Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Help me! I'm drowning...

...under a sea of work. Plus, prom is Friday, so look for a post this weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What'u know 'bout me what'u what'u know 'bout me?

For the record, I REALLY hate that song.

So… flipping through my mental Rolodex of post ideas as I often do (it’s been pretty empty lately), I thought of those tags where you have to tell 8/ 10 things about yourself. Well, I didn’t get tagged, so I’m just doing it anyway. I tried to think of things that could possibly be classified as interesting, in some parallel universe…

1) I have an orange piano.
I’d wanted to play piano for YEARS, until in 7th grade my friend told me about a family friend who was giving away their piano for free. Free is my favorite number, so we jumped on the chance, went to see the piano. It was big. And orange. But, hey, free is free. So we put it into my house on Christmas Eve day. I have the quirkiest piano I’ve ever encountered—it’s been painted this lovely orange, and it’s huge—tall, that is. It was actually made in the twenties, and it used to be a player piano. It’s out of tune, and several keys are so horribly tuned that they are basically the sound of someone whacking the strings with a hammer. Or… something. It’s so weird to think that my piano was in someone else’s house—it seems so truly mine, such a part of my house. I love banging out Hush Sound tunes while swaying violently. My piano is basically my personality manifested in an instrument: odd, quirky, offbeat, with a few bum notes every now and then but if you know me really well you don’t even notice. I can be loud or soft (ie, QUIET), depending on I’m with. Voila. I= piano.

2) I love climbing trees.

I am at home among the branches, green leaves brushing my face. I love just climbing, higher, higher. Swinging my feet twenty feet off the ground is simply exhilarating. When the wind blows, and branches sway all around me but the trunk stands still, I feel this deep connection the earth. I know that’s crunchy and shit, but it’s so true.

3) I am obsessed with Jason Castro.
Every year, I say, “I’m not going to watch American Idol this year.” Especially after last year, everyone pretty much sucked. But every year I find my self flipping on Fox with a sigh of, “God, I can’t believe I subject myself to this.” Well this year, my friend frantically came into school one day (it was top 24 week, which I did not partake in) gushing about this Jason Castro go. Went home, looked up his performance, saw his beautiful eyes, sexy hands and beyond-cool dreds, and I was gone. My friend and I frantically IM every Tuesday during the show, hoping that Jason will pick a good song and squealing like little girls every time he does something funny. We always wonder in astonishment why we find him so attractive—we can’t figure it out for the life of us, and we share our minute-by-minute reactions. It’s great fun. Watching TV with someone not there is about the greatest way to watch TV. On Wednesdays (results show night, for those of you with lives), we IM frantically again, and literally shake (yes, we get THAT nervous for Jason), and when he is safe, a lot of this is involved: “YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.” But multiply it by a thousand.
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We plan on going to the American Idols Live tour this summer and making t-shirts. If we could meet Jason… I’m pretty sure I would just freeze up and gape. See how we sink so low, just for our love of a slightly-girly man? But listen to him sing “Hallelujah” or “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and try NOT to appreciate how he so does not fit the cookie-cutter Idol mold. CASTRONETTES O8, Y’ALL!!!
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4) I am 5’10”.
Thank you, Person I Have Not Seen In A While, I AM tall, thank you so much for noticing. What’s that? You say I’m taller than my mom? Am I REALLY, thank you SO much for pointing that out to me!
Yeah, I’m really tall. I don’t really notice it, considering…well, I’m always at that altitude, so it’s not a big deal. It certainly comes in handy though. I get a lot of “HOW can you REACH that?” I just laugh cryptically. It’s great fun. The only down side is that I’m taller than many guys, including my prom date. :/. Ah, well. It worked for Nicole and Keith.

5) I love old things.

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Everything’s better with a story behind it. I’d rather borrow great Art Deco jewelry from my grandma for prom than go to Penneys and get some crappy stuff. I love old books, old photographs, old people. A hand-sewn blanket is so much more rewarding than a store-bought, new one. Why buy a new belt when I can wear one of my mom’s from the seventies? I just love the feeling of being connected to the past, of reusing things. Who wore these suspenders before I did? I’ll never know, but I can wonder about it.

6) I had jaundice when I was a baby.
Yes, I came out a weird peachy-rose color, but quickly turned yellow. Not, like, SUNSHINE yellow, but a tint of yellow all the same. So my mom just sat me in the sun every afternoon and voila, normal baby color. Good thing I didn’t get jaundice as an adult—the whites of your eyes turn yellow. Can you say CREEPY? I won’t frighten you with a picture. Brave souls, feel free to unearth one yourself.
Maybe that’s why I love the sun so much…

7) I am terrified of open heights.

