21 July, 2008, 1259 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t know if you’ll agree with me on this one or not, but I believe that artists should take mature responsibility for their work.  For example, this year in Design in 3-D, I created a pop-up containing a very fat and angry old woman with a tongue and teeth in her stomach, a sad lesbian couple, and a very emotionless deli-working boy.  As far as the artwork goes, I was trying to recreate lines from “Parentheses” by the Blow.  I do not dislike people simply because of the fact that they are larger than myself.  Sometimes insecurities can make people have shitty or disagreeable personalities, though, so if I dislike someone who is larger than myself, it’s because of something like that.  The fat woman in my pop-up was supposed to be disagreeable and evil.  While I did have a lesbian couple, I was not attempting to poke fun at them.  I actually tried to make both of them quite beautiful so that people would take them seriously (though many will think they are just friends).

With that in mind, responsibility for one’s artwork, let’s apply that to a situation.  I was surfing Flickr, and I came across a beautiful set of black-and-white photographs of people’s body parts, arms, bellies, backs, maybe parts that they would be insecure about for one reason or another.  These were mostly skinny people, though, so I suppose they were insecure about their slenderness.  Every photo was labeled by gender.  I was particularly interested because they were all named “You Are So Beautiful.”  And encouragement always makes me smile.

One photograph was of someone’s belly button.  It was a woman’s belly, actually, with some baby fat and jean creases and a freckle and body hair.  This one spoke to me more than the others for one reason or another, so I clicked to get a better look and once I was done admiring, I read the comments.

I’ll sum it up for you.  Someone started with this:

Pretty nice stuff. I think you (she) should shave off the sides of her tummy hair making a narrow and nice “happy trail” from her belly button down. Let’s start a “Happy Trail Club”. Keep up the good work. Koonzkin

This was just some random commenter trying to inject some humour into the situation.  I wanted to see how the photographer responded to this and read on:

god it’s not me! no offence to her lol….but hey maybe I’ll suggest i to her lol.

So the model here decides that she’ll volunteer her body for this set of encouraging photos to help people with insecurities.  The photographer is trying to get an important point across to her viewers that you don’t need to live up to society’s standards of beauty, just your own.  And now that the photographer is this fucking stupid to hastily disclaim that stomach, who do you think will take her seriously?  She doesn’t even believe in the message she’s promoting.

For the record, if I was that photographer, instead of leaving that bad-grammar comment that discredits her as an artist, I would have either refused to respond or admonished the previous commenter for being so disrespectful.  I wouldn’t have clarified as to whose tummy it was or anything.  Because it’s art and it’s also the truth.

20 July, 2008, 1151 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I hope Divya will like her birfday present, once I get it in the mail.  I think she will, quite a bit.  I said I was going to make her a bag, but I didn’t have a sewing machine, but this…I think in some ways, it says more than a bag does.


I’m just starting to fully realize this curse of cuteness.

Also, I want to invest in a bell set.  I cannot keep doing this.  My keyboard synthesizer thing doesn’t even work because some fucker left it out in the rain, and I feel the need to pound out some notes, but I have no instrument.

20 July, 2008, 148 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

1.  Clean my cave.

2.  Do laundry.

3.  Wash face times 3.

4.  Get money sorted out.

5.  Draw up a list/pile as to what I need to bring to college.

6.  Draw up a schedule for the next month.

7.  Make a larger Amélie stencil and do up this purple shirt I bought yesterday.

8.  Do not touch eyebrows (yes, I plan to get them waxed and I’m nervous).

9.  Throw out old disgusting makeup that I will never wear.


My headache has subsided temporarily and I can think for a moment.  By the way, I got a killer headache earlier from playing Solitaire on the computer obsessively.

You could say that Long Beach Island was enjoyable only during the day, when I could lounge on the blanket on the sand with my iPod cranking out “Parisian Skies” by Maximo Park (which Ali supplied me with) as I stared out at the ocean and considered that the Atlantic is all that separates me from France, pretty much.  I hate the people on Long Beach Island.  Everyone’s living for the wrong reasons.  Why can’t you just kick back and enjoy how beautiful life is for a moment?  Salty air coursing through your hair.  Sand exfoliating your feet.  Being feels so healthy at the beach, yet when you look around, you just see that everyone only aims to be aesthetically pleasing, and few succeed.  I always feel overprivileged and greedy when I’m at the beach, which makes me feel extremely guilty and slightly nauseous.

