Sunday, January 22, 2006

Rainy day feeling

Since I've turned 29, (or really, when I turned 27), I've been realizing that people my age and younger are doing amazingly cool things with their lives. I've been feeling lately that I've wasted my twenties. This is partly in response to Kelly's latest blog on feeling envy for those Gen X'ers that are published authors now. I also feel not only jealousy but anger: what opportunities did they have that I didn't? What allows them to bypass all that mental bullshit that I put up with every time I try and create? Are these people trust-funders? Do they have the energy to create because they don't have to work? How do they get stuff done? Mostly it's anger at myself. I'm really just lazy. Every time my brain tells me I need to practice or write or whatever, I make up a good excuse like, I need to go outside and enjoy this beautiful day! Or I need to watch this Rick Steves show on Toledo so I can imagine that I'm there. What's the deal? Why do I deny myself happiness and creativity at every turn? Lately I've been suffering from extreme boredom, which K has told me might be a sign of depression. Which explains a lot actually. I always have to remind myself that I'm doing something exciting with my life now--working on a master's degree in a subject I love. But when I get home from school, and it's dark out, I feel extremely bored and apathetic. Which also might be seasonal disorder. Anyway, depression or not, I've decided I just have to do "it" and not think about it. A friend of mine in Eugene who plays the saxophone regularly at a local jazz club says "I practice whether I want to or not." I always try to keep that in mind. If I can just get to the intrument/notebook/canvas/sewing machine, that's the hardest step, and the rest takes care of itself. I also remind myself that Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't start writing the Little house series until she was in her 60's. I think sometimes seasoned creators are better than young ones anyway, because they have real life experiences behind them, and not just some MFA from Columbia.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bursting Pomegranites=Sexy Symbolism

I did something I never thought I'd do. I read The Da Vinci Code. I wasn't ever planning on reading it although I've had coworkers recommend it to me. In fact it was my office mate at school who loaned it to me after I loaned him a few books from the Narnia series. I'm like, yeah, whatever, I can't read something that's on the NY Times bestseller list. I'm not snooty or anything, but I thought it would be a really cheesy read. Which it sort of was. But the thing is, I really enjoyed this book! I couldn't put it down! Do you believe that? It has everything a good novel should have--cheesy dialogue, a good plot, accessible, good writing and short chapters. It read kind of like a Hollywood script--the main characters are good-looking and virile, and it's non-stop, fast-paced action. It's a really damn compelling read. I had heard what the story was about--about the possibility of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene, but it was more than that. It opened my eyes to the world of symbology, art history, iconography, cryptology, mythology, egyptology, and all those other -ologies that one could study at Harvard or some other such school. I became obsessed with this story--and not just the Jesus/Mary myth, but all the supposed symbols hidden in art and literature that tell this story. The author really did his research. All the stuff he talks about is based on real scholarship. I know, because I'm researching it all right now, in the midst of starting school and having to read about Renaissance music (which is related! There is tons of symbolism/numerology hidden in medieval/ren. music).

I'm getting reacquainted with my old love of ancient history. In sixth grade I was obsessed with Ancient Egypt and did book reports and diaramas on the Book of the Dead. I also loved the myths of Atlantis and the Loch Ness monster. I secretly want all of these myths to be true, because they're so magical. And, if you haven't read the book, did you know that supposedly the Holy Grail isn't a thing, but a person--Mary Magdalene? The ancient symbol for a woman is a "V", which was called the "chalice." And supposedly the "grail" once held the blood of Jesus. Which, when you look at this literally, you know what that means, right? And all this talk of "vines" and "branches" in the Bible--I wonder if they're secretly referring to Jesus' bloodline--his actual descendents. Wow, isn't that cool?

This interest in mystery, I think, all comes from my love of Nancy Drew and the History Detectives. Da Vinci Code was kinda like a combination of those two things. And it's full of art history and conspiracy theories! What more could you want? There's even a line in the book that made me laugh out loud: " That's Madonna of the Rocks!"

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Ear

This is what the sign in front of the General Store said. I wonder if someone stole the "Y" or some cheeky employee made the sign that way. It's so fun when people tamper with public signs, don't you think? This past summer, Kelly, Ken and I had lunch at the Highland Grill in St. Paul, and while we were waiting for art history prof. Joanna to show up, we witnessed this very phenomena right across the street at the Highland Theater. I think the sign was supposed to advertise Bill Murray in "Broken Flowers" but some smartass changed the letters around so it said "Big Boner Shower." We laughed heartily and took a picture--and just in time too--not moments later an employee changed the letters back. It's not too often that I witness little passing moments like that. Just think of all the people who missed it. Fun with letters! It's like Sesame Street, but dirtier. Speaking of Sesame Street, Ken just downloaded the 12345-6789,10-11 12 video from Sesame St. It's so trippy, and it was sung by the Pointer Sisters. Have you listened to it lately? It's very funky and cutting edge for a kid's show. And now it's all watered down with Elmo's World. Grrr, don't get me started. Lately we've been immersed in the first season DVD of the Muppet Show. Talk about trippy! Their heads are always blowing up, or the monsters eat each other. There's even smoking and drinking! I love it. I have a new love for Sweetums, whom I used to be afraid of when I was little. He is kind of scary, but when you get the humor, he's funny too. How fun would it be to make puppets and then have them throw pies in each other's faces? Now that's art.

I just sent 11 inches of my hair through the mail the other day. What a relief! I had been thinking about cutting my hair for awhile and finally just did it. I managed to find a great hairstylist who isn't one of those annoying Aveda types. The salon is just this mom and pop kinda place where they played 80's music (getting my hair cut to Abba and Huey Lewis!). It was a great time. I was having anxiety the night before, wondering if I could actually go through with it, because it takes so darn long to grow out. But my horoscope in the newspaper said, "Try something different." So I decided to go through with it. It wasn't even scary. I got a cute short cut that's very Amelie, with some lowlights and highlights. It's weird. It doesn't feel surprising to me, or different in a way. It's like I was in this long, enchanted sleep where I dreamt I had long hair, and when I woke up it's just like I've always had it--short. I don't miss it at all. It was very heavy and tangly. And old-fashioned. I donated it to Locks of Love. The woman at the post office was pretty impressed I had just cut 11 inches off my hair. It's a brave thing to do but totally worth it. Especially to give it to someone who can use it.

Tomorrow we are headed for Portland, and then the Oregon Coast for a mini-vacation. I can't wait. I'm sure I'll have tales of sea lions (hopefully not puking ones. We witnessed that once and it was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen--or smelled) and octopi when I get back.

My new year's resolution? To stay motivated and find my creative process. And to not procrastinate. And to be flexible enough to do the splits.