Sunday, November 27, 2011

La vie moderne

I know I'm not above or beyond the modernity of today's American society but I am glad that I did not participate on Friday. I have participated in Black Friday shopping events in other years. But I have to admit that I would rather set back and relax. Spend time with my family. Instead of working or shopping at six in the morning, I wake with the sun (or later) and walk around in the mountains while my Grandpa repeats stories I've heard repeated ever since I can remember visiting.
Instead of dodging crazy drivers and shopping carts, I retreat into a place where technology is next to magic. A couple years ago, we spent some time showing my grandpa and his brother where to find the power button on a computer their friend gave them and explaining that a simple push of that button will turn the computer on. We showed them how to open simple games/files like solitaire and word documents that the friend had put on there for them. We then helped them "fix" their "mp3" player which was really a cd-player/radio and the only thing that was "wrong" was that they needed to flip the switch to CD to play their cds.
Instead of stampeding over people to get the newest digital camera at a ridiculously cheap price, I'm taking pictures of such gorgeous scenery that even my family living here still falls in love with every fall. Instead of carrying around a digital wishlist on my smart-phone trying to make sure I get everything checked off, I'm retreating into such a technologically-challenged mountainside where even Verizon loses signal.
Instead of scoping out deals and driving miles to save a few bucks, I'm spotting "buck-rubs" where bucks rub their antlers on the trunks of trees. Instead of buying a new flat screen TV, I'm retreating to a home where the TV has been off since everything was switched to digital.
Instead of going broke on shopping extravenganzas we toss around a few coins while playing hours of poker. Instead of worrying about outrunning an angry sales-hunting mob, I'm worrying about outrunning a bear, or mountain lion if we see one.
I have to admit that I was not surprised this year to find out that people have been shot and pepper-sprayed over deals this year. The stores, and those who shop at them like that are just begging for something like that to happen. And, while the previously described pass-times are not something I usually partake in, I would much rather  go on adventures like that than feed into the craziness that is Black Friday.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

merci beaucoup

I wonder if Native Americans celebrate thanksgiving like our family does. My great great grandma on my father's side was half Cherokee. That might not say a lot to most. That certainly doesn't make me Cherokee or anything but I think most would be surprised that I still knew her for about ten years of my life. We have a young family and I'm thankful for that.
 I'm thankful that I met my Ma Hattie (my great great grandmother) and at least five great grandparents. I had a pretty close relationship with my great grandmother on my mom's dad's side. And I'm thankful for that. I still have a great grandpa and he always manages to get the entire family together when he makes it back up here. He lives in Alabama, a survivor of the second world war and of two cancers. Still, to me, he seems healthy as ever. He's a strong man. Still working, still walking, still hiking. He has stories.
I'm incredibly thankful for him. I'm thankful for my grandparents all of whom are still living. Though I don't see my dad's parents as much, I still feel close to them. Even though my grandpa on dad's side never remembers me, I am still proud to be related to him. I still see him every year for Thanksgiving and sometimes for Easter. 
When telling a co-worker that I was going to Kentucky to see family, he asked if I was from there. Before I could answer, he noted that even if I wasn't I probably had roots there and that's probably why I'm so nice.
If you've never been to Kentucky, you might not understand. Everybody is sweet as sugar down here. 
A lot of times, when you give someone a compliment, they want one back. Not here. Palahniuk talks in some books about how people only ask you about yourself so that you'll ask them about theirs. Not here. 
They are a simple folk. And I do not mean that in a connotative way. You know all those movies where people get so caught up in technology, so lost in their agendas that they lose track of their real lives? They lose contact with their family, they forget what the real world looks like, feels like. They take the Earth and their loved ones for granted... That doesn't happen here. Here, they probably haven't seen one movie like that let alone the several that could fit into that category.
My grandpa here is a strong man. He is certainly a working man though an accident many years back claimed him unfit to work. Instead he works around the house. The thing about my grandparents is that they all used to party. They were those beatniks you see in old fashion photos. Blue jeans and white tees. Cigarettes rolled in the sleeves even if they didn't smoke. Everyone of them drove a motorcycle for at least some time. They're all calmer now but they sure can tell a story. And they really have a bunch of nice old photos time.
If you ever get the time, and haven't done so before and the option is still available for you, you should look at your grandparent's photos. So I'm thankful for my grandparents and for all of their stories and their pictures and all this time I've had so far to get to know them.
I'm thankful that I have roots in Kentucky. I'm thankful that I have strong, smart, hardworking role models with hearts of gold. I'm thankful to be so grounded. To have the opportunity to experience the modern world daily and be brought back to "real" life at least once a year.
I'm thankful for my brain. I see so many people that can't multi-task or focus long enough to read. I'm thankful that I had such encouraging, teaching-savvy parents. I'm thankful for my ability and eagerness to learn. It crushes me to see my nieces and nephew say things like, "I don't need to know math. A calculator can do that for me." Or, "I already took the quiz, I don't need to remember that anymore." I know I've said that a few times but I really do try to remember what I'm taught. At least now I guess.
I'm thankful for those angels- my nieces and nephew. I can't imagine a life without them. They each have such unique qualities that make me proud to be their aunt. I really am thankful for all of my family.
I can't even imagine how I could have possibly turned out without any single one of them. And I'm glad that, for the most part, they're all healthy.
Thanksgiving may have been started as a celebration of our taking land from the native Americans and then settling peacefully with them and may have continued as a sort of patriotic holiday but I only ever look at it as a day most of us get off of work where we can spend time with our loved ones and be thankful for them. It's a day to look back on our lives and ignore our regrets. Reminisce on the good times and really explore what makes us happy, what keeps us going. Whatever I have to be thankful for today, I have been thankful for before and will be thankful for again. And I'm thankful for having this day to look back and be thankful for it all.
Thank you for reading. Call me beautiful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

