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à bout de souffle
12 January 2008 @ 02:46 am
 
Today it turns out that English police officers are instructing their dogs in German and two twins separated by birth married each other by accident. Usually I say you can't make this stuff up but in the second case I imagine that you can.

On the internet I have what amounts to an invisible name, which is a very pleasant state of affairs. Some of the people out there with my name are male, some "hail from Perth, Australia," and I think around the time I was in high school there was a swimsuit model, also Australian. Apparently enormous swathes of Australians are named for me, according to Google.

Late at night (early in the morning) and struck with insomnia (and determined to wake up at 8:30) there's a curiosity that can only be satisfied by googling oneself (a practice, as you learn in Good Omens, first developed by Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards). Then, naturally, the googling of others. Some of the people I've known have very unique names, so unique that they seem to be the only people in the world with them (very interesting; I quite nearly collect these.) Others don't (how dull.) I sometimes feel like Regina Lambert in Charade, in the sense that the number of people I'm supposed to know is so large that I certainly can't pencil in anyone new until someone's died, at least. Except in my case, it's more like a rather large address book that I'm too lazy to clear out. Looking back on high school, it feels more like a television show that I don't watch any more than something that actually happened to me. The people, likewise, feel very fictional. And I feel absolutely no embarrassment about googling them and noting, with interest, not what's really happened to them (in most cases) but rather what would have happened to them had they been born thirty years ago/in Perth/played professional rugby/etc.

It's when I meet with people that I used to know, and talk about (do I get to call it "the old days"?) - I mean there's a very sort of modern duty for the college student to keep up with the friends - a duty and a pleasure, in a sort of Jane Austen way. But when I'm having lunch or seeing a movie with Country Day people, I know, without thinking, that there's a Country Day system of logic, and a college system of logic, and so when we meet we're on delightfully shaky ground, the old habits of Country Day trying to relocate themselves within the new habits we've picked up since. I find myself swapping gossip about old classmates with a delight that is very, very college-prep. Chris says to me, with delight, "So-and-so dropped out of Duke and went back to Germany - guess she couldn't take it," and that entire statement is so entirely dependent on variables, factors, weather systems that can only exist in this specific school, that the mind does boggle. It boggles. Really. It really does seem to me like there's only one culture in which everything works on principles that - that really don't make any sense, in a terrifyingly funny way! - and that's the one in which I lived for four years.

And still live, sort of. Because, secretly, I am rather amused to hear that so-and-so allegedly couldn't cut it at Duke. "She's going to college in Germany?" I ask, and Chris affirms, and then I say, "Well, at least it's free in Germany," and Chris rolls his eyes at me and says, "Right, because she's so worried about the money," and we laugh. I want to explain this to you clearly - my parents were watching some special on ABC and the reporter was in Singapore attempting to explain their culture and he said, quite earnestly, "Their values are not our values." For Country Day, think of it as not so much "our values are not your values" but as "our values are your values, amplified."

I was correcting worksheets at a Kumon Learning Center for eight dollars an hour a few days ago, and since it's a job you don't need to think for, I was daydreaming; and it suddenly hit me with really terrific force the notion that - Country Day was weird. It was weird. It made about as much sense as that Lewis Carroll logic problem that reduces itself to the statement, "Babies cannot manage crocodiles." It did not make sense, it merely functioned mathematically. And I think we've all been a little messed up since, haven't we? The great lasting benefit, it seems, of a private school education is that you will always have something in the mail for you for the rest of your life. So far all my mail has been inquiring after donations. This Christmas break I came home to a particularly smarmy letter from Country Day alumni who had just graduated from Ivies. I remember them only vaguely, the way you remember the seniors who almost seemed like celebrities when you were a freshman. The letter reminded us all that Country Day had instilled us with a love of learning, etc, and suggested that we make a donation to the school in the amount of five dollars for every year we've been graduated.

I was annoyed when I read it; I put it aside and have probably recycled it by now. But now, I have to admit, I'm a bit angry. I wanted to write them back, something cutting and erudite and witty, something to punch a few holes in their glossy advertising-copy letter. Wordplay; something like, "In my experience, Country Day did not instill a love of learning into its students so much as it installed a sense of cutthroat competition." Instilled is such a college-prep word anyway; what does it even mean? Isn't it a term in cooking? I intended to throw about all the dirt I could remember. We once had an assembly in which the whole school was herded together, on pain of detention, to sit in the auditorium and watch alumnus Chris Webber give us a speech about character, in which I learned that character didn't matter so much as fame and money. Though I could have learned that elsewhere too. Every punishment and rule at Country Day varied according to how much your parents donated. There were girls that I never saw in proper uniform during my four years of high school; I served something like a dozen detentions for dress code violations in the course of one year. (Still pissed off about that, I have to admit, though I really should have just wised up and safety-pinned the bottom of my shirt under and made it look like it was tucked in.) When I was a junior, there was a senior who verbally harassed an underclassman girl he didn't even know when she passed him in the hallway; he said to her something so sexually obscene that I'm not even going to repeat it here. She went to the administration; she wasn't even permitted to know whether they ever even spoke to him about it. He was rich, popular, a star athlete and academic, and as far as I know all that happened to him was five detentions. The only way I know that is that I served those detentions with him. Except mine were for not tucking in my shirt.

We sent that guy to an Ivy. A good Ivy. Not only was it important, if you were a 'serious' student, to go to an Ivy (we all believed fervently that our undergrad would determine the rest of our lives), it was important to go to a good Ivy and not, like, Cornell. (It seems like the most fundamental shift in logic between Country Day and real life is that at Country Day people sniped at my friend Chris for going to "the easy Ivy." In real life, it's... it's Cornell, people.)

It was a good education. Most of my teachers were Ph.Ds; I got a full-tuition scholarship to a private college. I don't know if I would send my children there; maybe if I had particularly horrid children that I disliked very much. I don't know. But every day I realize how much more of that world I have yet to shake off, that the snobbery and pseudo-intellectualism that I detest in other people has been installed - beg your pardon, instilled - in me too. Right now the one thing I really wish I'd learned was how to handle being happy. Right now I'm trying to feel at home in this curious happiness, this content; trying not to feel like I'm borrowing someone else's life, someone who will come knocking any moment asking for it back. I had become very bitter; mostly cheap sarcasm. At the oddest moments, I'll still find myself moving to that old tune instead of the new one. I saw Caroline and Yaffa briefly this summer; their college plans came up in conversation, and my first thought was, I go to a college no one has ever heard of, and I felt ashamed of myself, and I felt ashamed that I was still such a snob that I could be ashamed. I should know better. I should know how to untangle these things. I couldn't quite shake off the bitterness.

