Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kids Will Be Skeletons

So a couple of years ago some friends of mine introduced me to Mogwai specifically and ambient music/postrock/whatever in general. It took a minute for me to catch on but. Especially lately I've been spending a lot of time in the graduate carrels (10-20 interesting and opinionated people sharing an office) and have been listening to a Mogwai-based Pandora station to keep my head in the game. Love. Love trying to winnow out the good stuff from the overly Maxwell-lick-my-ear-beats and campy dancy stuff and etc. (This, btw is something that fascinates me about Pandora endlessly, where musical qualities meet social and cultural mores. Oldies stations are soo hard to engineer, the music is 90% associations and 10% poppy guitar.) Love the band/song names. Love love love the party in my brain and no one's invited but me and maybe, like, Wayne Booth when I'm working on him.

This: what's it called when the music takes advantage of stereo sound and slides its way around my brain? Like a finger around a crystal goblet or (everything here sounds sexual because it's such a sensory experience) something?

Also, I have a thing for repeating themes--the short ones, less than 10 notes maybe--that just keep going and going and maybe changing a little? "Everything in its Right Place" is a good example for me. This probably, also, has a real name. Anyone? Heart.

Sometimes I sit just swooning enjoying this stuff. Thanks for the intro you guys are the greatest.

And, in the spirit of musical sharing:

Call for Mix CDs

What are you listening to lately? Do you want to send me some? Or names and I'll look them up myself (or if you have issues with piracy. Arr.)?

My best stuff always comes from friends always.

Toodles. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009


(though anxiety dreams?! About Christmas break? Terrible way to wake up.)

Today I ate lunch at the Pendulum Court, which was surprisingly tasty. I waded my way through Bakhtin (mind-buzzing and succesful). I got a giant coke, enjoyed the fall colors, talked to some 2nd years about the impending doom (I got my first papers in today. Doom.) and they told me that probably I'd be ok. That next time will be better. It was good to talk through. I am generally hard on myself and it's hard to know whether this is warranted.

I saw a fantastic episode of the Gilmore Girls (how do they manage to be continually in the fall?)--the one where Christopher's fiancee has a baby. It's interspliced with scenes from Lorelai's life, kind of beautiful.

I made a date to make chocolate-chili fudge.

I wonder about cycles. Like every 24 hours we get to wake up and try it again. And once a week we get a Sunday and a reboost. And once I month I realize, suddenly, why everything seems so terrible (this, btw, was not one of those times) and feel connected to larger ebbs and flows and deeply content. And the seasons let us start over. And years. And whatever. I believe in starting new. In cycles.

But I have a hard time believing in change...or change for the better at least. I feel like I watch relationships fall apart and people miss their potential and society deteriorating (even if postmodernism is fake and we've always felt this way). What do you think? Do things change for the better? Can people change?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm not going to lie

I'm sort of over/underwhelmed by my life and I keep feeling guilty that maybe it's spilling into my blog and I'm going to be one of those bloggers...and I really respect those of you who are positive all the time (I keep your blogs to read as a treat when I have a bad day. Or sometimes read them impulsively and they always make me happy and always make me think), but I have plenty to feel guilty about. And if you don't like it, well, there's probably something else you can be doing with your time. :)

I slept in until 11 today. Until noon yesterday. There comes a time (a couple of years ago) when this is no longer acceptable but days are hard to face sometimes. Hard to face that I'm really going to have to learn how to teach finally. Hard to face that I have to win approval from my professors again. Hard to face the fact that sometimes I'm mean and thoughtless and I could probably be better. And so I sleep late. And then watch TV instead of reading scriptures. And then watch Mean Girls instead of reading articles. Articles which should matter. Which, when I do read them--after watching Happy Feet which, again going for honesty here, is a mess of a film, epic Disney fail, really--do end up mattering. Even if I feel like their being assigned is kind of busywork. If I feel like in that way I'm getting a taste of my own medicine (really interesting, btw, going from teacher back to student. I would've hated me).

So I'm trying to think through this because it doesn't seem like a great way to live my life. And I think about how I chose this life. And how I'm super lucky that I get to do this (who are we, students/academians everywhere? Yes we work a lot in a competitive industry, but I have breakfast dates. I can skiv off for things. Ridiculous) and how I love it.

And I'm trying to not care so much about people because they are everywhere and boss me around without knowing it and I'm failing them without being sure how. I've not felt this lost in crowds since my mission maybe when I was supposed to have already mostly learned the language and I wandered panicked and in a fog...