I wore a bikini for the first time in ever this year.  I never wore one in years past because I was afraid of offending people with my body.  Pale, hairy, full of baby fat.  It’s a strange train of thought, I know.  I disagree with it.  But really, being bikini-ready is the least of my concerns.  I am more concerned about contentment and knowledge than I am about whether or not superficially-oriented boys will want to fuck me because of the display I put on while half-naked at the beach.  And hey.  If I was really that terribly self-conscious, I never would have bought the thing.  This is a small step towards confidence.

I read a whole lot while I was on the beach.  In fact, I covered three books.  Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk, and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.  I was already a Palahniuk fan, already a Vonnegut reader, so my thirst was quenched by those two.  Survivor is up there with Invisible Monsters.  I love Palahniuk because he doesn’t give you some bullshit happy ending.  The important questions are answered by the end of the book.  That doesn’t mean all of your questions are answered, though.  I would like to call his novels “mind-fuck” and leave it at that.  Through his characters, he also takes our culture apart from the inside–not as someone judging or evaluating, but as someone who has experienced it.  And best of all, he doesn’t do sequels.  Vonnegut was stunning.  Something about his writing style made Slaughterhouse-Five a quick read.  I never wanted to set it down.  I love his commentary on religion, especially in Cat’s Cradle, but there is certainly plenty of it in Slaughterhouse-Five.  There are actually many similarities between those particular novels.  As for Rice, well, she’s wordy, but I did crave more when I’d finished reading the novel.

Now I’m reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  I find it a bit more difficult and lengthy to read, possibly because of descriptions, but it’s surprisingly hilarious.  Chuck Palahniuk sometimes solicits a small chuckle from me, but this one often gets a hearty laugh.  I’m only a few chapters in, too.

Somehow, despite the fact that I have a fairly firm grasp of who I am, my cousin constantly makes me feel like the inferior laughing stock of the family, and though I usually laugh it off, I flipped out about it this time.  Just not to her face.  With the help of the people who take me seriously, I was able to cool off fairly rapidly.

Example:  She wanted to swim in the ocean.  I was wary.  When I was twelve, I was sucked off the knee-deep sandbar over an 8-foot-deep hole and had to tread water while screaming for help and trying to live.  I just remember trying to keep my head up, and wondering when the lifeguard was going to come, thinking I was going to drown and die.  Whenever I used to think about my death scene, I would think about last words and telling everyone how much I loved them, but in that death scene, there was no time for last words.  Afterward, I completely forgot how to swim and stopped enjoying the ocean.  I find nothing about that story funny, but for some reason, my family thinks it’s hilarious that I had to get a lifeguard to save me.  So flash back to this year, and everyone still thinks it’s a great one and I still find nothing funny.  I reluctantly consent to go in the ocean, and it’s fine except my cousin’s already ditched me for Rachael and as I try to catch up to them, I’m suddenly in an area where I can’t touch bottom and I start panicking, breathing hard, and flailing, but this time I can turn around and ride the waves to shore, and I’m shaking and when my cousin gets out of the water twenty minutes later (because they abandoned me), she tells me that I missed the six “hot guys” who got in after me.  Too fucking bad, right?

There’s always some criticism of my style.  Your sandals don’t match your outfit.  Or your sunglasses are atrocious.  You wear that shirt every day.  This song is stupid and I don’t know why you’d listen to it.  You sit on your ass all day at the beach.  That guy is so comically ugly; I don’t know why you like him.  You should get your eyebrows done thinner.  You look young today.  You’re the eight and I’m the nine.  You are the eight.  And I am the nine.

I am not the favoured one by my grandmother, no matter how much I resemble her.  It’s because I’m not sassy or outrageous.  Only once:  We were thirteen or fourteen.  My cousin said she liked hot guys, and I asked if intelligence mattered to her one bit.  My grandmother laughed and noted that I was the smart one.  And that’s just it.  My cousin is the conventionally hot one, and I have to be the conventionally intelligent one, no matter how hard she tries to make it seem like I’m not only less attractive, but I’m also less intelligent.  I’m just good for a ho-hum laugh and it’s all good.  But not anymore, because I’m sick of everyone laughing at me for being the weird one.  I’m sick of having to laugh at myself for being the weird one.

Today, I’m going to give you a Bright Eyes tune.  I some of my Bright Eyes on my computer, and I feel compelled to share some of it.  I enjoy listening to this one before I do something important.  And freshman orientation is tomorrow.  I hate it when people confuse the words “freshman” and “freshmen.”  I know, but it happens.  It really does.

Gold Mine Gutted | Bright Eyes
[buy] [mediafire]
[zshare] [direct link]
Bright Eyes’ Official Website
Saddle Creek Official Website

What the hell?  I’ll give you this one, too.  As far as I know, it’s Erika’s favourite Bright Eyes tune.  I personally love Maria Taylor’s heavenly voice floating over the heavy lyrics.

