I'm currently reading Look At Me by Jennifer Egan. I was stuck in Chicago with nothing to do for the hour before the train left, so I found a bookstore. Nearly everything was 50% off, which I like, which means I'll have to go back to support that bookstore (even when they're not having a sale). They were located in a smallish space, so the books were crammed together. I promptly forgot every book I was planning on reading. Normally when I'm in a bookstore, I let the covers attract me. Yeah, yeah, platitudes aside, how else am I going to find a book? I'm not going to read the back covers of every single book in there. Anyway, I walked back and forth along the fiction wall about 5 times; my eyes glazed over and the individual books became one big mass of FICTION YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE READ. I honestly couldn't remember a single author whose stuff I wanted to read more of (of course, I remembered Dave Eggers and David Sedaris, but I've read all of their stuff, so that didn't help). I was looking at the Dave Eggers section for the hell of it, and Look At Me was found right next to it.

I picked it up and read the back cover. It mentioned David Lynch, who I like, so I figured it couldn't be bad. It's about a supermodel who's in a car crash, and she has to get reconstructive surgery on her face, and no one recognizes her anymore; it also follows a couple of other characters, with the central theme being something about looks, I guess. The parts about the supermodel are told from a first person POV, which I generally don't like, unless the narrator is also an author, or unless the real author does a good job at changing his/her natural voice.

See, authors write because they feel a natural connection with language; they know how to manipulate it to achieve beautiful turns of phrase that convey a precise meaning. When an author writes a book from a first person POV, and does so without considering the fact that authors use words differently from the average person, the character by default uses a prose that is too flowery and intelligent. I don't believe the character of the supermodel; she describes things in a manner that's too ornate, too enlightened, too perfect.

Also, on a level that seems somehow less valid, many of the plot elements just seem so unbelievable. Suspension of disbelief, blah blah blah, I don't care.

Bottom line, I guess, is that I'm halfway through this book, and I don't know if I'll ever get around to finishing it. Good thing I only paid $7 for it.

     Michel Gondry came to give a brief talk to one of my film classes. I mentioned that I planned on going to grad school to study French film, and he winked at me and told me he may need me as an intern. He left before he could get my contact information, and I was really sad.


My brother is amazing. I had always considered myself better at representational drawing than him (whereas he kicks my ass at 3D stuff), but this has made me reconsider my position. I saw him wearing that sweatshirt and I asked him where he got it, thinking it was a show or something. He said he made it. With a fine-tip Sharpie. Jeez. Trees for me are incredibly hard to draw, and he made it look effortless.

My mom and I cleaned my sister's room. She's notorious for making food and eating it into her room, and then hiding her dishes. For whatever reason, she'll hide them in her dresser or garbage bags instead of just bringing them back downstairs. This is what my mother and I found:

Note the moldy food that's been there God knows how long. Note the 15 teaspoons. Note the 3 sharp knives. Note the FONDUE FORK (why??).

I got the following CDs over break:

  • Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case
  • The Swimming Hour by Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire
  • Thrills by Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire
  • Viva La Woman by Cibo Matto
  • How It Ends by DeVotchKa
  • Mouthfuls by the Fruit Bats
  • Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
  • Legs to Make Us Longer by Kaki King
  • The Greatest by Cat Power

And in the loose ends department:

  • I ended up getting the Junior Award for outstanding acheivement, according to the letter I received. I get $50. I hope to find out who nominated me and what the hell they were smoking at the time.
  • I got referred to yet another doctor, this one a specialist in surgery around the vocal cords.
  • I spent all day Thursday and then Friday morning speed walking around Chicago, and the following evening I was so incredibly sore.
  • I have a paper due in exactly 24 hours, and I still need to watch the two films (although I've seen one once before).


I had a paper due by e-mail on Saturday. We don't have wifi at my house, and my PC is shit. I didn't get that paper e-mailed until today (although I was able to e-mail my prof from a library computer, explaining the situation). I feel like such a bad student when I do this. I wish I had realized earlier that the local library has free wifi, because I would have been all over that.

I got an awesome pair of shoes (Puma 5000m in Fig Red and Tibet Red) at the outlet mall. They were just barely too small for my feet, so I decided to take them back to exhange them for 1/2 size bigger. I drove 30 min to the outlet mall, only to realize that I forgot the receipt at home. Damn. I'll go back later this evening.


