Posts filed under ‘stories’

Bike Trip memory.

As per usual, art making stuff over at the studio blog: http://upthefolksstudio.wordpress.com

Putting together things I want to put in the bike trip zine, I came across this.

After the bike trip, on the morning I was to go to the airport, I ordered a cab. The cab driver was exceptionally chatty. He told me, I think, that he wrote stories. Then he recited to me from memory one of his more recent ones. I think it was about a waitress, and it was from the first person perspective, I assumed it was meant to be coming from him. Something about cigarettes, coffee, and some unspoken desire on her part (that, I thought was strange, and presumptuous, but I said nothing) I wish I remembered it better. At the time, it was something I did not care about. I was in emotional turmoil, I had left something else unfinished and I was about to return to my mother’s house with no plan, no future, and a backpack full of salt-stained clothes. What was this man to me? Just another in a surprisingly long series of people who had told me more about themselves than they would tell the average stranger. It is odd to me now that I was not phased by an impromptu recital in a yellow cab on the way to the airport. Now that I think about it, he was smoking. It wasn’t about cigarettes, definitely about a waitress. He was smoking the entire time. Cigarette and thin leathery arm dangling out the window as he lightly tapped the ash in to the street.

April 5, 2011 at 4:02 am Leave a comment

Family Appreciation.

as per usual, if you’re looking for artmaking stuff, please visit the studio blog: http://upthefolksstudio.wordpress.com/

Two nights ago I had a dream that my father died.

I’ve actually been having a lot of dreams where my family dies or is in mortal peril recently. It’s probably some sort of reaction to the stress of school mixed with the guilt of not being able to see any of them due to time issues. I’ve been trying to figure out a time to go see my grandparents and I honestly can’t find a time in the near future where school lets up for long enough that I could visit without destroying my GPA and subsequent college career.

Anyway, because I had this dream I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot.

(I don’t have any pictures of my dad currently on my computer because of the great unplugging of the external hard-drive tragedy of 2008, so the only pictures I have to go with this post are some old army ones I took digital pictures of, out of the albums he has in Florida.)

I remember one night when I was little, (maybe 6 or 7) and my dad was home at night for the first time in ages and he had come in to my room to read me a story, and fallen asleep on my bed. I remember being so cold because the fan was blowing on me and it was almost September, but my blanket was under my dad (this giant, gray, hero of mine) and the last thing in the entire world that I wanted to do right then was to move him. I wouldn’t even touch him because he might wake up and leave. I remember sitting there for what felt like hours, terrified to move and absolutely chilled to the bone. Then I found it. The top sheet was only wedged halfway under my dad, so I scrunched down near him, and put the sheet over myself. The warmth, just the thin cotton was enough of a reprieve from the cool wind that I felt like I had just crawled inside a giant fluffy sleeping bag. I think that was the warmest I’ve ever been. That night in august, near my dad (but not touching him, for fear of waking) huddled under a sheet, I was contented with my situation.

For as long as I can remember my dad has known everything.

He showed me how to braid challah when I was so young that I didn’t understand why we ate it on Fridays. When I was in junior high and struggling through biology, he explained to me how genetics work in simple terms and drew me a Punnett square on the back of a napkin while we ate dinner. One afternoon while we were walking around his neighborhood with the dog, he tried to explain to my 12-year-old self how light refraction works. He is a doctor; I was always amazed that he knew how to fix people. I still am amazed. I never knew how he did it, how he knew so much, and I was jealous and sometimes annoyed. I couldn’t get facts to stick in my brain like he did. Nonetheless, it was exceptionally comforting to know that there was this adult in my life who could answer any question I had (and sometimes lecture on those questions which were never asked.) But now as I get older I am starting to become more like him, more aware of how my brain works, and I can finally begin to understand more of how his may work as well. I am not an encyclopedia, but a collector. I collect information I find interesting. I think this is also how my dad works. This mental compulsion is what creates in me the desire to learn. I find myself spending hours researching everything I possibly can about something just because it sparks my interest. I wouldn’t change it for the world, because of this I care about things; I am able to immerse myself deeply in something and truly learn. I got this from my dad, my dad who knows everything. I think he is a collector, too.

So thank you, dad. Thank you for my desire to learn, for teaching me, and for always being there with an answer when I needed one.

March 17, 2011 at 7:26 am 1 comment

Things that are good

There is no format today, I just wanted to share a couple good things with you guys.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but my absolute favorite part of my entire apartment is the built in cabinet in my dining room.

Its just so adorable. It is also where I keep my tea (inside that koala are about 7 boxes worth of tea) and vegan cookbooks. It’s just one of those things in my life that makes me happy.

Another thing that  makes me happy is this camera:
Its a Kodak Duaflex II and I’ve had it for about 3 years (my friend Kate got it for me for my 18th birthday.) I have moved it from philadelphia to chicago to philadelphia to maine and I have never used it. I am sick of not knowing what to do with it, so I’ve decided to figure out how to use it and print some sick photos this summer.

I’ve been reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the past month in my down time and I am in love with it.

I love the atmosphere, the strange short mysteries, but mostly I love the vocabulary. I always knew that the term “Pub” came from the phrase”Public House” but I had never heard that phrase used in context until Sherlock Holmes. It sounds so lovely. I’ll see you, I’m just going down to the public house to engage a man in a round of fisticuffs etc. Love it.