I haven't written in ages; of course, by this time there are really only two or three people still left on Livejournal that I know and care about, and maybe this is written to them. I think wrote so much in high school because I was so busy looking at everyone else doing things; now I've hardly written at all, I've been making up for all that time. My prose style is quite clumsy now, I'm afraid, but I might say my conversation has improved. I have packed quite a lot of activeness into a small time and intend to go on that way. I spent all of high school being rather didactic and pretentious about who I was, and then discovered that I was something quite different, something I've not yet quantified; perhaps won't. I don't know whether I want to reject the past entirely; I still keep it at the back of my mind. What a pleasure to live the way you want to; and I feel, right now, as if anything I can possibly say is crowded out by this gladness I have. I don't care if it all changes in a moment; I am so lucky to be unaccustomed to being happy. America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

And print.
 
 
à bout de souffle
11 February 2007 @ 02:57 am
So I just put iTunes on shuffle. Should warn you that I've "only" got under nine hundred songs (Casey: "What are you... impotent?") at any rate all of this is probably going to be moderately obscure and I welcome you to cheat with Google.

I do all the time for these things. I'll come clean. It's true. Sorry.

1. "Honeyed sweet apples, they're rotting away."

2. "Have I still got you to be my open door?"

3. "La mort, c'est seulement la mort; mais l'amour, c'est l'amour."

4. "Love goes cold in the shades of doubt..."

5. "And he said, 'God! Make it a dream!' as he rode his last ride down."

6. "Velut luna statu variabilis, semper crescis aut decrescis."

7. "Dyma ein hawr: ni dawr unrhyw gyfle arall heibio'r drws." Ok, so this one's Welsh. As a freebie, I offer in its place: "I do what I want because I can if I want because I wanna."

8. "You'll never get to heaven with your heart in your shoes."

9. "And we live a life of ease, any one of us has all we need."

10. "Real people question how someone took a lobster's face and put it on a cow."

11. "And cry, and laugh about it all."

12. "From stairway to station we made a sensation with the gadabout crowd."

13. "Oh, no, love, you're not alone. You're watching yourself, but you're too unfair..."

14. "Like a summer rose needs the sun and rain, I need your sweet love to beat love away."

15. "You're a star... in nobody's eyes but mine."

16. "I said, 'Please don't slow me down if I'm going too fast.'"

17. "Take my money, my cigarettes. I haven't seen the worst of it yet."

18. "Tell me what you saw, I'll tell you what to..."

19. "All the clowns that you have commissioned / Have died in battle or in vain..."

20. "And you're my best little secret yet."
 
 
sound: Harry Chapin || "Sunday Morning Sunshine"
 
 
à bout de souffle
18 September 2006 @ 02:22 am
 
SamsonCollapse )
 
 
à bout de souffle
21 March 2006 @ 10:00 pm
 
I said to an audience in America the other day who were booing me for some reason I still don't understand. I said, Look, I don't want to be loved. And I thought that's the stupidest thing I've ever said - and the most false. I really very much need to be loved. I just don't want to be popular.



Christopher Hitchens, interview with the Guardian
http://books.guardian.co.uk/hay2005/story/0,,1496348,00.html
 
 
à bout de souffle
29 January 2006 @ 01:21 am
 
"Hi there, Mr. Wind-Up Bird," said May Kasahara. "Are you still alive? Mr. Wind-Up Bird? Answer if you're still alive."

"I'm alive," I said.

"You must be hungry."

"I think so."

"Still just 'I think so'? It'll be a while before you starve to death, then. Starving people don't die so easily, as long as they've got water."

"That's probably true," I said, the uncertainty in my voice echoing in the well. The echo probably amplified any hint of anything contained in the voice.

"I know it's true," said May Kasahara. "I did a little research in the library this morning. All about hunger and thirst. Did you know, Mr. Wind-Up Bird, somebody once lived underground for twenty-one days? During the Russian Revolution."

"No kidding," I said.

"He must have suffered a lot."

"Yeah, really."

"He survived, but he lost all his hair and teeth. Everything. Even if he lived, it must have been terrible."

"Yeah, really."

"Even if you lose your teeth and hair, though, I suppose you can live a pretty normal life if you've got a decent wig and false teeth."

"Yeah, and wigs and dentures have made great strides since the days of the Russian Revolution, too. That might make things a little easier."

"You know, Mr. Wind-Up Bird...," said May Kasahara, clearing her throat.

"What?"

"If people lived forever - if they never got any older - if they could just go on living in this world, never dying, always healthy - do you think they'd bother to think hard about things, the way we're doing now? I mean, we think about just about everything, more or less - philosophy, psychology, logic. Religion. Literature. I kinda think, if there were no such thing as death, that complicated thoughts and ideas like that would never come into the world. I mean - "

May Kasahara cut herself short and remained silent for a while, during which her "I mean" hung in the darkness of the well like a hacked-off fragment of thought. Maybe she had lost the will to say any more. Or maybe she needed me to think of what came next. I just waited in silence for her to continue, my head lowered as from the beginning. The thought crossed my mind that if May Kasahara wanted to kill me right away, it would be no trouble for her at all. She could just drop a big rock down the well. If she tried a few times, one was bound to hit me in the head.

"I mean... this is what I think, but... people have to think seriously about what it means for them to be alive here and now because they know they're going to die sometime. Right? Who would think about what it means to be alive if they were just going to go on living forever? Why would they have to bother? Or even if they should bother, they'd probably just figure, 'Oh, well, I've got plenty of time for that. I'll think about it later.' But we can't wait till later. We've got to think about it right this second. I might get run over by a truck tomorrow afternoon. And you, Mr. Wind-Up Bird, you might starve to death. One morning three days from now, you could be dead in the bottom of a well. See? Nobody knows what's going to happen. So we need death to make us evolve. That's what I think. Death is this huge, bright thing, and the bigger and the brighter it is, the more we have to drive ourselves crazy thinking about things."

May Kasahara paused.

"Tell me, Mr. Wind-Up Bird..."

"What?"

"Down there in the darkness, have you been thinking about your own death? About how you would die down there?"

I took a moment to think about her question. "Nope," I said. "That's one thing I haven't been thinking about."

"Why not?" May Kasahara asked, with a note of disgust, as if she were speaking to a deformed animal. "Why haven't you been thinking about it? You're literally facing death right now. I'm not kidding around. I told you before, it's up to me whether you live or die."

"You could drop a rock," I said.

"A rock? What are you talking about?"

"You could go find a big rock and drop it on me."

"Well, sure, I could do that." But she didn't seem to like the idea. "Anyhow, Mr. Wind-Up Bird, you must be starving. It's just gonna get worse and worse. And you'll run out of water. So how can you not think about death? Don't you think it's weird?"



Haruki Murakami,
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
 
 
sound: Regina Spektor || "Hotel Song"
 
 
 
à bout de souffle
02 January 2006 @ 08:23 pm
1. Pick ten twenty of your favorite movies and choose one still from each movie.
2. Post those stills in your journal.
3. Have your friends guess which movie goes along with each screen still.
(The answers revealed - and Harold and Maude should have been on this list too, don't know what I was thinking)

1.

Read more...Collapse )
 
 
sound: DeVotchKa || "Sunrise on Cicero"
 
 
à bout de souffle
Subversion...

is the fact that Franz Ferdinand has macho altrock teen boys all over the United States humming "Do You Want To" at this exact moment.