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I have no problem being in a plane, 15,000 feet above the ground. In fact, I prefer the window seat, and I love staring out the window and thinking about how high up I am. But open heights? Forget it. A visit to the Grand Canyon in the summer after 3rd grade resulting in my staying a good thirty feet away from the guardrail, shaking, unable to move, and convinced that the cliff-y thing we were on was just going to break off. In San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge freaked me out so much that I gripped the inner handrail the whole time, just sliding my hand along, resulting in disgustingly blackened palm. Even balconies in buildings, I can’t bring myself to look over the edge, I’m so convinced the barrier is just going to disintegrate and I will be plunged to my death on the tiles below. God, I hate open heights.

8) I am considering joining Facebook just for the groups.
I was pretty “anti-Facebook” for a while, convincing myself that it would just be another distraction for me when I am attempting to complete homework. Then a few days ago, my friend let me sign in under her name to see the guest list of a little shindig we are attending. I then discovered the groups. Oh my, the groups. They’re so addictive, it’s not even funny. I’ve already logged on several times as my friend and just browsed the groups for…a long time. Here are just some of the ones I’ve found so far:

Wonderfully [un]witty comments by me in bold

No, I haven’t read that literary classic—but I’ve seen the Wishbone!
Reading is sexy
No, I can’t hang out with you on July 21st, HOW DARE YOU ASK?
Because of Edward Cullen, human boys have lost their charm From Twilight
I can’t accept that fictional characters aren’t real This is so true it's not even funny
Everything I need to know about life I learned from star wars
People who know the difference between “you’re” and “your” I'm a Nazi when it comes to that
I read books because I actually want to
Basically, I’m in love with fictional men
Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. PRINCESS BRIDE. GAHAHHA.
It’s ok, we all waited for our Hogwarts acceptance letters, too
Fuck this, I’m Going to Hogwarts
I Hate Everyone (Little Miss Sunshine appreciation club)
I Wish I Could Dance Like Dwayne Hoover
I’m a little bit in love with Jim Halpert
Eff you, society. I’m going into the wild.
I Went to Catholic School and was pissed when the CCD kids trashed my desk You will only get this if you went to Catholic school, I literally burst out laughing when I read this. Every Monday, it would be... "THE CCD KIDS STOLE MY RULER AGAIN!!!"
It’s my life goal to talk as cleverly as Juno MacGuff.
Stop Killing the Environment
I Get Weird looks when I go into public places in my school uniform On Ash Wednesday, I enjoy going around with my cross of ashes and my forehead and getting looks that clearly portray: Is she is some sort of cult?
Why, yes, I do frequently burst out in song
People Who raced raindrops on car windows as children
Automatic doors make me feel like a jedi I need to find a t-shirt with this
I have to sing the ABC’s to know which letter comes before the other
When I was your age, Pluto was a planet.
No, I don’t care if I die at 12 AM, I’m not passing on your chain letter.
You were hot until you put that cigarette in your mouth
Hippie Children Born in the wrong generation
I Look for good climbing trees rather than the opposite sex
All I Ever needed to know, I learned from Elizabeth Bennet.
I judge you when you use poor grammar.
Disney gave me unrealistic expectations about love
American by birth, Irish by blood.
Shut up, historians. Pocahontas and John Smith were soul-mates.
There’s NO WAY Pocahontas could have survived jumping off that cliff.
Fred Weasley, we salute you.
Is that an accent? Pardon me as I undress…
“Flight of the Concords” makes my world a brighter place
I can’t wait for Sufjan Stevens to make a CD about my state
I can’t stop listening to Regina Spektor
Holden Caulfield is my brilliantly sarcastic hero. [For the record, I couldn't finish that book, I disliked it quite a bit, but some might appreciate the group.]

And quite possibly the best one yet….

I read the group name, I laugh, I join, I never look at it again.

So now you know a bit more about the enigma that is I. Tell me some lusciously dishy (what an awful word!) secrets about yo’self! Since those were SO juicy. Bah.

Look for a Disney princess post in the coming days... God, to be six again!

listen: Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Jason Castro!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

the earth laughs in flowers.

I love that. Up there. That sentence up there. It's so sweet and true. When have you not cheered a tiny eensy bit at seeing flowers? It's ee cummings. I, lyke, so totally luvvers ee cummings. I have a great book of his poetry. Oooh... I smell a post topic....

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Yes, I KNOW the poppy field in the Wizard of Oz had some drug reference. Whatever. Opium schmopium. Does that stop you from just wanting to fall asleep among that cloud of red? Oh, never mind the wicked witch on my tail, I'll just sleep forever in this endless red, with blue checks on my dress and ruby slippers on my feet. And a man made of tin by my side.

You probably know by now that it is very rare for my posts to have any sort of theme or train of thought. Don't expect anything different for this one.