je n'oublierai jamais

In high school, I had planned on going to Arizona for spring break with my boyfriend and his family. We made plans to walk over and see Mexico. Since I had been to Arizona for a short while once before, I knew there would be a lot of scenic opportunities that I would want to catch on film (or, as our times would have it, catch digitally). And, since this would be my first time riding a plane and my first time leaving the country, I just knew I had to take pictures.
I researched digital cameras online and bought one of the most expensive cameras that were out at the time. Of course, I only picked the most expensive because it had the best reviews. One of the key factors in my decision making was that it had the fastest start-up of available cameras. I wanted to be able to whip out my camera at a moments notice and have a picture in less than a second, in case we were driving by or something was flying by.
I took hundreds of pictures on that vacation and I'm sure at least thousands that year. Soon, everything I did had to be caught on camera.
On the fourth of July, I was watching fireworks through my digital screen (not even through a view-finder because, again, I had a fancy digital camera). Hardly a picture turned out and before I knew it, the fireworks were over.
I had an epiphany soon after- that I had to stop living my life through a digital screen. I missed seeing the gun powder flaming in the sky in various hues right above my head. I started bringing my camera with me less and less.
My mother and I took a trip to Paris. I noticed her doing the same thing when we saw les feux d'artifice à la Tour Eiffel (fireworks at the Eiffel Tower). I kindly reminded her to just sit back and watch the show. It was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen. There was an entire light show backing up the fireworks, covering the entire face of the Eiffel Tower. A history of Paris was dancing around in bright lights as things went flailing from the many levels of the structure.
So this was a time for me when I had somewhat turned my cheek to cameras. I felt the experience was better off emblazoned in my mind than in digital storage somewhere. To be honest now though, I miss Paris and I wish I could look back at more of the unique things we saw. Those moments when I wanted to capture them all, completely in my memory. To just absorb the reality of the moment.
I wish I had some sort of photographic evidence of the homeless lady harassing the beer-bellied man asleep on a bench, trying to help him birth his twins. It feels like a soft image, fading more still, and I remember the story more and more but can picture it less and less.
Ah, to have those memories. To be able to pass those stories on with photographic evidence. Its a fine line I draw: to live life through a lens/screen or just through experiences and memories? That is the question.

Monday, November 7, 2011

la vie d'ennui

I know that the Bell Jar is well known for it's relevance to humanity. Though many people can say that they've never considered suicide, especially not by oven, I think most people (if not all) can relate to at least a moment described in this book. Plath struggles to find charm in the things she feels should be charming. It seems as though everything is part of a love-hate relationship. She either loves to hate something or hates to love it.
I am still reading it, slowly, but the part I think I relate to most (and most people I know can relate to as well) is where she talks about her future. She describes her possible future outcomes as being mapped out like a fig tree. There are so many options out there but she can't decide which branch to reach for and she just keeps putting off making a decision. Meanwhile the figs grow old and rotten.
I wish I had a passion stronger than most. Sometimes I think that one of the dumbest choices I have ever made was to major in a field of art. Partly because I feel so uninspired sometimes. And, though I love fashion and everything to do with it (designing, creating, merchandising, purchasing, etc) I feel torn as a human being for choosing something so materialistic. I know that when I was deciding to go into design, I wanted to make a difference but I still don't know how to do so.
Ideally, I would like to bring acceptance to the world of all body types and their related adornments. But at the same time, I don't want to accept the growing rate of obesity. Not because it is unpleasing aesthetically, but because of the health concerns.
And, as far as culture is concerned, there are some things that I believe lose meaning when they are accepted by and eventually lost into a culture not their own. For instance, the Americanization of kimonos: once used for ceremonial purposes and/or to signify such categories as class/wealth, beauty, importance, wisdom, and honor. Adaptations of such are mass-marketed to the kill-all culture and Americans wear (wore) them around as the hottest new trend, the latest look for look's sake.
There are still plenty of people out there, living in America even, that are knowledgeable, respectful and proud of their heritage but there are also, sadly, many who have no clue. I, for example, feel almost ashamed when the topic arises because I honestly don't know much about my family's past. I believe the majority of my ancestors came from England.
I said "almost ashamed" because there are days when I feel no connectivity to the past. I don't see why I should bother getting to know my ancestors if they didn't stick around long enough to get to know me. And if my family doesn't voluntarily educate me on my past, I don't think they feel it is all that important either.
Still, some days, I wish I was proud of our past. I dream of stories I could tell friends and growing-up family members (and those to come) of how our names mean something and how we are a family that earned our keeps. But I am afraid my family is one of the families that got swept up in the modern world where our biggest concern is the future. Even then, it's only for the near future. We are normally only concerned with the futures of ours and of the people we know and love presently.
And then we have Chuck Palahniuk to remind us that, "this is [y]our life and its ending one minute at a time."