Lastly,

SPRING BREAK IS ONLY A WEEK AWAY. Sweet Jesus thank God praise Allah Sh’ma Yis’ra’el Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad  etc.

Oh how badly I need this break.

Not that I’ll actually have much time for rest as I have projects for all six of my classes due the week after break, but at least I won’t be in classes all day everyday, and Dan and Kate are visiting me! So Excited!

March 6, 2011 at 5:09 am 1 comment

Day 24

Your favorite movie and what it’s about

No, I cannot possibly narrow it down to one.

I refuse.

I can list some of my favorite movies right now. Lets go for 5 that I would want to watch right now if I had the opportunity.

1.) Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Man, I really need to invest and buy this movie. It is just wonderful. It’s adapted from the musical of the same name  about Hedwig, who grew up in east berlin, had a (botched) sex change operation so ze could immigrate. Its also about gender identity and it has great music.

2.) BBC’s 6 hour Pride and Prejudice

Old fashioned polite british romance, AND sassyness! It is the adaptation most true to the book , and it has colin firth.

3.) Once

I really like the Frames, and this movie is sweet. Its about a serendipitous musical connection of two artists/friends.

4.) the Up Series (documentary films)

This is about people. It follows a group of kids from the age of 7 to 49. Its an astonishing piece of documentary filmmaking that spans (almost) an entire lifetime.

5.)Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (documentary)

Its about a man who takes care of parrots in San Francisco. Its so great.

I could think of 5 more, this list is ever changing.

February 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm 1 comment

Day 21

One of your favorite television shows.

Northern Exposure.

Northern Exposure is one of my top 5 favorite television programs of all time (shout out to my mom who was the one that got me started watching it.)

I don’t really feel like talking about how great it is, it just is. Watch some.

“Nah, I never really liked the whole structured education thing”

I agree with Ed on computers.

February 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

Day 8

A moment you felt most satisfied with your life.

Ah, trick question.
I am never satisfied with my life, if I were I would have no reason to go on living. The drive towards a life that I can be satisfied with is what keeps me sane and motivated. I think that this question meant to ask about happiness, not satisfaction. Satisfaction is a whole different monster.

If you changed that question to a moment in which you were happy with the state of your life, I would not only be able to answer, but I would have a lot to draw on.

That’s what I will do (have you noticed that I keep changing the questions? I am apparently terrible as abiding the rules)

It is not surprising that most of the moments in my recent past that I remember feeling quite happy with life were in summer. It’s pretty difficult to look out your window at sleet and snow and a muddy gray city and think to yourself “This is good, I like this.” I’d like to focus on just two recent small scenes, not any grand sweeping moments of happiness.

– August  2010, I have recently moved to a new city and a new apartment. I am washing dished and all of a sudden the smell of woodsmoke comes wafting through the window. Instantly I am woken up from a strange anxiety haze and look around to realize that my life is actually lovely (I then go read harry potter.)

– April 2010, It is the first really warm day of the spring, around noon. Lawn mowers are buzzing all over the neighborhood, every flower is opening and the air isn’t yet heavy with summer. I’m doing mosaics. I am happy.

They may seem insignificant, but little fleeting moments of joy (in my opinion) are what makes life good.

So those kinds of moments throughout my life are when I have been closest to “satisfied” (though this quiz is slightly different in definition according to this challenge.)

February 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Hang-ups.

1. an emotional or psychological preoccupation or problem
2. a persistent cause of annoyance.
Everyone has them.
I definitely have them. I’ve been thinking about them a lot recently because of the CD I’ve been listening to while driving. The CD is the Ghost Mice/ Defiance Ohio colab CD, and a particular song has brought one of my hang ups in to sharp focus. The song is Austen to El Paso, and I’ll show you a small section of the lyrics because the song is pretty long. The line in bold is what catches me every time.

This road is a long and ugly road but
this road kind of feels like my home
i’m always aching
to find out just exactly where it goes

Icarus made some wings and tried to fly up to the sun
even though everybody told him that it could not be done
so he died, but at least he tried
and i bet that he had fun

Mar Chagall's painting of the fall of icarus.

Great little verse there, except that Icarus did not make the wings.
Daedelus (Icarus’ father) did, and it is an integral part of the story that he brings about the freedom, and subsequent destruction of his son. It is SO important, and they just skim over it.
To a normal person, this would not impede their enjoyment of the song, but to me it destroys it. When I am listening to that CD and that line comes on it’s like my brain hits a glitch and I can’t stop thinking about it, I immediately try to figure out ways within the rhyme scheme to make the reference correct, I start obsessively thinking about greek mythology and by the time I come out of this haze of obsessive thoughts and corrections I am already two or three songs further in the album.

So there is one of my hang ups: being correct.
That is not to say that I expect people to know everything there is to know, but I do expect them to know what they are saying.
You see, I have spent the better part of my life assuming that everyone knows more than I do, and that the information that other people give me is actually the correct information despite anything I had thought I knew or anything I had read. This was often true (for example, in high school I was full of shit, and my teachers were right about almost everything), but it is not always true.
It bothers me immensely when someone who is in a position of power (like a supervisor, or a professor) is wrong. Not ethically or politically wrong, but wrong about basic facts, science, or literature.
It’s so unfair of me to feel this way (after all, they are human) but I cannot help it, it is one of my hang ups.

My apologies to Ghost Mice, though I did figure out that Daedalus had the same number of syllables as Icarus. you guys could totally change that, just FYI.

January 25, 2011 at 5:24 am Leave a comment

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