your mother, do those exact same things. Now you see how lots of people stress their dogs out by treating them like humans while other people offend their mothers by treating them like dogs.
I'm out of things to say now. I hope this was an enlightening experience for all involved.
*I don't know if it's a particular brand of cheap cologne or what it is, but there's this scent some guys wear that automatically triggers my hate reaction.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
"I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde." - Dolly Parton
Well the deed, as they say, is done. The fabulous Kirsten Nelson at Adagio Salon in Orem (soon to be the fabulous Kirsten Nelson at Element Salon in Orem) and I spent many, many, many, many hours together on Saturday as she painstakingly lifted the base color of my hair from dark brown to its current fairer state. Since Becca told me to post pictures of the finished job, and I tend to do what I'm told, and I like to take pictures of myself anyway, I went for a walk today and came back with some pictures to share with you all.
On the left here is my new Facebook profile picture and also the picture so far wherein my hair appears the lightest.
And this is roughly how I felt after spending FIVE HOURS in the salon on Saturday. I'm told my hair was a particularly difficult case. Good thing Kirsten is such a neat lady, or it might've been miserable. Plus I was reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower during the "processing" times, which is an AMAZING book that I recommend to anyone. Wow.
There, I even included the highly cliché "finger in mouth" pose, which I don't think was supposed to come off looking so Stalk-Me-Please-MySpace-Whore-ish. Normally I would've deleted it by now out of sheer embarrassment, but without it there are only three pictures, and then I wouldn't have a square, now would I? Besides, it's a good picture of the hair. THE HAIR, you weirdo.
So that's me as a blonde so far. And if those aren't enough pictures for you, I'm just going to get extremely creeped out. Now I'm going to do something productive (like write my English 311 paper...or stare at myself in the mirror), and then I'm told there's some serious fun I ought to be having.
*This concept gives rise to my eventual one-woman show, entitled Me and My Hair: A Two-Woman Show.
(Last minute edit: note that you can click on any of the above pictures to enlarge them.)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
That's right my friends; I'm going blonde.
Why blonde, you ask? Quite honestly, because it's the only color of hair I've never had (except for that summer when I just wore it all bleached out because the green dye faded and I was too lazy to redo it - which doesn't count because it was unintentional). I have had my hair every other color I can currently think of except for orange, which I will never do. This includes pink, showcased here as it appeared in my family photo circa 2002. I've put black bars over my family's eyes in case they've decided they don't want to be seen with me (you never know).
Another reason is because every time I mention my newfound desire to join the ranks of the fair-haired, somebody says - and I quote - "I don't know; I can't picture it." Don't you see how it must therefore be done?
This is totally uncharted territory for me, people. But just look how many new looks and identities there are to explore!
I could go all peroxide rocker-chick, like Debbie Harry of Blondie...
I can be classy...
Very blonde, or...
Hey, if it's good enough for a sequel (and a Broadway musical), then it's good enough for me.
Apparently being blonde is somehow good for one's dating life. This should make my bishop happy, then.
And finally, there's that old, well-advised adage: if you can't kiss 'em, join 'em.
And so the decision has been made. By Saturday these sultry brunette strands will be bleached away in favor of the shimmering locks of some kind of girl with blonde hair. At that time I promise to actually take some pictures of myself on my newfound adventure. Until then, I must go and conquer the unknown, boldly going where no Julie (except for lots of Julies who aren't me) has gone before...
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
So this weekend I finally (finally!) got to move into my private bedroom in the apartment I'm living in. I'd been living in the shared room all summer, staring longingly at the private room (but not when the girl living there was home because that would be creepy) in anticipation of my chance to move in and have at last have my own space. And now I'm finally here! It's wonderful. But anyway, I was unpacking and moving my things in when I happened upon a smallish leopard-print box in which I recalled having stored certain keepsakes and the like in the past. Wondering if there might be any pictures I could decorate my boring white walls with, I opened it up and took a look. Inside I discovered, to my mild surprise, many assorted mementos from near-relationships past (interestingly enough, I seem to have kept nothing from my actual relationships...which I don't regret, because those boys were lame). As I was looking through them all again, re-reading the notes and letters and remembering why the random objects were significant, the song "To Love Somebody" sung by Damien Rice & Ray LaMontagne suddenly came on my computer's playlist and started playing. I looked up to realize that the words "Baby you don't know what it's like, baby you don't know what it's like, to love somebody, to love somebody, the way I love you" were underscoring everything I was reading. It was weird, and it reaffirmed my growing suspicion that my life is actually a weekly hour-long dramedy beloved by the Gilmore Girls crowd. I have included the song in this post for maximum effect.