bisous bisous

Sometimes I think all allergens settle in the back of my mouth, making my throat and the roof of my mouth itch like crazy.
I can't stand when someone I'm dating calls me babe or baby but I don't mind when others do. Hun/hon/honey, I only want to hear from someone I am dating. But I still don't want to hear it often. Anyone and everyone is welcome to call me "love". I absolutely love it : ) Or "beautiful"
It drives me crazy when people respond to "Hi, how are you" by asking the same question. It is okay to also ask, but at least answer it first. 
I am so terribly afraid of spiders and bees that my heart still races for a while after they're no longer in my view.  Even after being in a car accident, I was calm and collected until I saw a spider crawling near my feet but I just tried to hide the fear as I casually stepped away.
I can't think of anything else that scares me, even just a little bit.
If you are going to try to scare me, you should probably wear a helmet, a cup and maybe shoulder/elbow pads because it won't phase me mentally but my body does have reflexes when prompted.
I can hold more liquor than one would think, based on my petite physique. But that doesn't mean I've never over-done it.
I've never smoked anything in my life but I have dreams where I am addicted to cigarettes and I think I can really tell what it would actually feel like. Sometimes, I crave them in the day time. Especially if I'm stressed out.
I don't get stressed out easy or often but when I do get stressed out, I go all out.
My best friend has maybe seen me cry three times in my life and most other people I know have never. Even when something minor is bugging me and I don't feel like crying at all, sometimes having my dad around just makes me break into tears and I still don't really get how that works.
I think the world of my nieces and nephew. I have about the same visitation as a divorced parent gets and when they're not in school, I see them even more.
My family means a lot to me, as they have raised me to feel. This is how I know they'll always be there for me in whatever ways possible even if/when I move away.
I hate being cold more than anything in the world. If I am cold, I feel angry and have a hard time concentrating on anything but my misery. I have never been to California but I feel it is the perfect place for me to live.
If love at first sight is actually possible, I should have gone to Italy this summer. I have never felt the same way about a guy as I felt about one whose name I never actually heard. I only read it off a scrap-paper with his name and number that he handed to me after leaving my workplace and coming back with it already written.
I wish I was raised bilingual because it was very difficult for me to learn the French that I learned in University and retaining it is even harder since I find hardly anyone around me speaks it.
I feel accomplished when I empty a bottle of lotion or a tube of toothpaste.
I believe three years ago was the first time I cooked a grilled cheese.Three boyfriends-cooking-for-me later and I can prepare meals all by myself : P It makes me proud when my nieces ask for my "breakfast potatoes" which is really an easy, quick recipe I learned from my last ex.  Every time I break up with someone, even if I'm doing the dumping, I feel really down but in the end, I always feel better off single.
I love kids and a lot of people point out how great I am with them but I honestly never see myself having any. Maybe that will change in a few years. But maybe not- don't get your hopes up.
I think Chuck Palahniuk is a literary genius and I feel ashamed for never even daring to think about having half as much courage as anyone of his created characters have.
Sometimes I feel incredibly inspired but get almost shy to draw things out or start a creative creation process because I'm afraid I won't be able to translate what's in my head to real life. And that would be embarrassing.
Whenever someone says phenomenon or phenomena, I think of the Dr. Pepper commercial where they sing something that sounds like "meh na men ah" followed by some cheery "do"s. 
When people say, "but, um" I think "bu dum bum" like comedic drums.
Ever since teachers started pointing out when people use fillers such as "like" and "um," I have tried to omit them from my speech. Sometimes, instead, I start a sentence over an over again until I figure out a way to word things because I try my best to avoid those and feel awkward sometimes just pausing instead.
In some short quirks-biography of a girl I knew, I read that she hated the sound of people chewing. That never used to bother me but it does now. It actually drives me so bizerk that I dismiss myself from the room before I end up saying something so as not to make the chewer self-conscious.
I don't like the spoiler on my car because I know they have a purpose on sports cars but are just used for looks on normal cars-to make them look sporty and I feel like a poser.