Well, he's a friend and he's so proud of you.
He's a friend and I knew him before you.

He's a friend and we're so proud of you.
He's a friend and I blew him before you.

Here we are at the Transmission party
I love your friends - they're all so arty.


Funny how it pays to listen to the lyrics.

Sure, you can ignore "Michael" (Beautiful boys on a beautiful dance floor / Michael, you're dancing like a beautiful dance whore"); let's assume that most kids didn't go out and buy the first album. But "Do You Want To" is all over MTV and last time I checked was getting fair radio play on 89X. There's got to be a radio edit of this - but you can look up the lyrics anywhere, they're all the same. Perhaps it's the accents and this is "Louie Louie" all over again.

Mr. Bowie may have absconded, but have you met Alex Kapranos?*



Guess who's my new favorite band.





*Not actually toujours gai, as Mehitabel would say, toujours straight is more accurate, but it's nice to have his support.
 
 
sound: Franz Ferdinand || "You're the Reason I'm Leaving"
 
 
à bout de souffle
06 August 2005 @ 01:53 pm
 
Returned from Chicago. I hadn't been there since the last funeral. This one was very nice, very nationalist Welsh. They had my great uncle's medals from the AAF and his flyboy jacket and scarf on display, and also pictures of his plane from World War II - a B-26. They also hung the Welsh flag and a flag with the Davies crest on it, which I thought was sort of funny because being a Davies is like being a Smith, it's not particularly noble or anything. Best of all, the Freemason Lodge he was in came to do his last rites, which was actually very cool but sort of funny.

There was a good article in the Chicago Sun-Times for him, too, only they got things wrong, they called him a pilot and he was actually a gunner. And they put in how he and the crew he was in flew sixty-five missions together and all survived, and how they got nearly bombed to pieces and came close to dying over six times. They had a binder on a table at the visitation, and it had all these articles in it explaining what the various medals were for, and copies of the Sun-Times obituary, and one of his friends in the Air Force gave an elegy and he mentioned how once the pilot working with Uncle Brian had to land in an airport other than the one they'd been told to go to, because they'd have crashed otherwise, and he came in to report and the guy there was Jimmy Stewart, the Jimmy Stewart, and the pilot tells him that they're the "Bloody Mary" crew and Stewart just looks at the pilot and says, "What are you guys doing here? You're supposed to be dead!"

I've never cried at a funeral and I still haven't; but it was hard at this one, I never knew Uncle Brian as well as I should have but he was an incredibly wonderful man, and most of my memories of him are from when we used to go to Chicago a lot, when I was little, and we all adored him. And I want to wait til I'm alone to cry, if I have to cry; I don't know how to love a lot of my relatives but I really loved him. He was a whole different kind of person - sixty-five missions; I don't know if that kind of courage or just sheer wonderful insanity even exists now.

I'm going away for two weeks to Glen Lake, which is in the upper part of the southern peninsula; we go every year for two weeks. I haven't had a moment alone yet, but I can wait. I'm going to teach myself more Welsh.
 
 
sound: Rammstein || "Rammstein"
 
 
à bout de souffle
23 July 2005 @ 12:47 pm
 
The morning I had to leave the writing program at Massachusetts, I hadn't even packed my things. Our last class ended by eleven; I kept thinking what I'd been saying the whole week, at odd moments I'd say, "I can't leave." I kept thinking that, I can't leave. I can't go home.

Which was stupid rubbish, actually; of course I could go home. It was just a plane ticket.

So there was a dodgy hour or so, in which I shoved all my things into my suitcase, managed to get it downstairs, and so on... I don't know what I was more nervous about, forgetting something, or that the shuttle to the airport would leave without me. It was nerves; looking back on it now, I remember that I sort of wanted both those things to happen. The night before I told myself, I'm not going home at all, I'll do something else. I think I had some blurry idea of cheap emergency housing from last summer in Ontario, that I could just walk into a town with about two-fifty in my pocket and rent myself a room. It would be very magical realism, very Chocolat, in a way. It can be one of those revoltingly stupid things that I still wish I'd done.

The airport - well, I hadn't been in one since I was nine, or six, or something like that. It reminded me of my high school, except for the planes taking off, which were too cool to remind me of my high school. I had no idea where to go and had to be sort of gently prodded in various directions by various people, Cory who was used to airports, the startlingly blond lady at the check-in thingy, the nice tall man who pronounced my luggage absolutely free of bombs... I had to wait in this incredibly long line of people, like... trying to get into the van Gogh exhibit at the DIA, that kind of line. And right in front of me in the line there was a mother and father with two little girls, maybe about four and six years old. They seemed to me like a photograph; I looked at them and thought of my family ten or eleven years ago and we might have looked like that. The littlest girl told me she liked my necklace. I told her thank you. I tried to think of something to compliment about her, but the most prominent feature about her was her Hello Kitty backpack, and I couldn't have said "I like your Hello Kitty backpack" to a four-year-old, I would have sounded like an ass.

Anyhow the nice thing about the airport was how neutral I felt; once I got past the line and into the area with the gates and restaurants, I felt sort of invisible, I could just stand there and watch people. If you thought of it as a street, with terminals and stores on either side of this wide tiled road thing, it made more sense to watch people walking around, going into the one bar, and the pseudo-Italian café. There was a father and his three-year-old son who were playing with a toy car, right in the middle of the road, the kid was sitting on the ground and he'd make the car run over to the dad and the dad would stop it with his foot and bend over and make it zoom back. Right in the middle of the passageway - it wasn't very crowded, but people were having to walk around them, and the thing was nobody minded at all. People on cell phones, people trying to find their gates, they all just walked around, and nobody even looked annoyed or wanted to say to the guy, "Look, go play with your kid somewhere else." I sort of wished he were my dad, for a minute; the sort of dad who understands that when you have a toy car you do have to play with it, and people can always step around you.

And I waited at the window and watched a plane take off. It was amazing, I had this sort of gosh-wow-that's-so-cool thing in my head; just... so amazing. You have this great big lumbering piece of metal, like an overgrown car, the wings are just these flaps that look like they're going to fall off - when the plane gets moving, they actually wobble, they don't look that strong. And so you have this huge thing sort of trundling around the airport trying to find a clear runway, and then it does, and it starts going really fast and not so clumsy, and then all of a sudden it's in the air, it's quite nearly floating. It's a bloody miracle, there's no other way to put it - it's a miracle because there is no miracle, the thing doesn't suddenly sprout wings or turn into a bird, it just stays the same old lump, but it's flying.

I'd developed a bit of a cold or a cold-like thing or a cold-like something, and so I kept going into the public bathroom to sneeze into the paper towels. As public bathrooms go, it was excellent, very clean, no swear words on the walls - for a bathroom it was actually kind of aesthetic. I stood in a corner, kind of alternately sneezing and thinking, and I looked at myself in the mirror. I didn't look like a kid any more; maybe it was my hair, newly cut short, or the way I stood with my hands in the pockets of my jean jacket. But I looked at myself and thought, Oh, so I'm a teenager.

