Monday, October 6, 2014

October 5th, I visited friends

more related to yesterday's post, but look at the yellow trees!
Dear October,

Today was a good day. I’m currently in a friend’s room, and no one is awake, but everything is calm. There’s music playing quietly from my laptop, and I like this wooden table that my computer is on. A few hours ago I facetimed an old friend from pre-college, whom I haven’t spoken to in 3 years, and I talked to my parents, and I talked to more friends. I listened to good music today, and had too much sleep. I played around with homework due in a few days. My friends visited my room, and I visited theirs. Something I’ve noticed is that showering at night makes me feel like I’m in control of my life. Isn’t that strange? I think it’s because I’ve been showering in the morning most of the time, and as nice as it is to begin the day refreshed, I’m always rushing rushing through everything then. At night it’s calm, and the times I do shower at night, I actually am doing okay with time and sleep and things. It’s just a funny thing. Tomorrow class begins again, and that’s fine. Nothing particularly good happened today really, and there’s a fair number of things I’m worried about that I’m not usually that worried about, but there’s just a general sense of goodness running through the day.

Also, our dining area has fortune cookies that you can pick up every time you get a meal, and I picked up one today as I usually do, and this one said this: Pass the bill to the person on your left. Fortune cookie writers are funny people. Also, I think it’s my turn to buy toilet paper soon.

song of the day: High Hopes by Kodaline - I LOVE this song right now. A friend introduced it to me a few weeks ago I think, when I asked what song was being played. And then my pre-college friend recommends the remix.

See you tomorrow,

October 4th, I closed some blinds

pool-like reflections, seen from Jam's window
Dear October,

I wonder whether you mind when people close their blinds. I closed some blinds today because I think it’s weird when blinds are open at night, since it’s so easy to see inside if your lights are on! It’s weird for me when I meet people who don’t mind that at all. Since I’ve gotten here though, after I turn out all the lights, I tilt the blinds so that I can see the city outside from my bed. It’s a really nice way to go to sleep, and a great way to wake up. From my window I can see the first yellow tree of the fall, and the yellow is spreading slowly to some of the trees around that tree. It’s so gradual but so exciting to see the change from here. I wonder how quickly you’ll change.

You may not have been able to see much of it, as I closed the blinds at some point, but I worked with friends today, and then we took a break and played our traditional group-game of cards. My friends were very silly, which made me want to be sillier, and afterwards we sang loudly to disney songs and maroon 5 and thai songs that only two people could understand. We also did squat jumps, because it’s tiring and fun to do. I went to one meeting for martial arts, and that plus kicking is the most valuable thing I learned there. Squat jumps are just what they sound like—you squat, then jump, and pull your legs up with you. You should try to do 20 of those.

Earlier in the evening, a bunch of us were working in Jam’s living room. Jam was drawing boxes, and Tar, Boo, and I were working on separate design assignments. Suddenly Jam asks, should I cook noodles? Boo says yes, because everyone likes noodles, and anyway instant noodles are quick and smell good. A few minutes later, Jam is standing in front of the kitchen sink, facing away from us, apparently still contemplating. Boo asks us about one of her compositions, and we talk about moving things into corners and the word, “suspicion”. Taryn mutters to herself and occasionally says something aloud like “WHY is this—“ and I plug some nice calming music into the stereo. From the kitchen we hear, “Did Kevin use all the garlic?” And there’s Jam standing in the same place, looking at the cabinets with her hands on her hips. She contemplates. “But that was a lot… There was still like, half the garlic in there!” I finish a few letterforms for class, and Boo calls us over again for feedback. Half an hour later, we hear sizzling and there’s this gorgeous steam rising from the stove, and everyone smells food. Tar gets up to see what Jam is doing, and in a little while Jam brings over a big bowl of flat wiggly noodles with mushroom and onion and beef. I’ve never seen noodles shaped like those, but they reminded me of the tentacles you see under jellyfish. So Boo is looking at the noodles, so Jam asks if she wants some, and Boo says, yeeees. Jam puts another bowl right under the lamp we’re working by, and the steam rising from it is glorious. I tried to record it but caught it a little too late. Tar asks if she can have some noodles as well, and so do I, and Jam brings over a few plates and chopsticks and places them on the table. We've been eating for a while when Tar says,

"You know, when you said you were making noodles, I thought you meant instant.”

“Yeah, I was wondering why you were standing there for so long, thinking about it. I thought, it’ll just take 3 minutes.“

“—And then when you were asking about the garlic, I was like, wow, she’s getting fancy with those instant noodles!” Tar and Boo laugh and high five, laughing over “the extent of their cooking skills.”

“And then we see you at the stove with REAL noodles.”