This got me thinking, though. See, when I was a freshman here at BYU, my friends and I all came up with superhero names for each other, like Ridiculous Girl and the Fickle Female. I was dubbed Captain Confusion, and my power was the ability to irritate my enemies to death by constantly asking what was going on. Yeah, I was pretty clueless as a freshman. Now that I'm a senior though, and considerably wiser (suuuuure you are, you're saying. Well, I say shut up), I think I should be a new superhero. They could call me The Rejector. I'll have the super ability to damage my enemies' self-esteems so badly that a fight won't even have to take place. Think how effective I could be! Big, bad enemies and monsters could come up and I could just be like, "You know, you're a really great bad guy and all, but I'm just not interested in fighting you. I'm sure you'll make some other crime-fighter very happy...or miserable, which ever one you want to do." Or, "Wow, you're a really scary monster, and I'm really flattered that you want to destroy me, but I'm really not ready for a fight right now. It's not you, it's me." Or I could be really cruel and just say, "Huh - what? Oh, I'm sorry, I was too busy trying to beat up this villain over here to notice you." I would make SUCH a devastating superhero. Wow.
So there's something for all you comic book (or sorry - "graphic novel") creators out there to consider. Me, I'll just be going about my merry way, utterly oblivious to the destruction left in my wake. After all, just as Nightwing will always be remembered as Robin*, so I shall always be a little Captain Confusion.
*So I've got some comic book nerd in me. Get over it.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
In other news, I'm rapidly losing my grip on grammar. I particularly can't seem to remember. How to use punctuation; My best guess is this is because I've quit writing for grammatical correctness and started writing for colloquialism and rhythm. Everything, must have a price: I suppose.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Reasons to like my temporary roommate:
- She's from Japan.
- Not only that, but she talks on the phone in Japanese in my presence.
- She's nice.
- Even though she usually goes to bed after me and wakes up before me, she never wakes me up.
- She wears really cute outfits I could never personally pull off.
- We're both used to private rooms, so we understand the value of not bothering each other.
- She finds my whole-grain pancakes impressive.
- She prefers using her laptop in the living room, which I consider a sign of intelligence.
- Even though we don't interact much, I can tell she's cool.
Reasons to not like my temporary roommate:
- Her name reminds me of Yoko Ono's, and it's getting hard not to make jokes.
So okay, I guess I do like my temporary roommate. Still can't wait for my private room to open up, though, even though I like the roommate who's in there now. I mean, I don't know her super well because we're never here at the same time, but she shaved her head while I was at home in Oregon, and that's just cool.
I'm thinking of getting a fish. What do you think?
- 10:00 AM - Wake up
- 10:30 AM - Get out of bed, turn on computer. Remember that you really ought to eat breakfast.
- 11:30 AM - Go to computer, open up Word. Remember to shower.
- 1:00 PM - Decide that your hair and makeup look alright. Now it's time for lunch. An elaborate lunch - experts say it's best to take time to eat, you know, and really pay attention to what you eat. Health is important, after all.
- 2:00 PM - Go to computer, remember that you have rehearsal at 3, and decide not to write. After all, what if you get on a roll and you don't want to stop? And shouldn't you be preparing for rehearsal? Shows are important, after all.
- 2:30 PM - Stop playing piano because it's time to head to rehearsal.
- 5:30 PM - Get home from rehearsal. Watch an episode of Scrubs to unwind.
- 5:50 PM - Make that two episodes of Scrubs.
- 6:10 PM - Dinner time. Take time to carefully contemplate before choosing which leftovers or prepackaged meal to eat. You can't rush these things.
- 7:00 PM - Go to computer and turn on your music. Wonder if this is really the best playlist you could've chosen for rewrites of this particular play. Carefully comb through your entire music library to make sure you haven't missed any crucial, inspiration-bestowing songs. Then recheck your playlist to make sure there aren't any detrimental songs on it. Be as thorough as possible.
- 7:45 PM - Switch back over to Word and open up the saved copy of your latest draft. Stare at the spot where you stopped last time. Visit Facebook to see if there's any inspiration there. Read lots of profiles, but don't actually reply to any messages you've received - you don't want to leave anything that could be construed as evidence of procrastination.
- 8:15 PM - Wait until a song by your favorite band plays. See if you can figure out when their new CD comes out - and if you can preorder it somehow.
- 8:30 PM - Go for a walk. Walks are therapeutic or something like that.
- 8:35 PM - Get bored of not talking and call someone. If they ask about your play, tell them you're taking a break to go on a walk. Talk about anything you can think of. Talking is a good way to get ideas, right?
- 9:30 PM - Hang up because the other person has to go. Realize that it's definitely getting dark outside now. Go home.
- 9:35 PM - After that long walk, you really need a drink. And some snacks. And some more TV.