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This is the COOLEST. PLAYGROUND. I HAVE EVER. SEEN. Ever. Period. This is not an opinion. This is a fact. In my school's art room, there's a chair painted with breakfast food...sausages, a orange with a straw stuck in it, a frying pan with eggs on the seat, pancakes dripping with syrup...and I've obsessed with that chair. Seriously. I MUST sit in that chair. It's my good luck chair, and if any one else sits in it, I'm down in the dumps for the entire art class. This is the PLAYGROUND version of that chair. Honestly, why does MY hometown not have this playground? Why slide on a boring old SLIDE when you can slide on a piece of bacon???? Exactly. There's no reason why you wouldn't. How awesome would it be to get up in the morning and say, "Hey mom, can we go to the BREAKFAST playground today? I feel the need to straddle a piece of sausage."

And so there is your daily dose of random, courtesy of Lights, Camera, Chaos!.Can I do that? An exclamation point, THEN a comma. Hmmmmmmmmm. Grammar is bothersome.

song of the day, I suppose: "Gray Or Blue" by Jaymay. Comments: This is what music's all about--pure, sweet emotion.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hippie hippie shake

I do believe my alter ego lives in the city of Portland, Oregon. It was simply SPLENDID.

Here is my school newspaper article. As I am too lazy/lame to write a new one.

I have been living a lie. I do not really live in [insert town name here]. No, the truth is that my soul lives in Portland, Oregon. I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the city over Easter break, and I completely fell in love. The city’s vibe and mine seemed to be on the same wavelength. Vibe. How appropriate a word, considering the city has a reputation of being super-liberal and “crunchy.” While they are hundreds of things to love about the great city of Portland, listing all one hundred in an article is admittedly overkill. I find nine to be a bit more realistic.

9 Things to Love About Portland, Oregon

1) The Indie Rock Scene- Portland undeniably has an amazing underground music scene, one while has exploded in the past decade. Creative spirits such as literary-rock group The Decemberists, folkie M. Ward, and quintessential indie-rock band The Shins all currently call Portland their home and the late Elliott Smith made the city his adopted hometown. The city is a magnet for bands to visit when touring, and as a matter of fact, spectacular band Vampire Weekend was making a pit stop in Portland the day after I left. I defy you, stars! The cities are few and far between where the gentle strains of the afore-mentioned Shins are heard wafting from the speakers in a restaurant, and Portland is one of those cities.

2) Catering to the bike lifestyle- Valet parking for bikes? Bike-in movies? Look no further than Portland, a city of bicycle enthusiasts, and the city makes getting around on two wheels easy and safe. Many streets have a “cyclers-only” lane, and the city’s many trolleys contain designated hooks on which to hang one’s bike. This abundance of bicycles leads to a blessed lack of cars—automobiles are extremely scarce for a city of this size, stop-lights rare, and, therefore, pollution is minimal. In some places of the city, you could actually stand in the middle of the streets for a good thirty seconds without a car hitting you (don’t try this at home, kids). It’s enough to make anyone want to toss away their car keys forever and instead pick up a bike lock (for use on the cities myriad bike racks).

3) Eco-friendly lifestyle, tree-hugging people-The city consistently tops lists of the greenest American cities, and its public transportation system is one of the best in the nation. Thirty years ago, the city tore down a six-lane highway to build a waterfront park. City planners have sent specific boundaries where the city ends to prevent urban sprawl, and nearly half of the city’s energy comes from hydroelectric sources. Free trams constantly criss-cross the city and a bus is never hard to find. This feeling of responsibility for and love of the earth can be found throughout all of Oregon—even the license plate has a pine tree on it.

4) The people- Portlanders tend to be a relatively quiet, hardworking, often artistic people, and the types of people there run the gamut. While there are many Portlanders whose family histories are rooted in the city, in recent years a huge influx of young twenty-somethings has occurred. There is youth everywhere you turn in Portland, and a dizzying array of styles is represented—everything from Mohawk-and-plaid-sporting punks to Vans-clad skaters gliding down the street to the scruffy haired, cardigan-and-Chucks-wearing, soft-spoken indie kids, those who work in coffee shops and record stores by day so they can play their music or make art by night. The city is not just filled with younger people, however; families play in parks and elderly couples walk down the street hand-in-hand. Portlanders aren’t overly concerned with being cool—they just are. While in a coffee shop (in true indie-fashion, we spurned the Starbucks across the street for a locally owned cafĂ©—what can I say, the city’s spirit is infectious) I overheard a young woman telling the guy behind the counter that she was going to an all-night Monopoly tournament. The people there are genuinely nice, as well—in the same coffee shop, the woman working put three extra pumps of vanilla syrup into my latte because she overheard me say to my dad that I like a lot of flavor. The people are always quick with a smile, and quick and gracious to hold a door open.