rien de nouveau

Murphy's law says that anything that can go wrong will but I would like to draw emphasis to the tense in which this law is spoken and change just that. When you are talking about anything that can go wrong, I believe you are talking about limitless possibilities. I don't believe in planned destinies. As people, we make decisions and for every decision we make there are consequences or at least subsequent events.
In order for everything that can go wrong to actually go wrong, you would have to be able to make every possible decision at the same time. You would have to cover all bases. Break off into multiple dimensions. Because, at any given time, you could be presented with decisions that have more than one or two outcomes. Each outcome can go wrong in multiple ways so long as you don't believe in having only one planned, mapped out "destined" future.

Looking back, however, if we were given the same decisions to make in the same circumstances like going back in time, I believe we would make the same decisions because we would have the same information, same experiences and same state-of-mind. I don't think our life decisions are mapped out until after we've already made them. It's almost like Timequake by Vonnegut. Except for when they go back in time, they still have a memory of what happened the first time. And, even if they wanted to make new decisions, given their knowledge of the outcomes, they simply couldn't because they were forced to stick with the "map" that they already created living through that time once.
I think, if you blame all the wrong stuff on Murphy's law, you are slacking to acknowledge your own faults. It's easy to brush your mistakes off, saying that anything that could go wrong did, and leaving it at that. Own up that things may have gone better if you made different decisions. Admittedly, this is how we learn as people.
A friend posted on Facebook, "Everyone in life lives with regrets. Those who say they don't are admitting that they havent learned anything from their mistakes."
But I argued that you can admit to having made mistakes, and learned from them and still not regret making them because you did end up learning something.
In the end, we live, we love, we learn and we leave this world "the same decaying organic matter as everything else."

Monday, August 22, 2011

philosophie de l'art

If I remember my art philosophy course correctly,  Plato described art as a copy of a copy. He was worried that the harder one tries to portray an object's beauty the more one would destroy it. Dishonesty was of great concern. For those who couldn't see a flower, but could see a painting of one, would be stripped of the original beauty of being in the flower's presence. But the viewer, nonetheless would still see a flower and still see beauty in that flower.
Today, we not only  have museums chock-full of this dishonesty but everyone has a moving picture box in their home to provide continual, dishonest, imperfect beauty. Enter television. I can only say this in so many ways before I even get tired of it but our generation is living through this ruined world that Plato was worried about.
We watch the lives that go by on television as if they were our own. Meanwhile, hardly anyone takes the chance to try to live anymore. I will take time, here and now, to admit that I am a hypocrite. While I know these are the things destroying our generation and I try to heed against them, I take part knowingly and willingly. I'm not brainwashed into thinking that I'm doing anything more with my life than the next. I admit that I am the same "undifferentiated nothingness" that I was when "my peepholes first opened" (thank you Vonnegut).
Still, as the hypocrite that I am, I would like to point out that even Disney/Pixar people know what's happening. Those hypocrites playing on our hypocracy. They see it happening and they mock us for it, knowing that we're still going to love it, still going to love them. Still going to beg for more when it's over. We know we're getting lazy and we know we're only living through the screen but that's what we like, its what we want. Entertainment, in this era, has entered under those categories of survival it seems. Along with shelter, water and food, we need to be entertained.
I would like to say that I think it is "good" (but only to the extent that learning our lessons through tv can be) that there are movies like Wall-E that show kids where our laziness will get us. Kids may not see the underlying themes like adults may but hopefully it settles in their minds on at least some sub-conscious level that we do need to stop trashing our earth, our minds and our bodies.
I still enjoy a movie from time to time, those copies of copies of copies but I try to appreciate beauty in it's purest available form as well. I still enjoy walks amongst what nature is left. I still dig my feet in the sand or stop to watch a dragonfly flutter on by.
I know Plato would describe books the same way, copies of copies.Though my interpretation of these copies of copies, and the thoughts that follow, could to some level be dishonest and impure- yet another set of copies- I appreciate that I feel slightly more knowledgeable for having read/learned them.
As Palahniuk would touch on, in Lullaby, some people still view knowledge as power. And life is just a battle of power. Maybe once I have enough "power", I will actually do something with it. Or maybe I won't be an exception to the rule, though. I could just forever remain what I always was, what I still am, undifferentiated nothingness. Uninspired. Uninspiring. Copied. Copying.
No matter the outcome, I will probably always feed off of and into what Plato would have called a copied world. This is how we've evolved. Words = Knowledge. Knowledge = Power. We are born to be entertaining. We are needing to be entertained. We are hungry for power. So learn something.

