"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Thursday, August 31, 2006

the price of gas

snapped these pictures of a ridiculous man filling up his H3 hummer at the gas station in my hometown ($73.28 for a half tank!) overheard him trying to sell it to the guy at the next pump ["i've only driven 1,000 miles on it. it's in great condition. you want it? i was gonna give it to my kids but i could make you a nice deal..."]

ok, a number of things:
1. gas station: not the best place to make a hummer sale. doesn't really do much to tone down its undesirable characteristics...
2. hummer=more value as scrap metal than a personal use vehicle. do your kids a favor, get rid of the trap.
3. the pump says "we're in business for small business." we're at a sam's club. an affiliate of walmart. need i make the irony more blatant?


Sunday, August 27, 2006

bike touring musicians are too cool for school

i found this awesome site a while ago.

apparently there is an indie band touring america on bike and rockin out along the way! i think that is super tight and i wish them all the best. it's gotta be tough touring on a bike, but it's not impossible, as these enterprising young men and ladies are proving.

giddy up for bike advocates everywhere!!

Friday, August 25, 2006


been sketching my way through the madness. i'm taking 20 credit hours: 2 film classes (diversity & culture in american film and satiric film!!), 2 mass media classes, 1 social entrepreneurship class, 1 education class, 1 rhetoric class for my job as a writing tutor, 1 mystery class i haven't been to yet because i can't find it or the professor and can't figure out when it meets...

i have class pretty much 12 hours a day. many meetings for groups on campus too. and i'm already stressed applying for scholarships and org's and grad school and study abroad....

gasp gasp. i'm gasping for air.

so, to say the least, i will be posting less frequently. but will continue to draw and write and ruminate i hope. and maybe start up a podcast in my rare free time (i have the means now!... and i need to do something! i quit my job at the radio... :-(

so, enjoy the sketches. they're not that fascinating, but well, what really is these days? (i'll tell you: satiric film! wow, i love that class!! anyone want to buy or lend me best in show, waiting for guffman, and/or shaun of the dead? i have to buy them and can't afford to right now, what with all the hundreds i spent on books this week and having no income any more.)

o miami university. how i love you. you won't pay your workers a living wage, but somehow an air-conditioned and heated car garage with windows sounded like a good idea to you...


Friday, August 18, 2006

my review of crash (2005)

i know crash is, like, so 2005.

but i've been busy and just now got around to watching it.

but no worries. i got a review out right away!!

i was going to write a full-blown post with my reaction to this film, but it turns out my thoughts were quicker than i could type them so i just spoke into my camera and spun this little video out for you to see instead.

good? bad? i guess you'll just have to see.

(well, here's a hint.
this is what i think of the movie. it's an onomatapoeia. "pllllllttttttthhhdddddt...")

so check it out:

and check out my other videos on mytube!

p.s. i got a letter back from jens today and i must say it made my day. i think i fall more and more in love with him every day, which is horrible because i will only be so completely devastated. but for the moment i'm so happy it doesn't even matter. (-: ~~~<3

Thursday, August 17, 2006

dear rocky dennis,

i wish we could have been kids together. i hope we would have been friends.

i would have chased you around the blacktop at recess. and i would have let you pull my hair, but i would have pretended not to like it. we would hold hands and skip rope and swing together singing songs from musicals we haven't written yet.

we would share bag lunches in the fenced-in grass at school, and pick wild strawberries from the bushes beneath the dogwoods. and we would climb the chain link fences to fall over on the other side.

i would have dreams later when you moved to another town, of the two of us being young again and on the same schoolyard, happy again as we used to be. and we would be flying with our hands clasped together and extended above us and we could perch on branches of trees, like birds, cooing and happy.

i would learn swedish to know you better. i would change my name to be one of the girls you sing about in your songs.




that's what i dubbed the cat i found waiting for me when i returned home last night. he's my newest neighbor as i said hello to him when i passed him on the street the other day on my way to the pool. he's also my new secret pet because my parents will not let me keep him, since i am leaving for school in a few days and they don't have the time for another child and my school will not allow jannik to stay with me.

i can't decide though if it is better to lead little jannik on and treat him as a pet or if i should say "shoo!" so as not to get attached, or if i should trap him for the time being and take pictures of him and post them all over town and try to find his owner, or to find him a home.

do cats feel pain when they discover they've been led on? do cats miss their owners? or is it possible that little jannik ran away and is looking for a new friend to take him home? is it better to give him a home for now and break his heart later, or to have him be homeless a little longer but without hurting his feelings? did he recognize me without my swimsuit and towel on?