Nothing Gets Crossed Out | Bright Eyes
[buy] [mediafire]
[zshare] [direct link]

I have so much music I want to share with you soon.  Why do I keep seeing American Apparel ads everywhere I look?

12 July, 2008, 1049 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My scalp is bleeding to the right of the crown of my head, and I don’t know why.

In middle school, I used to pick my scalp until it bled because I always needed something to pick.  I also picked at the tiniest of scabs and even acne.  I picked at my cuticles until they bled.  I bit my nails constantly.  While everyone told me to stop it, I couldn’t.  It was something that I sometimes didn’t even realize I was doing until I felt the pain of success.  You know, prying the scab off and feeling blood on my hand or my head or wherever.  And then there was the wave of regret.  It hurt to wash my hair because the shampoo would get in all the little wounds.  And I couldn’t remove nail polish from my fingers without immense pain.  Washing my face with astringent was a nightmare of “FUCK” and “SHIT THAT HURTS LIKE A MOTHER.”

Then somewhere along the line, I just stopped.  It wasn’t because anyone urged me.  I guess I just found better things to do than pick at scabs and acne and cuticles and my scalp and bite my nails.  Hard to imagine, I know.  Something better to do than pick.

So that’s why it was unsettling to run my fingers through my hair and feel blood on my fingers.  And now, when I run my fingers through my hair, I feel scabs forming.  I just wonder how they got there, because I gave up that habit a while ago and I don’t plan to start it up again.

Anyway, I’m getting too confessional.  I’m home from the beach.  I’ll write about strangers’ bodies tomorrow.


I am at the beach, and I just keep thinking about the tales that everyone brought from Europe, and how much I dislike America.  How much I dislike being American.  Everyone here at the beach, on Long Beach Island, embodies the typical American tourist.  And we haven’t even left the country.  I keep wondering how much the people who work here hate us.  We’re feeding them lots and lots of money with our stupid yearly rituals.  Mini golf.  Dinner here and there.  Buying this and that.  But we’re so stupid.

I finished Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk last night, and this got me thinking, too.  I guess they really aren’t targeting the smartest people as their customers, because the smartest people see the traps and the fakeness and how even though the Atlantic Ocean is beautiful and it’s all that separates me from France, it’s a tourist trap.  The shore is a tourist trap.  LBI is a tourist trap.  But there’s almost no other way to really enjoy the ocean, not here in America where they have to package and sell everything.

Why, also, do you think I love being pale?  Why do you think I crave pearly white skin?  Anyone can become tan.  Even the most milky white people like Rachael can go to the tanning bed and gradually gain immunity in the form of beautiful bronze skin.  But it takes a certain kind of person to be able to be pale.  And I’m not racist.  If I wasn’t able to have very pale skin, then I would next want to have cinnamon skin or dark chocolate skin.  Those are my next choices, because I like the extremes.  Very dark or very light, those sorts of skin colours take a special kind of person.  But it’s not possible for me to have very dark skin, so I have to aim for the lightest end of the spectrum.

I just thought of something, though.  About culture.  I am sort of glad I grew up American because I have control over what I become.  I have control over my cultural education.  It may be difficult at times, but I have such a selection.  And I know exactly what I dislike about being American.

5 July, 2008, 204 am
Filed under: Barrels of Fun, My Experience with Existence | Tags:

We are going to the beach tomorrow.

Many girls see the beach as a place to show off their hard-earned bikini bodies.  To work on their tans.  To check out hot guys all day.  To be in an exotic place for a week.

To me, the beach is the only constant in my life.  Every year for one week in July since 1991 (since I was resting in my mother’s stomach in 1990).  Except for 2004.  The same house.  I get the same bed every year and I stare at the same creepy fisherman lamp every night and hear the same ocean roaring faintly outside as I contemplate my life late at night.  That ocean, I always think, separates me from France.  Even when I was so pitted against anything French, when I took Spanish, I used to think that, and I used to think of some French kid like me on the other side, and how there is probably someone in the world exactly like me.  My family sits at the same spot on the beach and the same ice cream man comes at the same time daily.  We go to the same restaurants every year and it’s a real damn shame Wida’s closed, because that was a definite tradition.  We buy the same fudge at Bay Village every year, because it’s rich and amazing.  I have the same feelings about my body and skin every year.  And I take showers in the same shower every year, too, because I love showering outside when I get the chance.

And this year will be the same.  I’ll get to escape as an enlightened teenager, though, and not some awkward high schooler.  Because I graduated, you know, that’s the only reason.

But I need my music and my books if I’m going to escape.

And I’ve decided that all it takes is playing with my hair, stoking my hair, massaging my scalp, and I am attached.