And, for the first time, I believed it. Before Massachusetts I'd felt like a little kid pretending to be a sixteen-year-old. I'm small; people think I'm twelve sometimes. My mother alternates between treating me as if I were three and treating me as if I were thirty. It's easy, too, to play up the little kid part of me, it's sort of the easy punch line to the joke. You can get away with all sorts of random rubbish if you're acting like a little kid and that's the funny thing. But all through high school, I kept thinking, Someone's going to look at me and say, Get out, you're too young.

So it was strange, looking at myself in the mirror - I was a ways away from it, so I could see all of myself, and I could see my expression, and it was like watching another girl. And if you'd pointed her out to me some place and said, "How old is she?" I would have said, "Oh, about fifteen or sixteen, I think."

I wonder whether being home will make me lose all that, that I'll become my mother's daughter again, and my mother's daughter is still the twelve-year-old who can't cross a parking lot without permission. Who runs home from school every day and tells her mother so much that her mother thinks she knows everything. My mother is one of those people who, when they find out something new about you, feel betrayed, as if you'd kept the fact that such-and-such is your favorite song purposely secret, just to hurt them. She's one of those people who thinks that if she doesn't know something about you, it must not be true.

If I were the person she thought I was, you could summarize me in a sentence and not miss a thing.

Traveling was sort of in stages; the saying goodbye-part, which for some reason I did badly; not over-emotional or anything, just bad the way a watercolor can be bad or a play is bad - just bad-quality goodbyes. Running around thinking well if I never see these people again and hugging people who seemed to be surprised to be hugged by me and being hugged by people I didn't expect would hug me. I'm not good at hugging. Or rather I am decent at it, but every time I do it I feel like I'm giving myself bonus points for not just running in a corner and biting anyone who goes near.

Bizarrely I felt something as if I'd been kicked in the chest. It was too easy to get maudlin about it; to look at the door to the laundry room, for instance, and think, I shall never do my laundry in that room again; to get all worked up about little things like that, half for the sake of getting worked up about something and half because if I got worked up about people - well, I'd think that was silly, and I think everyone else was glad to go home.

Too easy, really, to say goodbye to various people and have a sort of mental Ebert in your head saying, Well, I'd expected you to make that so much more meaningful. But, I mean - for Chrissake, "Hey, see you." "See you." "Great meeting you." "Yeah, we'll write to each other, ok?" "Oh, definitely, great idea" and so on ad nauseum - it's a sort of determined script, only so many things to bring up, this is not the time to say "Oh and incidentally I am carrying your illegitimate child" or "Well, now that you're leaving I might as well mention I've hacked into your Swiss bank account and transferred it all to Greenpeace" or "Actually, now that I have a moment, I'm just going to say that I'm in love."

Cos that'd be a cheat, really, like when you were little and playing Tag and someone would tag you and then run away yelling "No tag-backs!" I mean, fuck you, of course there are tag-backs, there are always tag-backs. That's the way things work. Maybe in movies people call other people and make earth-shattering revelations over the telephone and then hang up; but in real life, people do that, hang up, and then get called back. Everybody wants the last word.

So finally I got into the van to be driven to the airport; and the radio was playing something, and I couldn't make it out at first, and then I thought, oh god, honestly.

I'm in this awful angsty I-will-never-see-them-again-and-am-now-returning-to-jail mood, and the radio is playing Queen's "Fat-Bottomed Girls."

I mean, Christ, whoever's doing the soundtrack to my life has the worst possible timing.

But that's a very good song.



The flight from Hartford to Detroit was uneventful; I was disappointed, we didn't even experience turbulence or anything, and no opportunity to use the oxygen masks, I've always wanted to use an oxygen mask. I'm curious, that's all. Oh, and also when you're a certain distance away from the ground, not too close and not too far, the ground below looks exactly like a model train set. It's really cool.

When I got off the plane, my mother was right there waiting, right at the gate. And I went up to her and said, "Hey," and she looked right past me. She didn't recognize me at all. It was only the moment later, when I said it again and made as if to touch her arm, that she looked at me and recognized me.

In the split second she didn't know me, I thought, I don't have to go home.

A sort of single second, half a second even, separated like the moment between the lump rushing along the runway and the plane rising silver into blue.

And then she looked at me and said, "Oh, Kim. You cut your hair."
 
 
sound: The Strokes || "Under Control"
 
 
à bout de souffle
18 July 2005 @ 12:01 am
 
AIM with Pippa:

me: i love sabriel
me: the whole abhorsen trilogy actually
pippa: sabriel etc are some of the best books ever
pippa: them, the dark materials, and ender.
pippa: those are my staples that i'm taking to college with me
me: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit
me: o god
me: wrong IM.



That one would have made sense, actually, in the proper context. Well... as Yaffa says, "We don't ask questions."
 
 
sound: Elliott Smith || "Angeles"
 
 
 
à bout de souffle
06 June 2005 @ 10:11 pm
 
Notes:

I accept full responsibility for starting the water fight that commenced at approximately 12:45 in the downstairs of the science wing. In my defense: I would not have had to dump half the water bottle on Elias if his shirt had not been so damn waterproof, thus taking him several moments to observe that water was dripping down - and I quote - his "nipples." If I had not had those several moments, Elias would not have become so wet, thus filling me with the happiness of success and making me feel compelled to repeat the same experiment on Jamie, thus causing Jamie to scream like a girl. Thus they would not have felt the need to revenge themselves on me by the means of filled waterbottles, and thus an epic water fight would not have started, and thus Chris David would not have started squirting water at the general population of the world, basically dousing the door to Fried's classroom, scaring the dear old crap out of passersby, and changing the color of Jamie's shorts entirely.

We were doing this all in fun, and Chris... Chris was like the mad axe murderer that comes in forty-five minutes into the movie and just totally wastes everything in his wake.

So, finally, funny Jamie-looked-like-he-ejaculated-all-over-his-shorts jokes aside, I would like to remark:

It was really all Elias's shirt's fault.

It really was.

It was such a yuppie-looking Jackson Pollock wannabe shirt, too. I had to pour water down his back. It was necessary. He looked as if he had been bled on by blue things.



Incidentally Chris also spoiled my victorious mood by attacking me with water, after I had been repeatedly attacked by Jamie and Elias, and poking my favorite shirt with an ink pen. The dot has not come out, has only become gray, and I am pissed off and my two worst subjects' finals are tomorrow and it will not come out, that is really all I have to say on the matter. And my happy skirt-wearing mood is spoiled, thanks to Chris. Bugger you Chris. Also I owe Chris money, because he has no sense of charity where Kim is concerned and does not believe in buying girls food unless he is dating them and can get something out of it. So I need to get money and Chris wore a pink shirt today and dear god there really is no justice.

Why does Chris always end up ahead?

WENNY: It's because you're so short and he's taller than you.