5) Proximity to the unparalleled Oregon coast- Just an hour and a half drive from the center of Portland is the staggering Oregon coast—a breathtaking area of dizzyingly-sheer cliffs, ancient elm trees, vast expanses of sparkling water, and poetic rocky beaches. It all seems so untouched, real, natural. The drive to the coast isn’t exactly boring, either—a ten-minute driving, increasing in elevation, brings you from Lord-of-the-Rings-esque forests—all moss-covered trees, bubbling streams, and sunlight peaking through the canopy of the leaves—to more Chronicles-of-Narnia-style pine forests dusted with a frosting of pure white snow. The Oregon coast is truly unlike any other place in the world.

6) The laid-back atmosphere- Perhaps it’s because I’m an East Coaster, and we tend to be hurried and irascible people, but when I first arrived in Portland, it was a bit unsetting how calm people were there. The airport was even quieter. People walked slowly, made less noise. So they might have missed their plane, no big deal. In Portland, very few people let things bother them. In the three days I spent in the city, I truly did not hear one utterance of a car horn. The city emits a hippie, earthy vibe, which made my secretly-hippie heart feel right at home. Though often overshadowed by pretentious neighbor Seattle, Portland is far more relaxing, inviting and warm (though not in temperature—it either rained or was cloudy two out of three days), perhaps because its people are less buzzed on caffeine than those of rival Seattle. Portland needs no shallow reassurance of how awesome it is—every building, every stoplight and tree and rock oozes with nonchalance.

7) Powell’s Book Store- Powell’s is absolutely enormous, a four-floor, 32,500 square-foot labyrinth of towering bookcases stuffed with volumes that seem as though they might just tip over at any given moment. Books are simply everywhere—a person could barely spread his or her arms without brushing some sort of paper. Any book lover could get lost (literally, a map, available at the front desk, is extremely helpful) among the shelves. Not only are new books for sale, but many used books as well, and on the top floor there is an entire room devoted to rare books. Prices are cheap and the staff is helpful. It’s a kind of wonderland for the bibliophiles among us, and people come from all over to see the store.

8) Portland Saturday Market- On Saturdays and Sundays from March to Christmas Eve, this arts-and-crafts fair is open near the Skidmore Fountain, under the Burnside Bridge. Three hundred artists sell their crafts, and the selection is staggering: canvas paintings, bumper sticks and buttons, scarves, knit hats, earrings, folk art, wood crafts (such as barrettes, spoons, and pepper mills), hand-painted t-shirts, baked goods, clothing, duct-tape wallets, leather sandals, and countless other items are for sale by local artists. It was a rarely beautiful day in Portland when I went, sunny, slightly warm, and breezy, and the square was packed with people. Aside from the crafts for sale, the people-watching is the best in the city, and all sorts of people drift in and out. Street musicians are scattered all over, and scheduled acts perform on the main stage. The food court is also amazing, sending smells from all over the world filling the market (I tried Lebanese and African food). The market is one of the Portland arts scene’s crowning jewels.

9) The Pearl District- Dubbed the Soho of Portland, the Pearl District has surprises around every corner—independently owned shops of every kind. We came across a vintage store stuffed with 50s frocks, a record store (High Fidelity-style), a gourmet cupcake shop, and several fair-trade stores, filled with goods from straw baskets crafted in Ugandan villages to hand-woven cotton dresses made in the mountains of Nepal, made by craftsmen and women for fair wages and in sanitary conditions. Once inhabited by starving artists, the Pearl District is now teeming with young hipsters, and the creative spirit of the district can be felt with just a stroll through.

Perhaps the city’s slogan sums the city’s spirit up the best: “It’s not easy being green.” It may not be easy, but the payoff is certainly worthwhile.


Voila. Obviously, I couldn't say this in my article, but the super cliche snobby hipsters were SO FUCKING ANNOYING I WANTED TO TEAR THEIR "IRONIC" CLOTHES OFF THEIR EMACIATED FRAMES.


Oh. That being said, they were many adorable indie boys in coffee shops with whom I completely and irrevocably fell in love.

I can't figure out how to resize these gosh darn pictures. Or as they say here, "pitchers."

Me being stupid and pretending to jump over the fence. The cliff was so sheer that I was frightened of going near the edge. Note the obstructed face.

Pure, pure beauty.

My sister and I took about fifty takes of jumping pictures trying to get it right.

I'm wearing my vintage rainbow suspenders! I should take a better picture of those to post. They're incredible.

It was my mom's idea.

Ooh! In a fair trade store there I got a spectacular MAKE ART NOT WAR poster. It's very hippie-esque. I'll take a picture.

Cherry blossom trees by the river in Portland.

A hipster at the Market. I liked her outfit, ok? And NO it wasn't weird or obvious that I was pointing my lens at her...

Inside a fair trade store.

There is a Cupcake God, after all.

And you expect me NOT to give my heart to this city...??

Song of the day/week/whatever: "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. Comments: BAH-ZING.