- 10:30 PM - Have you checked your email yet? You should do that.
- 10:45 PM - Find yourself on Glamour.com for no good reason. Read some stuff.
- 11:30 PM - Write in your journal. Someone has to chronicle all the exciting events of the day.
- 12:00 AM - Check to see if the Stephen Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching is in any of the libraries in your area. Then check to see if you can buy it online, and if so should you? Everyone says it's the best version, after all.
- 12:15 AM - Consider your play. Decide that you're blocked. Look up cures for writer's block on Google. Don't actually read any of them, though.
- 1:00 AM - Realize that you're back in the living room and you don't remember why. Return to your computer.
- 1:30 AM - Decide that it's been a really long time since you wrote in your blog.
- 2:00 AM - Hopefully, get some sleep.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
This is Summertime 9A, by Jackson Pollock. Since I first encountered Pollock in my early teens, "Be in the same room as an actual Pollock painting" has been on my list of Things To Do Before I Die. Then this past Spring Term when I was in London (best six weeks of my life, I'm fairly sure), I decided to stop by the Tate Modern one afternoon when I was supposed to be somewhere else. I rode up this unbelievably long escalator, walked into the first room I saw, turned the corner, and there they were. I think I actually started crying when I saw the Pollock paintings; I certainly responded strongly enough to prompt a strange look from the museum guard. I found a bench and sat with my back to one of Monet's waterlillies staring at this very painting (singing Gershwin's "Summertime" in my head every now and then) for a long, long time and it's one of the most satisfying ways I've ever spent an afternoon anywhere. I know a lot of people don't like non-representational art because they don't "get" it - or more likely, they don't think there's anything there to "get." But for me, I love. Love. LOVE. Modern art.*
Now that it's snowing again, I have to look on the bright side. And the bright side of snow is...snowmen!! Also, the occasional snowball fight. Hopefully this will be good packing snow.
And beaches, and sunsets, and standing in an epic silhouette. Also, I'm grateful that I know how to spell silhouette.
"A ninja needs no weapon. A ninja is a weapon." - Storm Shadow (G.I. Joe)
I've spent over a year and four months coming home to this tall, shiny man every day (except for when we were separated this Summer. Sigh...). You might say that he's stiff and even cardboard, but I say he's smiley, an excellent listener, and the sassiest dresser I've ever met.
I like books. A lot. I mean, like, a lot a lot. I have absolutely no idea what my childhood (or the rest of my life) might possibly have been like if I hadn't been able to read. I really don't know who I'd be if I hadn't been able to read. Do you ever imagine what that would be like? Plays, novels, magazines, nonfiction, encyclopedias, dictionaries, comic books, the occasional poetry... It's all great. Reading is love. And I'm grateful for tigers, too. Especially tigers who love mid-19th century Russian playwrights as much as Trent here does.
"If you ask how I got so bitter, I'll ask how you got so vain. And all our questions blur together. The answers always sound the same. We can't look at one another. I'll say something thoughtful soon, but I can't listen to the quiet so I hum this mindless tune I stole from some dumb country-rock star. I don't even know his name. It's like my stupid little questions: the answers always sound the same."** And so much more.
Do I really need to elaborate on this one? Honestly.
A picture's worth a thousand words. But when that picture is of Brad Pitt, none of those words actually matter.
A Short Attention Span
What distressing event? Which persistent worry? Thunder Hotrod McWholicutty? While my inability to stick with most things (other than the few things I cling to unfailingly) is often counted as a weakness (particularly if you happen to actually be Thunder Hotrod McGillicutty and you can't figure out where I've disappeared to), it has its strengths. Take, for example, this phone conversation I had with my dad a while back:
Dad: So how're you getting over that boy?I had broken up with someone about three days before. Now, maybe I'm cold. Maybe I'm heartless. But at least I don't usually wallow in self-pity for longer than about a weekend.
Dad: Weren't you dating someone?
Dad: I mean, didn't you just...break up? Or something?
Blogs That Actually End at Some Point
Like this one, which has probably gone on too long as it is and must now come to an end. This is fun though - you should try listing the things that you're grateful for sometime. Once you get started the list just keeps going on and on and on...it gets so long you realize you could just sit there coming up with new things to be grateful for for the rest of your life. Especially if you spend so much time sitting and thinking of things that you stop eating, drinking, or sleeping, because then your life wouldn't be very long. And I'm grateful for life. Which all puts me in mind of my favorite Dostoevsky quote, from The Brothers Karamazov:
"And I seem to have such strength in me now, that I think I could stand anything, any suffering, only to be able to say and to repeat to myself every moment, 'I exist.' In thousands of agonies - I exist. I'm tormented on the rack - but I exist! Though I sit alone in a pillar - I exist! I see the sun, and if I don't see the sun, I know it's there. And there's a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there. Alyosha, my angel, all these philosophies are the death of me. Damn them!" (Mitya, from the Constance Garnett translation)*That wasn't really a sentence, but you still get it, right?