Why does, at moments of small crisis, does the image of Wenny speak to me, much like Yoda appearing to Luke Skywalker in whatever episode of Star Wars it was?

WENNY: It's because I'm cool like that.

No, Wenny. No. I beg to differ. I think it's cos you're short too. Hah.





(Goes off to mourn shirt and hopes Chris was serious when he said he'd wash it for me because if he wasn't I shall be even more generally mournful etc.)



(Eats a cookie.)
 
 
à bout de souffle
24 April 2005 @ 10:58 pm
 
http://postsecret.blogspot.com/

A thought, mostly inspired by the above and also, a bit, by a friend's entry.

If you could say anything at all and know that your identity would remain absolutely unknown, what would you say?

Consider this a sort of confession box, I suppose. Say anything. Say what you haven't admitted to yourself yet, or say how much you hate the weather. I'll add one too, eventually. I just want to know, I think I want to know, what kind of things that would be said.

Maybe I want to know whether they'd be the kind of things I'd say.

So it's just a game, and just play. Put in the lyrics to "King Henry" if you want. Anything. Just as long as you want it.

I think what I want is to see you in the street, at school, at a restaurant, anything, and to have a one in a million chance of guessing what you're thinking. Better than a one in a billion chance, hmm?

I mean, assuming that everybody really does think about sex every seven seconds.

So, here we go. The Confiteor in an easy one-step program. Put happies in, you can even put in things like "Kim I hate you lalalalala" and so on. (For goodness' sake, if it's going to be hate mail, keep it interesting.) Put in, seriously, anything.

Maybe this will be a cathartic experience as everyone slowly comes to the realization that everyone in the human race is equally strange!

"I cheat at cards." That kind of thing.

Or maybe it'll just be a lot of fun...

Someone really should put in the lyrics to "King Henry."



Oh yes, and there won't be any IP-logging or things like that.
 
 
sound: The Clash || "The Card Cheat"
 
 
à bout de souffle
24 March 2005 @ 12:46 am
 
Hello.

The most important thing I did today was decide whether to use three or four strands of cotton when needlepointing a small rug for a dolls' house.

My younger sister Cara has finally gotten her dolls' house. It's a thing in our family. I got mine when I was ten. These are dollhouses from minaturists' kits, wooden, perfectly painted and in period. Mine is in the turn-of-the-century San Franciscan style. Cara's is a Vermont Farmhouse, according to the catalogue. Mine took four months for my father to put together. He let me help glue on the shingles, but he felt everything else required his own expertise. Floors were sanded and primered, the walls were spray-painted dark blue - only by spray-painting can you get an even coat - the shingles didn't need to be varnished, but if they had needed such treatment, my father would have varnished each one by hand.

It wasn't so much love for the daughter that brought him into this, although that was the root of it, and more of it than I think. I think I knew what he felt, how he could get caught up in the miniature perfection of that little house, with the ice-blue gingerbread trim and plexiglass windows painted in patterns of white lines to suggest cut-glass panes. The doors, with beveled frames, and the windows, every one of which opened and shut - more or less, some of them are still rather tight - satisfied. The stairs didn't, and he still, after five years, refuses to put them in until we can buy a kit for 'better-quality stairs.' He means stairs that have banisters, and steps that can be varnished, railings that are milled to a perfect Victorian flutedness. The details are of course important. The foundation of the house was first painted dark steel gray - paint colors suddenly became very important - and then covered with a long sticker that had holes in it, perforated to show bricks. (You painted a thick red mixture over this, ripped the tape away, and there were bricks, small, red, suspended in tiny expanses of gray paint. You were not pleased with the results. The squared-off beads of reddish whatever-it-was were occasionally brought out of place by taking away the tape, and you used a knife to push them back into place before they dried. For this reason, while most of the bricks have rounded edges, others, especially at one corner, are flattened on some sides, sharply squared off. A lot of swearing occurred during this operation.)

Cara's house - well, after putting together a "New England Lighthouse" for Leslie - who was, incidentally, almost thoroughly unappreciative and has allowed nearly all the top railings to break off - my father was not in for the Let's Make it From Near Scratch sort of thing. The box that the pieces for mine came in informed him that the whole thing could be put together in two hours. He knew it for a bitter lie, of course. Leslie's lighthouse was smaller, but actually had a light on top, and stairs worked in, and the box did not even dare suggest that the whole operation could be undertaken in less than a day.

Therefore he chose the 'QuickBuild' model of the Really Good Toys Company. (I could put in here, charmingly, a quick comment that this company bears no relation to Andrew Lloyd Webber, but no one would think it was funny. I don't even think it's funny, now that I think of it. I don't think this entire digression is funny at all, actually, now that I look at it.) 'QuickBuild' means, literally, that. It's perfectly honest. The whole thing is as nearly put together as it can be and still fit into a flat package.

The Thing arrived on Christmas Day. My father viewed it with a kind of longing fear. Something like Dr. Watson looking at coffee. He is aware that he wants coffee, needs coffee, that in fact at any given moment in time about 50% of the stuff swimming around in his bloodstream originated in Colombia and Brazil, thus explaining his constant hyperactiveness, but insists on believing that he is going to beat the habit. Nonsense. Herbal tea has no power in the face of Dr. Watson's coffee need. Dr. Watson simply is coffee at this point.

(I've written enough to fill the window now. See? Not so hard. Never mind that it's dreadful, unimportant, unimportantly dreadful, dreadfully unimportant, I should stop here, but it's the writing that's important, no? I haven't done this kind of thing in three weeks. I'll get rusty. I'll become drop-dead normal.)

At any rate, my father of course had no interest in ingesting the box. He made some comment indicating to the general family that he wasn't going to get into that much work without complaining about it.

Sometimes I wonder what's the most addictive - the gorgeous precision of the work, or the opportunity to complain about it. ("I have to hang every damn window myself, you know? And guess how many. Guess how many! Fifteen! Fifteen working windows! MY GOD!!!!!!!")

He finally broke down and opened up Cara's box a few days ago. He took out the parts. There were something like ten.

He stared at them. Laid them out on the table. He appeared stricken with a new form of sorrow.

He scrabbled through the box a few more times. Only ten parts? Ten? Half of which were not major components?

You could say he was just looking for the other one thousand two hundred and forty pieces he was certain he was missing. (True, I am counting shingles. Three hundred plus if we don't count shingles.)

He finally came to terms with the emptiness of the box, with the unused expanse of his work table. "This is so... pathetic," he muttered. He surveyed the situation again. Faced with a dollhouse that had

a) been wallpapered (we still haven't gotten around to that one on mine)
b) windows, already hung and painted
c) doors, same
e) milled walls representing clapboard, painted a stirring pure white that even Dad with his obsessive spray-painting would've been hard-put to accomplish
f) perfectly shingled roof
g) painted steps that could slide into the front
h) painted chimney
i) painted moldings

Literally, all you had to do was glue the walls to each other, like putting together a puzzle, then stick the roof on top, and finish it off by pasting up the chimney and the moldings.