(song of the day: Lost Stars by Adam Levine - one of the songs we sang, except not acoustic. this was after singing a bunch of disney songs)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October 3rd, you are funny

a peek into my bag

Dear October,

Everything felt a little off today. Like time went slower than usual or sped up when it doesn’t usually. We had an odd fire drill/alarm during history class, for instance. An hour before the lecture was to end, a loud alarm began blaring, and if that sound had a color it would be bright white. Not quite BLARING, but like a calmALERT sound, if that makes any sense. It wasn’t nearly as immediately alarming as fire alarms were in middle and high school, but it felt more ominous. It would go, WAAAHHNWAHHHNWAHHHN THIS is an EMERGENCY evacuation. Please ex-it the building as quickly as possible. And after a few moments of confusion, everyone immediately started packing their bags. Either the alarm was surprisingly effective in sounding official and calmly dangerous, or everyone was just excited to be let out early. Our professor looked at us, waved out his arms in a large open hug motion and said, “See you all next week!” so we left.

Anyway, it was rather lucky for us since an event was going on that day that all the art students look forward to. A bunch of art vendors set up stalls in a market square outside, and they give out all kinds of free samples, and let you try all these different tools. It’s the same as last year, and this time I got a lot more paint than last year, which was very cool. Everyone also was crowding especially around this one table that had a big basket full of 02 Microns, which are pretty good archival inking pens. There was also this poor vendor at a stall who was just showcasing palettes, and he had no discounts or free things or demos really, and people frequently skirted around that one. :( Among the things I got was an oil bar, which I’ve been meaning to try. It’s like a crayon for oil painting. Afterwards, I fell asleep on my bed and woke up slightly later than expected and missed dinner, and then went to a bubble tea place with a few friends. We played Sorry! and it was actually very similar to Parcheesi, except Parcheesi is somewhat less brutal (and has animals). I ordered honeydew milk tea since I’d gotten fairly similar flavors the other times I had gone, and it was pretty good, although just slightly too sweet maybe. The last time we went, Jam and Tar and I played Taboo!, which by the way is a great way to study for tests because of the nature of the game.

Alright, must go! I’ve noticed your leaves are slowly turning yellow! It’s very pretty.


(random good song added later: Salvation by Gabrielle Aplin - good for mornings!)

October 2nd...

it's funny when programs lag
Dear October,

Today was tiring. We had a semi-final draft of a poster due, and a test on the first segment for History of Graphic Design. We learned things today. We didn’t sleep. But it was a nice kind of staying up, in a way, in that you’re enjoying what you’re doing for the most part. What else? You rained today, a little bit like usual. We were in a small group of six people studying for GD History, and the kinds of things you learn are interesting. It was actually one of the first times I think I’ve ever felt somewhat exasperated at how everyone was talking over each other. It was this mini pandemonium going on around the table, and people were talking across the table and switching conversations and getting confused when they heard fragments of another conversation, and at some point two pairs of people would be having a conversation about the same thing and then the conversations converge and they readdress everything they had talked about with the other pair to ensure that both pairs were equally confused, and suddenly someone checking their calendar would remember something and interject another topic into the conversation, and everyone would be distracted by the importance of that topic, etc. Everyone kept trying to redirect the conversation every once in a while and it wouldn't work. It was fun, and it was a funny day.

Oh yes, and the funniest thing I heard today was when we were all working on our posters. When it gets late, often people take turns napping so we know we'll wake up in time. Sometime in early morning, my friend Suds said, “Wake me up in 15 seconds” and flopped down onto the floor.

See you,

(these are going to be actually on time soon, really! and no song today)

Friday, October 3, 2014

October 1st, it was glittery today

the view outside my window! has nothing to do with this post
Dear October,

I was walking back to my dorm from my furthest (which is not that far) and latest-running class and I noticed that everything looked particularly sparkly. The street lamps were the typical warm-sun color, and the lights from cars were blinding white as usual, but the rain from earlier made everything slick, and the black roads looked like they were shellacked tree trunks, because the rain highlighted all the cracks and bulges on the ground. There was a puddle ahead that was rippling from occasional raindrops, and shaking slightly from other things, and a bright blobby white light was reflected in it, and I remember it wobbling in strange ways. It was dark and pretty empty, and there were so many subdued warm highlights on the ground that things began to feel hyper-real. You know when you see highly rendered images and immediately know it is not real because of how clear everything is? Or when you're in a game with detailed 3d-graphics, and the whole world looks so crisp? On cold days, it sometimes look like that in the white mornings, because I think the angle of the light makes everything look sharp, and a whole bunch of light is bouncing off everywhere anyway. It was like that outside today, but at night. You know when warm street lamps reflect off parked cars at night, and that warm strip of light is like a dim but strongly yellow-orange highlight? I want to describe the color but I can't think of a simple word for it. It's like melty dim orange, or a warm tangerine color. The ground would glitter with that low orange light and every once in a while you would come across a wet bench where the light would just slide on and right off the panels.

Before this I was with my friends Tar and Jane, and we went to a "cafeteria" event called the Cornaval. The cafeteria was covered in corn-related decorations, which meant there were lots of yellow garlands and christmas lights and that shiny stuff that looks like thin gold material that's been put through the paper shredder almost all the way through before someone tried to hang it by the last bit of material that's holding all the strips together. Tables had gold corn on top, and we had a menu with corn dogs, cornflake-crusted chicken, popcorn, corn chowder, corn on the cob, corn cakes, cornbread, corn vinaigrette (with salad), corn pops, etc. This year they had posters for it that said, "It's coming", except the com of coming was overwritten with corn. So everyone knows it's corning. There's another poster with a unicorn on it, who has a corn horn. My favorite is Cornibilism, which has a corn on the cob that has evidently eaten another piece of corn. We got carnival screen printed yellow shirts and temporary corn tattoos. People took pictures with giant cardboard cutouts of corn in a small field of giant cardboard corn. Some of the staff wore giant corn hats, and every time they turned their heads, the corn would swivel around with them.