Yay for me and here's why:
I went to talk to my French film prof about possible grad schools, and she said she was happy for me to be interested because I'm smart and I'm good at it (and she actually even said, "Yay for you!"). She said I should even apply to places like NYU and Harvard and Berkeley and UCLA, because there are possibilities I will get in. This makes me feel good, cause I was scared I'd end up at a crappy state school, but she seems to believe in me (although I don't know why...). Woo!


I got an e-mail today informing me that I'm getting some award from the French department, which really threw me off guard, since I haven't done anything to merit an award. This proves my favorite lyrics from one of my favorite songs ("Particle" by Better Than Ezra): Mediocrity's rewarded, set your standards low. They didn't say what sort of award I'm getting, or why I deserve it, so I'll be interested to find out. ETA: It's probably some bullshit award like "Semester GPA over 3.8" or some arbitrary number. Meh. If I win an award, I want it to be for something awesome, and I haven't done anything awesome.

These past several days have been really crummy. I haven't been on my thyroid medication (long story), and I got my Monthly Girly Thing™, so my hormones have been entirely out of whack, plus a whole boatload of emotional problems, plus deadlines and papers and all-nighters, plus CRAMPS so bad that I didn't eat anything for 2 days. Based on everything that's happened and the way I reacted to it, I'm honestly surprised that I'm still alive and alright. These past 4 days have been horrible, but I'm starting to see the spring break light at the end of the pain and misery tunnel.


Today I listened to the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" for a full 40 minutes in a row and cried the entire time because it's the prettiest song ever. You should check out this cover by Petra Haden, because it's amazing. What an incredible song.


I've reached that dangerous point in my paper-writing where I just want to go to bed and turn the papers in as they are. I have 3.5 out of 4 pages for my Film Theory paper, but I still lack a thesis, and I'm not getting any closer to finding one. I have 3.2 out of 4 pages for my Animation paper, but my argumentation is fairly solid. Blah. I'm ready to be done with these. My Film Theory prof is allowing us to revise these papers after we receive our comments from him, so I'm planning on writing him a note about all the things I wish to improve. I'm also going to visit his office hours to discuss the readings with him.

Today was an absolutely incredible day, weather-wise. It was in the low 70s with no wind at all. It was gorgeous. Right now I have my window open, and there's a cool breeze coming in. It's perfect. This is the type of weather that I live for. It's kept me in good spirits today, despite the fact that my two papers are complete shit. I have 2.5 pages for each (and they're each supposed to be 4-5). I don't even have a thesis yet for my Film Theory paper. It's sad that I've written so much and I still don't know what my thesis is. I'm hoping that if I keep writing, I'll find a thesis, and then I'll be able to write more. My Animation paper has gone kind of off the deep end. I watched Felix the Cat and the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg, and I'm writing about the communist messages present. Yeah. I have no idea how I'll be able to finish both of these papers in the next 8 hours. I'm kind of hoping for some sort of physical ailment, like cramps or passing my kidney stone, just so I can have a couple extra days. I hope my profs grade easy.


Tomorrow I have two papers due. I succeeded yesterday in finding topics and writing a little over 1 page for each. I wish I had written more, but honestly, I'm just glad I finally found a topic for my Film Theory and Criticism paper. For my animation paper, I'm writing about the revival attempts of Felix the Cat. It's really hard to find good, legit information about Felix's origins. I found a lot of websites, but I don't feel comfortable citing any of them in a paper.


Here's a coincidence for you:
I had just finished Adrian Tomine's Summer Blonde, which contained the story "Bomb Scare". The very next thing I picked up was The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002, which also contains "Bomb Scare". Cool.


My hair is curling so incredibly cutely today, since it's so humid out. I wish I had somewhere to go or someone to see me, cause seriously? It looks good. I have this perfect little corkscrew tendril that's hanging down near my eye. So cute!

My skin is starting to respond to my intensive cleansing regimen. I'm hoping it'll clear up soon.

My French film prof asked for a copy of my paper to keep on file to show future students. I'm awesome!

Today has been somewhat of a self-confidence-boosting day, it appears.