My dad felt slightly insulted by the sight, as if a nearly pre-made dolls' house was a slight to his masculinity. He hmphed several times, then began working his usual magic with clamps and glue. My dad, and I say this with perfect honesty, handles his clamps like a true artist. As an engineer, he believes he knows exactly where all the pressure points are on a piece of wood. He believes he knows exactly where all the potential pressure points are too. He's convinced he knows the location of pressure points that haven't even thought about being points yet. With this art - rather like dowsing - in mind, he places his clamps where they'll do the least damage. He puts styrofoam or thin wood between them and the house so they won't scratch anything. The clamps are stout iron - the day they fall, the world comes down too. In spite of this, Dad still feels it's necessary, perhaps to create a better climate for the glue to dry, to shout, "DON'T TOUCH THAT!" in tones of distress when anyone so much as meditates upon the thing.

Oh yes. And the real reason of my annoyance - Dad, even though he says himself that the thing is so easily put together a monkey could do it, refuses to let me help. Again. I did the shingles on mine. I did the shingles on Leslie's. By the time you'd think I was ready to graduate to something better, let's say painting at least, does he let me help? No. The opinion stated - "Well, Kim, there's nothing for you to do."

Within three days, the house is upstairs. The damned thing already has wooden veneers on the floors, so it looks like boards. It's beautiful.

I intend to electrify my house. That'll show him.
 
 
à bout de souffle
I shall update now.

the rules:

1. Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I will respond; I'll ask you 5 questions.
3. You'll update your journal with my 5 questions, and your 5 answers.
4. You'll include this explanation.
5. You'll ask other people 5 questions when they want to be interviewed.

Here are the 5 questions from Vivian (miirae) and my answers.

1. if there was a fire and you had the chance to rescue only three of your things (parents, siblings, pets excluded), what would you rescue?

I was thinking about this. Most of what I've got is replaceable. Even books. You can always buy new copies. The nice thing about Livejournal is that the majority of my writing is accessible from anywhere. And I've emailed around and printed out and given to people any other writing I'd want to save, so I could just ask for the copies. I'd save my laptop, actually, cos I don't think that's insured and it'd be quite annoying to replace. And my driver's permit, same reason. But most importantly I'd save my copy of Angels in America, because I keep all my letters between the pages of that book.


2. when you've passed away, what would you like your gravestone to say?

'Fuck you.' Like in The Catcher in the Rye. Well, actually, I couldn't do that, my descendants would be too embarrassed to go and visit it. So, seriously - 'I don't know.' That's probably the best thing to put on it, because I quite honestly don't know. No, that's rubbish, nobody wants that kind of thing. How about my name and the dates, and I hope to be in the kind of situation by the time I die that that information speaks for itself.


3. if you were a superhero, what would be your name, how would you look and what would be your special powers?

I would be the Invisible Man, only not psychotic and insane. I would be able to go invisible at will and walk through doors and pick locks mentally. It'd be brilliant. I would look, of course, like the Invisible Man.


4. if you could chose what to be in your next life, what would you be?

This is quite easy. A penguin.


5. what about your life are you most eager to change, if anything?

I want to live on my own terms in my own home on my own money. I want perfect independence, perfect responsibility. Right now I go to a school I hate so I can hopefully go to a college that I don't hate. But a lot of what I do is determined by my family. In a way it's reassuring to have someone tell you what you can do and what you can't, but in a way it's also bad, I'm thinking it's better to take responsibility for what you are, rather than what you were made to be.
 
 
sound: Sigur Rós || "Rokklagið"
 
 
à bout de souffle
06 February 2005 @ 09:51 pm
 
I HAVE FOUND A WELSH ROCK BAND.

And that really does deserve capitals. Because they're Welsh, and they're really good. The Manic Street Preachers. And they're socialists.

I may have discovered a new rock love to - well, never replace the Libertines - but perhaps to make up a bit for their loss.



All right, and look, I'm determined to see A Very Long Engagement while it's still playing in American theatres. They may have robbed me of Bad Education, but I'll be damned if I end up passing this up too. Ok. So, who wants to see it with me? It's playing at the State Theatre in Ann Arbor, which is rather far away, but... it's not playing at another theatre within twenty-five miles, at least not according to imdb.com, which tends to be the final source in such matters.

Ok. So if you're up for a trip to Ann Arbor to experience a great masterpiece of world cinema... I mean a really really good movie... then let me know, ok?

Because I want to, and I'll have much better luck convincing my mom to drive me to Ann Arbor if she thinks it'll be an opportunity for me to 'socialize'.

The family has not been entirely sure what to do with this new-found apparent addiction to subtitles. My dad watches everything with me, not out of any particular interest in foreign films, but because he watches anything that moves. Consequently he's now gotten used to this - to the point that he watched Troy with the subtitles on.

And nobody is accusing Brad Pitt of having anything but an American accent.
 
 
sound: The Manic Street Preachers || "If You Tolerate This"
 
 
 
à bout de souffle
03 February 2005 @ 09:45 pm
Note: I love Jaron. Absolutely. And he is so not getting his DVD back anytime soon.
 
 
à bout de souffle
31 January 2005 @ 10:22 pm
 
Freddie Mercury is... hot. And very, very much so.

Am I allowed to say that? Hell yes I am allowed to say that.

My other newly discovered "whoah" sort of thing is the character Agrado in Todo sobre mi madre. All right, so she's a transsexual Spanish prostitute. But so cool. The actor/actress who plays her, Antonia San Juan - I cannot figure out whether she's a transsexual or simply a very plain woman, and I'm coming to the point where it simply doesn't matter - is fantastic. As in I would watch dog food commercials as long as they had her in it.

You watch that movie, even though it's Spanish, sexual, and subtitled, I'll love you forever. (And forever is defined as at least the whole next hour, depending on how much of an asshole I think you are to begin with, how much you annoy me, and how good of a mood I'm in at the moment.)

Bizarrely I find myself thinking of this character as a role model. I wake up in the morning, and it occurs to me that I am a funny-looking tiny girl with a weird accent I can't get rid of. (Future Homosexuals of America, as David Sedaris would say.) Then it occurs to me that Agrado is a transsexual prostitute who first appears in the film when she's getting beaten up by a client, and yet still manages to be funny and caring and keep this fantastic integrity about her, in short the kind of girl that, if mother wouldn't let you take her home to her, you'd send mother home - right, so anyhow, Agrado is stranger, Agrado has half the world not particularly screaming for her blood, but not minding if it's on the menu - and yet Agrado is just the sort of person you can't help but love.

And if that is a female actress, she has the transsexual thing down. She's exactly like a man who is being a woman. She is female, yet obviously male - as if there was this veneer of masculinity that had been scraped off, yet you can still see where it was. A lifetime of social conditioning looks like that. Meryl Streep's bit as a bearded rabbi has nothing on what San Juan is doing.

And that monologue is probably one of the greatest monologues in cinema. Shut up. It definitely was.

And Pedro Almodóvar remains my favorite director.