**The lyrics are from "None of the Above," which is actually on their album "Fallow," not "Left and Leaving." Left and Leaving is pictured, though, because it's my favorite overall.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
There is this boy that I know. Because I'm apparently still in junior high school I don't generally call him by his real name when I speak about him in this context; I call him by the most hardcore name that I could think of off the top of my head when I first nicknamed him, which is Thunder Hotrod McGillicutty. I have a kind of a minor (major) thing for this boy right at this moment. He is fabulous, wonderful, attractive, blah blah blah. Now, I know by now a bit of my pattern with regards to boys that I like: I meet one, I develop some kind of intense attraction to him, and then I think to myself "I've never felt this way before!" when in fact I've felt exactly this way many times before, and then after a while (usually about 4-6 weeks) it fizzles and I move on to repeat the cycle with someone else. But I honestly think that I've said more outright stupid things to and/or around Thunder Hotrod McGillicutty than any reasonable person should have to hear coming out of one's own mouth. It's ridiculous. And this poor guy has received so many mixed signals from me - and this has been going on for months.
You see, I'm impossibly oblivious when it comes to how other people feel about me. I can spend months hanging out with someone, even sharing some pretty personal experiences with them, and not realize that we're friends until they say something. And I basically NEVER know if a guy likes me. I'm the kind of girl who comes home to her roommates and says things like, "So his friend says that he likes me, and he's always complimenting me and giving me things, he keeps coming over here, we hold hands frequently, and I'm pretty sure the other day he kissed me. Do you think he likes me?" These roommates proceed to laugh, and I remain confused until they actively convince me that not only does he certainly like me, but I've also been involved in an exclusive relationship for the past two weeks. Never underestimate how clueless I can really be. So this leads to me sending poor Thunder a lot of crazy weird mixed signals - it's not just that I'm afraid (which I am), but since I can't figure out what kind of "signals" he's sending me, I have no idea how to act toward him. At best, I miss these things completely. At worst, I completely misinterpret what I get (oh, he keeps looking at me. He must think I'm weird). It's ridiculous!
And then I'm not generally self-aware enough to know what kind of signals I'm sending out anyway. I'm basically incapable of thinking before I speak. Seriously. If I plan out what I'm going to say before I say it, I'll inevitably get all my words mixed up and turn into a stuttering weirdo within moments. I forget to say the first part of the sentence because I'm thinking about the last part of I'll just get all the words out of order or who knows what. So in general I'm stuck thinking while I speak. But that gets hard because there's so many other things to think about while you're speaking, like if your words are coming together in a way that makes sense or if they're listening to you at all, so actually most of the time I save my verbal self-evaluations for after I speak. Though I've been told this should give me a natural advantage in acting Shakespeare (whose characters tend to verbalize all their thoughts), it definitely holds me back in the relationship department. I wind up sitting there with Mr. Thunder Hotrod McGillicutty, and there are all these words coming out of my mouth, and I'm just thinking What am I saying? Why did I start telling this story in the first place? Oh well, I guess it's too late to stop talking now. And then a few hours later as I'm running back through the conversation in my head, I suddenly realize that not only did I make myself look like an idiot, but I probably offended him and certainly made it sound like I was interested in anyone in the world but him. What's my problem and how should I fix it, you wonder? How am I supposed to know??
Anyway, all of this is long ramble about my personal neuroses is really just a very long preface to a long set of song lyrics I'm about to post here. Normally I'm opposed to posting song lyrics in my blog-style writings, but I figure in this case it's an obscure enough song that you're not likely to know why it applies because you aren't familiar enough with it. So Thunder Hotrod McGillicutty, assuming that you know who you are (and you probably don't, you poor soul), this one's for you:
Whiskeytown/Ryan Adams - "Fool"
Held up on the interstate
Sky pretty enough to paint
Held out and I was too late
Held out and I was too late
I should 'a laid it down
I should 'a been myself
But I'm such a fool
I'm such a fool
I'm such a fool
Busy night on the town for a drink
Doing up on the bathroom sink
Pretty lights, pretty wasted so
I should 'a laid it down
I should 'a been myself
'Cause I'm such a fool
I'm such a fool
I'm such a fool
Imagine the slowest dance in the whole wide world
Roll through the crowd with your arm around a girl
Dressed up with no place to go
See the people I don't want to
Two drinks and we'll take some pills
Wonder how it used to feel
I should 'a laid it down
I should 'a been myself
I'm just a fool
I'm just a fool
I'm just a fool