too many things to think about. so i went with my initial inclination: i played with him in the moonlight and the soft glow of my garage, on the sweet soft summer silk driveway of my childhood home. we tickled each other and became fast friends. he sang like a bird and i coo'd back at him like a dove.

we understand each other.

i was looking up at the moon and stars in the sky and thinking how different night looks when you're back home from a long absence. i wondered if it had changed much since i last looked up at it in this same location many months ago.

little jannik purred and curled up in my lap.

i felt bad, because i think he likes me but i'm not sure i can give him the love he needs. so i fed him some milk in a mickey mouse bowl and said good night.

his eyes were glowing in the night when i turned the lights off and looked back.


if you live in lexington, ky and want a sweet little friend, and have lots of love and milk for jannik, please let me know (in the comments). jannik needs a good home.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

will i die?

i'm planning a dangerous adventure...

one thing i feel very adamantly about is the need to reduce our dependence on oil and to have a more eco-friendly energy source.

and the best way i see for the individual to take action against our government and the "blood for oil" types is to get off our dependence on automobiles.

in chicago this summer, i relied on nothing more than my two feet and a bike to get around, using public transportation occasionally when i had to cross the river or into unfamiliar territories.

so i am understandably sad to see that my sprawling hometown of lexington, ky is still largely reliant on SUV's, hummers, and personal vehicles to get around. i have been slightly heartened to find a few more of our lextran buses up and running, but from what i understand, they run too inefficiently and unpredictably to rely on to get from, say, home to work daily. looking in the windows, i see very few passengers. i can't even find the nearest stop to my house, or anywhere really. thinking back, i can't remember ever seeing this many city buses running in my town.

i've never used the public transportation here before. i feel awful about it too, because right now i am just complaining without doing anything to help solve the problem. but my dad informs me that the nearest bus stop to our house is probably at the monstrous fayette mall, which would take me a good half of a day to walk to, and i would most certainly get hit by a car on one of the major highways on my way.

lexington is also not very bike-friendly or pedestrian-minded either. so, it is everything critical mass chicago works to eliminate: the auto(mobile)cracy.

it seems so silly though, with the way our environment is quickly deteriorating, and with obesity being a national health crisis (i hear more about it than AIDS, which seems to be glaringly conspicuous), heck, you don't need to look further than gas prices these days for a good reason to abandon that old metal trap and get out there on a bike (or on your gams or a bus...)!!

granted, my silly town is too big for its own good and commuting to and from work on a bike must seem like a huge undertaking to most, but i assure you this is all a thing of the mind. i biked to work in chicago across much greater distances, chicago is, after all, much larger than lexington is. the problem is that lexington has very poor facilities for bikers. no lanes, no racks, i can't even remember the last time i saw someone biking in the greater downtown area, which is too bad because that would really be a lovely ride.

my town is too suburban and high brow for its own good. here, as everywhere, a car = class. which is too bad because now too many people are getting too lazy to get off their fat asses and do something to change things in america.

so, i'm planning a magnificent gesture. i am going to make a ride from my home (which lies on the way south edge of town, a horse farm away from "the boonies" or the only remaining forested area in lexington) to downtown lexington (north central lexington, before you get to the "real north side" where i went to middle school, where the ghettoes and projects and minority communities are). this will require traversing several major roads (tates creek, man o' war, nicholasville road, being the major ones that come to mind), many of which will not have bike lanes or sidewalks, requiring me to do what critical mass has taught me to relish and fear best: riding in the heart of traffic.

there will be screaming, honking, confusion, peril, road rage, blood sweat and tears. and many brushes with the law, neighbours, and death!!!

and there's so very little time. i go back to school on sunday and i still have to spend time with my family and friends!!

tally ho!

p.s. in other news, i wrote a heart-felt letter to jens lekman yesterday and i see that he visited briefly yesterday. or... someone from sweden did. i just assumed it was him. anyway, at least i feel ok about being hurt on my bike knowing that i once wrote to jens lekman and that he may or may not have visited here, if only for a brief moment of time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


now, i always wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to musical crushes. (sufjan (1, 2, 3) and andrew bird anyone??) it's just too easy to fall in love with a distant talent, especially when you're delirious with heat exhaustion and dehydration, and when they're as unresistably talented and magnificent and wonderful as this. or this...