It's not so much a hero-worship thing, but it sort of makes sense to me to look at him and think, Ok, so that's what I'm aiming for. And if I get half that, I'm doing brilliantly. If I do something nearly as good as All About My Mother and that's the only thing I ever do, I'll be so damn lucky there won't be enough time to explain to everyone why I'm the happiest person on the earth.
 
 
sound: Queen || "Bohemian Rhapsody"
 
 
à bout de souffle
25 January 2005 @ 06:19 pm
All related to theatre, of course.

Eh, what else do I do?



Right, so, chronological order.

Thing One.

We're studying Ibsen's A Doll's House in Shakespeare and Modern Drama. I first read the play two years ago. I loved it, yeah, but I thought it was amazing - I read it in a single sitting and it was like being hit in the face with the truth. Reading A Streetcar Named Desire was an experience like that, too; there are some plays that take you and don't let go until you stop insisting that one thing is true.

Right, so Arvind keeps insisting that Nora, the main character in A Doll's House, is evil.

Um... ok.

I've seen a couple critical interpretations of Nora, but usually they amount to "a submissive wife forced into realizing her own identity." "Evil"? Well, that'd be a hell of a literary criticism...

But apparently because Nora, in the first act, tricks her husband into believing that she's completely submissive to him while really doing as she wants, and is able to manipulate her husband even though he can tell her what to do and she has to do it, she's "evil."

I was surprised into actually talking to him, I said, "Dude," (bad habit picked up from Dr. Watson), "what's your problem with Nora?"

"She's totally manipulating her husband!"

"Yeah, but he manipulates her. That's like their whole marriage."

And then he gave me some sort of rubbish about how, "If I insult you to your face, that's good, right? But if I insult you behind your back, if I say stuff about you behind your back, that's bad, right?"

"Well... actually they're both bad."

"But one of them's worse."

"Not really," I said. I still don't know what the hell he was trying to get at. I mean, I understand that Arvind is a misogynistic pervert who apparently is convinced he's the coolest thing since sliced bread, or whatever-the-hell. But I've got this awful wanting just to say to him, "Ok, Arvind, if you weren't speaking as a misogynistic homophobic Nazi-type, what would you really think of Nora?"

Just wait til you read the part where Nora leaves her husband and - oh my god - actually acts like a self-responsible human being. You're going to get your panties in a knot, bitch. Actually, wait til we read Angels in America. The greatest American play of the last fifty years is going to knock your bloody socks off.



Right. Ok. Thing Two.

My personal worst experience in a theatre will not be mentioned here. But anyhow it pales, absolutely pales, when compared to the experience poor Jordana went through when watching an excellent Toronto production of The Glass Menagerie. Just as it had reached the climax of the last act, Jordana heard a sound. She described it: "as if someone were tinking in the back of the auditorium."

Jordana's polite. I, myself, would describe it as "the sound of an insane drunk woman pissing in the back."

Because, actually, that's what it was.

While the cast members, the stage manager, the fiddler in the wings, and the audience watched aghast, a woman began to approach the stage, screaming something to the effect that all sinners would go to hell. "All you demoted shall be banished to hell!" and so on in that particularly Second Coming style.

This went on for a while. The assistant stage manager went for security; however no one approached the lady in question because they thought she might be armed. Laura was huddling against a wall; Tom and Amanda hugged each other for safety, however incestuous it may have seemed to the audience.

It, of course, took the fiddler to save the day.

After attempting to play a few tunes to settle the audience down, the fiddler finally turned to the drunk/crazy/Christian woman and said to her, "Look, I think you should just fucking go away. We worked a long time to be here, and you've just ruined it."

I like to think he waved his fiddle and bow at her in a menacing manner, but Jordana did not actually indicate whether this was so. However I prefer to pretend that it is.

Anyhow it was at this moment that the woman was removed by security.

And I feel terribly sorry for all of them, especially the stage manager. You prepare for shit happening, you prepare for lights not working and cues going off wrong, but does it say in the stage managering handbook (if there is one) to prepare for insane drunken women? No. No, it does not, actually.


And as for Thing Three, someone asked me - this person was female, I don't need to indicate that she was female, it's going to be fairly obvious at the end of this sentence, but she was - whether it would be unethical to make human eunuchs for practical purposes.

...Well, yes.

Why? It sounds unethical, but why is it unethical?

...Because it's taking away people's reproductive abilities?
...And they quite possibly don't wish them to be taken away?

It's the reason we don't sterilize the poor, I said. They don't particularly want it.



Ok. So I know absolutely nothing anymore, nothing nothing nothing.

Ah well,
what the hell.
 
 
sound: Cecilia Bartoli || "Ah sia già"
 
 
à bout de souffle
16 January 2005 @ 12:38 pm
 
I would like to take this opportunity to announce my engagement to Skye of Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia. We are going to spite our respective governments, and have love, kisses, and wild sex.

Supposedly, hopefully, and so on. We of course have several thousand miles between us, even if we were to travel through the Earth's core, which I suppose is unlikely, though poetic. Also we haven't met yet. However we've got it all planned out. We'll be married in Thailand. (I'm dead serious.) Skye will wear henna on her hands and I will step on the glass. We will either dig up Edith Piaf and have her sing at the ceremony, or grab someone out of a Thai bar and get them to do the honors. Or get Sarah Brightman. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" will also be read at the ceremony. Which will occur when we are both legal to marry, I suppose, and somewhat financially secure. But Skye, love, I wouldn't mind at all starving with you.

Yes, this elation means that the dear ol' Kimmy-thing is happy today.

Do congratulate me. Send donations in lieu of flowers. Oh, it's a joke. Send good wishes and good luck and happiness in lieu of everything.

We're absolute idiots but for this one day, this one year, this one lifetime, let's say that we can really honestly truly live happily ever after.



Oh yes, and Jordana wants to be a bridesmaid, and recommends we have it in Canada. Because it is actually legal there apparently, for those people who are legal themselves. Oh, those clever, clever Canadians.
 
 
sound: Sigur Rós || "Danarfregnir og jaroarfarir"
 
 
à bout de souffle
07 January 2005 @ 02:01 pm
 
Overheard:

"Hey... where's Amsterdam?"

"France."

"France? What part..."

"Like on the coast..."

"It's the red-light district..."

"Really?"

"Really. Amsterdam's like the sex and drug capital of the world."



I'll live in the nonexistent Amsterdam in France, someday, and my address will be in the Netherlands.
 
 
 
à bout de souffle
25 December 2004 @ 01:14 pm
 
I don't care how stupid I am, but every time Graham ends an email with "Lots of love, older sis" it makes me smile.
 
 
à bout de souffle
20 December 2004 @ 08:03 pm
 
Fermina Daza was in the kitchen tasting the soup for supper when she heard Digna Pardo's horrified shriek and the shouting of th servants and then of the entire neighborhood. She dropped the tasting spoon and tried her best to run despite the invincible weight of her age, screaming like a madwoman without knowing yet what had happened under the mango leaves, and her heart jumped inside her ribs when she saw her man lying on his back in the mud, dead to this life but still resisting death's final blow for one last minute so that she would have time to come to him. He recognized her despite the uproar, though his tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her, and he looked at her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in half a century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath:

"Only God knows how much I loved you."