"The natural world destroyed, we're left with this clutter world of language." -CP

Sunday, August 7, 2011

la vie en film

I've been thinking for a while now, maybe a couple years or so, about trying to pinpoint beautiful experiences and trying to capture them in memory and trying to pass them on to the world. In sketches. In stories. In some sort of artistic expression. I have been searching for the right blend of experiences and related descriptions to deem worthy of one's reading. Years later, I am ashamed to admit that I have realized or perhaps been convinced that even the best of descriptions for the best of moments are still just copies of copies.
Thank you Chuck Palahniuk for taking my beauty, my insight, my loves, my memories straight out of my hippocampus and throwing them all into the metaphorical trash. Nothing that has happened to me hasn't happened to everyone else. No experience is unique.
I think back to the time when a boyfriend of mine would surprise me by dancing to nothing but the beat of our own footsteps. At the moment, I was mystified and surprised. I was so sure that the story of our love could be summed up in the few short minutes we spent closer to each other than the rest of the world had ever been. Closer to each other than anyone in the rest of the world could ever try to be. It made me feel beautiful and unique. Loved and special enough to spend the time and spontaneity on. And then I saw the same scene re-enacted for the world to see in a movie. Only it was different characters and it was in the middle of a road somewhere. And you could see her smile and you could see the passion in his eyes. And, although they were dancing to silence, there was a soundtrack for us to hear because it was after-all a movie.
The thing about movies though, is that you can see all the characters and even when the characters have a flashback, the scene includes all of them even the one whose mind is supposedly having the flashback. You get to see just how beautiful, just how in love all of the characters are/were. You get to see how the love in their eyes makes them that much more beautiful for just that moment. But the thing about real life is you are never going to be able to see what everyone else sees in the way that you feel. The love you held in your eyes only counts to the one who saw it and it only counts for that moment. You can never recreate that beauty or that moment because you couldn't see it from all angles.
And why would you want to? We say we want special and unique experiences but we're addicted to happiness the way a masochist is addicted to suffering. After having that one glorified, defining moment we can't wait for the next to come along. After all, if we were only due that one glorified, defining moment, what reason would we have to live for after it? So we try again.
We keep dancing in the silence hoping to feel that passion, hoping to recreate that moment. Little do we realize that the moment was 'special' because it was spontaneous and unprecedented. But, with the limited creative potential this modern world holds, it is hard, maybe impossible even, to continue creating spontaneous moments so we get sucked in to the hum-drum daily grind of real life. And we start living in movies and books because those copies of copies are unique to us and make us feel alive.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tout le mond devrait le faire

I start thinking about it and my heart starts racing. If I were any more excited I think my body would actually start trembling. In ten minutes, I know that I will be right where I want to be. I will be hot and sweaty and I will be satisfied to know that there is something I do right. And afterwards I will be glad I made the decision to do this. I will be happy and I will even feel more beautiful. Still, I know the next time I do this will feel even better and I will be even happier and I will feel even more beautiful.

I have an addiction. A healthy one.

I love to run.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Un long dimanche de fiançailles

I just watched another film starring Audrey Tatou and it was beautiful. It's not just their language that makes the French so beautiful. Everything about their culture is amazing. At least to me. Even though I thought the movie was beautiful- the scenery, the filmography, the plot- I hated it a little bit.

I hate to admit that I am bitter but I cannot think of another explanation for why I hate movies about love. The first and only movie I've ever cried watching was "What Dreams May Come". However, "Tristan and Isolde" put me in a funk for a few days and I did end up crying about that movie. I know these movies are usually used to inspire and cheer people up but all I see is human failure. It makes me sad to think that someone could write about and act out such a pure form of love but I see no real-life examples. At least no new ones. I believe in the love my grandparents and great aunt and uncle share.

I swear I see people get married left and right but I never see love like they show in movies. Or even love like my grandparents have. Is it just me or does true love only exist in written/scripted/picture form anymore? Don't get me wrong I still give love a chance. I still keep my heart open so that "love will find its way in". I just don't really truly believe in it.

Maybe that's how I create a sort of self'-fulfilled prophecy. By letting people know that I don't really believe in it, no one is willing to share theirs with me. Maybe.

And I still believe in love. For sure. I just don't believe in "true love", the kind of love people fight for or at least try for. Sometimes I think love is just a victim of the modern world. Technology makes everything so easy for us that we take for granted anything you have to work for. Anything worth working for. I do think love, "true love" even, existed at one point. I think my grandparents' generation has a few couples who were/are/will forever be in love. And back then, it wasn't easy.