but mr. stevens and mr. bird, kindly step aside: lately, my favorite artist to pine on has been none other than the incredibly talented, charming, and swedish(!), jens lekman.

when a brief five minute performance is all it takes to exude the charm, personality, and musicality to win me over, you know... it's gotta be love.

i am, of course, speaking facetiously... ;-)

but, i must admit, that of all the artists i have had crushes on lately (including a recent one on peaches... :-?) jens is the absolutely only one i want to get to know in a real way.

before you get the wrong idea about me, please allow me to explain:
i think most die-hard music fans only entertain ideas of meeting their crushes in brief bump-in's, maybe an encounter just long enough to say hi, get an autograph, maybe even a picture... enough to say they'd met a celebrity.

that was enough for me to get over my crush on andrew bird, who i met post-show in newport, ky. it was just enough to get a t-shirt signed ("there will be snacks!"), shake his hand, and come crashing down from clouds of flight. it was enough for my lifetime with mr. bird in my life to let go and move on. mr. stevens i've never met, though his somewhat disgruntled demeanor during the encore makes me think i'd be intimidated and would have difficulty conversing with him.

jens, though, i would like to meet. would truly really like to meet. and not in the crazed fan, "i've been listening to your record endlessly all year will you please sweat onto my hand so i can go the rest of my life without ever washing it so i can say you did so" kinda way. jens i would like to meet in a simple average way, like maybe bump into him at a bookstore or on the street while out grocery shopping in sweden. and i would not be starstruck or wordless because of his stunning good looks, or his famous face, or his graceful demeanor, but would need to struggle to get my apologies in edge-wise (because i imagine he is a gracious person who would apologize profusely, as i do, if he bumped into some stranger on the street).

then, we would talk a little further about trifley things and continue on our way. if we ever bumped into each other again, we might talk again, and i would hope we could sit down to talk about greater things, solve great mysteries, go on dangerous adventures in search of treasures, rescue small dogs from fires and small kittens from too-tall trees.

because i bet you jens is as delightful and charming in person as he is on paper and on stage. he seems genuine. and i bet he's a fantastic conversationalist and friend.

you see, i've fallen totally in love with his writing on his website's journal, smalltalk. i think jens's music is fantastic, but i think he missed a secondary calling as a writer. he's just brilliant at it. the writing is crisp and soft in its honesty, and tinged in the corners with just the slightest detectable trace of swedish, in a way that makes me think of sunny outdoor weekends from my childhood... and makes me insanely jealous. i wish my blog were as compelling and sweet as jens's is... like this, for example:

I am back in San Francisco. This morning I woke up to the sound of a coffee machine going b-b-b-b-blup-b-b-b-b-blup and i was thinking ... poor guy, the girls must be giving him a hard time for stuttering like that. Sometimes I have such an unconscious empathy for dead objects.

his word choice tickles me.
and i bet he doesn't even try! like his music, i bet it's all just so naturally quirky and endearing. it's dangerous to put that stuff on the internet for any one to come along and find. it makes people loopy.

it really is a compelling read. i'm reading everything is illuminated, and it reminds me of that. but it is most certainly not affected and is not conceited. the only reason i draw this comparison is that it uses language in a similar way, with the effect of making me smile and laugh to myself. it makes me happy to see language in this form, because it reminds me that communication doesn't have to be so complicated and shrouded in embellishments. it reinvents words and their uses to make them new and twinkly again.

and it's so nice to see an artist with his humility still intact. there are only three performers/performances that i saw this year that left me with a tangible sense of the artists' humanity and their love for their art: the frames, my morning jacket, and jens.

great! another reason to move back to sweden!

jens inspires giving and sharing and general kind-heartedness: a gift of song: someone to share my life with (mp3)

visit jens lekman and acquaint yourself with good. read his journal. it's probably the best artist blog i've ever seen, and i do read a lot of artist blogs. he keeps it like any normal writer would, and not to promote his music or sales (a tactic i find displeasing.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

recovering sadness to find happiness again

i discovered this when i was sorting out my old emails. it's hard for me now to think of a time when i might have penned these words, but then again, i remember that i was deeply unhappy at the end of the last school year. it seems like so little time has passed between then and now, but then, i suppose this is true. and yet a lot has changed...