It was a memorable death, and not without reason.



Gabriel García Márquez,
Love in the Time of Cholera
 
 
sound: The Dresden Dolls || "War Pigs"
 
 
à bout de souffle
On your current playlist, hit shuffle and pick the first twenty songs on the list (no matter how cheesy or embarrassing), and write down a line of the song. Try to avoid putting the song title in the line. Then, have your friends comment and see if they know the songs. As soon as they get one right, cross it out.

No cheating by Googling it, grr, that's just cheap.



1) Here we are now; entertain us.

2) If there's anything better in this world, who cares?

3) Cantante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar.

4) And I don't ever want to feel like I did that day.

5) Try this trick and spin it, yeah.

6) I want to shoot the whole day down.

7) But you... would never let me go.

8) Time to admit what you call defeat, cause those women run the question now and you just drag your feet.

9) Coke and Pepsi finally found a compromise.

10) Well, you're an evil swine, but I like your style...

11) There is a house in New Orleans...

12) Days when I could live my life without you...

13) Feels like smashing dope!

14) You get your choice of anesthetic.

15) Girl, you got to love your man.

16) You remind me of the babe. What babe? The babe with the power.

17) So much to do, so much to see, so what's wrong with taking the backstreets?

18) The day is beautiful, and so are you.

19) She looks like the real thing.

20) She skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels 'cross the floor.
 
 
sound: The Postal Service || "Such Great Heights" (not an answer)
 
 
à bout de souffle
1.What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
A whole lot. For me to know and you to forget about finding out. ::tips hat::

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I had one, and haven't had the opportunity to keep it yet. And probably won't; it's not important now.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Hm, good question. The direction of a really good play. The direction of a really good film. A career, as ridiculous as that sounds for a sixteen-year-old. I mean my kind of career. And what I'd really love to have is someone who delights me and makes me laugh and makes me love them so that I can't help it. So not happening. But all the ambitious shit, you can bet on that. Hah. ::happy arrogant grin::

7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory?
My week in Stratford. It's probably the whole nostalgia thing, but I can't help but keep thinking of that place as as close to heaven as I need to get.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Ninety-page good screenplay. Though it's kind of pathetic that my only accomplishment of that stature is a screenplay - it makes the elitist pig within me cry.

9. What was your biggest failure?
A certain guy of my acquaintance, who is no longer of my acquaintance. (Mr. Matthews: "Guys should be like that. That's what a man is. There are a lot of guys out there, but only a few men."

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmm. My trip to Stratford; I paid for half of that. Smaller thing: five yards of absolutely glorious gold Chinese brocade.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Hmmm... Jaron, for not letting me kill Gui when Gui shut his finger in the door.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Abovementioned 'guy'. And Bill, frankly, I expected better of him. But mostly me.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Stratford. You have no idea how much fun it is to come to the second-to-last day of your stay in Canada and realize that you have $100 in Canadian that you have to spend before you go back over the border.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Stratford. God this is repetitive. Also meeting A again for the first time in about a year, and earning my metaphorical freedom - I think it was only me who understood the real implications of that, and I'm still - I guess the feeling is 'joyous' - also finishing the damned screenplay, ninety pages is better than any drug in the world.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
"Mad World" - Gary Jules. I can't listen to it any more, though it's still on my laptop.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Happier, and strangely - considering everything I've done between then and now - less cynical.

ii. thinner or fatter?
No idea. Probably about the same.

iii. richer or poorer?
Poorer in money, maybe - five hundred dollars gone - but richer in knowledge, and friends.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Caring about the people who actually gave a damn about me.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Caring about idiots who quite plainly didn't. Ah, but that's such a bitter thing to say.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my family. And my mom and I will probably start in on all the sewing projects we've put aside because of making Christmas gifts. And also I get my damned wisdom teeth taken out, which will probably hurt like hell. But my mom has promised me she'll rent me as many movies as I want while I recuperate, so I'm sort of looking forward to that.

22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
Yes. I want to say it's overrated but I know it isn't. I don't expect to find something like that again very soon. And, considering, maybe that's a good thing.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?
Cero.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Being completely unable to understand the TV scheduling as put forth in TV Guide, and figuring I'm not missing much anyway, and also not having cable, I don't watch television. But for the two weeks during which I stayed at a cottage up north that did have cable, I developed a small addiction to Three's Company. ("Jack! This is no time to indulge yourself!" I firmly believe that John Ritter was a comic genius.)

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
You've no idea.

26. What was the best book you read?
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides. I'm not going to choose.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Libertines, the Dresden Dolls, Franz Ferdinand, and the Magnetic Fields. In about that order. Oh yeah, and Christopher David. I knew he could play piano, but I didn't know he could play piano, if you understand my meaning... so damn brilliant.

28. What did you want and get?
People who were amazingly interested in my crackpot scheme of a film. So yeah. I'm thinking it's going to work, and going to work well.

29. What did you want and not get?
Oh, true love. That'd be cliché enough, wouldn't it?

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Ergh. Very hard, that. I have great expectations for A Very Long Engagement - but favorite film I saw that was released in 2004 - The Saddest Music in the World. Favorite film I saw in 2004 that wasn't actually released in 2004 - The Piano and Casablanca and Talk to Her and Amélie and Fight Club - and oh, I could keep going but all of those are heartbreakingly brilliant.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was up north with my family and we just celebrated with my favorite kind of cake and that was pretty much it.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Uhm... wild sex, complete restructuring of society, and graduating.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
A few well-loved items that have all that I-read-James-Joyce-for-fun-and-am-in-love-with-Oscar-Wilde flair: my communist red sweater, my black and white skirt with the flowers on it in an Aubrey Beardsley-style print, the brown shirt... hm. I guess you could say, simple, and I wear what I like. I am lucky that way. Hah.

34. What kept you sane?
I actually know the answer to that right off the top of my head. All year I've been saying that the only thing that kept me sane and rational was View with a Grain of Sand by Wisława Szymborska, borrowed from Caton, returned, then borrowed again and not returned, and now lent to Mary.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Adrien Brody, and I still do. No idea what it is, I just think he's ... yes. That.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage.

37. Who did you miss?
Alex and Jordana and Graham and A.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Graham Miles, of Alberta, and Jordana Weiss of Ontario.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004?
Do precisely what you know you must do.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
So
should I return to trace the shadows of my chases
My steps will echo there from sand to stone
I
will never let my eyelids close on empty spaces
My dreams will fill the void with lands unknown
Know the mighty infinite obscures the far horizon
The whispered road I take will never bend
Alone
And will the wind return my story to its promise
Or will my story chase me to my end...


The third part, "Promise," of "Arabian Nights" as sung by Sarah Brightman. Kind of long for a "lyric" but I've been wanting to use that quote for ages.
 
 
sound: The Postal Service | | "Such Great Heights"