Everyone I talk to about long distance relationships says they won't work out. Some say it's easier now with skyping/texting and all these ways to stay connected quickly but I haven't witnessed a long-distance relationship "working-out" let alone one where both people are in the same city. Our generation is so bogged down by our need for instant gratification. If its not easy, if its not perfect all on its own, its not working and it gets dismissed.

So the cynic rambles on....

One day, I was looking for a quote about love to share. I ended up on google and found a link about "the story of the man who didn't believe in love". The title alone intrigued me so I delved in. After reading it, I was calm. I felt as though this epiphany was brought to my attention. I was accepting and understanding and it made me feel better for a while. It's still just a story. Just another fictional map to describe another author's journey through love but I like it. I think it's beautiful and worth reading.
This isn't the link I found originally, that had something to do with a website named something like thinkexist, but it's the same story:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kurt et Chuck

Up until recently, I hardly read anything if it wasn't written by Kurt Vonnegut. Right now, I'm into Chuck Palahniuk. This man is amazing. He has a cynic voice, like I admire so much in Kurt, in his writing but it can be encouraging in a way. I've never hated the human race so much but at the same time, loved it so much either. To think that he can create such mind-bending thrills within a couple hundred pages. To see that he can make me think and re-think, regret, reform. I'm just beyond half-way through Diary and I can't help but feel connected to the fictional character "writing" it. It's like taking my earlier blog post, "inspiration" and turning that into a character and then having someone else write to him while he's in a coma. So far at least.
Some of the things he writes, I feel like they were taken from my mind, my mouth and/or my writings. This is going to be short because I just have to finish reading. I was told that I won't see the end coming and now I'm even more excited to finish it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

n'aime rien

I know not love
For still, I fear
To keep those, who love,
In my heart, so near.
If love, I knew,
Were here to stay
I’d love and love
And love away.
But fear I may,
That love doth leave.
I love not, thus
Not loved, I grieve.
Love not, want not,
Hurt not I.
Wish not. Share not.
Cry not. Die

Thursday, June 9, 2011

je suis amour

One of my best friends has a tattoo on her wrist. It reads:
be free
be happy
be love
For readers that don't understand French, and didn't look it up already, the title of this one translates to "I am love." Though I may not think of that saying everyday, like someone who has it tattooed to their wrist might, I still feel as though I have melded this saying into my persona. After all, who shouldn't be free? Who shouldn't be happy? Who shouldn't be love?
There may have been days when I have come up with people who, at the time, I thought didn't deserve to be one or any of those. Realistically, however, I am sensible enough to admit that each and every individual truly deserves all three of these idealisms toujours.

We should all be free to feel the way we feel. Whether it's what we want to feel or not, we are all human and can't always control our feelings. Others should be able to accept that. It is okay to be sad. It is also okay to be happy. But at no point in my life should I ever have to be either. We should all be free to express ourselves however we want. You may not agree with me, but you may feel free to express that as well. Each and every individual should be free to make mistakes! What better way to learn? We should be free to talk, free to listen, free to walk, free to christen, free to love... Free. to. be.

I have heard, often, that it is okay to cry. It is okay to be sad. Its okay to grieve. And it is true, that is all okay. But how rare is it to hear, to read, to understand that it is also okay to be happy? I love this phrase for many reasons. It contradicts the norm. It gives an optimistic spin on life. This phrase frees one of the burden of feeling as though one has to acknowledge and/or represent the moment when things go wrong. This phrase opens up a world of happiness where others may have felt it wasn't yet appropriate or okay to move on.
Lesson learned: there is no right or wrong time to grieve. Even when sad things happen, it is okay to be happy.

Further, it is okay to love and be loved. From this, I conclude that it is important, essential even, to be love. This is a free and open phrase. It can mean many things to many people. To me, love is a happiness felt in your heart. It's knowing that somewhere in your life, you or someone close did something so right that your connection to yourself or that person can constantly change your life for the better. And even when it feels like it may be changing your life for the worst, one day you will realize that those feelings were still "character-building" and you still turned out to (as you always will) be better off.
So to be love, in my opinion, is to be that happiness in a heart. It can even be in your own. I know that some would still disagree when they hear, "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." But in the most minimal of ways, you should at least love yourself.
You don't have to be selfish, cocky, and/or arrogant to love yourself. This simply takes a little appreciation. Sit down and think about it. What do you like about yourself? Maybe you do something for others, maybe you like the way you look, maybe you have an incredibly optimistic point of view. These are just three of millions of reasons to love one's self. You should be able to come up with at least one. Why? Because you will be a better person for it. Because, if you can't love something as simple and approachable as yourself, you will never be able to appreciate that which makes life worth living. And without that appreciation, even if your body is still alive, you are not truly living.
In order to love others, I'm sure you've heard, you must first love yourself. And why bother loving others? Love is such an important communicator between two human beings. It doesn't have to be between lovers to be important love. Just as loving yourself is necessary to appreciate life, loving others opens up that many more doors to the opportunity of appreciating that much more in life. I feel so passionate about this that I'm sure this subject will take up more than one blog. I'll save that for another day, though. But just know that, in the words of Kimya Dawson, "Love is common destiny."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