I'm having a hard time finding my focus. Or really believing that my time is mine and I can do what I want with it and no one is making me do anything. Or appreciating the things I have and can do. Or the lovely friends who are there for me always...

Ick ick ick.

On the plus side: I made my first Frog-eye salad. It was lovely and took up sooo much space in my trash can (the making of it--4 cans of fruit, cool whip container, etc. Processed food).
Ken Burn's new doc does justice to America's best idea. John Muir was a madman and a saint and his wife wrote him a letter after a jaunt up Rainier (I was excited and then I was at the top) saved his life telling him to use his life to save the wilderness. (It's so tense in the early years. I keep waiting for Teddy Roosevelt to ride in and toss out the moneychangers.)
My walk home goes through one of the most beautiful corridors in all autumnal Provo (by the duck pond, oh I love it).
A drive through the Alpine Loop didn't leave me stranded without gas on an unnamed backroad.
Pho Noodle House: ok.

Anyway. So much in my head this last month or two. So faily feeling.

Happy Monday?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dear Walmart:

Those huge bags of candy you've begun selling? What are you calling those? Halloween candy? For those of us who like to keep giant bags of candy unopened and uneaten for a month and a half?



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I'm thinking about

1. When a person's income has been slashed and she can no longer afford her fabulous tattooed hairstylist the question remains: much shorter or much longer? I'm leaning, of course, toward shorter.

2. How much Coke can a grad student choke if a grad student would choke Coke?

3. Appeals to place. This rhetorical theorist talks about how place and time are intertwined--he cites Leslie Marmon Silko talking about storytelling, telling stories about the places where people still live and the things they still see and how place, then, becomes layered--the place we are, the place it was then, or then--and time twines through those layers instead of marching on linearly. I was thinking about how this applies (or not) in the Judeo-Christian tradition: how Judaism was always on the move, and how does that change ideas of progress or time (both). And how Mormons place the Garden of Eden in the Midwest. How Jackson County is Zion. What happens when traditions revolve around actual instead of mythical place? Why have Mormons adopted such a progressive worldview when our beginning and end points are already mapped?

4. Thesis topic candidates--Civil Discourse and New Media: something pithy about humans and computers. Beginning, Middle, End: Narrative, Rhetoric, and Meaning-making. American Lit: Poetry? Feminism? something.

5. Dan Muhlestein. I never took him as an undergrad, avoided him on the basis that his followers (disciples they were, adulating) were dismissive and cynical. Now that I'm dismissive and cynical I love the guy. Love this theory class because it's introductory so is theory when is just sort of nosing toward problematic. But is not actually problematic. (Or maybe I just love it because it's theory.)

6. The fall! Rainstorms and leaves changing and I'm always overwarm because I'm wearing my sweaters already. Love it love it love it.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh yeah, I love this stuff is why.

So. A note on me and change. I love change. Or the idea of it: I love last days at work and suddenly skipping town (or the country) and signing yearbooks and saying goodbye. When change actually happens, though, I take a long long time to normalize. I go into watch mode. (My favorite line of Dr. Suess from my favorite book: "It's gray day, everything is gray. I watch, but nothing moves today.") I make piles, I sleep in, I'm super introspective, it's kind of mental hibernation. Something I've put together about myself.

BUT. I think I'm back.

School is going great. Great. The transition was hard (Dear graduate school: do you think you could spend a little less energy trying to terrify me and a little more energy on throwing me catered banquets with really exceptional polenta? Thanks.) and I've been go-go-go-ing from the time I throw myself out of bed until I fall back into it 16 hours later. I had a couple of small panic attacks (Connie and Dave: I will probably not be dropping out of school to start a non-profit) but. This is where I am. I'm going to work hard here and see what happens and I'm really excited.

This is where you are.

I wrote about this? In the book Plainsong a teenage girl finds herself pregnant and kicked out of her mom's house and talking to a teacher. She says something like she wishes she could move or go or didn't have to face her neighbors. The teacher says "this is where you are now." I love this. I love this and this is why: when I panic (when we panic?) I tend to look way way outside of myself for answers. I need to move to Mexico. I need to buy a trampoline. I need to run a triathlon. But that's hardly ever the right answer. The right answer is to make where I am the right place.

I was going to write some of the fantastic stuff I've been thinking through (we got to the theory part of my Research in Rhetoric seminar and I'm on effing cloud nine) but it will have to wait till I'm a little more coherent (and not watching Night of the Living Dead. And making zucchini muffins for Good Food Friday in class tomorrow).