Part of my new half-assed attempt to lose weight is not to eat anything after 7:30pm. One of these days I will seriously run. I'm still dealing with energy issues, and this past week I've fallen victim to a regression of sorts. I've napped every day this week, and intense naps, too. Of course, my annual springtime insomnia is starting up again, which is making things much harder. I looked at my old Ambien bottle, and my refills expired on the 3rd. Whoops.


     I was talking to Rob online, and I found out that his sister was studying architecture at Berkeley. I was jealous, cause 1) cool!, and 2) my major is worthless, and not anything you'd respect anyone's intelligence for pursuing (it's not one of those majors, like mathematics or engineering, where you're automatically considered smart just by virtue of seeking a degree). I wished I could start college all over again so that I could have done something "worthwhile".

This is funny, because I've been having feelings like this in real life. I wish I had done a French/Linguistics or French/Cinema Studies double major, instead of wasting my first 3 semesters here on psych classes. It also would have been cool to study film at a legit film school, or to study design (fashion or interior, I like them both) at a legit design school.


Oh my God. This is fucking nasty, you guys. Last night while I was sleeping, apparently a ladybug crawled underneath me and I smashed it to death. Ughghghghhgghghhghgghgh. You have no idea how much of a full-body retch I did when I found it. I'm still kind of shuddering.


The thyroid hormones I'm taking have the adverse side effect of making my skin so incredibly oily. I have four times the pimples I normally do, and not just on my face--on my stomach and legs as well. I'm left desperately trying to cover the visible zits with make-up, a skill I've never learned, despite all my artistic leanings. I feel like this is some horrible joke being played on me, or like I'm currently experiencing my second bout with chicken pox. I feel so disgusting, and it doesn't help that I feel (and am) chunkier than I've ever been. I'm in a state of perpetual PMS, all due to this stupid thyroid hormone I'm taking. I'm enjoying the benefit of not struggling to stay awake all day, but at the cost of hating the way I look and not wanting to be seen in public.

New again (obviously). Don't know if I like this layout either. We shall see.


I finished Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. It feels good to be back in my habit of reading an entire book in one night.

I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't write this book first, that I allowed someone else to get to the idea and publish it. I haven't overcome any obstacles. I have mundane things to say that are also interesting and necessary. I suppose that's why I keep a blog, although on the prestige continuum, a blog is towards the "not" end, where a book is on the "has the potential to have a lot of" end.

I had a lot more to say about this last night as I was falling asleep, but I didn't want to get out of bed to blog. Now I've forgotten.

I don't like this blog layout, so I'll probably change it tomorrow.

Helping Tom buy furniture and accessories for his new apartment has made me want to move into an unfurnished 1-bedroom apartment and pick out sofas and bookshelves and curtains.


Tonight I picked up Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. By the third or fourth page, I'm amazed at how similar her style is to that of Dave Eggers. Sure enough, on page 18, I see that she wrote for Might magazine, which he founded. That makes me feel smart and literary. I'm only on page 23, but I really like this book so far.


     Talia wanted to know how to knit, so I showed her. She then went immediately to a yarn shop and started hanging out with their knit club there. She came back and told me she had been offered a job there. I was incredibly jealous, and I was like, "Do you even know the difference between worsted and bulky? Between alpaca and cashmere?" I stomped up to my bedroom (which was some sort of attic loft). She followed me, and I pushed her through the doorway and slammed the door in her face. I went to another yarn shop, where this French girl who was formerly my TA and is now a peer (in real life) was hanging out. She was tipsy and told me jokes.
     Then Rob's dad wanted to chastise me for something. He was wearing half of a lobster costume, because he had had to do some sort of play. Cassie was nearby, shopping for makeup derived from pomegranates.
     Then it turned out that Talia's job was really for an Amish furniture store that was in the same strip mall as the yarn shop. Her job was to keep the cooler full of juice and soda for the customers. She hated it.


How is it that 20 completely different people read my blog yesterday, and 19 completely different people read my blog today, and only 1 of you has an opinion on the peafowl? Leave me a comment! I like when people I don't know leave comments on my blog. It makes me feel special. I'm going to leave the peacock post on the main page until at least 2 other people comment.

Right now I'm finally seeing the "Serenity now!" episode of Seinfeld. Jerry's dating a girl named Patty, played by Lori Loughlin, who also happened to play Dolores in the famous "Junior Mints" episode. Neat, but weird.