même des artichauts a du coeurs

A friend from the Gump recently quoted another friend on Facebook. It made me think of another thing he said that deemed quote-worthy. He, mimicking a popular childish saying, said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may break my heart."
I got to thinking about that today and about the original saying ending, "but names will never hurt me." What are we telling kids to say? If you really want to hurt me, start throwing rocks?
Are we trying to raise kids to be unaffected by the words of another human being? Sure this saying is originated to apply to foolish childish torment but what does it say about our society? Like my friend mentioned, words can burn much deeper than physical pain. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes we need another person's insight to realize that we are becoming something we don't want to be. Sometimes we need a critique that burns deep in our chest to drive us to succeed. If we say that words, or names for that matter, don't hurt us we are just saying that we've finally cut off a communicative tool that makes us human and that motivates us to change, teaches us to be better and encourages us to appreciate praise.
Words can hurt. We should teach children that instead. And, even when the words are aimed to dig deep and hurt, they can counter-intuitively lead the victim of said words to progress.  It may just be a song but there are plenty of real life instances where these lyrics from Dirty Head's "Check the Level" ( can apply: "she didn't know that the things they said that left her hurting would actually turn out to make her a better person". It's just a little lengthy to say "sticks and stones may break my bones but those mean words you say can turn out to make me a better person so watch what you say."
In the end, I like the way my friend put it, "words may break my heart." This encourages thought and apathy. It appeals to our morale rather than our drive to hurt others. It explains that we are human and that language can be a very effective tool. It can motivate us to chose our words carefully, to engage our brains when we move our tongues. Overall, it reminds us that we are all human and that we all have feelings and, at some level, we care about what others think of us.

<3 *the title is a quote from Amelie, an amazing French movie. A rude, often crude and stubborn, man is calling his employee a vegetable and someone chimes in that at least he (the man, not the employee) could never be a vegetable, because even artichokes have hearts.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


So, I got very caught up in my jobs and internship. And when I wasn't doing any of those, I was trying my hardest to make the most of my time in the city that never sleeps. I made the best of friends with a fellow associate at Bubba Gump (and working there did turn out to be just as fun as I had imagined after my first day).
On Thursdays, we went to Broadways Sessions. To anyone in the Manhattan area, take the time on a Thursday night to go visit Ha! comedy club for some amazing talent. No cover!
I have been back in Michigan, malheureusement, for the past couple weeks and I miss the city, and my new friends, like crazy. Still, I feel inclined to try out another location before I settle on New York for good. No matter where I go, I know I don't want to live in Michigan again. And, while I know I will never be happy in this state, I feel bad about looking for other places because I know my family will stay here.
But one cannot base their entire lives around others'. So I start my journey, looking into new jobs and/or career possibilities in Florida. I need somewhere where winter isn't terrible. If, after one winter, I am not impressed then I will happily go back to New York. I really wish I didn't hate the cold as much as I do. Or at least didn't hate the snow as much as I do.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Dad used to always make us call our homework "funwork". He was very big on making learning an important factor in our lives. In fact, I always thought it was fun until I felt like I didn't fit in for feeling that way. Even then, I guess I still enjoyed it, I just tried not to. Even when it got hard and sometimes tedious, I valued "funwork" time and reaped its rewards.
Now that I am all done with classes, I would like to say a giant weight has been lifted. However, I feel more like there is a hole. I wouldn't go as far as to say I feel this hole in my heart, but I would say that it just feels like something is missing. Or was, at least, until I found the perfect balance of jobs.
Firstly, I found myself a job at Express during the holiday season last year. I took that job with me as a transfer when I moved to New York. I enjoy working there because of the people. Not just the employees (who are indeed great fun) but also because of the customers. It's like being approached with a walking talking word problem. They don't always have as much math as school required but it takes time and effort to find a solution. I never realized how eager a sales associate can/would/should be to help out until I became one.
Not only is it a challenge and a learning experience but it can be entertaining as well. Some people seem to be shopping for the first time ever. Some people seem to just want a friend for part of the day. You get to be like a loaner or replacement friend for those who are out shopping on their own.
Okay, maybe I lied. I guess my internship at Donna Ricco did come first. I applied and interviewed for this during the summer last year. And I started Donna Ricco's internship before I started my transfer shifts here in the city. Inspiration is important for anyone who wants to feel like more than just a Sim (being played by some other bored, software driven creature). This internship helps me find inspiration every day. If for no other reason, it is at least an excuse to leave my apartment every week day.
Most days still, it is much more than that. Surrounding myself with so much creativity, so much design, so many fabrics and so many other fashion-related items, can be overwhelming and absolutely stimulative to my design senses.
Sometimes I wish I was better at drawing/sketching just so that I could show how greatly I am inspired by this internship. Even on the days that seem to drag, where I'm plopped at my desk for almost the entire seven hours, I still get to look around and listen in. The key for me here is to learn not just about the business but also about the people. Being down to earth is something I admire about Donna and her team. When problems arise, it's never "not my fault". It is, however, "how do we fix these?" or "how do we keep this from happening again?"
Also, I must admit I am a sucker for any company that tries to stick out by being the leader of it's pack by way of the consumer. This can range from the way a sales associate approaches you to the way the packaging speaks to you. Which brings me to job number three (although I think we stopped counting since the first/second bit got blurred). BUBBA GUMP! Talk about a company with excellent energy AND product!
Aren't themed restaurants the best?! If you enjoyed your visit, you should know that everyone you met there enjoyed it as well. This seriously is a great place to work. I may not be placed with the highest of credibility for admitting this, since I have only worked there one training shift so far but it's amazing.
Each station has to go through a multi-step training process which gets you familiar with the products throughout the entire store. I guarantee that if you have a question, anyone with a Bubba Gump tee, hat/visor and name tag will be more than absolutely ecstatic to answer it or, at the very least, help you find the answer.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I don't know if this has already been "discovered" by someone yet, but I find that those who are truly great at what they do are those who have suffered a great deal. For some reason, a crooked childhood, a near death experience, a loved one's death... they are all perfectly great inspirations. Maybe it's because it forces the person to think longer, harder, and deeper about life and their supposed purpose.