[in an email to a friend, who had lost a grandmother and was having an existential crisis of sorts, and on the nature of love and loss...]
I have dreaded the loss of loved ones all my life, and it has really affected the way in which I go about living and thinking about my relationships. Have I ever told you that my biggest fear when I was a kid was that someone I loved would disappear from my life, without ever knowing how I feel about them? Death and goodbyes seem to have the same effect on people, and I dread them both.
As a kid, I remember trying to imagine death, and I imagined a great emptiness, a blackness and blindness, and I imagined forgetting and being forgotten, all those I loved losing memory of me, losing traces ofthe relationships we cultivated in life. I would cry and cry, watching tear drops falling into my lap, big wet splotches on my dress.
I recall something of the last semester and it having this horrible aftertaste of sorts, how awful it felt to me after I left. I think a lot has happened to sour my look on life in the last few months of school, I guess with Western, and my being sick, and then personal things too, I think I became a very different and changed person in those final days. And it terrifies me, because I don't know that I much like the person I have become.
I suppose it's that I see myself as a much more callous person than I would like. I've become hardened to so many things, which I would like to take back, but I don't know if people transform as easily as that. I'm upset because in being so terrified of being hurt, I'm hurting my self.
[friend's name deleted], it is so good to hear from you again, and I hope this is not the last of our correspondences. This is not a good bye, nor even a good night. It's early morning here in Chicago, and I prefer that instead. Good morning, friend! It is going to be a better one now... Love, Stephanie

my friend dylan remarked to me that after watching some of my videos he felt that i was deeply sad or depressed. i spoke with him in chicago when he spent the night, in a way that surprised me in its intimacy and made me wonder why he and i had never spoken in this way to each other before.

we talked about the nature of conversation, about the importance of truth and spontaneous curioisty and candidness, of coming out with whatever is on your mind, paying no mind to contexts or retaining a conversational narrative.

i believe we achieved a greater understanding of what we want from our interactions, from our loved ones, of our loves. we discovered a greater meaning to voice and to voicing desires.

i need more conversations like that,

Thursday, August 03, 2006

more sketches


i want to start a project where i sketch various personalities i've met in my time in chicago, and at home.

it's hard, since i'm not a trained artist/cartoonist. but, as my dad pointed out to me when he mistook one of my sketches for a professional's, i always loved drawing when i was little.

perhaps with more encouragement and practice, i could get the hang of it.


so here are some drawings i did one day when i was bored at work.

more to come!


waking life

i had the weirdest dream last night.

it was so realistic, it made me question the nominal difference between dreaming and waking. and how sometimes one can take the place of the other.

i dreamt that i was back at work. only instead of the field museum, it was this big design studio and they were having me do the worst tasks. like, i had to prepare a tray of pineapple and watermelon, just some of the most obnoxiously difficult fruits to prepare, and i had to fill a whole tray --the size of a table!-- with the fruit pieces.

and when i finally finished that, they let me try my hand at designing an ensemble for the next runway show. so i set to work designing this really intricate layered daisy and cream dress, and i was making scale models of it on a mannequin i sculpted at my desk. and then the ladies in my office came over to check on my progress and they just kept shooting me down.

they said that the mannequin's hair was too poofy, that her make-up was trashy, that the way she was wearing the pants was unsophisticated etc. and i was so upset and i just kept explaining that it was my design and my vision of what this woman was like, and they weren't going to criticize my design based on their own tastes. and then when i wouldn't let them tell me what to change, they decided to co-opt the design and had some woman create a version of the dress and she was going to wear it down the runway like it was hers. and i got furious! i yelled at the women, saying that they couldn't bash it then take it from me and bastardize it. and i looked the lady in the eyes and said she was too short and her face was too round and her hairline was not right for my outfit. and all the women in my office were so enraged!

i told them i would rather leave and not be part of the show if i had to compromise my designs to do it. and i was yelling and freaking out and everyone in the studio --it was a huge room of glass and white and cubicles-- was getting nervous and talking about me. and they threatened to call security.

so i left. i grabbed my design, and hoisted that huge tray of fruit, and stormed out --with much difficulty, the fruit tray being so big (the size of a table!)-- and that was the end of my design career. in the dream anyway...

funny, isn't it? perhaps i've been watching too much project runway.

making it work,

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

losing the moon...?

indeed. it's true. it seems that the tidal bulge has been widening or stretching the moon's orbit for thousands of years, making it farther and farther away each year, so that eventually the moon's orbit will be so long, it would take 47 of our 24-hr days until we saw the moon again (thus, the time between "nights" would be 47 of our current days!)

wowza, batman!