Well, that's all. Can't believe my first letter to you is already late! But this was what I was thinking yesterday.

(edit- wow this was a pretty late start for a first letter!)


P.S. Here's the song for "today":
Hello/How are you by Ritsuka - I went looking through old posts and listened to old songs, and then I found this one in one of the related videos. It's cheerful (sounding), so here you go.

Friday, July 25, 2014

poor memory

I recently read a collection of short stories in a book I borrowed from a friend, called The Color Master by Aimee Bender, which was by the way very good and beautifully written and strange and interesting and really enjoyable to read. It's also great for reading in installments, as many anthologies are. But anyway, this post is not about that book. Actually I went from writing a short review of the book (which is why I won't be writing much about it here) to writing a blog post about something else, to writing about things that writing my blog post reminded me of, and somehow I kind of came back to writing about something that came up while I was reading the book. So on we go:

Something that Aimee Bender’s story, Wordless, reminded me of. That we are losing our words. Sounds very dramatic, but more specifically, I definitely know that I am either losing my words or have always had trouble grasping for the right one. My mind is a total jumble, and I am 57% convinced that it is because I got so caught up in trying to master the art of multitasking. Now I’m just terrible at everything. Just kidding, but I became a lot more inefficient with doing simple things like just remembering what I was talking about, or where I was going, or what it was that I meant to google just now. Where did I last see my glasses? Did I leave them at the store? And once in middle school, the biggest temporary memory dump I’ve experienced so far: 
once I was walking down the hall right after class, with my backpack on and all my books in arm, surrounded by the streaming traffic of hurrying teenagers, when suddenly I stopped and noticed this gaping blankness in my brain. And I thought, “Where am I supposed to go? Where am I supposed to go?” and just stood frozen in the middle of this hallway-intersection, feeling this growing panic as I stared at the floor, trying to recall where I was going, and then where I just came from, what class? And I couldn’t even remember what class I had just left. It was like I didn't even have any recent memories that morning, and all my memories of other school mornings came flooding in as a little tick tick slideshow, and I could only preview them one at a time and tick them off, no, no. I remembered one morning in math class, the teacher at the front of the class, and the light that came in through the windows. But it felt a little too distant just then, that math morning, so I accurately identified it as “not-this-morning”. Then I thought ok logically it had to have been first period, my first class. So that would be Spanish. It was Spanish last year too so I can’t be wrong. 

And that makes sense since I’m in this hall, so what’s my next class?


ok I can figure it out, it’s either A-day or B-day classes. No idea which. Ok, narrow them down. What classes do you have? 

… Spanish. 
... English.
uh ok… what are common broad subjects that people teach? Math, science. Do you have science. Who is the science teacher. All I can think of is the teacher I didn’t have in 6th grade that everyone else had. Oh my god. How am I not remembering? Is there anyone here I know? Who’s in my classes? I recognize her!!  She doesn’t know my schedule. People are leaving, the bell’s going to ring soon, everyone's leaving, there’s no one here I know--that’s a 6th grader. I'm the last person here. I better head to some class and just hope it’s the right one, or by now it’s just--I need to check them off one by one by visiting them. But where are my classes? I have no idea where ANY of my classes are, or who the teachers are. Then someone on the brutal and scary member of school staff comes hurrying over in a huff, whistle dangling around her neck, “What are you doing? What are you doing here? GO TO CLASS.” And I’m like, ok ok! sorry I! I can’t remember what class! Mumble- swivel, start walking. I. oh my god.
Math class. 

It was math. I think that was the class I forgot, and I finally found it and walked in and was super relieved. Maybe the memory was frightened back into place by the staff person. This was, by the way, definitely well into the school year, and I had long ago stopped looking at my printout schedule by then (and didn't have it at school when I happened to blank out). I still don’t know what happened then that made me forget everything so fully and ridiculously. 

Anyway, there was a lot more to this post, and if you remember, this post was part of another post that I’d meant to write on a different subject, but I kept hopping to concurrent topics that later were maybe less concurrent, and now we’re here. And I didn't even really talk about what I'd set out to talk about in that first sentence up there of the second paragraph. Or third sentence, maybe. Also there’s a new poll! Hooray! The old ones got so dusty they lost their vote count, ha. Oh wait, no they didn't. They usually do by now. Hmm.

Also, do you title posts or things that you write before or after you write them? When it comes to blog posts, I usually title them after, and it's fun because I find that after all that rambling, I actually sometimes still have a somewhat cohesive topic by the end anyway. Or if they have nothing to do with each other, they suddenly do in the title and then it's cohesive.