What are any of us here for, really? What are you here for?

Before this gets too deep for anyone, let me remind you that yes, I do ask a lot of questions. I know, I am the writer. I should be the one informing not the one inquiring. But these are, more or less, hypothetical questions. I plan to share my opinion and thoughts, where they apply, but I want to make you think. Good classes, the ones you really learn things in, don't just give you information. Good classes, good people, the ones you really learn things from, ask questions. They make you think. Good classes and people engage you not just during, but for at least a while, if not forever, after. There will be no quiz. Not about RL. But these are key points that I'm brushing on. Maybe you can make time to think of them when you're in the shower.

Have you suffered something that should/could make you great? If yes, have you really? Or are you just being dramatic? If you really have, did you use that driving force or did you try to bury it? Sometimes people bury it because they don't want others to know what happened to them. Sometimes people exploit their problems to make them seem more meaningful and moving. Rarely, but most importantly, people keep these problems honest and relevant for as long as they can and help others to cope with similar situations. Or help others learn. Or help others heal. And in this process, they create something beautiful.

Can one be inspired and/or inspiring without such an epiphenomenon? I would like to believe that no one wishes upon themselves a great tragedy in order to be inspired. So, how would the rest of us, un-bothered nothings find inspiration? Can a person truly be inspired by the beauty of life as it is? If you stop to smell the roses, do you think to appreciate that you can: 1.stop 2.smell 3.find roses??? And if so, is that even enough? I feel as though this is what gets you called naive.When you can finally take the world and view it as something beautiful, you are all of a sudden missing out on reality. Why do we have to strive so hard to be happy but at the same time focus on everything that is wrong with the world? Is it enough to appreciate the good times, or do we never rest until everyone is happy? Newsflash: ce n'est pas possible

Sunday, February 13, 2011

call me Bella

This is hardly a love story. But I hope you love it. I want it to inspire. There are so many blogs out there and I have hardly a clue what they're all about. I just know that I want this one to make sense and have purpose. I wish for someone to benefit. Words are so easily tossed around and often forgotten. I'm not expecting these words to forever be remembered but know that they are not coming easily. And they are not being tossed.
I am the kind of person who won't say something if I can't word it the way I want. This blog is not going through five stages of editing but each post will be carefully thought out. Words should not be wasted.

Not even in a blog.

Here is how I see it: Life is a struggle of purpose and beauty. If you fail to serve a purpose, you should at least be beautiful. Which is easier?

I love "would you rather"s. So here is one that I would like to share: Would you rather wake up and know that you're beautiful and see beauty when you look in the mirror but know that the rest of the world sees something more along the lines of ugly OR wake up and see ugly but know that the rest of the world thinks you are beautiful?